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BTP52: Ask Brigit: Going Pro as a Tarot Reader

By November 15, 2016Podcast, Tarotpreneurs

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>>Download the Free PDF: Ask Brigit: Going Pro as a Tarot Reader

Every month Biddy Tarot gets over 200 questions from people, just like you, about how to grow a Tarot business. In this podcast episode, Brigit digs into the archives to answer your most popular questions.

Whether you’ve started learning the Tarot, are considering going pro, or are already an established reader thinking about how to get to that next level, make sure you listen to this episode.

You’ll learn:

  • How to know when you’re ready to go pro
  • How much study and practice is necessary before going pro
  • How to gain experience reading for strangers (and why reading for strangers is so important)
  • How to get started with your Tarot business
  • How to commit full-time
  • How to charge for Tarot readings and ways to grow your income

Additional Resources:

Podcast Transcript

Brigit: You’re listening to the Biddy Tarot Podcast, and this is Episode 52: Ask Brigit: Going Pro as a Tarot Reader

Voice-Over

Welcome to the Biddy Tarot podcast, where you will learn how to connect more deeply with your intuition and live an empowered and enlightened life with the Tarot cards as your guide.

Listen as Brigit and her guests share their very best tips and strategies to help you read Tarot with confidence.

And now, here is your host Brigit Esselmont.

GOING PRO AS A TAROT READER

Hello and welcome! Every month we get over 200 questions just through our Welcome Survey alone from people, just like you, who are learning Tarot or perhaps starting to grow their Tarot business.

I’ve gone back into the archives to find the most popular questions so I can answer them for you. That’s what Ask Brigit is all about. And today we’re going to focus on going pro as a Tarot reader.

I found some of these great questions. I’m just going to get straight in and answer them.

Maybe you’ve started learning the Tarot or you’ve got quite a good understanding of the Tarot and you’re starting to think about doing it as a job. If that sounds like you, then listen up. Even if you’re already doing professional Tarot readings and you’re thinking how to get to that next level, make sure you listen to this episode.

ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS

Here’s the first question and it’s from Debbie who says, “How do I know when I’m ready to go pro?”

It’s a good question and there are no hard and fast rules about doing X, Y and Z before you can go pro.

There’s even no hard and fast timing for it either. Some people will feel ready within literally a few months of first picking up the Tarot cards and for others, it might take several years to be in a place where they’re ready to go pro.  Just know that ultimately you’ve got to tune into what’s right for you.

But here are a couple of pointers that I think might be helpful.

Number one, how do you know when you’re ready to go pro? Well, you know the Tarot card meanings and can be confident in interpreting them intuitively in all kinds of readings.

It’s one thing to memorize the keywords, but it’s another to be able to read the cards intuitively and apply those meanings in all sorts of readings on all sorts of topics. It’s important that you’re looking up the meanings in a book, or if you do find yourself stuck, that you’ve got a couple of strategies to quickly get your intuition back into gear for reading and interpreting those cards.

It’s really important that you have a good knowledge of the Tarot card meanings, plus to know how to interpret them intuitively.

Number two – You also need to have a number of different Tarot spreads under your belt.

You can’t totally keep this simple. Maybe you just have a few three-card Tarot spreads that you use, or a couple of different techniques that help you draw cards from the deck and tell a story with those cards.

Or you might even learn how to design your own Tarot spreads, that way you don’t need to remember all the positions of the Celtic Cross or all the positions of whatever spread there is. Instead, you’re dynamically creating these Tarot spreads as you work with your new clients.

Just make sure you’ve got a couple of spreads under your belt and you know how to choose the right spread.

Number three is that you’ve read for strangers.

It’s one thing to read for yourself. It’s another thing to also read for your friends and family, who are probably going to be very nice. You also have that little bit of extra information about them anyway, so you can always bring that into your readings.

But it’s really another thing to read Tarot for people you don’t know at all and who really have no investment in pleasing you. They’re going to give you really constructive, but truthful, feedback in your readings.

What’s more, if you’re reading for strangers, you’re getting exposure to all sorts of people with all sorts of questions, with all sorts of perspectives. Reading for strangers is so important because it helps you define your boundaries, it defines who you are as a Tarot reader, and how you want to work with your clients.

If you don’t have that foundation, can you imagine your first paying client asking you these crazy, wacky questions and you think, “Oh, my mom never asked me that. What do I do?” So I recommend having at least 50 readings done for strangers.

Usually you can do them for free, so you can join the Biddy Tarot Community and read Tarot for free in exchange for feedback and experience. Or you could set up in a café and do free readings that way.

Number four – You’re getting great feedback and people are asking you if you’ll read for payment. I certainly noticed this when I had been doing hundreds of Tarot readings for free, I started getting more and more people saying, “Wow, that reading really changed my life. Can I pay for a reading with you?” I took that as my sign maybe it’s my time to go pro.

If you’re hearing a lot of positive feedback like, “Whoa, you should really be charging for this,” then you should really be charging for it. Absolutely.

Now another indicator that you’re ready to go pro is that you feel 90% confident. Now you might be thinking, why aren’t you saying 100%, Brigit? Well, you’re always going to have that little seed of doubt no matter whether it’s your first day being professional Tarot reader or it’s your tenth year or your 50th year. There’s always a little seed of doubt, like “Oh, am I good enough and so on.”

I just want you to be 90% confident. Close enough. You’re never going to be 100% ready, so just know when to go for it and push your comfort zone a little bit more.

Now I also want you to be clear on your beliefs about Tarot and how it works, because no doubt you’re going to find yourself with a skeptic. Or you’re going to find some of your ethical boundaries challenged at various times, so knowing what you believe can be very, very helpful for that.

One last thing, this is ideal, but not essential – Consider getting training. Go through a reputable course so you can get basic Tarot skills down pat and know you’ve got all the bases covered.

Another optional consideration is that you may want to become a certified Tarot reader before you go pro. That gives you a little bit of extra confidence and credibility as a Tarot reader.

Debbie, I hope that has been helpful for you.

Katherine asks, “How much study and practice should I have completed before I go pro as a Tarot reader?”

Well, I mentioned the ‘when’ before. You can study for years and still not feel ready to be a professional Tarot reader. Or you can pick up those cards straight away and feel like you found your old friend and connect with the cards quickly.

How much study and practice do you need? I think it’s definitely worthwhile investing in getting the bases covered when it comes to studying the Tarot, learning the techniques, and having a number of spreads under your belt. It’s also important to have a few different strategies for conducting a reading and how to deal with difficult clients.

For practice, again, it’s very important to get exposure to lots of different people and lots of different questions.

I think practice is incredibly important, but you need to set some limits with yourself and say, “Once I’ve done 50 practice readings, I’m good to go. Or “Once I’ve studied this book or I’ve done this course, I’m good to go.” Because I know for some of you, you might be thinking, “Oh, but I’m still not quite sure. I’m not sure it’s right right now.”

You’ll never really feel sure unless you have those firm benchmarks in place. I hope that helps Katherine.

 

Joanna asks, “How can I get more experience reading Tarot for people I don’t know?”

As I said before, we often start reading Tarot for ourselves and then we read for our families and friends first.

But there comes a point where we’ve got to start reaching out to people we don’t know at all so we can get our intuition flowing, and so we can get constructive feedback to really help us learn how to deal with different clients.

Here are a couple of ideas. I mentioned the Biddy Tarot Community before. You can check that out over at Community.BiddyTarot.com/join.

Inside the Biddy Tarot Community, you can become a free Tarot reader where you can choose how many Tarot readings you want to do a day or a week and then we hook you up with people from the general public who would love a free reading and who also know that you’re learning.

I think that’s really important because if there’s an expectation that this is going to be the best Tarot reading ever, you might start to feel a bit of pressure and not be at your best.

The people who are requesting free readings on the platform, know that you’re learning and they know that they need to give you constructive feedback to help you learn and grow as a Tarot reader.

That’s an awesome place to get more experience reading for people you don’t know. Now, that may not be an possible for you or you may want to explore some other options.

Another idea is to set up at a local café, at the library, at the hairdresser, wherever – and just let people that you’re practicing Tarot readings.

And if you want to get used to the idea of charging for your readings, but without that pressure, you could say, “If you find value in this reading, I take donations. Bring it on.” Or you could do it completely free just to get that extra experience.

Sterling asks, “How do I get started with going pro?”

This is a ginormous question! I’ll give you some easy ways to get things rolling, and then I’ll give options in terms of what to do after that.

Here’s what I think is really important: The best place to start when thinking about going pro is to envision what you want your business to look like now and in 12 months’ time.

What I want you to do is set it up for yourself to say, “Look, if failure was not an option and if I had all of the tools and resources I need, what would my Tarot reading business look like? I’m going to zoom forward 12 months. What do I want out to look like?”

Close your eyes and bring that picture into your head. Start thinking about who you want to work with. Who do you see across the table from you as you’re laying out the Tarot cards? What kind of person are they? What kind of questions do they have? How do they view the world? What do they do after a Tarot reading with you? What kind of impact are you having on them?

Think about where are you doing the Tarot reading. Are you doing a face-to-face reading? Are you reading online via email or Skype or preparing audio readings for your clients?

If you’re doing face-to face, are you doing it in a shop or in your home or if it’s online, are you setting up your own website or are you reading through a platform like Oranum or a different kind of psychic service online?

You might be thinking, “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know which one it is.” Just rotate each of those options and think about which one feels in alignment with what you really want from this experience. It’s also a good idea to experiment with a couple of different methods for reading as well.

As you’re envisioning your business in the next 12 months, think about how you want to feel when you’re doing a Tarot reading. How is it that you want to feel? How do you want your client to feel? How do you want that whole interaction to feel?

In between readings, do you want to feel busy? Do you want to feel like you’ve got client lining up out of the door or would you prefer to be like, “Hey, when I’ve got time I can do a reading and I’ll integrate it with other things in my life.” How do you want Tarot to play a role in your life?

What’s going to make it a success for you? How do you know that you’ve been successful as a Tarot professional? Does it mean that you’re making enough money that you can leave your day job or is it just that your clients are really happy with the reading and you’re creating change and transformation for them – or both?. Really envisage what success is for you as a professional reader.

After the podcast episode, sit and reflect on that. Take some time to really explore it on a deeper visual level.

If you’ve got your Tarot cards, you can always draw some cards to ask, “Tarot, what’s this whole thing going to look like?”

And really make it real for you. See it as a big picture. Hear the sounds. Feel the air on your skin as you’re doing a reading. What does it really feel like to be in that place? Take note. Write down what do you experience when you envision that business in the next 12 months.

The reason why I’m starting here is because often, we need to get connected to the ‘why’ before we get wound up in the how.

Sometimes you start doing thinking, “Oh my gosh, what do I need to do? I need to set up website. Oh, I need to do tax. I need to have policies in place.”

Yes, all of these things are really important, but if you’re doing all of that without having that vision in place first, then you could be going off in the wrong direction that’s not in alignment with what you truly desire.

Envision what you want your business to look like and then start to set up the infrastructure. Again, where are you going to read? Is it on your website? Is it face-to-face? Is it on a third party site and so on?

Think about what you want your Tarot readings to be. Are you offering three-card spreads or full hour-long readings? How are you going to structure those Tarot readings?

Think about the price. I’m going to talk a little about price in another question.

Set up your schedule. Have your templates ready. Put in place some systems so that when you do get the flood of clients through the door, you know what to do with them and how to keep track.

Develop policies, boundaries, ethics and make sure you know what your business, legal, and tax obligations are as well. Then you’re ready to open for business.

Now of course this is just the beginning. And just getting yourself set up and ready to read Tarot professionally is one step. Then the real work to attract and keep the right clients.

That’s when it’s really important to get business coaching, particularly if that’s not your strength. Also, learn how to grow a business.

That’s where a program like Grow Your Tarot Business Online can be really helpful. And particularly in that case, I’ve designed that program for Tarot readers specifically to be able to grow their business online. Of course, you can also get one-on-one coaching with me to support you.

Rick asks, “How do I know when to commit to this full-time and leave my day job?”

Good question. I know a few people are super courageous and they think, “You know what, I just want to be a Tarot reader.” Then they immediately quit their job and desperately try to set up a business. That’s okay, but I prefer to take a bit more of a conservative and planned approach.

First, set an income goal. Think about a minimum monthly income that you need in order to sustain your lifestyle. Once you know that income goal, then think about how many Tarot readings you need to do a month to get to that goal. And is that reasonable?

You might realize that maybe you can get halfway to your goal, but you’re going to need something to supplement your income, at least for a period of time while you build up your Tarot business.

Then you might actually going part time in your current job. Or maybe picking up some casual work that at least will give you that consistent income to pay the bills.

I personally prefer that approach. I think it gives you a lot more space so you don’t feel pressured to be able to earn income straight away, because realistically, it does take time to earn money in a new business, no matter what that business is. It takes time and it takes a lot of effort to get things moving in the right direction.

Philippa asks, “Will I ever be able to earn an income with Tarot?”

Absolutely. I’m living proof of that. There are hundreds and thousands of Tarot readers who are doing really well and they are also excellent proof that you can earn an income with Tarot.

However, just by saying you’re a professional Tarot reader doesn’t mean that you’re going to be a millionaire. In fact, you’ve really got to treat you Tarot business as a business if you want to earn good income from it.

That means not just becoming a really great Tarot reader, but also becoming a really great business owner and entrepreneur. I personally think that has been the key to my success. I’ve placed an equal, if not slightly more, importance on building a business as well as building my Tarot skills.

The other thing to consider is that there will be some limitations if you remain a service based business.

For example, if the only way that you’re earning your income is through doing Tarot readings, you’ll reach an upper limit where you kind of run out of hours in the day and you can no longer charge any higher rate. And that will be your income limit.

The only way to get past that is to productize your business and think about how you can create some products or how you can leverage the one-to-many model. Now of course, that’s a whole different topic itself, but I just wanted to bring that up.

We’ve got two more questions here, so stick with me. Marlena says, “How much should I start charging?”

Well, ultimately it depends on what feels good to you.

A lot of people approach charging as, “Oh, well I’m going to invest this amount of time and I want this alley rate, or I’ve studied this amount and therefore I should get this.” It’s very one-sided.

Instead, we need to think about the value that we’re offering to our clients because it’s an exchange of energy and exchange of value.

So when you’re reading the Tarot for somebody, you’re creating a transformation for them. You’re helping them change their career path. You’re helping them improve their relationship. You might be helping them avoid a very expensive divorce. Now what is the value of that?

Keep that in mind when you’re thinking about how much to charge.

Finally, don’t compare yourself to others. Everybody has their own story around pricing and there’s often a lot of confidence issues or self-doubt that gets woven into people’s pricing. Don’t get caught up in other people’s limitations around pricing and trying to undercut or compete with the lowest price.

Instead, think about the value you offer and how can you add even more value in your interactions with your clients. That’s how you’re going to be able to increase your prices.

The final question is from Govina. She asks, “Is it appropriate to charge for Tarot readings? Isn’t this a spiritual gift?”

Some of you might think this is an irritating question, but it’s actually asked quite a lot. I want to fully respect and honor the question. It’s a good question. But here’s my point of view.

We all have gifts. Tarot readers have gifts, but so do surgeons, lawyers, hairdressers, doctors, teachers and so on. Do we ever expect that they should work for free just because they’re gifted? No way. So for me, this is all about charging a dollar amount for the value that we offer to our clients.

On top of that, I think about how invested someone is. If something is offered for free, are they really invested in that interaction and will they take action afterwards?

If you get a free reading versus one that you just paid 500 dollars for, which one are you going to pay attention to? You’re going to pay attention to that one where you laid down all that hard earned cash, and you’re going to make changes from that reading. Whereas when it’s a free reading, you’re going to take it or leave it.

As Tarot readers, I actually think that we have a responsibility to our clients to charge a decent amount for readings because that’s what will help people make a commitment to it and to change as a result of the reading.

That’s my point of view. I know that they’ll be others who disagree and I totally respect your opinions. If you make the decision charging for Tarot readings is not right for you, then by all means donate your readings. Do them for free. It’s perfectly okay.

If you’re on the fence and if it’s more about self-doubt, I encourage you to think about the value that you’re offering and the dollar value of that value.

GROW YOUR TAROT BUSINESS ONLINE

I hope I’ve been a help, not just the folks who have asked these questions, but you as you’re listening to this. Perhaps you’re on the fence about whether it’s time to go pro or you’ve just recently gone pro and thinking what to do next. What comes next?

I highly recommend my business program Grow Your Tarot Business Online. You’ll find that over at BiddyTarot.com under the Soul-Powered Business.

It’s a really robust, comprehensive program that leads you through connecting with your ideal client, how to attract your ideal client, How do you set up your blog, social media, newsletter, and more. It also teaches you how to make products in addition to your services, how do you start charging, and even growing a team so that you can increase your business.

It covers all of the bases. It’s just a wonderful program that really gets results and helps you focus on the right things instead of flailing around going, “Oh my gosh, what do I do next? Where do I begin?”

Of course, if you’re a little bit more developed or established in your business, I highly recommend one-on-one coaching with me. That’s a great idea if you’re already earning an income in your business and you want to take it to the next level.

If you’re just interested in business and thinking that you’re ready to become a professional Tarot reader and crate an online business, I would suggest checking out my free business videos at BiddyTarot.com/Tarot-business-videos.

Hopefully today I’ve been able to support you or I can support you also in the future. I really, really want you to succeed. Nothing pleases me more than seeing awesome Tarot readers going out there, creating amazing businesses and spreading that Tarot gift through the world.

That’s it for today. I’m so, so glad you’ve been here and as always, I’m super excited to be talking Tarot and business with you as part of the Biddy Tarot Podcast.

Remember you can get show notes plus the transcription over at BiddyTarot.com/52.

While you’re over there, make sure you also sign up for the free business videos to find out how to expand your business or even just get started on the right foot.

I hope you have a great week and I can’t wait to connect with you again very, very soon. Bye.

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