Hi Karryn, My thought would be to browse around at what other people in related areas are charging, and also what their courses consist of. This isn’t your final answer, but it can show you what your target audience is used to so you can start to narrow that down. If most courses about permaculture businesses are running under $200 and are only a few sessions, you may find it hard to get traction with a course that’s 12 weeks long and costs $1200 Even so, as Bradley and Andy say, this is not an easy thing to sort out.
I’ve been taking online art classes over the past two years, partly just to see what’s out there, how people organize and pace their classes, and how much they charge. They can range from $50-100 for a very small focussed class, say 2-4 hours creating one project, up to hundreds of dollars for a course that runs for 6 weeks and involves recorded downloadable videos, pdf files and live webinar sessions or coaching. But there’s a ceiling on how much people are prepared to pay for an online art class.
One of the most successful classes I know of is not expensive at all for what you get, 80 pounds sterling for a year’s worth of weekly lessons, but it makes up for it in volume of students, and in cross-promotion amongst the more than 20 instructors. They all advertise on one another’s websites, and they all have e-courses, retreats, workshops, books and other products that sell to the students who’ve signed up for this one class, which acts like a central hub for a network of artists and art teachers. The organizer will gross over a quarter of a million pounds sterling for this class alone this year. It’s a lot of work for her and she has lots of expenses, I’m sure, but it also acts as a “loss leader” that gets people into the network. And she knows her market very well by now. Her students quickly become one big happy puppy pile of mutual love and encouragement, as well as satisfied with the work we do in the class.
And just as we’re learning in the Great E-course Adventure, it’s all about the transformation, not about the overt content. She has students in this class who’ve been with it since 2012 and also taken her other single classes or courses, or branched out to other teachers. She’s developed tremendous loyalty. So it’s all about how these classes are making people feel, about themselves and their creative ability, and that’s her brand and her message.
So there are lots of approaches that seem to work, and many factors that play into how you set up your business and how you set your pricing.