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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Getting 'Branded' (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Emazdad
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Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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I think another factor is who you aim your show at. Whenever I am booked for Birthday, fête, holiday camp, etc., it's primarily to entertain the kids. Even though it's a family event, my show is always aimed at the kids.

Luckily my show is such that adults enjoy it as well; it gives them a chance to digress back to their own childhood. Also because it's the kids who are the stars this adds to the adults enjoyment.

The Adults see the kids having so much fun, they will want you for their own kid's parties. As I specialise solely in entertaining kids, and I'm not a Jack-of-all-trades, this is what I want.
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.
okito25
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Regular user
Victoria BC Canada
145 Posts

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I am in Victoria, too. Glad to have Donald around as a kids/Family entertainer. Frees me up to collect Unemployment benefits Smile Ha ha ha ha. We are in a different market, and I do find myself traveling extensively for bigger more "prestigious" gigs... B day parties and such,

Most of my clients are adults, It happens over the years of breaking into pubs and trade-shows. However, I do have a dozen or so "kid" shows I do yearly. Donald can probably attest to this.

Victoria loves Tradition and loves what works. IF you give them that every time you can be Socked in to a yearly gig for at least three years. What bites is being stuck on the island is .. this .. Ya pay huge bucks to get off via Ferry, or the "city" will hold a festival, and in turn bring over entertainers from the mainland, just to say they are blowing their budget, and then invite the local talent .. to BUSK : |Weird how it works, because then Seattle does the same, while we have folk fests. Seattle has bumbershoot, Seattle Entertainers are here. I am there perhaps I have answered my own ponderances.

I started leaving town in the Spring/Summer to work festivals elsewhere that were paying better, as well as dozens of others I know. In turn the City could not find a good source of family entertainers to supply their mandate. Just one of them things that make you go hmmmmmmm. Probably way off topic by Now.

Good to ya.

See ya, Donald

Keet
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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Keet,

I am a bit confused. If they are finding it hard to find entertainers in your area, then why not become THE entertainer of choice for them by meeting and exceeding their needs? Wouldn't in this way you almost have a monopoly over the situation? Or is it mainly because they want entertainers, but have not learned yet that entertainers have real-world value so are unwilling to pay the proper fees for them?

This is in no way meant to be sarcastic or mean-spirited. I am just wondering, that's all, as I am not from Canada. Perhaps you can shed some light on it for me.

I work a lot of festivals, but I am lucky enough to be able to find an endless supply of them within 80-100 miles of my house. This allows me to do day festivals and still sleep in my own bed at night. This keeps my cost down, and I do not have to add that fee onto my festival day rate.

Kyle
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Creative Coach
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Anderson, SC
294 Posts

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Philip,

I wasn't counting back-of-the-room sales, or if I do an evening parenting event. That can really add up. I'm higher than most performers I've met in the US. I'm all for higher fees. Just make sure your presentation is worth it! I dislike price cutters. I maintain fee integrity. You have too if you want long-term success! A great presentation that TRULY makes a difference in a school is worth top dollar!
Emazdad
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Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

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I heard once that you should work out what you think your show is worth, than add a bit more so you have to work harder to live up to the fee you're charging.
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.
okito25
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Victoria BC Canada
145 Posts

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Hi Kyle,

Um, yes, I am also confused. I have no problems finding shows. In fact I line up all my ducks for summer. Generally by march I am booked to capacity. However the politics in our city are bizarre. When it comes to hiring our local entertainment for festivals and such, I find for some event set up by the City, they will easily bring over a magic act from Vancouver when we have at least 10 fully capable acts that could fill the bill. I think perhaps it is the prestige of the booker to say he/she lined up an act from out of town---and then tried to get our locals to work for free!

Unfortunately we have way too many clowns who will. Needless to say, I do enjoy the Gypsy experience and do a round trip from May to September. It makes for a fantastic working holiday. I do take my Family with plenty of time for fishing, hiking, etc. That's not saying I work constantly. However, I enjoy the four-day Music festivals, and the Okanagen Valley/Rocky mountain events for two weeks every year and countless harvest fairs.

I have put a lot of thought and energy into being the "local act", but after too much red tape I find it easier to book through my "Agent". Smile and do the traveling. Now for the local event booker, i.e., TNT productions, the ICA , or service clubs, they do for the most part hire locally, and I do get a good percentage of those shows as well.

Sorry, Kyle, if this does not clarify anything. I tend to ramble. I take your advisement in the spirit of magic fellowship intended.

Magically me,

Keet
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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I guess what Keet is hinting at is that it isn't purely in town that we do our shows. Speaking for myself personally, I find that half of my work is not in Victoria, and find myself traveling up the island, and sometimes going onto the mainland. I won't even go onto the mainland without at least $250 additional, onto my show fee, to cover travel costs, and time. People are more spread out here.

I haven't run into that "hire someone from out of town" mentality as much, but I have run into many prospects that don't have a realistic budget for their entertainment.

Plus I limit myself personally by seldom doing adult shows. Plus I don't do any strolling, except the occasional balloon twisting. For the most part I turn both of those types of customers away, although I do get approached regularly for that type of work. In some sense, you have to be a jack of all trades to get the maximum amount of money from this area, and I don't want to be an adult performer. I choose to specialize in children's and family shows. These are my decisions after performing for the past 25 years.

I subscribe to that saying, "Jack of all trades... Master of none."

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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Kent,

I am just suprised that a local festival would not look and hire entertainers from there direct area. Not only do they save money, but they can also get a quality service just the same. I wonder what their thinking is on that and why the festivals hire mainland folks instead of you and others?

Do you guys actively market to the festivals, so they know you are there and are offering them services that others may not be able to provide?

Not trying to be mean spirited here. I just find it odd that the island would not use its own entertainers and save money. Just seems bizarre.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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p.b.jones
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Inner circle
Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
2642 Posts

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Philip,
I wasn't counting back-of-the-room sales or if I do an evening parenting event. That can really add up. I'm higher than most performers I've met in the US. I'm all for higher fees. Just make sure your presentation is worth it! I dislike price cutters. I maintain fee integrity. You have too if you want long term success! A great presentation that TRULY makes a difference in a school is worth top dollar!

Hi,
Sorry John I was not trying to get into a I earn more than you John argument, as I said the exchange rate is low at the moment so 1,000 dollars is not as much in £ as it was I was not trying to out do you in the earnings stakes
Phillip
Creative Coach
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Anderson, SC
294 Posts

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Phillip,
Let's surfice it to say we're both well paid school presenters. I brand to different markets.

I call myself a "School Enhancement Specialist" for education. This keeps me from being branded an entertainer. I do entertainment (school assemblies) but it is much more education than most. My website only mentions my educational offerings. In fact I have specific websites within the education market. That way when a client calls about a specific program they go to that targeted site with those testimonials.

I DO NOT cross brand!

For churches I have a specific site set up for them. It includes the things a church looks for: statement of faith, programs directed at their congregation..etc. It makes no mention of my other services. I have a specific biz card for the group.

Libraries have a specific site set up for them.

Business & Coaching has a site & business card for it. This way I'm brand specific. Business clients don't want a school assembly guy speaking at their corporate event. Plus the fees are vastly different. Example: I worked for a power company as an entertainer strolling and a small show $750 Forward 4 yrs...same company as a speaker on the same venue $1500 for a 40 min. speech with entertainment.

Too many performers try to make one-size-fits-all websites, brochures and business cards. A performer sent me a school flyer the other day. It had birthday info, summer camp info, afterschool info and 4 assemblies listed. WOW!

When you brand remember niche tight. No one says you can't have multiple niches.
Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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As the originator of this thread can I say that we've seen it almost become a game of Chinese Whispers, however the journey has been very interesting.

Of course, by 'branded' I meant being typecast (is that a better word?).

As we personally live within reach of 100s of thousands of affluent young families, and millions of others, we don't mind being 'typecast' as Birthday Party Entertainers, as indeed that is what we like doing, and it accounts for 95%+ of our business. It's just this 'thing' that sometimes happens when someone sees you entertaining tinies and thinks "oh that's too babyish for my 7 year olds party" (or vice versa). It must be a huge gap to close for entertainers working all age groups, both adults and children, and I entirely agree with our new friend from Anderson, SC on having different websites under the same domain, or even better, - maybe different domain names for your different compartments of activity. (We usually address each other by first names by the way CC but note you have not included yours yet).

Tony.
Creative Coach
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Anderson, SC
294 Posts

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My name is John Cooper. (Creative Coach) I was a former Laughmkers columnist ("Birthday Bits") as well as a Funny Paper contributor on occasion. You may know me from some birthday books I published a couple of yrs back. Didn't know the first name rule....sorry!

Yes, I have entirely seperate domains, business cards, promotional material for what I do. I've lectured on this at KidAbra several times. If you"re going to be a birthday entertainer become the best birthday entertainer you can be. Niche your domain to birthday parties. If you do festivals niche a site to that. Websites are cheap to build and URL's are cheap to buy. Several of my sitesonly cost $30.00 a yr! By having specific sites when a person calls for a service you can send them to specific testimonials.

Yes, you can be one-size-entertains-all but if you truly want to dominate a market become the leader. It seems to work for Cheshire Cat. (Over 95% of his business is parties. You don't get that kind of responce w/o becoming a leader)

The entertainment business is a growing and changing business. I'm always looking for ways to expand my performance market. I loved the party business when I did it! I made a very good fulltime living in it for over a decade.

As stated in earlier post I have specific markets I work. I'm enjoying the Café.

John
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