We’ve illustrated the value of teaching often on Skillshare -- let’s move on to best practices for how to build a compelling channel that will keep your student followers coming back for more.
1. Create a Collection of Complementary Classes:
The most successful Skillshare channels are composed of classes that are complementary and build upon one another - allowing their students to level up their expertise in a particular content area. Rather than teaching classes across a wide variety of topics, we recommend choosing 1-2 content areas to focus on. For example, if your expertise is in Marketing, teach multiple classes related to that subject. Another way to imagine a collection of related classes is to identify your target student and then brainstorm all of the skills they would need to achieve mastery in that area. Tech and Design teacher Rich Armstrong helps his students learn unique design techniques by offering a collection of classes teaching the ins and outs of Illustrators.
Here are a few different types of classes we recommend exploring as you build your channel:
- Fundamentals: A fundamentals class is an overview or introduction to the skill you’re teaching. For example, Skillshare teacher Brad Woodard offers multiple fundamentals classes on using Illustrator. These classes walk students who may not know much about Illustrator through the full process so they learn the fundamentals of the skill.
- Deep Dives: As opposed to covering the fundamentals from A-Z, “deep dives” zoom in on a specific technique or part of a process so that students can really master it. Business teacher Faye Brown’s class The Freelancing Guide: The Secret to Strong Client Relationships dives deep into developing effective client relationships, which is one important component of an overall successful freelance career.
- Intermediate or Advanced Topics: If you have a class that covers the basics of a certain skill, teach a class that goes a few steps beyond. This often means assuming a level of previous knowledge and jumping right into the skill you are teaching. In the class description, be very clear that your class assumes a level of previous knowledge and take advantage of this space to direct students to other classes in your channel if appropriate.
2. Establish a Consistent Publishing Schedule
Because leveraging your existing following is such a big piece of teaching, establishing a regular cadence for publishing classes on Skillshare is key to ensure your followers stay engaged and keep watching your newest classes. We recommend publishing a new class once every 1-3 months to maximize the impact of your student following. The longer you wait, the harder it is to engage older followers. Of course if you don’t have the time to get started on a new class just yet, there are many ways to engage your students in between classes.
3. Craft a Cohesive Channel Brand
Think of your channel as a representation of brand in the same way that you would with your blog or business website. Your brand needs a consistent and recognizable look to attract new students. Creating eye-catching and consistent cover images for all of your classes is an effective way to communicate your channel brand. Beyond your class merchandising, consider how to communicate your channel’s key content focus so students know what to expect when following your on Skillshare. Check our top five favorite Teacher Channels here.
4. Connect with Students
Engaging your students is another important aspect of building a successful Skillshare Channel. Regularly offering feedback on projects, posting discussions, and answering questions goes a long way in establishing your credibility as a teacher. To inspire her community, Watercolor teacher Amarilys Henderson comments on student projects and offers insightful feedback and encouragement. Learn about all of the ways you can engage your students in our Teacher Tips video on tackling students engagement with Top Teacher, Dylan Mierzwinski.