Setting life coaching fees is always a challenging issue. The tips and information on this page will help you decide. We'll also address the pros and cons of the free introductory session.
The fees you charge for your life coaching often depends as much on your confidence and how you market as on your coaching skills.
It can also be influenced by the perceptions of the demographic of your clients - and where they live, City or regional. and how you go about finding and marketing your coaching niche coaching niche or speciality.
As a Life Coach for individuals, you are unlikely (but it's not impossible) to achieve as much in the way of life coaching fees as a someone who defines themselves and chooses a niche as an Executive, Corporate, Team or (where the really big money can be e.g.,Tony Robbins) Celebrity Coach. So lets discuss:
Coaches may charge as little as $USD50 an hour for individual face to face coaching while some corporate and celebrity coaches can achieve $USD1500+ a session.
A lot depends on how you place yourself and go about
marketing your niche.
Many coaches in the US, Europe and Asia charge by the month for a series of sessions.
I can't give you an blanket figure to cover all
currencies, but in the US and Australia it is usually somewhere between
$200 and $1000+ a month.
The Life Coaching Fees you can charge depend on:
If you are one of the pioneer
coaches in India, China or one of the other countries
where the profession is comparatively new, you may need to use your local
judgement as to what the market will accept.
Finding a Mentor Coach or Supervisor with experience in your country is a good way to help you determine what life coaching fees to charge.
And as LIfe Coaching On Line becomes more viable for distance coaching via programs such as Skype it is becoming quite common to put a loading on life coaching fees for face-to-face sessions to cover the substantial time and location expenses that can be involved.
Ask Around: My suggestion is that you ask around or look up on the web various coaches offering similar services in your area (which can be local or global) and use that as a guide as to what is an acceptable rate for life coaching fees for your level of experience and gives you a good profit margin after expenses.
Bottom line is to charge what you feel comfortable with and will have your coaching business making a profit.
You may be in coaching because you love it, but you have to eat!
Many coaching schools recommend you start practicing pro bono as part of your training. And even if you do hold off until you are qualified, there is often a dilemma as to how much you should charge as a trained but, as yet, inexperienced coach.
If you come from a related discipline such as psychology or counseling, where you have simply added coaching techniques to your skills, you may have no problem charging full fees straight away.
But if you are coming into coaching without any related experience, then offering to coach people for free, or at a reduced rate can be a good idea as you gain experience and confidence. However, if you are really confident you know what you are doing, go for it and start charging a full rate straight away. Again it's whatever you feel comfortable with.
Make sure there is something in it for you!
I do recommend you should ask for some exchange for your practice coaching. Even if you are inexperienced, you are trained and qualified and you will be adding value to your practice clients. If the practice client is paying you a token amount, however small, they will be more inclined to take the process seriously.
If you do take on some practice clients for no fee at all, then I recommend you work out some form of exchange that is of value to you. Do they have a service you would be interested in as an exchange? Will they commit to writing a testimonial for you or referring you more clients.
And it's a good idea to let those practice clients know what your full life life coaching fees rate will be for future clients you take on. This will make them more appreciative of the opportunity to be coached for no fee or at a reduced rate that you are offering them.
Many coaches and coach providing organizations offer a free 'try before you buy' session as one of their business marketing strategies. The rational being that people don’t understand what life coaching is and need to experience it, and the coach, before they make a decision. There are two schools of thought around this and I’ll attempt to cover them.
On the pro side, a free introductory session does give the prospective client a chance to discover what they want to achieve and a real taste of what is to come and what they can achieve if they continue. It also shows that the coach is willing to give their time freely to ensure they are a good match with the client.
Conversely, unless the lead is really well qualified, you can waste a lot of time with people who simply want a free session, to pick your brains, and have no intention of engaging you.
Or, and I have found this on several occasions – the free session turns out so well, the prospect thanks you profusely, decides they are clear on what to do and don’t need any more coaching!
Great for the ego, but not great for feeling in exchange for what you have contributed either for your spirit or your pocket.
The knack for a successful introductory session seems to be to give them a taste of coaching, but leave them hanging enough that they want more. (More sales than coaching! A tricky balance if you are committed to helping others become more able)
Free initial coaching sessions are no longer a part of my business marketing strategies.
Instead I, and many coaches I know, give a free “assessment”
session. This session is about discovering what the prospect wants from
coaching, telling about coaching, giving them a taster of my coaching to
see how we both feel about working with each other and explaining my
programs and fees.
Another dilemma coaches often face is whether of not to publish their life and business coaching fees on their website or in printed brochures. Lets look at the pros and cons for both strategies.
In favor of publishing your costs is it tells the prospective client right up front what you charge and saves that "money conversation" at the end of an introductory chat.
Against that, until you have had an introductory chat, the prospective client might not realize the value of your offering and why you are charging that amount.
Personally, I'm for offering the prospective client lots of different coaching program options so there is something for every budget. The variations in the programs can be for length of session or number of sessions in a series and whether you include in between session email contact or brief telephone contact.
Often when a prospective client starts pushing you to reduce your fee with an "I really want to do this, but can't afford it" story, it's often more about their priorities than whether or not they have the money.
On two occasions early in my career I fell for this and seriously discounted my fee only to discover that the clients were actually in a much better position financially than I was at that time.
In the first instance the client was saving for an extended overseas holiday and in the second carrying out major house renovations. When I discovered this in the course of the coaching, I have to admit it left me feeling somewhat undervalued and cheated. Not the best place to be coming from as a coach!
So again I stress, much better to change the structure of the program to fit what the client is willing to pay, than discount your time and skills.
As you get more experienced and confident and your coaching practice fills, you may want to raise your fees - coach less people for more money!
You may decide to only raise your life coaching fees for new clients or do a blanket raise on a calendar event such as new year.
Developing a lucrative coaching niche, something you can learn how to do from niche expert Cindy Schulson is one way to increase your perceived value as a coach and enable you to charge more.
Basically the question of raising life coaching fees gets back to how you feel about it, not what anyone tells you. Do you and your clients feel in exchange dollar-wise for the value of the coaching you are providing? Are you charging comparable rates to others in your target market or niche?
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