When we find our passion for coaching, setting rates likely isn’t our first concern. But before we start our business, it’s important to consider the numbers.
Life coaching is a rewarding profession — you help people reach personal goals, unleash creativity, and pursue dreams. You’ll help them overcome obstacles preventing them from becoming the person they want to be. And as your clients work toward the best version of themselves, you’ll learn how to become a better coach.
So, how much should you charge for this life-changing work? Quoting services is tricky. It’s not as straightforward as setting a price on a product to earn a particular profit margin. This guide will help you get started.
Putting a price tag on your services
You’re an excellent coach, but how can you put a price tag on your services? While looking at industry pay averages helps, these numbers have a wide range. Some life coaches charge less than $100 per hour, while others ask for several hundred. Ziprecruiter, which lists average life coach pay by state, estimates annual salaries to be in the $40,000 to $65,000 range.
Here are a few factors to consider when deciding what your services should cost.
- Your market: Research what people in your area are willing to pay for wellness services. If you can’t find reliable data on life coaching prices, look for numbers on similar services. How much are people willing to pay to meet with nutritionists, therapists, or personal trainers?
- Expertise: Coaches with years of experience will charge more than beginners. And as you gain experience, you likely also have a clearer idea of what to charge. For the new coaches out there, base your expertise on your credentials. If you have a related degree or life coach certification, these valuable qualifications justify a higher rate. Here are a few institutions that offer programs and certification for life coaches:
- Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)
- International Coach Federation (ICF)
- Institute for Life Coach Training
- Health Coach Institute
- Your time: It’s never easy to put a number on your time, especially if you love doing your job. But you deserve to live comfortably and not have to work so much that you don’t have time for yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Consider what you need to earn per month, and use that figure as the basis for hourly rate projections.
When in doubt, look to competitor rates to ensure yours aren’t suspiciously low or prohibitively high for your market. And if you’re comfortable with your rates but unsure if new clients will take the leap, try offering promotions to get people through the door. Give a discounted rate on a client’s first session or run a seasonal promotion for new attendees.
How to charge for life coaching sessions
Now it’s time to determine how you’ll reach your ideal but reasonable salary. Unless you work for a company, you’ll be in charge of setting rates.
The first step is deciding what units you’ll use for your life coach rates. You’ll have to decide if you want to charge by individual session or use other life coaching package styles. Here are a few standard methods your coaching industry peers are using to price one-on-one coaching.
If you offer hour-long sessions, a per-session fee to short-term clients makes sense. Clients can easily visualize how much they’ll spend. This is an ideal option for new clients, as they can pay per session while deciding if they want to continue working with you long-term.
People like saving money. If a coaching client wants to work with you long-term, offer a special rate that covers a certain number of sessions per month. To set a monthly rate, take your hourly fees, multiply them by the number of sessions offered in the package, then slightly discount the total. Reward client loyalty by giving them a preferential rate.
Offer an even more competitive rate to clients that agree to long-term packages like quarterly or six-month plans. Even though you’ll be giving a deeper discount, you’ll gain job security knowing these clients plan to stick around.
No matter how you decide to price your services, set clear boundaries. Explain what your coaching services entail and the rules about last-minute cancellations, refunds, and any other circumstances that could jeopardize your pay. Remember that coaching relationships are based on mutual respect, so setting expectations early on sets you and your client up for success.
Per session rates
If you have a busy client who can’t quite commit to coming twice a month, consider selling a package of sessions that isn’t time sensitive. You might offer a 10% discount to someone who buys 10 sessions at once. These customers could then choose to come as often as they like, whether that’s once a month or every week. This allows you to sell more sessions upfront while offering flexibility to your clients.
Taking it to the bank
When defining rates, remember that this isn’t easy or comfortable work. The cost of life coaching is difficult to determine because your services have the potential to bring priceless results to your clients.
The best way to set rates and shift them correctly over time is by doing your homework. Keep your finger on the pulse of your local market and know what other professionals with your credentials make. Shake off any insecurities around charging too much — your services are worth it.