What makes a Tarot professional a professional? They charge money for their services.
#1 Do you have issues around money?
Let’s get this straight- if you are planning to run a Tarot/holistic business you’d better get smart with money.
You will need to charge appropriate prices (more about that later) keep accounts, budget, and account for your spending. You may well have local tax rules you need to meet as well.
If you don’t like money, can’t budget well, or don’t value your own skills- then this will be a huge learning curve.
If money, and money issues, is not something you have considered then I suggest you save yourself a lot of time and work on this first.
It is easy to see some high end Tarot readers charging high prices for their readings, work out an hourly price and think “bingo that’s a great income”. Pricing is a complicated game that for many of us takes a long time to get right.
My best piece of advice about pricing is to consider the kind of service you want to (and are able to) offer, and the going market rate for that type of tarot- in your area if you are not mostly online.
Are you a quick 3 card reader (cheap and cheerful- but people are likely to come back)
An in-depth coach type reader (higher end prices, but more time per client)
Do you combine tarot & astrology for an in-depth guide to the year ahead?
Do you have an extra skill you can package with your reading (I also work as a shaman)
Research the type of Tarot reading you can offer and price yourself appropriately.
It is not worth seriously under-pricing yourself in the hope of undercutting other professionals- because either
#A your hourly price will be so low you will be exhausted/begrudge the time spent, and so not do a good job. OR
#B you will rush through readings, and not do a good job AND
#C you will build a reputation as being a cheap tarot reader. Great if that is your chosen niche, not so great if either of the above points apply!
We are only as good as our readings- a series of bad readings will soon pull your business down.
Free readings are a sticky area. They rarely translate into paying customers, and often don’t leave useful reviews either. A far better plan is to have a limited special offer.
Add value to what you give, but ask for a fair price too.
It is all too easy to see your hourly price as what you can earn in an hour, and fail to take into account your overheads.
If you want to develop a thriving and growing tarot business you may have to consider (not all will apply to everyone);
Webhosting, venue hire, insurance, printing, taxes, advertising- a whole host of other small costs that quickly eat into your profit.
And don’t forget your hourly rate needs to include;
Holiday & sick pay, tax (depending on circumstances) and unpaid work.
Unpaid work? For the first year of my business this was the majority of my time! It can include;
Building/updating a website
Answering emails/general questions.
Blogging/vlogging & interacting on social media
Reminding customers about appointments
Accounting & budget setting
Planning your business
You would be amazed at how much time this can take, yet these are the back bones that develop a business.
Different ways to consider pricing
#1 I need to earn so much a week to cover my costs, and so I will charge the amount I need to make this in my business.
This is a bad way to start charging- we work in a market, and customers have choice. Certainly some tarot readers can sustain high prices- but they have become established experts in their field and are the exception not the rule.
In the first years of business you need to work with in the market.
#2 I don’t consider my price a salary- rather I think of the end value to you. This means I can charge high prices to reflect the value you to you- not my time.
I do know people that use this policy very successfully- but you need one of two things (and probably both)
-To have an excellent set of genuine testimonials to prove your worth.
-To have access to clients that can afford the prices. In the end if your clients can not afford your price- no matter what your worth- you will not get paying clients.
Spreading the business load
Many many tarot professionals do more than one job.
Perhaps they are healers, teachers, astrologers, business coaches, authors, run online (or physical) shops, or make crafts that they can sell alongside their business.
This is a great way to stand out in a crowded market, and attract people to your business in diverse ways. Many people come to me for a tarot reading- and then decide to have a shamanic healing at a later date. I also run regular tarot & shaman workshops.
Consider what skills you have that could add to your income but also boost your business base/visibility in the market.
It could be practical- could you help other’s with their advertising, emails, website, SEO, copy-writing?
Could you add in another complimentary therapy?
Could you work part time on psychic lines, as a receptionist in a local alternative therapy centre, or find a part time job within the “industry” that would help you to network whilst you grow your business.
Pricing & money is a journey, as your skills confidence and business grows hopefully so will your income.
Keep a close eye on how much money you earn, how you earn it, and how you can build on your success.
Getting started is hard, earning your first genuine paid reading is hard (not a friend or family member!).
Getting it right from the start is the surest way to build a business- my best business card?
The knight of pentacles. Steady, sure, building skills as I go. Each reading offered an excellent service.
If you missed the first in this series of blogs you can find it here
Next week- Where do I find clients?
Tarot teaching in the old barns- I have been running tarot workshops monthly for 6 years now! I started very small charging enough to cover venue hire. Still going!