When you’ve been at something for any extended period of time, you tend to get people coming to you for advice, asking things such as “How did you get started?” or “What do you do when ‘such and such problem or challenge’ occurs?”.
I’ve been lucky enough to have some pretty awesome people come to me for insight on Tarot, reading for others, and how I got “started” in this business of modern mysticism. While I’m no elderly sage with all the known answers, I have had a handful of experiences that can hopefully help others who are looking to get their love of Tarot off the ground and running as something more than a personal hobby.
Therefore, I’ve decided to start “Tarot Teachings,” a blog series dedicated to answering the questions I get on Tarot, starting a practice, and what can help when you get tricky clients, cards, or inquiries.
This first post is dedicated to the importance of social media, in particular Instagram, and how you can ride the many waves of the interwebs to best impact your burgeoning business. Want to get the word out about your practice and readings? Check out what worked for me and see if something catches your eye!
Hopping On the Social Media Train
Call me old-fashioned, but I’m not huge on social media in my personal life. I updated every meal, thought, and picture I could when I was in college, but as I get older I don’t feel the need to share my every move with a world of strangers. If you’re looking to get noticed as a professional, however, social media is a must, and it’s arguably essential for building a name for yourself and your brand.
Personally, I think it’s a bit overwhelming to have an Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Snapchat, YouTube channel, SoundCloud, Periscope (I don’t even know what that is but it’s popping up everywhere); the list goes on. It’s gets too difficult to update all these platforms consistently, and I find it overwhelming as a consumer or potential client to have to find and follow my favorite brands on every single platform out there. While there are several options, quality over quantity is key; I find it best to stick with 1-3 platforms you’re most comfortable with and really focus on representing your brand from something you not only love to run and update but believe in as well.
Instagram, Bam, Thank You, M’am
It’s no secret that Instagram is HUGE, and I’ve personally found it the best platform for me. Instagram, in my opinion, is twofold in its awesomeness as it not only helps get the word out but can also act as a Tarot Journal, that oh-so-important tool in helping newbies learn and understand the card meanings and as well trusting their own intuitions. Posting a card or mini reading a day with a meaningful interpretation can help you not only start building an audience of followers but help get you in the habit of daily draws which help expand your knowledge of card meanings and how those meanings reflect or influence your daily life.
If you’re looking to expand your audience or test the Tarot reading waters in the public eye, see if running a Tarot-inspired Instagram is right for you. It’s super easy; just follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to hashtag heaven:
- Register a user name that resonates with you. It can be something as simple as TamaraTarot, ReadingsByMark, or DawnsDailyDraws; or, you can get creative. AshesAndWineTarot was inspired by the A Fine Frenzy song. I liked the way the words rolled out together, and since it was the first thing that popped into my head, I went for it. If you don’t like what you pick after a while you can always change it, but I would recommend only doing that if you feel really passionate about it; you don’t want to confuse your followers by constantly changing your Instagram handle. Consistency is key!
- If you already have a personal IG account, simply register your new one under a different e-mail address. Once I decided AshesAndWineTarot was my handle, I then created a gmail account for it to not only register my new IG but so that if people wanted to get ahold of me for readings, I’d have a way to connect with them (more on that in a moment!). However, you can simply use an address you never check anymore. We all have those e-mail accounts that haven’t been opened in ages. You’ll need to log in to verify that you’re creating the IG account, but once that’s done you’ll probably never have to check it again.
- Once your account is created and you’re good to start posting, get to it! While I think it’s important to develop a consistent rhythm (a card a day, a reading a day, a post everyday at a certain time; again, consistency is key!), at the beginning you’ll want to see what works best for you. Experiment a bit with different kinds of posts and see what resonates. My first post was a few sentences on The Hanged Man, and since then my daily draws have evolved into three-card mini readings with astrological information that accompanies them. I also draw a card(s) at bedtime as well as whenever I feel inspired during the day. In the beginning, the format is not important; consistency and heat-felt interpretations are what matter most!
- When posting, hashtags (#) can be huge in helping people find your account. Once I post my daily reading, I’ll leave a comment with hashtags that are not only Tarot-related but also related to my reading. For instance, if my daily reading brings up issues of self-love and confidence, I’ll be sure to use #selflove and #confidence as related hashtags. You may not want to go overboard, as too many hashtags can get crazy, but 5-8 will usually help get your account noticed and help connect you with like-minded people.
- Once you feel ready, offer up free readings. Make a little announcement on your account that you’re open for (free) business and anyone interested in a reading can inquire either through your new e-mail address or through Instagram direct message. I started with e-mail readings, but if you feel comfortable sharing phone or Skype info, do what works best for you. These free readings will help you work out a system and way of reading that will ultimately help develop your unique style and presentation. Do you type them up in Word and convert to PDF? Do you add a header with a logo on it or keep it simple? Will you use a wireless headset or try just your headphones? While they’re “experimental” in their format, especially if you’ve never read for others before, be sure to keep them as professional as possible. They may be free, but that doesn’t mean they should come cheap!
- Last but not least, get a little personal. You don’t have to share every detail of your life with your followers, but a little peak into it will help them see you as a real person and not just some photo-producing drone. Seekers want readings from real people with real personality; if you’re comfortable with the occasional selfie or sharing a picture or two (or fifteen) of your cat, then have had it. Let the real you shine through and you’re sure to see some Instagram success!
Like I said before, this is what worked best for me. Experiment and see what clicks with you and what doesn't. It takes time to garner a substantial following, and even that doesn’t mean you’ll be getting offers for readings left and right; it simply means you’ll have a platform of an ever-growing audience full of like-minded souls to share with, grow with, and hopefully, if you’re lucky, inspire.
Did you enjoy this first installment of “Tarot Teachings?” Have questions or ideas for topics you’d like covered? Leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail and let me know!
Interested in a reading? Visit my shop and let’s make some magic!
Until next time,