Why You Need Pricing Tiers For Your Online Course (& How To Set Them Up)

As you make the shift from an offline business to an online entrepreneur, learning to set up enticing digital offers is essential. Pricing tiers are one of the best ways to successfully launch and scale your business online!

There’s a big difference between generating incredible revenue and building a sustainable, profitable business. The amount of time you spend generating that revenue matters! As you start building out online course offerings, you need to consider ways to maximize profitability and optimize for sustainable growth. 

Pricing tiers offer you a profit path focused on working less and earning more. 

Why You Need Pricing Tiers For Your Online Course (& How To Set Them Up) | Destinee Berman

What Are Pricing Tiers? 

With pricing tiers, you create more than one offer inside of your digital business model. Now, the key to successfully implementing multiple pricing tiers is to simplify and focus on different segments of your ideal audience. 

First, you’ll develop one core program. This program or course will be your online specialty and what you’re known for. A core program encompasses your unique strengths and translates your approach, method, and story to a digital landscape. 

This is powerful because, unlike in-person education, you can reach an unlimited number of people in your ideal audience. If you’re wondering what your specialty is, consider your work experience, career epiphanies, and any unique strategies you’ve developed over time. 

Once you develop your core program, it’s time to extract an entry-level offering. This usually looks like a self-study program or an abridged version of your core program. 

When you do this, you’re taking one program and letting it speak to two different segments of your target audience. 

You’ll need to clearly define which segment of your audience each version of the program is for. Just remember that both versions of this program are built from your core specialty offer! 

If you’d like to get even more specific, you can add a third layer to your pricing tiers. This level will go a bit beyond your core program to be more advanced, and could include professional development or a certification. 

Benefits of Pricing Tiers

Pricing tiers allow you to earn more conversions initially with that entry-level offer. But they also skyrocket your profitability by allowing you to move your audience into the higher-priced tiers over time. And marketing to a warm, previously-converted audience is so much easier than landing new leads. 

As you build these layers of education into your online course model, you’re able to create community and profitability all at once. 

The way you structure your offerings for different pricing tiers is up to you. For example, you could set up tiers like this: an entry-level pre-recorded video workshop series, a core offer of a multi-week course, and a third higher level of individual coaching support. 

One of the best parts of multiple pricing tiers is that you’ll actually sell more of your target core program. Having a higher- and lower-level investment helps center people’s attention on that core program as the most valuable. 

Why Are Pricing Tiers Important? 

With pricing tiers, you are able to turn one program into multiple offers, allowing you to reach higher and lower segments of your target audience. Even better, you’re able to continue working with the same clients across different layers of your program. 

Basically, you’re giving your clients a real reason to continue working with you. Once they take advantage of one level of your offer, they’re able to build upon those skills, go deeper, and even become part of a community. This is the key to increasing your business’s profitability!

You don’t have to increase your marketing costs to acquire new leads. Having pricing tiers will allow you to boost your revenue by offering a deeper experience to your existing audience. This is a recipe for success and profitability. If you’re getting ready to shift your offline business to an online model, pricing tiers will set you apart and make the shift so much easier! 

Related: Why You Need Multiple Offers For Your Online Course & How To Set Them Up

How To Evaluate Your Offers And Create Pricing Tiers

Let’s talk about evaluating your offers to strategically plan your online course pricing tiers for the first time. 

If you’re creating online offers from currently existing offline offers, consider these questions: 

  • Where have you earned the most revenue? 
  • What has worked the best in your business? 
  • What are people willing to pay more for? 

These questions help you affirm a market need and understand what’s worked so far with your existing customers. When you’re ready to translate those answers into an online business model, think about what you’re most passionate about and what works the best. 

What are you hoping to be known for in a digital space? What types of questions do you consistently answer, and how can you build those into your core program?

Then, it’s time to identify the needs of your ideal audience—both implicit needs and explicit needs. These will inform the way you meet these various needs across your pricing tiers. 

Now, if you’ve never shared your expertise in-person or online, don’t worry. There are three main questions you can ask yourself to guide the pricing tiers you establish for your core offer: 

  • What are you being called to teach based on your experience? 
  • What results have you achieved for yourself that you’re ready to help others attain?
  • If you could pick your dream client or student to teach, who do you imagine it being and why? 

These questions will help you gain clarity, especially when shifting to an online course model when you’ve never worked with clients before. 

4 Steps To Implement Tiered Pricing Right Now

Creating pricing tiers for your online business doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are the steps you can take right now (after evaluating your offer with the questions above) to build pricing tiers. 

Consider Features Of Your Core Program and Additional Tiers

The most important factor in creating effective pricing tiers is to focus on your core program. This main offering is like the bread-and-butter of your new online business model. On the other hand, additional pricing tiers are like toppings on a sundae—they add something special, but only for the right people. 

To create layers of pricing around your core program, make sure you know exactly what your core program is! Then, you can consider higher or lower value for access to you and your team, self-paced programs, bonuses, advanced training, and other elements. 

Think About How You’ll Creatively Package Each Tier

Your pricing tiers shouldn’t create more work for you. Of course, it’s going to take a little extra time to set them up effectively. But once they’re ready to go, you’ll be able to maximize profitability while saving time and money. 

Think about how you can package up your pricing tiers in an enticing way. Remember, pricing tiers for online courses are all about shaping perceived value

How can you adjust what’s offered inside each package—and how you market them—to reflect that unique segment of your audience and their needs? 

Set Prices For Each Tier

When you’re first shifting to an online business model, there’s so much confusion about setting your prices. Know this: even if you’re new to online courses, you have years of knowledge and experience that make you an asset. 

Even more important, know that it’s okay to not get your pricing perfect the first time. You can always adjust your pricing as needed based on how your offers perform. 

One solution that may work for you is to figure out the ideal price for your core offering, and then raise and lower that amount to reflect the variations in your pricing tiers. 

Launch Each Tier, Evaluate, and Adjust As Needed

Once you’ve taken the time to really understand what pricing tiers will be best for your audience, it’s time to launch them! 

Building a successful launch strategy is a key part of your online course success. And when it comes to pricing tiers, there are nuances to setting up a launch strategy that works. You don’t have to do it on your own. I’ve helped hundreds of students learn to translate their expertise to an online course model with less stress and more profitability. 

It’s also important to re-evaluate your pricing tiers regularly (at least once per year) to make sure everything is running smoothly. You can even adjust your pricing to reflect amazing sales and continue to drive revenue up in your business. 

Pricing tiers are one of the best ways to boost your profitability and experience success when building online course offerings. 

Taking your core offer and transforming it into multiple layers lets you connect with the right segments of your audience in ways that fulfill their needs, all while boosting perceived value and driving revenue. 

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