3 Ways to Make a Standout Class in a Popular Category

At Skillshare we’re often asked, “How can new teachers build followings in categories that are already very popular?”

While it might sound counterintuitive, categories with a high volume of classes indicate high student interest, and can be a great way for teachers to gain traction (no matter how many successful classes currently exist).

Using examples from some of Skillshare’s most popular subjects—watercolors, graphic design, photography, and hand lettering—here are three ways to make your class stand out in a crowd.

1. Showcase a unique project.

Carve a niche by building your class around an unusual, fun project. Even if students already know the basics, an intriguing project makes those skills feel brand new.

  WATERCOLORS:  From donuts to tiramisu,  Fun and Easy Watercolors: All Kinds of Chocolate  puts a delicious spin on standard watercolor techniques.

WATERCOLORS: From donuts to tiramisu, Fun and Easy Watercolors: All Kinds of Chocolate puts a delicious spin on standard watercolor techniques.

  PHOTOGRAPHY:  In  DIY Studio Photography Lightbox + Demo , students make an essential photography tool using only a cardboard box and tracing paper.

PHOTOGRAPHY: In DIY Studio Photography Lightbox + Demo, students make an essential photography tool using only a cardboard box and tracing paper.

  GRAPHIC DESIGN:  Students turn an inanimate object into an adorable (or terrifying) vintage character in  1930’s Character Design: Illustrate Iconic Characters .

GRAPHIC DESIGN: Students turn an inanimate object into an adorable (or terrifying) vintage character in 1930’s Character Design: Illustrate Iconic Characters.

  HAND LETTERING:   Type as Image: Draw and Hand Letter Your Favourite Animal  teaches hand lettering basics through a fun animal-inspired project.

HAND LETTERING: Type as Image: Draw and Hand Letter Your Favourite Animal teaches hand lettering basics through a fun animal-inspired project.

2. Keep it trendy.

No matter how crowded the category, on-trend classes are always in demand. Center your class around a skill, tool, or motif currently popular in design circles and on social media.

  WATERCOLORS:   Modern Watercolor Techniques: Explore Skills to Create On-Brand Paintings  covers trends like ombré gradients and metallic textures.

WATERCOLORS: Modern Watercolor Techniques: Explore Skills to Create On-Brand Paintings covers trends like ombré gradients and metallic textures.

  PHOTOGRAPHY:  Low-light photography meets the botanical trend in  Dark Botanical Photography: Capture Beautifully Moody Images of Plants .

PHOTOGRAPHY: Low-light photography meets the botanical trend in Dark Botanical Photography: Capture Beautifully Moody Images of Plants.

  GRAPHIC DESIGN:   Source & Mix Botanical Illustrations with Typography to Create Trendy Designs  capitalizes on the popularity of florals.

GRAPHIC DESIGN: Source & Mix Botanical Illustrations with Typography to Create Trendy Designs capitalizes on the popularity of florals.

  HAND LETTERING:  In  Lettering Trends: Patterned Ink , students create the patterned hand lettering that now appears everywhere on Instagram.

HAND LETTERING: In Lettering Trends: Patterned Ink, students create the patterned hand lettering that now appears everywhere on Instagram.

3. Highlight a special perspective or technique.

Students often take multiple classes within a category because they enjoy different teaching styles. Use your personal expertise to share an unusual technique or to approach a familiar subject in a different way.

  WATERCOLORS:   Painting Watercolor Resist Crystals  combines an interesting skill (wet on wet resist) with uncommon subjects like amethysts and opals.

WATERCOLORS: Painting Watercolor Resist Crystals combines an interesting skill (wet on wet resist) with uncommon subjects like amethysts and opals.

  PHOTOGRAPHY:   Levitation Photography: Exploring Magic and Portraiture  takes a gravity-defying approach to portrait photography.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Levitation Photography: Exploring Magic and Portraiture takes a gravity-defying approach to portrait photography.

  GRAPHIC DESIGN:   Sending Work to the Printer  is a design class that shifts focus from creating digital illustrations to optimizing them for print.

GRAPHIC DESIGN: Sending Work to the Printer is a design class that shifts focus from creating digital illustrations to optimizing them for print.

  HAND LETTERING:  Students explore surfaces like wood, stone, glass, fabric, and food in  Writing on Weird Stuff: Hand-Lettering on Various Surfaces .

HAND LETTERING: Students explore surfaces like wood, stone, glass, fabric, and food in Writing on Weird Stuff: Hand-Lettering on Various Surfaces.

Build your following on Skillshare by creating a standout class of your own.