(Close Window)
Topic: I need help
Message: Posted by: Johannes Lindrupsen (Sep 18, 2013 07:37AM)
Hey everyone! As the title says, I need help. Really! I don't like to make a post like this at all, but after all this time on the magic Café, I know people usually are really helpful and try to do what they can to help each other, so it feels a bit better to make this thread when thinking about that.

A little bit about me: I am 22 years old, I live in Norway and I am trying to work as an entertainer full time (that means, I have no other income)
I have a great kids show and a great comedy/magic show for adults. I am also an actor and do acting gigs when I get the possibility.

So, here is the problem. I am stuck. I have been doing magic for 15 years, and I started doing this fulltime for around 3 years ago. I have always had problems with marketing and to get my show out there, and I have only survived because I have been lucky and because I am a pretty likeable guy with a lot of connections. Right now I have 0 shows to look forward to, and I am, for the first time in my life, in the beginning of having money issues.

The fact that I always thought marketing and things that wherent the most funny things to do was so hard, has been my biggest problem, and I have been very angry with myself for not doing what was needed to get where I want. Earlier this year I got diagnosed with ADHD, and that solved a lot of my anger problems, as I now know a lot more about why I am the way I am.

The problem still is: How should I organize my working days? What should I focus on and how much time should I use to do it? I am pretty good at working as long as I know excactly what I need to do and when I need to do it.

I have been looking for people in my area that are marketers/salespeople/managers to help me, but I haven't found too many people. I would really be grateful if someone here would be able to help me in any way. Thank you for reading and please ask more questions if there is anything you are wondering.

Thank you for the help!
Message: Posted by: misterillusion (Sep 18, 2013 08:26AM)
To quote David Ginn: "There are only three ways to market yourself: 1. mail, 2. phone, 3. in person. Myself, I find the most effective method is the phone with a follow-up mailing for anyone who wants more information. Make enough calls and you will get bookings. It may take a lot of calls though. Direct mailings are fine, but you will only get a 2% result of possible interest. To use the in-person method, you could do either discounted shows or pro bono shows for social groups or organizations to "showcase" what you do. It takes a lot of these to yield results though. You could do a very short fifteen or twenty minute set for clubs or organizations which show what you can do and then take advantage of the time to pass out brochures, cards, and other materials--even sell BOR items to make a little cash. The fact of life, unfortunately, in marketing, I have found, is that you need repetition. Doing anything once when marketing is not enough. Typically it takes seven or eight times to result in a booking. May I suggest you contact Jim Snack (just do a search for him on-line). He does a great job of explaining what it takes to grow your business.

Regarding marketers/salespeople/managers: You can try this, but unless you find a really motivated person, they will never do as good a job as you will do yourself. Even if you go that route, you still need to market as if they are not there at all.

Keep in mind, that there are not many other people doing what we do as magician entertainers. To me, that means that there really is no competition like there is in other industries, so all you need to do is let people know you are available to satisfy their needs. Keep that in mind: "to satisfy THEIR needs". They might never have thought of hiring a magician until you call them.

The holidays are coming up, so this is a good time to get started.

I wish you the best.

Charlie
Message: Posted by: MichaelDouglas (Sep 18, 2013 09:32AM)
Hi Johannes,

You are wise in reaching out to others for input. There are lots of experienced magicians here to help.

1) I'd first recommend that you get crystal clear on who you are as a performer. Are you a magician, juggler, or hypnotist? You may dabble in multiple areas, but when it comes to marketing, you can't be all things to all people and be very successful.

2) Clearly identify who your target client is. Don't just say "Anyone with cash in hand". Based on your act and experience, what market is most likely to buy what you offer? What type of people have hired you in the past? Who have you most enjoyed entertaining in the past?

3) Create a web site to sell to that market. (there are shelves full of information on creating your own web site. For a quick and simple one, just go to wordpress.com It's free. The site you list on your profile here on the Café isn't working for me.

4) Print some business cards....yes there's lots that can be written on how to design a business card. As with all of this stuff, you don't have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going. Just simple basic card with who you are, what you do, and your contact information is good for starting. Later you can make something fancy.

5) Send a newsletter to all of your past client's every couple of months or so. Or a post card. Or a greeting card. The point is to keep in touch with them. Otherwise it's easy for them to forget about you. "Out of sight = out of mind". Read around on the web and you'll figure out what should go into those newsletters. Be sure to ask the for referrals to their friends who may need an entertainer.

6) Send thank you cards to every customer and include a couple of your business cards that they can hand off to their friends and family.

7) Make sure that your show is very good. Be so good that they kids and parents can't help but talk about you to their friends.

8) Give out a coloring page for a periodic drawing for a prize if they mail the page back to you with their birthday and parent's contact info.

9) Give out a jumbo bank note with magic tricks on the back for kids to learn. It should have your contact information on the front side. The goal is to stimulate the other kids to want to have you at their birthday party also.

10) Buy a magic marketing course. Do a search here on the Café and you'll find several.

11) Sign up for free marketing newsletters, read blogs, and listen to free podcasts on internet marketing. Some offer some great info in free newsletters. Do a google search to find some. Here are a few:

http://www.magicmarketingcenter.com/
http://www.smartpassiveincome.com
http://www.internetbusinessmarketing.com
http://www.hubspot.com

12) spend at least as much time on marketing as you do on the art of magic. Make it your goal that every day before noon, you'll send out 5 or 10 marketing letters or emails.

13) Talk to all of the child care businesses, retirement communities, and restaurants around you to offer your services. Find out what other performers charge and adjust your fee based on the competition's fee, your experience, and the strength of your show.

14) Have someone take pictures of you and your audience reaction shots during your shows and use those pics in your marketing material and web site.

15) Collect testimonials from your customers after your show. Get them to send you an email or give them a post card that is postage pre-paid and have them write their thoughts and send to you after the show. Use your smart phone to get video testimonials immediately after the show and include the best of those on your web site.

16) Before you go to sleep at night, make out a list of the top 10 things you must accomplish the next day. Cross those things off as you do them. Crossing off completed tasks inspires me.

17) Find someone you respect who is supportive of your business goals...possibly a parent but maybe not. Share your goals with them. Ask them to hold you accountable for accomplishing these goals. Set deadlines for these goals.

Now GO GET B U S Y !!!
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Sep 18, 2013 10:05AM)
MichaelDouglas just gave you a successful business plan for free!
Now the ball is in court.

I would suggest first thing is to create a website and make sure it is SEO friendly! Then business cards and start looking for business!
Send emails to potential clients when you are up late at night and then contact them during business hours.

Best wishes.
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Sep 18, 2013 12:39PM)
I too learned a ton from reading posts here. I will share some that may apply to your situation.
1st - focus on Creating one show with a specific audience in mind. This is helpful because it will allow you to devote all your time and resources to one direction. This also helps you leverage developed business relationships and your show image to a better degree. This will build your business faster.
2nd - take your show and make it unique and entertaining. Find ways to offer what others are not. Know what that thing is, and promote it.
3rd - get photos taken from a studio - could be just a department store studio (that are not costly).
4th - Create an ad free web site. Display photos and a short video.
5th - strategically go after bookings that provide you with the potential of more shows in the same market. I found this to be much easier and less costly than trying to focus on birthday parties, where you are always searching for new customers that have no relationship with prior clients. Libraries, country clubs, scouts and festivals worked well for my plan. Some find value in daycare centers. Schools would also work, when you are ready.
6th - read past postings of The Great Zucchini here on TMC about branding. This will help confirm suggestion #1 in your mind.
7th - keep in mind that you are competing with other professionals, so everything about your show has to be top notch. Do not allow yourself any excuses or exceptions.
8th - read the postings of MindPro and Danny Doyle. You do not always have to agree with them, but they offer sound advice and words of wisdom that are not really available elsewhere at any price. There are many others here that also offer great advice. Investing in James Munton's course greatly helped me.
9th - if you continue to have difficulty getting bookings, it is your show itself you need to look at first, and evaluate if it is as special as you thought it was.
Message: Posted by: misterillusion (Sep 18, 2013 05:31PM)
[quote]
On 2013-09-18 13:39, charliecheckers wrote:
I too learned a ton from reading posts here. I will share some that may apply to your situation.
1st - focus on Creating one show with a specific audience in mind. This is helpful because it will allow you to devote all your time and resources to one direction. This also helps you leverage developed business relationships and your show image to a better degree. This will build your business faster.
2nd - take your show and make it unique and entertaining. Find ways to offer what others are not. Know what that thing is, and promote it.
3rd - get photos taken from a studio - could be just a department store studio (that are not costly).
4th - Create an ad free web site. Display photos and a short video.
5th - strategically go after bookings that provide you with the potential of more shows in the same market. I found this to be much easier and less costly than trying to focus on birthday parties, where you are always searching for new customers that have no relationship with prior clients. Libraries, country clubs, scouts and festivals worked well for my plan. Some find value in daycare centers. Schools would also work, when you are ready.
6th - read past postings of The Great Zucchini here on TMC about branding. This will help confirm suggestion #1 in your mind.
7th - keep in mind that you are competing with other professionals, so everything about your show has to be top notch. Do not allow yourself any excuses or exceptions.
8th - read the postings of MindPro and Danny Doyle. You do not always have to agree with them, but they offer sound advice and words of wisdom that are not really available elsewhere at any price. There are many others here that also offer great advice. Investing in James Munton's course greatly helped me.
9th - if you continue to have difficulty getting bookings, it is your show itself you need to look at first, and evaluate if it is as special as you thought it was.
[/quote]

Some real good advice and wisdom here...
Message: Posted by: Johannes Lindrupsen (Sep 19, 2013 04:22AM)
Hey everyone! Thank you so much for the input so far! It made me understand that I just need to do stuff, and I have known that for a while, but the problem for me is to actually do it. The to-do list is a great asset for me, so I have to be better at writing lists and crossing off items every day!

Right now I am sitting and working on a new web page for my kids show (using http://www.wix.com) and that is a thing I should have done the last two months, so it's good to get started.
My girlfriend has designed a poster for me, so I am going to make the text for the poster, and we will design a businesscard together before I get them printed and start to hang up posters at schools, kindergardens, grocery stores and so on.

I am thankful for you guys taking time to answer and to help me! I am in a good mood today, so I hope that I will get a lot done the next weeks :)
Message: Posted by: thecharlatan (Sep 19, 2013 06:08AM)
[quote]
On 2013-09-19 05:22, Johannes Lindrupsen wrote:
Hey everyone! Thank you so much for the input so far! It made me understand that I just need to do stuff, and I have known that for a while, but the problem for me is to actually do it. The to-do list is a great asset for me, so I have to be better at writing lists and crossing off items every day!

Right now I am sitting and working on a new web page for my kids show (using http://www.wix.com) and that is a thing I should have done the last two months, so it's good to get started.
My girlfriend has designed a poster for me, so I am going to make the text for the poster, and we will design a businesscard together before I get them printed and start to hang up posters at schools, kindergardens, grocery stores and so on.

I am thankful for you guys taking time to answer and to help me! I am in a good mood today, so I hope that I will get a lot done the next weeks :)
[/quote]

Sounds like you are making all the right moves, which is great news!

Remember you are a businessman now, and if you are going to run a successful business you will need to learn all aspects of doing so! You can learn about digital marketing online for free - start with your own .com, a professional looking website (with photos and video) and read up on SEO and PPC. AS with any business you might need to invest a few quid to kickstart it (beg/steal/borrow/wait til things pick up), but you'll get there.

Best of luck mate!
Message: Posted by: bobn3 (Sep 19, 2013 12:56PM)
There has been a lot of good advice on here. Another thing I do is email marketing. Figure out what specific niche(s) you want to cover. Don't do too many, as you'll spread yourself too thin. Once you do that, do your online research on groups/agencies that are connected to the markets you want to cover. If the websites do not give you the contact person that you need, you will need to do two emails. The first is asking who is in charge of hiring entertainment. Talking to the wrong people wastes their time and yours. From those that respond back, you reply back with a second email stating the benefits of your performance. Do not give features...in this cold world, people don't care what you do, they want to know what is in it for them. Be friendly always. This is basically electronic direct mail marketing.

Too many people look at the wrong part of the phrase show business. If you want to make a living, have a good show(s) first, but ignore the latter part at your own peril.

Bob Phillips
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 19, 2013 01:58PM)
Move to America and I can help you. Starting a successful business in Norway is something I am totally ignorant of. Many are and it might be good to keep that in mind.
Message: Posted by: Dimitri Mystery Artist (Sep 19, 2013 05:31PM)
[quote]
On 2013-09-19 14:58, Dannydoyle wrote:
Move to America and I can help you. Starting a successful business in Norway is something I am totally ignorant of. Many are and it might be good to keep that in mind.
[/quote]

easier said than done, unfortunately
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Sep 19, 2013 05:48PM)
[quote]
On 2013-09-19 05:22, Johannes Lindrupsen wrote:
My girlfriend has designed a poster for me, so I am going to make the text for the poster, and we will design a businesscard together before I get them printed and start to hang up posters at schools, kindergardens, grocery stores and so on.
[/quote]
A word of caution- while taking action is necessary, you will be much more successful if you prioritize your activities and have a over all game plan. Start with your show content and production value. Unless they are rock solid, promotion is too early. Rather than going around and hanging posters all over town, ask yourself (and others) is that going to provide the greatest return on time investment? You may be better served to focus on trying to personally meet with someone who can hire you and sell you show, rather than take the same or more time to plaster posters around.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Sep 19, 2013 05:58PM)
Johannes Lindrupsen, for immediate and future business, if you did not write done all the people that hired you the last 3 years or more, that is your 1st project to tackle. If not sit down and make a list of what you can remember, find addresses, phone numbers, business addresses. The best work is repeat business. If you are not getting repeat shows, then look at your show or contact them and tell them you have a new show. A new show would be changing 1 to 3 tricks and routines to make it different. If you did some birthday parties, then a new year means a new birthday. Now call them, and "sell" them on a show this year.

Good Luck!
Message: Posted by: Dimitri Mystery Artist (Sep 19, 2013 06:57PM)
Actually, I agree with Danny, 2 years ago I have moved to another country because I felt my career was stuck and my style is does not fit to the culture; I don't know a lot about norway, but moving to another country or city is something you might consider.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 19, 2013 08:34PM)
OH I wasn't suggesting he move, I was suggesting that nobody outside that specific frame of reference is going to know much to help.
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Sep 19, 2013 09:33PM)
[quote]
On 2013-09-19 14:58, Dannydoyle wrote:
Move to America and I can help you. Starting a successful business in Norway is something I am totally ignorant of. Many are and it might be good to keep that in mind.
[/quote]
Johannes - this is suggestion #8 I was talking about.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 19, 2013 09:53PM)
[quote]
On 2013-09-19 22:33, charliecheckers wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-09-19 14:58, Dannydoyle wrote:
Move to America and I can help you. Starting a successful business in Norway is something I am totally ignorant of. Many are and it might be good to keep that in mind.
[/quote]
Johannes - this is suggestion #8 I was talking about.

[/quote]

NO NO NO.

I was absolutely NOT suggesting he move. I was however suggesting that people who do not understand the Norwegian culture are going to be woefully ignorant of how to best procede.

Here is something my father was fond of saying. Be wary of anyone offering advice who does not have to live with the consequences.

Now we all take and give advice on some level. But really giving advice about a culture you have not experienced might not be as helpful as it seems. Don't forget to this kid it is as real as it gets. Not some theoretical thought problem or brainstorming session. It is easy to lose track of that.

Once the MGM grand found out about cultural phenomenon because they had a cute lion mouth to walk through as an entrance. Asian play dropped to serious low levels because culturally they would not walk through the lions mouth. Oops. It happens all the time. Heck it happens here between regions much less countries. Be careful about offering advice cross culturally unless you know the culture.
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Sep 19, 2013 11:23PM)
Dannydoyle,

I see you point, but I think the advice so far has been given could pretty much be universal. (But I scan through tons of the posts)

A few simple questions to ask to see if it is:

Do similar companies and entertainers in Norway use business cards?
Do similar companies and entertainers in Norway use websites?
Do similar companies and entertainers in Norway use marketing materials?
Do similar companies and entertainers in Norway use emails for initial contact? (I know in spain the prefer phone an in person meetings)
Do similar companies and entertainers in Norway use direct mailings?
Do similar companies and entertainers in Norway use promotional items?

Etc...

I don't think there has been any misleading advice so far?

Danny can you point out what you believe is misleading/wrong?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 19, 2013 11:28PM)
As I said I don't know the xulture. I have said nothing was misleading or wrong. It may well all be right.
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Sep 19, 2013 11:29PM)
Than, why comment at all? lol
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 20, 2013 08:01AM)
Because Curtis sometimes this board thinks if hey have an idea it is universal. The worlds foremost authority syndrome. It worked for me so it works for everyone.

So he comment was to get posters and the op to realize that the advice may or may not be valid as Dimitri helped point out.

Yea it is a bad thing to o get people to think before posting.

Cheering people on is great and all. But doing so without knowing anything about the direction which yo are pushing them is not cool.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Sep 20, 2013 09:38AM)
Johannes,

My suggestion is, DO NOT pack your bags and move in with Danny. :)

But seriously, it is true that sometimes on here you may need to adjust information to suit your own needs,
but do not discard what has been said just because you live outside the USA. All those posts above were great
and can help regardless of where you are. I too suggest you pay close attention to what Michael Douglas said in his post.
That was awesome.


Stay motivated,
Tom
Message: Posted by: magicofCurtis (Sep 20, 2013 09:38AM)
But, Danny....

Usually these type of message boards are for people seeking others personal experiences!

We can speak what we know from text books
or
we can speak from our personal experiences

or
speak their party experiences

I learned its better not to participate and side well a thread if I don't the subject matter at hand.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 20, 2013 11:57AM)
Yes everyones experience is valid and all experience translates across cultures. I forgot.

Forget I said anything.
Message: Posted by: gadfly3d (Sep 20, 2013 12:20PM)
Here is a thought take a time say 9:30 am to 11:30 am or 1:30 to 3:30 pm and use that time to call people that might use your services. This time must be spent on the phone everyday. So beforehand you need to think about who to call, start with the type of people who have used you before and what you will send them. Then everyday work the phone for two hours no exceptions except the bathroom (only when it is critical). This will get you some booking but more importantly you will gain valuable information about your market. Start right away even if you are not ready.

Gil Scott
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Sep 20, 2013 03:08PM)
[quote]
On 2013-09-19 22:53, Dannydoyle wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-09-19 22:33, charliecheckers wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-09-19 14:58, Dannydoyle wrote:
Move to America and I can help you. Starting a successful business in Norway is something I am totally ignorant of. Many are and it might be good to keep that in mind.
[/quote]
Johannes - this is suggestion #8 I was talking about.

[/quote]

NO NO NO.

I was absolutely NOT suggesting he move. I was however suggesting that people who do not understand the Norwegian culture are going to be woefully ignorant of how to best procede.

Here is something my father was fond of saying. Be wary of anyone offering advice who does not have to live with the consequences.

Now we all take and give advice on some level. But really giving advice about a culture you have not experienced might not be as helpful as it seems. Don't forget to this kid it is as real as it gets. Not some theoretical thought problem or brainstorming session. It is easy to lose track of that.

Once the MGM grand found out about cultural phenomenon because they had a cute lion mouth to walk through as an entrance. Asian play dropped to serious low levels because culturally they would not walk through the lions mouth. Oops. It happens all the time. Heck it happens here between regions much less countries. Be careful about offering advice cross culturally unless you know the culture.
[/quote]

Danny - I provided the op several suggestions in my original post on this thread. Below was my suggestion, #8

"8th - read the postings of MindPro and Danny Doyle. You do not always have to agree with them, but they offer sound advice and words of wisdom that are not really available elsewhere at any price."
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Sep 20, 2013 09:16PM)
My bad. Seriously my bad. Did I mention my bad?
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Sep 20, 2013 10:11PM)
What? Everyone here doesn't always agree with us? I'm applaud!
Message: Posted by: MichaelDouglas (Sep 23, 2013 03:23PM)
Danny,

I get your point. I recall another thread in which we were encouraged to use performance agreements or contracts when finalizing arrangements with a client. Most agreed. However our colleagues in Ireland indicated that this would not fly over there. People are distrustful of contracts. One's word is sufficient in that culture.

Bottom line: Learn common practices in your own context. Learn common practices in other contexts. Adapt and adjust the best practices of other cultures and industries to enhance your own success.

With that said...we all wish great success to Johannes.
Message: Posted by: Johannes Lindrupsen (Sep 30, 2013 04:56PM)
Thank you for the help so far! I understand what is being said about different cultures and countries, but I am also sure that most things also applies here.

This is shere I am standing now: I am getting more things done, but I am not happy. Some days I dobt do anything and I feel like I need a push. If any of you amazing guys would be willing to mentor me/follow up on me on a personal level with this things, I would be grateful for the rest of my life. Please, I am reaching out here, so if any of you want to help, I would be the luckiest guy in the world. Thank you!
Message: Posted by: Close.Up.Dave (Sep 30, 2013 05:12PM)
[quote]
On 2013-09-30 17:56, Johannes Lindrupsen wrote:
Thank you for the help so far! I understand what is being said about different cultures and countries, but I am also sure that most things also applies here.

This is shere I am standing now: I am getting more things done, but I am not happy. Some days I dobt do anything and I feel like I need a push. If any of you amazing guys would be willing to mentor me/follow up on me on a personal level with this things, I would be grateful for the rest of my life. Please, I am reaching out here, so if any of you want to help, I would be the luckiest guy in the world. Thank you!
[/quote]

You need to learn to push yourself and to remind yourself of your accomplishments. If you remember what you have accomplished in the past, it can help you to overcome the small things you need to do to achieve the big goal. I think a lot of people (myself included) can get stuck in that rut. But, it's no one's job but your own to push yourself up and stay on your goal. This website has been a great resource for me in researching pretty much anything I need to know. And if I didn't know something, people on the board were more than willing to help out. So use and abuse it, and learn to feel the motivation to get off your butt and accomplish what you feel will need to be done. You'll eventually make enough mistakes to know where to put your efforts.
Message: Posted by: misterillusion (Sep 30, 2013 08:08PM)
[quote]
On 2013-09-30 17:56, Johannes Lindrupsen wrote:
Thank you for the help so far! I understand what is being said about different cultures and countries, but I am also sure that most things also applies here.

This is shere I am standing now: I am getting more things done, but I am not happy. Some days I dobt do anything and I feel like I need a push. If any of you amazing guys would be willing to mentor me/follow up on me on a personal level with this things, I would be grateful for the rest of my life. Please, I am reaching out here, so if any of you want to help, I would be the luckiest guy in the world. Thank you!
[/quote]

One of the most difficult things is to motivate yourself by yourself. Most people need a "push" I think. What you are talking about is accountability. If you are accountable to someone, you are psychologically motivated (I believe) to do what needs to be done. I suggest that you set some specific goals for yourself (spending two hours per day making prospecting calls for example) and then be accountable to someone. This works better than setting the goal(s) and then being accountable to yourself. If you like, you can be accountable to me.
Message: Posted by: Johannes Lindrupsen (Oct 3, 2013 05:30PM)
Just a quick question:

I have a bit of phone fear (yeah, I know I have to work on that) but I was just thinking about something.

I have made myself a list of all the kindergardens in my area and I have sent them Direct Mail-newsletters and offering my services. Before the summer I got around 7 bookings from this, but I sent the mail out to around 100 kindergardens.

I have sent a new mail out now, but I haven't recieved a single answer. I was wondering if I should call them? This would be cold calling, something I have never done before, but maybe it will be worth my while? Will cold-calling kindergardens help me or make things worse?

If you think I can book shows by cold-calling them after sending a mail, I will start doing that this monday..If I dare ;)

Thanks for the input!
Message: Posted by: misterillusion (Oct 3, 2013 11:46PM)
[quote]
On 2013-10-03 18:30, Johannes Lindrupsen wrote:
Just a quick question:

I have a bit of phone fear (yeah, I know I have to work on that) but I was just thinking about something.

I have made myself a list of all the kindergardens in my area and I have sent them Direct Mail-newsletters and offering my services. Before the summer I got around 7 bookings from this, but I sent the mail out to around 100 kindergardens.

I have sent a new mail out now, but I haven't recieved a single answer. I was wondering if I should call them? This would be cold calling, something I have never done before, but maybe it will be worth my while? Will cold-calling kindergardens help me or make things worse?

If you think I can book shows by cold-calling them after sending a mail, I will start doing that this monday..If I dare ;)

Thanks for the input!
[/quote]

If you just do a mailing by itself, you can expect a 1% or 2% response. The way to improve that percentage would be to do the mailing and then follow up with a phone call asking if they received the card or letter you sent. It gives you something to talk about. Whether they say they received it or not doesn't really matter because now you can start talking about what you offer, or set up an appointment to call on them. If they say they did not receive the mailing, you can also tell them you will send another or better yet, drop one off in person. While there you might be able to talk to someone briefly and explain what you do. In person contacts are always a good thing.

You don't have to cold call. What I do is call and advise the person who answers that I am a local business and I would like to talk to whoever would be the right person to talk to regarding special events, parties, field trips etc. I would then ask to be transferred to that person. I would explain to that person that I am a local business and just wanted to let them know the service I provide which may be of interest to them. You could present your service as an "inside field trip". They might be receptive to that. Your approach would be just that you want them to know you are available to satisfy their entertainment needs. Always keep in mind that their thoughts are "what is in this for me?" This way you are not really cold calling but exchanging information.

As far as fear of calling goes, the more you do it the easier it gets. Again, do not think of yourself as cold calling but as one business calling another local business to exchange information.

Charlie
Message: Posted by: Close.Up.Dave (Oct 4, 2013 12:36AM)
[quote]
On 2013-10-03 18:30, Johannes Lindrupsen wrote:
If you think I can book shows by cold-calling them after sending a mail, I will start doing that this monday..If I dare ;)
[/quote]

There's nothing wrong with cold calling, but there is something wrong with thinking it leads to an automatic booking. It doesn't happen, as you'll soon find out. What cold calling does is start a relationship, one that can eventually lead to a booking. You first have to establish yourself with the prospect before it can lead to one.

If you try sitting down to make cold calls you'll likely bounce around through departments, get machines, etc. So unless you know who you are hunting for, you MAY get a name but it will likely not be the right time to buy at that moment. But, you will have their info and it can lead to something later.

I made the mistake of trying to make everything be instantly successful right up front. Its like a young guy hoping to get lucky with his date, but putting on the moves too quickly...

So just be confident that you have a solution that someone will need one day in the future. That thought can drive you further before than doing work for the sake of getting a paycheck. Know that you have to build steam, it doesn't happen quickly, its very frustrating sometimes, but the reward of earning people's business is just as fun as being on stage.

You may find that going out and networking directly can be more of beneficial in collecting information. But, if you know exactly who you may need to contact, calling around can save you a lot of time and gas.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Oct 7, 2013 07:56PM)
If there is a local entertainment business near you, try and connect with them. Sub-contract with them. It will help keep you on your feet until your own business increases.

Put together a 30 day marketing plan. Write it down. Follow your plan daily.

We have talked about different marketing programs here on the Café. Try doing a search.

Check out this link:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=349098&forum=44

I heard good things about James' marketing program:
http://www.zerotobookedsolid.com/

Do you like performing close-up magic? If so, search for some restaurants in your area.
Message: Posted by: Johannes Lindrupsen (Oct 8, 2013 02:02AM)
Thank you so much for your help! My new website for kids shows in now up an running and my new businesscards and posters will be done and sent to print today. I have a meeting with an event planner tomorrow and have booked a library show (Second time at the library this year, they really enjoy my show and want to use me 1-2 times a year) I was thinking of asking them if it's possible to hang some of my posters there, and also give them business cards to give out.

Other than that I got a hint from Jim Snack to try to offer my adult show to nursing homes, so I am looking for nursing homes in my area. He told me just to call them, so I guess I have to defeat my fear of calling people soon ;)

Just thought I would give you an update! Talk to you soon!
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Oct 8, 2013 07:28AM)
[quote]
On 2013-10-08 03:02, Johannes Lindrupsen wrote:
Thank you so much for your help! [/quote]
I love to help as much as possible. That is why my friends say I have an alligator mouth. :)

[quote]My new website for kids shows in now up an running
[/quote]
You care to share a link to it so we can give you some tips?
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Oct 8, 2013 08:28AM)
[quote]
On 2013-10-08 03:02, Johannes Lindrupsen wrote:

and have booked a library show (Second time at the library this year, they really enjoy my show and want to use me 1-2 times a year) I was thinking of asking them if it's possible to hang some of my posters there, and also give them business cards to give out.
[/quote]

Great job! This is huge. Do all you can to make the most of it. Understand why they choose YOU. This may help you with other libraries. As the day approaches, personally hand out cards/flyers to parents of kids you see in that neighborhood. Find out which other libraries are in that library system and send them invitations to your show. Find out if the librarian who hired you is planning to attend your show. Get pictures and video. Prior to the show ask if their is anything they would like you to focus on. The effort you put in to this show to make it as successful as possible is probably more important than anything else for you right now.