“Should I list my fees on my therapist website?” is a question that induces anxiety in many private practice therapists.
And it can be a wild ride. One minute you feel like there is no way you will ever post your fees and the next, you exclaim, “no, I really ought to!”
There are thoughts and feelings that may sway you towards listing your fees and away from listing your fees. Let’s talk about it.
The Biggest Fear Around Listing Fees Is That You’ll Be Missing Out On Clients
The core concern about listing fees on a therapist website seems to be around how listing fees will scare a lot of potential clients away. If they leave, you’ll be missing out on connecting with people you can help.
And that’s a surefire way to make any big-hearted, I-want-to-help-everyone, type of therapist feel like they are letting the world down.
As scary as it can be, we believe that for most therapists, listing fees on a website is the right move. And that “scaring” clients away is actually the most compassionate thing to do – both for the potential client and the therapist alike.
The Pros And Cons Of Listing Your Therapy Fees On Your Website
Let’s dive into a look at both the pros and cons of listing your fees. What are the benefits and drawbacks to be aware of? By taking a look at the impact of listing your fees, or not listing them, it may help you determine the right path forward on your therapist website.
Pro #1: Attract Your Right-Fit Client
Every therapist has a client who fits them best. That “fit” includes what your target client is able to pay and enthusiastic to pay.
For example, some therapists may be pricing their services for lower-income clients, or they may be accepting insurance. Other therapists may be catering to a more high-income clientele.
No matter who you are trying to attract, the definition of your best fit client includes their budget. Sharing your fees helps your best-fit clients identify that you are their best-budget-fit – which is undeniably part of who they are and how they move around in the world.
Listing your fee attracts your right-fit.
Pro #2: Lower Anxiety, Build Trust
Listing your fees on your private practice website helps your potential clients trust you.
Knowing what your services cost before reaching out lowers anxiety because they know what to expect.
It also positions you as the expert who anticipates what the client needs. In the therapist-client relationship, it is the therapist’s responsibility to help clients fully understand your service. No incoming client should be forced into playing detective just to understand who you are, how you help, or what the fee is for that help.
The therapist is responsible for communicating that clearly, authentically, and in a way that takes the burden of “figuring stuff out” off of the client as much as possible.
Knowing the fee in advance helps clients feel relaxed and happy to get in touch, already trusting you and knowing what to expect.
Pro #3: Save Time
Another benefit to listing your fees on your therapist website is saving time. And potentially a lot of time.
By answering your potential client’s most important fee questions, it will significantly lower administration time as well as filter out poor-fit clients. How much time would it save if…
- … you don’t have to do free consultation calls with clients who aren’t aligned with your fee?
- … you don’t have to play one week of phone tag with someone just to find out that they can’t afford your fee?
- … you don’t have to respond to emails about insurance when you don’t even accept insurance?
- … you don’t have to tell referral sources what your new fees are every time you increase them?
Listing your fees can give you some time back.
Pro #3: Save The Time Of The Clients Too
When you list your fees on your website, you give every client who can’t afford you the opportunity to keep looking – you don’t waste their time.
As the service provider, we may be acutely aware of how much time we waste when fielding emails, calls, and referrals from poor-fit clients. But as it turns out, listing your fees can save the potential client’s time as well.
It is an act of compassion to step into the shoes of the client who is seeking help and understand that it’s stressful to find a therapist. And in that already stressful process, it can be a huge waste of time to to call, email, or do a consultation with a therapist who isn’t aligned with the money you are prepared to invest.
How much of their time would listing your fees save them?
Listing your fees allows wrong-fit clients the freedom to seek out the therapist that fits their budget. And that is time-efficient for both of you.
Pro #5: Avoid The Awk Talk
Most therapists have had a conversation with a potential client that goes something like this:
Client: “So what’s your fee”
Therapist: “$200 per session”
Client: “OMG! That is so much. There is no way I can afford that!” *Nervous laugh*
Client: “Why do you charge so much?”
Therapist: “Well, I did go to grad school and I have a lot of experience and…”
Pricing can be an awkward conversation. Especially when the client is coming into the conversation completely blind to what your fees may be.
Listing your fees illuminates the truth of your fees and helps you both avoid what I’d like to call “the awk talk.”
When you list your fees on your website, your potential client has the ability to be prepared. If they are very price sensitive, or likely to have an emotional reaction, you save yourself from the awk.
What if every potential client already decided they are ok with your fees prior to even talking with you? Luckily, the “Fees” page on your therapist website can prime your incoming clients with that information.
Pro #6: Help Others Heal Money Wounds
In a culture full of people struggling with money wounds, it makes sense that openly discussing money is a taboo. But should it be?
Research shows that talking about money has many benefits. Doing so helps people feel less alone, improves their relationships, helps them build valuable life skills, and can unlock doors to their own money-stuff inspiring money healing.
Listing your fees on your website can help people lower their distress around money. By being upfront and unashamed, posting your fees publicly is like saying, “it’s ok to talk about money” and “I’m here to talk about it.”
Do you want to help kick money shame to the curb? We CAN talk about money and it doesn’t have to be awkward or painful. Listing your fees on your website can help lead the way.
Pro #7: Create a Place To Discuss Further Money Stuff On Your Website
Having a “fees” page on your website allows you to have a page discussing everything fee-related. As the single most logical place to put your fees and fee-related questions, you can share things like:
- If you take insurance
- If you do, which ones
- If you don’t take insurance at all
- If you provide superbills
- If you provide any help navigating getting reimbursement
You can also include a section that addresses other concerns that a client may have around fees or money. For instance, how payment works (cash? card) or when the fees are paid or what cancellation looks like.
Imagine how good it would feel to care for all of your incoming client’s money concerns in one safe space on your website. A fees page can be that space. And listing your fees can be part of that care.
The Cons Of Listing Your Fees
What are the drawbacks to posting your fees on your website? Let’s discuss a couple of the “cons” and what they may look like.
Con #1: Some Clients May Write You Off Too Early
It’s actually true that by listing your fees on your website, you will “miss out” on clients.
A certain percentage of clients that reject a therapist based on their fees may have been willing to pay more if they just knew how beneficial it would be.
Perhaps they would feel the fee is worth it if they understood more. Or they would have increased their budget if they could imagine that someone with your skills and experience existed.
But not all clients are ready to challenge their assumptions about what therapy can do for them. This “con” around listing your fees isn’t personal. It’s more so about the level of awareness that the client has. In some cases, someone that is seeking therapy is aware of their problem but may not be aware of the true value of the solution.
For these types of people, listing your fees on your website will inspire them to leave if your fee isn’t in alignment with what they believe therapy ought to be valued at.
The alternative to listing your fees and potentially scaring these types of clients away is to withhold your fees and instead invite website visitors to call for a free consultation or to schedule a first session. Next, they would enter into the conversation without an idea of what your fees may be.
During the conversation, it may be possible to help the potential client connect their need to the value of your services – even if your services are a higher price then they initially had in mind.
In order to wield this approach, a therapist would benefit from having ethical sales training and need to be open to hearing “no” quite often.
The therapist would also need to accept that there is a flipside to not posting your fees. The “pros” listed above will be lost when fees are not listed. So while some website visitors may be more likely to reach out if you do not list your fees, others will not build adequate trust without seeing your fee and won’t reach out because of that absence.
Will you miss out on connecting with some potentially great clients by posting your fees? Yes. Certainly some will not give your services a chance. And withholding your fees might give you a chance to have a conversation with them.
Con #2: Listing “Fees” on Your Website May Be Inadequate Or Incomplete
Therapists are creative, generous, and big-hearted people. And in some cases, these qualities show up in the way they structure or charge fees.
Some therapists may have an approach that can’t really adequately be explained on a traditional “fees” page. For a handful of examples:
- You offer sliding scale but only a small number of spots – and don’t want to explain how that all works in public
- You have a fixed number of insurance and cash pay spots – but don’t want to write that out publicly either
- You change your fees often based on the season or on how full you are
- You use a “pay what you can” or other type of alternative fee-model which benefits from entering into a conversation with the client rather than a written explanation
If you are a therapist that has a non-traditional way of charging for your services, a “Fees” list may simply not work or lead to increased confusion for incoming clients. This is certainly a case were listing your fees on your website would be a “no go.”
Two Circumstances In Which You Certainly Need To List Your Fees
General pros and cons aside, here are two situations in which a therapist should definitely list their fees on their website.
Are your fees affordable? If yes, put your fees on your website.
If your fees are more affordable than that of your colleagues, then that may be a reason to put your fees on your website.
Having an affordable fee can differentiate you from the other options out there. It will help you attract the fee-sensitive client, the one who may specifically be seeking services on the more affordable end.
Don’t hide things that make you unique! That includes sharing your fees.
Is your practice full? Are you getting too many calls from your website? If yes or yes, put your fees on your website.
If your practice is already full, you have even more reason to encourage website visitors who would not be aligned with paying your fee to continue on with their search rather than reaching out to you.
Listing your fees can also help you build out a waiting list more effectively. Instead of filling your list with potential clients who may or may not be able to afford you – it is much better for them and you if it’s already been determined that you’re within their budget.
Listing Your Fees On Your Therapist Website Shouldn’t Be The Only Concern
Many times, it’s easy to get caught up in the question of posting fees while ignoring other incredibly important aspects of your website.
In addition to figuring out what’s right for you in terms of posting fees, also consider:
- Well-written therapist website copy that emphasizes the benefits of working with you
- Content in your blog that help visitors get to know, like, and trust you
- Website credibility factors like making it easy to contact you, avoiding errors, and investing in professional design.
There are many things that come together on a therapist website that make it effective at attracting your best fit clients. Focusing only on the question of listing fees or not is too narrow to gain website success. So just a gentle reminder: don’t single out the violin, take a holistic approach and tune into the entire symphony. What else needs to work on my website to make it work for me and my practice.
Listing Your Fees Is The Way To Go
Ultimately, whether you list your fees on your website or not is up to you. That said, with benefits of doing so ranging from attracting your right-fit clients to avoiding super awkward conversations to saving a ton of time both for you and for them: it feels like the right move for most.
If you are struggling to hit the “publish” button on posting your fees on your website, keep compassion in mind.
Many of the “pros” listed above are rooted in compassion for others. Meeting them where they are in their budget, saving their time, caring for their anxiety, managing their expectations, starting to build trust.
But while listing your fees can help others, it can also help you. Does listing your fees resonate? What needs do you have that you can care for by listing your fees? How do you want to spend your time?
Hope this post has helped you determine your right way forward. You got this.