A Beginner’s Guide to Setting Your Coaching Prices
Congratulations! You are a certified coach and ready to get to work, but how do you even start going about pricing your coaching packages? There is loads of information out there on different ways to price your coaching packages and while some avenues may work better for some, I’m here to help you find the best way to set your coaching prices that will suit your lifestyle and your value as a coach, what factors you should consider when coming up with your price and debunk some common advice given to beginner coaches.
Don’t undervalue your expertise
Before you begin to price your coaching packages, you need to recognize the value that you bring to your clients. Many coaches undervalue their work and therefore underprice their packages. Perhaps they suffer from imposter syndrome – just starting out and thinking they don’t deserve to charge top dollar for something they are so new at. Some coaches think a high ticket will deter clients from wanting to pay. And others may price based upon factors that may not be beneficial to them for sustaining a livelihood.
As a coach, you should be confident in your knowledge and ability to coach clients. After all, you are certified! The mere fact that people have sought you out shows that they are looking to be coached and willing to pay online coaching prices. The price you charge will determine your success, portray your professionalism and prove that you are a legit coach.
And if your knowledge isn’t enough, you can be unwavering in the fact that the biggest benefit you are offering is the time saved to your clients, and this ultimately what they are buying. Sure, anyone can google how to be a successful life coach or do extensive research on how to create a health coach package, or even take years worth of business coaching classes, but all of that takes time. Your clients will benefit from a term I have dubbed collapsed time. You can guarantee that you will save time for your clients, even regardless of the results. Your package offers all the research, your life, and professional experiences, and all the hacks, templates, and tips your clients need to start their coaching journey in a short time.
What’s in a coaching package
What you include in your coaching packages should be clearly defined and simple. Bullet point the lesson plans, the templates, the worksheets, but don’t overwhelm your clients with the features. Instead, highlight the benefits or the value of your package.
Think of buying a new car. An air conditioner is a feature of this car, but you are not buying the car because of this feature. You are buying it because not having one would make for a miserable ride. With an air conditioner, you will be comfortable, your family will be cool. You buy because of the result. Same with your coaching package.
Emphasize the time collapsed and the faster results clients will expect from your package. How will your package change their life, make it easier? The value of your package is what will ultimately sell and entice clients to be willing to pay.
How much should I charge for coaching?
Let’s look at the factors to consider (and not consider) when setting prices for your online coaching packages. While we will refer to health coaching, these considerations can be used just as easily for life coaching prices and executive coaching prices.
Your targeted audience is who you want to purchase your coaching packages. You have an in-depth perspective on who your ideal client is, what you think their income is and can therefore set your price accordingly. But should you? Many other coaches will advise to base your prices upon who you are working with. For instance, if you are working with CEOs, you could charge more and if you are working with students then you won’t be able to charge as much.
I call BS on this advice. Why would you assume what a certain clientele will spend? Spending and having is not the same thing. Just because someone has the funds doesn’t mean they will prioritize spending it. And willing to spend money on something someone finds valuable doesn’t necessarily reflect their bank account.
Most people want a quick fix. Like in health, people are willing to pay money for quick fixes rather than spend time working out, learning how to eat well or focusing on preventive care. With this thought in mind, pricing your health coaching packages, or any coaching packages for that matter, should focus on the value your package provides your clients. Which leads me to…
The “actual” value of your package
As I mentioned, people like a quick fix. People don’t buy coaching; they buy the outcome. Your outcome is the guarantee of time collapse. Marketing your online coaching packages so that your ideal clients will save time is a crucial element to justifying your coaching prices. The client will receive all the information they need in a one-stop shop without having to google months’ worth of information on their own. You have all the info they need to be wrapped up in a pretty bow for them to have in just weeks, if not days. This allows your clients to get started on the path they seek and get on with their life.
To niche or not to niche
I personally believe that niching yourself contributes to missed opportunities. For instance, if your audience is mothers, the only thing they have in common is that they have children. No other thing in a mother’s life may look at all like another mother’s. Instead focus on niching your priorities, values, and habits. This will attract a much broader audience that shares your characteristics, making you more relatable and seen as a professional and well-rounded coach.
How to package your coaching offers
There are a few ways to package your coaching offers, and ultimately what works for you should be your go-to. You may even switch your packages throughout your career to satisfy your goal.
Fee per session
I have found that this is the least beneficial way to offer your coaching packages. This method leads to burnout, and you don’t get paid if you don’t have participants. Today’s coaches can charge a whole hell of a lot more than old-school therapists as well, so charging by the session essentially leaves money on the table.
Fee for a specific period of time
This package works well if you set it up correctly. As a coach, you know best how long it takes for a client to see results. Include time for follow-up sessions and homework and break your sessions up into six or 12 sessions over a three-to-six-month period. I advise not going over six months as anything longer seems daunting, out of reach, and time-consuming.
This packaging works well when you offer group sessions, however, it is only truly successful when you have many people interested in your coaching package. Promoting this type of coaching package can only really be done if you have a substantial following.
Fee-based on results
I do not recommend this way to offer your coaching packages. It sounds like a get-rich scheme and in essence, devalues your expertise. You have no control over what your clients do with the information you provide them. Even though you can guarantee results if they take advantage and actually follow through, you cannot possibly know if they will truly take the steps you set out. If you choose to use this method, I advise you have a coaching contract that sets out all the expected lessons, templates, activities, etc. so the client knows exactly how to achieve the outcome he or she is paying for.
I recommend offering a VIP Day where you offer your multiple-week course all in one day. You can sell the time collapsed benefit of this package at a higher price than your normal package, emphasizing how much quicker your client can get on with their professional coaching once they have all the information after one day.
When setting your fees, think about these things
Although the value and outcome of your coaching packages are number one, there are a few other factors to take into consideration when you set your fee.
Skills and experience
If you are just starting out, you can charge your first five clients at a reduced rate. This way you can test how long it will take them to reach the desired result. You should be very clear that after the first five clients your prices will rise. After that, it is acceptable to raise your prices by 20% after every three new clients until you reach your ideal cost.
Obviously, testimonials speak highly of your ability, so asking for these is essential once a client completes your package. The more testimonials and social proof you have from your past clients illustrate your competency and justify your online coaching prices.
The actual value of your coaching packages
How valuable is the transformation you precipitate to your clients? How much collapsed time are you granting your clients? Does your outcome promise money-making if all the steps are followed to a T? Remember you are selling the actual value of the outcome of your coaching packages, not the coaching itself.
What’s included in your coaching packages
The information that you provide to your clients should be considered when setting your coaching prices. Do you offer templates, bonus sessions outside of the package, or one-on-one mentoring? Facetime is golden in coaching packages and the more tete-a-tete you can minister, the more your coaching fees will be deserved.
Debunking market research… trust me
When other authorities advise doing market research on how to set your prices, this authority calls bull sh!t.
You will read to conduct Facebook polls to get an idea of what people would be willing to spend for your services. But why in the world would you ask a group of strangers their thought on this? You don’t know their relationship with money and what they value spending on.
Others advise chatting with friends who would fit as your ideal client. Have you ever seen the tryouts on American Idol of the kids whose parents told them they were great singers when they in fact sound like nails on a chalkboard? That’s essentially what your friends will tell you, “Yeah! I’d pay that!” But they actually wouldn’t. They’re just being nice.
DON’T Google research
Google: how much should I charge for coaching? This google search will result in answers all over the spectrum. The fact is, it depends on where you live and your individual lifestyle, not the average salary of online coaches, that should help determine your coaching prices. Someone in New York City isn’t going to charge the same as someone living in a rural area as their living expenses are much higher. This ties in with asking other coaches what they charge. You don’t know what their lifestyle is like if they need to make money to cover their bills, what their package offers, or if they undervalue their own expertise.
Bottom line is that market research is a waste of time. You should set your coaching fees based on what you need to make per month to live your life and pay your bills. This is after all your full-time job, not a hobby. Check out my masterclass on how to set your coaching prices based on your lifestyle and budget.
Challenge yourself to set your own pricing
It is my personal belief that coaching cannot be taught. You are either intuitive and understand what clients need, or you don’t. You must be a good listener and observer and truly know that what you offer is valuable. When setting your coaching fees experience does not ultimately matter. A coach of 15 years could be burned out or no longer have the drive to fulfill the value his or her clients deserve. On the other hand, a beginning coach is (hopefully) passionate and excited and undeniably wants to help his or her clients. The results will intrinsically pay for itself.
How much should I charge for coaching when I’m just starting out?
If you are still struggling with what to charge in the beginning, start a bit lower than what you would ideally want to charge. Be candid when advertising. Explain you have three spots at a lower price and once the spots are filled the prices will rise. And raise your prices after that. This will help to get your feet wet without magnifying the fact that you are a newbie.
The quality of clients you attract will be based upon many things, one of them being your price. So, you don’t want to make the mistake of starting out too low. From experience, I know that offering low doesn’t mean making it easier to get clients. In the past, I have charged 800 euros for six sessions, and I found it harder to get the number of clients I needed than when I raised my price to 7,000 euros. Pricing too low may result in too many clients for you to handle or devalue your coaching package.
So just how should I price my coaching packages?
To recap, you should not compare your prices with other coaches. You don’t know how they came up with their prices and it may not be suitable to your lifestyle. As I teach in my masterclass I help you break down the numbers you need to make monthly- living expenses, recurring bills, personal and business expenses and this is determined by where in the world you live. The goal is to know how many students you need to enroll without having to put in so many hours working to this number.
My rule of thumb is that a normal package should cost one-third of your monthly bills. So, say you need to make 10,000 per month, you would price your coaching packages at 3,000. Therefore, you would need at least three new clients per month. You can also offer the VIP package I mentioned before whereby you collapse more time and instead of one-hour sessions over six weeks, you could offer a crash course in one day and charge more at 5,000. Again, you are saving time and a lot of effort on the client by giving them all the information in one swoop, so charging more is totally acceptable.
How to tell it’s time for a pay increase?
I mentioned before that you can raise the price of your package by 20% after every three clients. Once you get to your ideal fee to live comfortably, hang out there for a while. After a time, you can promote bonus information or extra courses at your regular price, making clear that your prices will rise after this one-time deal packed with “freebies.” This marketing technique will entice prospective clients to take advantage of the “free” stuff at the regular price while giving yourself a raise once the promotion is over.
Setting your coaching prices at first can be a little scary. Have confidence in what you are giving your clients, know your worth as well theirs and don’t doubt your fees! I understand it can be intimidating or even icky feeling to set prices and talk about money. For this, I have created a Money Mindset Journaling Journey. This journey will reshape your relationship with money and help you realize your worth and ask for what you deserve. You will learn how to feel rightful, confident, and honest in your prices.
I challenge you to look at your personal livelihood and come up with a reasonable cost that will make you happy and successful. Remember you are your own boss, so you get to call the shots!
If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch with me or let me know how your evergreen webinar funnel works for you!