The Magic Caf
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » How Do I...Entertainment Business? (65 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3~4~5~6~7~8~9 [Next]
Mindpro
View Profile
Eternal Order
10241 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Let's start with Tajrung's most recent questions from the above post.

Quote:

I strongly believe every professional performer should have two things:

1. A Referral Program - a structured method or system. They have to like you and be impacted by your performance to refer you

and

2. A Fundraising Program - not just booking your show at fundraisers, but an actual fundraising program system that allows others to best utilize your performance as a high-profile, high-profiting Fundraising production. That teaches and shows them how to do it.

Both of these are missing from most entertainment businesses.




Could you confirm that I understand this correctly:

The way I understand it is that A Referral Program is a set of behaviors that will make people like me (interpersonal skills) and a good show where they will be engaged and enjoy it

A Fundraising Program is a sort of education system for my client that will explain to them why they should hire me and what benefits they will get from hiring me again and how, and why they should recommend me



Kind of, but not really. These (a Referral Program and a Fundraising Program) are two completely separate things.

Yes, a Referral Program includes a set of behaviors and a good show, but that alone will not make a referral program. What I mean is you need a structured program, including how you set it up and present it, that offers the step-by-step actions you want the client to take to refer you.

Here is a general overview…

First, you will have to ask and convince the client to do this. Most are more than willing because you just blew them away with your fantastic performance. How you choose to do it is up to you and the system you create. Let me give you an example…

I have a coaching student/client that I currently work with that was tired of just relying on the “default” model of always trying to generate the next booking(s) and it being an on-going, continual process. He was very frustrated because after his shows he always has 15-25 people come up to him, usually including the client who booked him, saying how great he was, what a good show they had, and “it was amazing what he did and how well the audience responded.” “They had a great time.” Many would often record video testimonials (his website has over 75 video testimonials from all types of event bookers and audience members.) But they just weren’t transferring into any bookings. I quickly said it is because you do not have a system in place to make this happen.

After careful discussions and deliberations on this, he now has a basic structured system in place to guide them to referrals. Already in the first 60 days, he has had several bookings that came as a result of these referrals and probably 40 others in his referral pipeline.

It started with some basic seeding towards the end of his show as he sets up one of his final performance routine segments. He simply says something to the effect of “I really enjoy performing at corporate events, community events, fundraisers, and private and home events. If you are having any of these types of events and are interested in having me at your event, stop by and see me after the show.” When they do he’ll talk to them, give them a brochure and get their contact information. This basic invite really gets people to approach him in a comfortable, non-threatening way where they can express their interests. No selling is involved. He also thanks them - “thank you so much (for their compliments) and I’d really appreciate it if you could help me spread the word and refer me to anyone you know planning any of these types of events.” He also gives then 3-5 business cards so they can give them to others.

Then for the person that booked him he actually asks them if they would be willing to refer him to at least 5 people they might know who could use his services for any of these types of events. He then follows up with them the next day (he already has their email) with an email that basically says “Thanks for being willing to refer me to your friends and associates…" and then outlines the steps he wants them to take.

He will usually get the five referrals but some will actually do even more as he just had one person refer 15, and another I think it was 20 referrals. He even provides them an email to send to these referrals so all she/they have to do is copy and paste it and add in a couple of her own testimonial lines.

- He seeds it during the performance

- He speaks with possible prospects after the show and presents them with promotional brochure and business cards and asks them for referrals to anyone they may know

- He gets their contact information (usually email address and/or phone)

- He asks the booking client if they would be willing to refer them

- Then he follows up the next day with the thank you/confirmation and the steps for them to take to make the referrals

- Provides them with a outline of a email or script for them to use to make the referrals

- Asks them to add in their own review and testimonials within these referrals

I am guessing this will soon (within 6-10 months) be accountable for about 30% of his bookings for the upcoming year.

This is more of what I mean by having a structured referral system in place.

There are other ways as well and this can be modified or used as a outline for creating your own.



As far as having a Fundraising Program you must create a step-by-step system for a client to know how to properly use your performance as a fundraiser.

People do not think of how to us entertainment as a fundraiser and even if they did think of it, they'd have no real idea how to do it.

People are tired of the old labor-intensive types of fundraisers, selling candy bars, wrapping paper, candles, and other door to door selling, or just earning a small percent of sales at a restaurant on a certain day during certain hours. These are what I call nickel and dime fundraisers. They put in all this effort, order all the inventory, divie up the inventory for many people to sell, collect money, accept back the unsold items, and yada, yada, yada. So much work and they get such a small amount in return. They are time and labor intensive wth many things to manage. The restaurant fundraisers are passive and generate even less in funds.

Present to them the benefits to having a live entertainment fundraiser featuring your show. Then you provide them your own step-by-step guidebook with tips and techniques to make your performance fundraiser a fun and memorable event that generates greater profits. Teach them how to properly use your show to promote the event, to get on t,v, and radio, how to sell tickets, how to sell concessions (food, candy, drinks, sweets, etc.), run contests, raffles, and so much more all generating profits in each aspect.

How everything is based around your show as the feature attraction.

Once you create this step by step guidebook you oversee the process to assure the best results. Once they have the success and greater profits, most (usually over 70%) will have you back again, many making it an annual event!

Now of course you must learn how to use your show as a fundraiser and all of the elements of live entertainment fundraising, but once you do this it can become a very powerful program and a great part of your revenue and profitability. There are ways to make this little or even no-risk for the client so they really have nothing to lose and so much to gain. There are a few magician’s fundraising resources but I personally would avoid most of them as they are written by magicians with typically minimal experience in this area as most focus it all on the magic theme not the business, execution, and true profitability for the client (again, operating from the clients perspective.)

Now can you generate referrals out of a fundraising event? Sure, absolutely! This is the beauty of this type of fundraiser. Many attendees will also approach you on how to do this fundraiser for their events as well.

You will need to learn everything you can about live entertainment fundraisers. I do offer a entertainment Fundraising Program as I was fortunate enough to have mine created in conjunction with the top entertainment fundraising program creators in the world, generating hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide for over 80 years. This is one of my programs I am most proud of and is an available resource to qualifying performers, or of course, you can try to figure this out on your own.

Learn all you can about entertainment fundraisers and create an easy to understand and easy to implement program that creates a true win-win for you and their group or association.
Mindpro
View Profile
Eternal Order
10241 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Can you explain more about the difference between promo and demo videos?


Yes, this is a great question as many don't understand the differences and as stated before or they use the two terms interchangeably). They are two different things with two different purposes. One simply shows footage of performance, the other is crafted to be a promotional tool.

A Demo video is short for “Demonstration.” A demonstration of you, your business, your show, and everything else that combine together to create the proper representation of what you want prospects to see and know. Many also think or even refer to this as a “Sample Video.” A sampling of you in performance.

A demo video is a marketing tool, a form of advertising your services to potential customers. Marketing and advertising should be directed to the buyer (booker or customer) or target market (not the audience). Like any form of advertising trying to reach the target, you must sell in a way that is most appealing to them. What is important to them, what excites them or grabs them emotionally, etc., from their perspective. It must cover and address what is most important to them to make a buying (booking) decision.

This should mean seeing your performance personality as how you are in performance from the stage, interacting with your audience as a whole, one on one with a kid or adult, and your tone of the performances (comedy, mysterious, serious, bumbling, etc.). The best way to show this is through actual performance footage with very good sound.

Your video should tell a story, appeal directly to the target and their top three interests, concerns or benefits. It should present and sum up you and your performance (and business) completely.

When I work with my coaching students I actually teach them to storyboard their demo first - who is your prime intended target audience, what message are you trying to get across to the target, what tone are you seeking that best represents you, what are their top three needs, interests or concerns, how can you directly address them, what are your unique selling or offering features that separate and position you apart from others that are your competition or who they may be considering, what direct benefits do you offer them?....then setup and create the intro, the ending and each component you want in between. Also decide on format - narrative demo (first or third person, you or an announcer), titles and graphics, clips, testimonials, etc.

I break down the demo video and complete storyboard in my Entertainer’s Business Toolkit. See the following thread for more information and greater details - https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view......forum=44

If you don't have show footage, then once your storyboard is complete you know exactly what footage you need or should work on getting.

It all comes down to effectiveness. Like websites, many think just having them is enough or all you need. A demo is the same way. It must be effective and created properly to execute its intended purpose to the intended target. This is to be part of and accompany your Sales Performance/Presentation. It should also address and answer many of the questions the prospect may have or be thinking about.


A Promo video is short for “Promotional.” It contains more promotional hype, buzz, and sizzle regarding your performance. Let’s say you are attending a magic stage show at your local community theater. You enter through the box office line and while you are in the entrance or lobby you see a video promoting the upcoming performance. It is often a lot of high energy clips, snippets, high-energy music, accompanied by on screen words, titles, and graphics along with a narrator. Words like Amazing, Spectacular, Family Fun, One Night Only!, etc. all create the tone, energy, and impact they are trying to create. Sponsors and additional ticket outlets may have the promo video playing on a loop with the additional titles of “tickets available here.”

It is a promotional tool to support your show to sponsors and/or attendees, and also media outlets.

Have you ever seen a performer on a talkshow or t.v. news program? While they may be interviewing the performer or even just reading a story off of the teleprompter they are doing so over live performance clips of the performer. This is a promo video (and/or B-roll footage) used for promotional purposes during these segments.

In tourist towns you may also see these in lobby hotels, LED exterior signs, on hotel T.V. and even in elevators.

It is for promotional use to hype and promote a show or event.


What a performer needs is a Demo video. A video that shows them in performance. Do not make the mistake of using only photographs and stills with narration or music as this does not serve the purpose. Prospects want to see and hear you in action. They want to see audience responses in action. The want to see reactions. The need to hear good quality sound, not just a mic on a camera or cell phone. Direct mic-ing and direct line audio makes a world of difference. All of this along with the other vital information they need to make an educated booking decision. You may also want to include your main benefits to the prospect and their event along with any specific positioning you want to instill in the process. You will want to include your contact information such as website and phone (email address optional). Some of this depends on where and how you intend to use it. (Do not include your website or contact info if submitting to an agency or event planner, this should be a separate demo video.)

This is a very vital tool that along with your Sales Performance/Presentation will be directly responsible for bookings, income, and first impressions.

As you can see they are definitely NOT interchangeable. They each serve an intended purpose and are written, created, and edited completely different. I hope this helps create some clarity and better understanding on such an important business tool.
Mindpro
View Profile
Eternal Order
10241 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Could you explain the difference between a one sheet and a brochure? Do they serve the same role and can they be used interchangeably. Or is it worth having both a brochure and a one sheet. Do you include price information for the service on brochures or one sheets?

They do not serve the same purpose and are not used interchangeably.

A One-Sheet is an industry tool that is designed to offer an overview of the presented offering. It can be a one sheet about you, your business, your show, if you are a speaker your speaking topic, your performances and/or presentations, or they can be created for a specific market. For example I perform for schools, corporate events, fundraisers, theaters/PACs, and venue showrooms. I have a featured One-Sheet for each of these markets. I also have one for each of my performances, presentations, books, courses, coaching programs, etc.

The One-Sheet offers a very specific overview of the absolute most important information directed to a prospect. It is not very wordy and typically uses sentences, bullet points, photos, maybe a short caption (rather than long-form paragraphs), and always titles, headlines, sub-headlines, photos and logos.

The artistic goal is to say as much of the most important information as possible in the most brief format possible. I offered samples of this in the “toolkit” resource I mentioned above.

It is both an art and a science to create a powerful, impactive, and effective One-Sheet that covers the needed information presented in the proper professional One-Sheet format. (I have also included a One-Sheet template in the “toolkit” as well).

Much of the vital information contained in a proper One-Sheet is also created in the Foundational level exercises when laying out and starting your business.

Many designers charge $2,000, $5,000 and I’ve even seen some charge $10,000 - $20,000 to design a proper and effective One-Sheet, and trust me, it is still well worth it. It will be responsible for generating thousands in booking revenues and profits.

Now of course this may be prohibitive for most magicians at least initially, but do not let this discourage you from having one as you will be losing money and bookings without one.

Using the templates and good samples of a proper, well-designed One-Sheet you can initially create your own. You can always update or improve it as your business progresses.

A One-Sheet can easily be carried and given out in almost any social, performance, or business environments. You should also have both a physical printed version of your one-Sheet as well as a electronic format version (pdf).


A Brochure is a more detailed promotional sales tool introducing and presenting your business and services. It allows for more information and can include your Elevator Description, a brief background bio, target markets, USP, benefits, packages, options and add-ons, and much more of the information you want the prospects to know. It is something that they can take with them beyond just a business card that addresses the most common questions they may have, while again creating the professional positioning that you desire. It also has photos, logos, and graphics as well.

There are many formats for a brochure including a rack card (one or two sided), a two-fold brochure (allowing for four sides/sections - front cover, back cover, and two inside pages), a tri-fold brochure, a four-sided or even a six-sided brochure. I’ve even seen a 12-section brochure before. Like a One-Sheet these too are full-color and properly and professionally designed. For larger brochures there are room for many photos that can tell a story in addition to the text components.

It is a much more thorough representation of your business and offerings and may likely contain much of the same information found on your website. Many used a brochure effectively long before websites were ever created. These are easily presented and most are excited to receive it and to see and follow your business story and offerings.

Many performers do not have either of these. They are really missing out on promotional opportunities both at live performances, networking events, trade events, and in general discussions where you are discussing what you do or your business.

I know many performers that do not even have a website but sell there business completely off of a One-Sheet and/or Brochure.
Dannydoyle
View Profile
Eternal Order
20586 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
I have a FANTASTIC example of the worst one sheet in the history of the medium! MINE. For a whole lot of reasons. But it was bad. (No I am NOT going to post a picture of it. Admitting it is tough enough.) Yes designers DO charge quite a bit but are worth every penny. They are far less expensive now. And yea it is possible to do it on your computer by yourself. BUT unless you have the skills it is one thing I'd recommend a professional.

Just one of the problems was spelling. One old editors trick is to read the thing backwards one word at a time so you don't get any context involved and overlook things. GREAT! I did that. But the problem is when you misspell a word with another actual word. "Through" was intended and "Though" was written. Each are words and with no context it didn't stand out. There were thousands of them prior to me seeing it. Ugh.

It was laid out awful. The pictures were hideous. The printer had to be laughing at me. (Used to be that you had to get this stuff done at a physical print shop!)

In sort use a designer you can yell at and such.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Fedora
View Profile
Elite user
Arizona, usa
427 Posts

Profile of Fedora
Interesting, I've seen many of both demo and promo videos,
never knew the difference (in my defense, some of them
are labelled wrong).

Thanks for the thorough explanation, it should help me and
other folks going forward.
Dannydoyle
View Profile
Eternal Order
20586 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
In reality Most are labeled wrong. Guys who send the wrong video to an agent wonder why they can’t get work with them. You have to use the right tool for the right job.

The problem is not many teach this stuff. I have a lot of stories about learning the hard way. Worse yet is being in the magic shop and learning from people who “thought they knew “. Sets you back SO far and they thought they were helping. They didn’t mean any harm but caused in many cases irreparable damage to careers.

One huge mistake I made when after I thought I had a level of “success” was not planning from the start on the success of a venture. I had headlined comedy clubs, toured performing arts centers and was doing well. Started a new market and absolutely did not plan on it being successful! This is the entertainment biz after all. Well it cost huge. Tax wise and business wise and investment wise and my future wise it was an expensive mistake to make. The SAD part was I had access to those to help me not make the mistake and I still made it.

But you can’t ever change the beginning, but you can jump in the middle and change the ending. It is never to late to learn you just have to commit to it. Few want to.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Tajrung
View Profile
New user
36 Posts

Profile of Tajrung
Thank you very much!
Mindpro
View Profile
Eternal Order
10241 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Back on page 6 I gave Part 1 of my answers to three of Tajrung’s questions. Now that everything has been cleaned up here I would like to give my second part of answers to his questions…

Part 2

By now you should have created your very detailed and specific Sales Performance/Presentation, and along with all of the above previous elements we’ve covered so far, all of this was done to get your business market-ready. So now assuming that you have put in the effort to create these and have done the work, we will now use this to start to sell your show and go to market.


Now as far as the “places to sell my show?” This must be thought through thoroughly or this can cost you a fortune for very little results. When beginning and using the “Default Business Model” you will want to attempt to get your name out there for as many prospects to see as possible, but I suggest concentrating most of your efforts in the direction of the area(s) you ultimately want to head to for your primary and/or secondary performance markets. Also determine the geographical market areas you are willing to serve (they both should have been determined in the Foundational portion of setting up your business.)

I will tell you Blanket Marketing (or what I call PITW marketing) typically generates little or no results. It is really just a shot in the dark generating little or no results resulting in frustration and disappointment. These can be a time-suck and play negatively on your mindset.

I suggest seeking the path where you are likely to get the best results. This is also where business models come in. In the beginning, using the default business model, you are constantly looking for people (individuals) to book your services. While that is the starting point for most, I encourage you to think bigger and beyond just these individuals.

Of course, first seek out and type of free methods such as free listing directories, free ads, but know these usually aren’t that great in generating results, but it is an attempt to get your name out there. Another more direct means is with and through networking opportunities. Find networking opportunities in the direction of the markets you ultimately wish to serve and be proactive. Meet people, share your Elevator Descriptions, hand out business cards or promo materials, showcase perhaps. Remember Active vs. Passive. Listing your business in directories is passive. However, attending networking events is active and you will see better results and a return of your efforts.

Participate! Participate in local business fairs, industry events, high-profile events, seek press and media coverage to introduce and promote your business and services. There are so many of these types of opportunities that most never think of, and many are no-cost or low-cost and are an ideal place to begin. Now remember, most are intimidated of these type of opportunities because they do not know how to present their business and services, however if you’ve done the work I’ve shared here you are now fully prepared and ready and probably quite excited to dig into this. This alone gives you an edge and competitive advantage over other area performers IF they are even aware of such opportunities.

Another no-cost way to market and promote is Cold Calling. Many don’t like Cold Calling because “I never know what to say and I feel uncomfortable.” I get it. But again, if you’ve done the work I’ve outlined here you are fully prepared and know exactly how to talk to people about your business. Cold Calling does work but it is a numbers game, but it is free and can be the initial first steps to finding someone interested and to start a conversation.

I have many other ideas and methods that can be utilized but these should be able to get you going.

Be creative, that’s what we do. Think out of the box and try to create some of your own opportunities.

A quick story…

I remember back in 1982 I decided I wanted to try to appear at a local business expo in a new town I was living in. I called city hall and they said they didn’t have any such event. The only thing they recommended was one about 30-minutes away, that was also nine months away, and cost $450 for a booth in the event. My initial reaction was man that’s along time away and I don’t really want to spend $450. So, I tried to think out of the box.

After about a week or two of thinking about this I decided I would just host my own local business expo! That is exactly what I did. I contacted the same person at city hall that helped me and told her my interests. She said the city would be happy to participate and endorse such an event. She even provided me the community center for a nominal fee of $200 to cover the maintenance crew required and a police officer for security. She also recommended I reach out to the president of the local Chamber of Commerce to get their support and participation. That president suggested I call four more surrounding town’s Chambers and invite them to participate (since none of them had their own business expo.) I did and they all agreed to participate (and help me promote it for free!) In a matter of a few weeks it became a county-wide event.

I sold booths for $250 (small) and $350 (large). We had a total of 33 vendors and I generated $9,550 from just the booth sales. It was free to the public to attend and we had over 800 attendees. I provided the P.A. system and hosted the event (a way to showcase my services) and conducted drawings and giveaways.

In the end I booked 9 shows, met over 240 local area business contacts (this was long before emails or faxing) and got rave reviews from the five communities participating.

I made $2,700 in bookings, $9,550 from booth sales for a total of $12,250. My production costs were about $3,500 so I ended up walking away with $8,750, a ton of new contacts, some press and media coverage, a mini-showcase performance(s) for the local business community and area residents to see, and best of all…it became an annual event that ran for 12 years.

This is creative thinking, thinking out of the box, and positioning yourself in the local business community, mo-cost marketing, the whole thing costing me nothing and actually making people/businesses pay me for the event!

This is also why I ended up being a promoter and event producer as it created many great performing opportunities and bookings for my performing business. To me it was a true win-win!



So just keep in mind general marketing typically generates little to no (general) results, where more direct or target marketing is easier and you can target markets and events that can afford your desired price points whereas often general leads can’t. Each market will have their own nuances and resources available for you to market and promote.

Up to this point I am not talking about any social media marketing yet. At this point you should be trying to create a marketing plan based on your business’ interests and desired markets. Once these are in place you can add in the social aspects.

Understand the advantages of marketing and selling your show physically as opposed to digitally. Digitally alone is restrictive and limiting. By starting with some physical opportunities you quickly become well-versed at presenting and selling your show, while becoming visible and established in your community and markets. Regardless to popular belief, people don’t just automatically go to social media or online to find entertainment. Many remember the physical encounters and experiences they have personally experienced such as seeing you at community events, seeing you at a booth display, at an event, seeing your display in a party supply store, seeing or watching you in the press and media, and so many other experiences.

Go to where your ideal buyers are. Research and seek these venues and opportunities out. If there is a void consider creating your own. Take control of your marketing and your ideal prospects. Only target those that can afford your services, those that can easily see the value and solutions you bring and deliver.

I am often asked by magicians, performers, and entertainers…”what is the best marketing methods for us as performers and entertainment businesses?”

My truly honest answer to that question is always the same…”the ones that work best for you!”

This may sound like a cute retort at first glance, but in reality is nothing but the truth. Marketing is not plug and play. You don’t just learn a method, do or apply it, and results come flooding in. Marketing typically does not work this way. If it were that easy everyone would be doing it and their businesses thriving.

The reality is finding the means and methods that work best for you and running with them. Incorporating them to the max. Enjoying them and their process.

In wedding marketing (as an example that we’ve already used) sure, participate in wedding and bridal fairs. They CAN be a great investment and ROI. I say can because if you just get an exhibit booth and sit there you probably won’t get much in terms of results. However, if you realize “this is a place where all of these brides and grooms (and also her parents) all have gathered in one place and one time, and “my goal here is to reach and talk to as many brides as possible,” you have a MUCH greater potential for the results and ROI you are seeking. Again be ACTIVE in your mindset and approach. Present your business as you now know how. 2 or 3 good bridal fairs could fill your weekend calendar for the entire season or year.

Rather than trying many different general marketing methods and techniques, find or create the ones that are most suited for you and work the best and continue to excel with them. Make them a part of your marketing success strategy and plan.


I’ll let you digest this info and ask any questions you may have. Then I will circle back and address your final question 3) How to use social media, how can I manage instagram and fanpage. How often should I post something and what it should be? That’s next.
Fedora
View Profile
Elite user
Arizona, usa
427 Posts

Profile of Fedora
Mindpro wrote, "seeing your display in a party supply store".
This is something that crossed my mind before, but I haven't pursued it.

have you worked with someone who has done that before?
have you (or anyone else reading this) found that to be effective?
Mindpro
View Profile
Eternal Order
10241 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Yes to both of your questions.

I have done it with great success in my home market, first in a single location, then in a 6 store location throughout my region. At one point I discussed rolling it out nationwide with the largest party store chain in the U.S. While it was quite successful it was only due to several key factors. These are key factors that most performers couldn't do or fulfill. We were able to make the adjustments and it worked out well.

The problem is they wanted it fully staffed by us for their entire business hours which was 7 days a week, and very long hours. They also didn't want only a single type of performer, they wanted multiple offerings to cater to the types of events they supplied products for (communions, graduations, weddings, bar/bay mitzvahs, etc.) Now you must understand they are a consumer business (not professional or b2b) so they definitely targeted the consumer market, so it was consumer market bookings (and consumer market price ranges as well) we'd have to target. While we did generate a good number of bookings each month, it was costly to staff our display for such long hours.


We also did get much more than just bookings to it based on our strategic arrangement and deal we proposed. It cemented our position in the market for consumer events and actually led to us doing more consumer market events than we really wanted, but it was good for us, good for the party store, good for the community, and good for the customers that booked our services. We had elements in our deal that assured they would have increased sales by having us there showcasing our business. Like most of the deals I have created, it was a win-win-win arrangement. That's why it had their interest to do it nationwide due to its success.

As a side story to this... Chicago Bears legend Walter Payton heard about us and our display at the store and came to supply things for an event he was planning. It was 1989 the year that the first Batman movie with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. The anticipation of the upcoming movie created renewed interest in the 1966 Batman T.V. series. I (my agency) represented Adam West (Batman), Burt Ward (Robin) and several other members of the original Batman cast. Walter has heard about this (through some press and media I did in the market) and he heard I was bringing in Adam, Burt, and Julie Newmar (Catwoman) for a personal appearance I was hosting/producing. Walter said he was a huge fan and it was one of his favorite t.v. shows as a kid. He heard from the store owners that I was bringing in these stars a couple of days before the event to hold a press conference/party for the media. Walter got so excited to hear this he called me and offered to host my press party at his nightclub 34s in the Schaumburg, IL Hyatt Regency hotel. I gladly accepted and we created a win-win arrangement that worked out great for us and allowed him to meet some of his favorite t.v. heros at his venue. This came directly as result of our deal with one of the party stores.

I have also tutored several of my coaching students on doing this type of arrangement and creating the right type of deal for them, their area, and the party supply venue. It is not right for everybody.

There are other things that came out of this as well so for us it was a fun and memorable venture. I wasn't willing to do what was needed to scale nationwide. Would I recommend it any performer? No, simply because of all of the elements involved. Also most performers can only do one, two or a few different types of offerings which limits their possible profitability, and of course they amount of bookings they could actually accept/perform.

While I have coached several on doing such deals, I have a program of my own that I created for local performers (especially kids magicians/performers in consumer markets) with market exclusivity to create the same type of positioning, visibility, and to create local or regional celebrity with a lot less of the restrictive elements and demands of a party store deal.
Fedora
View Profile
Elite user
Arizona, usa
427 Posts

Profile of Fedora
Thanks for sharing your experience, when I looked
into it, it seemed like it would be expensive, manning
such a thing would take a lot of time in my view as well.

Good to know you found a way to make it work though.

Also neat you represented adam west, still the best batman.
Mindpro
View Profile
Eternal Order
10241 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Quote:
On Nov 6, 2022, Fedora wrote:
Also neat you represented adam west, still the best batman.


Absolutely!
Tajrung
View Profile
New user
36 Posts

Profile of Tajrung
Thank you very much Mindpro.So far I have no new questions, but if anyone has any then please feel free to join the discussion. Thank you for sharing your experience
Mindpro
View Profile
Eternal Order
10241 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
You're welcome, glad to be able to help. It is so important, especially in the beginning, to be put on the right path or learning can be confusing, overwhelming, and take you off on so many disruptive and unproductive directions. Plus, anytime you can learn specific information as it directly pertains to your exact professional or industry it will be much more helpful and applicable than any general information.

Yes, I too welcome others in joining in this discussion.

So let's continue...



3) How to use social media, how can I manage instagram and fanpage. How often should I post something and what it should be?


I saved this question for last for several reasons. First, how social media plays into any business depends on your business model and the market type (Professional or Consumer) you serve, and the actual markets you serve. There are additional factors but these are enough for us to address here.

As I have expressed, I am not a fan of those performers and entertainment businesses that rely solely on social media for their only source or even primary source of marketing. When I see many “magic marketers” this seems to be the common approach. The frame it as “hands-off” or “easier” but in reality it is neither. Now whenever I say this they usually respond with “well you just do not understand social media marketing.” This is incorrect. I understand it but in ways they do not like to discuss or prefer their students remain unaware.

So let’s start with the basics. Social media was created to be just that - social, not professional or business. Now, of course, some gurus have created methods and approaches to attempt to market through social media with methods that are designed to “look like” social posts but they then try to interject some business into it. Their typical approach to to teach others to use 80% information, entertainment, or engagement and then 20% business. Well of course everyone has long been onto this including algorithms and other tech elements.

Secondly, regardless to what these gurus want to teach and impound into your mind, one size does not fit all. Remember, all of this started with online marketers - working, operating, and targeting the online world. Then of course they try to tell you that it can easily be adapted to your own type of business (most of which are off-line business, especially service-based, in-person businesses.) It does not translate well or easily to most other types of businesses.

Of course most social media platforms quickly became aware of this practice and began offering paid ads or similar features. Sure, these can be a tool for your business but like any other marketing tool you must learn how to properly or best use them otherwise they will be a waste of money.

I am not saying social media can not play a role in your business, but I would never base my business and model on just online social media. When asked why most that do this do so, their answer is almost always the same - I am not good at business, marketing, or “the business side of all of this, so this is just easier.” To translate that sentence - “I am a lazy performer and would rather do this and be less-effective and my business less successful, than take the time and make the effort to learn how to properly run the business side of performing.” So they do it just because they are lazy and buy into the guru’s attempt to capitalize off of this (you).

Now some that serve real basic consumer markets that again do not even attempt to progress beyond the default business model, will just operate within the default model and the existing default mindsets and limitations, and remain comfortable operating within this type of default structure will tell you they have had some success with social media marketing. And to them I say, I’m happy for you. Yes, you will get a certain type and level of customer that work from the default consumer mindset, and use such methods, and shop as we discussed within the default process. These entertainers are fine with that and will get some results on that level. This is similar to Gig Salad and Gigmasters (Bash).

However, everything we have discussed was about moving past this default, starting level and operating on other levels of professionalism, efficiency, and positioning in an order to always not keep chasing after your next booking, be based on pricing to the prospect, and having difficulty long-term with holding at the same pricing, never progressing or growing beyond the limited levels of the default model, and of course leaving quite a bit of money on the table that you are missing completely.

So then where does social media fit into entertainment business operations? Well I will have to say it again, but first it really does depend on the decisions you made and how you’ve answered the questions back in the foundational level. As I’ve said throughout these pages those decisions and answers will dictate so many elements and aspects of your business on all level, currently and in the future.

While I am not a fan of social media marketing for most types of entertainers (kids entertainers a possible exception) I do think social media does have a place when used in conjunction with the methods we’ve discussed in these pages. You must still first be market-ready. You should have a business or fan page for your entertainment/performing business rather than a personal social media page.

Remember business posting is different than social posting to friends and family. Tone, delivery, and of course professionalism should remain throughout your social efforts. Social media can also be used to reinforce your positioning as well.

When much of what we’ve covered is targeted marketing, social media can also be by being part of and targeting specific related social groups related to your targets. Create your social media to serve and target those markets. This is where paid ads can come in.

I admittedly am not an expert in social media, I understand its use as a business and marketing tool, not a primary marketing method. It can create visibility and social-business interest. Besides interest posts, you can also utilize surveys, challenges, reviews and posts from gigs you are/have just performed at, thank you posts thanking those in attendance or those that hired you or companies/clients you’ve worked for, venues at which you’ve performed, reactions, video clips, photos, fun content, and other self-created graphics and content directly pertaining to your business.

The other huge thing you can do and include in your social media posts is Seeding as we have discussed earlier.

What do your target prospects or clients want to see or hear from you? What is of interest to them? You can educate through social media.

As far as frequency in social media posting, be consistent but not overbearing or a nuisance. Posting too much can cause you and your message to be ineffective. Posting 3-5 times a week is still considered pretty frequent. I’d be more concerned with quality than quantity. Don’t just post stuff to be posting something. Your postings should be congruent to all of the determinations you’ve created in your Foundational creation of your business - perception, positioning, professionalism, branding, etc.

Also pay attention to the news, current trending topics, stories, and discussions. Anytime you can use these to tie your business in with a newsworthy or trending topic or story, this created a social opportunity for your business.

Also use social media to cross-promote your mainstream media appearances or features.

Social media can be a great tool once your are market-ready and all other elements are currently in place. Use social media to enhance your marketing, not drive it. Know your desired Calls To Action and how they can fit into social media. Don’t force social media, but use it to reach your desired target prospects as it fits in with your greater picture.

Use it to further your relationships with those you are reaching. Use it to move cold prospects to warm or hot prospects, while staying in front of current and previous customers. Create a sub-marketing plan for social media within your business' overall marketing plan.
ed rhodes
View Profile
Inner circle
Rhode Island
2836 Posts

Profile of ed rhodes
Mindpro, you clearly know your stuff. You'll get no argument from me. However. I read in you post that among the important questions were;

How do I get new customers?
And How do I keep my old customers?

I would like to add a stone-cold entering the market question;

How do I BEGIN getting customers?

Presuming your act is tight (mine isn't, but I'm working on it) how do you get the fact that you exist and are available out to people for the first time?

How do you BEGIN in this field?

Thank you.
"All the world's a stage, but the play is badly cast!" - Oscar Wilde
Mindpro
View Profile
Eternal Order
10241 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Well of course that is the age old question for performers and business. And unfortunately, there is no one specific answer. It depends as there are so many variables.

For those just beginning and are only interested in performing for fun, family, and friends, they typically will perform anywhere they can whenever an opportunity arises. This is more of the amateur or hobbyist. Simply just let others close to you or in your circle of friends, family and acquaintances know of your talents and interests in performing and occasionally opportunities will come up for you to perform here and there.

This is not what I will focus on here since this is the Tricky Business forum and most of what we discuss are the business aspects of performing, usually for profit.

I mention this as when you are a hobbyist or amateur your mindset, approach, and expectation is different than when performing as a professional, whether part-time or full-time. Initially, like any business, you want to create awareness for your business (magic performing) by getting the message of your available services out to others who may have an interest in booking you. You want to reach prospective clients and customers.

The way most go about it in the beginning is really all over the place without much rhyme or reason. They decide they are ready to perform, believe their skills and performance are ready to be booked for others' events and audiences. So what they typically do is get some business cards printed, hand them out to people they know, on bulletin boards, and at magic shops, etc. in hope of getting a few calls from interested prospects. They have no idea who may call, if or when they may call, or what type of event they are calling for. This is why beginning magicians perform all kinds of different types of events and scenarios. There are existing stereotypes that exist, I I call "typical consumer default mentalites" which prevail and will fuel these situations unless you deliberately address this. Lay people typically think magicians do magic. They don't break it down into closeup, strolling, parlour, and stage/standup magic. To them they think all magicians do everything. So what they do before calling you is create a (uninformed) picture in their mind of what they think it to be. This may be a magician performing at a kids party, at a anniversary party, at a public event like a local community festival, or some other scenario. Then typically they see it in their minds as a magician performing in front of an audience on a stage or performing area. They typically don't think of strolling or a closeup table, they think more of a standup performance. Until they contact you and you educate them to these actual options, they (most) really have no idea about having magic or hiring a magician (unless they have done it before.)

This is why newer magicians are all over the place. The have created the performance that THEY like or want to do, but it often doesn't align with what others may think, want, or expect. This is why there are so many threads here along the lines of "I was just booked to do a _________ event, and I have never done one before. Anyone have any idea of what to perform or any tips for this type of event?"


Also because these beginning (performing for others professionally) performers are all over the place it actually becomes a very slow crawl to get going and usually with a level of frustration or a degree of disappointment. This is how other magicians have done it so when you talk to other magicians they say that this is normal and just the way it is in the beginning (magicians turning to and listeneing to other magicians.) This is normal but it doesn't have to be this way/

In reality it is sloppy, slow going, and all over the place because you are starting blindly without direction. I always use the example of it being like getting into a car, starting it up and putting it in gear without having any idea of where you are going. There is no destination, no plan. Often this is when accidents occur.

It doesn't have to be this way. In my training and materials, as you can see in the first 7 pages of this thread (and other threads here in Tricky Business) I often speak of and refer to the Foundational Level when beginning your performing professionally or for pay. The Foundational Level is where you, through a series of foundational questions and exercises, design and make a plan (a destination) for your performing (business) that allows you to begin with much more clarity and direction rather than being all over the place in a situation of which you have no control.

The Foundational Level (and its series of 50 questions) will allow you to make decisions, choices, and determinations for your performing that will give it direction and create a specific plan and path that allows beginning more specific and direct, which allows you to be much more in control and most of all will direct you how, where, and with what to proceed. You outline a destination for our performing (business) which will get you to your desired place more quickly, directly, and more profitably.

Think about it...you wouldn't start any other type of a business without a well thought out plan and overview of what you are seeking. Would you ever think of opening a restaurant without thinking of the menu or type of restaurant? Would you ever think of opening a clothing store without knowing who you were trying to serve and what type of products to offer (and so many other things) first? Most businesses start with a plan, direction, and goals, yet most performers don't. Sure they may have dreams about being the next David Copperfield or Sigfreid & Roy, but dreams often don't come with a plan. So they just start doing any kind of magic for anyone, with no idea of how to get to their dream level.

Success does not just happen it is created. This is the same whether your idea of success is just becoming a top performer in your local market or becoming the next DC or S&R.

The foundational Level is a series of questions and exercises that creates the outline or template for the magic/performing business you desire based 100% on your interests, beliefs, availability, personal and family situation, desired income needed, location, type of magic you want to perform, and so many other qualifying options and choices. It allows you to address the many elements that are needed to operate a performing business. Once done you have an outline, path, and very good idea of where you are going and what it will take to get there. It can also be done on the timetable of your choice making it totally customizable to you. The problem is most performers do not know the right or proper questions to ask to make these determinations which is why most start so blindly.

When I've hosted my live training events or accept a coaching student and this is one of the first things we present, it is usually as Oprah calls an "ah-ha" moment. It is a breakthrough moment. From the stage when I am teaching this I can see the breakthrough expressions on their faces and the light bulbs going on over their heads. It really is a thing of beauty that has taken me 40 years to create.

I see these guys and girls come in with doubt on their face and then witness this breakthrough in the first module of learning and immediately all doubt disappears and the possibilities become in sight with an air of confidence and excitement. And this is just the beginning. Once all of the foundational aspects have been created, it creates a much more direct, focused, with clarity to get from where they are to where they are now going.

The reason this is imporrant as it also how to proceed and how and where to go next.

This also includes becoming market-ready and having the right and effective promotional materials. These are the materials that create an interest in you, plant the seeds for your potential services, and get prospects both interested and excited about you and your services. These (along with your performance) are what will directly result in bookings and profits for you.

For those that don't do this, I suggest trying to at least make some basic choices and determinations of your own. There are pros and cons to every choice so always be aware of that. I get guys all the time that want to be cardicians. They only want to do card magic. That's great for them, but they must realize that it greatly reduces their performing options and available types of bookings/income. I don't say this to discourage them, but to present the realities of business. From a basic point of view, who stands a better chance of bookings and income - a guy (or gal) that specializes only in close up card magic, or the magicians that does a standup show, closeup, and strolling? This also demonstrates that when you operate as a hobbyist/amateur you decide what you want, think, and prefer. When you are performing as a business, you must often change your mindset to what is better or best for the business (income, marketability, bottom line.)



So to more specifically address your questions:

How do you BEGIN in this field?

I would like to add a stone-cold entering the market question;

How do I BEGIN getting customers?



Without going through my Foundational Level business creation work, I would try to at least think about the type of magic you want to perform and who would be your ideal audience or type of events. All businesses should begin with research. Research the many available performance markets available to magic performers. Study the differences and try to choose a market or two to work towards. Earlier in this thread Tajrung said he wanted to perform in the wedding market and corporate market. Once deciding this at least his thoughts, ideas, and progressions were towards these market directions.

Now I get as beginners we need to gain some initial performing experience. This is where local events and opportunities can come into play. I wouldn't initially worry about getting paid to begin as you actually need some live performing experience in front of real audiences (not family, friends, or co-workers.) Seek out opportunities within your community to offer or donate your services. You have to have a place to get your footing and be bad (it is part of the learning process.) I am currently working with a new coaching student who is 16-years old. He faces some other restrictions because of his age and just starting to drive. I told him to seek opportunities at school or school related events. He came to our last session and told me his school was having their annual variety show and do I think this could work? I said absolutely. He is signing up this week.

Seek out open mic nights and new talent nights (two different things) in your community. Every community has these and most are filled with musicians and welcome non-music performers such as comedians, magicians, mentalists, and jugglers as it offer something different and more variety. Video record your performance for personal review and critique. This is such a great way to get both experience and get your name out there publicly that I wrote two ebooks on this “Getting Initial Performing Experience & Stage Time - A Guide To Getting Your First Performance Opportunities and Open Mic Nights And Initial Bookings for Beginning Performers.” In it I include several resources for finding open mic nights and new talent nights in all areas across the U.S. and worldwide. https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view......forum=41

Of course there are other places like senior living centers, social clubs, hospitals, local community events, etc. Again it depends on the type of events/markets you want to perform for. There are many opportunities for kids events (stay away from schools and libraries as a beginner as these are actual markets, not starting places) but if you do not want to perform for kids (which many today prefer not to) then find events that better align with your interests. The key is to get out there and A.) get actual live performing experience, and B.) start to promote at these performances to get your name and services out there - hand out business cards or flyers, talk to people, present your services - use your Elevator Description (as I offer earlier in this thread), seed, have fun promoting using these free resources. Get known in your community.

Remember marketing and getting customers and bookings is both an art and a science. You are a performer so you should have good communication and presenting skills. These are your prime weapon when talking to others, promoting, and getting the word out about you and your services. If you don't feel good at this, this is also where these initial performances will come in to help you to better develop these talents (there are other talents that need development than just your slight of hand talents when it comes to business) to help you improve and get comfortable on all levels.

You need to reach people to get customers and bookings. More so the right people. People that could be in a position to book you. If you are interested in doing kids birthday parties, you want to seek out parents and moms in their twenties and early thirties. If you like performing for kids perhaps also seek out scout leaders, dance instructors, and sports coaches who all have fundraisers and banquets. Think like a marketer, not a magician. You are only a magician when you perform. At all other times your are a business owner and marketer. There is a saying ABM, Always Be Marketing. I agree with this but I prefer to always be marketing to a targeted, hopefully qualified prospect. You will get far more results (bookings - paid or unpaid) more quickly by doing this.

You must talk to people. You must present your services. The next thing I suggest is networking. Study networking as it applies to entertainment business. Others see what we do as unique and interesting. Use this to your advantage. Not everyone knows a professional performer. People are intrigued, take advantage of this. Again have your Elevator Description (bot the short and longer versions) down and ready to use at all times.

Know the services you have to offer, and know and be prepared for the questions most people will have when you speak or approach them. Again, this is covered in all aspects of my trainings and materials. Be prepared. If you do not know these things do your research or get education/training on this as it is the life-blood to both bookings and return business/customers.

As I also discussed earlier in this thread it is about building relationships. Relationships lead to return bookings and hopefully lifelong return customers, not to mention referrals.

We can go much deeper into these elements but this is the basis for everything. The more you know, understand, and master this, the more results and success you will receive.

Also, within all of this you can create your desired positioning for you and your performing business you want established within your community and performance markets.

Exposure and experience should be your first priority, followed closely by moving into the paying gigs based on the experience you have and the value you have created. Know who is your target audience and focus on them. Know your market, have done your research and always know your numbers. Choose viable and sustainable markets.

Lastly don't perform when marketing. For some reason magicians always seem to think everyone loves magic and always wants to see a magic trick a all times. They don't! I always prefer to keep all negatives away from my business, marketing, and networking. Forcing a magic trick on someone who does not want to see one is a major negative. Hear this...as a beginner seeing a magic trick will not make someone want to book you. You want your marketing and promotional message to be heard, not lost or overshadowed because you perofrmed a magic trick. The only time I would do this is if you are specifically asked, and ten only in specific beneficial situations. Often you create more interest and mystique by not performing anything. Save your performances for a networking or marketing showcase as this is what they are intended for. I have seen more magicians blow possible interests and leads than gain bookings from "let me just show you a little something." Yes, there is a time and place to perform, but more importantly there are many times when not to. When in doubt, leave it out!

Many beginners do not understand this, many pros do and know exactly what I'm talking about. Also if longtime pros do it it is usually because of a very specific reason and purpose, which are the exception to the rule, which is a deeper discussion altogether.

I hope this helps with your questions Ed.
ed rhodes
View Profile
Inner circle
Rhode Island
2836 Posts

Profile of ed rhodes
Honestly? No, it didn't. It was very deep and profound, but boiled down, you basically said; "It depends."
"All the world's a stage, but the play is badly cast!" - Oscar Wilde
Mindpro
View Profile
Eternal Order
10241 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Its a shame if that's all you got from my post. I felt I was being setup by you but gave you the benefit of the doubt. I gave you the truthful answer - it does depends on some specifics and what you are trying to accomplish and the type of performer you want to be. One size does not fit all. Sorry this isn't what you wanted to hear. It isn't that simple or everyone would be doing just great.
ed rhodes
View Profile
Inner circle
Rhode Island
2836 Posts

Profile of ed rhodes
I'm not setting you up. You had a lot of profound statements, but nothing simple and concrete. "Network?" With who? How? How do I find them. "The proper promotional material?" What is the proper promotional material? And how do I get it out there? Who do I send it to? You mention what's important, but not how to get there.

Try this for an experiment. Pretend you're sitting in your living room, with an act, and NO idea how or who to contact to let them know you're out there. What's the first thing to do?
"All the world's a stage, but the play is badly cast!" - Oscar Wilde
Fedora
View Profile
Elite user
Arizona, usa
427 Posts

Profile of Fedora
Ed, with all due respect, I believe mindpro did answer your question,
it was a fairly long post because there wasn't much to go on.

You asked, "I'm sitting in my living room, What's the first thing I do?"

i know it's not what You're asking, but I would start with the foundational
legal stuff, ie

choosing a business structure,

dba,

separate bank account,

business license(s) in whatever city or cities you'll be working in,

Performers insurance,

i would also consult with a professional about any accounting requirements.

you mentioned You've been reading beginner business books, so You're
probably already familiar with this stuff, but I think it's important to find
out and consult about this stuff with a tax/legal professional ahead of time
to avoid future trouble.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » How Do I...Entertainment Business? (65 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3~4~5~6~7~8~9 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2023 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.3 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL