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So, you’ve created an awesome online course, it’s nearly time to launch… But how much should you charge for it? Find out in this guide to pricing your online course for success!
One of the most important decisions you will make when it comes to launching your online course is THE PRICE! How much should you charge for it? Price your course too cheaply and your prospective buyers might assume it’s poor quality and not worth bothering with… But charge too much and nobody will buy it!
So how exactly do you pick the right price for an online course?
A big reason why pricing an online course is so difficult is because an online course is such an intangible asset. If you were selling something tangible, like… a bike or a book (the old school paperback kind!), it would be much more straightforward… You know the sort of price those things sell for.
You’d know instinctively that selling a bike for $7 (or £7 or €7) is way too cheap… and you’d know that $100 for a paperback book is probably waaaay too much (unless it’s a very special book!) but with online courses it’s hard because you don’t have those normal reference points.
So how do you do it?
I’ll tell you first how NOT to do it… Don’t just pluck a number out of the air! Instead, be strategic about pricing your course and do some proper research.
Here’s how to price your online course for success…
What are your competitors charging?
The first thing you need to do is a bit of good old fashioned competitor research. Find out what your competitors (other course creators in your niche) are charging. This will help to give you the reference points that you are missing right now.
As you start to do this, start also thinking about how your course sits among its competitors. Are you offering something much better than your competitors? (In which case you can probably charge more.) Or are you offering something much simpler and more basic? (In which case you should probably charge less.)
This is what any ‘normal’ business would do. (And if you ever read a blog post on pricing courses and they don’t tell you to look at your competition, run for the hills – unfortunately there are too many bloggers out there making stuff up on the fly!)
This may not give you a definitive answer, but it will give you a ballpark idea of what to charge.
What are your audience willing to pay?
The next thing to consider is what your audience might be willing / able to pay. This is a really important and, again, often overlooked step. Different audiences have different ideas of what they are willing – and indeed able – to pay for an online course.
For example, if you are selling a course to law associates on how to make partner, you can probably charge A LOT more than if your course is on makeup tips for teenage girls!
Think about who your audience is… How much disposable income do they have? An how much will getting the transformation in this course mean to them?
With our example of makeup tips for teenage girls, they simply don’t have very much money to spend on anything, no matter how much they might feel the transformation is worth!
With our law associate example, they have much more money to spend AND they can also see that a course like this would be a wise investment… If they get the transformation the course promises, they will make back the money they spent on it many times over.
And that’s a really important consideration… The general rule of thumb is: if someone will be able to make back the cost of the course pretty quickly after they’ve completed it, then you can charge more!
For example, with my course, Online Course Jumpstart: once you’ve sold 1, 2 maybe 3 of your own courses (depending on the price point you set for your course), you will have made back the money you invested in this course.
And the same rule also applies if your course will help them SAVE money on something related. For example, maybe you have a course on ‘Cycling for Beginner’s’ that includes a module teaching people how to get the best deals on bikes and cycling gear and not fall for the newbie rip-offs! That’s potentially going to save your students quite a bit of money, so you can charge a bit more for your course, because you know your students will see the value in it.
How much do they spend on other products in this niche?
Another important consideration is how much do your audience spend on other products in your niche? As a general rule, the more they are used to spending on other products in the niche, the more they will be willing to spend on a course.
So if your course is related to a hobby like photography or cycling, where people typically are used to spending quite a bit on ‘gear’, or if it’s a course related to their pet (people love to spend money on their pets!) then you can probably charge more than if it’s niche where people are not used to spending very much money.
How much would it cost to get the result some other way?
I mentioned earlier about doing a competition analysis with other course creators in your niche. That’s obviously the best way to get a reference point for how much to charge for your online course… But there is another way to think about it – especially if you are finding it hard to find examples of similar courses in your niche – and that is: how much would it cost your audience to get the result your course promises in another way?
So, for example, let’s say your course is about ‘How to train your puppy’ – you could look into how much ‘in person’ puppy training courses are.
What are your credentials?
Another thing to consider is your own credentials. If you are very experienced and qualified in your niche and/or you have a string of success stories behind you, you can charge a lot more than if you haven’t got much in the way of credentials or experience.
For example, someone who is a registered dietician, with years of experience and hundreds of testimonials from clients who have successfully lost weight, will be able to charge a lot more for their ‘Lose 14 pounds in a month’ course than a healthy eating blogger who has no formal nutrition qualifications and no testimonials, and who only started blogging 3 months ago!
How big is your audience?
One final point to consider is the size and eagerness of your own audience. If you have a large email list of potential buyers who can’t wait to get their hands on your new course, you can charge a lot more than if your audience is smaller or less engaged.
(Want to grow your audience, so you can charge more for your course? Then you need to grow your email list! Head here for tips and a free 30 day ‘grow your list’ challenge.)
Still unsure? Try this!
By now, you should have a much better idea of what to charge for your course – and at least have a range in mind. But what if you are still struggling to decide on ‘the perfect’ price point for your course? I have a tip for you: pick a price that is towards the lower end of your range and start there.
If you’ve followed the tips in this guide, the price will be a fair price, but seem like a ‘good deal’ to your target audience – so you should get a fair few sales in the early days after your launch.
Once you have been selling your course for a few months and have started to get your first batch of testimonials from successful students, you can then put up your price. You can easily justify this price increase as your course is now a proven concept (thanks to all those testimonials!)
To get maximum benefit from this price increase, tell your email list and social media followers about it a couple of weeks in advance. Flag it up as ‘Last chance to get XXX course for $XXX before the price increases on XXX’.
This kind of ‘upcoming price increase’ promotion is one of the most effective types of promotion, as it gives people a hard deadline (deadlines sell!) without devaluing your brand with a sale price.
And, as you get more and more success stories for your course, you can continually keep putting your price up little by little – and benefiting from that hard deadline each time.
Boost your launch with a launch price
Another great variation to this strategy is the ‘launch price’. Set a reasonable price for your course, using the tips in the rest of this article, but then offer it at a special discount to anyone who buys it in ‘launch week’.
Again, this uses the power of deadlines to help you sell your new course, without devaluing your brand by selling your course too cheaply. Instead, you are basically saying to your audience ‘This course is worth $X (your regular price), but you can get it at $Y (your launch price) if you are willing to take a small risk on an as-yet-untested course.’
To buyers this seems a fair exchange and – thanks to that hard deadline – you are likely to see a significant boost in sales during your launch week. Which will give you a big confidence boost!
Launch prices and price increases are powerful tools that will drive big sales increases thanks to the power of that hard deadline!
Of course, the big problem with a launch price offer is you can only do it once. And price increases can only be done occasionally… But what if there was a way to give every new subscriber a special new subscriber discount and deadline unique to them?
Learn more about how to do that here >>> How to build an evergreen sales funnel and sell your course on autopilot!
Online Course Jumpstart
This guide to picking the perfect price for your online course is adapted from the first unit in Module 7 of Online Course Jumpstart: Pricing Your Course For Success (The module goes much more in depth into different pricing strategies, common pricing mistakes, how to handle different currencies, sales taxes, VAT, discount coupons and more!)
ONLINE COURSE JUMPSTART is your complete step-by-step guide to creating and launching a successful online course IN JUST 8 WEEKS!
Here’s a sneak peep of what’s inside…
- The FIVE BIGGEST MISTAKES people make when creating online courses
- The ONE BIG DIFFERENCE between a SUCCESSFUL course business and an UNSUCCESSFUL one
- How to find a course topic your audience wants to learn about SO BADLY, they’ll be falling over themselves to THROW THEIR CREDIT CARDS AT YOU
- How to properly VALIDATE your course topic idea (so you don’t waste time creating a course no one wants!)
- Why creating a COURSE OUTLINE is so important (and HOW to do it!)
- Why you almost certainly DON’T NEED AS MUCH TECH as you think you do to create an online course
- How to create HIGH QUALITY course videos, downloads and bonuses EVEN ON A BUDGET!
- Tips on choosing the RIGHT PRICING STRATEGY from an ex grocery sector promotions manager (yep, that used to be my job before blogging!)
- Step-by-step help to create a KILLER SALES PAGE that converts like CRAZY!
- The SEVEN essential components of a SUCCESSFUL COURSE LAUNCH
- Bonuses and downloads GALORE!
- 20 reasons why you should create an online course in 2022
- How to choose a profitable online course topic: step by step
- How to create your first online course: a 10 step plan for success!
- Essential equipment for creating an online course (for all budgets)
- Ebook vs Online Course: Which should you create?