If you’re thinking about creating an online course, you might wonder, how much should it be? And also, how much could you earn with it? Online courses come in all price ranges, from $97 to thousands of dollars. I want to share my pricing strategies with you, share my journey, and talk about what prices I set for my online courses and how they developed.
When it comes to choosing a price for your online course, the first thing to remember is that of course, the price is important, but the quality of your products, your services, and your customer experience will outshine the price every single time. Even the best marketing in the world can’t sell things that people just don’t want.
Charge too little, and you erode the perceived value of your course. By this, I mean that first, people will see something as less valuable if the price is lower. It’s crazy, but it totally influences our purchasing decisions. This is why sometimes you can actually sell less when your price is lower. A lower price also means that you earn less, even if you sell a lot. It will limit your revenue potential and marketing abilities in the process. You’ll have less money to invest into marketing your course and paying for ads, or hiring someone to support you.
People are also behaving differently. They will not be as invested in participating, in working through your course, if it’s priced lower. I know this from my own business and it’s why I love to offer higher-priced programs because my students get better results because they put in the work. Maybe you experienced this yourself: When you paid a lot for an online course, you want to get your investment back and you’re going to actually work through the course.
Finally, a lower price can affect how you sell it and how much effort you put into it. You might feel it’s not as important to go all out in your launch and invest much time and effort into it. This is definitely something I’ve experienced in my business, and it’s not what your course deserves, or your potential students!
When you create something that’s hopefully going to be insanely helpful to your potential students, you owe it to that product you created, you owe it to your potential students and you owe it to yourself to market it as best as you can. People need to know about it so they can benefit from it. I believe you have to go all in, no matter what the price.
In conclusion, if your price is too low, it might not be perceived as valuable, you lose out on potential revenue, your students won’t be as motivated to actually work through the course and get results, and you might be affected in how well you market it. This is not where you want to end up.
On the opposite side of the scale – charge too much, and you’ll have problems selling your online course. Some coaches will tell you to set your prices really, really high, and that when someone really wants something, the price won’t matter, but I don’t think that’s the way to go.
I believe that yes, you can outprice yourself, and you need to consider who your audience is and what they can afford! For example, if you work with students, they probably don’t have a lot of money. If you’re working with professionals, (maybe in finance) they have a bigger budget.
No one can tell you what that budget is, or how much your potential students could possibly pay for an online course. This means there will be a lot of trial and error involved in choosing your price, but I want to help you find your price – the price that’s right for you and your course.
So, how do you choose your price?
I like to start by answering the following questions:
1. How much content does your course have?
I wish it was as easy as saying “my course has x modules and x videos, so it should cost this amount”. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. The length of your course or the number of videos is NOT a determining factor.
Having said that, your students ARE going to expect a certain amount of content based on the price they pay for your course. If you charge $500 or more for your course, I recommend including at least 3-5 hours of training in it.
This doesn’t mean that you should add some filler material. Don’t put in more content just because you think you can then ask for a higher price! With your online course, you promise a specific result, and it should include everything your students need to get to that result. Anything else would be just filler, and you don’t want that.
2. What’s the value for your customers?
You can normally ask for a higher price if your product promises a transformation – however, this is where a lot of people get it wrong. The transformation doesn’t have to be life-changing, or mean that it’s going to make them more money! It can actually be something really simple!
For example, if you teach people how to sleep better or regain some of their time, this can be invaluable and worth a lot of money to someone struggling with sleeping or finding more time in their day, right?
What you deliver also matters. Adding extras to your courses like student support, a community of like-minded people, and workbooks/checklists will increase the value.
3. Where do want to position your course?
What others are asking for their online courses doesn’t have to influence your decision. Still, I like to know what people in my niche are charging, and I think you should do some research, too, and think about:
- Do you want to offer some of the cheapest, but most valuable products in your market?
- Or do you want to land somewhere in the middle?
- Maybe you want to be on the high-end and offer premium pricing for your premium products?
It can also be that everybody else is charging very little, but this doesn’t mean that there is no room for a higher-priced course – quite the opposite, actually. A higher price could help you to stand out! It could be that people assume that your course is more valuable because it’s more expensive.
Big companies regularly use this as a pricing strategy. Back when I was working in advertising, one of my clients was a famous German car manufacturer and they chose the price of their new model so it would be the most expensive car in that class, compared to the competition. And to the customers, this meant that it was better and more premium.
I tell you this so you don’t let low prices that other people are using stop you from creating a premium product with a premium price. Check out what others are doing but don’t let that be the deciding factor when it comes to choosing your price, this is really important and I can’t stress it enough.
4. How much money do you want to make?
This can also influence your course price. Determine where your product fits into your overall business and what results you want to achieve. If you want to earn $10000, you need to sell a $1000 product 10 times but a $200 product 50 times – which is actually much harder unless you have a huge audience. I recommend playing with the pricing to see which price point works best with your overall income goals.
Considering those four questions, you should now have a few pricing options. Maybe it’s $200, $250 and $400. And you don’t know what to choose. What is your intuition telling you? When you get to a final price point, I want you to ask yourself: How do you feel about this price? What does your intuition tell you, or your gut, whatever you want to call it?
Can you confidently sell your product at this price point? How do you feel if I told you that you need to make it lower? How would you feel if I said you had to make it higher? Just listen to your body a little bit more in terms of how you feel about the price point. I want to encourage you not to get lost in the fear of charging what you’re worth.
YOU NEED TO OWN YOUR PRICE!
You have to ultimately believe in the value of your price point. You also must not be afraid to ask for that price. This is where confidence in your abilities must show up and they must show up big time. You’ve got to ask for what you’re worth. The more you believe in yourself, the more you know you can help people, and the bigger results you start to get for people, the more confidence you are going to have in charging more.
When you decide on a higher price (above $200) you can also offer a payment plan, and this will make your course more affordable for your customers. However, this means you also have a higher risk of people failing their payments. That’s why it’s common for the payment plan to be more expensive when you add up the single payments, (normally around 20%) to make up for the possibility of failed payments and the extra work. It’s definitely an incentive for people to pay in full, which means you get their money right away.
I love payment plans because they give me some recurring revenue that I can plan with, so I know what money is coming in in the next months. They’re also great from a marketing standpoint. For example, if you have a payment plan of 12 payments of $100, so $1200 in total, that’s actually more affordable to your students than a course that costs $500 and doesn’t have a payment plan. Payment plans are great, and I highly recommend offering them.
When you come to me with your price or pricing options, I will probably tell you to increase it. That’s because we all (me included) tend to undersell ourselves. We believe that we’re not ready yet to ask for a higher price, we are not a real expert, and we are afraid! Most of us have mindset blocks here around money and asking for it.
If it’s your first online course and you really don’t have the confidence or trust yet to ask for the higher price, here’s what I recommend you do: Start with a lower price and have your end goal in sight. For your first launch, you can sell your course at a lower price and then increase it over time in your next launches, and you can plan this right from the start. For example, in your first launch, you charge $497, then $697, until you reach your end goal of $997.
So you’re working yourself up to the final price you want to get. But this is no excuse to offer your course crazy cheap and stay there because you’re afraid to charge more. This is a way to slowly work yourself up to a higher price point, and it’s actually what most entrepreneurs end up doing.
For example, when I first sold my website course where I teach you how to DIY your website, I sold it for $197. Because I really wanted to get testimonials and see if it worked and if people got results, I offered my students their money back if they finished the course and launched their websites within 30 days. A few people actually managed to do it and I got some great testimonials for my next launch!
From $197 over time I increased the price to $397, and I stayed there for a really long time, and now I sell it for $497 as the discounted price and $697 as the regular price. And it’s worth it! I have a lot of testimonials, I offer so much 1-on-1 support, and my students save a lot of money in the end with the help of this course.
If I would still sell it for $197, I would probably feel resentful when I got questions from my students, and not happy to help them, like I do with the higher price. It took me a while to ask for the higher price, and it took me even longer to offer my first course for $1000, or $997, and I know that that’s OK.
As I said, you have to listen to your intuition, and you need to own your price. When someone asks you “how much is it” you need to be able to confidently name your price. You can’t apologize for it, because your potential customers will feel that, and it will turn them off. You need to own it, and if that means that you start with a lower price, that’s what it is.
Finally, I get asked about numbers a lot. Should you use a 7 or 9 at the end or round numbers? Should you end your pricing in seven or nine, like $97 or $199, or should you round up to $100 or $200?
This is a classic pricing strategy that has been tested to death. According to research done by the journal of quantitative marketing and economics, the answer is that you should use a seven or nine at the end. All the big stores like Walmart and Target are doing it for a reason.
Once again, you get to set the rules for your business, so choose whatever pricing feels right for you and if you feel like it, you should really run some price testing yourself. If you don’t want to do that because it’s a bit complicated to set up, I really recommend that you follow what the experts do. It’s what I’ve been doing too and it worked for my business. 7 or 9 at the end of my price, always!