Much Is That Coach In The Window?
I attended a coaching conference where a top coach was presenting a talk on getting started in coaching. A member of the audience asked her how much she charged for her coaching. Her reply? Between $10.00 and $10,000. The answer wasnt helpful, but very telling. There is a big spread between what coaches charge. Coaches charge anything from nothing to millions. Newer coaches are willing to give their coaching away just to get the experience (something I would suggest you do for a limited time) or they even trade their coaching for various other products and services. I joke that I have traded my coaching for everything but chickens. When I was a new coach, I traded my coaching for vitamins, massages, housecleaning services, legal services and other services I cant remember now. It certainly was a way to get experience and I dont see anything wrong with trading as long as you are clear about what youre giving for what you are getting, and the length of time you will trade your coaching for something else. I would keep your trades limited to just a couple and for short periods of time. Yes, I understand you need the experience, but you also need to make a living.
Newer coaches have a challenge charging for their coaching because they dont value it. They have been giving it away for so long they have a hard time imaging anyone paying for it. Let me give you some very important advice. If you dont value your coaching no one else will either. And people dont value what they pay very little for. As a newer coach, figure out what the average coaching fees are and start there. With practice you will gain confidence and will be able to charge what you are worth. When I first started coaching I could only charge $150.00 a month for four one-hour sessions. That is what I was comfortable with. What I know for sure is you simply cant charge more than what you are comfortable with. Once I built my coaching muscle and my clients began to have success I began to see the value in what I was offering. I was able to raise my fees as I built my confidence.
In the e-book I wrote with fellow coach Kathleen Bren, The Ultimate Guide to Coaching for Fun and Money, we include a worksheet to figure out how much you should charge for your coaching based on what you need to make to cover your expenses, including your salary. To provide a simple equation, the most important things to look at is how much money you need to run your business including paying yourself. For example, if your expenses including your salary comes to $10,000 a month and you want to coach 20 people you need to charge $500 a month per client (divide the number of clients into the amount you need to make). This will just allow you to break even. If you want to more than cover your expenses you need to charge more. Also, keep in mind that this will simply cover the time that you are coaching. There will be lots of time spent on marketing, networking and running the business that will be in addition to the 20 hours a week coaching.
Most coaches dont just coach. They create streams of revenue that help them balance out their cash flow. That is something to consider as a coaching income can vary greatly from month to month as clients come and go. The most important thing to realize is that coaching isnt a get rich quick venture; in fact, it may never make your rich. It can, however, provide a living and a very comfortable one if you are willing to do the marketing and networking required to keep your funnel full.
How much should you charge for coaching? It depends. What it depends on is you. The most important advice I can give you is before venturing out into the coaching world hire a mentor coach. Your mentor coach should be someone that is successful, can help you grow your confidence and your skills, and help you determine what to charge. All of the successful coaches I know have their own coaches.
Rachelle Disbennett Lee, PhD is the co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Coaching for Fun and Money. Coach Lee has been running a successful international coaching practice since 1996. She is the author of the popular e-zine 365 Days of Coaching and has written several personal development books. To obtain your copy of The Ultimate Guide to Coaching for Fun and Money go to www.readysetcoach.com.