In 2022, I started thinking about ways I could help more people go through my coaching program and get their books written. I was doing 1 to 1, I love it, but its time intensive and therefore expensive.
I wanted a better way to make my proven program accessible.
I know that information alone (course, book, articles) isn’t enough.
We need accountability, feedback, fun, a sense of being in it together. A cohort.
You may be thinking of running cohorts to grow your business too. If so, here’s my advice on pricing them – let me know what you think! (skip to the bottom for the TL:DR version!)
A great question
I’m currently recruiting for the next cohort (Short Valuable Books, guaranteed publishing, coached through the process, you keep the royalties) and during one of our calls I was asked: “Why does it cost more now than a year ago?”
It was a great question about why the price has increased, and a brilliant example of how something obvious to me was not obvious to others (teaching moment – lol – get peer feedback!)
When I kicked the idea off last year it was a punt, a bet: Would it be easier, cheaper & with a higher chance of success for smart people to get their book written, published & promoted if we did it as a cohort?
I payrolled the first cohort, I paid the editor and designer from the income, subsidised it with income from personal coaching, and did everything else for free – it was an experiment.
I enjoyed it, so did the people who got through the process. We had a couple of people drop out early on, then the group gelled and worked.
We got 5 Amazon category best seller books. Ideas that had been sitting on computers, scraps of paper & in heads for a long time got turned into assets.
Two of the books are finalists in The Business Book Awards 2023.
I upped the price for the second group of Short Valuable Book authors, to cover all the costs. It was still in the experimental stage, so I kept it small, 2 people dropped out in the first weeks (the same 2 people as before as they transferred, cohorts probably aren’t for them, they’ll almost certanly be better with 1 to 1).
I will not make a profit on cohort 2, but I won’t be working completely for free and I can pay my editor and designer better (they’re brilliant).
I don’t like pricing on “cost plus” because what we do is not a commodity – and your book should not be a commodity asset.
It’s not fungible (I love saying that word!) – it’s special.
Today – out of experimentation mode
For SVB3 I can now get the advantage of “economies of cohorts” (I made that phrase up, it makes sense to me, lol!)
The materials I deliver are created, the coaching dashboard is set up, the process is tested.
I have created assets, worksheets (fill-in-ables), templates. The short valuable courses are created, so you can take it in at your own time.
Our editor has developed a style guide to make the process smoother, our designer has working interior designs and cover designs, and rules to make the process run faster.
The marketing scripts and outlines are ready, the Linkedin & visual templates are prepared, our checklists are proven.
My coaching & delivery style has improved (soz to the first cohort for firehosing and dragging them through the constraints!) and I’m sure that the timescales work.
It’s really bloody good 😉
The economies of cohorts – a great business model
Alex Hormozi wrote a ‘funny’ tweet:
1) Value: is what they get
2) Price: is what they pay
3) Cost: is what it costs you
Great business: 1 > 2 > 3
Most businesses: 2 > 1 > 3
Bad software startups: 3 > 2 > 1
For the SVB cohorts 1 and 2, I was running an experimental model: 3 > 1 > 2 (Alex didn’t think of that one!)
For SVB 3 I’m running a great business model: 1 > 2 > 3 – you get massive value, for a fair price, and it costs me less to deliver so I make a profit!
So you can see the massive value (in case I still didn’t make it clear), for you to self-publish your own book (so you get all the royalties as you do with the SVB model – the reverse royalties is an honour system)
SELF PUBLISH COSTS
1. Coach to help you through the writing process so you write a book that gets read and referred, it has a useful business job for you and your business, and will make you look awesome = from 5000 euros (for a baby coach, lol! I’m a grown up coach with more than 200 books under my belt)
2. Professional editor to make sure your “wrd amke snese” [sic & lol] = from 1000 euros
3. Interior book designer = from 1000 euros
4. Cover designer = from 1000 euros
5. Your time managing the process = depends on experience of doing this previously and how much you charge, assume 30 hours of process management (not writing and thinking, you have to do that bit anyway) = ADD YOUR PRICE HERE
HYBRID PUBLISH COSTS
You could get a hybrid publisher and share your royalties 50/50:
1. Coach = from 5000 euros
2. Hybrid publish package = minimum 6500 euros
3. Marketing assets & support = from 2000 euros
COHORT (with me!) PUBLISH COSTS
Coaching, peer support, full publishing package (guaranteed) only 8000 euros.
I can only do this for LESS than you can do it yourself because of the economies of cohorts! I can only do this better than you can do it yourself or get it done elsewhere because of my years of experience.
The value you get from being part of a cohort is, in my opinion, immeasurable!
You might be thinking of running a cohort, and wondering if it’s worth the punt? I think it is, BUT, think through the economics first.
My suggestions for running cohorts:
1. The experimentaion stage is vital – but don’t break your bank – at least cover costs
2. Systemise as quickly as possible – make it easy for you, your team and the cohortees (lol)
3. Ask for and act upon feedback – I am a firehoser – I needed to be told (a few times)
4. Make it better EVERY time – when you are making a profit you have more resources to increase the value you give – it’s a virtuous circle
5. Don’t be afraid to increase the prices, the next cohort (4) will be even more expensive because I will be offering even more value
6. Reward referrers and the refered – everyone wins!
Remember: I’m not fungible* and neither are you!
Finally, if you have any more questions about cohorts in general, head to https://expertauthor.academy/ or pop me a message, I’m happy to jump on a call with you.
Ciao for now!