Delivering A Memorable Email Reading Part 2 - The Reader's Perspective
The last time we broached this topic, it was from the perspective of how to ensure your client (or seeker) will get the most out of a reading delivered to them via email. This time, I’m turning the tables to provide you, the reader, some key points to consider to ensure that you too will get the most out of the readings you perform. Why? Because if you want to do this, with any frequency and with the goal of sustainability - you better freakin’ enjoy what you’re doing!
I learned through trial and error for myself what worked for me and what didn’t. I also learned what I could and should expect from myself and what I could reasonably do given the time and resources available to me. This, of course, is entirely personal and so rather than tell you how to structure things, I’m simply going to raise some points for your own consideration. These are things that I learned the hard or long way and so now as I reflect back, I think, “yeah, I should have thought about that from the start!".
But alas, I live and learn and today, I take those livings and learnings and I present you with Delivering A Memorable Email Reading Part 2: The Reader’s Perspective. (I need a more succinct title!)
Just Starting Out
If you're just starting out, and especially if you haven't begun charging for your services, you're going to want to consider how you transition in this way. Before I ever thought of charging for my services, it was important for me to get a feel for the process and make sure what I was delivering was well received and of value. For this reason, I offered free readings online for sometime. This allowed me to, without the pressure of a currency exchange, figure out how to go about delivering readings in this way. It also allowed me to ask for something else in exchange instead, and that was invaluable feedback. So, before you even begin to think about a monetary exchange - give yourself the time and space to really get a feel for this type of work. It will not only give you practice to perfect your craft, but also experience doing what it is you love - and that is truly priceless.
Speaking of Doing What You Love...
Through this process of trial and error and getting a feel for the services you provide, you are inevitably going to experience a falling out of love with some of what you offer. Please regard this as a good thing and not of failure. Deciding you no longer enjoy a certain type of reading, for example, allows you to a) remove it as an option to save yourself the headache and b) make room for what you do love! This is your service and you call the shots! If you don't like general readings and prefer people ask specific questions, then make this the only option! You do not need to be a one size fits all solution. The quality of your service will suffer, as will your own morale, if you force yourself into styles and offerings that don't bring you joy. Find your right fit and the ideal clients (or seekers) will find you.
How Much Can I Give?
I'm not assuming reading tarot is your full time gig - and I'm not assuming it's not either. Only you can determine just how much time you have, reasonably, to devote to this craft. For myself, I have a full time career outside of all this tarot stuff. I'm also a mom to a busy 7 year old, and while I'm a self-professed introvert, every once in awhile I like to give my social life some...life. My point is, I have stuff going on. So, it's not reasonable that I can create service offerings that I know are going to take tons of my time. Be realistic about what you can and cannot give of yourself and adjust your offerings accordingly. Not doing this will lead to a swift and sure burnout.
How Much Should I Charge?
If you are charging (or planing to charge) for your services, you're going to start out by asking yourself how much is reasonable, and I can't answer that question for you. What I can suggest is this: As much as you love reading for others, you will at some point need to price your services at a point that also makes them worth your time. I know some people suggest not pricing your readings based on hours spent, but I definitely do take this into consideration. Why? Because time is money. We only have so many hours in the day to perform the tasks necessary to send readings out into the world. If we're paying ourselves a wage that works out to $10 an hour, we're not giving ourselves enough to get by. So ask yourself, how long does it take to perform the reading? How long does it take to type the reading? How long does it take to take pictures for that reading? How long does it take to make edits, assemble the material and then email the reading? If it takes you 2 hours to do all that, but you're charging $15, then you've given yourself $7.5 an hour and that's not even taking into account potential fees such as PayPal. This may be fine if you have no plans for growth or sustainability. However, if you're trying to accumulate even a modest side-wage, that kind of model won't be effective. So, point is this. Tarot readings, no matter how you deliver them, take TIME and ENERGY. If you are providing tarot readings for a fee to the public, they should be worth your TIME and ENERGY. If they are not - well, see the end result from the point above: a swift and sure burnout.
Not Everyone Will Like You All The Time
Obviously, it is likely your goal is to achieve 100% satisfaction 100% of the time. I'm here to tell you that isn't realistic. Not because you're a tarot reader - but because you're delivering a service. I've worked for many companies through the years in the area of client satisfaction, specifically, improving results by capturing data through the use of key metrics. Here's what I know for sure. No matter who you are or how great your service is, you can't make everyone happy. That's not achievable so let's not aim for it. Instead, let's decide what we will do when we get that less than glowing review. In every "negative" review, you have the opportunity to make it better. I'm not saying the client is always right or reasonable, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve your acknowledgment.
Let's assume though, for example's sake, that while they didn't like the reading, they are at least reasonable, how will you proceed? If your first reaction is to puff up and write back with a bullet-point list of why they are wrong, or missed the point, or didn't understand what you were saying - you've missed a golden opportunity. I've said in my years of analyzing customer feedback that if a client TAKES THE TIME to write to you to express their feelings, they are doing you a service. Most people who didn't like something they received simply shrug and never go back. Listen to what the client is saying. Empathize. Respond back with sincerity. Provide options or solutions! Even if you can't change their opinion of the reading, they will respect the way you've handled their complaint.
I'll tell you this as it relates to how I've handled these situations in the past. First off, because I believe people when they tell me things, I always provide the option of a full refund if someone is truly unsatisfied. I feel like this may be controversial, and some of you may be thinking "but then they got their reading for free and anyone could just say 'I didn't like that, give me my money back!'" I hear what you're saying, but also hear this. In the 2 years I've been doing readings online, I've NEVER had anyone ask for their money back. I have offered on 2 occasions, and in both instances, was declined. Offering your clients an option and trying to make things right shows that you care and stand by your work. We can't be 100% perfect all the time! I make mistakes - I'll own that and I'll pay for them if required. It has NOT been my experience that people will take advantage of this fact and if you find that it is being taken advantage of, then certainly, you may need to rethink your policy.
Dealing With Crickets
When we perform a tarot reading, we're pouring our heart and soul into that service for that client. It is natural to want to know it was received, or enjoyed or resonated or what have you! The fact is though, you won't hear back from everyone. There will be many instances where your reading will go out into the world (whether the seeker paid for it or not) where you will never hear back either way how they felt about it! I know it may suck, but I want you to take a deep breath on this one - I'm going to tell you why it's okay and why you should let it go.
When I first started charging for readings online, I set up shop on Etsy. I had a small Instagram following and I didn't advertise my service. It took probably a month to get a single request. Once I got one, I received a handful more in short succession. I then arrived at a point where I'd performed 7 readings and sent them out into the world and still, no word on any of them. Absolute radio silence. To be honest, I was freaking out a bit. If people liked their readings, surely they would tell me, right? Clearly all this silence was a sign...
While it did shake my confidence, I persisted with the forced assumption that no news was good news. And then, it happened. I received my first review followed by a second a third. Then, the first person to purchase a reading from me, a fellow reader in our lovely community, gave me this really glowing shout-out on her Instagram. So there it was - even though I'd heard nothing for what felt like ages, validation and feedback did begin to roll in (not that you need it to continue!).
So, my advice is that when you send your readings out, you should cut ties with any expectations in terms of what to receive back from the seeker. While this may sound cold, they own you nothing - especially if they've paid! Yes, it's NICE to hear what a client or seeker thought, but it's not required. Assume no news is good news and keep on trucking. The fact is, people are busy. They think of writing you and then they get side tracked. Or, maybe they just don't even consider that it would be appropriate to reach out to you, and so while they thoroughly enjoyed the reading - they don't want to "bother" you. I've received readings before and have hesitated to write back for this reason - so it's valid!
Just because you don't hear back, doesn't mean the seeker doesn't totally love and appreciate the work you do. If you're finding it difficult to separate or move on from a reading once you've sent it out in the world, you may need to work on your protection and boundary building techniques. I wrote a post about closing down and the act of energetic protection which you may find useful if this is an area of challenge.
Your Service, Your Way
This is your offering to the world and so you, and only you, can say how things are going to run. Let me give you some examples:
What decks will you use and will you allow the seeker to select the deck for their reading? I used to when I first started. Then I stopped. Then I made an exception. The truth is, this doesn't work for me. Everyone is different, but when I'm in my "zone", I decide intuitively at that time what deck wants to work with that seeker and their inquiry. Deciding this beforehand isn't an option that works.
If you charge, will you charge per card pulled or per reading style? I used to charge per card pulled, but then I realized it was happening too often that I could not work within those confines. For me, the most important thing is the question - and how I will arrive at the answer may require 1 card and it may require 10. It may require a mixture of tarot and orcale, or it may be tarot only. But, I don't know until I'm in that space. So, instead, I charge per reading type and provide an expected word count. At the end of the day, does it matter how many cards it took to get to the answer? For you it may - for me it does not.
What questions will you field, and which will you not? This is a matter of ethics, I suppose. For myself, I am not comfortable answering questions where it prys on a third party, or where it's very health based in nature, or the outcome of the reading may have very serious - sometimes legal - consequences. Get what I'm saying? I have boundaries! Boundaries are good and if you don't know yours, take a moment to think about this, so that when you do get asked a question you're not comfortable with, you'll know how to respond. Here's some positioning if you are struggling with the words:
Well, I hope these points have given you something to think about and have also given you permission to structure your offerings based on your needs, as much as your seeker's. If you haven't evaluated your services in awhile, let this be a divinely timed moment to reflect on what you do and ask yourself - what parts do I love? what parts do I dread? What am I still trying to figure out? How can I do more of what I love and less of what I don't? And finally, what changes can I make today to get the MOST out of my readings?
Tarot reading for others is not for the faint of heart. There is lots to consider, tons of work that goes into this and plenty of energy exchanged. If you are looking for ways to take your practice to the next level, or are looking for some one-on-one help getting over some stumbling blocks, you may be interested in mentoring with me. To see if I may be a good fit, you can read more about the ways I can help and also, the ways I can't (hey, we can't do it all!).
Okay cardslingers, this ended up much longer than I anticipated. I hope you have an incredible day and if you have any questions or thoughts on the matter, feel free to comment below or get in touch.