Fee setting is one of the most commonly asked questions out there on FB and teacher forums for freelance teachers – but not only for ESL teachers! Fee setting across the board in the freelance world is often a complicated topic. In today’s podcast, I’m going to help you figure out how much you should be charging for your freelance services. Check it out here:
How To Get Started
Always be aware of your local market – what are other teachers charging?
- Look for ads in your local newspaper’s classified section.
- Look in Craig’s List. A quick look at Mexico City’s Craig’s List site shows rates like: $200, $250 pesos x hour, $300 pesos per hour, $50 pesos x hour – or whatever you feel the classes are worth! $300 pesos x 90 minutes of class. (Prices are Everywhere!)
Find The Average
- One way you can set your fees is to take some time and invest in scouring your market, and listing as many rates as you can.
- Next step: try finding the average of all the rates you found. (Add them all up, then divide that result by the number of rate examples you found. In our example – and to be honest I only took the time to find 4 rates – but they totalled up to $800 pesos x hr. Divided by 4 examples = $200 x hr.
- $200 x hour is approaching what I’d consider a fair rate – though, depending on your skills and your own comfort with it – you can likely charge higher – like $225 or $250.
A Closer Look At A Few Rates
- Pay What You Like – I feel like this is a huge mistake. The person charging this is positioning themselves…well, how do you feel about them? I see that and think: this person doesn’t know what they’re doing? I don’t want to work with them. They don’t know what they are worth, and I doubt the classes are the greatest. Don’t feel confident in this person’s classes.
- Charging too low -$30 pesos x hour – Why might teachers try to price so low?
- Lack of confidence?
- Desperate to get new students?
- Maybe location is lower income?
- Messsage you send: I’m not worth it. My classes aren’t worth it.
- Charging too high – $1000 pesos x hour.
- Put yourselves in the shoes of your students? What do you think when you see this rate?
- Is this person for real?
- For many: too far out of reach to even be considered.
- You’ll struggle to get students.
- Position yourself higher, by linking your classes to something your student values.
- Can you think of how, and demonstrate it, your classes will help your student make more money or become more of an asset to their employer? Do your best to link their investment your classes to a solid reward: prove that they’ll make % more, or be able to get a better job. Be specific. Be honest – or don’t do it.
- Never set your fees randomly.
- Evaluate your local market – find out what other teachers are charging, and set your fees on the higher end – but not THE highest.
- Remember: your fees say a lot about you! What are yours saying about you?
- Finally: make sure you feel comfortable charging your rate. If you don’t, rethink it.
- I have a challenge for you! If today’s podcast helped you settle on your fees, would you come over (or join) our free Facebook group and share your new fee with us? The idea is to encourage other freelance English teachers just like you – who may feel a little stuck. If you and I can do this, so can they!