There is an art to navigating how and when to post products, and how to increase sales on Pinterest. Today we’re looking at that from the perspective of selling Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) products on Pinterest.
My guest today is Amy, our team TPT specialist. She’s going to share her best tips and tricks for marketing your TPT products on Pinterest.
selling tpt products on pinterest
Let’s dive in with Amy’s best tips and advice!
Amy works with all of our TPT accounts, as well as leads the account specialists who manage those accounts. I asked her to share the story of how she saw the potential for serving TPT sellers that were coming to us when, as a team, we were feeling ready to give up.
Here’s the story from her perspective:
“I remember one of the Simple Pin leadership retreats a couple of years ago, we were talking about our challenges dealing with TPT sellers’ Pinterest accounts. We just really felt like we had hit a wall and weren’t able to serve them the way we wanted to.
As a former elementary teacher, I just felt like there’s so many great teachers out there. We’ve got to find a way to serve them. I kind of took our team frustration as a personal challenge. So our team services director tasked me with the job of figuring this out.
It’s been really exciting to learn about it and to move us forward from where we were to get us started working well with TPT sellers.”
It was such a gift to have Amy rise to the occasion, because I think the rest of us were saying if we can’t do it well then we really don’t want to do it at all. It’s what we strive for here at Simple Pin. We were on the verge of giving up because we never want somebody to have a negative experience with our services or to feel like we don’t “get” them and their business.
That’s a very important part of how we serve our clients.
But Amy stepped in and said, “No, wait! I get their brain.” What a gift it has been to have Amy’s teacher background on our team. She knows how teachers work and can speak their language.
Let’s talk about what Amy has discovered by digging into TPT on Pinterest.
The Biggest Hurdle for Our TPT Clients
The biggest hurdle has been the TPT mindset, Amy believes.
In the world of marketing on the actual TPT platform, their push is to inform the audience – the purchasers – about the product they will receive. The push is to put all of the details in your listing and on your cover images. TPT wants you to show those resources.
That makes perfect sense on their platform. If I’m a teacher and I’m looking for something to use in my classroom, I want to know exactly what I’m buying. I want to know I’m using my resources wisely. It needs to make sense to me and the way I teach.
I want to know that I can pick it up and use it in my classroom tomorrow.
RELATED: Pinterest for Business Mindset
Why Doesn’t the TPT Website Marketing Format Work on Pinterest?
That marketing format just doesn’t work on Pinterest and here’s why. People on Pinterest are scrolling through fairly quickly. They’re not going to stop and read an entire product listing that shows all the pages of a resource someone has created.
Shifting that mindset has been the biggest hurdle in helping teachers understand that there’s a place for both platforms.
- TPT platform – “Hey, here are all my details. Look what you are going to get!”
- Pinterest platform – “Hey, look at me. Here’s something to catch your eye in a hurry.”
Pinterest is all about that quick inspiration.
There’s a big disconnect between the super detailed TPT platform where they’re appealing to the fact finder, and Pinterest where they’re appealing to the person who’s looking for the inspiration to go deeper.
so what can tpt sellers do?
TPT is a niche just like food, fashion, or home decor. It is a gigantic niche, with a large variety of sub-niches inside. There’s preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school, and all the individual subjects. Also school counseling or administration.
There’s so much going on in the TPT world. So when you’re talking to a TPT seller, you have to think about what they are selling. Everything changes depending on that particular seller, their niche, and their audience.
The reluctance to shift from the TPT platform mindset, all boils down to the fear of being misunderstood, Amy says.
Teachers want to be understood and to be known as someone who knows what they’re doing. They want their resources to be found and loved. Sometimes that eagerness translates to overdoing everything, giving too many details.
The Impact of the Last Few Years
In a practical sense, teachers had to turn everything digital for the end of the 2020 school year and most of the 2020-21 school year. That sudden leap has made teachers tired just like everyone else.
They’ve also had to make significant shifts in how they’ve done things in the classroom, which means TPT sellers have had to make a big shift in what they are offering. At the same time, they’re still striving to be understood and relevant to other teachers and kids.
There’s been a lot of life change in the last few years for everyone. Pinterest has made a shift towards more eCommerce, focusing more on product sellers and being able to purchase products right on the platform.
I’m excited to see what will come down the pike for digital products sellers that are on third-party platforms like Etsy or TPT.
do tpt sellers need a blog?
These third-party platforms lend themselves to selling products WITHOUT having a blog. So is it okay for a TPT seller to just have a TPT listing on Pinterest or do you need to have a blog element?
Teachers are so tired right now, Amy says. She doesn’t want to tell them to do more than they’re already doing. She believes it’s okay to have just the TPT store. But we have to remember, like I’ve said over and over again, we’re not in charge of Pinterest and teachers are not in charge of TPT.
The only thing that we own is our website and our email list.
So, thinking about the future and thinking about where a TPT seller wants their business to go, Amy believes it might make sense for them to invest in that website and email marketing. This way they’re not relying solely on the whims of TPT and Pinterest as they decide where they’re going with their platforms.
RELATED: Do Product Sellers Need a Blog?
ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TPT SELLERS
The question that everyone wants addressed – “Is there space for me?”.
Some people feel the market is so saturated, there’s no room for them.
RELATED: Is Pinterest still relevant for business?
So what do you tell an exhausted teacher who loves teaching, but wants to retire from the classroom? They want to take a step back and delve into the world of TPT, but feel there’s no room for them?
Amy says she likes to remind teachers there are people out there who need what you have, and it doesn’t matter that it’s not every person on Pinterest. For those people who need what you have to offer, you should be out there creating your resources and sharing them with the world. There is an audience out there who needs to hear what you have to say.
She would never discourage someone from putting out what they feel is important. There’s a huge diverse group of people out there looking for that right fit. If you don’t put your best out there, they might never find just what they need.
LOOKING TO DIVE DEEPER INTO PINTEREST FOR TPT?
Just for you, Amy created a fantastic, super thorough (and totally free!) Pinterest for TpT email training!
After you sign up, you’ll receive four daily emails that cover Pinterest mindset, profile foundations, pin design, and analytics. In your final email, she shares some bonus resources, next steps for your marketing efforts, and additional ways Simple Pin can help you move your business forward.
As Amy planned this series she wanted to make key information accessible to people who didn’t understand how to navigate the Pinterest marketing platform. Her goal was accessibility and detail.
There is a fine line between overwhelming your audience and making sure you give enough information that it’s worthwhile.
Amy hopes, as you follow along with the newsletter series, you will see that it’s not impossible to do this thing called Pinterest marketing and we can help you get set up correctly. She hopes you see that you don’t need to take your overwhelmed self and add one more thing.
And remember, we’re here to help.
With Amy’s teaching background, and working with so many of our TPT clients, she knows your concerns well and can speak the language. She also does Teachers Pay Teachers consult and strategy calls. So if you are a TPT product seller who wants to go straight to the source, we encourage you to book a call with Amy.
For further listening/reading: