You’ve spent weeks, maybe months, creating your perfect course. All those painstaking hours behind a glowing computer screen, all hours of the day, and it’s time. Time to release your masterpiece out into the world!
But, How Much is it Worth?
How do you price your online course to where it is competitively priced, but not a give-away?
The Magic Bullet (also-known-as, the secret formula to optimally pricing your online course)
Magic Bullets are a lot like Magic Beans; if you think there’s a miracle equation, a fit-for-all to putting a value on your course, then price is irrelevant – you’ll buy anything!
Don’t be upset or discouraged, however. The equation, if it existed, would look something like this:
optimal price = perceived value
Take a step back
The first step in pricing your online course, is to take a step back. This may be the most important, and hardest, step in the process of arriving at that perfect price.
It is very likely that you’re too close and vested in your creation to look at it objectively. You need CPA-like eyes to make an informed and analytical decision; not one tied to your sweat, hiccups, headaches and efforts that it took to bring the course to life. This is an extremely difficult task for most course creators, as it’s not something that many have experience with.
It is additionally challenging because the decision holds such importance! It will shape the trajectory of everything after your launch – from marketing, to revenue, to who you’ll attract as customers and how much attention you’ll be able to provide them. Don’t stress too much about this point just yet, there’s great ways to correct pricing mistakes that we’ll cover at the end of this article (just in case you get it wrong).
Cheap things look, well, cheap. Putting a bargain basement price tag on your online course will only serve to devalue it in the eyes of the customer. If you’re trying to play the game of undercutting your “competition’s” course prices, they’ll always be someone selling it for cheaper (or even giving it away for free). These courses are not your competition.
Instead, evaluate your course by what it is worth to the customer:
- How much time will the customer save by learning the material in your course?
- How much time are you saving them simply by curating the content into one comprehensive course?
- How specific is the topic of your course? If it’s particular enough, it can hold greater value to the right customer.
- What is your expertise? Don’t underestimate how valuable this is to potential customers! There’s plenty of buyers out there that will pay a premium for a quality product (your course) from a SME (you).
- What are you truly offering? Regardless of the topic, your course is offering the customer the knowledge to get results. The subject matter, doesn’t matter. Realize that if you’re solving someone’s problem, or at least equipping them with the tools to do so, that your course is worth a lot to that potential buyer.
What is “a lot”
Before we figure out what a lot is, let’s consider what’s too little.
“I’m going to sell my course for $49!”
Great. Will that cover very basic things to keep your course driving forward, generating income – like marketing? As you’re aware, it takes many moving parts coming together to get people to actually find, engage, and finally buy your course.
How much is it costing to run that slick landing page, funnels, Facebook Ads, sponsored content and copywriting to convince a potential customer that your $49 course is the right course for them?
Now, how much is it costing if you’re selling that same course for $199?
There’s likely no difference between the two! It takes just as much effort and cost to acquire new customers for your cheapo’ course as it does for your appropriately-priced alternative.
Marketing Math 101 dictates that your customer acquisition cost cannot shoot a hole in your own foot. Throwing money at the marketing game only to net a few dollars per customer is usually not the best strategy (unless your course topic is How to NOT Make a Profit, Quickly)
So with that said, consider that your course is worth a lot to potential buyers. Don’t sell yourself, or your course, short. Trying to market to a cheap crowd, seeking near-free courses, will only generate a revolving door of refund-asking, uncompleted-course-taking, unmotivated customers. Instead, shift the focus of your course to those that are willing to pay a fair or high price for a course that is truly valuable and worth taking!
Again, ask the question: What value is my course bringing to the customer? If what you’ve created will save the buyer a semester course at the community college, or hours learning a new skill, then price it based on that perceived value. Present it as such, and justify that price based specifically on the value the customer is going to see in their life.
Remember: optimal price = perceived value
The sweet spot
Can you increase the price of your online course? There’s always a sweet spot in pricing where you’re attracting an optimal number of customers at an optimal price. To find that sweet spot, it may take a few price changes to dial it in. That’s okay! Adjust it too high and you’ll see acquisition drop off. Adjust it too low, and you’re not maximizing the potential revenue coming in.
If you’re worried about getting it right the first go around, consider doing a soft or pre-launch to test the market. All things equal, if you hear crickets – adjust lower. If you hear piranhas, adjust higher.
It’d be interesting to find someone selling an online course, How To Price Your Online Course – maybe he or she has found that magic bullet to tell you the exact amount to charge for your creation. OR, skip buying the magic beans and price your course based on one thing – perceived customer value.