4 reflections on sticking to your prices

4 reflections on sticking to your prices

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” – Anna Taylor

If you’re anything like me, you were raised to believe that generosity is about giving. You were taught the importance of sharing at a very young age. And you learned your lesson well.

You’re a generous spirit. You know how to give. You’re doing ‘good’ work.  And the chances are you first trained as a therapist because you wanted to bring hope and relief to others. You wanted to be ‘of service’ in this world.

So if generosity = unconditional giving for you, it’s only natural that you find it hard to charge people for the value, information, time and energy you give.  Maybe you keep your prices low on purpose. Perhaps you find yourself going down the slippery slope of offering free sessions to attract more clients. Maybe you offer on-the-spot discounts because the whole pricing conversation feels awkward, uncomfortable, embarrassing to you. It’s not at all unusual for therapists to reduce their rates to remain competitive.

When you’re doing work that helps or provides relief, it’s entirely normal to want to make your service both affordable and accessible. You’re not alone in wanting to bring your help to more people. And you’re certainly not alone in feeling a little bit guilty (perhaps subconsciously) for being paid to do something you enjoy and that helps other people out.

Let’s reframe generosity:

Here’s the thing. I actually believe it’s ungenerous to cave in on your advertised price when pushed. Here’s why:

  1. You can’t sustain a business this way

4 reflections on sticking to your pricesIt’s heartbreaking to witness so many therapists frustrated by lagging profits. It pains me to see businesses fold because they don’t make enough money to keep going. When this happens, not only does the business owner have to set their passion and talent aside, but potential clients of that wonderful business also lose out. Clients wanting exactly the support that person offers in exactly the way they provide it won’t get the help they need.

Let’s imagine I didn’t charge for the support I give clients. Workshops, one-to-one care, online tutorials … all free. Sounds great? Now consider the conditions under which I’d be able to do that. I have my personal expenses and I have business expenses. So, how would I pay for those if I weren’t making money through Roots and Wings? I’d probably have to return to the corporate world. When I returned home, I wouldn’t have the bandwidth to create free blogs, write talks, prep the content for my workshops, and give ongoing inspiration, encouragement and support. It would be ungenerous of me to give so little of myself to the work I’m motivated to do. The most generous thing I can do is to keep trying to find ways to become profitable through following my passion. The same is true for you.

  1. For the sake of your client

I’ve met a lot of therapists – as a mentor and also as a client. As a client, few have been visibly comfortable quoting their rates or answering the question “So, what do I owe you?” If this sounds like you, this is entirely normal but here’s something I’d like you to remember. By approaching you for help, I’m saying I have a need. I’m admitting a degree of vulnerability and I need you to be rock solid. And here’s the irony: when you waver on your price  (“£50?”) or worse (“£50. Does that sound OK?”) you’re removing a really crucial level of safety. Imagine there was a price tag on a pair of shoes in a department store and it didn’t say “£35”, it said “£35? Is that OK?” How would you feel as the potential buyer? My hunch is that trust would be broken. For the sake of your client, please stand firm. In order to move forward, clients need to feel safe with you in more ways than one.

  1. You can’t then pay it forward

I enjoy paying for things that matter to me. But if I don’t make money through my business then I can’t pass the money to the next person. I can’t pay other businesses a healthy amount for the products and services they provide. But by striving to make a profit, I can contribute towards a virtuous circle. I can invest in reflexology, pay for reiki, treat myself to a massage or facial, join a yoga class, or experience the benefits of EFT. If you earn a healthy living, you too can then pay it forward. Whether that’s supporting your FHT peers to stay in business or keeping your local coffee shop afloat, you’re doing your bit to keep everyone thriving.

  1. It’s disrespectful to your peers

It only takes a handful of therapists to offer on-the-spot discounts or undercut peers to make it increasingly hard for others to charge a fair amount. Make a commitment to the long-term sustainability of your industry. You’ve spent thousands on training (plus time and energy) and you deserve to earn money as professionals.

Over to you

I want to live in a world where therapists are able to sustain themselves (energetically and financially) doing the work they love. I have a hunch you feel the same way. So let’s rewire the way you think about on-the-spot discounts once and for all. Decide right now that the next time someone asks you for money off, you’ll hold firm on your price. By sticking to healthy rates you’re ticking four important boxes. You’re being generous to your peers and industry. You’re making a commitment to the longevity of your business. You’re putting yourself in the best position to pay the money forward. You’re also building trust with clients.

About Lisa Barber

Lisa Barber - Roots and WingsLisa Barber helps complementary, sports and holistic beauty therapists to get more perfect-fit clients and to set up their businesses for the long term. Her video course, ‘How to Market Your Holistic Practice’ is currently available for FHT members. For affordable, DIY marketing techniques and smart, sleaze-free strategies that work, click here to get her online video series.

The 3 ways to grow your holistic practice

In our new blog series, marketing teacher and business mentor Lisa Barber at Roots and Wings will help you to market with integrity and attract new clients…

3 ways to grow your holistic practice

You’ve thrown heart, soul and savings into your training. And now you’re ready to receive money in return for the valuable service you offer clients. You’re doing something that’s helpful to others and both meaningful and enjoyable for you. You’re all set to earn a healthy living through your holistic practice.

You know that marketing is important. So perhaps you’ve asked friends and family to spread the word about your business. Maybe you’ve advertised in the local paper or set up a website. Or perhaps you’ve had some flyers printed and been networking to find new clients.

When not enough people are buying

You appreciate the word-of-mouth referrals from family and friends. But business is still too sporadic. You aren’t seeing the flow of clients you need and you don’t know where your next new client is going to come from. It’s so frustrating when you have all this passion but not enough of your right people seem to care. After all, you are actually trying to help them!

If this sounds like you, let me start by saying this – this is so normal. You are not alone. If you know you’re doing good work but you aren’t seeing the income you need, you’re in the right place.

You haven’t come this far just to come this far

You want to help more people. But you also need money to cover your bills. And ideally you’d like to be able to earn a healthy living doing this meaningful work. Check in with these three ways to grow your holistic practice. (Most people are using just one).

How to grow your holistic practice – the three ways

  1. Get more clients through the door

Attracting new clients into your holistic practice will absolutely grow your business. Use marketing techniques to become visible to your ideal clients. This is how the majority of holistic practitioners think about growing their businesses – getting new clients through the door.

  1. Make more money per client

FacialI’m so saddened by the number of therapists I see, marketing themselves to the point of exhaustion. It’s one of the reasons I created ‘How To Market Your Holistic Practice’. I want to help you create a business that sustains you energetically as well as financially.  Yes, getting new clients will grow your practice. But it isn’t actually the most profitable way to approach growth. Nor is relentless networking and social media sustainable from an energy point of view. But imagine if you were to make more money from each client you already helped. You could do this either by raising your prices to reflect the true value you give to your clients. Or, encourage people who already know, like and trust you to come back more often.

  1. Offer your existing clients something new

I’ll let you in to a secret. This is usually overlooked and yet it’s how the most sustainable holistic practices grow. Offer your existing clients something new – something that’s currently missing for them. Ask your existing clients, “What would be a miracle for you right now?” or, “Is there anything you would you like to see from me that I’m not already offering through my business?” Then create that product, that service, that package. Profitability follows when you’re offering people what they already know they want and need. And this is especially true when you’re creating for clients that have already bought into your unique approach, philosophy and vibe.

About Lisa Barber

Lisa Barber - Roots and WingsLisa Barber helps complementary, sports and holistic beauty therapists to get more perfect-fit clients and to set up their businesses for the long term. Her video course, ‘How to Market Your Holistic Practice’ is currently available for FHT members. For affordable, DIY marketing techniques and smart, sleaze-free strategies that work, click here to get her online video series.