What’s the best thing about leading a transformational destination retreat? Seeing the incredible transformation of your retreat participants, of course.
What’s the next best thing about leading a transformational destination retreat? Making money running your retreat. Because getting paid for work you truly love is a dream come true.
Heart-centered entrepreneurs don’t tend to be the best at turning a terrific profit on their retreats, though. All too often, we see retreat leaders making next to nothing on their trips despite long hours of planning, spreadsheets galore, and enthusiasm from head to toe. Feeling lost and dejected, they doubt their abilities to plan and run retreats in the future. If only they knew that with a few tweaks, they could avoid this misery all together.
What turns a retreat that doesn’t make money into a retreat that produces a great profit? Strategy. Yes, you must be strategic in your retreat planning and pricing! Without a solid money-making strategy in place, your retreat’s profit margin is doomed. You wouldn’t build a house without a foundation, would you? So why would you plan a retreat without a solid money-making strategy underlying it?
The sad reality is that many retreat leaders skip strategizing and go right to the parts they enjoy more (like creating the retreat theme, planning activities & finding accommodations). Can you relate?
Have no fear, Wanderlust Entrepreneur is here! We’re retreat strategy experts, and we know how to let strategy become your best retreat-planning friend. We’ve done the dirty work, so you don’t have to. Let’s break down our essential strategy “must haves” to make money doing a retreat:
Step 1: Have a winning money mindset
The first step to make money doing a retreat is to have a winning money mindset. If you’re having trouble making the kind of money you desire on your retreats, chances are you have some limited beliefs about money.
Before you plan your next retreat, it’s up to you to shed those beliefs and replace them with an abundance mindset. Without the right mindset, you’ll keep repeating your same patterns and struggling to make money. Ugh.
Make a list of your beliefs around money that keep you trapped and making less than you desire. Trace those beliefs to their origins (hint: they probably came from your childhood). What did your parents teach you about money? Go inside yourself and see what you come up with. Chances are, whatever you learned from them is probably still controlling your association with money one way or another.
Once you’ve traced your money beliefs, make an agreement with yourself that these beliefs are no longer needed. Picture them dissolving. You may even want to do a ritual to release them (fire ceremony anyone?). Whatever you do, make it intentional and devote yourself mind, body and soul to busting through your money blocks.
Then, take a moment and envision yourself surrounded by your retreat participants having an extraordinary journey (while making the kind of money you crave). Feel the incredible feelings that come with a perfectly planned (and profitable) retreat. Feeling the feelings is key. This makes you a vibrational match for your desire. (YES! You can make money doing a retreat!) Notice how doing this process changes you.
Step 2: Price your trip outside of your comfort zone
The second step to make money doing a retreat is to price your trip outside of your comfort zone. Yes, you read that right. Take the price you feel comfortable charging for your retreat and raise it. How much depends on what your price is now. If you’re charging $1,000 USD, consider raising it by $350 USD or so. If you’re charging $2,000 USD, up it by $700 USD or so. An increase of approximately 33% is a good rule of thumb for low to mid-priced retreats, and a smaller raise is best for higher-end retreats.
Why on earth do we recommend this? It’s simple. Chances are, you are probably pricing your trip below its value. We’ve seen thousands of retreats over the years, and most of them are underpriced. Heart-based entrepreneurs – more than other people – tend to have issues with valuing themselves and asking for money. Many of them think that because their services are healing in nature, they can’t charge too much for them.
To that we say, no thank you! Life-changing transformation truly has no value (it’s priceless). When you increase the price of your retreat, you send a message to your clients and the universe that what you do truly matters, and you won’t accept less than your value for your time and effort. We like how that feels, and our students time and time report back that they agree.
If the thought of doing this brings up money issues for you, go back to step 1. You probably have more beliefs around money to clear!
Step 3: Offer a post-retreat follow up program
The third step to make money doing a retreat is to offer a post-retreat follow up program. A retreat should not be a one-off money-making opportunity. Rather, it’s a chance to continue working with your people by enrolling them into a program that keeps the transformation flowing.
Have you ever had an incredible transformational experience, only to feel a sense of sadness or loneliness after the experience was over because you weren’t sure what to do next? Our guess is you can answer “yes.” It’s NOT a good feeling. (We’ve had it, too).
You’re not doing your people any favors if you “drop” them post-retreat. So, get thinking! Brainstorm your next step. Come up with a program you can transition your retreat participants into post-retreat. It could be a 3-month series of classes, a 6-month step-by-step program, or even a yearlong mastermind. Whatever it is, position it as the “next step” in the transformational process for your retreat peeps, and make it something they can’t refuse (a sizzling title is a must!)
On the day before the last day of your retreat, mention the program to your people and share with them how it’s an extension of what’s already been happening on the retreat. Then, on the last day of your retreat, give them the details of how they can enroll, and encourage them to sign up BEFORE they leave your retreat. The odds of them signing up are much higher when they are still with you. You can even offer one price for sign ups before the retreat is over, and a higher price for signups that happen later. Do whatever you can to incentivize them to make it a “yes.”
If your post-retreat offering truly is a transformational program that solves your people’s deepest pain points, you’re doing them a huge favor by offering it to them. Remember this if you feel any feelings of weirdness around making an offer to them. Selling is an act of service! So, sell to your heart’s content!
Want to dive a little deeper into retreat pricing? I recommend you check out Sheri’s How to Actually Price AND Make Money on Your Retreat Mini-Class here.
Have YOU had challenges making money doing a retreat?
Please post below and do share your experience with pricing your retreats (and if you have any great tips – please share)! 🙂
As a self-proclaimed retreat-junkie, Melanie knows firsthand the power and transformation of traveling with a group of like-minded people who are ready to dive deep into themselves. It’s pure magic!
Melanie has planned, co-facilitated and attended dozens of retreats all over the world and is beyond excited to help other retreat enthusiasts do the same. As a Retreat Blueprint Business Coach & Copywriter, Melanie specializes in helping retreat peeps crank up their businesses & add sparkle to their offerings so they shine to the cosmos and back.