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Tajrung
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Mindpro

I will address one by one what I read

Tipping is too stressful for me, I need something steady. I never know how much I will get from tips, I can suspect that most likely more than ....z?, but I'm not sure, the weather affects tips and things beyond my control, you can't build security and stability on that for the long term


The wedding I attended created an opportunity for a show. People wanted to watch me and it was a good show. Not everyone was from my family, some people were from outside the family. I arranged with the photographer who was at that wedding to take pictures during the show, in addition I took pictures with the bride and groom. I hope they came out well. I will be able to use them somewhere. I didn't do the show for a long time because I was there to relax a bit, besides, at some point the guests were more interested in me and how I was doing who I was how I learned, etc. than in the bride and groom, and it's their day. I only have photos, you know, I could have hired separately some photographer to take a promotional video of the show and take more photos (I think that would have been the best option), but sometimes I'm not the most important one and I didn't want to do it there.

As for sticking to the topic, I don't know if I just don't understand what is written in that previous thread, set up earlier by me, because my English is too poor, or if they just have some weird theories

Of the things you mentioned I most likely only have a business card.

A promotional piece is a fanpage for example?

I am just thinking of things like one-sheet where I would describe my services in detail. I did a photo shoot to have pictures of me with cards or magic props in good quality, taken with a good camera, so that my face looks good too

Thank you very much for your help I will start using your advice, it gave me a lot to think about.
Mindpro
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On Sep 23, 2022, misterillusion wrote:
It was simply the fact I was doing something incorrect and did not realize it. I was thinking like a magician!!! .....word to the wise.


Yes, this is so important. I appreciate your kind words. I must admit I hear this all of the time from so many that have my resources or that I work with. This is a part of education that you rarely hear about or understand. So much of what education focuses on is "what to do." But real education also includes the more important "what NOT to do" and "why." Especially in entertainment.

I also think this is one of the great advantages to working with a coach or mentor, which is unlike general books (that so many here seem to think is the answer), they can not possibly tell you what you are doing wrong. What you are doing wrong can be THE worst possible thing in a performers business. Doing things wrong or incorrectly is the single-most factor in lack of desired success or failure.

I can not tell you how many guys that have been doing this for decades - 20, 30, 40 or more years have been doing things wrong or incorrectly the whole time only because "that's what they've read in a book," "that's is how I was taught," (and my personal favorite) "that was the way they've always done it." MisterIllusion's realization above is a prime example.

I, for one, always teach and train with the "what not to do" and "whys" included, however most don't. This is where the real understanding takes place as you not only understand what not to do but then the why is what makes it all make sense. However, as we see here, many can't handle the truth or the admit the fact that they are doing things wrong or that there is such a thing as bad advice.

I have said before performers, especially magicians, are very monkey-see, monkey-do in their approach to business (and often even performing.)

I do think this is why many of coaching students and consulting clients continue to keep working with me years down the road, many actually seeing me as part of their business on a continual basis, as this "what not to do" and "why" literally creeps up in so many facets of entertainment business. When you try to use general business practices you will never learn these things and the related intricacies.

These usually lead to "ah-ha" or "break-though moments" that are business, and even in some cases, life-changing.

So glad this has worked out well for you so far.
Fedora
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Taj about promo photos, be sure to get some of you not holding
props as well.

I've noticed the best websites and promo material I've
seen has had a simple picture of the performer as the header.

Also, see if you can get some action shots of you performing.
Tajrung
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Fedora

Yes I will have some photos only of me. I add props only if it add some mysterious to the photos. Thanks for advice

I will try get action shot. I know it is important when I have the next opportunity I will do it right away
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Sep 25, 2022, Tajrung wrote:
Mindpro

I will address one by one what I read

Tipping is too stressful for me, I need something steady. I never know how much I will get from tips, I can suspect that most likely more than ....z?, but I'm not sure, the weather affects tips and things beyond my control, you can't build security and stability on that for the long term


The wedding I attended created an opportunity for a show. People wanted to watch me and it was a good show. Not everyone was from my family, some people were from outside the family. I arranged with the photographer who was at that wedding to take pictures during the show, in addition I took pictures with the bride and groom. I hope they came out well. I will be able to use them somewhere. I didn't do the show for a long time because I was there to relax a bit, besides, at some point the guests were more interested in me and how I was doing who I was how I learned, etc. than in the bride and groom, and it's their day. I only have photos, you know, I could have hired separately some photographer to take a promotional video of the show and take more photos (I think that would have been the best option), but sometimes I'm not the most important one and I didn't want to do it there.

As for sticking to the topic, I don't know if I just don't understand what is written in that previous thread, set up earlier by me, because my English is too poor, or if they just have some weird theories

Of the things you mentioned I most likely only have a business card.

A promotional piece is a fanpage for example?



I understand and agree with the tipping perspective. You have a healthy perspective of this that I think will help you as you move forward.

That sounds great about the wedding and was exactly why I asked as I would've suggested the same thing that you did. Good job! I also think you have a great understanding of working the wedding market - you can not over-shadow the bride and groom on their special day. Not even close. This needs to be remembered in both your performance at weddings, as well as in your business approach and positioning towards weddings and the wedding market. I think from the sounds of it and what I know of the Polish market, you can do well in the wedding market. Close-up is fine but also a wedding stage show can be very inviting.

As for sticking to the topic and that other thread that you referred to, you must understand exactly what is happening and what you walked into. There has long been a small handful of guys here that have a personal problem with Danny and myself and have committed to opposing most anything we contribute. It is a personal agenda that has doing to do about you or your interest. In fact, if you look at most thread topics that would pertain to running, operating, and growing a performer's entertainment business you will easily see the same guys doing the same thing in nearly every thread. So this really has nothing to do with you, you just unwillingly got involved because you just happened to be the one we were trying to help. Danny always stands up to him/them due to their lack of respect to the forum, members that come here for real entertainment business advice and help, and reminding everyone to be careful who and what you listen to and that all information and experience is not the same. I will typically support him with the understanding that fact (based on actual experience) is different from opinion (of non-performers and non-entertainment business owners.) It is always some dirivitive of the same thing. I don't understand why it happens, and most of them have been banned, warned, or removed from here but there are still a few who continue this agenda and prevents the progression of the actual learning entertainment business and operations in this forum. It scares many away, forces others to feel they have to take sides, while really confusing others all-together. It continues a snowball effect of nonsense and BS that continues. While I do get involved for the purpose of context for those who may not know all of this, and to offer the industry perspective here (which is what I was invited to do) I prefer to let my content, based on knowledge and experience, speak for me. As you will see there is much magician's mentalities that exist with much from these guys. This is why I applauded you for sticking with this. The accusation of us being the same person is just part of this imagined and made up conspiracy theories from these guys. It has also been done before and is really more desperate and laughable than anything else, so please do not be offended or take it personally.

As for the promotion piece being a fanpage, that can be part of this but not what I was really referring to. A social media fanpage can be a great support or supplemental tool to the more direct promotional pieces I mentioned (one sheet, video, website, brochure, etc.) as not everyone is on social media and more are leaving in record numbers. So a fanpage can be a enhancement tool but I wouldn't make it my main promotional source.


Now let's get back to the Elevator Description I has started in the last post...

Elevator Description


You must absolutely know how to concisely answer the question -“what is it that you do?” or “Tell me about yourself.”

An elevator speech is a short (10-second) description of what you do and how it benefits who you do it for. It describes how you offer value to your customer or client and shows your interest in them.

An Elevator Description is short and concise and is presented easily and naturally.


“What You Do” Statement> Product or Service> Solution

An example of an Elevator Description is:

Generic Example

“I offer low prices and speedy delivery on your generic drug purchases so that your office can provide your patients with prompt and cost-effective care.”


“What You Do” Statement> Target Performance Market(s)> Target Geographical Market(s)

Generic Magician Example

“I am a professional magician that performs close-up, strolling, or full stage magic for all types of family and corporate events in Atlanta and the metro area.”

Your Name> “What You Do” Statement> Target Performance Market(s)> Target Geographical Market(s)

“My name is (name) and I am a professional magician that performs close-up, strolling, or full stage magic for trade shows and corporate events in Atlanta and the metro area.”



The same but with positioning and market specialization:

Template

Business Name> Your Name> - “What You Do” Statement> - Specialization> - Target Market

My company is (company name) and my name is (your name). I am a ____________________ that (what you provide) for (your target audience, specialization, positioning) in (your geographical market).



Example

“My company is Magical Solutions and my name is (name). I am a professional magician that performs close-up, strolling, or full stage magic for trade shows and corporate events in Atlanta and across the U.S.”


Clear, easy to understand, and concise (not ambiguous)
It introduces and positions you and your business and will make them want to hear or learn more (people are fascinated with entertainers and will usually lead to more questions and/or interest.)

Know how to speak about your business with your Elevator Description and deliver that message in everything you do - in your performing, speaking, networking, marketing, press and media, in promotional materials, in your introduction at professional events, - everywhere.



Now let’s look at how to use this in your performance/after-performance with Seeding

Seeding is when you strategically drop specific pieces of information into a conversation, presentation, or performance with the direct intention of triggering something specifically relative or applicable to the recipient, or to implant bits of specific information that you offer for the sole purpose of connecting or resonating with the recipient. This makes your information directly relative to the recipient and their interest, needs, or intentions. Seeding also allows you to control the direction of the conversation or presentation and to speak to the possibilities that are relative to the recipient.

Seeding, when done properly, is your secret weapon for non-pushy selling.

Seeding can not only trigger their direct interest but steer the exchange in their direction often leading to more questions (and engagement) from them pertaining to their interest in you, you product, or services.

With seeding you don’t need to do anything else or push the point. You then allow the seed to “harvest” into greater interest from the recipient either immediately or at a later time when the prospect is much more open to listening to you. After connecting and processing the seeded information, they may even start pursuing you to find out more. Seeding can alter their thinking process to the seeded information that you have provided with interest in you and your offerings.


<Reintroduction> Gracious/Gratitude Statement> - CTA 1> - Seeding> - CTA 2 Sales Seeding - Types of Services> - Contact Action/Capture


Reintroduction (after your set/performance) - “Once again my name is (your name here)”,

Gracious/Gratitude Statement - “I want to thank you for your for letting me bring you a touch of magic.”

CTA - Call To Action 1 - “I hope you will come on back and see me again here”

Seeding - “if you’re ever looking for magic entertainment at a family or company event

CTA 2 Sales Seeding (types of services) - “please keep me in mind as I can do a strolling, walk around or a stage show entertainment.”

Contact Action/Capture - (as you present them with your business card or leave a stack of three cards on their table) “Here’s a few my cards for you, please keep me in mind, thank you!”


All Put Together…

“Once again my name is (your name here), I want to thank you for your for letting me bring you a touch of magic. I hope you will come on back and see me again here and if you’re ever looking for magic entertainment at a family or company event please keep me in mind as I can do a strolling, walk around or a stage show entertainment. Here’s a few my cards for you, please keep me in mind, thank you!



If you get an inquiry or someone asking about your services…


Confirmation Seeding> Contact Action CTA> Prospect Contact Capture>


Confirmation Seeding - “Yes I do family events, company or corporation events and I can do strolling, walk-around,or a stage show.”

Contact Action CTA - “Here's/you have my card just contact me with your event interest and details and I'll be happy to give you the best price for your event.”

Prospect Contact Capture - “Do you have a business card or email address where I could send you my information?”


All Put Together…

“Yes I do family events, company or corporation events and I can do strolling, walk around or a stage show. Here's/you have my card just contact me with your event interest and details and I'll be happy to give you the best price for your event. Do you have a business card or email address where I could send you my information?”


If they still press you on a price...

Pricing Response Control Statement

“I have performances from a few hundred dollars to my top of the line stage shows that are) $1500, so it all depends on your interests and event details.”


So let's look at what is really at play here...


So every thought, word, and action must be well thought out and presented to serve your exact and direct message.

It does no good to market or to try to get these leads if you’re gonna blow it by not knowing what to say and how to direct the conversation and their actions and convert into a booking. This is why I say there’s much you need to do before ever getting the marketing. Marketing is no good if all of your time efforts and expense go to getting people to contact you and only to find that you don’t know what to say to them or how to convert them into to sales or bookings. It’s a waste of time effort and money. This is why you must do things in the right order and start with the proper foundation

This is really about the psychology that is at play with the magicians performance.


To recap so far...

Business Needs:

- Foundational Decisions
- Name/Identification
- Elevator Description
- One Sheet
- Business Card
- Website
- Video
- Sales Performance


Do you have a name for your performing business?
Fedora
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Mindpro, I assume You're going to address it in
your next post, but I'll ask anyway.

Do you think the company name should be completely
distinct from the performer, ie "just okay entertainment"

vs. "JonesMagic" for example, including part of your name
in the company name?

Do you think it matters?
Mindpro
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Great questions. Much of it depends on a few things including the decisions and choices you made with your foundational questions, positioning, and whether you are serving professional or consumer markets, or both.

A few things...industry stats claim that prospects prefer to do business with a performer with a company name (64%), especially in the professional markets. I also think it depends on your long-term visions and goals. If you think it will always only be you as the performer, your name or your name in the title is more acceptable i.e. The Magic Of Joe Mendoza. I personally thing it is okay but nothing very professional or memorable. It really doesn't have any positioning on it's own.

However, if you ever think of growing, expanding, or scaling your business, a company name, possibly with positioning would be more beneficial.

Also, how you will be marketing and promoting your business heavily comes into play. People will often remember a company name or brand more than an individual. What is your objective? Do you want them to remember you specifically or do you want them to remember your company?

For examaple, for decades I have specialized in the education market. I had name notoriety when on radio and t.v. so for this market I chose to use a company name. It worked great and never conflicted with my ventures where I used my own name. Using a company name also allowed me to expand beyond just my own performances to scale my business. Before the internet after my first Oprah appearance I literally went from a local or regional entertainer to a national and international entertainer getting booking interest and inquiries from 16 counties after the show aired. Having a company name made this much easier. So I would market with the company name which allowed me to do great press and media but not to promote me but my company which created huge opportunities on the larger scale than just being local.

Now the long-term benefits came into focus. If it was just me performing with my own name my business would pretty much end when I retired, stopped performing, or died. The value was me. But with a company, it can survive beyond just me as a performer. I can hire and train other performers to extend beyond just me. Now when I die it is an entity that can be passed on as I wish. Much greater value.

Plus, for example, now I am so involved in my coaching, consulting, training, and other related business ventures I am cutting back on my school market traveling and number of shows per year. However several of my shows still have very strong interest and a stellar reputation, so I have started licensing 5 of my shows to other performers/speakers. This interest has been great - proven shows complete with full scripts, materials, all marketing materials, and travelable by plane, car, train or any other means. I could have never done this nationwide with just me as a sole performer.

These are just a few things to consider. I personally think it is easier to market and promote a brand and just a sole performer. I do believe people think of a specialized company in higher regard and perception (and often value) than a sole performer. As an agency(s) owner I hear this directly all the time.

As far as using your name in a company brand or name, I think it too can be limiting. There is a chance of it being perceived as less in some ways. I prefer a company name that includes positioning.
Fedora
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Thanks, you've given me some things to consider, actually, this
whole thread is turning into one of the most interesting on the Café.
Mindpro
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On Sep 26, 2022, Mindpro wrote:
These are just a few things to consider. I personally think it is easier to market and promote a brand and just a sole performer. I do believe people think of a specialized company in higher regard and perception (and often value) than a sole performer. As an agency(s) owner I hear this directly all the time.


I meant to say...

I personally think it is easier to market and promote a brand THAN just a sole performer.
Mindpro
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Let me add one more thing to the name topic. I left out one more thought and example. If you have a performing name that is not your own name but a character or identity that can be branded and promoted, this can be another great idea. I see this often more with kids performers but a great example of this is The Great Zucchini in the Washington DC metro area. His performing name is his brand and is a well-known name, that of celebrity in his area.

I recently worked with another popular kid's performer doing the same thing. However the issue still arises, is it only just as long as he is performing with such a name? It could be, or the brand could continue on with another performer performing in that role, or perhaps multiple performers. I also don't think this is necessarily exclusive to only kid's performers. Just another consideration that can be successful.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Sep 26, 2022, Fedora wrote:
Thanks, you've given me some things to consider, actually, this
whole thread is turning into one of the most interesting on the Café.



I think all threads could be as helpful and serving as this one if we are allowed to just continue without distraction and derailment. This is what Danny and I have been saying for several years now.

Look at this thread alone. We have had 8 members here contributing and many more lurkers, three that I've heard from thanking me for doing all of this and keeping it on-track and finally being able to go deeper into entertainment business.

This is what is "magicians helping magicians" that several here mentioned and is really all about. This is that helpful information that can result in income, revenue, profits, growth, and if nothing else, trigger some great thoughts and discussions. This is what Tricky Business should be about. And really I have only begun to get into things here on this thread. If not interrupted, I am sure it can become one of the most valuable in TB.

Plus notice how others, including yourself, have chimed in with other related thoughts and questions. This is how it is supposed to progress. As Danny says a real (on-topic) discussion of peers with the same or similar interests. I'm sure it will spawn other threads as we progress as well. Enough of these and maybe we will start getting back some that have left and will be willing to contribute again.

Some great questions and topics have also come in private that hopefully we can also get to those as I think others here would find very helpful, useful, and beneficial to their operations and entertainment business.
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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I've been reading with great interest the topic of having a performing name other than your real name. For me it's exactly that. I originally adopted my name because there was another local magician that had a very similar name to my real name. Fast forward a few years and another local man started using half of my name that I perform under, so I had to go through the process of making my performance name a Trade Mark to protect it. I'm not much into the full on promotional side of asking everyone I do shows for to put up a Google review etc. In fact I haven't asked anyone to do that for years. I still get enough work to keep very busy.
On the topic of having a "brand" Vs "performing name only", it's becoming an interesting experience here. What seems to be happening a lot is that "brand name companies" are setting themselves up as agencies with entertainers all over the country and do quite a bit of monetised advertising on Google. For the record I only do a few shows for two such agencies each year. One of them recently went full on with requiring all performers to "register" a lot of personal details into a portal, and then putting in things like "if you have a booking with them, and can't make it, you are required to find a substitute or repay back 50% of the deposit" etc. I decided to back out and not go ahead with them for any future work. They set up a Phillipino call centre to take all bookings. All for lowering costs, but these people have no idea about local situations, and at times get the details a bit off. Other so called "brand agencies" have lots of "hyperbole" on their websites. One such company had on their website that they had over 1500 shows, hundreds of thousands of happy kids who've seen their shows in my city where I live etc etc. I knew they were from a city over 3000 miles away, so I gave their number a call to find out who it was doing all the shows here in my area. Got through to someone who actually only answers the phone to be told after a couple of questions that they don't actually have anyone in my city at all, with no plans to have any. With all the SEO that goes into these sites, it can be quite misleading in my opinion to the average punter. I've turned up to gigs and found out many times that the bookers had no idea they were dealing with a company on the other side of Australia, and had no idea who the actual magician was that was coming to their kids party.
On the other side of the coin there are many local "corporate" guys who are getting less work from agents and are getting contacted directly by clients. Many agencies here were quite decimated during Covid which happened to a lot of people as well. Google searches are now making it much easier for clients for corporate workers for proper fees rather than large percentages added on.
Me personally I'm happy to continue as things are, performing as a "character name" and when I retire that will be the end of it. The ony thing I've thought to do was teach a couple of my granddaughters who I think have the potential to be good kids entertainers, and they can get started with me and then when I'm done they can go for it. I'm 67 at the moment, and not thinking I'm going to be able to keep at it for a long time to come.
This is my story and yours may vary.
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
Tajrung
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As for the name of the business, I don't have it yet. In Poland, everyone is called, First name, last name - The Magician. So I did the same. Some people have their artistic name, as a stage persona, but in practice it's just another ordinary name. In reality they are called Jack Smith and stage name is Harry Smith. I never looked at it from that side. Mindpro could you say a little more about how to choose the right name. It seems to me that some names are certainly more interesting and attract more attention than others. So far I've associated business names with agencies that have a lot of artists they hire, even though I'm the only artist should I go more towards starting an agency? The argument about the fact that it can all be expanded to include more artists, and that after my death, someone might take over a bit interested me

Thank you very much for your reply
Mindpro
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The last two posts have me concerned about what you guys are considering "online agencies." This is one of the exact reasons I wrote my book "The Entertainers Guide To Working With Agents And Agencies."

I believe what you may be referring to as "online agencies" are more lead services like Gigmasters/Bash, Gig Salad, and such here in the states. They are not really agencies although unfortunately that seems to be how many performers seem to view them. I cover this extensively in my book "Gigmasters & Other Online Booking Services."

Yes, there can be legitimate agencies that will choose to use online SEO and ads, but that is not for the most part how most real agencies work.

One of the things that is so important to professionals performers business is having control over your bookings. That includes every facet of the booking process - fielding incoming inquiries, how your services are presented, pricing and packages, the promotional information used, positioning and branding used, the follow-up process, the confirmation process, the rider or performance instructions, payment, onsite direction and execution, and post production processes and follow-up. And finally, relationship continuation.

This is why I always recommend being self-represented, especially in the beginning (first 3-5 years) for a variety of reasons but mostly to allow yourself to see and be part of the process, learn what the prospects really want and expect, and mostly to have control of your business and operations during this process while you become established.

Agents and agencies are not how most perceive to expect them to be. There are many different types of agencies. Also, the agency/agent and artist relationship has changed over the years. Only you can properly present your business the best, and if and when an agency enters the picture this control must continue within that relationship.

There is no way this happens with "online agencies."

Now as far as the name issue...


Mindpro could you say a little more about how to choose the right name. It seems to me that some names are certainly more interesting and attract more attention than others.

So far I've associated business names with agencies that have a lot of artists they hire


In my trainings I use a phrase "perception is more important than reality." Especially when it comes to positioning, branding, and marketing. For example let's look at what you just said. You said "I've associated business names with agencies." While this is not at all true it creates an image or perception that they are "an agency" or "more professional" or "that they represent more than one artist/offering."

Many would take this to mean they are better, more experienced, more professional, more experienced that just John Smithski, magician (see what I did there, a little Polish humor there). While not necessarily true it does instantly create a position of credibility and perhaps a level of proficiency. Real? Maybe, maybe not. Perception? For sure.

So using the same perception mentality, why couldn't the solo performer use the same approach to naming?

Of course some of this is a matter of preference, and some of it depends on several of the foundational questions and how you answer them. (do you see how so many of the questions entertainers have can be addressed and often determined by going through the actual foundational process?).

One of the concepts I have taught for four decades and in all of my business ventures is to "always think 3 steps ahead of yourself." There are several reasons for doing this, but for this discussion let's consider where you currently are (the here and now) but also consider where you want to go down the road, in 3 to 5 years, in 10 years, and at the end of your performing career (whether by choice as in retirement or in the event of uncontrollable circumstances). This is one of the foundational questions that creates both direction and clarity.

Most view things like this shortsidedly. Only thinking of the here and now AND what they THINK they want now, just like your initial inquiry Tajrung seeking what books to get bookings. By thinking of these 3 steps ahead of yourself and in the here and now as well as at different points in the future, as you can see, an entire different picture of direction "magically appears" (I couldn't help myself).

If you have any thoughts of your entertainment business ever becoming more than just yourself you may consider a company name rather than just your individual name. This could mean offering more or additional services yourself, it could mean having a partner or spouse that is also part of your company, it could mean expanding to other acts (more on this in a moment), it could mean having several business locations (different areas or geographical markets), it could mean specializing in different performance markets, it could mean partnerships or mergers with other companies or businesses, it could mean off-shoot business of your own, and so on. There are many other possibilities to consider beyond just your current here and now.

This is also the difference of just running your business as just a (solo) performer vs. running it as a company and business. It is also where perceptions comes into play.

Then there is the marketing aspect. Now I am not talking about online, social media, SEO or any of that type of marketing. I'm talking about active marketing rather than passive marketing. I absolutely strongly believe in a relationship-based business. I can honestly tell you the reason every one of my entertainment businesses are so successful is because of relationship business and marketing. It is what allows me to not have to do any marketing at all in this phase of most of my businesses (or very minimal if I choose) is because almost all of my business comes from these long-standing relationships. I have clients that I've done shows for annually or multiple times a year for over 35 years now. This is not just a few clients, but many, many (the majority) clients that I have this in place and these each are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars each to my business. It is return business with an excellent ROI.

In my training I often talk about and refer to the 5 types of bookings for every entertainment business (one of the points that differs greatly from conventional business) and relationship-based business is at the heart of much of this.

Marketing, in many aspects, will be executed differently if you are just trying to only ever find some local general bookings vs. marketing to position your business and be a prominent business in your market(s).

Let me share a quick story that also touches on addressing the agency question you had -

should I go more towards starting an agency? The argument about the fact that it can all be expanded to include more artists, and that after my death, someone might take over a bit interested me

Before I get to the story let me first say it is sooooooo much easier to start and run an entertainment performing business today that it was in the 60s. 70s, 80. and 90s before the internet. It was so time-consuming, expensive, labor-intensive, much lower ROI, much slower results, and the entire process worked at a snail's pace.

Today if someone inquires they can do so in person, by phone, email, or even text. Literally within minutes I or someone from my office would call them or email them the info they are seeking and have it in their hands almost instantly. In the years I mention above you had to put a package together with your printed promotional information, type (on a typewriter) a cover letter, put in your physical beta or vhs video cassette all into a box, address it, tape it, drive it to the post office or have a postage machine in your office (another pain in the *ss and a great expense) and mail it at the price of $11 - $16.00 - each! Each and every time someone inquired. Then it took about a week for it to get to them, then they needed a day or two to review the materials and view the video (we actually put in a package of microwave popcorn for when viewing the video) and then either call them back to follow up or wait for them to call you.

Today this entire process can be done in minutes and for free.

This is the exact reason why I started my own first agency. I was marketing my show and realized the expense involved. Back in those days most didn't have videos yet so the only way to see an act was to go out and see them perform live. I'd do that and would talk to them after their show and they all were saying the same thing. We love what we do but we just can't get enough bookings. We need more bookings to have the money to better market ourselves because it was so costly.

On the drive home from one of these nights out to check out other talent (and my competition) I had the idea of that it really wouldn't cost me anything more to also include the one-sheets of 2-3 other acts in with my promo that I was already sending out. I then choose a handful of acts that were not direct competition to my show and offered this arrangement. Everyone said yes as it created a win-win situation for all. I initially charged them a fee for my designer to make their one-sheets up to my suggested standard, with MY contact info on them, and then I received a 20% booking commission for anything I booked for them. It was on a non-exclusive basis so they could continue to get their own shows, but it was simply another source of booking for these artists.

Well, from the very first week of promotional packages I sent out there were bookings for me as well as every one of the other acts I "represented" (included in the package) and walla, I decided to start an agency. I knew right away my performing name didn't sound professional enough and begged the question what is this guy doing booking these other type of acts, so at that point I immediately went with a company name.

Not to get off-topic but I think creating an agency, even just locally, is something that any serious performer should at least consider. There are many advantages and possibilities to it, and I have assisted many in doing just that.

The problem for most performers is we are simply one type of act. Regardless if you are a magician, mentalist, hypnotist, puppeteer, juggler, etc. we create a single option. This creates either a yes or no scenario. Either they're interest in your type of entertainment or they are not. As an agency with multiple types of offerings you are presenting them with options and choices. It is no longer the same yes or no situation you have as just a solo performer. And you have multiple sources of income.

Interestingly some other very unique (and back then) unexpected things also started to occur. Inquiring prospects act differently and treat you differently rather than as just a solo performer. They open up much more, are less defensive, are open to being educated and even directed, and there is more of an immediate trust towards you and your business, and they open up and tell you much more about them, their company or event, and their specific interest and thoughts. They see you as more than just a performer but more of a market specialist which we can greatly use to our advantage when completely understood. This also changes they way you market and approach marketing. It can be, when done right, very powerful. And can create great positioning that is simply not available to a solo performer.

Should every performer do this? Should every entertainer business do this? No. But as entertainment business owners and professionals we should be open to different types of related possibilities and opportunities available to our business.

It's up to each of us and what we want out of our entertainment business to decide if an agency is right for you. You must understand options that are available as well. You could be a specialty agency that just specializes in magic and magicians, or you cold be a full-service agency that specializes in all types of entertainment (magic, hypnotists, jugglers, bands, djs, duos, trios, vocalists, games, caricature artists, strolling artists, and so on, or you could have a specialty agency that just specializes in novelty or variety acts, etc.

I started with a full-service agency locally. It then went regionally very quickly. Then because of a situation that arose from my first full-service agency, I created a celebrity agency representing all types of celebrities - movie starts, T.V. stars, sports stars, nostalgia stars, comedians T.V. & radio personalities, speakers, etc. Because of this we went nationwide immediately. Then after my first Oprah appearance I went nationwide as performer and then internationally.

One opportunity led to others, and continue to do so to this day.

In the process of doing all of this I realized the whole "perception is reality" realization and have always used a branded company name for all of my shows, business, productions, and business offerings.

I wanted to establish the right thing from the very start. I didn't want to spend the time and money just on my own name which to me offered only limited possibilities. Where I wanted to go it was best determined to use a name(s) beyond just me.

Now I understand some have no desire to be more than just a performer or magician. So to them it is just a matter of choice. Many magicians seem to have a bigger ego than many other types of performers. I have my own belief for the reasons for the existence of this but I think it leads to them wanting to perform and promote under their own name. Once I understood the why, it seemed to make more sense to me.

I think selecting a name is very important to create the right name. Some do it by their offerings such as for an example the name "Kids Magic Entertainment" which says exactly what they do and positions them specifically for the kids market. Same for "The Family Magic Company," it may let people know you specialize in family magic. Other company names to directly target a very specific niche or market such as "Trade Show Magic" which can have double meaning but both pertain to the branding and positioning they're seeking.

I have a formula I teach in my coaching to help create such a name, but if you put the time into it you can likely do this too. Think of the markets you serve, the positioning you want, the branding you want, the services you offer, and the "perception" you wish to present. What can you see in print in a newspaper feature, or on TV or radio in an interview. What can be memorable or instantly recognizable? What works good in a logo? What hits the information and target you want as your primary connection? What has great keywords? What is easily describable and easily understood?

I like 2 or 3 word names myself. You can even make up a word or name. This is good as you can easily get the domain if you can make it memorable. You should also have a descriptive liner or USP to accompany your name or to describe it or it's positioning. Much to think about and take seriously.

Again, so much more BEFORE ever being ready to market.

These are just a few more thoughts on this since you asked. It is a very good and important topic for several reasons as you can see.
Mindpro
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Another thought to add to the mix is if someone wants to establish themselves as a legacy performer where their name is known for something specific or identifying. Siegfried and Roy, David Copperfield, Criss Angel, Houdini, etc. This of course requires much more than just marketing, but also heavy media penetration and positioning. This type usually has a very unique angle, image, or legacy which is tied directly to them in all that they do.

This takes a great commitment, more than which most are willing to accept as it almost life-consuming.
Fedora
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You mentioned one sheets and Promo kits, as you said you used to
have to send a package, what is the current standard?

Do you send the content as a pdf, or just direct them to a website
so they don't have to download anything?

As always, any input from someone familiar with Promo kits is appreciated.
snm
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Quote:
On Sep 29, 2022, Mindpro wrote:
In my training I often talk about and refer to the 5 types of bookings for every entertainment business


What are the five types of bookings?
Dannydoyle
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Hard cover, spiral bound, paperback, magazine and scrolls.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Tajrung
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This gave me a lot to think about. It may sound funny but I started to change my perception a bit to all this. Thank you for sharing your knowledge
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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HAHA...Danny Doyle....very funny list of the 5 types of bookings..... Smile Smile Smile
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
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