Are you charging to much? The short answer is probably not, so good luck and have a great day! Really though, what fun is a short answer though without an explanation? Pricing is a tricky subject because in many cases your feelings about pricing are also tied to your feelings of your own value in the marketplace and face it, we’ve all got self esteem issues. You may not realize it, but your pricing is a huge piece of your brand. If you price yourself too low you’re going to look “cheap” and will attract a much different clientele than if you are charging a premium price. Then of course, you also run the risk of pricing yourself out of the market. So what’s a coach to do? You first need to decide how you want to be perceived in your brand. Do you want to be the bargain brand, or the premium? There is nothing wrong with either choice, it will depend on the image you want to put out there, and what kinds of clients you want to attract. If you’re charging a lower price it will mean that you need to find more clients in order to reach your financial goals. So when you’re figuring out how many clients you can feasibly serve a month, make sure that with your pricing you’re going to be able to pay your bills. This may sound like a “duh” piece of advice, but you’d be surprised! Try to steer clear of hourly pricing. As a coach it is so tempting to give yourself an hourly rate, based on what you see other coaches charging. Sometimes hourly rates are okay for a one off appointment, but in general you should be creating coaching packages which will allow you to leverage your time and get out of that money for time mindset (for both you and your clients). Another reason you want to get out of the time for money mindset is because it’s easy to base the price per hour on the hour you are actually on the phone with a client, but there is so much more to running your coaching business and your fees need to cover those costs. What do I mean by that? Well…you need to cover the cost of marketing to find clients, the administration of managing clients, the work you do to improve your coaching skills or coaching process, the time it takes for you to create worksheets and assignments, not to mention the in between session emails or question answering. Suddenly charging hourly for your time on the phone doesn’t sound very lucrative does it?
You also need to know your market and what level of pricing is appropriate. Do your research and check out other coaches that are serving the same market as you. Make sure that you don’t compare your prices to the coaching world as a whole because depending on the service you’re offering, and your target market, the pricing can vary greatly. It always boggles me how much executive coaches can charge for nearly the same services as those that serve other types of clients. It all has to do with the market, what they can afford, and the value they associate with coaching services. So know your market, and your competition and price yourself accordingly. This brings us back to the self esteem issue in the beginning. Many coaches will price themselves dependent on how they feel they measure up to the competition which is a terrible idea. You can’t price yourself based on how you feel you measure up because, quite frankly you’re always going to be underselling yourself. Even if you think that another coach has more experience, or is “better at coaching” than you, they don’t have what you have. Each of us brings a different set of experiences and talents, and they all have tremendous value. So stop thinking of others as better, and recognize that they are just different. The value you bring to clients is probably so much more than you think and you’ll be surprised what people are willing to pay for the results you provide. Price is almost never the barrier to buying. The barrier is the perceived value in exchange for the price. If you deliver killer results that are exactly what a prospect needs in that moment, then you could be charging the moon and they’d take out their check book. During your initial consultation calls you should always be asking your prospect what has held them back up until this point from getting help to solve their problem. The answer is nearly always NOT money and by asking this you’ll get great insight into your market and how you can overcome the actual barriers. So do your research, find your sweet spot in the market that is in alignment with what your audience can afford, how you see your brand, and ultimately what you can quote someone without throwing up on their shoes.