Don’t worry. This isn’t going to be one of those thesis-length posts you usually get. I’m finally able to catch my breath after my Chinese New Year spike so here I am.
It’s been a while since I jotted something down so I figured I’d write something short to say “hi” as well as let newcomers to my blog know that I’m still alive and very much active. As mentioned in my previous post, if you don’t see me updating my blog, it’s either because I’m focusing on work or resting.
There are a few announcements I’d like to make. Nothing important. It’s just really admin-level stuff and I figured I’d share some things going on in my head and what’s going on behind the scenes from a business perspective.
The blog posts with stories, case studies, and insights will definitely still be there once my bandwidth slowly frees up now that my peak period is over.
Revision In Prices For BaZi Consultations
As you may or may not know, BaZi consultations take up the majority of my time and it is basically my bread and butter service. It basically laid the foundation for my career as a practitioner. I always tell people that if there’s a service I feel anyone should take up first, it’ll be getting your BaZi deciphered first because that’s a foundation for everything. Whether you end up in a good house, have a child with good BaZi, and who you end up marrying are all dependent on your chart.
My consultation prices have been at $388 for one chart and $688 for two since early 2018 and I’ve kept it at that price for a while now. I’ve adjusted the price to $488 and $788 respectively but do take note that this is only for new clients getting their readings from me for the first time. Returning clients will still be on the original rate labelled under “Annual Review”. The Consultation Request Form everyone has to fill up usually will indicate this clearly.
There are a few reasons why I’ve decided to do this:
I Really Need To Handle My Bandwidth
I’ve spoken a bit on this before in some previous posts, but my website does experience growth every year and I usually benchmark how much my reach has grown during peak periods like Chinese New Year. Every Chinese New Year is crazier than the previous one. The above traffic you see is all organic and I don’t do any advertising at all.
The average website conversion rate is 1% to 3%. A 1% conversion equates to almost 200 clients a month and a 0.5% conversion is still almost 100 clients. The bottom line is that it is not humanly possible for me to handle 100+ clients a month unless I am permanently fused with my chair and I become one with the Matrix. Frankly, this also isn’t the first time I’ve raised my prices.
I hope this also answers the question of why I am not doing trivial things like TikTok videos, live streams or whatever because I am doing actual work, gaining more experience, and getting better and what I do with each case that comes to me. If you’ve read through my “Must Read” blog posts, you’ll also know that the people I’ll attract on TikTok will likely not be the kind of clients I’m looking for. I know it all sounds counter-intuitive but this is really my chess-brain working – advertising my services or creating shallow marketing material for the sake of views only serves as a detriment. I’m very fortunate that I’m in a position where I don’t need to advertise and I continue to get high-quality clients. It’s not something I take for granted.
I’m also very grateful that my reach is global. An extra effort needs to be put into my consultations in handling language and cultural differences so that how I convey the message is proper and well-thought through. Miscommunications happen often and a consultation with a Singaporean client is very different from a consultation with a Korean, Spanish, or American. Trust me on that.
Anyone who has done a consultation with me will also know my reports are customized and there is a Q&A session, so unless I am doing unethical things like many ‘practitioners’ out there selling templated reports to everyone (which you know I won’t), handling 100+ clients is really not possible. I have no choice but to control the demand by using pricing. If you think of my service like a demand & supply curve, the demand curve keeps shifting right but the supply curve remains the same.
The downside of me doing a rate hike is, of course, price elasticity and that adjusting the fees higher will hit my bottom line, which is fine to me especially when I always talk about balance. I rather earn less and keep my sanity while also filtering for higher quality clients.
What Takes Up My Bandwith – The Q&A Segment
I have never felt that an astrological reading should be an “I say, you listen” kind of thing activity. It doesn’t sit well with me.
For all my clients who have got a reading from me before, you will know that when I say there is a Q&A after the initial report, there is really a Q&A for people to make use of. Some prospective clients are still skeptical that I will just send a templated initial report and suddenly disappear.
Firstly, my reports are all customized. Any one of my clients will know that. There will be templated portions for sure and I even mention this in the reports themselves but these are segments that guide people on how to appreciate their own charts because I have to explain concepts like 10-Year Phases (大运) or Annual Phases (流年运), their difference, and their impact on the chart. These are useful information that helps clients put things into perspective, especially if they wonder why someone’s achievements vary even though everyone can be going through a so-called positive Annual Phase or even 10-Year Phase.
The initial report everyone receives would have covered the questions one put in the form but the Q&A makes up an important part of the consultation as well because it gives you a deeper understanding of what’s to come and why I said the things I said when addressing your questions.
I want to make it clear that my T&Cs do state I can void the Q&A at any time and naysayers or haters will say that I use this to take advantage of people. All businesses have T&Cs to protect themselves; the T&Cs are only there so that I can protect myself.
For those who need assurance that I conduct my Q&As very seriously, please take a look at this:
The above is an email thread I had with a client since 2019 and she recently completed a reading with me for 2022. She comes back to me for a reading every year and you can see the number of emails in that thread because of the Q&A. This client of mine is an extremely nice, respectful, and appreciative client and it naturally makes me want to put in more effort for her as well, so the 7-day limit is really flexible as long as the questions are genuine.
There’s a total of 79 emails in that thread and it’s basically the kind of email thread that, should it exist in the corporate world, will make people question why you were hired in the first place.
Please understand that the Q&A is not a game. There have been cases where clients ask about whether they should get another pet dog because they are worried about the dogs fighting, or if they will be rich enough to get a private driver. They either end up getting their Q&A voided completely or shortened. If you are wealthy enough, I really don’t care if you wish to get a pet giraffe. You really don’t have to ask me such things.
(Read in a light-hearted tone) Please do not treat a consultation with me like a visit to the night market in Taiwan and unless you are from Blackpink, please try not to be coy or act cute with me too.
Please Remember Why The Rules Exist
I know some people will always chastise me for having so many rules about why I screen clients, reject them, or void the Q&A for.
“Sean is arrogant. Sean is a pompous prick.”
I think the first thing to make clear is that I’ve gone through enough in life to know that I can’t get everyone to like me, which is a polite way of saying I don’t actually care about what people who don’t matter to me, think of me.
Rules are what make us civil and what separates us from animals.
In a way, I’m grateful to be in a position for me to turn away clients but I really, really hope people understand why I need to do this. I don’t want to go into the details anymore because I’ve spent enough blog posts on how people with low-quality charts got to where they are.
I often find these incidents enthralling because some of these clients try to turn a consultation into a crash course on reading charts, but the reason why they are interested in this topic in the first place is that they realize their Masters In Finance is getting them nowhere in life and their wives are also leaving them for being a ‘highly educated’ but indecent human being.
Let me be clear: Taking on ONE toxic client means 30+ good clients suffer and have their consultation compromised. I will not let that happen. A few hundred dollars is also not worth spoiling my day or taking on the risks of a toxic client. Please also don’t treat a consultation with me like a trip to the night market. You should know I take life and what I do way more serious than that.
The rules exist for this reason. It’s really as simple as that.
Making New Plans For 2022
The greatest impetus for making these changes are my plans for 2022 be it personal or professional.
The need to free up a bit of my bandwidth is partly because I wish to start preparing to kickstart in-person lessons the moment the world declares victory over Covid-19 and some of the restrictions are freed up. I also wish to write more and spend some time acquiring additional knowledge because as confident as I usually sound on my blog, there are definitely still a lot of things I’ve yet to learn.
At the same time, I’m at the stage of my life where I will be starting a family soon, so I’m making the adjustments required in advance in order to settle into a new momentum.
The way I operate will remain the same for a long, long time and I am referring to doing consultations online. It’s served me well so far and proved to be the most effective for both myself and my clients. The only thing that will affect clients moving forward is probably just the pricing that I have to adjust from time to time although I don’t see that happening for the next 3 to 4 years after the current adjustments.
If you’re new to this website or you’ve not gotten a reading from me before, feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I will blog about other things soon and I hope everyone’s looking forward to the next post!
Have a good 2022, everyone!