Once you start to offer coaching programs or other products online, you may come across an issue. How do you get paid. When you look at many programs on offer it looks so easy. But in reality there are several things you need to think about in order to get paid.
Where will you get paid?
By this I mean will you be paid on your website, within a course platform, through a payment processor, or by emailing a PayPal button. You want the payment procedure to be simple and reliable for your clients.
If you have a WordPress website you can find several plugins that integrate with Stripe or Paypal to allow you to accept payment. Make sure it’s a plugin that integrates with your email platform. If you have a membership or course platform on WordPress it probably comes with some payment processing capability.
Other website platforms will likely charge more for you to be able to accept payment. If you use Squarespace, this platform has Square built it for payments. Wix offers several different payment options as well.
If you use a standalone course platform like MemberVault or Thinkific, payment processing will be included with the platform. I highly recommend MemberVault because you can start for free and offer several different digital products.
You can also use platforms like Thrive cart or Sam cart for accepting payment. These platforms use other payment processors but also provide checkout pages, affiliate sales, upsells and order bumps. And if you need to deal with sales taxes then a platform like this might be for you.
Although they are designed for products like digital downloads platforms like Sendowl and Payhip can also be used for other types of products. Sendowl charges a monthly fee for use. With Payhip you have the option of paying per sale or paying a monthly fee. Since these also integrate with Stripe or Paypal you’ll also pay the transaction fees.
If you are using Paypal but don’t have your website or course platform ready to accept payment, you can send a PayPal button by email. While it's not the most professional way of doing things, it’s one of the fastest and simplest.
Types of payment processors
The payment processor is the platform that allows you to accept payment for your products and services. Payment processors include PayPal, Stripe and Square. The payment processor can also be part of other platforms, but most will integrate with another payment processor. Here are some of the most common payment processors.
PayPal is one of the most popular payment processors because of the ease of use. Many people will make the choice to purchase something because if they are signed in it’s as easy as a click of a button. PayPal is easy to integrate with your website or other system. You’ll need to set up a business account to use PayPal for your business.
The downside of using PayPal is that they are known to side with the buyer in most cases in a dispute. This can be difficult in the case of online services and digital products. Some people don’t like PayPal and will refuse to use it.
PayPal has a transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30.
Stripe is another popular payment processor. If you are using Stripe with your website you may find it a little harder to use than PayPal. But Stripe is integrated with many payment systems so you won’t have to worry about the details.
It is a good option to use it you think that PayPal will limit your sales. I offer both options to make sure payment is not an issue.
Another downside to Stripe is that it is only available in 30 countries so it may not be a choice for you.
Stripe has a transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30.
Square is more known for its square mobile payment adapters, but they also provide online payment options. It is a good choice for you if you also see clients in person and want a payment system that can do both.
Square is available for Squarespace websites and can also be integrated into WordPress sites. But it may not be as widely available for other systems.
Processing fees differ depending on if the payment is online or with the terminal. Terminal fees are 2.65% while online fees are 2.9% + $0.30.
You may need to collect and pay taxes for the products you sell. The laws regarding taxes will depend on where you live and on the type of products you offer. If you need to collect taxes then make sure your payment method allows the flexibility for you to do this.
You may need to check with your accountant to see the best way to do this.
Connection to email list
Integration with email marketing system is important. Sending an automated message immediately after purchase will allow your customers to feel at ease about the purchase. If they only get a notification from PayPal but hear nothing from you, they may wonder if your product is actually a scam.
This is especially important for coaching programs or courses that start at a future date.
Having an automated email also makes it easier for you. If a purchase is made on the weekend or in the middle of the night, you don’t need to be sending out emails to everyone who purchases.
Delivery of product or services
The delivery of your product or service is an important part of the payment process. For low cost digital downloads people usually expect immediate access. Platforms like PayHip and SendOwl are designed for digital downloads so make this easy.
MemberVault also allows seamless access to courses and digital products.
If you are selling higher end coaching then you have probably discussed with your client how the delivery of the program will work.
Since you are in business, I’m assuming you want to get paid. But tackling the technical and logistical issues of getting paid can be challenging. I hope this article has helped you to better understand how to get paid.