July 2008 Update (Blog)
Use this thread to discuss the following entry from Steve Pavlina's blog:
July 2008 Update
That's great that Erin's business is taking off so well, though I certainly understand her feelings about the price increases. I'd feel awful knowing that the people most likely to need my services couldn't afford them.
Have the two of you thought about creating an "Erin approved" network of up-and-coming psychics who could take on more price-sensitive clients? Just have a note on the Book a Reading page: "Are these prices outside your budget? Consider a reading from one of these highly recommended professionals..."
It seems like that could be a win-win for everyone: people can get a reading from someone they trust (due to Erin's recommendation), professionals just starting out can bring in new clients, and Erin can get referral fees.
Just a thought. :)
We discussed that idea last year. I thought it was a good idea at first, but we couldn't see it working. The handful of other psychics we'd trust have prices comparable to Erin's or higher. Experienced psychics with low prices usually means they aren't very good, so they aren't generating much repeat business or referrals.
Erin's website (and mine) certainly helps fuel her bookings, but other top psychics have published books that generate a steady stream of clients for them, so they're in a similar situation.
Also Erin's focus is different from most psychic mediums. The bulk of her clients come to her for intuitive counseling. She helps people gain clarity to get their lives on the right track. Because of her skills she can help people solve problems in 30 minutes that might otherwise take weeks of therapy. She sees more demand for that vs. connecting with deceased relatives.
I don't see a referral system working, not if Erin had to vouch for the people she referred others too. It would be better for people to seek out cheaper services on their own -- or simply to do without.
Imagine if you were a doctor or a lawyer. Would you feel comfortable referring clients to someone who charged a lot less than you (and who probably was a lot less skilled/experienced)? You'd probably just send people to a general referral service rather than setting up a formal referral program that you had to attach your name to.
One psychic told me that his bookings increased this year due to the uncertainty of the economy and the election. He says that when there's a lot of uncertainty in the air, he sees an increase in bookings. Lisa Williams wrote in her book that her reading requests surged after 9/11.
Someone asked John Edward something similar during one of his events, why not just refer people to another psychic since your waiting list is so long. He replied that originally he did that, referred people to other psychics but then when they got bad readings people would complain to John. He doesn't want to be responsible for the quality of a reading he didn't give himself. I wouldn't be comfortable with that either.
I am very glad your business is taking off. It is a very understandable situation. I gained a lot of value from Erin's hour long podcast and the other postings on the Pavlina blogs. Keep up the good work :)
Its great to hear of Erin's success over the last few years.
In regards to the repeat clients and the issue with wait times versus cost, why not start reserving space for readings for 'follow up' clients, so that their wait time is less, but you can still keep the overall price flat. Sort of like physicians setting aside emergency appt slots each day, they don't cost anymore, but are essential to keep established patients happy when they have an urgent issue. A new patient would not expect to get in same day, but understands that those spots are available once established.
Personally, if I was a first time client of Erin's, I would rather wait a bit longer at the same price, then stretch it further outside my budget. This may not work long term depending on how many readings Erin does after the initial one, but it might help appease both parties right now.
Just a thought...
Erin and Steve, thanks for the replies. :) I can appreciate the pitfalls of personal referrals, especially when intuitive readings aren't as cut and dried as, say, Steve's recommended PhotoReading program.
I'd been thinking along the lines of how you can set up a doctor's appointment with a nurse practitioner instead of the head physician of the practice, but now I doubt that's an applicable comparison.
Still, we can look on the bright side: all these high-paying customers are subsidizing great free content for the rest of us!
Maybe Erin could keep a day a month for people who can't afford a full price reading. A lottery system should be easy enough to set up. (Or she could let her gut decide which names on the list would benefit most from her services!) It could even be a way of 'tithing'; a way of saying 'thank you' to the universe for her gift.
That's actually a pretty good idea ciel.
This way you can help people who can't afford you and then up your general prices so you are free to take this on
Nice one Ciel :cool:
Are you considering opening personal development consulting to offset the revanue you'll forgo by removing your ads?
Writing 250+ free articles isn't enough of a tithe for her?
The free help is basically what Erin's blog and these forums are for. If she's going to help people for free, I think the one-to-many approach of writing articles that will remain online indefinitely is the most effective choice.
Nevertheless, Erin actually does give free readings now and then, but not by request. She picks and chooses those situations herself when she believes it's a good idea. If she were to formalize this process, it would just make things unnecessarily complicated.
Erin has found that people who get free readings (or gift readings paid for by others) often don't make very good clients. Since they have no personal investment in seeing the reading succeed, they'll often ask trivial questions instead of focusing on their core issues. Afterwards they won't even bother to apply the guidance they received. So unfortunately it tends to be a waste of Erin's time to offer free readings, especially when they displace paid readings (meaning that Erin effectively ends up paying for it). This doesn't always happen, but I'd rather see her work with people who are serious vs. casual and uncommitted.
noticed on twitter that you are going to put "guy in the glass" in it.(only)
Is there any other poems that you like?? open response everyone !!!
Steve - Consider using a del.icio.us account for that twitter purpose next month.
It will be a new vehicle and will introduce people to optimize what they read. I remember that I first found your site through del.icio.us.
What are the ratio between the 30 minute and the 1 hour reading being booked? Is it mostly 30 minutes with a few 1 hour booking, or is it more balanced?
I was going to suggest that if it's balanced, then maybe keep the price the same for the 30 minutes, and increase the 1 hour reading prices? I'd guess those who book 1 hour reading are less price-sensitive then those who book 30 minute reading.
I guess that depends on how much extra time outside of the reading is spent on preparing for the individual reading per client.
Oddly, it's about 60-65% 1-hour readings. This has caused a bit of a back log too because in the past I could fit a lot more people into my day at 30-minutes than an hour.
I didn't expect so many people to select the 1 hour option but that's what happened.
Yeah, the 1 hour is a really good deal comparitively. I don't want to raise the price on it though. For now, my plan is to just catch up, don't raise prices, and hope people can be patient. A one month wait is nothing compared to the more well known psychics who have 6 YEAR waiting lists!
Yeah well John Edward is pretty much the top in this field. He had a 6 year waiting list and stopped taking new names. He's still whittling down his list. But he is so busy doing the one-to-many now that stopping to do one reading for one person is not cost effective for him. he can reach more people doing an event or seminar, but not everyone gets a reading.
Other famous psychics have a 6 month or longer waiting list, and I know a couple who have had to stop doing private readings because they are in high demand doing seminars, events, workshops, or large group readings.
I wonder if/when that will happen to me, when I'll no longer be able to do private readings.
Well, a storm ate the full point I want to make and now I don't want to type it all out again, so here's bullet form.
-I really don't think that psychic readings for more than one person are good readings, any more than trying to apply therapy to more than one person at a time is really good therapy.
-Erin should raise prices dramatically (I would guess to over a grand per reading) specifically until her waitlist shrinks to zero at least once a year. (Assuming variations in demand cycle approximately yearly.)
-Especially if Steve reports how much Erin is capable of charging, this sends a market signal encouraging other people to take up psychic reading full time.
-Erin reads for the exact same number of people, (though different people) but at the same time spawns new psychics for new people and at the same time getting rich.
-Readings are supposed to last at least six months, no? 1000/6 is not actually a very large number per month. Also, I suspect a lot of readings last a lifetime, which works out to very very cheap per month.
-Basically, for this service, I see increased cost as an upside, not a downside. Various reasons for this, such as signalling increased commitment to the universe, Erin, and themselves.
-Yes, Erin, your readings really are worth at least a grand.
erin I dont know how to ask this question, but how much effort time do you think you put into building your psychic skills, im guesss like 20 000 hours, were there times when you felt you werent good enough to do this ???
I'm a little uncertain about repeat customers, Erin: I thought I remembered you saying somewhere about people who'd say 'should I book a time for next week?' with your response being (roughly) 'did you just hear what I said and plan to put it into practise or not?'. My overall impression, therefore, was that your readings weren't something people had to/should repeat very often, only when the previous reading was no longer relevant.
I hope I've expressed that clearly enough. I guess I'm just a bit unclear on the point of 'repeat' customers, which sounds like regular or at least semi-often.
By repeat customers we're talking about people who book 4 times a year or twice a year. I've had maybe 5 clients out of over a thousand who wanted to do detailed work with me and so scheduled a reading weekly for 4 weeks (kind of like coaching) because they wanted to go deep and in depth. These clients were millionaires though and I knew they could afford it. But yes, in general, you shouldn't need to come back to me for a while. It really depends on what's happening in your life though. Some people face crossroads every 3 months and some people don't.
Supertom: I've been intuitive almost my entire life, learning to listen to my own guides. But it was in January 2006 that I began to understand I could do psychic work for others by tuning in to their guides. I did over a hundred free readings for friends, family, and then total strangers before I started doing it professionally. In two years I've done more than 1100 readings which, as I understand it, is really good for a psychic just starting out. Consequently I've got the equivalent of 5-7 years worth of experience. But I do this work every single day for many hours, so you can imagine how quickly my skill level has increased, just like any profession where you put in hours a day.
For Erin, how about setting aside a portion of your appointments (perhaps half?) for clients who want to pay extra for a "membership" (or whatever you want to call it). They get one reading a month (or some other periodicity that seems appropriate, such as 6 readings a year). This way, the people who really apprecate and want to have you there for them regularly, without having to wait, can do that. The cost would be an investment to them.
And then the other portion of the appointments would be "first come first served", with a sliding scale rate, so that newcomers, curious folks, and folks who have lots of potential, but not a lot of money, could all have access to the services.
It seems to work well for a lot of different kinds of businesses, to offer that two (or more) tier format, with a level that everyone can access, and a level that offers more "ownership" for a higher price.
Peace, Love, and Bicycles,
It's not a good idea to decide in advance how many readings you will need. 95% of the people I read for should be good to go with just one reading. Maybe twice a year or once a year if you can afford it. Once a month is too much for the vast majority of people. I've had a situation where I've scheduled 3 readings in a row for someone who was suicidal because I was bringing them back from a very dark place and they needed a boost. I did the other two readings for free because I was concerned.
As far as sliding scales and such, trying to determine who should pay what would be difficult. Do I ask people to send me proof of income and make a cut off for who "should" be able to afford the service? That would take up too much time and energy. Some people have higher expenses than others.
When you're seeking a service you generally seek out someone in your price range. I'm not the only psychic out there. There are a ton of great psychics.
I have an appointment book with all the names in it, and I've got a spreadsheet on my computer with all the names, dates, time zones, and phone numbers of all the readings I do. I don't write down any of the reading results. There's no point. I don't know if I'll ever speak to a person again after a reading. Sometimes when I get a repeat customer I'll remember them, but now after so many readings I'm afraid I can't remember everyone I've read for before :(
Any plans on "teaching people how to fish" Erin? Meaning, perhaps now that you\'ve tuned your abilities so well, it might be time to start working with people to help them become psychics who do readings etc. Meaning, people who are already "tuned in" a bit but not doing it as a profession yet. People who, much like yourself before, could be working at $9/hour jobs as admin assistants or something instead of pursuing their gift.
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