Description: Interview with business coach Tom Buford. Topics include pricing strategies and marketing campaigns for online courses.


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About Tom Buford, Charge What You Deserve

Tom is a marketing guru and coach. He helps people with their marketing and charge the price they deserve for their products and services so they can live the life of their dreams. Learn more at

Key Points & Takeaways

  1. First and foremost, never undervalue or under-charge for your course. People may associate low cost with low value. Look at the value of your course broadly and the transformation it provides in your clients’ life and experience… not the content you’re delivering or the features of your course.
  2. Don’t overload your course with information. Keep it tightly focused and action-oriented.
  3. You can’t just launch a course without a foundation: it has to be integrated into your whole business model and marketing.
  4. Map out your year: when do you want to run live/scheduled online courses? Make sure you’re allowing plenty of time to educate and motivate people leading up to the start of each scheduled course.
  5. Position yourself as an expert: share your teaching consistently over time, through blog posts, videos, and webinars/teleseminars. The key is consistent, regular sharing — this will build your community over time.
  6. Reflect on your marketing mindset. Do you instinctively think of marketing as “yuck?” It doesn’t have to be. Embrace education-based marketing, and remember that marketing is the lifeblood of your business. If you want to help people learn, you have to market your expertise and your courses.

Tom’s #1 action step to improve your course marketing

Talk about the results and transformation people get from your course, rather than the course structure or content. For your next course you want to promote, do the following:

  • Draft an email to your mailing list sharing a story about how your course helped someone.
  • Draft a Facebook post sharing a visual of how someone got a powerful result from your course. For example, if you teach art courses, share a photo of an artwork one of your past students created.

Resources & Links

  • Charge What You Deserve: Get your pricing and client attraction strategies under control with Tom’s step-by-step quickstart guide and cheat sheet.



Abe Crystal:  Well, I’m here with Tom Buford.  And, Tom, love to start by hearing a little bit more about you and what your background is, how you got into helping people understand marketing and pricing and to charge what they deserve.  If you could you just share a little bit about your story, and how you help people and how we can learn more about you?

Tom Buford:  So I started in the automotive painting business.  I came here to Atlanta, Georgia mid-nineties.


Tom Buford:  I ran a successful business for about 15 years, but I had some health concerns with that business.  So I was having a little bit of sun exposure and exposure to the chemicals, and I decided this is not a viable long-term option.  Actually, it wasn’t quite 15 years; it’s about 11 years, so 2006, 2007, I decided to look into other avenues.  At that time, I really wasn’t sure what I was going to get into.  I just knew that I needed to get out of that business, and just pretty burnt out on it, too, for doing that work for so long.  And I started looking into helping other people develop their business.  So I looked into business coaching.  And I went through a coaching curriculum that was — I thought it was a great program on helping people become coaches and get, have these conversations and learn what you’re doing as a coach in that moment.  However, one of the big, big missing pieces was what do you charge when you get out into the real world and start actually asking money for your services.


Tom Buford:  And the answers that we were getting within this course was go out and copy your competition.  I saw that was such a terrible idea, because who are you copying?  Are they successful or not?  There’s such a broad range of pricing when it comes to coaching or consulting or training, anything, selling information products.  You can see the same information being sold for seven dollars or $700.  And so I decided to tackle with this issue.  I interviewed some other experts, people that were making upwards around.  A couple of people I was interviewing were — they bill a thousand plus an hour for their services, as consultants.  And so I created the Charge What You Deserve expert interview series, and then one thing led to the other and I started infusing my own information from my experience in sales and owning in a business and also my experience confronting this pricing issue, not being confident initially getting out there as a coach and saying I charge 300 bucks an hour or whatever that price is.


Tom Buford:  And one of the things that I’d started working on immediately was stop charging by the hour, stop selling the process, stop selling the time.  It’s not an information product or a course that you’re selling; it’s the transformation.  It’s the result that you’re selling.  So that really got me clear on helping with the marketing, because then you’re having to take a really good look at what it is you deliver instead of the components that you’re bringing along with that.  So that led me to creating my own information products.  Actually, the first money that I made with Charge What You Deserve was selling in information products.  So I have both of these loves, talking about pricing and talking about getting your message out to more people by selling online courses and information products.

Abe Crystal:  Okay.  Terrific.  It’s really that sweet spot that we’re very interested in, because if there’s one question that we get over and over and over again from every one we talk to it’s, “How do I price my online course?  How do I come up with a price for it?”


Abe Crystal:  It seems to be something that really intimidates people.  They’re scared even to think about what the price should be.

Tom Buford:  Yeah.  And you know, it becomes such a personal thing.  And people get started, and they think, “Well, I got to start cheap, because I’m just getting started.”  And I think this is a big mistake.  I think it starts people in the wrong path, and what happens — they start attracting maybe the wrong people.  It’s not necessarily the wrong people, but maybe people for the wrong reasons.  So somebody’s just looking to throw money at a problem or are they actually going to go through your course?  Are they going to take action, use the information?  Some people will, but I would say invariably, most people won’t.  And you’re not helping yourself in your business if people aren’t getting results.  I mean one of the challenges I think that we face selling information or coaching in anything is are people actually consuming information.  And if they’re not, how are you getting results, how are you getting referrals, how are you getting case studies and testimonials.  And I think these are some of the things that can really build a great foundation for your business.  And the reality is that a lot of people aren’t going to use it.


Tom Buford:  And you’re not responsible for them; you’re responsible to give information and to uphold your end.  But one of the things that will create some accountability is price.  And if somebody invests $17 in a solution and $1700 in a solution, they’re going to use the $1700 solution first, every time.  So it’s just a matter of accountability and the fact that they’ve really invested in that process.  That doesn’t mean that you always hike your price up, but it’s just something to consider and look at the overall theme, I think, and strategy.

Abe Crystal:  Let’s kind of start big picture and then we could drill down into more specific areas around pricing and launching courses, then maybe talk about a couple of examples.

Tom Buford:  Okay.

Abe Crystal:  But at the high level, if you were coaching someone who is struggling to set a price for their course, how would you help them think through that?  What are the considerations?  How would you help someone to think through, “How do I set an appropriate price for my course?”

Tom Buford:  There’s two things, I think.


Tom Buford:  Really you have to look at number 1 as what is your overall objective.  Is this a way to attract new leads?  And do these leads lead to something else?  So do you have a higher-end offer?  You want to think about that.  But when you’re thinking about that, if you have a higher-end offer and you just say, “Well, I just want to make sales, so I can get people to come into this higher end offer.”  The funnel doesn’t always work like that.  I think we take it to this funnel, where people are coming in at the free and then they’re buying something inexpensive and then going down.  As your prices go up, the funnel gets narrower.  The reality is that there are people that can come right in down here.  You can have a conversation with somebody and then they hire you as a consultant.  Then you do.  They don’t have to invest here at an inexpensive level necessarily.  So I think we have this misconception that “I have to create this low-end offer in order to get high-end clients.”  I don’t think that you have to do that.  I think that is a method of doing it, but it really is looking at the overall strategy.  So how much do you want earn from this product?  What is your capability to get in traffic and leads?


Tom Buford:  How many sales can you realistically make?  And you’re sitting down with a piece of paper and coming up with numbers.  The other consideration is what I mentioned earlier is what is it that you’re selling, because you’re not selling information; you’re selling transformation.  It’s always the end result.  The value comes post consumption.  It’s always never during the learning process, right?  You’re not getting your ‘ahas,’ or you’re not getting the value during class if you’re taking a college course.  It’s later when you’ve implemented the information.  That’s where the value takes place.  The same thing when you’re selling a course or doing coaching.  The value doesn’t come when you’re talking to somebody on the phone; it’s when they hang up the phone, and they go off and do what it is what you talked about.  With the course, it’s yes, it could be great and we’re delivering great information, but if that information doesn’t get him moving, it’s useless.  So when you look at it, the first thing I ask people is what is it that your clients get?  What is the outcome?


Tom Buford:  And then also looking at the ripple effect.  I did a video not long ago about the lifetime value of your work.  So think about if you sell a course to somebody and they get a result of — it could be losing weight or getting into a better relationship.  It’s not the weight loss, and it’s not the better relationship initially.  It’s all of the other things that come after that.  So what are the cause and effects of losing weight, because it’s not a number on a scale?  There’s another reason that you’re wanting to lose weight.  The relationship, same thing — it’s this long-term positive impact.  So I think that people undervalue their work just habitually.  It’s just across the board.  Ninety-nine percent of the people out there undervalue their work, and it’s something that is common and easy for us to do, because we’re so closer around work, we forget what we’re actually doing, and we’re starting to look at, “Well, gee, it’s only three hours of information.  How can I charge $300, $400 worth?”  And it has nothing to do with the number of hours.


Tom Buford:  That’s something I really talk to clients about that if we’re talking about prices.  For that moment, just forget how many pages are in the book, how many hours you’re spending on the phone, how many minutes your videos are, and start thinking about once they go through it and they’d get a result, what is that worth to them.  That’s where the value — you start really seeing the value that you offer.

Abe Crystal:  Great.  So really, it sounds like it really ties into sort of course design and learning design as well.  So if you’re designing a course that really is going to be transformational and help people to take some action and get some result, then you’ll be able to price your course based on the effectiveness of that design that you’ve created.

Tom Buford:  Yeah.  Definitely.  Well, at Charge What You Deserve, I have six general areas that I talk about six pillars, and one of them is package.  So you have to think of your prospect and you have to know the problems they have, and then you package a result.


Tom Buford:  When you package a result and that this could be through a coaching program, a training program, your workshop, can be a book, can be audio, could be a freebie, but in this case, you’re talking about course, an online course or some form of information product.  What’s great about an information product is you have the beginning, a middle, and an end.  So there’s no ambiguity.  I think it makes it easier to sell than coaching.  And we’ve had a lot of cases.  Number one, you can certainly sell it for less and make more.  You can make ten sales and deliver them in ten minutes _____ [00:10:32] many things and then step in later if you want to, for support.  But the idea is that you’ve created this result, and we’ve packaged a result, they go through it.  So I think it’s really good for people to go through the process.  Even if they don’t create their courses, go through the process of “If I were to create a course, and I have this ideal client, what is it I’m helping them with?  And what are the steps that I would take them through?  And then what’s the outcome?”  When they’re done they’d finished step number 7 or whatever, what’s that result?


Tom Buford:  That really — I think that gets people clear.  I’d had my info product weekends I used to do and people would show up and by the end of the weekend, one thing they’d said whether they’d finished the product or got started with it or not was like going through the outline and seeing what it is they’re doing this process of creating a step-by-step process for their ideal client, they see more value in what they offer which was for me amazingly _____ [00:11:25] because that’s worth far more than just creating a product itself, because now they have this positively look at what they’re doing and they forget.  People forget how much they’ve learned, how far they’ve come, how far ahead of their clients they actually are.  I think it’s we’re always learning, and we’re always looking up to this other people.  We forget that there are all these people — I don’t want to say they’re below us, but on our topic, they don’t know as much as we do and we — the same to the third grade or the fourth grade has got, you don’t have to be that far ahead of somebody to make a real positive impact and for them to see that they can learn a lot from you.


Abe Crystal:  Okay.  Great.  I want to take — what’s an example or a case study of something like that as struggling with real world pricing challenge.  But before we jump into that, it sounds like, in terms of common mistakes people might make when pricing their courses, what I’ve heard already from you it sounds like it’s just underpricing or undervaluing the transformation your course can provide.

Tom Buford:  Yeah.

Abe Crystal:  So my guess is based on what you’re saying in your experience that those people would intuitively set a price for the course that’s too low.

Tom Buford:  Almost always.  I don’t think I’ve ever had anybody set a price, and I said, “Oh, you should come down on the price.”  I mean it’s — and I’m not going to tell somebody you need to recreate your price.  That’s not for me to say.  And people will ask you, “What should I charge?”  I mean I can sit down, and we can map out some ideas, but I can’t tell somebody what to charge.  But I can check in with somebody, make suggestions, and see what do you feel or how do feel about this.


Tom Buford:  And I might start low, and they’re like, “Huh, I don’t know if I can charge that much.”  And I’m thinking I see people that charge much more than that that don’t know half of what you know.  That’s definitely, definitely an issue.  And so I think when people, especially when they get started creating a course, they think, “Well, I’m just creating this course, so I’m going to start really cheap.”  And I notice, somebody, Kevin mentioned he talked about pricing and we were talking one time and he teaches us.  He said share this, make sure you mention me, but he said if you’re dating and you’re getting started dating, would you want to start cheap just so that you can get better at dating.  If you’re raising the bar, you want to start as high as you possibly can.  So with the product, obviously, there’s some strategy involved, there are other things involved, there are, I think, caps, too, in a certain market, so we’re going to bear a certain price.  I think it’s — and almost every case, that price is going to be a lot higher than we think it is.  We doubt, and we make all these decisions before we ever make the leap.


Tom Buford:  It’s like I talk about skydiving.  In 2001, I got certified as a skydiver here in Atlanta _____ [00:14:12] course, but the scariest thing about skydiving was that the drive out to the drop zone and the plane right up.  Once I was in the air, and out of the plane, everything was cool, you’re having fun, and you’ve made the jump, and of course, there’s the exhilaration, but you don’t have time to really think about this being scary, it’s just you do what you have to do to have fun and be safe.  Because all of these things through your head on the way up, that’s where the — and the same thing with setting a price.  You make all these excuses and come up with all these stories and scenarios, most of which will never come true.  And if they did, so what?  I mean if you set a price too high, you can always correct it.  Usually, it’s not price.  When somebody says, “Ham, I’m not make _____ [00:14:54].”  There’s probably something in the marketing.  It’s how did you deliver the message?  Did you really convey what they’re going to get result?


Tom Buford:  Or did you focus more on the features?  Did you talk about how long are your courses?  How beautiful your website is?  And is it password protected?  These things, these features that can have an impact, but that’s not what people are investing in.  And so I think if somebody’s not making the sales, one of the things I would look at is what are you doing in your marketing?  Because I think good marketing can sell anything, it doesn’t mean that you create a _____ [00:15:30] of the course because you’ll never get repeat customers, you’ll never get people getting results, which is also a very important component.  But the first piece is to make sure that the marketing is set.

Abe Crystal:  Okay.  So people may be misattributing the problem.  They may be saying, “Oh, I can’t price my course higher than $97 knowing that my market would buy that.”  But really the underlying problem that they haven’t tackled yet is that they haven’t developed an effective marketing campaign content to engage people that would actually be consistent with them selling the course at a higher price range.


Tom Buford:  Yeah.  I think in any market, there’s only going to be a percentage of people that purchase it.  I mean your best webinar presentation you’re only going to convert a percentage, and it’s not going to be 80 percent.  It’s going to be somewhere around on the other spectrum.  I think that if your price is really low, you’re actually going to push off people that won’t invest in the low end.  And that’s not to say that they are better or worst clients or people.  It’s just that they have this perception that, “Well, if it’s priced under a hundred bucks, how much value am I really going to get form that?” And they’re looking at higher price points.  And then there are other people that are only looking at…


Tom Buford:  So there are — I think that in any market you’re going to have that percentage of people that are only going to invest in the higher end.  And we don’t know until we get it out there, and definitely the marketing is the piece.  I remember when I first got started, I hadn’t offered anything over, probably $300, I think to my list.  I had a guy that wanted me to support him in a launch.  I knew him, I respected, and I know he had a great product.  Two thousand bucks that first product, and I thought no one’s going to buy this, but I’m happy to share this with my folks.  I think I’d converted more sales from that webinar than I ever converted.  So he had his marketing down, and he converted very well, and people were very happy with the product at $2000.  And I was making these excuses that, well, same thing, no one in my list is going to pay more than 300, 400, or 500 bucks.  And lo and behold because I was willing to give this a shot, I found out that I was dead wrong.


Tom Buford:  And I think that everybody, within reason, there are certain markets, of course, that’s going to be tough.  But I have, someone that I know, a colleague that sells to high school students.  That’s his — his program is designed for high school students.  But actually, he doesn’t sell it to them; he sells it to the parents.  So it’s switching, of course, that they’re kids aren’t the ones that are actually pulling out the credit cards and purchasing sixth or seventh, seventh to eighth, ninth grade kids looking to prepare for college and future careers.  The parents are investing.  So again, look at your market maybe a little differently.  Who is out there that would invest in your market?  And usually, if you start asking these questions, you’ll start getting some pretty cool answers.

Abe Crystal:  Yeah.  Okay.  That’s great.  So and this into underpricing or like misconceptions about high prices leading to lack of demand, do you see any other kind of common mistakes or common misconceptions about pricing?


Tom Buford:  Yeah.  I think number one is I think for coaches, definitely.  So if somebody’s a coach and they’re transitioning and creating products and programs, one of things we assumed is we’re kind of thinking in our backyard.  So maybe you’ve done a lot of networking, and you’re making sales that way, so you’re seeing people and maybe you’re in an area that is maybe under a little more stressed economically, or just it doesn’t have the population that values what you’re doing as much as certain other populations.  I don’t know, but I’ve seen that where coaches are coming out and had done a lot of kind of the grassroots, they’re doing a lot of things in their backyard and _____ [00:19:40] events and I think a lot of great courses would do something else or expand, and they’re not seeing beyond where they are.  So realize it especially when you’re creating courses, this is global; you can sell to anybody.  There are people all over the world.  You’re talking about just about any, even niche mark, you’re talking tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands and millions of people and how many sales — you know it’s what I ask people.


Tom Buford:  How many sales do you really need to have a successful business?  And the numbers are usually a lot lower when people sit down and run the numbers.  Well, hey, if I were selling a course at $500, and I make 20 sales a month, that’s $120,000 a year.  That’s a pretty significant income.  So when you start looking at it that way, you realize there’s — you don’t need to make thousands and thousands of sales especially when you start to getting the price up.  So take a zero off of that number and then you have to add a zero to the number of sales, of course, so it makes a big difference when you can increase your price is when you find that sweet spot and you can _____ [00:20:41] still the same.

Abe Crystal:  Yeah.  It makes the source online component of marketing in selling your course more attractive or more possible for people who are newer to that, so someone who is coming out of a background where they’ve used networking and local speaking to get clients.


Abe Crystal:  They’re trying to figure out how now to get sign-ups for a course directly online.  It’s pleasantly easy for them to do that if they’re trying to target a small number of people to work within an intensive course at a higher price point rather than trying to get hundreds or thousands of people to sign up at a very low price point…

Tom Buford:  Yeah.  I think long gone are the days of Google pay for click ads where you can get three-cent clicks, and people can sell dog training $7 dollar e-books and make tons of money like Frank Kern did 15 years ago.  I don’t think this is marketing anymore.  And I think people are tired of that, too.  I think they want more of an experience from people.  They want to have some and not _____ [00:21:44] some people want to download an e-book, and they’re done, and that’s great.  But I think for that same market, you could create a course that maybe it has some online support or Facebook, or some connection with the person that’s creating this course, or even some other level of support.


Tom Buford:  And sometimes, it’s just the implied value. And when you raise a price, there’s just — people see it as being more valuable.  It is not fair, but it is the reality.  If you think of anything, you look at a car, and you look at two price points.  And one is 40,000, the other’s 15,000.  Your assumption is that $40,000 car is more valuable.  They both get you from point A to point B just as quickly, but there’s definitely an assumed value there.  And so that’s the same thing that’s happened with courses.  So you’d be surprise I think, in a lot of cases, if you set that price higher that you actually make some really good sales.  The other thing that ties in with that is when people set a price really low, it really skimp on their marketing.  They ignore the really important pieces of the marketing, because they think, “Well, if the price is low, I’ll just put out a sales page, and people will buy it.”  But people, they don’t respond like this anymore.


Tom Buford:  I really don’t think that — I think, again, many years ago, there was — things were new online and people were, I think, easily influenced, and now I think people are much more savvy, and they’re not as forgiving, and they’re not as trusting as they once were, and your marketing has to answer questions, has to let them see what it is I’m getting when I’m purchasing this.

Abe Crystal:  Okay.

Tom Buford:  So even if you sell them an e-book for $17, I think it’s harder to sell, because you’re probably then looking at a real long sales page that’s very hard to write a good long form of sales page versus maybe doing a higher end product that you do, you sell through webinars and teleseminars.  I think it’s more interactive, and needs some really good training that leads to the next step, and let’s take it further with my ABC course.  And I think it’s a better way to sell.  I think it’s a way to connect with people, and you absolutely then can get the price up in my turns.  I think it’s intuitive to see that, too.

Abe Crystal:  Okay.  Well, maybe we can take that framework and apply it to kind of a real world case study.


Tom Buford:  Yeah.

Abe Crystal:  Someone I interviewed, who’s actually in the trenches doing this, creating and trying to sell her courses, her name is Laura.  And her specialty is photography and specifically teaching people how to approach their taking photos in a way that helps them express their creativity.  So not so much of the nuts and bolts of like how do you master your digital camera, but more about how do you take photos that you love and pursue your passion for photography.  And so I think kind of like the coach you described, she’s coming from a background of teaching in person and building a demand for her in-person classes by going out and giving talks and networking locally.  And now she’s tried to grow that online as well.  And so she’s actually built a couple of different courses on Ruzuku.


Tom Buford:   But kind of one that’s her flagship course is called Candela and it’s this kind of the sort of primary introduction to how do you look at photography creatively.

Tom Buford:  Okay.

Abe Crystal:  And the way she described that she started out with this course was she, again, sort of just promoting it locally.  She went out and gave a lecture and asked people to sign up on a piece of paper if they were interested to learn more about the course.  And it actually worked well the first time she did it.  She said she’s going to — she offered the course to them as kind of a beta or this is to be sort of the pilot version.

Tom Buford:  All right.  I _____ [00:25:39] she did that.  So many people — that’s like no excuse as marketing.  People would say, “Well, I don’t have an _____ [00:25:43] page, so I can’t sell anything,” or something like that.

Abe Crystal:  Yeah.  Exactly.  I love that she did that.  And it worked really well for her.  She got, I think, 35 or 40 sign-ups from just going out and speaking at this local event.  Now, the price though was fairly low.


Abe Crystal:  So what she said to this first group of people is, “Ultimately the course would be $100.  Since you’re going to be the first group of people taking it as a pilot, I’ll offer it to you for $50.”  So that was the initial price for the course.  And then what she’s seeing since then is — I mean she’s been able to replicate the course easily, right?  I mean the good thing is she built out the structure and the library content like slideshows and so forth.  And so she’s able to replicate the course, and she does run it live.  She teaches the course live with cohorts of people, but it’s much less work to do it each time.  So that — it’s working, but her sign-ups have been much lower than that kind of initial cohort, so more on the range of 10 to 20 people per session where, obviously, she wants to be higher than that.  So that we could kind of talk through that experience from two perspectives.  One, how should she think about pricing her course.


Abe Crystal:  And then also how should she think about improving the marketing within this framework of it’s an existing course that she wants to offer new sessions of it and get more sign-ups for new sessions of it.

Tom Buford:  Okay.

Abe Crystal:  So we can flow into that but maybe just kind of start with the pricing and how can we help her think through the pricing of this course.

Tom Buford:  Yeah.  I think one is it sounds like she hit it out in the park that one time, and maybe she’s doing well.  I mean to make any sales, making 10, 15 sales at sessions is fantastic, too.  So she’s comparing those, too, and probably assuming it’s got to be the price, you know, price now — the salesman theory.  But I would say first was there something unique about that first presentation?  Did she do something different?  Was it a different group?  Is she now going back to the same people?  And of course you’re sales are not going to remain as high, because there’s —

Abe Crystal:  Yeah, I should clarify that.  For every session of the course, she doesn’t necessarily have the opportunity to make a local presentation that fits the calendar of whenever she’s launching the course online.


Abe Crystal:  So she’s offering it three times a year, maybe one time she gets to speak locally in person.  Then they will flow right into that, but other times she’s only launching it to her email list and to her Facebook following, for example.

Tom Buford:  Okay.  Yeah.  I mean number one, I would say the closer contact you have with your market, the harder they’re going to pay and the more likely they’re going to be to purchase so.  I think when you’re in front of your people, I call it proximity marketing when you you’re talking about Charge What You Deserve.  So if you’re in close proximity to people when they are aware of their problem and that’s when you’re speaking because like the closest you can possibly be.  With the exception of the one-on-one conversation, of course, you can go very deep on personal items.  But when you’re selling to a group of people — so I think that’s the sweet spot right there.  Number one, of course, if you can speak anytime, I think, that’s when you’re going to convert it to the very highest.  Second would probably be webinars, doing something where — doing Google Hangouts or something like that where people can see you or at least see a presentation.


Tom Buford:  Teleseminars would come next and then social media is I think, would be down probably quite a bit.  Social media marketing can be good.  I think then though what you need to do is get people to a presentation, get somebody to hear your voice to hear your enthusiasm.  And then also I would say go back — do you know if she’s had any case studies from her students or testimonials?

Abe Crystal:  Uh-hum.

Tom Buford:  If she doesn’t, I would absolutely get those and highlight those in the marketing, because that does — the social groups can make a lot of people go from a maybe to a yes when they see, “Sally did it and I can do it, too.”  That does help.

Abe Crystal:  Yeah.

Tom Buford:  So that’s one thing.  It’s definitely — and then the timing of course when the course is out, is critical when she has a live course.  There might be some ways though that she can create some urgency when the course isn’t coming up, so she could have an evergreen or it’s an ongoing option at one price.


Tom Buford:   And then the live course is at a higher price, which would be a great opportunity for her to go up, probably pretty significantly on her live course and then offer some different bonuses or just more access to her during this window of time.  “Hey, I want to do this three times a year.  A lot of people love the information, but they want access to me.”  And that’s where she could really, I think, utilize that as a great opportunity to either get the price up or convert it to higher price point.  But she had two distinctly different offers or one that’s for sale all the time, so that she can make sales in between her live courses.  And then the other is, “Hey, it’s time to do the next live one.  It’s coming out,” and then create that fun, build up to it.  And then people do like — because some people do like the event that something’s coming up and _____ [00:30:51] can start this week and end this week, so I’m now going to show up and get this done.  Other people just want to file it and they want to be able to get into it whenever they can.  And it might be sitting down the first night they get it or three months from now when the timing is better.


Tom Buford:  So that helps.

Abe Crystal:  Yes, I like that a lot, because it also might allow her to anchor the price in a different way, right?

Tom Buford:  Yeah.

Abe Crystal:  Perhaps the evergreen version of the course becomes a $100 all by itself.

Tom Buford:  Yup.

Abe Crystal:  And then the live version could be significantly higher than that, because obviously it’s a personal feedback from her.

Tom Buford:  Yeah.  I would think if she had the — and this is just, again, I wouldn’t be telling her, “Hey, this is what should charge,” but let’s say, for example, I think in my experience you want it to be a pretty distinctly different price point if you do — you confuse people if one’s 97 and the other’s 197.  I don’t think that’s of a difference.  People are just going to wait until the course is over and know that well, she’s going to offer this other one for $97.  But if you raise it to $500 and people are going, “Wow.  There’s something going on here.”  So it could be a hundred and then 500, and there’s a very distinct difference between the two, and she could also — asking what could you do.


Tom Buford:  If you were charging more, and you rarely get $500 per client, is there something that you can do with people?  Would you be willing?  This wouldn’t be for everybody, but start thinking.  Could you have a contest for the people that are involved?  The most improved photograph and let the community judge, vote, or something fun like that.  So they’re getting involved in this thing, and there’s a reason for them to show up and pay $500, not just the learning, not what they’re going to get, but there’s also there’s this group.  So are there some things she could do if she got the price up that would add a lot of really good value without her having to add content.  That’s one thing I would say, try not to add content.  I think, we as course graders, try to show off our brains by putting so much information in there, and then we stop people in the tracks.  I know I’ve done that where I’ve just put in so much information and it becomes so overwhelming you go back in and I find myself having to curate and pull content out


Tom Buford:  So that it’s easier for people to actually take steps.  In fact, I knew you interviewed — you had somebody that you had from _____ [00:33:10] recently that was talking about that in her course _____ [00:33:12] and that’s keep it simple.  And what are the elements?  What are the few things that you can do and teach that get the best result?  That’s what you focus on.  And when people can do that, and take action, and see results, they’re going to love you for it, and you don’t need this stuff with information.

Abe Crystal:  So increase the perceived value of your course through creative additions not just throwing more content against the wall.

Tom Buford:  Yeah.  I talked about the three C’s of the higher-end information product, and that’s the content, community, and coaching.  So these are open.  This is a quick way of looking at how could you go from maybe an e-book, or a free-standing course, an evergreen course to something that is perceived at much higher value.  So content, of course, is the core content, and you don’t have to add anymore content to it.


Tom Buford:  But if you took that content, and you’ve included some coaching or at least feedback from you, it could be in a group format; it doesn’t have to be private.  It can even be an associate coach, if somebody’s watching just like, “I don’t want to do anymore coaching.”  There are plenty of people who love to do coaching, and they can be an associate coach that helps out, and you have extra teams that can value your client base.  And then also the community, you have it built in with Ruzuku, so you can have people there and just really highlight that.  That’s part of it and in this period of time that you the course creator are going to be in there, it could be a daily basis the way you’re going through this or weekly, and you’re going to answer questions and respond to people.  That really highlighting that it can then people seem to value, this is not just an e-book, this is not just a $97 program; this is something that’s elevated.

Abe Crystal:  Yeah.  That’s great.  That’s really helpful.  I think it speaks the — why people are maybe underpricing is they’re not highlighting all the great value they can provide through well designed course that they’re really facilitating.


Tom Buford:  Yeah.

Abe Crystal:  I mean if they really spelled out how great the experience is, then the price would feel much more comfortable.

Tom Buford:  Yeah.  Definitely.  Again, when people just say, “I got five videos in there, 20 minutes apiece.”  People are busy, extra time, but I don’t think it sells.  I mean sometimes you might know somebody that sells very successfully his course, and it’s a 140 plus videos.  And to me I think, “My gosh, 140 videos.  I don’t want it.  I don’t want to sit through 140 videos.  Time.  I got two kids, and I do not have the time to do that.”  That, to me, is not a selling point at all.  It’s get me to where I want to go as quickly and as easily as possible.  That’s what I want to pay for.  And I don’t want him paying more for less.  If I feel confident, then I can get the result.  So again, it’s really highlighting.  So in this case, really start thinking and I would brainstorm, just have her sit down with a piece of paper and think of all the value that what she offers brings to the client.


Tom Buford:  And again, it’s not just creating better photographs, or photographs with more emotion or what not, or even more signature for you; it’s why is it that these people want this?  Why is that important for them?  Once they’ve achieved that, what does that do for them?  The way they feel about themselves, about the photography, it could be getting a business started, and they’re actually making money from their photography.  Now, they can charge much more, because they have this ability to do something they weren’t able to do before the skill.  They’ll really start writing everything you think about without any structure to, just write creatively.  Think of all the things that somebody can get from this, and then start looking at all of this and then really look at getting back with some cash clients and asking them.  I mean we don’t do this.  I am doing this more in my business now than I used to.


Tom Buford:  I have to make a concerted effort.  But any time I’m talking to a client, I will always try to ask them.  Even if some of them that I spoke with there was a free call or something just to get to know each other, I’ll ask, either at end of that call, follow up with an email, what was the most valuable?  What did you get from that?  It’s almost always something you never thought of.  And it’s really important to touch base with your market, with your clients and ask them number 1, why did you buy the course?  But now that you’ve purchased it, you’ve gone through it, what has been the most valuable piece to you?  Don’t be afraid of the fact that a lot of people are going to say, “Well, I haven’t gone through the course yet.”

Abe Crystal:  Right.  Totally natural.

Tom Buford:  Happens to all of us and we hate it.  I mean I know I hate to hear that, but people are busy, and they don’t always get through the information, but —

Abe Crystal:  Right.  But yeah, I like that kind of — have that kind of focus question rather than try to just sort of ask people for a testimonial, which may be too general for them to give.  But ask them what was most valuable, and probably they could pull out one specific thing.


Tom Buford:  Yeah.  Definitely.  And it helps.  Then your marketing starting thinking of — if two people say the same thing, there are thousands that are thinking the same thing.  So use that in the marketing so that that’s absolutely — I sort of doing that in my marketing, too.  Again, it’s something that I don’t do as often as I should, but I’m starting to do more and more, because I see this is really interesting when you ask people this, because you think that they’re buying something for this reason, and it’s actually another reason over here.  So all your marketing has been focusing over here when it should be focusing on this.

Abe Crystal:  Yeah.

Tom Buford:  In a twit, just listen to your market, listen to your clients and especially asking paid clients not only what did they get from it because that is post consumption, but also what made you pull out your credit card and invest.  What was that deal maker for you, and that’s something you’ve got to highlight if you’re not already highlighting that.

Abe Crystal:  Great.  Yeah.  Really helpful.  Let’s kind of segue from —


Tom Buford:  Then we can continue using Laura’s course as the example from the challenge of how  should she price the course, and what are ways that she could increase, perceive value that would merit a higher price into talking about marketing and launching the course more effectively.

Tom Buford:  Okay.

Abe Crystal:  And it’s kind of an interesting, too, because we’re not talking about like creating a brand new program, and you’re trying to build excitement for something brand new.  But it’s a course now that it’s proven in the sense that several dozen people have taken it and liked it.  They’ve liked it, they’ve given a really good feedback about it, so she knows that the course works in a sense, but yet she doesn’t have an easy way to continue to grow sign-ups and revenue.  It’s just kind of static right now.

Tom Buford:  Okay.

Abe Crystal:  So how can we sort of give her some coaching on that?  What advice would we give to Laura to help her launch future sessions of this course more effectively?


Tom Buford:  Position yourself as the expert that’s critical which probably sound obvious,s but we don’t do this.  We don’t do the _____ [00:40:11].  Common sense isn’t common.  I’m certainly guilty more than anyone though.

Abe Crystal:  Well, I don’t think it is really — it’s obvious, too.  It probably isn’t certain areas such as business coaching.

Tom Buford:  Yeah.  It’s true.

Abe Crystal:  People read about that a lot, but a lot of our course traders, too, are in more creative fields like photography, and design, and writing, and they don’t necessarily think that way.

Tom Buford:  Yeah.  I talk about being read, being seen, and being heard, so there are three mediums you can get out there and be seen as an expert.  If somebody reads a blog post, they’d assume you’re an expert.  I mean they’ve read your blog post, they liked what you’ve said.  So it’s not I think positioning yourself as an expert in a conceited way.  It’s really stepping up and saying, “Hey, I have something.”


Tom Buford:  Obviously, if somebody has created a course you have great information and knowledge that is beneficial for people.  You’re an expert to your clients and it’s just doing that at a higher level.  One of the quickest ways, I think, is to borrow that expertise and that’s through finding groups, associations, and people that have already taken time to build that list and see if they’re willing to share.  And sometimes that comes in the form future blog posts, or something you could be a guest blogger, or if somebody can actually promote a webinar presentation or something that you’re doing, that would be more like the JV or joint venture type deal, which is incredibly powerful.  It takes a little bit of work and knowing what to do, but really it’s just getting out there and sharing as much as possible.  I would say getting your brand stamped on Facebook and having a fan page there and starting to build that fan page.


Abe Crystal:  Glad you mentioned that, because that was actually one of Laura’s questions is she has a small Facebook following, and she’s scared that she’s going to come across as pushy or just like a course promoter if she’s constantly posting about her courses on Facebook.

Tom Buford:  Yeah.

Abe Crystal:  So how do you balance this kind of personal medium with expressing the news about your course?

Tom Buford:  Well, number one, does she have a fan page or is it her personal profile?  Do you know?

Abe Crystal:  I think she has both, actually.

Tom Buford:  Okay.

Abe Crystal:  Yes.

Tom Buford:  Okay.  So in the personal profile, yeah, I’m really careful.  You don’t want to be spammy, promoting too much stuff on that.  I mean that’s not really the word.  It’s kind of keep it personal, and I would say invite people to your fan page and — but promote when the time is right.  If she has a course that she’s running — how long does her course run?

Abe Crystal:  Six weeks.

Tom Buford:  Six weeks, three times a year, so 18 weeks, so it’s a third of a year, roughly.  So in the entirety of the year, she has what, nine months left over —


Tom Buford:  Eight months left over or something like that where she’s not promoting or she’s not even delivering the course.  Because really, if you look at it in terms of like the window of opportunity to promote her course, there’s not very much time which means that she could promote the hell out of that course at that time.  And then the other time she’s just giving feedback, giving — I think a great way to market and promote a course is to highlight clients.  And in her case, man, how cool would it be if she had like that photograph of the week from her course clients, and, “Hey, this is my ABC course client, Linda, who posted a photograph here.  I just want to share it with everybody.  This is what she’s done here.  This is what she was doing before; this is what she’s doing now.”  And it’s, I think, a really cool way of highlighting, of course, your client, which is really fun for that person, but also it lets people know in a very kind of subtle way that “Okay, she has this course. And I want to keep an eye on how I’ve learned about that.  So you’re kind of planning that scene.


Tom Buford:  So it’s a way of doing it in a non-pushy, _____ [00:44:05] way but just letting people know, “This is one of my clients, and here’s what she’s doing now.”  And it’s making a difference than, “This is what she says about it.”

Abe Crystal:  But in between launches and in between course sessions, your saying post lots of cool ideas about her topic, photography, share examples of what cool stuff her students and clients are doing, just build community around it.  And then when it is time for enrollment to start for a new course that’s going to be kicking off live, do really focus on it and don’t be afraid to post aggressively about that.

Tom Buford:  Yeah.  I mean that’s your time to promote, and if you have in between, you’ve given really good information, you’ve given tips and like with photography, there are so many things that somebody can do, and I understand that she’s not just doing just how to use visual camera, but there are a lot of things that she knows that she could be including in there.  So it doesn’t have to all be tied in with just that course.


Tom Buford:  If I’m talking about Charge What You Deserve, there’s also online marketing.  If you’re building a list, that’s part of Charge What You Deserve is getting in front of your ideal clients.  So I can talk about internet marketing, creating a course, because I talk about one price fits all business model.  That’s not great even if you want to create multiple offers.  What about creating a course, or a product, or a group format?  So I can talk about all of these things, and then when it comes time to promote Charge What You Deserve or one of the other programs that I have, when you’re in that zone, it should be — this is my week or two weeks to promotion, and this is what I’ve been focused on.  Also, I think I like to talk about traffic training and offer, so if you have — if you’re selling anything, just break down marketing _____ [00:45:39].  So you have an offer.  That’s your course.  You start with that, and you have training that leads to that course and traffic that can come from anywhere.  You can add social media speaking whatever you want to do there, but the training I think is important, because I think we think of marketing as being pushy and salesy and we’re just getting people to the sales page.


Tom Buford:  But if you think of what are some big mistakes people are making, and you can expose those mistakes in a webinar.  And in her case, she can talk about some common mistakes that people make when they’re doing photography and some of the pitfalls they can get into and maybe where they’re spending money that they don’t need to.  This is a lot of value.  And then the next step, “Here’s what I do when my course is coming up.”  So you could provide training and value that leads to that next step.  It’s actually giving information without holding back but then there is that next step is my course does this.  This is where we can take it much further, and I’m involved to get to interact with this group, this great online group and share all of your photographs and whatever it is she’s doing that gets people excited.

Abe Crystal:  Yeah.  Absolutely.

Tom Buford:  So, yeah, even during that launch period, if she’s doing that type of selling through webinars or teleseminars or some form of education based marketing, I mean get as many people there as you can, because you’re just going to provide great information.


Tom Buford:  And then just always think some people say it’s three to one, get three pieces of information before you get a pitch.  I know people, all they do is promote, and they do it well.  They don’t have a problem with it.  It trained their market though, and this is key.  I know people will get started.  One thing I tell people is promote soon, because you will start training your list that all you do is provide free information and then when you pitch something, everyone unsubscribes.  It’s not everybody, but you get a lot of unsubscribes.  And again, we don’t like unsubscribes either.  We hate to see those, but it’s a reality that happens.  So I would say —

Abe Crystal:  So you have to set up a cadence that you’re providing valuable education and content regularly to your list so that it’s something that people just expect to stay on it long term and then the occasional promotion, they’re okay with that.

Tom Buford:  Yeah, definitely.


Tom Buford:  I mean definitely there’s nothing wrong with promoting your own business to — I’m actually going into a Starbucks, and they don’t have a cash register.  I mean there’s no way for you to take a transaction, you’re not promoting anything, there’s no — I mean it doesn’t happen.  We wouldn’t do this in the _____ [00:48:13] business, yet we have this online businesses we’re not afraid to sell.  I think there’s a fine line because people _____ [00:48:21] too far with it and all they’re going to do is sell, sell, sell, sell, sell, and there’s no real back and forth.  I don’t think that’s the problem most people, especially people that are sharing artwork or that are in more artistic areas, they tend to give, give, give, give, give, and never ask.  In not much words, really it’s finding that.  I never worry when I talk to most clients, life coaches, or trainers, I never worry about them over-promoting.  That’s never the problem.  The problem is if they’re under-promoting habitually, and it comes from the heart.  They just want to help out.  They don’t want to be seen as _____ [00:48:59].


Tom Buford:  But think about it, if somebody gets value from your course, and you don’t promote it, you’re not serving that course.

Abe Crystal:  Yeah.

Tom Buford:  Those are people that could have signed up but didn’t sign up, because you didn’t want to send that second email.  So it’s something to think about.  And I think everyone _____ [00:49:15] their own rhythm.  But I would look at — there’s so many great ways of doing this.  And so to not overwhelm her in this case, when I talk about sharing information, I don’t mean writing a 2000-word blog post every day.  It could be a quick tip that takes three sentences.  “And hey, I just wanted to share this with you, guys today _____ [00:49:42].  Here’s something I found that’s really cool that helps you with your photography.  Here’s something else, and somebody’s doing.  This is really cool.  I want to show you this.  Here’s the before and after picture, and this is what they did.”  So just little things like that, if you start it every day with hanging and reach out to my Facebook group or my online list.


Tom Buford:  And I’m going to provide just a real quick piece of information.  And it’s easier to do on Facebook something like that on a daily basis for a list.  Email list maybe it’s two to three times a week.  But do it consistently and then keep the value and then they’re paying attention.  They’re opening and they’re reading what you’re doing.  It’s important to get them into that mode.

Abe Crystal:  Great. So just getting on time here, it looks like we’re coming to the end of our time.  So maybe we can kind of recap what are some sort of key takeaways that people who are in kind of a similar position to this specific case study we talked about, but I think the lessons are very generally applicable, and a lot of people are at roughly the stage that Laura is at.

Tom Buford:  Okay.  Great.

Abe Crystal:  So it sounds like somebody, the takeaway is on the pricing side are first and foremost don’t undervalue your course.


Abe Crystal:   But that’s easy to say hard to do so some of the more specific ways you can do that would be look at your — I  think you said look at the value of your course broadly. Make sure you think about the transformation it provides in your client’s life and experience, not the amount of content you’re delivering or the features of your course.

Tom Buford:  Yeah.

Abe Crystal:  And one way you could do that is make sure you’re going through every component of the experience that you’re delivering if it’s a live scheduled course.  So not only are you giving people these specific types of content, but you’re having calls or webinars with them during the course, you’re giving them personal feedback, you’re introducing them into a community of peers, so they can learn from each other, make sure you’re explaining the richness of the learning experience you’re providing, and that’s what makes a higher price comfortable for you and the people who are going to sign up for your course.

Tom Buford:  Yes.


Abe Crystal:  And so that allows you to then have a model where you don’t necessarily have to go out and get hundreds of sign ups to build a good course business that complements your coaching or consulting business.  You may only need 10 or 20 people for your first course to make it really worthwhile.

Tom Buford:  Yeah, that’s right.  I think most people, if they had a $300 course and they sold 10 makes $3000 the first time out, they’d be thrilled to death.  I think too often, we look at this big, big launches, and we see, “Wow, somebody made a million dollars in the launch.”  I don’t know about you, Abe, but I know people who do some of these launches.  And if you know all details behind the scenes, and how long it took to lead up to that, and what they did before hand, they didn’t come here overnight doing this, and you have a lot of other things that are going on to literally eat into some of that profit.  So if somebody had a nice model where they’re making $3000, $4000 every time they launch a course, and they also have a back hand offer or something else and then something that’s going on consistently, I think most people will be really, really pleased with that.


Tom Buford:  And then of course, you build on that.  So if you get started with that then you can start — maybe it’s increasing the price but also really getting out there as the expert.  And just building — that’s one thing I forgot to mention, too, and get to is always continue to build the list, be able to build that community, because we start to put people on to our email list or on our Facebook group, and then we can’t burn them out in time.  Even with good information, they get involved with something else.  They moved on, so a lot of people do move on to other things.  So it’s really important to always be thinking of what can I do this week to add new people to my list?  And it doesn’t have to be hundreds of people.  But just start thinking of — always think about the way that you can do that.  And fortunately, oftentimes, that’s just creating great content, putting some short YouTube videos out there.  A lot of people are doing it now using podcasting, hangouts, promotional partnerships, a lot of things you can be doing that don’t cost money that can build in —


Tom Buford:  Just with consistent work, just doing a little — I don’t expect overnight maximum results, but if you did this consistently, if you looked back a year from now in where your business is, it would be amazing, the difference.

Abe Crystal:  Yeah.  So short term, don’t undervalue your work.  If you’ve run a course at a $100, think about how can you reframe it, so it’s $500.  Is it — there’s a $100 version that’s on demand  on evergreen and $500 live, or you’re simply reframing and doing better marketing around the same course to promote it as a $500 course.  And then long term, build a list by sharing your great teaching, the stuff that inspired you to create the course in the first place — share that publicly through all your different media so that you’re growing your tribe, your audience.

Tom Buford:  Yup.  Always.  Yeah.  And one thing, too, when you’re looking at pricing, we tend to look at — oh, when somebody overhears things _____ [00:54:58] something less expensive than me, so I have to match that.


Tom Buford:  So then it’s a race to see who goes to the zero the fastest.  Rather than doing that, I would start seeking — if you just have to do that, you have to look at what other people are charging, then start looking at the higher price point.  Look at the people that are at the very top that are charging numbers that make you very uncomfortable and see what they’re doing differently.  So what are the elements?  What are the little subtleties that they’re doing that are allowing them to charge prices they’re charging, and it doesn’t mean that you meet that price but start thinking about there is this huge difference here, and there are people that are charging pretty much in a niche at the very, very high end, and they’re able to do it very successfully.  And so it’s not just — again, it’s not just the price; there is the marketing that goes behind it.

Abe Crystal:  Okay.  Great.  Yeah, on the launching side, a couple of takeaways were to — it sounds like it sort of mapped out your year.


Abe Crystal:  So think about when are you going to be running courses live, and how far advanced you need to be marking them, and how much sort of free education content inspiration do you need to be putting out leading up to the first day of the course to get people really excited about it and to get those sign ups.  You probably can’t just post ones on Facebook and send one email to your list and have a bunch of sign-ups.  That’s unlikely to happen unless you have something truly amazing.  So you have a schedule that allows you to share this message and why the course can be valuable for people multiple times leading up to the actual start of the course.  But that doesn’t mean necessarily that you have to just be hammering a sales message all the time.  It’s basically just a more compressed version, right, of what you’re saying about building your list.  It’s education based.


Abe Crystal:  It’s sharing or teaching, sharing inspiration but always having, putting people back to, “Hey, if this excites you, and you want to learn more about this, here’s my course.  It’s going to help you do that.”

Tom Buford:  Yeah.  Definitely.  I mean if you have people who went to your course and they’re really proud, and they’re, “Here’s where I was, and here’s where I am no.”  Why wouldn’t you want to get that out?  That’s what’s so great about online courses and information products.  It’s that I don’t know any other way that you can touch people in this kind of a way, I mean, really make that impact.  There’s no other thing that you can do that I can think of that they can affect this many people.  I mean it’s completely scalable, and it’s one of those very few things that it’s as scalable as a book yet you can charge much more — I mean I’ve told people before, ifyou have a book, you can turn that into an information product and add it as what you’re charging for your book.  People don’t get that, but it’s just the perceived value again of the book.  They’ll only 10 bucks for it. An online course, you can easily get much more for it especially if you add audio or video, that multimedia component, there’s a higher perceived value, different learning process there.


Tom Buford:  So I mean it’s just a fantastic way to reach more people, so why would you want to keep it a secret. So other than that, get it out there really just shout it from the rooftops.  And that’s a great thing about marketing through education is that you can do it in a way that still leads to your end result and buying your information product.  But you’d still get great information, so marketing doesn’t have to be like ‘yuck.’  So many people I know, they hear marketing, they think, “I don’t know.”  But it’s the lifeblood of your business, and you can do it in a way that it’s really, really authentic and comfortable and gives value.  So I think that’s key.  And I think that’s the direction we’re going to think, too, that’s why social media and hangouts and these things and doing video so people can actually see a face and see that you’re areal person doing — delivering the information.

Abe Crystal:  Right.  So like a common thing I might see people posting on social media about their course launches, enrollment is now open for my course or please come check out my course…


Abe Crystal:  But I think what I hear you saying is you shouldn’t even be talking about your course so much; you should be talking about the results or the transformation that people get as a result of that, so you’re posting, “Here’s the amazing beautiful photograph that somebody created as a result of taking my course.”

Tom Buford:  Yeah, absolutely.  Well, then they see it, and it becomes a reality again, because the services are so ambiguous.  It’s really hard, especially like you were selling coaching or consulting; it’s difficult to see the end result, but the product makes it more concrete.  People can actually visualize, “Okay.  Here’s an end result here.  You have seven steps to accomplish, fill in the blank.”  And when somebody actually sees the end result that somebody accomplished, not only do they really get it, it clicks that okay, that’s what I can do, they also see somebody else do it.  So the social proof also kicks in.  And when they see somebody else, it was like them that accomplished this.  It makes it a reality.  I think one of the reasons — there are two main reasons people won’t pay your price.  One is that they don’t believe that they can do what it is they want to do with the others that they don’t think you can help them achieve that


Tom Buford:    So this kind of a marketing lets them — it helps them believe in both.  Okay.  This person did it, so I feel more confident that I can do it.  And Laura has designed a course that creates this result, so I obviously trust in this person so that may separate you I think from a lot of people.

Abe Crystal:  Perfect.  Well, thank you so much, Tom, for your time.  It is really, really helpful and the level of detail I think really makes it applicable for people.

Tom Buford:  I hope so.

Abe Crystal:  I’m sure we’ll be talking more about these topics in the future.  But for folks who are excited to learn more about this from you, where should they go to find out more about you and your work?

Tom Buford:  Yeah.  Go to, and I’m just going to double check the link here.  But the best that I have a report that they can if they’re interested — they can just go to, and I’ve got a lot of free videos there that talk about pricing and marketing.


Tom Buford: They can just go dig right into that, or they can go to\cwyd, CWYD, that’s for Charge What You Deserve.  There’s a free report there that I have that covers some of the big mistakes people make when they’re pricing, a little bit of what we covered today, but there’s some other things that I covered there as well, and some strategies that they can do instead, so that would be something to check out and just go there first.

Abe Crystal:  Yeah.  Highly recommended and everyone checked that out because — especially if you’re offering coaching/consulting services which probably almost everyone listening is offering some version of that.  You really need to be able to charge what you deserve.  That’s what makes your business sustainable.  And I can tell you, too, as well, I’m on Tom’s email list, and he sends the most concise to the point.  Emails are pretty much _____ [01:01:50] that I subscribed to so you’re not going to be filling up your inbox with nonsense.  Most of his emails are like one or two lines.


Tom Buford:    Thanks.  Yeah.  I try to let people know, “Hey, if you want to learn more go here, if not, don’t worry about it.”

Abe Crystal:  It’s refreshing in this era of people sending massive, multipage emails.

Tom Buford:  Yeah.  I don’t like reading them so much, so it’s hard for me to write them, too, so I understand.  Well, thanks.

Abe Crystal:  Yeah, I really appreciate your time, and we’ll talk again soon.

Tom Buford:  Yup, sounds good.  All righty.  Bye, bye, everyone. Thanks.