Optimize Teacher Referrals

As a teacher, you can earn additional revenue for each new subscribing member you bring to Skillshare, so it’s good to use your referral links wherever you promote your teaching. But strategically optimizing referrals can dramatically increase your revenue and reach as a teacher — read on to learn some best practices.

In this article:

Why Refer?

Referrals are one of the ways we acquire new members to our Skillshare community. Plus, they offer a couple of advantages for teachers:

  • Increase your teacher earnings: You earn 60% of all payments (after taxes or other fees) a first-time student makes for the first year of their membership. We may offer bonus incentives throughout the year as well.
  • Offer an extended free trial: New students who sign up for Skillshare through your referral link get one free month of Skillshare.
  • Direct students to your teaching: Sharing a referral link is a great way to give new students a sample of your teaching — either directly to a specific class or a selection of classes from your channel — within our catalog of thousands of classes.
  • Track your Skillshare traffic: Knowing where the majority of your audience is coming from can help you optimize where and how you promote your teaching. So, where applicable, we provide an anonymized list that shows limited data on each student that signs up through your referral link, including traffic source (such as Google, YouTube, personal website, etc) and country.

Plus, you’ll be bringing new members to the platform! Why not invite people who are curious about your teaching and eager to learn from you and the broader Skillshare community?

For a detailed overview on how referrals work for you as a teacher on Skillshare, check out our article Earn From Your Referrals.

Referral Types

As a teacher on Skillshare, you can refer a new student to Skillshare through a few different ways:

  • Through one of your classes: Each of the classes you publish on Skillshare has a unique class referral link that points directly to your class.
  • Through your general referral link: Your general referral link sends new users to a unique landing page that showcases your top three Skillshare classes based on total minutes watched.
  • Through another teacher’s Skillshare class: One advantage of teaching on Skillshare is recommending other classes you love and enjoy to your external audience — and get paid if a new user signs up using your link and maintains their subscription.

Check out Where can I find my referral links? for specific instructions on how to retrieve these links.

Strategies for Optimizing Referrals

Optimizing for referrals goes hand in hand with marketing your teaching on Skillshare. Think of referrals as both a tactic for growing your audience and your monthly income stream.

Consider Visibility

Get selective about where you place your referral link to make sure you’re advertising the opportunity appropriately. Consider:

  • Where the majority of your followers hang out online
  • Where your engagement is highest
  • Where you place the link (visibility at the top of a page tends to increase overall impressions).

Using your referral link consistently when promoting a new class is also key — check out our article Class Marketing 101 for specific tips on how to market a fresh class.

Leverage Content that Converts

The Teacher Hub now displays your top performing classes (up to 3). These are the classes that have the greatest number of users who signed up for Skillshare via your class referral link and subsequently went on to purchase a membership. Consider promoting these classes more often to showcase your teaching, as potential students may be more likely to sign up. 

Focus on ‘Always On’ Strategies

Promoting your teaching in “set it and forget it” locations across your digital platforms is a quick way to optimize your referral revenue. Some ideas include:

  • Create a separate page on your website to showcase the classes you teach on Skillshare.
  • Add an announcement bar to the top of your website’s homepage that includes your general referral link.
  • Add your general referral link to the short description of an “evergreen” video on your YouTube channel.
  • Put your general referral link in your email signature.
  • Include your referral link in the bio section of your Instagram and TikTok profiles. Have too many links to promote at the moment? Try using a third-party link organizer like Linktree to put all of your important links (including at least one of your Skillshare referral links) in one place.


Top Teacher Jen Dixon lists her general referral link in her email signature. This way, anyone she communicates with via email will have a chance to check out her Skillshare classes.


How to Talk About Skillshare with Referrals

How you frame the opportunity to learn with you on Skillshare can have a dramatic impact on whether a new user signs up for a free trial and decides to follow through with paying for a subscription.

Emphasize Value

In addition to mentioning the 1-month free trial, consider enticing new students to sign up by emphasizing the value of what a membership includes in alignment with your teaching.

For example, if you are generally a highly-engaged teacher on Skillshare, say so! You might say something like, “Try out my class — I can't wait to see and give you feedback on your class project."

Alternatively, you might want to highlight the unlimited access to classes that comes with a Skillshare membership. Top Teachers Dominic & Evgeniya Righini-Brand frame the opportunity this way on a page dedicated to their teaching on their website:

“Want to binge-watch all our courses? Explore our full catalogue of 38 courses on Skillshare with an active membership subscription.”

Share your Experience as a Student

If you actively learn on Skillshare, say so! It’s worthwhile sharing the value you get as a student to guide new users towards that experience.

Top Teacher Priya Hazari lists her general referral link within a list of other links and tools that she offers as a free PDF download on her website. She frames the referral within how she finds value in Skillshare as a student this way:

"As an artist and business owner, I'm always striving to learn, grow, and continue improving my skills and knowledge. Along with teaching a variety of classes on Skillshare, I'm also a student! I love exploring painting and business classes and continuing to improve my craft. Click here for a free 30-day trial of Skillshare."

Encourage Membership

Teachers only receive a referral payment when a new user converts, that is, pays for a new subscription during or after their free trial and does not request a refund. Even if you’re short on space, there are plenty of ways to share the value of the opportunity. You can say:

  • Join me on Skillshare!
  • One fee for all of my classes, plus many more!
  • Subscribe to get unlimited access to my class, plus thousands more!

Conversely, avoid saying:

  • Take my class for free!
  • Cancel before paying!

Referral Success Stories

Top Teacher Denise Love has increased her referral revenue by talking about (and linking to) Skillshare in her YouTube content.

“YouTube can be such a great source for referrals if your viewers like your free content. Several people have told me they joined Skillshare just to get more of what I offer! Since I shifted my YouTube channel to an art-focused channel, I have been casually mentioning my Skillshare classes in most videos.

"In addition, I link my referral link in the description below in every single video — I have a specific section titled “Where You Can Find Me” in the description of every video on my channel and I add the referral link there. I made nearly $1800 in referrals in the first 7 months I’ve been doing this, which was a big jump for me! Now I am really motivated to move that referral link higher up in my description in the hopes that I can continue that extra revenue each month.”