You’re hearing it here first: in 2015, I plan to raise the price of my Community membership. Possibly doubling it.
Why? Right now the price is $19/mo. This is what I set the price at in December of 2013. Back then it only had a forum.
- We added a live chat.
- We started live streaming the podcast.
- We began holding monthly video hangouts.
- We live stream video shows multiple times a week.
- We have video archives of all the shows.
- There’s also a member-exclusive podcast with my friend Matt with valuable insight on investing.
- The Community has grown tremendously in membership over the past year—which means there’s even more people to connect with (at all times of day and timezones in the world).
Investing 5-Figures in a Chat System?
The value has increased significantly and is continuing to go up. We now have a mobile app, and—you’re hearing it here first, but behind the scenes, we’ve been working on a completely custom chat system that’s built—from the ground up to be tailored to the needs of the Community.
It’s a hybrid of real-time chat and long-time archivable discussion. See, we found that once we added a chat for the live stream, people started using it all the time. They started using it as a sort of digital water cooler—a place to connect with people all around the world who are also trying to make a living doing what they love. At any given time now, there’s regularly a dozen people in the chat room.
We have forums, but people have gravitated to the chat because that’s where people are. This is where the discussions ended up happening—life-changing discussions! However, the chat plugin we were using isn’t so great. Not only does it have stability issues and tends to slow down when there are a lot of people, but it also has a limited backlog. After a few hundred messages, chat messages fall off, never to be seen or benefitted from again.
This new chat system we’re building has an infinite backlog, the ability to link to specific messages, favorite or save messages and branch selected messages into separate forum threads.
Of course it will integrate with a new and updated mobile app, and there’s a lot of other features on the roadmap, but we’re continually improving the Community experience and adding value.
I haven’t explicitly said this anywhere outside the Community before now, but I am investing in the mid-to-high 5-figures to have this chat system built. It’s a huge investment that will probably take years to recoup purely from memberships, but I’m not doing it for the money. I’m doing it to create a great experience for the members. I’m continuing to pour value into that place.
My goal with the Community is to create a place where entrepreneurs can connect with like-minded individuals and have awesome discussions.
If eventually it’s profitable and generating more than I’m putting into it, that’s cool. But I’m not doing it for the money, I’m doing it because I care about the Community I’ve brought together.
Why I’m Raising the Community Membership Price
With that said, I’m realizing that what we’re offering here is unprecedented and half as expensive as other places offering half as much value with less features and no mobile app or chat! $19/mo for this place is an insanely cheap. It’s ridiculous.
Where else can you go, at a moment’s notice, from your pocket and get answers in seconds to pressing questions about your business from people who have the right mindset? Note the importance of all of those things combined.
Getting Out of the “Expense” Category
The problem is, because it’s so low, it’s easily lumped in the expenses category rather than the investments category. When it’s $19, people see it as an something to be grouped with Netflix and other forms of entertainment.
But the value that’s in the Community and the things you learn and the conversations you have there are daily recouping your monthly investment. Every day, you get more than your money’s worth.
People are charging thousands more now based on things they’ve learned in the Community.
It’s worth way more than a Netflix subscription.
In fact, if someone doesn’t think it’s worth significantly more than Netflix, I don’t think this is the place for them. The price is doing that job of filtration, which the people inside are very thankful for.
It’s an investment in yourself. It’s an investment in your life and your career. What I’m realizing is by having the price so low, it’s seen as an expensive expense. When really, it’s should be seen as an insanely inexpensive investment.
By raising or even doubling the price, I’m actually positioning it to be seen as less expensive by the right people.
Saying No to Free Trials
I’ve been asked if I’ve considered free trials. No. I have absolutely zero interest in free trials. You want free content? Go listen to over 100 episodes of my podcast that I put out for free with absolutely no sponsors or ads. Go watch all the free video episodes at seanwes.tv. I give you so much free value, it’s crazy.
You see how much is here and you’ve been getting a ton out of it—it’s why you’re tuning in every single day. You don’t need any further convincing that what’s in the Community is valuable.
Free trials are for people who only care about numbers. They want to get more people in and they want as many people as possible. I have no interest in simply getting more people in. I have interest in getting the right people in.
On the note of wanting to reach the right people…
I told the members in the chat today that I’m planning to raise the price. Every single one of them supported it and said they’d pay more.
That says something.
My goal here is not to make more money. While I’m absolutely certain that doubling the price will not result in a 50% loss of members, even if I ended up making less money, that’s ok. What I want are the right kind of people who are serious and ready to invest in themselves and their career.
I want to keep the quality high and I want you to feel like you’re underpaying because you’re getting so much value. So even in raising the price, you can know that it will still be the case. That’s just how much value is there.
This place isn’t for anyone who thinks $19 is expensive when it comes to life and career changing experiences and advice. It’s an infinitesimally small investment in yourself. It’s less than I’ll spend tonight going to see the 3rd Hobbit movie with my wife, which according to the critic reviews, I will almost certainly regret.
If you’re hesitant about joining right now, I want you to recognize that hesitancy and realize how much of a positive thing it is. Because guess what? The people who are in the Community are the ones that experienced that same hesitancy and overcame it. Those are the kinds of people you’re going to find here: the serious ones. It filters out all the people with the kind of mindset you don’t want to be around.
Increased Revenue Without Discounting
When something is cheap, people will think of it as an expense and in return treat it as one, which then makes it one for them.
Don’t miss my point here: obviously you have to back it up with value. I’m not talking about inflating your prices arbitrarily. I’m talking about raising them to reflect their position as an investment.
If I sold my Learn Lettering Master Class for $29, people would think of it as a fun hobby. It’s not some fun hobby, and there’s immense business and technical value in there, but if the price is too low, people think of it as an expense or entertainment.
No one is going to think of a $299 course as entertainment. They think of it as an investment.
Everyone always says you need to create urgency and run discounts and sales to increase your revenue. I disagree. I don’t discount my prices—ever. Several months after launching Learn Lettering, after receiving dozens of emails from people telling me how immensely valuable the course was and freely offering that they would have in fact paid way more for the course, I decided to raise the price.
What most people do is they launch a course or a book, or a product, and after the initial launch spike in sales, they discount it. They run a promotion to milk some more sales and increase their revenue.
$25,000 in a Weekend Without Discounting
I did the opposite. I raised the price $50. I went from $249 to $299 and guess what? In that weekend alone, I made an additional $25,000 in revenue.
It’s a combination of perceived value and actual value to back it up.
You can’t do this arbitrarily. I did the hard work of making something extremely valuable up front, but you need both. If you only have a valuable product but you price it at too low price point, the perception is negative and works against you.
How I Sold Tons of Products With No Black Friday Sale
How do you make money as a business during the holidays? You run a sale right? Nope. I didn’t run any sales this holiday season. “But Sean, everyone runs sales!”
The only reason people do it is to get a boost in revenue. Businesses make a ton of money around the holidays because of commercialism + sales. All of this is at the expense of their brand perception.
I don’t need or want the money. I want the brand perception and I want to reward loyalty.
You buy from me early, you get the best deal.
How many businesses can say this? Guess what? By never discounting, I not only reward my loyal customers, but it comes back to me later. I’m rewarded for my long game mindset. Instead of trying to milk revenue for short term gain, I’m breeding trust. I’m teaching my audience that when I launch something, that is the time to buy, because it will never be cheaper. That is extremely powerful.
Are your customers itching to buy at full price the second you launch something, or have you trained them to wait for it to hit the inevitable discount bin?
Discount Bin Middle Finger Bin
Look at any other person launching anything. If they release a book, you can guarantee it will be in the discount bin or some bundle deal 3 months later.
You know what this is? It’s a big middle finger to your early adopters—the loyal customers who bought from you first! Are you rewarding loyalty or are you discouraging it? You can’t have both.
It’s the rich person version of Scarcity Mindset—except instead of “Take whatever you can get,” it’s “Sell whatever you can discount.”
Stop thinking in terms of short term revenue, and start thinking in terms of long-term brand perception and what that kind of leverage will mean for the future of your business.
My customers know that if they buy from me early, they get the best deal. Can you say the same? That means when I launch my next course, I will have people ready to buy the instant it comes out because they know I’m going to reward that kind of loyalty. I’m able to generate revenue and create urgency without ever discounting because people know that they’re going to get the best price by buying early and I’m never going to devalue my materials by discounting them later.
My Next Course: Value-Based Pricing
So maybe at this point you’re thinking that this is all pretty crazy, but you’re somewhat intrigued. You’re wondering, how you can price your services and not devalue your work? Well, I have good news: my next course is on Value-Based Pricing.
Value-Based Pricing is a premium course. It is something you pay for. Yes, I will be sending out exclusive materials, videos, and guides to people that sign up at ValueBasedPricing.com, but it is a course that’s going to be sold, and it’s a course that is going to help you make a lot more money by learning to price on value. So I just gave you a bunch of value for free in this video and no, I don’t mind selling to you now.
You heard me mention earlier that I’m raising the price of the Community. You’re hearing it here first. I don’t yet have a set time yet, but it will be happening in the first part of 2015, so if you’re on the fence, now is the time to lock in the lower price.
Lastly, if you just want something free. Sign up for the newsletter below, or Subscribe on YouTube. Every single week day, Monday through Friday, I have a new video here centered around helping you make a living with your passion. It costs you nothing and you get a ton of value.