Finding your Tarot “U.S.P”
I remember before I started teaching Tarot the yawning gape of potential…how should I do this?
At first I was tempted to teach as I was taught. Tell everyone to by a copy of “78 degrees of wisdom” and use that as a template. But that felt disingenuous, I wanted to teach my take on the Tarot.
Then I was drawn to Mary K Greer’s way of connecting with the cards in varied, personal ways. But I wanted a slightly more didactic way of holding space- I didn’t have the confidence to teach in such an open style.
So I decided (as well as being deeply inspired by both authors) I wanted to bring in three clear aspects to my teaching:
· To find the good and the bad in every card.
· To be practical- talking about work, love, stress rather than spiritual paths and complex concepts.
· And I wanted to let the imagery speak for itself.
It felt scary to find “my” way of teaching, instead of following in the footsteps of others. I’m not saying it’s original in anyway, but it is my way of teaching. And about ten years on- I still teach based on the same principles. It works because it suits me well.
I don’t really focus on Tarot history, astrology, complex occult principles or the like. There are other people who understand far more than me, and I’m just not that interested. I focus on psychology, prediction, and empowerment based on the imagery in the Rider-Waite cards. This focus fascinates me, I can spend hours researching – and I have a pretty sound understanding.
The first step in finding your personal niche in the Tarot market is to know yourself. What you love, what you are (or could be skilled at), and not trying to please everyone!
Running a Tarot business is hard. It is a crowded market, and personal spending power is low. That does not mean that you can’t be successful though.
Work out what you are good at as a Tarot reader, translate that into a way to help others, and market yourself based on a niche that really suits you.
When I came to write my book, I had already been teaching for about seven years, and I had settled into my own teaching style well. But translating it into a book felt daunting.
The first thing I knew I wanted was lots of words! I’ve bought too many Tarot books that had lots of pictures, but just not really enough words to really sink into. I’m sure the length of my book (395 pages in the paperback- and no pictures-slightly more in the Kindle edition) puts some people off – but then, we can never please everyone.
I knew I wanted the book to refer to the pictures in the Rider-Waite Tarot, and to be practical. I could have created a book that was more generalised and appealed to a wider audience, but it would also dilute how well the book would teach Tarot. So, I stuck with my niche, even though it meant a smaller available audience.
Most of all I wanted to include my story in my book, to personalise the cards.
In my first ever series of workshops I just talked at the students, whilst holding cards up. I’m very grateful that I was called out on this and asked to demonstrate a spread. I jumped onto the table, sat in the middle and demonstrated a “dummy” spread. But as I looked at the cards, I realised it was not a dummy spread at all. It was about me, and deeply personal. But I was sat on the table, everyone was looking at me- I kind of had to read out loud and get over my embarrassment of talking on such a personal level. Or look like a complete idiot and climb off the table saying nothing (it was touch and go for a moment!) Since then I have stuck with the same formula. I share my readings, and use my life to illustrate the cards.
My style does not suit everyone. Some find it too personal, others of course love the personal context.
This blog seems to have created a narrative of it’s own somehow. But to swing around to the start.
As a Tarot pro you will never please everyone.
If you are deeply intuitive some will want more logical.
If you are psychological based some will want more spiritual.
If you are long and drawn out, some will feel frustrated. If you are short and to the point some will wish for more.
Work out your strengths, your skills, your nuances as a Tarot reader- and market how these can help a client. It is a crowded market, but there is always room for helpful and accurate Tarot readers- whatever your style may be.