When I was first starting my psychic business, I did all the things ‘right’ that I saw other psychics doing:
- free readings
- drawings for giveaways
- saying yes to every raffle for every charity event I was invited to
- giving deep discounts on my services
- offering ‘trade’ and barter to people who couldn’t or didn't want to pay
Welp, I never got anything return for any of my reading trades (still waiting on those promised Flower Essences).
All people who won my free giveaways never became paying clients.
I gave over 100 readings away for ‘donations please’ and I made a grand $40 dollars cold hard cash - a total whopping rate of $2.50 an hour.
Starting out, I made a lot of mistakes. I learned, grew, read books on marketing and began to see what I was doing as a way to keep myself afloat - and what I learned worked - but the whole process took about 2 years. It takes a long time to build something out of scratch - even if you love it. You have to learn what you can take, what you can’t, what’s too much and what will eventually run you into the ground. But it doesn't have to take this long.
You don't have to repeat all my mistakes - because I'm here to tell you what they are.
I gathered up input from friends and reflected upon my own experiences to talk to you about the biggest mistakes I made as I was developing my business - so you don’t have to.
Consider this my gift to the community -
6 Mistakes NOT to Make When Starting Your Psychic Business
1. Free Readings
When I lived in Wisconsin, a Krispy Kreme Donut Shop opened near my house. Krispy Kreme Donuts are a very popular brand in the southern states, but they were moving into new Northern territory and no one knew anything about this amazing, delicious, really bad for you, but oh so good brand. So, they did something amazing to gain a following in the neighborhood.
They gave a warm, fresh, just-out-of-the-oven donut to everyone who walked into the store.
It was fantastic.
The first time I went, I was handed the exact thing I wanted - a fresh donut - and I wasn’t even hungry for more donut after that, but I bought something to be nice, anyway. I went looking for a Dozen, but since my craving was satisfied right as I walked in the door, I only bought 1 - out of guilt.
The store closed 6 months later.
Why didn’t it work?
When you give away for free, the exact thing you sell to the people who wanted to buy it - no one buys it then!
Free readings draw in followers and people to your Facebook page - I get it - but if you are selling Tarot readings - don’t offer free Tarot readings! Offer a crystal reading or a fun psychic game instead. Then, the people who came for the donuts, will still want to buy a donut, and they’ll be just as happy about the free lemonade they got, to boot.
2. Deep Discounts
All through high school, I worked at a Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Shop (I love sweets, what can I say?).
Each year in April, we hosted a “Free Cone Day.” On this day, everyone who came to the store got a free Kid’s cone of any flavor they liked and/or $1-2 OFF any full-size cone or treat.
It was the busiest day of the year and I hated it. People were rude to me, demanding, and treated me like total garbage. I was a human and they didn’t care - just give me my free cone, damn*t! was the attitude. They just weren’t our regular friendly and polite customers. By the end of free cone day, I was sweating, hungry and hating all people everywhere - I didn’t even want to talk to my mom when she came to pick me up.
Free cone people are not your regular customers
Everyone who worked at Baskin Robbins at the sales floor level was well aware that the “Free Cone Day” people are not regular customers - nor would they ever be. We were always glad when Free Cone Day was over and done with and we could go back to working with and for the people who were actually nice to us.
While this was ice cream, the same is true for most of the customers who buy your stuff when you offer it for ungodly low prices - so low, it feels you have to grovel for the business. They aren’t the same people who are buying your services at full price and are nice to you at the same time. If you offer a sale, my friend in the screen printing t-shirt industry let me in on a hint: 20% is the amount that will make people jump and generally, at more than 40% off, you can’t cover your own costs. Don’t offer lower than that - it’s not worth it - not worth your time or your energy and you won’t even be serving the regular client base, anyway.
3. Hiding on the Internet
When I first started my psychic business, I was also working full-time at an academic university in a research position. Obviously, I didn’t want my coworkers to find out what I was doing on the side, but I still wanted potential clients to find me. So I developed a plan.
I created a website and just left it there. It had a vague photo, a vague description of who I was and minimal information. Totally coworker safe. All the pages were static and I invested no time into helping people/potential clients find the site - I didn’t blog, I didn’t podcast, I didn’t even submit my website for web indexing (the very act that allows search engines to find your page).
As you can image, not only did no clients really find me, but my coworkers still found out anyway - because people love to creep.
Hiding on the internet didn’t work.
It didn’t work because -
I didn’t get any clients
The people I were hiding because of still found out in spite of my hiding
If you are going to do it, just do it. Get a facebook page, promote your work and who cares if your coworkers find out - they will regardless - and if you are that scared about it - don’t worry, you’ll be quitting soon anyway.
4. Not Letting People Into the Real You
I cannot tell you how many people come to my website and feel compelled to email me to say,
“I wish I could trust you, but I’m just so worried you’re a scam.”
That’s even with all the information I let hang out! What more do they want?!
This type of thing was worse and happened far more frequently when I had less information about myself available on the web. My blog, my photos, my about me page, my facebook page - all provides a story about who I am. It gives way to the fact that I’m real human with real feelings and authenticity. I have found that the more I let people into the ‘real me’ the more people trust me and feel comfortable booking my services.
Nowadays, when I come across a psychic’s site who calls herself StarBurst Healing, and goes by the name of Jen and I know nothing else - even *I* am skeptical.
I find myself asking this stuff about Jen. . .
What does Jen look like? Is she blonde? Because that’s who I see in my mind. Or does she look more like this fairy goddess image she has as her facebook profile? That would be nice, I’d like to look like a fairy.
Where does she live? Vermont would be fun. What about Montana? I’ve always wanted to live there, too. My significant other hates the wilderness though, so I'll just live vicariously through Jen. That's fine.
Why doesn’t she want me to know her last name? Does her husband not know she does this? I hope he’s supportive. She deserves someone who supports her.
Is she ashamed of what she does? Aw man, I hope not. I wish there was something I could do to help.
Does she have any pets? I want to work with someone who likes animals. Dogs, at least. Dogs are the best, cats can be weird, that’s true. I understand if she doesn’t like cats. If she lived in Montana, she could have horses I bet. I've always wanted a horse. Two actually, so they could be friends.
Then I suddenly snap back to reality. Why am I wondering so much about Jen? Where has my mind gone to?
Once I realize I’m doing this, I also realize, I’m so busy wondering about who Jen really is, I haven’t even made it to her sessions page. And I know I’m not the only weirdo who does this.
Don’t make people wonder about you. Our industry is about trust. If people don’t know you, they can’t trust you and they won’t buy from you. Bottom line. The more you let people in, the more comfortable they feel and the more likely they are to want to be vulnerable with you - that’s what our jobs are all about!
5. Lack of a Regular Presence on Social Media
Last week I was looking for the hours of a garden center I wanted to visit and it happens to be located in a strange location on the outskirts of Philadelphia. I couldn’t find their hours anywhere on their website, so I went to their Facebook page for answers. Once there, I saw their page hadn’t been updated in over 3 months. Since it’s the growing season as I write this, I feared they closed and I never went to the store. True story. That happened.
I hate to say this but it’s true, if you don’t have a ‘lifeline’ into the internet world that’s pumping out a continual pulse, people will think your business is dead, non-existent or that something is wrong. People freak out and get nervous about things not being normal. I’m sorry, but it’s the truth. Nowadays, regularly posting to social media to let the world know you are alive is a sign of ‘normal.’
Social media is your "I'm alive and healthy" pulse
I’m not saying you have to post 5x a day like some bloggers recommend, but I am saying - make a commitment to post an update to a Social page (ANY at all) at least 2-3 times per week. People want to know you’re alive. They don’t want to book from a dead person or a person who has been hospitalized for something (maybe, who knows?).
6. No Easy Way to Buy from You
People love directions. They love them. Even when I am ordering a cheesesteak - I’m like, just tell me the steps so I don’t mess this up somehow. I don’t want to look like an idiot who doesn’t understand. And we’re all like that - we just want to be told how to do something so we don’t mess it up somehow and order the wrong thing, at the wrong time or in the wrong way. Man, mistakes are the worst. No one wants to make one at your website.
If you don’t have a step by step explanation as to HOW to buy something and what happens after you do, people will get nervous and confused.
Confused people don't buy.
If you have some complex way people have to go about booking a session with you that involves all types of steps that are not “click and order,” people will get confused. Making your ordering process vague can really narrow down the people that you work with - and depending on how you see it - this can be a good or a bad thing. You may like it that way, but if you are building a business, it’s best to arrange a buying process that’s as simple and seamless as possible.
Do this and then this, and then you can expect me to do this. Boom. Done.
There - now you’ve learned from all my lessons!
Avoiding these mistakes is easy - now that you know about them.
Now you know! But . . . is there more you can do to develop your business?
There sure is!
My eCourse called Marketing for Mediums goes over 21 tangible, actionable steps to make your business fiscally sustainable, financially and emotionally rewarding and productive.
For less than $2 a day, you can learn all of my best tips, tricks and tools to transform your psychic, intuitive, medium or tarot based business.
Ready to learn more or enroll now?
I’m super excited about this course, because it includes not only includes my own trial-by-fire tips but it also features the genius tips compiled from countless Spirit Guides in my personal business coaching sessions.
And as we all know, Spirit Guides have the best ideas.