:Money / Small business finance

How to price your online course in 3 easy steps

how to price your course how to price your course

Knowing how to price your online course is a very common yet oftentimes difficult challenge for content creators. But understanding how to sell online courses and putting a price tag on your knowledge doesn’t have to be intimidating. By valuing yourself, your course, and the work you put into course creation, you’ll be able to come up with a fair price that your audience will be more than willing to pay for.

So exactly how much should you charge? We’ve created a three-step guide to online course pricing to help you figure it out.

Table of contents:

How to price your online course

Step 1: Rethink your pricing strategy

Make your baseline price higher than you think. We’re just going to lay it out: Consider pricing your online course at a minimum of $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—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. If you’ve created an online course that’s high quality, students will pay.
  • 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 with a pre-launch strategy. 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.
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how to price your online course how to price your online course

Tips for pricing online courses

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.
It’s normal to worry about scaring off potential clients with a higher priced course, but playing it safe can actually be dangerous in business as it may not accurately reflect the work content creators put into their offerings. Plus, if you price too low, students might not appreciate it as much or be as motivated to follow through with it.

In addition to the overhead needed to create the course, such as video production equipment, you can also factor in soft costs, like the time you put into creating your course, how much you would charge a client for that much of your time, how much you invested in learning the information you’re teaching, etc. Your time and expertise are valuable. While there is a ton of free information available, don’t underestimate the value of the information you curate, organize, and package for your students. It will save them time and energy, and make their lives easier in the long run.

It can be difficult to measure the true value of your course, which gets easily entangled with financial gains. When considering what makes your idea or offering valuable to others, go beyond what you’re selling and consider why you’re selling it.

  • What makes your approach unique? 
  • What are the immeasurable qualities your student or customer will walk away with? 

For instance, you might be an art teacher, who beyond different painting techniques, empowers students to explore their creativity with confidence and playfulness. Or you may be a yoga teacher who doesn’t just demo the fundamentals of poses but also offers tools for increasing mindfulness and building resilience, too. Set your prices bearing in mind all students get out of the course, rather than just the course itself.

Meanwhile, you can always reduce the price via course sales or promotions after your go-to-market strategy is finished, but unless you’re prepared to enhance your original offering, it can be harder to raise the price of a course once you’ve announced it to your audience.

While online courses don’t always have to have a high price tag, 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 learning 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—potential 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.

How much to charge for an online course

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.

Try this…

Create 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 offer at a higher price point of $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 it, 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

Step 2: Give them an offer they can’t refuse

Now that you’re armed with some basic knowledge on how to price your online 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 ones 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.

Offer payment plans

Although not every student may be able to shell out a lump sum upfront, it might be more manageable if your course offers smaller payments spaced out over a few months. What’s more, you can typically have higher price tags on plans that are paid out over time.

course creation course creation

Step 3: Sweeten the deal

Your knowledge inherently has value, but as your prices increase, so too should your offerings. Some of the best ways to enhance your course content and add value don’t have to be overly complicated. Just learning some basic tricks for how to market online courses can help.

Think beyond the basics and…

  • Create a content upgrade. Consider creating an editable worksheet as a lead magnet that your students can refer to and fill out while they go through your curriculum.
  • 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 coaching feature, 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.

Remember: Setting your rates is upholding a boundary. It teaches clients how to treat you and respect what you have to offer. So price accordingly.

How to price your online course FAQs

How much should I charge for an online course?

Premium pricing will help you in the long run and has a number of benefits. Consider pricing your online course at a minimum of $100. Once 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.

How do you determine a course price?

Create 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. 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 convert, so you use that as a solid starting point.

How much do people sell courses for?

People sell courses from a wide range of price points. Some start around $40-50 (though, like we mentioned, we recommend keeping your price at a minimum of $100) while others go up to $1,000 or more.

Sections of this post are adapted from previous content written by Morgan Timm and Katie Davidson.

Stop worrying about how to price your course

We have a worksheet to help you price your course accurately for your students.

A worksheet just for you

Use this worksheet to mark each of the features included in your course and how it adds value to your course, so you know you price it right.

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A worksheet just for you

Author: Caitlin Miller, Caitlin Miller is the Manager of Content Marketing Strategy at Teachable. In her spare time, she's often found listening to vinyl records, buying too many house plants, and enjoying a run on the streets of Brooklyn.