The scary Pay What You Want model

Angela van SonBlog7 Comments

I’ve been practically yelling at online friends “Don’t do it” if they suggested they wanted to try out the Pay What You Want model. I’ve heard so many disappointing stories about it, of people who hardly made any money, felt seriously undervalued, or both. Then I read this blogpost by Tom Morkes. He made me curious…

So I got thinking. My next free e-course will start on January 3. It will be free for the last time. And think I might change it from free into the Pay What You Want version. The timing is too short to follow up on all Tom Morkes tips, but I’d like to set it up for success anyhow. Here are some of the things I’m wondering about:

1) Will I ask people to pay when they sign up, or afterwards?

2) Shall I suggest an amount, or leave it up to everybody to decide for themselves?

3) What works in the Pay What You Want model?

4) What doesn’t work.

I’m very interested to hear your experiences with this model. Either as somebody who used it to get paid, or as somebody who’s been a client and paid for something this way. What do you think?

In the meanwhile, I’m considering to buy Tom Morkes guide to work with this model. There’s something about the amount of information he shares for free that makes me willing to pay. Looks like the man really knows what he’s doing with this model 😉

7 Comments on “The scary Pay What You Want model”

  1. Pay what you want? Seems Elance, O’Desk and Deviantant art have already contributed to cheapening many professions with the large amount of business owners wanting to have high profits and pay next to nothing for services. Before going that route, I would consider what it could do to the coaching profession.

    1. Angela van Son

      Hi Cheryl, thank you so much for sharing this point of view. I don’t want to start a sale, especially not for my coaching services. This would be a one time thing for the free e-course, before it starts to be a fixed fee e-course.

      1. I understand, I still thing it is shaky ground and can make you look desperate, doing more damage than good. I love Holly’s approach of offering a taste of her abilities and a way of having a dedicated group of followers, and tons of recommendations because of her free challenge. She is everywhere now because of how she did it – YouTube, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. with people recommending her free challenge and also her courses. I think she is getting way more value with that free challenge then a few pennies here and there would every bring.

  2. Hi Angela – first: thanks so much for your kind words! I definitely try to be as transparent and up front as possible with everything I teach, so this is a greate compliment to me.

    In regards to using PWYW.

    In the guide (and especially the complete package, where I have 10+ bonuses), I explain a couple essential things:

    1. It doesn’t work for everything – there are 5 criteria your product or service needs to meet
    2. Just because you use PWYW doesn’t mean people will be generous – you still need to give them a REASON to contribute (which is what my 6 step perfect pitch framework is all about)

    I see Cheryl telling you not to use PWYW.

    I would say do a little more homework and see if it makes sense.

    Off the top of my head, I can think of at least 5 case studies where people have made free ecourses paid using PWYW and started to make money – and how one lady in particular changed hers from $150 to PWYW and started making two or three times as much income.

    PWYW doesn’t make you look cheap or water down your other prices if you do it right. But again, you have to do it right.

    Hope that helps!!

    – Tom
    Tom recently posted…In The Trenches 017 : From Hobby to 6 Figure Business with Cliff RavenscraftMy Profile

    1. Angela van Son

      What a nice suprise Tom, I didn’t expect to see you here! I think it’s a perfect example of the personable way you work. You are being real, not a marketing machine.

      Thank you for the extra information. I’m thinking and I’m thinking some more, and something will come out of it. I’ll let you know what.

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