If you’ve had a reading by a professionally certified hand analyst, you know it changed your life! When that happens it’s natural that you want to go deeper into the process that so changed your life.
That is what happened to me! I had a hand reading in the Spring and by the Fall I was enrolled in a year-long certification program to become a hand analyst. At the time I had only a few vague ideas about becoming a professional hand reader. While I’m so glad to do the work I do today, helping palmists and others like them build businesses using the code in their hands, there are still a number of things I wish I’d known before I hung out my shingle. Here they are.
How patient are you? Building a palmistry business takes time and steady devotion. My first company was making a profit within 6 months and I had more than 10 years’ experience in corporate sales and marketing so I thought setting up and running a palmistry business would be a piece of cake. I spent a ton of time on things like logos and color schemes and jumping from one goal to another – this was time I should have spent focusing on one goal at a time.
Who do you serve? Resist the urge to be everything to everybody. I know you’ve heard it a million times, but the easiest way to build your palmistry business is to focus, either on a specific clientele or specific results. The surest way to burn out and go broke is to try to help everyone who has hands. (Ask me how I know this.)
What are you really offering? Clarify the features and benefits of your services so that you know what you want to offer and how you want to offer it.
What are you willing to do? Decide what type of palmist you want to be. Do you want to make your money on the road doing fairs and wine shows? Would you rather work big corporate events and parties? Perhaps you want to focus on being the reader in a well-known local shop? You could also focus exclusively on one-to-one readings by phone or in person. While you don’t have to etch these decisions in stone, it’s a good idea to know what you want and don’t want to do to build your business and make money. I spend 80% of my work time doing one-to-one client work and mix up the other 20% with winery events and private parties. In the past I’ve worked at local shops and had some good and some bad experiences. (I’m working on a post on what you should know about becoming a “resident reader.”)
How much is it worth? Determine your rates. Create your rate sheet and packages or offerings. Once you know how you want to deliver your services (see #5) you can begin to formulate rates, service offerings and packages that serve your preferred clients. Clarify your pricing for classes, workshops and other offerings if you intend to include them in your business.
How much money do you need? Get up close and personal with your numbers. If you are the sole breadwinner for yourself and your family, spend a few hours up to your elbows in financial projections. Knowing how much money you HAVE to earn to pay your bills and still maintain your quality of life is important. This will help you set your rates, set your working hours and get your butt in gear to make it happen.
Can you work double-duty? Don’t quit your day job, just yet. First, there is nothing wrong with having a day job or bridge job to make sure you and your family continues to have a roof over your heads. In fact, I applaud your foresight. Just make some clear contracts with yourself if you intend to quit that day job by a certain date. You can definitely run your palmistry business part-time, but you still need to treat it as a business for it to grow.
What do you want your client’s to feel when they work with you? Create a new client welcome experience package. Have a system for interacting with new clients every step of the way. Include everything from introductory email responses to the actual packet you mail to clients prior to their session. Include your “rules of the road” from the very beginning so client’s know and understand your hours, your scheduling and your boundaries regarding payments and no-shows.
How organized is your time? Invest in, or create a time management system that allows you to keep overwhelm at bay. This can include systemized emails, a time-scheduling software and a personal/business calendar or bullet journal that can help you stay on track.
What kind of storage do you need? Decide how you’ll store hand prints. People will want to know what you do with their prints after they’re made. Have a system in place to keep their privacy safe. If you intend to use their prints for any reason, be sure to have a waiver in your welcome package that requests their approval.
What’s your domain name? Set up your website and have a concrete content creation plan.
How will you keep in touch with your peeps? Review and set up an email content delivery program (I use Mailchimp) for sending direct newsletters to your list.
What content will you deliver? Start creating content that appeals to your desired client. Make a list of 24 topics that you can write about and start there. (this will give you enough for two articles in one year!)
How social are you? Choose your primary social media platform. It’s best to pick a platform that you already use and like. If you use social media, show up consistently. If you aren’t ready to be consistent, it’s best that you don’t dabble. Resist the temptation to try to be everywhere on social media in the very beginning. This doesn’t work!
I know it can seem like a lot, but I promise you, addressing these topics BEFORE you decide to launch your business will help you organize and get traction in your marketplace much more quickly than if you simply jump in and “wing it.”
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?