Why I Hate The Advice To “Charge What You’re Worth”

Knowing what to charge

“I don’t know how much to charge.”

“Just charge what you’re worth!”

How many times have you seen this advice in a blog post or a comment in a Facebook group?

“Charge what you’re worth” is a very common phrase to hear in the coaching world. And while of course everyone should charge what they’re worth, I’m not a huge fan of this advice.

Pricing is a tricky subject. Whether you’re brand new or have been in business for a while, knowing what to charge can be stressful.

If you’re a new health coach, you may have absolutely no idea what to charge. There’s such a wide range of prices for coaching, it’s hard to know where to start.

And if you’ve been a coach for a while, questions around pricing still come up whenever you want to raise your rates or launch something new. Or, if you’re struggling to get potential clients to say “yes” to working with you, you might wonder if you should lower your rates.

“Charge what you’re worth” is hardly helpful advice.

And here’s why…

Charging what you’re worth actually comes down to two factors:

  • What you believe you’re worth and can share with confidence
  • What your clients believe you’re worth

And here’s the thing. #1 actually has a very big impact on #2.

In this post, I’m sharing how to price your services in a way you can own.

Knowing what to charge - Pinterest

Owning Your Worth

Whether you’re charging $100 or $10,000, you’ve got to be able to stand behind your worth and own it. This comes down to feeling confident with your pricing, knowing the service and results you deliver are valuable.

If you don’t “own” your rates (you sound insecure when you share your prices or are quick to give in when a client offers to pay you less) – potential clients will sense that you’re unsure of yourself and their confidence in your ability to help them will drop.

How likely do you think they are to sign-up with you when they don’t feel confident in you?

How you talk about your pricing can have a direct impact on what clients believe you’re worth, and what they’re ultimately willing to pay.

When you feel confident in your pricing, your clients will feel confident in paying it.

Finding the Sweet Spot

Because there’s no hard and fast rule that says “you have to charge $XX for health coaching services”, setting your prices can seem like a Goldilocks situation – it’s very hard to get just right.

If you set your prices too low, clients might t think you’re not very experienced or assume they won’t get much out of working with you.

Plus, when you undercharge, you’re more likely to feel discouraged or get burnt out because you’re working hard for a small return.

If you set your prices too high, clients might not be willing to pay…. especially if they sense that you don’t believe you’re worth the high price tag.

So how should you go about pricing?

Strategically Pricing Yourself

In my opinion, the best way to set strategic prices for your services that you can really own is by gradually increasing your rates over time.

When I was a brand new coach, I got my first clients by asking for $75/month for a 6 month program. Every time I got 2 new clients, I would raise my rates. So I went up to $95/month, then $125/month, and I kept going until I reached $297/month.

Now, $75/month is a very low price. But, I was still in health coaching school at the time and wanted to build confidence in my abilities. With each boost in my confidence came a boost in my pricing! .

I could have started right at $297/month, but I didn’t yet feel comfortable asking for that. I picked a number I could own at the time and gradually raised my rates.

As I gained experience and confidence, I felt COMPELLED to charge more. Instead of feeling (and sounding!) uneasy about charging more, I owned my worth and was excited to share it!

Your Game Plan for Pricing

If you’re just starting out as a coach or you’re launching a new program, try following this pricing strategy:

1. Pick a rate or price you feel comfortable charging

If you don’t know what that number is, try this test. When someone asks you what you charge, what is the number you can say without feeling any kind of cringe, guilt, or worry? Or, at what price would you say “no way” to someone asking you for a discount?

2. Get more experience, more clients, more testimonials

With every client comes more experience and more confidence, knowing you can deliver a great service and great results. And when clients give you great testimonials, it’s further proof to yourself and your new potential clients that you’re worth it.

3. Raise your rates every time you sign on 2 or 3 clients
at that level.

Like I shared in my story above, I raised my rates after every 2 clients. I knew if I could get 2 clients at the level I was charging, the rate was probably too low and I could take it to the next level. Plus, I gained more confidence and experience with each client so I knew I could own a higher rate.

4. Continue working up to your ideal price

My ideal price was $297/month, and I didn’t stop raising my rates until I got there. Your ideal price might continue to move up, and that’s ok. It’s a good idea to examine your pricing regularly to make sure you still feel aligned with it.

Now I’d love to hear from you!
How do feel about your current rates. Do you feel they’re just right, too low, or too high?


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