Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Magick Books: Self-Publish vs Publishing House

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

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I’m writing a book this year. It’s in outline form right now, so I can blog about the topics and figure out how to explain them. Basically the same topics as the blog, but organized to be easier to use, taking you through learning direct magick from the beginning.

I’ve read up on how to contact publishing houses. (Tip: Contact them with an idea for a book, not a written book. They’ll want to shape the presentation). And I know that no one makes money from occult books — my goal is to build a community and establish credentials for teaching, energy healing, etc.

But I need some advice: Self-publish or publishing house? I was leaning toward a publishing house for marketing and credibility, but I just read a great article on TechCrunch that said:

  • Publishers do basically zero to promote most books. In fact, they want to see that you have a blog or other marketing platform before they’ll even talk to you.
  • Publishers introduce a huge lag in getting your book out. You can do it alone in a few months, but it takes 1-2 years or more with a publisher.
  • Direct quote: “Some people want the credibility of saying “Penguin published me”. I can tell you from experience – nobody ever asked me who was my publisher when Penguin was my publisher.”

For authors, does this guy’s experience ring true? Particularly because he’s talking about tech, marketing and business books, and we’re talking about occult and magick.

And for everyone, what do you think about self-publishing vs going with a publishing house?


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Insurance for Energy Healers

Monday, June 6th, 2011

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Another nuts and bolts post on creating an energy healing business. Today: Insurance.

I just want to do energy healing. Not handle paperwork. But paperwork is the difference between a hobby and a business.

If you know what you’re supposed to do, paperwork is easy. It’s the feeling that you’re missing something that demands your attention and tires you.

I went with the Healing Touch Professional Association. $100 to join, $140 for a year of liability insurance.

2 Kinds of Liability Insurance

Slip Trip and Fall: You spilled some water, your client slipped and broke something. The studio you rent space at has their own accident insurance, but if it’s directly your fault, they probably won’t cover it.

Errors and Omissions (E+O): Malpractice insurance. You do a healing session, the client gets worse and sues you. Much less likely scenario for an energy healer than, say, a doctor, but that’s why it’s only $140/year.

Accident insurance is easy to find. Most big insurance firms (like Allstate) offer it.

E+O is specific to your field. You need a firm focused on energy healers. Large firms won’t know what to charge.

Most firms that offer E+O package it with accident insurance. You can’t buy E+O on its own. So if you buy accident insurance from Allstate, then hunt down your E+O, you just wasted money.

Why I Chose HTPA

HTPA is affiliated with the NIH-approved energy healing method nurses use. So they’re big enough that, if I ever do need to use the insurance, I’m pretty confident they’ll still be in business and have the cash to pay. (That’s the whole point, right?)

If you go with another company, ask about their password policy. I’d initially signed up with another company before I found HTPA, and once I signed up, I found out you logged in with your email and a 9-digit client number printed on your certificate. The terrible security made me wonder what else about them was terrible. But they refunded my money, so they shall remain nameless.

Here’s the link to HTPA’s insurance page.

Filling Out the Forms

There’s one thing you need to know for HTPA’s forms.

They’re designed around established energy healing styles (Reiki, Barbara Brennan, etc), and they want to see your certification from your training.

I developed my own style, so no I don’t have a certification. When I called, they said to check “energy field work” and send a writeup of my style (I sent my faq) so they can make sure you’re not kneading tissue (massage) or piercing the skin (acupuncture), since both require licensing. It worked, I was approved.

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Starting a Healing Business: Where to Practice

Monday, May 9th, 2011

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Another “nuts and bolts” post on starting a healing business.

Today: Finding a space to practice. It’s pretty straight-forward, but it’s another thing that gave me an excuse to procrastinate. And I want to help you start, so I’m removing your excuses.

The simplest option: Practice in your home. You set up a room with a massage table, soft lighting, music, whatever. A lot of massage therapists do this to keep costs and commute time down.

But there are drawbacks:

  • Looks not quite professional. For an established practice, like massage or Reiki, this probably isn’t a big deal. For someone starting his own style of healing, appearances matter.
  • Liability. I’m no lawyer, but it seems like you have more liability in your home than renting space that someone else maintains.
  • Safety. Do you really want people you don’t know in your home? And ladies, you’re not the only ones worried about being alone with a stranger. As a guy, I like having other people around so no one can later claim I touched them inappropriately.

So, I’ll be renting space. Here’s what to do:

  1. Use google maps to search for massage businesses.
  2. Based on the name and website, look for a multi-person business that seems open to energy healing. Pick “Center for the Healing Arts,” not “Mary’s Massage” or “Asian Massage.”
  3. Call, explain that you’re an energy healer starting a professional practice looking to rent space, ask what their rates are.

You want one that rents by the hour, since it will take a while to build up a client base. In Albuquerque, you can get space for $10/hour. Your city might be more expensive.

Also, ask about liability insurance (sometimes called “slip trip and fall insurance”). They should have some. It will cover injuries you can’t control, like a fall caused by wet floors from the janitor.

Now you’ve got one fewer excuse to not start your business.

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at

Avoiding Jail For Energy Healers

Monday, April 25th, 2011

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Legal questions are my main excuse for delaying my healing business. Do I need some kind of license to touch clients? And how can I advertise my healing and consciousness integration without triggering licensing problems?

Eliminating excuses is key to achieving your goals. So today, I’m answering those questions.

I found Justia, a site covering US laws, with a section for New Mexico Professional and Occupational Licenses.

Here’s the quick version: Avoid any names owned by professions (“Nurse,” “Psychologist,” etc), tell people you’re not a doctor, and you’re fine. If you want the details, keep reading.

I also learned the value of disclaimers, so here’s mine: I’m not a lawyer. I’m researching this for my own business, and sharing it because it might help you. This isn’t a substitute for talking to a lawyer.

Don’t Use “Nurse,” “Therapist,” Etc

The licensing for nurses basically says “Unless you’re licensed, you can’t call yourself a nurse, RN, etc.” Sounds fair.

For psychology, there’s a broad “practice of psychology” that seems to include any form of helping people do anything, but there’s an exemption under “Scope” that says “Nothing in the Professional Psychologist Act shall be construed to prevent an alternative, metaphysical or holistic practitioner from engaging in nonclinical activities consistent with the standards and codes of ethics of that practice.”

For “Counseling and Therapy,” I learned to avoid the words “mental health” and “therapist.” It also has a holistic practitioner exemption.

Massage therapy has an exemption for “practitioners of healing modalities … who do not manipulate the soft tissues for therapeutic purposes from practicing those skills.”

These laws seem pretty friendly to holistic healers. Just don’t use any established professional titles.

“Not a Doctor” Disclaimer

I don’t intend to practice medicine, and I don’t want anyone to forgo seeing a doctor because of me. Modern medicine works, and if a doctor can cure what ails you, let him do it.

But how do I legally tell people the ways I can help them? Can I say I “heal”? What words must I avoid?

Here’s what I found under the “medicine and surgery” section:

  • You can’t “diagnose, correct or treat” basically anything.
  • You can’t do anything with drugs.

My read is that, if you say you’re an “energy healer” or something similar, and never talk about curing or treating, you’re fine. I’ll also include a disclaimer that I’m not a doctor, I don’t diagnose, correct or treat anything, and I’m not a substitute for medical care.

Become a Minister

A local RN who practices healing touch suggested becoming a minister as a way to legally touch clients in some states. (She doesn’t particularly know New Mexico laws, though).

This seems like a good idea. Under exemptions for medical and surgical practice, it says that the medical practice limitations don’t apply to:

“The practice of the religious tenets of a church in the ministration to the sick or suffering by mental or spiritual means as provided by law; provided that the Medical Practice Act shall not be construed to exempt a person from the operation or enforcement of the sanitary and quarantine laws of the state;”

I don’t know how much protection being a minister really gives you. But since the Universal Life Church will ordain you for free online, it seems worthwhile to become a minister.

Update: Registering took 2 minutes. I emailed them to ask if there are any extra steps, like registering with the state. They said no, nothing extra to do unless you want to perform weddings. So zero cost, super easy. (For weddings, you need to order a certificate for around $10).

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at

Why Refusing Money is Smart Business

Monday, April 11th, 2011

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No form of healing — surgery, reiki, deeper-than-energy healing, etc — works 100% of the time.

But you should refuse a customer’s money if they’re not amazed with the results.

Here’s why.

1. Price = Value x Confidence

Say a successful healing session is worth $100 (to pick an easy number). Should a customer pay $100?

No. They should pay $100 times what they believe is your probability of success, factoring in questions like:

  • Does this type of energy healing work?
  • Is this guy any more legit than the Nigerians with v1agar@?
  • Are those testimonials from real customers? Edited real customers? Imaginary customers?

Factor in all those questions and you might get 25% confidence. So they’ll pay $25 up front for a healing session.

See what happened? You know you’re for real, and you know your healing technique gives good results 90% of the time (for example), so you know it’s worth $90. But they know less, so they’ll pay less.

Customers will always have more unknowns than you, so their confidence will always be low relative to yours. To charge a high rate, you need to remove “probability of success” from the equation. The only way I see to do that is to only charge when you succeed.

2. It’s Remarkable

Remarkable, in the proper sense, meaning worth remarking on. (That’s what a referral is, of course: When someone remarks on their good experience with you).

Chris Guillbeau has a great post on satisfaction guarantees, which I’ll summarize as:

Everyone gives a 30-day money-back guarantee, and everyone knows it’s more work to get your money back than to beg for that money on NYC subways. So no one cares.

He’s right. You have to make your satisfaction guarantee not suck. Most businesses try to minimize refunds. You should aim to maximize refunds for unhappy customers.

Here’s my remarkable satisfaction guarantee:

You only pay if you’re amazed at the results. Not satisfied, not “I think I feel a little better,” but amazed.

I’m also borrowing from Joel on Software and offering a 90-day no-questions-asked money back guarantee. Here’s how it works: Get a healing session, call me 2 months later and tell me you need the cash to buy a comic book. You’ll get your money back. Heck, you can call me on the 91st day, 105th day, 203rd day and you’ll probably still get your money back.

No one else offers that. They’re worried about losing money. I’m not.

Why? 3 reasons:

  1. I know my healing work is good. Customers don’t. So I should bear the risk of the healing technique not working long-term.
  2. I want customers to know it’s safe to try, see how it works, and recommend to friends. I’m confident they’ll want another healing session more than they’ll want a refund.
  3. If you pay with a credit card, you can call your bank and contest the charge. As a small business, I will lose, plus be charged a “chargeback fee.” Which means I not only pissed off a customer, I also lost money doing it.

My goal is to be so committed to making sure you only pay if you’re amazed that it’s worth remarking on.

3. It Makes Referrals Safe

Energy healing is fundamentally a referral business. I can shout that I’m good from the top of every church and the only people who will care are the police arresting a nutter. But if your friend says I fixed their problem, you’re going to check me out.

Referrals only work if the referrer (the guy I worked with) knows he won’t look foolish.

Say Bob recommends me to Sally. I make Sally feel $50 worth of better, not $100 worth. Now I have 2 options:

  1. I can charge Sally $100, and she’ll tell Bob that I suck, and poof, no more referrals from Bob.
  2. Or I can refuse Sally’s money, she’ll tell Bob that I helped her, didn’t charge her, and that she’s basically happy. And Bob will refer me more, and maybe Sally will try me again later.

I’ll take option 2 any day.

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Have You Built Your Funnel?

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

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In marketing, there’s a concept known as your funnel.

It’s how people progress from hearing about you, to finding out more, to testing your services, to becoming a customer.

Put strangers in the top of the funnel, and friends, readers and customers come out the bottom.

This blog isn’t about selling products, but the same concept applies: I need to create a path for someone to visit once, see what the blog is about, decide my style is worth trying, read more, and become a regular visitor.

This isn’t a problem for business blogs, cooking blogs, exercise blogs, etc. New readers can just jump in. They’ll understand all your concepts quickly. You just need to write something worth reading.

But this blog is about a new way of doing magick. Most of the concepts don’t exist in non-magickal society, and some of them don’t even exist in other magick groups. Many of the terms are my own, created as I developed the magickal structures they refer to. It’s hard for new readers to get involved.

When you share something truly new, you need to hold the reader’s hand.

My funnel needs to orient new readers. Lead them down a manicured path from knowing nothing to knowing the basics, explaining what everything means along the way. It needs to make it easy for new readers to figure out what this style of magick is, how it works, and how each skill they learn fits into the bigger picture.

October is Funnel Month

I’ve been writing this blog since February. Almost 100 posts. It’s time to make my funnel.

In October, I’m going to focus on a series orienting new readers to my style of magick and how it can help them. If you’ve been trying to learn magick, but aren’t sure what all the pieces are, how it works, or even what exactly magick is, this series will fix all that.

Coming up in November is the free ebook, Learn Magick in 50 Days. It steps you through learning magick, from knowing nothing to knowing everything you need to know to master any style. It’s halfway done, but I’m pausing it to write the orientation series, which I’ll then condense and add to the ebook.

Meeting More Mages

Some of my readers have been nudging me to post on other blogs, forums, etc. I want to. But I want to make the funnel first, so when curious people check out my blog, they can get into it easily. After all, you only get one look from most curious people, and if you can’t orient them well, you’ll never see them again.

But there are 2 easy ways you can help me grow this blog, which will help you because you’ll have more people asking questions, sharing tips, and helping the community.

2 Easy Ways You Can Help

1. Tell me what other magick blogs, forums, email lists, etc you read. If any snail-mail newsletters still exist, I’d like to hear about them, too. That way I can prepare to meet more mages in November.

2. As I post the orientation series, let me know if any part isn’t clear. If it’s not clear to you, it won’t be clear to most new readers, either. Write a comment or send me an email through the contact form.

Thanks for helping!

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How To Create an Effective Magick Class

Monday, September 27th, 2010

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In this post:

  • Why effective classes use exercises.
  • How to build a bridge from what students can do and what they want to do.
  • How to lead exercises like a pro.


I’ve taught professionally for over 10 years. Martial arts in high school, metal working in college, computer security after graduation, and magick classes along the way.

The best classes focus on exercises — on students doing something — rather than lecture. Here’s why, how to design a good class, and how to assess it afterward. It applies to magick classes, but also everything else you might teach.

Classes Teach Skills

Ask a novice teacher what students should get from a class, and they usually focus on concepts students should understand. Then they lecture on those topics.

Ask an experienced teacher the same thing, and they’ll usually focus on things students should be able to do. Then they get students doing that in the class.

No one goes to a class to understand something. They go because they want to do something. Sure, understanding is part of that, but the best understanding comes from doing something yourself, not from listening to a teacher.

The Benefits of Exercises

1. Exercises produce mastery in the class. Once students do something, instead of just hearing about it, they understand it much more completely. This cements the concepts and skills, so you can build on them later in the class.

2.  Exercises reveal gaps in understanding. When you lecture, everyone will nod and say “that makes sense,” even if it didn’t. They won’t realize the gaps until they try to use that knowledge. By putting exercises in class, you immediately see what works and what doesn’t, and you can fix it right away.

How To Build Good Exercises

Exercises should build on something students can already do, and teach exactly one thing.

If you need to teach students to do 2 new things at the same time, that’s 3 exercises:

  1. Teach the first thing in isolation.
  2. Teach the second in isolation.
  3. Combine the 2 new skills.

You’ll be tempted to put more into exercises. Don’t. Paradoxically, those 3 exercises will go much faster than 1 exercise teaching both skills at once, because students will succeed the first time at each simple skill. You get three 1-minute exercises where students succeed, instead of one 10-minute struggle.

It will feel like the steps are excruciatingly small. But that’s only because you already know how to do them. Sure, some students could take larger steps, but they’ll forgive you as long as they learn something by the end. And most students will love you for going at their pace.

For an example, see this post on my magick connections class.

Leading Exercises

Here’s the pattern I use for leading exercises:

  • Explain the big picture: What they’ll learn, what they’ll do, etc.
  • Demonstrate the exercise, explain the visualization, etc. Students just watch and listen, so they can focus on the ideas, not on implementing them.
  • Repeat the demo, slowly, with students copying you each step. Verify everyone was successful.
  • Have students do a very similar task on their own.

This last step is the most important. Students must use the technique on their own, or they won’t retain it.

If you drive with a GPS, you know what I mean. You can drive all over, and as long as someone walks you through each turn, you never learn to navigate yourself.

Also, applying the technique to a new situation helps ensure students master the technique. Often, students can copy you, but don’t know what each step does, so they can’t apply the technique to new problems. You want to uncover that before you move on.


Effective classes ensure students learn skills by taking small steps. Only add 1 new skill per exercise, and slowly build from demonstrating the skill to letting students do it on their own. This lets you cover each step quickly, allowing you to get through more material in your class than if you had fewer, larger exercises.

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What I Learned from Testing My Handshake Intro

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

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In this post:

  • Results from testing my handshake introduction
  • How to use those lessons to improve your handshake intro
  • How to explain what you do after the handshake


A few posts ago, I showed you how to make a handshake introduction: A quick description of what you do that gets the other person to ask “Really?  Tell me more.”  My handshake intro was “I do magick like a spirit.”

Last week, I road-tested my handshake intro with some pagans, Thelemites and other mages while visiting Seattle.  Here’s what I learned:

  • The handshake introduction worked OK, but could be better.
  • You must have a practiced explanation to answer the “Tell me more” you just prompted.

This post will show you how to use those lessons, with examples I’m developing.  If you like my intros and explanations, and they’re accurate for what you do, feel free to use them.

My Road-Testing

“I do magick like a spirit” produces the follow-on question, but not the right emotion in the listener.  They seem confused, rather than intrigued.

Here’s why: Most mages never think about how spirits do magick.

It’s not enough for your audience to know each term you use.  They have to understand the concept or image you’re creating, and why it matters.

How To Improve a Handshake Introduction

Let’s go back to what I want to convey: That I drive magick with my own mind (rather than by channeling outside forces), that I direct each step consciously, and that this gives me better control and better results.

My first time, I jumped into wordsmithing.  First I tried a summary (which was bad).  Then I tried a simple statement (“I do magick like a spirit”).  This time, I’m going to try creating an image.

“I do magick by controlling its building blocks.”  I like building blocks.  It’s simple, lends itself to images and metaphors, and feels playful.  It’s also accurate: I work with connections, energy signatures, and the other small units that make up effects.  Now I just need a better verb.

A few tries later: “I construct new techniques from magick’s building blocks.”  The terms are simple, and the overall concept is clear even if you don’t get each piece.  It would make me curious about how the person does it.  Hopefully it will make my audience curious, too.

After the Handshake

So, your handshake intro did its job.  They asked “Really?  How does that work?”

Don’t wing it.  I’ve written 100s of pages about magick, how my style works, etc.  But without a cheatsheet, I confused my audience even worse.

I found that you need to walk the listener from your handshake intro to your explanation.  If you skip straight to what you do, you lose your audience.  Once I outlined that walk, my explanation became much smoother.

So, after preparing your handshake intro, outline what to talk about following the questions you expect to get.  Here are some examples to get you started.


Here’s the outline I learned to use following “I do magick like a spirit”:

  • Most mages channel forces or invoke spirits to do magick.
  • Those spirits drive magick themselves, without outside help.
  • That’s how I do magick: By connecting the parts of the mind that drive magick to the conscious mind.

(You would expand each of those points into a full explanation, at the right level for your audience).

For “I construct new techniques from magick’s building blocks,” they might ask about the building blocks or about how to build techniques.  Here’s my plan for the follow-on outline.

If they ask about building blocks:

  • They’re the small units of magick: Connections, energy signatures, etc.
  • Most mages focus on the big picture, using a visual or ritual to distract their conscious, while their unconscious handles the details.
  • I consciously watch the building blocks of magick and figure out how to use them to produce specific effects like [whatever I want to talk about].

If they ask about building new techniques:

  • All magick techniques work by altering the building blocks: Connections, energy signatures, etc.
  • Most mages don’t worry about those details.  They use standard rituals and visualizations to communicate their intent, while their unconscious handles the details.
  • There’s a lot you can do once you consciously direct your mind how to work with each building block, instead of letting the unconscious do whatever comes naturally.
  • For example, [whatever I want to talk about].
If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at

I Repair Inner Children: The Art of the Intro

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

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In this post:

  • Why you need to know your handshake introduction
  • 1 template, 2 examples and 3 tips for making them


You know the guy you avoid at parties because he shakes your hand and immediately bores you with 5 minutes on what he does?

This post is about how to avoid being that guy.

The key is a handshake introduction: A short 1-sentence intro you say while shaking hands to get the other person to say “Really?  How does that work?”

It’s harder than it sounds.  A VC blog I read posted about Sam Jones, who introduces himself with “I buy dead magazines“.  You can bet he didn’t wing that intro.

Here’s what I learned from preparing handshake intros for consciousness integration and for controlling magick consciously.

Avoid Summaries

My first attempt was “I connect the conscious and unconscious minds so people can update thought patterns from childhood to the adult world.”

I asked friends for input.  They told me (very nicely) that it was terrible.

Lisa: Use an emotionally charged image.  “I beat up your inner child.”

Me: I love your eagerness to beat people up.  How about “I push your inner child into the adult world?”

Kristen: You need to put the benefit up front.  “I help your mind work for you instead of against you.”  Also, “inner child” is the good, playful part of you.  It’s not a problem.  People don’t want it beaten up or pushed.

(You might recognize Lisa and Kristen.  They comment on this blog sometimes).

I came up with “I introduce your inner child to your adult mind so they can stop fighting and start working together” and “I let you be your best self by helping your conscious mind talk with the unconscious urges that most people suppress.”

Better.  But still not good.  Because they all summarize my entire message.

Summaries are too long for a handshake, and they’re intellectual rather than emotionally interesting.  Avoid them.

Gripping, and Not Untrue

I took Kristen’s approach: State the benefit, let them ask how.  “I fix the unconscious urges that most people suppress.”  No how to clog up the works.  Much better.

But it still isn’t gripping.  You need an emotionally charged, surprising image* to grab your audience.  Like Lisa’s “I beat up your inner child.”  But one that won’t scare customers away.

*For more on making ideas memorable, see Made to Stick.

Here’s where you have to let a good idea die so a great idea can live.  Abandon accuracy.  Aim for “I buy dead magazines,” not “I turn unprofitable magazines with a specialized market and passionate readers into web magazines.”

Make your goal “Gripping, and not untrue” rather than “Describes what I do.”  That gives you the freedom to make a striking short intro.

A Recipe For a Good Handshake Intro

I went back to the starting point.  “I buy dead magazines.”  It’s a verb* followed by a metaphor it wouldn’t normally go with.

*Specifically, a working verb.  Avoid trivial verbs like “do” or “went.”

Fundamentally, I fix the unconscious urges that people suppress.  That’s my verb.

Now, since I’m doing something positive, inner child works well for the metaphor.

I fix inner children.

Except that fix suggests it’s broken.  Also, in animals, fix means cutting off the testicles.  So, “repair” as a softer synonym that doesn’t suggest snipping:

I repair your inner child.

Short = Good

For my second handshake intro, I had a plan: Identify what’s surprising or unusual about what I do, then simplify it into the “I buy dead magazines” formula.

Surprising and unusual for my style of magick in general: Most mages rely on forces and spirits to drive magick for them.  I control magick consciously, and drive it myself, like those spirits and forces that others channel.

First, find the verb.  Here, it’s “do magick.”  That’s what we’re talking about.

“I do magick like the spirits that people channel.”

I was happy, but it’s hard to critique your own writing.  Always ask a friend.  Lisa said “Not bad, but it doesn’t pop.”  She’s right.

The problem is “… that people channel.”  It isn’t doing any work.  I don’t want to talk about people channeling spirits, I want to talk about doing magick myself.  Sure, it makes the statement more accurate, but who cares?  Accuracy can come after your audience is interested.

So I wound up with “I do magick like a spirit.”  If it speaks to you, feel free to use it.

Adjust to Your Audience

A parting thought.  I saw a flyer at a diner advertising “Learn to Channel.”  Terrible headline.

That flyer is good in occult shops.  Everyone knows what channeling is.  Some people want to learn it.  Boom, there’s your market.

But in a diner, most of your audience will think “What’s channeling?”  Only they won’t.  They’ll just move on to the next flyer.

“Learn to Talk to Angels” is better for the diner.  It’s something a layman gets.  Is it less accurate?  Sure.  But the point of a headline isn’t to explain everything.  It’s to get your audience to ask for more info (verbally or by reading).

Once you make your handshake intro, adjust it to your audience.  Every word and phrase needs to speak to them.  Avoid words like magick that have strong connotations.  Make sure they listen to your concepts, instead of getting hung up on your words.


Got thoughts on my handshake intros?  Trying to make one of your own?  Or just saw some flyers with awful headlines?  Leave a comment.

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at

How To Market a Magick Business for $20

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

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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

How much it costs to start a business.


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:

  1. Establish myself as an expert: Offer several low-cost classes through local occult shops.
  2. Offer a useful service with an easy entry point: Serious satisfaction guarantee, low-cost group workshop to sample the service.
  3. 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:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.

Materials Summary

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  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.

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