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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » A Stupid Question... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Big Daddy Cool
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This might seem like a stupid question, but can Lofty credits on your resume hinder rather than help you when it comes to marketing?
Swing hard, swing often, and we'll catch ya on the Flip-Side!
John Pyka
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The Drake
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No such thing as a stupid question.

I only see lofty credits being a problem if you are less expensive than your marketing indicates. If you look way more expensive than you really are then clients may be intimidated and not contact you.

I owned a dj business years ago and we would go to bridal shows with all huge trussing setups with big screen projectors and all the toys. Most people walked by us because in their words..." I couldn't afford you"

On average I'd say lofty credits can only help.

Best,

Tim
MattWayne
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I think lofty credits could hurt your business- if you solely wish to continue on-in say your hometown. I'm originally from York, PA- after I toured overseas for a few years, and then came back home-- noone hired me. They thought I was too expensive. True my prices went up, but in no way were they outrageous. I then realized I had to expand outward, and moved myself to New York City. Here the market is much bigger than that of that small town in Pennyslvania.

Tim has a great point also about your marketing material. If you go all out on your promotional pieces, and charge a smaller fee than what the material hypes you up to be, there will be doubt in a clients mind. Prices should carry over with the promo material.

This could also hurt you too. It's going to set you apart from say, 'Bobby the magician.' Why would someone hire you- when they could get Bobby for next to nothing. There's either two things wrong then. Your prices are way too high for the market, or your act is too good for that particular venue. You then step it up a notch and market higher.

There never is a stupid question!
regards,
Matt
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Dannydoyle
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If you can't back them up then YES NO DOUBT they can hurt.

If your act for whatever reason does not live up to the lofty credits then yes it hurts even if they are true.

For example you never want anyone to say "how could this guy ever have worked such and such? He sucks!"

If you have a client who is looking to spend less than the credits imply you are worth, it may be tough.

Sure it can hurt, but it can help also.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Father Photius
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I think it varies with the type of credit you give. Some are a "stretch", such Performed at the White House, but you mean you did a few tricks in front of the white house down the street, or just went across from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and did a couple of tricks. I've also seen "performed with....." and various big A list celebrities named. And the reality is that some big celebrity did a bit on the Jerry Lewis Telethon in Las Vegas and the performer in question a few hours later did a bit on the local TV station airing the same.
If you really didn't front for them, work their show, don't mention it. Like Danny says, people will look at you and go "no way this jerk worked for .....", same for the white house and royality, etc. Some guy who has an honorary knighthood bought over the internet is not royality, and neither are most pretenders to thrones, so unless it was a real command performance don't say that.
Keep it honest, and keep it in line with your real performing and skill level.
I can honestly say "I've performed before the Great Blackstone and Mark Wilson" (and a good number of others), but I would never put that in my promo advertising. I can assure you the magic I did before Uncle Harry was nothing to brag about.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Big Daddy Cool
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OK, let's change gears a little. Can no publicized credits be a hinderence or is it neutral?
Swing hard, swing often, and we'll catch ya on the Flip-Side!
John Pyka
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Christian & Katalina
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BDC,

“Credits” is an interesting word, by that word I will take it to mean previous accomplishments and/or kudos from previous clients.

Credits are almost always going to be beneficial as long as they are used correctly and that they fit into the context of your marketing. This begs the first question, what market are you attempting to work in and at what pay level?

Before anyone reads your credits they are first going to acquire a feel about your print or electronic (website) material.

Does it look professional?
What level of professionalism does it speak?
What do your pictures say about you? (Truly this is where a picture does speak a thousand words.)
What about your name, show name, or paragraph titles, what do they say?

After they have scanned all this, then they begin to read the copy. (if they haven’t tossed it into the trash can)

If you have pictures of you performing birthday parties and your credits are a listing of Fortune 500 companies, there is going to be a credibility problem. Buyers of entertainment are a bit more savvy today then they were even 10 years ago. Many people know that anyone with a computer can create an impressive list of companies on their website. Years ago, if you wanted to get hired you had to go through an agency and that agency would ensure your credits were genuine. Today entertainers try to bypass the agencies and create their own credibility and many times not too well and with not too much honesty. There are no more gate keepers.

Ask yourself, what do I want my credits to say to my client. Then create a format that delivers that message. Most people just splash a list of “past clients” or “magic competitions” on a page like a trophy case. What does that say? So many times less is more.

I was looking at the website of a professional juggler. He had a picture of himself standing next to CEO of a large corporation with that CEO’s quote. He also had a video of him with another CEO, with that CEO stating what a fantastic show he had just watched. Hard to beat credits like that.

So what does an absence of credits say to a prospective client?

That you are new to the market.
That you don’t work.
That you are so bad you can’t list people you have worked for.

If a company does not know who you are, they are almost always (in my experience) going to want some sort of proof, recommendation, or verification that you are good. There are ways to display your credits in the context of your advertising or marketing but it would be difficult for me to believe that you could last long with no credits displayed in your marketing.

Photius, I agree with your words. I have seen some of what you are talking about first hand.

Christian & Katalina
Milbourne Christopher Award for Mentalism 2011
The Annemann Award for Menatalism 2016
Author of "Protoplasm" Close-up Mentalism
Big Daddy Cool
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Christian & Katalina - Fantastic website! I love it.

Good stuff here folks. Keep it coming...
Swing hard, swing often, and we'll catch ya on the Flip-Side!
John Pyka
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Dannydoyle
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If the credits are selling your show, you may be selling your show wrong in the first place.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Big Daddy Cool
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I was recently lambasted by someone I thought was a mentor who does not understand the market that I have made my living for so long. It made me realize that context of experience is very important. Because my frame of refernce is so differnt from many here, I may be asking the wrong questions, looking for answers that can not be answered here.

I recently had a discussion with a very successful burlesque performer in Oakland, CA. She is a celebrity in her town, and has been on national TV numerous times (as have I) Her theater shows sell out. She never gets calls to do private work.

This was again reiterated to me by another variety performer who gets calls to do spot acts in theater revues, and makes a ton of money. But any corporate or convention work is seldom, and just considered gravy. He is performing full time - in theaters shows. He is also a media celebrity.

These performers, I discovered are experiencing the same types of things I have.

My conclusions based on the multiple discussions here are:
1) Lofty credits help give you credibilty to a ticket buying audience. It tells them that hey, this show will be good because even though I may not be familier with this performer, he/she has credits that validate them.
2) Publicity does not equal income. Publicity I have recieved and continue to recieve has been focused around a theater show/appearance, aimed at selling tickets to that show/event. While my media celebrity may translate into ticket sales, it does not always translate into private shows/bookings. This is neither a good thing, or a bad thing, just the way it is.
3) What works well in one market does not always work well in another. For example, "benefits selling" will never generate ticket sales, and "experience selling" will never generate corporate sales. Again, neither good or bad, just the way it is.
4) Being an expert in one market, does not make you an expert in another.
5) Past success does not gaurantee future success.
6) Truth is influenced by our own point of view, which is formed out of our experience. What is true for one, is not always true for another.

These discussions have been important to me as an entertainer, and has really helped me make some important decisions about the direction my future will take.
Swing hard, swing often, and we'll catch ya on the Flip-Side!
John Pyka
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Christian & Katalina
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Good Points BDC.

I remember the interview by Jerry Seinfeld. He said after his very successful HBO stand up comedy special he received almost zero bookings or requests for shows. Then he went on Jay Leno for a few minutes and the phone rang off the hook. He even admitted that it did not seem to make sense to him.

Publicity does not equal income. I think publicity must be orchestrated to create a marketing opportunity. I am surely not an expert at this but it does sound like Curtis Lovell has some solid experience on this.

I am not sure I like the term “Lofty Credits”, but I do believe that solid believable credits are almost always going to help you.

As far as stating being an expert in one market does not make you an expert in another market is an absolutely true statement. And I have the war wounds to prove it. Katalina and I have worked a few different markets and quickly found out the rules are different in each market. We have also learned there are very few short cuts. It takes time and money to entrench and be successful in a new market.

Not sure about what you mean in #5 but I will restate it to this. Past success in one market does not guarantee future success on a different market.

#6 I agree with and we could debate and philosophize on that statement for hours. (over a nice bourbon and cigar) I have talked with other performers working the same market with the same success with totally different concepts and attitudes. It always surprises me.

I am also somewhat dismayed that BDC and thrown out some good questions and he has been attacked. I will be the first to admit, I don’t know it all. But, it would seem that many people take zealous pride in either giving sarcastic glib answers or outright flaming someone who is simply asking good questions.

My grandmother said if you can’t say something nice about someone . . . . .

Christian & Katalina
Milbourne Christopher Award for Mentalism 2011
The Annemann Award for Menatalism 2016
Author of "Protoplasm" Close-up Mentalism
Dannydoyle
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First off while that saying is nice, it is not helpfull. Things that are not "nice" can often be what we learn the most from. IF we are big enough to listen.

I hope I wasn't one you thought gave glib answers for I did not.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Big Daddy Cool
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Danny,
I don't think he was talking about you.

I have been attacked by people who don't or can't undertand the complexity of some of the questions I asked and the issues I've been dealing with. Having questions and seeking answers does not make one a failure, it reflects the heart of someone seeking knowledge with a desire to be teachable. Some on this board have demonstarted their inability to teach or be taught.

I believe what Proverbs says about "there is wisdom in the council of many." Only a foolish person would jump into murky waters without first consulting with others who have already done so.

In magic, we are tought to portray a powerful, confident persona. On stage that is fine, but the truth is that we are all often insecure and unconfident. We all need the counsel of many at times.

And Christian, you restated #5 beautifully.
Swing hard, swing often, and we'll catch ya on the Flip-Side!
John Pyka
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