Ep 135 – Are Your Coaching Packages Keeping You From Earning Well?

This episode connects the dots between your website, coaching packages and pricing as a reason you might not be earning as well as you’d like.

Find links here to episodes that go into more detail on each of those topics so you can make clear, strategic shifts.

I didn’t start my business knowing how to be successful at coaching. Everything I’ve learned has come from studying my own many mistakes as well as what works and why.

Let’s start with websites because this is the biggest and most expensive bungle most coaches make.

Did You Just Slap Up a Coaching Website?

When you completed coach training, did you rush to put up a website? You might have thought, as I did, that:

  • A website is the first step to getting clients. It’s not.
  • You wouldn’t be legit as a coach until you had a coaching website. Other thresholds come first.
  • Your website should be about you and coaching. Not true.

After redoing my website 4 times now my site is like a spring river flowing ideal clients to me who are ready to enroll and invest. I’m grateful for the flow!

I want you to have that flow!

My website is not the prettiest or trendiest website. Those things can actually be distracting to buyers. Coaches like my website because they feel at home there. They feel that I’m talking specifically to them. And that’s the secret.

Is it obvious on your website WHO you serve? Are you speaking directly to your audience in words they’ll understand? If so, you’re way ahead of the game and you’ve been strategic.

The 3 big mistakes I see on coach’s websites are:

  • It’s not clear, in seconds, who the coach’s target audience is
  • The site is selling coaching as a solution
  • Multiple coaching packages and prices are offered

Let’s take these one at a time.

Why Make Your Coaching Website a Home for Your Audience?

Relevance. Have you ever gone to a website and bounced off quickly? Chances are, you didn’t find what you wanted there.

Your website must grab attention and strike a resonant chord with your audience in mere seconds or they are out of there fast! That’s called a bounce. For more about this listen at prosperouscoach.com/40.

So make sure that the short pithy copy on each webpage is highly contextualized to your audience using keywords they’ll recognize and about their top problems and ultimate goals. Be connective not salesly.

Don’t Sell Coaching On Your Website

What? You’re thinking “I’m a coach, Rhonda, what else would I sell?”

I’m serious. Do not have a page or copy about the wonders of coaching on your website.

There are inherent challenges to selling coaching that you don’t want to hassle with.

  • People rarely wake up knowing they want coaching.
  • Many people have a negative opinion of coaching.
  • Coaching is a skillset not an outcome.

For more about this critical concept, listen to Why Coaching is a Hard Sell  at prosperouscoach.com/7.

Instead have a Work with page on your website that let’s your audience know you have a solution to their specific problems that arise on the way to their big specific goals. That solution is not coaching but rather a Signature Program that you’ve strategically designed for your audience.

For more on that topic go to episode 66 called How to Describe Your Coaching Program Without Selling Coaching.

You’ll be amazed when you make this shift how prospects will take you more seriously and your program sells itself without you having to be coachey or salesy!

Do NOT Offer Multiple Coaching Packages

It’s said that a “A confused mind never buys.”

I don’t know who coined this phrase but it’s spot on. A light bulb snapped on in my head when I first heard it because I realized that I had been confusing prospects for years and it had been reducing my income.

When you offer more than one thing at a time, you shut down the decision making process. Suddenly, the prospect is thinking about price only and you’ve undone all the good will and trust you’ve built. It will be a rare individual who reaches out with questions to help them make a decision.

Also, consider not putting your pricing ON your website. That allows you to stay fluid in what you charge. But more importantly, you want your website to be about relationship building.

The only place where I offer a price on my site is when there is a sales process and automatic way to enroll & pay such as for my single Strategy Session. That’s because people go to my site looking specifically for that as I mention it in my podcast. Product sales pages are also a place to include pricing.

So go forth. Correct your website and packages for far better income and clients.

Ep 134 – How to Feel Legit As a Coach

This episode was inspired by a conversation with one of my VIP clients.

As an adult, when you’re starting something new – such as learning how to coach or building your coaching business — what’s the most natural way to feel?

Like an imposter.

Everyone experiences that feeling. Even the most impressive people with vast experience feel it sometimes. It’s human. And it feels worse if you beat yourself up for feeling that imposter syndrome.

You won’t likely feel confident when you’re new at something so don’t try for confidence right away.

  • Begin with courage to learn and do the new and difficult things.
  • Follow courage with allowing yourself to be new and make mistakes.
  • Soon, confidence rises. And you don’t even notice the shift because you’ve moved on.

There are many milestones to pass and thresholds to cross as a new coach.

  • Your first time to try a coaching model
  • Your first coaching session outside class
  • You complete coach training, perhaps certify
  • Your first paying client is super exciting.

And certainly, every successive paying client feels great too.

But what about while you’re getting the word out, building your network, learning marketing techniques and longing for those results? What will help you grow confidence before the money starts reliably flowing in?

Create Legitimizing Moments for Yourself

“Legitimizing moments” is a phrase that my colleague, Will Craig, used to say. He was founder of Coach Training Alliance and the co-author of the coach-training curriculum I helped to create. He often has a wonderful way of saying things. Thanks Will!

“Legitimize” is a legal term that means to make official, give approval or sanction. And the root of that word is the same as sanctify or sanctuary. Ahhh … sanctuary.

What will help you feel official even before you earn well as a coach? Create legitimizing moments for yourself.

This is where the conversation with my client comes in. We were discussing getting the word out about his services and ways to leverage his marketing efforts. I suggested two things that most coaches won’t think of:

Ask 20 friends, family members, colleagues or past clients to help your star rise by regularly commenting on and sharing your social posts, especially when you’re announcing a new blog, podcast episode of video. You can give them a free coaching session or take them for a meal or repay them in kind.

This helps you prime the pump and create social proof, much like a busker puts her own dollars in the hat. People who don’t know you will be more likely to engage and that inspires more engagement.

Another idea is to have a launch party. Invite friends, family and colleagues. It puts your network on notice that you’ve got a new career and have created a business that took a lot of effort and dedication. Later they will ask you how things are going, which will hold you accountable for your success.

Some of them may even refer coaching clients to you or become one of your clients themselves.

You may feel shy about asking for favors and sharing your accomplishments. It will encourage you to up your game. Plus, celebrating your own wins is not only infectious but also good for your mindset.

And that’s what my client noticed about these ideas. If others advocate for you, it not only gets the ball rolling faster but it also encourages you to step up and take yourself more seriously. It makes you official.

All legitimizing moments require you to acknowledge yourself and take ownership. Some other examples are:

  • Opening business accounts at the bank
  • Registering your business with the state
  • Setting up an LLC
  • Launching your website
  • Sending out a press release
  • Starting a podcast for your target audience
  • Submitting articles to publications your audience reads
  • Publishing an article on LinkedIn
  • Handing out your business card
  • Speaking at an event for your audience
  • Asking for referrals
  • Standing behind your set fees and getting them
  • Raising your fees

Each one of these things requires you to stand in your power, own your rightful place, give credence to your efforts and cross a new threshold.

I often say ACT AS IF you are already successful. Episode 32 was all about this powerful mindset. In a way, these things that create legitimizing moments do first feel like an act. But there’s nothing wrong with that.

The sooner you step up and pass these milestones, the sooner you’ll be earning well as a coach.

Ep 118 – How Coaches Devalue Themselves Which Keeps Them From Earning Well

This episode is a story about a coach whose business has yet to pay off 5 years in.

If you’re in a similar situation where your coaching business hasn’t paid off after years of significant investment I hope this will be an AHA for you.

A few weeks ago, a past client of mine re-emerged. She was clearly frustrated about the lack of income from her coaching business.

Feeling defeated but also at an important crossroads in her life she was considering whether she should shutter the business we created for her a year ago or pivot somehow.

I invited her to have a call with me.

And by the way, this generous coach gave me permission to share some of our conversation with you. For her privacy, let’s call her Sherrie.

Sherrie was acutely aware of the large investments she had made over 5 years to learn how to coach, to create websites, to purchase mentoring to build her business and more.

It’s not unusual for a coach (and by the way other entrepreneurs too) to invest large amounts of money and time to get their business off the ground.

I myself spent over $75000 before my business reliably paid off. I have recouped those investments several hundred times over now. But it took me a while.

Looking back, I can easily say that much of my own financial investment was frivolously rather than strategically spent. I purchased many bright shiny objects in the form of training, applications, VAs and experts.

I was thinking … “Maybe THIS will be the thing that makes me successful!”

However, what was really missing for me was about mindset — I was treating my business like a hobby rather than treating my business as a business.

I was going through the motions week after week but not crossing the important thresholds. I was acting like a perpetual student. Episode 82 is all about this. Check it out if you haven’t heard it already.

The truth is if you want to earn as a coach you have to take the risk to get serious about your business.

Back to Sherrie …

For our call, I instinctively knew that my role wouldn’t so much be as a business mentor for Sherrie, which is my usual role with my clients. I felt that pure coaching was called for.

While I always use coaching skills in the work I do with my clients, most of my sessions with clients are more consultative, guiding them to strategic choices and actions based on my expertise about successful coaching niches and coaching businesses.

A couple of months after Sherrie launched her new business targeting a unique and viable audience the pandemic hit. And many in her audience were caught in the front lines as essential workers.

Being a person with a caring heart, Sherrie swung into action to help … offering her time for free.

She said that over the last year she didn’t have any opportunities for enrollment and she felt she couldn’t charge for two reasons:

  1. Her audience was beleaguered (that was Sherrie’s word) with the events of the pandemic.
  2. There were many free services for this audience being offered by non-profits.

As we coached, Sherrie had an insight that I thought was brilliant. She realized that doctors, nurses and therapists all offer services to beleaguered individuals and they are paid well for those services.

I gently shared with Sherrie that opportunities for enrollment are something that the entrepreneurs create themselves.

This is important … if you are not creating opportunities for enrollment and then asking for fees that pay you well, you have essentially shut the door on potential income.

When you step into the role of CEO for your business you realize that it’s up to you to bring the opportunities for enrollment and step into your power to ask for fees that pay you well. No one else will do this for you.

I checked in with Sherrie about income she’d made previously as a coach before she hired me. She described $60/hour fees for a few clients during her certification period.

She said: “I unquestionably knew that the amount was too low.” And that was when she owned the fact that she had been habitually undervaluing herself.

That’s the coaching gold of our call right there. No one can assign you value. You assign value to yourself.

So, what about you? Have you been undervaluing yourself? Have you shrunk away from creating enrollment opportunities and asking for fees that pay you well?

Every coach has to shift from FREE to FEES. It’s a threshold you must cross. Check out Episode #86 which is called When and How to Stop Coaching for Free.

And, if you’re charging too little to earn well that’s another threshold to cross. You can do it! If I can you can.

Sherrie and I went on to talk about a way she could strategically pivot her business.

And Sherrie wisely knows that the pivot won’t be the thing that causes her to succeed financially. It will be when she consistently:

Stands in her value + with a business mindset + and creates enrollment opportunities + then charges fees that pay her well.

Ep 86 – When and How to Stop Coaching for Free

This episode is part of the Money Mastery series.

It’s totally normal to give some coaching away while you’re in coach training school. No doubt your trainer will encourage that because they want you to practice coaching skills with as many people as you can as often as possible.

Practice integrates learning.

The downside of offering free coaching over a long term is that it becomes increasingly difficult to shift from free to charging fees.

Resistance gathers … and soon simply the idea of charging fees looms large in your mind.

That’s why many coaches get stuck in practice or what I call Perpetual Student Mode.

Patterns Become Habits and Habits Become Mindset

It’s critical to cross that threshold from offering free coaching to becoming a professional coach and charging fees sooner rather than later.

You see, our brains have a need for order. Anything you do repeatedly can become habit. Your mind SETS.

That can be a positive thing. But some mindsets make you feel STUCK.

Take a moment here and answer truthfully …

Has your mind set on limiting beliefs having to do with charging your clients fees?

Here are some of things I hear from new coaches:

  • I’m still inexperienced so I shouldn’t ask clients to pay.
  • How can I charge fees when I don’t know what I’m doing?
  • Why would someone pay me for this?
  • I’m a fraud.

It’s time to challenge these mindsets. Let’s look at them one at a time.

Own Your Experience

First, it helps to shift the way you think of coaching. Coaching is a skillset.

Have you ever learned a new set of skills in a job?

Let’s say you are suddenly given a new responsibility at your job. Chances are you showed some promise already and that’s why you were given the opportunity.

There’s always a learning curve, right? But your employer pays you while you learn. It’s a good faith practice that you will integrate the learning by doing.

As a professional coach, you employ yourself. Are you going to require that you know everything before you get paid? That would be unreasonable.

You Brought Skills to the Table of Coaching

Do you know everything about coaching? No. No one does. You’re on a developmental path. But you didn’t start this journey of becoming a coach on ground zero.

When you decided to become a coach you already had significant communication skills. If you hadn’t, you would not have gravitated to this.

You already knew how to listen, ask questions and support or inspire greatness. No doubt, your friends and colleagues sought you out as a sounding board and counselor.

In fact, this zone of genius may have been with you for decades.

Give yourself credit for what you brought to the table. Coach training only enhanced your skills.

People Invest When They Perceive Value

 “Why would someone pay me?” is the wrong question.

The right question is “What does my audience want so much they’ll invest in my help to get it?” See the difference?

That is the question you need to answer in order to strategically attract paying clients.

Which brings up the issue of charging little for your services.

If you’ve graduated from free services to fees but the amount you’re charging is too low to earn well, you’ve got one foot in the professional realm and one in the student realm.

Graduate from Student and Step Fully Into Professional

There’s a kind of trance that new coaches get into of striving so hard for results and yet not stepping back to think things through strategically.

I flopped around without strategy for years when I started as a coach.

For example, I didn’t think about profit until well into my coaching business.

Any coach can earn well in their first year of coaching. The only thing holding you back from that is you.

Sure, finding paying clients requires strategy. And there are many things you can do to make that easier.

That’s my mission – to help coaches launch with confidence. And I help my clients get everything linked up and congruent from their coaching niche to their brand and messaging, their website and content strategy – everything is designed to attract clients who are eager and willing to pay.

But every coach has to act the part to start powerfully.

The longer you hold yourself back in student mode … the longer you deny yourself the right to being a professional … the more likely it is you’ll quit this path altogether.

Everyone and No One is a Fraud

Have you been thinking of yourself as a fraud? That’s harsh.

But for some reason the Imposter Syndrome seems to be wired into humanity. Nearly everyone feels like this.

Here’s the thing I want you to continually remember. You are on a developmental path growing and evolving. Everyone is.

At any given moment each of us is a fraud to the next step, the next level.

But let’s replace the harshness with positivity.

Instead of ‘fraud’ think I’m a trailblazer.

The mere fact that you took the leap to become a coach and an entrepreneur means you have grit, determination and a vision. Hold onto that while you give yourself a big raise and own all that you brought to this table.

In the Next Episode: How to Rise Above Skeptics of Your Coaching Business

Ep 84 – Are You Afraid to Ask Coaching Clients to Pay You?

You may have noticed that many of my recent episodes are about mindsets. It’s a deep topic. Human beings are so good at stopping themselves from success simply by the way we think. I often wonder how my life would have been earlier in life if I’d known about mindfulness and the power of shifting mindsets.

A while ago I did a whole series of episodes called Smart Mindsets and Habits. If you’re feeling stuck and in your own way I recommend listening to those episodes.

Today I want to dig into something that all new coaches struggle with especially as they are launching.

Coaches Often Have Money Money Issues

It’s fascinating because it doesn’t matter how high powered a job the coach had before, how much money they earned, how many certifications or degrees they have or even how confident they appear — I hear the same basic thing from them …

I hate selling and asking for money!

I used to feel like that, but don’t anymore, because I know how to attract clients in a non-salesy way. And also, I’ve discovered the power of investing in the future.

One of my VIP clients wrote in her Session Prep: “I’d rather give it to you than ask for money. I NEED this session!”

We’ve been working together in my 5-month Coaching Business Breakthrough program to build her business. She’s close to launching so I wanted to help her with this mindset shift. And, she generously gave me permission to share some of what happened in that session with you. Thank you, D!

Money is a sticky subject for most people. There’s so much baggage that influences our decisions and actions based on what we learned about money as kids.

Stop Sabotaging Your Coaching Success with Old Money Stories

There’s a wonderful book that was popular when I started coaching called Taming Your Gremlin – A Guide to Enjoying Yourself by Richard D Carson. It’s a thin book full of exercises and wonderful drawings to help you face the part of yourself that sabotages your efforts to grow. The idea is to draw your own gremlin and shine a spotlight on it as it scuttles around trying to squash your courage. Just seeing it for what it is changes you.

Awareness is the tool to overcome that gremlin within.

There was an exercise in there about drawing the floor plan of the primary home you grew up in and answer a set of questions about what you learned while you lived there.

Coaching a Coach to Shift Her Money Mindset

That book jumped into my mind when I read her Session Prep and gave me an idea about how to coach my client.

I began by asking her:

            “What did you learn about money from your parents?”

She responded immediately:

            “In my family you would certainly NOT hire someone for therapy or coaching. It was looked down upon. We didn’t spend money on ourselves and self care.”

I asked:

            “When have you invested highly in your own self care and transformation?”

She said:

            “It’s when I reached a point where my best efforts didn’t bring the results I needed to happen. When I get to that point I’ll do whatever it takes.”

I said:

            “So you’ve invested in your goals and self care when something is important to you. How much would you say you’ve invested in becoming a coach and getting your business launched with support?”

She said:

            “Thousands and thousands.”

I asked:

            “What has investing in yourself to that degree done for you?”

Without hesitation and with passion in her voice she said:

            “It’s changed the trajectory of my life. I’ve grown a new me! I now have a design for living that’s far more effective and far more rewarding. I don’t even think about the money I’ve spent!”

So I said:

            “So … what does that tell you about other people (your potential clients for example) who invest in themselves?”

D said:

            “I would only want to work with someone who is willing to do what it takes to get better.”

Exactly! And because D has, with my help, is targeting a unique and viable audience and her messaging and offers strategically speak directly to that moment of wanting help, I know she will attract her ideal clients.

And then she said:

            “I have so much compassion for someone willing to reach out to me. It gives me a sense of joy to say to them ‘I really think I can help you.’ It makes the money less scary because being willing to invest is a SYMBOL of their need.”

We talked about how Olympic athletes visualize their success before they take action. And I encouraged her to develop that practice before a Discovery Session with a coaching prospect.

At the same time it’s important to develop resilience for ‘no’ and to not make that about you. I wrote about this in a blog called The Coaching Business Backslide: How to Get Out of Your Own Way.

We talked about the idea from episode 82 – to ACT AS IF you are already booked, you have plenty of income and are highly successful as a coach.

At the end of the session D reported that she felt differently about asking for money with coaching prospects. She said:

            “This was so helpful to look at my own experience (of investing in myself) and see the value I offer to someone else.”

In summary I said:

            “Brilliant, D! You’ve broken through your ancestral beliefs about money!”

I invite YOU to shift your mindset about asking for money from coaching prospects so that you pay yourself well and at the same time help your client to reap the rewards of that investment!

In the Next Episode: How Can New Coaches Be Perceived As Credible?

Ep 82 – The Mindset Shift That Helps You Charge More with Coaching Clients

This will be a super short episode. And it’s part of the Smart Mindsets & Habits series.

I feel so honored that when I work with my clients I get to see them shift their mindset in ways that will help them succeed faster at this game called entrepreneurship.

By the way, thinking of building your coaching business as a game is one way to take the pressure off and enjoy the journey.

So the specific mindset I’m digging into today is about OWNING your right:

  • Own your right to be in business for yourself
  • Own your right to earn well
  • Own your right to live the life you want

That may sound odd. Let me explain.

My Early Coaching Business Was An Albatross

When I was new to my own coaching business I treated myself like I didn’t deserve to be in business, like I didn’t deserve to earn well and have the life I want. Here’s what I did:

  1. I overcomplicated my business model by offering too many options.
  2. I undervalued myself and charged way too little to sustain my business.
  3. I over-delivered in every way.
  4. I was too accommodating with my schedule.
  5. I allowed late payments.
  6. Ultimately, I didn’t think through what I wanted and plot a strategic course to get there.

Bottom line … I was operating unconsciously in my coaching business. I was driven by a mindset that doesn’t go well with being the CEO of a business. Big mistake.

A few years in, I realized that I had created a monster — a business that was complex, running me ragged and paying me poorly.

Its part of the reason why I now teach coaches to create a Simple Coaching Business Model and to strategically grow their business from the get go.

The Big Takeaway for Coaches

So here’s the secret I want you to come away with from this episode … ACT AS IF

Act as if you are already in high demand.

There are 7 ways I can think of that will help you do this:

  1. First decide what you want your life to be like.
  2. Strategize every step of your business development to fit that vision.
  3. Only offer times on your schedule that you truly want to work.
  4. Only offer exactly what you want to offer and not what you think you should offer.
  5. Create a low overhead, easy to manage business.
  6. Treat yourself with the respect you want your colleagues, prospects and clients to have for you.
  7. Charge prices that will help you reach your financial goals right NOW!

Imagine the difference between a business where you act like you deserve all the perks that come with being your own boss and a business where you act like you don’t deserve that.

I’m not saying you need to be mercenary. Simply honor yourself. Do what is right for you.

Is it a bit scary to charge for your services in a way that pays you well.

I shared in Episode 58 that you can plan for profit from day 1 and in Episode 60 how to strategically price your services. When you charge prices that feel like a big investment to your clients they will invest energetically into their own growth. It’s a win – win. Whereas charging low fees is a lose – lose.

You don’t want to lose. You don’t want your clients to lose. OWN your right to be successful at your coaching business.

It’s time to build this muscle … how will you ACT AS IF you deserve what you want today?

In the Next Episode: Overwhelm is a Bad Habit Coaches Need to Break Now

Ep 60 – How To Price Your Signature Coaching Program

This episode is part of my Money Mastery series. It’s the follow on episode to How to Develop Your Signature Coaching Program. Consider listening to that first before this episode if you haven’t already.

Common Pricing Strategies and What Works Best for Coaching

I can think of 3 common pricing strategies for pricing:

  • Cost plus pricing – where you calculate your costs then mark up the program so it pays you well.
  • Competitive pricing – where you set your price based on your competition.
  • Value based pricing – where you set your price based on the value of your offer to the client.

I do encourage you to the do the math of what it will cost you to deliver your program. Most coaches miss this piece. And it’s quite eye opening to realize the cost of the time you spend getting a single client in addition to specific costs of marketing and inclusions in the program.

That said, to ultimately determine the cost of your program I prefer VALUE based pricing.

Here’s the reality, if you narrow to serve a viable audience and create a unique program based on market research, then your program probably doesn’t exist out there so competitive pricing or so called “market value” isn’t a useful guideline.

Also, few if any of your prospects are ever going to do cost comparisons, especially if you don’t sell coaching but rather offer a unique program.

Purchasing a program such as I suggest you create is an emotional decision.

They will hear or see your message. Their trust in you builds because you’ve struck a resonant chord with all that you’re doing.

Then, they go to your website, which is hopefully already designed as a client winning coaching website not an online brochure. On that website are beautifully streamlined words and conversion processes that gently encourage visitors to have a Discovery Session with you.

All of this is thoughtfully coordinated and strategized but in a non-salesy way to build trust with potential clients rather than trying to convince them about the value of coaching.

They hire you because they like you and trust you. You’ve been in front of them with valuable content and your website reinforces that. Then, in the Discovery Session you lovingly assess if they are a good fit for your program and enroll them.

You don’t want to sell people – to have to convince them to hire you. It’s unsavory. It makes you feel skeevy.

But if you have a signature program that you have thoughtfully crafted to fit their circumstances, their pain and desires then no hard sell is necessary. You do need to ask them to enroll though. ; )

The Mystery of Odd Numbered Pricing

You’ve no doubt seen that a lot of people use odd numbered pricing where prices end with 5, 7, or 9. For example, a long-term high value program might be priced at $5,975 for a 5-month program or an online training might be priced at $697.

Early on in my coaching business I eschewed that whole odd number practice and priced evenly. $5,000 instead of $4,975. $500 instead of $497.

And I struggled to enroll clients. I’m not saying there may not have been other factors involved.

And then, I looked around at the people I admired that offered mentoring, coaching and training. I noticed they were all using odd numbered pricing. I switched and immediately saw a difference in my revenues.

Weird? Yes. But we as human beings have been trained all our lives on odd numbered pricing and it’s ingrained. There’s an emotional response to it even if it’s not logical.

That said, if you have an issue with it, do your own testing.

Encourage Single Payment Investment

With your Signature Program, encourage or incentivize a single payment investment by creating significant savings over a payment plan.

For example, if your 4 month program is $3,995 for a single payment. Make the payment plan total roughly 25% higher. So, 4 payments of $1,249 paid at the beginning of each month — which adds to $4,996 — is over $1,000 more than the single payment.

Incentivizing a single payment helps both you and your clients in these ways:

  • They invest once rather than continually making payments, which is an irritant.
  • They are not focused on the financial investment but rather fully focusing their energy on transformation.
  • Also, bundled programs like I’m suggesting don’t deliver value in even amounts month to month.

My own 5-month Coaching Business Breakthrough program is front loaded with value. The first 2 – 3 months, depending on the pace of my client, are where I’ll deliver the most support and assistance to create everything for their coaching business. The last two months are less labor intensive because we’ve completed the bigger milestones.

It’s a risk for you if someone pays monthly and drops out in the early months.

In the last 17 years, 90% of my clients have paid the single payment up front for my signature program. I’ve noticed that those who opted for the payment plan often became difficult clients because they were not as committed to their own success.

I think that’s because they weren’t fully invested up front. They had one foot out from the start. A part of them didn’t believe in themselves up front. And a part them wasn’t fully ready to have a business yet.

In the last 5 years none of my clients has opted for the payment plan.

When people want something enough

they find a way to make it happen.

And just that mindset and action empowers them significantly!

Should You Have Tiered Pricing?

One last thing about pricing … some people advocate having tiered pricing.

I say no. You’ll do better if you direct clients to your Signature Program and stand behind it.

  • First, a confused mind never buys. The more offers you have that you’re marketing at one time, the less likely someone will enroll.
  • Also, remember … don’t sell coaching. It’s a hard sell.
  • Do coaching with paying clients who have enrolled into a program they know they want.
  • And, the more people you sell into your signature program the more you earn doing exactly what you love.

If you want to create lower priced programs than your Signature Program, consider making them altogether different. For example, offer an online program about a different thing your target audience wants help with. It’s not only different in focus but also different in format.

Sell it as a down sell only after someone firmly turns down your Signature Program. That way you don’t set up competition for the program you most want to deliver.

But consider, that you don’t really need to have other offers besides a free downloadable offer so you can build rapport and stay in touch with your network unless you’re prepared to create a separate way to attract potential clients to that offer.

This and the episode before it were an episode loaded with tips. Consider listening to them again and please share it with fellow coaches. So many struggle with this piece.

Also, if you want help to create your entire business foundation with everything I’ve talked about in these episodes, go to prosperouscoach.com/VIP and tell me about you.

We’ll have a conversation about what you want and what’s been in the way to see if you’re ready for a coaching business breakthrough.

In the Next Episode: Get Out Of Your Own Way To Earn More As A Coach

Ep 57 – Coach, Is It Time To Give Yourself a Raise?

This episode is the 5th in the series called Money Mastery. 

The last episode called Are You Turning Away Coaching Clients with Your Pricing explained a more strategic approach to pricing than charging by the session or a package of sessions. I highly recommend that you listen to that.

In this episode, I’ll focus in on the mindset and simple mechanics of how to give yourself a raise, no matter what approach you’re using to charge right now.

Shift Your Money Mindset

If you’re a new coach chances are you’re not thrilled with your income yet. And there may be conflicting ideas in your head about taking money for coaching.

First there’s the idea “Well, I’m a new coach so I shouldn’t charge much.”

But totally at odds with that is the desire “I want to be financially successful at this.”

And then, there’s this other idea that can come with the helping professions “Money isn’t that important to me.”

It’s like mental whiplash.

So first … compassion. I feel ya, because as a new coach I was thinking those same things. One of the coaches in my Facebook group — Prosperous Coach Club —said it so clearly:

“As someone new to the field you desire to earn a good wage but setting fees is like the taboo topic. It is uncomfortable. You feel your skill set and knowledge is worth it but fear your lack of experience being newly in the field doesn’t warrant it.”

Exactly. Thank you for that Jenny.

Most new coaches charge fees that will keep them earning below the poverty level. The strange thing is that if you applied for a job you’d never say ‘yes’ to the rates you’re paying yourself!

You deserve to earn more. Period. And deciding to own your worth is all you need to do. 

Rather than thinking that you should charge as a newbie, own your life and work experience. Charge to sustain yourself.

Be a good boss and pay yourself well. Everyone wins. You, your family, your clients – everyone!

Let’s take a more pragmatic and dispassionate look at this.

Do the Math

Think from the get go like a business owner and do the math.

What I mean by doing the math is to actually figure out what you want to earn and then play with the number of clients and fees per client you’ll need to earn that much.

Now to demonstrate this I’m going to keep things simple. In the last episode I suggested there’s a much better way to price than by the session or a package of sessions.  And I stand by that. But to make doing the math easier to understand I’m going to talk about pricing by the single session.

Let’s say you want to earn $100,000 annually and you’re charging $100 per one-hour session. 

To earn $100K, you’ll need to have 1000 paid client hours each year.

Let’s take this a step further and divide 1000 paid client hours by 50 weeks. That’s assuming you’ll take 2 weeks off each year and work the other 50. 1000 divided by 50 = 20. 

You’ll need 20 active clients paying $100 for their weekly session.

Does have 20 paying clients each week sound doable?

When I first started as a coach, I would have said ‘yes’. I had the illusion that enrolling coaching clients would be easy. Every one wants a coach, right?

But 20 years in I now know that it takes a lot of marketing and enrolling to have 20 clients. And serving 20 clients per week is a big client load! 

The largest number of 1:1 clients I’ve worked with is 15 and I found that to be far too many clients for me. I’m more comfortable with 10 one-to-one clients at time.

Consider how much work it would be to find, enroll and maintain 20 active clients every week.

Sure, you might leap to the idea of doing group coaching or having an online membership program, and you could do that eventually. 

The reality is filling those groups and building that membership program is a big endeavor fraught with challenges. It’s something that fits better later on once you have a leads list and know better what you’re doing.

As a new coach, to keep your overhead and labor low consider offering only 1:1 coaching for a while. Build up your leads list and your reputation. Later, you can try group programs.

I talk about this in my episode called The Simplest Coaching Business Model.

Now let’s give you a raise to make it easier to earn 6 figures.

Let’s say that you decide to increase your fees to $500 per session but still aim for $100,000 annually. You deserve that raise. Make your life easier.

At that rate you only need 200 paid client hours per year. Divide that by 50 weeks. 

You need only 4 one-to-one paying clients each week. 

Now, that’s more enjoyable and sustainable than 20 each week.

Decide To Raise Your Coaching Fees

But you might be thinking, well, Rhonda, how can I charge $500 for one session? Who would pay for that?

You’d be surprised. I’ve seen a lot of coaches charge much more than that.

But know this … they have put a lot of strategy behind their pricing. It starts with:

These are all the things I teach new coaches how to do.

It’s not just about throwing up a website selling life coaching or some other type of coaching and enrolling people by the session.

This doing the math exercise was simply to illustrate how to think about paid client hours and how as you price higher you make earning well a more realistic scenario.

I suggest that you do not charge by the session at all. If you haven’t heard my last episode, go back and listen to understand this. It’s at prosperouscoach.com/56

In any case, you can’t begin to earn well until you charge more.

Decide to give yourself a raise.

Two years into full time coaching, I distinctly remember feeling so frustrated with my income. I couldn’t figure out how to break through the blocks I had about it.

And then I had a mental break through. How did I do that?

One day I simply decided to raise my fees. In fact, I challenged myself to raise my fees by 25% with each new client I enrolled.

And that’s what I challenge you to do now. With each new client you enroll, increase your fees by 25% or more. You’ll be amazed how you take a leap in the way you position yourself and own your value.

My preferred method for raising fees is simply to charge higher fees for new clients. 

You can also raise fees across the board with existing clients by giving them notice. Tell them that as of a specific date your fees go up to a new amount.

Increasing Your Fees Helps Your Coaching Clients Too

Sometimes we don’t consider the effect that low fees have on our prospects and clients.

As I increased my fees, my client took bigger leaps.

They were more invested both financially and emotionally in the work so they showed up more fully, put more into their actions. And because of that, they were more ideal clients for me so I enjoyed the work more.

  • As I increased my fees my confidence grew.
  • As I increased my fees I was able to be more choosey about clients and opportunities.
  • As I increased my fees I developed better marketing, enrolling and coaching skills.
  • As I increased my fees I relaxed.

And relaxing had a profound effect on every aspect of my life, especially my ability to enroll clients. I had fewer ‘no thank you’s’.

My conclusion? If you really want to do the meaningful work possible with coaching and get paid well, charge higher fees

Now everyone has their glass ceiling. I’ve hit a new one over the years and had to work with my mindset to get through it.

There came a time for me where earning more was no longer my goal. Serving more people and living my life the way I want to are the reasons I charge the way I do.

Here is my recommendation for you:

  • Don’t be about money, be about value and sustainability.
  • But, do be a smart business owner.
  • Set revenue goals.
  • Do the math to plan how you’ll achieve those. 
  • Take smart actions.
  • Keep making incremental improvements in your mindset and habits.

In the Next Episode: Start Planning for Profit In Your Coaching Business