I thought I would share some of my insights from “building my Tarot business”. I don't claim to be an expert, simply pausing to reflect on things that have helped, and things that have not.
It has taken a tremendous amount of time, dedication, and sheer effort. More than I thought possible, and a lot more yet to go.
I have been reading Tarot for a long time, and teaching for fun for a long while too. But deciding to make my living from Tarot is a big decision. This is not the same as slowly building up clients whilst working- I went into it head first, headlong, and needing to earn enough to pay my bills.
If I had realised how much effort it was going to take I would have probably got a job at Tesco's. Don't get me wrong- I have no real regrets, I just hadn't appreciated how much of running a Tarot business is “business” and not Tarot.
I hadn't properly considered the time, and skills, I would need to;
Process payments (and ensure the right pay pal email matches the email I have now received claiming they have paid- usually from different email accounts).
Build, design & update a website.
Understand S.E.O , tag words (still not sure on the whole # thing) and the like.
Upload photographs (honestly- it took me months to realise I could connect my phone, not upload them to my Facebook page, then down load them to my computer!)
Upload videos (oh that took time!)
Design & create advertising for business cards, brochures etc.
Price setting, accountancy, setting budgets.
Advertise online, in magazines, etc.
And that's just the tarot reading side of the business, the complications of venue hire and the like for workshops is a whole different skill set.
On reflection these are some of things I am glad I did;
Update my own website. I am very lucky, the initial website was designed by a friend. When it was handed to me to keep updated I was tremendously grateful, and utterly terrified.
It took me a lot of effort to learn how to update it, and I am still learning. But slowly and surely I am building a good skill set- and have no doubt saved myself thousands.
I can trial different pages, try new things, and remove things that don't work.
It has been a hard slog, but I am glad I update my own website.
Putting the time into each reading, regardless of cost. (and in the early days this was very time consuming)
This may not be the best business advice, but it worked for me. I read until I get the answer, advice or guidance needed- within certain boundaries. If you've booked a quick reading and have asked 5 complicated, difficult questions- well you can only expect so much.
But with my general readings, I do not read by the clock- whether face to face or email.
I'm good at what I do, and usually the time I expect to spend is spot on. But if my allotted
time is up and I don't feel I have answered your question- I will keep reading. I aim for satisfied customers as my business model is reasonably priced readings & repeat customers. It works for me, many of my clients have been with me since I started.
And the real pay off is when I didn't have that many customers, readings took me a lot longer anyway. But I had the time to do it. Now I have more clients, and am far better at getting to the information needed. My prices are usually a fair reflection of my time spent.
Remaining independent Again- not going to work for everyone, but I am glad I have not affiliated myself to any group or organisation. My way of reading has changed dramatically over the years. I used to be very psychological, and avoid predictions, based very much on reflecting my client and helping them to understand their situation.
I still do this, but am much more on the psychic, spirit guide, predictive side of tarot now. A natural development as I explored my shamanic side deeper- but I wonder if I could have evolved this way if I was working within an organisation. Maybe I just don't like authority.
I have made plenty. Not so much with the Tarot, as with the business side of things.
When I got the decimal point wrong in a Facebook advert- I was surprised how many people had seen it- then realised I'd used a months budget in 2 days.
Hearing clients say they'd love to mix socialising & Tarot-booking a pub social evening, and realising they were talking, they weren't committed enough to come.
Mixing friendship and business. It rarely works, and led to some very mixed messages with clients not valuing my work as they saw it more as a friendship group than my business.
Not letting go things that no longer work. Probably my biggest learning curve- and I have learnt this! I ran a low-cost monthly circle that the group wanted to run as closed, they didn't want me to advertise or invite others to join. Unfortunately I continued running the group as I had when I advertised- pay as you go- and busy people with jobs often failed to come. I was left barely covering my costs and feeling fairly fed up at holding this “closed group” for when they felt like turning up.
My regret is that I let it it go on for so long, I now give things three months grace, after that if they are not working I stop them. And I feel so much better for this.
Balancing business & my passion for Tarot.
This I am still learning. I love tarot- reading, writing, researching. Tarot can expand to fill my time. Yet I need to earn my living, and so I must structure my time to ensure I am focusing my efforts on ways to increase & improve my business.
I struggle with this- and would much rather explore tarot than set business goals, research possible venues or write advertising posts. But this is what builds my business too, so I try to set time aside to do them.
I schedule a business meeting with myself each week to look at what I have achieved, and what I am planning to achieve, and how. Not strictly true- I aim to do this, I don't always manage it.
What I have learnt more than anything is to focus on my own education- constantly. I read endlessly (not one for videos really) I read about business, accounting, copy writing, tarot, shamanism, everything.
I invest in me, as the basis of my business. I don't have the money (yet) to pay for help or expensive courses- but there is so much amazing information out there. We live in fascinating times!