We spend a lot of time in IFCA talking about why pricing matters so much. This isn’t just about building a business with longevity for you. It’s about pricing your services in a way that brings the most value to your clients. If you need to bring on 100 clients in order to make enough money to pay rent, you’re never going to be giving them the level of attention they need to succeed. And what do you get when you combine a struggling coach and unhappy clients? A dead business.
Erin and I recently talked about this on an episode of FSOM, which you can check out here. But before we get into the details, I want to share a little anecdote about how Erin recently increased her prices. She had a lot of clients who’d been in the EDF family for years—some since 2016 or even before that. Erin’s program has grown and changed a lot since then, and she knew it was time to up the prices. Of course, she felt a little bit hesitant.
What if I lose clients?
What if they don’t think I’m worth what I’m asking for?
Now these are all perfectly normal limiting beliefs, which we’ll get into a little later. But she didn’t let those fears get in the way, because she knew the value of her offer, and she knew that it needed to be done.
It took some difficult conversations. She was emotionally attached to these clients and didn’t want to see them go. And pumping yourself up to have a conversation that may not go the way you want it to is hard. Some people don’t like talking about money. Some people won’t see the value of your offer. Some people are just cheap. That’s life.
But here’s the thing: an overwhelming majority of clients stayed on.
The few who dropped off weren’t as invested in the process as they needed to be, and that’s fine. The clients willing to put in the work—the ones we really want to be working with—bought in. And one guy even said that he had been waiting for it because he knew how much he was being undercharged. “I knew that I’d been ripping you off for years,” he said. Well, shit.
So before you get on that sales call and pitch a half-assed, underpriced program that’s not going to take you or your clients to the next level, go through these four steps to determine what you should really be charging.
1. Do Your Research
1. Do Your Research
I know, I know. Doing some market research isn’t always the most fun part of the process. But chances are there are successful people in your space, whether online or off, who have already figured this stuff out.
And it’s not about a race to the bottom line. It’s not about undercutting your competition. This is just about learning the context that is going to frame the rest of your process on determining what to charge. There are people out there who have so much more experience than you—and even us. Look to the people who are in the position you want to be in. People like Alex Hormozi. He’s making millions upon millions of dollars each year, with multiple gyms earning over seven figures. Look into what Alex and people like him are doing and figure out how you can take a page out of their playbook. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
Beyond looking at your competitor’s pricing, you need to get yourself familiar with the psychology of spending. And I’m not talking about anything crazy here. You don’t need to go and get a degree in psychology to understand this stuff.
The main point is this…
People vote with their dollars.
Just think about it: imagine a woman has two purses. One she picked up on sale for $12.99 from DSW. It’s cute and it’s functional, so she’ll probably use it for a while until she gets bored with it and wants a new one. The other is a Louis Vuitton that cost $4,000. She saved up for it. Thought about it. Maybe even spent a few months going without her daily iced coffee for it. But she really wanted it, so she splurged. She invested.
Now, both of these purses are just that—purses. Pretty bags to put your shit in. But which one do you think she’s going to be more emotionally attached to? Which one is she going to take better care of? Which is she probably going to keep for a really long time because it can’t be easily replaced? I don’t have to tell you the answer to that.
The same thing goes for any type of coaching program. If the price isn’t right, they’re not going to see the value of what you’re trying to give them.
The studies about buying show us that as price increases, perceived value increases.
But we’ve also seen that as price decreases, demandingness—or how much your client is going to be asking of you—actually increases. Yup. You read that right.
We get it. You want to make fitness accessible to everyone by being affordable to everyone. That means you’re a good person and you want to be a servant leader. But the thing about that is, most people aren’t going to succeed if you just hand them the program and disappear. What they’re paying for is your knowledge and accountability. And how are you going to be able to hold 100 people, if that’s what you need to operate the business? Well…you can’t.
If you’re not valuing yourself and making it clear to others that your services are ‘in demand,’ then any potential client is going to think that you need them more than they need you. And that’s not to say that you’re not going to be available for your clients if they have questions or need help. It’s actually the exact opposite.
If you’re charging them correctly, you’re going to have the time—and more importantly, the energy—to give them the attention and help that they need. It needs to be an even energy exchange. Otherwise, you’re just going to end up resenting your clients and yourself.
But in order to truly understand your own value, you have to be willing to stand up to those limiting beliefs and make imposter syndrome your bitch.
2. Overcome Imposter Syndrome
Now this one is certainly easier said than done, but if you want to come up with a fair and reasonable price tag for your services, you’re going to have to shed all of those limiting beliefs that are telling you you’re not worth it.
If the thought of raising your prices makes you nervous right off the bat, it’s probably because you think you’re not qualified. You feel guilty. Like there’s always someone out there who’s going to be better than you, so why do you deserve to make money in the fitness industry? Why are you going to be the one that clients choose to help them? Because you can. You are capable. And you deserve to be paid for the value you provide.
If you’ve listened to Flow State of Mind or follow us on social media, you already know that there are more than enough potential clients out there for every good fitness coach in the space. That scarcity mindset is only going to bring you down.
We’ve come across it plenty of times with our IFCA students. We tell them that it’s time to raise their prices, and they can’t imagine asking someone to spend that much on them.
So we have to stop them and ask…why?
When’s the last time you actually invested in yourself?
Because chances are, it’s been a while, and that’s why they’re questioning someone else’s willingness to do the same.
If it comes down to the fact that you truly believe your offer isn’t worth what you’re asking people to pay for it, then you need to go back to the drawing board and invest in yourself. Learn more. Get educated. Add to your skillset. Because once you’ve got the skills to help your clients reach their fitness goals, you’re never going to question asking them pay what it’s worth.
3. Consider the Impact
3. Consider the Impact
We all know that fitness coaching goes way beyond meal plans and workout routines. So when it comes to figuring out what your program costs, you need to think about everything that the client is getting. And that goes over and above just reaching their fitness goals.
How is getting their body in check going to improve the way they feel about themselves?
We love seeing how our fitness clients incorporate the confidence and discipline they learn with us into other areas of their life.
Like the woman who lost 20 pounds and then gets the promotion she’s been wanting for months.
Or the other who builds up her self-esteem enough through training to leave the dead-end relationship that’s been dragging her down.
It’s no secret that your health and the way you take care of your body is the foundation of success in everything else. Once your clients know how to take care of number one, everything else will start to fall into place.
And you just can’t put a price tag on that type of confidence.
Maybe even more important: consider the cost of that potential client not reaching their fitness goals. An underlying health condition that can be helped by weight loss and diet changes could possibly save tens of thousands of dollars in the long run. Not to mention adding time and meaningful quality of living to their lives.
We all have that one friend who’s spent years—maybe even decades—switching from one program or diet to another. They’ve tried the different gym memberships. They’ve done keto, or intermittent fasting, or just outright starving themselves. Maybe they’ve lost some weight, but they always gain it back. And then it’s on to the next program or diet that’s going to fail the exact same way.
So think about that. How much money, time, energy, and effort do you think they’ve already wasted trying to find a solution that works for them?
What if a coach would have caught them years before they wasted all that time and energy and money?
Get on a call and figure out why they think this is the right time for them to learn from you. What your clients are going to be missing out on is just as significant—and sometimes more motivating—as what fitness is going to add to their lives.
More often than not, you’re going to hear that they’re just really fucking tired of doing the same things over and over again. They’ve reached a tipping point.
The pain of staying the same has become greater than the pain of change.
Once someone’s daily struggle has become so unbearable that they’re mentally prepared to make a change, they’re not really going to care how much it costs them to get there.
Digging deep to find out their why is going to be critical in figuring out what the pricing should be. We think of it as a diagnostic sales process, because once you get on that call with them and get to the bottom of their most motivating ‘why,’ you’re going to have a much better idea of what it’s going to take to get there.
Let’s think about two potential clients. Jenny’s a 24-year-old woman, 120 pounds, who’s done macro tracking and has no major hormonal issues. She wants to gain some muscle and learn more about weight lifting.
On the other hand, we’ve got Stephanie. She’s 38 years old, struggles with PCOS, and wants to lose 40 pounds to get to her goal weight of 160 pounds.
You’re not going to give the same exact program to both women, because their goals are entirely different. Jenny might do well with a 12-week program that will focus more on lifting techniques and education. You’d be lying if you told Stephanie she’d be able to accomplish her goals in 12 weeks, so why would you price her services the same? You probably wouldn’t.
In this hypothetical, Stephanie is going to require a lot more from you, and so your pricing should reflect that.
We’re not the biggest fans of selling 12-week programs because that one-size-fits-all doesn’t work for everyone. What is going to work for the goals your potential client is looking for? Come up with a duration of a plan that’s going to allow you to change their life.
And I’m not saying that you need to have every client on their own individual pricing system, but this is something you definitely need to be taking into account as you narrow down your business’ pricing process.
So great. You’ve figured out a pricing bracket that’s reasonable and fair, and then catered that to a particular client based on their individual needs. So how do you get them on board? There’s a simple answer, and it’s…a simple answer.
4. Streamline Your Offer
Now let me first say this: there’s a BIG difference between simple and easy. You have no obligation to make your program easy. That’s not usually the way to get real results. But what you should be able to do is make the process simple for your client to understand.
If they feel confident that they’ll be able to understand the method, they’ll feel more confident in their ability to execute that method.
And the simpler you can lay it out for them—especially when it comes to the sales call—the more likely they’ll be to sign up. And pay you what you’re worth.
Take a minute to plan it out ahead of time. What is the gist of what you’ll be teaching them? Break your program down into three to five simple steps that you can walk your client through on the call. Actually show them what they’re going to be getting from you and why it’s worth the price. It could go something like this…
1. Tracking macros.
2. Training in the gym.
3. How to be disciplined.
4. How to eat on the go.
Breaking it down like this would only take about two minutes to explain, but it’s setting you both up for success.
Your client is seeing beyond the price tag to the tools they’re learning—for both during the program and beyond. You’re not just selling them three or six months’ worth of training. You’re giving them an education in fitness and discipline, which will no doubt impact other areas of their life, too.
They’re getting a better idea of what you’re going to expect from them, and they’ll know what they can expect from you. They’ll be willing to buy in because they understand your process and can visualize how it will impact them.
The only way that big-box gyms stay in business is because they count on only 10% of their clients actually using it. The entire business model is based upon making people feel like they’re doing something good just by having the membership. If everyone who had one actually showed up, they’d never be able handle that kind of business.
But here’s the thing: you don’t want people paying for things that they’re not going to use.
You don’t want clients that you have to chase for check-ins. You want the people who are going to show up and succeed because those are the clients who are going to give you referrals. Who are ready to vibe on the same wavelength as you. And in order to get those kinds of clients, you’ve got to have the price tag to match it.
So here’s the bottom line, guys. If you know that you have the knowledge, experience, and skills to get your clients where they want to be, you probably need to increase your prices. You should always consider what’s fair and reasonable, but at the end of the day, you need to be honest with yourself and your clients if you want to see your business thrive.
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