martes, 15 de marzo de 2016

Added Value in the Language Industry (Part II: Teaching)




In a previous entry, we talked about creating added value in the language industry. But, what is value? Value is, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: "a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged". The key word here "fair".

Value Vs Fairness in Price

Your value is then what others (clients) perceive as a fair trade for your services. The difficulty is then finding a balance what you think is fair and what others think is fair. This doesn't mean, of course, that you have to bring down your prices in order to make the client feel your price is fair, as there will be always someone willing to go lower than you, and, believe me, you don't want to be a bottom-feeder over a client!
Your added value can come from many aspects such as your qualifications (but not necessarily), your reputation, your experience. However, with an increasingly more professionalised world, I have found that value comes from what you can offer to your clients (or the client perceives you can offer) in exchange of their money!

My Personal Experience

With my experience in the UK, I can say that my rates for English lessons are not low (they are not the highest either), and yet people prefer me over an academy. What is my value? I can adjust pretty much to their needs and their times.
In a city full of unqualified Spanish workers eager to learn English as a way to move back to their home country, this is valuable and they are willing to pay for that. Additionally, I offer students material I have prepared over the years.
In that way, students are willing to pay extra money for a non-native English speaker rather than for a native speaker whose only value is being a native. That, of course, is backed by my seven years of experience and my discount scheme I have for volume.

Conclusion

Your teaching prices are not what you think you deserve, but what your value determines. Therefore, by increasing your value, your students will be more willing to pay for your higher prices.
And, at the end, if a client is not willing to pay for your value, then, that is a client you don't want, be it an individual, an agency or a direct client!
In following entries, I will discuss the value issue in the translation industry.
Meanwhile, have a nice rest of the week!

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