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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Pro's & con's of advertising your price (13 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mindpro
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It doesn't need to be that way. Actually that's when you most need positioning and other elements the most and to not have your prices posted or you are just asking to be considered on pricing alone.

The unfortunate reality though is that most magicians are just anther product.
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Jan 17, 2016, jakeg wrote:
Quote:
On Jan 17, 2016, Mindpro wrote:
Right, and by putting prices on for the reason you're stating makes entertainment just another product, of which a purchase is based on price. It shouldn't be which is exactly the argument for not doing it.

When the entertainer is totally unknown to the buyer, either personally or by reputation, and the buyer is shopping on line, basing their decision to call on your website, you are, 'just another product.'


Yea see this has always been my problem with selling online is you are indeed just another product. Takes a ton of money and tone to get past that.

It is why I avoid it personally.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
jakeg
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I think that the underlying problem is that the entertainment buyers do not consider magicians to be much of an attraction. Unless you have a recognized name among the public, we are pretty far down on the food chain. Every Friday, I read the entertainment section of the newspaper. They list all of the clubs in Atlantic City as well as elsewhere around the state. They also list fairs, festivals, street fairs, xmas parties, Halloween happenings and anything else going on. Unless it's I well known magician, a magician is hardly ever mentioned. Even when we know someone is appearing in one of the casinos, the casinos don't mention it in their ads. At the same time, they name little known singers, rock groups, Sinatra and Presley impersonators. It's speaks volumes. Whether we like it or not, we're just another cheap vaudeville act. If organizations like IBM and SAM would seek more publicity, and individual magicians would actively seek publicity, it might change.
Mindpro
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Some great insights, but you're identifying several and separate problems. The newspaper only lists the information they are provided, so if a performer's name is not being included it is someone's fault, not the media. Who ever creates, releases ans submits the info is choosing not to include the performer's name. This is something they can control. Even more so it is something the performer can control. I have it very clearly and specifically laid out in my rider EXACTLY how they are to promote my show and name, plus the identifying liner. It is part of the contract just as it is with what you are considering any "name" performer. It is up to you to provide this and enforce this. It is a violation of the contract if not executed as clearly stated. This can prevent much of this from happening.

The same has long been true for Disc Jockeys. Through my coaching and consuting I have worked with probably 90-100 DJs. Their biggest frustration is that venues and media would always mention the name of bands or singers, but only list the DJs and "Disc Jockey." I presented many of them the same advice and insight I mention here. Today several of them are well-know by name and earn $250,000 a night as name personalities. Other performers think their names are only in the media or newspaper because they are famous. They became well-known and properly promoted by taking control of this themselves in about five different ways that include their contracts and understanding how to work, utilize and control their media (hence my book as some here can verify).

If you do not have a recognized name it is your fault, no one elses. It's not (and never has been) about who is better, where you are from, or the type of act you have or do, it's about how you conduct the business behind your act, of which this a key and crucial part of, not just to create a public identity but to enhance your perceived value, pricing and positioning. Again, it all comes back to the business, which falls onto us and no one else. This is true for even the most local of part-tiem performers as well as full-timers, there's no difference.

You are right, like it or not, most magicians (and other nameless, faceless entertainers) are of minimal or no value as an attraction to entertainment buyers. Why should they be? Just because they are a "magician"...Oooow! Magicians are a dime a dozen, probably less these days. In twenty minutes I could have 20-40 magicians contacting ME if I wanted to and was looking to book one. So again, what are you (each of us) doing to change, prevent and eliminate this? Perhaps the first problem is letting yourself be positioned as a magician as part of this pack and perception.

It all comes back to our business and operating system. Always does. And unfortunately those in the pack, those complaining, are usually the ones needing this understanding and education the most.

You are correct in identifying common and standard thought processes, buying habits, and mentalities. But rather than complaining about them is is take the useful information that you've identified which then should be used to circumvent and change the problem. One you change the process, desired results can often happen quickly.

Like anything else in business or even our daily lives, if we don't know or understand something we need to either take the time and effort to identify the problem areas and educate ourselves to fix or change it. Yes it's a process and takes time. Or hire a coach to work directly with one on one to your own personal situation and create direct and expedited results based on the proper knowledge, plan and action steps.

I know some here have viewed a coach or mentor as "unnecessary" or an "expense", but in reality it can help turn many performers business around and get on the proper track much more quickly and offer greater and quicker rewards and returns. For others it can create the business and system that is completely absent. Like any other element of your performing business it can be a great investment in your success with greater returns than almost anything else you can spend on your business.

I must say, I've never heard of anyone listing X-mas parties in the newspaper. I agree that IBM and SAM could be doing much more to enhance the image of magicians to the public, and to also educate magicians as to the business aspects of the industry. The majority of all lectures at local chapters are almost exclusively on the tricks, releases or perhaps performance-oriented content. Nothing to help with or prepare or assist in the business operations. But again, I understand why. Lectures are based on sales of the guest's materials. And most magicians will not invest in business materials but they will spend hundreds to thousands on tricks or performance materials, bit little or nothing on business or operational, only perhaps a small handful will. There is so much they could do, but at the same time most magicians I don't believe are even members.
jakeg
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Mindpro ..... I agree almost 100% with you.
The xmas party listings are for fraternal organization with events such as breakfast with Santa Clause and The Easter Bunny as fund raisers, Halloween hayrides, etc.
There are many events where a magician is a natural fit, and very disheartening to see them overlooked. I come from the days when almost every shopping mall had a magician at their grand opening, at at least one magical promotion during the year.
Mindpro
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Yes, I think we agree on much of this. The questions should be asked is why? Why has the perception towards magicians changed to this? Why do most associate magicians with a cheesy bad kids party magician? Why is the value of a magician not recognized? Why do magicians simply accept being part of the pack and position themselves to be seen and accepted this way (as evidenced by Gigmasters, Gig salad, the former Yellow Pages, ads in parents magazines, in their websites, promotional materials and even videos and demos?) Why have, for the most part, magicians pricing and fees overall haven't changed much in decades? They certainly haven't evolved with the times.

To me this is the material I teach and work with clients on every day. To me its great to have them see the light bulb go off. To see what they are missing or perhaps doing incorrectly or not doing. I also enjoy seeing the progression they haven't been able to achieve on their own. Its great to see them after realizing, understanding, addressing and implementing all of this type of stuff.

The root of everything is perspective. Why magicians are seen as they are, why they are sterotyped, why the conform rather than discord, why they prefer to just be magicians rather than entertainers and why they just accept much of "the way things are" rather that strive for change?

Thanks for the X-mas events clarification.

We look at it as "do we put our pricing on our website" but in reality it is part of much bigger questions and answers. Yes, there are some consumer level markets where I could see some benefits to doing it, but again feel it should be dictated by much larger components such as business model, business plan, positioning and more. But for most performers in most markets it would likely be a detriment.
ibm_usa
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I can't think of any good reason why one should post their prices.
If you're trying to look like a professional - don't post those prices. I don't know any lawyer, physician, etc who posts prices and I can't see any reason why any entertainer should either.
If you do decide to post - you'll be attracting a lot of discount hunters and repelling those people who are willing to pay more bucks.

It's better to have a "contact" option so that way they call or email you and you negotiate either by phone or email. That way - if they can't pay, you now have a way to get a hold of them for marketing in the future.

You should leave a bit of mystery in your ads,website, etc so people will have a reason to contact you if they are interested.

Just my two cents.
"You may think that i only talk of things from the past, you know, history, well magic is history"

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"Curiosity isn't a sin Harry, but it should be exorcised with great caution."

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Dynamike
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Usually I hear, "There is no right or wrong with posting your prices online." To be honest there is a "right & wrong." It is 100% wrong for you post your prices online if you do feel uncomfortable doing it. It is 100% right for you to post your prices online if you do feel comfortable doing it. That is what the secret is, what makes you feel more comfortable. The more comfortable you are you will do better socializing with a prospect over the phone and in person. It all adds up to you will be receiving more gigs when in a relaxed mood. The prospects want to interact with a person who is optimistic. Attitude plays a strong role in this.

Another way to look at it is how busy you are. If you are romantic with your spouse most of the day, or spending a lot of time with your family, or work a 40 hour a week job, or deal with hours everyday of direct marketing, I can see why posting the prices online are important to you. You will have less time speaking on the phone talking about your services.

Another way to look at it is how good you are at closing sells over the phone. If you are natural at talking over on the phone convincing the prospects to pay for your services, like putty in your hands, posting online is not your style because it is better for you to have the customer call you so you can start your "magic" on them.

As I mentioned earlier, there is a "right & wrong" to posting your prices online.
Ken Northridge
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I agree with you 100% Dynamike. I was puzzled by imb_usa comment:
Quote:
On Jan 19, 2016, ibm_usa wrote:
I can't think of any good reason why one should post their prices.

Any good reason? Did you read this thread?

Now, I will not be talking to customers today because I'm going to get romantic with my wife.Smile
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
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Brainbu$ter
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Quote:
On Dec 31, 2015, Ken Northridge wrote:
...
I don’t know, maybe its just me but, I believe the above list would be confusing to a prospective client.
...


Just to be clear, I did not mean to list all 12 reasons to each prospect.
I was just spit-balling options a Magician could use.
You would offer them 2 or 3 different options, each with a different price
(I always list 2 options).
The most engaging virtual magic show by the stupendous zoom magician and mentalist Jon Finch.
vincentmusician
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I do not post my price because every Customer is different. Cheers!
Donald Dunphy
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On Oct 13, 2021, vincentmusician wrote:
I do not post my price because every Customer is different. Cheers!


Every customer is different in a restaurant. It's a good thing they don't post prices on menus. Smile

BTW, I re-read what I wrote on this thread back in 2013 and 2016. I still have my rates online, and I still get customers calling me to book shows at various price levels.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Mindpro
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There is definitely some good info and perspectives in this thread. It also shows that there are some decent and professional kids performers (Donald and Ken) rather than the bad cheesy stereotypical ones I mentioned that are so common.

"Baloney" is still my favorite post response even after all this time 5 years later!
danfreed
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How do you feel as a consumer when searching for services online and rates aren't listed? If it's something that is very customized like hiring someone for kitchen remodeling, then you wouldn't expect prices to be online. But if it's something that's kind of the same each time you might be annoyed with a lack of prices online, I know my wife and I get annoyed by that in some cases. There isn't a right or wrong, but something to think about.
Mindpro
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It really isn't necessarily something to think about as it is really more dictated by your business model and perhaps markets in which you are specializing. In many cases, this will dictate the correct answer.

The problem with the example of you and your wife shopping for things online is the exact type of thinking that many magicians regularly complain about when prospects shop only based on price. If that is what you want, then fine, go ahead and post your prices.

This is fine for products, but many services prefer not to do this as it triggers price-based shopping and being a simple, interchangeable commodity.

Many of us in the industry have worked long and hard to make it about much more than pricing and about the value, uniqueness, positioning, and respect we desire. This typically isn't possible when publishing prices on such services.
danfreed
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My wife and I don't only shop based on price, not sure why you think that. It just depends, we decide on our priorities in the specific case. Sometimes we want the best, sometimes we are fine with average quality. I'm not advocating for listing the price or not doing it. Just saying businesses need to see things from the customers perspective, not just their own, then make a decision. Do what works. There are advantages and disadvantages to listing rates, and it just depends on what you do, how customized, who your clients are etc.
Sleightly off topic, but I talked to a woman today that said she would have hired a magician for her wedding a few years ago, but he quoted her $5,000 for an hour of strolling. She had seen him do a show at her office event so she called him. Interesting that she didn't call other magicians to see if she could find someone in her price range, I guess she thought they are all more or less a similar rate. BTW, I don't know who the magician is, I guess he specializes in high end gigs, or maybe he is from out of state, she didn't know.
TomBoleware
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Well said Dan. Until you can think like one of your customers, you’re just pretending to know the business you are in.

Price is a concern to every shopper and until that concern is put to rest they hear very little of what the salesperson is saying.

Tom
Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.--Robert Brault

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Mindpro
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Simply not true
Donald Dunphy
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In this post and this post from 2006 (WOW! 15 years ago), I talked about reading something in "The Little Red Book of Selling" by Jeffrey Gitomer.

He talked about some customers buying based on price, and some customers buying based on value, and what those percentages were.

Quote from one of the posts I linked to:

Quote:
If I remember right from Jeffrey's book, the percentages are like this: 30-40% buy on price, the other 60-70% buy on value. You can convince them of value through word of mouth, online sales evidence, etc. Talking with them on the phone is only one way to convince them of value.


- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Dannydoyle
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Donald I have been preaching the Gospel of Gitomer for a long time and it always falls on deaf ears.

The above post from Tom is one of the largest reasons people LOSE SALES.

The first thing one must do in business is learn the difference in the "value" they have and the "price" one pays for them. It is simple, but not easy. (Running a marathon is simple, just run till the end. When you are doing it this is CERTAINLY not easy.)

I can tell you that when folks call me or look for me "price" is not what is on their mind. Keep in mind here that I do NOT do kids shows ever for any reason so that is not the market I am talking about. People have either seen me or heard from someone who has and my "value" is established. Not much need for me to sort out that for them But if you do not have this advantage you sort of have to do what I will call the "Kirby Vacuum Sales Technique" where they come in and demonstrate and by doing so establish "value". (NO I DO NOT RECOMEND FREE SHOWS. Simply illustrating a point is all.) Car lots often like you to drive home the new car.

There are a certain percentage of folks just waiting to hear the price, it is all they want to hear, they will make a decision based on that and that alone. BUT contained within that 30-40% are those who can be converted to "value buyers" and THOSE are the folks you want to hit with value most! You can bump that high range of value buyers up to 75-85%!

When put that concern to rest as has been suggested you also put to rest those who can be converted. They will stop listening because they have found what they THINK they are looking for and you have no chance to answer their objections! Why do that? You are losing a HUGE percentage of sales.

Here is the other problem most have. When you are on an interchangeable magician web page (Gig salad or what not.) you actually convert those looking for value INTO those looking for price! THAT IS WHAT THAT ENGINE IS DESIGNED TO DO! Once you have just become another guy who will show up and do what not for such and such a price you have now become a guy selling on price and are most likely in some way costing yourself a little bit of money.

When people pair wine with dinner they want to hear how it will go with what is being eaten. They have not heard the price, and yet they listen intently to EVERY WORD that the Sommelier is saying! They can't wait to be educated as to why the purchase they are about to make will add value to their dining experience. In reality in the real world once you put the price "concern to rest" is when many folks STOP LISTENING to any sales person.

Show your value to a customer. (Mind you I am of the belief that this is difficult to do when folks are "automating sales" but however you think it works for you go for it.

I could have summed up by saying "don't let them say no to your price before they know your value".
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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