For many coaches, the greatest challenge to managing a small business isn’t dealing with demanding clients or keeping up with their busy schedules — it’s getting paid.
You likely got into the coaching business because you want to help others, and sometimes, charging for your services can feel like the opposite. But here’s the reality: you deserve to be compensated fairly for your work, just like any other professional. And as you gain new skills and experience, your prices should grow to reflect the worth of your services.
Asking for more money can feel awkward or unnatural, but many clients are willing to pay more to receive your support and guidance. With a respectful and professional approach, changing your rates is a straightforward process. Let’s explore how to raise prices without losing customers.
How to inform clients of a price increase
Coaches raise their prices for various reasons, from combating inflation to reflecting their latest certification or experience milestone. No matter why you choose to raise your prices, you must take special care when informing current clients. The people you coach are essential to your business — and if you don’t communicate this change well, you risk losing even your most loyal customers.
You should notify your clients of the impending price increase at least one month in advance. This gives people time to ask you questions and make the best decision based on what they can afford: should they stay, or seek services elsewhere? It’s also wise to connect with each client directly through a letter or email rather than making an impersonal announcement.
What should you include in this message? Here are a few key points:
- The new cost of your services: Your clients need to know what you’ll charge for a coaching package when prices increase. Make sure to state the new price clearly in your letter or email.
- Price increase justification: No one likes to pay more for a service they’re already getting, so it’s wise to offer a brief explanation as to why you’re raising your rates. You can mention external factors, such as inflation or a business expansion, and explain how you plan to add extra value to your coaching practice to justify the new price.
- Timeline to the new rate: Give your clients a clear deadline for the price increase. This will ensure minimal confusion — and a lower risk of price disputes — when your clients get their first bill at the new rate.
- Invitation for further communication: Some of your clients may have questions about this change to your business model. For instance, they may want to know if there are other ways to receive coaching at a lower price, like switching from individual to group sessions. Open the lines of communication in your letter or email so your clients know they can reach out and share what’s on their minds.
Raising prices as a coach: how to keep clients
Even when you know your work is valuable and worth a higher rate, increasing your prices can feel like a leap of faith. What if a price change drives clients away?
While this worry is natural — and inevitable — with the right approach, you’ll be surprised by the number of clients who understand the change and stick around. Integrate these tips into your price increase strategy so you can maintain or boost your profit margins without scaring off your client base:
Raise prices habitually
Most companies conduct annual reviews of their employees, assessing their performance and deciding which workers deserve to earn more. As a business owner, you likely don’t have a boss who reviews your work — but you can still have an annual review. At least once a year, sit down and assess your skills, business expenses, and professional goals. Then, use that information to decide how much to raise your prices. Regular and cyclical reviews also create a pattern for existing clients, so fee adjustments don’t catch them off guard.
Add more value
Coaches should always strive to give their clients the best experience possible, but that goes double when you’re considering raising prices. Consider ways to add value to your coaching sessions, whether through additional education, personalized action plans, client access to online resources, or anything else that makes your work more impactful.
Increasing your prices will inevitably cost you a few customers, so timing this change is essential. A good rule is to wait to raise prices until your business is 75-80% booked. In this position, you can likely afford to lose a few clients while transitioning to your new rate. However, this doesn’t mean you should raise prices every time you hit that 75 percent mark — the milestone is simply your sign to consider what you’ll charge after your next annual review.
What to avoid when raising prices
Customer loyalty is crucial for many businesses, and coaching is no exception. If you fumble raising your prices, you risk souring your client relationships and losing customers. Make sure you avoid these pitfalls when raising your coaching price:
Changing pricing too often or by too much
Over 60% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, which means they don’t always have room for variable costs in their budget. If you raise prices for your coaching services too frequently, many clients may feel uncomfortable working with you. Similarly, if you set your prices so high they fall outside industry standards, your clients will likely look for another coach with rates they can afford. A once-yearly price change that aligns with the industry in your area creates consistency that many of your clients can accommodate.
No one likes unexpected price hikes, whether from the grocery store, the gas station, or their coach. If you don’t give your clients at least a month’s notice before you increase your rates, the “sticker shock” may drive them to cancel your services. Ensure you give everyone ample time to sit with their feelings and prepare for the change.
Lack of transparency
Your relationship with your clients is built on trust. Your clients trust that you want to help them succeed, so they follow your guidance, do the work you assign, and pay your service fee. However, that trust can be very fragile — and if a client thinks you’re just trying to take their money, it can shatter in a snap. This is why it’s so important to explain why you’re raising prices. You don’t have to be apologetic, but you should ensure your client understands why the change is coming and how it benefits their coaching journey.
Would you want to pay more for the same product or service you used before? Probably not — so if you raise prices without offering additional value, you’re ultimately devaluing your coaching services. Don’t raise those rates without taking the time to add value (and make that value clear to new and existing clients).
Strengthen your coaching business with Practice
Whether you’re a brand new coach or a seasoned professional, pricing your services can be tricky. But if you take the time to assess your business, understand your worth, and carefully plan your price increase strategy, you can earn the rate you deserve without losing the clients you love.
And whether you have just one client or are 75% booked, Practice can help you manage your coaching services easily and efficiently. Create and send invoices, communicate with clients, manage your schedule, and more with our easy-to-use client relationship management tool.