Tip #6 for Your Professional Psychic Business: Networking With Your Fellow Professionals
As in any other business, networking can be a wonderful tool to improve and expand your business and your client base. Yet with every week bringing new ideas, new platforms, new “hot methods” pushing others by the wayside, how do you make a decision about what to use? Whether online or in person, there are certain ways to go about networking that will be most useful.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS VALUABLE — IF YOU’RE CAREFUL
Understanding how to use social media is a must these days, even if you expect your clientele to be local. Whether it’s Pinterest, Tumbler, LinkedIn, SnapChat, Twitter or Facebook, get connected with others in your field, with folks whose services you can use, with pages or discussion groups that can further and widen your sphere of knowledge. Living 50 miles away from a city the way I do, many times my first contact with people is via the Web, and that contact turns into a valuable face-to-face relationship.
HAVE YOUR INFORMATION AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
In Japan, the exchanging of business cards is a deeply respected ritual, right down to how one receives it (with two hands and a bow of thanks). Business cards, rack cards, brochures — whatever you have that talks about what you do, make sure you always have a few to hand out. Yes, someone could write your information down in their phone, but the paper you hand over says so much more about who you are and how you present yourself to the world — and is a constant reminder to stay in touch.
What about social media? Be able to give them the link to your webpage or social media portal instantly — you shouldn’t have to look it up! And these days with ability to print QR codes, your business card may literally open the door to your services.
REMEMBER THAT NETWORKING IS MEANT FOR TWO
Forget your personal agenda. If all you are doing is networking to get YOUR stuff and what YOU need, you are missing half the value — and the fun. Networking is literally about connecting the dots — the people, the abilities, the thought patterns, the infinite experiences. Accept and enjoy the fact that other people will need things from YOU in order to make THEIR business work, not just the other way around.
SHOW COURTESY EVEN TO THOSE WHO MAY NOT HAVE WHAT YOU SEEK
Part of networking is seeking out specifics — whether services, supplies, or suggestions. In every networking situation there are going to be people who either don’t do what you do, don’t think what you do is valid, or don’t understand what you do. Or you may be looking for a talent or service they don’t supply. That’s okay. Having a dialogue with someone who isn’t on your wavelength may open them (or you) up to some new views. You may learn something about a subject you’ve never heard of. And even if they are never useful to you in and of themselves, they may find you likable and courteous enough to mention to someone else THEY know who WILL be on target for your networking search.
FIGURE OUT HOW YOU CAN BE USEFUL
This is part of really “knowing what you know.” If you know you are really good at certain things (you’re a master Tarot reader; superb at working the online sites; knowing all the least expensive but still good quality printers and suppliers), then don’t be afraid to offer such knowledge to people when appropriate. You don’t always have to wait to be asked. And sometimes, a straightforward comment like “What can I do to support you/your work?” can open up wonderful opportunities, simply because you’re seen as a kind colleague with whom a rapport can grow. Later, they may be moved to return the favor out of the blue — and the Universe usually arranges such things with perfect timing.
KEEP IN TOUCH AND KEEP YOUR WORD
If you promise to send someone some information, do it as soon as you get home from networking. If you had a great conversation with a colleague, drop them a note and let them know. If you followed up on some information given to you and it was useful, let the person know who told you about it. Why? Because it is one more way of telling your new contact you can be relied upon to keep your word, and one more way of saying “I am a Professional, not an amateur.” The whole purpose of networking is to forge new contacts for the long run; otherwise it’s just glorified business speed-dating (and it doesn’t work any better than the other kind).
DIFFERENCES MAKE GOOD SPARKS
If you end up chatting with someone whose business/metaphysical slant is ENTIRELY different from yours, don’t chat briefly and leave! Sometimes “fusion readings” (where two intuitives with two vastly different skill sets read clients together) are incredibly valuable AND sought after. Sometimes a double-bill event is what will excite audiences. People love different. Anything that can make you stand out in a positive way to clients is something to explore.
LEARN TO LISTEN
Not everyone can get right to the point in a networking discussion. At the same time, so many of us only half-listen to something before we’re already cogitating about our response. But that serves neither you nor your colleague. One of my favorite sayings is “listen with both ears and your whole heart.” When you listen attentively, wanting to find the best for BOTH of you in the exchange, the vibe will be clear — and as an added bonus, attentive listening means you might catch a useful tidbit that half-listening would have let go by!
BECOME KNOWN AS A POWERFUL RESOURCE
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it fifty times: “I can’t believe how much you share about what you do!”
I have been in “the biz” a long time now. I also have a strong background in more ordinary career work, including copywriting and advertising. I know how to bring the sizzle, if you will, to the steak the restaurant wants to sell. All that marketing knowhow is reflected in everything about my booth: the clarity of the marketing pieces, the professionalism of the layouts, the multiple sources I use and ways I have of collecting client information to forge a long-term relationship. Additionally, I know about the little things that make working easier, and I always have them on board — whether it’s extra water, a bottle of white-out, scissors, safety pins, a band-aid, a pen to test the legitimacy of $100 bills or arnica gel if I take a spill on the exhibit room floor.
I remember how intiminading my first few shows were, and how I wished I had someone to advise me! In those days, however, it was very much a dog-eat-dog situation, because we didn’t have the relative level of respect we have now. (I say relative because not everyone believes in what we do, the way everybody believes in a plumber.)
I am always happy to share tips about how I set up my booth, how I run my business — and hand over a bottle of water if you’ve forgotten one. I am never afraid to do so. No matter who I share with, I know that they don’t work as I do, they don’t have my particular layout of specialties, and they will be dealing with their clients in a different way.
In return, there is invisible “good will” that is created. Other intuitives get to know who I am in a noncompetitive situation. And it’s natural to want to support those who support you — so it’s not uncommon to get a client referral from someone I’ve helped up the ladder in some form or another.
LAST: THIS IS NETWORKING, NOT A GOSSIP FEST
It’s a sad thing, but not every Lightworker or professional intuitive walks their talk. Now, I’m not saying one should never make a mistake or must be relentlessly positive. If that were the case I’d never make the cut either, because I admit to fallible humanity. But like all special-interest groups, there are going to be people that see things differently, or judge others based on a hundred different criteria.
As much as I stay “step away from the ego” in this type of work, I recognize that we are all still human. We have opinions, which sometimes slide into judgment. And when we see something that doesn’t hit us right, most of us will say so.
Remember that criticizing a colleague will simply look like jealousy or meanness. It is none of our business regarding how someone reads, how they conduct their business, or how they behave if it does not affect us directly. We are not here to police the psychic world; we’re here to do our work. If someone doesn’t conduct themselves (or their business) the way you would, as long as it does not directly harm you or your clients, spend your networking time on what is useful, positive and grows the entire world of psychic professionalism in good ways.
So the next time you are in a group of fellow Lightworkers, throw away any idea of competition. Instead, start trading information, have a brainstorming session, or simply get to know your colleagues. The building of trust “within the tribe” is just as important as the trust between you and your client — and just as valuable in the long run for keeping your business expanding.