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In this post:
- How to be seen as a magick expert and build an audience
- How to convert that audience into customers
- How to help your customers refer you to friends
Last post I showed you how to run your business at zero cost. Here’s how to market your business for the cost of dinner.
I’m new to entrepreneur-ing. I had no idea I could start a business for under $500. But that’s what happens when you cut out everything that’s not really necessary.
The $20 goes to business cards and handouts for workshops. See the Materials Summary for details.
How To Market Your Magick Business For $20
Short answer: permission marketing. You give to the community, people get interested in your ideas and see you as a reliable expert. Then, when you tell them about your service, they listen and trust you, and they feel safe hiring you.
I like the focus on helping people and making friends, since that’s why I’m really doing this. If I were focused on money, I’d work on my computer consulting business, not magick.
Here’s the plan:
- Establish myself as an expert: Offer several low-cost classes through local occult shops.
- Offer a useful service with an easy entry point: Serious satisfaction guarantee, low-cost group workshop to sample the service.
- Help customers tell their friends: Show them how to recognize when a friend could benefit from this service, how to explain it, etc.
How To Become an Expert and Build an Audience
Provide valuable information. It’s that simple.
Expertise is really hard to gauge, especially for non-experts. People generally* assume you’re an expert if you:
- Teach a class
- Publish (even a blog, as long as it looks good and has real content)
*See The 4-Hour Workweek for more on this.
I already have a magick class I taught last year in Chicago, plus the course in the free eBook. Also, I’ve taught for 10 years: computer programming, martial arts, dancing, jewelry making, and magick (most of it professionally).
I’ll go to local occult shops and make them an offer: I teach a class at your shop for free, you publicize it and let me talk about my business for a minute at the end. I’ll point them to this blog to show that I’m for real.
The store gets customers. I get an audience. Students get some useful info. I become a teacher who publishes a blog, which is pretty close to expert. Everyone wins.
One note, if you’re doing this: The class doesn’t have to match what you sell. My class will be an intro to conscious magick, and the service is personality integration. You’re trying to make connections and build an audience, not jump into sales.
How To Convert That Audience Into Customers
Offer a low-risk trial. And have an awesome service.
The simplest option is a satisfaction guarantee. Everyone offers a money-back guarantee, and everyone knows it’s a hassle to get any money back. Instead, I’ll offer “don’t pay unless you’re satisfied”. You pay me at the end of the session. Or if you’re not satisfied, you don’t pay.
Beyond helping get people in the door, it’s also slightly remarkable (which helps generate referrals from customers) and it avoids negative word-of-mouth from the small percent of customers who will always be unsatisfied.
If I find that I have a decent-size audience but no one’s purchasing, I can offer a personality integration workshop: I do 5 minutes on each person, so customers can see what I do before signing up for the full session. It’s a social event, which is nice for referrals. But I’m not sure how much I can accomplish with someone in 5 minutes (which could lead to weak referrals), so I’ll wait on this until I have more experience.
How To Generate More Referrals
The Referral Engine has great tips on helping your customers refer friends to you. The gist is that people want to help their friends find useful services, but they need some help.
The main ways to help them are:
- Help customers recognize when their friends could benefit from your service (particularly for an unusual service like this, people won’t ask friends if they know a provider).
- Help customers explain your service. What does it do, how does it work? I also need to help customers talk to friends who aren’t into energy healing.
There’s a lot more in the book, but those are the first steps. I’ll explore those in other posts when I create that content.
Only what’s absolutely necessary: Something to hand people you meet so they can find your website, and handouts for the class so students can use what you taught and tell friends.
100 mini business cards: $20 from moo.com. You can probably find large batches at better rates, but I want to start small. Plus they give you tons of free images, so I can make something decent without a graphic artist.
Handouts for the class: Overview (for taking notes) and the URL of a page I’ll make that links to relevant posts. Figure a 1-page handout, 10 people per class, I can print at home almost for free.
Class fliers: A text blurb explaining the class, maybe a photo of me. I’d expect the shop I teach at to cover this, since they’re making the money on it (I’m teaching for free).
Later on, I can add a professionally designed logo ($250-500) and fliers for my business (costs: design + printing). They’re both worth it if you have a viable, talked-about business. Once I get there, I’ll add them.Other posts in this series:
- First Steps to Starting a Magick-Based Business (July 31, 2010)
- Cash Flow in a Magick Business (August 5, 2010)
- How To Market a Magick Business for $20 (August 12, 2010)
- I Repair Inner Children: The Art of the Intro (August 23, 2010)
- What I Learned from Testing My Handshake Intro (September 3, 2010)
Might check out Steve Pavlina’s pages .. he’s had all kinds of posts on what to do and not do to make an ‘Internet website’ work for income. Also on self run business. Plus tons of ‘stuff’ … some more useful then others. :p
Hope this works out… sounds very cool.
duh.. forgot his link info…. but here’s one that’s a no brainer since you are already doing most of what he warns against.
Thanks for the link, Kol. I’d read Pavlina before starting this blog, he does have good tips on blogs and businesses. If you have any other good links, send them my way.