Are you struggling to increase your enrollments and have no idea where to start? Maybe you’re creating tons of classes and opening multiple sessions, and you’re just not seeing the increases you’re hoping to achieve.
Have you ever thought about the cause?
It could be because your profile or class listings are missing a video introduction, your class description is too vague or missing keywords to attract the right audience, or it could be that you’re listing seasonal classes too late.
What if the reason that your enrollments are down is that you are undervaluing yourself?
Is it possible that to drive more traffic, you’re lowering your prices so low that families skip right over them because there is a negative reason they are so low?
In this article, we’re addressing 5 common misunderstandings educators have about offering low prices for classes. It’s time for you to get the price you deserve!
Misunderstanding 1: Low prices = more enrollments
According to Business News Daily, “cheaper isn’t always better,” and “low prices can backfire for retailers because consumers sometimes see low prices as a sign of a low-quality product.” That’s not a good thing!
While offering coupons and discounts makes sense for certain situations, offering your classes below market value lessens the perception of their worth. Of course, some families may only register for deeply discounted classes, but some families are looking for quality classes with an educator their learner can take classes with time and time again.
Instead of offering classes at rock-bottom prices, set the price at what you think it is worth. If someone needs a discount or you want to offer a coupon, that still leaves you wiggle room with the total payment for your time.
Misunderstanding 2: Only focusing on in-class time
Another misconception when setting your price is only thinking about what you do during the live class time. As you probably already know, this does not account for the hours you spend outside of class grading papers, reading essays, building materials, planning for upcoming meetings, or communicating with families. There is much more to running a successful online teaching business besides showing up for class.
When parents and learners see that you’re taking teaching seriously, they will too. Since families don’t see what happens in the background, consider making it a part of your class description so they know what they’re getting when registering for your class. Show why your classes offer learners an exceptional learning experience, like the example below. With some skin in the game, at a higher price point, you may see that learners are more prepared and parents are more involved.
Misunderstanding #3: Low prices are the only way to stay competitive
If you start comparing yourself to how others are pricing their classes, you’re bound to see listings that are significantly lower than your own. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right strategy for your online teaching business.
When you offer your classes at the same price as your competitors, assuming you are teaching the same curriculum to the same age group with the same amount of time, families have to use something besides the price to determine which class is a better fit for their learners.
That is why positioning your time and your classes as valuable to families sets you apart from others. Low prices are only one part of the puzzle. Families want to see that you’re offering an inclusive, interactive, and engaging class regardless of the price. To be competitive, take the time to think about what makes you stand out from the crowd.
One way to combat this argument is to look at the market rate. Doing so gives you talking points to help families understand why you’re listing specific rates. Check out these pricing recommendations using data from 8/1/2022 to 7/31/2023. Recommendation ranges are based on the prices of enrollments during the specified period.
Remember, you are selling the value of convenience when offering classes online. They do not have to drive anywhere or clean up their home. Instead, their learner logs onto the Outschool platform and heads straight into their online class. The benefit of learning from home or on the go is definitely a selling point!
Misunderstanding #4: More learners = more profit
Does having more learners in your class mean more money? Sometimes. However, looking at the numbers, you can see that is not always the case. Let’s say you set a goal to make $150 (before Outschool’s 30% fee) for each hour you teach on Outschool.
If you offer an hour-long class for $15 per learner, you could make $150 if 10 learners enrolled.
Now, if you increased your price to $25 per learner for an hour-long class, you would only need 6 learners to make $150. Any additional learners over that initial 6 would be above and beyond your goal.
When you include the time you’re spending outside of the classroom (see misunderstanding #2), you’re benefiting from having fewer learners in class and probably making the class experience more engaging as well.
When raising the price of your classes, consider lowering the amount of learners you allow per class. This does two things:
- Creates a sense of value – families perceive that with the smaller class size, you have more time to provide individualized attention.
- Creates a sense of urgency – families must sign up before all the spots are gone.
But don’t let families guess your goals! Like the pricing breakdown mentioned above, use the class description to express your reasons for having a smaller class size. Show off all of your credentials, certifications, and anything else that provides additional proof backing up why you offer high-cost, low educator-leaner ratios.
Misunderstanding #5: Increasing prices will lower enrollments
A common topic on the Facebook HUB, Outschool’s teacher community group, is understandably about the worries behind raising prices. The arguments include families not being able to afford a class to pricing themselves out of the market, but that’s just not true.
According to Outschool’s research (found in the Winter 2023 Educator Outlook), 40% of enrollments last fall fell within the $21 – $40 price per hour range. Not only that, but one study conducted by the Outschool team learned that enrollments for 1-on-1 classes in May 2023 occurred for classes priced between $45 – $70 per hour. Believe it or not, 1-on-1 classes priced below $45 per hour had a significant decrease in enrollments.
Set your prices so that you’re reaching families willing to pay a higher price, but give an option for those who cannot. In your educator profile or the class description, consider creating a note to families letting them know that you have options available to meet their needs.
Don’t forget that different states have different opportunities which allow learners to take higher-priced classes. Between charter school vouchers, ESAs, and homeschool credits, you may reach a whole new group of learners than before.
The important thing to remember is that families care about how much value you offer and can contribute to their learner’s experience. Focus on showcasing your strengths while clearing up any misconceptions, and you’ve got a game-winning plan.
For more insights on how to grow your online teaching business, be sure to check out Outschool’s Educator Library.