I signed up for Tailwinds in September 2017 and joined tribes quickly after that. I kept reading posts and blogs from other TpT sellers about how much they loved tribes and decided to I needed to give it a try.
Now, a year later, I have to say, tribes is okay. I would give it a B. Over the last few months I have really evaluated how effective I think Tribes is and if I could get more out of it. Here is what I have found:
Don’t be a jerk – that is not what I am saying. But now that Tribes costs money, you have to evaluate if the tribe you have joined is worth the effort.
If you post your pins often and they are not being shared, this may not be the tribe for you. Some would point out that maybe your pins are junk (and maybe they are – evaluate your pins however this blog is about Tribes) but some Tribes just do not respond. They have a lot of people who post in Tribes but do not share.
Not all tribes are equal. Some administrators don’t do a great job of enforcing their own rules and as of now, there is no way for you to see how much your Tribemates are sharing.
Add often with new pins
If you want tribes to be the most effective you need to be adding new pins. Sharing the same pins, even if you wait a month or two doesn’t matter. Even if Tribes didn’t tell you that you have already shared a pin (which it does) there are many people who remember pins well. When the same people post the same pins I remember them. Sometimes I repin them but it isn’t very often.
People want new. Make a new pin. Even if I know I have pinned a product or blog before, as long as the image is new, I will share it. Make new, get the shares.
How do I know if it is a bad tribe?
If you have no shares (or very little) and you have been in the tribe for a few months and you have been actively sharing, then leave. There are plenty of tribes out there. Find another one. Do not pay to stick in a Tribe that doesn’t work for you.
2. Post pins often – get more shares
If you only have one pin per product or blog then you need to get to work. How many Geico commercials have you seen? How many have you seen in the past month? That is because you become desensitized to them and Geico has to stay fresh. How many pins you create is up to you but at the very minimum, I would recommend something new for each season.
As a TpT seller, season doesn’t just mean spring, summer, autumn, and winter. That means spring, end-of-year, summer, back to school, fall, and winter at the very minimum. Don’t just reshare old pins, create new ones for every season (as well as reshare old pins).
But my tribe says do not repost the same product
The Tribe rules are interpreted differently by everyone but generally, people are going to be fine if you post a new pin for old products or blogs. They want fresh and new.
Again, this doesn’t mean you need all new pins every single week (although this would only help you, not hurt you). Create new pins for every season and share them in intervals.
3. Do NOT share all of your pins at the same time
So you’ve created five new pins for a product and you want to share them. Don’t fall into the trap of sharing them all at the same time in every tribe you are part of.
Share one pin at a time in a handful of tribes.
If you share all five variations of a product or blog pin we all see them at the same time and will pick one. Now you have to wait a month or two before you post them again. Post one a week.
And don’t share them to all of your boards at the same time. Most of us are in the same tribes and if we didn’t like it on Monday in Tribe A then we still won’t like it on Monday in Tribe B. But maybe on Thursday we are looking for something different or we are in a better mood. If you belong to 10 tribes, then only pin them in five tribes at a time.
I may share three or four pins to those five tribes but they are all different products, different designs.
4. Find Tribes that work for your subject
This is a tougher one. Elementary education is king/emperor of TpT. General interest TpT tribes are dominated by elementary education which can make it less likely for high school sellers to get shares. It can also mean that if you sell elementary education, you get less shares unless your pins rock.
Consider more specialized tribes to compliment the general interest tribes.
Maybe you sell elementary education but you focus on math. Try to find a tribe just for elementary math. Maybe you can find a math for all grades tribe. Stick to the rules of the group and analyze those numbers. You may get the numbers you want out of those tribes.
5. Maximize Your Submissions
You are paying for Tribes! Not maximizing your submissions is leaving money on the table. If you have 80 submissions a month make sure to space them out but make sure to use them.
If it is the last day of the month and you still have 40 submissions left then don’t worry about the above, get those pins out there and strive to do better next month.
Hopefully these five things have given you some things to think about and helps you evaluate the effectiveness of Tribes. Make it work better for you and grow your business. Good luck!
I’m also on TeachersDojo.
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