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magic4u02
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Matt: There certainly is a limit to how branded you really should be. You certainly do not want to OVERKILL the idea. For example I new a group called the pink people where everything in the show was pink even the rabbit and horse they used. To me that was overkill.

However, a well branded magician is one that has a nice logo or brand mark and uses it consitently on all marketing materials he or she uses. They are also one who's message that goes out to their clients and prospects is also branded. This means the same message is getting out there consistently.

A well branded magician will look professional at all performances and may tie in his main color from his brand mark or logo and maybe use it in the show as a color of his tie or maybe an ccent color on his table.

Hope this helps.

Kyle
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NJJ
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I use yellow and blue for my box, my table cloth and my rabbit production box.

We discussed this elsewhere but I think it is important to make your props look as if they 'match' one another, even if that doesn't mean the same colour. I.e. you might paint all your boxes to be matching solid colours instead of using patterns that don't match.
Cheshire Cat
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Sorry, the whole topic has been lost through my inappropriate use of the word 'branded' (but not to worry . . . ) - T.
Rupert Bair
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Ha, I only just read the top and I see you were talking about you being branded not the props. Irish Whispers.

Matt
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Dear "CAT"
In my promotional materials one of the things I do emphasize is the variety of performances I do. I even have a special discount for repeat customers or customers who book me for more than one child's party. I think that information lets them know ahead of time that this is merely one venue I do and that I have the flexibility to perform for many different audiences and events. Although I do prefer and enjoy children the most. Being able to do something very mystifying is also a bonus (as a few posters have mentioned). I always have something fun, extremely magical and personal to do for the person who hired me as a way to say thank you for the booking. It is usually a trick that will impress an adult and very often will lead to other shows. Just my two cents!

Brett
magic4u02
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Brett,

I also do that but I also give the cleint a nice thank you kit. It is in this kit that really tells them more about what else I can do and provide for them and others that they know and it gives them incentive to want to send referrals my direction. It works out well.

Kyle
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Hi Kyle,
If I can ask - what kind of things do you put in your Thank-you kit. I do some follow up mailings, thank you notes, the trick I do for the host leaves them with a souveneir of our time together. In my particular market here in Montana I don't have to do too much marketing because my magic is a side business for my own enjoyment and a little pocket money! :0) There are not a lot of magicians here! Some years I have done over 100 shows with no advertising but a thank you note!

Brett
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Good on you, it goes to show that if your show is good enough you will get work without all the hassle of excess marketing, and they will naturally recomend you to thier friends.

I know Kyle offers incentives to refer, but I think this is a bad idea, Why pay someone to reccomend you, or set a fee and then go out working for less? They shouldn't need any incentive if you've impressed them enough with the way you entertained their kids, They will naturally pass your name on to their friends.

Remember Kyle does lots and lots of excess marketing because it's his hobby, so when reading his stuff you really need to filter out the majority of the useless hobby stuff to get the 1-2 ideas that may suit you.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

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magic4u02
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Clive:

Let me set a few things straight so that you as well as others know where I am coming from. This is not meant to be mean or nasty or anything of the sort, but just a way of letting you know my own opinions and where I stand. =) As we all know, it is ok to agree to disagree, and I am glad we see each other that way.

With this said, however, I do not market ONLY because it is a hobby. I think anyone who markets, and markets well does so and continues to do so because of the great impact it makes in theie magic business and their life as a whole. You receive much success from proper marketing techniques and that only pushes you forward more to do it more often. For many, it is like doing a great performance. You come off the stage wanting to do even more because it just feels right. This is what proper and effective marketing can and does do for those who use it.

Now of course, it has to be right for you. If you do not want to market or have no intentions of ever doing so, then that is fine. It certainly is a personal preference thing and can never and should never be forced upon anyone. You either want to market or you don't. It's your personal choice to make. For me it is much much more then a useless hobby.

In regards to my incentives to refer I give incentives NOT because I HAVE to. I also do not give incetives out of thinking I must bribe people. I do it simply for the notion of saying thanks to them. I care about each and every one of my clients. Why would I not want to offer them a simple card and simple gist to say thank you for taking the time to refer someone my way? It takes me 1 minute to do and my cost is like 5 US dollars -10 Dollars. Keep in mind I would not have received this new gig if not from my client taking the time out of thewir own schedule to send me a name. For me, the incentive is just a nice way of saying thank you. It is not a desperate attempt of a performer who feels he has to bribe someone to get ahead. Just so I set the record straight on how I deal with it.

Now of course they should need no incentive to reccomend you if you provide a good show. I strive to not only provide a good show but to EXCEED expectations time and again. They reccomend me quite a lot, but even know they do, I still send them an incentive rewards because I want to do it to say thanks. It builds my relationships with my clients and this is soemthing I want to do.

Sure you will get shows without marketing, however every person who gets into the business of magic has to market and still needs to market at some point or degree. It is just the way it is.

However, how much you market and how much success you want to have from it, is a personal preference to each entertainer. I just know hoe amazingly well it has worked for me every single year.

Hope this might shed some light on the subject and point out a bit more on how I see the subject as a whole. It in no way is meant as an argument and I hope it is not seen that way. Just my own humble opinion. Thanks all. =)

Kyle

PS: BRETT: I will cover off on what is in my thank you kit when I get a few moments.
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p.b.jones
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With this said, however, I do not market ONLY because it is a hobby. I think anyone who markets, and markets well, does so and continues to do so because of the great impact it makes in their magic business and their life as a whole. You receive much success from proper marketing techniques, and that only pushes you forward more to do it more often. For many, it is like doing a great performance. You come off the stage wanting to do even more because it just feels right. This is what proper and effective marketing can and does do for those who use it.

Now of course, it has to be right for you. If you do not want to market or have no intentions of ever doing so, then that is fine. It certainly is a personal preference thing and can never and should never be forced upon anyone. You either want to market or you don't. It's your personal choice to make. For me it is much much more then a useless hobby.


Hi,

Sorry, Kyle, but you seem to contradict yourself or at least be a little confused as to your marketing motives. You say it is not just a hobby then you say, "It is like doing a great performance. You come off the stage wanting to do even more because it just feels right. This is what proper and effective marketing can and does do for those who use it." You say later, "Now of course, it has to be right for you. If you do not want to market or have no intentions of ever doing so, then that is fine. It certainly is a personal preference thing and can never and should never be forced upon anyone. You either want to market or you don't. It's your personal choice to make. For me it is much much more then a useless hobby."

All this says to me that you yourself agree that marketing is not an essential thing and that you only do it because you enjoy it---which, as Emazdad says, puts it in the category of a hobby or addiction might be a better word.

You say often how good the marketing has been for you, but I have problems understanding how that can be if you are doing well and the shows are coming in then why would you market for more. If you have an excellent show then you must in very short time have reached a point where you are getting at least double the inquires than shows you can do, particularly as you are only part time (nothing wrong with that). I mean, if you are selling something well and selling out, to market further is just wasting money and time. Why would you want twice/three times the people calling for shows and turning them away?

I am not trying to have a go. I just don't see the logic!

Phillip
magic4u02
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Phillip and others,

Thanks so much for your replies and for taking the time out to write back your thoughts and opinions. I really do appreciate them even if we do differ in our viewpoints. As stated before, it is what makes the Café a great place. We can agree on disagreeing.

With this said, I will have to wait till after I get home from work or during lunch, in which to have enough proper time to reply directly to both your posts in detail and try to answer some of the points you each bring up. I hope it may be enlightening if not just simply help you understand how I at least see the problem.

Thanks again and I do appreciate your comments.
_______________________

I am finally home from work as well as teaching my SYM class this evening. I now have the time to address properly your posts in hopes that I may be able to shed a little light on my own opinions and answer some of the questions you raised as well.


PB: It is not that I see marketing as a non-essential thing. My point there was that every magician or entertainer as to make their own personal decision if they want to market or if they do not. No one can force anyone to do any form of marketing if they have already made up their own mind.

I am not here to force anyone to do marketing if they do not want to or choose not to. I simply can only state what it has done for me and the positive outcomes I receive from it every time I do it. This sharing of tips and ideas and suggestions is not targeted to force people to do what I do. If it ever comes across that way, then I apologize cause that again is not my intention at all.

My ideas and suggestions on marketing is shared and put out there for anyone to read and take from it what they want. For some, they may feel it is useless information, but for others, it might really open some doors and shed some light on a way in which they really can build their magic business and move their career into new levels. The choice is always theirs.

Why still market if the shows are coming in? Well, for one I think people have the wrong idea of marketing. They think marketing is ONLY the direct forms of advertising and marketing materials that one does or hands out to acquire work. Marketing is much more than that. Marketing is the thank you after the show. Marketing is making sure you give a dynamite performance. Marketing is making sure you listen to the client on the phone, so you know their needs and then offer solutions for them.

So why market even if I have shows coming in? Because it becomes a good habit. And like any good habit, it leads to better things if you constantly practice it. For me, I strive at building relationships with my clients. These relationships exists long after the original show. I do this because it is my nature and because I respect every customer I perform for. You also never know where your next gig is going to come from, so I constantly practice relationship building all the time.

Also, there is this notion that to market effectively requires a lot of money. I market a lot, and it costs me next to nothing to do. I really do not spend that much money at all to market myself effectively year round. It more than pays its self off in a very very short time.

If you are getting that many shows where you are turning people away, then it is time to ask yourself to raise your prices to even things out. It is also a good sign to possibly move up the ladder to a new market as well. Only the individual performer can decide that.

Another reason why people market is the fact of the area or markets in which they live and perform in. In some markets, you simply have to market yourself year round regardless of how good your show is or your word of mouth. In many areas there is just so much competition for the same dollars. In a situation where there are at least 150 other magicians just in your direct location, then having a good show is just not good enough. You need to go above and beyond that and marketing can do that for you.

Just my thoughts on the subject. I certainly hope I did not offend anyone. It was my intentions to try and answer some of your questions and let you in on my own views of the subject. I hope it may have cleared a few things up.

If anyone has any questions, comments or anything at all, please feel free to post or send me a PM directly. I would be more then happy to discuss it further with you.

Kyle
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Donald Dunphy
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Wow, the things I miss when I take a hiatus!

Good conversation, folks.

I think that performers do get labeled, no matter what they do. When I do a larger scale church or school show, with a message, people have trouble wrapping their mind around what I might do for a birthday party. Same for a birthday party, people have trouble wrapping their mind around the concept that you might do a larger scale show, with a backdrop and sound system (unless you are Ken Scott Smile ) for their event. So, because of this, it is appropriate to suggest that to the customer, should you think there are booking or referral possibilities.

---------------

Now, on to the debate between Kyle and Emazdad (and) Philip. We touched a bit before on this debate, on this thread: Magic Café thread titled... Finder's Fee Idea.

On it, we acknowledged that there were some cultural differences, to some of the things we CHOOSE to do, or EVEN WANT to do.

And, of course, we all run our business in a way that we personally find that works and is fulfilling to us. Does it make the other ways WRONG? Absolutely not! We can define success on our own terms. Can we learn from other people's methods and preferences? Absolutely yes! Some ideas will enhance our business. Some we try, and they don't work for us personally, so we drop them.

-----------------

Here are some of my thoughts about the subject at hand...

Whenever we talk about people thriving in their own marketplace (or the suggestion of them lacking success), it is for several reasons that they succeed. Here are just a few:

1) A very strong show, presented in the RIGHT marketplace, will generate you an endless supply of customers. It's bound to happen. You don't even have to send thank you notes, or do much marketing (except let people know how to contact you... perhaps a yellow page ad, and giveaways at show), etc. As long as you aren't rude, and do a great show, your business will thrive in that marketplace. People will think of you. You don't have to thank or reward referrals, you don't have to master people skills (although being semi-competent at them does help), etc. Just serve those customers, do a competent job booking them, show up on time, do a good show, etc. Basic GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE.

Good customer service is an ESSENTIAL, and I think that both Kyle and Emazdad believe in that, even though their interpretations of that idea are different.

2) the marketplace is OPEN to what you have to offer. Believe it or not, in some marketplaces, birthday performers don't thrive, or school performers don't thrive, etc. The marketplace isn't friendly to that sort of show, for some reason or another. We can try to convince some of the prospects in the area to try it, but it will be an uphill battle. There are many factors for this, but the marketplace has to be open to what you have to offer.

3) they have a LARGE ENOUGH marketplace to THRIVE in, whether competition is there or not. If its smaller, either move, or accept the fact that you are going to have less shows.

For example, I live near Victoria, BC, Canada, which has a metro size of about 300,000 people. Another performer who boasts about how easy it is to get shows, lives in a city like Toronto, ON, Canada, which has a metro size of about 4,600,000 people. Can you see the difference?

And for example, birthday customers won't pay much of a travel fee to bring in an unknown performer. They have to REALLY want you.

I even live on an island, so it makes it more difficult to travel to outlying areas to pick up more prospects.

And look at the U.S. population vs. Canada. There is 10 times the number of people per capita. Same for the UK. Tons of people. So, the less marketplace, the more effort you have to apply.

So, like I said at the beginning of this section, these are just a few reasons that performers succeed in their area.

---------------

Kyle and I, and a few others here, are enthusiasts of marketing. You just know it from our posts. We talk about it more than others.

Do we need to do tons of marketing to get shows? Probably not.

It partly depends on the factors mentioned above. In some cases, the marketing helps overcome some of those above "challenges."

If we don't need all those brochures or sales letters, thank-you cards and referral requests, then why do we do it?

In some cases, the reason is because we have convinced ourself that it is necessary. When, if we stopped, we would find that our momentum will carry us along just fine and dandy without all that "stuff."

But the REAL reason might be just that we LIKE doing it.

I love doing shows. Don't get me wrong.

But I also like doing graphic design, and creating promo materials, creating a promo video, writing a sales letter, tweaking my website, etc. I like creating a new marketing piece, and love it when a customer comments about it.

And I like the challenge of pursuing the customer (even though, as I said, I don't necessarily have to do it to be successful). Some customers pursue me naturally. But to get certain other customers, you have to pursue them.

There is a book called "Sales Dogs" that talks about the idea of pursuing customers, and the type of personality you are when pursuing customers.

And I am real with myself, and admit that I like doing thank-you cards, customer gifts, keeping in touch materials, etc. It gives me a certain feeling of accomplishment, and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. My natural bent is towards serving (helping) others and receiving/giving gifts (read the book, "The Five Love Languages"), so doing those things is just part of who I am. Although I love and appreciate my customers, some things I do are about me, too. I admit it, I'm selfish, too. But those things aren't to the detriment of my relationships with my customers. They actually help those relationships.

---------------------

Well, there's a lot to think about. I've done some pretty honest and open sharing here. So, I hope that you'll be gentle in your replies. Smile

Thanks for listening and reading.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Emazdad
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Plymouth is a relatively small city compared to most in the UK, but that doesn't stop Billy and I from being very busy. There is also lots of competition from other entertainers and places like bowling, Mc Donald's, etc. It's all down to your show, not how big your area is (unless, of course, you live out in a small village and no other towns/villages within a decent distance). You can market all you want, but a good show creates a demand for your services, as all the kids want you at their parties. That's how it works for us.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

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Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
Emazdad: You can market all you want, but a good show creates a demand for your services, as all the kids want you at their parties. That's how it works for us.


You are assuming that all of us do (or want to do) only (or mostly) children's birthday shows, or private events. Those customers tend to come looking for you. The Little Darlings forum isn't only about birthday shows, and passive marketing.

School shows, church shows, larger family events (festivals, fairs, etc.), and other venues of that nature come to you a little from passive marketing, but more from other types of active marketing.

Doing only passive marketing is a sure way to get you labeled for a certain type of market.

- Donald

P.S. To Hockley, about a comment made earlier. There are 70 magicians in our local club (some are out of town members, so we'll assume 50 local). Only some are in the phone book, but that doesn't mean they aren't out there working. I was active with shows (nearly full time) for many years before going in the phone book, from a mixture of referrals and mailings.

Assuming that Toronto has 12 times the population, then they have at least 600+ magicians in your club. Is that right?
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
p.b.jones
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You are assuming that all of us do (or want to do) only (or mostly) children's birthday shows, or private events. Those customers tend to come looking for you. The Little Darlings forum isn't only about birthday shows, and passive marketing.

School shows, church shows, larger family events (festivals, fairs, etc.), and other venues of that nature come to you a little from passive marketing, but more from other types of active marketing.

Doing only passive marketing is a sure way to get you labeled for a certain type of market.


Hi,

It has not worked that way for me. Perhaps I am just lucky, but the majority of my work is not kids' birthday parties.

Phillip
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Well, this is turning into a big old circular argument thing, just like we had been through before on the thread I linked to earlier:

Cafe thread... Finder's Fee Idea.

I'll concede that a superior show is the only way to keep busy, for the sake of stopping this debate with Clive and Phillip.

Could you please give us links to posts where you teach us how to develop this superior show?

Don't continue to tell us about how bad we are, or about how great you are. Tell us how to refine and polish our show.

Thanks. Sorry for being so pointed in my request, but it only makes sense to ask you to put back up the claims you make in your posts.

- Donald

P.S. BTW, to stop someone from chiming in and saying all British performers are superior, or that the British way is superior, I have seen posts by Clive and Philip stating that they don't believe this. They think (know) they are much better than others in their areas, or at national conventions.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Emazdad
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Hi Donald,

It's not just a case of having a highly polished show; it's all about the whole package you present to the public.

It's a case of being professional in all aspects, and having an unclone like show. You need to stand out from the crowd. You don't want to be the same sort of kids' entertainer as everyone else.

I sometimes visit other magicians' websites. In some cases they look the same to me: 'your child gets levitated', 'the birthday child magics a live rabbit', etc., etc. If you are one of many in your area advertising the same sort of thing, what makes you different from the rest? Not a lot in your average booker's eyes. Unless word has got round about your show and your reputation has spread, you're just another magician/entertainer.

It's not the tricks you do, or how amazing the tricks are that counts. It's the way you perform them, and your personality that matters the most. If you are boring or fail to reach the kids, it doesn't matter how skillful you are or how amazing your tricks are.

This is made easy if your performance persona is an extension of your own personality, rather than a Character that you have to slip into just for your shows. It's a lot easier and natural if you can be yourself. You can then follow this through in your conversations with the kids and booker before and after the show. The parents don't just look at your show, they look at how you bond with the kids in general. I'm lucky I'm a natural with kids which is half the battle.

You must have a great rapport with the kids and booker. With the booker this must start the moment you pick up the phone and continue when you arrive at the venue. With the kids it's the moment you walk through the door up until the moment you drive off and at anytime you bump into them in the street.

As well as doing the good show, leaving the booker with the positive impression that you are such a nice guy goes a long way when you want them to recommend you to their friends. If they like you as well as your show you've got it made. If they like your show, but don't like your personality (before & after the show)/attitude/personal hygiene/dress, then they will not recommend you, they will tell their friends what they thought of you as a person though.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
magic4u02
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Getting back to something Donald said earlier, I think one of the big differences that I have that may be different from some of the others here is that I do not do a majority of my shows as birthday party shows. In fact the majority of my work is family oriented festival and fair events. This can include festivals, large fairs, banquets, family Friday events run by chambers of commerce as well as Parks and recreational events. I still do b-day parties but it is not one of my main markets these days.

I think because of this, I tend to market a lot more then some might, and I decided to take an active approach to my marketing as opposed to more passive forms. I must be active in my marketing especially to my festival and fair markets. This is true because in most cases, the festival or event entertainment chair changes almost every year. You can not just hope your information or word of mouth will get to this individual, because it often times does not work that way.

Actively marketing in the fashion that I do, gets my name out to these people all the time, so I am more apt to know when a new person comes on board for a festival or similar event. I can then market to them, so I can start to build a relationship with that person as well.

In regard to location and sizes of markets, my SAM club alone in Philadelphia has over 150+ active members. We are the second largest SAM club in the entire world. I say this just to point out how much competition is here in the Philadelphia area in which I have decided to work.

If I look in just the eastern county phone book under entertainers, I find a listing of well over 95 entertainers. This is just in one part of my county and not even the greater Philadelphia Phone book.

This means there is a LOT of competition for the same dollars I am trying to land. Now you simply MUST have a good show and provide a great service to survive in this climate that I am in. But I also feel strongly that I need to passively and actively market as well to stay ahead of the competition.

Hope this shines some light on at least where I am coming from. =)

Kyle
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Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2005-01-18 13:57, p.b.jones wrote:Hi,
It has not worked that way for me perhaps I am just lucky but the majority of my work is not kids birthday parties .
Phillip


Hi Phillip,

Can you expand on what you mean by this? What are your main markets, currently?

- Donald

P.S. Now this conversation is getting more beneficial. Thanks to those who are sharing tips.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
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Hi,

I do a lot of educational shows for local authorities and corporate clients . Usually this means a customized show getting the points across that the client requires much like a trade show performer but for kids. For one client I cover dog fouling, litter, beach/water safety, not touching seal pups EXT.

A lot of these shows are in schools, and my rate is good---actually higher than Mr. Cooper's $1000 a day, though that's probably because of the exchange rate at the mo, and I am not paid by the schools.

I also perform for theaters, festivals and what we term Carnivals and fêtes.

Phillip
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