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How to Price Your Online Course (2024 Course Pricing Guide)

Want to learn how to price your online course? 

Pricing can feel confusing and seriously hold you back… But it doesn’t have to. In today’s guide, you’ll learn how to set the price for your course offers. 

Want to learn more? Read on!

How should you price your course? 

An online course business can be massively abundant and profitable. However, you need to know how to price your course to create a sustainable business.

Let’s start with an overview of different price points: 

  • A mini course, a simple video training series with about 4-10 videos, each under 15 minutes, can be sold for anywhere from $47 to about $147.
  • A shorter online course with audio/videos and PDF’s typically sells for anywhere from $197 to $497. These courses often take 4-6 weeks to complete. 
  • And a longer course with audio, videos, and PDF’s (a flagship course) sells for around $1,000 to $3,000. These courses often take at least a few months to complete. 

According to a study of 130,000 courses by Podia, the average first-time course sells for $137. 

My own recommendation, based on my experience growing several multiple six and seven figure courses and helping 100s of people start their own online course businesses, is to create a short 4-6 week online course and price that first online course at $197-$497

I’ll explain why in just a bit. But first, let’s look at what you need to know about online course pricing. 

Online course pricing calculator 

After you’ve read this guide on how to price your course, use this pricing calculator to decide on the right price for your course:

Course Price: $0

How to price your course right

How do you price online courses? That’s what we’ll look at in this chapter. Pricing online courses doesn’t have to be hard, but you do want to know what the steps involved are. 

Your course price is determined by factors such as:

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  • The results you promise 
  • Who your target audience is 
  • Your experience/background 
  • Your course features
  • Your costs 

Here are the steps to pricing your course: 

1. Look at the results you offer 

To set your course price, think about the results you offer. Because if your course can promise results that people really want, price and format are secondary. 

That said, when you create your first course, you likely don’t have THAT many client testimonials. So if you’re in doubt about your pricing, start with a lower price. You can always raise your prices after you’ve sold your course the first time around.

  • If you create a group coaching program, your price could be somewhere between $997 to $1,997. And once you have a few students, you can raise your rates to $2,997 and more.
  • However, if you decide to start with a self-study course without any group coaching, I recommend starting with a course that costs between $197 to $497.

This type of course is easier to create and less overwhelming. So learn how to sell your course at a lower price and then move on to a higher priced “A to Z” course that you can price at $1,000 to $3,000. 

That’s what I did, too. I first created my “First Steps” course Your First Paying Clients, which teaches people how to get their first few clients.

I then moved on to selling my Employee to Entrepreneur course, which is a course that teaches everything you need to know about starting a coaching business. 

Ultimately, if you find that it’s difficult to set a price, just pick one and focus on creating and selling your course. You can always adjust your price later on. 

2. Understand what factors determine your price

There are factors that determine how much you can charge for your course. You see, your audience, experience, and course features all impact the price of your course.

Here’s what I mean:

Your audience 

First, you need to know your audience. 

Who are you targeting with your course? And why are you targeting them? Is your course the best fit for that specific audience? 

You will need to know your audience to set a price.

For example, someone who is early in their career and is looking for a career course will typically have less money to spend than someone who is further ahead. 

Ask yourself: 

Is your audience willing and able to pay for your course? And how much are they willing to pay for it? 

Look at courses with similar audiences to get an idea. 

Your experience and background

This part can include your certifications, your formal education, personal experiences you’ve had or that you’ve helped others with solving this problem, and of course, testimonials from those you’ve helped.

If you don’t have any testimonials right now, you can offer a few free one-time sessions to help people get results and get that proof you need. You definitely WILL need some proof to show people you know what you’re talking about and to build trust. 

Your course features 

What do people get when they enroll in your course? The features themselves aren’t what make your course valuable, but you do need to know what your course will look like to set a price. 

Think through if you’re going to offer video, audio, and written material (PDF’s and ebooks) and how you’ll present your course. 

Also consider: 

  • How long will your course be? This depends on how much content you need to help your clients. But don’t confuse value with length. In fact, a more concise course will often help your students much better than a long course with everything crammed into it because a concise course is easier to implement. 
  • How will you deliver your course? You can use videos, audio, calls, and written content to deliver your course. But be clear on this when you price your course because a PDF or ebook won’t sell for as much as a video course. 
  • What support are you going to offer to your clients? The support you offer can significantly increase the value, and price, of your course. So think through how you support your clients with group coaching calls and feedback. 

3. Take your costs into account

When you price your course, you do need to take your other costs into account. How much money will you ultimately keep? 

This isn’t as important when you’re building your first course. After all, you have other things to focus on like creating it, figuring out how to sell your course, and delivering it.

But once you’ve sold your course successfully, it might be time to set a more strategic price for it. 

To do so, calculate your bottom line, set a budget for your marketing, and track your income/expenses. That way, you’ll know if your pricing is on par with your marketing expenses (for instance, if you run ads and are unsure about what your ads should cost). 

But there’s one thing you need to know about course pricing… You can increase the value of your course – and not care too much about what price you set!

How to increase the value of your course 

Here’s the thing: Selling a course isn’t about the price at all. 

I used to be scared of charging the price that I really wanted to the point that I started to resent it. As a result, I stayed stuck in charging the same price for years. 

But once I realized that selling a course has little to do with the price, I began to set whatever price felt good to me. And no matter the price, my programs always sell. 

It can be easy to look around and think, “people sell courses for $49, so I guess I have to do the same.” You don’t. 

Those $49 courses offer a completely different experience and results than higher-priced courses. And there are customers for both types of offers.

Sure, your price depends on the type of course you sell. If it’s a simple PDF or a mini-course, you need to adjust your price accordingly.

But don’t assume you have to set a low price to sell it. 

As research shows, people value higher-priced products more than lower-priced products because they associate a high price with quality. 

Psychologist Robert Cialdini highlights a telling example in his book Influence. When a shop wanted to put items on sale but accidentally increased the prices, they sold much faster than they had before. 

In other words, premium pricing can help with selling your product. 

The benefits of charging a higher price for your course 

By charging a premium price, you: 

  • Build a more profitable business: The price you charge massively impacts how much money you take home. If you want to build a sustainable business, your profit margins need to be as high as possible. 
  • Can grow faster: By asking for a higher price, you can spend more on marketing your course…and ultimately, grow your business faster. 
  • Offer better results: When you don’t have to drive as many online course sales to make a good profit, you can spend more of your time on improving your course.
  • Attract the right clients: The more people pay for your course, the more motivated they tend to be. After all, they see it as far more valuable than lower priced courses. 

Ultimately, selling a premium price course takes the same effort as selling a low priced course, so why not set a higher price? 

That said, especially in the beginning when you don’t have as many testimonials or “proof” that your course offers tons of value, you need to increase the perceived value of your course to ask for a higher price. 

“Perceived value” is the value people assign to your course based on how likely they think it is that your course will help them. 

The best steps to increase your course’s perceived value are:

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1. Understand the true value of your course

First, a lot of course creators underestimate the value of their course and thus underprice their courses. 

They feel like they need to deliver more after selling the course, even when they haven’t promised any extra support.

But what you need to remember is that a course should not involve the same type of support as a coaching program does (unless you explicitly promise it or you’re selling a group program).

So, what is then the value of your course if it doesn’t include support? It’s that you share your entire experience regarding the topic you teach.

You’ve frontloaded the work by creating a methodology that you teach in your courses (versus coaching or other services, which you get paid for delivering in real-time). 

So, don’t feel bad about offering a higher priced course. 

Here’s more on how to understand the value of your course: 

2. Offer specific results

To justify a higher price point, you need to offer a stand-out, high-value course

That’s why it’s important to realize that the real value of your course doesn’t come from the course material or how you present it. 

Instead, it comes from the transformation you offer. 

Transformation essentially means: where are your students at the start of your course? And where are they at the end of it? 

Figure out what results you offer

To figure out what transformation, or result, you offer, ask yourself: 

What is someone going through your course or program going to get from it?

For example, if you teach people how to improve their relationships, how will their relationships change after going through your course?

Or if you teach something intangible like happiness, how much happier will someone feel after going through your course? 

This can be measured in different ways. 

For instance, do students’ day-to-day look different after going through the course? Do students feel differently? Or will they interact differently with others in their everyday life? 

Once you know what result you offer, you can reverse-engineer your course so that it becomes easier for your students to achieve it.

You can ask yourself what content your students really need to implement your course. That’s how you only teach them the content they need, instead of filling your course with information that doesn’t really serve them.

Break down the result into step-by-steps

You want your students to get amazing results from your course. And the best way to make it easy to follow is to break down your result into sub-results or milestones.

For example, if you help people get a new job, the…

  • First milestone might be to figure out what job your students even want
  • Second milestone might be to update your application material, like your resume and portfolio
  • Third milestone might be about connecting with people in their industry

You break the goal into manageable steps, so that your students can get faster and better results. 

Then, take the milestones and organize your course in the best way possible. This has a huge impact on how valuable the course will be. 

You can either organize your course according to steps so that you have module one (step one), module two (step two), and so on so that every module is a milestone that helps people move forward. 

Alternatively, you can organize it around areas of mastery. For instance, I have a course called Sold Out Sales Pages and each module focuses on mastering a sales page for a different type of product.

You can also organize your course based on different tips. My course Your First Paying Clients offers different strategies to get clients. 

If you want to learn more, I talk more about organizing your course here: 

3. Offer coaching as part of your course 

There’s a simple step you can take to command both higher rates and sell your course more easily when you’re first starting out. 

And that’s to sell a group program.

A group program is a self-study course with more personalized support. If you’ve been coaching or consulting before, you’d take that coaching offer, turn it into a course, and add on coaching in a group setting. 

But why should you start by offering a group program? 

Simply put, group programs are easier to sell because your students get that extra support. They also offer faster results (thanks to the support). 

And you can ask for a higher price than if you sell just a self-study course on its own. Personalized support has a higher perceived value and so more people are likely to be happy to pay for that support.

So for instance, if you’d priced your first self-study course at $497, you can price your group program at $1,997. Which means faster profits for you—profits you can use to grow your course business even faster. 

Your students will likely get a more premium experience and you will simultaneously learn how to create a course. Win-win!

In this short video, I show you how to offer more support as part of your course: 

4. Offer payment plans 

Finally, a great way to make your course more accessible is to offer payment plans. For a $497 course, you might do 6 payments of $97 and for a $1,997 course, your payment plan might be 12 payments of $199. Then, you charge your client every month. 

How to price different types of online courses

By now, you know how to price your self-study online course. But how do you price other types of courses? 

Here are different types of courses and how to price them. 

Free courses

A free course is typically used to generate leads or to promote a course or a product. For example, if you want to show people how effective your courses are and build trust, you could offer a small, free course to either build your email list or get people interested in your products.

Subscriptions 

A subscription or membership program is a course people sign up for and then they have access to the course material until they unsubscribe from it. Usually, subscriptions also have a moderated community of some sort and new material is dropped regularly to keep people incentivized to continue their membership.

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Subscription prices typically range from around $10 to $100 a month. 

Hybrid course or group coaching 

The last option is hybrid courses or group coaching, AKA you offer a self-study course with coaching or consulting. The hybrid part could also be another type of service, like reviewing people’s resumes. 

Your students typically meet in an online community hosted on Slack, a Facebook group, or Voxer.

Longer group programs ranging from 3 to 6 months can be sold for $1,000 to $10,000, depending on what you sell, your experience, and so on.  

How to know if your price is right 

You’ve gone through the process, you’ve figured out what results you offer, how your competition prices their courses, and what your audience is willing to pay.

But how do you know, for certain, that your pricing strategy is the right one? 

My advice? Don’t overthink your price. 

Pick one of the pricing options we talked about  ($47-$147 for a mini course, $197-$497 for a 4-6 week online course, $1,000-$3,000 for a flagship course). 

Then, start selling your course.

Now, online courses are seldom an overnight success. You might pour a lot of time into creating an online course… only to make one or two sales (if that). 

However, your pricing is probably not the issue. 

Look at other factors that impact course sales, including: 

  • Is this your first course launch? It’s perfectly normal to make just a few sales when you first launch your course. Remember, you’re creating an asset and you’ll continue to grow your course sales later on. 
  • Are you speaking to the right audience? Make sure that you reach the right people. For example, if you market your course on social media, look at the type of content you put out there to attract your clients. Does that content attract your ideal clients…or people who are looking for free information? 
  • Is your copy strong enough? Your copy and calls to action need to be clear, interesting, and packed with value for people to want to buy your course. 

Next steps

There you have it! Now you know how to price your online course.

What it comes down to is that you offer a transformation people want. With personalized support in place, you’ll be able to ask for an even higher rate and create a highly profitable course business.

The best place to start is to offer a course at a couple of hundred dollars and then increase the price as you build your course.

However, pricing your course is just one step of the course creation process.

Discover the top 3 reasons most courses fail

(plus how to fix them so you succeed)

I’ve taught hundreds of people how to start their own online course businesses. And I’ve built my own courses to multiple six and seven figures. 

There are a few things pretty much every new online course creator gets wrong – mistakes that could severely hurt their businesses.

Want to know what they are? 

Get my free PDF that reveals the three deadly mistakes new course creators make. 

Read more: 

How to Sell Online Courses 

How Long Does it Take to Create an Online Course? 

The Best Online Teaching Platforms

How to Name Your Online Course 

How to Create an Online Course Outline

About Luisa Zhou

Luisa Zhou has helped thousands of students build and scale their own profitable online Freedom Business. Fun Fact: She used to work as an engineer for the Space Station and holds a B.S.E. from Princeton. Click here to learn more about Luisa.

Hope you enjoy this blog post.

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