Deciding on a niche on TpT doesn’t lock you down… it actually sets you free.
If you’ve been learning more about building a business on Teachers Pay Teachers for any length of time, then you’ve probably heard the phrase “find your niche”. While niche does sound like a pretentious buzzword and is often overused- the concept is actually really important and is the key to unlocking the potential in your business.
Seriously. I dabbled in TpT for several years before I finally started treating it like a business – and as soon as I found my ideal customer, my sales took off like a rocket.
What is a niche?
Generally speaking, a niche is a comfortable or suitable position. Your happy place.
In business, your niche still means your happy place – your area of specialty within a large marketplace. Think of a niche as the smallest possible category you could put all your BEST products into.
Do I really need a niche?
Short answer: YES.
Longer answer: New sellers often feel a strong resistance to narrowing down. It can feel like a bad choice to purposefully decide that there are customers out there that you DON’T want to serve. But pushing past this resistance is what separates the hobbyists from the entrepreneurs.
The most common objections to defining a niche on TpT that I hear are:
- “I’ve already done so much work. I don’t want to abandon all these products that won’t fit in a narrower focus.”
- “Why not market to everyone and increase my chances of a sale?”
- “There is nothing that makes my products special.”
“I don’t want to abandon my other products.”
No one ever said that you can’t make any products outside of your niche ever. It’s still perfectly ok to continue to sell your other products. Identifying your niche is about finding your sweet spot, the center of the bullseye. A niche is a framework and compass direction, not a cage.
Why not market to everyone and increase my chances of a sale?
The reality is this: You’re NOT going to serve every customer out there. Even if you have taught every subject and every grade level, the market on TpT is far too large for any one person. So it makes WAY more sense to choose a bite size that you can actually chew.
Because everyone is NOT going to buy your products. (If they were, your conversion rate would be 100% and you wouldn’t bother to read this.) So by zeroing in on the people who are MOST likely to buy your products, you can talk directly to them and actually increase the likelihood that they will buy.
There is nothing that makes my products stand out.
Tough love: If you really, genuinely feel this way then you may not have what it takes to build a strong business on TpT… but I’m willing to bet that you DO have something to offer! It’s just a matter of uncovering it. This free 5-day messaging course can really help you with that.
The Benefits of Niching Down
Niche down for better customer service
There are many reasons that having a clearly defined niche on TpT can actually benefit your customers:
- Your customer can easily tell that your products solve a specific problem that they have, and will think of you first when they have that problem.
- Because you have many products that serve a single audience, your customer can easily find multiple products that they need and become repeat customers.
- Customers feel they are being helped by an authority or expert, as opposed to a generalist.
- Customers can more easily recommend you to others, because they can share how you help them.
Niche down for better business
Having a specific niche also has many benefits to you as a business owner:
- it’s much easier to identify the group of customers you are selling to and what their specific needs are.
- You’ll experience less direct competition. When you’re selling to everyone, you’re also competing with everyone.
- It is much easier to decide what products to make and have a focus for your work.
- You can easily write more meaningful emails, social media posts, and other relevant free content because you know who you are talking to and what they need most.
How do you find a niche on TpT?
Finding your niche is going to be much easier after you have some data and experience to work with. It’s ok to start your store without a niche as long as you are keeping an eye on how you can set yourself up to identify a niche in future. This means posting a variety of products that apply to each niche area that you are considering (battleship method)
Niche Idea Starters
Here are just a few ideas to get you started on finding a niche on TpT.
- Grade level
- first time teaching x
- experienced teachers of x looking for y
- teachers who are x
- learning style
- teaching strategy
- special education
- counselors, speech therapists, librarians
- x teachers in y (physical location)
- teaching skill (classroom management)
What not to do
- I’ve seen some blog posts that recommend starting by looking at what your competitors are doing. STOP. Don’t do this. Finding your niche is about you and your strengths, not what other people are doing. Being a Badass TpT Seller means having an abundance mindset – you do your thing.
- Don’t choose something you don’t enjoy doing (duh)
Tips to help you narrow down your niche ideas
- check what markets may be underserved (search some topics you’re interested in on TpT. Take note of how many search results exist for each topic.)