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Dennis Michael
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Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

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maybe you could deliver them to peoples mailboxes?

This has been tried and the postal authorities will come down on you like a hawk (USA). It is illegal to place anything in those "official" mailboxes; however, mail in the form of card packs and advertisers coupons has been tried and they are not as powerful a marketing tool as one may believe. A mailed picture postcard is a very powerful marketing tool.

convince the stores to put your flyers in customers' bags

Now this would work. An even better Marketing tool is in the local diners. One Clown has placed crayons and a coloring picture of clowns (himself) on the counter. When parents came in they get a picture for the child to color. It was so good the parent took the picture home and placed it on the refigerator. Guess what was on the bottom and back of the picture? His contact information. It must work well because that same diner has been doing this for over a year. Creative, hitting the target market, inexpensive, this is powerful marketing.

So here's a free marketing tool. Have a caricature made of yourself doing magic or several action shots in caricature format. Order a gross of crayons from Oriental Trading post, go into a diner and ask if they would like pictures for the kids to color while the parents read the menus. It's no cost to them and they have nothing to lose. What do you gain? Again the target market is focused properly.
Dennis Michael
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783 Posts

Profile of mdspark

Thanks for all the great information.
Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
941 Posts

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Was interested to learn about new locations as always, and found our friend mdspark's area nicely illustrated on:

Smile Smile
Steven Steele
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Chief of Staff
Hesperia, California USA
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Actually, the mall is on private property and believe it or not the owners have the right to limit "free speech" as they see fit. I know it's a bummer, but oh well.

Having said that, you just have to try marketing. Peter said he doesn't do yellow pages, but uses the local paper. In my community, you will starve using the local paper and do better using the yellow pages. Like others have said, marketing is a skill you have to develop. Try everything that is consistent with your business vision.

Jon Gallagher
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Elmwood, Illinois
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I used to work at a pizza place and every box that went out of that place had to have a flyer stuck to the top of it. We allowed other businesses to put their advertisment on half of that flyer, providing they paid for the printing and produced at least 5000 of them. This made it look like our pizza place endorsed whatever business it was. In the case of Rent to Own Stores, or Cash Advance Stores, this wasn't good. In the case of magicians, it was great.

Total cost for the printing was around $100.00 and if you couldn't book a show out of 5000 of those, then there was something wrong with your flyer.

New management at the pizza place put an end to it, but it was good while it was going on!

Hey! I'm finally a Dot Com!
Brent Allan
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Profile of Brent Allan
Another thing to consider in the "flyers on the windshield" debate is this story that happened to a pizza place I worked for that did this same thing. We would have flyers with coupons put under people's wiper blades. The "flyer distributors" were always very careful.

Anyway, one day the pizza place got a call from an angry customer. "Whoever put your flyer on my car snapped my wiper clean off! Either you pay for it, or I will sue!"

Well, the flyer guy was very sure he did not snap off the wiper, but what could they do? Either way, it was bad publicity! The pizza place wound up replacing the guy's whole windshield wiper assembly, which ended up costing a few hundred bucks, I believe.

So, is it worth it to open yourself up to those kind of hassles by touching someone's personal property?
Turn your business card into a relentless salesperson that brings you business!
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

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No matter where you go you will still have people trying to get truckers to pay for their damaged windshild by a stone thrown from that truck whether is was true or not. I doubt that windshield was broken, but it was a way for someone to blame another to pay for the wiper assembly.

You will have this "anti-establishment" in any businesss. Including doing a magic show, that is why so many people here on the Café insist on getting liability insurance.

I'm waiting for someone to successfully win on spamming. Can I sue because they fill up my mail box with unsoliated Email and I lose clients because of their junk mail?
Dennis Michael
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Profile of p.b.jones
Hi Den,
I do not know that this is all anti establishment, many people are out to sue just for the money and will sue an individual just as quickly as a large business (indeed here in the UK TV programs and personal accident companies are actively encouraging such actions) Whilst I would not take action against a truck if a stone hit, smashed my windscreen. I certainly would take action against any damage caused to my car that I perceived to be from car fly posting.

The way I see it is this, there are many items that we may not use in our acts because we think they might offend someone however small the minority. Why then would we be happy to offend many people (in my experience) by car fly posting?

Perhaps the car parks which have these "no solicitation policies" are just out to keep their customers happy and free from such hassles. I have seen a car fly poster getting a slap for posting on a car with someone sitting in it. I think that the, "if in doubt, leave it out" applied to magic is something to think about in Marketing too.
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Profile of tboehnlein
Just curious what type of response do those of you get that use the auto signs.
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

Profile of Dennis Michael

What is being said related to Marketing, is that the concept of posting flyers on windsheilds is a valid way of getting the message across. Does it work? My response is yes, it does work.

As for offending people, every time the TV is turned on, there are commercials which offend somebody, somewhere, that is why the mute button is so nice on a controller.

What is "politically correct", I believe, is getting out of hand. I really don't believe a flyer damages a wiper blade. The snow and ice does so much damage to them, and so does using them when there is no windshield fluid or rain on the windsheild.

Yes, I too don't like flyers which preach
"the word", however, I have also used those flyers which give $1.00 off next purchase. I do believe there are offensive flyers, such as political statements, and then there are acceptable flyers which people will use. The question is where in this mix does a
"magical flyer" fit?

Since I have not tried this with magic flyers on cars, I haven't got any irrate callers. To really evaluate the effectiveness of this I should try it and see what type of response I would get.

I really don't think it would destroy one's business. A $25.00 off coupon based flyer should work. HMMM... Something to think about.

As for "establishment" I am related to people who are so anti-authority and try to milk the system. (Remember, I came from an urban city in which death and dying is an every day occurance, part of the daily ritual for the people living in these types of environments. The type of environment where a driver is likely to shoot the person putting a flyer on the windsheild is not a good thing!)

I do agree if I came out and my wiper blade was torn off or clearly damaged, I might seek out some form of restitution on the name of the flyer.

Clearly, it sounds like a good Marketing tool and it's effectivness is based on the target market, shopping centers where Moms are likely to be the drivers. (Avoid Home Depot lots though.)
Dennis Michael
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Harris Deutsch
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I had thought of hiring a person to go door to door with a mini flyer.

So far I have not tried it.

What I do, rather than just pass out cards at my shows, is to get other peoples cards and ask if I can email them information on M.S. Word and or Power Point Documents.

Of course I also mention my Tag Line, "Nearly Normal Magic" many times. This seems easy for potential consumers to remember and put in search engines, of course my website is just the usual www and then nearlynormalmagic. and being a .com
it makes it easy to find.

Selling the Nearly Normal Program is of course the trickiest trick of all.


Part Two

My regular job during the work day is working with a fairly large school district.

In fact magic is used as part of my job as
a Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist.
The magic and puppets were part of my being named the 2002 C.O.M.B.A.T. Prevention Specialist of the Year.

What I am getting at is use of publicity of the above, ie.. in an all district (and free)
newletter that goes out to all employees including teachers, paras, administrators, nurses.......

The name of the game seems to be

1. Have a Good Product
2. Letting them know about it
3. Repeat
4. Repeat

Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
music, magic and marvelous toys
Richard Landry
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New user
Chatham, Illinois
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I have tried the Parking lot idea but received a call from the people who clean the parking lot on the very same day. They were quite upset and that was the last time that I tried that. I do go to hair and nail salons and ask permission to place a packet of my b'day flyers on their table where the customers sit and wait. Their customers are mostly women and they are the ones that do most of the hiring for b'day parties. Some of the salons do not want the flyers but a lot of them do and I have received work from these (b'days and festivals).

I have also gone to the local party supply store and gave them a stack of my flyers to hand out in exchange of my taking a stack of their flyers and including them in my b'day packet that I send out when people want more info. I also have a routine in my show that stresses my name to the boys and girls so that they will remember my name and not just
"a magician".

I also use a routine in my show when I am doing a company, festival, etc. that let's everyone know that I do b'day parties. I self promote myself during my show, but not in such an obvious way that it would be offensive. I am currently experimenting with postcards to decrease my mail marketing and could use any advice in this area.
Richard Smile
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67 Posts

Profile of themagician64
I too live in a very small town in West Virginia. Every year I do a free show or a benefit for a local charity. This year, the Humane Society.

I get thousands of dollars in free publicity from the local TV and radio stations by making a guest appearance with some magic! The local newspaper will do a nice big article on me if I show the staff a few tricks when I visit. My phone is ringing off the hook for birthday parties months after.

I also book other charity and fundraising events at a small discount under my regular fees. I even have competition in this small town. The other magicians will not do any free work. They also can't understand how I get so much ink. Hope this helps!
may the Greats Live On!
Daniel Faith
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Neenah, Wisconsin
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To use the Yellow Pages here in Wisconsin, not only do you pay for an expensive ad which I can deal with ... but they also force you to have a separate and dedicated business line. They won't allow me to use my home phone as a business line.

Is it the same for the rest of you?
Daniel Faith
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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That is a common practice so the phone company can get more money out of you! For some the Yellow pages are a waste of money, for others, it does appear to pay off.
Dennis Michael
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Profile of themagician64
Try the Blue Book. You don't have to have another line and the price isn't bad. I know they have this Blue Book as competition for the local phone companies in all parts of the United States.
may the Greats Live On!
Stuart Cumberland
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Rather than buying an expensive yellow pages ad, why not just target your market? Go after them instead of waiting for them to come to you?

DenDowhy is correct. It works for some, it doesn't work for others.

When I was 14 I had the lousiest kidshow magic act in Toronto, and was booked up solid weekend after weekend. I made amazing amounts of cash doing gigs. With no yellow pages. I direct mailed everything.

Now, as a professional hypnotist and mindreader, I still direct market.

I DID have yellow pages for two years, but they did not work out for ME. But I do know several magicians who do general magic who say the ads pay off.

BUT, I was in a position to afford to "waste" money testing. Generally, I don't recommend them.

Hopefully this helps.



FREE Newsletter reveals inside money-making secrets of successful
mentalists & psychics!
Stuart Cumberland
Big Jeff
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If you want to do your own business cards and flyers get a good LASER PRINTER, HP has the Laserjet 1000 that works great. I repair laser printer and re-manufacture the toner cartridges in my own business. HP makes the best printers and everyone in the industry works on them, they are the most popular by far. Flyers printed on an Inkjet printer just don't look as good.

I have done all my own marketing, design and printing for the whole 11 years that I have been in business. I print my own business cards when I am tring to come up with a new design then I take them to a printer because they are much cheaper by the 1000.

Review King
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Eternal Order
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Profile of Review King
Big Jeff, who does your printing? I was thinking of using Kinkos but have no experience with them.
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
I am also surprised that

1) you would be putting flyers on car windshields in the first place
2) that it has actually worked for you at all.

Reputation in the magic business is everything to a performer. Word of mouth travels faster then anything and often times it is word of mouth that can be your best marketing tool.

With this in mind, why would you want people getting frustrated with an advertisement and then seeing your name on the card. Basically to them they now have your name and number and instead of winnning them over, you have only placed in their minds never to use you or to recommend you to any of their friends.

This is what I call negative or reverse marketing. In other words, it is doing you no good.

My thoughts are that there are much easier ways to do what I call TARGET marketing. You want to give out your information to those you want to perform shows for and to those who are seeking entertainment. There are numerous ways of doing this well.

At any party you perform at, always give out business cards, promotional flyers and contact information to the people booking your show.

Also always have promotional materials available in case someone asks you. People are at the party and they have seen your performance. You establish word of mouth and get the cards into the people's hands.

Place them on grocery store community bulletin boards. Most grocery stores in your area probably have what we call community boards. These are boards that are free for people to put up flyers or cards for any business or event in the community. These are a great way to target market your show especially if your targeting kids shows.

Most mothers with young kids go with their kids to the grocery store. These are the people that would book a kids show in the first place.

Just keep in mind that if you are going to try this, make sure to ask if it is ok to post your information. Also make sure your flyer looks professional and stands out from the rest. Please do not use pull off tabs for these kind of flyers. It is unprofessional and looks very bad. The best way to do this is to simply tack on an envelope at the bottom of the flyer and write the word take one on it. Then place your business cards inside. This is an easy and cheap way to get your name out and looks more professional in style then pull off tabs.

Free shows: Another way to target market is to offer a free short magic show for someone you are trying to target market to. I do not know any client that would turn down a free performance. You offer a free performance to them as long as you are allowed to put out your promotional materials and advertise the event. The idea is to do a short 20-30 min show and get people to come to the show that represents the market your trying to reach.

Send e-mails out to potential clients and ask them to attend this free event to find out how you can work magic for them. Perform the show and make sure to have a table there that has promo packets already set up. Then offer to talk with and answer any questions that people may have afterwards. This can really work well for anyone who tries it.

Well there are other methods of target marketing, but this response is long enough. I will send it out and hope that it helps others.

I look forward to hearing from anyone with their thoughts and comments. I can be reached directly at Thanks.
Kyle Peron

Entertainers Product Site

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