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What are your counselling fees?

How to assess your own value, negotiate and feel more confident throughout this process

Determining the proper rate for your counselling fees goes far beyond doing simple maths because this process involves the idea of value. As Warren Buffet said, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”  

Concerned about charging a “high” amount? It’s okay to feel stuck, not knowing where to go or even begin. Many well-being providers have gone through the same struggle. To help you navigate this great challenge of pricing, we’ve got some strategies and tips.

It’s easy to imagine correct pricing as a balanced scale. However, this scale is very sensitive, with several factors that influence its balance. By accidentally tipping the scale, you could end up driving some customers away. Even worse, you could be left unable to pay expenses…forget generating a profit!

“How much does it cost?” is a loaded question with an extensive list of considerations, including:

  • Demand
  • Input
  • Customer perception
  • Economy
  • Fixed expenses
  • Competition
  • Profit intention
  • Employee salary
  • Service provider experience/level of knowledge
  • Product/service quality
  • Portfolio
  • Taxes
  • Logistics
  • Return on investment
  • Financial resources invested for qualification
  • Expenses with tools and platforms
  • Time dedicated to complete the work 

It’s also worth mentioning that each scenario is unique. Therefore, the factors to consider may differ according to your specific situation.

Calculating your counselling fees

Price and value are not synonymous and society has to stop treating them as such. However, they directly influence each other.

Your price is the easy part to analyse

Basically, you just need a paper and pencil. Count your expenses, add those to the profit margin you have in mind and “Voilá”, you’re ready to go…

BUT, don’t forget the details! Write down all costs involved, directly or indirectly, in providing your services. This encompasses both professional investments and the basics, like pens to write down notes! As well as fixed expenses, remember those variable expenses, which are not always present so can easily be forgotten. Once again, remember not to forget the details!

Be aware of your country’s tax regime. Finance is perhaps not the most enjoyable topic, but it’s an essential part of your business. Find someone with knowledge and experience in the area if it’s not your cup of tea.

Your value is a different story altogether

You may have heard: “Value is in the eye of the beholder.” It’s true. What most influences value is public perception.

Value involves emotion, feeling, connection, ideology, trust, representation, experience (don’t forget this includes after-sales), usefulness, belonging, lovemark (meaning how much the brand is loved by the public).

blank price tag symbolizing the challenge of determining counselling fees

Increasing your value (in the public eye)

 Adding the exclusivity factor to your service, that is, providing something unique in a certain way, can take the value to another level. For example, Apple is well known for its exclusivity strategy with a limited product line and superior value. What really sets them apart from all the other brands is their exceptional customer service. Do something impeccably, so you stand out and people come to you for that reason.       

The sense of belonging to a community is an amazing and powerful thing. As human beings, we feel the need to belong, to be welcomed, represented, and aligned with a particular lifestyle or mindset. For example, CrossFit has rapidly grown by developing a sense of community, with customers supporting each other in pursuit of similar goals. Feeling part of something greater and a connection with others is fundamental.

It’s also good to keep an eye on the competition. Understand what and how other professionals in your area are presenting themselves and there services. Reflect on opportunities to differentiate yourself. Find gaps in the market that you can fill. Studying the prices within your market is also a great strategy, giving you a basis for what to charge.

Recalculating your counselling fees 

Consumer behaviour often dictates the rules. For example, society increasingly understands the importance of mental health care. This understanding, and subsequent demand, has been growing exponentially. Thus, the value attributed to professionals in this area has also increased. It’s okay to use the law of supply and demand to your advantage…

BUT, don’t sharply increase your prices. This could have a harsh and sudden impact on your customers’ wallets. Studies indicate that you should try to increase gradually over a year, making changes two or three times within that period.

Actually, the best person to help you in this process is your own client. Don’t be shy about asking for their feedback. Maybe email a simple questionnaire or even just ping a message on social media?


Actually, the best person to help you in this process is your own client. Don’t be shy about asking for their feedback. Maybe email a simple questionnaire or even just ping a message on social media?


Confidence highlighted in a book, symbolizing the need to feel confident in determining counselling fees

How to feel more confident about your counselling fees

Who doesn’t want to be paid well and valued for their services?

However, countless exceptional professionals still feel uncomfortable communicating their value. Many self-sabotage out of insecurity, devaluing both their services and their pain-staking efforts.

Avoid self-sabotage by following this step-by-step guide:

Step 1 – Start by believing in the value you have to offer. Revisit memories of when clients told you about the difference you made in their lives. Recognise the true importance of what you offer, how you’re benefiting your clients. Believe in the power and strength of your work.

Step 2 – Reflect on and write down the answers to the following questions:

  • What are my customers’ needs and how do I satisfy them?
  • What’s my unique value?
  • What skill set makes me most qualified to serve them?
  • What am I doing that no one else does?
  • What problems do I solve for my customers?What value do I add to their lives?
  • What do I love about what I do?

Step 3 – Embrace who you are! Find your own voice and learn to communicate your worth. If you recognise the value of your services, communicating it will come naturally. Authenticity and transparency are golden, so use that to your advantage.

Step 4 – Treat yourself with great affection throughout the process. Be conscious of your limits, but also be sure to enjoy and have fun along this journey.

Bonus Tip – If invoicing clients still stresses you out, Adminly has human Virtual Assistants who can help you with this process!

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