Selling your expertise in an online course has multiple benefits. It brings in passive income, helps you improvise on your skills, generates leads, and attracts potential business offers from relevant companies.
However, at the onset of such projects lies one of the most challenging decisions: how will you price the course? Is it hard pricing online courses?
You see, online course marketplaces are very different from in-person courses. This is one of the reasons why people often misestimate factors determining the value of their course. While pricing online courses at a low number indicate a lack of confidence in your content, pricing it too high might drive away a significant number of customers.
To make your course planning and pricing easier for you, here are all the facts you need to keep in mind:
Keeping the Price Low – Why It Won't Work
1. You Find Yourself Disinterested
Any type of content online has a higher chance of success if there's big money involved. When you expect your course to create some ripples, you'll want it to be worth all your effort. This includes efforts when it comes to the actual content of the course as well as promotional work. So if you charge a price for your course that isn't high enough to hit your target, it won't do much to motivate you to create a course that brings in revenue.
2. Your Burden Remains the Same
If you want to see results, then marketing for a high-end course will be the same as marketing for an inexpensive one. The key purpose will be to attract customers, who then pay to access your course. This means that even if you price your course low in hopes of attracting customers, you'll have to work just as hard as you would have for a more expensive course. Moreover, since the revenue will be strained, you won't be able to spend much advertising.
3. A Low-Priced Course Doesn't Attract Worthwhile Customers
Another big problem with these almost-freebies that you could be tempted to offer is that they don't hold much value in the customer's eyes. Most people online are habitually inclined towards signing up for every course they see, but they're not as interested in actually studying it in full. That's a slight disadvantage of online education, but let's put that aside for now. Since the lower price tag potentially downplays your course's value, customers won't pay serious attention to it. Premium prices and specific course plans, on the other hand, have more advantage of gaining serious, dedicated customers.
4. You Have Little Space for Growth
The online marketplace is buzzing with cheap courses. Once these are created, the course owners often conveniently ignore any revisions or updates to the course matter since the course is already so cheap. Reciprocally, these course owners find themselves largely ignored by joint venture partners, aka the industry's bigger fish. Pricing online courses higher give the impression that you know what you're selling is worth it, and this is precisely what attracts someone towards partnership with you. But with a low price, there isn't much that you can offer to your partner, thereby reducing your opportunities.
Can Low Prices Attract Customers?
Sometimes, deliberately pricing your course low will get you more customers. Here are some scenarios in which this might work:
1. With a Beta Version
A pre-launch test offering access to part of the course is like doing two things at once. You get customers who are curious about the course, and they give you valuable feedback on how useful they found it. By providing a low-priced beta version, you can also offer them survey forms to collect insight into advancing your course. Once you've formulated and modified everything, you can launch the full content at a higher price.
2. With Deadlines
When people launch a course, they sometimes keep a promotional deadline that offers a discounted price. This is meant for lead generation and has proven useful multiple times in bringing in a substantial number of customers. Even if you offer temporarily discounted prices, people will sign up nevertheless. Deadlines are a trick, and they work very well on behalf of the course owner in the longer run.
3. As a Sample
You can offer low-priced or even free courses as a bonus to your customers. This doesn't directly benefit your course, but it is a cool way to generate more leads for your brand. Courses with taglines such as 'limited-time,' 'free,' or 'bonus' offer you a simple way of increasing traffic for your brand. Simply put, you can design a course and sell it at a lower price as your marketing strategy.
How Low Is Too Low?
Once you've considered the dangers of underpricing your course, it's time to figure out the bare minimum price level you need to meet.
There are no specific criteria for determining the lowest of low prices or something that genuinely undermines your course's perceivable value. If you've considered looking at your competitors for getting an estimate, it's better if you rather not do so. Each course has a different science and base of knowledge behind it. Even if you are teaching the same concepts as another course, there's no way you can justify pricing your content equal to theirs.
A better way would be to calculate your investments, including software and marketing costs, as well as the price for the virtual space you're occupying. As a general rule, the least you should start from is $50 if you're unsure how the course will turn out. Otherwise, anything around $200 is going to suffice as a starting price for most courses.