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How much should I pay for coaching? – Its a question I get asked more than any other and understandably so. It can also be a source of considerable frustration for those considering engaging with coaching and a question I would love to give a direct answer to, but coaching services vary wildly in cost.
Coaching is a growing and essentially modern industry with an increasing number of styles, models and approaches. Selecting the right one for you can be tricky to navigate.
The scale of coaching price ranges from £0-£30 per session for new or inexperienced coaches or those engaged in pro bono/community work and rise up to £10,000 per session to those marketing themselves as ‘the elite’ or as ‘elite business gurus and experts.’ Elite coaches may be vastly experienced pioneers and thought leaders of the industry or they may just be highly confident and market themselves as ‘elite.’
There is little evidence that those in the latter category do anything significantly different to many less costly coaches as many of the models and tools that coaches routinely use are shared ideas or at least stem from similar business and psychology theories.
Interestingly, research suggests that the psychological effect of paying higher fees for coaching moves the needle towards success – for many, paying higher fees adds motivational fuel and commitment to act upon any insights gained during the coaching sessions.
With such a wide disparity in coaching costs, it is advised that the client should apply an element of caution. At a recent summit, I heard two coaches having a conversation about simply doubling their prices for no reason other than the fact that they could. In this sense, the question of value continues to be a difficult challenge for clients to overcome.
So, are you really buying a service or are you buying a product? – The coach themselves. Perhaps this is subject we will cover in future blogs.
Investing in coaching has some risk attached to it, in so much as you pay the fees with a certain expectation of success. Be it unpicking a challenge, increasing performance or resilience, finding a way forward, becoming unstuck or any number of other challenges including maintaining a current course.
Some coaches will offer a free initial session, so clients can get a feel for coaching and the coach before deciding on working together. Others ask for payment sometime during the first month of work.
Through my research there does appear to be a mean average of ‘sensible’ pricing emerging in the field of coaching.
Excluding the elite range, I have found that for private, one to one coaching services, the average price for an hour session is between £80-£200. For executive coaching, the average appears to be £500 -£1000.
Coaches now operate in an ever increasing and competitive marketplace, so they often extend their offering by creating exciting new theories and programs to entice clients to them with firmly held beliefs in their success. These again range in cost from 6 sessions over 3 months for £1000.00 to £5,000 or perhaps full intensive days for £1,000.00 to £3,000 and beyond. Some coaches also offer 12 week or 12 step programs around specific niche challenges. These again range wildly in cost. The list of options, niches and creatively conceived packages is seemingly endless and diverse with every coach having their own sense of value and worth.
So, how much does coaching cost? The answer is, it depends how much are you willing to pay? There are clearly options for all budgets. You can still receive great, life changing coaching at a relatively low cost.
During my research and through many conversations, the single biggest factor that defines success is not cost but whether you can connect with your coach in a meaningful way. For some, high cost may well provide all the motivation they need while for others it will need to be a deeper connection.
Whatever your situation, you may want to consider the following:
- Is the coach qualified?
- Do you feel safe?
- Do you connect with the coach on a human level?
- How much experience do they have?
- Does the coaches approach resonate with you? E.G is it loose or highly structured?
- What do your instincts tell you about working with the coach?
- Is your challenge general of more niche?
- Should you engage in coaching or is counselling/therapy more appropriate?
In addition, coaching is still an unregulated industry. However, there are great associations that coaches can become credentialed with following qualification with accredited courses. These include the ICF (international coaching federation) and AC (Association for coaching). These are clearly not decisive in deciding the skill or worth of a coach, but you may feel that an association to a body, the coach demonstrates a willingness to hold themselves accountable through a code of ethics and core competencies.
You may feel this is important or you may feel that your gut feeling is a better gauge. Perhaps a mix of the two would be a good approach?
A final warning – There are thousands of incredible coaches doing great work across the globe. However, it is worth noting that as the self-help industry has grown, so too has the emergence of poor uninformed and under prepared coaches seeing the industry as a ‘get rich quick’ opportunity. These coaches often charge large fees on the back of limited knowledge or skill. The advice here is to do some research beyond the coach’s own website or marketing activity. Even testimonials can be misleading and fake. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in.
For more information on coaching services or more information in seeking a coach or consultant, feel free to get in touch. We are always happy to answer your questions or point you in the direction of valuable resources that you may find useful.
Thanks for reading – Keep it UP!