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Thursday, June 30, 2011

How do you market your Reiki business?

By Beth Lowell

Most Reiki professionals I know work diligently to market their services, usually employing several methods of building relationships with students and clients and potential students and clients, both online and in person. Methods vary according to the scope of each practitioner’s business, knowledge and comfort level, and sometimes, even personality type. Because we’re all different I don’t think there’s any one size fits all marketing model for Reiki or for any business. I think marketing is like dog training - if you’re not comfortable using a certain technique, it’s probably not going to work for you, no matter what the experts say.


What’s Reiki worth?


Practitioners of Reiki as well as other disciplines based in spirituality may be uncomfortable with the notion of selling their services. After all, how can you put a price on spirituality? This is not dissimilar to challenges faced by professionals who work in industries that serve people in need, for instance, sign language interpreters. There’s a perception among some that people in helping professions should not charge a lot (and “a lot” can mean vastly different things to different people) for what they do, despite the fact that someone like the sign language interpreter has spent a lot of time and money on education, not to mention that she serves a very important function. Without the sign language interpreter, the deaf community would be isolated from most of the rest of society. From that perspective, the interpreter’s services become invaluable. So why should her services be free – or not cost “a lot”?


Ultimately, like sign language interpreters, Reiki practitioners work in an industry that serves people in need. Reiki practitioners can, among a myriad of other things, help people awaken to a whole new spiritual experience. Can you put a value on that? Probably not, but you can put a price on the time a Reiki practitioner spends teaching students or treating clients. It’s usually an hourly rate or package plan that the practitioner has come up with that gives clients a break on the price, that’s usually also in line with other similar professional services and one on which the Reiki practitioner can expect to make a decent living. What’s wrong with that?


Nothing, you say – but you still hate the idea of the sales hype…


The good, the bad, and the ugly


Here’s what four experts have to say about marketing – the good, the bad and the ugly, including tips you can use to market in a way that resonates with you.


Marcia Yudkin is a marketer with 30 years of experience. One of her specialties is helping introverts market their services. Not all Reiki practitioners are introverts, but they may be shy about marketing their services. Marcia offers ways you can build on your own strengths to come up with methods that feel right for you. Her methods work great for extroverts too!


Chris Guillebeau, author of The Art of Non-Conformity is all about helping people, and about making a living. His blog post about why people hate marketers has some great information about what to avoid when using online methods to build relationships.


Seth Godin, writer, speaker, and agent of change wrote this post way back in 2006. In it he talks about ethics in online marketing. It’s still pertinent today.


In closing, copywriter Cathy Goodwin notes that your brand is not your logo or a slogan or your packaging, but rather, your brand is you. In other words, to sell your business, you have to sell yourself. If you’re knowledgeable, have integrity and want to help people, you should let them know, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

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