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Topic: Building a 6 figure income (a 90 day plan)
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 5, 2010 03:40PM)
The other night I started to think about how to build a 6 figure entertainment company.
Then I called a few friends who run large companies (8 and 9 figure)

A brainstorming session then turned into a business plan and a marketing plan (still writing it out)

The concept..
To highly target a market and dominate it

if anyone is looking for something in that market to be the ONLY provider found

to outsource the booking process and paperwork so that I can focus on the fun stuff (entertaining and being a geek)

To increase profit margin by increasing the price of the gigs and streamlining the shows to lower cost of supplies. (still brainstorming)

To build a marketing funnel that passively builds leads to market to year round and book a higher % of events

I will be talking weekly with a mastermind group of business owners NONE of which are in the entertainment industry.

I will give a weekly update here just so you can see if I am on track and to get feedback from the community..

This is a EXPERAMENT that I am running to see how different a entertainment company would work if it was run like a hard hitting corporate CEO..

things I want to figure out
1. Will this make an entertainment company more of a Job or provide more freedom
2. Will this allow for a faster growth of a entertainment company
3. Will this build a business model that can be replicated and GIVEN to other entertainers so they can have more freedom in life... (if it works, and I believe it will)

so what do you think??
Message: Posted by: TheDean (Jun 5, 2010 03:43PM)
Count ME In for what-ever you got going bud!

I LOVE a good 'experiment'!
Message: Posted by: magicman1 (Jun 5, 2010 05:07PM)
Thanks for sharing this.

I believe every successful business starts with a business plan!
Look forward to your next post!!

Don
Message: Posted by: Daveandrews (Jun 5, 2010 07:16PM)
Thanks for sharing this. I look forward to your next instalment and see how it all goes for you.
All power to your elbow.

Dave
Message: Posted by: solrak29 (Jun 5, 2010 08:19PM)
I like your enthusiasm and motivation to share with us here on the Café.

I can not foresee the future, but I think any venture at the start will be more
of a "job"; especially after the honymoon phase. The key is in the execution and
as they say, "the devil is in the details".

I look forward to hearing more...
Message: Posted by: ufo (Jun 5, 2010 10:42PM)
Go man go!
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Jun 6, 2010 05:45AM)
Just to be clear, when you say you have friends that run 8 and 9 figure companies, you mean 10 million and 100 million dollar companies right? I’d love to have a master mind group like that!

The size of your pay check is only hindered by the size of your imagination.

I wish you the best!
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 6, 2010 08:31AM)
Ken,

I have a couple of friends at that level in their business's

so I got a few of them on the phone and as we talked they started pulling in other friends and introducing me... was a GREAT conference..

and then we all decided to make it a monthly 1 hr mastermind by the end of the call

what I really like about working with people who know NO limit in success is that they have a unique perspective on things and can see vertical markets where all of US would just dismiss them and walk away

One of the guys literally told me to stop ignoring where the money is because it's something I don't want to do.. then explained HOW to outsource that market to grow the company where ALL I am doing is marketing it and spending an hour a week getting updates from the manager in charge of that division. Turning something I don't like into a profit that helps grow the things I do like.

Example
I hate spending time on the phone to qualify a lead (don't mind booking gigs just don't like the 3 phone calls it takes to book 1)
So OUTSOURCE
Disadvantage
- I no longer have control of customizing certain aspects of shows and modifying price on the fly
Advantage
- It has already increased close ratio
- saves me TONS of time
- Has increased Profit (we raise the price 30%)

so I am loving this
and am working on redesigning my website today to keep up with this (=

so off to play with some CSS in wordpress (after church that is)
Message: Posted by: Magicjg (Jun 6, 2010 12:08PM)
I am interested in learning how to enter a new area ( such as moving to another state) and learning how to start from scratch. See if they have any ideas ( or if you do) on how to start from scratch and how to make a client list securing work.
Message: Posted by: sspanks (Jun 6, 2010 06:06PM)
Magicjg,

Check out James Muntons web site http://www.zerotobookedsolid.com He moved from Wash DC to Dallas and this course tells you how he did it. I have been doing the course and it is full of great information.

-stephen
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 6, 2010 07:43PM)
Magicjg,

As entertainers we have a B2C and a B2B business.

So going into a new market would be the same as if you where starting a new company

1. Build a business plan
2. Build a marketing plan
3. Build a marketing calendar
4. Live by the calendar

-----

This is exciting for me
I havn't touched my website in almost 2 years
the current marketing format is dated and weak (only in position 5 for the phrase that made most of my income in 07

so I am treating this like its a TOTALLY new business
like it's a new market

So the steps I am going to be going through are going to be the SAME as you would need and I am laying them out here right now..

any numbers I share will be based off of TOTALLY new leads and will exclude any referrals from old clients, or repeat gigs from old clients...

I am also running another company so I am doing this PART TIME.. just like many on here would be forced to do
Message: Posted by: Steve_Mollett (Jun 6, 2010 08:10PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-06 09:31, MikeClay wrote:
Example
I hate spending time on the phone to qualify a lead (don't mind booking gigs just don't like the 3 phone calls it takes to book 1)
So OUTSOURCE
[/quote]

As in conventional booking agents, or as in hiring someone just to make those calls?
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 6, 2010 08:10PM)
1st update...

Website Redesign underway
Market Plan about 3/4th done
Keyword Research DONE (I am contemplating posting what keywords I am aiming for but not sure if this would be wise until after I am ranking)
Event / party contracts written and ready.
projections written and milestones set for the 1st 6 months

Math that MUST BE DONE

# of gigs = Goal Earnings / Profit per Gig

to find the cost of a gig

Cost per gig = Goal earnings per month / how many gigs I want to do per month

SOOO to hit 6 figures (planning 120k so there is a 20k margin for supplies and such) there needs to be 2307 PER week billable so How many of YOUR gigs do you need to do PER WEEK?? (don't answer just figure it OUT)


So I have my #'s of how many gigs I want to work and How many I will need to book for others to hit my goals.. They all look very doable in a town like Atlanta..

Next update will be to ask for thoughts on the new website
and possibly the new marketing materials
Message: Posted by: James Munton (Jun 6, 2010 11:18PM)
[quote]
On 2010-06-06 19:06, sspanks wrote:

Check out James Muntons web site http://www.zerotobookedsolid.com He moved from Wash DC to Dallas and this course tells you how he did it. I have been doing the course and it is full of great information.

[/quote]

Thank you Stephen.

One thing I don't see in Mike's planning is any thought being given to his actual show! There is a reason why Kenny-boy is so busy in Atlanta. He is a good performer. He also comes up number one in google. Coincidence? I think not.

Best,
James
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 7, 2010 06:24AM)
Steve,

I have hired someone to make those calls and book gigs..
I am now using a system that brings in leads and the assistant then calls and works out the details.. she also has my full schedule and knows what days I don't want to work and what days I cant work


James,
The show is a no brainer.. I am always spending time at perfecting my show and never see it as getting there.. To the point of trecking off to vegas for master class, multiple times... always looking at new things to add and always testing something in the show..
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jun 7, 2010 09:11AM)
I just want to point out a subtle distinction.

It's not about what you think of your show, or how much work you feel you've put into it. It's about what your customers and audiences think of your show. Do they think it's great? Your show and value should be so good that you are getting lots of spin-off business, referrals, repeat business, etc. Your show should be naturally drawing more business to you.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 7, 2010 01:32PM)
Donald I agree

But guys keep in mind... I'm a balloon Guy not a magician

I use magic in my show but it isn't the show.. my show is comedy balloons in a magical way

I have not had a full show up untill mid last year (THANK YOU MASTER CLASS)

I am constantly working on my show and paying attention to what clients are saying..
the focus on this is not the SHOW.. The assumption of this is that anyone who goes after me on this (if it works) will already have a show that people love..

this is about the business and marketing of the business .. The show and performance is something constantly being worked on it's just not a variable in this as what I am doing is about booking NEW Clients, and not someone who has seen you before.

Now to finish the new template of the website so I can start on new copy tonight
--
Writing Copy is a WEAK point in what I do.. I'm a traffic guy.. so this is one of the hardest stages of this whole thing.. I need to go read Dean's Blog and Jack's Blog.. and some copy blogger as well LOL at least I have the advantage that I am the #1 balloon guy in town (because the guys around the same skills all market themselves as magicians hehehe)

Next post will be with the new template complete followed by new content
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jun 7, 2010 04:58PM)
Mike,

Thanks for sharing. I find your posts to be informative and inspiring.

Keep up the great work!

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 7, 2010 09:12PM)
Basic Template finished...
the site still needs tons of Work..

the gallery is in BAD shape
the menu needs to be cleaned up and redone

new blog themes going live this week..
and my graphics guy is supposed to be cleaning some of the gallery up as we switch to Nexgen (a wordpress plugin)

as I get content updated from 2 years ago I will update

Link building campaign started on 1st keyword phrase
20 blog posts ready to start feeding to build weight..
12 web 2.0 properties being lined up to push for all 10 links on page 1

This is gonna be fun (=
once we start seeing 1st page domination I will tell you what the keyword is and what properties we used

and then 30 days later the number of leads from dominating the market

BTW YES!!!! I am talking about all 10 organic links on the front page of Google being MINE pointing to ME for EACH phrase I am going after..
we will only go after 1 phrase per month though because of how much work goes into taking over the entire front page..
Message: Posted by: Scott Burton (Jun 10, 2010 03:02AM)
Is your entire strategy for building your client base in this project through SEO? I'm asking to better understand and I do admire you for your courage to go for a big goal and share the experience with us.

If "yes", I am particularly fascinated as I have found prospects sourced off the web to be overall very low quality leads. As opposed to your experience, I found my 6-8 months time studying and refining SEO and adwords to ultimately not being an effective use of my time. There may be differences between us that explain: different geography and target markets.

My site works very well as an on-line multi-media brochure to support my off-line efforts. But, beyond that, I do not consider SEO etc to be an important part of my marketing mix (at least in that other areas produce better results for me).

I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks!
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 10, 2010 05:20AM)
In this project YES 100% SEO

a few reasons WHY I am doing this so openly

1. I have seen many of my clients (from the marketing company) have MASSIVE increases in their service based business and want to see if it holds true to entertainers as well.
2. I've had a few entertainers harass me because my site is so BAD and marketed so poorly (I haven't touched it in 2 years until last week and over 2 years went from #1 for the terms I wanted to #5 for a few of them) so it is also a practice what you preach type thing
3. From what I have seen the Birthday party market and medium sized corporate events can be qualified through the Net so these are the demographics we will be targeting
4. the alterer motive, I need a VERY strong case study for the marketing company, and turning a company into a 6 figure business over the course of a few months would do that and give me the marketing and sales materials to do the SAME for the marketing company (selling to small business owners, not magicians)

from what I am seeing ith online marketing it's about learning how to target your keyword rankings with the right copy.. if someone is searching for
Atlanta childrens entertainment
what are they looking for
a birthday? a picnic entertainer? there is no way to know so the page that ranks for that needs to be an overview of why the company is the ONLY logical choice for any event needing family friendly entertainment

on the same note if a parent types in
pirate party buford
the page they enter the site on needs to be about pirate parties and give them Options and so on
Message: Posted by: Scott Burton (Jun 10, 2010 07:27AM)
Ah, that makes sense why this project is such a great fit for you (especially with the consulting business). I wish you all the best success and look forward to celebrating your accomplishments with you!
Message: Posted by: sherifmayika (Jun 11, 2010 09:54AM)
This is inspiring. I will closely watch your success.
Your web site is your face. If customer did not find what he is looking for inside your site he would become angry or underestimate you. Same thing is true if your site is filled with lots of content. Edit, edit, edit. Trim, trim, trim. Finally look at the design and ask does your site clearly say what you intended to say. An answer to the customer. Ask your friends what they feel. Have a clean and elegant design. This will increase your value up to many extend
Lou Serrano's home page is an example clear communication.
Message: Posted by: superpixel (Jun 15, 2010 06:15PM)
As a professional site manager (responsible mostly for the content and day-to-day operations as we have designers and our parent company provides the backend), I agree with Aladin that you need to trim that website down to the bone.

Studies that were widely circulated last month show how addled the average web user is. If I can't figure out that you're a fit for my needs within 5 seconds, you're probably gone... I hit back and try another Google hit and all the SEO in the world won't help you (and I know a lot about SEO -- try looking up "how to start a game company" and realize I wrote that over 4 years ago!).

Aside from the web stuff I'm keenly interested in the business practices you're talking about. Sounds a lot like the "Four hour work week" methodology Tim Ferris writes about. Stuff like outsourcing, automation and scaling the business and putting yourself in a high-margin niche (or at least being able to charge top dollar) are hallmarks.

Great stuff! Looking forward to seeing more progress.
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 16, 2010 08:50AM)
Yeah we are working on the website (been a couple crazy weeks with work so I am a week behind schedule)
the goal is to have landing pages for specific things.
example: if someone types in pirate party we want them to come into the site on a page about pirate parties..
so we will be working on very specific content for each keyword phrase..

and umm let em go back to google once we get going.. we will OWN the front page.. it's a ALL roads lead to Rome mindset

and ya know your the 3rd person to mention the 4hr work week to me.. I need to read that.. but I used to be an Exec in a LARGE company so I am just using those skills to build a team to book MANY more gigs with a strong marketing system with high conversions..
Message: Posted by: Fred Kirkland (Jul 8, 2010 10:30PM)
Show me the money and I will work for you. I am looking for a Strong Marking System to build a group that will get the gigs to make me what I am worth. Mike you go guy. Fred K Magic
Message: Posted by: Oscar999 (Jul 10, 2010 11:48PM)
Hi Mike,

I always enjoy your posts. You seem to be the kind of guy who takes initiative and gets things done.

I would like to offer this one caveat about the book, The 4-Hour Work Week. That was the first book I downloaded to my Kindle when I got one last year. And I was really looking forward to reading it, but I was a little disappointed with some of the author's "unethical" suggestions.

For instance, there are a few examples where you are actually encouraged to LIE to your present employer in order to set up certain circumstances in your favor. Those who've read the book will know what I'm talking about.

I was really intrigued by the hype and buzz about this book, but I must say I was disheartened that some of his action-items actually included lying.

Something for you to consider anyway.

Oscar
Message: Posted by: ScottRSullivan (Jul 11, 2010 07:43AM)
Oscar,

Interesting. I had not heard of that before. I've heard of the hype on the book also, but haven't touched it yet for another reason:

From what I've been reading, they advocate a LOT of outsourcing to VAs, folks who amount to slave labor. Sounds like a practice that wouldn't be legal if the labor were in the States.

I don't like the idea of contributing to the growing trend of job flight to other countries and it sounds like that is the core of their book.

I'm all for automation and finding a powerful niche market, but just don't like the ideas of hiring an assistant to work for pennies. Makes me feel dirty.

Aside from this and the lying (boy, that's two VERY big caveats!) how did you find the material? Is anything in it useful for folks like us?
Message: Posted by: Oscar999 (Jul 11, 2010 11:28AM)
Hi Scott,

Not to stray too far off-topic, but since you asked ... AND since the topic is on building a six-figure business:

Yes, there's some good advice in this book. It's an interesting read, and his ideas about automating your business are valid. Especially those concerning a renewed focus on being compensated for results versus time.

But you're right. There is an emphasis on streamlining, outsourcing and getting VAs. And I too found that distasteful, since I "used" to supervise a tech support desk and watched our first level support go to the Philippines.

Plus, and it could be just me, but I felt some of his ideas bordered on bohemian, and not necessarily practical for mature adults. Again, this is a personal observation. According to the reviews on Amazon, there's a ton of people who completely disagree with my assessment.

I think the author, Timothy Ferriss struck a chord when he developed an appealing hook of the 4-hour Work Week that's attractive to a lot of people. And for that he's being rewarded - probably rightly so.

Oscar
Message: Posted by: ScottRSullivan (Jul 11, 2010 11:45AM)
Thanks for the insights. I appreciate that.

---
We now return to this thread, already in progress. *grin*
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Jul 11, 2010 09:32PM)
You can count me in, Mike.
Message: Posted by: Acecardician (Sep 26, 2010 09:51PM)
It has been about 90 days. How is it going?


ACE
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Sep 27, 2010 01:35AM)
Mike Clay, maybe needs to read up on goal setting and time management. Said he would give weekly reports/updates, but has abandon us since June 16th, only 11 days of between the start and finish.

Or he made his 6 figure income and decided it was to good to give away. Don't blame him for that, it is a normal re-action.
Message: Posted by: Acecardician (Sep 29, 2010 10:29PM)
Maybe he is out spending the money. :bg:

No, really, I salute you! If I was 30 years younger, I would go for it!

But here is how I work, for what it is worth:

1. Set reasonable goals,
2. Achieve them.
3. Set another reasonable goal,
4. Repeat.

Results: No frustrations!

I have a major Marketing degree and went right to work for a major fortune 500 company right after college, so we had to do it all. I quit within 2 years to do magic full time, lets see, that was about 1980. lol, I am not rich, but boy, I am happy! I LOVE my job. I make enough money to do pretty much what I want. I have lots of time off, I take 2 vacations a year, usually one to a magic convention, and one to the beach. I run a one man business, and I stayed in my home town, which I dearly love. So I make a little less. But it is all worth it for peace of mind. Now I am looking forward to retirement in a few years. You have to do what makes you happy, or not do it at all.
NO STRESS. Nobody tells me what to do, and I don't have to tell anyone else what to do.

How many people can say they really LOVE their job?

Just my secret formula that I live by.

ACE :dance:
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Oct 1, 2010 06:22PM)
Ok so the update (=

Went great for the 30 days I worked on it...
increased bookings almost 200% (needed 400% to hit the 6 figures)

and then I was hired as a consultant for a very large project that I couldn't turn down and had to shelve it for now..

with this I have done 0 birthday parties (I farmed them out to other entertainers) and have ONLY done corporate events and gigs..

My calendar is full through March for the most part. (split between entertainment, speaking, personal coaching, and lecturing)

This was a GREAT project for me and I learned enough to be able to hit 6 figures with an entertainment company by booking gigs and also keeping a handful of other entertainers booked (line up the OTHERS 1st.. this REALLY slowed me down)


once I get these other projects that I am on I will go back to this one..

but as far as hitting it in 90 days.. I didn't do it.. but I did see a massive increase in multiple areas of my business's so while I didn't hit the 6 figures I do consider this a success..

and will try the 90 days once again soon..
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Oct 1, 2010 07:12PM)
Congratulations Mike. I think it's a major success. You created a major goal for yourself, and I'm sure you got much further than if you hadn't created any goals.

It's much better to set a goal and fall short than to create no goals and hit your target.

Wishing you continued success!

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: Acecardician (Oct 1, 2010 09:05PM)
Thanks for the update and glad you are doing well!

Just remember to ENJOY what you do.

All the best,

ACE
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Oct 1, 2010 10:44PM)
Dang, I thought he was going to share what his plan was and how we could all become 6 figure income magicians. Sad, I mis-read the post again.
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Oct 2, 2010 04:35PM)
I am happy to share the plan

Phase 1.
Building my marketing plan
I used Marketing Plan Pro
with projections and included the demographics of each services client.

The marketing plan had a few MAJOR points to it..
1. Facebook marketing - this had the highest cost to conversion RATIO
2. Lead Capture video campaign - (a series of videos on HOW to plan a party, that lead to a website "not the main site" that is a email list capture... 250 in the list from this single source with over 90% local moms)
3. List building - (included 3 free shows to local MOPS groups, 2 shows to local churches) in return a letter was given to all parents about a mailing list for kids activities (another 120 people from this list "it included mailing addresses")
4. Website revamp (was never finished, but the bookings form works)
5. Sending out an email to the WHOLE list weekly (I now have over 600 in the list total)

---

This is the basic plan...
what I fell short doing

- I am not emailing the list weekly with a solid Call to action (each one I send has a cupon or a book 2 gigs and pay get the 3rd one free or something)
- I have not been updating and keeping the FB page and blog very well which has caused a drop in return traffic
- I am not getting enough tips out to keep people excited about the list

Each mailing of the list is getting MULTIPLE bookings

--

does that answer some of the questions??
if you have any specific questions I will be more than happy to answer them..
Message: Posted by: John T. Sheets (Oct 3, 2010 02:41AM)
Thanks for sharing. Keep me posted.
Message: Posted by: Scott Burton (Oct 3, 2010 07:28AM)
Hey Mike,
I think it's amazing that you are reaching towards higher goals.

Reaching for big goals has always helped me. Regardless of whether it is athletic or business pursuits, having large goals (even when I "fail" to hit the goal I was going for) has always brought me to new levels of achievement. If nothing else, reaching to attain more provides an amazing educational experience that is better than any book, DVD, or course out there.
Message: Posted by: magic maniac (Oct 3, 2010 11:43AM)
This is a great post, I need to find a way to get a mailing list for my target market going.

Scott - That's great advice. While there are great books out there to guide you, experience is the ultimate teacher. I've spent a lot of money and time reading books on how to succeed, but many of those served nothing more than momentary lift in spirit. It's the day's I woke up and said I'm going to do something that really paid off for me.

Congrats Mike !!
Message: Posted by: magicguyri (Oct 7, 2010 11:45PM)
Thank you Mike. You have enlightened/reminded many of us of what we needed to hear. Thanks for the kick to the butt!
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Oct 18, 2010 09:06AM)
Just so you all know..
the project that took me away from this
is putting me in a position to be a speaker at MANY events in 2011 (and 5 up till then)

this is where I have been wanting to go and because of it I am playing with balloons less and less

but use them in my lectures along with a few magic tricks
so ditching this project was mostly because of a better opportunity that showed up

being a speaker who entertains will make me reach the goal, just in a different aspect