Rainy Day Tarot's Guide to Branding Your Tarot Business

by - August 04, 2016

I've said this on my Facebook page before and I'll say it again:


No, you represent your brand, but your brand isn't you (at least not as a tarot reader...but maybe in another profession perhaps as a life coach or an inspirational teacher/speaker).  I know, I know, this goes against everything everyone out there is saying right now.  They want to infuse your personal you with your business you.   And I wholeheartedly disagree with this style of branding for many reasons, but mainly because clients aren't buying us, they are buying what we can do.  And in order for them to see a separation between the two, they need to see our business brand. 

Branding is described by Entrepreneur magazine as the promise to your customer.  It lets them know what they can expect from you and why they should choose you.

I've seen many businesses fail, small and large, due to not having correct or confusing or bad branding.  So here are some tips on from what I've learned from my many years (and from my own mistakes) in this business:

First here is a list of what not to do:
  1. Do not mix your personal life with your business life.  Meaning, no talking about dating or your marriage or any personal relationships.  Keep that stuff on your personal page.  Unless your business is literally YOU (like mommy bloggers), nobody cares about your personal crap.
  2. Do not mix your politics or religion with your business life (unless your business is based on religion). Do I even need to tell you why?  If so, I'll see ya later, because you're on your way out.  Foodie blogger I am Baker has a section of her site called "I am Servant" which is dedicated to her religious life.  And she talks about her politics on there.  I feel she's doing a disservice to her baking website by alienating her fanbase.  BUT, what I agree with, is that she made it a different set of pages all together, so you can choose which site to look at "I am Mommy", "I am Baker", or "I am Servant".   She doesn't seem to mix the three together, which if you're going to do this, then she's doing it right.  IF you feel the need to mix YOU and your business, at least give your readers a choice.  But this strategy doesn't apply to #3:
  3. Do not put more than one service on your website (or other online presences such as social media).  When I go to your page, I want to see what you do.  ONE THING.  I don't want to see you're a tarot reader who also writes short stories.  I don't want to see your art (unless you're developing a tarot deck).  I don't want to see your ability to cook-home-cooked-meals-and-I-have-the-option-to-hire-you-to-cook-for-me.  NO.  I want to see your tarot business.  PERIOD.  Save all that other stuff for other pages.  If you have to, come up with different personas for the other stuff so they don't mix with your tarot work.  The same goes for social media.  Do not start a Facebook page for tarot and eventually wander off to talk about your love of cooking.  NO!  Bad tarot reader!  Stop it!  Stick to one subject and ONE subject only.  Period.  As I said above about giving your readers/potential clients a choice, you do not do this with your businesses.  It just makes for a confusing website.
  4. Don't confuse your potential clients.  Be up front about everything.  Don't use flowery words and new age buzzwords.  This makes you look juvenile and not trustworthy.  Talk to me like a person, not like we're at a hippie convention and taking a hooping class together.  I have no problem with people who are at a hippie convention and taking a hooping class together to talk in flowery words, but that's where it needs to stay.  Your business is a business, not a bandwagon.  You are here to actually help people and telling them you're "holding space for them" won't help them in the least.  We need to get real about tarot, and jumping on a bandwagon isn't real.  Also, don't change your mind after you've made a contract with a person.  They are paying you for a reading, give them exactly (or more) than what is agreed upon.  Don't give the less just because you've run out of time or some other excuse.  
  5. Never be late!  This is the center of every single job you'll ever have.  Be on time for everything, and early if you can.  Do you want your brand to be known as "the always late reader"?  If you are doing readings online, the same applies.  If you are doing them through email, don't delay in getting them their reading.  Once, I had a Cyber Monday sale of $5 tarot readings for one day only, and someone had bought 2 readings that I didn't catch until months later.  I found them and realized my mistake and refunded their money and gave them 2 free readings instead to make up for my mistake.  I didn't want my name, even with only one person, to be associated with being slow with readings.  Or worse, someone who takes money and doesn't deliver.  Mistakes happen, you may be late to a couple readings, but don't let that be your norm.  Strive to be on time. 

Now lets get on to what TO do in order to brand yourself as a tarot reader properly:

  1. Make your website as concise as possible:  If I go to your page, I should be able to clearly see these things: a) your prices b) why I should hire you over the other million tarot readers out there and c) your policies (a code of ethics).  Your website should contain much more than that, but those are the three things I need to know before hiring you.  What will you charge me?  Do I get a refund if I don't like the reading?  If I am under 18, can I get a reading from you?  What topics are okay to ask about?  Do you keep my information private?  Cancellation policies?  And how will you help me? I'd also like to know your experience level, and other things, but those three things need to be clearly showing right where I can find them easily.
  2. The same goes for your brand itself. Your brand should be concise, and as clear as possible.  You should be able to sum up your business in one line, just like a book.  They call these "elevator pitches".  This also works for any person branding their business.  If someone in an elevator asks you what you do or what your business is about, you should be able to sum it up in less than 30 seconds.  And that's a long one for a tarot reader.  Here is a great article on how to come up with your elevator pitch.  
  3. Proofread everything.  Whether you do it or you have a friend or hire someone to do it, get it done.  I admit, I do have an issue with this.  I sometimes proofread myself and post without making 100% there are no misspellings, which very unprofessional.  And I will say that these mistakes have probably caused my potential clients and readers to see me in a different light.  So, don't make my mistakes and get a proofreader for all your written material (online and off).  
  4. Come up with a spiffy name for your blog/website/etc..  Naming your service should be fun.  It should convey what you're trying to give your clients.  What does the name Rainy Day Tarot conjure up for you?  My goal was to have it convey a feeling of serenity, as most rainy days make us feel serene, calm, and at ease.  I wanted you to see us at your kitchen table, laying down cards while the rain was falling around us outside.  I also wanted you to see yourself finding a safe place to open up your own soul in your archeology tarot work (meaning that work you do alone, for your to find answer to the big questions hidden deep within).  Rainy Day doesn't mean to save every single tarot experience for a rainy day (meaning a day that's slow and you have the time), it means to save the BIG tarot experiences for those days.  So, pick a name that means something as to what you're offering.  I am offering introspection with the tarot (that is my elevator pitch!).  What do you want to offer?  Pick a name that reflects that.  (you can read about my old tarot business name here)
  5. Be real.  By getting real.  The NUMBER ONE way to fail as a tarot reader is to give predictions.  Sorry, but it's the truth.  So stop.  Learn how to read without them.  Instead, help your client work through their issues with real solutions, real-world advice, and caring.  Sometimes they just need to talk about what's bothering them and they end up figuring out for themselves how to get through it.  Here's an article on how to deal with those "what will happen in my future?" questions we all get from our clients.  Give yourself a new brand by being actually helpful by giving hope to your clients with real solutions.  And then watch your client list get bigger and bigger and BIGGER.  This little act right here?  Is how I have clients all over the world and been in business for over 25 years.  
  6. Your colors should match.  All your colors.  Go to this great website and pick a color scheme, and use those colors on your website, your printables, your business cards, everything.  Be consistent.  Make your colors a part of your brand.  What do you want to convey when someone looks at your website?  Make sure that the colors invoke the feeling of what you want clients to feel.   I use that website for decorating my home, as well. 

Branding is important.  It's how you sell your services to willing clients.  And it's not as hard as you might think.  And there are loads of great websites out there on branding, my page here is just a start.  If you have any more great suggestions for branding, please share them below. 

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