The Right Pricing Strategy

"But what should the price be??"

Every program and every offer for coaches, teachers, healing practitioners and creative entrepreneurs eventually comes down to this question. Last week, on the Get Right with Money call, we talked at length about pricing. There is such a crazy range of pricing, it can be daunting to decide what you will charge for your brand of awesome.

Whenever there is a question around pricing, there are lots of "shoulds" and often buckets full of confusion, anxiety, and sometimes, even resentment.

Old-School Pricing

In most traditional businesses, the rule of thumb is to evaluate your competitor's pricing - along with a lot of other stuff like market analysis, ROI, supply/demand, blah, blah -  to determine pricing. Even thinking about it makes want to hurl myself off the side of a bridge.  OY!

So isn't that the "right" way to do it?

I'm gonna say no. As in HELL NO.

Not when you are selling your own time, knowledge, experience, and brilliance.  Not in this new economy we are sailing into. I'm not saying there isn't a method to the madness, but seriously?

Looking at the range of pricing for coaches alone - from $25/hour to $500/hour +, the range is staggering. How is it that someone who is charging $300/hour can have a full practice and someone desperate for clients, charging $25/hour, has difficulty filling their practice?

It's curious, isn't it?

But it just points to a deeper reality about pricing products and services. The right price for you is all about your energy and intention - that's it. Any anxiety about your price is just an indicator of something else simmering below the surface. Something a lot more important than how much you ask people to pay you for what you do - because we all know there is a market at every price.

So how do you know when your energy and intentions are right and true in relationship to your prices? How do you know if there is a gooey legacy belief that is holding you back? Here is what I tell my clients about finding the right price...

Right Pricing Guidelines, Yogini-Style

1. If you aren't willing to pay it to someone else, probably no one will be willing to pay YOU that much.

Let's go back to energy. If you recoil from paying $175.00 per hour for coaching services and you are a coach, chances are really good that energetically you simply won't attract people who will be willing to pay that to YOU. The easiest way to push up against that internal limit is to hire a coach at the upper range of your comfort zone (or what you ideally would like to be charging) and start to work your prices up, bit by bit.

That has been my strategy, but then again, I love to have multiple coaches on my team and I have really come to love paying them!! However, you can also simply root around and extract the legacy beliefs and thoughts around your willingness to pay and be paid at a certain price point.  Why wouldn't you pay that amount? That will hold clues to why others aren't paying you and help you find the beliefs that are holding you back.

2. Every fiber in your being needs to believe that your services are worth every penny of what you are asking.

The way we price our offerings, and what we believe about those offers and the price, is simply a reflection of our own sense of worth. Tweet This! If there are any lingering doubts, if there is niggling shame, if there is an undercurrent of uncertainty well, your pricing (and the way you talk about and market your service) is going to be wonky. Even the most seasoned and confident coaches I know who are certain that their services are absolutely worth all that and extra on the side can find that crickets chirp and anxiety will set in with a higher price point if they are not completely in alignment with the new price.

When I raise my prices, or help my clients price a new service, I might start by looking at similar offers. But ultimately, I know the success of an offer depends on a willingness to get the word out and talk about the offer without a shred of apology or holding back. I recommend meditating and asking your wisest inner knowing what the right price is - and then expect an answer. You will get it.

Sometimes the price is higher than you might be comfortable with - and instead of resisting the discomfort, go into it and get curious. It's another chance to challenge and let go of the legacy beliefs that prevent your from doing your work in the way that you are meant to and getting paid handsomely to do it.

3. Your right pricing supports and nourishes your true desires for your life.

What is it that you most deeply long for beneath the "should's" and social expectations that we are all bombarded with? Do you want to support your family with your acupuncture practice, but only work 30 hours per week so you can have ample energy to raise well-adjusted and happy kids? Do you want to make a million dollars per year and start a foundation to educate female entrepreneurs in 3rd world countries? Do you want to do work that nourishes you and helps others heal and live an abundant and balanced life?

Right on.

Whatever your deepest and truest desires are, they will feel deeply resonant as a part of your soul purpose. Making as much money as is humanly possible is not a soul purpose desire. That is a graspy want driven by a feeling of internal scarcity. The right pricing strategy is one that honors you, your skills and talents, the value you bring to your clients and supports your true desires. Tweet This!

4. Your prices naturally align with the principles of yoga.

The right pricing strategy for you will be deeply aligned, energetically. I evaluate that level of alignment through the lens of the yamas - the five power principles of yoga. The pricing strategy will be non-harming to both you and others, honest, honor you and your potential client, there is no extra energy being lost on anxiety, worry, or resentment, and you are deeply content - and your clients will be, too.  If any of those elements are "off" for you, I would invite you to take a deeper look at what is going on at a deeper level.

Want to learn more about the five power principles of yoga? You can read my guide, The Yoga of Worth by signing up for the eNews.

Because it's not REALLY about the price.

When you are selling your own time, knowledge, experience, and brilliance - the price is simply an expression of your own self-worth. Any trepidation, anxiety, fear, or resentment is simply information, pointing you to some energetic element that requires your care and attention.

Alignment with your pricing means that you are clear on the tremendous value that you offer and you know that your work makes a huge difference.  Energetic alignment will make it easy to put your offers in front of your ideal people. Energetic alignment will generate excitement in you and in others. Energetic alignment makes serving others, and being paid for it, an absolute pleasure.

What are your pricing challenges?  Let's discuss in the comments.

Namasté, business yogini!

10 comments

Hey Jill! To me, it's the same! What is driving the sense of being apologetic - getting curious about that and digging in to that will help you figure out what is misaligned energetically when you head out to offer up your financial products... xoxo

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creatrix tiara Feb 14, 2012 05:46am

what if you're not in a financial position to pay others the rates you yourself need to at least survive - let alone thrive - and the only people who deeply value and appreciate you are also similarly precarious financially. this is the situation I have been in for many years. who budges first?

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Gail Kenny Feb 9, 2012 07:26pm

Nona - This is a very engaging blog post! It caught my attention and I read it all the way through. I even clicked on the Tweet This to learn what you were doing with that! Thank you again for providing such valuable information.

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@Gail: I'm glad it resonated - I will be on the lookout for how it might change your own pricing strategy! (the Tweet This! is fun, huh?)

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This got me thinking Nona - my problem is not pricing but the sales process generally. I often find I'm selling apologetically " I just wanted to tell you about this xxx" or "would you have time to meet if you are interested" instead of coming from a place of confidence and passion! I know this is linked to getting the energetic part right into feeling like I am bringing great products to my client. And they are great products, and I'm honoured to be representing them (or else I don't take them on as clients). I'd love to hear what you have to say on this space. For those of us who aren't in healing and service type businesses where it is very personal and clearly something that you are giving that has a lot of value - for those of us that are selling something else (like financial products) then how do we get our energy right and let that help us communicate the value of our products? I really struggle with this even though I really do believe in my products!xxJill

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Nona,I Love this post. Everything, including money, is just energy. Once we figure out how to work with energy in Any aspect of our lives (just like you did with yoga), it's easier to figure out how to work with energy in other aspects (money). Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

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Jessica Steward Feb 8, 2012 05:44pm

Right on, Nona! The way I price is pretty simple. I start with a number I choose with my intellect (ex. $100). I then close my eyes and imagine charging $100 and feel it in my body and assign it a number up to +10 or down to -10. I then pick an incrementally smaller number (ex. $95) and then do the same thing. If the body compass ranking is lower than the previous one, I toss it out. I then go to a higher integer (e.g. $110) and then keep playing with that. Our prices that we are willing to charge based on our body are often higher than when our intellectual mind rationalizes. It's also a good way to suss out overcharging just because Susie So-and-So said so.

XOXOXO

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Alina, thank you for commenting, lovely! Absolutely money is an exchange of energy - and a fabulous muse to show us where our energy is still a little muddy! Looking forward to seeing you at the Summit! xoxo

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Absolutely, Jessica! I often take clients through that as well - I call it body-based pricing. :D Thank you for sharing that - it's good to know that other business coaches are teaching clients to price in ways that are authentic and free of Susie So-and_So's opinion. XO

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Do your inner work - imagine paying someone what you would like to be paid and then work with the thoughts and emotions that come up when you think about paying them. Explore what you believe about what people can/can't afford to pay you and then make some choices about how to move forward. You can totally do this. XOXO

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