A few years back, I raised my rate for all of my students across the board. It didn't matter if they had been with me for a long time or not. I realized that I wasn't getting paid what I was worth. And then it happened. Fear set in about losing students. I spent a week stressing about what families would say.
Late one afternoon, I made the decision to write an email to all the parents to let them know my rate was going up by $10 for everyone. I included a link to the local tutor list and mentioned that if they would like to look elsewhere, that I totally understand. With a shaky hand, I hit the send button. More than being worried about losing students, I didn't want to burden families (can you relate?).
Within a day, I heard back from everyone. Not one child was leaving! In fact, one mother emailed back, “Adrianne, we will pay and follow you where ever you go.” WOW! I was floored. None of the parents were upset and all of them felt like they were getting tremendous value.
Busting Through Fear
A lot of us stress and worry about our rates. I find it interesting that we get in this mindset that we cannot change our minds about how things are going with our tutor business. Our policies and tutor rates are not written in stone. You can change them whenever you want! It's never too late to take control of your tutor business. With a shift in perception of tutor hobby to tutor entrepreneur, you can make tutoring the career of your dreams!
I've been working on what I call the Profitable Tutor Framework. I had a moment of realization that I was giving tutors an incomplete puzzle with how I was presenting my tools to you. After spending some time thinking about you and your struggles, I realized that I am sick and tired of watching tutors bending over backwards to please parents, let missed appointments go, and ultimately being stressed because they are not sure if they will ever be able to make consistent income with tutoring.
I want tutors to have the tools to effectively communicate and price in a way that sends a clear message that they are an expert and should be treated as the professional they are!
That’s why I created theProfitable Tutor Framework to give you the complete tools so you can stop fretting about business and start focusing on actions that get you closer to making tutoring the career of your dreams. The Profitable Tutor Framework isn't about making due with duct taped together free resources. It's about creating clear boundaries and solid value based pricing.
Inside the Profitable Tutor Framework, you'll find resources like:
- Mini video course about pricing and the intake process
- My eBook and audio book of The Novice Tutor: Answers to Your Questions About Running a Successful Tutor Business
- Pricing guide
- Over 15 different policy designs to match your branding
- Access to the Just for Tutors Facebook group
- Plus–a bonus mini course about building a website
With these tools, you'll have the complete puzzle or rather everything you need to make tutoring into the career of your dreams.
Raising My Rates…AGAIN
While putting the Profitable Tutor Framework together for you, I realized that I wasn't applying some of the key principles I was teaching. I looked at my tutor rate again and realized I had made an assumption about the market I live in. (Do you ever do that?) After doing some research, I discovered that I was below some of the top tutors in my area…by a lot! Without hesitation, I raised my rates again because I am constantly full and turning people away. I raised my rates and thought it would slow down the inquiries…it didn't! In fact, I have new students lined up for the summer at my new tutor rate.
As I worked on the pricing guide that is included in the Profitable Tutor Framework, I saw clearly that I was really close to my target hourly rate which will really allow me to flip that switch to make tutoring the career of my dreams. The pricing guide gave me a clear understanding of what it is going to take to get to this rate. And guess what…I will raise those rates again much sooner than I thought and with out hesitation!
It pays to raise those rates in more ways than just monetarily. When you raise your rates, you are telling the right story about yourself. You are a professional with a desire to help children achieve. When we continually choose a rate that is below our value, we send a message to clients that is confusing. Some may wonder what they are really going to get for their money. Others won't take you as seriously and it is easy to justify missing a tutor appointment when it is only $15 or $20. A little reality check. When your tutor rate is less than a night at the movies or dinner at a restaurant, this should trigger a yellow flag within your business to slow down and evaluate your worth.
The Profitable Tutor Framework will teach you how to price yourself based on value, instead of fear. Tutors make a world of difference in the lives of children and should be compensated for this unique talent.
What Can You Do Right Now to Kick Fear to the Curb?
If you've been on the fence about increasing your tutor rates, I want you to take 30 minutes today and evaluate your rate by doing these three things:
1. Day dream about what you really want to make
Ponder on how much annual salary you really want to make. Let this goal guide you as you do the next two steps.
2. Compare your rate to the top 5 highest paid tutors in your area
What subjects are they tutoring? How much experience do they have? How do you compare? You should price yourself among these tutors.
3. Decide a new hourly rate that is comparable to the top tutors
I want you to boldly choose a new rate. If it is over 200% of an increase to what you have been charging, decide if you would like to do this increase for all students or from new students forward. Make sure to change your policies to reflect the change. Also consider doing an increase on current students as well. Let go of the fear of losing students, you'll be just as surprised as I when you see how many of them stay!
Are you interested in learning more about the how the Profitable Tutor Framework can help you with choosing the right hourly rate? You'll want to watch my free webinar where we'll dive into three components of a successful tutor business plus dig in and find the right rate for you.