12 Places to Find Your Profitable Fashion Course Topic to Teach

The worst thing you can do is to decide upon a course to teach without knowing if anyone really cares about that topic. As teachers of fashion, we need to be confident that what we have in mind is actually going to be relevant and needed by students.


So how do we do that? Where do we look for our students? How do we figure out what it is they are struggling with?

Well read on and find out the answer to these questions and more as well as how to access our free fashion subject research tool.

When I was a kid growing up in a sleepy Cotswold village in the UK, I'd often hang out at the local playground or rec (a rec is the local playing field and recreation area for the community.) Or sometimes at a friend's house to play our latest records, which were vinyl by the way.

Wherever it was, hanging around with friends and with people who I had something in common with meant that conversations were had. We chatted about all manner of things from the problems we faced with homework, to what we thought of teachers, through to secrets about our latest sweetheart or the dens we could make in the woods. 

Where people hang out is where the chatter and the noise can be found. Whether it's the playground, canteen, office, student halls, boardroom or online forums and groups. So when it comes to finding out what's concerning our potential students we need to be where they hang out, chat and talk about the issues that trouble them. That way we can discover how to help them and in doing so we'll find the profitable fashion course topics to teach.

Hanging out with these students means we can narrow down our subject based upon what we uncover in the discussions and comments made. And at this stage, we don't need to worry about attracting them to us. We don't need them to be a member of our tribe or gang just yet since all we're doing is listening and uncovering their needs.

Here's a list of 12 places to visit and research to uncover fashion student needs. With each one, you can narrow down your search by selecting topical groups and keywords. For example with any online group or forum, you'll need to focus on ones that are specific to the audience you are targeting or the subject e.g. Fashion Students or Visual Merchandising etc.

In other cases, you'll need to use keywords to search for discussion topics or use the hashtag # in sites like Twitter or Facebook. 


  •  SubReddits
  • Facebook Groups
  • LinkedIn Groups
  • Public Forums
  • Twitter Chats
  • Tumblr Threads
  • Blog sites
  • Industry Membership Sites
  • Student Forums at Universities
  •  Quora
  • Conferences and Live Events
  • College Communities

These are all types of playgrounds or recs if you like, that conversation can be found in. And whilst you're there you can also get a rough idea of the size of your market too as most of these normally have a number saying how many people are in the group or forum.

OK so you've found these places, now what?


Next, start eavesdropping on the chat and uncovering the threads of gold in the comments people are making. Get yourself organized either in a spreadsheet or Word document so that you can capture the gold threads in the discussions. These are the clues that lead us to what we want to know, so we can answer our golden course creator question, "How can I help these people?"

As you follow the comments you'll be able to pigeon hole them into categories such as difficulties or challenges, wishes, questions, ideas, and frustrations. Then as you eavesdrop on these conversations and read the comments you can simply copy and paste them into your spreadsheet as a record.

For example, let's say you have come across the following comment which you want to save:

"I want to get into sewing and trying my own transformations. Do you have any beginner's sewing machine you recommend?"

You'd simply save it in your spreadsheet under the appropriate category which in this case is likely to be the Questions one and select the source of the comment.

Then eventually when you have mined enough data you can then filter your data to show just what you need. For example filter all the questions, or all the ideas or search for keywords on a particular topic or theme.

After a while, you'll begin to see patterns appear as the same issues arise repeatedly. When this happens you know you're onto something that needs a fix which could be a course.




Questions are inviting help from someone. By collecting the questions people are asking on your topic you'll begin to create a database of ways to help potential students. These are nuggets of insight that show you what you need to present to students in order to resolve their issues.

Ideas are juts suggestions that people offer into their communities in the hope that someone one day will resolve their predicament by following up their idea. If that's you then you can be assured that if enough people comment on the idea then you're likely yo have a great topic for your course or at least a lesson.

Challenges, problems, and pain points. These are all the difficulties people face and need help with.

Frustrations are those things that people find that get in their way. It could be a lack of skill or knowledge, a lack of understanding or insight. In some way, they are facing a situation that needs overcoming and they are seeking help by asking or commenting in their communities and the places they hang out.

Wishes are the "if only" scenarios and are often calls for help. Once again they give you valuable nuggets of information to help you decide on what to teach.


Once you have collected sufficient data then you can begin to review your curated comments. Then you'll start to see the similarities and patterns appearing. People will be repeatedly asking the same or similar things. You'll find that frustrations and challenges keep reoccurring, ideas keep getting mentioned and so on.

If you download the free spreadsheet that you can see in the video clip above you'll be able to filter the data and sort your findings into groups which make it easier to see and understand what people are talking about.

To download your spreadsheet simply fill in the form below and we'll send you the spreadsheet and instructions on how to use it.

These questions, ideas, challenges, frustrations and wishes provide you with the golden threads for your course content. You can use them to weave your content into a series of modules and lessons, not based upon what you think you should teach, but on what your potential students are asking you to teach.

By following this process you have a validated course outline on a subject you can teach, with rich examples of material that you can add to your course content, as well as material for your sales pages and launch emails. All curated from the potential students themselves.

And that's real gold. 

Mark Gregory is the Founder of The Fashion Student Hub, a marketplace for selling online fashion courses, and We Teach Fashion teaching fashion subject experts how to create and promote their own online courses, generate revenue and serve the growing need for online education in the fashion sector.

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