Today I participated in a fascinating debate on a LinkedIn group where a person had posted a question on exactly how much a hypnotherapist should charge. What followed were a series of posts on the amount people charged clients, what was too much and what was too little. What really got me interested however was that a number of people wrote that they saw themselves as healers first and then hypnotherapists and therefore they never expected to earn much from the profession. Wow I thought this is a problem. How can we be expected for people to take us seriously when we can’t even see ourselves as offering a service that is worth real money. This is a perfect example of negative hypnotherapy marketing.
I was very clear with the group. I do not or have never seen myself as a healer. In fact for those of you writing websites please never post that word on your pages. What does the image of a healer conjure up to you in this day and age? My guess is some new age hippy type who believes that they can make someone well without there being any scientific evidence to demonstrate their abilities. Healers are seen as quacks and also people who could potentially prey on the vulnerable in exchange for dubious services. Alternatively healers are seen as people who have some god given gift to help others. In particular they go around offering to help others for little or no money. Frankly neither of these descriptions comes even close to what I do.
In my hypnotherapy marketing I am very clear. I am a professional therapist who is a member of a serious professional body and who has got significant training and expertise in the area in which I work. I run a very serious business and because of that I deserve to be paid accordingly. My charges may vary depending on the area where you come to see me or the program which you are on but ultimately do not expect cheap. Why am I not cheap? Because I need to pay my bills and live a good lifestyle. Think like a healer or a person who does not deserve to earn very much and that is exactly what will happen.
Your earnings as a hypnotherapist need to be sufficient for you to pay the bills. That means your income at the very least needs to keep you solvent. Personally I prefer my income to do more than just pay my outgoings each month. I like to go on nice holidays and eat in nice restaurants and I work hard to make sure that I earn enough so I can enjoy the finer things in life. Not every therapist however has the business savvy to make sure that they can do the same.
Get Your Priorities Right
As well as working with therapists I have helped plenty of small business owners over the years. One individual springs to mind who ran play classes for small children. Generally her business model was that she would hire out a school or a church hall and a number of times a week parents could bring their children to the classes for a couple of hours. It would allow the parents to know that the children were being looked after for a couple of hours whilst they got on with other chores. Meanwhile the children would have a great time playing with their friends and enjoying the activities provided for them.
Such a simple business model yet the person concerned was living hand to mouth. In fact when I met her she could not afford to put on the heating in her flat. Why? Because instead of charging the parents for a terms worth of classes she would only charge them if they turned up. This therefore created the problem that she never knew how much money she would be earning each week. If the parents fancied doing something else she would have the hall and overheads to pay for and no money to pay for it. In order to create a stable income for her it was really simple, charge the parents per term. She would have a guaranteed income and then she would not need to worry about her basic income.
Now What About You?
Why do I tell this story? Because I know that plenty of therapists out there do the same thing. They have a room which they need to pay for either in a set time slot or on an ad-hoc basis. They book their client in for a session and the client does not bother to show up. Not only have you then lost the time for the session but you have also paid for room hire, travel costs and lost the travel time to and from the clinic. You have lost money by trying to help people. Now if you had taken a deposit or the payment up front it would be a very different story. I rarely get no shows now because people have paid their hard earned cash upfront.
Or what about the therapists who book their clients on a program and charge session by session. They hand their clients booklets, audios and information packs in the first session and never see their clients again. They have taken all your valuable information and resources and walked out the door with and you will never get paid the full cost of the service.
Have you ever given discounts? Felt sorry for a client and worried that they would not have access to therapy if you didn’t lower your price. Then you found out that this client was living in a large house, paid for Sky TV every month and eating in the best restaurants in town. You have reduced your income because your client has decided they want to prioritise their spending in areas other than their health.
Earn The Income You Deserve
Unless you are one of the few very business savvy therapists in this industry you need to up your prices today. Whatever you are charging is probably too little and if you are a woman this is almost definitely the case. Read my blog on hypnotherapists and gender pay differentials. In this same LinkedIn group there were many people saying that they had hardly upped their charges in years. There is a fear in the industry that we will push our clients away if we charge too much. Yet year on year I have consistently increased my prices and each year my income has risen substantially. I should point out that I started my business during the worst recession out there and still made money.
People will always pay for quality and successful results. Look at your website, the rooms you use with your clients and your advertising. Do they scream success at you? If not then up your game because you will never clients paying more unless they believe they are getting value for their hard earned money. Do not believe as many hypnotherapists do that the profession is lowly paid and therefore you will never become rich from your business. That simply is not true. I see plumbers, builders, electricians all making money from their careers and they are self employed as well. The difference is that they run their businesses to make money whilst most therapists don’t.
Believe it or not you can have your cake and eat it. With my hypnotherapy marketing courses and business mentoring I can help you to have a vocation that you love and to earn great money from it as well. Learn how to market like a pro and watch your income soar.