by William Lee Rand
If you've taken a Reiki class, even if it is Level I, it's possible to use your skill as a healer to start a Reiki practice. That's right; you don't need to wait until you've become a Reiki Master to start a practice. Back in the 80's, when Reiki II cost $500 and only a select few could become Reiki Masters, it was considered normal and appropriate to start an active Reiki practice after taking the first class. Keep in mind that Takata sensei worked in Dr. Hayashi's clinic giving professional Reiki sessions to his clients with only Reiki I training.
Remember, you're not the one doing the healing; it's the Reiki energy. Its supply is unlimited, and it is guided by the highest Divine wisdom. How could you doubt that it wouldn't work right or provide the healing your clients need? One of the most important lessons the beginning Reiki practitioner or practitioners at any level can learn is to have confidence in the Reiki energy to guide you in creating the healing experience that is exactly right for each client. When you are able to set your ego aside and trust that Reiki will work, you are ready to become a Reiki practitioner. And this can be done even after taking a beginning class! In saying this, I'm talking about someone who has taken a well-organized class from a competent instructor and has also taken the time to practice by giving complete sessions with friends and family. If you've taken one of the higher degrees, that is even better, but the important thing is that if you have any level of training, as long as it was good training, you're ready to start right now.
There is tremendous value in having a thriving Reiki practice. Think about what this would look and feel like. If you had 10 clients a week and charged $75 each, you'd be earning close to $40,000 a year just from sessions. You'd likely be working 10-15 hours a week giving the sessions and an additional 10 or so hours for marketing, bookkeeping and other business activities for a total of about 25 hours a week! You'd even be able to work from your home if you wanted to. How do those numbers sound? If you decided to teach, which wouldn't be difficult with that kind of clientele as potential students, you could add an additional $20,000 or more to your income. As you can see, a Reiki practice can be a real job that earns real income. There is also a special satisfaction that comes from being your own boss and running your own business.
In addition to these purely financial results, there are also emotional and spiritual benefits that can be even more fulfilling. You'll be immersed in Reiki energy several hours a day on a regular basis. This will have a positive affect on your health. At the same time, giving Reiki sessions to others and seeing them heal and grow will fill your heart with peace and joy. You'll be providing a service to others and to your community that will connect you to them in a very loving and spiritual way. Being in this type of energetic environment will quicken your personal growth and move you more quickly along on your spiritual path.
As you can see, a successful Reiki practice can provide you with both material and spiritual benefits in a way that is entirely healthy for you and your clients. Getting a successful practice started will require a clear commitment and focused activity over a period of time. Starting out with a part time effort and eventually working at it full time, it might take six months or more of promoting and developing your practice before you begin to approach the numbers mentioned above, but a thriving Reiki practice provides rewards that are more than worth the effort it takes to create success. Think about how valuable a successful practice will be for you, your life and for those who come to see you for sessions.
The first step toward realizing your goal is to do an assessment of your inner attitudes and beliefs as well as the personal resources you possess that can be employed in the attainment of your goal.
The foundation of all we do is our inner state. It is out of this state that we are able to create what we attempt to do. Having a strong enthusiastic intention to achieve your goal is necessary. If you have a half-hearted desire or are not really excited about creating a thriving Reiki practice, or if you don't really believe you can do it, or if you feel that you don't really deserve it, then you're not likely to do very well. It takes strong motivation backed by emotional energy to achieve a goal as important as this. If you don't have this state spontaneously, or if you find yourself in a slump once you've started your project, there is something you can do to pump yourself back up. Here's an exercise that is important to do right from the beginning and continue everyday. It will give you the energy and enthusiasm you need to accomplish your goal.
Goal Manifesting Exercise
- Write your goal on a 3x5 card something like this: “I have a thriving Reiki practice. I see ten or more clients a week and teach classes. I have a thriving Reiki practice. I see ten or more clients a week and teach classes. I have a thriving Reiki practice. I see ten or more clients a week and teach classes.” Be sure to repeat it three times.
- Then place the card in your hand. If you've taken Reiki II or higher, draw all your Reiki symbols in the air over the card. If not, then simply use Reiki by itself.
- Place the card between your hands and give it Reiki, intending that the Reiki energy empower and manifest your goal.
- As you do this, repeat the affirmation to yourself over and over as you send it Reiki.
- In addition, visualize yourself with a thriving Reiki practice. Picture this imagery in a field of Reiki light up above your head. See yourself looking at your client file and seeing it full of client records. See checks and money flowing into your pocket and your bank account. See yourself in your treatment room working with a client knowing many more are on the way. When you visualize this, know in your heart that when this happens, it will be a truly exciting and satisfying accomplishment. Fill yourself with feelings of excitement, joy and success as though it's actually happening right now! Allow yourself to get caught up in this inner state so that you lose awareness of your surroundings and are as fully absorbed as possible in the positive feelings of having a thriving Reiki practice.
- Do this exercise at least once a day, but more often if possible. The more you do it, the better you'll be able to enter the desired state and the more beneficial it will be for you.
This exercise is very important to practice everyday. It is part of the training you need to strengthen your energy field and cultivate the inner qualities necessary to excel at accomplishing your purpose. It is better if you do it at the same time each day, such as in the morning before you start your day or at lunchtime. Not only will it give you the personal energy to accomplish your goal and motivate you to do what you need to do, it will enhance your creativity and create a powerful magnetic force that will attract to you all the people and resources you need. This will make it much easier to develop a thriving Reiki practice.
Because Reiki energy is the basis of this process, you'll be developing a special connection to the highest level of guidance and healing. This connection will develop over time to be a wonderful source of strength, inspiration and encouragement that will help you develop all the personal qualities necessary to accomplish and even surpass your goals.
This is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the Winter 2006 issue of Reiki News Magazine.
Create a Thriving Reiki Practice, Part II
Part I of this article (Winter 2006) focused on developing your state of mind. This is the most important part of creating a thriving Reiki practice because everything you create originates in your mind. The quality of the thoughts and feelings that surround your goals determines your likelihood of achieving them. The clearer you create your images of success and the stronger you believe in them, the more directly you’ll be manifesting your goals with your mind. To say it another way: the mind is like a broadcasting station, sending out a signal that tells the Universe what to create for you. If you believe that creating a Reiki practice will be hard and that you’re not likely to get many clients, this is what the Universe will create for you. On the other hand, if you believe that creating a thriving Reiki practice will be easy and that you’re going to have an abundant number of clients, then this is what the Universe will create for you. This is the inner marketing aspect of your business, and it must come first. Only by believing in yourself and the worthiness of your goals will you be able to convince others to do the same. So, if you haven’t read Part I, I suggest you read it and put into practice the exercises it contains.
The Secret of Success
I began saying a prayer right after I received my Reiki I training.
I said this prayer sincerely everyday. It guided me to be a Reiki
master and inspired me to develop my Reiki practice. It has
continually created miraculous results in my life. The prayer is:
Guide me and heal me so that I might be of greater service to others.
Assuming you are developing your inner marketing program, you can now start your outer marketing program. The ideas, techniques and methods presented here have been tested and proven to work. But you must understand that each person and each situation is different and may require a unique combination of these methods or the development of methods not mentioned here.
Here is a formula for success. If followed carefully, it will guide you to the achievement of your goals.
- Clearly decide on your goal. This must be stated in a concrete way using numbers and dates. As an example, you might decide your goal is to average 10 Reiki clients per week within four months.
- Develop a plan and follow it. Remember – those that fail to plan, plan to fail. Base your plan on methods others have used to achieve similar goals. The methods mentioned in this article are a good place to start. Remember to meditate with Reiki energy when contemplating the use of a particular method and in developing your plans. Reiki will guide you in miraculous ways and open doors you didn’t know were there.
- As you implement your plan, keep a record of the results you get. Note what methods work best to move you toward your goal. Also note which ones don’t work or produce poor results. It is important not to guess; keep records and look at the numbers.
- Keep doing the things that work. Stop doing the things that don’t work.
- By eliminating the things that don’t work, you’ll have additional time and resources. Use them to try new things.
This may appear to be a very simple formula—because it is. Achieving success isn’t a complicated process. It’s just a matter of doing the right things consistently until you reach your goal. Note that even though it’s a simple formula, each step is important and must be followed. As you follow this plan, over time you will develop a powerful set of business practices that move you toward your goal quickly and efficiently.
You’ll need a place to give your Reiki sessions. You can use a room in your home or rent an office. An office gives a more professional appearance and is a demonstration of your commitment. It is an additional business expense, but it can be cost effective by attracting more clients. However, if you can’t afford it at the beginning or if you’re guided to do so, it’s also possible to set up a room in your home to give sessions.
You will need a Reiki table, a CD player, a couple of chairs, a table and a small filing cabinet for your records. Soft lighting, candles and incense are often helpful to create ambiance. The more relaxing and comfortable your Reiki room is, the more receptive your clients will be to the healing work you do.
I’ve never heard of anyone being sued for a bad Reiki session, but liability insurance can still be a good idea in some situations. Professional liability insurance will protect you if for some reason the client claims he or she was harmed by the Reiki session. The insurance company will legally represent you and negotiate with the client or defend you in court if necessary (even though this is unlikely to happen). However, the main reason to have it is that it is required by hospitals and medical clients if you should get the opportunity to give Reiki sessions there. While you usually won’t receive pay for volunteering in a hospital or medical clinic, you will gain quality experience that will strengthen your professional credibility, enhance your bio, and likely increase the number of clients you have in your regular Reiki practice. It is also tremendously rewarding on an emotional and spiritual level.
General liability insurance is different from Professional liability insurance and is important for you to have. It will protect you if your client should fall off your Reiki table or if he or she slips and falls in your home or on the driveway in front of your home or in some other way becomes injured while on your property.
The Reiki Membership Association offers an excellent Reiki insurance program that includes both Professional and General liability for multiple modalities at an excellent price. Find out more.
There are various records you’ll need to keep. These include:
- Client records: I suggest using the Client Information Form that you can download free from our Website: http://www.reiki.org/Download/FreeDownloads.html. This form informs the client that Reiki does not take the place of medical treatment. It is also a way to keep track of client contact information, as well as keeping a session history so you can check progress and see what techniques you have used and their results. It is also a way to collect email addresses for your email list, which is an important way to market your business.
- Bookkeeping records: This can start out simply with a record book to keep track of expenses and income. You will also need a file for keeping expense receipts. You will need these for tax purposes, but it is also important to keep records to track the performance of your business and check your progress toward your goal.
Business Expenses are Tax Deductible
Because you are operating a business, you will be able to deduct business expenses from your income taxes, for which you will need records. Office rent, training expenses, including travel and lodging, as well as electricity, heat, gas for your car, and so forth may all be deducted from your taxes.
As your business expands, you may find it easier to use a computer accounting program. There are several that are free, such as Microsoft Accounting Express 2007, and others, such as Intuit or QuickBooks, that charge a fee. Besides making your bookkeeping easier, they usually include other helpful features such as a contact manager that will allow you to create a list of all your clients and contact people and which usually includes an email list manager.
You need to promote your business by letting people know who you are and the services you offer. There are many ways to do this, and it is important to try as many as possible and track the results you get from each, so you can keep doing what works and stop doing what doesn’t.
It is possible to start your Reiki business on a shoestring, and this may be the best way for many to get started, but at some point, it will be necessary to increase the amount of money you spend on marketing and promotion. This can be done gradually. As you get more clients, your income will grow, and it will be possible to expand your marketing program proportionally. When spending more on promotion, it’s important to carefully track your results so you can keep doing the things that are cost effective and stop doing those that aren’t. At the same time, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many ways to promote your business that don’t involve a lot of expense.
One of the most effective things you can do to promote your Reiki practice is develop an email list of those interested in Reiki. In today’s world people use email to communicate far more than snail mail. This is because email is easy, fast and inexpensive. If you’re promoting your Reiki practice, it’s easier to compose an email and send it to your email list than to mail a flyer. With email, it’s as easy as clicking a mouse button a few times, and it’s done with almost no expense. With snail mail, it will take hours or days to get the mailing ready, and the expense can be in the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Email is the way to go and results are almost instantaneous.
Because of this, it’s important to begin collecting email addresses of those interested in Reiki right away. Collect them from your clients by having them fill in their email addresses on your Client Information Form and collect them from all the promotions and events you’re involved with.
You can use your email list to remind people about your Reiki practice, let them know about promotions or special deals you have, or about your Free Reiki Evenings or Fund Raisers and so forth. An effective email list is the most important marketing tool you can develop.
Many email software programs allow you to send to a large list without the whole email list going to each recipient. There are bulk email websites that provide online software for sending out to large lists, and you can also get your own software programs and install them on your computer or on your Web server. Do a Google search for Bulk Email Service to locate providers. One email program I recommend is Subscribe Me Pro http://www.siteinteractive.com/subpro/ This program is only $59.00 and provides tracking.
To learn more about the importance of email for marketing I suggest you go to the Guerrilla Marketing website at www.gmarketing.com and read their article on email and marketing. You will also find other interesting articles there. I recommend you order the book, Mastering Guerrilla Marketing, which explains how to achieve your marketing goals with minimum expense.
While a website isn’t a necessity and you can start your Reiki practice without one, it’s important to get a website as soon as possible to take advantage of its important marketing features. A website is a handy way to let people know what you do. Rather than trying to give a detailed verbal description of your services to people, or give them a bunch of handouts, just give them your web address. They will have access to all of your material and be able to read through it at their leisure and return again and again until they convince themselves to come to you for a session. Also, the Web is such an integral part of society now that if you don’t have a website, most people will think you’re not serious about your business.
A well-designed Reiki website needs to contain:
- An explanation of Reiki, including a Frequently Asked Questions section.
- A description of your sessions, how long they last, your fee, etc. Testimonials from your clients are also a big plus.
- If you’re teaching, include a class schedule and a complete description of what each class contains, and what students will be able to do after taking each class. Class fees and prerequisites should also be listed.
- A bio of yourself including a picture and especially your training background and experience.
- Articles you have written about Reiki.
- An email collection box to collect email addresses of visitors to your site.
- Contact information including phone, email address, city and state, but not your home or business street address. Your exact location, including a map, can be sent separately to those who have scheduled a session or signed up for a class. This will prevent people from coming by without an appointment.
You can start out with a simple site that you design, but after a while, it’s a good idea to have a professional webmaster design and set up your website. Remember that people will determine who you are by the quality of the promotional material you provide. So make sure your website looks professional, is well organized, clearly communicates your ideas and provides useful information. One way to find a good webmaster is to find websites online that you like and contact the webmasters of those sites to find out how much they charge for web design, and get a feel for whether you can work with them, etc.
As I mentioned above, an important feature for your website is an email collection box. This provides a method for you to collect the email addresses of those who frequent your website. Subscribe Me Pro provides a method of setting this up. To get people to give you their email address, you’ll need to offer them something. You could offer to give them a podcast or recording of a Reiki talk or meditation you’ve recorded or to receive a free Reiki newsletter or something of that nature. Be sure to place a value on what they’ll get such as $5 or $10.
It’s important to have a business card listing your name, phone and, especially, your email address and website, along with your business name, if you have one, and the Reiki services you offer. It’s better not to list your street address to prevent people from coming to your office without an appointment. A business card lets people know you’re serious and professional and makes it easy for people to contact you. Carry them with you at all times. You will be surprised at the number of opportunities to pass out your cards, especially when you’re focused on the promotion of your Reiki practice.
Short Explanation of Reiki
Create short, succinct answers for basic Reiki questions so you’ll be ready to explain Reiki to those who express interest. When people ask what Reiki is, I usually say; “Reiki is a Japanese technique for relaxation that also promotes healing. It’s done through touch. A warm and soothing energy flows from the hands into the client, promoting relaxation and releasing tension.” This answer usually inspires comments such as: “I could really use something like that.” Or “Boy do we really need that around here.” If you get a positive response like this, offer to give a short demo of five minutes or so to treat the person’s shoulders or anywhere they may have tension or an ache or pain. Then give them a business card and answer any other questions they may have. They may contact you for a session or may refer others.
Impromptu Reiki Sessions
When you’re out and about, talk to people, and weave the fact that you do Reiki into your conversation. If they ask what Reiki is, give them the short explanation above and offer to give them a short demo. Just place your hands on their shoulders to show them how the energy feels. Often they’ll say things like, “I really need this,” or “Wow that’s going right for my sore arm,” or “My headache is going away.” Or you may be talking to someone and they mention an ache or pain they have. Immediately offer to give them Reiki for it. Many times, they’ll already know what Reiki is, or if not, then give them your short explanation. Then let them know you do professional Reiki sessions and give them your card. You could also go on to explain how Reiki can help those undergoing chemotherapy and how it promotes healing after surgery and so forth. A hands-on experience like this will leave an impression, and even if they don’t sign up for a session, they may refer others to you. Most will know of someone going into the hospital or in need of healing for one condition or another.
This technique is great at parties. You can either weave into your conversations that you do Reiki or those you talk with may offer that they have an ache or pain or a tense situation at work, which is a great lead-in for offering them Reiki. Once you start giving a demo session, often a crowd will gather, and you can give a little talk about Reiki to those watching as you give the session. Afterwards, pass out your business cards to those interested.
Upward Price Technique
If you are just starting a Reiki practice, try this technique for motivating people to come to you for sessions. When someone asks how much you charge, say, “I’m giving 10 sessions for free, and I’ve already given four (or whatever the number is at that point). Then say, “After the 10 free sessions, I’m going to be charging $10.00 per session.” This will motivate people to sign up right away so they get a free session and avoid having to pay $10.00. After you’ve given out your 10 free sessions when someone asks how much you charge, say, “I’m giving 10 sessions for $10 each, and I’ve already given three (or whatever the number is at that point). After the 10, my price is going up to $20 per session.” This will continue to motivate people to get sessions from you while the price is low. Continue with this process until you reach your target fee. By working like this, you’ll be charging a fee based on your experience, and you will be motivating people to come to you quickly for sessions so they will save money.
Your target fee is the fee you want to work up to for Reiki sessions after you’ve gained experience, developed your business and have a steady stream of clients. Your target fee will vary depending on the part of the country you live in. Doing a little research will help you figure this out. One way is to check with other experienced Reiki practitioners in your area to see what they charge. Another way is to set your target fee in the same range as professional massage therapists are charging in your area. Also remember that additional factors to consider when determining your target fee are the amount of training you’ve had, the amount of experience and the results clients get from your sessions.
Clients Are Your Best Promoters
Those who have experienced your work are the best people to promote you. Make sure you give every client some of your business cards to hand out to friends, family and acquaintances who could use Reiki sessions.
Creating a bonus program based on clients getting free sessions for bringing you new paying clients is also a way to promote your practice. When you give your clients business cards to pass out, tell them that for every two paying clients they send to you, you’ll give them a free session. When clients come to you, you’ll need to ask them how they found out about your practice and if anyone referred them to you. Use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of how many each client referred to you. When a client gets the required number, email them and let them know they’ve earned a free session. Concerning the number they need to get a free session, remember that the idea is to build up your Reiki practice quickly and that each new client could become a promoter of your business too. Keeping the required number low will motivate them to work harder promoting your business.
Make friends with the chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, aroma therapists, medical doctors and other professionals in your area and let them know that you’ll refer clients to them, if they’ll refer clients to you. Collect business cards from them and give each some of yours. If they are hesitant to do this, offer them a free session, and then give them some of your cards to give to their clients. This method can also open the possibility of being offered a job giving sessions at a clinic.
It’s good to have a basic flyer to promote your business. Carry them with you to place on bulletin boards in health food stores, bookstores, churches, and so forth and to give to prospective clients. Include a brief explanation of Reiki and the benefits it provides. If possible, include testimonials from your clients. Also be sure to create special flyers to reflect new promotions or services you’re offering.
I would be leaving out an important marketing method if I failed to mention advertising in the Reiki News Magazine. The magazine goes directly to 20,000 people who have a serious interest in Reiki, and it’s a fact that those who advertise in our magazine get results. This is especially true for those who provide professional advertising copy and graphics and advertise regularly. If you want to find the ads that are working, check the current issue and then work your way through previous issues to see who’s advertising consistently. The ads that appear in multiple issues are the ones that are working because people don’t continue advertising unless it is cost effective.
Free Reiki Evening
This is also called a Reiki Share group and is an evening usually offered on a regular basis, such as once or twice a month, when Reiki practitioners get together to exchange Reiki. People who have never experienced Reiki can also be invited. Those who have Reiki training are asked to bring their Reiki tables. Usually a talk is given at the beginning that explains Reiki and answers questions. Usually, those new to Reiki receive sessions first, often with several practitioners giving them Reiki at the same time. A table can be set up for practitioners to display their business cards and flyers. Announcements about classes or other Reiki activities can also be made. Include a registration sheet to get names and email addresses to add to your email list so you can keep them notified about future Reiki events.
This is an excellent way to meet new Reiki practitioners, attract those seeking healing and to advertise your practice. A subtle benefit of these meetings is that it keeps Reiki awareness high in your community and creates good will that will come back to you to support your practice. See “How to Create a Successful Reiki Share” in the summer 2014 issue of Reiki News Magazine.
Non-profit organizations such as churches and charity groups often sponsor fundraising events. You could volunteer to set up and operate a Reiki fundraising event to benefit a group you wish to support. In this event, you provide free Reiki sessions and the clients give either a donation or a fixed fee to the organization. Be sure to create a sign-up sheet that includes the recipient’s email address so you can add them to your email list. Explain on the sign-up sheet that you may use their email address to let them know about other Reiki events.
Operating a Reiki fundraiser will give you valuable experience and enhance your professional reputation. You will also have the satisfaction of helping a group you believe in at the same time you’re helping those who receive your Reiki sessions. Once the event is over, you’re likely to get people wanting to come to you for additional Reiki sessions. See The Saga of a Reiki Fundraiser on page 32 of the Spring 2007 issue of Reiki News Magazine for more information.
Getting a booth at a holistic fair can be another effective way to promote your Reiki practice. Get several Reiki practitioners to help you. Take a Reiki table, a sign and plenty of business cards and flyers. Offer ten or fifteen- minute Reiki sessions for $10 and have three or more Reiki practitioners giving the sessions to each person. Create a sign-up sheet that includes the recipient’s email address. It’s possible to generate income at the same time you promote your Reiki business.
These are a few of the many ways you can promote your Reiki business. As you try these ideas, and especially if you follow the manifesting meditation practice in Part I of this series, you’ll come up with additional ways that are just right for you. As you move forward and achieve your goal, you’ll experience the miracle-working power of Reiki manifesting abundance in your life. Usui Sensei said, “Reiki is the secret art of inviting happiness.” Certainly you will experience a great happiness as you create a thriving Reiki practice. May you always be blessed by the radiant light of Reiki.
This is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the Spring 2007 issue of Reiki News Magazine.