From:                              ICF Michigan [] on behalf of ICF Michigan []

Sent:                               Wednesday, November 20, 2019 3:22 PM


Subject:                          November 2019 Newsletter



ICF Michigan Newsletter

November 2019



Beth Buelow, PCC, 2019 Board Education and Training Chair 

We teach people how to treat us.

What are you teaching your clients about how to treat you? Do your prices and packaging reflect the level of professionalism you want to project?

When I first started coaching 10 years ago, I was like many new coaches: I charged only as much as I felt I could justify given my training and experience. That's appropriate and not unusual. I bumped along and made a little here and there, but it didn't feel like a real business. Then came my first meeting with my business coach. He looked over the revenue spreadsheet I shared, and upon seeing that one client was only paying $15 per session, he asked, "Um, is there a zero missing here?"

Unfortunately, there wasn't.

A lot has changed since those early days, including my view on what I offer and charge clients. Here are six of the most important lessons I've learned that I'd like to pass along to you:

1.  A confused mind always says no. Keep your offerings simple. Going back to my initial coaching packages in 2009, I had no less than five options for a prospective client to choose from. Five! What looked like generosity was actually scarcity: I wanted to be sure anyone could see themselves in one of those five choices. I was afraid to lose someone because of pricing. Now, I only have one coaching program model and one consulting/coaching hybrid model. It's easy to explain and makes it easy for clients to decide.

2.  Ask for what you want. When we come from a place of confidence and ask for what we want, we help others feel invited and respected. They appreciate the mutual exchange of value. If the client feels slightly stretched by the investment, and you feel it stretches you to up the level of your coaching, then you're probably in a sweet spot. Remember to hold your prospective clients as "whole, capable, and resourceful" when it comes to sharing your rates.

3.  Consider the totality of your experience. In the early years, it's easy to discount non-coaching experience and not consider it when establishing your rates. Don't. Chances are that your background feeds directly into who you are as a coach. It's informed your perspective, your style, your expertise. You're not "just a beginner"; you've added a new skillset-coaching-to your professional toolbox. What value does that bring to your clients?

4.  Having a specialty commands higher rates. "One size fits all" is for ponchos, not for coaches! Don't get me wrong: being a life, career, leadership, or business coach is valuable in itself. Clients who work with you get an experience unlike what any other coach could offer them. So how far are you willing to go to further clarify your offering into a defined specialty or market? The more a specific audience identifies with your message and knows you understand their pain and dreams, the more people will be willing to invest in themselves through working with you. This isn't about charging more just because you can; it's about distinguishing yourself from the pack and acknowledging the value of coaching.

5.  Evaluate your rates regularly. If it's been more than a year since you've reviewed your rate structure, it's time to take a look. Consider how much professional development you've done, if there are new assessments or tools you've adopted, how many more hours you've accumulated, and how often you're meeting your financial goals. A 10-20% increase annually might be reasonable if you're already feeling satisfied with your rates, and more might be appropriate if you need to catch up to market rates.

6.  What we charge impacts our profession. For all of our talk about abundance, coaches are not immune to coming from scarcity. And when we practice scarcity in our pricing, we're making a choice that impacts our peers. The coach who charges appropriately seems expensive compared to the coach who doesn't charge enough. Then prospective clients don't have a realistic sense of the level of investment. Let's not undervalue our profession, and instead, charge what coaching is worth. In many ways, it's all about self-respect, along with respect for your clients and colleagues!

Your work can be both a business and a calling. You coach for the benefit of your clients, but also for you, as a values-aligned way to create an abundant life. It's okay to be paid for what you love, for what you're good at doing. Once you're willing to embrace that wholeheartedly, you'll experience deeper satisfaction in your work and provide even more value for your clients.




SBAM (Small Business Association of Michigan) UPDATES AND RESOURCES

-Did you know that when you become a member of ICF Michigan you also get membership benefits from SBAM? Another great benefit of ICF Michigan membership!  

-Association Health Plan for SBAM members now available - Click here for more info  

-SBAM Events Calendar - Click here for upcoming events  

-Wednesday Wisdom - Click here to see tips, resources, advice, and best practices from fellow small business owners.

NOTE:  ICF Michigan members get a "Welcome Kit" email that outlines your benefits and other information.  Then you will get 2 emails per week from SBAM. As with any reputable company or organization, you can unsubscribe at any time.





Please don't hesitate to contact our dedicated Board members with questions, observations or suggestions. 


Jackie Browning President

Cheron Freeman, President-elect


Kaan Aksu, Member Relations

Venus Brown,Community Outreach Chair

Beth Buelow, Education and Training Chair

Beki Fraser, Past-President

Matthew McCarty, Marketing Chair

Cathy Mott, Secretary

Jennifer Wilson, Treasurer

Kathy Vlietstra, Administrator


A dynamic, diverse community of coaches, which grows, develops, connects, and serves  

our members, supporting communities and individuals with the highest standards of professional coaching.



There are lots of great reasons to join ICF Michigan, whether you are just starting out as a coach or have an established career...

Check them out here!



Amber Henderson of
Walled Lake, MI


Silke Janz of
Ann Arbor, MI


Cynthia Reedy of
Ann Arbor, MI


Melissa Haveman of
West Olive, MI


Elisha Gray of
Davison, MI





If you are an ICF Michigan member who would like to share your coaching celebration with our newsletter community, please send the (brief) info to our administrator, Kathy, at





Topic: "Coach, Consultant, Mentor, and Assessments"
December 3 at 4:00 pm 

Click here for more info


Topic: "Out with the Old, In with the New? Exploring the ICF's New Core Competency Model" 

December 10 at 1:00 pm
Click here for more info





Click here for information about our membership options and rates.


If you have questions, please contact 





We have renewed our partnership with the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) and have provided for each member the benefit of a premium level membership.

ICF Michigan supports our members with access to the benefits of an SBAM membership. You can 'buy up' for a VIP status or opt out should you choose not to participate.

SBAM has a wide range of benefits and services available and we hope you will take the time to explore how this partnership might benefit your coaching business. 



 Join us for Collaborative Coaching Conversations throughout Michigan!!  

Check out the Events section of our Facebook page for upcoming Coach Cafes,currently offered in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Royal Oak. 



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