"If I raise my rates then I won't get any new clients."
That's the internal dialogue that most coaches have when it comes to their pricing.
And it's simply not true.
In fact, there's a way to raise your rates that both challenges you to become a better coach and helps you attract more high-quality clients.
But I want to warn you...even though this process is simple, it's not for the faint of heart.
Still want to double your rates? Keep reading and I'll lay it all out for you...
The Ultimate Form Of Marketing
Some coaches price their services so low that they could double them today and still get the exact same number of clients. Especially if they implemented a better enrollment process.
But if you're a coach who is charging around $500/month or more, you're probably going to have to step up your marketing game as well.
I have a very simple philosophy when it comes to marketing:
The ultimate form of marketing is having other people talk about how awesome you are.
Sometimes as coaches we forget this. It's easy to just obsess over your niche, write a blog post, or research another tactic to get clients. But here's the thing...
The credibility you're able to establish as a coach (and the prices you're able to charge) are both directly proportional to the success of your clients.
Which means that if you want to get more high-paying clients, you need to focus on these three steps:
Step 1: Facilitate incredible results (preferably tangible ones)
Step 2: Document those results (preferably through video)
Step 3: Raise your rates (to match the value you provide)
Most coaches who I see struggling have fallen down on one of these three steps. Either they haven't been able to create excellent case studies, they haven't done a good job of sharing those case studies, or they haven't been proposing rates that are in line with their value.
And that sucks. Because for most coaches, all of those steps are totally achievable. Let's break each of them down a little bit further...
Step 1: How To Help Your Clients Get Great Results
The best way to ensure that your clients get great results is to consistently improve your coaching. I know that's not the sexiest answer, but it's one that a lot of coaches need to hear. I've created a cheat sheet for you below with the most important tenet of good coaching:
There's another way to increase the value of your coaching, and it has less to do with coaching skills and more to do with finding your sweet spot. Watch the video below to learn more about what I mean:
Here's an example of what I explain in the video...
If you were able to get coaching from Oprah on how to start your own television show, that would probably be worth more to you than if she wanted to coach you on basket weaving.
A final thing to keep in mind here is that the more tangible the results are, the higher the perceived value will be. So if you help your clients make more money, lose a certain amount of weight, or start a relationship with the love of their life as a result of your coaching - those things will feel more tangible than just helping your clients "get more clarity."
So find a way to quantify what you do for people and it will be easier to explain your value.
Step 2: How To Document Your Biggest Success Stories
As far as your marketing is concerned, it doesn't really matter how great you are at coaching if no one knows about it.
So what a lot of coaches try and do is talk about themselves. They try to explain how their coaching works. Or they talk about the different certifications that they have.
But the truth is, no one really cares what you have to say about yourself. They want to hear about your client success stories.
The biggest mistake coaches make here (besides not documenting their success stories at all) is asking for testimonials.
For some reason, when you ask people to write a testimonial they create this awkwardly formal document full of vague descriptions that doesn't really do anything for your marketing.
Instead of asking for testimonials, we want to ask for feedback. My favorite way to do this is to hop on Skype and record a conversation with them, but you can also send them a written feedback form. Here are some of the questions you'll want to ask:
What was happening in your life/business/relationship when we started working together and what did you want? This helps potential clients who watch the video later to identify with the person in your case study.
What hesitations did you have about working with me? This one is a bit counterintuitive, but we need to remember that potential clients are skeptical.
How did you feel after our first session? This works in tandem with the last question. So if your success story says something like "I was a bit scared because it was a big investment, but after the first session I knew I had made the right decision" then that's perfect.
What specific results have you achieved since we started working together? Numbers and metrics are great here.
What did you like best about working with me? This allows them to elaborate on what makes you different.
How else have you benefited from our work together? This question helps bring out some of the less tangible results they have achieved.
Would you recommend me and my services? If so, why and to whom? This helps round out the endorsement and speaks directly to the potential client who is watching. This is also a good time to directly ask for a referral.
What would you have liked to see done differently? We don't include this in the testimonial but it's valuable information for improving the client experience.
Once you have answers to these questions, either in written form or on video, what we want to do is edit out the questions. So if it's video, just cut out the parts where you hear yourself talking. And if it's written, copy and paste only the responses together in one document.
What you get is a really great narrative arc of where the person started, what you did to help them, and where they ended up as a result of the coaching.
Step 3: How To Raise Your Rates With Integrity
Okay, so at this point you've done a ton of work. You've created some awesome success stories for people and you've made those into case studies by gathering feedback instead of asking for a testimonial.
All that's left at this point is to decide whether the rates you are currently charging still make sense in light of the results your clients have been getting.
See, pricing isn't about how long you spend with a client or even how long you've been coaching for. You could coach for 10 years and not get any better. Ethical pricing is all about aligning the amount of money you charge with the amount of value that the client receives.
For example: I help coaches raise their prices and fill their client roster. I've helped coaches go from having one or two low-end clients to making 5k in one week. And I charge a premium to help them do that because there is a clear return on their investment.
If people regularly lose 20 pounds and keep it off when they work with you, or create a better marriage, or start the business that becomes their passion and source of income for years to come, what is that worth?
In my opinion it's worth way more than $500/month.
Without knowing exactly what you help do for people, I don't know how much you should be charging. I wouldn't want to just throw out some arbitrary number and hope that it is commensurate with the value you provide.
But I will say this: if you follow each of the previous steps, you'll definitely be ready to raise your rates from whatever you were charging before.
How To Raise Your Rates With Your Existing Clients
Have you ever wondered how to go about raising your rates when a current client finishes their initial package?
Maybe you were charging low rates when you first signed them, and now you're wondering how to renew your agreement with them when your new rates are a lot higher.
You have a few options depending on whether you charge by the month or the package but here's the general strategy:
Step 1: Have a short (15 minute) conversation at the end of the initial engagement. Schedule extra time if you need to so that this doesn't cut into their coaching time. Ask them about their future goals and what new challenges they think they might want support with. See if it makes sense for you to continue working with them.
Step 2: If they're interested in continuing to work with you, tell them that your rates have gone up a lot since you started working together. Share what they would have to pay if they were just getting started as a new client today.
Step 3: If you're excited to keep working with this client, tell them that you are willing to "grandfather them in" at a lower rate than what you're charging now because you'd love to keep working with them. Choose a number between their old rate and your new one.
So, for example, say you're currently charging $1,000/month, but you were charging $500 per month when you first started. You could tell your client that the new rate is $1,000/month, but you're willing to keep working with them at $750/month.
This rewards their loyalty while still honoring the fact that you're more in demand now than you were before. And it has them feel like they are getting a good deal (which they are).
Of course, if you're not as excited about continuing with a certain client or you don't need more clients at the moment, you can always just ask them to pay your new rate in full.
The Hidden Benefit OF Raising Your Prices
When you raise your rates, you'll often attract people who are more serious about transforming a certain area of their life. And a lot of times those people will get better results. It quickly becomes an upward spiral for your business.