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Topic: Advertising & Promotion
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (May 25, 2003 06:54AM)
[b]Advertising[/b] is putting money out regularly and consistently for marketing your business. (Yellow pages, Parent's Magazine, classified ads, etc.)

[b]Promoting[/b] may cost something initially but it is a one time low costing expense with a big return value. (Business cards, photos, magic money, assistant certificats, etc.)

[b]What is your best Return On Investment (ROI) related to your advertising and promoting your business or show?[/b]
Message: Posted by: R2 (May 25, 2003 09:16AM)
I have a Yellow Pages ad...it works to generate leads a few times a month.

I have an ad in a little circular that gets mailed every Tuesday, direct to homes, 1/8 ad for 42 dollars. Advertised along with my ad for a show are "Jumping Balloons", other services related to home maintenance, cellular phone service, etc...

This circular ad generates more hot leads than the yellow book. I generate on the average 15~20 leads every week with this one.

In the ad I ask for the call to action to receive a Free Brochure, not to call me and have to make an immediate decision....key points indeed!

This is my best ROI...BAR NONE! Hope to have helped...

The best marketing is a plan which offers a different approach with each one complementing the other. I am sure you already know this. There is no singular "Magic Bullet" in spite of what some Gurus may say...rr
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (May 25, 2003 10:33AM)
There is a single "Magical Bullet" and I found it in my personal business. I am the only guy in the country that can do a particular seminar and for those that need that knowledge, they must come to me. Since it means thousands of extra dollars to them in most cases, they are willing to pay my asking price. It is a win-win situation.

[b]Now[/b] to transfer that into a "Magical Bullet Marketing Equation", which is no secret, one must find or create a need for the prospect. That need must be so strong the client will be willing to pay your asking price. And, no other entertainer is doing or can do what it is that you do.

In the markerting industury it is called the Unique Selling Proposition (USP). If you find it in the magic field/industry you found the "Magic Bullet" and, hopefully, you keep it long enough before it is copied or improved upon.

Fantasio found it with his canes and candles.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jun 21, 2003 01:39PM)
Den,

Great topic here and nice points that you have made.

I find that word of mouth has really been the vehicle for which I land most of my performances.

Of course this means that your show needs to be top notch and that you conduct yourself in a manner in which others will want to book you as well.

I also found that a target marketing campaign to specific customers has really worked for me over the past winter months.

This consists of my promotional packet folder that has in it sheets that tell about my bio, awards that I have won, comments rom satisfied customers and a clients listing page. It also has in it business cards, a postcard and a magnet they can keep on their fridge.

This has worked great when I send it out along with a lead generation letter that tells who I am and how I am different from what they may already be using.

I then follow this up with a follow up letter a month later. It is a great system that has landed me a bunch of great fair gigs this summer and I hope to expand the system soon.

I hope to hear from others with their own ideas on what has worked the best for them.

I can be reached at magic4u02@aol.com for comment. Thanks.
Message: Posted by: Jon Gallagher (Jun 22, 2003 12:20AM)
Back when I was 20-21 or so, I bought an old panel van. I took it to a sign painter and had my CB handle, "Kid Magic," painted on it along with my phone number and a rabbit and hat logo. Nothing fancy, but this was the late 70's. I think it cost me $50.00 for the sign painter.

I lived on Main Street in my town, and a neighboring town of 36,000 was where I had a regular job. I drove that van everywhere. From having it parked right on Main Street in my town, and having it parked at the Mall most of the time, I got calls like you wouldn't believe. One December, I did 28 Christmas parties (plus worked my 48 hours a week at my Mall job).

Two years after I got rid of that van, I was STILL getting calls and when I would ask where people heard of me, they told me "the van." Not once did I run a yellow pages ad during that time.

I even landed two restaurant jobs from the van (they called me) which put me into full time magic for about two years.

That van got me more shows and exposure than anything else I ever did. Now if I could just convince my wife that I REALLY need a van now...
Message: Posted by: Ashkenazi the Pretty Good (Jul 27, 2003 02:46AM)
Any other stories of using vehicles as advertising vehicles?

What are people's experiences with advertising in monthly "parenting magazines?"
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 27, 2003 03:06PM)
I think using a car magnet sign can work great for your events. It brings your name and contact information out to the people at the event your doing and to anyone that may be passing by. It is also not too pricey and is easy enough to remove following the performance etc.

I think an ad in Parenting magazines can and has worked really great in the past. The only problem is that your competing with possibly a lot of other children's entertainers for ad space.

With this said, you really must have a great looking ad that stands out from the crowd and that offers them something different then anyone else.
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Jul 28, 2003 01:19PM)
The question was asked about parents magazines..I have found them (for me) to be a total waste of money.

All I got were either people looking for freebies or wanting me to do shows "but I don't have more than $50".

Could be different in other markets.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 28, 2003 10:34PM)
Pickles:
Any advertising can be good if it is done the correct way. I am sorry that you have not had good response to your ad.

I would suggest that you take this information that you have learned and put it back into a new ad that really works for you. Make the ad answer some of the many questions these people may already have.

You can also help yourself out with the pricing issue by using strategically written copy. For example you might say "Quality Entertainment at an affordable price!" Something like that may help you to eliminate some of the calls for free shows.

This certainly is not a cure-all, but a well designed and written ad can really work for you if you put some thought into what you are saying to your intended client in the ad.

I hope this helps and may give you some ideas for next time.
Message: Posted by: Jewls (Aug 8, 2003 03:34PM)
My car has a Red Nose Eyelashes on the head lights, confetti "Magnets" all over and a big wind up key on the back, My name and Phone # on the back and side windows. I could remove everything for resale in less then an hour. I drive it when ever I am in Character, I also use it for parades and I also get a lot of calls from my car.
We don't have a parenting magazine here in town. But I can tell you that most of the entertainers I know are doing less Birthday Parties with this slow economy. I hope the Holiday Parties will be better.
Our local paper has a dack page advertising deal that is very affordable I am working on my new as celebtarting 15 years in the business.
I have been in the yellow pages for 15 years, I am listed under clowns and entertainers.
Message: Posted by: harris (Aug 8, 2003 04:32PM)
Jewls,

Great idea for your car.

This is a great thread.

Those that forget that show biz has a biz side usually does not get much.

Biz that is.

Yesterday I got a call for one of those 50$ shows.

The person had seen my program.

I told her my price and if that did not work that I could suggest someone and that the program would be from someone with less experience in this area.

The woman told me she would check with the person with the decision making ability.

Time will tell?????

I use my Nearly Normal Right to Play mini certificates in many of lifes day to day situations.

In fact after joking with the receptionist at a hospital prior to a proceedure this morning I gave her one.

It is business card size but is more light hearted couple of lines with a place for THEIR NAME on the top line.

My contact information is smaller on the bottom.

This was just one of my ideas to get information to fun people and to get them to keep it.

I give the larger certificates (8x11) out at my programs.



Harris


Harris
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Aug 9, 2003 07:38AM)
Promotion is all about creating name recognition so people think of you first when they need a magician.


The best promotion strategy that produces great ROI (actually it's free!) is a feature story in your local newspaper. One good story with a photo and your telephone rings off the hook (as long as you have a yellow pages listing as newspapers rarely print contact phone numbers.)

It's not that hard to do if you have a "hook," and know how to write a press release.

Jim
http://www.success-in-magic.com
Message: Posted by: harris (Aug 14, 2003 04:38PM)
This reminds me of the time I showed up at the Reno Zuchinni Festival.

This was back in the early 80's.

Back then I did a schtick as Mime Over Matter.

I showed up in you guessed it: Green Face.

Yes I did get some great P.R. a picture and column space in I believe the "community section."

Since then my puppets seem to be great attractors(SIC) of people and newspaper photographers.

One suggestion, continue to play to the audience and not for the camera.

Harris Deutsch
Laughologist
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Aug 14, 2003 07:40PM)
Lots of info here and a lot to ponder.

My best ROI has been word of mouth. Really. Most of my contacts have either seen me at one of my restaurants, or have been networked through other sources. Either way it's gotten my business off the ground.

My sales letters have had a fairly good ROI. Seeing as the cost to produce a kit and send it out is about $3/kit, it doesn't take long to be making a boat load. In fact the only reason this isn't as good a ROI is because it does cost $3/kit. Word of mouth is free.

[quote]Rey Rey: I have a Yellow Pages ad...it works to generate leads a few times a month. [/quote]

Wow. If I was only getting a few leads a month I'd seriously reconsider using the yellow pages.
A lot to consider though...
-Is your ad 'good'? (Not do you like it. Is it GOOD)
-How much are you spending on the ad?
-How many of those 'few' leads are you closing. If you've got a high rate of closure (like 80% or better) then the cost may be worth it.

But I digress, I'd really look at what I'm spending. Not to sound like Mark Stevens but if you're not making more than $1 for every $1 you spend then your marketing sucks.

[quote]DenDowhy: There is a single "Magical Bullet" and I found it in my personal business. I am the only guy in the country that can do a particular seminar and for those that need that knowledge, they must come to me.[/quote]

That's no magic bullet. There could be thousands of organizations that 'need' your information but that doesn't mean they'll pay your price.

[quote]DenDowhy: In the markerting industury it is called the Unique Selling Proposition (USP). If you find it in the magic field/industry you found the "Magic Bullet" and, hopefully, you keep it long enough before it is copied or improved upon.[/quote]

The greatest USP (USA etc) is still not a magic bullet.
For those reading, don't let one person's success mislead you. There are NO magic bullets in this or any business.

There may be some really nice, hollow-point, silver bullets out there ... but none are magic.

[quote]Kyle: I also found that a target marketing campaign to specific customers has really worked for me over the past winter months.[/quote]

It could potentially work year round!
You've got an excellent point! In fact, it is the VERY reason that television, radio and newspaper advertising tends to be such a dismal failure.

If I spent $5,000 per ad and ran in during the 6 o'clock news who is going to see it?
HONESTLY...there is no for sure way that the station can guarantee that YOUR clients are watching.

There are literally 500,000+ leads for various shows in the Albuquerque area (based on population). But how many of those leads are actually shows I would
A) Want to do
B) Be an appropriate for

Thus the reason a more targeted approach is awesome!

[quote]Kyle: This consists of my promotional packet folder that has in it sheets that tell about my bio, awards that I have won, comments from satisfied customers and a clients listing page. It also has in it business cards, a postcard and a magnet they can keep on their fridge.[/quote]

I'm really curious Kyle, do people actually book you based on the awards you've won?

I'm not trying to dog you, just see where you're coming from.

I see magicians websites all the time that say, "award winning" or some other stupid way of making up for inadequacies.

Perhaps you've won something that really means something to lay people?

[quote]Kyle: I then follow this up with a follow up letter a month later.[/quote]

Outstanding! The follow up is what seals the deal for most of my gigs. So many performers don't bother and lose out.

[quote]Pickles: The question was asked about parents magazines..I have found them (for me) to be a total waste of money.[/quote]

Were the magazines a waste of your money?
Or was your ad the waste of your money?

[quote]Jewls: My car has a Red Nose Eyelashes on the head lights, confetti "Magnets" all over and a big wind up key on the back, My name and Phone # on the back and side windows. [/quote]

That's funny because there is a clown here in the city who has a blue car with poka-dots all over and smiley faces, her name/number etc.

I don't know for sure, but I'd bet my life savings that she's got at least 40 or so gigs EVERY month. She too does clowning and I think it must really help out her business.

[quote]Harris: I told her my price and if that did not work that I could suggest someone and that the program would be from someone with less experience in this area. [/quote]

Excellent! There is nothing wrong with letting someone in this situation know that while your price point may be out of their budget that there is hope.

And to finish this story off, should her company choose to go with someone else, you could let her know you would be more than happy to help acquire an act in her price range.

That's taking care of people. And that will get more business coming your way.

[quote]Jim: The best promotion strategy that produces great ROI (actually it's free!) is a feature story in your local newspaper.[/quote]

Works wonders for me! Free is so nice!

Robert Bloor
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Aug 15, 2003 04:31AM)
Wow. If I was only getting a few leads a month I'd seriously reconsider using the yellow pages.
A lot to consider though...
-Is your ad 'good'? (Not do you like it. Is it GOOD)
-How much are you spending on the ad?
-How many of those 'few' leads are you closing. If you've got a high rate of closure (like 80% or better) then the cost may be worth it.

HI,
I think you might also need to consider the life value of the customer here. Perhaps the average customer/client is buying 5 times. Also my own experience has been that yellow pages bookers tend to be BRAND NEW CLIENTS WHO HAVE NOT SEEN ME AND I HAVE NOT WORKED FOR THAT GROUP OF KIDS BEFORE. I love this because I know I will get a huge return of bookings once they see my show, paricularly if there are lot's of parents at the party.

So what starts as just a few bookings a month from yellow pages can actually be a large sum on the overal catch.
Phillip
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Aug 15, 2003 11:12AM)
[quote]pb jones: I love this because I know I will get a huge return of bookings once they see my show, paricularly if there are lot's of parents at the party. [/quote]

PB Jones, what exactly is your return on bookings?
How many new shows do you get from every one show that you book?

I was suggesting Rey Rey reconsider his ad based on what he'd written as a 'few leads.' If he's only getting a few leads, chances are he's not making enough from yellow page ads to PAY for the yellow page ads. In which case, that's a fiscal loss.

I'm just waiting to hear from Rey Rey on it.

Robert Bloor
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 15, 2003 01:24PM)
Robert:
Excellent post there and thanks for the kind words. Let me try to answer some of the questions you posted in hope that is may shed some new light on the topic at hand.

Target Marketing has really worked well for me and is the ONLY way I go about it now. Why spend the money and effort to advertise if you can not be sure your advertsining to YOUR clients. To me that is just a big waste of money.

The idea behind my award's information sheet is not so much for the person to read and understand every single award or contest I have been in. It is highlighted and sectioned to show that my awards are in the area of family and children's magic. This would benefit the client in that they would realize that I must have been fairly good at working with children.

I also list an award that is very special to me. The name means nothing to the reader but the description would. It is an award that was given to me for my devotion and dedication to youth in magic. I think the client could also benefit from this as well and it does mean something to many clients I send it out to.

I also agree that the follow-up letter and my e-mail show and news updates work really well in keeping my name frssh in their own minds. Often times it is these letters that seal the deal for me.

I hope this answers some of your questions.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Aug 15, 2003 03:21PM)
Kyle:

I understand now where you're going with the awards bit. You've taken that feature and turned it into a benefit for your clients.

Most magicians just put, "award winning"...and so, what the heck does that mean to me as a potential buyer?

Robert Bloor
Message: Posted by: R2 (Aug 15, 2003 03:37PM)
You are correct Robert.
No more yellow page ad.

I have invested in 4 color brochures which I place in "Take One" boxes in the local Party Supply stores

The brochures offer a benefit to the supply stores in that they contain lists of party favours, ice, prizes, chairs, balloons, games etc.

The party supply stores are happy to hand them out as they contain items they sell as they customers walk-in.

The brochure also contians an area for filling in the guest information.

These have generated more hot leads in the "Children's Party" bucket for me.

The yellow page ad didn't generate enough to keep it again this year.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 15, 2003 09:19PM)
Robert:
Thanks again. Yes, I often times see people putting award winning without understanding that this means nothing to a client unless you tell the benefit to that client. It is the same reason why I hate seeing magician's websites where all they show is them with every magician they know. What benefit does that have to the client who does not know who these other people are, and only wants to know what you can do for them.

My awards listing is really aimed at telling them that the benefit of hiring me is because I am a professional and specialize in family style magic. I back up this benefit through the feature of my awards page.

Rey Rey:
Wonderful idea regarding the take one brochures. I would love to see a sample of this if you could send me a sample etc. Great idea and also a nice tie in to the party store as well. How do you address putting them at the stores without the party store people just shurggging you off for soliciting to them?
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Aug 15, 2003 11:55PM)
Hey Rey Rey,

I'm not in the childrens market any longer. (Got fed up with being paid to babysit)

I'll be interested to hear how this brochure method holds up.

Great benefit to the party store - sort of like a, "For your party, don't forget XYZ supplies!" Superb thinking.

Good luck man!

Robert Bloor
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Aug 16, 2003 02:27AM)
HI,
My average rate of birthday party bookings from a group I have never worked before for last year was 11 (that's not includng repat bookings)with an average party size 25 as the yellow pages ad for me is quite cheap about $800.00 and my birthday party rates run from $200.00 to $350.00
I do not have much problem justifying the cost of the ad.
Phillip
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 16, 2003 09:51AM)
The bottom line for any marketing is to find out how many shows you are getting booked from it. If it is getting you results then great. if it is not, then it may be time to reavaluate it.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Aug 18, 2003 06:58PM)
Kyle,

There you go. If it works, awesome.

Most yellow pages ads I find are fairly ineffective. Although I'll say this...if it's done properly, it could add to your total marketing campaign.

Go with what works.
Or go nuts.

Robert Bloor
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Aug 21, 2003 10:56AM)
Being married to a publisher/Editor/designer helps!

Seriously, my logo was done for me by a friend who is a graphic artist (and whom I paid), the web site done for me by a firm I have done work for and my brochures, and other print material have been done by my wife.

The video stuff is being re-done shortly, on barter for a trade show gig.

One thing to keep in mind, barter income is STILL taxable income. See your accountant about that!

Barter is a GREAT way to get things done that you don't want to shill out hard cash for. The late Brian Flora had an audio tape on it and it's worth its weight in platinum if used properly.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
Message: Posted by: King Of Pop (Aug 30, 2003 05:22AM)
Now here is something you might like. It's free, it's easy and believe me it's very effective!

Just go out to the streets, gather a group of people and just do them some magic for free, use cards, coins, etc. Amaze them, smile, involve them in tricks and so on. During that or after you have performed just mention your show (when, where, etc.) Tell them that they will see even bigger effects and tricks there. Tell them that they all are invited.

Do it for about two hours for different groups in different places. Just walk around the streets, parks...Try to find some tourists and perform to them also, plus tell them that if they come in a group of more than 10 persons then—for example—two of them will get in for free and if more than 15 then...3, etc.

I did it once and later that night I had to perform four times instead of one. They sold out all four shows. So I was performing from 7 to almost 12 o'clock. It was exhausting but income was also. ;)

:goodluck:
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 1, 2003 10:02AM)
Lee:

That is great to hear that you have taken the time and effort to have your logo and promotional work done by a professional designer. It certainly takes more time and more money to have it done this way, but I think you will agree that it is money well spent. You end up with a high-quality piece that really works well for you. This in turn will mean more business and more money in your own pocket.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Sep 1, 2003 04:49PM)
I was fooling around once at the local Children's Museum and had people asking if I had cards and did children's parties (I don't currently, used to and will again, but not at the moment) When I'm ready to perform again, I'll go back to the museum and fool around with some cards and sponge balls and see if lightning strikes twice! :dancing:
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Sep 1, 2003 06:07PM)
I get three bookings a week from my YP ad! I am surprised other people don't find it useful! Different areas with different markets I guess...

What is the best [b]hook[/b] you've used for newspaper stories? Succesful ones I've used are:

a) My rabbit "disappeared"
b) I was performing my 5000th show
c) I was the youngest magician in town

Ones I plan to use are:

a) Statistics about home being the number one place for children's parties
b) Release a free booklet [i]How to Have a Kid's Party for $50[/i]
c) Offer to make any politian disappear during the next election.

Any others?