Should you charge family and friends?

So you’ve been doing healings or readings on friends and family members for some time now and you’ve finally decided to make a career out of your metaphysical services. So what do you do when those friends and family members expect you to continue to give them free services? How do you respond?

Well first of all, ask yourself if you want to do it. If you don’t mind take a moment to think about it. How close is this person to you? While it’s perfectly reasonable to give a free reading to your sister or best friend, you shouldn’t be expected to do so to your third cousin who you talk to once every couple of years.

Next, you need to ask yourself if doing a free reading or healing will take away from the time and energy you need to build your business. While it’s perfectly reasonable (and a good idea) to offer free mini services when starting your business in order to attract new clients, there comes a point where the work you’re doing for free is keeping you from important tasks that will bring in more money to your business. When thinking about all of the other things you could be doing, don’t just think of the service you offer. As a business owner, you must concern yourself with much more, such as  marketing, accounting, and planning.

Which brings us to how do you say ‘no’ to a friend or family member who wants a free service that you are unable to offer or don’t want to offer. If the person is very close to you:

–You can offer them a discount. Rather than say ‘no’ directly, you can offer them a friends and family discount. While you won’t get your full rate, you’ll get something and honor the relationship, as well. A similar way to handle this is to let your friend or family member know that you’re willing to give a free service as a birthday or holiday gift. Either they can wait until then, or they will have to pay up.

–You can offer them a mini-reading or mini-healing. Just as it makes sense to sometimes offer mini-readings to promote your business, consider this freebie to be a part of your outreach plan. Also, view this as an opportunity to remind the loved one that you’d appreciate if they tell their friends about you and your services. To give them more of an incentive to tell others about you, tell them you’ll give them a free service for every new client they send.

If the person is someone who is not close to you but rather trying to take advantage of your acquaintance:

–You can suggest that they look online for a chat room where free readings are done, usually by people who are trying to hone their skills, if they want a free service.

–You can tell them that you only have a few designated spots for free readings and those are all filled at the current time. Then offer the suggestion above as a way for them to get a free reading, or tell them they could get a discounted reading or a mini-reading for a lesser amount.

What to do about the guilt

When you first start saying ‘no’ to family and friends, you may feel bad or feel as if you’re not helping them out. But you have to look at the bigger picture. You are able to help many more people if you have a thriving and successful business than if you were struggling to make ends meet. You must do what works best for your business, and look at it as the channel that drives your efforts to serve. Sure, you can do a few pro bono readings here and there, but for the most part, you must look for ways to grow your business so that it can thrive. Your customers are depending on it.

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