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Topic: Marketing Program
Message: Posted by: jskalon (Jan 26, 2010 10:37AM)
Has anyone used this:

http://www.magicmarketingcenter.com/birthdayPT

I'd like to see a review if you have.
Thanks
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Jan 26, 2010 01:21PM)
No, but I have been taking a look at it myself. I have Eric Paul's "How to be your area's top children's entertainer" and was looking to dig deeper. Placing a parent magazine ad, tear off flyers has brought little success. Although they didn't bring home the $$, they are just another way to touch your future cusomters. The parent magazine ad has to go...it's way to expensive!
Message: Posted by: James Munton (Jan 26, 2010 02:13PM)
Trickychaz,

I think a lot of performers make the same mistake. They buy a marketing course and pick out one or two ideas and are then surprised when the phone doesn't start ringing. And many of the marketing courses are to blame, because they don't give the level of detail you need. And they don't tell you that you need to take a holistic approach to your marketing. Things like parents magazines are only one piece of the puzzle.

Before you placed your ad, did you call round other advertisers to see whether it was working for them? Did you go to see if the magazines were being distributed in your target neighborhoods? Has your ad been consistent and on the right side of a right-hand page? Does your ad direct people to a good web site? Does the web site convert visitors into callers? When they call, do you convert them into customers? After your show, do you follow-up and generate referral business?

My course is a 30-day course. I have some detailed info on parents magazines and how to get the most out of them - including how to slash the cost of your ad!

But it is only one small part of a much larger approach to marketing your services.

I will be previewing it at my lecture at the Kidvention convention on Friday. If you would like to be added to my email list to receive more information when I officially open the doors, please drop me an email.

In the meantime, watch this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A74I9PtNLI

Best,
James
Message: Posted by: Scott Burton (Jan 26, 2010 05:30PM)
James: I really enjoyed the video (you did a great job!)

It's true: the toughest yet most important element is to get all marketing efforts working in synergy.
Message: Posted by: seadog93 (Jan 26, 2010 05:50PM)
James Munton
That is exactly the problem I've had with the couple of marketing courses I've had so far. I've learned a lot and it sometimes seems to be slowly coming together, but a lot of the "nitty gritty" like the details you mentioned just aren't there.

Looking forward to the course
Courtney
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Jan 26, 2010 10:29PM)
My ad has been consistantly on the left side of the page. I have had a lot of trouble since running with them. Only one sale and a few calls for the past three months. The ad runs 165.00 for the first time and then $125. thereafter. I received the 2nd bill and it was for 165.00

I constantly get sales calls from their staff. When my specific advertiser calls to discusss the ad...she doesn't seem to care a lick about hearing what I have to say and quickly gets me off the phone.

The first ad that I ran had ink run onto it from the right page ad. I will not be afraid to admit though that they first few calls that I got..I lacked in sales over the phone, but am much better now.

[quote]
On 2010-01-26 15:13, James Munton wrote:
Trickychaz,

I think a lot of performers make the same mistake. They buy a marketing course and pick out one or two ideas and are then surprised when the phone doesn't start ringing. And many of the marketing courses are to blame, because they don't give the level of detail you need. And they don't tell you that you need to take a holistic approach to your marketing. Things like parents magazines are only one piece of the puzzle.

Before you placed your ad, did you call round other advertisers to see whether it was working for them? Did you go to see if the magazines were being distributed in your target neighborhoods? Has your ad been consistent and on the right side of a right-hand page? Does your ad direct people to a good web site? Does the web site convert visitors into callers? When they call, do you convert them into customers? After your show, do you follow-up and generate referral business?

My course is a 30-day course. I have some detailed info on parents magazines and how to get the most out of them - including how to slash the cost of your ad!

But it is only one small part of a much larger approach to marketing your services.

I will be previewing it at my lecture at the Kidvention convention on Friday. If you would like to be added to my email list to receive more information when I officially open the doors, please drop me an email.

In the meantime, watch this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A74I9PtNLI

Best,
James
[/quote]

I am slowly going down the list of marketing tactics and closely monitoring the results. I have a local showcase @ a home show and am interested in seeing if it brings in any business. The best results so far have came from 1. keeping in touch with past customers 2. referrals 3. online 4. live advertising
Message: Posted by: jackturk (Jan 27, 2010 11:47AM)
"And many of the marketing courses are to blame, because they don't give the level of detail you need. And they don't tell you that you need to take a holistic approach to your marketing. Things like parents magazines are only one piece of the puzzle."

I don't recall in any thing I've ever produced, written, or promoted stating that there's a single "magic bullet" to getting gigs. Absolutely you have to use a variety of methods, just as Chaz noted above.

In my birthday course noted at the beginning of this thread I cover Google Adwords, Parenting Mags, thank you notes, and referral strategies including the necessary realization that your show is in fact a live demo / commercial that should motivate and produce subsequent gigs and referrals.

You need to utilize a variety of methods - especially these days - to book gigs.

--Jack Turk
Message: Posted by: seadog93 (Jan 27, 2010 12:57PM)
I should mention that I do have this course. I thinks it's great, though I haven't put everything into practice yet. I have learned a lot, used a few great ideas and I'm sure that everything else will work as well.

Also... it's only $30 (!!!), TOTALLY worth it!
I'll still be getting Mr. munton's course as well.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jan 27, 2010 01:30PM)
A key word to keep in your mind, is "Synergy."

That is MANY things working together to make you a business success. And of course, most of those things are not passive, but active.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: jskalon (Jan 27, 2010 03:09PM)
Man, there are so many different programs to look at. The trick in my mind is to find the one that is the best starting point. I realize there is not a magic bullet or a be all course. At ths point it is a matter of what th wallet can handle.
by the way. I do apreciate the help I receive here (thanks guys). This is a great place to hang (Thanks Steve).
Jack
Message: Posted by: James Munton (Jan 27, 2010 04:22PM)
Jack,

I wasn't specifically referring to your course when I said that. I didn't mention any particular courses. I haven't seen your course. To be honest, I thought you were just selling the old Dave Dee stuff.

If you have updated it, that's great, because I think one of the reasons people are skeptical of marketing courses is because they bought all the Dave Dee stuff and realized sending out six-page sales letters two weeks apart with dollar bills stuck to them just wasn't working. I'm glad you understand the importance of
a multi-layered approach.

And I think another reason people are reluctant to invest in marketing information is that people have realized that most of the courses are put out by people who don't actually do much performing. Recently, I went to the web site of a well-known marketing person who shall remain nameless. He has his schedule on his site and it was practically empty.

And yet, there is a need for good materials about marketing. I've had several emails from guys who lost their jobs last year and are looking to build their magic business to help support their family. And people are angry that they have spent a lot of money on courses and coaching phone calls that really didn't deliver on their promises.

Again, this is not a personal attack on you. I am talking in general terms about all the crappy stuff that is out there. I'm sure you know some of the stuff I am talking about.

Best,
James
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jan 27, 2010 05:24PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-27 17:22, James Munton wrote:

And I think another reason people are reluctant to invest in marketing information is that people have realized that most of the courses are put out by people who don't actually do much performing.
[/quote]

It seems to me that most magicians are willing to spend quite a bit of money on a new trick, but won't spend any money to save their life. I know quite a few magicians in my area, that are well known in the magic community who are struggling to stay afloat, yet won't spend a dime on purchasing marketing materials.

[quote]
And yet, there is a need for good materials about marketing. I've had several emails from guys who lost their jobs last year and are looking to build their magic business to help support their family. And people are angry that they have spent a lot of money on courses and coaching phone calls that really didn't deliver on their promises.
[/quote]

There is definitely a need for this type of information, unfortunately, people don't buy what they need, they buy what they want.

It's also interesting that people blame the marketing materials and coaching programs for their lack of success, when they should be looking at themselves. I can't tell you how many times I've sat down with clients, gave them a ton of pertinent information and action steps to help build their business, and a year later they still had not implemented any of the ideas I shared.

None of the courses on the market are the magic bullet to success. They all require action on the part of the purchaser. As I tell all of my clients, "Knowledge without action is useless. It's only knowledge put into action that produces results."

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Jan 27, 2010 05:55PM)
Knowledge + Action = Power

Perhaps the best marketing you can do is being seen in person. I have a local magician that hands of b-day shows, and nearly all of them knew of him b/c of a fair/festival show.

On the note of coaching and marketing courses. A mentor can only help to a certain degree, and the rest lies in your hands. I didn't have a budget to market my services and didn't get anything out of my coaching calls. This particular coach could have told me millions of FREE tactics to get more work..to make me more money, but instead it was (you lack capitol) @ $300/month I figured I would be paying somone to help me get more shows. After 3 months, I realized what I could be spending that money on that would make more money...line my pocket and not the coaches pocket.

This is not to say that coaches will do you know good, but you have to find someone who will know your current situation, knows your market specifically etc.

Example is Jack Turk....he is strictly a birthday party entertainer. If you were looking to go into that market...he would probally be a good coach for you. There are other variables though...consider the fact that the marketing course that you buy is from a magician that lives in a metro city. You on the other hand live in a rural area. The results will differ greatly depending upon local.
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jan 27, 2010 06:01PM)
Results will differ if your market is a local market, but if you're working the corporate market (i.e. trade shows, sales meetings) it doesn't really matter where you live, as long as you're close to a major airport.

Lou
Message: Posted by: Majestic12 (Jan 27, 2010 06:04PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-27 18:55, trickychaz wrote:
Knowledge + Action = Power

Perhaps the best marketing you can do is being seen in person. I have a local magician that hands of b-day shows, and nearly all of them knew of him b/c of a fair/festival show.

On the note of coaching and marketing courses. A mentor can only help to a certain degree, and the rest lies in your hands. I didn't have a budget to market my services and didn't get anything out of my coaching calls. This particular coach could have told me millions of FREE tactics to get more work..to make me more money, but instead it was (you lack capitol) @ $300/month I figured I would be paying somone to help me get more shows. After 3 months, I realized what I could be spending that money on that would make more money...line my pocket and not the coaches pocket.

This is not to say that coaches will do you know good, but you have to find someone who will know your current situation, knows your market specifically etc.

Example is Jack Turk....he is strictly a birthday party entertainer. If you were looking to go into that market...he would probally be a good coach for you. There are other variables though...consider the fact that the marketing course that you buy is from a magician that lives in a metro city. You on the other hand live in a rural area. The results will differ greatly depending upon local.
[/quote]

Actually Jack Turk does a whole lot more... I think? He does more then birthday programs.
Message: Posted by: Cody Moynihan (Jan 27, 2010 10:25PM)
Hi
I have Jacks Course and I love it I got it 2 weeks ago and have been able to book 3 shows off of it so far just by using the website he gives you and a few other tips.
If anyone has any questions about it feel free to pm me.
Thanks,
Cody
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Jan 28, 2010 12:20AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-27 23:25, Cody Moynihan wrote:
Hi
I have Jacks Course and I love it I got it 2 weeks ago and have been able to book 3 shows off of it so far just by using the website he gives you and a few other tips.
If anyone has any questions about it feel free to pm me.
Thanks,
Cody
[/quote]

What tactics did you apply in only 3 weeks to book 3 shows? Sounds like a quick return on investment. It took me over 2 months to bring home 5 shows per month..just curious!
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jan 28, 2010 12:32AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-28 01:20, trickychaz wrote:
What tactics did you apply in only 3 weeks to book 3 shows? Sounds like a quick return on investment. It took me over 2 months to bring home 5 shows per month..just curious!
[/quote]

The investment on Jack Turk's course is less than $30. Instead of asking about the tactics that are taught, why not invest in his product and find out for yourself. He offers a 100% money-back guarantee. You have nothing to lose and possibly much to gain.

By the way, I don't know Jack. I don't own his course, and my target market isn't children's birthday parties, but if it was, I'd be the first in line to invest in his course.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Jan 28, 2010 12:52AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-28 01:32, lou serrano wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-28 01:20, trickychaz wrote:
What tactics did you apply in only 3 weeks to book 3 shows? Sounds like a quick return on investment. It took me over 2 months to bring home 5 shows per month..just curious!
[/quote]

The investment on Jack Turk's course is less than $30. Instead of asking about the tactics that are taught, why not invest in his product and find out for yourself. He offers a 100% money-back guarantee. You have nothing to lose and possibly much to gain.

By the way, I don't know Jack. I don't own his course, and my target market isn't children's birthday parties, but if it was, I'd be the first in line to invest in his course.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
[/quote]

I deffinately already have his course on my purchase list! For only 30$ you can't go wrong even if you only get one new tactic out of it.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Jan 28, 2010 09:27AM)
I wonder about the concentration on "tactics" - sounds almost like you're a hunter trying to bag the most and biggest deer. Yah, in one sense marketing _has_ to be about finding out what works to get to the customer you need to reach.

I just know that I can feel it when I'm approached by someone who sees me as a target, rather than a real live person. What "tactic" is going to "get to me"? The one that lets me know you value me as a person, not just a wallet in your gunsights.

I really don't worry about this "personal touch" from Wal Mart or the gas station. I'm not emotionally involved with those purchases. But when you're going to present me with the opportunity to part with a major chunk of money - especially in this economy - and I feel like "you" (used generically, not personally) are simply trying out different baits to see which one I'll bite on, then I'm totally turned off.

I speak as someone who's never looked at a marketing course (other than reading some books and blogs), but been the target of much marketing over the years! What ever happened to just being a nice personable guy that people want to do business with? Or doesn't that bring in enough money?

Ed
Message: Posted by: James Munton (Jan 28, 2010 11:03AM)
Ed,

I've always enjoyed your posts and feel you are a wonderful addition to this forum. I also get annoyed when I feel people are manipulating me to buy something. Just tell me what it is, how much it costs and be done with it!

Warmest regards,
James
Message: Posted by: JeffWampler (Jan 28, 2010 12:05PM)
Using the word "tactic" is just a matter of semantics. Perhaps the word "strategies" would be better?

Certainly different tactics or strategies work better in different markets. One way to find out what works best is to read, study, and figure it all out yourself, or to buy a course from someone who's done all the heavy lifting for you. I've heard great things about Jack's course, and James, your video looks awesome.
Message: Posted by: jackturk (Jan 28, 2010 12:06PM)
I do happen to do a whole lot more than birthday parties, however, I am not ashamed to admit that the majority of my magic business is family programs - for schools, scouts, PTAs, and others.

Saturday night I performed for a morale event for a local Project Management consulting firm - which was fun as I've done a ton of serious software project management work myself, and I can definitely relate to a technical, nerdy audience.

Regarding the notion about "hunting folks down like deer" with tactics, I think that's clearly not the focus you should have in your marketing.

The key to great sales copy (and I'm a big fan of writing great sales copy) is to truly understand the needs and pains and challenges your prospects are facing. It is not an "Us vs Them" kind of thing - it's more like, "how can I truly help them better by understanding them better?"

Yes, you do have strategies and tactics to get your business message out there - that's critical.

I look at it this way:

People have life and business situations where they need the types of services I provide.

I do a great job at providing those services.

Therefore, it is not only good business on my end to make sure information about my services get out there, it is in fact my moral responsibility to make sure that prospects know and understand there's a quality, reliable solution available - and that solution is little ol' me.

If you're good, you should make sure customers know you are an option.

If you're not doing so effectively, you are letting those customers down by enabling less qualified options to get their business.

--Jack Turk
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Jan 28, 2010 12:23PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-28 13:06, jackturk wrote:
I do happen to do a whole lot more than birthday parties,
however, I am not ashamed to admit that the majority of
my magic business is family programs - for schools, scouts,
PTAs, and others.

Saturday night I performed for a morale event for a local
Project Management consulting firm - which was fun as I've
done a ton of serious software project management work myself,
and I can definitely relate to a technical, nerdy audience.

Regarding the notion about "hunting folks down like deer" with
tactics, I think that's clearly not the focus you should have
in your marketing.

The key to great sales copy (and I'm a big fan of writing great
sales copy) is to truly understand the needs and pains and
challenges your prospects are facing. It is not an "Us vs Them"
kind of thing - it's more like, "how can I truly help them better
by understanding them better?"

Yes, you do have strategies and tactics to get your business message
out there - that's critical.

I look at it this way:

People have life and business situations where they need the types of
services I provide.

I do a great job at providing those services.

Therefore, it is not only good business on my end to make sure
information about my services get out there, it is in fact my
moral responsibility to make sure that prospects know and understand
there's a quality, reliable solution available - and that solution
is little ol' me.

If you're good, you should make sure customers know you are an option.

If you're not doing so effectively, you are letting those customers down
by enabling less qualified options to get their business.

--Jack Turk
[/quote]

Jack

I have discovered as a full time magician that I will soon have to branch out into other family shows. I look at them as "live advertising" to get more birthday party work. I have been strictly doing birthday parties since November...with the exception of Christmas calls.

I suppose rather than tactics we could look at them as "awareness" Each "awareness" that you put to use will be an opportunity to keep yourself in front of your paying audience. I am not sure where the guy came up with "hunting folks down like deer" came into play, but that is not my intention at all. I do however want to constantly look for new marketing ideas or "awareness" to keep myself in the top of my prospects minds.

Can you elaborate on my "tactics" a little more? I don't want to come across to my customers that I am "hunting them down like deer" THanks Charles

[quote]
On 2010-01-28 10:27, Ed_Millis wrote:
I wonder about the concentration on "tactics" - sounds almost like you're a hunter trying to bag the most and biggest deer. Yah, in one sense marketing _has_ to be about finding out what works to get to the customer you need to reach.

I just know that I can feel it when I'm approached by someone who sees me as a target, rather than a real live person. What "tactic" is going to "get to me"? The one that lets me know you value me as a person, not just a wallet in your gunsights.

I really don't worry about this "personal touch" from Wal Mart or the gas station. I'm not emotionally involved with those purchases. But when you're going to present me with the opportunity to part with a major chunk of money - especially in this economy - and I feel like "you" (used generically, not personally) are simply trying out different baits to see which one I'll bite on, then I'm totally turned off.

I speak as someone who's never looked at a marketing course (other than reading some books and blogs), but been the target of much marketing over the years! What ever happened to just being a nice personable guy that people want to do business with? Or doesn't that bring in enough money?

Ed
[/quote]

Personable and nice is a huge part of my equation. When I say "tactics" I mean ways of reaching those that are looking to hire you. The more you keep yourself out there in the public eye, the more they will think of you when they need your services. I don't throw marketing at my customers like a dart board. I like to know my entire script, all the benefits from it, and then let the customer do 90% of the talking while I take notes. When I hear a "problem" I can offer a "solution".
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Jan 28, 2010 02:25PM)
Like I said:
[quote]
and I feel like "you" (used generically, not personally)
[/quote]

So I don't know if you, Charles, thought I was personally singling you out.

[quote]
I speak as someone who's never looked at a marketing course (other than reading some books and blogs), but been the target of much marketing over the years!
[/quote]

Marketing is not my gig, and I hate the traditional idea of sales. There's a lot involved in there, and I'm not going to go into it. But I also tried to make it clear that I do not understand any particular "lingo" being used, and this is how it strikes me. Especially when I've felt severly "targeted" over the years by businesses who are obviously using some kind of marketing program. They must be, because it all looks the same and turns me off the same!

So now that the shoe is on the other foot and I'm the one who needs to market to them, I want to be very careful that I do not make my prospective clients feel like fresh meat in my sights.

I hear "tactics" (or "strategies", or whatever), and it makes me feel like I'm given the blueprint for a maze, and if I just drop my prospect into the maze and celverly guide his responses to choices, then he'll pop out in customer database paid in full. So none of it rests on who I am, only on me "taking action"!! And none of it feels respectful of the customer, who is a person like I am.

Again, just my feelings from where I stand as a non-marketing-savvy Joe Blow individual. I think I've got to learn about this. I've not delved in very deep yet - got a lot of other stuff going on. But I also have ignored a lot of what I've read because of the way it hits me - the customer is just a raw bit you drop into your machine, and you turn the cranks until he pops out as a paid invoice.

Feel free to ignore me at your earliest convenience.
Ed
Message: Posted by: James Munton (Jan 28, 2010 02:51PM)
[quote]The key to great sales copy (and I'm a big fan of writing great sales copy) is to truly understand the needs and pains and challenges your prospects are facing.[/quote]

This is why it is good to have different perspectives. Personally, I think writing good sales copy is extremely overrated. I also don't think it really matters what color your business card is or what font you use. Most of my customers don't have any "pains and challenges!"

I've found that most of my customers are like Ed. They just want to know what you do, how much you charge and want some degree of confidence you won't be awful.

But there are many ways to do this stuff. No rights and wrongs. I just know what has worked for me.

James
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jan 28, 2010 04:02PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-28 15:25, Ed_Millis wrote:

So now that the shoe is on the other foot and I'm the one who needs to market to them, I want to be very careful that I do not make my prospective clients feel like fresh meat in my sights.

[/quote]

Ed,

I think many people have the same opinion that you do. Marketing and business is not about manipulating people, it's more about educating them into making the best choice for themselves.

In my course I have an entire section on converting prospects into customers, but that section begins with how to make an instant connection with the person you're dealing with. It's by having a "genuine" interest in the other person. I'm not saying, "pretending" to have a genuine interest, but authentically having a genuine interest in the other person.

In communicating with others, listen to what they have to say. What problem are they being faced with, and how can you be the solution to their problem?

Your marketing efforts should clearly define who you are and what solutions you provide. I don't think there is a person on earth that would be turned off by your efforts in trying to help others.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano

[quote]
On 2010-01-28 15:51, James Munton wrote:

Most of my customers don't have any "pains and challenges!"

[/quote]

James,

I wish my customers were like yours. Life would be so simple.

Everyone of my customers is faced with some sort of challenge when they decide to hire me. A husband having a birthday party for his wife is trying to figure out how to keep their guests entertained for the evening. A restaurant owner is trying to figure out how to keep guests from leaving the premises when there is an hour wait for a table. A company exhibiting at a trade show wants to make sure they're booth is packed with prospects to make the best use of the tens of thousands of dollars they are spending at a convention. A company having a sales meeting wants to deliver their message in a compelling way to energize their sales force.

All of these are challenges. The person that can best convey how they are the best solution to tackle these challenges will have a recipe for success.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Jan 28, 2010 04:24PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-28 15:51, James Munton wrote:
[quote]The key to great sales copy (and I'm a big fan of writing great sales copy) is to truly understand the needs and pains and challenges your prospects are facing.[/quote]

This is why it is good to have different perspectives. Personally, I think writing good sales copy is extremely overrated. I also don't think it really matters what color your business card is or what font you use. Most of my customers don't have any "pains and challenges!"

I've found that most of my customers are like Ed. They just want to know what you do, how much you charge and want some degree of confidence you won't be awful.

But there are many ways to do this stuff. No rights and wrongs. I just know what has worked for me.

James
[/quote]

I think its a combination of all of it! I like what you say "they want to know to some of confidence you wont be awful"

Really though...a ton of my phone calls are I want more information on your show, how much?

I like to say "OK I have several packages avaliable suitable for everyones needs" Do you have a date confirmed?"

I keep asking questions and listening until I can find their problem and then offer a solution.

Posted: Jan 28, 2010 5:29pm
As for Lou, Please don't take this the wrong way, but I think it is terrible that someone has to buy a course to find out the information they are seeking. That is why we are here...to learn from others.

What gets old for me is when these marketers throw out bits and pieces and then say go here "website link" and buy my product to learn more. I personally don't think you can put a price tag on knowledge. If someone is passionate to learn, then a mentor will sweep them off their feet and teach them the ropes "free"

One other thing that aggrivates me; Marketers complaining that we are seeking free free free without wanting to pay a price.

This is not a direct stab at you..I don't even know you! I like to offer my birthday party moms a party planning guide filled with tips, hints and tricks and compliments of "kids party entertainer john doe" I am not asking them to buy anything...I am offering them something of value and letting them know who I am and what I do.
Message: Posted by: EventEntertainer (Jan 28, 2010 04:47PM)
<<One other thing that aggrivates me; Marketers complaining that we are seeking free free free without wanting to pay a price.>>

Really? Care to give examples? I personally have not heard compaints. More along the lines, "If you do not want it, don't buy it".

There are MANY GOOD marketers and teachers out there freely dispensing their knowledge to anyone who would honestly like to learn. I have picked up many tips and tricks from the likes, of Jack Turk, Joel Bauer, Dean Hankey, Dave Lakhani and many more. I HAVE picked up some of their material, but most of it after the fact to make sure that their line of thinking is a right fit for me.

<<I like to offer my birthday party moms a party planning guide filled with tips, hints and tricks and compliments of "kids party entertainer john doe" I am not asking them to buy anything...I am offering them something of value and letting them know who I am and what I do.>>

Who wouldn't like to offer a tip guide? It's a great AIDA and positioning tool!
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jan 28, 2010 04:54PM)
The local library is full of free information. When I didn't have any money, that was the first place I went for information. The Magic Café is full of free information given by highly respected professionals like Jim Snack, Dean Hankey, and Seth Kramer. You can sign up to get free marketing and business tips on [url=http://www.sixfiguremagic.com]my website[/url] and on the websites of others. I have mentored free of charge countless magicians and other small business owners. I'm sure others have done this as well.

For the record, I have invested about $30,000 educating myself on business and marketing. I've invested in books, CDs, and courses from all types of marketing experts both in and outside of magic. I've attended seminars, lectures, and teleseminars given by countless marketing and business experts, and I continue to invest in my education.

Doctors and lawyers attend many years of school and invest tens of thousands of dollars for their education. The same goes for many other professions, yet nobody complains that they have to pay for their education. If you have the ability to pay for an education, more power to you. if you aren't currently able to afford an education, there are plenty of free resources available to anyone that is hungry for it.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: EventEntertainer (Jan 28, 2010 05:00PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-28 17:54, lou serrano wrote:
I have mentored free of charge countless magicians and other small business owners.
[/quote]

Lou, would you mentor me on the Steel Ball Routine? :)

Sorry, I couldn't help it :)
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jan 28, 2010 05:02PM)
EventEntertainer,

Call me.

Lou
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Jan 28, 2010 05:35PM)
Lou,

I should elaborate on what I said a bit more. I was not making a stab at you in particular.

What I am saying are infomercials that Tease Tease Tease to try and get you to buy. It's a waste of my time unless they have something of benefit to me. I don't need the next revolutionary mop that will solve all my problems. On the other hand If my mop was giving me back problems from bending, and they stressed that in the ad...I would probably buy it!


Most marketing courses are 97-197-297 and are wrapped up in some good deal that you just can't pass up! It's getting annoying, and chaps my ass.

Jack Turks course is affordable to those who want the info. In my opinion a book on marketing with a DVD, audio set shrink-wrapped doesn't add any value to me. It's the usefulness and affordability that caters to my needs. I give out goody bags for the birthday party moms and they like that I offer them b/c it saves them time.

They never say "hey, I could have bought these cheap toys online at wholesale rates, put them in a bag and twist tied them. It's a benefit to them b/c it saves them time in their already busy lifestyles.

[quote]
On 2010-01-28 17:47, EventEntertainer wrote:
[quote]
One other thing that aggravates me; Marketers complaining that we are seeking free free free without wanting to pay a price.
[/quote]
Really? Care to give examples? I personally have not heard complaints. More along the lines, "If you do not want it, don't buy it".

There are [b]many good[/b] marketers and teachers out there freely dispensing their knowledge to anyone who would honestly like to learn. I have picked up many tips and tricks from the likes, of Jack Turk, Joel Bauer, Dean Hankey, Dave Lakhani and many more. I [b]have[/b] picked up some of their material, but most of it after the fact to make sure that their line of thinking is a right fit for me.

[quote]
I like to offer my birthday party moms a party planning guide filled with tips, hints and tricks and compliments of "kids party entertainer john doe" I am not asking them to buy anything...I am offering them something of value and letting them know who I am and what I do.
[/quote]
Who wouldn't like to offer a tip guide? It's a great AIDA and positioning tool!
[/quote]
I can't recall but I did hear a reference on a teleseminar. As I said it's not a stab at the guys here on the Café.
Message: Posted by: Thom Bliss (Jan 28, 2010 05:49PM)
"What ever happened to just being a nice personable guy that people want to do business with? Or doesn't that bring in enough money?"

Well, it won't bring in any money if people don't know you, don't know what you do, don't know that you are a nice personable guy ...

One very important part of marketing is letting people know that you exist ... Another is letting them know how to contact you. One you've contacted them or (better) they've contacted you, then you can be the nice guy .... And one that can solve the problem they have.
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jan 28, 2010 05:54PM)
Charles,

I didn't take your comment as a stab at me. I too was talking in general.

Affordability and value is subjective. If somebody invests $1000 into a marketing program and that person increases his yearly income by 10, 20, 50, or 100 thousand dollars, that person would have found value in that program. On the other hand, if someone invests $20, follows the program, and they get no results, then that product was completely worthless. It's a waste of time and money. It's all subjective.

Luckily for you, nobody is forcing you to buy any of the products that are on the market, and nobody is forcing you to read any of the advertising.

I know that if I'm going to make a purchase, I want as much information as possible before I invest my hard earned money.

Sincerely,

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Jan 29, 2010 05:51AM)
This is an excellent interesting discussion, and I'd like to jump in with a comment on strategies and tactics. People often confuse the two; it's not a matter of semantics, it's a matter of focus.

It seems that everybody wants to learn new tactics, i.e tell me the specifics on how you do what you do to get work. Then, taking a shotgun approach, they start doing all the things everybody else is doing, hoping it will get produce clients. But they have a more fundamental problem. They are putting the cart before the horse.

Before implementing tactics, you must first create a vision for your business, Then, formulate strategies for realizing that vision. Strategies will vary for different people with different visions. Only after creating a clear vision for the next one, five, or even ten years of your business, you can formulate a strategy for turning your vision into reality. You shouldn't even worry about tactics until you lay that foundation.

Lance Burton always envisioned having a large illusion show. His early strategy was to create a world class ten minute manipulative act, and work that for ten years plus years in Las Vegas, while building his illusion show. His strategy from the beginning was that his ten minute dove act would eventually be the opening of his illusion show. Lance had a clear vision and specific strategies for achieving that vision.

At the Legends of Magic convention a few years ago, someone asked Lance about how to market and his response was classic. He said, "Don't ask me, I've only had three jobs in my whole life!" Lance never sent out a brochure, or done any of the tactical things we are always discussing.

Ed, in one of his insightful postings, wrote, " When I hear "tactics" (or "strategies", or whatever), and it makes me feel like I'm given the blueprint for a maze, and if I just drop my prospect into the maze and cleverly guide his responses to choices, then he'll pop out in customer database paid in full. So none of it rests on who I am, only on me "taking action"!! And none of it feels respectful of the customer, who is a person like I am."

Ed is right, and if that is how you view strategies and tactics, then you are focusing on the wrong thing. Strategies and tactics do help one navigate a maze, but it's not the maze for the customer, it's the maze for the performer, trying to build a successful performing business.

And there are many possible paths through that maze, all leading to different exits. Some will exit in las Vegas, others will exit doing trade shows, still others will exit doing school shows. Before deciding between take a right or turn in the maze, you might want to think about where you want to end up when you come out.

Jim
Message: Posted by: TheDean (Jan 29, 2010 01:28PM)
Jim, as always, YOU are my HERO!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jan 29, 2010 02:02PM)
Good thoughts Jim. And I too appreciate this thread.

I've bought a few marketing courses, some trash, some I'm still angry about and need to get over it, and some that were and continue to be very good and useful.

Joining the email lists of these guys is a good idea too. One of the lists I'm on sent a message to all past customers about a January Blowout sale. I missed the deadline but lucky for me there was such interest that he decided to burn a few extra CDs and I was able to get on of those. I know from my radio days that kind of "extended because of..." thing is sometimes planned in advanced, but even if that's what happened here I don't care because I did want the thing. I just didn't see the first notice.

As it turns out, one of the audios was taken from a question and answer session of a conference I have on DVDs. I always intended to make a CD of it but didn't get around to it. Now I have it, and I'm happy about it. Thanks Jim. That Blowout thing was the best the buy I've made it some time.

I would also suggest to read everything you can about the course you're interested in, the guy who sells it, and how it's worked for those that bought it, right here on the Café. There are two guys who get praise on here that I don't agree with, but I bought their stuff before I read about them here, and I did learn something from the guys. Mostly I learned not to do business like them. NOTE: I did decide to keep the stuff and not return it for a refund - because I learned something. BTW one of those guys gets slammed at least as much as praised here, so it's balanced I guess.

And I am NOT talking about Jim now. Jim is a true professional, a gentleman, and a giver. Anyone looking into him or his stuff should know by now the evidence is overwhelmingly positive. And he did not pay me or give me anything to say that - not yet anyway :)
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 29, 2010 02:06PM)
I for one never ever wanted to chase the one night shows. I have always centered my focus on long term gigs. I was prepared to move to wherever this would happen to take me, and happy to do whatever it took to avoid doing the one shot deals.

It was just the way I wanted to go about it. I have never sent out flyers, mass emails, or any of the things in most marketing programs.

One thing that was hit upon, and I think it is a weird thing to grasp, but not all marketing works or is right for all people. I mean I know all the "solve your customers problems" stuff is all the rage right now, but every time we have ever tried to work with people like that they never seem to work out too well for what we need. I think there is a lot of work out there for a guy who just shows up and does his job, and moves along. Many clients or agents today do not have too much need for "problem solving" ability.

Again I do not deal in those one night dealios so I do not presume to speak about them or say what is right or what is wrong. There are a lot of programs out there though, because there are a lot of different types of venues and performers.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jan 29, 2010 02:06PM)
Jim, maybe you can help me with something.

(See how I spoke nice about him before without asking, and now....)

I've going through the "#2 Getting Grants for Performing Magic.pdf" in the Special Reports folder of "Success in Magic" and I'm wanting to use that to help me figure out how to approach companies to sponsor me at certain places.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Beano
Message: Posted by: jackturk (Jan 29, 2010 02:29PM)
Jim Snack is truly a gentleman and a scholar and I've learned a tremendous amount from him over the past few years.

One point earlier I HAVE to take issue with:

[What gets old for me is when these marketers throw out bits and pieces and then say go here "website link" and buy my product to learn more. I personally don't think you can put a price tag on knowledge. If someone is passionate to learn, then a mentor will sweep them off their feet and teach them the ropes "free" ]

Say what?

Of course we put a price tag on knowledge and experience.

If you attended college, you paid a price tag called tuition for the benefit of acquiring knowledge from your professor or even teaching assistant.

If you bought a book, you're paying for the knowledge of the author and his/her ability to convey that information in a way that's persuasive, clear, and useful.

If you watch PBS, you're paying for it through the donations you make, others make, or we all make through federal beneficence.

I offer a program on internet marketing that I sell for around $300. It includes detailed information on setting up your website, setting up your adwords strategy, and seo tactics.

It also includes bonuses of pre-written sales copy, PPC keywords, a detailed campaign strategy, and a pre-built website that you can take and modify in your business.

It took me years to learn this stuff and many hours/days/weeks to put it together. What makes it different from the stuff you can find on the net and in a library is that is specifically designed for magicians and our market.

If you want to hire a professional copywriter (like me) to create solid sales copy that you could use, that would run you anywhere from $500 to $2000. If you want to hire a developer to build you a working website that incorporates this copy, tack on another $300 to $1000 or more.

If you want to hire someone to analyze our market and identify the right keywords for your Google Ad campaign, that will run you $50 to $100 /hour.

And I put this all together for $300.

Even so, given all this work on my part, I should give it away because someone comes and says, "help!?"

Ditto for the amazing work that Jim Snack did in his program. And Dean's stuff. And Eric Paul's stuff.

We should all just "give" it away because it's just "knowledge"?

They call it "Intellectual Property" for a reason. It has value.

--Jack Turk
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jan 29, 2010 02:53PM)
I also disagree with Charles that mentors and advice should be free for all.

If some pros want to share samples, that their choice.

Generally speaking, when you pay some sort of price for the prize, there is more respect, perceived value, a greater motivation to take action, etc.

- Donald

P.S. Your budget for learning should not be the same money that you have set aside for marketing. Those are different.
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Jan 29, 2010 03:05PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-29 15:29, jackturk wrote:
Jim Snack is truly a gentleman and a scholar and I've learned a
tremendous amount from him over the past few years.

One point earlier I HAVE to take issue with:

[What gets old for me is when these marketers throw out bits and
pieces and then say go here "website link" and buy my product to
learn more. I personally don't think you can put a price tag on
knowledge. If someone is passionate to learn, then a mentor will
sweep them off their feet and teach them the ropes "free" ]

Say what?

Of course we put a price tag on knowledge and experience.

If you attended college, you paid a price tag called tuition
for the benefit of acquiring knowledge from your professor
or even teaching assistant.

If you bought a book, you're paying for the knowledge of the
author and his/her ability to convey that information in a way
that's persuasive, clear, and useful.

If you watch PBS, you're paying for it through the donations
you make, others make, or we all make through federal beneficence.

I offer a program on internet marketing that I sell for around $300.
It includes detailed information on setting up your website, setting
up your adwords strategy, and seo tactics.

It also includes bonuses of pre-written sales copy, PPC keywords,
a detailed campaign strategy, and a pre-built website that you
can take and modify in your business.

It took me years to learn this stuff and many hours/days/weeks to
put it together. What makes it different from the stuff you
can find on the net and in a library is that is specifically
designed for magicians and our market.

If you want to hire a professional copywriter (like me) to create
solid sales copy that you could use, that would run you anywhere
from $500 to $2000. If you want to hire a developer to build you a
working website that incorporates this copy, tack on another $300
to $1000 or more.

If you want to hire someone to analyze our market and identify
the right keywords for your Google Ad campaign, that will run you
$50 to $100 /hour.

And I put this all together for $300.

Even so, given all this work on my part, I should give it away
because someone comes and says, "help!?"

Ditto for the amazing work that Jim Snack did in his program. And
Dean's stuff. And Eric Paul's stuff.

We should all just "give" it away because it's just "knowledge"?

They call it "Intellectual Property" for a reason. It has value.

--Jack Turk
[/quote]
You are talking to a guy that paid Brad Ross 300.00/month to help my business, and never got anything out of it! @ 300$/month he came to the conclusion that I am uncoachable, lack financial investment, hot under the collar, and major in minor things.

That was no the case at all! I have been very successful over the past 4 months. He didn't do a very good job at helping me..he understood my situation, but didn't adapt to it. That 300$/month was well worth the investment in advertising, eric's course, david farr's system, but I am sorry...wasn't good for Brad Ross.

It's nothing personal against the other marketers, but I was left with a bad taste in my mouth. I am sure that your programs are valuable and can attest to the fact that Brad Ross was dead wrong.

I read Eric's course and DJ Ehlerts course, and have exceeded my goals for the past 3 months.

Jack and Jim Snack....I more than trust your products and services offered, and have them on my purchase list for the near future. I am subscribed to your email list and love it!

Posted: Jan 29, 2010 4:16pm
Ahh...so we are paying for the experience that you have already lived? That makes sense, but still $197.00 $297.00 for a book and audio CD? It's not that I don't think that it's valuable, but I just can't afford that much for the knowledge.

I suppose what I am trying to say is that...Yes it's valuable...Yes it's worth every penny, but why the "hard sell approach and hitting on our fears?" Why not just tell us whats in it and a price?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jan 29, 2010 04:03PM)
Chaz,

In other threads, you've been talking about your experiences with SEO. I really DO APPRECIATE your sharing that information. Sincerely.

I use my website as an extension of my other marketing materials and getting a high ranking is not a top priority for me - FOR ME - My prospects are sent there through my mailings and such. My target is very narrow and I've found direct mail to be the most effective way to reach the majority of them.

But it's fun to type in what I think would be the main keywords to what I offer and see that I'm at the top of Google. So, thank you again for sharing what you're learning in that.

As to paying people to teach what they know... Since I teach private music lessons 2 days a week, I side with the "pay the teacher" camp. Heck, even Aristotle, Socrates, Leonardo, and Mozart got paid to teach.

But I do feel the same way as you about the hard sell and play-on-fears approach. Of course it works but I generally recoil when it's played on me.

I wrote above about investigating and all that, and I have a list of "beware keywords". Or rather they are "be wary" keywords. There are certain phrases that are dead giveaways that what the person is selling could be largely a copy of someone else. And I almost never by anything with a price that ends with a 7. I have before and I have a very strong reason (much like the keyword thing) for not doing it again.

I will say though that I believe Jim's price does, or used to, end with a 7 and I've already added my unwavering endorsement on his stuff. Coincidentally, a long time ago he quoted the marketer I think is the lowest of the low. PROVING THAT THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS TO THE GREAT RULES OF THE BEANO. I only add that tidbit because it was a long time ago, and any error it may convene would be on me, not Jim.

Just the opinions of a guy who's supposed to be working on his financials today,
Beano
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Jan 29, 2010 05:02PM)
Jim Snack's post is a clear indication of why he is highly respected among other professionals. You touched on an area that is obviously the first place to start, and you did it with such class.

Thank you for sharing.

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jan 29, 2010 05:25PM)
Wanna laugh?

Google this and include the quotation marks:

"the most educational programs available without compromising entertainment value"

Read their sites and see that these people are ALL claiming, or at least strongly insinuating to have created a program they BOUGHT from the original creator of the program.

Now try this one:

"kids do not want to sit and listen to a boring lecture"
They all bought, and are using the same letter. Word for word. Exept one guy who added and/or subtrated a word here and there. At least HE's learning to rewrite.

A few years ago, a school principal who's a friend of mine gave me 4 letters he was throwing away. They were word-for-word the same. I mean the only change was the guys' names and phone numbers.

Last fall a librarian showed me 3 books that magicians donated to the library as part of their marketing. You guessed it, they were the SAME BOOK - except each one had his name on as the author! None of them got hired and she has the books in a box in her office, not to release them.

So, why do we need BETTER marketing programs? Why do we need REAL people to help us? Why are we looked at as the bottom of the scale, with fees to match?

Because of this kind of stuff.

Granted those websites are from different areas. And granted not all of us are doing that, or getting low fees. I'm the highest in my area by a good amount (and yes, I lose jobs because of it) but I have to constantly fight the current and keep changing my copy, tactics, strategies, etc.

But I'm actually okay with that. In fact there's two guys who often check out y website and copy lots of it. One is close enough to my area and one is 1200 or so miles away. Go ahead, I say. They still don't show up on Google for the keywords I check and they make me keep moving forward. My website URL is only given out on my direct mail pieces and cards anyway because I have a very narrow target.

I'll last, they won't if they don't learn. Lots of people play cover songs in bands. Lots of people can make copies of famous paintings. Lots of people are original, have high standards, and live with integrity. The trick is to be that last group. If I slip, feel free to let me know. You'll help be a better person. (I mean WHEN I slip).

Thanks for reading,
Beano
Message: Posted by: seadog93 (Jan 29, 2010 05:29PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-29 15:29, jackturk wrote:
Jim Snack is truly a gentleman and a scholar and I've learned a
tremendous amount from him over the past few years.

One point earlier I HAVE to take issue with:

[What gets old for me is when these marketers throw out bits and
pieces and then say go here "website link" and buy my product to
learn more. I personally don't think you can put a price tag on
knowledge. If someone is passionate to learn, then a mentor will
sweep them off their feet and teach them the ropes "free" ]

Say what?

Of course we put a price tag on knowledge and experience.

If you attended college, you paid a price tag called tuition
for the benefit of acquiring knowledge from your professor
or even teaching assistant.

If you bought a book, you're paying for the knowledge of the
author and his/her ability to convey that information in a way
that's persuasive, clear, and useful.

If you watch PBS, you're paying for it through the donations
you make, others make, or we all make through federal beneficence.

I offer a program on internet marketing that I sell for around $300.
It includes detailed information on setting up your website, setting
up your adwords strategy, and seo tactics.

It also includes bonuses of pre-written sales copy, PPC keywords,
a detailed campaign strategy, and a pre-built website that you
can take and modify in your business.

It took me years to learn this stuff and many hours/days/weeks to
put it together. What makes it different from the stuff you
can find on the net and in a library is that is specifically
designed for magicians and our market.

If you want to hire a professional copywriter (like me) to create
solid sales copy that you could use, that would run you anywhere
from $500 to $2000. If you want to hire a developer to build you a
working website that incorporates this copy, tack on another $300
to $1000 or more.

If you want to hire someone to analyze our market and identify
the right keywords for your Google Ad campaign, that will run you
$50 to $100 /hour.

And I put this all together for $300.

Even so, given all this work on my part, I should give it away
because someone comes and says, "help!?"

Ditto for the amazing work that Jim Snack did in his program. And
Dean's stuff. And Eric Paul's stuff.

We should all just "give" it away because it's just "knowledge"?

They call it "Intellectual Property" for a reason. It has value.

--Jack Turk
[/quote]

I couldn't agree more. And having a bad experience with one person is just that, a bad experience with one person; it doesn't invalidate anyone else material or that material's value.
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Jan 29, 2010 09:12PM)
Beano,

I was thinking about answering your specific question about the process of getting a sponsor in a PM, but then thought that others may be interested. I apologize if my posting here takes this excellent discussion down a side path in the maze.

First, let me preface my answer by saying that I have only gotten a sponsor once in my career. I do have friends who have gotten several sponsors and I've discussed the process with them. And I've attended some workshops on the topic at National Speakers Association Convention, and I've heard how others have done it. I'd love the come up with a project that could interest a sponsor, and if I ever do, you can bet I'll chase one down.

I did a lot of grant writing early in my career, and had some modest success doing so, bringing in between $1000 - $6000 in grant money for various projects back in the 1980's. The process for getting both grants and corporate sponsors share some similarities. You have to write a proposal articulating a clear vision for project that meets certain objectives for the grant giver/sponsor. You have to demonstrate that you have a workable plan for successfully completing the project, and you have to convince the committee that you are capable of completing the project and meeting the objectives.

They differ in several ways. First, the objective for a grant is usually for some sort of public good or benefit. The objective for a sponsor is a marketing objective - getting media exposure, building brand awareness in a mew market, etc. The audience for the application differs. A grant application may read by a committee of volunteers, a government agency staff, a foundation staff, or a other committee. The reader of a sponsorship proposal is likely to be a Vice President of Marketing for a business and/or a business owner. Finally, the proposal for a grant is typically very long, with detailed budgets, support documentation and support letters. A proposal for a corporate sponsor is going to be much shorter, sometimes only one page for the actual proposed project description and a few support pages.

What is important for getting either a grant or a sponsor is to have a great idea and demonstrate that you are the person who can "deliver the goods."

What a minute....isn't that what marketing is all about also?

Jim

PS: By the way, that that wasn't a planned "extended sale," I just didn't want to disappoint anyone. Because of the positive response to that Blowout disc, I made a lot of extra ones to bring to the Kapital Kidvention, where I spoke yesterday morning. The convention was great, but unfortunately I had to leave early. In fact I just got home a little while ago. Guess what? I made way too many, so I'll probably offer them again shortly. It wasn't planned. I would have rather sold them in one shot at the convention, than have to carry them home!! Now I just want to move them.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jan 30, 2010 12:37AM)
Jim,

Thanks for that EXCELLENT answer. I was re-reading that grant report and the I was thinking concerning using it as a model for sponsor proposals was about half correct. You filled in a lot for me there.

I want to apologize for sounding as if I thought you may have been using the pre-planned extended sale. I was trying to say that it is a tactic that some use. I was VERY GLAD you did make extra because I really got a lot from it. The audio from the School DVD panel discussion was the tops for me. That DVD set is one of the 3 best resources a school performer could have - and SHOULD have.

I think I have all but maybe 3 of your products now. And it's only because those don't apply to what I'm doing right now.

I also want to point out to everyone. That Jim's posts in this thread are another example of a true giving professional. And those that can see behind and beyond the actual posts, can see a good business plan: How Jim responds, what he responds (and doesn't respond) to, and what he says.

Your teaching more than what you say, Jim.

Not to ignore the contributions of others who also sell products and give freely here. We owe ALL of you: Jack, Dean, James, Kyle, and others I'm not remembering to name right now, our thanks.

I've also been soaking in good stuff from Paddy, Mike Clay, Chaz, Ed Mills, Donald, Dennis, and again a bunch more.

I thank you all.
Beano
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Jan 30, 2010 09:14AM)
Thanks Beano, for all your positive comments. No apology was necessary as I didn't take any offense.

The Magic Success Seminar that I was part of a few years ago was an intensive seminar on working school shows with myself, Steve Hart, BJ Hickman and Steve Taylor. Unfortunately, the DVD set is not longer available. Because the information was so good, I took the audio portion of my sessions, the panel discussion, and added some additional information from my Success in Magic course to create the three CD audio set called "Everything Your Always Wanted to Know About School Programs...but Were Afraid to Ask."

I just finished unpacking from my trip to the Kapital Kidvention, the first annual conference for children's entertainers in Springfield, VA and I must congratulate Louis Meyer for putting on a great convention. The general session presenters were all top notch. Unfortunately, I didn't get to any breakout sessions. I particularly liked the opening session entitled How to Make the Audience Love You (or something like that) by former Ringling Clown, Leon McBryde. Wow, what seasoned pro! It was a lesson in showmanship. Also, the session by Arthur Stead was an amazing demonstration on how to enhance your show with music. I understand that Louis is going to make the DVD set of nearly all the sessions at that convention available shortly. Folks can go to http://www.kapitalkidvention.com for details.

And yes, I have ten of those School Show & Motivational Magic Blowout discs left over that I will offer to my list on Monday. If interested, Café members, however, can get one early at http://www.success-in-magic.com/blowout.htm .

Now, to get this discussion back on track, I usually find something of value in every marketing or business book, CD or program that I invest in. Yes, some may be over-priced for the value delivered, and I may not use an idea or strategy right away, but I can usually find one jewel of an idea that I tuck away in my mind. Even if I don't ever use the idea myself, I often will recommend it to a friend or customer who needs help marketing a new program.

And your comments about clone marketing campaigns vs. original sales copy were right on target. We all learn from others, but the standout performers always adapt an idea make it their own. And that's true whether we are talking about their act or their marketing materials. The clones will always be cheap imitations of the real thing.

Jim
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jan 30, 2010 09:21AM)
Beano:

Thank you my friend for the kind words. I always believe that you need to give back to magic what it has given to you. I love writing and sharing ideas and if I can help someone who wants to help themselves, then I will always make time to do so.

We do indeed learn from others and I am always listening to whatever anyone says and absorbing what I can take from it. I also agree with jim in that I never stop learning and I can always gain something from anything I read.

Right now I am reading "SEO for Dummies - 10 books in 1". It is actually VERY good and filled with TONS of great information and tidbits that I am going to utilize and test out. I have just started the book and have already found things that is more then worth the price I paid for it.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jan 30, 2010 09:39PM)
Kyle,

You are most welcome. And thank you for bringing up that book. I saw it mentioned somewhere else around the Café, and when I went to look for it I saw that there are 2 books of the same title. Except that one of them added the "10 Books in 1".

I meant to ask here which was recommended but I forgot about it. I ordered it tonight.

Thanks,
Beano

Posted: Jan 30, 2010 10:44pm
Jim,

Very well said about the clones. Learning from, modeling after, and aspiring to be like, successful people are how many get started. But sooner or later we gotta cut the cord.

Thanks for the heads up on the Kapital Kidvention DVDs. I'll be watching for them.

Beano
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 30, 2010 09:58PM)
I am interested in the idea that people should not be paid to teach the knowlege they have. Why is that again?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jan 30, 2010 10:24PM)
Beats me Danny.

I teach music 2 days week. I get paid and build a little fan base at the same time.

Money is just a way of trading something for something else. With money, we don't have carry around a bunch stuff to trade. :)

Beano
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 30, 2010 11:11PM)
Yea it is confusing to me. I mean yea there is a lot of information out there and if you don't like it then don't buy more of it. The idea that it should be free seems a bit of an odd concept to me is all.
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Jan 30, 2010 11:31PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-31 00:11, Dannydoyle wrote:
Yea it is confusing to me. I mean yea there is a lot of information out there and if you don't like it then don't buy more of it. The idea that it should be free seems a bit of an odd concept to me is all.
[/quote]

You're right! It is an odd concept, and to be honest..I don't even know why I said it! Lets move on to a different subject shall we?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Jan 31, 2010 12:22AM)
I forgot who said it.

You're right Chaz, let's drop it.

For what it's worth, you're okay in my book.

Beano
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Jan 31, 2010 05:30AM)
II wish I could sell my experience for what it cost me. I'd be a rich man.

Jim

PS: For now, I'm happy to settle for a fee that ends in 7.
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Jan 31, 2010 12:13PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-31 06:30, Jim Snack wrote:
II wish I could sell my experience for what it cost me. I'd be a rich man.

Jim

PS: For now, I'm happy to settle for a fee that ends in 7.
[/quote]

Why is it that prices's end in 7?
Message: Posted by: magicFreak2 (Jan 31, 2010 12:18PM)
As soon as I saw the big red text in a box, I knew it was a no-go. Anything that looks even remotely like that, with huge, bold and italic text is NOT what you're looking for.
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Jan 31, 2010 12:44PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-31 13:18, magicFreak2 wrote:
As soon as I saw the big red text in a box, I knew it was a no-go. Anything that looks even remotely like that, with huge, bold and italic text is NOT what you're looking for.
[/quote]

So, what do you recommend looking for in a marketing course, and why do you feel that this one is not valuable? Just curious

Charles
Message: Posted by: jackturk (Jan 31, 2010 12:59PM)
"Why 7?"

I believe research has shown that prices that end in 7 sell better. I use this in my magic show packages, they all end in a 7 rather than a round number.

(I cannot, however, cite the exact source of this factoid, so it could well be one of those urban marketing legends.)

If a prospect asks "why such a strange number?" I tell them it has to do with my rigorously extensive accounting and tracking system whereby every penny is scrutinized for maximum ROI...

--Jack Turk
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Jan 31, 2010 01:20PM)
Back when I was in the supermarket business we would often
have sale items priced in 7's. Even today Walmart likes the
odd number endings. Shoppers automatically see $2.99 the same
as $3.00. But $2.97, well now that's much cheaper. :)

Tom
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Jan 31, 2010 02:47PM)
It's funny how little techniques like those change the buying decision. Thanks for sharing, and I may even give it a try.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 31, 2010 03:06PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-31 00:31, trickychaz wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-31 00:11, Dannydoyle wrote:
Yea it is confusing to me. I mean yea there is a lot of information out there and if you don't like it then don't buy more of it. The idea that it should be free seems a bit of an odd concept to me is all.
[/quote]

You're right! It is an odd concept, and to be honest..I don't even know why I said it! Lets move on to a different subject shall we?
[/quote]

Well you said it many times many places, but ok lets drop it.

Could we also try to limit the number of exclimation points to one per post? Nobody can be that excited.
Message: Posted by: seadog93 (Jan 31, 2010 03:28PM)
[/quote]
Could we also try to limit the number of exclimation points to one per post? Nobody can be that excited.
[/quote]

LOL, I wonder how many people think that when they read sales letters.
Not me, I'm a sucker for a "Kenndey-style" sales letter myself, but I've heard this and similar comments a lot before.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Jan 31, 2010 03:40PM)
Well, naw not going to get into it. I am sure everyone can show studies where it is brilliant sales writing so I don't want to open Pandora's Box. Suffice as to say that when on an internet chat board it probably is less than effective.
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Jan 31, 2010 08:48PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-31 16:40, Dannydoyle wrote:
Well, naw not going to get into it. I am sure everyone can show studies where it is brilliant sales writing so I don't want to open Pandora's Box. Suffice as to say that when on an internet chat board it probably is less than effective.
[/quote]

Everyone has their pet peeves...I forgive you Danny, and will make sure I cut back on the heavy usage of exclamation points! It's a lot better than many other habits that I could be accustomed to. Thank God!
Message: Posted by: James Munton (Jan 31, 2010 08:53PM)
Just out of interest... do any of you currently send out Dan Kennedy/Dave Dee-type sales letters and to what markets?

James
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Jan 31, 2010 09:15PM)
I have never studied studied sales letters, but learned from what Eric Paul included in his children's entertainers course.

The first sales letter that I sent out was designed without any knowledge and created fantastic results. It was sent to 24 libraries and I received 6 inquiries and booked 3 libraries...pretty good return. It contained bulleted benefit oriented points, no headline and was only 1 page. I included in the mailing a photo page, coloring page, newspaper article and coupon.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 1, 2010 12:13AM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-31 21:48, trickychaz wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-01-31 16:40, Dannydoyle wrote:
Well, naw not going to get into it. I am sure everyone can show studies where it is brilliant sales writing so I don't want to open Pandora's Box. Suffice as to say that when on an internet chat board it probably is less than effective.
[/quote]

Everyone has their pet peeves...I forgive you Danny, and will make sure I cut back on the heavy usage of exclamation points! It's a lot better than many other habits that I could be accustomed to. Thank God!
[/quote]

Arrogance is a pet peeve of mine actually. (what does a pet peeve eat? How often must they be fed? Do they need to be walked?)

It is not about a "peeve" it is about perception. You are free to have people perceve you any way you like. If you think that a lot of exclimation points helps this process along then go for it.
Message: Posted by: Blair Marshall (Feb 1, 2010 07:20AM)
James, based on the following Kennedy has (not inside magic), I would say thousands send out the larger/longer letters. I do not (but for a different reason than most would think on here). There would seem to be chapters of his formal group in cities throughout the U.S.

Two major corps that do send out the long letters up here are the Readers' Digest, and Publishers' Clearing House, which I believe you have both in the U.S.

I think it is also determined by market, but where I forego the longer letter, I get mailings out more frequently.

Blair
Message: Posted by: RebelEntertainer (Feb 1, 2010 04:07PM)
I do believe in the long sales letter. I use it for folks that have requested info. And I use it for a number of markets.

But it certainly isn't my entire arsenal. It's only one of many weapons.

I also believe that the exercise of putting together the long sales letter (with all the benefit oriented copy, headlines, subheads, guarantees, offer etc...) is underappreciated.

The beauty of putting it all together is that you now have a vehicle to cut and paste for other media (websites, mag ads, email marketing etc...) using slight alterations for each. Shortening, lengthening, adding additional key words and key concepts.

Once done, it's a great springboard and shortcut for all your marketing.

I understand that in it's purest form it should appear as a personal letter, but the long sales letter can also take many different forms: Brochures, webpages, multi step email campaigns and more.

Even a lot of Kennedy's sales letters selling his own products now look like a sort of cross breed sales letter/brochure.

The key is to test and use the form that works best for your market.

It's not the only thing, but everyone should know how to do it. It makes the rest of your marketing challenges much easier.

My two cents.

-John Abrams
Rebel Entertainer and Guy that believes in great copy
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Feb 4, 2010 11:53PM)
[quote]
On 2010-01-26 11:37, jskalon wrote:
Has anyone used this:

http://www.magicmarketingcenter.com/birthdayPT

I'd like to see a review if you have.
Thanks
[/quote]

I just purchased the downloadable version and will let you know how it is. Since it's put out by Jack Turk I am more than confident that it's a great program.

Posted: Feb 5, 2010 2:17am
There are some pretty darn good tips contained in the course. I have only listened and browsed, but I would recommend it to anyone that is looking to make more money in the Birthday Party Business.

Thanks Jack

Sincerely,
Charles Watson
Message: Posted by: Oscar999 (Feb 6, 2010 01:56PM)
As a direct response copywriter, I've been following this thread with heightened interest. I read the sales copy promoting Jack's course, and before I realized it who it was for - I was thinking to myself; this is some really good copy!

Then I saw the picture of Jack and it all made sense.

Jack gets it. He created a darn good "offer." And really, with all the talk about what works and what doesn't, there's some great take-aways in Jack's copy that would be a good "model" for your own.

And John Abrams point about "repurposing" copy is brilliant. Whenever I have a big promotion to write involving a series of e-mails or sequenced mailings driving the reader to a landing page or long form sales letter. I always start with the landing/sales page - so that I have a "source" of copy to use in my e-mails, squeeze pages and anything I else I might need it for.

And about the overuse of exclamation points, or as some term them, slammers; when everything is emphasised, nothing is emphasised.

I cut my teeth on Kennedy style letters, but even he would agree, I'm sure, that most who attempt to use hype and attention getting techniques fail because they don't understand that those techniques only work within the context of drawing attention to real, solid content.

Many people don't understand what it is that works on a certain piece ... but they notice the hype and only copy that, and then wonder why it failed to produce the result they were after.

Great discussion. I hope it continues.

Oscar
Message: Posted by: TheMagicianGuide (Feb 7, 2010 01:05PM)
One problem remains that there truly exist "great" magician marketers . . . but many of their systems as simply out of date . . . yes, its great to research and discover new methods of marketing that are out there - but, realize - the entire realm of marketing has changed (for most every business in every industy, not just entertainment) over the last few years. If any "system" focuses on age-old "print" advertising methods, you have to take it with a grain of salt these days and realize its, well, "old" news really . . .

Truly, track your customer demographic in terms of advertising and how they found you. . . also think about the customers you truly "want" to have and to be able to reach . . . be very weary in terms of any print "yellow-page" type advertsing these days - they are starving for advertising dollars and will promise you the world - but the simple fact is, few people open up that yellowbook these days . . . In time, you should really be exchanging your print advertising dollars for internet targeted marketing efforts as fast as you can . . .
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Feb 7, 2010 01:39PM)
[quote]
On 2010-02-07 14:05, TheMagicianGuide wrote:
One problem remains that there truly exist "great" magician marketers . . . but many of their systems as simply out of date . . . yes, its great to research and discover new methods of marketing that are out there - but, realize - the entire realm of marketing has changed (for most every business in every industy, not just entertainment) over the last few years. If any "system" focuses on age-old "print" advertising methods, you have to take it with a grain of salt these days and realize its, well, "old" news really . . .

Truly, track your customer demographic in terms of advertising and how they found you. . . also think about the customers you truly "want" to have and to be able to reach . . . be very weary in terms of any print "yellow-page" type advertsing these days - they are starving for advertising dollars and will promise you the world - but the simple fact is, few people open up that yellowbook these days . . . In time, you should really be exchanging your print advertising dollars for internet targeted marketing efforts as fast as you can . . .
[/quote]

Jack covers internet marketing basics and google adwords. He also has an interesting idea on how to pull more from your print advertising...I will not reveal it here, but it's great info.

After being full time since November, I have made the decision to focus most of my marketing efforts online, but not rely soley on those methods. Print Advertising is expensive, but if you aren't spending money you aren't making money, but you have to track those ads and make sure they are effective

P.S. I am not an expert, but have the course, read it and feel it has some interesting topics.
Message: Posted by: Thom Bliss (Feb 10, 2010 12:01PM)
There's an old saying that half your advertising is wasted - the trick is to find out which half.

Tracking how your clients found you is very important.

I dropped all yellow page advertising because, for me, it just wasn't paying.

Right now, most of my clients find me through a Yahoo! search. Which means I need to work to become more visible in Google.

Web marketing is great. Unlike print, once you have your site, and a host, it basically costs you nothing to have color, more or fewer words, etc. And you can change it anytime you want.

Thom
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Feb 10, 2010 04:30PM)
[quote]
On 2010-02-10 13:01, Thom Bliss wrote:
There's an old saying that half your advertising is wasted - the trick is to find out which half.

Tracking how your clients found you is very important.

I dropped all yellow page advertising because, for me, it just wasn't paying.

Right now, most of my clients find me through a Yahoo! search. Which means I need to work to become more visible in Google.

Web marketing is great. Unlike print, once you have your site, and a host, it basically costs you nothing to have color, more or fewer words, etc. And you can change it anytime you want.

Thom
[/quote]

I just dropped my parent magazine ad for the same reason. In 3 months I have only had 4 inquries and 1 booking.

I am thinking about running it again early or middle spring to prepare for summer parties.
Message: Posted by: Thom Bliss (Feb 15, 2010 12:11AM)
I didn't have much luck with parenting magazines either, so I dropped them. But apparently some of my competitors think they're doing okay, because they keep advertising in them. Maybe they have found ads that work in parenting magazines, maybe they just don't know where their clients find them.

But I still give out business cards, even though nobody has ever said they got my number from a business card.



Thom
Message: Posted by: jackturk (Feb 15, 2010 11:30AM)
Business cards are an art-form in themselves.

I think of mine as a mini-direct response classified ad, with a cool picture, testimonials, my USP, and a clear call to action.

I'll acknowledge I can't quantify how many gigs I get from the cards, but I do know for certain that one path for getting to me is "My friends saw you and gave me your number." and an easy way to make sure they keep your number is with that biz card.

--Jack Turk
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Feb 15, 2010 01:31PM)
[quote]
On 2010-02-15 01:11, Thom Bliss wrote:
I didn't have much luck with parenting magazines either, so I dropped them. But apparently some of my competitors think they're doing okay, because they keep advertising in them. Maybe they have found ads that work in parenting magazines, maybe they just don't know where their clients find them.

But I still give out business cards, even though nobody has ever said they got my number from a business card.



Thom
[/quote]

I hand out my jumbo dollar bills to all the kids. I have never had someone call and say "my kid gave me this dollar" but I still hand them out. It's a combination of all the little things that have made a difference. I have tear off flyers around town on 12 different billboards. I haven't received a call from them, but when I checked them, at least 3 or so have been torn off. This may bring results later in the year.
Message: Posted by: Futureal (Feb 16, 2010 04:03AM)
Chaz,

You say you're a full time magician. Out of interest how many shows are you doing per week? On average.

If you don't mind sharing.
Message: Posted by: trickychaz (Feb 16, 2010 10:19AM)
I don't think that is important, but thanks for asking! I have been full time since November and it has been very rewarding.
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Feb 18, 2010 12:31PM)
I agree Chaz,,
Full time means

"This is my primary source of income."

If I do 1 show a month at 5k a show.. does that then cause me to NOT be a FULL TIME entertainer... over someone who does 10 birthday parties a week?

on the same note..

if I make on average 10k a month as a consultant working 10 hrs a week and work longer and more as a Entertainer making less money.. but still earning more as a entertainer than MANY.. does that then mean YOUR no longer a full time entertainer because I do more and make more and it's not my full time job??

anyway.. that's all just to say..
what I said in the 1st sentence
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Feb 18, 2010 09:17PM)
Mike,

Excellent point.

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: Arthur Scargill (Feb 24, 2010 06:25AM)
I have read Jack's comments on this forum and I always find them very constructive. His course seems very reasonably priced and I do get a gut feeling that it would be very good indeed. I don't see how anyone can lose at the price he charges along with his money-back guarantee.

I do have one minor quibble though. It may be just a personal issue of mine but I was relieved to see that a similar point was made in a mail order marketing book I came across in a bookshop.

I always get turned off when I am addressed as "Dear Friend" in a sales letter. I may not even read the piece. How can I be a "dear friend" if I don't even know the person who is writing me (along with hundreds of others) a letter that I know is trying to sell me something. It comes across as insincere and false.

I know nothing about marketing and I am simply talking as a consumer. I expect I will be in the minority and other people won't mind this salutation one bit. It bothers me though and presumably it will bother other people too.

I think it may be something for Jack to think about.
Message: Posted by: jackturk (Feb 24, 2010 05:44PM)
Interesting point about "Dear Friend"...

Of course it's better to use someone's actual first name in any marketing piece - personalization has a whole lot more power. We all love to see and hear our names - we've been hearing them from infancy and if there really is anything like a true "magic word" it's the sound of hearing your own name.

On an impersonal webpage where I promote a product (or you promote your service - no real difference) of course it would be better to use the first name there too.

But if you don't have the person's name, then you have to choose from one of several impersonal generic monikers. I don't have the research to back this up, but I've read and heard that the best all-purpose term to use is "Friend". Obviously it's not
perfect nor will it convince everyone that I'm a) really their friend or b) have the right to even consider such a thing, it is by-and-by a pretty reasonable and non-threatening term to use.

--Jack Turk
Message: Posted by: Arthur Scargill (Feb 24, 2010 09:37PM)
Quite frankly I would be even more irritated if someone used my actual name. I would consider it a breach of privacy. I would far prefer an anonymous generic neutral type of greeting. I DON"T want to feel that I have been singled out for special attention. Perhaps I am different from other people.

I really don't like the "Dear Friend" salutation and I recall that quite independently some mail order expert or other advised against it too. It is driving me nuts trying to remember where I read the advice. I do know that I smirked with great self satisfaction when I read it since I had always thought it even before I read it.

AHA! I have just had a hunch where I read it! Perhaps I didn't read it in a bookshop after all as I first thought. One moment please.

Egad! I am in a state of great delight since I have actually found the book with the advice against using this dreadful,sickly, insincere salutation. It is a very old book which I read years ago. It was written way before the advent of computers but it is still the most sensible and realistic book on mail order that I have ever read. And of course many mail order techniques apply even to sales letters on the internet.

The book is entitled "Run a Successful Mail Order Business" by Howard Sparks. Here is the relevant paragraph:
"Just as most saleas letters dispense with a formal salutation, they also omit the nauseatingly familiar "Dear Friend" that used to be used so regularly. Many people resent being called "Dear" and "Friend", especailly by someone at a remote distance who has no right to presume such a relationship"

I find it interesting that this old book published decades ago mentions that the "Dear Friend" thing is actually old fashioned and no longer used. Jack has resurrected something that was old even thirty years ago when I first purchased the book.

And a shudder has just passed through me as I think I remember where I purchased the book. I swear it was at a flea market and the lady manning the booth was Brad Christian's mother, I kid you not. Brad of course is the multi-millionaire entrepeneur who owns Ellusionist. I wonder if Brad read it before his mother sold it. Now I know how he became rich.

Now that I have calmed down from my shudder I think now on reflection that it may not have been Brad's mother who sold it to me but one of the neighbouring vendors.

But back to the original point. I wonder if I am the only one who feels like throwing up when I see "Dear Friend"? I repeat, I like Jack's posts but on this one thing I do differ with him.

Any other opinions on this?
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Feb 24, 2010 10:19PM)
I've been called much worse. I'd much rather be called a friend.

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Feb 24, 2010 10:22PM)
Dear Friends: :)

Honestly, in a sales letter it use to bug me too, but then when I think about it.

Friends do come in all shapes and sizes.
There are good friends and bad friends.
New friends and old friends.
Close friends and potential friends.
So I guess it really depends on how you take the word friend.

The idea that you must know someone before you can call them
friend is probably long gone. Especially since places like Myspace
and Facebook came along. There everybody you speak to is considered a friend.
Even here on this forum, most see each other as friends.

Asking someone to be your friend,(even if they are trying to sell you) is never a bad thing.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Arthur Scargill (Feb 24, 2010 10:42PM)
Ugh!
And I even feel the same about that awful facebook thing. I refuse to go near it. All sorts of people saying that they are your "friend" and you don't even know them.
It really is a sickly salutation and I suspect that I am not the only one who feels like throwing up when I read it.
Message: Posted by: jackturk (Feb 25, 2010 07:25AM)
So Arthur, what moniker/term should I use when I send YOU my next sales letter?
Message: Posted by: Arthur Scargill (Feb 25, 2010 10:18AM)
Jack. That is entirely up to you. You are the marketing expert not me. I expect I would be fine with anything providing it doesn't say "Dear Friend". In fact I am not even sure any salutation is required at all.
Message: Posted by: bubbleburst2004 (Feb 25, 2010 02:29PM)
[quote]
On 2010-02-25 08:25, jackturk wrote:
So Arthur, what moniker/term should I use when I send YOU
my next sales letter?
[/quote]

I would have thought "Dear Mark" would be appropriate.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Feb 25, 2010 03:05PM)
That was my thought too.

Somethings you just can't hide no matter how hard you try.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Arthur Scargill (Feb 25, 2010 04:04PM)
Throwing up a smokescreen to distract us from the main question may be terribly commendable but it really isn't terribly helpful to Jack. This is important information for him and his livelihood is at stake. He is in danger of losing customers if he uses the wrong approach. I think you should all be focusing on the opinion of Howard Sparks rather than me. For those of who were not paying attention I shall try again. Here is what I said:
..................................................................................

The book is entitled "Run a Successful Mail Order Business" by Howard Sparks. Here is the relevant paragraph:
"Just as most sales letters dispense with a formal salutation, they also omit the nauseatingly familiar "Dear Friend" that used to be used so regularly. Many people resent being called "Dear" and "Friend", especailly by someone at a remote distance who has no right to presume such a relationship"
..................................................................................
If you were all to stop playing silly guessing games (which are all wrong, incidentally) and focus on the subject at hand you might learn something.

This salutation is questionable and other marketing experts besides Howard Sparks also advise against it. If you wish to check it out google is at your disposal.
Message: Posted by: bubbleburst2004 (Feb 25, 2010 04:13PM)
[quote]
On 2010-02-25 17:04, Arthur Scargill wrote:

If you were all to stop playing silly guessing games (which are all wrong, incidentally) and focus on the subject at hand you might learn something.

[/quote]

What's sad is that you have so much to offer, I love reading all your posts and have implemented quite a few things I've read over the years on different forums. But you are the one who insists on playing silly games, and this will as always come back to bite you.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Feb 25, 2010 06:42PM)
Sad, sad indeed.

Jack, and many others here, certainly know more than I do about what is best to use in a sales letter.
But I would think if the word friend caused someone not to buy, then you didn't really have a chance anyway.

Just a thought, but a simple Hello, sounds good to me too.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Blair Marshall (Feb 25, 2010 07:00PM)
Hey Arthur,

A key word in that phrase is "many", if you quantify it, and it is less than, let's say 10%, would you stop using it? If my response rate was 90% to a "Dear Friend" salutation, I would not move from it. I'll let you post the stats. as I do not use it and am not interested in the results (but if posted here it would be interesting). Tested results is what I like to hear.

Personally, in a generic bulk mailing to a list, I may use (family market) "Hi There", or "Good Day", in my more specific mailing I always use the individuals' name, because that mailing is important to me and it's "worth" the time to fins out who the correct contact is.

Blair
Message: Posted by: Nathan Alexander (Feb 28, 2010 09:29AM)
As far as long form sales letters go...

It doesn't matter what I think, it doesn't matter what my sister thinks, and it doesn't matter what you think - if we're talking about whether they work.

They do. I may not read them, but someone, somewhere is, and will continue to do so. Why?

Because they still work for those who do them right. There are entire markets that solely use long-form copy as their main sales funnel end point.

And remember, copy doesn't have to be in print either. Infomercial copy is the same formula (more or less) used in written copy.

Do I get sick of the same old trite stuff that's so prevalent in different markets?

Sure. I think most of us do. And yet, there it is all the same. Direct response marketing works when done well.

And there's the rub. Is there a lot of saturation in some magic markets. Sure. That's why it behooves you (I love that word don't you?) to learn a little more about why you're sending what you're sending.

When you understand why it works (or doesn't), you can really cut out what doesn't work and zone it on what does. Yes, it's not easy, but if you treat your marketing with half as much attention as you do to moves, or other things you love, you'll surpise yourself.

You'll see that you can learn to market effectively.

There are so many resources available here. And so many of them have a LOT to offer.

I'm not really sure why I wanted to reply, but a few posts just got me thinking.
People are becoming more "immune" to direct-response copy...in the same old format.

Again, that's not to say it doesn't work. But the idea behind any good copy should be a message to the reader, about the reader's problems they may be facing (or hopes) and showing them the potential for a solution.

But you have to speak to their needs. Period.

Why does long copy work? Take political fundraisers, charity groups or even the Sierra Club for example. Those folks pay a LOT of money to the guys that write the copy and controls.

And they do it because they get results. And that's what matters period (in these cases). On top of that, the letters are constantly being tested against other versions.

And they take those tests to the bank when they work. They know their numbers.

So back to the topic of marketing programs. Just think about it. Can you use long-form letters? Sure. Should you blindly "use" them as is without any other tool in your marketing arsenal?

Of course not. But I don't believe anyone is telling you to.

When you understand that the main purpose of a (hopefully good) letter is to catch the attention of your intended audience, then sell them, then you're a lot closer to developing your own material.

If you're bad at good salesmanship, then...well there's a good library near you. But a lot of the folks here can help you shortcut the learning process - just don't forget to read their material (whoever it may be) on two levels.

What they teach you, and why they're teaching you what they're teaching you.

I hope I made some sense...with a Red Bull in hand and a few spare minutes I ended up on a longer rant.

Sorry folks.

:)