How to Price a Fee-based Webinar

There is a hot debate raging about whether you can – or should – charge for webinars. The basic rule is this: If it is a marketing webinar, do not charge one penny. If it is an online training session and the webinar is the product, then you can charge for it.

In April 2011, I researched over 150 webinars offered in the first six months of 2011 in terms of their length and price. I found webinars ranging from free to $1200 USD per hour.

The highest priced webinars had a few characteristics in common. In general, they were aimed more at organizations than at individuals and they presented highly technical knowledge, such as regulations about tariffs and trades or critical updates and standards in the pharmaceutical industry.

At the time of writing this book, most webinars aimed at individuals were, on average, between $39 and $69 USD per hour. Some were less and some were more. The average though, was in that rage.

A number of factors affect the price of a webinar including: mandatory vs. subjective sessions, the subject matter, the audience for whom it is intended, and the experience and the quality of the presenter.

Mandatory vs. voluntary learning

If you are offering compliance training for an industry or sector and it is necessary for all employees to take your training, then it is likely that companies will pay higher fees for this type of training. Mandatory programs may need to include some formal evaluation or assessment.

Voluntary learning, interest courses or professional or personal development courses generally have a lower price point.

Subject matter

In general, the more technical or specialized the material, the more the training will cost. A webinar on how to market your widgets is simply not going to command the same price as how to do precision movie editing using a highly specialized software.

Unique topics add a sense of value. In general, people are willing to pay for what they value. There is a saying in training: You can either go broad or go deep, but not both. That means that you can offer a general, cursory overview without giving in-depth explanations. That’s going broad. Or you can pick a very specific topic and drill down into the details. That’s going deep. Generally for training courses, depth adds value. If you want people to pay for your webinars, offer sessions that are specific, with a laser-like focus on one topic. Drill down deep into the details.

Audience

Who are you presenting to? Generally, corporate audiences will have more dollars to spend than non-profit ones. Organizations who sponsor employees to attend virtual training seminars will have a larger budget to spend than an individual entrepreneur. You’ll want to think about your target market, and what price that market will bear, when you are developing the pricing strategy for your webinar.

The quality of the presenter

A well-known presenter is more likely to draw a crowd and add value to the session. Consider the presenter’s CREED:

Credentials

Reputation

Expertise

Experience

Dynamism

An excellent presenter will have all of these.

Participants’ time is part of their cost.

It is not only the cost of your webinar for your participants is their time. If someone gets paid $40/hour and they take an hour out of their day to attend your webinar, then that session has cost them a minimum of $40. What are they getting in return for their time?

If you charge money, for your webinars, understand that the actual cost to the participant is your fee, plus the time they take out of their day to be there. You need to ensure that they are getting top value for their bottom line.

Related post: How Much Should You Charge (or Pay) for a Webinar?

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