Raising your prices is easy when you’re giving your customers value!
Chances are you don’t charge enough.
I was in for a shock when I looked up the price of karate and dance lessons in the town where my studio is located. My mind was totally blown! I hadn’t raised prices since 2010 because I thought parents would revolt and pull their kids out of my programs. Little did I know, my competitors in the “after-school-club” market were getting almost double for comparable programs, based on the number of instructional hours per week. That’s just leaving money on the table! It’s irresponsible as a business owner to not know your market, AND lost profit. After all, as much as music teachers love our jobs, we are in business to make a profit.
If you’re good, how could you feel bad?
Asking for money can be one of the most unpleasant parts of doing business – Especially if you’re not confident with your product. Lots of us deal with “imposter syndrome”, or the idea that somehow we’re not qualified to be asking for money for our services. That’s silly! Throw that idea away right now!
Ask yourself this… Are people paying you now? If so, YOU are a valid business, and there is a market for your skill.
Next, you’re going to need to be confident in that service. Do you give it your all? Are your students benefiting from your instruction each week? Chances are, if your students keep showing up week after week, you’re providing value to their lives. So keep it up!
There’s always room to grow as a teacher, so hop out to a conference and get fired up again if you have to! In the meantime, you need to be confident that what you’re giving is your best!
Tell your customers that you’re raising prices through a value proposition email like this one…
(Components in RED)
(1. Enthusiastic opening statement)
Impulse, my friends, advisors in the handbell world, and I have been working on developing some amazing new ideas to take Impulse to the next level. We have had some incredible talks and are well on our way to becoming an even more widely recognized group in the handbell and music education world!
(2. Enthusiastic exposition)
Experimenting with new ideas that bridge bells with the electronic music and pop world, enhancing our artistry by working on ideas to perfect our performances by “getting away from the table”, and working with mainstream musical composers will surely guarantee a bright future for this ensemble.
(3. List of VALUE points parents MAY NOT know because they don’t attend classes with their kids)
Our impact is further than you probably think…
Did you know?
- Impulse started five years ago in a church basement on borrowed equipment, but now plays on one of the largest ranges of bells in NJ.
- Impulse is the most highly regarded teen handbell ensemble in the world.
- Impulse has more social media engagement than any other handbell group, with the highest watched YouTube video.
- The members of Impulse have created amazing connections in the world of music and education through their performance at the National Seminar last summer and will gain even more at the Area 2 Seminar in June.
- Impulse has a small staff of composers writing music exclusively for us as we need it.
- America’s Got Talent has contacted us three times just this year.
- Impulse has a partnership with Malmark Bellcraftsmen, who provides us with over $50,000 worth of equipment
- Impulse is the first ensemble to test new Malmark prototype musical equipment, like the Cajon (box drum) that Emily plays.
(4. Historical explanation of tuition and how it supports your efforts in this current economy)
Due to our position in the world of music and education, local market prices for arts education (many as high as $150+/month for a two-hour per week class), and to support the infrastructure needed to keep us strong, VoiceWorks has decided that after 4.5 years of stable tuition, it will be changing its group tuition rates to reflect these economic changes.
(5. Introduce the new rate – Raise it gradually if necessary, so as not to create too much shock)
The new group tuition rate will instituted in tiers, beginning at $109/mo starting Feb 2015 (billing Jan 20 2015), and moving to $119/mo in Sept 2015 so that we’re caught up to where we need to be for the longer term.
(6. VALUE exposition)
The benefits of being a member of Impulse have increased dramatically over the last 5 years.
(7. Why we’re the best AND continuing to get better)
We didn’t use to, but now provide…
- transportation to all local (within 60 mi) concert performances at no cost to students
- access to our facility after school on most days of the week
- complimentary tuition to all seminars/conferences that we attend as guests
- partially subsidized tour pricing by VoiceWorks
- a LOT more connections in the world of music education and handbells, so that our students can have these people as a resource when needed. (David was just awarded a scholarship to summer camp, as a result of these connections. Jenna got a FULL TUITION scholarship to college, based on her resume and experience with Impulse)
- community service hours for time allotted to preparing and performing for charitable events
- …and more benefits to come! It’s only getting better!
In essence, VoiceWorks has been the support organization to Impulse since the beginning, reinvesting its profits (in the areas of voice and musical theater) each year to support the growth of Impulse.
(8. Hearty “Thank you” to parents for supporting their child’s endeavors)
Most of all, I’d like to thank you for your continued support of this organization. Impulse is positioned to be an even greater influence in the world of music education and handbells through our students’ dedication and your support of what they do that is so unique.
(9. Respectful salutation)
Thank you for your time!
Who can argue with that?
I received NO negative response to this email that raised prices by 32%!!!
Why? Because I’m confident that my product is unparalleled, and made that VERY clear in my email.
I challenge you to raise your prices just 10% tonight!
Use my formula, send that email and see what happens! Pressing send my be horrifying to you, since you could get a negative response. But think about it for a second… If you’re an awesome teacher who hasn’t raised prices for a few years (or never) and you ask for this 10%, a negative response from a customer may just mean that this was the wrong customer for you! Now you have a spot to offer an even more enthusiastic customer who can love you at the right price! Sometimes, in our business, a lost customer is a blessing in disguise.
Comment below with your value prop email, and I’ll do what I can to help!
Find Ryan on Twitter @ryanmguth
Blogs at www.ryanguth.com
Recognized for his energetic and fun approach to ensemble direction, Ryan Guth is currently serving as Choral Director at Marlboro Memorial Middle School in Morganville, NJ, where he directs four vocal and two handbell ensembles. Ryan also owns VoiceWorks, a performing arts school for young singers, actors, and [strangely enough] handbell musicians. In addition to running the company, he directs two of VoiceWorks’ high school ensembles: Viridis, a classical choral ensemble, and Impulse Handbell Ensemble. Groups under Ryan’s direction have been featured on radio stations throughout the US and Canada, in the Huffington Post Online, the Today Show, and on professional stages around New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Impulse Handbell Ensemble, his most sought-after performing group, was recently featured on the cover of “Overtones” magazine, the official publication of The Handbell Musicians of America. They also played the opening concert at the 2014 Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar in Atlanta, GA. Ryan is a sought-after clinician in the world of handbells and music entrepreneurship. As a baritone, Ryan often sings as a soloist in choral-orchestral oratorio concerts. Last year he performed as a soloist in Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb at Princeton University Chapel under conductor Ryan Brandau, inHandel’s Israel in Egypt with the Westminster Chamber Choir under Joe Miller, and in Bach’s Cantata 131 Aus der Tiefen. He currently resides in Princeton, New Jersey, the city of his alma mater Westminster Choir College. Connect with Ryan at www.ryanguth.com.