Should you even charge for Tarot readings?
This post is for those of you who have already come to the conclusion that you have a valuable service to offer and that you need to be fairly compensated. If you are still struggling with your conscience about whether it is OK to charge for ‘spiritual services,’ you need to get over that first and come back to this post when realise that all services are spiritual and all workers are worthy of their pay.
You’re ready to go pro when…
You have been through some training (whether self-taught or with a mentor), done enough free practice readings to know what your strengths and weaknesses are and have some solid ethics in place. You also have an idea where and how you want to offer your services as well as what your unique selling point might be. You will find a handy check list for knowing if you are ready to take your Tarot to the pro level HERE.
How much you should be charging for your Tarot readings
How much you should be charging for your Tarot readings depends on three simple factors: the local going rate in the area where you live, your own experience and how much you need to live on. As you can see in the veen diagram below, your payment sweet spot is where these three factors intersect.
The local going rate
The local going rate gives you an idea what seasoned professionals are already charging in the area where you live. As a new reader, you may want to have some special introductory offers that will help you win new clients and get word of mouth going. The idea is not to undercut already established readers on a continual basis, as this will not benefit anyone in the long run.
Do you want to be known as the cheapest reader in town or the one offering the best service? People have it firmly lodged in their minds that they get what they pay for. Unconsciously, readers may also find that they provide a less considerate/valuable service if they are always offering discount prices.
The local going rate also controls what we charge online because it is tied in with point three, ‘How much you need to live on.’
It is common sense that a new, unestablished Tarot reader will not be able to charge the same for a reading as someone who has had time to build a name for themselves in the business. Again, look around at the prices charged both locally and online and place yourself toward the lower end of the scale if you wish to attract clients.
This is what I did when I started out. I then found that I had more requests than I could handle toward the end of the first year and I was forced to put my prices up. In the meantime, I had been busy building credibility as a reader by gathering testimonies and reviews of my services, as well as blogging enough about the Tarot to gain the status of ‘trusted advisor.’
These days, thanks to social media, it is quite easy to establish yourself as an ‘expert’ in an area by sharing your wealth of knowledge on various platforms. However, social media credibility often depends on cool graphics and flashy videos rather than real knowledge and the drawback is that people can often make themselves come across as more proficient than they are if they are tech savvy – a drawback for those of us who care more about the quality of the content and aren’t so keen to be in the spotlight.
That said, it is important to want to show yourself and not hide behind a fantasy picture and witchy alias if you want to gain the status of trusted advisor – and you really ought to strive for no less if you wish for a life-long career as a Tarot reader.
How much you need to live on
This is also common sense. How much do you need to pay your bills and have enough left over for leisure activities and recreation, as well as putting some money aside for a rainy day. If you find it tricky to make these sort of calculations, you need to get in touch with your local start-up support agency and talk to a business advisor.
It is realistic to expect to have to moonlight with your Tarot readings to start with, until you have built enough of a clientele to be able to be able to support yourself by doing readings alone. No matter which type of services you plan on offering, it usually takes a couple of years to achieve this. In the meantime, consider doing guest blogs, free talks and interviewing people who are already established for your Tarot blog. Do something every day to build your brand, in other words.
A word of warning about ‘fantasy prices’
You sometimes see people charge extortionate sums for Tarot readings. While common sense is now so rare as to be considered a super power, most clients who are interested in a genuine Tarot reading performed by an experienced, ethical reader won’t fall for the hype. If you place yourself in an unrealistic bracket by overcharging for your services, please know that it is always going to do more damage to your business to have to come down in price than the other way around.
Not long ago I came across someone who was trying to sell a Tarot course for nearly $1000. This person was not someone who was established in the Tarot community, nor did he have a book out on the subject. While the course looked interesting, I think he really did himself a disservice by overcharging so heavily for something that didn’t even offer 1-2-1 private mentoring.
Basically, it all comes down to common sense. Forget the emotional aspect of ‘How much am I really worth though?,’ unless this happens to land right in the sweet spot area of the venn diagram above. Most budding Tarot readers struggle with low self-worth and the main challenge then becomes to detach from that emotion. Then you have one or two fantasists who go in with a BOOM! overcharge and fall flat on their faces. Don’t be that person. Be smart and play a longer game.