Well, here you go. You’ve studied and gone to class, and are now attuned and qualified to deliver Reiki to others. You want to share this gift with others, but you also know that there needs to be an “energy exchange” for the best possible effect, and that means clients who will compensate you in some way.
Great! But how do you get the clients?
There are many ways to attract new clients: a great website, word of mouth, brochures, paid advertisements, social media posts, and so forth. Some of these are free, some cost money. Some are more far-reaching than others. All have advantages and disadvantages. I want to tell you about one technique I have used, that costs me only time and some creative energy.
Paying for a newspaper advertisement can, depending on the market, be fairly expensive. And especially when you are first starting out, money can be tight. However, it doesn’t cost you any money to get an article published.
In the past, I was a computer consultant, and during that time, I was trying to build my local business. I went to my local newspaper with a couple of articles I had written about computers (software and hardware) and asked the editor if they would like to publish them.
The editor was intrigued with the idea, and used one of the articles that week. There was a very good response to the article, and the editor asked me if I would be interested in writing a regular column. Well, of COURSE I would!
From that point on, I wrote these (sometimes bi-weekly, sometimes weekly) for over four years, and they got me a lot of attention… and business.
I no longer do that kind of work, but now am an holistic health practitioner specializing in energy work. As I recently was selected to participate in a Harvard University study on the efficacy of Reiki, I decided to write up a little news release and submit it to my local paper. They were happy to get it, and published it the following week (we have only a semi-weekly paper–small towns are sometimes like that.)
Within 2 hours of the paper hitting the streets, I received a phone call from a woman who had read the article, and who wished some help with an issue. We set up an appointment, and boom–new client. The next day, another person called, and we also set up an appointment for that person.
Imagine. Two new clients that I did NOT solicit: they came to me. Total expense for me: 30 minutes of so of putting the news release together and tweaking it a bit. Not a bad return for my time investment.
But you don’t need to have been selected to participate in a university study to make use of this sort of technique. Simply writing an interesting article on Reiki or energy medicine, and submitting it to your local paper, could work just as well or even better.
Here are some tips for writing that article, from someone who has been an author, editor, and book publisher for many years:
1. Keep your language simple. Don’t use big words merely for effect. The average newspaper tries to keep their reading level no higher than 11th grade level. You’ll be safer, and probably have more readers, if you can keep it around the 9th grade level. (You can go HERE for a free online readability checker, that will give you the grade level of text you paste into it.)
2.Keep it light in tone. Gloom and doom don’t cut it. So be POSITIVE. Talk in terms of the good things that can be done with Reiki, Chios, EFT, or whatever energy work you do.
3. Don’t write a tome. We know that we have a lot to say, but often newspaper editors have limited space, and column inches are at a premium. It’s safest to keep the length of your article between 400 and 700 words, which in most newspapers would be about 10 to 20 column inches. It’s usually safer to err on the side of shorter rather than longer.
4. Make sure it’s good English (or whatever language your local paper is printed in.) Honestly, nobody probably will care whether you split infinitives or notice if you end a sentence with a preposition. But glaring spelling errors and usage mistakes tend to make you look like an idiot, so watch out for them. (Don’t count on the newspaper editor to fix things. Newspapers, especially smaller local ones, are notorious for allowing all sorts of screwups to pass unnoticed.)
5. Be cautious with the metaphysical aspect. The average newspaper is not interested in publishing articles where the writer talks about angel guides, auras, and such topics. They’re considered too esoteric for the usual local paper. Keep that aspect of it low-key, and focus instead on the medical/scientific side of things if you can. Don’t allow yourself to be labeled as a crackpot, or worse by the local religious fanatics.
6. Make your initial contact with the editor personal! If you can, find out the name of the editor who would handle your article. (With a small paper, there may be only a managing editor.) Personally, I avoid emails for initial contact. Editors are busy people, and emails are easy to ignore or delete. After a phone call to see who to contact, I go by in person with the typewritten, double-spaced article, and a business card, in hand.
7. Don’t forget the short bio at the end! Guest authors (that’s what you would be) usually place a short blurb at the end of their article, telling a capsule of what makes them qualified to write, and how to reach them. This is important because it allows readers who were intrigued by your article, to contact you for more information or perhaps set up an appointment. And besides the altruism of educating the public, isn’t this what you want–new clients? Yours may look something like this: Maxie Mumm is a Reiki Master in Usui Reiki. She has an office in the Happy Holistic Clinic, and may be reached via phone at 111-555-9876.
In short, writing informative energy medicine articles for your local newspaper can be a great way of getting your name out there in front of people, establishing street cred, and gaining new clients. Just be sure you write them in a way that brings positive attention to you, and interests people enough to give you a call.
Please leave us a comment below and let us know what you think!
Tony Burton is a Reiki Master and holistic health practitioner residing in Georgia, USA. He has been trained and attuned in Usui Tibetan Reiki, Practical Reiki™, and Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki. He is an ordained minister with the Progressive Christian Alliance and the Unitarian Church, and his website is www.hillside-holistic.com