Hey you, budding tarot professional, you. Trying to figure out how to get the word out about the tarot business you just launched? Looking to work for hire as a tarot professional but the concept of PR and marketing intimidates the crap out of you? Here are 9 easy ways you can start. You can do all 9 of these this week, right now, I promise.
So. Treat this post as a checklist. Don’t know where to start with your PR and marketing? Start here, 1 through 9. Complete all of these and you’ll be off to a fantastic start. [This is kind of assuming you’ve already done the social media basics, like gotten your own domain name URL, created a Facebook page for your new business, and created a Twitter or Instagram account.]
#1: Join Tarot-Interest Facebook Groups
You want to network with like-minded professionals. These days, everyone’s on Facebook, especially tarot readers and tarot enthusiasts. Getting to know your professional peers not only gives you context for your own tarot practice, but will also help you build an incredible support group to turn to.
More importantly, in terms of publicity for your professional tarot practice, when you make friends, friends will be friendly, and those who are not professional readers but just tarot enthusiasts might be motivated to recommend you for reading services, and those who are fellow professionals may think of you when making client referrals. I’ve given out referrals to tarot professionals I’m friendly with when I can’t do a reading for a client for whatever reason and likewise, my tarot professional friends have referred their clients to me when they’re in need of a second perspective.
Check out the small sample listing of tarot-interest Facebook groups below.
- Tarot Professionals
- Tarotholics Anonymous
- Tarot Marketplace
- Tarot Bloggers & Vloggers
- Tarot and More
- Exploring Tarot
- Tarot Life
- Tarot Tarot Tarot
- The Tarot Guild
- Tarot Readers Development & Study
- The Tarot Club
- Tarot Cards
#2: Start a Tarot Blog or Vlog
I am pretty sure everyone has been telling you this. The most successful tarot professionals I have come across all– all— have a popular tarot blog or vlog (or both) or at the very least, a well-recognized online presence. If writing isn’t your thing, that’s cool. Create a vlog. I’m constantly watching videos on YouTube of talking heads, and so is everybody else, because it’s interesting. It can be engaging. People will get to know your personality and those who like your personality will naturally want to support you. These viewers and readers are going to be some of your most loyal clients.
Now, as for how to become a popular blog or vlog with a lot of traffic, I have no idea. There are lots of people with lots of good advice out there on that very topic, so definitely do a little reading. I can tell you this– it may take a while, so be patient. I was posting on this blog for a whopping crowd of me, myself, and I for quite some time before it gained any momentum at all. So don’t get disheartened. I spent years blogging here for an audience of 1 or 2 before anyone outside my arm’s length social circle took notice.
#3: Send Press Releases to Media Outlets
Write up a 1-page press release that introduces your work as a professional tarot reader (or psychic, or medium, spiritualist, intuitive, or whatever it is that you do) with key bits of your professional background worded to impress. Mention that you are available for public readings, interviews on what the cards might have to say about particular issues or events, and that you are willing to do any of this for free. (And you better be.) This is great exposure that will gain you paying clients. So offer to do these public appearances for free.
It’s pretty easy these days to research which reporters or journalists in your area tend to cover entertainment, New Age subjects, or local businesses. Before major holidays, send out a wave of press releases to media outlets to pitch your availability. Say that you’ll read the cards right before Valentine’s Day to talk about love; read right before the New Year for your projections on what’s to happen in the year to come; read the cards for a major upcoming sporting event; do reading forecasts for how to plan your summer vacation; do card readings for the real estate market, for the stock market, the economy, politics, local elections; read about fashion trends; your creativity is your only limit.
A Quick Note on Puffery vs. Fraud. Puffery is when you’re an annoying braggart. By law, it’s okay to be an annoying braggart. Fraud, false or deceptive advertising, and misrepresentation, on the other hand, are not okay. Go ahead and give opinions on how great you are, how you are the coolest tarot reader in the whole wide world, but don’t write out facts that aren’t, well, fact. Don’t write anything that isn’t true and don’t state any qualifications that you can’t back up with physical evidence.
Note: I’m pretty terrible at writing copy for press releases, so what’s here is absurdly basic. You’ll want to do your own research of more professionally-prepared press releases to figure out how to draft yours. Also note the mention of a media kit. Before sending out press releases, you should have a page on your professional website for a media kit. As a newbie, your media kit is going to be rather basic– an introduction to who you are and what you do, a list of testimonials (you can accrue these by way of #5 on this list, for example), list of notable clientele (this will come in time), the services you offer and your rates, your contact information, and some high-res photographs of yourself.
#4: Send Promotional Flyers to Local Businesses (Check Your Chamber of Commerce)
I know firsthand that companies are frequently looking to hire entertainment for corporate functions. Surprisingly (or not so surprisingly), psychics, tarot readers, and palm readers are popular. Look for the big corporations in your area with 50 or more employees (because these tend to be the ones that you can count on to have the budget for hiring you, but don’t overlook small businesses either). Go through the corporate members of your local Chamber of Commerce for contacts. This is going to take work on your part. You’ll have to put on your nicest, friendliest, most extroverted smile and make several calls to figure out who in HR to talk to or who does Events Planning for the company.
The key is to figure out who you have to sugar up to. There is one person, usually admin or a not-that-high-level manager in Human Resources, someone you might not expect, who actually wields quite a bit of influence over the higher-ups. I promise you– if that person likes you, then you’ll get the gig. This is also someone who is more likely to take an appointment from you, meet with you, or just talk with you. If you call asking directly for the CEO or President, or “whoever is in charge,” well, good luck with that. Don’t ask for “who’s in charge.” Instead, ask specifically about who organizes events.
Offering a free quick tarot reading for this person can also get you very far, so don’t be afraid to give out freebies, especially if it will earn you back big business in return. (Quick note: Here, I also want to add to use your intuition. You’ll know when someone may be trying to get something free out of you with no intention of taking your info to a higher up for potential business. In those cases, yeah, forget the freebie. Again, your own intuition will help you make the right call.)
Note: And you better as heck make sure you proofread your flyer. You don’t want typos like the ones you’ll see in my sample flyer. ACK. So sorry. So be careful with the text for your own promotional flyer. No typos!
#5: Join a Free Reading Network
This may not be free, but if you are just starting out and aspiring to go pro, signing up to be a free reader on a tarot reading network will get you working with real clients right away. I recommend American Tarot Association’s Free Tarot Network (FTN), which I’m also part of. It’s free for ATA members. Through the FTN, you can commit to as many readings as you like each day or week for giving out free one-card readings. However, the FTN pairs you up with a mentor, teaches you how to create a reading template, and works with you through the process of providing professional tarot readings. It’s great reading practice with the training wheels still on. Also, a small percentage of the clients who request free readings from you at FTN will go on to become paid clients. To this day I still work routinely with certain clients that found me through FTN. Another great reading network is the one set up by Brigit Esselmont, the Biddy Tarot Network.
#6: Join in on Trending Twitter Hashtags (Also: Instagram and Vine)
Social media goes through these periods of trending hashtags. Figure out which hashtags are trending right now in the social media platform you’re using (e.g., Twitter) and think of a cool way to join in on that hashtag prompt or meme, but adding a professional-tarot twist. Find a way to also market your tarot services in the hashtag prompt or meme. Other businesses do this all the time.
Here are a few well done examples (though not tarot related):
So why do this? Because people who could potentially be your client but who aren’t going out of their way checking out tarot stuff might see your hashtag or meme contribution. If they like it, find it funny, are intrigued by the photograph, art, or some aspect of your little post piques their interest, they will probably click on to see who you are and just maybe they’ll be intrigued enough to contact you for a reading. This has happened to me. Random folks in finance or the fashion industry have stumbled across my name on something not directly related to tarot, through one of the hashtags I’ve used on social media, and then clicked into my site and decided to contact me for tarot readings.
A variation on this is to pull a tarot card for a public matter that’s trending and post about it with the applicable hashtags or even tag the public figures involved. From an ethical standpoint, I say this is okay, especially if the figures involved have willingly made the matter a public spectacle. This is different from going out of your way to do an unconsented-for tarot reading for a public figure, meddling in that person’s private life, for example. However, that’s a very different situation from doing a public reading about the upcoming presidential elections.
It’s a fine ethical line here. Use your judgment to make the call. I say if the parties involved have themselves made the situation public or a matter of public interest, then go ahead and use it to do tarot readings with hashtags. But I would say don’t pick out a person, even a celebrity, who is doing his or her own thing, minding his or her own business, and then do a public tarot reading for that person without consent. That, I say, might be crossing the line.
For both Twitter and Instagram, consider partaking in the trending hashtags that appeal to you and make it tarot related in some way, or a “soft sell” of your tarot business.
Hard Sell vs. Soft Sell, Huh? Hard selling is when you solicit someone to buy your services. “Get a tarot reading from Jane Arcana today!” or “Hi, Joe! I’m Jane Arcana of Terrific Tarot. Would you be interested in getting a tarot reading from me today? My rates are…” Soft selling is when you’re building a relationship, and how do you build a relationship? You have to be genuinely interested in the other party. Don’t even mention that you’re selling tarot reading services. Just chat. Be friendly. Engage. Happen to talk about this cool subject matter that is tarot. That’s it. Let that other person’s curiosity be piqued by your authenticity. That person will go out of his or her way to learn more about you and, if there’s rapport there, probably contact you without any solicitation at all and request a tarot reading. I found this interesting tidbit:
“[C]onsumers were 30 percent more willing to buy a product through non-direct advertising [aka soft selling] rather than media advertising [aka hard selling]. Not only that, consumers exposed to this method of advertising were 97 percent more likely to tell their friends about it, and 95 percent more likely to repeat their experience with the business.” SOURCE LINK, “Hard Selling vs. Soft Selling,” by Celine Roque.
#7: Create, Print, and Distribute Postcards, Bookmarks, or Pamphlets
You may need a bit of graphic design competence to do this, or offer to do tarot readings for a graphic designer in exchange for the designer’s services. Design a postcard, bookmark, or some sort of eye-catching pamphlet or a three-fold brochure for your tarot business. I recommend having your photograph or mugshot on it, as it conveys a strong personal connection. It’s why real estate agents put their mugshots on their cards. You can laugh and tease all you want, but it works.
These marketing materials should succinctly express your approach and style of tarot reading, and this doesn’t necessarily need to be done in words. When someone looks at your marketing materials, the art itself should convey what kind of tarot reader you are.
Now, distribute them. Approach local cafes, mom and pop shops that seem like they’ll be sympathetic to tarot reading services, New Age stores, public libraries, and holistic health centers. Again, put on that friendly, extroverted smile and make nice with the proprietors. Introduce yourself as a new local business service and ask them for a favor: would they be okay with you placing a small stack of your postcards/bookmarks/pamphlets on one of their countertops?
A word of advice: remember– they are doing you a favor and you need to approach the situation that way. Don’t go in there with this “oh man, do I have a treat for you! Your customers are going to love me. I am the famed, the powerful, the one and only…” attitude (I say this because I’ve seen this before). Instead, be humble, genuine, and ask for help. They’re the ones doing you a favor. Show some gratitude.
Note: For my printer, this template worked, but you may need to tinker a bit with the margins, alignment, and formatting for it to work for your printer. Be sure that printer settings are on “print both sides” and “flip on short edge.”
Another Note: Actually using this three-fold black and white pamphlet template should be a last resort. It’s better to get professionally designed and color printed quarter size flyers, postcards, or bookmarks. That said, this pamphlet can just be another piece of marketing paraphernalia in your whole arsenal of marketing paraphernalia.
#8: Post Flyers on Local Bulletin Boards
I’m talking about the 8.5″ x 11″ copy paper flyers that are tacked onto cork bulletin boards. The bottom edge of the flyer is usually cut up into strips, each strip with your name and contact information. In the old days there’d just be a phone number, but now, the strips had better also include your e-mail address or website URL.
Try university campuses, though you may need to figure out who to get posting permission from first. Coffee houses, bars, jazz clubs, public libraries, Laundromats, bowling alleys– these are great places to consider. Ask for permission respectfully and nine times out of ten, you’ll get it.
Note: After you print this out, cut along the slits so that the hanging tabs at the bottom are easy for people to tear off.
Design and print out all of your flyers, pamphlets, and cool marketing materials from #4, #7, and #8, write out a list of the places in town you want to visit and try to post stuff at, and then reserve an entire weekend to follow through.
#9: Subscribe to HARO
HARO, which stands for “Help A Reporter Out,” is an e-mail feed you can subscribe to, which compiles open calls from reporters and journalists who are looking for people or subjects to interview for their stories. When you subscribe by e-mail, you’ll get daily listings from reporters who have a story in mind and want to find experts, entrepreneurs, or folks to talk to, to be covered in their story. That’s how you can get you or your business featured in major news publications and medial outlets. Now granted, most of the calls aren’t a great fit for a tarot professional, but every once in a while, you do get journalists looking to cover something lifestyle, New Age, or spirituality related, or looking for psychic predictions, and then you can jump on that ASAP and potentially get major media coverage.
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To achieve just these nine items is going to take a lot of work, yet it’s hard for me to believe that if you do these points right, you won’t get a handful of incoming business pretty much right off the bat. To start, you’ll need to design an attractive, professional logo for your tarot business that fully expresses your tarot reading style. You can use these templates provided here so you’re not starting from scratch and reinventing the wheel, but you do have to insert your own original wording. You don’t want to sound like me; you want to sound like you. And to do that, you have to be original. You need a stack of professionally printed business cards and give those away generously. If a person seems particularly enthusiastic about the work that you do, hand that person half a dozen of your business cards so he or she can give them away to friends.
For these nine items, you’ll have to devote tons of hours to creating content, copy, communicating with strangers, and do a ton of research, but these days you can do it from the comfort of your home, in your PJs, pecking away at your computer or smartphone. You have to look up local businesses, local professional organizations, your local chamber of commerce, local cafes, bookstores, Laundromats, college campuses, public libraries, New Age stores, delis, and anywhere that seems like the folks there are going to let you hang up a modest flyer. And then, guess what, you actually have to get out there and hang up your flyer. You need to call up those local businesses and talk to another human being. You need to do a lot of follow up. Don’t expect everyone to be receptive to you on first impression. You may need to visit the same place twice, the second smile even friendlier than the first.
Follow through on these nine points and I really can’t imagine you not enjoying significant success. Good luck and be good!