14 Things You Should Know Before You Start a Woo-Woo Business

Thinking of starting a palmistry business? Read this first.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.”)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. What’s your domain name? Set up your website and have a concrete content creation plan.
  12. 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.
  13. 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!)
  14. 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.”

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Helping Hand: Helping Your Perfect People Find You

Multi Ethnic People Holding The Word Community

I get lots of questions about how I find clients. In fact, when I meet a new person and they ask what I do about the third thing they ask is “Wow, but how do you find clients?”  Or more direct questions like, “But, you can’t make a living doing that, can you?”

So many women are longing to ditch the shoulds and start living their life on their own terms, but they are afraid they won’t be able to make their bottom line add up.  I get it. In fact, just six years ago I wasn’t making ends meet, at all. That’s a story for another post, and one that I shared recently with my Facebook peeps, but now I’d like to help you find your perfect people so they can help you make a living doing what you love.

When I say your Perfect People: it’s your COMMUNITY.

First, your perfect people usually are NOT a demographic or a caricature. It’s a good idea to start with a sketch of that type, but it’s more important to dig in to the heart of what makes them tick.  See, they could be all ages under the sun, work in stodgy corporate environments and out in the wilds of  nature, but still long for the same thing.  That thing they long for, that energy they bring into the world? That’s what makes them your perfect people.

Next, perfect people want to work with you. They are happy to invest in your solutions and results and they adore you. They really love the way you get them and they love telling their friends all about you. There is  no hemming or hawing with budgets or comparisons. They just get you. Finally, they may not always buy everything, but they always tell their friends about you.  They appreciate you as much as you appreciate them.

Your perfect people are the doorway to you earning your worth and being able to support yourself.

Contrary to “internet guru” belief, you don’t need a million followers or 10,000 likes to make enough to support yourself.  You simply need a few hundred people who are on board your train and are willing to invite others onto the ride.  This isn’t about targeting or snaring or capturing anyone – it’s about being real.

If you’ve been in business for yourself for longer than 10 minutes, you know that there is no way in the universe that you’re going to go from $0 to $50K in a week. Not if you don’t have money to spend and not if you don’t have any people supporting you.

Building your business, particularly in a lesser known industry like tarot, astrology, palmistry, reiki or angel readings requires you to have patience.  Isn’t it funny how many of us “spiritual-preneurs” have no patience for the time-space continuum on Earth? 

I have no patience. I have slightly more patience now than I did 11 years ago when I started this business.  Which means, I still want my results immediately, or yesterday – but I’m more willing to accept that it’s going to take the time it takes so I may as well show up with a good attitude and be open to the possibilities.  While I’m open to miracles, I still like to work a plan.  If you want a plan, here’s some ways to build your relationship with your perfect people.  Start today and keep doing something to nurture those relationships every day and see what happens in a month, and six months and a decade.  I guarantee you that consistently showing up every day will reap rewards. No, it’s not sexy or overnight, but tomorrow will be more profitable than today and so on.

1. Find a  home on the internet that you want to nurture your relationships. You may say you hate the computer or the internet or social media, but the world doesn’t. Even the world of people who say they hate it show up on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or LinkedIn or whatever other newfangled tools there are out there. Give yourself some time to explore the various options, do this by asking people who are on your team (best clients, colleagues, others who like what you do) what they like and don’t like on social media. Try out the various platforms for a little while and then pick one to start.  Use that place as your hub. Make it comfy like your home base. Invite people in, greet them when they show up and just generally be YOU but the best version of you there.  Build that space up over time.   Do one thing each day (or each business day) to enhance the experience for yourself and your guests. For me, that hub is The Pragmatic Palmist on Facebook. I have other smaller niche sights on Facebook because my perfect people by and large love and use that space. Some of my clients have similar vibrant hubs on LinkedIn, Periscope and Instagram. In fact, I love Instagram – there aren’t many professional hand analysts there so it’s been a boost to my bottom line of late.

2. Go out and Network. In your community.  Yes, yes, I know you’re interested in a lifestyle, geographically independent business. I hear ya. We’re moving in a year and I’m grateful that I have clients all over the world. Some of whom I connected with through people I met in my own backyard here in Virginia. Find one or two networking groups that you gel with and show up, be active and build relationships.  Being active in your community includes formal networking groups (just google “networking groups in ___” to find a few dozen even in you tiny community), of course.  But community groups can also include activity related meetups, social groups, alumnae/alumni groups and more.  Whether you like dog-parks with your pug or knitting and wine with gal pals, you’ll find a place to go.  Getting out of your house and away from your computer is a great way to build your network.  You’re going to expand your world, not to get someone to hire you – be you and the perfect people will find you. Don’t be shy about sharing your work, but don’t make it the central focus either.  Just be you.

3. Write some articles. These are things you can do in your local community and  your virtual community. I’ve been happily writing a column for our local Regional paper for more than 7 years. In exchange for writing my column I receive a quarter page ad and a little bio-blurb the end of my column. Over the years I’ve booked dozens of clients and received even more referrals, just from showing up and writing a monthly column on topics of interest to me. Yes, I do like writing, but not all my columns are stellar or perfect, but they are all a reflection of me. The columns that are more “me” than formal or perfect are the ones where I get the most calls and referrals.  Even though it’s a local publication, I’ve actually booked a number of out of town clients who happened to be in town on vacation and read the article! Some of them even months after the original date of publication.

4. Teach a class. Is there a local community center where you can offer a low-fee class to share your information with others? If you make your class user-friendly and open to all who are interested, you’ll be able to share your wisdom with others who are curious. A class is a great opportunity to meet new people, answer commonly heard questions and engage your community in a face-to-face way. See if you can partner up with a local massage therapist or yoga studio who may love to offer your classes to their audience in exchange for you introducing their space to your audience! One of the best ways to find places to teach is to ask the people you meet in your community for classroom ideas! Again, be you and enjoy what happens.

5. Use the power of the internet! Once again you can use the tools available to you through modern technology to expand your reach. Blogging, podcasting, webinars and teleclasses are still prominent ways to expand your community. You can teach classes, interview experts or celebrities, give step-by-step instructions and more on the internet. The power of this medium is awesome – people all over the world will be able to find you at all hours of the day and night.

6. Access your hard-wiring. Call it your purpose or soul’s navigation system, but you’re a spiritual being with heartfelt beliefs and visions and dreams. Your Perfect People are often quite similar to you. If you’ve had a hand reading, you can bring your gifts into play or if you have a handle on your life purpose and your life lessons, let them help guide you to places and message

 

These are five simple ways that you can get started now.  Pick one and run with it for at least 6 weeks so you can get a feel for the process. Giving yourself ONE instead of five is important – you want to avoid overwhelm and watch your progress instead of getting caught up in perfectionism or overwhelm.  Watch your progress from week 1 to week 6 and give yourself a pat on the back for sticking to it.  Sticking to it is the biggest differential between those who “make it” and those who don’t.

Your First Palmistry Event

Want to start booking palmistry parties to build your business? Here's how you can do it and still have a blast! PeggieArvidson.com

Here’s a super quick look at how to Prepare for Your First Live Palmistry Event

When you start reading hands it’s not long before someone reaches out and asks if you’ll read hands at their party. Graduations, retirements, birthdays, corporate shindigs and local community and psychic events are all places  you’re going to be in high demand. Because you are a pro and a pragmatic one at that, get yourself prepared now so you can head out to any event ready to rock the crowd and wow them with your professionalism AND  your mad Palmistry skills.

Logistics

Before you go anywhere make sure you’ve got the details down. Nothing worse than showing up late because your smart phone took you some back-roads way through the woods to your event. Okay, there is something worse, showing up at the wrong house or room in the conference center. Don’t let that happen to you.

Where & When

Make sure you get the exact date and time for the event. Write it down. Repeat it back to the person who has booked you. Then put it in the contract you send to confirm your appearance at the event.

(You do have a contract don’t you?)

When does the event start and when does it end?

What time should you arrive to set up?

Speaking of set up, what kind of space is available for you to do your readings? Do you have electricity for a good lamp? I recommend this one, originally shared on a secret page for Hand Analysts, because it takes batteries as well as electricity! (not an affiliate link)

Will you have/need a table and chairs?

If you’re not given an exact time to show up, or the person hiring you hasn’t any idea what time would be useful, plan to show up at least 30 minutes before the scheduled start of the event. When you arrive introduce yourself to the host/ess and find out how you can make yourself useful. Don’t get in the way, but if they ask if you can put flowers on the tables – do it. You’ll be remembered and referred just because you were a cool person who helped out in a pinch.

Once you’ve made yourself useful, set up your space and take a few deep breaths. I’m not one for big displays of chanting and cleansing, but that’s just me. Do whatever you do to get your space all calm and zen like. Then head out to the bathroom, take care of business and make friends with whomever is in charge of making sure you have enough water to drink. Trust me, at a busy event you’re going to drink plenty of water. Not soda. Not cocktails. Water. It does a body good.  Sure it’s fine to have a glass of wine if that’s you’re thing, but remember, you’re hired to do a job and do it well. Don’t let the thing everyone remembers about you be the way you had to be helped into a cab at the end of the night, or the way you started telling “funny” stories about people out of school.

Before the event gets going, confirm, once again, with the host/ess about the time for wrap up and go over any policies you may have about breaks and or additional time. It feels really easy to say “Sure, I’d love to!” when you’re asked in the heat of the moment if you could stay for another hour or two, but when you’re driving home you’ll be kicking yourself for not taking yourself and your business seriously. You know your value,  make sure you’re clear about it up front so no one is upset. (yes, this too should be in your event contract.)

Who

Ask for the exact spelling of the person’s name who is hiring you, and responsible for your payment. Then make sure you spell their name right on your contract. (you may not know how annoying it is for people to constantly misspell your name, but it’s annoying at best and shows you don’t tend to details at worst.)

Also ask for the spelling and information about any guests of honor. You do NOT want to be that jerk reader who tells the birthday boy that you’re sorry, but  he’s going to get to the end of the line for his reading!

Finally, find out the details about any of the other ‘key’ players you’ll want to pay special attention to. My clients know that everyone receives top service when they sit at my table, but they also know that I will do my best to honor the request of the host, which means sometimes giving the guest of honor a slightly longer reading, or allowing them to come up front in the line. (Usually the guests at the event do this themselves, sending the guest of honor up front to you, but you definitely want to be sure you’re clear on what’s happening!)

What

What specifically are you there to do? Will you be speaking about Palmistry to the group at large or are you going to sit in an out of the way space and wait for guests to come to you? Will you be able to manage a long line or do you need an assistant to help you? Figure out these logistics ahead of time!

Of course, what kind of readings are you going to give and for how long?

I’m  a non-predictive and VERY Pragmatic Palmist. It is important to me that no one who comes to sit with me has the impression that I’m going to predict their future. You’ll adapt your own style of course, but here’s a look at the way I give a reading at an event –

When the guest comes over to my table I greet them with a warm hello and ask them if they’ve ever had their hands read before. I listen completely to their answer, reading their body language to see if they seem apprehensive, nervous, tipsy, excited, curious or any combination of these! Next I ask if there’s anything specific they want to be sure we cover in our 5 minutes/10 minutes or however long we have. Usually they say they just want to know whatever I see and are open. Sometimes they shrug their shoulders and other times they say, “I don’t even know what you can see, so I’m not sure.”  This gives me a chance to tell them what they can and can’t expect in our time together and I say “I just want to make sure that you’re not disappointed if I don’t touch on a specific topic, like love or money, because I’ve been drawn to something else in your hands.”

That’s when they look up and say, “well, yeah, I would like to know what you see about my relationship.” (or money).

Whatever they’ve told me is important to them is the area I want to explore for them.  We’re at a party, so I want to keep things at a high level – not digging too deep to any topics that may make them uncomfortable in that moment. While I always look for the nugget of truth and wisdom in every reading, I don’t ever want someone to feel bull-dozed, especially at a party and without time or space to explore deeper for healing.

Then I trust the hands to lead me to their personal nugget of wisdom. I always remember that I’m there to be entertaining and useful.

There have been times that I wanted to focus on the Saturn line, but the healer gift markings and the crooked pinky were calling to me. In those case I weave that message in and make sure the guest knows how special their hands are for beckoning to me in just that way.

A quick note on etiquette and marketing

Before you decide to market the heck out of your services while you’re at the party, ensure you have the blessing of the person who hired you. While it’s natural for guests who enjoy your service to ask about booking you for their event you don’t want to be the clodhopper in the corner trying to upsell people at a party where you’re being compensated fairly for your service. And if yo’ure not being paid fairly, that’s on you!

I always write the understanding about selling and marketing at a private event into the contract, that way there’s no gray area on either side. Hostesses have always told me to feel free to give out my card if I’m asked for it, but most prefer I refrain from making their guests feel like they are at a direct marketing event.

Finally, make sure you’re getting compensated fairly before you show up and you’ll have an amazing time at the event while doing a great job for the host and their guests.

 

Would you like to see more posts like this here? Send me a note and let me know!