Pricing is one of the trickiest elements of marketing and a question everyone has when thinking about how to sell your online course. How much money are you going to charge for it? We will outline some key things to think about to help you decide how to price YOUR online course.
IT IS NOT JUST ABOUT PRICE IT IS ABOUT VALUE
Instead of thinking about what PRICE it is, first think about what VALUE are you offering? What can someone do as a result of what you are giving them. If you are enabling them to save an extra €100 then charging €300 for a course does not make sense. However, if you are charging €300 and save them €2000. So you have to ask yourself what are you really helping this consumer to do with your course. For example:
- Save time
- Save money
- Save stress
- Increase revenue potential
- Increase status
What do you think it is worth to the customer?
IT IS NOT JUST ABOUT PRICE IT IS ABOUT CUSTOMERS
Instead of thinking about what PRICE it is, think about WHO you are you offering it to? What do they think is cheap or expensive? What do they think is a reasonable price? If you price too low for some customers, they will not perceive value in your offer. Some customers will expect a high price and
other will be searching for value. Which customer are YOU going after?
IT IS NOT JUST ABOUT PRICE IT IS ABOUT RELATIVITY
You customer has a choice about where to spend their money so they will consider where and who they can spend their money with instead of you. So, it is important to understand who is your competitive set and how much are they charging?
I recently saw a course that was advertised as €5k for a 6-month course online from an individual.
When I was considering doing the course I thought about how that was similar price to that of a Masters programme I had also been looking at which was 18months and had a series of expert lecturers and a recognised qualification at the end. Your customer will consider how else they can spend their money so you have to give them more than just price and give them a compelling reason
to buy from YOU.
SO WHAT ARE OTHER PEOPLE DOING?
Low Entry Price
Charge somewhere between €50-€100 to make it almost an impulse purchase by your customer. You
are trying to make it
1) Simple decision that the customer can easily make
2) Enables you to start earning from your course quickly
3) You can test your ideas
4) Gives new customers a chance to get to know you with the potential to upsell them on to more expensive courses
Higher Ticket Pricing
You may decide to charge a higher price for your courses anywhere from €500 to €5k. You will need to consider the following criteria to charging a higher price.
1) You are recognised as a thought leader in your field
2) You already can and do charge hundreds of euros per hour for coaching and consulting to
your current customers
3) You have a list of people who you know would sign up for your course at this price level
4) The return on investment potential is exponentially more for the participant than the cost of the training or insight that you are giving them
5) They need or require the training or certification you are giving them to proceed in their business or career
I was working with a client who was initially charging €50 an hour for coaching. As her success rates grew and her reputation expanded she found that her calendar was booking up. She moved from €50 to €250 to €500 per consultation in an effort to manage the demand for her business.
Other ways to test your pricing can be to:
1. PRE-LAUNCH OFFER: Offer limited FREE spaces on the course so that you can research with your customers to see how much value they did get from it, how much they would pay for it and garner testimonials you can use to sell it.
2. TEASTER TASTER: Give low price entry to the first part of the course so that customers can see how valuable the content is and it teases them to want to spend to access the rest of the course.
3. MINI COURSES: product mini courses that make up a full course so that people can buy in at an affordable rate to them.
4. MARKETING AND BRANDING: How you brand and market the course can influence the price you can charge for the course. How the course is named, the quality of the photography, logo, worksheets etc. can influence how much people will be willing to spend.
5. PRODUCTION QUALITY: The higher your production quality the higher price people can perceive they need to pay. You have everything from talking over powerpoint slides to Maria Forleo style video production where you have clearly invested in the course itself which makes others think it deserves a higher price.
6. SCARCITY: If people believe that the information is scarce and not evergreen, they will often pay more for your course. There are a number of online courses now such as
7. ADDED VALUE: If you are offering something more than just an online course it can help drive up the price. If you are giving you customer, the chance to become part of a community for example and have live interaction with you can be another way you can add value to increase the pricing.
8. UNIQUE AND DIFFERENT: Perhaps you are offering something that is not being offered by anyone else. If this is the case then you may be able to charge higher for it. The downside can be if it is so unique people might not be willing to be the first to try it so will need or want a lower entry price.
PLAYING THE PRICE PIANO
When I worked in Unilever we used to discuss how our brands needed to “Play the Price Piano”. That meant that we needed to give different options for different customers. We needed to play a variety of tunes to attract the different target audiences. So that is where you offer anything from a Free Option,
Low Cost and High Ticket pricing so that the customer can decide where they can get the best VALUE for THEM.
Alternatively you can think about how you allow people to pay for their service. Instead of a one off price you may have a subscription or instalment model so that the customer can spread the cost out over a longer period of time.
I always recommend that people think customer first. However, it is worth thinking about what do you want to earn and working backwards from there.
I want to earn €100k. So I have the option of going for 1000 people spending €1000 or 10000 people spending €100 per course.
So that leaves you with two questions:
1. How do I drive enough value into my course that they will be willing to spend €1000 on my course?
2. How do I reach enough people and drive enough awareness to sign up 10k people for my course?
I always think when you break it down into how many you would have to sell per day or per week it makes you a lot more realistic about your expectation in how many courses you can sell.
Factor into your projections the need to create discounts to drive traffic. You can offer them at different times of the year or to different networks or customers to promote your course.
We have looked at different ways to view your pricing. Keep returning to the value question.
1. What value do I need to add to this online course in order to get people to want to pay €X?
2. What value does this online course add to my customer?
In the end you want to aim to hit the right customer with the right price and create both entry level and premium offerings for people to choose from.
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