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 The “3 R’s” are a cute nickname for reading, writing and arithmetic, the fundamentals of skills-based education. I have my own 3 R’s.  They are the fundamentals of marketing my tarot business, and, they may surprise you. If you are a tarot professional, or are considering beginning your tarot career, these marketing strategies may help you as they helped me.

So often, I hear tarot pros, especially those just beginning their journey, complain that they just can’t get enough clients. I believe that if you are a decent reader, and can apply these three R’s to your practice, you will see growth in your client list, and will begin building the sort of good will for your brand that lasts a lifetime.

My 3 R’s are Reputation, Referrals and Relationships.

Let’s start with the first, Reputation.

I know what you’re thinking.  How can you worry about your reputation if you have only a few clients, or are just starting out?

If you focus on building your reputation, your business will naturally follow.

One of the great ways to do this is to give free readings.

I can hear the groans and protests now. I’ve heard every argument against giving your product away for free. I have only one answer. It’s called “sampling”, people! Every drug dealer knows the power of sampling. Teavana has built a high-end mall brand around sampling fruity teas.

Strategic sampling can build your brand, too. Here’s what to do.

First, consider the venues in which you would like to grow. It makes sense that, if you are growing your local business, you will find ways to get some exposure locally. If you are building an online business, it makes sense to get exposure online.

Second, make sure your sampling really is beneficial exposure. Reading for your friends for free in someone’s living room is not good exposure. Reading for the crowd at a charity function is.

Likewise, giving away free readings on a social media platform may be time-consuming and frustrating. Holding conversations that engage people while giving them just a taste of what you can do can be very worthwhile.

All the strategic exposure in the world won’t help you if you don’t learn how to pitch the sale. Often we believe that a great product should sell itself, and, once in a while, it does. But, after that great sample reading, you’ve got to be able to say, “Now here’s my number. You might want to give me a call when such-and-such happens, or before, if something comes up.” Or, “As you can see, there are a lot of things we could dig deeper into. Give me a call if you would like to do that.” Remember, as a self-employed tarot pro, you must be an effective sales person as well as a great reader.

How you present yourself to the public is important to consider. There is no one right way for a reader to dress, live or act. However, the way you present is an important part of your brand. Be conscious and intentional about your presentation.

Make an effort to be on time, and keep your appointments. Psychics are notoriously flaky. Being the reader who shows up really does count for something.

Online, be careful about oversharing, or airing your dirty laundry. Use social media to share your authentic persona, rather than to bare your soul.

Remember that people talk with each other. If you behave unethically with Mary, Sara will certainly find out, and she’ll tell her friends, too. Bad news travels faster than good. However, eventually, if you treat everyone well, your integrity will become the cornerstone of your reputation.

My second R is Referral. In my own head, that’s actually two R’s – referrals and repeats. I think of a repeat as a self-referral, you see.

When a client refers a friend, there is no better advertising. When a client returns for another reading, there is no better endorsement of your good work.

Take an honest and constant look at your rate of referral, and rate of repeat.  Likewise, when you work those charity functions, keep track of approximately how many people you read for, and how many of them call for a reading, or refer a friend. Granted, sometimes it takes years for a person to make that call. However, if you read for thirty people at an event, you should receive one or two phone calls within the next two weeks.

If you’re not getting those phone calls, if the referrals and repeats aren’t coming, your job is to figure out why. No matter how relevant a reading feels, or how good a connection feels, or how much a person says they enjoyed their reading, the only thing that really tells you if you did a good job is this.

Did it generate another appointment?

If you aren’t getting those referrals and repeats, you must analyze the problem without anxiety or ego. There is something in your presentation or delivery that isn’t working for people. It’s your job to figure out what that is. Perhaps, you can do a reading on it! (I am amazed how often professional readers forget to use their own tool, tarot, to help plan, analyze and set goals for their business!)

It is this important step – analyzing where you are losing the referral – that many readers fail to take. Instead, they post in social media groups with concerns that their free readings aren’t generating business, or that there just aren’t enough potential clients available to them.

The bottom line is this. If your readings aren’t generating more readings, you’re doing something wrong.

People love readings. Most successful readers stay busy most of the time. If that’s not showing signs of happening for you yet, you may need to make some changes.

Work to develop a reading style that generates referrals. Remember that the mood of the public changes quickly. You may have to gently alter your style from time to time to remain current. Be sensitive to whether people seem to be preferring a gentle delivery of difficult news, or a more straight-on approach, for example. Do people seem to prefer a more casual tone, or would they prefer you to have a more formal appearance?

You can tailor your style to fit the changing mood of the public as you perceive it. This will make your readings more accessible and relatable, and will help you generate referrals.

It’s also important, in a reading, to give specific information. One of the most common complaints about a lackluster reading is “it’s all so general.”

Giving specific information takes skill and courage. Frankly, if you don’t yet have that skill and courage, you aren’t yet ready for professional tarot.

The final R is the logical result of the first two. It’s all about the Relationships we build. It’s important to remember that our important relationships in business are not just with clients and potential clients.

In business, we develop relationships with peers and colleagues, with venues and vendors, and with organizations and other businesses.

“Ujamaa” is a Swahili word that has come to mean “cooperative economics.” That is, the idea that we can work together and help each other grow, rather than competing against each other.

The world of tarot, and metaphysical work in general, is a good place to practice cooperative economics. The more we can promote each other and collaborate together, the more successful we all are.

Building relationships with potential clients is really what marketing is all about. We already talked about making the sales pitch at the end of a free reading. Whether you are talking to a stranger or a repeat client, it is important to end every conversation with your willingness to talk again soon.

When you put your business card in someone’s hand and say “Call me!” you are building an important relationship. This sets an intention, and helps your potential client feel comfortable doing exactly that.

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Of course, the most sacred relationship in our work is the relationship between client and reader. It is important that we honor and nurture our clients as much as possible. We do this by bringing our very best to the table each and every reading.

It takes time, patience, and constant maintenance, to build a good tarot business. If you focus on building your reputation, fine-tuning your reading style and creating relationships, you will manifest exactly the tarot career you desire.

I offer a private, customized program of tarot mentorship available to select candidates worldwide. Please email me if you are interested.

For more information about building your tarot business, read my first book, “Fortune Stellar”.