How To Price eBooks, Online Courses and Lead Magnets
Whether you want some “passive income” or just to grow your list, creating online resources like courses and ebooks is becoming more and more common.
However once you’ve gone through the often laborious process of creating them, next comes the question “what should I charge?”
Often this is where the wheels fall off and all that hard work sits, languishing, on your harddrive or in the ether, never seeing the light of day (or serving the purpose you created it for in the first place!)
So let’s remove that blocker and talk through how to price ebooks, online courses and lead magnets.
Because it’s a hard one. Unlike traditional services, you don't spend time delivering this resource, so you can’t work out the price based on hours.
Instead you need a different method, and you have different aspect to consider.
Let’s check them out…
#1. Strategy - What’s the darn thing for?
Before we dive into the pricing mechanics the first thing you need to consider is the Purpose of the resource (your shiny new ebook, course, video series, whatever).
What do you ultimately want to achieve by launching this thing?
What action do you want the viewer to take once they’ve signed up or downloaded it?
Where does this fit in your sales funnel?
The answer to these questions will influence what you want or need to be charging.
For example, if you are primarily using this resource as a lead generator then you can afford to offer a lower price as the key thing you want here is volume. In this scenario you need to make sure you have either a strong CTA (Call To Action), or a robust Email Nurture Sequence, so your lead takes the next step in your funnel.
However if you need this resource to be a primary income earner for you, then low price is unlikely to get you there.
Have a think about what the purpose is and get clear on where this resource sits in your Sales Funnel.
#2. Marketing - How are you gonna market this thing?
Secondly you want to have a think about how you plan to get this resource out into the world.
By now you should be aware that just creating something, doesn’t mean people will find it!
You need to take action and get it out into the world and in front of the people who need it, time and time again.
This usually requires some kind of marketing strategy to be truly effective, however just sharing it regularly (without spamming!) on your social platforms and your list is a great start.
But what does this have to do with pricing?
Well if you plan to promote this resource using paid advertising then you need to do a little math to make sure you’re turning a profit (or at least covering your costs if this is simply a lead generator for you)
Let’s say you run a Facebook ad and it costs you $20 a lead (ie. a signup, download etc).
If you’re only selling your resource for $9.95 then you’re making a $10 loss. Now that might be fine if that lead goes on to become a client and you make $500, but if you’re wanting this to become an income earner then these numbers don’t work.
In contrast if you want this resource to generate you passive income, then you need to make sure you’re generating gross profit on every sale you make.
So if it costs you $20 per lead, and you’re charging $20, then you’re not actually making any money! Instead you’d want to ensure you’re charging at least $50 so you end up with $30 gross profit.
Remember, that $30 doesn’t all go to YOU. Part of it needs to go towards overheads (aka your ongoing business expenses) and if there’s money left over, you’ll also need to pay tax on it. That’s a lot of “bites” out of your money “pie”!
So making sure you’re charging enough, so there’s actually money (aka profit) left over for YOU is important.
This is where being clear on what the Purpose of this resource is FIRST is really important, as it helps you decide how much you’re prepared to spend in order to get a client.
Do a little bit of math and work out what your conversion rates are likely to be.
Then work backwards to what you need to be charging to either cover your costs (if this is purely for lead generation) or make a decent profit (if this is for “passive income”).
#3 Perception - Is it any good?
Another consideration is how your resource is perceived.
Too cheap and people will think it’s not very good.
In fact, sometimes a higher price can actually get you more sales, as people will view it as being more valuable.
Sell a 3-4 hour online course for $29 and people are going to struggle to believe it’s actually worth it.
Charge more like $200 and it’s suddenly feeling more believable.
Generally there are a number of standard price points that lead magnets, and ebooks sell for, check em out:
$17 / $29
$27 / $29
$47 / $49
$97 / $99
$147 / $149
$197 / $199
While you want to work out what’s the right pricing for you, this can be a good starting point.
Remember, what you charge impacts how it is perceived. So don’t undersell yourself
#4. Value - What will it help them to achieve?
Now, having considered all of the above you should have a clearer idea of whether you should be charging “cheap and cheerful” as a volume lead generator, or aiming for a more substantial price that indicates the value they’ll be receiving.
This brings us on to Value-Based Pricing. Value Based Pricing (VBP) is the most powerful of the 4 Key Pricing Methods and is a key method for Leveraged Services like ebooks and online courses.
You can learn more about Value-Based Pricing here.
However the key premise is that it’s not about how many hours it takes you to deliver, or what it costs to produce.
Instead it’s about the change you help your client to achieve, and how valuable that is to them.
Have a think about what someone will be able to achieve/feel/do after using this resource.
Then think about how valuable that achievement is to them.
Then you can put your pricing in context of that value, ie. does that person make a return on their investment?
Download this free Know Your Value Workbook to help you work it out.
#5. Experimentation - Pricing right is a journey
Remember, pricing right is a journey. And you don’t have to stick to the price you start with. You can put it up and you can bring it down. The awkward truth is no-one is really gonna notice except you!
So don’t let worrying about what you should be charging put you off getting it out there!
Work through the considerations above to get a rough starting point and then get it live and see what happens.
If you’re worried about underselling yourself and it being perceived as less valuable, check out this Launch Pricing Strategy which will take the worry out of your launch pricing and stop you from being undervalued.
As you can see, pricing Leveraged Services (aka ebooks, online courses and lead magnets) isn't a straight forward affair. Nor is there one easy answer.
Instead, there's a range of things you need to consider, and then you just need to get started and experiment.
However I hope what you have learned today will fast track your success - where that be to grow your list through lead generation, thereby increasing your sales conversion, or getting more money in your bank account by creating "passive income" that's actually profitable!
And if you need a little more support, then give me a call and we can work it out together.
Because you are worth it.