Is It Crazy For You To Keep Charging By The Hour?

In my work as a consultant and mentor for online teachers, there's a set of points that come up on a regular basis. Our stories go through similar storylines, and our lives unravel with the same grinding points that gradually push you towards the point where you feel the need to DO SOMETHING.

One of those points is that moment where you look up from your computer screen after hours of teaching online, examine your notes and realize you're exhausted. Your ears are ringing from the tinny sound of Skype calls in your headphones. Your notebook is full. Your students made a bit of progress. You have 4 hours to go, a blog article to write, and need to get your taxes done.

This wasn't quite how you planned it. When you started offering online lessons, taking your first students seemed like a miracle. You thought that getting 20 more students would mean 20x more income, and you'd be set for life. But in all that, you forgot all the extra things that surround 20 extra students. Admin, invoicing, marketing, and ultimately denying yourself the chance to work with people at your own best level.

If reading this description has you nodding along, I say it's time to break out of charging by the hour for a generic language lesson. The following five steps are how you can grow into an invaluable resource, help people more than ever before, and become a true specialist.

5 Simple Steps to Packaging Your Services

A package is a bundled version of the things you already do, put together for one specific purpose. For example, if you know your students get stressed before exams you could offer a focused package of study plan + mock exam + coaching session about how to stay calm. This allows you to improve how you express the full 360 degress of work you do for students.

Sound good? Let's get into the 5 steps.

1. Focus, Focus, Focus

Package deals are best when you really focus on one specific goal that your customers might have. Of course you have enormous potential and capacities to work with a range of people, several languages, perhaps to offer thousands of scenarios. But for the purpose of this one deal, just focus on one goal that a customer will have.

For example, a vague package might be "5 lessons for the price of 4". But a specific and focused one could be "IELTS test prep - 3 mock exams, a booklet of success secrets and detailed writing coaching to get you to IELTS 8.0 guaranteed!". See the difference?

2. Automate Set Pieces

When there is a part of your work that you repeat many times over, it could be time to automate it. If you teach online or coach with clients, you are likely to do this already by recycling the best learning materials. What if you collected them all in a small guide or created a recording that is exclusive to your clients? This can become a valuable and exclusive part of your new and shiny package.

3. Keep an Open Mind

After creating an awesome idea for a package deal, it's tempting to think the product is finished already, but it may help you to get a little bit of feedback and work through it with one or two testers. These guys are often called beta clients, and will be ready to give you

4. Set a Short-Term Goal

What do you think you could achieve for your shiny new package (hah!) in 2 weeks?

Some ideas:

  • Promote it on a podcast, in a newspaper or on your blog (check out the end of this article)
  • Get your first paying client through the door
  • Conduct a free trial run

5. Promote Small and Close

I think every one-person business dreams of being bigger, having a video editor, a copywriter, a blog writer, perhaps someone just to focus on running your Facebook page. But at this stage, you might be just flying solo out in the professional world. Not a problem!

Forget a huge marketing campaign and try to reach out to your closest allies, people you usually hang out with, places where your customers are. If you need to make money NOW, it's a good idea to offer the package to your mailing list or even ask an influential blogger or teacher whether they can help you promote. For long-term thinking, nothing beats building your own platform.

Package Magic - An Intro Offer

If you dream abandoning money-per-hour and don't even know where to get started, I have a deal for you. I am in the process of designing a package ;) that will help service providers just like you get started with packaging their services.

Step 1: You bring me all your current processes, prices, products and problems.

Step 2: We go through a creative and thorough process to help you create a new package idea that fits in with your target client and has some great earnings potential.

Step 3: I'll help you shape your brand new package page and draw up a 2 week marketing plan.

This offer is perfect for you if you're an independent service provider. You want to try something new, work with my experience and marketing skill, and get accountability for yourself by working with a mentor.

Curious about this deal? Then book a slot in my diary and let's chat about your individual requirements.