As a business coach who is passionate about helping therapists create passive and leveraged income streams, I am often asked this question: "Mari, we have worked together in building my presentation and/or workshop, but now, what do I charge?"
Anyone who has worked with me or followed my blogs and social media knows that numbers and price points are something that I really enjoy - yep, I'll admit it, I'm a bit of a math geek. But fear not lovely colleague, I make it fun!
I've also owned and operated two other successful and very profitable businesses in my 30 year professional journey, with my coaching and therapy practice as my current business for the last decade.
When it comes to fee setting, I know first hand how important it is to have a formula in place when pricing a product, book or materials (passive income), or a group, workshop or webinar (leveraged income stream).
Let's roll up our sleeves and jump right in! We will begin with the most important items to factor in when pricing your training or workshop, and then move into the actually dollars and cents formula using three workshop examples from my own practice.
Know Who You are and Who your Attendee is
1. Experience and Expertise: Who are you as a facilitator? In other words, what is it that you bring to your event as the presenter that will attract attendees? Are you an expert on the topic you will be presenting? Do you have experience that others trust? Have you taught on this topic at a university, or written a book, or achieved a level of respect because of your work? Are you a licensed clinician, are you certified in a particular specialization? This will factor in to your fee.
2. The Attendee: Who is your attendee? Is this workshop for single working mothers? Is this for college students? Is this for corporate executives? Is this for the struggling artist? Is this for professional colleagues? Is the event geared toward high stress professional couples? You need to understand who your attendee is so that beyond your content and presentation focus, and your expertise, you also know when to schedule the event, how long the event will be, and the budget of your attendee. Like it or not, what your client can likely afford and when they can attend will inform your fee and your date.
NOTE: This is not to suggest that you should give your time and efforts away for next to nothing, rather I share this as a supportive reminder so that you make a reasoned decision. You don't need years of experience to successfully facilitate, but you do need to share why your attendee would trust coming to your event. Additionally, if you price it too far out of the budget for a struggling college student and single mom, your event will have low attendance. Price it too low for executives, and you will not be taken seriously. You must know who your attendee is.
3. Your Prep/Practice Time: Do you have material that you can re-purpose? Or do you have to start from scratch? If so, do an estimated calculation on your hours involved as this must be factored into your workshop fee and net revenue. More on this below.
NOTE: If you are creating from scratch, you may break even on your first workshop, webinar or training. However, my assumption is that this you will knock it out of the ball park, and continue to use this workshop as a leveraged multiple income stream, and/or or a way of generating other interest in your business. For example, you will likely have attendees contacting you to work with you as a clinician and or coach when you facilitate an excellent presentation, workshop or webinar. If you have supportive books and materials, this is also likely to generate some sales in the passive income department as well.
4. Your expenses: For my webinars I use the services of a virtual assistant to help get all of the back end tasks set up that I simply no longer have time for, so I must factor in my VA fee. For my in center workshops or professional colleague trainings, I include a continental breakfast and an afternoon snack (if it is an all day event where the attendees break and leave for lunch). I also have a small gift I give attendees (a affirmation stone or candle), and I have a materials folder with my agenda. All of this from ink, to water, to the folders and labels is an expense that I must factor in if I am hosting an in person workshop or training.
Now let's move on to 3 examples of trainings and how to use my formula to calculate each:
1. In person workshops where you are the host and facilitator;
2. Hosted workshops where another person or organization hosts this and you are the presenter;
3. Webinar Trainings.
1. Pricing example from one of Mari's In Person Workshops
As a support, I will break down my formula using my "From Fairy Tales to Facelifts: Learning to Love the Image in the Mirror" in office workshop that I host and facilitate twice a year for women who are healing heartbreak due to divorce, infidelity or betrayal.
NOTE: If you prefer not to reinvent the wheel and are interested in facilitating a workshop that supports women in rebuilding their self image after infidelity, divorce, or a break up, you may be interested in my workshop kit for therapists where I provide all of my curriculum, exercises, activities, agenda, sign in sheet, consent forms, the facilitator time line and road map - essentially every single thing you will need in order to facilitate a successful workshop for hurting women for less that the cost of one workshop fee. If interested, you can find that information here.
Mari's Pricing Formula
- Attendee Fee: $285
- Number of Attendees: 12
- Prep Time: Evergreen (I've already created this a few years ago)
- Marketing Time: 4 hours
- Emails and Consent Forms to Attendees and follow up thank you: 2 hours
- Set up/Clean up Time: For folder assembly, food set up, etc. 2 hours
- Actual Workshop Time: 9 AM-4 PM (one hour break for lunch) = 6 hours
- Gift for Attendees: A copy of my book, Facing Heartbreak ($15 x 12 women= $180)
- Food and paper goods for continental breakfast (fruit and bagels, coffee and water) and afternoon snack (cookies and trail mix) = $60
- Other expenses (folders, name tags, printer ink, favors)= $100
- Virtual Assistant Fee = $100
Total Monetary Expense = $440
Total Time Investment including my presentation time = 14 hours
Total gross income = $3,420 - taxes = $2,394 net - monetary expense of $440 = $1,954 divided by number hours invested = $140 per hour.
This formula will give you a seamless way of calculating (after taxes and expenses are factored in) what you need to be charging in order to make a reasonable return on your investment of time, effort, energy and finances. Remember, if you are creating your webinar or workshop from scratch, your first event will likely break even, unless this is a large event.
2. Hosted Workshops or Events
I won't get into sponsorship or affiliate relationships in this blog as that is a whole other ball of cookie dough usually implemented with conferences. However, it is important to outline pricing for hosted workshops. For example, I have a couple's communication workshop that I do for 3 hours on a Saturday morning twice a year at a local church. The calculation for this hosted event looks like this:
- Attendee Fee: $125/per couple
- Number of Attendees/Couples: 25-40
- Prep Time: Evergreen (I've already created this many years ago)
- Marketing Time: 0 hours as the church does all of this within their congregation
- Emails and Materials and Consent Forms to Church event organizer and follow up thank you: 3 hours
- Set up/Clean up Time: 0 hours as I email the church my materials and they organize these, and they provide and set up the continental breakfast, and they clean up after the event. I simply show up.
- Actual Workshop Time: 9 AM-noon = 3 hours
- Gift for Attendees: An affirmation stone and a free couples communication exercise to take home
- Food and paper goods for continental breakfast (fruit and bagels, coffee and water) and afternoon snack (cookies and trail mix) = 0 dollars as the church provides
- Other expenses (folders, name tags, printer ink, favors)= 0 dollars as the church provides
- Virtual Assistant Fee = 0 dollars as the church has a secretary or organizer
Total Monetary Expense = 0 dollars
Total Time Investment including my presentation/practice time = 6 hours
Total gross income = $125 x 30 couples = $3,750 - taxes = $2,625 net - split to church of 25% or $656 = $1,969 net profit divided by number hours invested (3 hours) = $656 per hour of net income.
NOTE: You can also simply charge a fee for events like this, for example at a set price of $2,000 if you prefer. See my paid public speaking blog for more information on how to do this.
Webinars: Less Monetary Investment
Using my How to Create a Multiple Income Streams webinar for therapists, I will break this calculation down as a comparison to the other formulas above:
- Attendee Fee: $250 per therapist
- Number of Attendees: 15-20
- Prep Time: Evergreen (I've already created this)
- Marketing Time: 3 hours
- Emails and forms and follow up thank you: 2.5 hours
- Set up/Clean up Time: 0 hours as this is done virtually
- Actual Workshop Time: 2.5 hours
- Food and paper goods for continental breakfast (fruit and bagels, coffee and water) and afternoon snack (cookies and trail mix) = 0 dollars as this is a virtual event
- Other expenses (folders, name tags, printer ink, favors)= 0 dollars as this is a virtual event
- Virtual Assistant Fee = $200
Total Monetary Expense = $200
Total Time Investment including my presentation/practice time = 8 hours
Total gross income = $250 x 15 therapists = $3,750 - taxes = $2,625 net - VA fee = $2,425 net profit divided by number hours invested (8 hours) = $303 per hour of net income.
As you can see, once you get the hang of hosting a webinar and understand the platform and so forth, this type of training can yield a larger net return because your upfront investment is quite low. This can be ideal when you are providing training to other professionals because your attendee saves on travel expenses, and you can do this virtually from your own home or office, and you information supports a larger audience.
The two drawbacks (for me at least) is that I really enjoy the in person experience, and you cannot predict the efficiency of technology. It has not happened to me yet (knock on wood), but we all know that sometimes there will be tech fails.
In closing, I hope that providing you with my formula in pricing three different events: in person workshops, hosted workshops and trainings, as well as on line webinars has given you the tools you need to confidently move forward in pricing your own workshop or on line training.
We all start somewhere and you can do this! If you are feeling like you could use some additional support or guidance in creating and organizing your own workshop, and would like to see what other therapists have to say about their experience in working with me as a coach, you can take a look here.
Or if you would like to join my next "Like A Boss!" Facebook multiple income streams coaching group for therapists (our LAB current group is filled and the next group starts in January 2017), you can find that information here.
You can also reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to introduce yourself in the comments below ~ and...I wish you all the very best in your practice building success!
Kindly and in support,