How to Use Pricing Tiers to Charge More for Your Online Course

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  • Online Business
  • Jun 09, 2017

With the growth of the Internet, many business opportunities have arisen for individuals who want to use their knowledge, talents and skills to make money.

One of the best ways to make money online is to create and sell an online course in a subject area you are knowledgeable or passionate about. By selling a course, you can create a handsome stream of passive income while teaching something you love to other people.

Example: Free diving course at Teachable (source).
Example: Blacksmithing course by Alec Steele (source).
Example: Watercolor painting course (source).

If you’re interested in creating and selling online courses, this post will show you exactly how to increase your revenue by using a tiered pricing system that will allow your students to pay more for course bonuses and extras.

Here are the five simple strategies you can use to add value to your course and upsell your students:

1. Create Content Upgrades

When your students pay the basic price of your course, they should get access to all of the materials you have created for that course. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t create additional content and offer it as an upgrade for an extra fee.

One of the best ways to offer a content upgrade is to create a worksheet or workbook that will accompany your course and let students practice what they are learning.

Say, for example, you were teaching a course in a foreign language. You might create a vocabulary and grammar practice book that would give students the opportunity to put what they learn to use as they go through your course. This kind of accompanying practice work will usually add $25-50 to the value of your online course.

If you plan to teach online, another way to do content upgrades is to build an advanced set of course lectures beyond the normal course. This kind of masterclass approach can be a great way to retain students once they have completed your introductory course. Because the content will be more advanced, it is also reasonable for you to charge more for it. A well-constructed set of masterclass lessons can add $100 or more to your course’s price.

2. Host Live Q&As

When people take an online course, they’re sure to have questions about the material. A great way to make extra money is to host live question and answer sessions to answer these questions. Students can then gain access to your expertise and get personalized answers to the questions they’ve thought of. You should try to host these sessions frequently in order to make them easier for students to fit into their schedules.

If you host long Q&A sessions regularly and place no limit on how many of them any student can get into, you can charge up to a few hundred dollars extra for this kind of personal help. If you’re only going to do them occasionally, however, you should price this upgrade more modestly.

3. Offer Consulting

Depending on what you plan to teach online, some of your students may be willing to pay a considerable fee to have one-on-one consulting sessions with you. These sessions can be personalized training times, or they can be used by you to evaluate how your students are doing and design custom learning plans for them to pursue during the next week or month.

The amount you will be able to charge for this kind of consultation depends largely on how long and how often the sessions will be. Keep in mind, however, that you will be trading your time away for money when you are consulting, so make sure that the extra fee you charge for consultations in your course’s tiered pricing structure will give you whatever hourly rate you think your time is worth.

In some cases, one-on-one consulting can add several hundred dollars to the basic price of a course.

4. Create a Private Community

One of the best ways for your students to learn and grow with your course is through being able to interact not only with you, but also with each other. You can facilitate this kind of interaction by creating an online community specifically for people who are enrolled in your course and who have paid an upgrade charge to gain access to it.

Many course creators choose to use closed or secret Facebook groups, as they can easily control who gets in and participates in the student interactions. Other creators will choose to host a private forum.

If you plan to upsell your students with a private community, it’s important that you be personally active in that community. Log in, answer questions and give useful advice or information as often as you can, as these activities will increase the value of the group.

Generally, access to a private community can reasonably add $50-100 to the base price of your course. The good news, however, is that it is very easy to set such a community up, and increased membership won’t increase the amount of time you spend interacting with the community too much. In this sense, adding a group upsell is a very scalable way to make extra money from your course.

5. Provide Weekly Office Hours

An idea you can pair with your live Q&A sessions and your private group is to schedule weekly office hours where students know you will be online in your group to answer their questions. Though this kind of format isn’t conducive to providing long, detailed answers to complex questions, it’s a great way for you to give your students some extra guidance and advice.

If you add such weekly office hours to your course, you can charge roughly $100 more than you would for the course materials on their own.

Your Turn

If you want to teach online, you can easily increase your income by creating a tiered pricing model offering each of these extra features individually. If you like, you can also create an all-inclusive package that offers all of the upgrades at a discounted price, which is a great way to give your students a better value for spending a larger amount of money with you.

Whatever you do, be sure that you start with a great course and provide real value with your additional upgrades. If you do, you’ll find that students will be more inclined to review your course positively, which in turn can help you make more sales by providing social proof for your educational materials.

About the Author: Eduardo Yi

Eduardo Yi is the lead content marketer at Teachable, a leading online teaching platform that allows everyone, from creative individuals to established organizations, to easily create, sell, and manage their own professional online courses.

Article by Guest Poster

This article was written by a guest contributor. The author’s views below are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of WHSR.

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