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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Knowing your value vs setting your price. (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Dannydoyle
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This topic is spawned by another thread that got dragged off into the swamp and drown so lets not let that happen please. If you have not had to worry about this IN ENTERTAINMENT then maybe just let this one slip by so we can have a very important discussion.

The distinction of what you charge and what your value (Or more importantly your PERCEIVED VALUE.) is unfortunately is something that most don't choose to look at. I learned early on that while what I do and how much value it has TO ME is vastly different from what I do and what value it has TO OTHERS. This distinction matters. Not only in the fact that if you overvalue your presence and skills you will disappoint folks and lose money in the long run, but also if you undervalue you also lose money.

You have to know when exactly this matters. I have NEVER sold my services based on the best price. As a matter of fact I am usually higher than others. I am also more buy than most others. A few things contribute to this.

First of all as I said before but it got shouted down "Do NOT tell them price before they know your value". I am in no way saying drone on and on and on about how great you are and what you offer. I am however saying that once I gave a price for a show in Eugene Oregon. Suffice as to say that I actually PAID to do that show! I got price out of the way quickly and it cost me. A great lesson. But beyond the obvious financial impact of this situation there is a situation created here that is a lesson learned. What I mean is when you give someone a price prior to them knowing your value (In some way. If you do that sufficiently through your web page then GREAT!) they are not actually answering the right question and are not doing it with enough information. They are not an educated consumer. This is BAD for YOUR relationship with your client!

You want to have a relationship based on knowledge. Because in the end it is entirely possible that what you offer is just not a right fit for what they are actually looking for. When you end up taking gigs that you are not well suited for, then it creates an unrealistic expectation from the client. No matter WHAT your price is, your value is trash because you are just not a fit for that situation. So by "getting price out of the way" up front before you can find out if you are or are not suited for the gig you can very well just be setting yourself and your client up for a large disappointment.

I don't care HOW you do it and maybe this is a great way to break down exactly how guys do so, but getting your value in front of a customer is essential. It is FAR more important than haggling price. Personally most, and by most I mean 99% have booked me because they have SEEN me so the few private events I do need no explanation of value. They know what they are going to get. I am interested in how others here get the value for their services out in front of a client. It seems like a great discussion. No wrong answers really. Just curious.

Also this is why I never have to explain a price. They know what they are getting, they know what it will cost and they have a PERCEPTION of the value it will add to their situation. That is pretty straight forward but I know others are not set that way so it would be great to hear how others do things.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Ken Northridge
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Since 99% of your bookings come from people that have seen you perform, then obviously that is the best way for them to see your value. And now that you mentioned it, I wrote in the other thread that 80% of my prospects are ready to book when the contact me. Well, I’m sure a good percentage of that 80% have seen me or I was recommended to them by a friend. So, in this case the web site is just confirmation, and maybe to get a few more details like price and availability.

There is no substitute for seeing someone live. You can fake just about anything else. Testimonials, past clients, glowing descriptions of your act, heck, you can even fake pictures and a video! But you can’t fake a live show in front of an audience with all its volatility.

As far as determining how much value I have (what fee I’m charging), I listen to my clients. If I go through a period in which everyone raves about my show and I’m getting tipped regularly I figure its time to raise my fee.

This goes both ways of course. Listening to my clients was why I stopped doing walk around magic for adults. I was okay at it, I could fake it, but I was not getting the enthusiastic response like I wanted.

Making sure the customer is absolutely thrilled with my services has been one of my core principles. You don’t have to be the best magician or the funniest entertainer. When customers can be sure you will do the job you promised to do, that has value!
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
Mindpro
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Great points. Like you, it is great to be at a point in our careers and businesses where we have a long past of happy and satisfied clients who have become the bulk of our business. It is a great point to be at, but I don't often discuss this here or on other forums as it becomes offputting to newer performers or those just starting out or in the earlier years of their performing business.

This and referrals, combined with your positioning and reputation can be one of the most powerful combinations in business.

It's easy for others to say, "well you have it pretty easy because of where you are at" but they fail to think about all the time (years), years, and hard work it took to get there. It is important for others to see that as well as the current results.

However, once at this point, there are so many perks and advantages that simply aren't available earlier in your business/career.
Fedora
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Mindpro, if you don't mind me asking, what percentage would
you say is repeat bookings for you, and other well established
entertainment you work with?
Mindpro
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Great question! I average just above 80% in all of my entertainment businesses and nearly 87% in my personal performing. This could possibly be a bit higher but I stopped seeking new business about 7 or 8 years ago so I have less people to covert.

This is really a loaded question as it really depends on the performance markets you choose and the length of time you've been in business (performing or operations). The live entertainment industry standard average is 25-35%. Many that I coach, consult or mentor are either beginners (just starting their performing as a business) or are in their first 7 years of operation. These tend to run about a 35-50% of return bookings. Performers that have been in business 7-15+ years we tend to get in the 60-75% range.

Much also has to do with the business structure and systems you have in place. Many do not have these things. Unlike many performers tend to think, it only has minimal to do with your show or performance, but rather the business behind it. Yes, you need a decent quality professional show (which we work with them to have if they don't). Then they must have a complete understanding of the 5 types of bookings, then create the structure and systems to produce these results consistently while building and growing their business.

Once performers get to that 15-year point of their business, whether part-time or full, of course, this is predicated that their business was set up properly in the foundational level to support this, 70%+ is quite possible.

I believe every business up to that 15-year point should always be generating 25-30% new business each year. Then with the structure and systems in place to support the rebookings, you can eventually get up to that 70+% of repeat bookings consistently.

There are also several other things at play here as well as often their return bookings will typically take your higher-priced options or packages, and are much more accepting of price increases, accepting of new products and services, and most likely to make referrals and recommendations, all which leads to increased profitability, not just a greater return booking ratio. When these all work hand in hand together in a business operation system it is a beautiful thing.
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Oct 26, 2021, Fedora wrote:
Mindpro, if you don't mind me asking, what percentage would
you say is repeat bookings for you, and other well established
entertainment you work with?

If you don’t mind my saying this is a question that really gets the point! Very nice. Exactly the sort of discussion I was hoping to spawn.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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Let me also add it depends greatly on the businesses model you choose as well.
Fedora
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Thank you mindpro for being specific.

I must say 80 plus percent is impressive with
any kind of business, but especially with live entertainment
where so much is one off work.
Dannydoyle
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I have always said that I would rather sell once and work for a decade than to keep selling and selling and selling. I do long term gigs on purpose because the selling part is so tedious. (Mindpro LOVES that crap I swear.)

It is the part of the business I enjoy the least, so I do it as little as I can. One off work just made no sense to me at all. The caveat is that you have to be a bit more mobile than most others, but that is the trade off for larger paydays and not having to do selling. The advantage is obvious.

In my mind the idea of one off work is far too much like a job. You are right. SO MUCH of live entertainment is just that.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Dannydoyle
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Absolutely. And there is nothing wrong with guys digging roads, we need roads!

Point is one I often make, and you are making as well and I KNOW Mindpro agrees with. It doesn't matter (Within obvious limits.) WHAT kind of show or job you have just so it suits you and you enjoy and your clients enjoy. Guys who look down on kids show workers may well not have tried doing one! I tell you I know you are good at it but I may very well be the WORST! For me it is WORK! Just not killing them is work. It is simply a skill not in my tool box. I admire those with it.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Oct 26, 2021, Dannydoyle wrote:
Guys who look down on kids show workers may well not have tried doing one! I may very well be the WORST! For me it is WORK! Just not killing them is work.


In my professional experience killing them can usually be preventative to getting rebookings and referrals and is bad for business!
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Oct 26, 2021, Mindpro wrote:
Quote:
On Oct 26, 2021, Dannydoyle wrote:
Guys who look down on kids show workers may well not have tried doing one! I may very well be the WORST! For me it is WORK! Just not killing them is work.


In my professional experience killing them can usually be preventative to getting rebookings and referrals and is bad for business!


Yea generally once you have taken a hostage or threatened a murder it does tend impact rebooking rate.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Ken Northridge
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Quote:
On Oct 26, 2021, Dannydoyle wrote:
It is apples and oranges. When you have to do 400 show a year to make the same as someone who does 60 or 80 the time difference is colossal. So is the wear and tear on your body, your car and all your props.


I know this was not intended to be an adult show versus kid show discussion, but I’d like to comment on that.

I did a trade show once, I hated it! I used to do adult cocktail parties, I hated them! I don’t care if I only have to do 60 to 80 of these shows as opposed to 400 to make the same money. To me, that would be wear and tear on my MIND!

I suspect to be a good trade show magician you must prepare for hours to make sure you customize your presentation to satisfy your client. There is pressure to live up to justifying the high fee you’ve asked for. Also, don’t these gigs last for 4 to 6 hours a day for 3 or 4 days? To me, that is torture!

My kid show is 45-minutes. I play with the kids, make them laugh for a while and I’m out of there! Sure, I have some difficult shows from time to time. Kids that have had too much sugar, or a group of kids that apparently have never heard the word no in their life! But its only 45-minutes! I can handle anything for 45-minutes.

My point is, when its a labor of love, it is not ‘wear and tear’ and I never feel burned out.

To attempt to bring this back to the topic of this thread, I get calls every now and then for trade shows and adult parties. Based on my reputation as a ‘magician’ I could probably book them at a really high price. But my client would not be getting a good value. I know that, and my client would soon find out.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
Dannydoyle
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Ken brilliant point.

Often guys want to charge more because they know a client has more money to spend. The clients budget has nothing to do with the value you provide and as you have so eloquently pointed out they are getting bad value. So true!

Not a fan of trade shows either. At 8 hours a day it is almost a job to me. I just dislike doing contrail parties in the traditional way also.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Dannydoyle
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On Oct 27, 2021, Dannydoyle wrote:
Ken brilliant point.

Often guys want to charge more because they know a client has more money to spend. The clients budget has nothing to do with the value you provide and as you have so eloquently pointed out they are getting bad value. So true!

Not a fan of trade shows either. At 8 hours a day it is almost a job to me. I just dislike doing contrail parties in the traditional way also.


To use your example me doing kids parties offers no value whatsoever.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Ken Northridge
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Quote:
On Oct 27, 2021, Dannydoyle wrote:
Quote:
On Oct 27, 2021, Dannydoyle wrote:
Ken brilliant point.

Often guys want to charge more because they know a client has more money to spend. The clients budget has nothing to do with the value you provide and as you have so eloquently pointed out they are getting bad value. So true!

Not a fan of trade shows either. At 8 hours a day it is almost a job to me. I just dislike doing contrail parties in the traditional way also.


To use your example me doing kids parties offers no value whatsoever.


I was thinking that too, but I didn't want to say it. LOL. I know you have been humble about you children's entertaining skills in the past. Part of being smart is knowing what you're dumb at.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
Mindpro
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I like that! I'm going to needlepoint that on a pillow for Danny.
Dannydoyle
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For me that’s the biggest part!
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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