April 1, 2010

How Much Should the Empire Building Kit Cost?

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Greetings from Cape Verde, everyone. What a crazy trip it’s been. Over the weekend I’ll return to the U.S., visit Pittsburgh for their TedX event, and make it to Chicago for the beginning of Empire Building week.

One week from yesterday (yikes), I’ll launch my biggest business project of the year while riding the Amtrak rails home to Oregon. If you’re new to AONC or just want to catch up, check out these entries:

1. Recruitment of Case Studies
2. Synchronicity and Empire Building
3. Win a Free Copy “Ultimate Comment Edition” Post
4. Contest Results and a Comment on Comments

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This brings us to today. The EBK is almost finished (I’m doing a few more case study interviews from the road) and ready to launch out into the world. But first I thought I’d ask an important question… how much do you think it should it cost?

Yes, I really do want to know what you think. You can post your opinion here in the comments, and there’s no wrong answer—just say what’s on your mind and we’ll see what everyone has to say. But if you need more information about it, keep reading.

Where We’re Going

The big question when planning “the next step” for any community is to ask, what is the most natural progression? Where are we going, and how does this step fit into the overall mission?

In terms of the business side of things here, almost everything in the Unconventional Guides store is deliberately under-priced compared to the value it provides. We have a 28-day community group for $100 while plenty of other people in this field charge $150+ for one phone call. We have a Frequent Flyer guide that guarantees at least one free plane ticket for just $49. And so on.

This pricing model has served me well, but it has its skeptics. Every time I raise the price of something, it ends up selling more right away. Strange but true. In Austin recently, I was fortunate to receive business advice from all kinds of people I respect and trust. Every single one of them said: “Don’t underprice this thing! An Empire Building Kit shouldn’t be low-budget.”

(The eminent Copyblogger said to me in a roomful of people who all nodded their approval: “We love you, Chris, but you need to charge more for your stuff.”)

The Goal: Build Your Own Empire

First, here’s the goal: to help aspiring emperors build a successful lifestyle business in one year by doing at least one thing every day. I define lifestyle business as a project that produces at least $50,000 a year in net income with few (or zero) employees, doing something you love that other people are thrilled to pay for.

My preference is for online businesses that can be run from anywhere, since that’s what I do, but the case studies include all kinds of people doing all kinds of things.

There are two “killer apps” to this project. The first is the collection of no-holds-barred case studies, and the second is the step-by-step, one-year plan. Emperors will get the case studies right away, and the 365 steps, tips, and reminders in daily emails for an entire year.

A Chicken for Every Pot

I’ll have three options for the EBK—one on the budget side for people just getting started (“Emperor-in-Training”), one for experienced entrepreneurs who want to take their business to the next level (“Alexander the Great”) , and one in the middle that I think will serve most people the best (“Hail Caesar!”). None of them will be extremely expensive, but none will be cheap either.

All three empire-building options include:

  • Numerous (10+) case studies in a range of formats—video interviews, audio interviews, transcripts, and PDF compilations
  • A detailed overview of the lifestyle business. What it is? What should you know right from the beginning? How can you create your own empire like all of the case studies have done?
  • Additional instructional videos (with key lessons included in text form as well) dealing with specific topics or common questions

In each case study, I talk with the other entrepreneurs all about money—remember, these are people who make $50,000+ a year without employees and by doing something that they love. I ask them: “How did you make this happen? What was your best decision and your biggest mistake? What do you wish you had known when you were first getting started?” And so on. The focus of every conversation relates to this question: “How can other people do what you’ve done, in their own way?”

The middle and premium versions each include a number of materials related to product launches, including a 43-step checklist I use every time I produce a launch. The premium version takes the transparency further by providing a detailed breakdown of the entire Unconventional Guides business—exactly how much money comes in for each product, lessons learned from each launch, copies sold, challenges ahead, and so on.

Anyway, you can view a complete list of everything that’s included next week—for now, I just wanted you to have a good overview. And by the way, if it’s out of their price range, no one should feel any pressure whatsoever about buying the EBK. I’m thrilled that I can publish 90% of my work for free (like the 100 articles a year I post here) or for very low cost (like my upcoming print book, which will hit the stands this fall with a retail price of less than $15).

Wrap-Up

This probably isn’t the most strategic pre-launch message—I’m supposed to be telling you how amazing the EBK is and why you should buy it—but I decided it would be better to hear what people think about the pricing issue first. I’ll cover the rest of the pre-launch on Monday, as long as I get some time away from everything that’s going on in Chicago.

By the way, if you think that making money is outrageous and that I’m a bad person for doing so, then you can go ahead and tell me that here too. I know there are some people who feel that way, so let’s get this out of the way so we can all move on.

For everyone else, I’ll look forward to serving you, either through the Empire Building Kit, something else in the store, or (most important of all) through everything related to the non-profit side of AONC.

But First, the Question

After thinking about it for several weeks and getting input from everyone in Austin, I have a fairly good idea what the price of the EBK should be…. but I’d love to know what YOU think. Nothing is set in stone yet, so I’ll pay very close attention to your responses in making the final decision.

Don’t think about it too much, and don’t worry about giving the “right” answer.

How much should the Empire Building Kit cost? Feel free to provide a specific number, a range, or any general input on price and value.

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Update: Thanks for all the feedback! There is a huge range of views in the comments — it shows what a diverse crowd we have. I’ll be in Chicago tomorrow and getting ready for the launch on Wednesday.

Image: Olivcris

Comment on this article

112 Responses to “How Much Should the Empire Building Kit Cost?”

  1. April 1, 2010

    Tim Cooke

    $99 – $299, depending on the type of content (videos, action item worksheets = more) than just theoretical observations.

  2. I’m probably the worst person to ask but here’s my take. It’s interesting because I would subscribe for a whole year for up to $35 a month ($420 total) but I don’t think i could swing anything over $200 in a one shot deal (that’s just my gut reaction). But then again, I’m easily convinced and know what you put out would help me ten fold. If I have to save a little more and not get it immediately? I’d probably do that too.

  3. First of all, I hope you ignore anybody who says that you shouldn’t be making any money. How many of those people work for free? The only reason you (or anybody else) shouldn’t be making any money is if you aren’t providing any value. And you provide TONS of value.

    Assuming it is as good as it sounds, my recommendation is to charge $79 for the EBK. I think the price should be low enough, so you can sell a lot of copies. But it should be high enough, so people value the product. I think if you charge over $100, your sales might go down a lot since psychologically a three-digit number sounds like a lot more than a two-digit one. Maybe I’m wrong, but this is my gut feeling.

  4. As you’re deciding, here’s a question. Will there be one option that encompasses all three levels? Or will a person interested in the lowest level (Emperor in Training) buy this one and then possibly buy the next, eventually working their way up to their own Empire? If so, then it should be priced so that one could buy all three without going broke. Perhaps a discount on the second and third purchase would handle this issue, while a strong price for one product stays stable.
    Definitely show that you value your work in your prices.

  5. I think it’s easier to stomach $20/month subscription type payment than a lump $240 for the year. Most people trolling to find an alternative to how they’re making money now, usually (of course, not always) are a bit defensive about how their money is being spent.

    The whole thing is a risk, because your crowd is likely to be very eager to break out of the current existence, and has already tried in one way or another.

    Maybe you could provide two options? First a higher premium to be spread over the year (ex: $20/month) OR a lump sum payment that offers a discount (ex: $199). Good luck. You kick a lot of ass, and I’m a firm believer of getting paid for producing value — something you do well.

  6. I was going to start this off with a witty April Fools joke, but turns out I’m just not that witty in the morning.

    I have two reactions to this article. The first is that I’d be weary of anyone in my own industry telling me to charge more for my products.

    The second is that you should definitely charge more for your products. Everything you’ve produced has been extremely accessible to your audience, and I don’t think anything should change this time around, but for a YEAR of tips and instruction, I wouldn’t charge anything less than $200.

    I think the price needs to stretch people just a little so that people really take it seriously and it’s not just another product that sits on the hard drive unread. It seems like the target market for this project is a group that isn’t just dabbling, but dedicated to creating a lifestyle business for themselves. Combine that seriousness with the value of the EBK and I think it deserves a hefty price tag.

  7. April 1, 2010

    Denise Williams

    I have no experience with which to suggest a price, just this observation. I’ve only been reading your newsletter for a short time, but my impression is that you are about making your own way and not following the norm or accepted or advice of the masses. I’d stick with those instincts when considering the many who are advising that you don’t charge enough.

  8. I agree with Greg Blencoe’s thoughts. My initial thought is either $89 or $99. I like the cheaper option, however, and would be interested in an early-bird special or something along those lines.

  9. No matter the price you end up choosing, I expect you will be reasonable. As an aside, I am always so impressed how together you present and how easy you make an online business appear. I wish I had some more togetherness much of the time and a lot more organizational skills. I wish you much success for your launch.

  10. As £ has lost around 1/4th of value against $ in last year, it would definately need to be no more than $100, but agree with Greg, somewhere $80-100 feels right.

    p.s. not sure if you’re getting much sales from UK, or rest of Europe though.

  11. This is an interesting question. I think that you work has great value, especially as I own each product you have produced.

    When considering how much to charge, I would personally charge however much would make me begin to feel uncomfortable. You know that this product is worth $5. But how do you feel about $999? I would go by that.

    If it were me, I may charge $99, $149, & $199. Knowing how good your stuff is and the result people will get if they actually apply themselves perhaps you need to charge more so they will actually apply themselves to get their moneys worth. Thinking about that I would charge the prices I mentioned previously, but have them increase after 7 or 10 days to $147, $297, and $397 or something similar.

    For me as a customer this would help me to see the value, be motivated to really apply the ideas to get my money’s worth, and to act know to get the best deal for what is already a great deal! I am excited to this come out!

  12. April 1, 2010

    BarryMac

    I’d keep it under 80 dollars. A good price for an electronic delivered package.

    I’m a published author and for my troubles got 9% from my Publisher from my book price of 19 dollars – never again! Electronic downloads is the way to go but you need to set a balance between the benefits contained in the information vs cost of origination, marketing and delivery.

    I’m certain your information will be of great benefit, (I’ve already purchased previous packages from you), as is a lot of other information in paper and ink book format. Well done in getting it together, I look forward to buying a copy, providing of course it is a reasonable price.

    BarryMac

  13. I agree with Greg on the pricing for the exact same arguments. The trend that everything is becoming free is highly questionable and won’t happen 100%. There will always be people offering high quality insights that can’t be found for free. Research reports cost hundreds of dollars and I think you should aim for something similar as a product: offer charts and tables with a lot of data based on interviews, etc. They can answer what % of successful entrepreneurs: have quality X and Y, do X and Y, entered in a niche as opposed to a general market, entered in a very new market as opposed to established market, entered in a sector where they have at least 3 years experience, a “high” marketing/sales budget, etc.

    This data can make all the generally free tips and advice much more solid and calculable. An interesting company to have a look at is younoodle.com (?) which is a online software to analyse startup success based on the information that you put in. Hope this was useful, Good luck!

  14. I’m truly happy to know that you are in my motherland! Hope you enjoy Cape Verde!

  15. This is a fairly common challenge for a growing enterprise. You want to price your new product in a way that reflects the high value it delivers to buyers, but you don’t want to risk alienating/irritating your loyal base by setting the price out of reach. The folks who bought your first products at a lower price point got you to where you are, after all.

    So the solution is to do both. Launch the lowest one with an introductory offer well within reach for your loyal readers and customers. Make it $89 or $99 (maybe you have another price in mind) for a few weeks, then raise it to whatever you think you can sell it for. Those who buy in at the lower price point become part of your marketing team anyway, so you win twice when your early adopters drive future (higher-priced) sales.

    I wish you the very best with this new project. You’re really doing something great here, and I always look forward to reading your posts.

  16. April 1, 2010

    Jean-Christophe

    I’d say $79 for the emperor-in-training $99 for the Hail Ceasar and $129 for the Alexander the great. But that’s just me…

    I haven’t decided yet wether or not I will fork for it, but I definitely found the social web guide full of insights.

    Cheers,

    jcm

  17. Who won the 2 Kits?

  18. April 1, 2010

    Helene Chabot

    I am new to your blog and I hardly know anything about this. But reading what you are going to give people, my first thought was $365 for a year—that is only a $ a day. However, I agree with Amanda—-hard to put out that kind of money in a lump sum. I also think it is hard for you, as a business to make it a monthly thing. But I like her idea. I’ve never thought about building my own empire. But your e-mails make me wish I wanted to do it. I don’t have an idea in my head for anything I’d like to do. Maybe for beginners, it should be less than $365. I am not familiar with your work, although I think your e-mails are very professional and I keep reading them, so I like something about your work. I am past retirement age and would probaby give up my job, if I could come up with anything else I’d like to do. Gee, if I had an idea and bought the EBK, I could retire in a year and live happily ever after. If I had an idea, I’d pay the $365. Where is my idea?

  19. I love your offerings Chris and they’ve helped me a great deal already.

    One thing I would say is that people who are looking to build a business and make some money generally don’t have much money. So, I’d agree with the others here to keep the price affordable for the average Joe. On the other side of the coin, for the course to be successful for your readers they need to commit to it and how many of us have purchased a low cost product and let it gather dust on our hard drives?

    I’d pay anywhere up to $99 for this. Anymore than that I’d likely think: “I just can’t afford it. And buying information products is one thing that has got me into some of the debt I’m in which is creating the desire to live a life with more freedom”.

    Thanks for everything you DO that is offered for free. It is very much appreciated.

    Good luck with the launch.

    PS Most successful people listen to all the advice and then to the exact opposite! So, don’t forget to listen to your heart!

  20. If this kit really does what it says, and shows me how to take my idea and turn it in to an actual profitable business, then I think it’s worth a few hundred dollars. Maybe somewhere in the range of $200-$500? There’s a lot of valuable stuff there, plus the investment in the product is going to inspire me to really get to work.

  21. $97 is my 2 cents.

  22. Hmmm. I am “off” what others are saying as my immediate reaction was $189, $249, and $289. I actually believe your work is worth much more, Chris, as I’m looking at IMPACT received, not just the nuts and bolts of “how to.” What is the impact of the ‘how to’ here? We’re talking legacy and changing the world stuff, while supporting ourselves nicely doing what we love! Best to you from Austin :-)

  23. I like the $20/ month payment plan or an option of $199 lump sum payment.

  24. I would pay $150 for the EBK, but possibly not more. Also, I agree with what the commenter said about a “monthly rate,” even if it’s paid out all at once. It makes it seem less. Kind of like a magazine subscription. Also, it would be cool if there was a social networking aspect to this, even if on an existing platform–but one more substantive than Twitter.

  25. On the basis it’s a 365 day kit, I think you should charge monthly for my gut reaction is that you should charge around $25 per month. However you could be clever and charge $30.42 a month ($365 for the year).

    I think if i was buying it as a one off package then I’d probably pay no more than $79.

    Hope that helps.

  26. Wow, I’m surprised people are putting the lowest at under $100… My initial reaction was $200 or so for the lowest level. (The one that I’d be buying.)

    I’m excited to do the small biz forum, that was only $100 — HUGE bargain to me!! I was so sad to miss the first two groups and psyched to get a spot in the May one for the same price. :)

    I’m hoping that it’ll be no more than $300 for the lowest level, because I’d really like to be a part of this too. I’m willing to invest in myself, but I just don’t have a ton of funds available either.

  27. Seriously, despite this being an April 1st, something truly enabling anyone to build an empire of sorts should come with no discount. Promising the world is hard enough, if you intend to follow through, but offering a “nice price” isn’t really making the offer more appealing. To me, a discount would diminish value. Here is my suggestion: A serious sum that you can slice and dice over time and features but make sure that it can be felt as what it is: worth of empire building investment. Also, one more thing: One little finger from the cardholder. This creates community and implicitly guarantees that following through on the steps, parts, and whatever the kit consists of, is seen as an act of honor.

  28. I’m going to step away from what seems to be the general consensus so far and say Chris should be charging anywhere between $500-1000 (depending on the content step between levels). I would highly recommend having a payment plan (i.e. 3 payments of 1/3 cost per month for 3 months) and the same Money Back Guarantee used for 100Biz.

    Let’s look at it from an ROI perspective. Chris is talking about providing a daily action plan to create a $50K+/yr business doing something you love IN A YEAR. You get to learn from people who ARE currently doing this (not just theorizing). $1000 now for $50000 in a couple of years?

    Anyone who has read this blog or Chris’s other information products knows the level of quality and passion he puts in to everything he does. There is no reason to believe EBK will hold anything less.

    Is coming up with that sum of money a challenge for some people? Absolutely. Maybe I’m idealist but I believe ANYONE can find $1000 in their budget if they are dedicated enough.

  29. I have a weird algorithm for you; 0.5% of the first year earnings (50K) or 250.00.

    When a person joins a start-up, it’s traditional that they get options worth 0.5% of the company; this is your equity in those start-up empires.

  30. Hey, Chris. You wouldn’t sell a MacBook for the price of an iPod. While the goal of helping many is noble, your effort needs to be reflected by the commitment of the participant. The gauge is the price. If you want to help people, they have to want to help themselves.

    If you are delivering an email a day for a year, your level of effort should be rewarded. What’s you insight worth? A buck a day? At least that, if not more. People want guidance, so the email will be one of the most anticipated your participants will receive each day. And that’s only *part* of the package. C’mon. Sign me up twice. Right now.

    I also suggest you a/b test the payment options page by offering a) the option to pay a lump sum as primary and a more expensive monthly option, and b) the monthly option with a lump sum option. Certainly push the lump sum. The distance between initial payment and value received over time should be higher than a repetitive “what have you done for me this month, Chris?” attitude.

  31. $365. purely based on a year’s commitment and 365 steps, tips & daily emails. Thanks for tips & guidance.
    Good Luck! Have Fun!

  32. Charge what you are worth, Chris. People sell crap online for a lot more than $100. Making a living, and a comfortable one, is what we all aim to do. As long as you provide something of VALUE you should never feel bad or wrong for charging money. The age old question for us photogs is, how much should my services cost? We ALL have different answers depending several factors such as what we are able to provide in terms of level of expertise, the actual goods, and our cost for doing business, etc. There’s no right model for everyone. Some of us make $2K for a wedding that others charge $20K for. But the thing is WHAT we give the customer can vary with those dollars too. So, the simple answer is, figure out what your time and expertise is worth and weigh that against what you are offering. I’m sure it has great value, and you know exactly what that is. We believe in you and what you have to offer.

  33. I love this idea and have been getting excited anticipating the launch. I do hope that whatever you do you allow a monthly subscription. This will definitely help to make it much more affordable for me and I’m sure many others. As far as pricing, I agree with a range of about $80-$100 per month. Especially if the product will deliver action steps to build an empire daily. I also love the levels you include, this will definitely be a plus. I do have a question. How will this affect me if I’ve signed up for the $100 project for June? If this is affordable, will I be able to participate in both?

  34. Hi Chris,

    I’m very surprised at the low prices given here. Do people know how much work you’ve put into this? $79? $99? Are they kidding? That’s peanuts compared to the value you provide.

    This is not your regular $47 ebook, but an *Empire Building Kit*.

    You don’t have to prove yourself anymore by under-pricing your products. You’ve already proven yourself and the value you provide.

    Start at $499 minimum and go up from there. Let’s see who’s really serious about changing their lives.

    Karen

  35. You deserve to make money at this, because you offer a LOT of value! However, here’s what influences my buying decision and weighing whether it’s worth it:

    I’ve done a few of these video + ebook + consultation sessions. One that I paid for resulted in a consultation where I didn’t think the person I was speaking with was well-prepared–not having done ANY prep to find out info about me or what I’m trying to create. Some of our call time was used to go over things (for the consultant!) that a quick view of my website would’ve covered. Though I’d really prepared for the call, questions were fired at me really fast, I was cut off, interrupted, etc. So for me, I won’t pay a lot for e-books, but I will pay more for a package with a genuinely good consultation–and after that experience, I now want some way to know beforehand if the person I’m talking to has the same vision of what that looks like.

  36. I would suggest the subscription model only if you have additional bonuses such as a community for others to connect with. To offer a subscription to make the price manageable would devalue what you’re offering.

    Becoming an entrepreneurship is a choice we all make and purchasing the tools to help build an empire is an investment in our businesses and future. Go with what you think is fair value for your work. I’ve seen entrepreneurs with less knowledge than you charge thousands for their expertise.

  37. Ooh; huge emotional component for me in all this.

    You should charge more? Really? Is that because they think you don’t have enough spending money? Or perhaps they think fewer people should benefit from the EBK?

    “I believe ANYONE can find $1000 in their budget if they are dedicated enough.”

    Not true. Nuff said.

    The top level should be expensive. If you’re selling it to folks already successful, they’re spending money to save learning curve time. Investment, not expense.

    The middle ground is where you’ll have the most immediate impact. Price it so the most people benefit.

    The introductory product should be so cheap that

    a) folks who are beyond it will realise it and immediately move up to the next level, and
    b) folks who can’t even dream of $1,000 in their budget, even $100, would still think nothing of grabbing it, right now.

    For me, ‘b’ is $9. Nine US dollars. Charge me $10, and it’s on a waiting list to be saved up for, after things like food and rent.

  38. I like Stefanie Harvey’s idea. I can’t afford to give you $200 for it, but will gladly give you a 0.5% share of my business!!!

    Veni, Vidi, Vici
    -Mark

  39. I think the highest price should be $395, and it was my first thought too.
    Targeting a $500,000 brick & mortar business would cost much more!

    The other offers could be $99 and $299.

    I agree with the advice of allowing partial payment, let’s say quarterly.

    Best regards from France (and pardon for any mistake in my writing)

  40. Is the “lowest” training version for people who don’t even know what kind of business would work for them, or do I already have to have an idea in place? I have been following this conversation for a while now (and love your plan for train travel) but this is unclear to me.

  41. April 1, 2010

    Thomas Nelson

    A $50,000 annual cash stream costs in the neighborhood of a million dollars, assuming a long term interest rate of about 5%. Assuming that the Empire Builder him or herself does 99% of the work, and your kit contributes only 1% to his effors, any price below $10,000 is ‘fair.’ That being said, you could go overboard and divide it by 100 again and offer the mid priced kit around a hundred bucks (which is practically giving away your work, which is what you seem to like to do) for the middle of the product line and thrill your audience. From that, you just might grow a whole new crop of entrepreneurs! (Posted without reading the other comments so as not to bias myself — now I send it off and see how I compare. Have a spectacular day!)

  42. Chris, I’m signed up for your May $100 business forum and I’m working on a quarter-by-quarter plan for 2010 to get me closer to achieving the kind of lifestyle you’ve built for yourself (while I continue to work full-time). I don’t have a great deal of money to “play with,” but I’ve been reading you long enough to trust and truly admire you and what you’re building. That said, you are offering to give us your blueprint–all the inside details of how you do what you do–in addition to case studies of other successful, independent businesses. Who else offers to do that? If you asked us to invest $500 for your product, and 365 days later we’re running lifestyle businesses that make $50,000 a year, that’s an income 100 times greater than our investment. I’m on board with your efforts to change the world by getting information into lots of people’s hands quickly, but I also want you to earn an amount from this product that fairly rewards you for your substantial investment in it.

  43. You’re selling an “empire building kit”

    I.E. If people follow the steps they can build a new life for themselves.

    That said, if your product does what it says it does (and I’m sure it will, knowing you) you should reflect it’s worth.

    What’s a whole new life, doing what you love & making money while doing it worth to someone? You shouldn’t price it on what you think people would spend on it, you should price it on it’s actual value.

    That said. I would do something like $99, $250, & $500 price points, but I’m not sure how stratified the different versions are to make it feasible.

    If your product does what it says it does. Price isn’t an issue. The only thing a low price point will do will weed out the people who are just poking around and interested in buying, but not interested enough to implement.

    If I understand this right, it’s not just another unconventional guide book. That said, anything below $99 and you’re selling yourself short.

  44. I’m surprised people are pricing this so low. I’ve seen similar products (with lower quality) sell for $500-$3000.

    The EBK sounds equivalent to a business course + textbook. I would price it slightly lower because a course also has regular interactive sessions with the prof and graded feedback on your work. The lowest tier could be $100 up to maybe $150. The extra levels don’t add that much value *for me* so I would probably price at, say, $200-$250 for the middle and $300-$400 for the top tier.

    You can get away with charging more than $500 and many people will gladly pay for it, of course. The question is, what do *you* think the material is worth, especially compared to similar products or services.

    Also, after a certain price point people will require a lot more information before they’re willing to buy. You will need to spend more time on a sales page that includes testimonials, table of content/course syllabus, etc. to demonstrate value.

  45. Oh man this is bringing out a rant in me that should probably be it’s own post somewhere . . . the idea that someone starting a business doesn’t have a few hundred to spend is just not accurate! How many who are just starting a business spend:
    - $350 for a plane ticket
    - over $100/month eating out
    - $75/month for internet/TV
    - $100/month cell phone bill
    -$300 – $500/month car payment

    I know some will read this comment and say “I don’t take flights, I don’t have an expensive phone bill”. And of course there are people who don’t. But everything I wrote above are very common expenses for Americans that go into the hundreds every month. The money is there. Now if they see the value in spending it on what you’re offering is a different story. ;)

  46. I think it very much depends on how valueable the content is. But, first off, I would not feel bad or ashamed for wanting to charge more than you have previously. You’ve given us all great information in the past and it is about time that you get your money’s worth. But, I digress, back to my original point! I think it would be important to offer maybe like a 7 day free trial for the email tips and daily to-do’s so that we know what to expect for the next 365 days. For instance, as a potential customer, I have absolutely no clue as to how far in depth your step-by-step list goes. Is the email for day 37 like this, “now write a viral blog post and submit it to digg” or do you go into depth about what makes a blog post viral and step by step on how to submit to digg?

    It’s questions like this that would make me hesitant to buy a $10 guide let alone a $100+ guide. If this guide can really help me make $50,000 and if it goes in depth then it will definitely be worth the price!

  47. I’m surprised by the number of under-$100 suggestions above. I think that for this product to be super-successful, you probably want to target people who are really committed to the idea of actually doing what you suggest, and a significant price tag is one way to do that. It’s not clear to me from what you say above what the you’ll add for the middle tier, but I’d think about starting at a number like $350.

    That said, to pull this off I think you need two things:
    *A really great money-back guarantee — like “if you give it your honest-to-goodness best shot and don’t achieve X in Y time, I will totally give you your money back.”
    *A promise that you’ll collect all 365 steps into one handy-dandy PDF and give it to participants, either upfront or at the end.

  48. I’m going to have to agree with Lois, above, as well. $365 for the kit boils down to $1 per day which is both extremely manageable and profitable. It’s much less than the price of a cup of coffee at Starbucks and it is easy to scrimp and save atleast $1 per day for even the most debt ridden individual. Would you charge all at once? Or are you thinking about doing a monthly payment plan? $30/month is something most people can live with. That way, if the tips and working for them then they are more than welcome to continue to pay the monthly subscription. However, if they can not find the time to put your tips into practice and benefit from it, then they can simply unsubscribe – but then no longer receive the daily tips. Therefore, you don’t lose the value you’ve created and they don’t lose their money.

  49. Like Tyler Tervooren, I think you should be wary of people in the field telling you what to charge. It’s kind of like the neighbor down the street begging you not to list your house for less than – enter price here – because they don’t want the value of their house to decline. I’m not saying that’s what Copyblogger has in mind at all, but I am saying that you determine your own value.

    I think under $100 for the low end version, $149 for the middle and $249 for the “really big shew.” Dang! Did I just show my age? Really looking forward to the launch and buying from you again, Chris!

  50. No price works for every buyer. But I liked Peter’s comment, “Hey, Chris. You wouldn’t sell a MacBook for the price of an iPod.”

    Pricing is communication, as much as any of the rest of your marketing is. Price your products too low and you communicate that the value is low. I suspect that’s why you’re seeing sales go up as price goes up. I’ve seen the same thing.

    If a particular person “can’t dream of spending $1000,” that’s totally fine — there are many, many free blogs that will give them enough to get going. But the existence of many people who can’t afford $1000 (or the many more who could afford it but won’t) shouldn’t be an influence. The question is, can you find the right number of customers and deliver insane amounts of value above what you’ve charged them.

  51. Over $100 and I have to think about it.

    Over $300 and I probably can’t substitute something else out for yours to come in.

    I know you know this, but…
    When Seth Godin released the limited edition collectible box set (his books in a wooden box), it included 5 books and the special box for about $70. He rewarded his most serious fans – those who would purchase them immediately. He could have charged double, triple, 5x that amount and still sold all the box sets, but he didn’t. I blogged about it, I was so impressed by it. So, you can charge whatever you want and it will sell to your following. Or you can identify a way to reward your following and tell them thank you by how you sell / offer the product to them – or better yet, you can change someones life by making it accessible at a reasonable rate, someone who needs the mentoring that only you can provide.

    The question is not how much you should charge for it, but how much you intended your message to be heard and embraced.

  52. My thinking about this is that you could go two ways with the pricing.

    1st Way would be a one-off price for the case studies, overview, videos & the emails. I think a tiered $77 – $97 – $127 would fit for an early bird promotion.

    2nd Way too handle would be lower up front, but a 12 month subscription price for the emails. Something along the lines of $27 – $47 – $67. Then $15-20/month for 12 months.

    With the second option your overall price is higher, but it seems more affordable as the bulk of the cost is spread out over the coming year.

    Really looking forward to this EBK!

    Ed

  53. Yeesh I gotta chime in here! Anyone who is pricing this under $100 is, um, I have a hard time calling people names so I’ll just drop it.

    Nope, rant is bubbling up! $100 or less- NO WAY! Chris offers so much love and value in everything he creates. This is his big kahuna and it will help people create a small biz that makes at least $50,000/year!?! If you’re not willing to pay more than $100 for this you’re just window shopping- you’re not really serious about using this to create your business.

    I say target the people who will actually put all your hard work to use by charging at least $365 (which is also cute for the dollar a day factor… not that you’re going for cute.)

  54. People will invest in this kit for a whole year. Since it’s going to help people grow their business and their profit, price really shouldn’t be an issue. This type of investment is extremely valuable.

    Chris is close to the money here. He’s giving his customers daily advice on how to increase people’s profit. From the lowest to highest tiers, I’d expect pricing to be AT LEAST $499 – $2499.

  55. How do you put a price on information? I have purchased each of your products, I think. And each one has proven valuable to me. Your products have been well worth my investment and I read them over and over trying to retract more from them that I may have missed the first ten times I read them. I am sure whatever you decided I will find away to purchase because I have so far benefited from your material. I fit perfectly in the scenario you are talking about and your work is inspiring to say the least.

  56. Okay. I’m relatively new here so I don’t know how much I trust your information or how much I can judge the value of your products.

    After reading through much of the comments, here’s my 2 cents worth.

    If your products are listed for more than 250, you might want to offer subscription pricing (monthly) or a payment plan (say 2 or 3 payments every 3 months).

    Personally, I’m just beginning my own journey to creating a self sustaining lifestyle business as a coach (which can be done from anywhere) and I’d love to know how to build the empire, but I’m going to be strapped for cash since I’m paying monthly (after a large down payement) for school and am a single working mom of 2 girls both with special needs.

    I might could squeeze together $100 in a couple month’s time, but couldn’t come up with more than that at once and I’d have to be convinced that it’s worth scrimping and saving.

    It does sound impressive and promissing!

  57. One of the real questions is how many copies are you planning on selling (based on your other works)? Sometimes if you can sell a lot more at a lower price your net gain is higher, especially if the duplicating/marketing costs are relatively low (i.e. 10 units at $1k vs 1000 units at $10). I would test the market by trying some different price points and see what the response really is…than maximize your profit based off of what will bring you the greatest return. I also really like the idea of .5% of the first year profits that Stefanie mentioned…but that would be a legal nightmare to try and administer.

    Good luck…

  58. Give it to newsletter subscribers only for a straight $100 down and to people who are not newsletter subscribers $200. This one assumes your newsletter subscribers bring in more lifetime customer value than people who are not on your newsletter list and buy your stuff.
    OR
    Charge $500 for the kit and everybody who sends in documented proof that they have made a minimum of $50,000 with it after 12 months of use gets $250 back.
    OR
    Charge $250 for the kit and give the purchaser a second kit for free on the proviso that the purchaser agrees to hand over the second kit to someone they know who wouldn’t be able to afford the $250 cost and introduces your site to the third party
    OR
    Just make up a figure off the top of your head and see how it goes.

    Best of luck.

    Derek

  59. It looks like there is a spirited discussion going on here!

    I made the suggestion of $79 which a lot of people think is way too low. But this suggestion was not made to disrespect all of Chris’ work. I know his product will almost certainly provide FAR more value than that to people who implement his suggestions.

    But think about how much people pay for incredible, life-changing books. The author could work for years writing the book and only sell it for $15-30.

    Should Gary Vaynerchuk have sold his “Crush It” book for $300 each (even though it would have been worth EVERY PENNY)?

    Just my two cents.

  60. I’ve learned (and it makes a lot of sense to me) that your product should deliver at least 10x its cost in value to the customer. You want to deliver a business that A) your students love to do and B) puts at least $50k in their pockets – Every Year! If you follow my formula, the value in just the FIRST year would easily make the it worth $5000 (try putting $5k in the stock market and getting $50k back out in a year). But that price probably isn’t realistic for a home study course.

    What if you delivered 100x its cost in value? You can easily argue its true value is $5000 or more, but you’re practically giving it away at $497.

    Many will flinch at that price, which is clear based on the comments here. And I know your mission is to help as many as possible. But the ones who are serious about building an empire won’t have a problem paying the price to learn how. A lot more will buy if you price it at ~$97. But in reality, most who pay that price will probably never even use it.

  61. A lot of people have read your blog Chris and have probably not purchased anything from your store. Despite the fact that what I have read personally off your blog is right up my alley and perks my interest every time, I still can’t be sure about the merits of the Empire building kit and its applications. Am i willing to take a chance? Probably, but I wouldn’t mind paying a reasonable fee, let’s say to get the first 3 chapters (download)of whichever kit I wish to start with. If I like what I see, then it is my option to pay the remainder of the cost to get it all.
    I like the idea of $75.00, $125.00 and $165.00, but I would prefer to whet my appetite first.

  62. My initial reaction is that I agree that you should be compensated for your efforts and while I didn’t tap into the free airline ticket ventures, I know the type of consideration and research you were apt to have put in this project. For someone seeking a business venture to find concrete ways to apply themselves in making their dreams come true is a real gift… at any price. If priced too low, sometimes the perceived value is low. I once heard some marketing research which favored a price ending in 9. How about 129.99?

  63. Day 6: Defining Your People. Welcome to a real-time, prime example of the assignment. This is awesome…

  64. $899

    I’ll take 2.

    Ben out!

  65. Having a bunch of bloggers in a room telling you that you should charge more for your stuff sounds a bit like collusion, at least it would be if it were any other regulated industry. I’m sure no one intended that, but still.

    With that said, I do think that many of your other products are priced lower than the value they provide. I’ve purchased everything non-travel related that you sell and it’s all terrific stuff.

    I’ve subscribed to “How To” Blogger programs that have cost $300- $500 for thirty videos and mp3 training. It’s a hard question to answer. I think I would probably charge $129, $169, $199 for the three levels.

    Very excited to see the finished product.

  66. April 1, 2010

    Steph H.

    -Price it too low = not seen as valuable; price it too high = could leave many of your loyal followers unable to buy it
    -Pricing it higher weeds out the tire kickers, those who are not really serious about being in business; price it too high and some who are serious, but simply lacking funds currently, could become disenfranchised
    -Ask those who don’t have the full price to pay up front excludes them from reading the information and sharing their resulting success with others, which potentially equals more sales; offer subscriptions and you are now in the subscription business, having to manage the payments, etc.
    -A subscription model reminds subscribers, every month/quarter/year about their commitment, enticing slackers to re-engage; but, it could also lessen the impact of their investment if they see it as $29/mth vs. $395.

    Bottom line, who is YOUR ideal customer – sell to them, at an appropriate price, first!

  67. $99 – $499 – people like the 99s

  68. April 1, 2010

    Kim Vertigo

    Being a successful & happy entrepreneur myself (coach & psychotherapist) with about the net income Chris is promising here my very personal opinion is: 79$ or anything near that is ridiculous. Anyone being serious about building a business has to invest in books/audios/information products/consultants etc pp. Adding up to a few thousand minimum, my guess. If you can’t invest in your business (or are not willing to), then quit the idea of building a business. Rapidly.

    A product coming daily for a year with Chris’ deal that you can make a living out of your ideas and his support should 1) value Chris’ work and ideas 2) be an investment of the sort that you really take his advice seriously. And you will never do that if it’s cheap. Nobody does. Never. So my advice is: If you really want to be so cheap, Chris, go for 365,- for the beginner’s version. Something like 100,-/monthly for medium clients and 3000,- for entrepreneurs willing to grow. Good luck!

  69. If you charge less than $150, I’ll punch you in the face (then probably run).

    Honestly, though, I’d ecstatically pay $295. I’d pay up to $395-ish willingly (not ecstatically though), because I know the value is far above that still.

    I’d pay less than $295, too, I’d just rather not have to take the risk of throwing out my shoulder trying to punch you…

  70. Fascinating discussion that I’ll be able to apply to my own business as it develops. When I think about spending money on something that will help me create, I visualize what I’m going to do with it. It’s a kind of “intention” meter.

    As soon as I bought your Guide to Art and Money and started reading it, I felt a shift in my intention. The energy that arose from that was an indication of how much I was (and am) inspired. A measure of how just reading your guide inspired me? I pretty much quit my healthcare practice and moved to another state to start a brand new business selling my art. In a recession. After selling more art last year than in the last 10.

    I figure I’m going to end up buying your Empire Building Kit one way or another…..so if I have the lump sum I’ll do it that way and if not I’ll be saving for it ;-)

  71. As you’re getting rather a lot of advice on price, I’ll limit myself to commenting on the tiering system.

    I think 3 tiers is too many. I think having a choice actually makes it less likely that people will buy at all – it gives them the opportunity/out to say “Ooh – I need to think about which choice makes the most sense for ME.” and then they make a mental note to come back – and while some do, many don’t. 2 tiers may be too many as well. Perhaps one basic offer – with the opportunity for the most rabid fans to ‘add on” extras at check-out would elicit the initial ‘Yes, I am going to buy this now’ decision with greater success than three – or even two different offers.

    My 2c. Whatever you do, I am sure the product will rock!

  72. Wow, I don’t know. But as an artist I am always fascinated by the question of worth and value and how these things get skewed when the scale of money is applied to some creative product. How would it change YOUR life to have gobs of money coming in from a higher price? Would you travel more luxuriously? Risk losing your drive? Argue more with your wife? Change your lifestyle? To toss your own question back at you – what do you want to get out of it? Does money signify success to you?

    Maybe everyone wants a low price not because we are cheap but because we don’t want to risk losing the Chris we all adore should you evolve into a new phase of life by means of EBK. And that’s just not fair of us, now is it?

    You rock.

  73. I have no doubt the EBK will be worth 1000s of dollars. And if everyone who was serious about building their Empires actually HAD that amount, I’d say add those zeroes! But I think there are a lot of people who want to start their own lifestyle business who just don’t have the funds.

    What I really admire about your products is that, not only is the information superlative, but that everything is very accessible (Read: affordable). I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find something to help me start my business (aside from the usual small business self-help books), only to walk away dejected because I couldn’t afford the $1000+ price tag. Your site and the products you offer are a dream come true!

    I rather like the idea of a $1.00 a day… $365. Having said that, though, it will be quite a while before I can purchase it. But I do acknowledge the value of something like this. Anything over that amount, though, unfortunately puts it onto the “pipe dream” list for me.

  74. I’m with Baker. I would gladly pay $295 for the kit.

  75. I haven’t read the comments yet because I don’t want my answer to be influenced by other people, but my take on it is this–

    I suspect the reason some of people were complaining that you’re not charging enough is because it kinda makes their stuff look a little overpriced. “Why should I pay three hundred bucks for your info-product-thingy when I can get The Empire Building Kit for less than a hundred?”

    So that would be my suggestion. Something less than a hundred. Two digits is a little less intimidating to me than three is, ya know?

  76. Let’s be unconventional about it.

    $50 down. Maybe $100.

    Then 5% of the first year’s income (maybe on a monthly basis, for the first year?). Or 10%. Or 1%. Or give people the choice. On a trust model. Acknowledging that some people *won’t* be honest about it. Some will. Keep in contact with purchasers through the year. Report results at the end of the year.

    The initial payment is your break even point. Everything else is cream and jam, just a year delayed.

    The important thing is that it shows that you have faith in what the product will do for people.

  77. I honestly have no idea what to charge for the Empire Building Kit but probably what every you charge could be more, could be less, but there will be those that will find fault in the choice. My interest is to tell you where I would like our community to grow to – retreats! Let’s go from a viral community with anonymous bloggers to fun retreats around the country. We pay a fee, of course, because money is an exchange of energy, you know, and Chris you speak along with members that come to the retreat. We do exercise building events and get renewed from each other in the community. I think it sounds so much fun. OK, maybe it would just be fun for me, but there might be others out there without the gumption to post so here it is!

  78. I thought I was really clever when I thought of $365 or $1/day but alas I’m not the only clever one! However, $365 in one payment psychologically seems a bit much for me to swallow so some form of “pay as you go” is appealing to me. Whether it’s literally pay $1 each day to get the next new tip or a weekly/monthly subscription.

    I think the biggest dilemma is finding the hook in getting me to pay a little to see a little which would then convince me to pay more to see more of the product.

    I have not purchased any of your products but as much value and joy I get in reading your blog, I know your products would definitely be worth whatever and more you price them to be.

  79. April 1, 2010

    Raina Porecha

    Between $350 and $500. It would also help to know more about what’s in the Empire Building Kit before I could say I’d pay more for it.

  80. Pam Slim’s Cubicle Nation in a Box workshop has lots of bells and whistles including videos, plenty of great information, in a price comfortable for those who have bought your products. Too great a price leap (even with the incredible value) could give pause to those who are familiar with your other product pricing. Yet the high value is there and you could charge those big prices many are recommending, and probably get great sales. No question you deserve the big bucks. Question is: do you want to sell fewer at higher prices or more copies at modest prices? Is your goal to make as much money as possible? Or is it to help many more people and create more value for the world that can’t be measured in dollars and cents? Price is part of perception. How do you want to be perceived?

  81. oh anywhere between $85 – $165

  82. Two ideas:

    1) How about a trial version? (Get the first 10 case studies and two weeks’ steps for free or something)

    2) Buffet style? Pick and choose your package. Probably a nightmare to price, but its a thought. (Only case studies and tips for example, no videos or podcasts; or all videos, etc.)

    Personally for me, my income is tight, and I have a hard enough time convincing my significant other to let me spend money on such things without hearing an earful. So, hopefully the Emperor-in-training kit is low priced. (<=$60)

    Keep up the fantastic work Chris, even if I can't support you with my dollars, I hope another fan is good enough. :-)

  83. Between 100 and 400.

  84. I love your blog. I have not bought anything from this website though. I would never, probably ever consider paying more than $35, and I consider $35 high.

    I work at Half Price Books. I have stacks and stacks of information I will not get to reading anytime soon. Books I probably bought for $5 or less in most cases. I am guessing with your ambitious schedule you probably have stacks and stacks of books you will never get to in the next couple years too.

    You would have to blow my mind to pay $50 or more. I did buy Seth Godin’s limited edition boxed set for around $75. That was five books and very, very cool. Plus, there were only 800 of them, and I had to act very fast.

    I will buy the iPad. Then, I will get most ebooks for between $10-13. Keep that in mind.

  85. There are thousands of books that can literally transform your life (f.i. make you richer), if you’ll read them carefully and thoughtful: one good book = round about 25 bucks.

    Given the fact that your EBK is very valuable, I’d take more then 25, but less than 50$ (= two life transforming books)

    => 49,90$

  86. In my experience, I’ve gotten the best results following two “rules.”

    1) Charge what the market will bear. I’m sure this is obvious to you, but sometimes it’s frustrating if your market is simply too poor to pay you what you think you’re worth. I don’t know if that’s the case with you, but it has been with me, in the past.

    2) You should be totally comfortable with the price. Even if you’re charging a lot and people are paying it, if *you* believe it’s too much, you’ll end up not wanting to sell it.

    Just my own observations, but they come from my own issues, so I don’t know if they really apply to you.

  87. When I hear of a program about “Empire Building” I think it sounds expensive. You may want to charge more than you ever have.Think double of what you had in mind & then double that. I think I got that from someone else, but it feels right.

    I’ve never heard of a cheap empire. Have you?

  88. $365. If you think a person with determination and follow-through could follow your 365 steps and be running their own lifestyle business – something they love to do – in one year, then even that is chump change.

  89. The truth is that I probably would not have taken the class if you charged what what you could get out of it. I would have thought you were only interested in making money. I have taken seminars, and workshops, and classes that charged big bucks and I have also taken smaller classes ran out of the home of professionals I know and respect. I get far more out of the classes that are a $100. because that professional has a genuine interested in the student and is giving the class out of love for the art he/she is teaching. Just my opinion.
    Ceil

  90. I really like Derek’s kickback after a year/charity copy ideas, and Orson’s percentage of profits too — because those include followup.

    While I recognize that the price should reflect the (undoubtedly excellent) value, anything over about $150 will have to be discussed and cleared with my spouse first. Offering monthly payments is a nice option, although fraught with its own dangers…

  91. April 1, 2010

    Deborah Krier

    I’d say charge a low price for the first day or two. And by low, I mean anywhere from $19 – $49. The goal here is to convince a lot of people to act fast and buy it. Then, when the price goes up to where it should be ($99 – $999, it doesn’t matter), you have an army of true believers who have the actual product in hand, telling people how awesome the EBK is, helping you make the case to justify the end selling price.

    Don’t give it away. But make it dead easy for your biggest fans and early adopters to get it for a low price and help you spread the word.

  92. Chris,
    I’d like to see a tiered pricing strategy where the low-end package is a starter and moving up to the next level (Hail Caesar) would be an additional charge, if you decided you wanted to move up. For example:

    Emperor in Training Package $79.00

    Hail Caesar Package $129.00 or $60.00 if you already own the Emperor in Training Package

    Alexander the Great Package $199.00 or $80.00 if you already own the Hail Caesar Package

    This lets people try the basic package and move up if they decide they want to go further.

    Looking forward to learning more about this EBK.

  93. My initial reaction was $365, like others have said, $1 a day as it is suppose to be a year long process. However, I don’t know if that is a price I could currently afford; I actually really like the subscription idea, but am not sure how that would work from a practical angle for you. I’m still working through the unconventional guide to working for yourself and will be interested to see how the empire building kit builds off of that?

  94. Chris, your work is great as I experienced from the $100 biz forum. For, the EBK, it is hard to determine a price for it. Your description of the EBK does provide much valuable information, which you should be paid for. The difficult part of the pricing is how successful your “step-by-step” yearly plan is. If your step-by-step plan can translates to a high probability of success with hard work of course, then I would be willing to pay top dollar for it. This is my thought on the value of the EBK.

  95. My wife said $15 per month and I though $30 per month. Those e-mails should be worth a dollar a day? Here is the (cynical) economist’s view ;)

    1. I disagree with people saying that the price should be low and then go up. If anything the price should be high initially so that people who are impatient to get started and are willing to pay more will pay more and then the price can fall a bit in the long-term. Products that initially charge less like conferences are using the initial registrations to find out how big the demand is and how much space they should hire etc. This rationale doesn’t apply to an online product.

    2. Monthly fees are good rather than a single lump sum because most people are irrational when it comes to discounting the future. They use what we call “hyperbolic discounting” and will pay much more (much more than they could earn in interest by paying later) as monthly payments than as an initial lump sum.

  96. I agree with those who suggest that having a taste of your EBK (for perhaps 1 month) would be useful before paying the full purchase price. That would give users the opportunity to see if the kit is something they can realistically implement.

    So you might consider a 1-month trial for whatever one-twelfth of the price turns out to be (or a 3-month trial for one-fourth of the total price). Then a choice for buyers to continue with either a lump-sum payment for the rest or monthly/quarterly payments.

    I quite like the $1/day price ($365)–with the option to pay either monthly/quarterly/lump-sum– to make it affordable for those who need it most.

  97. My hourly rate is the price of some of your guides. If I were selling this to a world-wide audience I would charge $299-$599. Is it worth more? Would I pay more or less? Perhaps. But this range compliments your current pricing structure and is a great value for anyone with a strong currency while low enough for folks who don’t have the finances to swing the expansion pack. But it’s still not cheap.

    You’re selling a how-to guide and advice not a finished business. Readers need to work hard once they get the EBK. That’s the real price.

  98. Hey Chris,
    I’m still digesting your 100biz class. I’d say that you should do $299,$399,$499. If the content allows people to live an entirely new life, then $1 /say (The equivalent of a snack) is worth it.
    Del

  99. No matter what you charge, I’m going to buy it because you’re that good! So there!

  100. hi chris – EBK i am sure has ton’s of value – & it’s hard to put a number to that value as each one perceives value differently.

    The pricing could consist of 3 components [Cost price + your time + value]

    1. Cost price: Actual material/building the kit cost – actual – this could be arrived at as follows – assuming the cost to build this kit is 100000$ – assume that 500 people will buy the kit – then cost price is 200$ – we will need to fix this price – assumption on how many will buy it will be best left to you chris – based on previous project sales.

    2. Your time: Amt of time spent on building the EBK – we will need to use the assumption made in point 1 of how many people will buy it – let’s say you spent 500 hours on building the kit @100$ an hour as your price – that makes it 50000$ divided by 500 people = 100$

    3. Value: This is open to buyers to decide – to pay that VALUE amount – this will vary from person to person. Let each person decide

    Total cost = 200$+100$+Value

  101. Different models. Those familiar with your blog and work would pay a flat fee, since they know the brand. Have no idea what others would pay, but usually when it doesn’t end in a 0 or it goes to some odd pennies, people are more likely to pay. Others who are new to your material or on the fence about spending money are a different model. Do the decreasing margin on releases, but make it ridiculous. let’s say it is dividing into 365 days. Make the first 70 a flat huge fee. Then the remain in decreasing increments, and allow people to buy those in advance. The final chapters are always “the butler did it” or have the eureka moment..but it’s the meat and journey that people will want.

  102. Charge less or avoid taking money. As it was mentioned above good idea is to sell it as a service and share income (depends on user’s free will and fair trade understanding).

    Don’t forget to make discounts for groups, startups and local entrepreneurial communities in developing countries.

  103. I agree with Greg Blencoe’s thoughts. You should definitely be making money.

    I would love to buy this kit when it is out and try for myself – but currently I’m an intern and I’m not getting paid a dime. So I probably won’t be able to afford anything more than 25$-30$ at the moment(Remember that the international audience has to convert $ to their own currency too).

    Since there are 3 levels as you explained, maybe you could start them of affordably and then increase the price?

    Another thing that comes to my mind is setting a deal. You could set a standard price and a deal version. The deal would let people buy it cheap but when they complete the year they would pay you accordignly depending on their business? I think it makes sense – I want to pay you but I don’t have any money, so if I succeed in this business, I will be able to thank you properly. You may think people would give up, but maybe putting some conditions in the deal like reporting what they’re doing could work.

  104. I think you should definitely be charging more than your other work, but I also think that having an option to pay monthly (or quarterly, or some way of making payments) would be super cool. Additionally, I think it would be kind of neat and fun to offer a lower priced-option that has buyers sign a contract that if they do make a $50k business in one year that they have to either pay you 5% of their net profits or donate that 5% to charity.

  105. Hey Chris,
    I think it’d be cool if you had upgrade options for people who buy the basic package but decide later they’d like to know more from the mid or highest levels. It’d be awesome if the upgrades were just the difference in price between kits, but if that would mean a lot more work/hassle for you, I’d understand adding $5-$10 for upgrades.

    As someone new to developing a business, I’m very conscious of where I put money in an effort to build my empire. The quandary becomes what class or resource or… will give me a good return for my investment? I’m torn between understanding you need to make a living and what I can afford. Gut says: $59-$79 for basic, $79-$99 middle, $99-$149 for top of the line.

    If after a year of following the EBK steps, a lot of people who bought it are making good livings based on it, then you could raise the prices by $100-$300.

  106. I have been following you for awhile your work is excellent and of great quality, I’m thrilled you are launching a new product and book this year. Pricing for EBKs should be no lower than $500. This launch is probably a major turning point in some way for your business, so go BIG! People want what you have to offer and there will be an audience happy to pay whatever price you decide to charge.

    God bless you Chris!

  107. Interesting responses to a tough question. I think you have two schools of thought. Group one: “it’s a book w/ ideas.” Group two: “it’s consulting specific to me.”

    I am a CPA (tax practice). I own my own practice w/ 1000+ clients. I don’t exist b/c of the product I offer (a tax return) but rather my expertise in the area of tax law and saving my clients money while (hopefully) helping them make more.

    Group one above is setting the price below $100 and rightfully so. Group two is setting the price much higher. I agree w/ group two IF I am truely getting consulting. Consulting is specifically geared towards an individual client not a one-size-fits-all product. I’m not convinced EBK is consulting.

    Ultimately, I’m an emperical data kind of guy so I want to know something works b/4 I spend $$$ on it.

    For these reasons, right now I’m in group one. But I am intrigued!

    Question: Will the EBK address “key dropping” for businesses both w/ employees and w/out?

  108. Perhaps you should just let people pick what they will pay – a la Radiohead.

    I’d price it at $399, that eliminates people that aren’t really interested but will buy it because they’re a fan. Those are the people that usually require the most hand-holding as well. If you’re in for that, by all means lower the price, but that means less time for the serious folks.

  109. Hey Chris, pricing psychology is interesting isn’t it? Here a some rapid fire thoughts:
    - don’t ever price something a certain way because that’s how everybody else does it.
    - price doesn’t necessarily reflect somethings true value.
    - price is more than just about an amount. It says something about your product.
    - you’ve cornered yourself a little with a history of dramatically underpricing your products relative to the value they produce.
    - disregard the previous statement because that can always be changed.
    - who is your target audience? That will make a difference as well.

    Some more concrete ideas? $199 for the intro product – $499 for the high end. Even better, do a multi payment plan. Even better, make it a subscription based or monthly service since you are providing updates and ongoing support and information. These ideas effectively lower the price point and make it more palatable.

  110. Lastly Chris, it sounds like you get pounded from people that object to you charging anything for your work. I’ve seen this in several of your posts so I’m guessing it bugs you. My guess is that it does so because you provide so much value and give away so much of your time, energy, talent and heart that it’s an a-whoop when you get an email like that.

    There is nothing more noble in this world than making a decent living by doing something we passionately love that genuinely helps a large number of people.

    And that is exactly what you are doing my friend.

    Update: OK, one last comment and then I’m really done…. but I can’t stand by and not say something when people say all they can afford is $25 or $50. Be real people. You spend that much or more on your cell phone bill, a pair of jeans, a round of drinks, dinner, cable bill or a tank of gas.

    Life is all about choices and choices are all about priorities. We know what our and others’ true priorities are only by looking at the choices that we have made. $100 too much money for you for the EBK? Well then you’re just not that serious about making a change are you?

  111. Sorry, just another thought on the guarantee… I’d much rather have a – “If this doesn’t work for you shoot me an email, tell me where you’re stuck, I’ll see if I can help. If not, I’ll give you your money back.” But that depends on whether or not you have the time to answer emails like that.

  112. This is something I’ve wanted to recommend to many other authors, with the caveat that I can’t say with any experience what the viability of this idea is from a financial standpoint, so thank you for the opportunity to throw it out there:

    Why not supply an “inverted guarantee”? Provide access to one or two of the case studies and a “Table of Contents” of the 365 daily tips, all for free. Then, after tips 1-7 have hit their inbox, send a purchase link with options to buy the whole thing, another week’s worth of tips and another case study, or just leave with what they already read… Obviously, the best value would be for the whole thing, but let the consumer decide at what point they’re ready to commit? Then, there’s no hard sell, and we get to test drive the product first!

    That said, I’d go with $149 for the full product, or $5 for each week (with case studies peppered in at a reasonable rate like one every three weeks, or whatever.)