Before I begin, I have a disclaimer. It is SO easy to get wrapped up in the "business" side of TPT. Throughout this conference I would hear about the best marketing strategies, product appeal, and countless ways to "sell" your "stuff". However, we have to remember the true reason why we do what we do....simply to help other educators. So I would like to share my first sticky note with you:
- expand their product lines (many are going full time!)
- research the more effective teaching strategies
- the chance to attend quality professional development
- being able to travel and network with educators around the world
Some interesting statistics that I learned during the Keynote presentation included:
- TPT launched in 2006
- Currently there are 5.25 million users (3 million are active)
- Currently there are 50,000 active authors
- 1.5 million products have been posted (I actually thought it was more!)
- 25 million downloads each month
- The average item costs about the price of a Starbuck's coffee
- There are 3.75 million teachers in America
- There are 2 million homeschooling parents in America
At first I was not sure why I signed up for this session because I have been a high user of PowerPoint. Honestly, I almost switched sessions at the last minute but some "powerful" force prevented me from switching it up. That would have been a HUGE MISTAKE. I think this session was one of my faves! The girls were awesome presenters and the entire session was very interactive. I learned so many tricks I didn't know existed and it just proved how powerful that program continues to be. We learned how to:
- add shadows to images to make them pop
- secure files
- add images inside of shapes
- create quality previews
- and so much more!
Session 2: Advanced Marketing Panel Shelley Gray, Chris Kesler, Kelley Dolling, Rachel Lynette and Tabitha Carro
Another reoccurring theme throughout the week was hearing about how powerful photos of your products in action can be for marketing. Seeing is believing. Photos make it authentic. This will be one of my goals for this upcoming year.
This session was jam packed full of amazing marketing strategies. Time to start cranking!
These women are true artists! My biggest take away was that white space should be your friend. I am one who looooves some color and I think I go a bit overboard when designing products because I get so excited to use my fun digital papers, frames and clipart. However, white space can make things less overwhelming to the eye and has a cleaner look. I have a lot to learn when it comes to "design"...
Kimberly Geswein (KG Fonts) literally has the BEST fonts out there. I highly recommend biting the bullet and investing in her font license. I'm not sure where I have been but I didn't realize she has posted several font pairing guides (like THIS one) in her store. Be sure to check them out if you haven't done so already :)
One last thing I want to share without going overboard is an excellent tip that one of the presenters mentioned. When you finish a product, reduce it to 20% and see if you can read the cover clearly. This helps determine what people see when using mobile devices.
Session 4: Fix Your Brand and Take it to the Next Level Ariane Huddleston, Blair Turner and Mary Montero
Many topics were covered in this sessions such as:
- finding your product niche
- branding your logo and style
- how to deal with snarky feedback
- pin like a person, not all worksheets (amen!)
I really enjoyed this presentation by these top sellers. Some take aways include:
- revise your older products (uhhhh! But I know I need to hop on this)
- TPT style constantly changes (chevron is OUT people!)
- Don't use color on student response sheets for printing purposes
- Spacing your fonts using the AV tool in PowerPoint
- Need to resize your thumbnails? Use Picresize.com
- #1 TAKE AWAY: easyhyperlinks.com will hyperlink any link for you without you having to manipulate the html code. Once again, where have I been???
I walked away from this session chanting "Create with Intention!". She had so many awesome insights and tips for sellers. I really can't share too much on this session without violating copyright. Moving on...
Okay...so I wasn't "excited" about attending this session but I went to Vegas to learn all about this topic. I won't bore you with the details. However, having your own small business isn't all sparkles and rainbows. You have to invest time, $$$$ and effort..a lot of each. Even after this session I am still unsure of many details but it sounds like things vary state to state. I guess I will be headed back to my accountant at the end of this month to get everything ironed out :)
Hands down the most AMAZING part of this adventure was getting to network with other bloggers!
Wednesday evening I met up with Carla from Comprehension Connection and her reading crew. We attended the What the Teacher Wants meet-up and it was HIGH ENERGY. I met a ton of incredible bloggers and was blown away with the swag bags and amazing giveaways that were handed out. The bloggers who threw this bash did an incredible job.
Thursday I had to take a break and hang out with my mom :) Yup...you heard me...MY MOM. She hadn't been to Vegas in 54 years so she wanted to make it into a girls trip! We had a blast eating out and even went to the Michael Jackson One Cirque du Soleil..
Mom was SO excited that she tracked down Elvis. I do have video of Elvis serenading her. I think she was in heaven.
Friday evening ended with Primary Pack's Kickback. Once again, HIGH ENERGY, swag bags and giveaways galore! It was so nice to kickback and meet even more bloggers I follow and make new connections.
Would I attend again? In a heart beat! I definitely was out of my comfort zone going into TPT Vegas week not knowing anyone. However, every single person I talked to was so friendly and down to earth. At the end of the day we are all teachers and teachers are special individuals that have huge hearts.
Be sure to check out other posts about TPT in Vegas by heading to The Elementary Entourage.