(Close Window)
Topic: Balloons - good PR or muddying the waters?
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Aug 20, 2010 04:12PM)
My business will be magic - mostly birthday parties and expanding into whole-family shows. I also do balloons - but not your usual (and especially not the unusual!) party, line, or restaraunt creations. I do hats and flowers, and I love the big sculptures. (Ever see a 7' Daffy Duck or Frankenstein?)

I frequent a few places in the normal course of life that are good to me (like the Starbucks where I get my free WiFi connection). Seems like a good place for a bouquet of balloon flowers.

And I think it would also be a good "Thanks for having me!" gift to the Mom who hired me or a "Pretty as you!" gift to a birthday girl. (I've also done faces and put boys in race cars.) But at this point I don't intend to offer balloons as an add-on to any of my shows.

If I attach a business card or info sticker to a publicly-displayed bouquet - it will say "Family Fun Magic" and nothing about balloons, am I confusing the issue or generating good interest and PR?

Message: Posted by: BrianRichardsM&C (Aug 20, 2010 08:11PM)
My initial thought is that it would muddy the water. You will likely get balloon jobs and not magic shows, as they haven't seen you do magic yet. Offer to stroll throughout Starbucks and do a little magic and that would likely be more effective (but that requires more of your time).

Just my two cents. It free (and you get what you pay for).

Brian Richards
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Aug 21, 2010 07:12AM)
As a balloon guy, not a magician..

If I where you I would keep it as a fun hobby, but if your not going to add it as an addon then your sending a message that contradicts your brand.

Everything you do for marketing has to meet your brand. This is why everyone needs a written marketing plan (and business plan). The marketing plan becomes the standard by which you decide what marketing is going to be used.

Think of it this way...

1. What do you do? (how would you answer a stranger)
-Do not tell them you job title
- Do not be boring
- Do tell them in a way to make them want more
this becomes you talking business card
As a marketing Consultant I tell people that "I'm a marketing Magician, I magicly pull leads out of a Hat"
As a Balloon Guy I tell them "I make parties fun and unforgettable, no really that's my job not a hobbie" (For the balloon guy I have to add that on the end)

2. What is your Brand?
- Think through your clients mind. (heck ask a few past clients why they hired you, get them to explain what they paid for) sometimes what we are selling and what the client buys are 2 different things.

These are just a few ways of many to get your thoughts headed in the right direction then the question to ask yourself..

Would doing balloons, since I don't sell them as part of my show increase my brand or Change is??

Ed.. I hope this helps.. I know how easy it is to think WOW this would be fun.. I'm a scatter brain and love trying new things all the time.. and because of that I end up rejecting more ideas than implementing because they son't match my brand..
Message: Posted by: Blair Marshall (Aug 22, 2010 05:25PM)
It could be un-muddied by saying "As a bonus your child will receive one of my unique balloon creations", I would bring the creation with me to the party and not do it "on-site", as that may become compicated. If you want to place it somewhere to generate business, you could put, "This is just one of my many magical birthday balloon gift creations, for information about the Magic of...... please call ......". There would be a small photo of you AS A MAGICIAN, on the card.

These are just a few quick thoughts, I am sure you can come up with others. I do love those giant balloons, and I like the idea of the gift approach with them.
Message: Posted by: iwillfoolu (Aug 22, 2010 08:04PM)
How about a balloon that looks like a magician (or a rabbit in a hat, etc) that would scream magician.

Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Aug 23, 2010 01:09PM)
I used to sell that as an add-on. Right now, though, I'm thinking I'll keep that for later. While I don't mind being known for balloons, I'd rather be known for magic first. Around here, there's several good twisters of one-to-three balloon creations, so it doesn't matter what I can do - that's what I get asked for!

I used to do a simple one-balloon rabbit. I might need to resurrect that. Had someone yell out last show, "Where's your rabbit?" Perfect spot to twist one, palm a small hat, and pull a hat out of your rabbit.

You confirmed what was running around in my head. "Who am I?" - answer that and make everything else line up.
And trying to anser that in a non-boring manner is something I never thought of! But that's perfect, especially for an entertainer. Why not have an entertaining answer for the most popular question (aside from "How did you do that?"!!).
I have thought about working simple balloon hats into my show - they make great thought-enhancement antennas! I'm thinking of have the two people for my Twisted Sisters routine wearing connected balloon hats. Just don't want to get mobbed after the show by every kid - "Can I have a balloon?"

Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Aug 23, 2010 01:21PM)
Hmmm. Iím not sure how to answer this. I believe in specialization, finding what you like to do and doing it well.

Having said that, balloon sculptures have been an excellent companion talent for me for many years. I know for a fact that many clients have booked me because I also offer balloons. Balloons were also very instrumental in getting booked in family restaurants. I donít enjoy the balloons as much as the magic but if I had to do it all over again, Iíd still take the time to learn them.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Aug 23, 2010 01:58PM)

I definitely intend to include balloons in some fashion and at some point.

My original question was musing aloud if presenting them now when I don't have an established identity yet would muddy the waters of trying to create the identity of a magician.

I do not want to ever again be caught in the "line twister" market! It's not something that appeals to me, nor is it where my best skills lie. But if I advertise balloons here, that's what I get pegged for.

Now a decent unique sculpture that I can make at home and take with me - that's what I'm talkin' about!! Right now a bit of flowers for the Mom is about all I want to try, though.

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 23, 2010 02:57PM)
Ed Millis, I do not believe your "Silent Saleman" idea will get you any bookings or reconized in any way. Except as hitting on your waitresses. LOL :rotf:

Get up at those places, if you been going there a long time, I sure you know some of the employees and patrons, and do some magic that will get them yelling and clapping. Interest will arise and then so some other patrons. Give out your business card and put them on the cork board usually at the entrance if they have one.

Selling yourself is not easy and if you do not want to do it, then you will only dream of getting business, and have none. So enough magic that the employees and managers expect it when you come in. They will likely speak out loud and this will get the interest of others in the place.

Magic is a visual art and must be shown to be appreciated, so start showing what you can do. Have brochures to hand out, not business cards. If kids are at these places show them a trick, the parents will appreciate it that you controled them for a minute or two.

If you can afford it get some of the little junk magic from D. Robbins/E-Z Magic that are pitch items. Give them to the kids and adults as a thank you for watching. They have Wonder Mouse, paddles, puzzles and all kinds of stuff that is only pennies each.

Learn to make the Dollar Bill Ring and that is a great item, just make a trick turning a borrowed bill into a ring for the guests or give the waitress her tip in the form of a ring, she will wear it all day, and customers will ask about it and she will be promoting you as well.
Message: Posted by: Ed_Millis (Aug 23, 2010 03:59PM)
Selling yourself is not easy and if you do not want to do it, then you will only dream of getting business, and have none.

That one, Sir, is more than worth the price of admission!!

Thank you!
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Aug 23, 2010 08:08PM)

As a Balloon Guy who does a show and not just hands them out...
if you frame it correctly then you don't get mobed

if your hats are in little packets you pull out.. and not a WHOLE bad.. then it's obvious that you only have a few to begin with..