How to Decide What to Charge for Your Coaching Program - 5 Steps PLUS Specific Examples to Help!

So many people ask me how to price their coaching programs that I decided to write this post! It turned out to be much longer than I thought - and there is lots of helpful information. I have included examples, including the pricing I used to get 12 clients in my first ever coaching program.

First, What do I mean by a Coaching Program?

For the purposes of this article, "Coaching Program" means a series of one-on-one coaching sessions covering pre-determined topics with a client - over a set time period. For example this could be a 3 month Program to "De-stress Your Life" or a 6 month Coaching Program to "Be a Fearless Leader in Your Own Life".

The client will expect some resources/exercises/tools during the program. They will also expect that you have a structure, of some kind, that you guide them through to achieve "less stress" or take more of a "leadership role in their own lives". Clients will expect to set goals for working with you in the area of your coaching program, and expect that the coaching sessions, brainstorming and action planning will focus on the program (or closely related) topics.

Why a Coaching Program?

Many coaches find that it's easier to market/sell a specific coaching program than it is to sell more generic "one-on-one" coaching.

And potential clients find it easier to justify spending hundreds of dollars when it solves a specific problem or goal for them. Especially if the coaching program topic connects with them on an emotional level. Think about it. Would you rather spend $995 on "coaching", or $995 on learning to "Find Inner Peace" or to "Renew You, Love Your Life!"?

EXAMPLE: Here's how I priced my first Coaching Program - and Why:

First, please note that for simplicity any pricing suggestions in this article are made in US Dollars.

Personally, when I offered my first coaching program, I did it because I had trouble explaining what I did/what coaching was. I also wanted a boost of a few new clients all at once, some great testimonials for my website - and I hoped the program participants would stay coaching with me afterwards.

The most important thing for me however, was a confidence boost. I wanted to feel like a success - and have more than just 3-5 clients at one time. For me this meant offering a really good deal for the program - to remove the cost as a barrier for sign-up.

But I also didn't want to appear "cheap" or like I didn't value myself. This meant I had to "justify" my great price offer. So, I said my great price of $195 a month (this was 10 years ago!) - was based on clients 1) Signing up for a full 6 months, 2) Giving me monthly feedback on the program, tools and resources and 3) Assuming they enjoyed the coaching, I asked them to give me a great testimonial when we finished.

In addition, to keep a great price point and not feel taken advantage of, I offered 3 sessions a month - the 4th week was for "homework and reflection".

$195 for 3 (50 minute) sessions a month worked out at $65 a session.

I also promised to give them a great deal if they wanted to continue coaching with me afterwards - $295 a month for 3 sessions, instead of my usual $350 for 3 sessions.

By doing this, they got the benefit of a great price, I got valuable feedback, a boost of 12 new clients (which felt FABULOUS) and lots of wonderful new testimonials for my website.

You can learn more about how I created my first coaching program and got 12 new clients here >>

Before we start, know that you can charge whatever you like!

I know, this doesn't sound very helpful. But I want you to know that it really doesn't matter WHAT you charge as long as:

  1. The price "makes sense" to your customer/target market. This depends on how you market your program (what you say to your prospects about it), who your target market is - and their financial situation.
  2. The price "works" for you. Yes, we want to make money with the products and services we offer. However, sometimes we have other goals - which mean that we accept less money with the hope of receiving other benefits like building our brand, getting testimonials, building confidence or gaining experience.

Here are 5 Steps to Figure out What You Should Charge for Your Coaching Program:

STEP 1 - Know the Typical Fees Charged Per Session for Your Type of Coaching, in Your Country

How much you charge will depend on your country, possibly what area of your country you live in, and the type of coaching you do. It's true that coaching is global - and with phone coaching you can coach anyone in the world. However, people usually pick a local coach wherever they can - and if not local, then usually someone in the same country - or from the same country of origin.

For example if people in your country or area tend to charge $75-$150 per session, that's essential information to know before your start planning your pricing. Do a little online research if necessary.

YOUR ACTION - Be clear on what people typically charge for the type of coaching you do, in your country/area. What is the range?

Now, armed with this information we move onto Step 2

STEP 2 - List ALL the Benefits You Hope to Get Out of Running this Coaching Program

We obviously want to make money with the products and services we offer. However, there are many other reasons you might want to run a coaching program, and these can affect how much you charge.

YOUR ACTION - Make a list of the benefits and reasons you have for running your upcoming Coaching Program. Some examples include:

  • I'd like my marketing to be easier - and super focused.
  • I'd like to have a great offer to tell my list about
  • I'd like a confidence boost - to have a number of new clients all in one go.
  • I'd like to make some money/have a cash boost!
  • I'd like to build my practice by offering a short 3 month program, then hopefully they will transfer to regular one-on-one coaching.
  • I'd like to build up some coaching experience - or some coaching experience in a particular area.
  • I'd like to try out a new niche I've created, test my materials and get feedback.
  • I'd like the reassurance of having people signed up for a specific time period.
  • I'd love some testimonials for my new website.
  • I want to increase my brand profile and/or build my reputation in a specific subject area

STEP 3 - Consider these Other Factors that Impact Your Price

YOUR ACTION - Answer the following questions:

  • How long will your Coaching Program be?
  • How many sessions per month will you offer? How long are these sessions?
  • Will I charge by the month, or for the entire program?
  • What other services, benefits and features will you include in this program - and how does that impact the price? (eg. worksheets, a journal/folder, podcasts/audio/video, Facebook group, in person monthly get-togethers etc.)
  • Am I hoping to get brand new clients, offering this to existing clients - or both?
  • How much disposable income does my target market (ideal customer) have?
  • Which is more important to me - to maximise the number of clients I get, or to maximise the income?
  • How catchy is my Coaching Program topic and name? (if your program has a great name that solves a problem your audience has or a goal they desperately want to reach it's going to be more desirable)
  • How inspiring are the marketing materials for my Coaching Program? (if you have inspiring and attractive marketing materials, your program will be more desirable)

EXAMPLES: Monthly Coaching Program - Pricing Ideas

While pricing is unique to you - and what you want to achieve with it - here are some examples to get you thinking:

  • $195 per month - a ridiculously awesome introductory offer for 3 or 6 months to get new people in and experiencing coaching. You want to get a testimonial and feedback. Great if you're a complete beginner.
  • $250 per month - as above.
  • $297 per month - for your existing clients, because they deserve a great deal…
  • $350 (or $347) per month - still a great deal for 4 sessions a month!
  • $450 per month - they'll get such an amazing life boost it's totally worth it!
  • $497 per month - if you're an experienced, confident coach (and as above).
  • $695 (or $750) per month - you're experienced and you want to position yourself as an expert in this area.
  • $995 per month - you're an established expert with proven results and have an active list who are used to paying this kind of money for access to you.

STEP 4 - Identify and Get a Feel for 3 Different Prices You Could Charge

YOUR ACTION 1) - Consider what you learned in Steps 1, 2 and 3 and write out 3 different price ideas - one low, one middle and one high.

YOUR ACTION 2) - Check-In With How Your 3 Prices Feel. Complete the steps below:

  1. First imagine you are your customer. Get into their shoes, their financial situation and try imagining how each price point you're offering FEELS to you as a customer. Notice your reaction and how EACH price feels - too high, too low or just right.
    Tip: Remember you are the CUSTOMER right now - and the customer will almost always prefer the cheapest option (who wouldn't!?).
  2. Now imagine you are you - the coach delivering this program. Think about where you are in your business, and what you hope to get out of running the program. Yes, money, but what else? Testimonials? Confidence? Experience? Brand Awareness? Now consider each price point you've written down and check-in with how you feel. Notice your reaction and whether EACH price feels uncomfortably high, too low or whether it feels just right.

6 Final Tips & Reminders for Pricing Your Coaching Program:

  1. Price according to ALL of your goals, not just to make the most money! Remember that once you have people "in" your program you have the opportunity to build a relationship with them - and ask for referrals or offer them more services and products later.
  2. Pick a price that you feel comfortable and confident selling at. Price too high and you may lack confidence to sell strongly. Pick a price that's too low, and you may feel like you're cheating yourself. If you're uncomfortable for any reason, people will pick up on that - and are less likely to sign-up with you.
    Example: I found it helpful to have a "low" price my first time, because my attitude was, "It's a GREAT deal!" and this came across to my potential clients! Later when I was more confident, I raised the price.
  3. When you offer a fantastic deal, be sure to give potential clients a good "reason". This way it doesn't seem like you don't value yourself enough. Some ideas for "reasons" to offer a great deal are "It's my birthday - and I felt like celebrating", "I want to support women for International Women's Day", "It's Kindness Week", "It's International Coaching Week", a "New Year Special", "Introductory offer".
  4. When to charge a higher price. If you have a big network of people who are fans, a big email list, if your target market has a high disposable income, if you are established, or want to position yourself as an expert, these are all reasons to charge more rather than less for your services.
  5. Be aware of "price points". $95 sounds less than $100. Similarly $495 or $475 feels less than $500 - even though these are very similar amounts. In particular pay attention where prices tip over to another 10, 100 or 1000, and round down a little if you can. Even though people round the figures up mentally, $95 still subconsciously FEELS less than $100, and is therefore a more attractive price to potential clients!
  6. The quality of your marketing materials will affect how much someone is willing to pay for your program. It's worth paying a graphic designer to create some graphics or a poster for you that is attractive and inspiring to potential clients! Plus you'll then feel proud of what you're offering, and better about marketing yourself!

STEP 5 - Bring it all Together & Choose Your Price!

Consider what you've learned about pricing from getting into yours and your customer's feelings. Think about all the benefits you want to get out of running this program.

What price do you think would MAXIMISE the benefits you are looking for? Eg. Which price point is going to give you the most confidence/clients/brand-boosting or whatever else you are looking for? Which price would you be excited to sell your program at?

YOUR ACTION - Now choose a price for your Coaching Program!

Tip: Don't stress about it! Sometimes you put a stake in the ground first, then adjust your pricing and marketing as you go. None of this is life-threatening! Whatever you charge, you'll learn so much along the way. You'll learn what people will/won't pay, what YOU feel comfortable charging, when you feel UNDERappreciated (ie. undercharging) etc. All vital to understanding your clients, and running your business.

In Summary

Pricing varies so much - it's all about perceived value. So, it doesn't matter what you charge - it's all about what you want to get out of it, and the value your potential client perceives from how you position/sell your program!

And remember, you can also just choose a price and begin. There is no failure, only learning! If no-one signs up, try lowering the price point and having a FLASH sale for one week only. And if you're lucky enough to get "too many" new clients, you'll know to charge more next time, and that you'll have a ton of clients to talk about what you do, and give you a testimonial!

I hope this helps! Warmly, Emma-Louise

 

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12 Comments

  1. Rana

    Hello,

    wonderful article and informative website here!
    Curious how your price from 10 years ago has shifted?;)
    In the examples the coaching programs are based on X price/session but what if on top of coaching calls clients learn from videos and reflection sheets with weekly check in calls.
    wouldn't that be priced higher?
    thank you

    Reply
    • Emma-Louise

      Dear Rana,

      Thank-you. And you raise a great point! You can change your price according to what other "services" you are offering as part of the package. Maybe I will add another section into this (already long!) article at some point. If you add on additional services, you could increase the price - or you could use it as a differentiator - something that makes what you offer unique. It depends again on what YOU want to get out of running the coaching program. If you're looking for ways to justify a higher price - you can use additional services to do this. If you're looking to get clients - perhaps these additional services are a bonus and you just use them to make your program more desirable.

      I recommend you follow the 5 Step Process (I've just added a bullet to Step 3 based on your comment), and take it from there. Warmly, Emma-Louise

      Reply
  2. Beth Hammond

    Thanks Emma-Louise, I've always offered block sessions of 4 at a time, but never extended it to a 3 month program focussing on a specific topic, will definitely look in to this deeper.

    Best regards
    Beth

    Reply
  3. Mike White

    Great Article Emma-Louise rich with tips on 'How to and What to' - Thank You

    Reply
  4. Liza

    Dear Emma-Louise,

    I cannot express enough how grateful I am for your article and generous sharing of your
    experience. I have been trying and trying new strategies for so long and your article hits the nail. It's helped me to understand "business" in a new way. I am going to implement some of your ideas and try it out. I'll let you know how it goes. Thank you again for sharing your direct experience and wisdom on the matter!

    Yours sincerely
    Liza

    Reply

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