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Mindpro
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In an effort to assist, I started this thread for member Tajrung and any others wanting to discuss actual entertainment business specifics.
This thread is not about books, courses, general conventional business, it about offering specific entertainment business advice to the OP of a previous thread addressing his specific needs and questions and any other on-topic entertainment business-related questions and content that may come from it.

Marketing requires a message - a predetermined specific message in place that you use to promote, market, and sell yourself to get bookings.

This is exactly what I mean when I say you need other things before you are even ready to market.

So let me ask you...I am at a restaurant in which you are performing. I inquire to you about your services. Tell me what you would (or are currently) say to the person asking?

Quote:
On Sep 5, 2022, Tajrung wrote:
I specialized with card magic and I m doing it for more or less 5 years but I started performing it 1.5 years ago.I can perform at very big restaurant so it's not like doing five minute ambitious card before people get salad. My show usually is 10-15minutes and one table contains 7-10 people. Sometimes I perform to table with 2 people but I perform different show there. As I said restaurant is big so at July and August I perform more or less 30-40 hours per week doing close up. On Saturdays I would start at 12 and get back at 1 or 2 a.m. Of course I know it working 8 hours continuously is not the best for my show but I need money. About my charging it's hard to say because I'm not from English and I don't earn money in euro or dollars. I'm studying and going to college and I can pay my rents and taxes only by doing close up magic at friday saturday and sunday.I know my close-up show could be better. I have 3 sets that I show to people and I think if I have to do close up show I can do 30-40minute close up show showing different tricks but probably I will need little space like table to put down the cards. I'm working for tips so at the end of the show I ask for tips and hand out business cards, and tell people to fallow me at my social media( but I just don't know what should I post there to keep people interest) I often didn't take performance offers because they were on Saturday and I knew that by going to the bar I could earn about 30-40% more than what they were willing to pay me


My stand up show lasts 30 minutes. People usually claps and laughting but we know sometimes they are drunk and it doesn't prove anything. I know it can be better and I m not pround of it. I start with rope trick and finish this show with cups and balls routine. I tried busking to improve my stand up skills, it wasn't the worst, but I know what mistakes I made and next season I'll do it better. I also did not do it too much for the reason that I was sure that I would earn more in my restaurant, and the money, however, would allow me to develop further

I know most of magician are never very pleased with general or typical business resources but I don't think it's good. I know 1.5 years is nothing and you have much more experience than me that's why I asked this question. I stayed at this restaurant because I earn a lot of money and I don't have to take money from my parents. I didn't try to get into any possible target audience, I just took the shows I got from the restaurant. Since I was studying it suited me to perform on weekends and during the week I could study. I don't perform for children because I just don't like it. So far, I have performed at weddings or Halloween type events. I would like to go more into these types of events or corporate events so I thought I would read a book about it to do it right


What would I say to person asking me about the show?
If somebody ask me about show I usually say. Okay give me your phone number and I will call you and make you an offer. Whether Monday suits you? (or any day usually I call next day or in 2 days). Some will give a number some will say no no no no tell me the price. So I say the show is tailored individually to the customer I can't answer the question now I'll call with an offer. But as a rule it does not work and they tell me "no no" tell me the price because I need to know. So I ask what they expect. How much time. Where the event will be held. How many people will be there. What date. And I answer that the show would most likely cost x to y. And that the actual value of the show would only be after a phone call. And it doesn't work very often.

Thanks again for your responses. I promise to check the thread more often


I would like to begin by asking you for something. What are the top 7 questions you currently have about where you are at right now in your business? You may have many more but think about what you would consider the top 7 questions in order of priority to you right now. Post them here for us all to see.

Quote:
My questions will be
1) How to get new customers. How to make people like me and how to be more charismatic
2) How to keep old customers with me. Remarketing my show. How to make them to remember my name and recommend me to your friend
3)How to use social media, how can I manage instagram and fanpage. How often should I post something and what it should be.
4)How to write a sales offer.
5)How to talk with customers when they call me. How to explain to them that I am better than the other magicians.
6) How to sell my show with a phone call, when I call to somebody
7) In which places I should try to sell my show.


So now to continue...
Mindpro
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A couple things to cover before we proceed. These are things in the foundational level that really should have been done before ever talking about performance, operations, and certainly marketing. This is why doing things in sequential order is so important.

I know you are seeking for more bookings leading to more revenue and profitability, but a few things need to be decided. You said earlier…

"I can pay my rents and taxes only by doing close up magic at friday saturday and sunday.
I often didn't take performance offers because they were on Saturday and I knew that by going to the bar I could earn about 30-40% more than what they were willing to pay me."


One of the rules of entertainment business is 86% of interest and events from inquiring prospects will be on Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays. So, the majority of possible work and bookings will be during these dates and times. While there are markets that comprise the other 14% they are typically schools, daycares, some corporate events, colleges/universities, senior living facilities, fairs, festivals, etc. I know you’ve said you prefer not to perform for kids, so that makes these options even less for you.

So you need to really consider, knowing more interest and inquiries will be for the prime Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays, are you willing to accept these bookings in place of the restaurant? Is the restaurant your main, prime gig/source of income,, or will you accept these other events in place of the restaurant on these days/times?

Magicians typically do restaurant work for one of these four reasons

1. Practice - to get better, a stating point
2. As a starting place to some initial performing experience and exposure
3. To work in new material
4. To attempt to generate other better paying bookings

Also you must look at pricing and revenue of one vs. the others. What is more profitable? What is leading you more in the direction you wan to head toward to get to your ultimate goal(s)?

These are foundational decisions you really should determined first. It does absolutely no good to “market” if you are not wiling to accept the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday gigs that are most likely to be generated. If you are not willing to give up the restaurant for these days, then you really should be focusing on target marketing to these other weekday possibilities. However, do they conflict with your schooling? These are questions you need to ask yourself as they will dictate your business’ direction and as you can see, how and where, and what type of marketing may be best for you and most appropriate to attain the foundational decisions and goals you have created.
Wravyn
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If a person does not desire to be performing as a full time profession, just using it to enhance income, is the business practice different or should it be practiced the same?
Fedora
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Thanks Mindpro for starting this thread, your time and experience is appreciated.

Taj's 7th question above is something I wonted to ask about more specifically.

He described a 30 minute stand up show, of course such offerings had a
lucrative market in decades past, most recently in the 90s at comedy clubs.

is there still good markets for such parlor/platform like shows at the moment?
and if so, what are they?

obviously on the consumer side there's kids parties, and some house parties.
there's also fair workers who work the grounds.

This question was aimed at Mindpro, but I'm glad to hear from anyone
with knowledge in the area.

Edit. Sorry wravyn for posting past you, was typing at the same time.
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Sep 19, 2022, Wravyn wrote:
If a person does not desire to be performing as a full time profession, just using it to enhance income, is the business practice different or should it be practiced the same?

Many things change, but it can be a competitive advantage. The guiding principles of how you want to be seen by your client should not change one bit.

If a market doesn’t exist, create one. The 30 minute comedy show was never that lucrative. It was a way to get to the lucrative spot.

If someone wants 60 minutes find a juggler and charge appropriately for the experience. There is always a solution you just have to be creative.

Some cruise ship shows are 45 minutes.

But to answer your question undoubtedly there are markets for that.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Sep 19, 2022, Wravyn wrote:
If a person does not desire to be performing as a full time profession, just using it to enhance income, is the business practice different or should it be practiced the same?


This is a great question. While I don't think a part-time professional has to have or do everything to the level of a full-time working pro, they do in many ways still must operate the same. True they are not relying on it as their sole source of income and therefore may not have to commit to putting the majority of their efforts into positioning and getting consistent revenue-generating bookings, the part-time professional, unless performing for only family and friends (which I don't consider a professional but a amateur or hobbyist) still needs to operate professionally to meet the needs and expectations of the customers or clients who are booking you.

There are really only two levels of performers - amateurs/hobbyists and professionals. I do not believe there is such a thing as a "semi-professional." This is something performers like to use or make up to in their minds to justify not having to commit to being a professional while just claiming to "do this on the side" or "only occasionally." They feel this allows them not to have be as good or to adhere to the same standards and levels of professionalism as a pro and to be able to operate to a lesser, somehow acceptable standard and expectation to those booking you. This is me-thinking from the performer but not the real-world reality of those you are performing for.

Many performers and entertainers fall into a false belief that they are just starting out, perhaps maybe only doing a paid show a small handful of times per year, just as a side source of income or fun, only part-time, so, therefore, they are not really professionals. They may see themselves as amateurs or hobbyists just ready to start performing for paid clients occasionally.

While this may be true and how you see it in your mind, it is not how it is seen by those that are paying you to perform for their events. They see it differently. They see that they are trusting their event to you. They are trusting you to entertain their guests. They are trusting you to make them look good for hiring you. The success of their entire event is being trusted to you and your ability.

Any time you accept payment for your performance services, regardless if you see yourself as a professional or whether you feel you are not yet a professional, the client always sees you as a professional. A paid professional they are spending their hard-earned money on to deliver a professional performance. They could have just had Uncle Joe to tell some of his crazy stories, jokes, and goofball magic tricks, but no, they made a conscious effort to pay a professional, to find you, decide on you, and to trust you for their needs.

Any time you accept payment for your services there is a new level of expectations in the mind of the client or customer. A new level or standard at which you are expected (whether it is your first show, whether you are only doing this one in a while on the side, etc.) to operate, execute and perform at a professional level. You must meet these professional expectations.

Being a part-time professional (which the majority of working performers are) performer still should be as professional in as many ways as possible to meet all expectations. They are now on a different playing field than just performing for family and friends. The minute you accept money for your performances or skills, everything changes.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Sep 19, 2022, Fedora wrote:
Thanks Mindpro for starting this thread, your time and experience is appreciated.

Taj's 7th question above is something I wonted to ask about more specifically.

He described a 30 minute stand up show, of course such offerings had a
lucrative market in decades past, most recently in the 90s at comedy clubs.

is there still good markets for such parlor/platform like shows at the moment?
and if so, what are they?

obviously on the consumer side there's kids parties, and some house parties.
there's also fair workers who work the grounds.

This question was aimed at Mindpro, but I'm glad to hear from anyone
with knowledge in the area.

Edit. Sorry wravyn for posting past you, was typing at the same time.



Personally I've never really understood why magicians always prefer to do a 30-minute show. It is not long enough to be a feature or headlining performance, unless, as you said, at a kids birthday party or similar, which makes it's possibilities and potential very limiting.

The best place for a 30-45 minute show is in a line-up show or event where your act/show is presented in conjunction with a lineup of other acts. The comedy club as you mention was one such performance venue but as Danny said it is not a headlining spot, so at best your a middle act in a 3-comic lineup, which only pays $100 to maybe $200 if you're lucky and there are less comedy clubs today than in many years so that is not a very viable market. Plus, you really have to be funny, not just a magic performer. Many comedy clubs frown on magicians today anyhow.

Other lineup shows may include variety shows with multiple acts, cruise ships which this market is in flux at the moment, school assemblies which tend to run 40-45 minutes but today really needs to be more educational entertainment than straight fun entertainment (with the exception of year-end events, post-proms, etc.), and if you have the right act created for the market and then positioned properly the wedding market has some real possibilities.

The 30-45 minute show was a staple in the after-dinner banquet market for years, but that market has never been the same since 9/11. Yes, it still exists but only as a former shell of what it once was.

The Parlour show (only in the magic community) has long been outdated anyhow which is why I would think the community would realize there are many more opportunities if you have a full-length 60-75 minute show as your foundation, which could always be cut-down in time if needed. This offers the best opportunity for bookings and decent pricing.

Another decent possibility for a 30-40 minute show in today's market is as an Opening Act. This can work well with other variety acts such as hypnotists, mentalists (when done carefully), and other specialty or novelty acts in theaters, larger clubs or venues, etc.

I agree with Danny in creating your own markets. I and my production company and agencies have done this on several occasions and it can work out great, and if done right you will not have any competition initially. Back in the 70s I did just this with shopping malls. I saw the beautiful center courts being built at indoor malls, the crazy amount of people coming to these malls, the great budgets the merchants association and marketing departments had at the time so I created it as a market for selling live entertainment and special events. It was crazy! I have also done this with other NTR (non-traditional revenue) venues. In the 80s and 90s we did the same thing with sports centers (formerly bowling alleys). We did the same with the wedding market as well. To some degrees, schools too. I also did many tours of service and social clubs with one of my production which would include bringing or booking a local an opening act comedian or magician.

Creating your own market offers many possibilities (and of course some obstacles as well) but can be very rewarding. This is a great point to demonstrate how knowing entertainment business, operations, and productions can make all of this possible. It is more than just being a performer, it is executing entertainment business.
Wravyn
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Thank you Mindpro.
This is where I failed in my past efforts when I was able to perform. Not knowing or understanding the dynamics of how things interconnected, between myself as magician and clients perceptions.

When I was attempting to book myself years ago, I bought many books which others recommended... Hustle Hustle... The Success Books... The Business of Restaurant Magic... Promoting Me and You... plus many others on how to get publicity, etc.
Even though I had a wealth of information, there were multiple roads and I found that I was going in circles.

What type of studies should I have been doing?
Dannydoyle
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The first study is the most important. What exactly are you trying to sell? Why is it of value and what is that value? To whom is it valuable to exactly? It is a wonderful example of the difference between simple and easy. What I just wrote is simple but not easy. Running a marathon is simple. Just run to the end. Nobody would confuse that with easy.

You need to know what separates you from every magician out there. This is all needed to be done otherwise you end up right in the middle of the pack with everyone else.

Have a defined product. That is essential prior to selling or marketing anything. Even if you don’t run an entertainment company is is necessary.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Fedora
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Thanks for the information, I've been developing a 60 minute
show for those very reasons, of course making a feature act
is more than just time, but that's a different discussion all together.

Mindpro mentioned the cruise industry is in flux, to my understanding
trade shows are also down at the moment, (as of 6 months ago)

as I write this it's late third quarter 2022, is there markets doing
particularly well sense 2020?

the question is probably outside of the topic of running an entertainment
business, but I didn't want to bother starting a new thread.
Mindpro
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I think staying up on current industry trends and news is important to any business. We are still experiencing a lot of aftermath and attempting to bounce back from the pandemic as some markets have been quicker to rebound than others. Weddings have been hot. Many were delayed or put off during the pandemic and have been crazy since last year.

We have noticed trade shows starting to bounce back but is a market that may take a bit longer due to their timelines of creating such events and the financial commitment to participating companies. For us attractions have been bigger than entertainment recently.

Fairs and festivals have been doing very well as have concerts and concert series. Casinos are bouncing back strong as well.

Kids birthday parties still are down and seem to be slower to bounce back at the moment.
Fedora
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Thanks for the overview, it's appreciated.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Sep 20, 2022, Wravyn wrote:
Thank you Mindpro.
This is where I failed in my past efforts when I was able to perform. Not knowing or understanding the dynamics of how things interconnected, between myself as magician and clients perceptions.

When I was attempting to book myself years ago, I bought many books which others recommended... Hustle Hustle... The Success Books... The Business of Restaurant Magic... Promoting Me and You... plus many others on how to get publicity, etc.
Even though I had a wealth of information, there were multiple roads and I found that I was going in circles.

What type of studies should I have been doing?



I really do not have anything I can recommend to anyone. This is exactly why I starting created resources is because much of the needed information didn't exist. Now, in spite of some opinions here, I do not say this to offer people my coaching services as most wouldn't be accepted or couldn't afford in the investment (not meaning you specifically, but generally) so it has nothing to do with that. I seriously have not come across anything that comes close, my team and I know most of what's out there.

One of the problems is this...I've never come across a single resource that covers everything required, something that leaves no holes, missing parts, or blanks that needs to be found elsewhere, or nothing that features all components working together in perfect concert to create the entire and complete business operations in all cohesive elements.

In reality it is a tall order which is likely why it has never existed, but it is exactly what is needed without missing pieces or adaptions.

This is also the problem with most "this is how I did it" resources as they almost always leave more questions that what they cover. Again, far from complete. This is also why it was hard to direct Tajrung in the other thread because other than

As much as others will never like to admit it I think this Tricky Business resource is as good of a resource as any available to most performers as it is free and while not complete, it is much more direct that most goose-chase resources. This is why I am still active here as it can at least be a helpful resource to those that want and need it. While I can not offer some of my proprietary content that others pay for, I still feel I (and others like Danny) offer far more than you will find in most paid resources that are available, still probably the only content that comes from the industry perspective (rather than a personal preference or perspective), from what I still believe is the only person on the Café who has held all 8 major entertainment industry positions from which to offer such industry perspective, insight, and information.

The only other thing I might offer to see if you can find anyone with such level of experience that could mentor you, not from a this is what I've done, but someone who operates from within the entertainment industry perspective and operations, perhaps an agency owner or industry producer/promoter.
Mindpro
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Also Wravyn, most that perform only very part-time or only occasionally are usually best being just a generalist and not at that point worrying too much about market specialization.
Wravyn
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Thank you. Much food for thought.
Fedora
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Mindpro, I've heard you say you've worked "all 8 major entertainment industry positions"
before, I don't believe I've ever heard anyone else say that.

what are the 8 entertainment industry positions?
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Quote:
On Sep 20, 2022, Mindpro wrote:
Kids birthday parties still are down and seem to be slower to bounce back at the moment.


In my personal experience, kids birthday parties seem to be busier than ever, as of about September 2021.

One thing that might have made a difference, was that I stated on my website that I was vaccinated, as many parents were initially asking about that. However, they don't ask about that as much nowadays.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Sep 20, 2022, Fedora wrote:
Mindpro, I've heard you say you've worked "all 8 major entertainment industry positions"
before, I don't believe I've ever heard anyone else say that.

what are the 8 entertainment industry positions?


When I was asked to come and participate here it was because the forum was all over the place with much misinformation and confusion. At the time I was told (and as far as I know it is still the case) of the 60,000+ members here I am the only one with all of the following industry credits:

- Full-Time National Touring Headlining Performer
- Agent & Owner of 6 Entertainment Agencies
- International Talent Broker
- Producer (also T.V. Entertainment Consultant)
- Promoter (including Director of Sponsorships, 2/4 Walling)
- Publicist
- T.V. & Radio Personality (25 years)
- Owner/Management of T.V./Radio Media Outlets

Plus, of course, as most here know entertainer and entertainment business consultant for entertainers and live entertainment venues
Coach and trainer for entertainers and entertainment venues
Author and creator of over 100 entertainment business books, courses, live training events, audio programs, and modules
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Sep 21, 2022, Donald Dunphy wrote:
Quote:
On Sep 20, 2022, Mindpro wrote:
Kids birthday parties still are down and seem to be slower to bounce back at the moment.


In my personal experience, kids birthday parties seem to be busier than ever, as of about September 2021.

One thing that might have made a difference, was that I stated on my website that I was vaccinated, as many parents were initially asking about that. However, they don't ask about that as much nowadays.

- Donald


Wow, that's great to hear! I am seeing them bounce back but it is slower than I thought it would be. With an impending recession it'll be interesting to watch as perhaps parents are a bit cautious? I hope the trend continues, but for our kids bookings and many that I work with, other areas have been much stronger and the kids parties, while still there, have not yet reached pre-pandemic numbers.

Glad you're doing well.
Mindpro
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The problem with kids party markets is there aren't any real numbers to follow on the market but maybe some others will chime in here with how its been for them.
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