If you’re practicing in an alternative healing modality, from Reiki to hypnotherapy, crystal healing, to bodywork and beyond, you’ve probably come across the ‘poor practitioner’ cliché.
This stereotype lives all too strongly within many healer-practitioners I have worked with. Certainly, making a living in a healing modality is not as straightforward as earning money as a banker. Yet, it is entirely possible for someone working in a healing profession to become financially self-sufficient.
Most marketing and business models miss a very important factor which is particularly vital to those working in healing professions, and that is the energetic considerations.
The most powerful marketing and business strategies for healers are those which combine energy and intention with concrete strategy.
Here are 8 incredibly crucial steps to earning the money you want as a healer practitioner.
1. Heal the psychic wound of the healer archetype.
Archetypes are real, and they are powerful. An archetype is a living collection of beliefs and energies around a particular category of identity: such as, for example, the Mother, the Healer, the King/Queen, or the Warrior.
Those of us who work in a healing the profession have the healer archetype alive and well within us. It is that part of our psyche which drives us to be of service to others in a way that offers healing.
Regardless of our modality, be it counselling, Reiki, crystals, hypnotherapy, etc., when we work with a healing intention, we draw upon karmic, as well as genetic memory in order to create our functional inner archetype.
Yet, the healer archetype is too often sullied by negative beliefs which disable our most powerful potential – both in terms of skills, and in terms of earning potential!
This is because the legacy of persecution of those who work as healers can be very present not only in our cellular memory, but also in our energy bodies from past lives.
According to a professor of history at Kings College London, the best historical estimates indicate that between 50,000 to 200,000 women AND men (mostly women) were killed in Europe during various periods of ‘witch hunting.’
The legacy in the USA brings this number even higher.
These were people targeted for their supposed involvement in supernatural activities. Many of them would have had an interest in disciplines which today we would consider ‘healing’ – from herbs to hands on healing, and beyond.
Perhaps you have cellular memory of this sort of healer-related trauma in your family history. OR, you have a past life memory of this kind of persecution stored in your energetic body.
One way this kind of genetic/karmic memory can affect you is to create an internal resistance to pursuing your work as a healer. It can be very subtle. Avoidance. Stopping and starting. Self-sabotage!
Healing this deep inner wound requires a great deal of self-inquiry, in order to identify the limiting beliefs, where they are stored in the body, and how they are negatively affecting you. Working with meditation, prayer, and forgiveness are vital tools for healing.
My course “Healing the Inner Healer Archetype” helps you do just this.
2. Ditch the “poor practitioner” mindset.
The world has changed; the economy has changed. No longer are practitioners limited to working solely on a one-to-one client basis.
There are many ways to supplement one’s income as a practitioner these days, from selling products on the side, to building a workshop or retreat business, to training others.
Not to mention, there is the world of online business, which enables practitioners to add other tools to their toolkit in a way that is automated, and provides regular recurring income.
However, the first step is to embrace your innate potential, and that means not buying into beliefs around healers needing to be poor for some sort of moral justification. It also means, beginning to seriously consider strategies and be organised around planning your revenue streams.
Of course, in my worldview, this also requires an energetic reset. In other words, work with your beliefs around abundance. For example, consider how your negative money beliefs (specifically related to healing work) have affected you, and also look at any unconscious desires to remain in a state of struggle.
For example, perhaps you fear one or more of the positive consequences of being financially secure. This is a very common block to financial success, because we can unconsciously hold onto a script that says we will LOSE something if we GAIN something.
3. Focus on your branding as a priority.
First, it’s important to realize as healers and practitioners that your branding is really so much about you and your personality, your manner, your skills.
In other words, YOU are the product that you are selling. And this means that when you create your website or marketing material, you need to be very clear about who you are and what is the image of yourself you’re wanting to project in order to attract clients – and not just any clients, but those whom you can genuinely help and with whom you naturally resonate.
Second, think about what you’re offering and what people want, rather than what you think they may need.
So often, I see that practitioners are so immersed in their ‘highest’ selves, channelling the wisdom that comes from working deeply with others, that they forget that their clients are not at the same level of understanding, or have a very immediate desire which should be met as a priority.
Sometimes a client simply wants an urgent desire to be met and only after that can she or he do the deeper work which no doubt feeds YOUR soul.
So, think about what is in particular that you offer as a reflection of your specialness and uniqueness. And then, work out what it is that people want so urgently that they would see you. For maximum effect, blend those two components into powerful branding that is both clear and clearly attracts the energy you want.
Finally, when it comes to branding, it’s really worth identifying your ideal customer, and aligning with that ideal customer energetically through your own contemplative/energetic practice. Because, of course, you want to attract clients who naturally resonate with you, and whom you can genuinely help. When you mix this final ingredient into your branding, you have the secret sauce that will greatly enhance your business potential.
4. Understand the various business models you can apply to your business and choose the right one for YOU.
It’s no exaggeration to say that when we are trained to be practitioners in our modalities, we are very rarely taught how to create a lucrative business around our healing specialties. So, give yourself a break, because probably no one has really shown you how to take your therapeutic skills and create a lot of money from doing it!
So, how CAN you create the income you desire?
There is so much out there about marketing and business and much of it is very specifically targeted towards one kind of business model. What I see all the time is practitioners spending a lot of money on a product promoting a business model which may or may not be suitable for their unique talents or abilities, not to mention their unique temperaments!
Webinars are awesome, but they’re not suitable for every practitioner and every kind of offering. Workshops and retreats are perfect for some practitioners; others will be at their strongest and most able to create a large income through one-on-one client sessions. It is all okay.
But – before you leap in and follow someone else’s model for incredible success, take the time to learn about all the different ways you can earn money as a practitioner and find the one that resonates most with you.
Very commonly, it’s lucrative for a practitioner to combine at least two different revenue models. Some examples for practitioners are:
1 to 1 clients
Workshops and retreats
Selling products online or in person
Partnering with others to sell their personal development products as an affiliate
Hosting a telesummit (online conference).
Creating a training program in your specialty
Creating packages at a higher price point
Creating online courses
And those are just a few of the many ways to earn money as a practitioner! First, you need to spend some time understanding all of the different models, how much money you can make from them, before you decide how to do it.
5. Polish up your digital skills.
It’s just not true that people who are very “right brained” and work with energies and healing are not as technically capable. Rather, people like us are rarely given the instruction in order to do the minimum that we need to do in order to grow the businesses that are right for us.
When you begin to understand the business model that is right for you, then you can begin to train yourself in how to manage the technical aspects of that business.
Knowing about SEO, for example, is very important in our digital age. Knowing the basics of managing a website saves you the money from paying someone else, and also gives you full control over your business. Facebook advertising can be a very profitable way to drive customers into your business, but again, you need to learn how to do it.
None of these technical things are difficult when you have the right instruction with the support you need, and when that instruction is helping you acquire skills that will guarantee that your revenue increases. Usually there is no greater motivator than money!
6. Have a clear goal, and know the outcomes you want, as well as the strategy you want to use to achieve your goals.
Seriously, success in any profession begins with goals and strategies. If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, it makes it all the harder to actually take the steps you need to take in order to achieve those goals.
If, for example, you know that you need to earn $1000 a week, then you can start to think about which business model or combination of business models can help you get there.
You might decide that you want a minimum of five clients a week, and in addition to that, to run one large workshop every month. You’ve worked out the numbers, and figured out that $500 from clients and $500 from a workshop is ideal. Now you can price your workshop and plan numbers accordingly, playing with price points and minimum participants until it feels right in your gut!
Having this goal in place and the strategy for achieving it means that you will be extra motivated to learn any technical skills you need to make it happen, not to mention the marketing skills to promote your events.
Then, as you go along, you can assess and reassess your numbers and work out which of your marketing strategies are working and which are not. You can also work out if you like the energy of the clients and participants who are coming to you, and make any adjustments that you need to your ‘ideal client avatar’ and have that be reflected in your branding and all your promotion, in order to ensure the right client fit.
The point is, there is no substitute for having a goal and a plan for achieving that goal. Just because we work in a profession which is so much about deep inner work, doesn’t give us permission to excuse the practical work we need to do in order to make our business profitable and ensure that we reach as many clients who need us as possible.
7. Prioritise your self-care and shadow work.
In no profession is this more important. We work with individuals at deep and spiritual levels. It is so crucial to monitor your own energies, and moods, and do whatever self-care is a necessary so that you are clear, rested, and available to others at whatever depth they require.
When you are not doing adequate self-care whilst working in a healing modality, it is very common to see your work dry up. Because in this industry we give so much of ourselves, and work at deeper levels energetically, our spirit support keeps a close eye on our energy, and can actively create a buffer around us so that we have time to restore our energies.
This so often means that we may not have as many clients or participants/customers as we would like. When this happens, it is usually time to check in and figure out what we need that we are not adequately giving ourselves.
On an ongoing basis, this means keeping an eye on things like protection energetically if you were dealing with people or groups which might affect you at that level. It means having a supervisor or mentor who can ensure that you are getting your emotional needs met. It also means being aware when you project some of your own shadow stuff onto your clients or customers.
Finally, it self-care requires you to keep an eye on any blocks in your energetic bodies around revenue potential, and growth of your business.
Running any kind of business can present some definite challenges, no matter the industry. Particularly at the beginning, there can be a period of stops and starts, and instances of ‘failure’ and new beginnings.
My mentor has said to me that a practitioner sometimes needs a few years of working with clients in order to really identify what IS his or her preferred focus and therapeutic gift. Maybe you don’t need this kind of time, but in any case, it’s important to be persistent in growing your clientele, and growing your business, despite any roadblocks, and despite what you might perceive as ‘failures’.
Really, there is no such thing as an ultimate or permanent failure. Even if something doesn’t work out the way you wanted, and you lose money, I guarantee you that you will have learned something that will help you incredibly in your next attempts. It is definitely the case that successful entrepreneurs have had projects that haven’t worked out before they do the thing that does work out. So, above all, start to see building your business as a journey, and keep going further and further down the road because the further you go, the more likely you will see the results that you crave over time.
About the Author
Michelle Dixon is the founder of Plan Be and a practitioner in several modalities who has successfully created healing businesses with a few different models. She is also a top rated Udemy instructor and the creator of the course “Marketing For Practitioners” (access discount by clicking HERE), as well as a mini-course on healing the inner healer archetype: “Healing the Inner Healer Archetype.”