Seven Reasons To Teach On Skillshare
I just published my tenth class on Skillshare and have been talking about it a lot this week. The class is called: What I Learned From My 1st Year Teaching on Skillshare. I want current and former students to know about it, watch it and give it a thumbs up. And I want to attract new students to my creative community by sharing everything I’ve learned. If you aren’t currently a member of Skillshare, you can get 2 months completely free if you sign up through my personal teacher link.
What is Skillshare? It’s the Netflix of creative learning. Instead of binge watching movies and TV shows on Netflix for $16 a month, you can binge watch creative tutorials on Skillshare for $15 a month. The categories covered are incredibly vast with fantastic classes on everything from watercolor, animation, and surface design to writing, marketing, and business. The company is called Skillshare because teachers like me “share” their “skills” via video tutorials on the platform.
Here’s how it works. Most people start with a subscription and watch a ton of classes. Then you realize that there is a topic you are super passionate about and could teach too in a unique and different way. All you have to do is:
· plan out your course using the tools that Skillshare provides,
· record your course
· upload your videos to Skillshare
· add a student project
· add a resource list or other helpful guides for students
· hit “publish”, and
· start marketing your course
Classes need to be a minimum of 10 minutes long and the average class length is about 60 minutes but this varies widely.
Why bother? Let me share Seven Reasons for you to consider which I think are pretty compelling and may convince you to explore teaching on Skillshare.
#1: Access To A Large Audience
Skillshare has over 5 million students watching classes on the platform. If you don’t have an audience already, starting on Skillshare is a great way to get your course content out into the world and in front of a lot of people. You have to embrace the work involved in creating your course and in marketing it. You’ll gain insight through the number of students who take your class, the minutes watched and the feedback you receive through reviews.
#2: A Great Place To Learn
You’ve heard the saying: “It’s all been done before.” While that’s mostly true, it’s a fact that YOU haven’t done everything before. Your unique approach to teaching a topic you love will attract a special audience to you. Skillshare is a fantastic resource to explore your topic. Watch other teachers’ classes on your chosen subject. Dive into how they are teaching it. Make note of what you like about their approach and what you think is missing. Develop your own unique approach to teaching the topic. Most students who love a particular subject will follow several, if not all of the teachers on Skillshare who teach that topic. That’s the beauty of the platform for teachers and for students. You can dive into a topic and learn from so many different teachers. That brings depth and richness to the learning experience.
#3: Helpful Resources
Skillshare wants you to succeed. The platform’s success is dependent on teachers uploading fresh content and students finding new content that they want to watch. As a result, Skillshare provides you with a bunch of tools to help you. Helpful resources include:
· how classes work
· class requirements
· choosing your topic
· crafting your project
· outlining your class
· filming your class
If you want my tips, watch my newest class called: What I Learned From My 1st Year Teaching On Skillshare. You’ll learn how to keep things as simple as possible as you get started. I love this expression that I learned from Amy Porterfield: “Keep it simple. You can get fancy later!”
#4: Validate Your Course Idea
If you’re not entirely sure about what “niche” might suit you best, this is an issue for many multi-passionate creatives, Skillshare provides you with a platform to validate your various ideas and determine which one resonates with the most people. It’s a great place to learn what’s required to build and publish an online course (see Reason #2). It’s also a great place to validate your course idea and refine your approach to teaching it. I talk about this in my class: What I Learned From My 1st Year Teaching On Skillshare.
Skillshare recommends that you pick a topic and stay focused on classes about that topic in order to stand out as an “expert” on that topic. I think, generally speaking, that’s a great idea. But many of us are multi-passionate. Or we are just starting out and aren’t sure what our “one true passion” is yet. Don’t let that hold you back. Take action. Pick a topic. Move forward. You’ll learn SO MUCH from the process of creating your first course which will benefit you forever.
#5: Grow Your Audience
Building a strong and positive reputation for high quality, fun classes on Skillshare is critical as you expand your business and evaluate your options for growth. Most successful teachers on Skillshare continue to grow their audience on the platform by publishing classes on a regular basis while expanding their reach through their website, social media channels and other offers. I’m going to talk about a very specific way to do this in Reason #6 next.
Growing your audience on Skillshare enables you to identify and learn about your ideal customer. Who is she/he? What attracts them to you specifically? This helps you identify your “secret sauce” that makes you unique and keeps attracting new people to your classes. As a teacher, you’ll have your own teacher profile page where you can establish your “channel” identity and share details about yourself with links to your website, social media channels and other offers.
#6: Sell Advanced Versions Yourself
As I mention in Reason #5, most successful teachers on Skillshare don’t ONLY teach on Skillshare. As creatives, it’s critical for us to diversify and earn income from a variety of sources. This helps us weather any storms. When one part of our business is soft, another part can pick up and make up for it. One way that successful teachers diversify is by offering more advanced versions of their Skillshare classes directly to students via their website or online business.
Bonnie Christine and Teela Cunningham are great examples of this. They both have large audiences on Skillshare that they have worked very hard to build over many years (10 or more) with fantastic classes. Bonnie is a beautiful surface pattern designer and Teela is a brilliant graphic designer and hand letterer. If you aren’t on Skillshare already, join through my teacher link to get 2 months completely free, no obligation whatsoever, and go watch their classes.
If you are on Skillshare, I highly recommend both of them and have personally watched all of their courses. To build and grow their business, they both now offer more advanced versions of their Skillshare courses directly to their audience via their website.
Bonnie offers a surface design immersion course once a year in February for $997. Teela offers a variety of courses through her website every-Tuesday.com. Her signature course on creating your own hand drawn fonts opens for enrollment on June 17th and costs $397. This strategy brings your students closer to you for a more direct and intimate teaching experience.
#7: Gain Passive Income
I’m listing this last because, for me, the passive income I gain from my classes is of secondary importance. Everything I’ve listed above has been much more important to my business. However, popular teachers with large followings earn good income from their classes. Teachers get paid based on minutes watched. While it’s very important to teach topics you love because of the workload involved, you can also be strategic about how you teach the course especially if there is technology involved.
What I mean by this is that students learning a new technology, Adobe Illustrator for example, will watch and re-watch segments of your course to learn. You get paid based on minutes watched. Those can be new minutes or repeat minutes. Both count the same. I’m not suggesting that you pick a technical topic just to drive up minutes watched! I’m sharing this because many topics do involve a certain amount of technology and it’s critical that students achieve success and the faster the better.
Finally, the most important reason of all is to share your passion and help students succeed so that they return to watch more of your classes in the future.
I hope these Seven Reasons get you excited about exploring teaching on Skillshare. I’m a huge fan and don’t forget that I share all my tips and secrets in my newest course: What I Learned From My 1st Year Teaching On Skillshare. New members get 2 months completely free. We’re heading into summer so if your kids are creative, sign up and let them binge watch and learn to their hearts content. It’s better than Netflix.
It’s Never Too Late to Create
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My creative inspiration comes from a lifetime of observation. I grew up in Paris on the Place St. Sulpice and walked to school through the Luxembourg gardens. And that was only the beginning… Learn more by watching the video on my About page.