If you’re thinking about launching a tarot business, you might want to consult with some folks who’ve been at their game a while. I’ve done the work for you! Gathered here are some wise tidbits about tarot business that you might find useful, whether you are just dipping your toes in or already killing it for decades. Check out what some of my favorite tarot pros have to share:
Arwen Lynch: Use a scheduler app for your page. Otherwise you will have to devote time to “are you available on …” “no, but I am available on…” “Okay but that’s not good for me, what about…” emails or phone calls. And update your schedule every week. It’s worth the money to pay for a good scheduler.
Andrew McGregor: It can feel hard in the beginning, especially if you “need the money”, to say no to clients you don’t enjoy working with. However, whoever you work with will be the kind of client you get more of. So asking yourself “If I had 5 times more of this kind of client would I be happy?”
James Wells: Focus on telling people (whether verbally or in your materials) what you DO do rather than going on and on about what you don’t do. A little bit of “this isn’t my thing” is OK, but then spend most of the time on what IS your thing. This will also tell you who your ideal clientele or authentic community or whatever you want to call it is.
Zuri Eberhart: The one area that has really made a difference is the importance of community.
Connect with and build community. It’s not just essential for networking and partnership creation for future collaborations but it keeps your finger on the pulse, what your clients need more of, what they love and gets those creative juices flowing to transform your offerings from mainstream to unique must haves.
Beth Owl’s Daughter: Number one biz advice – Dear newbie: Please do not lose sight of the fact that you have decided this is a business. It’s not a charity. It’s not a hobby, It’s not a barter. it’s not slap-dash or silly.
Which segues into advice number two: Make friends with money. Learn how it works, both practically, and energetically. Don’t be afraid of it, or act like it’s dirty. Honor its power and how it flows.
Hilary Parry: My best business advice comes from YOU, Theresa, and has served me well in pretty much every scenario related to my business: TREAT YOUR BUSINESS LIKE A BUSINESS. Treat it like a hobby, and you’re short-shrifting yourself and your clients.
Toni Gilbert: Good boundaries. For one thing, I have a broad “disclaimer statement” that I have the client read aloud before we both sign and date: “I understand that the counseling and treatments offered by Toni Gilbert complement but do not replace traditional medical care or psychotherapy. Treatment is your choice. The information I give you highlights another way to view health, wellness and spirituality. I do not diagnose disorders, conditions or disease. I occasionally recommend herbal treatments but do not prescribe medication. My care is not intended for primary medical intervention. If you are under the care of a primary healthcare provider, he or she will have first consideration in any decisions regarding your care.” This works very well with a short conversation so that clients know what to expect and what not to expect in a short and concise way.
Andy Matzner: Don’t sell yourself short….that is, be willing to charge more rather than less, because you’re worth it!
Jenna Matlin: My tip – Do not compare yourself to others. Number of likes on pages, follows on instagram– these things do not always translate into dollars in bank accounts or businesses being grown. It is easy to get caught up in noise and in turn to let that noise feed an inner critic who would love nothing more than to keep the status quo. As much as you look at the horizon, it is also just as helpful to look down at your own two feet, one step at a time, keep climbing– your pace is your own.
Vickie Young: The first thing that’s comes to mind is , if every indicator light comes on for you to not book a person or during a reading to not continue the session- LISTEN!
Sheilaa Hite: As a full-time metaphysical business person (Tarot consultant, Astrologer, Medium and more) with a successful practice, I find that clients respect you and your work more easily if, in addition to being compassionate, articulate and accurate, you set and maintain professional boundaries with them, especially in regards to payment, length of consultation and being on time for the session. When you treat your practice and yourself with respect, they know you’ll deal with them the same way, too.
Bonnie Fernandes: Set best practices that work for YOU–not the best practices that work for someone else, no matter how much you admire that person. For example, I deeply admire people who are very organized about their daily routine and schedule. Even in high school I used to write out hour by hour schedules for myself–but never managed to stick to them for even one day. And I have finally figured out that that is okay for me. Rather than planning when I WILL work, it works better for me to plan when I WON’T. If I do that, that means I’m planning to take care of myself, get enough sleep, and get a SLOW start to my day (did you guess that a prime time when I refuse to make appointments is mornings?). My productivity for writing and planning, and my ability to be usefully present for my clients, does not flow well if I try to beat myself into submission with a rigid schedule. It DOES flow well if I make sure to be kind to myself and to nurture myself with plenty of book reading time, quiet time, learning time, and sleep! So now the only things in my schedule that are sacrosanct are my children’s school schedules and my actual appointments. Everything else is subject to change without notice.
Fiona Benjamin: Customer care needs to be the center of any business, including compassionate customer service, quick turnaround for services and products, mobile optimization of your website, and taking the time to read and answer customer feedback. If you are met with complaints from paying customers, take the time to fix it and if possible, ask how you can remedy the issue. Take it as an opportunity to reevaluate your work and consider how to implement a solution to prevent the issue from happening with another customer. Genuine care for your customers generate repeat business and positive feedback. Without the customer, there is no business.
Dixie Vogel: Get comfortable saying “no.” Say it with kindness absolutely, but learn to say it with conviction as well. Boundaries will save your bacon again and again in this business. So many are drawn to this field because they are genuinely nice people who want to help and accommodate, not realizing sometimes, the most helpful thing you can do is say “no” when it needs to be said–both for yourself and your clients.
Nancy Antenucci: Know when you are working, know when you are not working, do the shit you don’t want to do.
Gina Thies: Few may see the distinctions between paid hobbyist and tarot professional, but there are differences. The biggest difference is dedication to getting paid for your higher skills sets! Not just in the “I need to earn some extra cash” sense but mainly, in the “I can’t survive, eat or pay my bills” sense!
Sure, being paid to do readings on the weekend does mean a stake in claiming professional status, but running a business requires more. Another difference is the motivation and desire to make money versus the reluctance to charge what you are worth. Professionals do not have reluctance to being paid!
To put it differently, bartering, trades, donations and free readings do not make you a professional; it makes you a hobbyist. If this line of thinking is a part of your business plan, you can almost guarantee minimal success.
In order to generate the necessary income and cash flow, there needs to be a steady stream of clients contributing to services or products sold for your business. The one last thing I want to offer about setting yourself apart as a professional is the capacity to be of service. This means a pro level of accessibility, reliability, and care for the people that choose your services.
Heatherleigh Navarre: Make a point of getting to know others who work in your field. This will help you cultivate a belief that you don’t have competitors, you have colleagues. Some of these people may become your best support system, providing practical advice, business mentorship, moral support, and even client and gig referrals. They can provide a sounding board, and offer support if and when you face challenges. They keep you from feeling like you are in this alone, and help keep you grounded.
Unless they turn out to be jerks. Then ditch them and seek wise counsel elsewhere.
V. of Red Light Readings: Be firm on your business hours. It may be a bit easier if you work in a brick and mortar establishment, but if you are a reader that primarily handles clients online and through email, learning when to “close up shop” could be a bit trickier.
Just one more email, one more clarification, or a “sure I can get you your reading on Sunday at 1pm” and the next thing you know, you are swamped, not allowing yourself to power down and recharge, and most importantly, teaching your clients that your professional (and perhaps personal) boundaries lack the necessary “oomph” that commands respect.
Configure hours that work with your schedule, post them EVERYWHERE, and play by the rules you’ve set for yourself; your clients will learn the game by watching you in action.
Benebell Wen: Make it as easy and effortless as possible for people to find out about you and to get in touch with you. Locally, that means bulletin board posters advertising your services, having a stash of your business cards with you at all times, and being proactive about networking. Every new person you meet is a potential client. Work your way into a soft sell of your tarot practice and make sure they leave with your card. Online, that means having a strong social media presence.
Most important, a good tarot business requires good tarot practice, and part of your practice should be good bedside manners. Know how to communicate compassion.
Ethony Tarot: The biggest lesson that I have learnt this year that has been challenged time and time again is that I can take up space. My message deserves to be heard. It is not my job to filter what I create because I am afraid to put myself out there or because I am afraid of being judged.
People are more than able to decide if they are interested in my products, offers, blog posts and what I have to say. Not everyone is going to like what I have to say or vibe with it at all and that is okay. I want to connect and share with the people who do. They are my tribe and they are pretty rad.
If you are ever feeling like shrinking into the corner because of fear of what others may think, remember that it is your divine right to shine and share and be who you are. Push past the struggle. That is where real change happens.
Theresa (that’s me!): Less focus on SEO, more focus on PEOPLE. Stop worrying about the numbers whether that be the claims of “six figures” or “high rankings” in Google. At the end of the day, how did you take care of the people who showed up in your orbit? Not just your clients but the people you employ, your peers, your mentors, and fans. Did you make them feel good, valued, and respected? Did you deliver what you promised? Did you follow through with your responsibilities? Have you given back or said thank you lately? When you take great care of your peeps, you’ll have all the business you’ll ever want or need.
Lastly, I leave you with this little wisdom from Jaymi Elford: Keep at it… don’t give up!
© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady 2015
image from stock photography[sc:opt-in]