How to Sell Your Course…When Your Audience Doesn’t Have the Money

The drive to become an entrepreneur is often derived from a deep passion to serve people. So many of us serve audiences who include people who are starting with limited resources, and we want to help them achieve something big.

For example, if you’re a career coach who really wants to serve first generation college applicants or a health coach who wants to offer her services to people who desperately need help but don’t have the budget.

When your intended audience has limited resources, it’s common to worry about your own profit potential, since your ideal offer may not be a feasible investment for the audience you wish to serve.

It brings up the conundrum… is it viable to even serve this audience that you’re passionate about serving, if they are unlikely to have the resources to buy your online course?

We often work with course creators who share with us: “I really don’t want to make my course cost prohibitive.” We totally get it. Most people dream of helping people that are starting out from places of scarcity, limited resources, and even post-traumatic experiences.

Over the years, we have helped our clients achieve their dreams to serve by helping them develop different strategies to get their offers out into the world, even if their audience has a limited budget.

Read on to learn how you can serve the people who most need your help AND create a profitable business that enables the life you dream of.

Partner With Like-Minded Organizations and Associations

There are many audiences out there that lack the financial resources to invest in an outcome they really need.

This is becoming more common as we face recession, inflation, and other economic hardships. Partnering with non-profit organizations (or other associations or groups) who already serve your people can be a powerful way to make your course accessible.

You would partner with the organization to provide your program for their constituents or clients. This can mean allocating a certain number of enrollments to the organization for them to share or partnering with them on a time-based basis (for example, per year).

The organization would purchase access to your course and distribute it themselves.

Who this approach works well for: Those seeking mental health resources, courses that support teachers, courses that help navigate a health issue.

What to think about: Working with an organization is very similar to selling to corporations. The key is to package the value of what you do and how you can help warp speed the transformation for their people. Engaging just ONE organization could help you support thousands of your ideal students.

Offer Tiered Options for Every Budget

Often, the more you’re personally involved in the course, the higher the price point. When you’re working with a group that may have limited funds, offer options that allow them to start with a lower investment that might be more self-paced or self-study style.

Example: Interview coach for new grads
Option 1: Self-paced introductory course – $97
Option 2: Intensive course including group coaching – $397
Option 3: Intensive course + group coaching + individual interview coaching session – $997

Who this approach works well for: Audiences who are new to a career path looking to grow; audiences that are age-restricted such as new grads or teens

What to think about: When you’re offering a lower-tiered offer as your first offer, it’s critical to make sure your audience knows about your next-level offers so they are encouraged to move more deeply into working with you once they are ready.

Start a Scholarship Opportunity

Scholarships are a great way to avoid pricing yourself out of profit in your business, all while still offering financial resources for segments of your audience that may not have the money to invest right away.

Examples of scholarships you can offer:

  • Full scholarship options
  • Partial scholarships (either a percentage or dollar amount)
  • Bonused value such as included coaching call time, etc.

What to think about: It is important to clearly explain who the scholarship opportunities are for (and who they are not for). Providing step-by-step instructions for the application process (including deadlines, non-negotiable items that must be completed, etc.) can help you and your team choose the best candidates.

Offer Location-Based Pricing

Most of our clients are in the United States, Canada, and UK. This means that they offer their courses in their respective currencies. If your program could help people in other countries where the exchange rate would be prohibitive, consider offering location-based pricing that adjusts the price of your course based on the student’s location.

Examples:

  • An American course creator offers special pricing for students living in Mexico
  • A Canadian course creator offers special pricing for students located in India

What to think about: The easiest way to implement this type of pricing strategy is to include a link on your sales page to a form that asks the potential participant where they live and any additional information you may need. You can then provide them with a special checkout page if they meet your criteria.

Buy One, Give One

The “buy one, give one” model was made popular by companies who create physical goods like socks, shoes, and glasses. You may have purchased socks from Bombas, who gives one pair of socks to a homeless person or Tom’s shoes, who provide shoes to those in need. 

How could you offer use the “buy one, give one” model in your business? Think about the causes that align with your course’s outcome.

For example, if you are a career coach, you might consider funding a year of schooling for an underserved community. If you’re a health coach, you could give a “healthy baby” bassinet filled with necessities for mothers and babies who need your help.

What to think about: The “buy one, give one” model works well because people can easily understand how their purchase is helping others. When you’re considering what you will be giving, it’s important to be specific so your students can understand what their purchase will be enabling. Once you have given the items, consider telling the stories of those you help to inspire your community.

Give a Percentage of Your Sales to a Cause

Lastly, if you want to provide help or assistance to a separate cause, you can always allocate a percentage of your sales to a cause that is important to you.

We do this in our Create 6-Figure Courses Virtual Bootcamp program by allocating a percentage of sales to MD Anderson Cancer Center in honor of our Founder, Jeanine.

What to think about: Are there any particular causes that are important in your industry or where you live? These are typically great candidates for giving programs.

Next Steps

When you’re strategizing the right price-point for an audience that may have limited resources, don’t feel pressured to price yourself out of profit. The mindset shift many of us have to work through is that generating revenue allows us all to serve in a sustained, impactful way. All the strategies we walked through above will support you in making an impact with your people, and generate the revenue you need to fund your mission.

Choose your strategy and report back to us! We would love to hear where you landed.

Ready to dive deeper into the course creation process? Our flagship program, Create 6-Figure Courses Virtual Bootcamp, walks you through how to determine your pricing and create your course content, from crafting your idea to enrolling your first students. Learn more by clicking here. 

4 thoughts on “How to Sell Your Course…When Your Audience Doesn’t Have the Money”

  1. I don’t want to take the entire bootcamp because I myself have designed a number of corporate
    training programs and have designed a signature course for zoom and would just like a consultation regarding it.

    Is it possible to have someone look at it and get feedback?

    Thank you,

    Virginia Russell

    Reply

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