It’s a very common yet oftentimes difficult question for creators: How much should I charge for my online course? Understanding how to price an online course and putting a price tag on your knowledge doesn't have to be intimidating. But, by valuing yourself, your course, and the work you put into creating your business, you’ll be able to come up with a fair price that your audience will be more than willing to pay.
Make your baseline price higher than you think
We’re just going to lay it out: Consider pricing your online course at least $100. Because you’ve validated your idea, acquired an audience, and developed your course, you already know it's valuable. A good baseline price for a course is $100, if not more.
So, why have a baseline price of at least $100?
- All topics are worth it to someone. Don’t discredit students’ desire to learn, well, anything. From hand lettering to drone flying to coding, there are courses for every taste. If an audience really wants to learn something, they’ll be willing to pay.
- There’s a problem, and you’re the solution. Simply put: An online course provides a shortcut to an outcome. Without your course, your audience might spend ten times the amount of time sifting through information on their own.
- Perspective is your selling point. Even if someone else is teaching the same course topic, you can still be successful by highlighting what makes your course unique. Highlight your perspective and use it as a selling point. Most importantly—don’t be afraid to price accordingly.
- Students have faith in you. (We do too.) Those who are just a few steps ahead of their students tend to be more effective teachers as they can often more easily identify and relate to students’ pain points. Traditional “experts” or “professionals” might not offer the most simplified solution to their students’ problems like you can.
- The people will pay. If you’re launching your product to your mailing list, warm up your audience for a few months prior. Those who already know the value of your knowledge will be far more likely to spend money with you. Plus, unlike blogs and social media, online courses provide valuable gated content. The exclusivity of what you’re teaching inherently makes your course valuable.
Check out this post on creating a unique selling proposition for your online course.
With premium pricing, more is absolutely more
Would you believe us if we said it’s as simple as: Charging less means you make less money. Premium pricing will help you in the long run and has a number of benefits.
Go on and charge more...
- Your revenue goals will be easier to meet. Selling a course at a low price point, requires you to enroll more students to reach your income goal—meaning you’re spending more time acquiring new clients. If you charge a higher price, you’ll be able to meet your goals quicker and better use your time.
- A smaller group makes for a better course experience. If you’re only dealing with 15 students as opposed to 50, those students will get more of your focused attention. This is ideal for securing repeat customers as well as potential referrals for your business.
- Premium pricing increases engagement and communicates value. Pricing your course or coaching session at a premium, ensures students see their purchase as an investment—and one they want a return on no less.
- Secure—and weed out—students. If your course is priced too low, you’re likely to get a number of students who aren’t quite your target audience and will likely drop off or not purchase again. Those who will succeed and get the most from your offerings will be more than happy to pay more and thus are more likely to make another purchase.
When it comes to money, how much are we talking?
How much can you really charge for your online courses? It's up to you, but arming yourself with some pre-pricing knowledge can be indispensable.
Creating income goals.
Before anything else, you should come up with income goals for your online course. Whatever you’re hoping to accomplish with your business, come up with a goal number.
In real life:
Let’s say you’re hoping to make $5,000 with your online course. With that in mind, if you keep your price point at $100, you need 50 people to buy your course to reach your goal.
But, what if you decide to price your course at $250? In that case, you only need 20 people to enroll. And if you price your online course at $500, you only need to sell to 10 people. See where we're going?
By putting these goals into place, you can establish a clearer picture of just how many people you need to be selling to in order to consider your launch successful.
Figure out how many people are likely to buy your course.
Generally, you can assume that at least two percent of your email list will purchase, so you use that as a solid starting point.
In real life:
If you have 1,000 people on your list, 20 people will likely purchase. If you want to make $4,000, you need to sell your course for at least $200 to meet your goal.
Give them an offer they can’t refuse
Now that you’re armed with some basic knowledge on how to price your course and more importantly, why you should be aiming for a premium price, close the deal for your students with an offer they really can’t pass up.
Add pricing tiers.
Pricing tiers make your course accessible to a larger number of students and to students who may not be interested in all of the bonuses you’re offering.
To create your pricing tiers, first decide on which pieces of bonus content you want to offer. Consider which make the most sense for your audience and which ones will have the largest ROI. Once you’ve decided on your bonus content, decide how much each piece is worth. (We’ve got a good baseline to go off in our course price calculator here.)
Offer payment plans.
Although not every student may be able to shell out a lump sum up front, smaller amounts, spaced out over a few months might be more manageable. What’s more, you can typically have higher price tags on plans that are paid out over time. Explore adding a payment plan to your course here.
Your course is valuable—so why not sweeten the deal?
Your knowledge inherently has value, but as your prices increase, so too should your offerings. Some of the best ways to do this and add value don’t have to be overly complicated.
Think beyond the basics and...
- Host live Q&A’s. Schedule a few throughout the life of your course for different times of 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 coaching. Offering one-on-one online coaching throughout the course to increase its value. Thanks to the ease of scheduling with our new Coaching tool, you can easily increase the value of your course by hundreds of dollars by offering personalized consulting.
- Create a community. Create a Facebook group or a community on Slack as an added value to your product. From there you can decide how tightly monitored your community will be.
- Improve the production quality of your course. Increase the value of your course by several hundred dollars just by improving the production quality of your course. Thankfully, you can create a great studio set-up at home without spending a ton, making this a great ROI for you.
Sections of this post are adapted from previous content written by Morgan Timm.
How much did you charge for your first online course? Share your pricing tips and learnings.