I got good advice early in my career:
NEVER DEVALUE YOUR WORK.
“Always attach a level of compensation to it, other than times when you might want to donate your services.”
I clearly recall starting out as a reflexologist in Toronto in 1983 and being approached by an old family friend wanting work and not having the money to pay for it. My bleeding heart naturally wanted to just give her the sessions, but I heard my reflexology teacher’s voice in my head, reminding me that if I didn’t place a value on my work, neither would the public.
So, I bit the bullet and suggested that we do a trade. She was a fabulous gourmet cook (raised in restaurants), and I loved good food and people willing to cook for me – so it seemed like the perfect exchange to me.
We worked together weekly for a number of months. I would go to her home for a delicious three-course luncheon and then give her a foot reflexology session.
Setting my fee back then in Toronto, when all I did was reflexology, was pretty easy. I remember it was $25 for a session. (Remember, this was 1983!) Years later when I began to practice massage therapy, setting fees wasn’t so easy.
My massages were 60 minutes; my reflexology sessions 45. Should I charge less for reflexology since I was spending less time doing hands-on? And because it’s so much easier on my body? Or should I charge more because reflexology is a specialization and I had certification credentials to back me up?
Here are some of the considerations that played into my ultimate decision:
Charge More For Reflexology
– Additional time, money and commitment to earning specialization warrants a higher price tag.
– Reflexology can address more than massage can; internal health issues (digestive, endocrine, respiratory, etc.), as well as musculoskeletal pain tackled by massage.
– Fewer qualified therapists offering reflexology so my time would be at a premium.
– Better results with reflexology.
– Services are perceived as more valuable if the fee is higher.
Charge Less For Reflexology
– Less hands-on time.
– Reflexology is not as hard on my body.
– I could be over-booked and not meeting my expenses by charging less than I need.
– Lower-priced service could be viewed as inferior.
– A lower price might entice people to try reflexology.
So, what did I decide?
Ultimately, I decided to price my massage sessions with the industry standards in my city and charge a higher rate for reflexology. I also decided to begin all reflexology sessions with a short hydrotherapy feature, which added in a few more minutes to the hands-on time. And that felt good to me.
How about you? How do you determine what to charge for your services?
Tanya Boehland says
Setting my fee has been the most difficult aspect of my 5 year full-time Reflexology practice. On September first I raised my 60 min session from $60 to $70 to better align with my 30 min session of $35. I was expecting to lose some business, and hear some complaints and possible backlash from my regulars about how I had just raised my fee from $50 to $60 just 18 months prior., and now I upped my fee again. But the exact opposite happened. My clients have been booking out MORE consistsntly since September 1, and my first available appointment ( I can do Reflexology 6 hours/day at 4.5 Days/ week) as of today is January 29.
I raised my fee and I got busier…. go figure! It’s strange, but I value my service greater now as well. I feel like I am delivering better Reflexology after I raised my fees. I wasn’t expecting this response at all.
Karen Ball says
It is odd how that works, isn’t it, Tanya? The more we value ourselves and what we have to offer, the more others will.