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Chrystal
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Hi Elamo,

It is nice to see that you remember what the spirit of the Café represents...Magicians helping Magicians. Your suggestions are valid and may hold true to assist those that are trying to build a client base.

To dismiss his ideas and call them rubbish is not in accordance with the spirit of the Café. All ideas are valid and all posters views should be taken as such, although you may not agree with them.

While you have certainly told the Café a number of times how many shows each of you do, you have found what works for you. Please don't be so quick to dismiss a point as it may be what works for others. We are talking about starting a client base not just commenting on an existing one. Everyone has to start somewhere. The point being to assist not just the person that asked the question but keeping in mind all the others that are reading the information in order to gain more knowledge.

Smile >>goes back to polishing halo.(lol)
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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Chrystal:
Thank you so much for your thoughts and kind words. I think some of us tend to get used to the fact that we are established and are getting the calls the way we want them to.

You are exactly right though. My main question is that at some point in time, everyone has tried to break into a new market or to obtain new clients in order to GET more established and get word of mouth working. This is the area I am trying to focus more on.

I am trying to get some ideas and thoughts on what has worked for others when they first started out in a new market. What worked for them and what did not. what various ideas did they try to generate new business through marketing etc.

Thanks again Chrystal. It is much appreciated. I love the Café and the many friends I have have come to know here. I respect all of your opinions and advice even if I may not always agree with them.

Let's see if we can get back on focus and come up with various ways to market yourself to a new market place.

Thanks.
Kyle Peron

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Al Kazam the Magic Man
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You always put it so nicely Chrystal. I agree wholeheartedly with you as well.
Kind regards,
Your friend,
JoJo
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
Emazdad
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Plymouth UK
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Some of you seem to be missing the point, There is lots of ways you can market yourself at the start, but If your show isn't strong enough you will be decribed as "The guy we had was old and had brown hair, his show was OK" as opposed to "We had Gandalf the magician he was great, the kids loved him, we tried to get him again this year but he was busy". You want them to remember your name, not just have a flyer with it on.

The best way to get your name out there is let you audience and booker do it for you, an average kids show has 20ish kids each have a birthday. You want them all to remember your name and tell mum they want you for their party. Even if they don't book you their mum will pass your name on her friends etc etc etc. The booker wont need a reminder next year as they'd have seen you at their friends parties that they reccomended you too.

If after a year your having to chase up last years bookers to see if they want you then something your doing is bnot working.
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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Clive I totally understand where you are coming from and my initial post and question was assuming you already have a show and it is not only good, but is working for you as well.

With this said, at times every magician, even the good ones with great shows, need to or want to break into a new market they are not currently involved in. If this is the case, then you need to market yourself in some sort of fashion to get your name out there and to start getting those shows where by you can prove your self and get that word of mouth working for you.

Your comment is absolutely correct though. You must have a good show, and a strong one at that, if you hope to have the word of mouth start working for you.

I have done that in my other markets and it has been working great for me. People love not only my show and performance, but I find they tend to like me and my personality and what I bring to them. I often exceed their expectations.

I am just now trying to go into new markets or to get back into some older markets I left a while back. Because of this, I have found a new interest in learning as much about marketing my magic as I can.

I hope this at least clarifies where I am coming from.

:D
Kyle Peron

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Neale Bacon
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Now I see where you are aiming!

One thing I tried that worked well was to put brochures in the local party shops. I designed them with a space for their stamp, and told them if anyone mentions that they heard about me through the store, I would give the store $25.

Check out your area and see if there is a Parents type newspaper. Around here we have one called West Coast Families and a lot of performers advertise in it.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
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magic4u02
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Thanks Neale:
These are the exact types of sugestions and ideas I am after and I hope it spraks others to follow your lead with their own idea that have worked for them getting into new markets and establishing themselves.

We do have a few parenting magazines in the area and I will have to check them out in regards to advertising there. The problem is that there are other entertainers and magicians listed there as well. I guess you would have to spend the time making your ad not only stand out from the crowd, but making people see a difference in your services as opposed to the others. Has anyone had any luck with these types of ads?

I like the idea of the party shops. My only concern was what benefit would the store have for putting my stuff up in their store. Why would they want to display my stuff if they are not getting anything in return?

Have you done this? If so what did you say to them in your initial meeting and what did you offer them to get them to display your stuff.

I could really see this working in my area, but I want to make sure I make it worth the effort for the store to place my stuff there.

Any other ideas on this?
Kyle Peron

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kenscott
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I think for the first time I have to disagree with Clive in a BIG WAY. I lecture and preach that you should have the best show. Some courses that you buy say have a good show. I say have the BEST. I do get most of work from word of mouth, people see me, repeats. I would say that is 75% of my work. However, I still mail to everyone with newsetters to them just to keep in contact. I know this topic was more about birthday's but when you do a family that has a child that is 9 years chances are you are not going to be doing them when they are 13 or 14 but I would love to keep in touch with them just because they may not use me but their friends will.

Mailings? I do about 80 to 90 library shows a year and the show KILLS but I still mail out to them in Jan. for them to start thinking about the summer and dates.

Totally agree your show should speak for itself. But McDonalds has a great product for YEARS yet they stillhave print ad every where I still get coupons in the mail from them all the time.

But I guess we all have our own ways of doing the BIZ.
what works for one may not for the other.
Ken
magic4u02
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Ken:
Thanks and I totally agree with you. What methods or promotion and target marketing worked or have worked best for you when you were first starting out OR when you were trying to get into a new market you have not worked before?
Kyle Peron

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kenscott
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Well if you trying to get birthday you can mail out to unknown people. But postcards work great for daycares, schools, libraries. Post cards are a cheap way to get "those" that may have interest in your show to request more info of your show. The postcard is not going to sell it for you most of time it merely will get them to call you.

Like I said I mail to all my libraries in my state over 600 of them twice a year. I am at a point where I can only book like 85 shows in the summer for them and will get them with just repeat customers.

Schools same but the schools are still a learning curve for me. I mail to them 4 times a year.

My mailings use alot of color. I have a printer that prints FREE for me web site is http://www.freecolorprinters.com Zerox company .

I could talk for hours about this. My friend Bruce Bray who is new to this board just came to Atlanta the other day to see my shows and critique them. We talked and came up with some new mailings that we are going to do. One being a birthay letter to the parents we did the year before.

Ken
magic4u02
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Ken this is awesome information and just the type of thing I was hoping to get information and ideas on. I may like to PM or e-mail you if that would be ok?

I have a bunch of questions, thoughts and ideas and I would like to get your thoughts on them since you have done this before and it has worked for you.

I have a promotional packet as well as posters and postcards I have designed myself. being a graphic designer and artist, that part has always been rather easy for me. I have always just used a lead generation letter when I send out to possible clients.

I love your idea of postcard mailings and that seems like a great way to get my lead information out and get people to possible contact me or go to my web site for further information andpossible bookings.

I will PM or e-mail you shortly and ask you some further detailed questions on it. Thanks again.
Kyle Peron

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p.b.jones
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Hi,
I have a large percentage of repeat busines and like Emazadad I do not market birthday parties except for the fun sheets that I hand out to all the kids at a party and a yellow pages ad which is actually aimed more at events but brings in birthday parties too.

the only other marketing I use for other show types is direct mail... regardless of the number of people that dislike it ... truth is it works and gets the bookings/enquiries comming in. I also have a promo video but not for kid shows.
I wonder though Kyle why you are wanting to activly market birthday parties now after succes in fairs and larger events ... it seems like a backward move?

Phillip
Billy Whizz
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Quote:
On 2003-11-13 10:58, magic4u02 wrote:
I also agree that I hate junk mail.

They look professional in every way and just become a marketing tool for me.


Hi Kyle,

With respect Kyle, I expect your 'mail' is professional looking, and I understand that you think it is informative. But I imagine that every piece of 'junk mail' I get through my letterbox every day is designed by someone like you, who feels the same way about their 'mail'. Personally, I wouldn't be happy to get this mail through the post, I can't stand receiving junk mail.
Andy Wonder
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Kyle, if you don't have a web site that should be one of your 1st things to get. Most of my clients have seen my site before they book me. Having good sales copy on your web site makes life so much easier. You should put your web site address on all your junk mail.

Clive, you may find that you can fully book up your dairy without doing mail outs to past clients. That is cool but I figure if you added the mail outs & follow ups to past clients (Christmas Cards etc.) The increase in demand would allow you to increase your fees without risking gaps developing in your dairy.

You might decide the higher fees or fuller dairy you could get would not justify the midweek golf you would miss out on as a result of managing the database. And that is a valid issue but once you get a good system up & running it does not take much time to keep it maintained.

I also do it as a courtesy, I find a lot of past clients call me to book repeat shows (usually 12 months later) only to find I am fully booked. I am just starting to send them all reminders nice & early.

Also prompting people to book early helps you full your dairy more efficiently. Last minute bookers usually have already set their event time to 1:00pm on Saturday and can't change it. If you can get them calling earlier before the event time is set, they may still be flexible enough to schedule it for 4:00pm or to a Sunday in order to have you. I've had weekends where I have turned away 3 or 4 parties for a Saturday because I was fully booked, only to have an empty Sunday with nothing or only 1 party on. Hopefully my mail outs to past clients will prevent a lot of this.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Emazdad
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"Clive, you may find that you can fully book up your dairy without doing mail outs to past clients. That is cool but I figure if you added the mail outs & follow ups to past clients (Christmas Cards etc.) The increase in demand would allow you to increase your fees without risking gaps developing in your dairy." ?

Hi Andy, If I was aiming more at the corporate market then I would send out information to companies in the post, I don't aim at that market and if they want me they find me in yellow pages, as I'm only aiming mainly at families I don't send out anything.

My fees are already in the high bracket for my area, I've only just increased them and it hasn't made a difference to my diary although the number of gasps of surprize at the cost has increased. People down here are often on minimum wage, further down in Cornwall it's even worse. The only time I'd consider a more agressive marketing strategy was needed was if my phone stoppped ringing. Sending out 400+ christmas cards, reminder letters etc every year is a costly time consuming exercise I'm really not interested in doing. I worked for a living for 23 years in the Navy, now I'm in a sort of Working/semi-retired way of life and I love it. Lots of shows bringing in lots of money and plenty of spare time to play golf, walk the dog etc etc etc.

there's only one other guy who charges more than me and that's only a tenner more than me, but he doesn't do a lot of parties as he aims himself more at the corporate market, (he's also very unreliable and often drops a birthday client at short notice if a higher paying job comes in). The only reason he's higher is when I started out there was only about 3 magicians/ childrens entertainers working this area so they charged high, now there is at least a dozen, a lot of them going out on the cheap, I keep my prices above their but he hasn't dropped his down as he's not bothered about parties. People still book him though once everyone else they've tried is booked.

<<<<<I find a lot of past clients call me to book repeat shows (usually 12 months later) only to find I am fully booked. I am just starting to send them all reminders nice & early. >>>>>

I find a lot of my bookings are coming in earlier and earlier as people want to get me as soon as possible before I get booked up, if I am they usually change their party date to one I can do, often substituting a wekend party for a weekday after school party. People often phone me now before they set the date/time and book the venue.

that's want we all want to achieve isn't it, customers not just wanting an entertainer for their party, but wanting YOU! All the marketing techniques you use may put your name about, but only your show can achieve that for you.
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.
Dynamike
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Hi Kyle,

I leave my two sided 4" X 6" flyers inside of party stores, gas stations and pizza restaurants. When I walk in side of the store to make a purchase, I show a quick trick. Every time it gets the cashier attention, so it leads to a different trick. It puts a smile on the cashier's face. I ask permission to leave my flyers. Eighty percent of the time I get an approval.

My number 1 source to get house birthday partys is thru the yellow pages.

I use greeting cards to send to my customers thanking them for booking me at the party. The face of the greeting card has a picture of the birthday person I took at the party. That makes a good plus at helping my service be more memorable.

I use postcards to send to my customers a month in advance, for rebooking me for my services. I put an attractive magical photo on it. The customer is willing to keep it because of the attraction.

I hire a telemarketer to get me bookings at restuarants and schools.

Dynamike
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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PB:
First off .. Happy B-lated Birthday to you my friend.

What type of direct mailing have you done and what formats seemed to get you the best results:

To answer your other question, I have really pursued the fair and festival markets last year and a half and have been doing quite well from it. The only problems is that this is great for the late spring and summer months, but the rest of the year tends to dip dramatically in the number of shows I am doing. because of this, I wanted try and break back into my kid shows (which I still love to do) and other markets. This way I could get more work during the off peak months of late fall and winter and get a better and more well rounded shows throughout the year. I would rather have too man shows then not enough. =)

I have also gotten a new awareness and fascination for promotions and marketing. I have seen what it can do for others and I really want to learn as much about it as I can. because so many of you do this full time, I figured there was no better place to start my research then at the Café. Thanks to all.

Billy:
Thanks for your comments. I see where your coming from and maybe I did not word myself as best as I should have. I just like to consider how I do my marketing and my pieces to be more personable then they are spamming or junk mail. I guess some people may still see it as that, but I do no that proper marketing is essential in any business and it does and has worked for me in the past.

Andy:
I am currently redesigning my website as we speak. I am designing the new look and content for the site, and a fellow designer friend is developing the coding that I need. I am hoping to get this done and up by the end of the month or early December. I have been needing it for some time now.

I will then start redirecting people to this new website via my marketing materials and phone calls.

How do you do your follow-up mailings? Do you tend to use letters or postcards?

Clive:
I will have to look into the yellow pages ads again. I think in the states that you have to have a business line first before they will even allow you to purchase and ad. It stinks, but I am hoping that policy may change in the future. Have your ads worked well for you?

Clive it is also interesting that you mentioned there was not much competition in your local area. Is this still true? In the Philadelphia area that I am now in, there is a lot of people and a lot of work, but there are SOOO many magicians working in this area. I guess that also factors in to pricing and what you do to make yourself stand out more.

Does anyone get a lot of interest based from their web site as well?

Mike:
Thanks for the post and the ideas. I like your idea about posting flyers up at stores where my clients go to the most. my problem is getting permission from the business to have them actually want me to put my stuff there. I figure they may not want to do that for me unless I can offer them something in exchange. Your idea of doing a simple trick when your at the store is certainly a good way to break the ice. Any other ideas or suggestions on ways to get stores to display my information?

You mentioned a yellow pages ad. Can you give me information on that in terms of what you had to have to get the ad and the pricing of it? Do you get a lot of calls from that?

I see you also use postcards. I am thinking I may go that route as well for some of mylead generation ideas.

can anyone send me any samples of what they have used for lead generation letters or also the postcards? I have my own and my own ideas but it might be helpful to get ideas from others as well.

THANKS to all. I do appreciate all your ideas and suggestions. I really just want to gather and learn as much different marketing ideas as I can and this is all such a good learning experience for me. Thanks.
Kyle Peron

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Emazdad
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Hi Kyle, there wasn't when I started but now there is a lot more entertainers in my area, plus there are now more of those jungle gym, Macdonalds, bowling etc venues that people can use for parties.
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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Clive:
Thanks for the information. But it shows that you are not only providing a good service but that the people really like who you are and your personality and what you give to them. So even though more magicians may come into your area, you will always continue to be successful. Way to go!

Clive, do you get a lot of business from your web site.. or do you mainly use it as a way to get people to read and find out more about you and your services? Curious. Thanks.
Kyle Peron

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Emazdad
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Not a lot really because I don't push it, I get about 1 maybe 2 enquiries a week. I mainly use it as a sales tool when someone phones to enquire and I know they're going through the yellow pages, you can tell by their tone that they were shocked by the price, I ask if they have internet access and tell them they can look at my site if they want to see what I look like etc. They usually come baxk later and book me.

I find the internet is a slow way of taking work, you reply to an enquiry about a date/time but unless they're not by there computer it can be sometimes days untill they get back to book me, most times by the time they've made their descision the time/date has gone to someone else. I do have a standard E-mail reply to enquiries, I just fill in the blanks to suit their particular job, and it does warn them that if they want to book it's best to phone as soon as possible before the date/time gets booked up. But it all depends on how often they look at their e-mail.

The one thing I definatly don't do is take proivisional bookings, I found that some people were going through the yellow pages, provisionally booking every entertainer then making their descision, confirming it with their chosen entertainer and not cancelling the others. Meanwhile the others were continuing to turn away bookings for that date/time due to the provisional.

I tried the I'l keep it for 24 hours approach and then found occassionally they were getting back to me saying they couldn't get the hall and changing the date/time and once again I'd been turning away people who wanted the date/time that was pencilled in for the first person. A definate No to provisionals is the only answer.
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.
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