Should some professions tell people how much they make?

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Derivative
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Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by Derivative » Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:16 am

I currently work as a private tutor and college/personal statement/test prep advising consultant and charge $60+/hr. I am relatively young (20's) and short-statured (I look like I am in high school). I have graduated from top universities in California and won many prestigious scholarships (totaling over $120k a piece, including 2 full-ride scholarships). I am wondering if I should show people proof of my income through tutoring so that other people know "for sure" how much I make through tutoring and how many clients I really have? What about my degrees and scholarships (full-rides at prestigious universities)? Do you think it would be a good idea to bring them in an portfolio to show people?

I have some people that quit early after 2 or so months and I am not sure if showing them these things would strengthen my ability for them to get them to tutor with me longer. I also have people that have been with me for 3+ years. I know that their kids need tutoring to keep their grades up and that they need the SAT/AP prep (but that they might choose to look elsewhere and maybe for cheaper options). I also have some people who are skeptical from the beginning (again due to my cute and young high-school appearance) and decide not to even start tutoring (even after setting up a session and after reading my online profiles). I think a lot of people are shocked (based on their initial facial expressions) that I am this young and am charging this much, and that I have made over $120,000 from just one tutoring site (based on the number of hours it shows). I even had one woman lawyer who shed a tear when she first saw me (I was hired to tutor her elementary school daughter and son), like she was getting scammed or something. She stopped after a couple months of tutoring (which they were satisfied, but always seemed to question my credentials and scholarships). People have even asked me (despite my online reviews) to provide references.

Many of my clients live in 1 million dollar, 2 million dollar, even 5 million dollar+ homes.

What about in other professions, such as real estate? Don't real estate agents need to "show" other people someone that what they advertise (that they have sold this # of homes, etc.) is really true?

Below is an example of what I may look like:

Image
Last edited by Derivative on Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

AlohaJoe
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by AlohaJoe » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:04 am

If they don't trust your credentials why would they trust your claims about how much you make?

That said: yes, social proof is a thing. Normally people deal with this kind of thing by giving out references and telling prospects to call a reference.

Derivative
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by Derivative » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:11 am

AlohaJoe wrote:If they don't trust your credentials why would they trust your claims about how much you make?

That said: yes, social proof is a thing. Normally people deal with this kind of thing by giving out references and telling prospects to call a reference.
So you are saying that my appearance is causing them to not trust my credentials? Wow, so basically young, short, cute guys are screwed out of every consulting job? I think I would have to be age 40+ to start looking "old," "experienced," and "credentialed."

I might as well just bring all of my diplomas and scholarships around in a portfolio then or do something other than consulting if the amount I charge can be capped?

stan1
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by stan1 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:28 am

It's the nature of the job. Some parents aren't going to continue paying for a tutor unless they see quick results. What I'd do is build your resume/CV by listing your qualifications (including education, GPA, scholarships, years of experience tutoring, number of clients). You could list some of the schools that your students have been admitted to although I think I'd focus on the kids you've been long term tutors for not just a few months. Don't list how much income you made tutoring. Don't be offended if someone asks you for references.

Some parents aren't going to view tutoring as a long term commitment so yeah you'll need to do some subtle marketing to help them understand the long term value. You can use your age as an advantage: you can relate better to the kids since you've more recently "been in their shoes". It's a customer service job so make sure the parents know your approach. You'll need to develop an ability to anticipate what parents are looking for and provide that so they keep you on the job. If there aren't immediate test results or grades you'll need to explain to the parents what other benefits you are seeing. The personalities of the parents, kids and tutor will need to mesh.

Has nothing to do with being "young, short, and cute" unless it comes across like you aren't professional. Again you will have to learn to read what people are looking for. Some parents want learning to be fun for their kids and will understand that if the kid enjoys a subject grades will improve. Others want an A next week.

TX_Man
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by TX_Man » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:22 am

Derivative wrote:
So you are saying that my appearance is causing them to not trust my credentials? Wow, so basically young, short, cute guys are screwed out of every consulting job? I think I would have to be age 40+ to start looking "old," "experienced," and "credentialed."

I might as well just bring all of my diplomas and scholarships around in a portfolio then or do something other than consulting if the amount I charge can be capped?

Yes, appearance has a major impact on how individuals view others. CEOs of major companies are disproportionately tall. Just ask women how they view short men. As a short, unattractive guy who is now in his 30s there are only so many things that can be done. Dress nice, keep yourself properly groomed, etc.

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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by AlohaJoe » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:04 am

Derivative wrote:
AlohaJoe wrote:If they don't trust your credentials why would they trust your claims about how much you make?

That said: yes, social proof is a thing. Normally people deal with this kind of thing by giving out references and telling prospects to call a reference.
So you are saying that my appearance is causing them to not trust my credentials? Wow, so basically young, short, cute guys are screwed out of every consulting job?
I didn't say anything remotely close to any of that and frankly I'm a bit at a loss to see how you could have reached that conclusion based on what I wrote. I didn't say a single thing about your appearance.

No, young, short, cute guys are not screwed out of every consulting job.

Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:32 am

If you think your appearance is an issue, have you tried to do anything about trying to look older? Some ideas: suit and tie, facial hair, shoes with built in heels, dying some hairs gray, don't smile very much and look serious, speak like it's 1957 instead of 2017 (no modern lingo or slang). Anyway, just some things you could try. I'm not sure if it's really your appearance that's the main issue, but if you think it is, you could try to alter it. Good luck.

J295
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by J295 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:47 am

Why speculate? Get hard facts by asking current and former clients for evaluations. Structure the evaluation form appropriately so you get meaningful feedback.

Then, with good facts, you can form a strategy to maximize the opportunities to meet your objectives.

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Pajamas
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by Pajamas » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:07 am

It is very appropriate to provide your credentials and experience and references, but not at all appropriate to state your income.

If your prices are not out of the usual range for the services that you are providing and for someone with your qualifications and experience, the problem is more likely that people simply don't want to spend a lot of money on a tutor for their children, especially since the results take a while to be evident and are not always clearly due to the tutoring as opposed to regular schooling.

You might incorporate some ways to demonstrate results to the parents into your tutoring methods if you haven't already, such as assessments using pre- & post-tests and then providing a summary with your evaluation of the student's progress and plans for continued instruction to address particular areas of need on a regular basis. People like to know what they are paying for and they like to see results.

You can't do anything about your inherent characteristics such as age and physical appearance and gender other than to make an effort to present yourself as a confident adult in both appearance and manner. Maybe you could carry a nice briefcase and wear expensive shoes.

gr7070
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by gr7070 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:19 am

No one will care about your scholarships. You've graduated; you shouldn't either.

The prestigious universities don't really matter much anymore either. Once you're a couple years removed from school most folks couldn't care less where you graduated from. Stanford graduates a few idiots or slackers, and more than a few ordinary performers. You might be one of them. The school alone doesn't mean much.

If you have clients that would be impressed by it you might be able to subtly use that to benefit. I'd ignore it and focus on providing recognized value to your clients and employees.

Telling your employees how much you make/charge is likely a bad idea.

Your customers can have some idea how much you make using the simple math you might tutor in. They know how much you charge. You don't need to tell them anything else about you financially.

Having documentation on your industry's finances (and benefits) to present to clients *might* help you.

*If* your appearance is a problem improving that is probably the best way to improve your success. A post above had good suggestions; suit, facial hair, etc. You claim to be attractive; that is (highly?) unlikely a part of the problem.

Improving unrelated items certainly should help, but probably not as much, and the things you pointed to don't appear that they'd help.

There is an element in your posts suggesting that your past successes should benefit you directly from these clients and employees now. They should only benefit you indirectly. What you provide to your clients and employees directly, today and tomorrow is nearly all that will benefit you. They're not going to pay you more or stay longer because of some silly scholarship no one but you and your parents care about. You should be proud of that scholarship; you should recognize absolutely no one else cares beyond superficially.

Your initial post has some oddities to it. Your first response is downright odd.

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Tycoon
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by Tycoon » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:36 am

Results matter. Turn a few dunces into geniuses and word will travel from million dollar house to million dollar house no matter how old, smart, or tall you are. Fail and word will travel from million dollar house to million dollar house, and more likely the reason will be that you're too young, short, dumb, etc...

I wouldn't tell how much I earn.

Good luck.
...I might be just beginning | I might be near the end. Enya | | C'est la vie

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warowits
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by warowits » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:37 am

People who hire you and then quit after 2 months clearly aren't doing because of your appearance. Make sure in your marketing that tutoring should be a long term commitment. Maybe even sign yearly contracts once they have done an intro period. I can't sign my kid up for flute lessons or gymnastics without a yearly contract, parents will be familiar with the drill.

Also you are in business now, no one cares about your insecurities. Offer better results and service than your competitors.
There are an army of people whose pay checks depend on convincing people to invest in ways that are against their self interest. This forum is the volunteer army that fights back!

Barefoot
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by Barefoot » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:55 am

Tycoon wrote:Results matter
This x1000

newbie_Mo
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by newbie_Mo » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:59 am

You keep talking about your "young, short, cute guy" look. Being a cute guy is fine but showing off that is another story. Try to lay off your I am a young and cute guy mentality and show results then your clients would no drop you.

jimmy123
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by jimmy123 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:46 pm

I have graduated from top universities in California and won many prestigious scholarships (totaling over $120k a piece, including 2 full-ride scholarships).
Degree(s) from well known universities are relevant. The fact that you got a scholarship there is irrelevant - unless it is some particularly prestigious award (Rhodes, Fulbright). In fact, for your VHNW customers they might see a 'scholarship kid' as being from a lower social status.

As a counterexample, I was slightly bemused to see a local physician whose advertising spiel referenced coming top in his medical school class. Totally irrelevant to me and an odd thing to mention in my mind. Board Certification and bedside manner are all I care about for minor medical procedures.
Many of my clients live in 1 million dollar, 2 million dollar, even 5 million dollar+ homes.
For some areas of CA I understand $1M is not an 'expensive' home. Further, you have no idea how these are financed. Don't assume someone with a $5M home is high net worth.
What about in other professions, such as real estate? Don't real estate agents need to "show" other people someone that what they advertise (that they have sold this # of homes, etc.) is really true?
RE and the law are very much reputation based. I have only ever worked off friends/colleagues recommendations for attorneys or RE.

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Tamarind
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by Tamarind » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:07 pm

gr7070 wrote:No one will care about your scholarships. You've graduated; you shouldn't either.

The prestigious universities don't really matter much anymore either. Once you're a couple years removed from school most folks couldn't care less where you graduated from. Stanford graduates a few idiots or slackers, and more than a few ordinary performers. You might be one of them. The school alone doesn't mean much.
+1

I'm sure OP is a fine tutor, but how much you make as a tutor is not relevant to the parents who are going to buy your services. They want to know how much their darling children will make as doctors, lawyers, engineers, consultants, etc.

If you want to show potential clients proof of the good you can do, positive client evaluations or documented proof of improvement in test scores or grades of the students you've tutored would be best.

JGoneRiding
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by JGoneRiding » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:12 pm

I wouldn't do a portfolio but rather have a very good about me section online.

Atgard
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by Atgard » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:15 pm

If you were booking clients left and right, then when you show up & they see you they said "Uh, never mind, kid, here's a quarter to go buy a lollipop," then it might be your age that's a problem.

But you said you have tutored some kids for a couple months then were let go. That no longer has to do with your age. That means they tried you out, and didn't feel they were getting their money's worth.

Saying "I made this much last year" wouldn't really matter to me. First of all, they know your hourly rate. How many hours you worked is probably based more on how good you are at finding clients, how hard a worker you are, etc. But I doubt if someone didn't want to hire you, you telling them "But I got a scholarship and made $120,000 last year!" is going to change their mind. Even if your age IS an issue to them, what may be helpful would be proving your maturity, explaining how much experience you have (not "I made $X last year," but "I have tutored X number of years or Y number of hours or Z number of clients"), letting them know about your relevant credentials/degrees, etc.

learning_head
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by learning_head » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:19 pm

Or come up with an offer to align your interests with parents? E.g. offer to return 50% of all fees if grades do not improve at least by 1 letter after 1 semester?

PoppyA
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by PoppyA » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:57 pm

How long have you been in this field?

Are you not making enough money?

I strongly believe you can charge whatever you want as long as you get results. Word of mouth will keep you in business.
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letsgobobby
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:12 pm

Atgard wrote: But you said you have tutored some kids for a couple months then were let go. That no longer has to do with your age. That means they tried you out, and didn't feel they were getting their money's worth.
This is it.

People gave you a chance, despite your appearance. They tried you out, and didn't stay. That has nothing to do with appearance, but with performance.

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vitaflo
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by vitaflo » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:55 pm

The only thing that matters when you're a consultant is your network, and your network comes from working hard and being pleasant to work with. It has little to do with your age, looks, education or how much cash you bring in, and it doesn't happen overnight. It takes many years of work.

I've been consulting for many years. I've never gotten a gig because of my degree(s) or how much money I make (that would be the *last* thing I would ever discuss with someone, lest you want them to think you only care about the money). Nobody is impressed by these things.

You need to learn how to sell yourself. Yeah that means references. References are the life blood of the consultant. Without them you are nothing. You can't expect people to just take you at your word. Anyone can talk up how "important" they are. That's why a network is so important. You need other people to vouch for you if you want to succeed.

That takes time. But after a while, it snowballs. I don't look for gigs anymore, I don't have to. Enough people know me that I more often turn down work than take it. But it took a while to get there. Making excuses is just going to delay that for you. That's just how the real world works.

daveydoo
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by daveydoo » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:13 pm

I think you're fighting an uphill battle. You're in a field/profession where there is no expectation that you're a highly paid genius. You're tutoring elementary school students. Should you be accorded more respect than their "regular" all-day teachers -- whom, I'll add, get very little respect in many of those same multi-million-dollar households? (And on this forum)

Imo, it's not you, it's them. People hire part-time tutors all the time.

If it were me (and my kids), I'd be thrilled to see a bright, energetic, successful young person. At the very least, they'd be a role model and I'd know they practice what they preach. We did this once for one of my kids and got a laconic, low-energy oldster whom we met regularly at Starbucks and it just didn't fill me with confidence.

I agree with keeping a portfolio of your successes and of ready references (with permission, of course). I think that's more important than your list of scholarships. You can even say up front, "I invite the families of my students to serve as references for my potential future students!" It means you have confidence in your success.

You sound like you could do anything. Are you sure this is it?
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

bsteiner
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by bsteiner » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:12 pm

Derivative wrote:I currently work as a private tutor and college/personal statement/test prep advising consultant and charge $60+/hr. ...
When I was in high school I used to do math tutoring for free through the school, and for $3 a hour for people hiring me directly.

gr7070
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by gr7070 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:15 pm

daveydoo wrote: their "regular" all-day teachers -- whom, I'll add, get very little respect in manyof those same multi-million-dollar households?
This teacher's spouse corrected that for you. ; )
daveydoo wrote: You sound like you could do anything.
Well, if it weren't for those handicapping, youthful, great looks. ; )
Sorry, i couldn't help myself.

abracadabra11
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by abracadabra11 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:25 pm

I think you're overly focused on yourself and not sufficiently focused on your clients. Credentials are great in that they provide background on your academic success. But that doesn't necessarily separate you from your competitors. If I'm a potential client, I want you to have the academic pedigree AND I want you to show me that your tutees have improved under your tutelage. I think you need to focus on improving the second part of your value proposition.

I'm assuming you do this to supplement an existing job.

MoonOrb
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by MoonOrb » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:52 pm

If you haven't read it already, pick up a copy of "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie.

It's one of a few books that has had a profound impact on my life and I imagine it can hold great insight for someone who is talented and hardworking and has a lot to offer prospective clients. You might find it enormously helpful, as I did--or you might just waste $5 and a few hours of time, who knows! But it could help you put yourself in position to keep the clients you have and gain more new ones, too.

GrandMasterBlaster
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by GrandMasterBlaster » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:52 pm

I tutor full-time and have built up a very steady business for myself in the last five years. I understand what you're going through. There's only one thing you can do to make people trust you: get results. With that said, helping a student get from a C to a B+ only registers so much on a busy professional's radar. I would recommend focusing on the standardized tests, which will allow you to demonstrate value through scholarship savings and status-symbol college acceptances for the children of high-worth parents. Once you have a few kids go up 10 points on the ACT or a couple hundred on the SAT and then get in to an Ivy, your results will sell themselves. I would also recommend selling your time in packaged courses. For instance, I sell my clients packages of 20, 30, or 40 hours in which I supply all the books (get an Amazon Prime account), a test-approved timer, and access to online content. This has the advantage of a defined timeline, typically targeting two consecutive tests. This also takes the emphasis off of your hourly rate. Technically, I charge 80+ an hour, but since I am selling a package that has a proven payoff, people view it more as an investment.

If you know your subject matter like the back of your hand and are able to help students achieve substantial improvements on very important tests, your program will sell itself. Keep practicing until your success is evident to prospective clients.

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ClevrChico
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by ClevrChico » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:12 pm

I can relate to your situation. Facial hair and even some gray highlights in your hair will make you look older.

I would not tell people how much you make. Given your hourly rate, it's pretty simple to multiply it by 2080. :)

As a parent, we're always testing what works best with our kids, and what THEY like. We've made several changes to after school activities and classes. I think it's a pretty normal thing most parents do. It had nothing to do with credentials or pricing. We have finite extra time, and we want to make the most of it. I wouldn't take it personally.

joeblow
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by joeblow » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:57 pm

Sounds like you have to work harder and not expect things to be handed to you.

HAL 9000
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by HAL 9000 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:10 pm

I wouldn't hire someone who humble bragged about money and scholarships. I would hire someone with good recommendations who gets results. Other character traits: honesty, integrity, punctuality, likeability.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. - Ben Franklin

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unclescrooge
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by unclescrooge » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:09 am

JGoneRiding wrote:I wouldn't do a portfolio but rather have a very good about me section online.
+1
Also put student testimonials below it.

A close friend of mine charges $280/hr for SAT prep and essay writing.

But he started low 15 years ago.

Most of his clients are wealthy business owners that live in $15-30 million houses.

Leemiller
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by Leemiller » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:31 am

As a parent, I'd like to see a one page or so tightly edited resume. Where you went to school would be a factor I'd consider. You might as well list scholarships but keep it short. I got a full tuition ride to law school and it still is noticed. You could include a page of testimonials or references. Better yet take your favorite clients and ask them to refer someone. When they do give them and their friend a free hour or give them a nice package of educational materials for their kid. This way you may get people more like your favorite clients.

I'd want you to provide me with information on how to help my kid when you aren't there - like the books/ teaching plan the other poster mentioned. Bringing a 'free' packet of worksheets or a book after a consultation
would be a good value add. I'd also want someone to focus on both measuring my kid's progress and spending the time to convey that progress to me. You'd win respect for doing so as an add-on and not charging $60 and hour for that portion of the conversation with parents. Just some thoughts.

Being attractive is never a negative. One thing I'd suggest is mirroring your clients. Do they wear Brooks Brothers, then perhaps buy some business casual clothing from there. I don't think you should wear a suit, that strikes me as odd. You want to look like you earn money. This means something like nice dark wash jeans or khakis, a polo or linen shirt, nice leather or suede loafers (do not skimp on shoes).

alex_686
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by alex_686 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:39 am

Ron Ronnerson wrote:If you think your appearance is an issue, have you tried to do anything about trying to look older? Some ideas: suit and tie, facial hair, shoes with built in heels, dying some hairs gray, don't smile very much and look serious, speak like it's 1957 instead of 2017 (no modern lingo or slang). Anyway, just some things you could try. I'm not sure if it's really your appearance that's the main issue, but if you think it is, you could try to alter it. Good luck.
"Signaling" is a thing. You are selling a intangible, so your brand is going to consist of intangibles. I am not entirely sure that Ron's advice is practical when trying to tutor young kids. Not everybody can pull off a bread. I might suggest premium business cards, carry a leather (or some other premium brand) briefcase. Fake a Oxford accent. Or better, talk up your work with the alumni association. Up the price you charge for tutoring.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:43 am

HAL 9000 wrote:I wouldn't hire someone who humble bragged about money and scholarships. I would hire someone with good recommendations who gets results. Other character traits: honesty, integrity, punctuality, likeability.
+1

Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by Ron Ronnerson » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:13 pm

alex_686 wrote:
Ron Ronnerson wrote:If you think your appearance is an issue, have you tried to do anything about trying to look older? Some ideas: suit and tie, facial hair, shoes with built in heels, dying some hairs gray, don't smile very much and look serious, speak like it's 1957 instead of 2017 (no modern lingo or slang). Anyway, just some things you could try. I'm not sure if it's really your appearance that's the main issue, but if you think it is, you could try to alter it. Good luck.
"Signaling" is a thing. You are selling a intangible, so your brand is going to consist of intangibles. I am not entirely sure that Ron's advice is practical when trying to tutor young kids. Not everybody can pull off a bread. I might suggest premium business cards, carry a leather (or some other premium brand) briefcase. Fake a Oxford accent. Or better, talk up your work with the alumni association. Up the price you charge for tutoring.
...all while smoking a pipe, wearing a suit with professorial elbow patches, and carrying around classical literature books loosely under one arm. Okay, okay, some of it might be taking it too far. But if the guy is worried about seeming too young, putting on a tie and growing a mustache (if he's so inclined), and speaking in a professional manner is easy enough to achieve. He doesn't have to be fake to try to seem more mature.

Also, I'm really not sure if this is his real problem but since he seems to think it is, he does have the ability to do some things to seem a little older. I have a friend in his 30s who looks like a teenager. Part of this is due to how he dresses, talks, and styles his hair. These are things people have control over.

By the way, I do sort of understand the clientele. I teach elementary school and my students come from wealthy families. I put on a tie and dress pants throughout my 30s (and suit on occasion as well). Now that I've started to go gray naturally in my 40s, I dress in khakis and a dress shirt (without the tie) as I don't want to look quite so old. I'm still the same me even though I've altered my appearance a tad over the years.

Atgard
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by Atgard » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:31 pm

I have good news. If your "problem" is not being old enough, this is a problem that I am 100% sure will resolve itself without you needing to do anything about it.

Nowizard
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by Nowizard » Mon Apr 24, 2017 1:57 pm

You come across as someone having self-confidence and as having the results to justify it. You also come across as having perhaps inaccurately determined why people question you, decide not to follow through, leave early, etc. You are engaging in activities that have results difficult to evaluate or that require belief on the part of parents that the results will appear over time.

My profession was similar in those characteristics. My approach was to provide answers to reasonable questions about background, techniques, charges, etc. during a first session, presenting that in writing and in conference. Grades, schools attended, etc. were never a significant issue, but referrals by past, satisfied clients were very important.

That being said, I would always say something like the following to prospective clients in a first meeting: "I am competent in what I do, committed to understanding your goals and open to explaining my approaches. What I know is often secondary to the relationship we establish in terms of motivation and eventual success. Though I am competent, it is your decision whether I am the right, competent person for you."

That approach was open, based on personal experience with other clients, and reflected that none of us can be all things to all potential clients regardless of why they choose us. I won't even mention that some who choose us leave because it turned out that we were not the best person for that particular client, even though we remained competent! :happy

Tim

kaudrey
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by kaudrey » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:45 am

You should have a resume (which will include your education, scholarships and experience), and references. Just as if you were applying for a full-time job, because with each new client, you are applying for a job.

But it is nobody's business what you earn, and you shouldn't have to carry documents around with you.

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rocket354
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Re: Should some professions tell people how much they make?

Post by rocket354 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:23 am

I had my own private tutoring business for 7 years. I have a few thoughts on what you wrote.

1) Your appearance does matter. Some people will like older tutors who seem more wise, mature and serious. Some people will like younger tutors who seem to be more fun and able to relate to the student. You can't do anything about this. You will, in fact, evolve from the latter into the former as long as you continue to tutor.

2) Most of your reliable business will come from referrals. If you aren't getting a steady stream of referral business, then you should worry about that.

3) As others have mentioned above, if people are trying you for 2 months and then moving on, the problem is not your appearance. You might have satisfied all they needed (their kid eeked out a C in their class, and now it's back to saving money until the next time the kid is in danger of failing). Or they don't feel like they are getting value (whether it's true or not). Often, there's nothing you can do about this, either. You can do better, but if you stress yourself out and it comes across in your sessions then that will just hurt you.

4) People setting up sessions and then bailing is normal. Just think how often you've put something in an online shopping cart and never followed through. I'd be more amazed if that didn't happen to you very often.

5) Credentials are important (I went to such and such school, I've been tutoring for X years). Success stories and references are important. You can mention indirectly how busy you are (My schedule is tight but I have space on Y night and if we get on a regular schedule I can reserve a spot for you). I think waving your total income around is a baaaad move. It reeks of either conceit or desperation, and will not endear people to you.

6) You say you're doing very well. Very few tutors get $60+/hour (I did and I knew a few others, but I knew many dozens and dozens of tutors). Few tutors make >$120k over their tutoring career. You might be doing just fine, and be worrying about things that are beyond your control. There's always tire-kickers, or people for whom you aren't a good fit. If you have a busy schedule and high rates you are a 99th percentile tutor. Different personalities/appearances/teachings styles appeal to different people and all you can do is max out your business within the market you naturally appeal to the most. Don't ruin what you have chasing after what you can't get.

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