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magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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I wanted to post this to see what information and feedback I can get from all of you. I have my own ideas and thoughts, but wanted to see if they might be more inline with what I was thinking as well.

Any ways, I have done tons of kids shows and family style magic and illusion shows over the years. Recently, however, I have been doing more fairs and carnivals and festival work and have gotten a little less bookings in my b-day party gigs.

I have a b-day party show this weekend and I am really looking forward to doing one again sicne it has been a little while. My question is this.

How can I best maximize my promotional efforts while at the b-day party so that I can do the best job in getting my name out and possibly getting more parties from this one?

I would like to build up my b-day party business again but am not sure the best way to go about getting my name out to the folks that would need my services.

When I was marketing for the fairs and festivals, it became easy to research fair organizations and chambers of commerce to get the contact information I needed to send out my marketing material.

With b-day party shows, it seems much more difficult as I feel I can't go that route that worked for the other marketing efforts.

I currently do place up flyers with business cards at super markets and places that I feel mothers of young kids would go. That has helped.

I also will have coloring flyers and certificates for the kids at the party this weekend. Is there any other ideas for getting my name back out there for the b-day party market?

Thanks in advance for all your help. You guys are the best.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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Most of work is parties Kyle and all I do to promote myself is give out flyers to the kids at the party and ensure the kids know my name, My name is on my magic box and on my car parked outside so there is no excuse for the parents not knowing who I am, Once they know my name if they lose the flyer with my number on it they can always find me in yellow pages. All that's needed is to make sure they are so impressed with the way I entertained the kids that not only do they consider booking me, but the kids actually ask for me as well.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Clive:
Thanks so much for your response my friend. You always give some great advice and even though we may have a difference of opinion in some cases, I really do appreciate the thought you put into every post.

Your thinking is really more inline with my own. I was just wondering if there were any other ideas or things I may not be doing at the moment to get my name back out there for the b-day party circut.

I also make sure that my name gets out to the children and the parents at the shows. Because I am an artist, I have designed my own logo and posters and flyers that I use. My logo is also presented and displayed nicely on my rolon table and is in clear view the entire performance.

I also give out my coloring flyers that have my information on them as well as magician assistant certificates that have that information as well. I also usually give the mother booking the party a fridge magnet as well as a few business cards in case anyone asks following my performance.

My best promotional idea though is to present the best show that I can present. To meet their needs and in many cases exceed their own expectations.

Do you or anyone else have any other ideas that I may be able to try, to get my name back out there again until time when the word of mouth starts to pick up again?
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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El_Lamo
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Promotion As A Kid’s Performer: Some Tips

1) Have a website. Put it on everything. Go online to the city directories near you. Electronic Events Calendars, etc. Post your info.

2) Bulletin Boards: Libraries, Art Galleries, Museums, Daycares, Local Restaurants, Sports and Recreation Facilities. Small Professional Flyer with your web page listed. Avoid tear off phone numbers. These look ratty quickly and get thrown out faster. Plus many get ripped off by kids as harmless fun.

3) Flyer an event where kids are prevalent. This is better with permission from the venue.

4) Track birth announcements in your community. Within five years you have a solid data base of prospective clients. Some newspapers do an insert of all the babies born in a year.

5) Start a magic club locally. Contact information can be on-line. Do a monthly one page newsletter for members. (Member information including birthday is needed to receive newsletter.

6) Do a monthly free birthday party gig. Small advertisement in the paper. Announce that you will draw one name by the 15th of the month for the party to be held in the next month. Date and time has some restrictions of course. All the entrants become eligible for a special discount that you inform them about when you contact them after the 15th.
The announcement of the winner each month is also the ad for the next contest. Include a picture of the past party.

7) Give out coupons to scout troops, church groups, service clubs, sports teams, teachers. Coupons are for free balloons at a magic party when booked or a special magical effect in honour of the birthday child. (Of course, you are already doing that, but they don’t know it.)

8) Do strolling magic during parades. Hand out flyers as you go.

9) Do a “Moment of Magic” for your local cable station. Short bits that they can use as filler. I can explain this further if you like.

10) Give your information to restaurants. When parents call to make the reservation for a birthday party, the restaurant can recommend you.

11) Talk to party places, stores that sell invitations. Give them your info.

12) If you theme your show, let others know: Magic and Dinosaurs, Magic and Outer Space, Magic Inside Us, Magic School, etc. (Sometimes the parents know the kid is bananas about the topic. The magic is bonus for them.)

13) Do Random Moments of Magic. Hand out your flyer.

14) Go to a toystore. Offer to demo a magic kit they sell. They do all the advertising. You show up and perform for kids using the kit. Parents buy the kit for their kids. Perform One of your best closers. Obviously not in the kit. Now do your birthday pitch. (This is great for the store and great for you!). The store may have a birthday list already that they will share for your services.

15) Use your flyer as a bookmark. Put it inside every magic book at the library.

Cheers – El Lamo
Life is a system of circumstance presented coincidently in an illusory way.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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El Lamo;
These are some WONDERFUL ideas. thank you so much. Most of these I am already currently doing so that is nice to see I am on the right path.

However, you have given me some great ideas I have not thought about before. Thank you for sharing that information with me as it is greatly appreciated.

Does anyone else have other ideas to add? Thank you all.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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Jeff Haas
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Advertise in the Parent's magazine in your area. This usually a monthly publication given out at bookstores and other local businesses, printed on newsprint.

There will usually be a bunch of ads from other entertainers (pony rides, clowns, face painters, puppet shows, etc etc.) in it. A lot of parents will use this as a resource for their kids.

Jeff
Neale Bacon
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Burnaby BC Canada
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If you are talking about promotion AT the party, I use 2 stand by's - the colouring page and my trading card

The coloring page of course ends up on the friodge as a year round ad for me

The trading card is like a hockey card and goes over very well.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Jeff:
Thanks for the great advice on the parents magazine. I have the information on that and may set up to advertise in there real soon. If I do advertise in there, what ideas for copy would you or anyone reccomend to make mine stand out above the others?

Neale:
Thanks a lot for the ideas. I was thinking of both AT the party as well as other ideas that I can do outside of the party as well to get my name back out there and generate more b-day party business.

Being an artist, I do already have a business card, coloring flyers and my own certificates. I give these out at every show I do and have worked pretty well.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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iwragg
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Hi Kyle.

A few ideasi use to promote myself, I designed my Magicians Assistant Certificate, that has my name, number website addy on. All the kids get 1. Of course since you know the birthday childs name theirs is printed personally. I also designed some stickers on Word and print out these out labels in full colour they look great, of course they also my name and number on. Oh yes I also took a leaf out of 1 my local Chinese takeaways, I designed a Calender with all the months on the 1 page. The childs birthday is highlighted and of you guessed it. It has all of details on it as well as nice pic of me and the bunny.

HTH

Ian Smile
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Ian:
Thanks for the ideas. Much appreciated. I do have the flyers and certificates and magnets and business cards. they are all set and ready to go. I also have my logo on everything from my table to my cases that are brought in for the performance.

What other methods, outside of the party, can I do as well to get my name out there and in the marketplace for b-day parties?

All these ideas are wonderful. I thought about an ad in yellow pages but around here you are required to have a business line before they give you an ad.

I also like the idea mentioned regarding advertising in the local parenting magazines. Is there any other magazines or papers that people have advertised in that have given them good results?
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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http://kpmagicproducts.com

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Andini
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Columbus, OH
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Lamo, is it legal to send mailings to people with newspaper birth-listings?
El_Lamo
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Yes, (At least in Canada, it is)

It is prospecting. It is a cold call. Usually, you don't tell them how you obtained the information.

The information was obtained from a public document. It would be illegal to get the driver's office to give you info or the library, etc.

But if someone places the information in a public newspaper, they have shared the info.

Cheers - El Lamo

You send your flyer out a month or two in advance of the birthday. I would address it to the parents of course. The person (parent) may see it as serendipitous that it arrived. "How magical, just when we were trying to think of what special thing we could do for Little Trevor."

Added November 13th: Andini, I live in a very small city in a rural area. Culling addresses may be more useful for me. I imagine big city folks would find it less useful as compared to my other suggestion of approaching kid oriented places.
Life is a system of circumstance presented coincidently in an illusory way.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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I will have to pay closer attention to these announcements as I have not really seen them in my local papers. Do they have the person's address? How do you obtain their contact information?
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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http://kpmagicproducts.com

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El_Lamo
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Kyle,

I have pmed you. I took a few minutes to grab information. I used google. It is very, very easy.

Check your local papers for birth announcements. They are fairly common. Older papers will be available on microfiche or microfilm or cd at your local library. You can go there and look at five, six, seven, eight year old birth announcements.

The one glitch is the tragic and terrible reality that the child may have died. I would send the info to the parent and not mention the child by name.

Cheers - El Lamo

P.S. This is called data mining.
Life is a system of circumstance presented coincidently in an illusory way.
Emazdad
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I for one would not dream of sending out "Cold Calling" letters to people to tout for business. I can't think of a quicker way to hack people off.

I like most people hate any form of cold call or junk mail and throw it in the bin. Any firm that sends me Junk Mail, Spam, or Phones me will not get my custom.

If they've enclosed a postage paid envelope then I usually put all the bits they send me in the envelope and send it back to them, thus costing that company more money.

Kyle one quick question, what name do you work under is it one that's easy for people to remember?
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
El_Lamo
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Emazdad,

A "cold call" is a sales term for any contact that you make that is not based on a hot lead. Hot leads are usually customer enquiries in the recent past. Very recent past. If you wait to long, it becomes a cold call.

Do you ever send info to people who have booked you before. That's a cold call! Your above post sounds like you never send "cold call" letters. If this is so, then you are missing repeat business. Repeat business is the easiest to follow up on.

I understand your aversion to sending junk mail. Don't make it look like junk mail. Don't send a reply envelope. If they are interested, they will phone. (E.T. phone home!)

Lots of people open unsolicited mail. You are selling a service. Lots of people just need to know more about it.

Why do pizza places send out flyers? Because pizza ordering is spur of the moment and people like the prompt. People like prompts. In the U.S. Walmart doesn't usually do flyers. In Canada, they realized they needed to use them. People expect them.

Your flyer in an envelope is a directed sales technique. I can tell by your other posts that you would make sure that it was a quality approach!

Cheers - El Lamo

Added: November 13th: Please consider the above line "If this is so, then you are missing repeat business." to be better read as "If this is so, then you could be missing some repeat business."
Life is a system of circumstance presented coincidently in an illusory way.
Emazdad
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Hi El Lamo, I understand where your coming from but
I never send out anything to past customers or to prospective bookers, if they want me they'll phone me. The only thing I ever send out to a customer is the contract for the booking.

I feel that for someone starting out who's new to the business some of your suggestions would be a good way of initially getting your name out there, but if after your established you still have to put all that effort into your marketing then you need to sit back and see whether your actually spending a lot of time, money and effort unneccessarily. Ask yourself this, Do you need to put in all this work and would your phone still ring if you stopped or cut back on all this marketing. If the kids are going home from the party telling Mum and Dad they want you at their party it will ring, if they're not then why not?

It's like I've always said I let my show be my main advertisement and apart from my car being sign written, my yellow pages advert, the flyers I give to the kids at parties and my website (which just sits there I don't spend any time or money putting it on search engines, it costs me a small sum for the hosting etc and that's it.) I don't do any other form of marketing. I don't send stuff to agents, all my work is direct, occassionally one will phone me but it's at such short notice I'm always already booked.

By not pestering past bookers I'm not missing out on repeat bookings as most of my work is repeat bookings/word of mouth anyway. I turn away more enquirys than I can handle at the moment. I've just increased my prices to slow the work down and it hasn't made a difference. Between now and xmas eve I've only got 3 days I'm not working and that's the Mon 24th, Tue 25th,& Wed 26th November. January and February work is now coming in.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Billy Whizz
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Quote:
On 2003-11-13 06:47,
Your above post sounds like you never send "cold call" letters. If this is so, then you are missing repeat business. Repeat business is the easiest to follow up on.



That's rubbish, I get all my repeat work from people that have seen me before. I've NEVER had to send out letters to previous bookers to try and get repeat work. If your show is good enough, they'll book you without you having to send them a letter. Maybe you should review your show to make a sronger impact, that might do the trick.
El_Lamo
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Quote:
On 2003-11-13 09:29, Billy Whizz wrote:
Quote:
On 2003-11-13 06:47,
Your above post sounds like you never send "cold call" letters. If this is so, then you are missing repeat business. Repeat business is the easiest to follow up on.




That's rubbish, I get all my repeat work from people that have seen me before. I've NEVER had to send out letters to previous bookers to try and get repeat work. If your show is good enough, they'll book you without you having to send them a letter. Maybe you should review your show to make a sronger impact, that might do the trick.



Mr. Whizz,

I love your quick dismissal. I am sure that you get all your repeat business from the way you describe. But you might get more, if you sent out a letter to your past bookers.

Thank you, I have changed the above post to say "You could be missing some repeat business." If that clarifies my point.

Think of it as your newsletter. Not monthly, but periodically when you choose. The booker doesn't know that everyone isn't getting it then. You send it at the most timely fashion to encourage more repeat business.

You already have an established relationship. Why not follow up.

I am not talking about begging. It has nothing to do with the quality of the show. It has to do with building relationships.

That is why, it is a good idea after a show to send a letter to the booker as well, thanking them for choosing you, telling them how much you enjoyed working with them and performing for Little Trevor's special occassion. Encouraging them to keep you in mind for future events.

Now if you have so many bookings that you don't care to waste time following up on past sales... way to go.

Cheers - El Lamo
Life is a system of circumstance presented coincidently in an illusory way.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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I agree with El lamo and I do also thank Clive and others for posting their thoughts, ideas and opinions. It all has been a big help to me.

If you now have so many bookings through word of mouth that you do not have to do anything but let the phone ring, then congratulations to you all. That is most wonderful and the best of all worlds. It does mean you are doing something right.

However, my main question is focused on how do you get to that level? No one starts out with coming up with a show and just sitting there and hoping the phone will ring for them. It does not work that way.

Clive mentioned a few things that he did or does and that is more in line with what I am referring to.

When breaking into a new market or trying to return to a market that you may have left a while back, you have to do some sort of self-promotion or marketing to get your name known in that market and to get the shows so you can start getting that word of mouth working for you. This is where my question was really focused more towards.

My shows are good and I get great feedback and word of mouth in the markets I work now. The calls come in and I am comfortable with that.

It is getting into new markets or getting back into old markets I stopped doing a few years back, that is where I am trying to go now.

What are the ways you guys have used to get things started in a new market and to get your name out there BEFORE the word of mouth starts working for you?

I also agree that I hate junk mail. But the word there is JUNK. I like to say that being an artist and a graphic designer, that all of my promotional materials, flyers and letters and kits are not junk nor do they look that way at all. To me they are information packets that help a potential client answer the many questions that he or she may have. They look professional in every way and just become a marketing tool for me.

I also send out thank you letters and questionnares following every performance. Often times, this letter is addressed to the b-day child. It makes them feel special to receive mail from the magician and the parents love the fact that I have spent the time to thank them for having me. It keeps my name fresh in their minds and they may tend to pass my name on to others.

The questionare acts as a way for me to get feedback from my shows. It is both simple and easy to do and they certainly do not have to fill it out if they prefer not to. But I learn in this fashion and have gotten a lot of great leters and quotes from it.

But getting back to my main question here, everyone at some point has tried to break into a new market. Even if that was when you first started trying to get b-day party gigs.

What did you do when you started? What promotions worked best for you?

Clive:
To answer yourone question, our stage name is "The Magical Illusions of Kyle and Kelly" I have my well designed logo on everything I have at the party including the table I use during the performance. Most people just know us as Kyle and Kelly because it has a nice ring to it and it is easy to remember.

They also know me because of the outfit I wear. I am the only magician in my area to wear a red tuxedo jacket and the only one who wears white and black tux shoes. It is a simple thing, but it makes me stand out and allows the people to recognize me as the magician in the red jacket.

I hope this answers your question. Thanks again guys for your posts.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

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