Picture a horror movie. Any film works. Now imagine that stereotypical "pretty girl goes to the dark basement even though she shouldn't" scene. Everyone is telling her not to go. You're telling her not to go, but she goes anyhow.
What if I told you that as someone watching hundreds of course launches I see the equivalent of "girl going into the basement" over and over and over again. Except instead of going to the basement, I'm watching course creators price their online courses way too low.
Incorrectly pricing your online course means that it won't be able to live up to its full potential. This week, I'm walking you through how I priced my online course (while avoiding undercharging), and have tips and tricks that you can use to rest easy knowing that you priced your online course the right way.
For the past few weeks, I've walked you through my online course creation process, taking you through our signature (and proven!) seven step process. In case you haven't been following along you can catch up here:
First thing's first: Let's cover the basics of pricing (and why you shouldn't be selling your online course for $25.)
At the bare minimum, we recommend pricing your course at least $100. This often raises objections from people new to the world of online courses because they don’t yet see the value of their offer, but trust me when I say that your course is worth $100, if not much, much more.
Yes, even if…
- You’re not an expert. Believe it or not, you don’t need to be an expert to successfully teach and sell an online course. In fact, we’ve found that people who are just a few steps ahead of their students tend to be more effective teachers because at this point you remember your students’ pain points because you were in their shoes not too long ago.
Experts might offer a simplified solution to their student’s problems because they don’t remember just how tricky solving those same problems were for them initially.
- You’re not teaching a “profitable” topic. This is a common hang up among people creating courses in more creative fields. Programmers can advertise that their courses will help you make money and get a raise, whereas people teaching something like knitting might not be able to promise a tangible return on a student’s investment. But don’t despair, we have instructors like Angela Fehr bringing in $8,000 a month teaching watercolor painting.
- Your audience could learn your topic on their own. People often put off making a course thinking, “I learned this all using Google, anyone could so my course is useless.” Technically that is true, but the beauty of an online course is that you’re creating a shortcut to an outcome. Without you and your course, your audience might spend ten times the amount of time sifting through information, videos and blog posts trying to figure this out on their own.
- Somebody else is already teaching your course topic for less. Oftentimes people are buying your course for you and your unique perspective.
Even if someone else in your niche is teaching the same topic, you can still be successful by highlighting what makes your course unique. Perhaps you’ve turned your course topic into your full-time job, or you’re offering one-on-one consulting in addition to the online course. Whatever it is that makes your offer different - make sure to highlight it and use it as a selling point.
Check out this post on creating a unique selling proposition for your online course.
- You don’t think your audience will be willing to spend much. It’s a lot to ask strangers on the internet to spend $25 on anything, much less $100+. With that said, don’t let your audience see you as a stranger. If you’re launching to the mailing list we so lovingly built last week, make sure that you’ve been warming them up since they joined, and have provided them real value. They will be far more likely to spend money on your offering.
When we validated our ideas during week one we established the value of our course ideas and because we know we are creating a valuable course that our audience wants that in itself justifies a premium price point.
Still feeling doubtful?
If you're still hesitant and think that premium pricing is for other people but not you, consider these benefits of charging premium pricing for your online course:
Your revenue goals will be easier to meet
When you’re selling a course at a low price point, you’re going to need a lot of students to reach any income goals, meaning you’ll have to spend a lot more time trying to reach people. If you charge at a higher price point, you’ll be able to devote that time to your existing students and improving your course.
A smaller group of students makes for a better course experience
If you’re only dealing with 15 students as opposed to 50, they will get more of your focused attention and feel like your course was worth their investment. This is going to a.) turn these students into repeat customers and b.) increase the likelihood that they’ll recommend your courses to their friends.
Premium pricing increases engagement
When people spend more on a course they are more likely to complete the course and engage. If they impulsively buy a $20 course, they might open it once and never think about it again. On the other hand, a $200 course is going to be seen as an investment and they’ll do everything they can to get a return on their investment.
Premium pricing communicates value
People believe that a $200 course will bring them greater value than a $20 course. Even if you are promising the same result in both courses, people will be skeptical of the cheaper one and won’t trust it.
Weed out the bad students
By charging more, you can ensure that your students are going to be enthusiastic and ready to learn. If your course is too cheap, you’re going to get a number of people who aren’t in your target audience and really don’t care about your course. Like I mentioned earlier when people spend more they are more prepared to be active and engage with your course.
How to charge premium pricing
Have I convinced you? Whew! Well, now that you're on board, let's talk about deciding on a price point for your online course.
First things first, let's look back at week two when we set our income goals and used this formula:
Take your total subscribers (I have around 3,000), and multiply them by .02 (the average conversion rate). I'm left with 60 customers. Now take your goal income (mine is $7,500), and divide that by your number of customers.
That's how much you need to charge for your course to meet your goal. I got $125.
Now this doesn't mean you can't charge more for your online course - I am! It just provides a baseline for you to go off of.
Adding value to your online course
You want the cost of your course to be justified by the value it delivers.In order to increase the price of your course, you should also increase its value.
There are many ways to make your course more valuable - whether it’s increasing content quality or offering bonuses. Here are a few of our favorite ways:
- Create a workbook. To accompany your online course, consider creating a workbook that your students can refer to and fill out while they go through your curriculum. Even if you aren’t a great designer, you can create a workbook fairly easily using these templates. Workbooks can increase the value of your online course by twenty-five to fifty dollars.
- Host live Q&A’s. If you have a set open date on your course (so everyone is going through it at the same time), you can host live Q&A’s to increase the value.
Schedule a few throughout the life of your course for different times of the day so you can capture as many of your students as possible. You can increase the value of your course by several hundred dollars depending on how often you host your Q&A's.
- Offer consulting. If your course is selling at a high enough price point that you’ll only have a handful of students, consider offering 1:1 consulting throughout the course to increase the value.
This can be in the form of a weekly email, Skype meeting or even a one on one evaluation of where they are at and how they can improve. You can increase the value of your course by hundreds of dollars by offering consulting.
- Create a community. If you can offer your students a community where they can all hang out, interact and bounce ideas off each other that’s incredibly valuable.
You can easily create a Facebook group or a community on Slack. From there you can decide how tightly monitored your community will be. You can increase the value of your course by fifty to one hundred dollars by creating a community.
- Improve the production quality of your course. If you are using professional tools to create your course, or even hiring professionals to help your produce it, then the quality of the lectures and content themselves will be high enough to justify a higher price point.
You can increase the value of your course by several hundred dollars by improving the production quality of your course.
You can also create a great studio set-up at home for cheap!
- Weekly office hours. Consider setting up a time each week where you will be online and available to your students. You can create a thread or channel in your community, or even set up a new lecture in your school and host your office hours there.
This is a time where your students can ask you questions and get your feedback. You can increase the value of your course by one hundred dollars by offering weekly office hours.
- Devote more time to each student. If you make your course more exclusive by limiting your course size, you are available to help each individual student more. You can focus on each person more effectively if you have 10 students as opposed to 100, thus making a 10 person course more valuable to your students.
You can increase the value of your course by twenty-five to fifty dollars by limiting your course size.
- Get creative! We have listed only a handful of different bonuses you can add, but the options are limitless. Perhaps your course is geographic specific, in that case, you can plan an in person meetup. Or maybe there are tools your students will need, if you’re up for it you can create a bundle to send out to your students. The sky's the limit!
How much I'm charging for my course
I settled on charging $147 presale for my online course. The price will rise after my first launch, but for now, I'm keeping it relatively low. Selling at that price point means I'll only have to sell to 50 students to meet my goal, and I'm adding a few bonuses to help justify the price.
The bonuses I'm adding:
- A Facebook community: I love Facebook communities, and I've run a few in my day, so this one seemed like a no-brainer. Offering students a space that's exclusive to them where they can share progress and offer their input is a great way to increase value.
- A workbook: This is where students will decide exactly which direction they want to take their Instagram Theme. It will have questions for them to consider and answer, as well as examples.
- An app guide: Because my course covers Instagram, I'll be talking about different editing apps. I'm providing a guide breaking down the pros and cons of different apps.
Pricing your online course can be intimidating - so much goes into it! But once you've settled on a price it's easy to go through and add value to your course. How much are you charging for your online course? Share it with me below.