Did you know Skillshare is changing the way teachers earn money when referring new students? Starting April 1st, 2022, as a Skillshare teacher, for every new student you refer and who subscribes to Skillshare, you’ll receive 60% of their first membership payment (net of refunds). 

Under this new model, Skillshare will be investing more money into the teacher referral program.  Wondering how to optimize your approach to referrals for the new model? Read on for some tips! 
For more detail on the change itself, please visit Update & FAQ: Adapting the Teacher Referral Bonus (February 2022).

Why Refer?

One of the most rewarding parts of being a Skillshare teacher is introducing new students to your classes and helping them discover or develop their creative skills. What’s more, when you refer a new student to Skillshare, they unlock unlimited access to thousands of other classes and a supportive, global community of fellow creatives. 

The way Skillshare tracks referrals is through referral links, which are different from your typical teacher profile or class links. Skillshare uses these referral links (which look like this: https://skl.sh/1AbC2DE — the numbers and letters at the end of your referral links will be unique to you, of course!) to track user traffic back to the platform and to confirm who referred them to the site. As a teacher on Skillshare, you’ll have a unique referral link for your channel — which will link back to your profile page — as well as unique referral links for each class you publish on the platform. 

For more on where to find these referral links and how to use them, visit Where can I find my referral links?.

We’re excited to team up with our teachers to even more sustainably grow our global creative community! Wherever you promote your Skillshare classes — on social media, via email, on your blog, to friends and family — use your referral link and earn 60% of your new students’ first membership payments (starting April 1st and net of refunds). This is a change from the referral bonus we offered previously, where you earned $10 for any new student who started a free trial, regardless of whether they ended up canceling or subscribing. 

The new model encourages the types of referrals that lead to increased subscriptions and more royalties in teachers’ pockets — win-win! 

We’ve put together a few tips to help you prepare for this change and optimize your potential to earn under the new model.

Review Your Current Referral Tactics

Take a bit of time to review the (hopefully many!) places you’re currently sharing your referral links, and refresh them according to the tips below.

  1. Update how you talk about Skillshare. Because the previous referral model rewarded teachers when students started a free trial, and not when they became paying members, you might’ve gotten into the habit of promoting your referral links by saying “Take my class for free!” or “Take my class and cancel before paying!” The new model has the potential to reward you even more when students actually subscribe, so review where you promote your links and instead encourage students to subscribe, not cancel, during free trial. Here are some suggestions for language you can use instead:
  • Join me, and a global community of creatives, on Skillshare!
  • Sign up through my link, and unlock unlimited access to my class and thousands more!
  • Subscribe to take my class, and thousands more, for one low price!
  • Build your creative skills through my class on Skillshare, and tap into a huge catalog of classes and a global community of creatives. 
  • Join me on Skillshare to go deep with Illustration [or whatever category you teach most in!], and explore Graphic Design, Animation, Photography, and more!
  1. Mention the current free trial offer, or keep it evergreen. Students currently unlock a 1-month free trial when they sign up through a teacher’s referral link. This is better than some of our other free trials on offer, so it can help to mention this where you promote your Skillshare classes! If we ever change the length of the free trial your referral links offer to new students, we’ll be sure to let you know so you can update it on your side too. If you’d rather not keep track of updating the offer, simply use more evergreen language.
Screengrab of Top Teacher Jordy Vandeput’s website, where he talks about the current teacher referral offer of a free 1-month trial. Image source: Cinecom
Screengrab of Top Teacher Jordy Vandeput’s website, where he talks about the current teacher referral offer of a free 1-month trial. Image source: Cinecom
  1. Reach out for your referral data and see what patterns emerge. You can track how much you earn each month through referrals on your Referrals dashboard. Given our new model, we’re still hard at work serving up more detailed tracking and analytics on this page. In the meantime, did you know you can reach out to us directly at referral-team@skillshare.com to request a deep dive into your referral data? We can give you greater insight into where your referrals are coming from so you can double down on what’s working best (and rethink what’s maybe not working so well, too)!
Screengrab of Top Teacher Gabrielle Brickey’s YouTube page, with a video pinned to the top featuring her Skillshare referral link. Image source: YouTube
Screengrab of Top Teacher Gabrielle Brickey’s YouTube page, with a video pinned to the top featuring her Skillshare referral link. Image source: YouTube
  1. Share everywhere! Some things never change — and it’s still most effective when you share your referral links everywhere possible! 
  • Social media is a key driver of referrals, so be sure to drop your link in your Instagram profile, in Facebook groups you’re a part of, on your YouTube videos, and on TikTok too! 
  • Specifically for YouTube, mention your referral link in the first 1–2 lines of every video description, so it isn’t hidden under “Show More.” Teachers have also seen great success when they pin a video to the top of their YouTube channel and include their referral link there. 
  • If you’ve got a personal website, blog, and/or newsletter, include your referral links wherever it feels relevant and authentic. 
  • Consider tapping your friends and family to share your referral link with their networks, too.

All in all, referring new students to Skillshare helps grow our global community of creatives and helps you, as a teacher, grow your monthly income too. Happy referring!

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