Flynn’s Educational Grotto Blog#3: Year 2 of Publishing Sept 2017 – Aug 2018Selling Teaching Resources Online by Michael Flynn

20 May

Grotto Hindsight Wisdoms: Start to build your brand as soon as you upload your first resource (this is an on-going process; it is not something you complete quickly)

When a customer is satisfied with a product or service, they typically come back. A brand is your way of providing a tangible return point. A brand encompasses a number of things and is communicated in a number of different ways. I will not cover all the elements in this blog (it’s a topic that needs to be done justice), I only want to underscore the belief that it’s something you should be thinking about from day 1, if you are serious about selling teaching resources. 

So … (and please don’t think I’m teaching anyone to suck eggs)Start by deciding upon a name for your business. A name that concisely incorporates what type of subject resource you are selling and if possible, what a customer can expect overall from your resources. It’s simple I know, but the further you progress into this arena, the more you will realize how important a ‘brand’ is.

Next a logo. An image and a motto connected to the name of your business. Yes, I know this feels like a KS3 lesson on advertising, but it is what it is. In regards to the logo, think carefully about color and what it symbolically represents. If you are including a motto, think carefully about your target market and how your audience will gain meaning from your words. It’s a subjective thing … but try not to be ‘cliché’ or ‘cheesy’ (although clearly defining what is, or what is not a ‘cheesy’ motto is difficult to conclude). 

*Sept 2017 - Aug 2018 (Year 2): what a year! I had really pushed things during this 12-month period, donating all my spare time towards this new business. At the end of year 2 I had uploaded a total of 750 products to the TES and achieved a net sales of £6800. This sales figure had totally eclipsed my personal expectation of £3800. 

In my own mind, I had now become unstoppable. It was inevitable that this business would continue to grow, it was fate that I would soon become the Jeff Besos of education. Business plan? Awwwww, there was no need for that.I felt that my instinctual drive for volume had worked well so far .. And within this naive simplicity, I believed that ... if something was working, there was no need to fix it!

However ...I had started receiving the odd poor review and low-star rating here and there. At the time I was still intoxicated by the success of my endeavors, so I passed these complaints over, reading them but essentially ignoring them. Stupid yes, but there is merit and learning in every confession or failure.

What I learned in year 2:

1. New teachers feared teaching poetry and Shakespeare. The sales of these products remained steady.

2. Customers who purchased my products liked the way my PowerPoint slides were illustrated - students found them engaging.

3. Creating discounted bundles of resources, seriously increases turnover.As I have always said, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but to this I would also like to add that – knowledge is only valuable if you use it.

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