Photo above is from Melissa Stockwell's Double Hoops Workshop
Article Content Written by Missy Cooke.
It can be scary to raise prices for a lot of reasons, especially if it feels like your current or future students may not be on board with a higher price. But, if you can't survive (financially or emotionally) because of the demands and lack of funds then you will end up not teaching at all (or doing it for free). I had (and still have) a lot of "work" to do on my own money mindset to get over the feeling that people don't want to pay more for 'expensive' things. But, I have found a few things to be true that have helped.
1) People pay less attention to the price than you think.
Just because they ask how much, doesn't mean they care. A lot of time it's pure logistics or curiosity.
2) Low prices bring low clientele.
Complaints, disrespectful behavior, distracting behavior, no shows, and answering a million questions you've already answered are often (but not always) exacerbated by low entry fees.
3) There are clients at every price point.
Just as some people are turned off by high prices, many are turned off by low prices. You don't know who you are missing because they think your underpriced classes aren't worth it.
4) Don't ask permission.
When your students ask how much, tell them confidently and look them in the eye. Practice saying your rate in the mirror if you have to until you believe it. If you sound like you're asking for permission, people will associate that lack of confidence with a lack of worth.
5) People don't come to class for the reasons you think.
They may have "spread the word" because they got more value than they paid, but how do you know what their reasons are for thinking your class is valuable? I send surveys to all of my students periodically, and they never come back with an appreciation for the hoop skills I'm teaching. Instead it's always secondary (i.e. I love hooping because it helps me relax, get away, get out of my head, relieves arthritis, gets me out of the house, helps my dexterity, etc). Find out why your clients like your class, then use their words in your marketing material.
6) Save free and cheap for marketing, charge accordingly for services.
There is nothing wrong with offering a free or cheap option, but do it on your terms. You could host a weekly or monthly jam, teach one free class a week in a park, or give away periodic community events. Don't rely on your students to spread the word. Put yourself in the middle of where your students are, and tell them yourself.
7) Offer other services.
Classes are fun, and do help build community, and keep your skills up, but they are constant work. To supplement, offer school assemblies, b2b consulting, etc.
We hope this advice helps you decide if it is time to raise your prices for your services. Just as the world changes, sometimes your business needs to change with it. Thank you to Missy for these great pointers!