You only offer holistic Tarot readings, but people assume you’re a fortune teller. You’re only into white witchcraft, but clients enquire about dark spells. You’re a tool free medium, but everyone thinks you practice divination. Honey, you have a branding problem.
Many readers blame the above problems on stereotypes and the representation of spiritual practitioners in the media. While those things can have an effect on how you are perceived I have found that, the majority of the time, the branding of a diviner’s business is usually the reason that potential clients make assumptions.
It is a sad fact, but people are going to assume things about your reading style based on how you present yourself. You can repeatedly say on your website that you don’t perform curses or binding spells but if your site’s branding doesn’t scream Glenda the Good Witch you’re going to keep getting your time wasted. This is because the mental impression you leave on your potential clients is much stronger than text on a page.
Humans are hard-wired for psychological shortcuts. The Australopithecine learned first hand that bushes = poisonous snakes and big tigers so that you don’t have to. Your brain can shortcut to ‘danger’ and other emotions on autopilot (often subconsciously) so that it doesn’t have to weigh up choices on every little action.
Mental short cutting is why branding is imperative. As soon as someone is exposed to your business, their brain makes a snapshot of what you do and how you do it. Hominidae have been avoiding bushes for 20 million years but have only been writing for 10,000. You can’t compete with impulse if you say one thing but present another what you have told people will be ignored.
I hear readers making comments time and time again about how they only get inquiries from seekers who want a particular type of reading which they don’t offer. Typically, these requests will be of a predictive nature when the reader only performs self-help styled readings. The readers can’t work out why nobody 'gets' the types of readings they do. However, a visit to their websites reveals they have unintentionally created the mood of fortune-telling; pictures of palmistry hands, reading tables and crystals balls everywhere. I have even been approached by people who literally have photographs of fortune tellers on their website but complain that seekers assume they are predictive readers.
If you’re having this issue, you must take an honest look at the impression you’re giving of your business. Branding is not just for large enterprises. You have to be intentional in how you present yourself because this plants a seed in seeker’s minds about what they can expect when they book your services and follow you on social media.
You can fix any branding problem by going back to the reasons why you want to read and getting clear on who you want to serve. You have to know what they want in order to speak to them and brand yourself on this.
Step one to the branding process is always to figure out who you are and who you want to serve. It sounds so cliqué, but if you do not establish who you are branding for and what you’re all about then your aesthetic will make no sense. Ask yourself;
- What kinds of readings do I do?
- Who do I want to work for?
- What do I want to avoid?
- What do I think of when I think of these things?
- What colors, mood, and items are associated with the things I am advocating/avoiding?
If you do not make it clear who you are serving, then you will serve anyone. This is because the clients who are looking for you will walk on by because they will not realize you can help them. You have to talk directly to them. You have to show them you’re their guy/girl/person for the job (this is something I cover in detail in my Psychic in Business Bundle).
Imagine you’re dying for a drink of coffee and you’re in a strange town. You have to find the coffee shop. You can’t use your psychic powers because you have a migraine. Your nose is blocked. How will you recognize the coffee hut? How will you know that’s what they sell? If that store doesn’t have anything on the outside which lets you know they’re the coffee place, you can easily miss it entirely.
Most readers play it ‘cool’ and try to avoid labels. Don’t be one of them. Don’t kill your business for the sake of pride. Lack of labels may seem like a hip thing to talk about on social media, and you might get a couple of brownie points here and there, but nobody will ever buy your services if they have no idea what the fuck they are. You need labels so that people understand what you’re selling.
For your potential clients, you have to stick out like a sore thumb. You’re a peacock in a pet store. You have to stand up and say, “Feast your eyes on this beautiful tail I have, feed me grapes and take me to your estate.” If you’re not highlighting what you have nobody is going to see it. You’ll get bundled off with the budgies and be nothing more than a buying regret who eventually gets listed on Gum Tree for 50 quid (cage, feed, and toys included).
When you decide what your style is and who you are serving try your hardest to avoid falling into a scarcity mindset. For example, panicking that you’ll somehow alienate people and lose money by laser focusing your branding. The only way you’ll lose money is by not shouting with a megaphone that you’re the Fortune Teller, the Crystal Healer, the Past Life Expert. You’re the person to go to when someone wants one of these services. If you sit on the fence, you’ll never stand on the ground. Remember, let them know you’re the peacock.
This sounds so cheesy but remember, it is okay to be vanilla. The point is that you have to let everyone know you are vanilla. Some people want vanilla. In fact, most people want vanilla because they understand what it is (a benefit of labeling ha).
Feeling like your readings are standard is okay, even desirable. If your seekers already understand your offerings, then you do not have to spend extra time educating them on what to expect. All you have to focus on is saying, "Hey! My readings can help you find a man" or, "I can communicate a message from Aunt Jessie for you"!
If you’ve already had happy seekers (paid or not), then your readings are good enough as they are. You do not have to change to or advertise as another reading style because you think this will sell. Trust me, I am an ethnicity most people associate with good readings, and I still have had to pump effort, time and money into branding! Business is hard no matter what you’re offering.
You can look at a style of reading and admire it from afar. I have girlfriends who are initiated into the religion Palo, and they incorporate elements of their beliefs into their readings. They do well because that is their ‘thing.' But they are killing it not because of their religion but because that is their calling, what they are talented in and everyone knows this is what they offer. If I were to switch to Palo for my readings, I would fall on my ass because I am a Romany Gypsy Fortune Teller and I can’t do the spiritual investigations which they are skilled at. However, that’s not to say that things cannot change.
When you brand your business do not worry about it being set in stone. Changing your mind is okay. If you’re reading style naturally evolves slowly over time and you want to offer something different, then it is okay to be flexible. There is no one standing over you with a stick beating you if you move on from Oracle Card Readings.
Do not worry about morphing in the future, brand for today. It is important that you think about what you want to be known for now, how you're going to get those seeker's now and how best you can serve them.
So, to recap remember;
1. Get clear on your reading style, who you want to serve and what you want to give them.
2. Take an honest look at your branding and ask if you would associate it with things you want to be known for (or avoid).
3. Be unapologetic about letting your target clients know you’re the person to serve them. Labeling yourself for business is okay.
4. You don’t have to break the mold. It is fine to be offering something your clients have heard of before and sometimes this can be a good thing because they understand your offering (it's how you market it which matters).
5. You reading style and offerings will probably change over time. Do not worry that you’re stuck with offering one thing for the rest of your life. Brand for today.
Finally, if you would really like to improve your psychic reading practice, you can sign up below to discover 40+ ways you can make money as a professional in the spiritual industry. The guide is free and instantly downloadable on mobile, tablet and computer!
Cards used in this post are The Wooden Tarot available from Skull Garden.