How Much Should Life Coaches Charge?

Note: If you’re new to coaching and need paying clients, you will benefit a great deal from reading how to get clients quickly

When I first started working with other coaches back in 2012, it never even crossed my mind that so many potential clients were asking themselves, how much should life coaches charge?

I presumed (incorrectly) that most coaches based their prices on a combination of what they needed to make coaching financially sustainable and the value they could deliver to clients.

In reality, what I kept coming across was the belief that there is a ‘going rate’ (usually thought to be around £100/£125) and that the vast majority of coaches charge close to this.

And maybe they do, but it shouldn’t influence you.

A little over twenty years ago, I was working for the Yellow Pages in the UK, selling advertising space.

We frequently had to see tradespeople at their home, and I was sat in the front room of a plumber in Birmingham.

I was having little success in helping him see the benefits of buying a larger advertisement, so I asked him how much he charged per hour.

He responded, £16.

I stopped dead in my tracks because that didn’t make any sense.

There isn’t a going rate for life coaches

I knew that the going rate for a tradesperson in that area of Birmingham was closer to £30 per hour?’.

I looked at him suspiciously and then looked around at the rather nice living room I was sitting in and said, ‘Come on Phil, I know the going rate is closer to £30. Do you really expect me to believe you’re only charging £16 per hour?

He laughed loudly and slapped his leg.

Not £16, you misheard me. I charge sixty quid an hour’.

I looked at him quizzically. ‘But how on earth can you charge double what everybody else is charging?’

‘Look’ he said. ‘I know lots of people won’t pay that, but I only need half as many customers as all the other plumbers round here, and that means I get to earn the same for half the amount of time spent working’.

It turns out he’d bought a battered old boat a couple of years previously and loved to spend as much time on it as possible, restoring it to its former glory.

How smart he was to determine his own value.

If a plumber can step outside the going rate, then why on earth would a coach feel bound by it?

Ignore the going rate for coaches

There have been a lot of life coach directories sprung up in the last few years designed to help people seeking a coach find the right one for them.

I have either been hired by or spoken to a number of coaches who have signed up for such services.

I can understand the allure because these sites promote themselves as being an easy way to connect coaches with clients.

But, without exception, they have all endured the same depressing, albeit highly predictable, experience.

A bidding war with a race to the bottom on price and no clients paying them what they are worth at the end of it.

Such sites commoditize coaching by making price the fastest and easiest way for potential clients to decide which coach to hire.

I live in a rural area, and I don’t have gas connected to my house. Instead, I have to rely on deliveries of heating oil.

When I am looking to fill the tank up, I literally want the cheapest available supplier who can deliver before I run out. Nothing else matters.

Oil, like gas, gold, electricity and certain foods, is a commodity, and its price is set by global supply and demand because it’s all the same.

There’s nothing that can be done to a commodity by a business to increase its value without changing it.

To increase value, oil has to be refined, gold has to be shaped, and food has to be processed.

Once those things happen, pricing becomes based on desirability, scarcity and, to a lesser extent, urgency.

Your coaching is the antithesis of being a commodity unless you allow it to become one because you determine the desirability by the value/results you can deliver.

Its scarcity is also determined by you because it’s limited by the number of hours per week you are prepared to coach.

And you can influence the urgency both with your copywriting to emphasise the importance of people taking action now to make changes. Or by running short-term offers.

How much should you charge for coaching?

The starting point for figuring out how much you should charge for your coaching is how much you need to earn.

If you cannot survive as a coach on less than £50k per annum, then deciding on a rate that won’t provide that is clearly setting yourself up for long-term failure.

But other than not going below what is financially sustainable, you can charge whatever you want, presuming you are serving a niche that can afford to pay.

My own rates are very much set around the kind of lifestyle I want to live and the clients with whom I want to work.

Money is a very poor motivator for me, and I have zero interest in being a ‘high-ticket’ coach.

Plus, not having kids or any expensive hobbies/tastes means I don’t need to earn huge amounts of money to be comfortable and happy.

And isn’t that the reason why we are coaches?

You may have aspirations to earn £250k or even more, and that’s totally fine if you can deliver that kind of value.

I personally know coaches who charge a minimum of £10k per client, and I know of a lot more who charge £50k and up.

And rarely is what they charge a direct reflection of their coaching ability.

Rather, it’s a reflection of their desire and ability to market themselves.

So, set your price at what you want need and can justify, but then you need a fucking good plan to achieve it!

6 thoughts on “How Much Should Life Coaches Charge?”

  1. Yep and it all hinged on value. If you cannot prove the value you bring to the table people won’t hire you at any pice.

  2. That is a GREAT point Barb. The first good year I had left me with a $10k tax bill and in a state of blind panic.

    Entirely my fault but coming from the UK I didn’t understand the tax system.

  3. That’s not especially unusual Derrick in terms of coaching for next to nothing, but glad you saw the ‘error of your ways’!

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