Welcome to my ongoing microlearning series on no-nonsense pricing strategies for your WordPress products (and, well, any product/service really).
I’ll teach you a common-sense approach to pricing and give you some pointers where you could learn more to apply to your needs.
It’s microlearning, so study a short, concise lesson packed tightly with actionable information and then do the “homework.” Don’t try to blast through every lesson.
Take it slow. There’s no rush. Bite-size, or maybe more like snack-size, lessons you can quickly learn from — but you also don’t want to forget.
Follow this pattern: read the lesson, do the homework. Wait a few days, read the lesson again. If you want, wait a couple of weeks and come back to read the lesson yet again.
This spaced repetition will help ensure you’ve got these concepts in mind and can use them the next time you’re getting ready to price your WordPress plugin, theme, courses/e-books, or any digital product/service.
Let’s get into this.
Lesson 1: What to Charge?
Here you’ll learn what pricing really boils down to.
Really, this is about pricing for anything. WordPress plugins, themes, shoes, or even a pack of gum.
While there are millions of dollars spent on researching pricing strategies and marketing… there’s one simple rule that stands the test of time.
And you know it already. Deep down you really do. It’s that simple. But for some reason, we tend to overthink this. But you shouldn’t. Instead, you should…
Charge the most others are willing to pay for your product.
Google digital product pricing strategies. Read and understand 3-5 or so concepts and really take them in. Don’t just breeze through them.
Then think “aren’t they really just fancy ways of charging the most others are willing to pay for my product?”
Lesson 1 Summary
Stop here. This lesson is over, but like all great micro-lessons, you should stop and come back in a few days and re-read this to help make it stick in memory — then move on to the next lesson.
Charging the most others are willing to pay is an important concept and I would hate for you to get caught up in trying way too hard to price your products with a convoluted methodology.
Lesson 2: What, Do You Think Everyone Pays the Same Price?
In the previous micro-lesson, we talked about how much to charge. You may recall I said, “charge the most others are willing to pay.”
This lesson is a natural progression that you may not have thought of.
Do you think everyone pays the same price for college?
Colleges have figured out how to charge just what the student (or their parents) can pay before they stop considering the school.
That could be full price for wealthy kids or a steep discount for those with less spending power.
Obviously the school would like to fill its classrooms with the full price paying students. But if there is space available and no more wealthy students interested in filling them — well…
The point is, the audience will determine how much they are willing to pay — and there is probably a range of prices within your audience.
Getting 90%, 75%, or even 50% of the revenue is better than none isn’t it?
Google “variable tuition.” I think it will open your eyes to ways of pricing your goods for your audience.
Try to figure out ways you could do this for your audience too. One easy way is something like a “15% discount on all our plugins for vets and active-duty military!“
Lesson 2 Summary
This lesson is done, come back in a few days to review it again so it stays fresh in mind. You don’t want this concept to go to waste.
This pricing strategy works wonders for digital goods like WordPress plugins, themes, courses, memberships — where there is little overhead beyond initially creating the product.
Lesson 3: Okay, So, What Should I Charge?
I don’t know. What, do you think I’m some kind of mind reading magician? I’d be filthy rich if I was.
What to charge is up to you. You know your audience (well, you should anyway). Imagine you were in their shoes and someone was offering you your product.
Would YOU buy it? Or, would you buy it at THAT price?
Don’t stop there.
If you answered no, figure out why you thought that. What was preventing you from paying that price? Did your product not “feel” worth the price?
Do the same if you answered yes. Why did you think you would pay for it? Does it feel like an incredible value? Does it solve a real problem and seem easy to implement?
Put yourself in your audience. Pick a persona, maybe “24-year old IT tech looking to create a side-hustle in WordPress.” Or a “36-year old nurse with an online writing hobby.”
Or better yet, go through several audience members. Put yourself in their shoes.
Would you buy your product at that price if you were them?
Lesson 3 Summary
This lesson is done. Just like all micro-lessons, come back in a few days to re-read and cement this in memory.
The key takeaway is don’t price in the dark. Putting yourself in your audience’s shoes is one way to take advantage of what you learned in lesson 1, use this lesson’s technique to find that price.
Lesson 4: Quality vs Cheap
In previous lessons you learned to charge the most others are willing to pay and maybe even vary the price if necessary.
But I can also hear you thinking… my product is worth so much more! It’s not cheap, I should be able to charge more.
To that there is only one thing to say.
Really the only reason you can’t charge more (yet) is you haven’t proven the value/reward of using your product/service to your audience.
A pack of gum is easy. It’s cheap, does what it says it’s going to do, and is available pretty much anywhere.
Your product is exclusively yours and nobody knows what it is, or what it will do for them.
And those that do, maybe they don’t know the extent to which it will help them.
Then again, if your product doesn’t solve a valuable problem/need/want/desire, then maybe you simply can’t charge more yet.
Convince your audience of your value. If you want to charge 2x what the industry charges, provide 4,5,10-X the value.
Remember in the last lesson… would YOU pay THAT for your own product?
Find the price even you’d pay if the roles were reversed and if you don’t like what you come up with — do something to improve and prove your product for your audience.
Look up some common premium WordPress plugins. Check out their prices. Do they feel too high, too low, or just right?
Don’t think like them, don’t be a developer/business owner. Be the audience member.
If you have already bought their products, why? Did you have any buyer’s remorse? Or did the value surprise you?
Lesson 4 Summary
This micro-lesson is over, come back in a few days to refresh your memory. The idea of proving your quality if very important.
Like in lesson 3, put yourself in your audience’s shoes and then figure out if your product is quality enough, aka valueable enough, to warrant the price you WANT to charge.
If not, you need to improve and prove it.
Lesson 5: Don’t Price Like an A-Hole
This is probably the most touchy-feely micro-lesson in this series. It’s based on perception, drama, arrogance and more.
To price like an A-hole means to arrogantly, or overconfidently, draw your line in the sand despite good feedback — and then ardently defend it.
No, I’m not saying that the customer is always right, but as Gary Vee would say “the market doesn’t care about your feelings.”
Don’t trap yourself into thinking your price is the price no matter what. And when you get feedback about your price, defend yourself with compassion.
Going the A-hole route might earn you some followers, but will probably cause more obstacles for you than it’s worth.
In other words, be the better person. Understand when maybe your price isn’t perfect yet.
Do a Google search for “arrogant pricing.” This may open your eyes a bit to some reviews customers are leaving publicly about products and services they feel aren’t priced right.
This is a perception exercise for you to realize this is a real thing to be concerned with. As you read the reviews imagine it was your product they were talking about.
Lesson 5 Summary
This is the end of this micro-lesson, come back in a few days and reread to help this set in and always be a reminder of what being a good person means in your pricing strategy.
Lesson 6: Stop Tricking People
Creating this micro lesson almost makes me mad. I shouldn’t have to say this.
Don’t trick people into buying your product.
That means using those stupid tactics like countdown timers and fake scarcity. Your digital product has no real time limit and there is no scarcity either.
It’s fake and it won’t help your business long-term — people feel shitty when they find out that’s what happened to them.
If your product can’t sell without implementing some tricky strategy then either your product doesn’t fit the market, or your price doesn’t fit the perceived value for your audience.
Which is a good thing to understand because you can fix it. But only when you realize that you actually do have something to fix.
Don’t band-aid over the problem with tricky sales tactics.
Google search forums for “tricked into buying.” Read the comments about people being tricked into buying things, and take to heart what it must feel like for them.
Imagine if this was your product they were writing about. How would that make you feel? What can you do to prevent it?
Lesson 6 Summary
This is the end of this micro-lesson come back in a few days and reread it to keep this concept fresh in memory.
Tricking people is no way to sell your product long-term. Instead, follow other principles to find the perfect value for the price you want to charge and that your audience will pay.
Lesson 7: Don’t Reverse Discount Recurring Fees
In this micro lesson we’re going to look at a pricing strategy that when used correctly is amazing but when used in reverse is super annoying.
Subscriptions, a.k.a. recurring fees, can be an exceptional pricing model for the right types of products and services.
churn, or people leaving the subscription, is probably the biggest worry for this type of pricing strategy. But there is a nice way to handle it.
Charge the normal price upfront and then automatically discount on the recurring fee — a good discount to like 30%.
This will give your customers the feeling that they are getting a better value over time by staying subscribed to your product or service.
This concept is easy to understand right? They pay the full price once and then enjoy your discount from then on for as long as they remain the customer.
Now imagine this in reverse. Receive a nice discount upfront and then get hit with full charges afterwards — probably after you’ve become accustomed to the product and enjoy using it.
Don’t reversed discount recurring fees like this.
It’s a terrible practice and one I see all too often. For example, a popular WordPress host does this and I constantly see people begging to move as soon as they realize it.
Don’t do this to people, it’s not very nice.
Google “Siteground renewal coming up move.” You’ll find stories of people looking to move away from Siteground hosting because the renewal fee is high compared to the initial on boarding fee.
Do you think this is an appropriate pricing strategy? Does it feel like they’re attempting to lock people in? And finally, would you appreciate it if this happened to you?
Lesson 7 Summary
This is the end of this micro-lesson come back in a few days and reread it to remind yourself not to use this shady tactic.
Do the opposite, offer a great discount on the recurring part of your pricing as a reward to loyal customers.
Lesson 8: Offer Something Special to Early Adopters
In this micro-lesson I’m going to cover something you’ve probably already thought of — or have participated in.
When you’re creating something new there’s a steep hurdle to cross.
Nobody knows about your cool new thing so it becomes your mission to spread the word far and wide.
That’s a lonely, arduous task to take on all by yourself. But there is a secret weapon to bring in others to help.
And those others who may purchase your product before most have even heard of it are called early adopters.
Creating early adopters is a magical mixture of word of mouth, love, and a sweet deal just for them.
Of course you still need a great product, but you can entice early adopters with an unbelievable deal in limited quantities.
The lifetime plan.
Danny from HeadLime recently pulled this off with fantastic success — offering 50 lifetime licenses for an amazingly-great-deal of $49.
The bottom line? Create an incredible deal, extra (actually valuable) bonus, or anything you can do for the first N early adopters to purchase your new product/service.
The early adopters will start sharing and helping you spread the word so it isn’t so lonely. You’ll grow faster and get a decent initial bump in revenue.
There is something to be concerned with, though. If your service requires on-going work, a single, low one-time price is likely out of the question. Instead, add an incredible bonus just for early adopters.
It doesn’t have to be a discount, but offer something enticing and valuable.
Go to ProductHunt and review the top new products.
Would you want to be an early adopter of any? Why? Do they have an incredible deal? Something that caused you to want it?
How can you replicate that in your products?
Lesson 8 Summary
Like every micro-lesson I close here, come back in a few days to refresh your memory on this topic. Early adopters are a vital tool in growing your new product quickly.
Don’t underestimate this but also be aware you don’t have to use a huge discount. There are other ways to add value. Think of something ultra-unique for your audience and you’ll win.
Lesson 9: Build Trust to Reach Your Price
In this micro-lesson, I want to go over something that may be weighing on you after reading all the other lessons.
Your personal quality meter and what your perceived value is. If the audience determines price then how do you prove your product/service is worth a higher price?
Think about it. Going into a transaction involves a certain amount of risk. Imagine things like this going through your potential customer’s mind:
- Does the product actually do what it says it will?
- Will I be able to use it or will setup be too hard?
- Is there help when I need it?
- What if it turns out not to be a fit for me?
Answers those, and any other questions you think may be lurking subconsciously in their mind — and build trust.
Based on what you learned throughout other lessons in this micro-learning series, think about some questions that may be hiding deep in your potential customer’s mind.
Write out the list. Then next to each one write out how you, or your product/service, can answer it before they even ask the question.
Think of ways you can alleviate the risk they feel.
Your product will feel so comfortable they’ll instinctively buy. No need to trick or coerce them into buying. They’ll trust you.
Lesson 9 Summary
This is the last micro-lesson, and just like all the others, come back later to reread and fresh your memory on this trust topic.
I think it’s easy to understand trust is important — in any relationship. But it’s often forgotten that a customer purchasing your products is like entering into a type of relationship.
One you must nurture to be massively successful.
I hope you enjoyed this micro-learning series as much as I enjoyed creating it. I can tell, this is the first of many to come.
Pricing is such a difficult process that you really don’t need to make it harder using crazy, complex, and convoluted tactics.
Just reach into your heart, put yourself into your potential customer’s shoes, and image what you would be willing to pay for your product/service.
Then take it up a notch.
Why would you pay it? Why wouldn’t you? How can you build trust? Be more transparent? Prove your product/service fits their needs?
That’s it for now, but if I think of more lessons to add, I’ll come back to add more.