Forget the Avatar!

Business stalled because you haven't finalized your client Avatar? Stop the madness! There is another way. PeggieArvidson.com

If you’re stalled in your business because you can’t figure out your client Avatar, I want you to promise me something…you’ll start your business anyway. Now, in fact.

I want you to commit to starting where you are, today, to go out and meet potential clients. I want you to know that there isn’t actually an elite school, heart-felt femipreneur system that must be mastered before you can have a profitable business. That’s all stuff that gets in your head and has you SPENDING money instead of making money.

I’m a fan of investing in yourself and your business, on practical, specific tools and systems that will help you do the thing you haven’t yet figured out how to do. I am not a fan of spending money to figure out your avatar, or worse, to find out that you’re supposed to have a perfect avatar so you can create a marketing plan. I really hate that.

Presumably you’ve done the training you deemed necessary to become a palmistry professional, so that’s all you need right now. REALLY.

Instead of waiting to market, create content and sell your service until you have a target/avatar, how about re-thinking the process altogether?

I’ve found that trying to create an avatar before logging serious hours working with paying clients is like trying to finish a 1000 piece puzzle with 300 pieces missing! No matter what you do it just won’t be complete without those missing pieces. In terms of Avatars – you can’t have those pieces completed without first having dozens of relationships with potential and paying clients!

Avatars don’t buy things and they don’t purchase or invest in your service. People do. (go ahead, Tweet that!)

Over time and with enough relationships and conversations you’ll naturally narrow your focus.  However, you cannot narrow focus until you’ve tried a number of possibilities.  Even doctors go through rotations before selecting their specialties – and then they have even more school and clinical “practice” time before they’re out in the world practicing solo!

Why in heaven’s name would you know exactly what problem you want to solve and for whom without REAL time in the saddle of doing your business?

Sure there is value to being as focused as you can be with the information you currently have, waiting until you’ve hit “perfection” is going to make you (and everyone who loves you) CRAZY.

So what’s a New Palmist to do?

Go through these questions instead. Focus on where you are RIGHT NOW, not where you want to be or how you’ll use this moment to jump you to a quadrillion dollars and a 6 figure launch. Just start here and aim for your first (or next) 5 paying clients, okay? (and by paying clients, I mean clients who pay your full rate!)

  • What information do you have now about who you’d like to work with and what you’d like to do?
  • What hours do you want to work? (M-F; 9-5 or Tues and Thursdays and an occasional Saturday from 3-9pm?) This is your company sweetie, so make it yours! (DO NOT worry about when other people want to work with you, especially if you have tons of water in your hands, loopy fingerprints or a Big Heart Heart Line)
  • How do you prefer to deliver your service? (Face to face? On the phone? Via Video? In writing? Email? Skype? Facebook Chat?)
  • How do you want to connect with clients and real people? (It doesn’t matter how much of an introvert you are, you’re going to have to talk to people as long as you expect people to pay for your services. If you can get books, dogs, cats or plants to pay you, then you don’t have to talk to people)
  • How do you want to feel when you’re delivering your service?
  • How do you want your clients to feel when they’re receiving your service?
  • How can you help people most? (This isn’t about helping everyone with everything, this is about how you, personally, with your gifts and talents and experience that is uniquely you, can help most)
  • Why is it important to you to help people?
  • Why is it important to you to make money?
  • Who can’t you help? (come on, there are some people that just aren’t your cup of tea, so get honest about it now so you don’t keep attracting them to your business.)
  • Are you an in-person practitioner or virtual?
  • What problems and challenges have YOU overcome that deeply influence your vision of the world?
  • How do you feel about politics and religion?
  • What other skills do you bring to the table that can help people? Do you want to use them?

This should get you started.

Now, you’re off!

Instead of focusing on an Avatar, start focusing on people. People you know are a great place to start. Ask them about their hopes and dreams and fears. Find out their challenges and problems and their big wins. Become a student of people and relationships!

Find out what drives the people you know batty. Make a commitment to get to know (better) everyone who seems remotely interesting to you. In other words, people who you’d like to get to know anyway. (Notice I didn’t say anything about people whom you think may be interested in you?!)

When you start approaching this from a point of genuine curiosity and interest it’s no longer about you, you, you. It’s about the other person. This is how friendships and relationships are made.

Now as you develop relationships you can give yourself permission to be you when talking about your palmistry business instead of feeling like you have to SELL or Keep it Quiet. As you build relationships, people tend to talk about what they do for a living. Not because they are selling it, but because they are getting to know one another.

People who like you want to learn more about you. (yeah, they do!)

The thing you may not be facing. (But maybe you are. Either way, it’s awesome.)

If you don’t want to talk about your palmistry business, why is that?

  • Do you feel pressure to sell a session?
  • Do you feel pressure to give a session away?
  • Are you unsure of the benefits of a reading?
  • Are you afraid that your new friend won’t get it?

Investigate these feelings because it’s a key to what’s really stalling your profit (hint, it’s not a lack of an Avatar).

Now get out of your own way by practicing being you and talking to people!

Sometimes I think our society has lost the art of casual conversation. There are people I know who brag that they don’t have conversations that aren’t meaningful. Mmmmkay. But who the heck are they talking to for all the meaningfulness? Do they meet someone at the coffee shop and launch into DEEP, SOUL-SEARCHING stuff? I can’t imagine that’s a very fulfilling way to be. Plus, how do they meet new friends when all their old friends simply want to shoot the breeze?

The point is, all relationships are built like everything else (especially profitable businesses) one step, one conversation at a time. That’s how an avatar emerges. It’s a compilation of all the real people you know and have encountered.

She’s got quirks and strengths, she is a terrible speller and is embarrassed as heck about it, and she admires people who always look put-together but she couldn’t spend the time or money to make her own style board. She’s real YO!

My proposal

What I’m proposing is that you turn the whole idea of an Avatar on its head for a while. As you build a client base (and profit) your Avatar will emerge as a gorgeous blend of all the amazing people you’ve helped in the meantime.

Until then, create content, packages and services that serve people you would like to work with and you know you can help. I swear it can be so much easier than you’ve been led to believe.

And while not every Palmistry professional has an Avatar that is remarkably similar to themselves, many do. Why? Because you’ve got to be able to walk in someone’s shoes to really understand how they think and what motivates them. For now remember the best way to walk in their shoes so to speak is to talk with them and get to know them and you can do that now!

Go forth and grow your palmistry business! And if you want to be sure to get the latest posts from the blog and the secret goodies I share with my #PalmNation tribe, register for the newsletter today.

Jumpstart Your Business with These Fixes

5 Reasons You’re Not Booking Enough Clients and What to do about it!

 

Stop Struggling. 5 Reasons You're Not Booking all the palmistry clients you need and what to do about it. peggiearvidson.com

You’ve finished your year-long hand analysis certification, or your weekend intensive and you cannot wait to take the world by storm!  Congratulations! You are overflowing with information about the wisdom in the hands and you are so excited to share it with anyone and everyone who will listen.

The problem is, no one is BUYING. Sure, people are willing to have you look at their hands if it’s free but when it comes to ponying up their hard-earned dollars for you to read their hands the brick wall goes up and you get shut out.

It’s painful and a little embarrassing. After all, you spent a few thousand dollars in pursuit of your knowledge, with the understanding that you’d make that money back once you started reading hands professionally. So why isn’t it working?

11 years ago I was in your shoes. Six years ago I was still struggling to figure out what I was “missing,” and began desperately seeking a quick solution to help me turn a profit. I’d sold my previous business to concentrate on hand analysis and coaching and was quickly running out of the money I’d made in the sale. Despite having keen business skills and a decade of marketing experience under my belt, I was treading water, hemorrhaging money, and I hated it.

Today my business is profitable. I am paying off the debt I accrued in the “dark times” and can honestly say life feels good again and my business is worthwhile. I’ve learned so many things in this journey to profitability and I love sharing what I learned with you.

This post is a down and dirty look at five reasons people aren’t buying palmistry readings from you and what do about it.

  1. You don’t actually believe that people will pay what you are charging for a Palm Reading. Yup. The truth hurts but once it’s out in the open it’s so much easier to live with! In my years as a professional hand reader I’ve met hundreds of people who don’t believe that a palm reading is worth $50.00 much less $250! That takes a toll on your mindset doesn’t it? Even if you’ve been a hard-core salesperson for more than a decade, all that rejection, coupled with mystified looks when you tell people what you do for a living wears you down. Once you’re worn down you begin to worry that palmistry is too woo-woo for your audience or that your audience only thinks that palmistry is for laughs or parties.

What to do: Dig in and discover WHAT a palmistry reading really is. Get into your own soul and reference the results you first saw after your own reading. Create a mantra like, “Who WOULDN’T want to have their hands read?” and let that guide your confidence and conversations as you go out and attract clients. The point is, budgets are highly personal! Someone may spend $300 on dog food for their precious pet but wouldn’t spend $5.00 on a cup of coffee. Don’t buy into the idea that money and pricing are logical, they’re emotional. Find a way to create an emotional connection between your perfect client’s needs and the outcomes they can receive in a reading with you to help you turn this mindset around.

 

 

  1. People are afraid of predictions or that you’ll see something “bad.” It’s interesting how many people go to Tarot readers and wouldn’t go to a palmist, don’t you think? This indicates that what we have here is a failure to communicate the benefits of a palmistry reading to the general public. When people tell you that they are afraid of having their hands read, or that their religion forbids it, what’s your response? If you feel tense, angry, rejected or fearful, you’re subliminally sending that message to the person to whom you’re speaking. This drives home their gut response that what you do is scary.

What to do: Make it your personal mission to disseminate excellent content that assuages people’s fears about palmistry. That can be in the form of giving talks to clubs and professional groups in your community, producing excellent content for your blog, leading a networking group, writing for the local paper, producing videos and/or podcasts and more.  Oh, you’re thinking, “but I don’t have TIME for that!”???  What are you spending your time on? Use this time when you’re business is slow to create and share some outstanding forms of communication. If it’s your mission to educate the public on why a palm reading will change their life, it won’t be long before you are changing lives with your readings.

 

 

  1. You overcompensate in “get to know you” calls/meetings or mini-readings. It’s so exciting to share what you see in a person’s hands that it’s hard to calm down and pace yourself. This was my biggest and hardest to overcome challenge! (What can I say? I’m a giver!) Every time I would give a mini-reading I’d dive right in to answer the client’s question that I’d end up going over time and overwhelming my potential client with so much information that their head was spinning. (I know, because I asked them later why they didn’t book with me.)

What to do: Remind yourself that this isn’t a test to see what you know about the hand, nor is it a chance for you to wow your potential client with how palm-savvy you are. Use your mini-readings or get to know you calls to find out exactly what’s ailing the client. Ask excellent questions before you do the mini-reading to figure out what one nugget in their hand might be the culprit keeping them stuck and focus on that one point for the length of your mini-reading. (I recommend keeping the reading to no more than 5 minutes). Then finish up with a query, “What would it be like to get all the details you need to put this problem to bed, once and for all in 3 months?” (or something like that depending on what the client is facing and what you see in the hand as tools to help them.) If they want to know more, tell them about your private sessions/coaching plans and ask them if that sounds like something they’re ready for.  Either way, thank them for their time and ask their permission to follow up and to add them to your email list. (BONUS NOTE: Most people actually aren’t ready to heal even if they think they are. It’s no reflection on you. Even Freud made note of this phenomena!) (ANOTHER BONUS ACTION TIP: Go ask the people who had free readings why they didn’t purchase one!)

 

 

  1. You don’t have a clear focus on how you want to help. If you don’t know what problem you most enjoy solving for your clients you’ll be spewing information far and wide on all kinds of topics and missing opportunities to connect with your perfect clients.

What to do: Get honest with yourself and decide what it is you really want to do with your business. The dream is to be booked solid, but if you imagine that, what topic do you want to spend your days talking about? What would bore you to tears and what would excite you? What kinds of people drive you ape-shit and what kind of people make you happy when you see them?  Use that information to start formulating a plan and a focus.  Resist the temptation to judge yourself or get bollixed up trying to find the one, perfect, focus. That kind of thinking will keep you stalled. The point now is to pick something that feels good enough (yes, I just said that) and act on that focus. You can shift and change after you’re booked solid if you want to, or you can zig your way to a variation, but you can’t do any shifting or zigging until you’re booking clients steadily.  (BONUS STORY: I ALWAYS knew that I wanted to teach content marketing skills to entrepreneurs/healers but I talked myself out of it for a million reasons over 10 years. Now that I’m doing what I always wanted to do, things are easier, and more importantly, more fun!)

 

 

  1. You don’t really know what you’re offering. This goes back to where we started. If you don’t really know the value of what you’re delivering, you can’t explain it to your perfect people. If you can’t explain it to your perfect people you’re not going to be a great ambassador for palmistry and the results your clients get when they work with you.

What to do: When you focus on the results your clients get when they work with you, it’s much easier to translate your value to your desired marketplace. As you give talks, produce content, and share your message across social media it’s consistent and valuable. When people resonate with YOU and the results they can get working with you, they buy into the idea of investing in working with you. They’re not buying a hand-reading; they are purchasing a change of their quality of life. Whether you help clients change jobs, heal their gut, figure out their accounting, create a blog, or write a book, make sure you are clear on how using the hard-wiring in their hands will make all the difference in their results.

 

Now it’s time for you to book some clients. If you’re not sure how to start, sign up for the Professional Palmist newsletter (which is DIFFERENT from the main newsletter I send to PalmNation every two weeks) and join the Profitable Palmist Facebook group. Of course, I’m always happy to talk about a private mentoring program if you’re ready to see results in the next four months!

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Welcoming New Clients Shouldn’t Be Complicated

Increase profits in your Palmistry Business by creating a professional Welcome Package
Increase profits in your Palmistry Business by creating a professional Welcome Package

Key Values for me include fun, accountability, initiative and empowerment.

In every interaction I want clients and potential clients to pick up on these themes. One way this shines through is in the Welcome Process. (In corporate speak, this would be known as “on-boarding”!)

Your key values may differ, still I encourage you to clarify now what your vision is for serving your client. Having a process for bringing your new client into your tribe is imperative to you building a long-lasting relationship.

Why do you want a long-lasting relationship with your clients?

Clients who love you and have an excellent experience from the very beginning are going to be your raving fans. You’ve heard of them, right? These are the people who can’t wait to run around and tell everyone they know how awesome you are. When they’re running around telling their friends, family and clients about you, you’re saving time and money in the marketing and advertising department of your business, which means you can spend more time doing what you love. When you do more of what you love, you can serve more clients and ultimately make more money.

Making more money and serving people you love ensures that you qualify as a profitable palmist and extends the reach you have for changing the world in a positive way.

I want you to succeed so much – there are 7.4 billion people in the world right now. That’s almost 15 billion hands to be read! We need each other to serve humanity and help empower the people living around the earth!

Here’s how I welcome a new client into the Coaching by Hand tribe. Follow these steps and use this link to get the sample templates I use to create your own branded welcome wagon.

Before the Booking

Prior to booking I have a conversation with everyone who is interested in a Coaching by Hand preliminary reading. I’ve titled my readings this way to ensure my audience knows that I’m not doing predictive palm-readings and that I’m here for the long haul, helping them to become empowered and take action to live their best, most fun life. (See how that goes back to my core values?)

In a future post I’ll go into detail about my pre-booking conversations, but for now I want you to know that this is a really casual conversation, not a sales call. I ask them a couple of questions by email before we schedule the appointment, then I have some topics to discuss when we’re on the phone.

Once the client decides to book a session with me, I send them a link for payment and remind them to make sure that the address on their payment is the one where they want their welcome package to arrive.

For payment processing I use Paypal and have for more than 10 years.

After the payment is processed I send out a quick email to connect personally and confirm the mailing address. It drives home the point that the reading is going to be fun, that the client made a wise and empowered choice in booking a session and it gives them a quick idea of what to expect as far as timing of their package and returning their prints.

I process and mail Welcome Packages once a week and that’s noted in the email the client receives, that way they’re not wondering what’s going on and they have an idea of when to expect their goodies.

Here’s what I include in the Welcome Package:

  • A cover letter outlining what’s in the package and thanking them again for choosing to work with me
  • Ink sheet (I use Sirchie)
  • Detailed instructions for making hand and fingerprints
  • A FAQ sheet, answering the most commonly asked questions about making and submitting ink prints and detailing what to expect once I receive their pritns
  • A client intake form
  • A waiver allowing me to use their prints with non-identifying information for teaching purposes
  • A Memorandum of Understanding,to clarify my policies on fees, what’s included in readings, and my scheduling and no-show policies. In addition this stresses that the client has 60 days from the date I’ve mailed their Welcome package to make and return their prints
  • A handwritten note, telling them how excited I am to work with them and usually including a personal tidbit I’ve gleaned from our conversation.

(wanna see samples? I’ll send ’em to you when you fill out this form!)

Be Sure to Track Your Ink Kits

I add the client’s name, email, mailing address and date mailed into a chart I’ve created in my bullet journal. There is a column for date returned and date of reading, too. I love analog tracking because I have a history of blowing out computers through my own clumsy habits of spilling water across keyboards and similar shenanigans. The point, of course, is having a tool that you’ll use to keep track of where your welcome packages are going and when they come home.

So Who Wouldn’t Send Back Their Prints?

In the early days of my business, when I was trying to be everything to everyone, at least half of the people who paid for readings never made their prints and sent them back. It was frustrating to me and probably to them too. If you’re reading this, I know you are not the kind of person who wants to get paid for doing nothing. You want to deliver results to your clients, right? So did I.

I spent two years investigating this challenge and realized that my approach of trying to serve everyone, was actually a pretty bad approach. (I know, duh! I had years of corporate sales and marketing experience, which taught me to be specific in my approach but when it came to my own business somehow I was afraid of leaving anyone out. Don’t let this happen to you.)

I made a few tweaks — including adding a 60 day deadline in my paperwork, raising my rates, and finding ways to assuage clients’ potential fears prior to booking — and now 90% of the clients who book with me return their prints within a week of receiving their welcome package!

Once the Ink Prints are Returned

When the ink prints are returned I email the client right away. (You’re probably catching on that I’m an email type person. I prefer emailing over phone calls or texting. You may prefer something else, but it’s important to know HOW you want to do business and set that tone for your clients up front.) I call it managing expectations and the more ways you can do that for your clients up front the happier you both are going to be.

The email subject line is YOUR PRINTS ARE HERE! And the email tells them how excited I am that I’ve received their prints. I include a link to my scheduling system with instructions for them to use it and make their appointment. I use TimeTrade.com which syncs with my google calendar. My understanding is that it also syncs with iCal, Outlook and other calendars too.

Using Timetrade has made my life so much easier! I set up specific times for each of the types of appointments I make on a regular basis (new client chats and one-to-one coaching by hand sessions) and then I can forget it. The system automatically syncs with my calendar, so if I’m on vacation or already booked, I can’t be double-booked (as long as I keep MY calendar straight). I’ve also set up welcome notes that inform the client of the number to call for their appointment and ask any questions I want them to answer prior to our call/session.  It’s a win-win!

I do Coaching By Hand calls on Mondays and Tuesdays and on Wednesday evenings. Those are the only times I make available. It’s up to the client to find a time that works for them. I make this clear in my Memo of Understanding and in all conversations and communication leading up to this point. This way no one is surprised to find that they may need to wait a couple of weeks to schedule their appointment. Remember what I said about managing expectations?

Once the client, has booked their appointment I send them one more email from me (not the automated system) letting them know we’re booked and reminding them what to do if they find they can’t make their appointment. This is a friendly reminder that they can cancel and reschedule without penalty within 48 hours of their scheduled time, using the timetrade system. It also makes the point that if they have an emergency the day of their appointment they should call or text me at my private number to let me know as soon as they know they won’t be able to make their appointment. I use my discretion in charging a re-book fee when this happens. This ties back to my core values of accountability and empowerment. My clients are always encouraged to make choices that are in their best interest and I give them plenty of opportunities to succeed. Since I make my expectations and policies clear at every step along the way, there are very few people who ever incur a penalty or miss their appointment – in the past year there was one person out of a few hundred!

In this email I also confirm that they have the number to dial (I use Freeconferencecallhd.com) and access code to use on their calendar. If they are an international client I confirm their Skpe information and remind them that they will be recording their own session if they desire a recording. This is also when I confirm time zones! (I discovered that while parts of Europe also has Daylight Savings time, their dates don’t always coincide with those in the US.)

How I Work with the Prints

Once I receive prints, I complete my portion of the Client Intake Form, review the question or topic they want to address and make notes for myself based on what I see in the hands.

My clients make and submit two copies of their prints to me, so sometimes I use one set to write on and I keep the other set clean to scan and use for teaching purposes.

Once I’ve done a quick overview of the prints I put them, the client information form, the signed paperwork and my notes in a file folder and set them aside by date in anticipation of their reading.

Conducting the Session

On the day of the reading, I pull out the client’s folder and review my notes, jot down any other questions or thoughts that come to mind and clear my space and my head to conduct readings.

I always ask for guidance from my highest and best self to be present during each reading of the day and set the intention that the client will receive the information that is most important for them at that moment in time.

10  minutes (or so)  prior to each appointment I send the client an email reminding them of the number to call and their access code and then I get on the line to wait for them to call in.

Once the client arrives I welcome them warmly and let them know what they can expect during our time together over the next hour. I then ask their permission to start the recording and we go from there.

At the very beginning I remind the client that while I may be the expert on hands, they are the expert on themselves and therefore nothing in their hands should come as a shock or surprise. I remind them that our session is going to be collaborative and that my intention is that they leave their session with insight and an actionable plan to use going forward.

Throughout the session I pause and ask questions and allow time for the client to process what we’ve discussed and ask their own questions.

Ending the Session

At the 50 minute mark I take a break and let the client know we’re about to wrap up. I give them the opportunity to ask any final questions or to fill in any information they need. Then I give a brief re-cap of everything we’ve discussed and addressed during their Coaching by Hand Session. I enumerate the action steps we’ve created and ask them for their commitment to following through.  Then I end by thanking them for their time and openness and ask their permission to follow up in 30 days to see how their action plan is working out.

As we close, I let them know that they’ll be receiving my newsletter if they haven’t already subscribed and let them know that I have various options for continuing in a coaching capacity to address the question they had at the beginning of our session.

If they ask for details about coaching, I give them a brief outline of how it works and let them know I’ll send the details in an email with their recording.

If they aren’t interested in coaching, I let them know I will be sending the link to their recording via email within 24 hours.

Once again, I thank my client for being open and sharing their time with me and encourage them to follow up with anything that they’d like to share after our reading.

Final Notes

You can see that I’m a high-touch practitioner. You can certainly automate many phases of this process, but I like building intimacy and trust through manually generated emails and handwritten notes throughout this process. This works for me because it allows me to incorporate my life lesson and life purpose throughout the process and feels most authentic for me.

Go ahead and sign up to get the  templates  that I use and make them your own!

What else do you want to know about welcoming new clients to your Palmistry Practice?