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Pricing for purpose

Pricing for Purpose

The question I am asked most frequently is if I’ve found that people are willing to pay for access to an online community and my answer is always yes. How much? That depends on the host of the community, the members, and the problems that the community solves. 

In a previous post, I wrote about the importance of validating your community concept and provided some resources and tools. 

 

I asked the Find Calm Here Community question: How did you get validation for your online community? 

The answers were varied and I’m excited to share a few with you now. 

Jessica B: “I presented the concept at conferences and gained feedback from attendees.”

Kelly P.: I talked to my group coaching clients to ask them if they wanted to connect online.” 

 

Kristie S.: “I used to be the Ideal member in another community and know the experience I want to offer to my community members.” 

 

 Mary Elizabeth M.: I did interview existing clients and over the past two years our most successful offering has 80% retention.” 


There are just a few of the many other answers that community builders have shared with me about how they’ve validated their community concept. 

 

The biggest thing I see that many didn’t validate was the pricing because it can seem so intimidating when just starting out, to ask for money, I hear that a lot and have also felt this through the two years as a community builder and leader. 

Validating your community price

I was recently pointed to Alex Hormonzi’s framework course “Charge What It’s Worth” and learned a few basic lessons he shared with you here. Most entreprene urs look at the marketplace, compare the prices of their competitors, then offer more value for less money, leaving no room for the business to be profitable. 

On the other hand, increasing the price provides clients to “invest” because they have a financial perceived value of the service, and the provider can increase demand, and tell the prospective client how they are the best person to help them solve their problem. 

Pricing your business for profit will also increase your perceived value of “We are the best” and offers better results because you are able to dedicate more of your time to work with fewer people. 

In the book “Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine” Mike Michalowicz shares tips on making continuous actions to build momentous outcomes with a focus on making a business healthier instead of bigger. What I’ve found over the past two years as a consultant, is that when I am clear about who I want to work with, the pricing is no longer the beginning point with clients, it’s the afterthought, for them. 

When I speak to potential clients during a discovery call (you can book one for free here) I ask them a few simple questions; who do you bring together, why, and what do you do inside your online community? 

If they don’t know these answers, that is a starting point to discover a path forward and help them gain more clarity during a strategy session. It’s no longer about a “price” it is about how I can help them stop struggling with trying to do it alone. 

Giving someone a sounding board, and hiring an advisor, or coach can sound like logical steps for a lot of people. When considering an online community, there’s an extra level of value you are bringing, beyond your knowledge. 

In the past two years, we’ve all had our own personal challenges in life. What we haven’t had (for most people) is a place to share their challenges without feeling like a burden, without feeling guilty, or without feeling like they are just “complaining” about their challenges. An online community provides your ideal members a place to be seen, valued, and heard. This is a completely different approach than what social media offers, and it also gives them a place that is private (depending on your structure) so that they feel like they are able to be vulnerable. 

Okay, so what, you might say… are people actually paying for this? YES. 

Last year, a client I worked with raised his group coaching program from $2,000 to $4,000 a year. 

Since the beginning of this year, another client I worked with was able to launch a certification program in 2 months with my support and onboard members for her 10-week program and made over $20K working with less than 10 people. 

If you want more examples, check out this awesome tool put together by Mighty Networks based on the number of members compared to your social media followers that you’d be able to convert to an online community.

 “Where creators earn revenue based on views or brand deals based on follower count, we estimated amounts based on publicly shared averages per number of followers or 1,000 views.” 

Try the CALM Method for pricing your community offer.

The CALM Method has helped me over the course of my community-building journey. I’m going to break down the CALM Method of Clarity, Awareness, Learning, and Motion to help you find calm in the community-building process. You can view a detailed description of the CALM Method here

Finding calm has not been easy over the past two years. I’ve learned that adding layers, complexity, and/or several concepts can create more confusion than clarity. 

The fastest way to find calm in community building is to keep things simple. (Which isn’t easy) This framework became what is now called the CALM Method that I’ve developed and improved over the years to come up with the best way for me to help myself, clients, and community members in an easy way to find calm in the process of building, launching, and growing an online paid community. 

Key Takeaways from the Community Leaders Mini-Wellness Retreat

As an online community leader, it has been challenging to juggle personal and professional tasks over the past two years. 

Many leaders feel overwhelmed with building, launching, and growing. I’m one of them. 

In this episode of the Community Strategy Podcast, you’ll hear the recording wellness mini-retreat with community leaders and fellow Find Calm Here Community members who share tips, success stories, challenges, and how to avoid burnout and overwhelm as community professionals. 

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