Community

Deanna Jump's Ten Tips To Make A Million Bucks

By Betsy Corcoran     Sep 27, 2012

Deanna Jump's Ten Tips To Make A Million Bucks

Deanna Jump made history this week when she became the firstteacher selling classroom materials on Teachers Pay Teachers to top $1 millionin sales. EdSurge wrote a profile of her work last year (see here). Now we've asked Deanna for her ten tips to teachers who want to try to put their materials up for sale. Here's what she said.

StayTrue: The most important principle is to stay true to your teachingphilosophy. Creating materials just for the sake of selling them can be verychallenging without a point of reference.  I use all the materials I sellin my own classroom.

Connectwith the Common Core: Look at where the Common Core suggests that studentsneed to go and start building curriculum around those standards. Think beyondthe facts. Students need to build higher level learning and critical thinkingskills; incorporate those ideas into the materials you create.

Put inthe time: Building materials with strong pedagogy is the first and mostcritical step. But realize that you also have to put in some real computingmuscle as well. I spend about 40 to 50 hours of computer time creating andediting a single unit. (Most units cover two weeks' worth of materials.). Don'tcut any corners!

Find aniche: I found a niche or a specialty, namely creating units that integratecurriculum with higher level thinking skills. It's helpful for your materialsto have a distinctive approach that reflects your teaching philosophy.

Grab thebuyer's attention: This is a must! You have to have a compelling coverpage. Use high quality clip art, colorful schemes and make your work stand out.But again, remember that no matter how "pretty" something looks, it'sgot to deliver real educational value.

Customersare your friends: I consider my customers my friends. They've been like theanswer to a prayer for me, a real blessing in my life. So I treat them likefriends. When you treat customers like friends, they come back. And repeatcustomers are essential to a financially successful strategy.

Letcustomers know you're here for them: Communicating with customers is amust. I tell them when I have free downloads, or if there are other changesthat they should know about. They know I’m here for them! I answer everyquestion I get on TeachersPayTeachers; I answer questions I get in emails. Andthen I try to put out blog posts, too.

Find anetwork of kindred spirits: You need others--other bloggers and othersellers--to help spread awareness about your products. On TeachersPay Teachers,there's a "Sellers Forum" where we all go for help. When some sellersdo "giveaway" promotions, they might ask for contributions froothers. (I always chip in!) Networking and collaborating with others trying to sellcan really help boost your own business.

Don't compare yourself to others: It takes a while to build a business. During myfirst year (which was in 2009), I barely made $300. Feel blessed whenever ateacher buys something from you; his or her dollars are hard earned and it's agreat complement when they put them toward materials that you've created!

Setreasonable expectations: It's great to set goals for yourself but don'tbeat yourself up if you don't always make them. Remember TeachersPayTeachers is liketeaching; it is a journey and you learn as you go.

Here's our full profile of Deanna Jump.

Community

Deanna Jump's Ten Tips To Make A Million Bucks

By Betsy Corcoran     Sep 27, 2012

Deanna Jump's Ten Tips To Make A Million Bucks

Deanna Jump made history this week when she became the firstteacher selling classroom materials on Teachers Pay Teachers to top $1 millionin sales. EdSurge wrote a profile of her work last year (see here). Now we've asked Deanna for her ten tips to teachers who want to try to put their materials up for sale. Here's what she said.

StayTrue: The most important principle is to stay true to your teachingphilosophy. Creating materials just for the sake of selling them can be verychallenging without a point of reference.  I use all the materials I sellin my own classroom.

Connectwith the Common Core: Look at where the Common Core suggests that studentsneed to go and start building curriculum around those standards. Think beyondthe facts. Students need to build higher level learning and critical thinkingskills; incorporate those ideas into the materials you create.

Put inthe time: Building materials with strong pedagogy is the first and mostcritical step. But realize that you also have to put in some real computingmuscle as well. I spend about 40 to 50 hours of computer time creating andediting a single unit. (Most units cover two weeks' worth of materials.). Don'tcut any corners!

Find aniche: I found a niche or a specialty, namely creating units that integratecurriculum with higher level thinking skills. It's helpful for your materialsto have a distinctive approach that reflects your teaching philosophy.

Grab thebuyer's attention: This is a must! You have to have a compelling coverpage. Use high quality clip art, colorful schemes and make your work stand out.But again, remember that no matter how "pretty" something looks, it'sgot to deliver real educational value.

Customersare your friends: I consider my customers my friends. They've been like theanswer to a prayer for me, a real blessing in my life. So I treat them likefriends. When you treat customers like friends, they come back. And repeatcustomers are essential to a financially successful strategy.

Letcustomers know you're here for them: Communicating with customers is amust. I tell them when I have free downloads, or if there are other changesthat they should know about. They know I’m here for them! I answer everyquestion I get on TeachersPayTeachers; I answer questions I get in emails. Andthen I try to put out blog posts, too.

Find anetwork of kindred spirits: You need others--other bloggers and othersellers--to help spread awareness about your products. On TeachersPay Teachers,there's a "Sellers Forum" where we all go for help. When some sellersdo "giveaway" promotions, they might ask for contributions froothers. (I always chip in!) Networking and collaborating with others trying to sellcan really help boost your own business.

Don't compare yourself to others: It takes a while to build a business. During myfirst year (which was in 2009), I barely made $300. Feel blessed whenever ateacher buys something from you; his or her dollars are hard earned and it's agreat complement when they put them toward materials that you've created!

Setreasonable expectations: It's great to set goals for yourself but don'tbeat yourself up if you don't always make them. Remember TeachersPayTeachers is liketeaching; it is a journey and you learn as you go.

Here's our full profile of Deanna Jump.

Next In Community

Next in Community

STAY UP TO DATE ON EDTECH
News, research, and opportunities - sent weekly.
STAY UP TO DATE ON EDTECH
News, research, and opportunities - sent weekly.