Anna’s Guide to Running a Spiritual Business — Tips, Lessons & Disasters From the Last 13 Years

I wrote an article a few days ago asking readers if they have any questions or things they’d like me to write about, as I have a lot more time on my hands these days to write blog posts.

A number of people asked me to write about running a spiritual business and the things I have learned along the way. I also got some questions about which service providers and platforms I use in my business. And so I decided to write an article to answer all of these questions, as I know a sizeable proportion of my readers are spiritual practitioners/business owners.

A bit of background:

I started doing readings in 2007 and launched this website around 2008 (yes, during the Recession – oops). I left my job as an English & French teacher at a language school in Spain, and moved to London to become an Akashic Record Reader. I had no client base but threw myself into full time psychic work, and worked like mad to market my services. I definitely jumped in at the deep end, and I had to learn how to create a sustainable business from scratch and on a boot string.

Apart from several weeks doing temporary teaching work in 2010, I’ve been working full time at this business since 2008, and it has been my main source of income.

So here is my collection of things I have learned from the last 13 years, based on my experiences (it’s a long one…)

1. Nutters

If you have an online business you will get some emails from very strange people. (I know…this is probably not news to anyone, that the world has nutters in it!)

I think the weirdest one I’ve ever had is a series of emails I received from a reader who vehemently believed that I am actually a man who lives in the US who has created a false persona by stealing some photos belonging to a random woman and passing them off as myself on my website.

He seemed quite angry about this and claimed he was going to find this poor random woman whose photos I stole, and ‘bring me to justice.’

Ahem.

Good luck with that. Lol!

Incidentally, a point about digital security: if you are taking photos with your phone, to share on your blog/website, ensure that you turn off geo-tagging on your camera’s phone, to avoid accidentally sharing your exact coordinates with any nut jobs out there.

2. Don’t enter the psychic field if you’re only looking for a lucrative career

This field isn’t one to choose if you want to make the big bucks. You might think otherwise if you see someone charging $300 for a 60-min reading. However, bear in mind that for that reading, the reader has to spend some time getting prepared for the reading, then some time with the client, then some time afterwards coming out of that space of working with a client, energetically speaking. You will often be looking at 2 hours of time spent for a 60 minute reading.

Plus this reader will have overheads, such as an assistant for scheduling, website hosting, and all sorts of other things (see the end of this article to get an idea of the overheads.)

Then there’s the countless hours spent marketing one’s business to actually enable clients to find you in the first place — which is unpaid (and may actually cost money in the form of ads), unless the reader is very well established/famous. It’s not a very lucrative field. The reason to get into this industry is because you feel you must and Spirit is guiding you in this direction.

This leads me to my next point…

3. There is room for you in this field

On my travels over the last few years, I visited a lot of spiritualist churches. And I also received a few messages from my deceased relatives from the readers who stood on the stage and gave readings to strangers.

The thing I’ve realised through observing this, is that there are mediums who I personally take a liking to instantly, and there are also mediums I don’t click with, or whose style of reading doesn’t appeal to me. I have noticed that I only get picked out of the audience for a reading by a medium whose style of reading does appeal to me. Maybe this is because our personal energies are similar or compatible in some way.

I also find this with soul groups that I attract (or don’t attract) in my Akashic Record Readings. I find that I attract a lot of Spicans and Vegans right now, but I’ve only had one Polarean in the last 10 years. Some groups just don’t resonate with my work, they’ll resonate with someone else. And vice versa. (Incidentally, if you’re interested in finding out more about the soul groups, I am bringing out an ebook about this soon, so stay tuned for that.)

Basically, when working with people, it’s about personality fit — there are always going to be people who like you and want to work with you, and people who don’t.

Therefore, there is always room for new people in this industry.

4. Success comes through work (not so much manifesting)

If anyone tells you that you can manifest your way to a successful business without putting significant effort in over a prolonged period of time, they’re probably trying to sell you something Law of Attraction or business related. And the ironic thing is, they themselves will be working a lot to promote their Law of Attraction/coaching business. Just what I have observed.

I’m not saying that mindset and positive attitude don’t play a part — they do. But how many hours you put in and how many days you show up to work, in spite of your inner resistance, both play an even bigger part.

5. If a mentor or teacher claims to be enlightened, don’t walk away, run away

In my experience, the few fruitcakes in the spiritual industry will show their crazy upfront by claiming they’re enlightened or ascended beings. This is a sign of grandiosity and narcissism, not enlightenment.

6. Enthusiasm for your business will probably come and go

How much you love your work will vary from one month to the next. It’s normal. You may have times when you want to throw in the towel, too.

7. You will be judged

A few people — usually random strangers who find your site and decide they dislike you — can be really mean. If you’re a sensitive person, your skin may not get thicker over time either. Thankfully, the vast majority of people are pleasant to deal with. Boundaries are your friend. Delete, set up email filters & block and ban trolls from your page.

8. Most spiritual businesses are feminist businesses

Many of the spiritual practices and paths in this world are steeped in the energy of the patriarchy, in that they were created by men, and they often exclude, or have a history of actively oppressing women. Just looking at Christianity/Catholicism as an example, women cannot be Catholic priests, and it’s only recently that the Church of England has admitted women to be priests. Oh, and the whole witch burning thing.

Patriarchal societies also tend to look down on female-dominated movements such as spiritualism and new-age spirituality. (Although this is happening less and less…when I started out 13 years ago, spiritualism was less mainstream.)

Connecting with Spirit, on one’s own terms and in one’s own way, independent of dogma, can be a small act of resistance. So is running a spiritual business.

9. You can’t please everyone, nor should you try

I’ve had such wildly differing feedback about various things I’ve put out into the world. I released a new website design a few months back, and I’ve been told it is the worst designed website on the internet and I’ve also had great feedback about it. I’ve been told by people I charge too much for something they wanted to buy and I’ve been told by other people that I am not charging enough. In the end, you have to go off what the majority tell you, combined with your own sense about things, and of course whether anyone is choosing to work with you.

10. It takes 6 months – 3 years to earn a sustainable income from a psychic business

(And most kinds of business.)

Some of your clients initially will likely come from word of mouth, and for that to happen, you have to work with plenty of clients, so don’t expect to build a business overnight. It definitely takes time.

If you don’t have any other income or money to live on, (and if you can make this work…) cut your expenses and get a part time job while you build your business.

You need to hustle hard in the first few years of a spiritual business, because not only will you need to work with clients, you’ll also need to market yourself to attract new clients.

11. I don’t recommend basing your marketing or business around social media sites like Facebook or Instagram

I remember around 2010 when Facebook pages started to be a ‘thing’, many business owners invested a lot of time and money in growing their Facebook pages, mainly because the reach and exposure Facebook gave business owners at that time was pretty fantastic.

Back then, whenever I posted on Facebook, I had several thousand of my 12k fans seeing my post. These days, I’m lucky if several hundred of my Facebook followers see my posts. People frequently tell me they ‘like’ my page on Facebook and never hear from me again, despite the fact that I post on there regularly.

This big change in reach occurred when Facebook decided that they wanted more ad revenue, and so business owners went from having loads of their fans see their posts, to hardly anyone seeing their posts, and it happened overnight, too, which was a real problem for those people who had built their business around Facebook.

Basically, here’s what anyone with an online business should take from that:

Don’t base your marketing or your business around social media. You don’t really own or control your content on there and you can lose your platform at any point if they decide to change the goalposts (or even ban you.)

Instead you want to base your business around something you own and can control, such as your website/blog and your newsletter.

Use social media sites as an addition to those things, not a substitute. And don’t spend hours each day on there creating content — the content that you post on social media is there today and buried under something else tomorrow. This is the not the case so much with your blog, which keeps on sending people your way indefinitely, through search engines.

I am only just getting into social media sites like Youtube, Instagram, and Pinterest. Most of my business comes from search engines and my newsletter.

You can find me on those platforms here.

12. Don’t change your URL

One of the mistakes I have made in my online business is changing my URL multiple times (basically, every time I felt a new branding direction coming on.) If you want to attract new readers through Google, you will ultimately attract more people if you keep the same URL (Google favours longevity in a website).

If you’re not sure on your brand/angle, just get a URL which is your first name + your surname — and keep it.

13. I’ve never had a good experience hiring on Upwork

(Upwork is a popular place for online businesses to find service providers). If you’re looking for a service provider, I recommend getting a referral from someone you trust instead, like a colleague or a mentor.

14. Sign up with a newsletter provider/CRM that is small enough to be suitable for you

Most spiritual businesses do not need a complicated newsletter provider/CRM. I use Convert Kit for my email newsletter and have done for the last few years — I highly recommend them, they’re reasonably priced and I’ve never had any problems with their service. Mailchimp is another good service for businesses that are just starting out.

I do not recommend Infusionsoft (which recently changed their name to Keap). Way too big and complicated for any small business, although weirdly some people recommend it for small businesses. You need to be an engineer to be able to master that platform, and I wasted an embarrassingly large amount of money on it (signing up with Infusionsoft is actually, hands down, the most expensive business mistake I’ve ever made.)

15. Avoid PayPal where possible

You can read about my experience with them here — they are unscrupulous (see below for details on the payment processor I use.)

16. Being settled in one place is better for business

I was a digital nomad (travelling and house sitting around the world, and running my business from wherever I went) for 4 years and it was not great for my business and ultimately led to burnout.

I originally became a digital nomad, not because I loved the travelling lifestyle, but because I had just got New Zealand residency after several years living there, but I wanted to come back to Europe. However, to keep my NZ residency I had to spend 6 months of the year in NZ for a few years running. So that’s how I started travelling.

Being a digital nomad IS quite a popular lifestyle choice among people in their 20s and 30s with an online business (or at least it was before coronavirus happened) but if you’re committed to building a business quickly, having a home in one place is so much better.

I often get asked about the service providers, coaches, and platforms I use for my business, so I have listed them below:

Note: I have no financial affiliation with the companies below.

  • My website is built with WordPress.org
  • My main business mentor has been Yaro Starak
  • I use Convert Kit for my email newsletter (Mailchimp is another good service for businesses that are just starting out.)
  • I use Stripe for taking payment
  • I use Access Ally to deliver my online courses & services
  • I use Canva for graphics
  • Emma Brownson at Soul Stirring Branding did my branding & design (based in Sydney, Australia)
  • Michelle Swan took the photos for my website (based on the Gold Coast, Australia)
  • David does my video editing and is also my video coach & troubleshooting guy
  • Georgina at Glow Creative edits my online courses
  • Funnily I’ve been asked on multiple occasions where I found the dresses I’m wearing in my website photos — I bought a lot of the clothes for those photos from Australian shop Kitten D’Amour (pretty much my favourite place to buy clothes.)

Meet Anna

Hi, I’m Anna Sayce! My purpose here on this website is to provide practical techniques and information to help empaths to understand, and fix the root of their energetic overwhelm & also to help sensitives to embrace and develop their intuitive gifts. I believe that developing our spiritual & intuitive side is very powerful and allows us to improve our own lives, and if we wish, even make the world a better place for others. Discover more >

9 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Thank you for this list of recommendations. Bahahaha @ the guy who is going to come after you for “impersonating” yourself!

  2. Avatar

    Thanks Anna im interested in creating a spiritual /art business so this is very helpful. Appreciate it

  3. Avatar

    Thank you for posting this. I also work as a channel myself and to be honest, need to put far more work into my spiritual business! I know I have so much to give and have to value myself and the work enough to put effort into it. I’ve also run into this with other business I’ve owned, and have come to the very human realization about myself that I can lack focus and that good intentions don’t make sales happen and customers appear.

  4. Avatar

    Honest and sensible like your other posts. Thank you.

  5. Avatar

    Hi Anna! I wanted to ask, who hosts your website? I know you use Word Press to build it, so do they host it too, or are you using another provider like Host Gator, etc.?

    Thank you for sharing all you have. I also LOVE your new site design. It’s light, airy, streamlined…and a very high quality feel.

  6. Avatar

    Thank you Anna for your great list of tips and candid discussion of lessons learned. As I continue to develop my intuitive gifts further, this article provides some great advice and things to consider for my future business plans.

  7. Avatar

    Thank you so much Anna, that’s a really useful and perceptive aid to anyone starting up or running their own on-line spirituality operation.

    I have a few extra tips for those who, may be running a not-for-profit outfit rather than a source of income, and as such have very little money to invest into it.

    For those, there are ways to have an independent web presence at almost zero cost, just the cost of a domain name, as there are several web hosts who will host your domain for free, just search on-line, but for preference find one that does not add adverts.

    An inexpensive domain name can be purchased from “Namecheap”

    I use wordpress.org for my spiritualchanneling blog which is a wonderful way of obtaining a web site and is relatively easy to use, but you do need a host.

    There is also wordpress.com, which provides both the ability to easily build a website, and also gives free web hosting, but this is tied to wordpress.com, so wordpress.org is better for a business, as with them you can take the website to any host you wish.

    There are also quite a number of other free website builders that can be found on the web, with these you are often tied to them as a host as well, but for a small operation I should think they can be good.

    I find a good way is to build your own web site with free software, such as wordpress.org, or something like “mobirise”, then you can change it whenever you want at zero cost, and just pay for a host or try and find a free one.
    A free host, however, would only be good for relatively penniless small operations, as they could shut down, however I have had a couple of freely hosted sites running for about 4 years with no difficulties.

    If you write books like I do, there are of course several sites like Lulu Publishing and Amazon KDP where you can format and publish your own books for just the time it takes you to do it, there are no financial publishing charges.

    So, for running a business, I think you have hit the nail right on the head with your article Anna which will be a great help to many people, but I would just like to add that for any who may of necessity have virtually no money at all to invest then there is still a way for an almost penniless start-up, which can then be built up to a more professional and self-sustained organisation as time and effort progress.

    Best wishes x

  8. Anna Sayce

    Hi Danielle – thanks for the compliment on the new site. My website is hosted with WordPress Engine which I didn’t mention in this article because I do not recommend them. They made a couple of large mistakes which cost me a lot of money. I plan to move away from them when I have time.

  9. Anna Sayce

    Thanks everyone for your tips & comments x

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