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"Kajabi is Too Expensive": How It Actually Saves You Money Over Cheaper Systems

What is Kajabi? It's a platform to easily sell your content online - courses, e-books, membership site, coaching groups, even physical products. It's an all-in-one solution that let's you have everything under one roof: website, blog, landing, sales, and checkout pages, e-mail marketing system and more. It's pretty amazing, actually.

I'm a Kajabi Konvert

And proud of it! Heh. That was kind of obnoxious, right? But I'm totally serial. I discovered New Kajabi in December 2016 and, after taking a walk-through with a free trial, decided pretty quickly that THIS was my new best friend. 

  • I'm also a proud Kajabi affiliate because I believe in this product so much and love to share about it. Please know that any Kajabi-related links in the rest of this post are my affiliate links - and they actually save you money so I don't think you'll mind, right? There are other affiliate links as well. Thank you for supporting my work in this way :)

Analyzing All the Options

When I found Kajabi, I was trying to decide where to build my new website (yes, this one! ErikaFriday.com) and, being the The Over-Analyzer that I am, I had to personally check out a bunch of the options before making a decision (doing a total eyeroll at myself).

I've been a self-hosted WordPress diehard since 2007. So I knew there were various course and membership plugin options but I didn't know if I wanted to mess with the tech logistics that option would entail. I also considered starting with a WordPress site, my cute paid theme, and paid/free courses delivered via Mailchimp.

But I knew that long-term I'd want a lot more functionality. Since I always believe in "starting with the end in mind" - and with the fear of potential tech nightmares getting all the parts and pieces working together - I decided against using WordPress for this new project.

I already knew and loved Simplero, an all-in-one online biz platform, and have clients who use it. However, a few of it's features were holding me back (e.g., you have to make landing pages from scratch and I'm not a designer). Also, Simplero had raised its prices since I started working with it in 2015 and were higher than Kajabi prices (see more on this below).

I also checked out the Rainmaker platform, Course Cats, CourseCraft, TeachableThinkific, Ontraport, and more. I took notes and analyzed the pros and cons (the former program analyst in me has never died). I compared features and narrowed down which ones were really important to me, based on my plans for ErikaFriday.com. I decided that an all-in-one-solution was the way to go.

That Time I Chose Kajabi

Just as I was about to settle on using Simplero for this new site, I was discussing platform options with someone in the B-School group and she asked about Kajabi. Well, honestly, I had avoided looking at Kajabi (aka New Kajabi or NK) since first hearing about it a couple of years ago.

I assumed it was similar to Rainmaker, very corporate-y looking with a "male entrepreneur" vibe to it and I wanted something simple and clean but with some flair. But, oh well, sure I'll check it out for my fellow B-Schooler and give her my thoughts. {I heart talking about course platforms}.

Um, oops! I fell right down the Kajabi rabbit hole and spent the next 2 hours reading everything I could about NK, watching YouTube videos, and started a free trial. It was love at first site 💙  (< see what I did there? Eh? Eh?). I found Kajabi to be the perfect all-in-one solution for my needs and was SO excited! And it didn't look corporate-y or male-centric at all.

"But It's Too Expensive for Someone Like Me"

However, like many people checking out Kajabi, I sucked wind at the price. Yikes! "So, if I want to get started with Kajabi, we're talking $103/month (paid annually) or $129/month (paid monthly) to get started on the Basic Plan?" Ouch. Given that most people can't cough up $1,200 at once to pay annually, even to save 20% for the year, the reality for most of us is paying $129/month getting started.

That's a pretty harsh reality for someone like me who, although I'm making a living as a virtual assistant, doesn't have much left over after bills. This is coupled with the fact that I'm not earning residual income yet with courses or products, etc. Like, starting from scratch, yo.

I had to ask myself, "How can I justify spending $129 per month on something that won't be earning me any money until I get it all set up and launched?" Is that what you're thinking too? I kinda' figured. (Picture me making the peace sign with my fingers and pointing from your eyes to mine, back and forth).

That's why I'm doing this post - because I want to share how I was able to justify that cost and therefore choose my love, Kajabi, to build my site. I have tips that will save you money with New Kajabi as you get started. These ideas may make the difference in you being able to purchase this "expensive" but superior option instead of being stuck with something that's "cheaper" but not as good.

Note that I use the quotation marks because Kajabi, when comparing apples to apples, is the same price if not cheaper than other options. Okay, now I'm going to break it all down for ya'.

How Kajabi Actually SAVES You Money Over the Other Options

Here's the headline: If you add up the cost of individual programs that do all the things Kajabi does in one program, your final cost will be the same or lower with Kajabi.

Every one of us uses different software options to run our online businesses. But here's a scenario someone might follow to run their online coaching, consulting, or digital product business:

WordPress.org (free)
Divi Theme ($89/year or $7/month)
Siteground website hosting ($10/month)
LeadPages ($37/month)
ConvertKit ($29/month for 1K subscribers)
Thinkific ($49/month + 5% transaction fee)
Stripe or Paypal (free)
TOTAL $132/month (plus whatever the 5% Thinkific fee adds up to)

So, lookie there, we're at a very similar price point as the $129/month for the Basic plan on Kajabi, which will do all the things the above programs will - website, blog, host courses and e-products, lead/sales/checkout pages, e-mail marketing, video hosting, and process payments. [Since I wrote this article in 11/2017, they've also added: webinars, pipelines aka funnels, events, and more].

Please note that the above sample scenario includes the lowest-priced option for each software, with equivalent features to Basic Kajabi, paid monthly vs. annually (since I assume most of us can't afford huge annual payments). So I didn't purposely try to find the most expensive options or anything. This is a pretty reasonable scenario. You can add or subtract different components but, as you can see, it's probably going to remain in the same ballpark as the cost of Kajabi once you add everything up.

Also, keep in mind something else that might cost you even more if you DON'T use Kajabi: Paying for tech help when all these various parts and pieces need to be successfully hooked up together, and addressing problems when they go haywire (not to mention possible lost income if your site or funnel is down for any length of time). 

Simplero and Ontraport are all-in-one systems similar to Kajabi and they cost $150/mo + 1.5% transaction fee and $297 per month, respectively, for similar features. So they're clearly more expensive and I hope I've convinced you that if you can afford the other "cheaper" options, you can indeed afford Kajabi :) And guess what? It's about to get even better because I'm going to tell you 1. how to save 15% for the lifetime of your Kajabi account, and 2. how to work the free trial to your best advantage, cost-wise.

How to Save Money on Kajabi Fees

Even though you can now see the value of Kajabi pricing, I know you want to save money on it too, right? Here's the only way I've found to do it: Sign up through a Kajabi affiliate (like ME!). When you do, you save a whopping 15% on your Kajabi price for however long you remain a paid member under that affiliate. That takes the monthly price of a Basic plan down from $103 to $87.55 (if paid annually) or from $129 to $109.65 (if paid monthly). 

On an annual basis, purchasing the Basic plan through a Kajabi affiliate brings your yearly cost down from $1,236 / $1,548 to $1,051 / $1,316, an annual cost savings of $185 / $232. Hey, every little bit helps, right? Especially if you're a newb at this course/e-book/membership/product thing like I am and it will take a bit for your project to be self-sustaining much less profitable.

Just to have you thinking ahead ... the next plan is called Pro and it costs $311 / $389. From purchasing through an affiliate, your cost will instead be $264 / $330, a monthly savings of $47 / $59. 

How to Work the Kajabi Free Trial

First, you need to click on someone's Kajabi affiliate link so you'll be tagged to get the 15% discount I just talked about. When you do, it'll take you to the Kajabi home page. On the top right, you'll see a blue button for a Free Trial. That's how you get started with Kajabi. [Since I wrote this in 11/2017, Kajabi has added a Free 28-Day Challenge which also provides you with a 28-day free trial. So if that option is still available when you click over there, make sure to choose it vs. the free 14-day trial].

As you'll see, it says, "Basic Plan, Free Kajabi 14 day trial, $129.00/month, After the trial, $109.65 every month." You enter your name, e-mail, and a password and, voila!, you can start playing around with Kajabi.

Here are some tips for maximizing your Free Trial [or free 28-day challenge] and making it the most cost-effective as possible:

1. DON'T start your Kajabi free trial until you have at least 2 weeks with some extra time in your schedule, so you can settle in and play around with all the features. There IS a learning curve but plenty of resources like Kajabi University and extensive Help files. Plus, you have ME! [They have also added Kajabi Assistant, where you can start typing anything you need into the search bar and it will take you to the 'how-to' for that].

2. DON'T start your Kajabi free trial until you have some or all of your material gathered. This would include things like website, blog, and course images/graphics; product and course descriptions; course audios, videos, PDFs, and worksheets; logos and header graphics; freebies; blog posts; etc. These items can take quite a while to prepare so why waste your trial period pulling them together when you could be uploading things and setting up your Kajabi site?

3. CROSS YOUR FINGERS but it should work: When your 14-day trial ends, ask for a 2-week extension. From what I hear, it usually works and it worked for me :). So, there, I just got you 2 weeks of Kajabi for free. Love me? 💙 [As of updating this article in 03/2018, Kajabi has a Free 28-Day Challenge w/free trial so take advantage of that if it's still available! Then, hey, see if they'll extend it too. You never know unless you ask!]

The Bottom Line

No matter how much Kajabi costs, you have to weigh the pros and cons, see if it's right for you, if you believe Kajabi will ultimately MAKE you more money than it costs you, etc. My conclusion, in addition to what I've talked about above, is this: I only need to sell one $99 course or two $49 courses per month to essentially cover the cost of my Basic plan.

Then there are higher ticket items, larger, more comprehensive courses that I'll offer in a few months. Selling one of those or booking one of my Virtual VIP Days (my first Kajabi product, yay!) will MORE than cover the price of a Basic or Pro plan. Do I think I can sell one or two lower-priced products or one higher-priced product within a month? Heck yeah, I can! (And so can you). [Update 03/2018: I surpassed the $1K in sales needed to be a #KajabiHero within 1 month of promoting my Virtual VIP Day product. I only have to sell 1 Virtual VIP Day to pay for 6 months of Kajabi = totally worth it!]

So it can boil down to how much prep work you've done, if you have products ready to go, how much confidence you have in yourself and your products/services, etc. All of this can determine whether you're ready and can feel justified in taking on the "high cost" (ha ha) of Kajabi. 

Also keep in mind that figure we came to when adding up all the costs of using a method other than Kajabi to sell your courses, products, etc. If you have a strong preference for those methods for other reasons, than I say "go for it!" Kajabi is certainly not for everyone.

But if you're like me and you fall in love with the ease and "all-in-one"-ness of Kajabi, please don't let the false thought that "Kajabi is too expensive" keep you from utilizing it to fulfill your dreams. Promise? Okay, we're good then ;)

As always, I'm here to answer your Kajabi questions. Just drop me a note: erika@erikafriday.com. If I can help as your Kajabi VA, please head on over to VACreatively.com and book a free discovery call where we can talk about your project. 


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