How do you Plan Your Life Coaching Fees?
- If you’re starting out?
- If you’re experienced and growing?
- or if you’ve been coaching for decades?
A new coach just asked me about what fees he should charge.
In ten minutes, we totally broke it down to a SYSTEM that allowed him to get totally confident and comfortable with the EXACT FEE he should charge.
It was such a groundbreaking conversation for him, that I decided to share it with you in this video:
Here’s the FULL TRANSCRIPT of the video:
00:00 How do you plan your life coaching fees if you’re starting out, if you’re experienced and growing or if you’ve been coaching for decades?
00:09 In this video, I’m going to cover how to plan your life coaching fees and the three levels or dimensions of fees that you’ll progress through.
00:24 We’ll also talk about
- how much to charge your first client
- how to determine your coaching fee dimension
- the one thing that’s way more important than your coaching fee
…so let’s start right now.
How Much to Charge Your First Client
00:44 When you’re getting your first couple of paying clients, the fee is not important. What’s most important is – think of it this way, let’s draw it in a picture. There are three different dimensions of fee levels in the coaching industry.
How to Determine Your Coaching Fee “Dimension”
Dimension ONE: FREE
01:03 The first dimension is free, so it’s free coaching. So this is a zero fee coaching.
Now, your client does pay for this with
- their time
- their faith
- their risk of feeling stupid or that maybe this wasn’t the right thing or putting themselves in your hands to some extent.
They are still making investment. They’re not just making a financial investment. Okay, so that’s the first dimension, it’s the free dimension.
Dimension TWO: CHEAP
01:42 The second dimension is – I’m just going to call this (and it’s probably not the best term for it), but I’m just going to call this – cheap. The second dimension is the cheap dimension of coaching fees.
It’s a completely different dimension.
Make no mistake, if you’re charging $25 a month for coaching with somebody and there’s another coach and they look at you and they’re like,
“What are you, an idiot? Why are you charging so little? What’s wrong with you? You don’t value your services or something?”
And you ask them,
“Well, how many paying clients do you have?”
(their answer) “Oh, I don’t have any.”
02:26 You are in the second dimension. They’re on the first dimension.
They’re doing free coaching.
You’re doing cheap coaching.
They are not in the same world.
It’s completely different universe. Just please don’t forget that, okay?
02:41 I mean, there’s nothing wrong with free coaching. There’s nothing wrong. It’s not a good or bad, it’s just the first dimension.
But as soon as you get paid, I don’t care what amount it is, even if it’s $1 or $25 or $100, whatever…
I mean, you and your client decide what cheap is… that’s a mindset. It’s like what do they think is really “not that much [money]” and it’s not a big deal and what do you think is very, very cheap and that you’re very comfortable with charging… and maybe it’s too little!
Cheap Coaching is Not The Same as Free Coaching.
You’re getting paid now, they’re paying you and you’ve got a whole different set of problems. You’ve got a different set of responsibilities.
You had to negotiate the psychology of that transaction. Frankly, [free coaching] is non-transactional. This [cheap coaching] is transactional… a very different world.
03:31 So if you can make this leap… If you’ve been doing some free coaching and now you’re going to charge for the first time and you charge $5 or whatever it is, it really doesn’t matter. I mean, I just laugh because these are laughable numbers, but it doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter what the amount is.
03:51 When somebody in the 80’s signed up for the Columbia Record Club and they paid a penny to get one record per month or one CD a month or one tape a month from the recent Top 40 hits or something, with just a penny? It was a paid relationship. You’re a paying customer in their mind and they had a billion dollar business they built by Columbia Records based upon that, just going from free to cheap.
04:20 Now, they could just have given you free records or free tapes every month, but they wouldn’t have any kind of business.
So nobody can convince me that free and cheap are the same dimension because, I mean, one has no business at all and the other one could be a billion dollar enterprise. So don’t forget that, it’s so important. So that’s the second dimension… cheap coaching.
Dimension THREE: FAIR VALUE
04:41 The third dimension is “value” or “fair value”. This is where you’re truly charging the value of that service. [You’re charging] the value of the results, the value that client is really putting their “all” into, the value of what’s possible for them.
05:02 It is also, by the way, a transactional relationship, so you’re still making transaction. So this actually hasn’t changed.[Going from ‘free’ to ‘cheap’] is a quantum leap, but [going from ‘cheap’ to ‘fair value’], not so much.
It’s a different dimension, there’s no doubt, going from $25 to $250 or a $100 to a $1,000 or $500 a month or something like that.
05:25 I mean, these amounts, [are] no joke. I mean, your butt is big time on the line here. It doesn’t mean you have to guarantee anything. You could if you chose to, but it does mean that there’s a lot at stake here. People really care about what they’re getting for [a ‘fair value’ fee], whereas $25 a month, yeah, it might not be that big of a deal for them. It matters more than free, but it’s not that as big of a deal.
05:47 So it’s still a quantum leap. It’s still a different universe that you’re entering into in this [fair] value dimension… going from cheap to [fair] value. But, in some ways, it’s kind of a next step beyond cheap.
You can incrementally go $25 to $50 to $100 to $250, and eventually you’re at your $5,000-a-month client or whatever it is, which some [coaches] are charging. Some people are charging $10,000 a month for one client. So the way they got there probably was starting at cheap, and before that, they were probably at free.
06:26 So these are the big quantum leaps that you make over time, but the biggest one that you want to make sure you get, and that I think you’re talking about right now, Jesse, is going from free to cheap, so go ahead and do whatever that looks like for you. And hell, if you could do something that you feel has value, then great. You can skip the second dimension and go right to the third dimension and make that leap.
06:47 I do know coaches that do that, that have done that very, very quickly… But a lot of coaches, including myself, when I think of my first paying client that I did outside of my work with Tony Robbins and the free relationships that I had, I think they were like paying me $50 a month, and that was just a series of coaching relationships at that time with the skills I had at the time.
As any coaching relationship I have now, I put just as much energy into those, but it was a transaction.
It was very important because that was where my business education had begun.
07:22 So those are the three dimensions of different fee levels and just know where you and where most of your clients are at and then what’s next for you so you can make a comfortable incremental step to make the leap to the next dimension, if you choose to, and then you know if you’re making progress or if you’re just sitting where you are.
It’s totally okay to sit where you are, but at least be aware of it!
08:22 In real life, we’re trying to pay bills and take care of ourselves and anybody else that we support.
We’re going to get plenty of pressure without putting our own psychological pressure on about what this means and what numbers matter and whether that looks good or bad or whether that makes us a good coach or not.
I mean… let’s not do that to ourselves.
08:48 If we got to cover rent this month and you’ve got to make $750… If you’ve got to get 14 to 15 clients at $50 this month in order to pay the rent and go out there and just talk to ten people a day, or you’re going to talk to one person and get them to pay $750 for six months of coaching or even a month of coaching, I mean, what difference does it make?
You pay the rent.
You did it.
Congratulations, you won, you won that game.
09:23 And if you don’t have to play that game this month because there is no rent to pay or that’s covered in some other income source for you… It’s like, man, I mean, you count yourself lucky and then go play this game, see what’s possible for you.
09:37 Because once you can play this game…
Let’s do some math here. Let’s say you just get to cheap coaching and let’s say, I mean, you’re working every day and you’re talking with two to three people a day, at least three or four days a week. You’re setting a couple or two or four sessions a week, so you’re getting free sessions in and you’re signing up these people for very cheap coaching, and let’s say that cheap coaching is $100 a month.
10:06 It’s fairly cheap, and especially if you’re doing weekly sessions or twice a month or something like that.
We’re talking about $50 an hour or something like that.
You sign up five clients, now you’re at $500 a month in income.
Now, five clients, even if you coach them every single week (you’re working one day a week for that, so you’re not even quite a part-time job)… you’re working one day a week and you’ve got $500 a month in income, and people will come and go, but that’s not bad for talking on the phone once a week in the privacy of your home.
Thinking of Life Coaching Fees From an Hourly Perspective
10:47 We could think about that from an hourly perspective.
Let’s say you want to start with cheap coaching and you’re going to say, “I’m going to charge $50 an hour.” It’s probably as low as most coaches will ever charge for their services.
If you have enough contacts and you’re decent enough coach, even without any real serious salesmanship, you should be able to get a decent amount of clients ongoingly at $50 an hour (whatever amount of coaching you’re offering them per month).
11:15 So let’s say you’re just charging $50 an hour and you get a bunch of people you’re working with and talking to and so you end up working, again, one day a week…
So it’s an eight hour a day times four, let’s say four weeks out of a month…
You’re making $1600 a month.
That’s a bit of a part-time income all of a sudden. That’s on $50 an hour coaching.
11:45 So our coaches on our team, they’ll charge anywhere between $100 and $200 an hour. (and there are times when they’ll do coaching for less than that).
If it’s a gigantic amount of coaching, like we have 30 clients in one piece of work, we’ll do something like under a $100 an hour for like enterprise coaching client (with a bunch of managers to coach or something like that).
12:19 But you could consider this kind of in the minimum range, but with that, I mean, you could pay bills with that. You can partly live on that as well. And again, that’s one day a week.
You coach two days a week, then just double that.
12:41 Now, that’s a local waitering job on the evenings right there, working two days a week.
That gives you five days a week to build your business while you pay bills, but that’s not bad.
It’s not a bad start.
The One Thing That’s WAY More Important Than Your Coaching Fee
13:00 So this is not as much about needing to get to a certain fee level as it is needing to have power with people enough that they want to coach with you.
If you can go out today, talk to ten people and have a couple of them want to coach with you, you win.
The money is going to work out.
It’s going to work out!
You don’t have to worry about the money, it’s going to work out.
13:28 But if you can’t get people to want to coach with you…
if that’s over your head
…if that’s beyond you
…if that’s something you’re not willing to put the time into
…if you don’t have any energy for that
…if you don’t have the confidence for that (it holds you back)…
Until you break through whatever is standing in your way of that, there is no possibility of success.
That is real, that’s what is priceless and not some fee level.
13:53 If you really want to get to a reasonable fee level and you’re talking $100 an hour times two days a week, now that would be a coaching income that a lot of coaches are able to generate and able to charge in that $100 an hour range.
Sometimes they’ll charge more, sometimes they’ll charge less.
It just really depends on the situation. There are other things that you could charge for as well.
14:20 So the numbers really work great.
Coaching is a cash strategy that generates massive amounts of cash once you set the stage for that.
Once you got the skills, once you are able to generate the sense of trust, credibility and leadership from others that they want you to lead them in some way that they value, that’s the game that is most important to play…
…and then the money is just a measure of that.
It’s part of the measure of that process.
14:54 It’s important to get off of the money being the focal point of our limitations and get into
- who we are
- our leadership
- our skills with people
- our willingness to work and put forth energy to make something happen.
There’s enough energy, enough work, enough willingness to break through the things that most people don’t, and can’t, and won’t break through…
You’re going to get paid for that eventually because that’s so valuable and so rare.
What’s Your Coaching Fee Level?
15:23 So once again, this is Jeffrey Sooey with CoachesTrainingBlog.com. I hope that you took some great value out of this video today.
What’s your current coaching fee dimension?
Are you mostly free or are you charging a fair value?
What’s your plan for progress to whatever coaching fee level is next for you?
What did I miss? Is there anything else that would help you plan out your coaching program fees? Any level that I didn’t address?
I’d love to hear your feedback so make sure that you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions.
By the way, you can learn a lot more about setting and raising your life coaching fees (as well as more advanced coaching business tactics) by grabbing your own free step-by-step 30 days to become a coach video toolkit. Just go HERE right now to get your 30-day coaching blueprint videos. You’ll learn how to change your client’s life in 45 minutes, other advanced coaching and practice building techniques, and more.
Jeffrey T. Sooey
CEO, JTS Advisors
Founder, Coaches Training Blog community