As the Chanels, Cartiers, Rolls-Royces, and LVMHs of the world can attest, higher prices can burnish your brand as long as the quality is there. Every product and service enters the market at an array of price points. In this, supplemental education is no exception. Somebody has to be the highest priced tutor in your market, so why not you?
Premium pricing, where you present yourself as the most expensive tutor in your market, or at least one of them, asserts certain levels of quality and results. In the absence of trusted referrals, those seeking the very best outcomes (or simply association with the best) gravitate to premium providers. Does the thought of presenting yourself as the premier provider in your area suffuse you with purpose or fill you with dread? Consider carefully, because staking a claim at the top of the pricing structure defines you irrevocably.
PROS OF PREMIUM PRICING
Margin — Tutors who command a premium enjoy the highest ratios of compensation to instructional time. Simply put, this is the path the highest hourly rate. Since time is usually a tutor’s most costly resource, higher rates translate directly to higher margins and profit.
Reputation — The ability to ask and earn top rates carries a level of prestige that implies elite ability.
Commitment — Clients willing to pay premium rates generally have a keener insight into the return on their investment and the work required on their end to make the most of the opportunity. Often–but definitely not always–these students are the easiest to work with in terms of motivation and effort.
CONS OF PREMIUM PRICING
Volume — Rolls Royce may represent the pinnacle of ultra-luxe automotive excellence, but you’ll see a lot more Fords on your daily commute. The percentage of consumers willing to pay premium rates for tutoring in a given market will range from low to nil.
Pressure — Premium providers must not only live up to the high expectations of their clients, but also show clear value over lower-priced alternatives. This usually means facilitating higher score or grade increases in less time while maintaining exceptional levels of service and responsiveness.
Risk — To whom much is given, much will be required. Tutors who demand premium rates without first establishing an elite reputation–along with the requisite strong word-of-mouth and testimonials attendant to such a standing–may never attract enough clients to get started.
Standing ascendant at the pinnacle of your profession, commanding premium rates, and enjoying an elite professional reputation sounds great. Trust me, it is 😉 But there is, as they say, a cost to be the boss. Greatness is not given but rather earned. Make sure you are worth even more than whatever lofty rates you deign to charge; the high-risk/high-reward push into premium territory easily cannot be walked back.