Just Getting Started

by Ruth
(Wisconsin)

I am a retired, Licensed Professional Counsellor who likes to stay active. As a private practitioner in Wisconsin for nearly 20 years the majority of my clients were children and families on Medicaid.

The reimbursement rate for intensive in-home services was $65 per hour, while an out-patient session paid $55 for a 45 minute session. The same held true for most private insurance, and HMO's. I loved what I was doing, but I knew other private practitioners in the area who were making three times that amount. I felt like the children and families I served needed to have a place to go that wasn't run by the county, which limited the services they provided, and quite frankly, not very personable. So, I made the trade-off.

However, as I begin my new journey as a Life Coach I am struggling a bit to establish fees. I want to keep my primary focus on serving children and families. I know it isn't always easy for families to pay for out-of-pocket services so I want to be reasonable when setting fees. I decided to start at $60 for a 45 minute session with the option of purchasing the full hour for $70.

The client pays a little more per minute for the remaining 15 minutes, but I then use that time to do a quick assessment with the client and get their feedback on how they thought the coaching session went. I do this anyway, but some of the initial 45 minutes gets used to accomplish this. It's also an effective way to work into ending the coaching session by simply reminding the client that we are approaching our final 15 minutes. It helps me with time management as well as in not ending the session too abruptly, or going over the scheduled time.

I would love some feedback on this idea for setting fees. Some of my family and friends say I'm still not charging enough and feel that I am, "undervaluing" my skills and expertise. What do you think??


Hello Ruth,
Thank you so much for this question. I really find your structure of the session with the 15 minute "wind down" time interesting.

I think my only input can be that you have to feel comfortable with what you are charging and in exchange with your clients for the value you are giving. Also whether you fees are giving you enough to cover expenses and what you want to earn on top of that.

If you don't feel in exchange and find yourself maybe resenting the value you give for too little return, you could try experimenting with higher fees to see how they are received. So much depends on the demographic where you aim to coach.

Another solution to this is to offer different coaching programs at different price points so that a client on a tight budget has options of working with you for different lengths of session or sets of sessions.

Hope this helps and be interested to know how you go.

Best regards
Wendy

Comments for Just Getting Started

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An interesting dilemma on fees
by: Wendy Buckingham

Hello Ruth,
Thank you so much for this question. I really find your structure of the session with the 15 minute "wind down" time interesting.

I think my only input can be that you have to feel comfortable with what you are charging and in exchange with your clients for the value you are giving. Also whether you fees are giving you enough to cover expenses and what you want to earn on top of that.

If you don't feel in exchange and find yourself maybe resenting the value you give for too little return, you could try experimenting with higher fees to see how they are received. So much depends on the demographic where you aim to coach.

Another solution to this is to offer different coaching programs at different price points so that a client on a tight budget has options of working with you for different lengths of session or sets of sessions.

Hope this helps and be interested to know how you go.

Best regards
Wendy

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