Create your Business Identity
Create Your Business Identity
by Colleen Bennelli
First Published in Reiki News Magazine
When you start a professional Reiki practice, you are becoming a self-employed small business owner as well as a spiritual healing practitioner. To have your practice succeed, you will need to follow many of the mainstream business concepts, practices and actions that all small businesses follow. The most common questions I receive from my Reiki students and in my ReikiChat™ calls (1) are about how to let potential clients know about the existence of their Reiki practices. I have been writing a continuing series of articles for Reiki News Magazine on that topic. “Defining Your Reiki Practice – Part One (2),” covers the importance of defining your heart intention for your Reiki business and getting comfortable talking about the spirituality of Reiki. Part Two relates how to introduce Reiki to medical personnel. Part Three addresses how to establish your Reiki business identity through branding, as well as by developing your business name, logo and tagline.
Create Your Business Identity
Your business identity, the way that your Reiki practice is known to the public, needs to reflect that you are a professional Reiki practitioner. So to begin, look at other professional healing businesses, such as acupuncture, massage, spas, chiropractors, etc. How are they presenting themselves? Your business will have the same practical needs, yet you will also want to be unique in how you define your business since the structure of your business will be your personal vision. What do you want to say about your business? How do you define it? How do you present the benefits you provide to your Reiki clients and students? What is unique about you? A professional self-image aligned with your heart intention will help you formulate your words and guide you in the right direction as you create your business identity and personality. To develop your professional self-image, take some time to give yourself Reiki as you ask Reiki to help you answer these questions:
1. Why am I in business?
2. What do I believe?
3. What inspires me to do my work?
4. Who are my clients and students?
5. What problems can help them solve?
6. In what other ways can I serve my clients and students?
7. What is unique about my Reiki services?
8. What business personality do I want to present?
9. What words do I use to define my Reiki practice?
10.What design elements, such as color, image, feel and so
forth express your personality?
Once you have determined your professional self-image, it’s time to communicate that image to the public. This is referred to as branding. Good branding is consistent in every interaction with the public: online, in social media, in print and in person, making it easy for people to recognize your Reiki business quickly. When your branding is clear, it will communicate your message, your authentic truth about Reiki and your sense of purpose for your business. Branding also takes into account the design elements of your business name, logo, tagline, color choices, images and written content.
Listed below are a several important branding guidelines:
1. It will express your authentic self.
2. It will be consistent.
3. It will be transparent.
4. It will be professional.
5. What you offer will deliver on your brand promises.
Here are examples of my business brand consistently used across all mediums (3).
Reiki Business Name
A part of your brand includes your Reiki business name. A good business name:
• Reflects who you are.
• Describes what you do.
• Has a meaning that is easy to understand for your clients, not just you.
• Is easy to say, spell and remember.
• Very Important: Is available as a domain name and is not used by a competing business.
• Looks good in print.
My first business name, The Color of Reiki, is a good example of what was meaningful to me, but was confusing to my clients and students. I loved it because I associated it with a special young client who called me “the Color Doctor” because he experienced Reiki as healing the colors within him (4). What I found out, though, was while the name had meaning to me, people were kind of perplexed by it, asking me to repeat it, spell it and tell them what it meant. As a website address it also looked funny to me: www.thecolorofreiki.com.
A friend of mine gave me my current business name, Reiki Lifestyle, which is also my very readable website address: www.reikilifestyle.wpengine.com. He said it came to him in the middle of the night. I was actually resistant to the change when he suggested it but knew that it was the right name for me. Now I feel so blessed by it. As I have worked with it over the years, it has defined my brand, and as the name implies, it has helped me in my personal growth as I use Reiki in all of my daily activities. My website colors and content, my articles, my craft projects all express Reiki as my lifestyle. With the word Reiki in it, the name also meets the other criteria: it describes what I do, it’s easy to spell, easy to remember, people can understand it’s meaning and it looks good in print. Ask Reiki to help you discover your business name. Listen for the guidance as it shows up. It may come from a variety of sources: a friend, as mine did, an idea within you or something you read or see somewhere else.
As soon as you choose a name for your business, be sure that it is available as an online domain name for your future website and that it is easy to distinguish you from other businesses with a similar name (5). If the name you chose isn’t available, then choose another name.
Your logo defines and identifies you at a glance. It is a visual impression of your brand. Here are some guidelines for developing a good Reiki logo (6).
1. Simple – Easy to recognize. Can someone look at the logo and easily describe it?
2. Distinct and Memorable – Expresses your unique vision of Reiki. People remember it.
3. Versatile – It is effective in black and white as well as in color. It works in all sizes and mediums.
4. Relevant to Reiki – Communicates that you are a Reiki business.
5. Timeless – Will your logo be relevant in five years as much as today?
6. Targeted – Designed for your clients and students rather than yourself.
7. Professional – Reflects that you are a professional Reiki practitioner.
Logos are a lot like websites; people look at them and form an immediate impression. Your logo needs to create a positive response with your potential Reiki clients and students so they feel comfortable and have a sense of ease with you. Here is the Reiki Membership Association logo as an example.
Along with your Reiki business name and logo, a tagline can be an important part of your business identity. A tagline is a word or a phrase that helps people readily identify with what you do. What about your business will benefit the clients you are trying to reach. An effective tagline can let people know at a glance if you are a resource or solution for them. Or it will intrigue them enough to continue investigating your Reiki services.
It will highlight a key benefit for your potential Reiki clients and students. A successful tagline captures the essence of three elements:
• Your mission – describes why you are in a Reiki business.
• Your promise – conveys the benefit of your Reiki services.
• Your brand – makes sense with your Reiki business identity, name and logo.
It will be short, original, realistic, readable, pronounceable, believable and focused on customer benefits. It will tell a short story about your vision and mission for your Reiki business in as few words as possible. For instance my tagline for Reiki Lifestyle is Living the Light of Joy (7). William Rand’s tagline for the International Center for Reiki Training is “Live a Meaningful Life (8).” Your tagline should support your brand promise and identity. Here are some good tagline examples from other Reiki Masters.
• “Reiki… the sacred way to your peaceful heart (9).”
• “Love your whole life (10)!”
• “Harmonize your body, mind and spirit (11).”
• “Health and peace start within… (12)”
Here are two good examples of the colors, logos and taglines all put together. They are clear and concise, have the brand, the message, what is offered and the promise.
Trademarks and Copyrights
Research your business name and tagline before you make a final decision about it and make sure that it is not already trademarked, ™, registered, ®, or labeled with a service mark (SM). Do an Internet search to see if either is already in use. If so, choose a different name or tagline. You can also check on the availability of a business name within your state through your state’s Secretary of State’s office.
When I recently redesigned my whole website and branding, my web designer started with my colors. She presented me with several pages of photos. On one page the photos were cool tones: pinks, purples and sunlight yellows. The photo images on another page were golds, oranges and warm blues. The branding and website design started with my color choices. The background, photo images, logo, typeset, and font choices were all decided upon based on the colors I selected.
Here are two examples of color choices for branding.
Reiki heals and empowers us with color. Use self-Reiki when deciding your color choices and let the colors help you define your unique expression of Reiki. In “The Color of Reiki,” I wrote, “When our colors are full and aligned, we feel secure, capable, creative, expressive, compassionate, truthful, intuitive, imaginative, inspired, and connected to spirit. It feels as if our actions match our intentions, and that we are fulfilling our spiritual purpose here on earth. Things seem to work out easily, serendipity is present and we can notice the blessings all around us (17).”
Photos and Images
The images you choose will reflect Reiki and your brand. The saying “a picture paints a thousand words” comes to mind. It is also important to have your personal profile picture in your communications. People want to know who you are. Be sure your picture is easy to find on your website, your social media pages, newsletters and in print. People tell me all the time that they were drawn to take Reiki with me because my picture resonated with them.
My web designer put the photos together based on color and Reiki on the initial design page to help me begin my branding,process. If you look at the photos on my website, they are consistent colors and they reflect the feeling of Reiki as a lifestyle. Only use copyright-free images on your website. If you use a copyrighted image, you can receive a steep fine. However, there are many stock photo sites that have inexpensive, copyright-free images and videos, which you may need to credit on your website. Below are some terms used to describe your right to use other people’s photo images:
• Copyright © and copyright free
When a photo is copyright protected, it means the owner of the image has all the rights to allow or disallow others to use it in any way. If an image is copyrighted, only use it with permission. If an image is copyright free, that means it is available to use either through Creative Commons, public domain, or royalty free.
• Creative Commons
Creative Commons licenses allow their holders to grant broad permission to others to share, remix, use commercially, or otherwise use their work without having to ask specific authorization for each use (18). For example, I offer copyright free photos on my website in my photo galleries. I allow others to use all my photos without permission or credit to me (19).
• Public Domain
Public domain images are defined as images for which the copyright has expired or never existed in the first place. They are free to be used by almost anyone for personal and commercial purposes.
• Royalty Free
RF refers to the right to use copyrighted material or intellectual property without the need to pay royalties or license fees for each use or per volume sold, or for some time period of use or sales.
• Stock photos
These are professional photographs of common places, landmarks, nature, events or people that are bought and sold on a royalty-free basis and can be used and reused for commercial design purposes.
Animal Reiki teacher and healer, Kathleen Prasad, has a website that is a great example of really good use of a website content (20). It is easy to see at a glance, readers can scan it quickly to know what she offers, her logo is simple and recognizable, her colors match her brand, her tagline is right up front. When looking at this website, it is easy to decide where to click next. The person going to her website is likely to want to stay there and look around.
Here are some tips for writing good content:
Start by asking yourself these questions:
- What is the goal of your content?
- What is the purpose?
- Who is your audience?
- What information do you want them to know?
- Do you want them to take action from your content?
Write Succinctly for Web Users:
In web development, we have a motto when creating websites: “Give me what I want, and don’t make me think.” When writing web content, make sure that you are not long-winded. Make things as easy and simple as possible. Use lists and short paragraphs, and occasionally use bolded text, but not too often as it won’t stand out anymore and becomes a distraction (21).
• Write Professionally – Your content can become a resource for your Reiki students and clients. Let readers know who you are and what you offer with Reiki through your writing. Let your content reflect information about your Reiki classes and Reiki sessions and about the benefits of Reiki.
• Write for Search Engines – Include “keywords” in your content so the search engines can find you when people search the Internet for a particular subject. A keyword is a searchable term people commonly look for when trying to find out about a particular subject. For example, some good keywords for Reiki are: Reiki classes, Reiki training, Reiki attunements, Reiki masters, Reiki (in the state or city where you live), Reiki teacher, Reiki healing, etc. These are terms a person might type into Google to find out about a Reiki practitioner. If the keyword is in your content, then the search engine can find it and your website will show up in lists of websites that have that keyword in it.
Your writing and written content reflect your unique Reiki experiences and knowledge. Invite Reiki to help you express yourself.
Use Reiki to Develop your Business Identity
Because a professional Reiki practice is both a spiritual practice and a small business, it is also important to align all these practical business skills with Divine guidance. Reiki has been guiding you all along your path to lead you to this moment. Stay in a place of prayer, intention and listening for the Divine guidance available to you. Self-Reiki will give you the stillness you may need to hear the words you use to describe your Reiki practice. In all of my writing, I begin by connecting with Reiki and God and I ask for the information to flow through me from these Divine sources and an intelligence that is greater than my own. At the same time, it is up to me to create the space and listen for the information to come through and to take the actions suggested. I also feel that my own awareness of business in the 21st century guides the questions I need answers to. I am a part of the dialogue and the team. God and Reiki alone can’t guide my Reiki business to success. I have to be the major player and listen inside for the ways to manifest my Reiki business. As Marianne Williamson says, “And no one will listen to us until we listen to ourselves (22).”
There will be times that you lose your focus, feel resistant and uncomfortable, feel like you have no idea what you want to say or don’t know enough and that it is all too slow and takes too much time. Reiki can help you overcome these challenges. Simply invite it in.
The Usui power symbol, CHK, can help remove the blocks and limitations and fill you back up with Divine light and the power of love. The Usui mental/emotional symbol, SHK, can clear your mind and awaken your inspiration, imagination, inventiveness, creativity, intuition, and your higher consciousness and align it with Divine guidance. The Usui distance symbol, HSZSN, reveals your Divine heart to you and gives your spirit presence and voice. The Usui Master symbol, DKM, shines the love and friendship from the “Great Being of the Universe” on you and awakens your soul to the same Divine light within you. The Holy Fire Reiki Master symbol, HF, awakens your spirit and connects you to the heart and the mind of God. It aligns you with Divine guidance that will reflect your heart intention along with the practical needs of a daily business practice. These symbols both heal and empower you.
Let the Divine guidance found through Reiki reveal your path. Listen and then take action.
(1 )ReikiChat™, a free monthly teleconference call, www.ReikiLifestyle.com
(2) Reiki News Magazine Fall 2013. Free on my website, www.reikilifestyle.wpengine.com
(3) Reiki Lifestyle brand and website development by (IM) Interactivemarketing. net
(4) Colleen Benelli, “The Color of Reiki,” Reiki News Magazine Summer 2011; Online at https://reikilifestyle.wpengine.com/the-color-of-reiki/
(5) To check domain name availability, you can search www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jsp
(6) Summarized from the blog at blog.straightnorth.com posted by Shanna Mallon.
(9) Infinite Light Healing Studies, Laurelle Gaia https://www.reikiclasses.com
(10) Whole Life Center, Karen Harrison https://www.karenharrison.net
(11) Reiki Melody, Susannah Spanton https://www.reikimelody.com
(12) Healing Journey Options, Robin Fuerst https://healingjourneyoptions.com
(13) Infinite Light Healing Studies, Laurelle Gaia https://www.reikiclasses.com
(14) Reiki Melody, Susannah Spanton https://www.reikimelody.com
(17) “The Color of Reiki.”
(21) https://www.freshlookwebdesign.com/articles/how-to-write-great-website- content.php
Colleen Benelli can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 503.912.0664, on her website at www.reikilifestyle.wpengine.com, or on her Facebook page, Reiki Lifestyle-Colleen Benelli. Join Colleen’s monthly ReikiChat™ conversation, www.reikichat.com.