I came upon Benebell Wen’s blog post on learning to read Tarot cards while looking up Golden Dawn astrological associations online for my soon-to-be-published Udemy Tarot course. Perusing through the 3 categories of readers (beginner, yes, pass, intermediate, ok, next, advanced… ok wait what’s this?) I came across a document she shares for free about how to make $50K p/a as a Tarot reader. Was my interest piqued? Never before has it been quite so piquedy-piqued, I can assure you of that.
And, furthermore, I was fascinated by the eponymous 9 point plan (click picture) to get yourself out there and making waves, and by golly I just had to share it with you. If you have an interest in becoming a professional in any esoteric field, this post is the best I have ever read on how to do just that. And did I mention already that it’s free? There are tons of accompanying extras to help you, like a course in Tarot reading success. I’m fo sho going to do this. Thank you very much, Benebell Wen.
I read a few posts on how to make it as a Tarot pro recently (eg: on biddytarot.com HERE) and thought I would add to the discussion. So, even though I wouldn’t describe myself as having made it, here are some strategies that have worked for me so far:
Above everything else, keep on keeping on. Be the one who shows up, time after time, week after week. It’s a long way to the top so bring some Kendal Mint Cake.
Always be carrying a Tarot deck. You never know.
Eat, sleep, think Tarot. When other people are cruising around YouTube looking at Kittens Meeting Babies For The First Time videos, you are writing blog posts, reading Tarot books and shuffling your cards.
Start your own Meetup group, and / or be known locally as “The Tarot Card Reader”. Be a real flesh and blood person, go to flea markets and street parties and festivals, set up your booth and let people see you do your thing.
Have a well-designed business card, a banner for when you do shows, flyers etc. Invest in yourself and get the job done properly by hiring a graphic designer. Look like a pro, feel like a pro, be a pro, be seen as a pro, you get the picture. I just visited a website where the top banner wasn’t displaying properly, only half was visible. That doesn’t look professional and I immediately clicked away.
Post regularly and frequently, no matter what. It doesn’t seem to matter which platform you use, choose the one that appeals to you most. If you can post every day, so much the better. But be consistent – see the first item on this list.
Don’t get hung up on your platform too much, and really, why go to the trouble and expense of a properly-designed and hosted site if you can get the techs at Facebook to do it for you?I have two websites, but I know some very successful Tarot readers who don’t have any website at all and just use social media. Learning how to do WordPress takes a lot of time, time you could be spending doing Tarot readings, writing your Tarot blockbuster or devising your sell-out Tarot course.
Be generous. If you want to be a Tarot card reader, read Tarot cards. If you want to obsess about your “worth”, pay Forbes to get you in one of their editorial spots – yes, that’s a thing. So if people want freebies and discounts give it to them. The more Tarot goodness there is in the world, the better, right? Also, goodwill counts for a lot.
Give extra value. For example, if you do a Skype reading, send screenshots with the card names and positions afterwards. Encourage clients to record and photograph everything. Encourage them to ask questions about the reading afterwards. Look like you actually enjoy the process of giving readings.
Anticipate no-shows from time to time. Not everyone is a superstar all the time.
Be clear about your limitations. Before I give a reading face to face to someone for the first time, I always get them to read THIS page, and confirm in an email that they’ve done it.
Be kind and give the best possible reading every time. People want Tarot readings most often because they have some problem they can’t deal with in any other way. See THIS page for details.
Make it easy for them. Check and recheck to make sure everything is as simple and clear as it can be: the reading, your fees, what to expect, how to pay, etc. Don’t use one paragraph when you can use a 3-word sentence. Another couple of examples: don’t have a website / blog that people can only view if they are subscribers, and don’t have a website where there are only pictures for your blog posts and no blog post titles. It may seems obvious to you, but it might seems insanely complicated and annoying to someone else.
Be a person of quality. There is always some joker who can give shoddy, half-arsed work with pour gramer and spelijng,. Use a spell-checker, read it over, then read it again aloud. If it doesn’t sound right, it isn’t. Take great photos, use a photo editor to write the card names / position names. Is your reading the best it could possibly be? Check your website for errors: log out, and view it as an outsider. Is it easy to read? View it on a mobile device, view it on a PC if you are normally a Mac user, or vice versa. People don’t want to look at something that’s shoddily done and looks like you are only in it for the money.
Where are you going to give the readings? Are you happy with a constant stream of strangers coming in and out of your house? How will your family / flat mates feel about that? Are you ok going to some stranger’s house? I’ve done that and left in a hurry and in fear for my life – really, no joke! If you’re giving a reading in a public space, for example a café, consider your client’s privacy. Believe me, all the people at neighbouring tables will want to listen in. If you hire a space, it might end up costing you a lot in space hire fees and in travel expenses to and from your destination. Where you are based determines where you can SAFELY give readings. I use a large family restaurant because you don’t have to book and you are guaranteed to get a table, you can just have one coffee without ordering a whole meal, the tables are in booths so my client gets privacy, and the staff doesn’t mind if you get paid for your Tarot services – that might be a problem with some café owners.
Check your site stats. What pages receive the fewest / no clicks? Delete them.
Think about how much you might be able to charge as a reader, and how much you need to live on. Think about how you might feel giving two or more Tarot readings every single day, going to fairs and meeting clients, especially in the evenings and at weekends when most people have free time. Can you see how the above scenario does not necessarily add up to a comfortable way of life with enough time for socialising? So if you love Tarot and want to make it your job, you need to find a way to get paid enough money to live on with hours that suit you. You could write Tarot books, offer online classes, sell Tarot decks, crystals, etc. or spend a few years making a Tarot deck. Basically, do the maths, be realistic. How are you going to make it work in reality? How do the Big Guns do it? They have affiliate schemes, advertisements on their sites, Tarot decks, books… there are many, many ways of making money with Tarot. But just giving Tarot readings only might not be your highway to a fun and viable way of life, at least not without thought, planning, and a lot of time. As Tom Benjamin says, the market for Tarot readers just isn’t that big. How else might you be able to use your skills to make money?
Use the Tarot as a business tool. Do readings for yourself and use the Tarot to create an excellent business plan. What are your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats? Should you advertise? If so, where? The Tarot is your business partner, so why not give it a say in how the business is being run?
Anticipate to flatline for a couple of years or more. Yes, I said years. Bridget Esselmont advises to be looking at 10 years minimum before you can start to make it into a realistic income. Look at her site, see how she has worked to make it just right for her.
If you really love Tarot, you’ll be the one who makes it because for you, being a clear channel for the Tarot and getting Tarot goodness out into the world is the most important thing, right?