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How to Price Your Course and the Power of Bonuses

Today we will be talking about how to figure out what to charge for your online course. We’ll cover the difference between length and impact and how bonuses can sweeten your offer.

Why You Need the Right Price and Bonus

One of the most difficult decisions many online course creators face is how much to charge for attendance. The answer makes this even more challenging: It depends. It depends on the length of your course. It depends on your content’s impact. It depends on your industry.

I’m going to share some steps you can take to decide how much to charge, but I’m warning you now, you will have to do some research. I don’t know what your course is about and who it’s for, so I can’t tell you what the standards are for your industry. I can, however, tell you what to do with the information you gather and what to look for when you’re doing your research.

Once you’ve settled on a price for your online course, you’re not finished. You still need to entice people to sign up. Sometimes offering great content that addresses your audience’s burning desire isn’t enough. These are the times you might need to offer something. A bonus is that extra bit of advice or tool your attendees receive for purchasing your course, and it can be the difference between a sale and a pass.

You might be wondering why you need a good price and a bonus. The short answer is because they sell. When you set your course at the right price, you’re potential attendees feel tempted to join. Through your marketing efforts, they’ve seen how your online course can benefit  them, and they notice the price is something they can afford and seems to fit your promise. But they’re still on the fence. Your bonus is the must have item that tips them over to your side of the fence.

Pricing Your Course

When it comes to pricing your online course, you don’t want to underprice and miss out on income, but you don’t want to over price and lose sales. Finding that happy medium is going to require trial and error, but it is something you must do. The right price will help sell your course.

To find your price, experiment! Entrepreneurs are experimenters. Try one price and if it doesn’t work, try another. If you want to sell at $997, but no one is buying, see if it’ll sell for $797. Also, don’t be afraid to adjust your course. You may have to take out a few things, but keep the core of it. You may have to break your two hour video into different segments. People like quantity; play to that. Experimentation does that trial and error, but sooner or later, you’ll figure out what your ideal audience will pay for.

Please note, the amount of content you provide does NOT dictate the price. Even if you have 20 hours of video, you may only be able to charge $97 because you’re providing a small change in your audience. On the other hand, you might be able to charge $1000 for a 1 hour video if the shift in your audience is HUGE. What I’m saying is cost is relative to the value of the information.

To price your course, ask yourself how much impact your online course will have on your audience? Will it make a major difference in their lives if they follow your advice? Does it take them one step closer to their burning desire or a giant leap? Consider both the amount of content you’re providing and the impact it will have on your audience’s lives.

If you’re starting out and don’t have a good feel for your industry and market standards, you’re probably underpricing. Raise your price even if it makes you squirmy and uncomfortable. If the value is there, your course is worth it. Be confident and believable. Once you’re confident in your offer, try to get in front of more eyeballs through things like Facebook ads, Google ads, affiliates, guest blogs, podcasts, and more. Then it’s time to look into bonuses.

Creating Bonuses for Your Online Course

If you don’t want to lower your price, get your audience to buy by adding more value. The easiest way to do this is through bonuses. People like to feel like they’re getting a deal, so sometimes a bonus can be the difference between someone deciding to sign up for your course now and putting it off until later when they might forget about it.

A bonus is something that adds value to your online course and takes your attendees one step farther. This is not something that’s crucial to their or the course’s success. It is related to the course and its content, though.

A bonus can be something you wanted to put into the course, but didn’t quite fit anywhere, like:

  • A tangential, yet useful point 
  • An extra exercise 
  • Another segment 
  • A good example or real world example 
  • A mini-training
                - An in-depth look at one of your topics
                - An overview of a related topic 
  • A took kit or work book   

A completion bonus is something attendees earn for completing your course. This might be the next step or a roadmap for implementing the information in their specific situation. General bonuses are something attendees get for signing up.

Your bonus should feel like a natural fit for your online course and like a bonus, not a regular part of the course you’re calling a bonus. Bonuses also work best as a reward, not something you offer all the time. Certain craft supply stores always has certain areas of their store 40%. They jack up their prices and put the sale sign up to make customers feel like they’re getting a deal, when in reality, they aren’t. Don’t be these stores. Your bonus should be a true addition to your course and not something you’ve been doing for so long it’s now expected.

You can also offer different bonuses at different times. Maybe you give early birds a certain bonus and course completers a different one. Or maybe your workbook bonus doesn’t seem to be increasing sales, so you try converting it to an extra video. Your bonuses and your price are aspects of your course you will have to figure out through trial and error and that’s okay. We all do. Don’t let fear of failure or change stop you from selling your course and making the impact you want.

Where to Start Finding Your Perfect Price and Bonus

Now that you understand the value of the right price and accompanying online course bonus, let’s discuss where to start finding them for your specific course. Start with that research I mentioned. How does your current price compare to the price of similar courses in your field? Are you over or underpricing? Then adjust.

Remember you can also offer payment plans

If you don’t have a bonus yet, make a list of potential bonuses. Try creating one from content you already have before you start from scratch. Build on top of an old blog post or pull that discarded section out of the scrap pile. Once you have a list, ask yourself which ones will benefit your audience the most. Then look at which of those is a must have for your attendees. If you don’t have time to create something, consider offering a 30min coaching call or free feedback.

Like other aspects of your business and online course, finding the right bonus and price point will take time, but they’re worth it. When you work your way to a price point and bonus combination that converts well, you can put that aspect of your marketing and online course on autopilot and focus on engaging and interacting with your attendees or maybe even creating a follow up course. This might even give you more free time to pursue your own burning desires.

I have a question for you.

Answer me on your favorite social channel.

What bonus do you have for your online course? Or what bonus are you thinking about creating?

Be part of the conversation. Share!
Laura Pence Atencio

As Founder and CEO of Social Savvy Geek, LLC., Laura Pence Atencio is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and business owners meet and exceed their goals. She is committed to providing the most engaging and effective strategies in online marketing by combining traditional business networking and marketing fundamentals and best practices with current and engaging online marketing methods and tactics. Laura has worked with some of the top names in Internet Marketing and has consulted with entrepreneurs, businesses, and nonprofits in the US and abroad. She is the author of the popular article, 10 Tips to Build Your Twitter List Now, which has been published both online and in print in the US, Australia, and New Zealand. A lifetime student herself, Laura has achieved certification as a Computer Administrative Specialist at Beta Tech and has studied Art Education, History, Art History, and Criminal Justice at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is fascinated by learning, sharing and growing, not just in business, but in life. She participates in US Masters Swimming and has ranked in the top 25 nationally in her age group in both the 50 and 100-yard backstroke. She served in the VA Army National Guard as a Combat Engineer in the 229th Engineer Battalion. She never meets strangers, only friends not yet made– an attitude that serves her extremely well in the networking world, both online and off. She currently lives in Denver, CO with her husband, 3-year-old daughter, and German Shephard.