I have made some BIG mistakes over the years and I want to share them with you today so you can avoid making them yourself.
I have been reading tea leaves since I was 16, the playing cards since I was 18 and the Tarot since I was 20. I now have as I write this post 24 years’ experience in the world of divination.
MISTAKE NUMBER ONE
When I first started off with divination I didn’t charge. I read the playing cards for family and friends and it was a fantastic experience. The problems started when my friends asked me to read for their sister, mother, boyfriend, aunt and grandmother. I didn’t have boundaries at the beginning and so I read for all of these people. On one hand it was again, a great experience. On the other hand a lot of my free time was given over to reading for others. After a while energy going out and no energy coming back in gets super exhausting. I also noticed that often my readings were seen as a bit of fun and not taken seriously.
Then I started asking for a ‘gift’ in return. I felt my time would be respected more. So I asked for things like a loaf of bread, chocolate, flowers etc!
The bottom line, however was that I soon realized I needed to start charging money.
I am from a small town in Ireland so word of mouth moves faster than a freight train.
How the hell could I start charging money when I was known as ‘the free tarot reader’?
The trick was I left the town to go to collage. When I returned in the summer holidays I still read for close friends for free but others had to pay money. The distance and the ‘experience’ in the big city gave me more confidence. It still wasn’t a lot of money but you would be surprised how many people were not willing to pay once they had a past history of freebies. I also ‘forgot’ my cards sometimes just so I could enjoy my holiday!
Fast forward 20 years and now I believe I charge healthy rates for my Tarot reading.. When you read for thousands of people you get confident with the experiences you have and its easier to charge. Now I charge what I believe I am worth per hour in this specific area.
MY ADVICE TO YOU
Be careful about giving free readings. It is hard to charge money when you get the reputation as being free. It may be that you are starting off and you don’t feel you have the experience to charge money. Look at it this way – money is simply energy. You are giving out energy – what are you getting in return? I strongly recommend you charge something – even $5 dollars for a reading. Even with family you can explain that you need an exchange. Then you simply increase your prices over time. Much easier to do than going from free to charging.
MISTAKE NUMBER TWO
I did not start making business cards until I was in my mid 20’s. Before then I worked on word of mouth and handing out my phone number. I was busy when I wanted to be but there is something professional looking when you have a business card. It means you are serious and people respect you more.
MY ADVICE TO YOU
Spend a little bit of money on a business card. Make it look different. Perhaps have a different shape or size than the standard business card. If you go for a free company like Vistaprint, it looks free and is not unique to you, so check out other options.
Business cards are not expensive and you can start with a minimum number. Hand them out to anybody who seems the slightest bit curious about Tarot. Stick them up at the local community notice board, coffee shops and supermarkets. Give a few to friends and family and tell them to hand them out to interested friends.
MISTAKE NUMBER THREE
This is my BIGGEST mistake.
Ok so when I started hardly anyone had an email list and internet was in its infancy but still….
I would sit at big Body/Mind/Spirit shows and read for people back to back and hand them a business card. They had a way to get in touch with me but I had NO WAY to get in touch with them. I had no way to tell them when I moved or did another show. No way to tell them about me and build a relationship. No way to hear from them and how the Tarot reading helped in their life. No way to collect testimonials from very happy customers.
I literally kick myself every day when I think about email lists. I would literally have thousands of emails from all around the world and I could keep in touch with people and share my tips and wisdom with them. I could have kept in connection with some AMAZING wonderful people that I met over the years while travelling and working (I brought my Tarot cards everywhere and they paid for me to keep travelling) – friends I made in India, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Bali, Fiji, Europe, Australia….. sigh!
MY ADVICE TO YOU
Start collecting emails today – even those of friends and family. Get over to Mailchimp which allows you to send out newsletters for free to your email list. Make it fancy with stories, links and information. At shows leave a piece of paper for people to give you their email list.
MISTAKE NUMBER FOUR
Shock horror! I only built my professional Tarot website over the last year and I only launched her over a month ago. It will take ages to get high in Google. Ages for people to find me. I even changed my name so many past clients don’t even know me as Sinead Fine. Any online business takes time and patience.
Why did I not build a website before. It never dawned on me! Honestly! I worked by word of mouth. I made enough money.
MY ADVICE TO YOU
The crunch is that nowadays if you run a business you should have a website. You can do it for free in the early days with WordPress or if you want to pay some money to make it even easier choose Wix. You might decide to build a simple blog with Blogger. Whatever you decide to do, have a business card with your internet site (that you frequently update). Upload free photos from sites like Pixabay and start writing.
MISTAKE NUMBER FIVE
You want to develop a presence on Social Media. Think of Facebook…Half the planet are on it now. If you want to be ‘known’ as a Tarot Reader then you need to get yourself a Facebook account at least. Join groups, have conversations, learn from each other. Social media can be fun, interesting and entertaining.
MY ADVICE TO YOU
Don’t go on every social media site. They suck up plenty of your time. Stick with two or three and master their ways of functioning. Post daily for every few days. Connect with others, promotes other people’s tweets that you resonate with.
For Tarot I believe the best Social Media platforms are Facebook, Twitter. Tumbler and Pinterest.
Never ever join people to a Facebook group you create without asking first. It is the height of rudeness.
Don’t constantly write about yourself. It’s boring and not of much value to others. Social media is really about building relationships. You wouldn’t meet a stranger and start drilling them with how great you are. (Well I certainly hope not)
I personally believe that you should not put on Social media what you would not say on a public bus. It can be totally different inside a private group (depending on its size and demographics) but again even there I wouldn’t talk about your relationships issues or anxiety medication unless the group is small and supportive, otherwise you will get peoples opinions of you that might not be so gentle. I’m not telling you to be plastic but if you are promoting yourself as a business person, be wise with what comes out of your mouth.
MISTAKE NUMBER SIX
Ethics and Boundaries
Get super clear on your ethics and boundaries early on. It will make your life much easier. Decide who you will and who you will not read for.
I’ve had some hilarious situations, upsetting conversations and sometimes terrifying moments in my Tarot reading career. If my ethics and boundaries were stronger in place some of the above could have been avoided.
Especially if you are a woman think about where you are going to read. Think carefully before you read for complete strangers in your home.
Check out my Ethics and boundaries mentioned on this website. If you resonate with any of them, incorporate them into your life.
So that is my advice for you beginners out there in the world of Tarot.
Don’t make my silly mistakes!
I’ve loads more advice but these are my top Six tips – start with these and go from there.