Someone emailed me saying my webinars were too expensive and that I'd sell many more if they were cheaper. My latest LIVE Webinar is priced at $44.99. Although It's a live webinar, it also includes a DVD shipped to you, a PDF that includes the photo reference for the portrait project, a line drawing to trace, 28 step by steps, and a recording of the live webinar. It's basically a full course.
Pricing is difficult.
The closest competitor I could find is a DVD on Amazon, selling for under $25. It's shorter than mine, and I'm sure a good part of the time is spent on an intro and discussing supplies. The reviews are lackluster, with the main complaint being that instructions are missing.
I have purchased colored pencil workshop CDs/DVDs in the past for under $20. I have been disappointed in the actual amount of instruction given. There's a lot of talk about supplies and a lot of talk about basic techniques, and then a bit of step by step instruction. What is INEVITABLY missing is the why of a technique. To my mind, explaining why or why not you use a particular color or stroke or pressue is the gold standard for instruction of any kind.
To be honest, I have a good deal of confidence in my ability to teach because I seem to have been born with a pretty strong "empathy gene". While teaching, or creating teaching materials, I am constantly thinking about how this will be heard, what questions might someone have, what will happen if you don't follow this specific instruction, etc. It's in answering those sorts of questions that true instruction lives. The webinars (and my workshops) consistently get 5 star reviews. And I have around 20 years of teaching experience. If the quality of my instruction is exceptional, I can't help but feel justified in charging a premium price.
I know the price for all 3 webinars is fairly high. Each one is pretty much a stand-alone course, though. Taking just Webinar 3, if you're familiar with my portrait book, would be very helpful. It really does include video that shows much more than you can possibly see in an in-person workshop because the camera is so close and unobstructed. I have a fair amount of costs involved: equipment, software, assistants and I personally have put in over 200 hours of work in planning, filming, organizing, writing and editing just Webinar 3!
The "LIVE" part of the equation also has to be factored in. Once the live webinar is over, the DVD will go on sale for less, since the "be with Ann in her studio and ask questions" part will be missing. We also frequently have sales and generally discount pretty heavily during a sale. If the price is very reasonable to begin with, than taking a big discount off makes it just too cheap. I work 7 days a week…about 70 hours a week. I don't do it to make a million! I do it to pay the mortgage, like everyone else, and put a tiny bit away for retirement, which is looming. I've raised kids single-handedly and an artist's income doesn't go a long way toward savings, even one who has written books (that the publisher mostly profits from) and who has created a mini-colored pencil empire! :-)
If I don't value it, who will?
But also, I must say that I am not just a sales person. I don’t just run a business. I take pride in my workmanship, my talent, my teaching abilities, my teaching materials. I don't rest till everything is just so, and till everyone is happy. And taking pride sort of equates to "valuing it enough to charge enough".
You get what you pay for.
I had my lawn re-seeded in the backyard this summer. I got a "great deal" on labor...a fraction of the cost I thought I'd have to pay. I'm nearly 60 and am still learning that you get what you pay for! They did so many things wrong when re-seeding, and now, two months later, I'm babying that darned lawn constantly and have to use the weed-whacker to cut it because the lawn mower just pulls all the grass out! Turns out I saved money, but I don't have a lawn to enjoy yet...
Taking all of the above into consideration, I arrived at the price for the new Advanced Skin Tones Webinar. I actually don't think it is expensive. I believe it's a fair price for an excellent product - and still saves you lots of moola compared to attending an in-person workshop!