Are you offering enough exclusivity?

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I’ve noted many times before that edupreneurs need to focus on delivering valuable, discernible outcomes and be as clear as possible about articulating those outcomes as part of the marketing process.

A big part of delivering value, of course, is the content you provide. But, in many ways, this is the easy part. It is the explicit part, and it is usually what is most easily copied by your competitors (no matter how much you are convinced you have some sort of “double secret” approach to your topic.)

Much more implicit, and much harder for anyone else to copy is the overall experience of engaging with you as a teacher.

A lot of this value is simply tied up in you as a person. What makes you unique, I’ve argued before, is what makes your course unique.

That said, I want to highlight a couple of key ways you can enhance the perception of unique value.

The first is through exclusivity: don’t make yourself or your course available to everyone.

There are two key ways to do this – through price, and through process.

You are no doubt already familiar with how price can contribute to a perception of exclusivity. High priced products – whether they are sports cars, hand bags, or online courses – attract only those who are willing and able top pay for them. Price provides a filter and creates a “club” to which only certain people will belong.

If you are selling at $50 on Udemy – or anywhere else, for that matter – you definitely are not creating a perception of exclusivity. You are a commodity, and unless you are one of the few who can manage to sell at a very high volume, you are not going to thrive in the online course business.

But, of course, exclusivity is not just about price. It is also about process. As a matter of process, you can limit who gets access to your course.

You can make them apply to even get access to a registration page.

You can make them demonstrate some motivation before they even get the opportunity to pay you.

TED does this, for example. I’ve noticed a growing number of internet marketers doing it. It can be scary to try, because you will probably end up with fewer customers. But they will be better customers, customers motivated to learn and willing to pay more. Higher margin customers. Probably the kind of people you would rather be dealing with.

So, exclusivity – via price and process – is one approach for elevating value perception.

Stay tuned – I’ll cover another approach in my next post.


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