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6/25/2015

Getting in Go Mode

Last week started the #TPTSellerCallenge & it really was the motivation I needed to get my act together! I’ve been spending a ton of time researching, planning, dreaming, & working to take my TPT business to the next level.

This past year, I’ve seen growth in my sales, which has been super encouraging and affirming. However, I haven’t put nearly enough work into my store or business so I’m confident that if I can stay in GO MODE, that I can see even better growth this year!




Today I’ve been reflecting on the things I’ve learned and the changes I’ve made this week. I have to say I’m pretty proud of myself for the effort thus far! And since putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard?) is such an important part of my reflection process, I decided that I might as well go ahead and share this past week's checklist with you! Of course, these tasks are new this week, so there’s no proof of their success YET, but I have faith ;)


Devising a Plan
1. Business planner sheets: I first got the idea from Krista Wallden, but apparently it's a big deal thing that I've totally missed the boat on for two years. SO! It's time for me to have one. I've been perusing them on Pinterest and Teachers Pay Teachers and even had a couple of awesome ladies on Facebook send me theirs to check out. I decided that for now I would make my own. This one is a test run. As I use it and work through this month, I've been making notes on additions to make to this one, or what to look for if I decided to use/purchase someone else's. You can get this one here.

2. Setting Goals: Week 2 of the TPT Seller Challenge was #DareToDream. I started with this little ditty and a blog post that really got me thinking. I now have a long list of goals including specific goals for income, blogging, organizing myself, updating my store and platforms, completing products, planning giveaways, and more! A "goals sheet" (or cheesy dream board) is also on the list of goals.
3. Using Google Drive instead of a bunch of papers. I tend to have lists and notes everywhere. So, I've started a few documents on my Drive (which I'm addicted to) so that I can keep a running list of blog ideas (and even start drafts for them), product goals, etc. That way I have everything in one place while I figure out what I'm doing about a business planner. 

4. Peruse My Store and list improvements needed to products, descriptions, etc. I'm not going to lie: It's incredibly overwhelming to look at my store and see what a hot mess it is. The to do list there will take me a year to complete. Just off the top of my head I need: updated looks in most of my products, to design a cohesive TOU & credits page for each of the products, to update all of my product descriptions to include links to similar products, to add common core standards, to remember to update my featured products (yes - I had St. Patrick's day stuff up until yesterday), and SO. MUCH. MORE. That'll be fun...

Getting my Instagram on 5. Set up & Start Posting: I started my Instagram Page last week & so far I. LOVE. IT. It's my favorite social media platform, HANDS DOWN.



6. Follow & Comment: My first step in my new IG world was to make some friends in the neighborhood! So I have been searching by hashtags and checking out what's happening with the peeps on the block. I have been intentional about liking and commenting on several posts so that my new friends know I'm there. :)

7. Start a List of Hashtags: I've definitely learned that hashtagging is where it's at. I love this part because I'M A HASHTAG NERD (hence the blog name). The tricky part is keeping up with all of them! If I switch between my #TeacherMom and personal IG, I lose the hashtags that have been stored in my phone. Therefore, I've started a list of hashtags to help me remember ones I could be using. This is key, guys. Use the right hashtags and PEOPLE WILL FIND YOU! :)


8. Instagram Webinar: Today I attended Hilary Rushford's webinar on how to double your instagram following. It was very informative! I learned about branding & marketing myself, making my images more appealing for followers, and so much more! If you're interested in this free webinar, you can sign up here. I'm not sure how long she's offering this, so hurry over! :)
9. Widget on My Blog: See the Instagram image slide show in the upper right, there? Added that this week. Whatdya think? If you want one, you can grab it here.  

10. Canva: Oh Canva. My new BFF. No more spending hours trying to access my inner graphic designer. I'm pretty sure she's not there. Instead, one of my new FB friends introduced me to THIS MOST FABULOUS EVER WEBSITE that basically creates professional looking images FOR YOU. What more do you need in life? This was my first try ever and I was hecka excited that it took me less than 10 minutes (and that included registering for the sight and playing around a bit).


11. Takeoff: I did a little bit of research (and by that I mean I asked once on FB and then read this article) and decided to try Takeoff. It's an app for scheduling Instagram posts! LOVE! Similar to Tailwind, you can either choose a specific time to post your photo, or you can let Takeoff alert you when its a statistically beneficial time to post. The one downside is that Takeoff can't actually post for you - it just alerts you that it's time to post. BUT if you plan in advance you already know your photo, caption, hashtags, etc. You just have to hit go!

Add caption

Upping My Pinterest Game
12. Tailwind: How did EVERYONE know about Tailwind except me?! I've been told so many times how important Pinterest is, but I've had no idea how to make the most of it! Tailwind is the answer to that. I'm so excited to see how this plays out. Even my husband was impressed by the tutorial and features. 

13. Commit to Learning More: I signed up for this webinar in July that I'm super excited about! My husband also sent me this link with a bunch of webinars I'm hoping to catch up on! This morning I did some reading over coffee... I'm thinking AM coffee and some webinars/youtube could be a good little tradition!

14. Add A Pin It Hover Button: There are several ways for readers to pin straight from your blog, but why not make it a little bit easier? I added these this cute little heart button for readers to pin my blog photos straight to their boards. Interested in learning more about this? I used her tutorial. Wanna see how it works? Hover over the photo below and click on the heart to pin this post to your own Pinterest board! (This doesn't work on mobile).



Updating the Blog
15. New Social Media Buttons: Since I added Instagram to my repertoire, I decided I would need a button too. I'm having a biiiiit of an issue with the install process, but no worries! It's coming soon! I also added this handy dandy bloglovin' box! HOW DID I NOT HAVE AN OPTION TO FOLLOW ME BEFORE?! That's bad blogging right there. I also signed up for Bloglovin'. Welcome to the 21st century, Denise.



16. Nix that Obnoxious FB Popup: Once upon a time I thought it was a good idea to have one of those FB widgets that pop up and want you to like their page before you continue to the blog. No offense if you have one... to each their own. But I've officially decided to spare my readers (pretending like I have any) that extra step.

17. New TPT Widget: Over there. To the right. See how you can see my products? How shmancy am I?! That was a new addition. To get one, go to your TPT Dashboard, and under "Marketing & Promotions" click the link that says, "Download a Widget for Your Blog." Easy peasy.

Networking 18. Joined Several Facebook Pages: I went through and looked for Facebook pages that I could learn from and connect with other teachers. To me this is particularly important becuase I'm a SAHM/WAHM and no longer in a community of teachers on a daily basis. I joined four or five, but my favorite right now is TPT Social Media Strategies.


19. Perused Blogs and Instagram Pages: What better way to learn & be inspired than by other teachers? I mean, that's LITERALLY what they're there for, right? So I've spent lots of time looking at blogs and Instagram pages, checking out what they're doing well, what they're posting about, what I like about their style, etc. It's been very motivating! We have some ROCKSTAR teachers out there!

20. Ask Questions Galore: I have SO. MANY. QUESTIONS. I feel like I've been overloading the Facebook groups. But I'm getting great answers!! I've learned so much and MOST of the inspiration from this post has come from Facebook in some way!

And that's my list! What about you? What are you doing to get your business going?! I love the community of teachers we have here, connected through TPT. How awesome is that? I'd love to hear what you're doing to get into "Go Mode!" Connect with me on Facebook or Instagram, or just comment below!
32 comments on "Getting in Go Mode"
  1. Thanks for sharing all these ideas! I haven't tried Canva before, where have I been?? Will definitely have to give that a go! :)

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    1. Alex, I KNOW! I couldn't believe I didn't know there was an amazing & simple app out there to help make my life easier in this way :) I was just introduced to it this week too!

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  2. I could have written this myself! But I'm too much into Go Mode to stop and write a blog post! Ha! 😜 It's nice to see another WAHM in the same boat. Are you going to #tptvegas15?
    - Katherine
    sracruzspanish.blogspot.com

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    1. Katherine,
      Thanks for stopping by! I love seeing so many teachers motivated & in GO MODE! :) I HAVE to stop and reflect or my brain turns to mush and I no longer know which way is up. For my this usually just means crossing things off lists and making new lists - just so I can see my progress - but since blogging is one of the things on my list, this just made sense! :)
      Unfortunately, I can't go to vegas this year. I'm currently 32 weeks pregnant & measuring large, so after the 4th of July I'll be staying close to home :) Hopefully next year though!! I would love to meet up with some other WAHMS!

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  3. Great tip for hashtags- save them as a note on your phone! Even when you switch, they're there and you can copy and paste as you want. Works great and no worries! Great post!!!!

    I'm learning about some of the apps such as tailwind as well- pretty cool!

    Stop by my blog www.180daystohappy.com and follow me on social media! are you on Twitter?

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    1. Thanks for the tip! :) I'm still waiting for the day when Instagram let's you switch between accounts seamlessly!

      I found you on Instagram and am following back! I am TECHNICALLY on Twitter, but don't use it much. It's on my MAYBE list. That Instagram seminar I took this week reminded me that it's better to MASTER and rock a few things than be mediocre at lots of things, so I'm focusing my attention and TRYING not to spread myself too thin! :)

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  4. This post was super interesting and informative! I feel like I just learned a dozen new things haha. I love instagram - I am so visual and get so inspired by photos! I still have 2 more PD days at school and then report card day... and then I can't wait to get into Go Mode right along with you!!!
    Andrea
    Maternelle avec Mme Andrea

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

      And YES Instagram is great! Did you know that Instagram has a 3x larger following than Facebook? And obviously the photos make it so much easier and more appealing to peruse through. It's such a great tool for business. I can't wait to figure out how to use it to it's best potential! I highly recommend that webinar I mentioned.

      Good luck with finishing out the year! :)

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  5. I am totally jumping on the Go Mode train with you!! As a new blogger, there is SO much for me to learn and catch up on. Thanks for the info and inspiration!

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    1. Welcome to the bloggesphere! :) It's a lot to work on. My suggestion is one step at a time! ;) That Instagram webinar I took this week reminded us that it's better to MASTER and rock a few things than be mediocre at lots of things. Keep that in mind as you venture into new social media platforms! :)

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  6. I love this post! So many good ideas for bloggers who want to make some improvements! Great job! I am your newest follower! :D
    Kristin from The Therapeutic Teacher

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Kristen! I'm glad I can inspire. It's very humbling to hear that :)

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  7. So many great ideas & perusing my own store & making improvements tops my summer list! Thanks for a lot of great ideas!

    Jen~Two Little Birds

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! :) good luck with your store!!

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  8. This post is awesomeness! Love Tailwind and Canva. I love your idea about using Google Drive for notes, etc. I never thought of using it for that purpose! What a great idea!

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    1. I know! I use Google Drive for SO MUCH - I also do some event planning and that is where I keep EVERYTHING. We also use it at home for vacation planning, budgeting for special projects (like the nursery), etc. Not sure how I didn't think to use it for TPT before!

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  9. BTW....I love Insta too! I have met and connected with great teachers, bloggers, and seller who have become friends. I'm glad to be following you.

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing all of this! I have such a long to-do list for today now :) So I am trying to add the instagram widget to my blog and it is saying illegal characters, any advice on what part of it to copy or how to get it to work? Thank you! I am your newest follower!

    Becky - Lessons by the Lake

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    1. Yes! Copy the whole code it gives you. Then go to Blogger > Layout > Add a Gadget > HTML/Javascript; then paste it in! I chose a size of 255ppx because that is about the width of the rest of my sidebar. I hope this helps! Let me know when you get it installed, I would love to see it in action on your blog!

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  11. Great list of ideas to spruce up your game!!! Might I suggest linking the Bloglovin image to Bloglovin so when people click on it they can sign up to follow you? :)

    I need to go through and spruce up a lot of the items in my store too! I plan on choosing which ones I do first by looking at the views to conversion rates. Makes it seem less overwhelming!

    I absolutely LOVE Instagram! I feel like I can be more personable. You can check out my shenanigans at @helpfulcounsel :)

    Thanks again for all of the helpful info!
    Heather
    www.thehelpfulcounselor.com

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    1. Heather! What great feedback, thank you! I linked up the Bloglovin image like you suggested. BRILLIANCE! ;)

      And yes! I did the same thing! For #MakeOverMadness I started with my top two products. For my July list I started with the products that were most popular in August of last year. Fingers crossed I can get my whole list done!

      See you around IG! :)

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  12. Hey there! I love your planning sheet! Where did you get the black and white icons that you used for your stats section? I love them! Thanks for your post, I need to get my rear in gear!
    Hilary
    Primary Planet!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! I use IconFinder for my icons. Here's the link to the exact set I use: https://www.iconfinder.com/icons/433084/facebook_follow_media_post_share_social_icon#size=128

      For the TPT one, I used the font KG Shake it Off. I may have had to play with the outline tool. I can't remember! ;) Good luck getting it in gear! I know sometimes it can take some work to get motivated, but once I'm moving it's harder for me to stop and breathe! :)

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  13. Thanks for sharing your list!! I may have snagged a few of these ideas to come back to!!

    Mrs. 3rd Grade 

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    1. Great! That's what theyr'e there for!! So glad I can motivate :)

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  14. I LOVE your list. So many of the things you have listed are items on my list as well. I jotted down some of the apps you use because I hadn't heard of them either. I'm new to Instagram too and find it kind of overwhelming to keep up with all the other social media sites as well. I'm excited to add a few things to my blog too. Already added the Instagram widget! So much fun!
    Kim
    iTeachSTEM

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    1. Awesome! I highly recommend the Instagram Webinar I mentioned. I'm not sure how long it's going on, but it's free and an hour long. It helped me figure out where to start and how to use IG. :)

      Also, one of the things she mentioned was that it's better to MASTER and rock a few things than be mediocre at lots of things; I know it's hard but my goal is to keep that in mind and focus on what I've got going on before I try and do anything else new (like Twitter!).

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  15. I absolutely love this! It's filled with so many great strategies and tips for all of us TpT sellers to do and use. I've only been a seller for about 10 months. It's not exactly an easy task to get started, so I've loved being able to follow other teachers on Facebook, blogs, Instagrams, to help my own business. Posts like these are what help so many of us become or continue to be successful. I hope you keep up the "go mode" and are able to grow your business exponentially!

    I am personally going to get started right away on some of these. Thank you for such a fabulous post!

    Holly
    Kinder Happenings

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    1. Well welcome to TPT, Holly! :) I hope your first year has been rewarding! I know during my first year I didn't sell much, but I was SO amazed by the fact that people were willing to PAY for my products! :) How humbling.

      Thank you so much for your incredibly kind and encouraging words! I would love to hear how you're doing on your to do list down the road. Keep in touch! :)

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  16. I'm new to IG and loving it too! Still playing around with the hashtags, but I agree that they are totally helpful!

    Whitney
    The First Grade Roundup

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Whitney! :) See you on the IG block! ;)

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  17. Wow! You've been very busy! Thanks for sharing all of your hard work. Great tips have been posted.

    Third Grade Whimsy

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