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Today I'm answering a question from a listener wanting to increase the price of her offer in a market saturated with more affordable options. She is worried about the perception of this price increase given the outcome promises are similar to her competitors even though her offer promotes a different learning method. In this episode, I am sharing my strategy to overcome this objection.
– How highlighting the benefits of your approach versus the uniqueness of your offer is far more important
– Why focusing on social proof that praises your method can establish confidence in your offer
– The benefit of communicating value through increasing your price and reaching serious buyers
Have a question you’d like me to answer on the show? Write in with your question at https://stephtaylor.co/asksteph
In the last 12 months, we’re seeing some big shifts in the online world and with the cost of living going up, buyers are becoming more discerning about where they spend their money. That's the bad news. The good news is that this sort of opportunity to grow your business online course or group program, or membership, but the strategy behind how you sell your offers has never been more important.
As your business starts to grow, one of the big challenges that you might start to face is hiring, heaping, and leading your team members. So today's question is:
“Hi Step! My business helps finish learners acquire the real everyday finish in a natural way through listening. I launched my online course earlier this year and price it a bit higher than my direct competitors. I believe that the transformation my cost offers is more valuable than the current price. So my question is, how do I increase the price when now more affordable options available for potential students?
Just to know that my course uses a completely different learning method than my competitors. But we promise pretty much the same outcome and all target beginner slash intermediate-level students I've tried to highlight the uniqueness of my message in my marketing but with limited results. Thanks a lot.”
So first of all, I am a big fan of increasing your prices because I think that if you are charging more than your competitors, or you're charging more than you were before, you don't need as many students now to reach your income goals which means you have more time to spend improving the course content, interacting in the community if you have one, answering questions, etc.
It also means the students that you attract to your course program will be more serious than someone who is paying a low price to sign up for the cheapest option and they're going to maybe do the first lesson and then forget about it. There's someone who wants to learn someone who will take action you know they're not that person who's like, cool. And they get to use it for the first week of January and that's it. They're not that person.
Increasing your prices can also help you to stand out in the crowd. Now at a higher price point, you're not really competing with those that are cheaper, because some people, they're looking for the cheapest option but those are not your people. And not everyone will want to pay high prices, but that's okay. Fewer student is a good thing. Fewer but more serious students.
Now, if we think about an analogy, Toyota and Mercedes offer the same outcome. They arguably have the same message you know, you're climbing into a car and you're turning the engine on and you're driving away but it's a different experience. And when people aren't buying, it's usually not because your prices are too high. It's because they don't see the value in your offer or they don't understand why they need it. Or they have some questions or unaddressed hesitations about your offer. Those are the main reasons. It's not usually because your prices are too high.
So my big question for you to consider then is how are you differentiating from your competitors? Why should they choose you? And in your question, you mentioned that your course uses a different method of learning in a natural way through listening. But does your audience know why this is important? Do they know how it's going to get them better results? Or how maybe it gets some results faster? Maybe it helps them learn a broader vocabulary or maybe they retain the knowledge for longer. Whatever it is, your audience doesn't want to buy because your cost is unique they want to buy because they want results and they want their results faster or better, or easier.
So when you're marketing it, it's not about highlighting the uniqueness in your approach as much as it is about highlighting why your course is going to benefit them and why it's worth them paying more for your course than for the cheaper options out there in the market. Now, whenever someone is seeing any of your marketing, at the back of their mind, they are thinking what is in this to me?
Now if we think about Toyota, Mercedes doesn't say, Oh, we're different from Toyota and they also don't waste a lot of ad space, saying our engines are this kind of engineering and this size and this was power. No, they don't really. But they do focus their messaging on what their customers want. Status, luxury experience. Volvo does this really well like if you mentioned the name Volvo to anybody. Most people immediately associate that with safety. Then not for everybody but for the people who prioritise safety. So somebody who is thinking, you know, I want a car that is safe. And they see an ad for Volvo straightaway. They will be like, Oh, that's what's in it for me. That's for me.
So with your marketing, remember, why should somebody want your course? It's not going to be for everybody. We don't want to be for everybody but for the right people. What’s in your method for them?
Something else to consider when you want to charge a higher price point than your competitors is social proof. And it's okay if you don't have any testimonials for your course yet as long as you have some kind of proven results, some kind of social proof from your method. Because what you are really selling someone on here is your method. Yes, you're selling a course. But of course, it's just a vehicle fuel method. Working with you one on one might be another vehicle for your method.
So if you've worked with clients one on one using that same method, the ideal social proof here would be then them talking about how your method benefited them. Maybe you've had somebody who has tried other approaches to learning Finnish before and then they tried your approach and they got results in an easier way or they got results faster. Or they actually managed to learn the language when previously they struggled. That is the kind of social proof that they want.
Yes, we could have somebody saying as a testimonial that this is a beautifully structured course and the lessons are so easy to follow and it covers everything. But that's not selling your method. And we're really trying to convince somebody of your method here.
Now, another final thought for you is, I think increasing your prices is a great opportunity for you to communicate the value of what you do. For example, whenever I have put my prices up, I've always used it as an opportunity to share some content or share a story about why I decided to charge when I did this with my launch strategy intensive last year. I talked about why I thought I was undercharging and that was because my clients kept coming back, saying this is so much value and now we're getting great results.
So this indicated to me that I was undercharging, I was undervalued in what I can deliver. And with yours, this could be an opportunity to explain the value implemented to talk about the results you've helped your students to achieve. And to talk about how you only want to attract serious students. You're not interested in attracting people who just want the cheapest option. You're the option for those who are serious about learning, and they're serious about learning it in a natural way.
So there you have it. A couple of different things to consider. But I am in general a very big fan of increasing your pricing. I don't think about that as a collective. I don't think we value what we sell as much as we should. I think we tend more to underprice than overprice and obviously yes there are some exceptions to that. But I think generally if you're the kind of person who's questioning whether you can deliver enough value for your price, I think that's probably a sign of the kind of person who's overcharging.
So, increasing your prices is great, but you need to really focus on what your method is, what your uniqueness means for the person who's going to sign up, and why they should value that including some social proof. It's really important when you're charging that higher price point than everybody else, and then use that price increase as an opportunity to communicate the value.
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