Coaching Fees: Setting the right price for your coaching offers
You’re balancing the value you bring, with what clients are willing to pay for.
It’s not easy to find that sweet spot.
And yes, you can be too expensive and too cheap – not generally but for the audience you pick.
For many coaches it can be very stressful because it’s an important decision that will decide how:
– you’re perceived in the market
– how profitable your coaching business can become over time
– how quickly you can penetrate the market
You certainly don’t want to undervalue your coaching services – but overpricing them could drive potential clients away.
Deciding upon the right coaching fees for your services involves more than just thinking up a price, or copying a competitor. You need to consider more than just the money.
Setting Coaching Fees:
Understanding How Different Pricing Strategies Affect You in the Long Run
The world of coaching services is a vast one, with different pricing strategies at play. It’s crucial to grasp these strategies and understand how they fit into your business model and client expectations.
But most of all you need to understand how the pricing you choose can help you achieve the results you desire for your business in the long run. (in terms of how many people you want to coach, how much profit you want to make, if you want to grow a team etc.)
Your choice can significantly impact the success and growth potential of your coaching business. Whether you’re a life coach, an executive coach, a career coach, or a therapist/consultant creating a group coaching program. Selecting the right strategy could decide how scalable and profitable your thriving coaching business will become.
For example: If you’re a life coach just starting out you might decide to charge $60 – $80/hour to get as many clients as possible. This might enable you to reach a part-time income quite quickly. However, this price won’t see you through the next stage if you want to go full-time and replace your full-time income. If your goal is to hire other coaches in the long term, this price will not leave you room for growth, and starting too low might mean moving up the income ladder too slowly. If you want to charge higher prices you might look at a different strategy perhaps working for a life coaching company to get experience and then enter the market at a higher price.
How much you charge is only one part of the equation – but it’s a key part.
Hourly Coaching Rate Strategy
An hourly rate approach means coaches charge based on time spent in each session. At first glance, it seems straightforward – you provide service; clients pay by the hour.
But here’s something worth pondering… does this method truly reflect the value delivered? Especially when significant results are achieved within less time than anticipated.
Often the pay-per-hour model is preferred as a first strategy for new coaches. The hourly approach fits, if you’re not sure about the extent of the results people can get with your services.
However, although you charge by the hour you should still get clients to commit to a number of sessions. Otherwise, you will spend way too much time marketing and too little time coaching. You want to keep clients who book you, for at least for six weeks to three months or six months.
As you become more experienced, value-based pricing makes more sense. So if you’re still on this journey make sure that you put systems in place to measure client success and understand what the results you bring are worth to your ideal clients.
Even if you charge by the hour, however, it is not advisable to sell single hours, in most cases. Here’s why…
Selling Single Coaching Sessions
The worst thing about hourly rates is selling single-hour sessions also known as power hours or laser coaching sessions. Unless your single session can easily upsell into a larger program (and is proven to predictably do that) it is stealing from you.
Most coaching prospects will likely go for your one-hour offer because they want to experience working with you – they see it as a taster of your services. The least risky option.
The problem is that 1 hour doesn’t give most coaches, the opportunity to prove themselves/get strong results. This means that they are not likely to understand the true value of what you offer. and for every hour you book, you lose a booking on your 6-session or 12-session coaching package. So if possible pick one of the following strategies instead.
Retainer-Based Coaching Fees
Retainer-based pricing means clients pay upfront fees for a set number of sessions or periods. This guarantees income stability over that duration, and when stacked will give you a good monthly income you can rely on. But consider this…
Clients might shy away from making such commitments before experiencing tangible outcomes from their coaching investment, especially for life coaches, career coaches and executive coaches. It becomes harder to sell because the outcomes are not time-defined. For marketing coaches, sales coaches ad business coaches who offer more tangible results but need to work with clients who need long-term support, it can be a good way forward.
If you have testimonials and can confidently show what you achieve for your clients, go ahead and use retainer-based individual coaching fees. But beware, if you book clients on very long programs they might take it easy and take longer to get results. Making you look less effective.
Package-based pricing focuses more on delivering specific results within a defined timeframe or number of sessions. This is my preferred method because it makes sure the client has a deadline to aim for to achieve their results giving them momentum and motivation.
This type of package, often resonates better with career coaching, business coaching, or executive coaching (and some life coaches who have an established process). It suits coaches that have a blueprint or process they follow with their clients and can therefore predict the topics covered and outcome based on the number of sessions booked.
This type of package moves the focus away from ‘hourly cost’ to measurable outcomes instead. It takes self-confidence and the knowledge you can achieve those results.
This allows prospective clients to see clearly defined benefits they can expect within a specific timeframe. It makes the package feel more clear and tangible. This makes them feel more confident about investing in your coaching programs.
It gives them the assurance that they will see results if they do the work.
Beware of Hourly and Retainer Coaching Fees
The hourly or retainer pricing models might seem like a simple way to set coaching fees for new coaches. And I have suggested them as options for newly qualified coaches earlier on in this article. However, these methods could potentially undervalue you as a coach. So if you’re thinking of taking any of these on, a further word of warning is warranted.
Let’s delve into the drawbacks of these pricing strategies in the life coaching, executive coaching, career coaching, business coaching, and other similar coaching industries.
Focusing More on Time than Value
An hourly rate or retainer-based approach can inadvertently shift clients’ focus to time spent rather than the value provided. This may lead them to question if they’re getting enough return for their investment during each session. Most coaches will fall short when judged in this way. Coaching produces results over time.
A client that is focusing on how much they are spending per hour will find it hard to see the real value. They will not take into consideration all that goes into successful coaching sessions.
You probably spent a long time getting qualified, preparing resources, researching, creating follow-up activities, workbooks, etc. The hourly rate approach does not keep in mind the work done by the coach outside of the session. It, therefore, devalues that work.
So remember, when coaches charge by the hour or monthly retainers, it overlooks this behind-the-scenes work that adds so much value to what you offer.
If you still want to go for this option, you’ll probably need to charge for 2 or 3 hours per session to cover all the additional work.
Limited Earning Potential
The worst downside is that an hourly rate model limits your earning potential because there are only so many hours in a day. Scale-up with this method requires either increasing coaching fees (which may alienate some existing clients) or working more hours (potentially compromising service quality due to burnout).
Also, factors like your experience level and the specific coaching services you offer should also be considered while setting your cost for life coaching, executive coaching, career coaching etc. Don’t just think of time spent.
Hourly or retainer pricing models can undervalue your coaching services, shift clients’ focus to time over value, limit earning potential, and risk portraying your service as a mere commodity. Remember: differentiate yourself in the market and ensure you’re fairly compensated for all aspects of your work.
Embracing Package-Based Fees
The world of coaching fees can be a complex one, but shifting your focus from hourly or retainer models to package-based pricing could just be the game-changer you need to become profitable quickly.
This strategy is all about highlighting the transformational outcome for clients rather than simply how much time you’re putting in.
Whether it’s life coaches, career coaches, business coaches or executive coaches offering specific coaching services, this model has worked across various fields and here’s why…
The Mechanics of Package Pricing
In essence, package pricing involves outlining a comprehensive program with clear objectives and timelines. For instance, if people seek career coaching to transition into new roles or industries – think about creating an intensive 12-week program that covers everything they’ll need – identifying opportunities right through preparing for interviews.
This upfront clarity gives potential clients full visibility on what their investment will yield even before they commit any money. It builds trust while removing fears around hidden costs.
Fostering Value Perception And Client Satisfaction With Packages
The beauty of packages lies in their power to enhance perceived value among clients; when prospective customers understand clearly what transformation awaits them as part of your service (whether they’re professional growth targets or personal development goals) they are more willing to pay higher prices provided these outcomes justify the investment.
How do you add value to a coaching package?
Packages allow clearer client-coach communication: The specifics included within each package provide transparency which helps avoid misunderstandings between coach and client regarding expectations and deliverables.
Better client relationship building: By focusing on delivering promised results instead of counting hours worked upon every case individually, we foster stronger bonds leading to increased satisfaction levels across the board, thereby contributing positively towards overall business growth over the considered period.
Elevated credibility: Offering well-defined programs showcases not only our expertise but also our commitment to helping achieve desired changes, making you and your clients trusted partners in the journey ahead.
Switching to package-based pricing in coaching can be a game-changer. It focuses on transformational outcomes rather than time spent, offering clients clear objectives and timelines. This strategy builds trust, enhances value perception, fosters stronger relationships, and elevates credibility by showcasing expertise and commitment toward helping clients achieve their goals.
Deciding Your First Coaching Fees
In the initial stages of your coaching business, setting an attractive and accessible pricing strategy is crucial. This isn’t about undercharging for your services but rather employing a strategy that allows to quickly gain marketshare without compromising on the value you provide.
Should your fees be lower at first?
Known as ‘Penetration pricing’, setting lower coaching fees at first, can be highly effective when starting out as a coach in competitive markets where people seek coaching services based on price.
Investopedia defines ‘Penetration Pricing’ as “setting lower prices initially to attract customers and gain market share quickly.”
In essence, this isn’t about undervaluing yourself or your services; it’s simply a strategic way to make headway within, for example, the life coaching industry.
If you’re a young and inexperienced life coach, this can help you get the experience and client testimonials – you will need these to command higher pricing later. It’s especially useful for life coaches who may have no prior experience and are new, so they need to become known in the market.
However, if you’re already an experienced coach and are setting up your business after a decade of coaching for a full-time wage, you should not undersell yourself. This strategy is not for experienced coaches.
For example: If you’ve been working in your practice as an executive coach for several years and now want to start working online, you still wouldn’t go for market penetration pricing. Your experience and testimonials can help you garner trust in the sales process so you shouldn;t drop your prices just to enter the online market. (The right goal would be to use marketing strategies proven to help coaches gain visibility quickly, online.)
Finding The Right Balance
Your initial fees should reflect both affordability and profitability. If set too low, leads and prospects may question the quality of your coaching services while exorbitant rates could deter those seeking affordable solutions from considering you at all.
To strike this balance consider this example:
As a new life coach trying to penetrate their niche, you may want to research and find out the average cost for life coaching within your chosen niche and for coaches with approximately the same level of experience as you. This doesn’t mean that your pricing should be based on theirs, it does however give you a starting point.
The trick, once you know what they charge is to come up with the right packages that will help you get more buck for your effort. We will not go into coaching package examples in this article however you can find a detailed article here: https://www.stephaniefiteni.com/coaching-online/coaching-packages-examples/
Transitioning From Penetration To Necessity Coaching fees
The journey of your coaching business doesn’t stop after securing initial clients using penetration fees. In fact, it’s just the beginning.
You’ve got to take a step further – into necessity pricing territory. It is necessary to help you scale up effectively and efficiently.
Understanding Necessity Pricing
In simple terms? It’s about setting your coaching fees at such a level where the revenue from your sessions replaces other income sources.
This strategy is all about establishing financial stability for coaches who are serious about making their practice their primary source of income.
This isn’t some whimsical increase in rates though. You need careful planning and strategic thinking here.
Your increased prices should reflect not only what an experienced coach brings to the table but also remain accessible for potential clients seeking your specific coaching services.
You can also offer a range of packages that have different accessibility for various clients. Here’s an example to understand how to do this correctly:
Let’s say for example that you’re an executive coach. You got your first clients using penetration pricing and now need to set your eyes on the next level to quit your full-time job. You decide that you have time for 4 clients per week and need to make 100k per year.
This means you need 10 clients for $10,000 or 20 clients for $5,000 or 48 clients for $2,200. Since you’re only working part-time you want to pick the lowest number of leads (so 10 or 20) and sell those as your main packages. Check the competition for viability – are they selling packages at this price? If they are your audience is willing to pay those prices. Next, understand what they’re willing to pay for and why, and define your packages accordingly. Pick a coach marketing strategy that helps you reach the number of leads you need within the marketing time you have available using the resources you have available.
Once you have this balance of the right target audience, and the right package aligned with the right marketing strategy based on a realistic assessment of your current resources, you have a business.
I often help my clients find this balance. If you’re looking to find the right pricing, packages, and marketing strategy for your coaching business we should talk. Book a Free Discovery Call to understand how I might be able to help you.
Tips For Successful Transition
A smooth transition needs more than just data analysis; client feedback plays an equally crucial role too. Understanding how past clients perceive your value versus cost helps guide adjustments without losing existing clientele or discouraging new ones.
Your aim? Balancing personal financial goals with meeting client needs effectively.
Balancing Income Goals And Client Needs
Navigating The Delicate Balance: As much as higher fees might seem desirable for increasing revenues, remember this: people seek coaching because they’re looking for solutions worth investing in – not simply expensive ones. The outcome has to outweigh the price, or the client will not buy.
Moving from penetration to necessity pricing involves finding that sweet spot between what clients are willing (and able) to pay against what you need them to pay so that you can grow your business in the long term. You might want to save some money in the first year or two of business so that you can have the funds to upgrade to group coaching with a paid launch in the third year.My clients often want to move to group coaching as fast as possible so if you want that too I suggest you keep this in mind.
Should you offer discounts on your coaching fees?
Offering discounts on coaching fees is a decision that varies from coach to coach. Some coaches may offer discounts for certain situations or circumstances, while others may have a set fee that they stick to.
From my own experience, I believe it’s essential to have a clear pricing structure that reflects the value and expertise you bring to the table. As coaches, we invest a lot of time, energy, and resources into our own development to provide the best possible service to our clients. So, it’s important to ensure that your fees reflect that.
However, that said, I also understand that budget constraints can sometimes be a challenge for potential clients. In those cases, it’s worth considering alternative options such as payment plans or package deals to make coaching more accessible. I also include seasonal offers. I like to offer one-time discounts when I have a cancellation or when I have one slo left for the quarter. This allows me to cut down on marketing hours and expenses so it’s win-win.
Ultimately, the decision to offer discounts or not is up to each individual coach. It’s important to find a balance that works for both you and your clients. Remember, your goal as a coach is to help your clients achieve their goals and grow, so finding ways to make coaching accessible and valuable is key.
Stepping up from penetration to necessity pricing in your coaching business isn’t a haphazard hike. It’s about careful planning, balancing financial goals with client needs, and using insights like average costs based on experience or location. Remember, clients seek value over mere expense.
High-Ticket Coaching Fees
Setting Premium Prices For Your Services
In the coaching industry, premium pricing is a strategy that experienced coaches often employ. It’s not just about charging more; it’s about recognizing and communicating the value you provide through your unique expertise and transformational outcomes.
This approach of setting higher fees reflects your proven track record with clients who have seen tangible results from their investment in your services.
The Value Proposition in Coaching
Your price as a coach isn’t determined by what others are charging but rather by the distinctive value proposition you offer to potential clients. This could be anything from personalized support structures to actionable strategies for career progression, skill enhancement or personal growth.
When people seek career coaching, life coaching or other specific types of coaching programs, they aren’t paying only for individual sessions – they’re investing in transformative experiences guided by skilled professionals like you.
Premium prices reflect this level of commitment toward achieving desired goals via high-quality service delivery.
Determining Your Worth
To set up appropriate rates reflecting such values can seem challenging initially. However, considering certain factors simplifies this process significantly. You need to evaluate aspects including but not limited to – experience levels within chosen niche areas; specialized training/certifications enhancing credibility among peers & clientele alike.
Besides these considerations, market trends along with competitive analysis also play crucial roles while deciding upon final thoughts on career coaching charges.
Premium Pricing Strategies
Successful implementation of premium pricing doesn’t necessarily require attracting more clients. Instead, the focus lies on maximizing revenue generation per client engagement via strategic tiered-pricing models wherein different service levels come at varying costs.
You, of course, also need to pick the right ideal client. One that has the money to afford you. You also need to pick high-value outcomes for your clients. If the outcome is perceived as highly valuable to your target audience then they will be ready to pay well for it. If you’ve picke people who can afford those prices, then they will pay high ticket prices to work with you.
In coaching, premium pricing isn’t just about higher fees but a reflection of your unique value proposition and proven track record. Setting appropriate rates involves evaluating factors like experience, training, market trends, and competition. Premium pricing strategies focus on maximizing revenue per client through tiered-pricing models rather than attracting more clients.
Creating High-end Packages For Better Rates
In the realm of coaching business, high-end packages are your ticket to higher rates. They allow you to tap into specific transformations that clients seek in their lives and careers.
Focusing on Transformational Outcomes
The key here is not just about what services you provide but also the outcomes they facilitate. This approach speaks directly to how people perceive value – potential benefits that justify a more significant investment.
You might think about including comprehensive assessments, personalized action plans, ongoing support between sessions or access to exclusive resources and tools within these premium offerings. You could even consider adding group coaching opportunities as part of your package offering for an added appeal.
Focus on what THEY value!
Catering To A Specific Clientele
A well-crafted high-end package should be tailored specifically for those who have both the need and want for what you offer. It’s crucial this clientele sees a direct correlation between investing in your executive coach program and achieving desired results faster or more effectively than other means available out there in life coaching industry.
Pricing Your High-End Package
When it comes down to pricing these specialized programs, several factors come into play beyond just time spent delivering them. The perceived value of transformation offered plays an integral role when setting service charges; hence creating high-value packages can help experienced coaches charge at higher price points while targeting willing buyers who see clear return on such investments.
Your marketing efforts must communicate why investing in your senior coaches’ expertise will yield substantial returns relative its cost.
Demonstrating Success Stories As Social Proof
To make this communication effective, sharing testimonials from past clients who achieved substantial progress through similar offerings can prove particularly useful. These success stories serve as social proof, which increases credibility among prospective customers, thereby encouraging sign-ups at higher price points.
In the coaching business, high-end packages are your golden ticket to better rates. By focusing on transformational outcomes and catering to a specific clientele, you can justify higher prices. Remember, it’s not just about services offered but the perceived value of transformations facilitated. Include success stories as social proof for added credibility.
Should You List Your Rates On the Website?
I get asked this a lot in fact here’s a short article on how to decide quickly
Your coaching fees are a very important element of your business. They help clients understand whether you’re the right fit for them. They position you alongside competitors and change or improve perceptions.
So isn’t it important to have your coaching fees on your website? Don’t clients want to see them?
Here are some tips to help you decide whether it’s the right decision for you to put coaching prices on your website or not:
Are your coaching fees cheap?
If the fees are the most obvious advantage of your services then you should definitely put them on your website. But remember being too cheap is going to get you perceived as just that. Especially if you’re a coach. Would you like to be called cheap in your personal life? Nobody does right? Because it’s not a compliment. So if you offer a service that is of value you’re giving the wrong impression when you’re too cheap. So if you think being the cheapest is a good thing think again. So if you sell more because you’re more affordable by all means, put your prices on your site.
Make your pricing clear without adding coaching fees
If you offer a coaching package that is highly customized then it’s important to talk to people before you tell them how much it costs. You should never give a price away until you’re sure the client has understood the full value of what you’re selling. You also don’t want to spend time talking to people who cannot afford you.
Before they book the call make sure they fill out a qualifying form to help you understand if they can afford you and if they’re ready to buy. You want to make sure they have an idea of your price range before they jump on a call with you. You could opt to add a small line such as this one “starts from $300 per hour” to make your pricing clear. If your program is much more valuable than you can easily convey in writing, make sure to replace that buy now button with the one that asks them to book a call.
Pricing and your taster package
If you have a foot-in-the-door package a.k.a one that acts as a taster of your services, then price it – place that price clearly in view on your website. Because you want people to buy it right away this is a clear entry point into your coaching business. It should have a price that is reflective of your hourly rate across all your packages and give people an idea of the kind of value you can offer in your other programs.
Generally, a 60-minute session would have your highest hourly rate. A 6-week program would go for around 10% cheaper, and a group program around 40% cheaper than your 60-minute session rate.
Courses and small programs
It all boils down to one simple principle. No matter what they are, most things under $500 can be sold on your site without too much hard work. Invest in good copy and this product could sell itself – so by all means it should carry a price. Most courses or small programs can go for this price. Anything over $1,000 and/or customizable should ideally go without the price.
Making The Right Decision For Your Coaching Business
Setting the right coaching fees is both an art and a science.
Keeping the information shared above in mind is important. However, remember that coaches offer free consultations to sell their services. Therefore picking a price you’re comfortable with is going to be key. You cannot sell at a price you’re not comfortable with.
If you’re ready to make a decision about your pricing, let’s talk.
Book a free consult here so we can understand how I can help
you decide on your pricing and get your offers out there.
Author: Stephanie Fiteni
Stephanie is a Marketing Coach and Business Mentor for Online Coaches.
She helps clients generate more leads and get fully booked with coaching clients. She also supports clients who want to turn their 1:1 programs into successful group programs or passive income courses with customized professional launch support.
Need help? Book a Discovery Free Call Here
What is a typical coaching fee?
Average coaching fees can vary widely, typically ranging from $50 to over $500 per hour depending on the coach’s expertise and niche.
How much do people charge for coaching sessions?
The cost of a coaching session depends on various factors such as the coach’s experience, their area of expertise, whether it’s virtual coaching or face-to-face, whether it’s individual or group coaching, and geographical location. It generally ranges between $100-$500 per session.
How much should I charge for private coaching?
Your private coaching rates should reflect your qualifications, experience level, and the value provided. Market research will help you determine competitive yet fair pricing within your field.
Why is coaching so expensive?
Coaching prices are often high due to the personalized attention given by coaches who use their extensive knowledge and skills to facilitate significant personal or professional transformations in clients’ lives.