Note: What synchronicity. Theresa Reed of The Tarot Lady asked me to contribute to a really cool piece, “Best Tarot Business Advice from 22 Tarot Pros.” And I had scheduled this post to go live in the same week. Definitely check out Theresa’s blog. It’s one of my favorites.
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So you’ve always been kind of a weirdo. An intuitive weirdo, no less. You read tarot cards. Scrying with a crystal ball is not out of your realm of conceivable possibilities. Also, for the last who-knows-how-long, your friends and family have been asking you to divine for them. You hear the calling to do this as a professional now. That’s right. You want to launch a professional service in divination. Although you’re no computer whiz, you do know your way around the Internet. So you’re thinking, gee, I think I could launch an online business where I do tarot readings for people from home.
What do you do now?
You can get yourself a mentor and follow the course outlined by your mentor.
Theresa Reed aka “The Tarot Lady” is perhaps the most well-known (and a very well-respected) mentor when it comes to this line of work. I know personally folks who’ve gone through her program and come out wayyy on top of the game. Brigit Esselmont aka “BiddyTarot” is another titan name in the field. She offers tarot coaching services that the folks I’ve worked with just rave about. Jenna Matlin aka “Queen of Wands Tarot” offers business coaching for those in the mind, body, spirit profession. All three of them are also published authors with amazing books out, so be sure to read up on their works. There are other amazing professionals offering business coaching for the mind, body, and spirit entrepreneur, but these three are the ones I am a bit more familiar with.
Organizations like the American Tarot Association (the ATA) or the Tarosophy Tarot Association offer business coaching services for aspiring tarot professionals. The ATA has been around longer and is considered more old school, populated by the “old guard” of tarot, whereas the Tarosophy Association has gained a ginormous following in recent years and, as of this writing, is arguably the largest tarot association in the world. Membership in either group is going to open the doors of tarot business opportunity for you.
And that’s the end of my post.
Sorta. In addition to looking into mentoring or coaching programs, draft a business plan. I’ve designed a workbook to help you to that end. But first, let’s talk about why.
Draft a Business Plan
As a lawyer counseling startup businesses and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, I give every one of them the same first tip, irrespective of their industry: draft a business plan. It doesn’t need to be formal or book-length. No need for fancy. It can be bullet points pecked onto a Notes app on your phone for all anyone cares, but you need to write out a business plan.
Why? Well, for the startups I counsel, most of them need it to secure loans and third party debt financing (in which case it can’t be bullet points pecked onto a Notes app…), or to assure angel investors that the founders know what they’re doing, but for you, my dear, you need it so you are walking into the business arena with a clear picture of how to operate your business and what resources or assets you have available for that operation.
Every successful business begins with a plan. Those who truly are successful and say they never drafted one are wrong– they did have one– maybe it was in their heads the whole time and not written down on a piece of paper or the “plan” was scribbles on a bar napkin, but they certainly had a clear plan with defined objectives and a defined roadmap for obtaining those objectives. I’m not against keeping your business plan in your head, but unless you have an IQ rivaling Einstein’s, just write the damn thing down.
If you don’t know where to start, then that’s where this post comes in. I’ve put together a tarot business plan template, a workbook of sorts, and here it is:
This template is very different in structure and format from traditional business plans. That’s because tarot is not a traditional business and also because the template is intended to be a workbook for you to trigger ideas.
Before you jump into that workbook, do read on. There are a couple of pointers you may want to keep in mind as you proceed.
Your Point of View
I know I’ve talked about branding and your point of view before. I get so frustrated at would-be entrepreneurs who think they can launch without having a clearly defined brand point of view. You need to know who you are, as a business, and what you stand for.
As a divination professional, what are you? Are you a psychic? Do you prefer to call yourself an intuitive? Are you clairvoyant, clairaudient, a medium or channel, a shaman, a witch, a licensed therapist, a counselor, a teacher, a life coach, I mean, what are you? Your consumers need to know. Yeah, they do. Okay, they don’t need-need to know, but it does help out your business. In business speak, your brand point of view is what attracts your target audience.
In woo-woo speak, identifying yourself is a way of sending out energetic signals to attract like-minded energies. Oftentimes the tarot readers who say they attract a lot of “riff-raff” clients are tarot readers who haven’t projected a clearly defined point of view, and therefore end up in bed with clients who have incompatible personalities. So it’s not that a client is “riff-raff,” it’s that the reader and client are not compatible.
As a divination professional, you need to be yourself. Cliché, I know, but true. If you’re not a formal, stiff-white-collar, perfectly polished tarot-psychology type, then don’t pretend to be. Don’t try to fit into shoes that are not your size. You don’t need your content to read like it passed through five editors, an agent, ten publicists, and a lawyer. Go ahead and be conversational, casual, and fun. Be yourself. By doing that, you’ll attract people like yourself, and these are the folks who are going to get your humor, and vibe with what you’re doing and what you’re all about
Likewise, if you’re not chatty with spirit guides and angels, then you don’t need to say you are. If the ten times you’ve tried to conjure spirits the only thing that appeared was your cat (the living one, not dead) glaring at you for more Fancy Feast, it’s fine. You can still be a damn good card reader. There are different strokes for different folks (keeping in line with the clichés here…). So play up who you really are, and you’re going to attract only those who love you for you, who like your vibes, and you’re going to get a lot less “riff-raff.”
If you don’t have a clear point of view, a well-defined persona as a reader, then no one is going to know whether you’re a good “fit” for them. If you’re all over the place, you will end up attracting no one. The hippie, flowy-dressy, shamanic-drum-beating ones won’t know if you’re good and the tarot-is-a-psychological-tool types won’t be sure if you’re right for them either. Those looking specifically for a psychic won’t know if they should look to you unless you mention that qualification and if you’re not a psychic (but still a damn good card reader) and say you are one, you’re going to miss out on the clientele that would have otherwise been a great fit with you but were put off by the “psychic” identification. And those who were expecting you to be psychic who then realize you’re not are going to be wayyy unhappy with the services you’ve provided.
An unclear, vague, and ambiguous point of view as a divination specialist is quite possibly the stupidest way to do business. Seriously. Harsh, I know, but I’m so serious.
How do you figure out what your brand point of view is? Start by defining your target audience, or let’s say “ideal client.” Who is your idea client? Describe that ideal client. Then you need to think about what that ideal client would be looking for in a divination specialist. Those are the traits you’re going to have to play up. The way we are, it always works out that our ideal clients are the types looking for the traits we’re strongest in. We’re just that egocentric. And that’s fine.
Am I Ready to Launch?
Now, far be it for me to dictate to you when to launch your business. If you’re working with a business coach or mentor, then forget everything I say and listen to your coach or mentor. Otherwise, consider reading on if you’re interested in my perspective.
You have to consider your business style and personality. Some folks can thrive when they fly by the seat of their pants, but not me. I’m a planner. I will have all my ducks in a row before I initiate anything. I will have a comprehensive Plan A, a Plan B, a Plan C, a brainstorm mind map of five other alternative back-up plans, an emergency tool kit, and a list of references to contact in case all hell does break loose before I take a single step forward. I try not to come out unless I’m pretty sure I know my shit. That or I come out anyway and caveat it with, “hey guys, I have no idea what I’m doing! La la la!” But business-wise, that’s, like, a horrible, horrible idea.
Consider business launch in two separate phases: the soft launch and the hard launch (or grand opening). The soft launch is when you’re more or less ready to go, ready to take business, but you haven’t publicly announced your business yet. In divination online services, that would be the equivalent of having created your website, all links active and live, and capable of accepting online service requests. But maybe you don’t have a whole lot of content yet and, well, honestly, zero business unless we’re counting Aunt Betty or the 10 volunteer readings you did that the folks later decided to kindly donate $5. That’s a soft launch.
The hard launch is when you are all-ready, all-confident, and you announce the opening of your business in publicly distributed circulars. Hard launch is when proactive marketing, promotion, and advertising for your business begins.
Generating Regular Content
When you’re an online business, to keep your site active and foot traffic up, you need to generate content regularly. That’s usually in the form of a blog or articles. But here’s a question you might ask: if you’re a professional tarot reader offering tarot services, does your blog need to be about tarot only? No, of course not.
Think about what topics are likely to interest your potential client. Those are the topics you generate content on. But the dominant majority of content needs to convey what you are specializing in, and based on the content you’ve generated, I should be able to easily pick out what your expertise is in.
Fair or not fair, clients don’t trust “jacks of all trades.” They want you to be an expert in the one field they’ll be hiring you for. Yeah, it’s an asinine attitude (I’d say that, because I’m kind of a jack of all trades) but what can you do. That’s the reality. If your business website is all over the place, prospective clients are less likely to trust your credibility or skill. So make sure your regular content reflects a focused and clearly defined trade.
And that’s really all there is to it.
My Personal Life is a Hot Mess. Can I Still Become a Professional Tarot Reader?
Honey, everybody’s personal life is a hot mess. Take a number and get in line.
I once read an article on professional tarot that said you needed your personal life to be in order before you can even think about being a competent card reader for others. Reading that remark is kind of what sparked this post actually.
I just don’t agree that is true. All I need to do is think about every successful business tycoon and multi-millionaire I know. Every one of them may be clear-headed and decisive when it comes to their avenue of business, but when it comes to their personal lives, yep, it’s a hot mess. Relationship advice columnists don’t necessarily have healthy, harmonious personal relationships. Because being human. For reals. You can be intuitive and on point when it comes to what’s going on in other people’s life paths, but that doesn’t mean you have a clue about what’s going on in your own. And that’s just how it is. <– Because being human.
However, while your personal life is irrelevant, your business idea cannot be a hot mess. Hence, the business plan I keep drumming on about. Business plan, business plan, business plan, plan, plan! You can certainly read tarot for others competently and effectively even if you don’t have your personal shit together. But you wont have a successful tarot business if you don’t have a clear head about what it is you want to achieve with your business, where your business is headed, or what your business financials are looking like.
So you’re motivated to commence Year 1 of home business as a professional tarot reader. Then download this free workbook and put together your business plan. The New Year is just around the corner. Who knows… New Year’s Resolutions! 😉
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