What does it mean to own your value as a coach?
When you tap into your purpose and connect with your North Star to truly understand what you do and who you serve, you create value for each and every one of your potential clients.
In the coaching realm, clients are not interested in the cheapest option. The very nature of coaching is a luxury item designed to achieve results. Those that seek professional coaching, whether it’s life coaching, leadership coaching, career coaching or one of the many other coaching niches, are looking for value. That means that their perceived outcome is greater than the perceived cost. That’s what value comes down to.
For you to own your value means that you recognize what you are delivering to potential clients and how valuable that is to them ad pricing that in accordance so that they feel the service you offer and the results they achieve outweigh the cost. However, if you don’t see the value and own it, chances are your clients won’t either.
Pricing your offerings
Many coaches struggle with pricing their services and programs. They look to their counterparts, competition, and collaboration partners quite often and take the lead from their pricing. But here is the thing. You can’t really know what other people are delivering as part of their packages, you can only know what you are giving. Knowing what your basic income needs to be and using that for pricing your services is a great way to start, but there is more to it than that.
Undervaluing your worth, not only does a disservice to you, but also to the coaching industry as a whole. This is one of the reasons why ICF credentialing is so important, it signifies those coaches who value continuous education as part of their own values and you must take into account your education and continuing education when considering the value that you bring to your clients. Your clients are not just paying you for an hour of your time, they are also paying you for the years of experience and education that make you an expert in your field.
If pricing your services is something that you are having difficulty with, consider booking a Shift Your Focus coaching session with me where we go over your pricing and value as part of a larger strategy working towards stabilizing your coaching business.
Once you have decided where your prices land, always stick to them. This is where truly owning your value comes in. You know how much you are worth. You’ve done your homework, you know the pain others are in and how you are able to help them solve that and move forward, so ensure that you are charging what that is worth. People may try to negotiate or get you to lower your prices, but you need to stay firm. Draw that line in the sand and ensure you don’t cross it, otherwise, you will always be at the mercy of others and never fully in control of your business.
When you are asked to do pro-bono work
As you become busier and more recognized for the work you do, you will undoubtedly be approached to “donate your time” or swap services, you may even be asked to take some clients on as pro-bono work for a particular cause. Don’t be afraid to say no to these, that’s part of owning your value too and that doesn’t make you a bad person.
As part of your overall business plans, if doing some philanthropy work is something you’d like to build in, that’s your call. You can decide ahead of time without emotion being a part of the equation – “I’m going to donate x hours per year for pro-bono coaching” You can even decide which causes you’d like to donate to so that you know that you are supporting something that truly matters to you.
This allows you not to be caught off guard when someone asks out of the blue. It also feels more comfortable to be able to say “I’ve already allocated all of my available pro-bono hours this month/quarter/year”. Family and friends is another area where you need to own your value. Often we feel obligated to help out – the phrase “pick your brain” is often used when someone is looking to tap into your expertise for free. Because coaching, consulting and counselling are intellectual products rather than physical products, they are often perceived as “not losing anything” if you give them away for free. However you are losing something, your value. You are telling yourself that your time doesn’t matter. The time you are now donating as well as the time you spent learning and growing your skillset. If you are not able to defend your value when it matters most, you will always be struggling to find good clients that value you.
The buck stop with you
Owning your value means you being comfortable with your worth and then being able to communicate that to your clients. Your own mindset is often the biggest barrier to owning your value. If you don’t believe you are worth a price, it will be harder to convince your potential clients as to why they should pay that price and believe me, it can be seen across everything you do so it goes much deeper than just telling yourself this is what you are worth. You need to live it, breathe it, communicate it. That doesn’t mean plastering your prices everywhere, but it does mean not being afraid to have pricing conversations, not being afraid to say no to opportunities that don’t match your value and putting out numbers that scare you.
People pay good money for brand names from Apple to Gucci because they know they are worth every penny and those companies stand proud and own their worth, rarely if ever giving away stuff for free or heavily discounted.
Smarten up your business by owning your value. I promise it will pay off in the long run and help you to feel amazing while getting you in front of the clients you want to work with.
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