We asked four of our most successful teachers to share their secrets on how they keep their Skillshare channels fresh when they’re consistently creating new classes. They agree that figuring out your next class topic can be a challenge but say that inspiration comes in many forms. Poking around on other websites to see what’s trending, checking to see which of your social media posts have the most likes, and simply asking students what they want to learn next are a few great tactics.
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Do Your Research:
Jake Bartlett: No matter what you teach, picking a class topic can be pretty tricky. The way that I decide what my next class topic should be is by doing some research. I’ll go on websites like Dribbble, Vimeo, YouTube, Pinterest, and even Skillshare to get some inspiration and see what’s relevant and trending. GIFs and hand lettering are two huge topics on Skillshare that I’ve been able to make multiple successful classes off of feeding off of that interest.
Turn Your Skills into Bite-sized Topics:
Helen Bradley: Teaching everything that you know in one class isn’t helpful for you or your students. Instead, break your class subject up into smaller segments that can be taught over a period of time. I teach Photoshop, so I break it up into little pieces and themes. I might teach one or two features of the software, or one or two skills in each class. In this way, I can go into a little bit more detail in the classes so I can create a richer experience for my students.
Ask Your Audience:
Teela Cunningham: So whenever I’m brainstorming a new class, some of my best ideas actually come from my social following online. I’ve invested a lot of time posting something to Instagram everyday and twice a week to my blog, and it’s helped me to grow an audience that’s interested in what I do. This helps me in a few ways. First, I’m able to see which posts are most popular, so I already know which topics resonate most with my audience. Based on those posts, I can then ask my audience, “Hey is this a class you’d like to have? Is there anything specific you’d like to learn?” So the next time you’re getting ready for a new class, remember sometimes all you have to do is ask.
Create a Series:
Christine Fleming: I began to notice that most of my students’ comments centered around the preliminary and planning work, rather than the technical production at the end. So I created my class series Art School Bootcamp to try to fill that need and give students the fundamentals that they would learn in art and design school. When creating a class series, keep in mind that though the classes should be similar, they should ideally be standalone at the same time. Not all your students will want to take the entire series, and seeing class #8 first can be a little bit discouraging if you haven’t already taken classes 1-7. You want to make your class series work so that students can jump in and out with no prior commitment or requirements. And there you go! You’ve got a series.