The topic of fees and money in general is often a taboo subject amongst Therapists, Holistic Counselors, and other Healers. There is a belief that holds that because you are called into a profession that provides healing services to others, that it is somehow unethical, unspiritual or even greedy to think about what you are getting from the experience.
The problem with this kind of thinking is that if you don’t identify and eliminate beliefs that tell you it’s not appropriate to charge what your worth, you will never be successful in your business.
If providing healing service is a hobby, or a way of picking up a little extra money on the side, then what follows in this article does not apply to you. However, if you are serious about having a successful business in counseling or the healing arts, you should continue reading.
Either you are running a business, or you are not. Either you want and need to earn a living or you do not. And if you do want and need to earn money, there are certain things you must do if you want to be successful. Coming to terms with any issues you have around money and the setting and collection of fees then becomes essential.
Below are five common beliefs that hinder Counselors’ and Healers’ ability to come to terms with getting paid sufficiently for their services.
1. “I Shouldn’t Be Concerned About Money as I Love the Work I am Doing”
Many professionals feel they are providing a service to humankind that they should do out of the goodness of their hearts. Sometimes this is an explicit belief and sometimes it’s more implicit in that Practitioners and Healers don’t fully realize they have this thought or understand how it is holding them back. Part of the problem is that many healing professions have been plagued by this kind of thinking for a long time so it’s not surprising that Counselors and Healers end up internalizing it.
Providing a counseling or healing service helps others live happier and healthier lives and this is certainly a valuable service to offer to the world. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get paid appropriately for what you do. Earning a healthy income and providing a valuable service to humanity are not mutually exclusive. If you are holding a limited belief about this, you need to find a way to change it–and fast if you care about your success!
2. “My Clients Can’t Afford Higher Fees”
While it is true that some clients will not be able to afford your fees, “being able to afford” something is often a matter of what is called “perceived value” in the marketing field. Just because someone says they can’t afford something, doesn’t mean they can’t. It is often a case of them not full understanding or appreciating the value of what you are offering so they decide it isn’t a priority for them.
I am sure you have met many people who earn an excellent living, who stated they couldn’t afford your services. On the other hand, there are people that are truly scraping by financially and yet, find a way to pay for your services because they make it a priority in their lives. If your service is important to people and they perceive it as being able to help them, many will often find the money by simply shifting their priorities.
If you continuously find that your potential clients are telling you they can’t afford your fees you might want to think about how you are articulating the value you provide.
Another problem may be that your marketing message is flawed and is attracting the wrong people. If you are marketing to people without sufficient funds to hire you, perhaps it’s time to find a way to market to a different audience. You can always offer a reduced rate or pro bono services to a set number of people who can’t afford your fees. However, you don’t have to do that for everyone.
3. “There is Too Much Competition in My field”
While it is a reality that there is a growing competition for those offering services or products in counseling or the healing arts, increased competition is not necessarily bad for business. In fact, more competition actually increases public awareness of the value of counseling and healing services, which can mean more clients for you in the long run.
Another problem inherent in this belief is that many counseling or healing professionals don’t have a focused niche audience that they market to, nor do they have a clear and well-articulated marketing message. It doesn’t matter what kind of counseling or healing arts practice you have, or how much competition there is, you will always find people offering similar services and products that are getting paid what they are worth.
In fact, sometimes they have more clients than they can handle. These professionals have learned how to market effectively and the first step in doing this is having a marketing message that stands out from the crowd. The more unique and compelling your services sound, the more people will be willing to pay you.
4. “I Can’t Charge More Than Others in My Field”
There is a common belief that tells you that you have to charge the same fees as what others are charging for similar services. Again, it’s a matter of perceived value. People often will pay higher fees if they think it’s worth it to them. If you can show that you are worth the fees you are asking, the price won’t be an issue for many people.
Charging more than others often gives the perception that you must be better at what you do. People want to feel that they are hiring the best and are often willing to pay for services they believe to be exceptional.
If you feel you offer great value for your services and they are worth more than the going rate, you might want to consider charging what you feel you are worth.
5. “I Am Not Skilled Enough To Warrant Charging More for My Services
Many professionals worry that they are not skilled enough in their counseling or healing skills to really charge appropriately for their services. However, if you have done sufficient training and/or have adequate experience in your field, how can you really believe that you are not skilled enough? Of course you need to always be improving and updating your skills to stay competitive, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be charging what you are worth now.
You do need to feel confident in what you are charging or your prospective clients will pick up on your uncertainty and lack of confidence and conclude you are not worth your fee.
Furthermore, if you have an amateur looking and non-compelling website or otherwise don’t present yourself professionally, you will have difficulty getting paid the fees you want to be paid. If you don’t value yourself or the services that you offer enough to present yourself in a professional manner, how can you expect others to value you?
In summary, you need to remember that keeping your fees low only devalues your services, giving the impression that you are not good at what you do. Unless you are happy offering low fees, perhaps its time to examine your beliefs.