Thursday, 18 February 2016

Working As A Video Psychic Part 1 - Getting Started

Merry meet everyone.

I have been a professional tarot reader for a number of years, but it wasn't until I moved from the UK to the USA that I started working via webcam. Partly this was because I was working full time in a muggle job and so only took clients in my local area, but also because I feel it's only in the last few years that the technology has really been good enough quality and reliable enough.

Why I Chose Oranum

I was living in north-west Florida at the time, and wanted to work but as my husband used our only car for commuting I was rather stuck.  There was nowhere to look for work within walking distance, so I fell back on the only skill I had, tarot reading.  I did some research and got chatting with the president of the Tarot Guild, a lovely chap called Dax Carlisle, and through him I signed up to Oranum.

The reasons I chose this route were quite straightforward.  Firstly, I had no contacts in my community and no client base, and with it being quite a Christian community I wasn't sure what the protocol was and whether I would be negatively impacted.  Turns out I was wrong in that assumption, but that's for another blog post.  Through Oranum I could access clients globally and know they were all looking for psychics to work with.

Another reason for joining was Oranum covers all the advertising costs. Word of mouth is still the best way for clients to find you, but it's not always a steady stream and so can be hard to rely on as an income, though once you are established in an area that problem does reduce over time. However if you go on a lifestyle website, the chances are you will find an advert for Oranum at some point, and there is no way I could afford to pay for that visibility.

Finally I believe video is the future of tarot readings, alongside face-to-face readings.  I do not like the idea of telephone psychics.  After watching a TV programme about women who work on sex chat lines who clients believe were 23 year old blondes unzipping thigh-high boots when in fact they're 55 year old grandmothers unzipping a sleeping bag (I'm not joking about this!) I've always been suspicious of a service where I can't see the person I'm talking to.  I guess that's why I don't like using the phone in general.

Signing Up

So how do you get started?  First you need to sign up (that is my own referral code so they know you're part of my network); signing up is free. You need a username and email address, though be aware that your username is how clients will search for you so pick one that is easy to spell and reflects you.  That's it, it's that simple.  You also need to have a good quality webcam and microphone.  Generally the webcam on your laptop is not going to be of a high enough resolution, so I would recommend investing in an external HD webcam; they're not that expensive these days but they make a real difference.  The other thing you need to invest in is the highest speed internet available in your area.  Believe me, there is nothing worse that trying to do a tarot reading and you keep cutting out because you don't have enough bandwidth, or the image pixelates.  Don't forget these count as business expenses for tax purposes, so keep a record of them and your receipts.

Once you've signed up you will be contacted within 24 hours by a representative who will check your internet speed and audio/visual quality to make sure you are of a high enough standard.  Then they will schedule a test reading.  Do not panic about this!  They are not testing your abilities as a psychic, but are looking at how you come across, if you are speaking clearly and if you and your work environment are appropriate.

Dress For Success

Can you tell I'm a tarot reader and witch?
There are some guidelines on this, and this can make all the difference to how you are perceived by visitors to your chatroom. Always dress appropriately.  Do not work in your pjs!  This is your job and you need to look professional. Now, there are two trains of thought here.  Dax favours the smart look, arguing you need to dress one step above your target clients, so if they are in casual wear you should be in a shirt, and if they are in a shirt you should be in a suit, and so on.  This is a well recognised technique to lend a sense of authority to potential clients.  Personally, however, I sometimes prefer to dress the part of a psychic more, feeling I will appeal better to the type looking for someone friendly and approachable.  I often dress as if I was going to a festival or psychic fayre - so basically in my everyday clothes - but always make sure they are clean and not too revealing, even though you cannot see below my shoulders.  Always brush your hair and even if you don't decide to wear makeup consider getting some concealer (yes, you too gentlemen!) because the camera is likely to pick up spots and blemishes.  Think of it as appearing on television.

Your background is also incredibly important.  If you are working out of your bedroom it is vitally important that it does not look like it! Your bed should not be on camera at any time, and you may be fined for doing so.  Yes, they take professionalism very seriously on Oranum.  Make your background interesting; hang esoteric artwork on the wall, or any relevant qualifications.  You could have examples of your tools on a shelf behind you, or your occult library, whatever sets the scene and helps a potential client to understand who you are and what to expect.

Let's Talk Money

Once you have been given the green light you are ready to start working.  I will go into getting set up and how to effectively use the site in part two, but I know many of you will want to know the earning potentials.  They changed the pay scale a few months back, so if you looked into this before it may be different.  Each month is broken down into two pay periods, one running from the 1st to the 15th of the month, and the second one running from the 16th to the last day.  Whatever you earn in period one will get paid to you in period one of the following month, so you get two paycheques per month.

Because Oranum is a global site, they work in "credits".  Clients buy credits in their local currency, your rate is shown in credits and you get paid in your local currency, so here in the USA 1 credit = $1, in the UK 1 credit = £1, and so on.  When you first start the rate you charge is set at 0.99 credits/minute.  It doesn't sound a lot but that is still nearly $60/£60 per hour, though Oranum does take a varying percentage.  This low introductory rate is great because it means you can get lots of practice in and can build not just your confidence but also your reputation and client base.  Once you have worked for 40 hours you can set your own rate, anything from 1.49 credits/minute to 9.99 credits/minute, and even if you are somewhere in the 3-5 credits range you can still make hundreds of dollars per pay period working even part-time hours; if you treat it as a full time job you can make serious money.

So that should be enough to get you started.  In part two I will cover actually using the site and the best ways to make it work for you.

Until then everyone,

Blessed be )0(

P.S. Don't forget to click here to sign up and join my circle!