English Training Fees
This post is based on an English Training Interview I experienced and reflected upon today. It is aimed at English Trainers who work on a freelance basis, offer their services to and attend interviews with language institutes or businesses.
Should You State Your Fee when Applying for an English Training Role?
As I have recently moved city and left all my Business English clients and learners behind, I have been back in job seeking and business development mode, reaching out to potential businesses and language institutes. Without mentioning the name of the language school, today I attended a meeting / interview for a potential English Training position. So, all was going well. Lots of easy pleasant small talk, interviewer was asking about my experience and telling me about their philosophy, creating good rapport between each other, I was sharing my insights and how I like to train and you get the sense of “Yes, I could see myself working here” and I am pretty sure the interviewer is thinking “we have a good English Trainer here, I would like him to come on-board”. then we get to the fee topic or the question “how much do you pay your Freelance English Trainers?”. This is when it all goes a bit pair shape and all that momentum disappears, the energy in the room vanishes, the awkwardness sets-in and both parties think “it was probably a waste of time having this interview”. The reason being, the remuneration that is being offered is nowhere near what you expected and what you feel you deserve for the value your training can provide. Today the offer was 100% less than my minimum expectation, so you can imagine my expression and body language when this was on the table. Anyway, needless to say I politely ended the meeting and started my 30 km journey back home and tried to convince myself that it was not a total waste of time. So, while driving home I pondered what just happened and asked myself a question?
Should I have Agreed to Work for this Low Hourly Rate?
Now at the moment as I am new in the city, I do have some gaps in my working schedule so I could argue it is better to work and get a bit of money than not work and receive nothing. So, based on this, should I have said “Yes” and accepted a fee that is below are minimum just to fill in a gap in our work? The answer I came up with was “NO” a big fat whopping “NO”. Let me explain why. Like any product or service on the market, your training provides a certain amount of value to certain people. Only you know based on the market conditions, your experience, your skills and the results and feedback you get how much value that brings. When you bring all this together it is then up to you to put a fair price on your time, skills and what you bring to the table and have the balls and pride to say this is what I am worth, this is a fair price and this is what I expect to get paid. Then it is down to the prospect if they are interested in securing your English training service or not.
Don't Damage Your Own Self-Identity
I think when you are an English Trainer, a coach, or any other type of consultant, mentor or teacher, what you provide is much more, deeper and personal than any other product or service – you are offering a big part of yourself. You are bringing not just your skills and experience, but your heart, soul and body (basically your identity – who you truly are!). That’s why you don’t lower your fees – especially significantly or for an extended period. Reason being, when you’re an English Trainer or Coach like me, your job becomes entwined and attached to your identity and self-worth. So, when you lower your standards (the fees you are willing to accept and work for) you are in turn down grading your own identity and self-image. This is a huge freaking NO NO!! If anything, you should be building up your self-image, demanding more – not less!!! Can you imagine any of the leading coaches and speakers out there allowing their clients to dictate the rate of pay they will get? Hell NO. Most other coaches and trainers and consultants know how good their service is and they dictate the rate, they put the ball in the client’s court – make them decide whether they pay it or do they look for a cheaper option?
My New Strategy!
Sending Prospective Inquiries about English Training Opportunities
This is not the first time I have wasted a few hours of my time going for a business meeting and for it to fall flat on its face when we get to the last topic of the day which is payments and fees. So, I have decided from now on that I will clearly state my hourly rate and also provide details what exactly they will be getting for that fee. Of course, if the prospect shows interest and has a specific requirement outside of your stated scope, then a fee can be negotiated during a meeting. My point is that to avoid wasting each other’s time, the client is perfectly clear straight from the off, what your minimum required fee is.
What are Today's Takeaways?
Instead of asking yourself “who can offer me work?”, then contacting the institute and just accepting what they will offer you, ask yourself “who has an English Communication problem that I can provide value to and who would be willing to pay the fee I KNOW I and my service is worth?”.
Don’t be at the mercy of your clients and let them dictate how much you get paid.
Avoid wasting your time and that of your prospect’s by clearly stating your minimum fees from the off. Allow them to decide if they are willing to pay that and further the process if required.
Get clarity on the value your English Training service provides. Determine the fee and shout it from the roof tops. Be proud of it, state it with absolute confidence cos you know you are freaking worth it!
Make sure you provide and deliver the value you are promising! Never stop learning, improving your training and bringing even more value!
I hope you found this post of value. I would love to hear from you and get your opinion or thoughts on what I have just shared. In the meantime, I wish you a great day!