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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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magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Harris:

A nice creative idea. Thanks for sharing that with us. The idea is to find creative ways to get your name out to the public as well as to have them hold on to your contact information. If you can find fun ways to do this where the public wants to keep what they have been given, then you are ahead of the game.

What are other people's creative ideas for simple promotions that have worked for them?
Kyle Peron

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brianmayo
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I'll comment on something that DIDN'T work. I was recently working at a school that had an all day event where kids did various things, and one clown/magician would start his 40 minute program handing out his business card to every kid (each group was between 50 & 200 kids) and throughout his presentation he kept saying stuff like "ok, now you kids go home and tell your parents you want to hire me for your next birthday party." Needless to say the parents and teachers were all making less than positive comments.

The funniest part was he introduced himself to me and after handing me his business card, he asked me for mine. (This was before I heard about and observed what he was doing) When I told him I didn't have any cards with me, you should have seen his face while he muttered "oh, come on." He thought me being there without cards was the worst thing he'd ever heard of.
magic4u02
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Brian:

He is ONLY right in regards to you not having cards with you. As a performer you should ALWAYS carry cards with you at all times no matter what. This obviously does not mean you give them out at someone elses gig mind you, but you should always have them on you.

With that said, this guy really needs to learn a few things. Handing out your cards before a show even begins is unprofessional. Especially handing them out to the kids. It becomes a huge distraction as every kid will tear the cards, toss them or not even look at your performance.

Your main duty as a performer is to entertain first. There is always time for promotion when the show is done.

Thanks for sharing this with us. This certainly is a great example of what NOT to do.
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Christopher
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I give a card to each of my volunteers as I return them to their seat. I've written a short thank you on the back prior for helping in the show.
magic4u02
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I personally do not like giving out cards to the kids during the show. I like to try to give them something that they want. My thoughts on this are, if they like what they recieve, chances are they are more apt to keep it and to show mom and dad.

I do this by handing out both coloring flyers with my logo on it as well as Magician's Assistant Certificates as my way of saying thanks for helping work the magic at the show.

Both of these go over very well and kids really want to have one. It has worked well for me, so give it a try and see what happens.
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Tate
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Regarding the use of the Million Dollar Bill for advertising, I found this web site some time ago. Along with printing customized bills for you, this printer sells 8.5 x 11 sheets of bills that you run through your computer printer.
http://www.selfemployed.net/sheets.html
magic4u02
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Tate:
Thanks for sharing that information with us. I am a graphic designer and artist and so make up my own promotional items like that for use at shows. These include coloring flyers, certificates, etc. If anyone is interested in ideas in regards to other promotional items they can do for cheap prices, please just PM me. I would be glad to share some ideas with you.
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NJJ
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What if your agents don't give you cards?

Mine, despite a weekly phone call, never gets around to sending them out!!!
magic4u02
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Nicholas:
What I do if I run out of agent's cards, is to print up my flyer but change the contact information to the agent's information. This is fairly easy to do with today's computers. Then just simply xerox enough for your gig. It works out well, has your information on it and the agent would not get upset because his contact information is displayed as it should be.
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Eldon
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Nicholas:
You would think that the agent would realize how important it is for you to hand out his card instead of your own. Kyle has the right idea. Take care of your agents and they will take care of you.
Salazar Magic
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Quote:
On 2003-01-04 19:02, The Village Idiots wrote:
I don't hand out business cards like a Japanese business man.


Have you ever seen a Japanese Business man hand out their card? They hand it out with both hands palm up followed by a bow. The reciever takes time to read the card in front of the man before putting it into their pocket.
TheDean
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I think we all agree that giving out OUR contact information when an agent originally books the gig is not good business.

Funny, out of now 30 replies, very few have addressed the original question. We all got off on the "ethics" of giving out our card at an agents gig...

Quote:
MAGIC STREAK - "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!"


Here's one opinion and experience:

YES!

Now everybody has their own style and way of getting them into the hand of the perspective new business friend.

- Some use the card in a trick
- Some wait till asked
- Some just plow them into the guests hands asked-for or not
... like I said, each handle it differently.

In THIS situation, I base it on rapport'...

If I make a "reasonable connection" or if they "ask", I freely give them out. (My cards for my gigs... other cards for other gigs...) If, on the other hand it doesn't feel right, I don't.

I wish I had a more slick marketing, sexy type answer but I don't.

I just do what "feels right". It has worked for me for 30 years... though I do LOVE to see what "works" for others here too! Never too old to learn, ya' know!

Any more ideas?

I am at your service and in His service,
Deano

Smile
Dean Hankey, *M.D. - The Dean of Success Solutions!
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"Book More Shows... Make More Money... SERVE MORE PEOPLE! - Not Necessarily In That Order…"

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Stuart Cumberland
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For me, I've solved the problem.

I've never had business cards, therefore, no dilemma! Smile

I ask for the "askee's" business card instead. In my pocket I almost always carry a few 3x5 file cards. If the person has a card, I take it and make a quick note on the back. If the person does not have a card, I take out the file card and make a note.

The next day (or that night), I write a thank you note and send it to that person. (If you need ideas on how/what to write, check out How To Master The Art Of Selling by Tom Hopkins).

If the gig is mine, I handle the business. If an agent, I make a copy of the cards and forward all the info to the agent for handling. I then follow up with the agent to make sure the customer was handled quickly and properly.

Now, I used to get cards from agents and hand them out... but you lose complete control over the situation. You are gambling that the person doesn't lose the card, gambling they will call the agent and gambling that the agent will do a good job.

I don't gamble. I make sure the job gets done right.

The beauty is, there's no ethic problems this way.

Blair

Stage Hypnosis Secrets Revealed:www.Mental-List.com/masterhypnosis.htm
Stuart Cumberland
Lee Darrow
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Mr. Robertson has an excellent idea regarding handling the issue, both when working for yourself and for an agent.

Listen, learn and apply the message.

Trade shows are another matter. I usually ask for the person's card instead of giving them mine and do Mr. Robertson's notes deal on the back. I also ask when it would be convenient to phone them to discuss the opportunity. JOT THIS DOWN and FOLLOW THROUGH! You just made an appointment to speak with a potential client!

When I get back to my office (at home, natutally), I enter the info into my contact management program (I use Act!) and print out a cover letter, pack a mailer with the appropriate promo material based on their expressed interest, and fire it off.

Some notes on this part of the process - mark the material PERSONAL and do NOT have your logo on the envelope. Secretaries are notoriously protective of their Bosses' privacy and will drop what THEY consider junk mail (read: promo kits) in the circular file faster than Robertio Giobbi's Classic Pass!

Keep it simple, professional and address WHAT THEY ASKED YOU ABOUT in your cover letter.

Follow up on the date you agreed on and go from there.

Hope this helps as well.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
http://www.leedarrow.com
<BR>"Because NICE Matters!"
TheDean
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Reno, Nevada
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I agree that one should never just "hand-out" cards, but always 'exchange' information as it has been also suggested here. (I just assumed that that is what we all, already did... sorry for leaving that out.)

True, my "BUSINESS" card(s) are very different than MOST as they hosts a prominent lead generation offer and very BOLD call to action. For a 2 by 3 hunk of card stock it is a very powerful business-building device and it produces LOTS of RESULTS and real-live paying gigs.

VERY NICE DISCUSSION GANG!

I remain at your service and in His service,
Deano
Dean Hankey, *M.D. - The Dean of Success Solutions!
Serving & Supporting YOU and Your Success!
"Book More Shows... Make More Money... SERVE MORE PEOPLE! - Not Necessarily In That Order…"

(*Marketing Doctor) Smile
Neale Bacon
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Burnaby BC Canada
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I will give out a card if someone asks me, but I will never discuss the gig while on someone else's time.
I explain "Right now I am on (the employers) time, so I would love to discuss this with you when I have a break, or you can give me your card so I can touch base with you."
It shows respect for the person who hired me, and show the prospective client I will respect their time and money the same way.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
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magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Pickles:
Very well said and I agree 100%. I always say that what you do before and after your performance, and how you conduct yourself, is just as important as your show. People will remember your kindness and professional manner. This in many ways will also get you more work.

I always give out card whenever I can. However, I never would give out my own card at someone else's gig. I would also not give out cards before a performance. I always wait till after the show is done before I talk with anyone regarding contact information and cards. It is just a professional thing to do.

You do not like what idea. Please be specific and that way we might be able to comment on it. Thanks.
Kyle Peron

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