How to set rates for private yoga students.
I recently got a question inside the Yoga Teachers Who Mean Business FB group about setting rates for private yoga students.
Should your private rate vary based on the market you’re in, or should it simply be a reflection of your worth?
The answer is: probably both.
The “going rate” for private yoga sessions can vary widely from person to person. Some folks feel happy providing their services for $30/hour, while others are comfortable charging $200+/hour without blinking.
So how do you know what rate is right for you?
There are two main elements you need to consider when setting your rates for private students: information and instinct.
You get information by finding out how much other teachers are charging for their private sessions. Reach out to the teachers you know and ask if they will divulge their private rates to you. Check out teacher websites and see if they have their prices posted.
Information helps you bring a practical business acumen to the services you’re providing. If, for example, you speak to 10 teachers in your area and find out that they all charge between $75-$125 for a 60-minute private, you have a good sense of the going rate in your market. At a price point of $175/hour, you might attract fewer clients (although that’s not a bad thing, keep reading!).
On the other hand, if you were planning to charge $50/session, now you can confidently raise your rates, knowing there are plenty of people who will pay significantly more than that.
Here’s the thing about information, and this is what came up during that conversation on Facebook: you have to have enough data for it to be meaningful. If you speak to just one or two teachers, you may not have enough data to actually determine the average rate for private sessions in your market. Both of those teachers could be outliers. Maybe one of them is working through their own money stuff and undervalues their services. Maybe both of them are undervaluing themselves.
That’s why you want to speak with several people (I recommend 6-10) before you determine the average rate for private sessions in your area.
It is vital that you rely on your own instinct when you set your private rates. Information is meant to act as the background, but your instinct is what helps you actually make decisions.
Here’s what I mean. Let’s suppose you speak with 8 teachers about their private rates. You’re in a smaller market, and what you hear is that teachers are charging $40-$60/hour, on average, for their private sessions.
Maybe that sounds great to you. So you set your own price at $50/hour and you’re on your way.
But maybe that just doesn’t feel like enough. You’ve been doing a lot of work on your mindset around money. You’re feeling open to abundance. And you don’t want to play small.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got around pricing was that it should make you feel a little queasy, but not like you’re going to throw up. Graphic image, I know, but the gist is that the best pricing is outside of your comfort zone, but not so far outside that you can’t confidently stand behind the price you’re asking for.
So before you finalizing any pricing, spend a little time with yourself. Meditate or journal. Reflect on a price that will make you feel good. A price where you’ll be happy to show up. A price that’s worth your energy and your time.
That price may line up with other teachers in your market. It may be higher. And if that’s the case, you can feel really confident about that choice. You didn’t recklessly set a sky-high private rate you can’t stand by, nor did you let yourself be limited by what your peers were charging. You used information and instinct together to make a choice that’s right for you.
P.S. I’ll kick things off by sharing my private rates with you. I charge between $100-$125/private session in my space, with a travel fee (usually $25) if I go to another space. :)