Can you make money online tutoring is a question I’m asked. Often.
Ten years ago I was paid the going rate for online tutoring.
Or so I thought.
I live in a fairly affluent area in Scotland, an area where parents are very keen for their children to do well in exams.
Tutoring English I was always in demand. And so I tutored round the clock three evenings a week.
I preferred to go to the students’ houses- I had young children and it meant that their evenings were largely uninterrupted.
Of course this involved travelling to their houses. In the car, out the car, talk to parents, report back on their progress, comment on an essay that had just been returned…
Often at the weekend as exams approached I would tutor all day on a Saturday too. Make hay when the sun shines and all that.
One Saturday two things happened to stop me in my tracks.
One parent said to me .’We feel so lucky to have secured you – you’re so reasonably priced. We pay X, the Maths tutor double what you ask . She’s so in demand we just have to pay it, but I think she’s taking the p***.’ ( Not sure she actually said ‘taking the piss’ but you get the idea)
Around that same time I was trying to hire a gardener. One gardener, Bill, told me his rate was £35 an hour. ‘I’m good at what I do. I know my stuff, I’m reliable.’ he told me confidently with an air of no negotiation.
I immediately hired him.
Bill was on a higher rate than me. So was the piss-taking Maths teacher. So was my husband’s personal trainer.
And don’t even start me on what lawyers charge.
Charge what your’e worth
I’ve still never told him, but Bill changed my whole approach to what I charge. And so did the piss-taking teacher.
In answer then to the question how to get paid what you’re worth? Ask!
It’s only us who can set our value .
Here’s a funny thing that I’ve found since then too . The more we pay for something the higher we tend to value it. We just do. We take it more seriously, we’re more invested in it. And that’s why I now have no qualms charging what I’m worth.
It’s my deepest desire that as teachers/tutors we change how we’re viewed, how we’re valued.
p.s. Have a look at this letter to a Scottish newspaper this week – I’m pretty sure it will chime with you wherever in the world you are.