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October 20, 2022

How to Price an Online Course

Josh Little
Co-founder & CEO

Tools like Volley help you run your online business and sell your educational programs such as group coaching, masterminds, 1:1 consulting, etc. But how do you decide on a price for your course?

If you set your price too high you’re likely to lose sales. If you set it too low you could be leaving money on the table and making your content appear cheap or less valuable.

‍Let’s explore the biggest factors that affect pricing and some quick tips for coming up with the best price for your program.

5 Factors to consider when pricing your course

Here are some of the most important factors you need to consider when deciding on how to price your online course.

  1. Time: Time is one of the most important things to consider when pricing your course. How much time did it take you to develop your program? How many hours did it take to create the resources, record lessons, design worksheets, etc.? 
  1. Expertise: Your expertise is another one of the most important factors in your pricing structure. They are paying you for your knowledge and experience. So consider things like how much you would charge a client for your time? How much did it cost for you to gain this knowledge?

Did it require a special degree or training? How long did it take you to develop the skills and knowledge you’re going to share?

You are sharing your unique experience and information that you have taken the time to learn. Are you using average freelance industry pricing standards or is your price just a guess?

  1. Marketing costs

Marketing is something that many forget to budget for. It’s important to account for these expenses when you are creating pricing. Whether you are marketing a low or high cost course you will still need a marketing budget.

If you spend $1,000 on ads for 200 leads but you’re only charging $50 for your course you will need 20 sales just to break even on your ad cost alone, that doesn’t even include your time, expertise, etc. 

  1. Impact to your audience

Remember, you’re selling an outcome, not a product.

What value can you provide them? They are experiencing a pain point and looking to you and your expertise for relief.

Can you save them time? One of the greatest benefits of Volley is that you can teach, learn, engage, and connect asynchronously. The entire group doesn’t have to be available at a single time, no canceling because someone can’t make it. Running on Volley-time is convenient because it is not centralized around a single calendar. 

  1. The more the merrier?

In the book Overdeliver, Brian Kurtz states that overdelivering increases perceived value and cuts down on dissatisfaction or complaints.

Creating a course with multiple assets increases the value, allowing you to justly price your course at a higher rate. Including things like videos, worksheets, templates, 1:1 coaching, etc. allows for students with all different learning styles to gain knowledge and take advantage of the course as a whole.

Quality and Purpose

We’ve talked about several factors to consider when pricing your course but we haven’t examined the quality and purpose of your course and content.

A quality offering is very important but quality doesn’t necessarily mean expensive cameras, advertising, and graphics. You don’t even need 20+ hours of material. More is not always better. The biggest thing to focus on when building your course is does your content provide the outcome you have promised?

If you can provide the outcome with 8 hours of content and high quality asynchronous coaching, not only have you given them what they paid for but you have also saved them time. 

6 Ways to determine pricing for your online course.

1. What problem is your target audience trying to solve?

As we mentioned before, the biggest value you can provide your audience is to solve the problem they are having. What is their pain point? Do your research, zero in, and cater to that. 

While being competitive with others in your space is important, try not to get stuck on what others are charging. You can certainly use their pricing as a reference point, but as we discussed above, the value you provide comes from:

  • Your unique expertise and perspective
  • The transformation you deliver, the pain point you help solve
  • The quality and purpose of your course

2. Eye on the prize, what transformation are you guiding?

If you are selling a course that delivers measurable results you may be able to charge more. We’ve provided some examples of outcomes people may be willing to pay more for:

  • Career advancement
  • Higher income potential 
  • Personal fulfillment 
  • Improved quality of life
  • Better relationships
  • Mastery of a new skill or hobby

3. What’s your bottom line?

Have you done the math yet? How much revenue do you need to cover all of your expenses, including time and expertise? From there calculate how many sales you need at various price points to generate revenue.

If your goal is to make $8000 per month and you’re only charging $20 for your course, you’ll need to make 400 sales per month. 

If that’s not a realistic conversion rate, increase your price.

4. Calculate your perceived value

Don’t assume a lower price will equal more sales. Sometimes a lower price can actually devalue your course, leading to fewer sales.

Evaluate the quality of your course, its contents, and the improved life quality/problem solving that you’re offering your students. The higher the quality and the higher the value of your transformation, the higher your price should be. 

Hot Tip: Don’t get into the habit of competing on price. Someone will always be able to undersell you. Instead, focus on the value of your outcome or solution.

5. Budget for marketing

No matter how good a course is, it’s hard to drive sales with organic promotion alone. To cover those expenses, set a price that’s a little higher than your first impulse. Your goal is to absorb those costs, so your profits stay high.

6. Make the payment process easy

The quicker you can get someone from their “yes” to checkout the better! If you complicate it with too many forms, interfaces, logins, etc. you will lose them in the process. One of the great features on Volley is that you can take payment directly in the platform and that will tie in to their ability to access your program or not. 

How to know if your price is right

There is no set standard for pricing an online course. The better you can understand the value you bring to the table the easier it will be to price your course. This process will also include a lot of trial and error. Pay attention to the traffic you are receiving, are your clicks converting, gauge the interest, etc. 

If you think you need to adjust your pricing, we suggest that you test the following first:

  • Messaging – Does your messaging address the pain point adequately?
  • Targeting – Do you have the right audience?
  • CTA – Is your call to action strong enough or is it too aggressive?
  • Your Offer – Does your offer clearly communicate the outcome you deliver?

How course creators are leveraging Volley to maximize revenue and engagement.

Now that you know how to price your course the hard work is done. You have your course ready to go, you have nurtured and built your following, and it’s priced to sell! Now it’s time to promote it and generate revenue and the best way to do that is on Volley.

There is so much friction with all of the other platforms on the market. It is difficult to get people signed up and in the right spaces, the mobile experience is lackluster at best, engaging with others is limited, payment processing is a pain to navigate, etc. etc. the list goes on and on.

Volley eliminates the friction so your customers can get in and start seeing value in what they paid for. The process is simple on Volley; send an invite link, they sign up, they pay, and are automatically added to exactly where they need to be and can begin engaging immediately. 

Here are a few of the reasons course creators love leveraging Volley:

  • Zero friction
  • You’ve done the hard work
  • Quick to set up
  • Creates more engagement between members
  • Asynchronous, so everyone can use it when they need it
  • Create exclusivity/upsell by selling 1 on 1 help for students
  • Free to get started

In a matter of minutes you can drop your course into Volley and start generating revenue.

From larger groups to smaller cohorts there are so many ways to structure your course, the options are endless. You can continue adding value by offering exclusive 1:1 coaching all in one place. The bottom line is Volley is the answer to take your course and create meaningful connection and transformation with your students.

Josh Little

4x Founder, Tinkerer, Tenor, Brinemaster. CEO of Volley.

About the Author

Josh Little started his career as a teacher then moved into sales training and education roles at three Fortune 500 companies before making the leap into entrepreneurship. Over the last 15 years, Josh built four successful tech companies (Maestro, Bloomfire, Qzzr, and Volley) that have improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people and been able to consult with some of the top brands in the world. He has a firm believe that a great conversation can change your life and with Volley he's making them easier to have anywhere, anytime.

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