Hey champ! Welcome to part three of the 4-part #ChampionCourse series. In this series, I’m showing you step-by-step how to create, brand and sell your first online course, ebook or masterclass. If you missed the first two posts in this EPIC series, then you better hit rewind and get caught up. You can check those out here:
- Part 1: How To Create + Plan Your First Online Course: In this post I shared how to come up with your profitable course idea, along with tips and strategies on how to plan, organize and build out your course framework.
- Part 2: How to Brand + Style Your First Online Course: This post shows you the key elements you need to give your online course a brand style and personality all it’s own. A pretty course, is a profitable course, so make sure to follow the steps I mapped out in the FREE workbook to ensure your course gets seen.
Now, as far as today’s lesson goes….it’s time to get busy! In this post, I’m going to be showing you how to price and deliver an online course people love. I’ve got tons of tips as well as a free editable workbook you can print out to help you pick the perfect price and platform for your product. You ready for this? Let’s go.
You’ve created your first course — now it’s time to deliver the goods.
How are you going to sell your product? Do you need to setup a shopping cart, upload your course to a membership site, add payment buttons or link your merchant account?
STEP 08: PICKING THE PERFECT PLATFORM
For every course you create you have to think about how you are going to deliver that content and get it into the hands of your customer.
One of the best things about online courses is that you don’t have to ship anything? Your profit margins are higher, and order fulfillment is much easier! You still have to deliver your course to the customer, but thank goodness there is software that will do it for you.
That means you can be off traveling, lounging on the beach or playing with your kids while people are buying your course.
In order to set this up you need software to organize your courses, allow purchases, process the credit card transactions, and then deliver the login credentials or downloadable files to be accessed by the customer.
Since hoping online I’ve run all of my sites (including my clients sites) on the wordpress.org platform and for years used third party plugins and video hosting software to create the membership sites that housed my courses. As the constant software updates, bugs and glitches started to become a major pain in my butt, I decided to find a simpler approach to delivering my online courses. It was the best decision I’ve made. My life has been a whole lot easier (and more profitable) since I made the switch. The simplest way to give your customers access is through a protected learning management system or LMS for short.
LMS is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of electronic educational technology (also called e-learning) courses or training programs.
With an LMS platform you only need to use one tool for everything. You upload your course content, add your bank information (so you can get paid), and start accepting sales!
There are a number of LMS options you can use, but if you want an easy-to-use, tech-free platform that allows you to deliver your course with the least amount of stress, here’s a list of my top 3 software systems to run your online course:
Teachable, is a courseware creation, delivery and management platform. It includes a free plan where you only pay when you make money and several premium, paid plans that provide additional features and lower processing fees.
Transaction fees are $1.00 + 10% + credit card fees for the free plan and decrease based on the monthly plan you choose which ranges from $39 up to $299/month. Note that in all cases, the credit card fees are set by the payment processors not the training platform. Teachable manages the payment processing and then pays instructors through PayPal after a 30 day wait where the students could request a refund.
Teachable is very easy to setup and use. By default, you receive a basic subdomain with the free plan. For example yourname.teachable.com. Paid for plans can actually be a subdomain from your company domain name. For example: courses.yourdomain.com.
The free plan includes many options like the ability to create quizzes and send emails to students. Paid plans include extras including graded quizzes, integration with Zapier to further extend the platform’s functionality, and more analytics and reporting of student progress. Some plans also provide support for multiple authors, so you could build your own marketplace.
Disqus is used to manage student comments and engagement.
Student reporting is a highlight of Teachable. There are many details you can view including student completion, video engagement, and quiz scores.
Teachery is one of the newest options to the market. Like Teachable, it provides an easy to use courseware creation, delivery, and management platform. Teachery does not have a free plan – there is a 14 day trial, then to continue getting access to your course you have to choose a paid plan. They have three payment plans $49 per month, $470 per year, or $900 for a lifetime membership.
Teachery doesn’t charge transaction fees. Your online transaction fees would occur from the Stripe credit card processor, if you sell courses through Teachery. Instead of managing the payments with a credit card processor and then paying you via PayPal the way Teachable does, Teachery links to your own Stripe account.
The courses are configured to send a Welcome Email and Course Completed Email, and allow you to create both lessons and sub-lessons, but not quizzes. They don’t host videos, images, or slideshows on the Teachery platform. You host these elsewhere and embed them.
Teachery does provide support for you to use your own subdomain.
Disqus is used to manage student comments and engagement.
Both Teachery and Teachable make it very easy to configure the colors and styling of your course pages. In Teachery, a powerful builder for Landing Pages and Payment Pages makes it easy to build pages that convert. You can add analytics to your pages and integrate your sales with MailChimp or ConvertKit email management accounts.
Udemy provides a course creation and management platform along with a marketplace of courses. It is free to create a course on Udemy, and you are paid a percentage when the course sells. The amount you make per course depends on which of their marketing programs you have selected. You make approximately 50% of what they collect for the course.
If you sell the course directly to the students using your coupon code, you receive 100% of the course cost minus a 3% handling and transaction fee.
Udemy has specific requirements for courses submitted to the marketplace. For example each course must be comprised of at least 60% video. Pricing must be between $9 and $300. Standards for video and audio are high. All video must be in HD and except for certain circumstances like yoga classes, the videos must be between 2 and 20 minutes in length. Each course is manually reviewed by the Udemy team before it is published to the marketplace.
With round 10 million students, Udemy is a well established marketplace that provides an outlet for many online course builders to create and market their courses.a
As a marketplace, Udemy is interested in keeping students on their site, so rules are very specific as to how you can market to the students. As part of this marketplace, they have invested heavily in community building tools and provide support for instructors to build a community on the platform.
When it comes to picking the perfect platform it comes down to two things: your personal preference and your audience’s learning style. As with any business solution, the key is to define your requirements and then select the option that works best for you. As you investigate each software option, remind yourself that you know your fans best, and keep going back to what they need and how they would like to receive your valuable information.
For building and delivering online courses, solutions like Teachable, Teachery, Udemy, and for downloadable products, Gumroad or Digital Product Delivery, may provide a powerful solution without requiring additions to your current website.
If you want to see how I set up my course hub using the Teachable platform (which I love!!) check out The Training Room here.
STEP 09: PICKING THE PERFECT PRICE
So we are well on our way and now we have to put a price tag on it! I know I know, picking the perfect price!! A pain in the butt, if you ask me, but something that needs to be done and done right! Before you start selling your course, you need to know what you are going to sell it for.
Your goal is to price your course correctly so it’s a win-win for everyone. You get paid and your customers feel like you’ve delivered on something amazing. They almost come away feeling like they stole something!
The last thing you want to do is cheat yourself or make your customers feel like they paid more for what you delivered. That’s called getting duped and that’s course suicide and we want to avoid that at all cost.
When it comes to pricing your course, your pricing sends a message to potential customers and it communicates the implied value of your products and services.
Your products are more than the dollar amount listed on the sales page. Your products equate to hard benefits — solutions your customers are willing to pay you to help solve their problems. At the end of the day pricing and selling your course is about effectively communicating the benefits your products can provide.
Are you selling a relationship course or happiness? A weight loss program or the perfect wedding day physique? A financial game plan or the ability to spend more time with your kids? An info-product or financial freedom?
Knowing the end game you are helping people achieve and being able to communicate that result to your perfect fit customer can translate into a higher value factor which in turn allows you to charge more for your products and services.
There are 4 major pricing factors you will want to consider when picking your price.
As you create your course, keep track of how much time and energy you’ve invested. You should price your course (and any product you create) to compensate you for all of these things.
Value is the difference between what your customer paid and what they felt it was worth. The worth needs to be greater than the price. If you’ve achieved this, you’ve won and your clients have won.
Let’s take this course for example, if you watch the lessons, do the work, take action on the tips and strategies I’ve taught you, then go out and create your own, champion course that sells, how much would that be worth to you? To your business?
$500, $1000, $5000? That may seem high for an online course but think about the return you get. How much easier is it for you to create a course that attracts your perfect fit customer and converts your course into cash?
This is the same thing you have to think about when it comes to the pricing of your product. How much easier are you making things for your customer?
Next you want to think about the competition. Stalk the successful. See what prices they are putting on their products and services. Try to find entrepreneurs and companies with similar target audiences, and size.
Please take note. I am not telling you to compete on price, i.e., his course is $100 so I’ll price mine at $95. Do not do that. It does not serve you or your customers. Price based on the value you provide.
Scoping the competition will give you an idea of what others are charging for their online courses but it’s not an absolute for what you should charge for yours.
Lastly, the pricing you choose should reflect your brand and the overall perception of your products and services. Are you the Mazda, Mercedes or Maserati of your industry – meaning are you an economic, mid-range and premium brand?
When pricing your products and programs it is important to make sure your pricing is in alignment with your overall brand. You do not want to charge Maserati prices for a course when you are known for being a Mazda brand and vice versa.
This again is going to be about knowing your perfect fit customer and what they are willing and able to pay for – and hopefully you’ve had them in mind through the entire course creation process.
If pricing your product has your panties in a bunch, here are a few general pricing suggestions (from my own personal opinion):
- eCourses = Online Programs: $197-$1997 (But I’ve seen these go way past the $2000 mark!)
- Ebooks: $7-$67
- Live online workshops: $47-$147
- Physical Books: $9-$25
- Membership sites: $10-97/monthly
Price your products for what is fair and relevant to the value being offered. Never judge what others are willing to pay. At the end of the day put your target audience first and go with what feels right! Use your intuition to choose a price that allows you to deliver a value packed course that you feel confident selling to meet your overall profit plan goals.
P.S. Pricing is not forever. You know that shopping cart button that links to your paypal or merchant account? You can change the numbers! If you feel like you want to double your profits – double your price. Pricing is not permanent! Don’t be afraid to play around with your pricing numbers until you hit the sweat spot!
I hope this post was helpful, my champion course creator, you. I’ve got something exciting and super duper helpful brewin’ for ya, so make sure to click the image below to sign up so that you’ll be the first to hear about it. Yep, VIP baby!! VIP!
So, let’s talk about it below. What is one takeaway or action item you got out of this post?
Reading to keep this party going? >> Check out the final post in this series: Part 4: How to Grow Your Audience + Launch Your First Online Course