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Topic: Will eat fire for food... or money... (Please help)
Message: Posted by: Kameron Messmer (Aug 23, 2010 10:11AM)
I recently quit my job for various reasons, and now am going for free fall. By which I mean I am going to TRY and do as much magic out there as I can. I may also try to do a part time gig somewhere. Let me first tell you what I do, as well as my ideas, then if anyone could please tell me some other ideas I may be overlooking.

I do or have done:
kids/family shows, birthday parties etc
Grand openings -walk around magic, balloons etc
Magic Lessons
Fire Eating Lessons
Juggling Lessons

I WANT to:
do restaurant magic
teach Magic classes
look into hospital magic/pediatrics etc
comedy clubs (i do sideshow stuff as well)

I feel like I'm missing some ideas or places I can promote myself.
If anyone has any advice or ideas I would be more than appreciative. Now that I have to LIVE off of magic I need all the help I can get... thanks so much...

Message: Posted by: Paddy (Aug 23, 2010 10:43AM)
Yeppers you are missing a GREAT venue, Busking. Check into the topic "The side walk shuffle" on here and see what others are doing. Pay attention to Danny Hustle's advice. Also check Jimmy Talksalot's book, it helps beginners.

Basically you take your 3 best effects that pack small, go find a street that has good traffic and will allow you to get a crowd. Then start your show. It should be from 10 to 15 minutes long and have your patter keep referring to the fact that at the end you will be "passing the hat." Then at the big finale you tell the crowd that this is how you make a living and if you enjoyed the show please drop some bills into my hat.

Can you make a living doing this? YES! I work until I reach my daily goal of $100 on weekdays and $500 each on Fri, Sat & Sun then if I'm not to tired I keep working and make more money. Do I not reach my goals? Rarely, some days I have to bust it for 12 hours to get my $100 but that's a rare happening. Try it, can't hurt.

Message: Posted by: Kameron Messmer (Aug 23, 2010 10:51AM)
I have thought of that in the past, but where I live, (Billings, MT) I have no idea WHERE I could do it... also, I've heard you need a permit or something. I guess it depends on where you are. We obviously don't have a beach or tourist kind of area here. Maybe I'm overlooking something... I guess I just think of bigger places with more real traffic...
Message: Posted by: Benji Bruce (Aug 23, 2010 11:26AM)
"Kameron Messmer is a man of many talents,although he isnít really good at any of them so itís really a quantity over quality kind of thing.
Donít be fooled though,

He is still better than you. "

I suggest you remove that from your site. People want quality AND quantity. The experience people expect nowadays has gone beyond what was expected several years ago.

And your website is hard to navigate...I had no idea how to get to the "Contact" page and accidentally stumbled upon it.

If you have to live of magic then you have to turn it into a business and think differently about what you're doing. From this point forward you should commit yourself to learning about marketing (Barnes & Noble)

Restaurants are a good start so you can go out and get several of them to support yourself while working on other areas of your business at the same time. But don't fall into the trap of only wanting to perform at comedy clubs, restaurants, etc....think bigger.
Message: Posted by: Kameron Messmer (Aug 23, 2010 11:28AM)
Good advice, thank you. I havent had a lot of time to work on the site, but now I do. good tips. I think the contatcs was easy to get to being I put CONTACTS in big letters in a few places...
Message: Posted by: Benji Bruce (Aug 23, 2010 11:57AM)
On 2010-08-23 12:28, Kameron Messmer wrote:
Good advice, thank you. I havent had a lot of time to work on the site, but now I do. good tips. I think the contatcs was easy to get to being I put CONTACTS in big letters in a few places...

I was talking more about the overall navigation lol. Everything is so spread out that you have to look everywhere and click all over the website rather than just having a navigation bar on the top or on the side. Your website has links on the top, on the left side, right side, bottom, bottom of the bottom. It isn't easy to navigate and people are impatient. If a video doesn't load then click...off to something else. If a website isn't easy to browse around then click...off to another site.

There are many things you have to do to your site but that is another topic.

btw...you might need a permit to busk but if you have to make money then just do it until you are told to stop.

Worst case scenario is that you get arrested for a day. In that case, you now have a story for the media which gives you attention.

There was a busker (mime) who mimicked cops, took their hats, etc and he got arrested just about every day. But he got SOOOO much media attention that it made the cops look bad and they were told not to arrest the guy anymore.
Message: Posted by: Kameron Messmer (Aug 23, 2010 12:29PM)
Maybe I'm too close to it, but everything I have on the site you can get to from the sidebar. the contact on the bottom is secondary, the bar on the top is secondary. I have people who read my blogs, so they can get to it by clicking "author" on top or on the side bar. Same with lessons. but everything is right there on the side. Im not trying to be dense, but how is that hard to navigate?
Message: Posted by: EliTheIllusionist (Aug 23, 2010 01:05PM)
Kameron -

I'm going to give you some advice in a few different areas

Web Site:
-Where are the testimonials? Depending on how long you've been performing, you should have persuaded your clients to leave some sort of feedback / report card on your performance(s). These are really crucial to people who are on the fence. It also helps future clients getting to know you better by descriptive terms by your old clients. Very important.
-Site could also be organized a little better.
-Also, you have different fonts for different links. Sometimes those huge links basically look like headers or footers of the pages. It's hard to tell they are links.

Marketing: I love this time of year because it's when I start contacting and visiting high schools all around my area and the major cities for their upcoming homecoming dances offering my services. I always call the school office and find out the homecoming coordinators' names. Then I search the school's site for their faculty email address listing, or will send them a promo / press kit pack with a cover letter offering my services. I also mention all the other surrounding schools that had hired me with testimonials. I also say that (the best high school) HIGHLY recommended I contact this high school too.

You just got to know how to market for high schools. It's not that hard at all. But I usually make and extra $3,000 every Sept-Oct just from high schools. Just be likable by the students and coordinators, and they will treat you like a celeb.

Hope this helps. Especially since it's time-sensitive advice.

Booking Agencies: Look into GigSald.com and GigMasters.com. I usually make an extra 16-20k per year just from GigMasters.com. You will have to work your way up through the rankings. If you're patient like I was, you could do very well.

Everything I have on my site was made by me. I designed and implemented my site, managed all the art, created the promo vids, etc. I always bring a friend with me to gigs to capture the events by camera (either video or photo).
I also do all my marketing and advertising myself, self promotions, and lead generation.

It's very very possible to make some decent money with hardly any resources. My computer has been my life line to my business.

Good luck to you bro!

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 23, 2010 01:46PM)
To tell the truth, you should not have quit your job without a plan and a full calander of shows already in the making.

You are in one of worst places to try to go into business, I hear Montana is vast and not many cities, if that is true, you need numbers to sell your act to. If the numbers are not there then you will fail, and I do not want that for you.

Have you got a printed brochure? This is important when meeting new clients.

It sounds like you did not do your research and homework before leaping into this idea. As a full time professional, you will start out doing all that you have listed and you should promote all of them. One will emerge during your process and should then build on that.

Also as far as magic goes, I hope you have complete acts set up for all the different types of show and worked out how to easily transport them from one gig to the next. As you will not be selling more then you will be doing magic.

Most shows are booked days, weeks, months in advance, and if you have nothing on the calandar, you have to rush to start promoting yourself. That does not mean standing around doing magic, but making telephone calls, and in person sales calles to potential clients. You have to get the word out.

You have to be flexible, so on the way to a booking you can stop off and make a sales call before the current event.

Good Luck!
Message: Posted by: Scott Burton (Aug 23, 2010 05:50PM)
This is not the time to be distracted by the finer details of marketing (web site, brochures, etc). The details are important but they will come with time. This is survival time.

Spend your days getting in contact with as many potential clients as possible and make your pitch. That is the way to get things moving for you at this stage.

Let me know if you wish to chat. I coach small business people professionally but offer a free session and you don't need to pay anything and I think that I could help you. PM if interested.
Message: Posted by: Benji Bruce (Aug 23, 2010 11:24PM)
Scott is right.
Message: Posted by: the Sponge (Aug 24, 2010 09:24AM)
Since you eat fire and currently have no job, I recommend you join the sideshow for 3 months. the post looking for performers is located in the sideshow section.

Message: Posted by: Kameron Messmer (Aug 24, 2010 11:07AM)
I couldn't find the post Sponge... could you give me the link?
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Aug 24, 2010 11:55AM)
I went to your web site, and although I know that you live in area code 406 I have no idea where that is. Please put what part of the country that you live in on the COVER page of your web site. Always happy to help a fellow juggler.
Message: Posted by: Kameron Messmer (Aug 24, 2010 12:01PM)
Al: Im actually writing that in right now! lol. I wrote that 5 minutes before checking this... keep the advice coming...im working on the site all day...
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Aug 24, 2010 12:23PM)
A street juggler can draw a crowd in a few minutes, we do have a great advantage over other street performers in that three clubs can be seen from far away. Don't you have any shopping areas in Billings Mt.? Street jugglers call torch juggling "the money move" you have the tools that it takes to make a buck, so just get on out there, and bring a big hat to hold all your money. Soon it will be too cold to work the streets.
Message: Posted by: the Sponge (Aug 24, 2010 12:34PM)
On 2010-08-24 12:07, Kameron Messmer wrote:
I couldn't find the post Sponge... could you give me the link?
Message: Posted by: Kameron Messmer (Aug 25, 2010 09:31AM)
Al: Im actually writing that in right now! lol. I wrote that 5 minutes before checking this... keep the advice coming...im working on the site all day...
Message: Posted by: Kameron Messmer (Aug 25, 2010 10:26AM)
Im waiting on someone to contact me about the sideshow... kinda scary going on the road for 3 months away from wife/family... never done anything like that before...