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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Advertising your birthday show (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Neale Bacon
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Burnaby BC Canada
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I use a lot of direct mail and email to many market but just wondering what people do to advertise their birthday shows?

Mine are usually from a web search or from word of mouth referrals.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
Starrpower
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Same here, Neale, along with people who see me at shows.
JoshLondonMagic
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Advertising is very different from marketing. Advertising is just that: Putting up ads where your target market sees them.

As for marketing, I use all aspects on online (Twitter, FB, LinkedIn, SEM/PPC, emailing my lists, etc). In addition to that, I network a lot. People see my show and want me for their parties.

There are other tactics, just not by my marketing calendar to see.

Josh
Josh
gmsmagic1
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I personally think there is a fine line that separates advertising from marketing. Both are all about exposure, branding, image and bringing buyers to you the seller. but advertising is paid exposure and therefore the most expensive component of any marketing plan. I agree with the tools that Josh outlined above as examples, although SEM/PPC is advertising since it's paid exposure.

One good example to differentiate the two would be that marketing would be your web site since it creates an image for your business in your target market. While paid search engine marketing programs on Google would be advertising since it's main purpose is to strategically drive traffic to your web site to hopefully garner new business.

- Gary
JoshLondonMagic
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Gary is spot on. I suppose marketing and advertising is essentially selling - at the end of the day.

Also, I have had a tremendous amount of success with PPC and I have set up a blog with my ideas. If you're interested in paid search feel free to check me out at www.Josh-London.com

You can even sign up for a 7 day email series (on the right sidebar).

Josh
Josh
Starrpower
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Marketing could very well be paid for, too.

But I don't think Neale asked about differentiating between marketing and advertising. He asked what we did, and the previous two posts chose not to answer.

Neale, I also send an email newsletter.
MRSharpe
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Never a dull moment with
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I tried direct mail years ago and made the mistake of using a mailing company with a list for which they "guaranteed" the demographics I was looking for. It set me back several years and then I went back to my primary career in tech theatre. My advice if using direct mail is to develop your own target list and do it yourself instead of using a commercial service. Other than that, I've used business cards, flyers, coupons, and the best has been audience cards which are blank with contact information for potential customers.
And guys, marketing includes advertising, public relations, and any other activity which gets exposure to potential customers.
Custom Props Designer and Fabricator as well as Performer from Indiana, USA
gmsmagic1
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It's true that the original question requested ideas on advertising that works well in our trade.

And while it's true that Josh and I were trying to differentiate between marketing and advertising, at the end of the day, we were both addressing the original question by simply pointing out that there are many ways to effectively promote a magic business that don't necessarily require advertising (which costs money).

I personally think that direct mail is a total waste of money in our line of work unless you have a high quality distribution list established. While all advertising can only help your business, there are much more cost effective ways to utilize your money then direct mail. Those post cards are better utilized as leave behinds everywhere your target market throws parties - Pre-Schools, Libraries, Community Centers, Hotels, Community Bulletin Boards, Day Care Centers, Kindercares, Gymborees, My Gyms, etc. I would much rather hand deliver those cards so I can promote myself and create a sense of urgency. Delivered in the mail, it becomes junk mail which is viewed over a trash can.

In my opinion, the best form of advertising is and always will be word of mouth, so the money spent on direct mail is better spent on flyers and business cards so that everyone goes home with your material after every show. Treat every show as a live commercial and brand yourself throughout the show since your entire audience during that precious time is your best source for immediate new bookings. Targeted email distribution lists to past clients, prospective new clients, and every other source I mentioned above is the best way to build top of mind awareness for your business, in combination with a web site and plenty of free self promotion on all the social media sites Josh mentioned (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc).

- Gary
Neale Bacon
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Burnaby BC Canada
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OK, to make the experts happy, advertising was a bad choice of words. Let me try again.

How do you MARKET your show for birthdays?

Is that better?

Starrpower - thank you for your feedback
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
gmsmagic1
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I guess Josh and I our chopped liver. lol

I thought we also provided you with some pretty good guidance if you look at all the marketing ideas we brought to the surface.

- Gary
The Great Zucchini
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I really agree with Gary. Every show is should basically be an a fun informercial. Use your name tons, in the 3rd person, hand out cards, use a couple of staples in your show that never change-breeds familiarity, Mingle with everyone before and after show. Gives the sense they know you, and you're not just a dime a dozen. Also, have rockstar pics on website.
Starrpower
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I stand by postcards. Yes, you need a relatively qualified list, but it's been among the most successful methods I've used in 25+ years in the biz. I can randomly pass out brochures at shows, but are those folks my target market? Maybe, maybe not. When I was doing restaurants (one place I worked 13 years straight) I would always make sure people got my cards, but that was a shotgun scatter approach.

A better approach: If I was after Blue and Gold banquets, I was always far better off to mail to scout leaders. If I was after conventions, I found success mailing to lists I got from Chambers of Commerce -- people who were actually in the process of planning conventions, not random folks who saw my show. When I wanted to work school shows, I'd mail to schools, not hope that a principal or two were in my audience. I can hang a sign in the grocery store and HOPE that somebody stumbles across it, or I can actively pursue the people I REALLY want to see my stuff -- and that's best done through direct mail. And personally hand-delivering things is insane! How many people can you possibly travel to in a day? 6? 12? I can mail hundreds of cards in a day. And I'll bet it wouldn't cost much more than the gas and time used running around town hand delivering stuff.

The best method, of course, is a thoughtful mix of many methods. But mailings, specifically postcards, have proven to be the number one source of shows during my career. These days I supplement that with emails.
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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Hi Neale -

This thread might be of interest to you. I started it a while ago in the Tricky Business area:

Magic Café thread titled... Increasing your children's birthday party business

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
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