How to choose a Video Course Price

The course price is a key differentiator and one of the most important factors for selling your course successfully. At the same time, the “right” price is tremendously hard to find. As a creator, you want to put the price as high as possible, whereas students prefer the lowest possible price. So, how do you find the “sweet spot” for your video course? Let’s find out!

There’s no “correct” price

First of all, be aware that there is no “correct” price for your video course. As with any good or service, the price depends on the demand and can be any number between zero and infinity. That gives you the freedom to experiment with the price until you find your personal “sweet spot”. Everybody defines the “sweet spot” differently, but usually, it’s where the majority of interested students are willing to buy your course and you’re making a good profit with it.

Launch Price

Before you can launch your video course, you need to give it a price first. When you decide on this price, you have no sales data to work with and can’t “calculate” the right price. So, you need another set of indicators to find the right price. These are the four most important ones (as we believe):

Content Rarity

The first question to ask yourself is: How rare is the content of your video course?

Are the millions of other video courses out there that all talk about the same topic as your course? If yes, then you most likely won’t be able to ask for a high price because buyers can just buy a cheaper course and will learn the same. If not and your video course is the only course out there that teaches about a topic that people want to learn about, then you can certainly ask for a higher price.

Vitamins vs. Painkillers

The next question to ask yourself is: How critical is the content of your course?

In product strategy, one categorizes a product usually as a “vitamin” or “painkiller”. A vitamin is a nice-to-have product that solves a non-critical problem for the buyer, but the buyer would be fine without it. A painkiller solves a critical problem that would otherwise have a significant negative impact on the buyer.

When choosing your course price, you have to consider whether your course is a vitamin or a painkiller. Do you explain a topic that is critical for your students and that will give them a significant benefit in their lives? Or is it just a nice-to-know topic that piqued their interest, but isn’t life-changing?

The criticality of your course content combined with its rarity is a good indicator of a potential course price. If you teach something critical and your course is the only course out there, you can ask for a high price. But if your topic is not critical and there are plenty of courses about it out there, people likely won’t pay much for it.

Your Expertise

The next question to ask yourself: How experienced am I with the topic of the course?

People like to pay for expertise and expert opinions. If you’re an expert in your field, you can sell your knowledge and opinions for quite a hefty sum. Some experts offer 1:1s for $100,000 per hour and more. Yes, you read that right.

If you are an expert, the most important part of selling your course will be to prove your expertise. Make sure to include references to your qualifications, prior experience, and previously published content in your course description. Use official titles if you have them. Highlight your expertise in the promo videos and with every marketing effort. This establishes domain authority.

But if you are not an expert in the field your course covers, it’s not a problem either. People value expertise, but they value educated opinions too. This quote by Arvid Kahl nails it:

It’s not about presenting yourself as the foremost expert on whatever your niche is. It’s helping people find context where they lack it. […] People rarely look for truth […] But people do look for judgment, value assignment, and decision-making. Anything — and anyone — who can help them determine what’s useful to them in their circumstances will be considered someone worth following.

Podcast: The Bootstrapped Founder - Episode 285 - 6:30min

So, when you determine your initial course price, consider your expertise on the topic that you teach about and price it accordingly.

Domain Authority

The last question to ask yourself: Do people see me as an expert in the topic of the course?

This question is important for judging the value of your expertise. If you think that you’re an expert, but nobody knows you or accepts your expertise, it’s not worth much to say that you’re an expert. The most valuable combination is when you’re an expert and people see you as the expert on the course topic. This expertise plus public attribution is called domain authority.

You can gain domain authority by actively contributing to the discussion around a topic. Usually, experts with domain authority are great educators and publish valuable content for free about a given topic. They prove their expertise by the content they publish.

If you are an expert with a certain domain authority, you can price your video course in the domain much higher than somebody without the expertise or domain authority could. That’s why it’s valuable for indie creators to establish a certain expertise and domain authority before selling information products like video courses on the topic.

Price Suggestions

The factors above are all significant when you decide on your course price. The following numbers are just suggestions and should give you an indication of which pricing you could experiment with:

Ideally, you sell rare content about a critical topic on which you’re an expert with significant domain authority. Video courses in this rare category usually sell for between $500 and $5000 but also more.

Even if you’re no expert and have no or little domain authority, you can still sell your video course for a non-trivial amount. The most common prices for video courses on uncommon but “vitamin” topics that we have seen are between $99 and $249. This is the most common pricing category that we see in our courses and indie course directory. Our suggestion would be to start in this category if you’re unsure about which price to ask for.

Courses that cover painkiller topics can go up to $500, depending on the purchasing power of the potential customer base. If you have potential customers with deep pockets (or established businesses) and what you teach will potentially save them hundreds of thousands of dollars, you can easily ask for $500 (or more). But selling to these clients without being an expert will be tricky.

For non-experts without domain authority who create courses about common topics that are non-critical, video course prices usually lie between $20 and $99. Longer courses tend to sell for higher prices than short ones.

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