Teaching couple, Jocelyn and Shane Sams… young parents, Kentucky-raised. Shane a social science and football coach, Jocelyn an elementary school librarian.
They must do okay, right? Well, let’s just say you’d be surprised.
This is no normal couple.
This entrepreneurial teaching team has managed to grow their annual earnings to a seven digit figure in just a few short years. You’d like to get in on that, you say? You’re keen for the secret recipe to teaching millions?
Well, hold onto your hats. Jocelyn Sams tells us how they did it.
Jocelyn and Shane were in their early thirties, two young kids to raise, with a stiff teaching schedule and income that limited their lifestyle. Any of this sounding familiar?
With the idea of becoming a school principal looking like a dim next step to increased income, they decided to explore a more creative route.
They came across Smart Passive Income, and it got them thinking “Why can’t we use multimedia to create our own passive income?”
They knew they had something to offer. Years of teaching experience that others might just find useful.
Enter Elementary Librarian Community – an online membership-based community packed with lesson plans and other resources that save thousands of teachers hours of work.
“My best selling product is my Elementary Librarian Community membership. My members are elementary school librarians from all over the world!”
Elementary Librarian offers members a huge library of over 500 lesson plans, all aligned to national teaching standards. It also serves as a platform for connecting teachers from around the world to discuss and share resources.
Membership sales on Elementary Librarian, together with their other web-based businesses like US History Teachers, bring in the bucks.
And then there were millions…
Jocelyn and Shane now work a 10 hour week, and rake in a cool $50,000 a month. Yes, that’s an average of $625 an hour!
World travels, weekends away, and earning potential far beyond what they ever imagined have become part of everyday living.
Crazy? Actually, this is a true story.
But it didn’t come easily. Jocelyn and Shane’s first memorable achievement was 11 cents, when their first viewer ‘clicked on an ad’. The millions only came with hard work and persistence.
“Be prepared to work a lot in the beginning. Take advantage of summers, days off, and evenings to batch as much work as possible so you can get ahead and you won’t have to be stressed when your schedule is busier. You must plan times to work on your online business and even schedule backup times to work when life gets in the way. You cannot succeed in online business without constantly taking action!”
Related reading: 10 Effective Ways to Balance Your Day Job and Side Hustle
Hard work, and?
Okay, so hard work isn’t the only ingredient. Jocelyn also advises that support from your ‘significant other’ is really important.
“Make sure your spouse/significant other is on board, especially if you have children. It’s almost impossible to work on products at the same time as you’re taking care of children, so you’ll need to have a plan to switch off/on child rearing duties when it’s time to work on your business. Even if you’re not a parent, you will need support when times get tough (and they will.)”
Jocelyn also leans on resources like Profit First, a book by Michalowicz.
“It has helped us organize and properly allocate our online business earnings in a way we had never thought of doing it before we read the book.”
Don’t sell. Add value.
“No one wants to be sold to all the time. Before you post something, think to yourself, “Would I share this with someone else?” If the answer is no, change it to something that’s more shareable.”
Jocelyn stresses that providing your customers with value is one of the most important steps to driving traffic to your site. Using Pinterest, Twitter, Wikispaces and good old fashioned emails, Jocelyn creates a constant flow of free resources that provide value, and lead new members to her sites.
“I give away a lot of bits and pieces and try to get people onto my email list so I can provide even more value and eventually offer them the opportunity to join my membership community.”
Jocelyn also uses keyword research, and frequently asks her audience what they’re looking for, so that she can provide the value they’re in need of.
“The most effective thing I’ve done is build systems to reach my audience. I rarely sell to them. Instead, I provide value over and over until they are able to see the benefit of becoming a member.”
Before you post something, think to yourself, “Would I share this with someone else?” If the answer is no, change it. @ateacherpreneur
So what happened to plain old teaching?
Sure. Jocelyn and Shane did eventually take the adventurous leap and quit their day jobs. But they never neglected their responsibilities as teachers while they grew their online businesses.
“Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Until you get your business off the ground, you owe your school 100% of your attention while you’re there. Don’t log into your site or 3rd party marketplaces at school. Sell only materials you’ve created on your own time and use a personal computer to create them if at all possible. Create a log that proves you worked on your products outside of school hours. Receiving profit from teacher created resources is becoming an issue in more and more districts, but your district cannot mandate your time outside of work hours. Cover your bases from the beginning.”
What would you do if you made an average of $625 an hour? Well this teaching couple did it. Read their story. @ateacherpreneur
It’s your time!
Jocelyn and Shane also run the Flipped Lifestyle podcast, where they work with entrepreneurs to grow their online businesses. The recurring income model, education, and work/life balance are all hot topics.
So, grab your courage, strap on that entrepreneurial spirit, and chat to Jocelyn and Shane about your move into the world of online millions.
Could YOU be the next successful teacherpreneur?
Related reading: No journey is the same.
Want to learn other ways that teachers can make money online? Grab our free guide “7 Ways Teachers Can Make Money Online”.