What to charge for on-line workshops

Imagine being a personal trainer at the start of lockdown.

Should you take your training sessions on-line? Would people pay for them? How much should you charge?

Then along comes Jo Wicks. The guy already has a huge on-line following and here he is offering free classes for kids and attracting millions of people who are in lockdown to his daily workouts.

When the most famous people in your industry suddenly decide to “help out” by offering free classes, what chance do you and your small business have of keeping even your most loyal fans?

And should you be “helping out” by offering free services too?

This was the dilemma faced by thousands of trainers, from yoga to guitar, from marketing to leadership skills.

Some things change and some things stay the same

A lot of small businesses offering B2C services switched to a pay what you can or pay what you like offering and they not only kept their loyal fans but a lot of those people carrried on paying.

Most B2B businesses in my network held their ground and many not only retained their existing clients but picked up new ones despite there being lots of cheap or free competition.

Why didn’t their clients go with the cheap or free options on offer?

It’s complicated.

The way people make decisions is messy — and it’s only getting messier.

A recent report from Google Search shows that over the years, search interest for “best” has far outpaced search interest for “cheap.”

People look for a wide range of information about a product or service, then weigh all the options.

What’s the value?

The price charged for a service based on knowledge has always been an indication of value.

You don’t pay a garden designer for the time it takes them to do a drawing with a planting scheme. You pay for the years of training and experience that gives them the knowledge to understand what works and what results their recommendations will have for years to come.

If you’re selling on-line training for yoga, business improvement or anything that needs you to have trained, practiced, gained experience and, most importantly, delivered value, then you should charge for it.

Take out the cost of a venue perhaps, but not much else.

Price is a perception of value.

Its one of the things people will use to make a decision about whether to buy from you.

Trust plays a huge part in buying decisions

People look for proof that they’re making a good decision:

  • How many testimonials does the seller have?
  • Do they know anyone who has bought from them?
  • Do they have the same needs?

Most celebrities have given up offering freebies now and guess what?

Because the technology has been proved, because people have got used to on-line classes and because there’s not much chance of going back to what we had before, everybody and their dog is now offering the same stuff to a worldwide audience – because location isn’t a consideration anymore.

The entry level is so low that it feels like a race to the bottom, so how do you compete?

Do you search for the best or cheapest?

One thing’s for sure, people don’t trust or value cheap or free.

If there’s no investment, there’s no commitment.

How you set the price depends on how you meet the needs of the people you want to buy from you.

It also depends on how much you value your own worth and what you’re selling.

If the value is much the same whether its delivered on-line or in person, then the price should reflect that.

Do you really want to work for people who don’t value you?

There are lots of posts on this blog about pricing so feel free to browse.

Two of the most useful in this context are:

How much should I charge? 

The Profit Triangle

– or give me a call to discuss your ideas!


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