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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Give out business cards during shows? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Magic_streak
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Regular user
Singapore
196 Posts

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Hey everyone,
Just did my first few walkabout shows. Wonder if it would be good to give away my business card to the audience, as each of them is a potential client? What effects will this act have on my image, to the organizer as well as the audience? Please share your thoughts and experiences. Thanks!
ddyment
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Inner circle
Gibsons, BC, Canada
2223 Posts

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The ideal solution is to use your business card in an effect, ending with the card being written on or changed in some way to make it interesting to the participant, who will then wish to keep it (whether or not an immediate need for your services is apparent). I use my own effect, Flash Squared, which was created specifically for this purpose (giving out business cards in walkaround situations).

... Doug
Doug Dyment's Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
kenscott
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1867 Posts

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Do card tricks where they sign their name on the card. After you have finished doing magic with the card put it into a bag like they use to put baseball cards into. On the bag put your label that has your name, web site , and phone number. This acts as a business card and trust me they will keep this.

Ken scott
Thoughtreader
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1565 Posts

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Is it ethical to give out business cards with your personal contact number (when asked for by people approaching you and asking for them) when you are working an event that you were hired for by an agency? The agency makes their money by booking such events including hiring the performers for these events and they spend a great deal of their energies in finding these clients in the first place. Do you have the right to "steal" clients from an event that technically should go to that booking agent?

I have a solution to that, and it IS written in detail in a chapter in my book, however, in the readers digest version— No. If you want to keep your agents happy, you need to make sure that they receive their commission from an extra show you booked from THEIR event. I do so by having a business card with only my personal manager's information on it and HE always asks where someone heard about me or saw me and he knows where that show came from and they get a cut regardless due to that. It keeps them extremely happy and ensures you will always work for them and others. Try to screw an agent out of a fee and if they find out about it, you will never work for them and as it is a small world and agents all know each other, work will get pretty slow through agents if you do.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
http://www.stores.ebay.ca/Abstagecraft
Canada's Leading Mentalist
http://www.mindguy.com
AB StageCraft
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espmagic
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Paul is absolutely right— get cards with the agent's contact number on them, and then give them out freely ("I can be reached here...")— if they find you in the phone book, it is one thing, but if they contact the agent to ask about you, then the agent will be happy, and you'll continue to get work.

In fact, some agents will provide the cards for you...
Scott Xavier
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Use them in every routine imaginable as well, that way you don't seem even hokier. I still have people bringing my business card to me during meetings, and it has been used in an effect. It's nice to see, makes you feel like people are blown away!
Torkova
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Astoria, NY
192 Posts

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Yes, when the job is booked through an agent, always give the agent's card out. It can sometimes impress people more that you work through a professional agency.

I mostly book my own jobs and finish my close-up with a signed card to envelope in wallet. What I've recently started doing was to print my contact information on the envelope so when I give them their signed card to keep, I replace it in the envelope and hand it to them. Since my wallet is open I sometimes also place my business card in the envelope as well saying, "Here's your card and here's my card."
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

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Have any of you tried a different approach, something more powerful than business cards?

Give out or place on a table Million Dollar Bills. It is the same size as a dollar bill, it is legal, and it is a conversational piece.


Click here for Info on the Million Dollar Bill


What a powerful Promotional Marketing Tool to get your name known and have people carry it with them. It's a KEEPER and more powerful than a business card.

Some advantages of the Million Dollar Bill are:

  • Cost to Produce ($200 per 1,000)
  • Unique in Design (Real Looking)
  • Provides Client with a Conversation Item
  • Client can say he is a Millionaire
  • Client Keeps it as a Souvenir (Usually in wallet or purse)
  • Provides Client with Critical Information for Future Bookings
  • Can be used as a Give away during the Show to an Assistant
Dennis Michael
kenscott
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Thanks Dennis, I have been looking for this!!!

Ken
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

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You'll have a lot of fun with it. Last night at a New Year's Eve party, I gave out about 50, making them start the year off as millionaires. Then I got several good leads for some kid shows in the Pocono area.

Once I broke out one, everyone at the table wanted one. The men put it in their wallets immediately.

Let us know the success you have with them.
Dennis Michael
EranRaven
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There is something to be said for only handing out business cards to people who ask for them, make it something that is desirable; we all want what we can not have (or at least what is perceived difficult to get).
Jon Gallagher
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Elmwood, Illinois
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I hand out business cards, BUT I always ask for theirs in return. The reason? After the party is over, and I'm walking out, I notice my business cards are scattered on the floor, forgotten on the tables, etc. If I get THEIR business card, I can take the time to send them a note, a brochure, or whatever, and another card. That way, I make sure I add names to my mailing list and that they've got a card from me that won't be lost or forgotten at the party.
www.jongallagher.com

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The Village Idiots
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Orlando
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I don't hand out business cards like a Japanese business man. The reason is I don't want to see them lying on the floor. Makes me feel cheap.

I work for so many different agencies I could not have my name printed on all of their cards. The solution I came up with was a nice rubber stamp. I would stamp my name and a brief description, i.e. Magic, Comedy, Juggling, Idiot, on the back of the agency's card. So if I am working for them and someone asked for a card I could hand them out with the proper contact and a little reminder of why they have it.

Sillily, Will
Some are born idiots.

Some are made idiots.

Some have idiocy thrust upon them.
Thoughtreader
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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I know several performers who have no card. When someone asks them for a card they reply that they are all out BUT if the person would give them theirs, they will send out some info as soon as they are back in their office. Not only do they save on the cost of having business cards printed BUT they add the names they just got to their contact list.
PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
http://www.stores.ebay.ca/Abstagecraft
Canada's Leading Mentalist
http://www.mindguy.com
AB StageCraft
http://www.mindguy.com/store
cupsandballsmagic
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I once heard someone say (I forget who it was) "I only give my business cards out to people I don't want to hear from!"

There's a lot of truth in that.

When I am training, I always tell people to "keep the initiative"...
ThorstenHappel
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Düsseldorf / New York, NY
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There are some very good effects out there that use business cards. Whenever you use your card for an effect the card is more likely to be kept than thrown away.

Make sure you get a high quality card, not a cheap looking piece of ^*&%$##. The more intresting your card, the better the chances that it will be kept and remembered.
Thorsten
-----------------------------------------

"If this be magic, let it be an art ..."
-- William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale, Act 5, Scene 3
ROBERT BLAKE
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If people book me personally, I give my card with my address.

I have business cards with no address so if I am working for an agency, I put a sticker on it with their address.

Never give your own address if you're working for an agency.

Keep in mind that if you do, you might get 1 job but an agency can give you 30 jobs or more.
Thoughtreader
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Sounds like the same advice I gave in December. Always ensure that the agent gets credit for the job you were at and ALL contacts you made at the event. Always, always, always! In fact, you will find that some of the larger agencies will give you their business cards to use and some will have your name added to them for you (or you can add their info on your cards to hand out if you do a lot of work for that agency. That small expense will pay off later for you in a big way.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
AB StageCraft
Unique Mentalism and Magic World-wide
Home of FRAGMENTS, the best magazine test in the world.
Canada's Leading Mentalist
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AB StageCraft
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magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Another great discussion. Thanks for posting this and getting it started.

My feeling is, that you must always promote yourself every single chance you get. It is doing you no good if those business cards that you have are sitting in the box. You must give them out and get your name out to the potential clients.

With this said, there are what I feel proper ways to go about it and improper ways. Let me discuss a few of these.

Agents who booked you:
If you are working for an agent or entertainment broker, it is only proper that you hand out their business card and their promotional information. The booking agency works hard to get you the job and it is only proper that you should hand out their information while at the gig. It is ok though to mention to the person to ask for you if they should contact the entertainment agency.

Sometimes the agency will allow you to use your own promotional materials as long as their telephone and contact information is posted on them.

I often hand out cards at all the performances I do. If I am working a fair or carnival or walk around style magic, I have found it works to set up a promotional area. This for me is a simple half-moon table that I can place my cards in a business card holder as well as my flyers. A simple poster that has my image and information on it advertises the fact that I am there to entertain and also says to take any of the information for free.

This works very well in these cicumstances as it allows the peson to know the information is there, that it costs nothing and they are not uncomfortable by asking you or interupting your performance to get the card they need.

If you're doing a kids party, I have found that you can give your cards out in a couple of different ways.

If the kids are getting party bags to take home with them, ask the person who booked you if it would be ok to put the cards in the kids bags to take home with them.

You may also want to hand the person who booked you a stack of cards on your way out, Let them know that the cards are there in case any of the parents are interested in how you can work magic for them. Often times the person is very happy that they have more cards to give out.

Try these few approachs and let me know how they work for you.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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http://kpmagicproducts.com

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harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I had my newest cards made out to be mini versions of My Certificate of Joining the Nearly Normal Right to Play Society.

With the larger version I email them a MS Word Documents as a small thank you and token, as well as a way to keep my name and contact information to future consumers.

The smaller size is business card size.

When someone really gives out a good laugh or makes a great comment (which I hopefully will remember to write down after the show)

I stop and give them a card. (or have it handed back to them)

I do this a few times during the program.

At the end as I am talking with the group, I hand out to others the Right to Play card.

I have only been doing this for a week (4 shows) and it seems to be a mini hit.

Harris Deutsch
Laughologist
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
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