What should I charge for my course?
This (along with what is the best course platform) is one of the questions I get asked most.
You’ve outlined your course, created all the content, set it up on your course platform and you’ve even come up with the perfect catchy name. And just when you think you’re done you move on to the most difficult part. Pricing it. Deciding what to charge for your course is one of the most difficult decisions for course creators.
Why is it so difficult?
Get it wrong and no one will buy your course, then all that hard work will be for nothing. Yikes – no pressure right!
- Price it too low and you lower the perceived value of your course.
- Price it too high and you face the possibility of having to reduce your price if it doesn’t sell. (Which looks really bad – especially to those who’ve already bought it)
The main problem is that there’s no industry standard for course pricing. Two people offering a course on the same topic may offer it for $50 or $2000 – and both will have people who happily pay their price. So as a first-time course creator it’s incredibly hard to figure out where your course fits. Let’s see if we can alleviate some of that pressure. And before we start let’s get one thing out of the way. There is no perfect price for your course, but there is a right price for you and your audience, for now.
We’ll start with taking a look at some of the mental blocks we have to pricing online courses.
Digital vs in-person
Transitioning from teaching something in-person to online isn’t easy and people often feel that because it’s digital and not 1:1 it’s not as valuable as in-person training. Now, while part of that is true, people still value an element of personalised support, providing that support online is not worth any less than in-person. People will gladly pay for high-quality information that is organised and delivered in a format that is convenient for them. They want to learn from and have access to an expert and they’re prepared to pay for that privilege. So don’t consider your online course as being less-than.
As I’ve said before, creating an online course is going to bring up all your ‘stuff’. Your perfectionism, your lack of self-confidence, your feelings of inadequacy, your comparison to other people. Anxiety. Self-doubt etc. And all of these are going to show up when you consider pricing your course. Know the signs and know you’re not alone – most course creators have the same doubts and concerns as you do. Let go of your inner perfectionist and do it anyway. Don’t let having to determine the perfect price for your course hold you back from launching it.
So how do you determine the best price for your course?
Now, let’s look at some of the factors you need to consider when pricing your course.
What is the purpose of your course?
There are many different reasons why course creators create courses. The purpose of your course should be one of the main factors when it comes to deciding your price. If the purpose of your course is to generate leads for your coaching packages you will price it differently to a course that’s intended to make people see you as an expert in your field. For a lead generating course you may offer it for free – or price it just high enough to cover your advertising costs (also known as a self-liquidating offer). Whereas a signature course will be your flagship offer and should be priced at a premium.
Pricing is perception.
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, ‘You get what you pay for, so if your course is low-ticket, the perception will be that it is low-quality. Don’t degrade your course’s perceived value by pricing it lower than your competitors. The race to the bottom is a race you can never win. Lower prices attract lower quality customers while a higher course price attracts more qualified and more committed customers.
Work out the value.
Consider how valuable the outcome is for the transformation that your course provides. So, if someone applies your teaching – how valuable will the outcome be to them. Will they save time, will they make money, will they get more sleep, will they become healthier. This may not be easy to quantify but you can try to estimate what that extra time, extra money, extra sleep, better health will be worth to those who need it most. Consider the sleep-deprived new Mum. If your course teaches her how to get her baby to sleep through the night – that would be valuable. And if you can promise her fast results – that makes it even more valuable.
And as with selling anything – you need to consider your target market when pricing your course. Industry prices will give you an indication of the range you will be able to charge, but you don’t have to choose your course price based on what your competitors are charging. However, you do need to consider your target audience. For example, you can’t charge a premium price for a course aimed at students living in dorm rooms.
A rough rule of thumb for course pricing (although there are always outliers to this)
Here is a rough guideline on pricing your course.
- Information only (like an ebook) – Without a video and without any access to you – you’re looking at free – $50
- Information and videos – $50 – $297
- Information and some form of personalised support – Perhaps live access to you via a Facebook group – you’re looking at $97 – $499
- Information and your own unique framework with lots of personalised support (live access) – you’re looking at $499 – $$$$
And lastly, remember it takes just as much effort to sell a low-priced course as it does to sell a high priced one. But if you start too high, it won’t sell. I’d recommend pre-selling your course whenever possible. Start low and you can always increase the price after getting feedback from your first round of course attendees – start too high and people will feel ripped off if you lower your price.