I’ve been quite successful with teaching on Skillshare lately and I believe it’s time to break down what I did to earn $7.608 in the first 60 days.
You see, I am no veteran on Skillshare with 20.000+ followers. No, I am quite new to this platform. I registered my account on June 2016 and earned only a few dollars in the first month, but then everything changed. I applied a strategy that allowed me to earn almost $8.000 in two months in a row.
I applied a strategy that allowed me to earn almost $8.000 in two months in a row.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What kind of topic did I use for my class
- Why I chose Skillshare platform
- How I recorded the video content
- How I created the initial social proof with my brand
- What drove the sales at the beginning
- Why this class was such a huge success while previous classes weren’t that popular
When I started with online teaching almost a year ago, I was not aware of Skillshare. I’ve created my account on Udemy not to teach, but to learn some new skills. After taking 2 or 3 classes I told myself that I can do this as well.
I’ve always thought that teaching is something complicated, something you need to train for years. But after taking those courses on Udemy, I realized, this notion of mine can’t be further from the truth.
I checked what type of topics are the most popular on Udemy and I quickly found out that mainly programming classes and specifically iOS programming topics are the way to go.
So I just recreated from scratch my process of programming iOS game for iPhone and iPad and created a step by step guide where I explained everything leading students from the blank new file to the final game ready to be published on App Store.
If you wonder what it looks like, check it out on App Store, where this game is available for download for free: Catch The Snake.
But I didn’t earn very much on Udemy. I gave away some free and discount coupons, but still no big earnings. I thought maybe competition was too fierce on Udemy. Probably a lot of teachers did the same thing as I did. They took a look at the most popular courses and wanted to jump in, but this only increased the offer while the demand probably didn’t change much.
I had two options. Change the topic or try another platform.
I chose the latter and landed on Skillshare.
Skillshare is something totally different if compared to Udemy. People usually know about the different business model. Udemy is about your own price set for each course, while Skillshare is about membership allowing you to take as many classes as you like.
But this is not the reason why I was able to make 10 times more on Skillshare than on Udemy. The real reason is kind of hidden in the rules and the way Skillshare works.
I will be completely honest with you. At first, I just wanted to take my whole Udemy course which was some 3,5 hours long and put it on Skillshare. Actually, I did this, but I didn’t realize that this is a bad approach for two reasons:
- Skillshare is about quick, bite-sized learning
- Skillshare pays teacher $1-2 per premium enrollment
Bear with me hear for a while now, it will get a bit boring, but it’s very important to understand the basic concept behind Skillshare business model.
There are two types of Skillshare members. Free and premium. Free member is anyone who will just sign up and take free classes or classes that might be available for free through a special promotional link. Premium classes are not available for free members.
There are two types of Skillshare members. Free and premium.
On the other hand, premium members have access to all Skillshare classes (currently around 10.000 classes) for a monthly fee of $12.
Skillshare pays their teacher monthly royalty payments based on one simple thing: the number of premium students enrolled in each and every class teacher create.
As a teacher, you can create a free or premium class. Since a free class is accessible for anyone, you won’t get paid as a teacher for students taking your free class. You won’t get paid for students taking your premium class via a free promotional link either.
So you want to get the maximum number of premium enrollments, but you will get only $1-2 per premium student per class. And here’s the solution.
Publishing your 3,5 hours long class on Skillshare for $1-2 if you can sell the same class for $90 on Udemy doesn’t make much sense unless you take the minimal required length of the class into account.
Udemy needs you to have at least 30 minutes of content per course, but usually, Udemy classes are way longer, like hours at least. Skillshare not only lets you create only 10 minutes long class, but they positively encourage short classes.
Skillshare not only lets you create only 10 minutes long class, but they positively encourage short classes.
So how about chopping your big Udemy course into separate individual Skillshare classes? I made this with my iOS course and was able to get 25 classes out of one big class.
The implication of this step is obvious. You can ideally get 25 premium enrollments instead of just 1.
But how could you force students to enroll in each and every part of your original class? You will motivate them like TV producers motivate fans to watch TV shows. Yes, I am talking about the series here.
Series is the key reason for my huge success on Skillshare platform. I realized that students just enroll each consecutive class in the series after they finished the previous one because they are eager to see what’s gonna happen next.
Students won’t enroll in your next chapter in the series just because you give it a nice badge with the number.
For this, you need a solid story, though. Students won’t enroll in your next chapter in the series just because you give it a nice badge with the number. They need to have this urge to continue. And to build and keep this urge, you have to show them something they will love to follow from chapter one to chapter twenty.
The proper introductory video for the whole series is very important. You need to show your potential students what the whole series is about. You need to explain what they will achieve by following you through the series, chapter after chapter. In the case of my iOS programming series, this was quite easy. I started with a blank project and taught students how to draw the main character for the game in Sketch application, later I showed them how to animate this character so it moves its tongue, tail, and eyes. Later, they learned how to use physics to simulate objects’ interactions and so on. Finally, they had their own game for iPhone and iPad and they could publish it on the App Store.
You don’t need much. I’m using my old MacBook and Audio-Technica AT2020 USB microphone. The microphone is really important here because the clarity of your audio can be the only factor that will play some role in student’s decision to enroll in your class or not. You need to be understood.
If you want to spice up your video content, it’s good to use talking head approach. I also promote this in order to sell your face, so people will recognize you personally.
For this, it’s good to have some kind of lavalier microphone. I’m using Rode Smartlav Plus, which can be connected directly to iPhone and with the app available on App Store, it can record your voice.
I also use a teleprompter to read my text while watching directly to the camera. For this, I’ve created my own teleprompter using the old iPad with the combination of my Canon DSLR camera.
When you start from nothing, it’s really hard to get yourself recognized. You have to work from scratch and getting your first followers can be extremely hard.
Initially, I bought some Facebook campaigns to boost my posts about special deals on my Udemy courses. This brought some audience to my page and I asked those who liked my post to like the whole page as well. The conversion was pretty good so I was able to get almost 500 likes. I know, this is nothing special, but you have to start somewhere, right? 🙂
Next was Twitter, where I discovered (thanks to my friend Vladimir Raykov) the principle of reciprocity. I used Crowdfire and later Statusbrew to take advantage of this principle in order to collect some followers. It’s important to interact with them from time to time, though, which is something I don’t have much time for.
I posted the links to my class to Facebook groups too. Just search for groups with a keyword “Skillshare” and make sure to join our Skillshare Teachers Group where admins don’t have any privileges over regular members! You can read about it more here, especially why I have decided to create this group.
These sources combined with Skillshare followers helped me to get some decent amount of students to my series.
I have created a series of classes called Skillshare Success Explained where I explain in details everything you should do in order to be able to get these results yourself:
Disclosure of Material Connection
Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.