(Close Window)
Topic: Business Models and Communicating Value
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Feb 14, 2019 04:31PM)
I didn't want to derail the thread on raising prices on repeat clients, but interesting points were made, which I believe deserved a separate discussion.

There are many business models that people can choose from, and I'm curious as to what models others use.

I know of an internet marketer who has a very simple business model, and is able to generate a 7-figure yearly income with it. It consists of three steps. Generate Leads, Make Offers, and Make Sales. It's quite simple. Obviously there's one vitally important part that is missing from this equation, and that is the development and delivery of his products and services.

I also have a very simple business model that is comprised of three modules. My system for creating a highly successful business as a magician is dependent on one important aspect that is often not talked about in most marketing and business development programs. Maybe it's just assumed that this aspect is in place. First we have to start with a quality product. That PRODUCT is our show or presentation.

In my own marketing and business development program, I clearly state that it is ASSUMED that the investor in my system already has a quality product. A program that their target audience would love.

With that being said, there are three main components to my system, which I call ACR (Attraction, Conversion, and Retention).

Attraction is comprised of all the things we do to Attract our ideal prospects and customers. Conversion is comprised of all the things we do to Convert prospects into customers. Retention is comprised of all the things we can do to Retain customers, so they become clients, and hire us over and over again.

In my Attraction module I don't do any type of cold calling or cold emailing. It's not part of my system. Instead I attract the right people to me, so that I waste little time in trying to make a sale. These methods include (but are not limited to) advertising, SEO, blogging, vlogging, in-person networking, and online networking.

Conversion systems include the sales process, communicating the value that my clients receive, social proof, case studies, the construction of effective proposals, and more.

Retention systems may include phone calls, email, snail mail newsletters, postcards, thank you notes, thank you gifts, and much more.

The interesting thing is that the foundation of this system is the same system I used when I first started 25 years ago, when my primary market was children's birthday parties, all the way through today, where 90% of my engagements are corporate events throughout the United States.

So here is a two part question. What does your business model consist of, and how do you know that you're providing value to your target market? As Mindpro frequently points out, most magicians try to create value from their own perspective, and not the perspective of their ideal client, so how do you know what your client values?

I'm curious to hear what others have to say.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: Keith Raygor (Feb 14, 2019 07:18PM)
One way to know what your clients value is through conversations with long-held clients and agents that share a mutual trust with you. If you've established a healthy relationship, its possible to discuss the things they value, and through that, address them.

As you mentioned, another way is through in-person networking, or even membership in organizations and online groups that include the people you're targeting. LinkedIn and private Facebook groups offer the opportunity for clients and potential clients to be up-front, frank and direct in their needs. These aren't as easy to join as a networking group, because it relies on trust or reputation, but networking opens many of those doors.

My business model now relies heavily on word of mouth and SEO. There was a time when I advertised, and I tracked all my calls and emails to know what was working and what wasn't. But I stopped that in 2013 based on results. The website has replaced the need for advertising. I have averaged 200-220 shows per year for the last 27 years. Like you, I don't use cold calling or cold emailing, though I know some corporate magicians that successfully do.

Word of mouth rules, and as you said, it starts with the assumption of a quality presentation.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Feb 14, 2019 07:25PM)
Lou asked for my thoughts in the other thread so here's a few.

Today everyone is so trying to make things plug-n-play, hands-off, automated, simple, easy to learn and implement, etc.

They are trying to make everything oversimplified because if they tell the truth they believe it would deter appeal and sales, so instead, they claim everything with easy to use, simple this or quick that, and so on.

Even in your example of the internet marketer who makes 7 figures based on his simple steps of Generate Leads, Make Offers and Make Sales, this too is a gross oversimplification of the true reality. Sure you could say this for all business - it is just 3 things, create your product, go to market, and make sales - easy as 1, 2, 3. But is really much more.

The truth is this is an oversimplification. From a very basic overview it may appear to be 3 simple steps but the truth is, in reality, each one of those steps has many elements and moving parts under the hood that must be learned, understood and executed to even begin to attain results. Then each of the three steps must be able to work and interface correctly to even get to the third step and the hopes of any results. So sure you can look at it as 3 simple steps, but that is a misperception to the required reality.

Same for your system. You can tell you created it and adapted it from the internet marketers advice, approach, and format. It is how many operate today and really the reason most still struggle - because it is much more than 3 easy steps or parts.

The reality is two things - there is an essential foundational component that MUST be created and in place before anything else even has a chance to succeed. Everything is not simple - it is a process and a process that must be done in sequential order for all component to work properly in concert. This is why many struggle - they either don't realize this, realize it and can't or don't want to put in the effort to learn it, are intimidated by it, or as most do just skip over it or do "their version" of it yet expecting the same results. They can not possibly be successful doing it "their way" without understanding the greater picture and the significance of learning, figuring out and implementing in the proper order.

Now I am not speaking specifically of you, I am speaking more general across the board. This is why when I hear guys say they took one of these 1, 2, 3 step courses and they are doing so much better, I know how really bad they were off in the first place. This also gives them another false perception that they now somehow "get it" and are doing it right. In most cases they aren't because they can't from just learning the overview basics of the 3 steps. It might have provided some structure and guidance which they likely needed, but in most cases they are in no way armed with what they need for success.

Also in your course, you mention you assume that they have a quality show/production already in place. Again, most don't know what that is either. (You know what they say when you assume!) They have what THEY think or feel is a quality show, maybe by their uninformed standards, but in reality, 95% of them do not have the level of show of all aspects that you are assuming. Not by industry or market standards, only by their own uninformed and uneducated perspective.

So then why on earth would you (again not necessarily you Lou, but the creators of many of these courses) even attempt to get into marketing and business with them - it should stop immediately and the work and effort should be put into understanding, creating, and developing a professional, commercial, market-appropriate show that has all of the required elements, including value, in place BEFORE ever thinking about moving on. If they don't know what that is or how to do it - great, they have just identified their first need. But there is no need to move beyond it until this is satisfied. Creating a successful product, or in our case performance should be included in any decent business program or course.

The show (or "product") MUST come before you ever get to the packaging (marketing) or business behind it. In reality, if the foundation is done properly, IT will dictate the creation of the show and will include all of the essential elements, based on many criteria, to best and properly serve their specific market and stand the best chance for success. This is why I've always suggested learning both the show and the business simultaneously from the beginning. For most its too late so they have to go back and start to re-do it from the proper beginning point (or dread doing so and just continuing to do what they have always done.)

I have often said many performers THINK they need one thing and then when we work together it is quickly and easily identified they are completely wrong - that they actually truly need something else first and foremost. Then when they actually get to what they thought they needed it almost falls into place easily without effort if the foundation and process are done properly and in order.

What you describe above is not what I consider a business model. It is the steps you do to execute your business but it is not a business model as we regularly speak of here. So it seems you are asking the steps, process or formula others are using in their business rather than actual business models.

As for creating value, I to would like to hear what others have to say before I offer more thoughts. I will say most only think of value as being or coming from their performance. Again some me-thinking at work here. Because as I said in the other thread, most do not truly understand the concept of value. Also, most operate from their own perspective, not the client or customers. Two HUGELY different things!

Also, don't even get me started on customer service as this is greatly misunderstood as well.

Performers NEED to learn entertainment business. There is so much they need to learn rather than trying to just wing it and figure it out on their own and believing they somehow have got it.

I assure you (anyone) if you are getting $400 in your market, I could easily get $600 for you almost instantly. And it has nothing to do with your show or level of skill or execution. Even if you think you already believe you are priced at the top of your market. This is based solely on value, positioning and a few other elements. Now if you bring your performance up to the pro level standard, it could possibly be even more when combined with value, positioning and more.

I always tell my students they need to talk to a qualified, legitimate, experienced live entertainment agent to learn a real education. Do it with a list of questions and an open mind, be sure to understand the context of the answers they receive (not just your interpretation of what you think they mean or are saying) and you will get a vast education on the live entertainment business. To learn even more than that speak to and pick the brain of a promoter, as they know far more than anyone, including agents, and put up their own money in every deal/booking they do.
Message: Posted by: 55Hudson (Feb 14, 2019 08:45PM)
This from Mindoro:

ďThe show (or "product") MUST come before you ever get to the packaging (marketing) or business behind it. In reality, if the foundation is done properly, IT will dictate the creation of the show and will include all of the essential elements, based on many criteria, to best and properly serve their specific market and stand the best chance for success. This is why I've always suggested learning both the show and the business simultaneously from the beginning. For most its too late so they have to go back and start to re-do it from the proper beginning point (or dread doing so and just continuing to do what they have always done.Ē

Business strategy should always start with the target customer segment and work back to the product. Most magicians start with magic as a hobby and then work from the product back to the market. Thatís not the way a real business should work, but it is reality.

Both Mindoroís and Louís approach can work. Louís is simpler and assumes you have a good show that is appropriate for your target market. Mindproís makes no such assumption. Of course any strategy may start with a simple three step model, but will always require sub-elements that make it more complicated.

One area where consultants/coaches can really help is in asking the right questions. Understanding what you need to figure out is often where the money is made.

Hudson
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Feb 14, 2019 09:59PM)
Keith, Mindpro, and Hudson,

Thank you all for your insight. Everyone is making some great points.

Keith, what you talk about is what I call market research. Obviously a great way to enter any market. I also love your business model. I'm hoping that one day my business model will work like yours. I'm getting closer, but I still have a way to go. Congratulations on your success!

Mindpro, language is a funny thing. It's always changing with many interpretations. I define my business model as how I provide value to my customers and make money in the process. Dictinary.com defines it as "a design for the successful operation of a business, identifying revenue sources, customer base, products, and details of financing." So that we are all on the same page speaking the same language, please give us your definition of a business model.

I believe that the magic business is an easy business to succeed in. Most people make things more complicated than they need to be. Even in my system that I use day in and day out and teach to others, there are a multitude of moving parts. Some of those moving parts will be easier for some people to implement than others. For instance, it took me years to learn how to create my own effective websites. There was a huge learning curve, but once I learned the system, it's now easy. I can put together an effective website in a a matter of hours. But the concepts are simple. It takes work to implement. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

I also believe it's impossible to teach the right way to put together a show for any particular market, which is why it's something that isn't covered in any course that I know of. For instance, a show that works for children's birthday parties won't necessarily work for corporate events. Even in the corporate market, what works as an after-dinner banquet show won't work at a trade show.

Even in the trade show market there are different ways to put together a show that is effective for clients. Some trade show performers only do a 10-minute show, while others might do a 60-minute presentation. Each can be effective. Some presentations are filled with technical information while others are not. There is no right or wrong answer. This is where a director, coach, or both can be of great benefit. (By the way, as I write this I'm getting ready to fly to New Orleans to perform at a trade show.)

Hudson, you are quite right in that most magicians start out as hobbyists, and then figure out how to turn it into a business. It's exactly how I started. If it had been the other way around, I would've given up two decades ago.

So the question remains... How do we know with absolute certainty what our clients value? How do we know what they're trying to achieve? How do we know what results they are seeking when putting on an event?

As in all things, simplicity is key, and can be answered with one word. The answer and how we implement it into our systems will make all the difference in the success of our business. It separates the performers who are commodities from those who make top dollar in their chosen market.

Does anyone want to share the answer? Does anyone want to guess?

I'd love to hear your responses.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 14, 2019 10:13PM)
You're working the problem backwards. Your client know what they value. They will find you if it is a match. You can't be all things to all clients. It is folly to try. Present YOUR value and clients that need this will show.
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Feb 14, 2019 10:24PM)
Danny,

I agree that we can't be all things to all people. That is why we should pick a market and focus on attracting our ideal clients. I also agree that we can present our own value, and the people who want it will find us. However we're now looking at things from our own perspective, not the perspective of our clients. If we look at things from the clients perspective, as Mindpro frequently espouses, it's so much easier to charge top dollar for our services.

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 14, 2019 10:28PM)
I only know what I provide. That is my limitation.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Feb 14, 2019 10:43PM)
My guess the answer Lou is seeking - Ask!
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 14, 2019 11:02PM)
You find a need and fill the need. Sales 101. Very basic.
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Feb 14, 2019 11:10PM)
[quote]On Feb 14, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
My guess the answer Lou is seeking - Ask! [/quote]

BINGO!

Too many of us think we are truly mind readers when we're not. The only way to know what our clients value, what they're trying to accomplish, and what results they seek is to ASK!

Once we ask, we can decide whether or not we can provide the desired results. If we believe we can, then we can begin the process of communicating the value of what we do, and the results we bring to the table, so that it addresses their wants, needs, and desires. Most magicians and entertainers NEVER do this.

One of the questions I almost always ask is, "How will you determine whether or not my presentation is a success? What happens next is... they tell me. From this point on I make sure I deliver the results they seek.

ASK - it's what will separate those who sell themselves as commodities from those who charge top dollar in this business.

Here's an example. Let's say I'm performing at a client appreciation event, where the lifetime value of one client is a million dollars. Do you think the decision maker is going to go with a $500 entertainer, and risk alienating one of their prized clients? No way! These people might be spending tens of thousands of dollars just for drinks. Do we have more value than drinks? If we present ourselves correctly, we are worth much more. So charging $5,000 to 10,000 or more for one event is a no-brainer. How can you know what is the lifetime value of a client? ASK

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Feb 15, 2019 08:57AM)
Many magicians today would probably laugh at my magic skill level, but back in my magic days, the70ís and 80ís, I was earning from a thousand to ten thousand dollars per event. Keep in mind that was 40 years ago when most magicians were being paid fifty dollars for a magic show.

Notice I said I got paid for the Ďeventí not the magic show. Itís the Ďeventí as a whole that benefits the client, not the magic tricks. Magic shows are a dime a dozen, but those who can bring something special to the Ďeventí are rare. I learned early on that I needed to be selling more than just another magic show; I needed to create an event in the clientsí mind that overshadowed the show itself.

The secret is to view it as an event and not just a magic show. Events pay more.:)

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 15, 2019 10:47AM)
Lou your're not wrong. But once we started talking about communicating value and such, I thought ask was assumed I'm sorry. I think it is the equivalent of saying the one thing you NEED to do to be a great race car driver is "turn on the car".

In order to "find the need" the way in which you do that is to ask yes. I am sorry I was not clear.

But the one thing I look at differently (Which in NO way means you are wrong, it is just how I look at it differently is all.) is that your value has NOTHING to do with the drinks. It is possible that you are not as valuable as the drinks. They have nothing to do with each other in the least. They are separate worlds. I have a value because I have a value and it based on what I do and what I provide and has not thing one to do with what people are willing to spend on other things. That line of thinking can backfire on you because when people start to compare you to a lawyer or brain surgeon suddenly the say "oh is he worth more than a doctor"? It is specious reasoning. You have value because you have value, not because drinks cost whatever.

Here is the thing most miss. What your value happens to be has NOTHING TO DO with if your client, intended or actual, can afford you! Read that again. It is the most important part of sales that anyone can try to grasp. Your value has nothing to do with what they can or can not afford. Your value is totally on you. If you want to drop or increase your price based on what they afford or can not afford you will never reach a point at which you can establish your value. Establishing value has everything to do with consistency. Why do jeans at Wal-Mart cost $X? Because they have found that people see that as their value through consistent pricing and availability. They know what they are getting and how much it costs and how long it will be prior to needing a new one and the social value of having that brand. ALL those things and more point to value. Notice how NONE of those things have to do with the persons ability to afford this pair of jeans. The need is the par of jeans, Wal-Mart has them at $X and the person came in looking for them. IF they want better quality or a better brand then they will be looking in a different store in the first place! No need to ask at all really. They are not going to find $200 jeans on the shelves at Wal-Mart because Wal-Mart has ESTABLISHED THEIR VALUE.

When I brought up the concept of establishing value in the first place and communicating it to the client this is what I was talking about. This is why it is SO important. Once you have done this things get really easy. It is done CONSTANTLY throughout your interactions with the client.

You are conflating value with filling their needs. HUGE difference. Value is part of that equation yes but it is SO much more.

Your value is what people think they are getting as an ROI. What you provide is filling the need they have.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 15, 2019 12:16PM)
[quote]On Feb 15, 2019, TomBoleware wrote:
Many magicians today would probably laugh at my magic skill level, but back in my magic days, the70ís and 80ís, I was earning from a thousand to ten thousand dollars per event. Keep in mind that was 40 years ago when most magicians were being paid fifty dollars for a magic show.

Notice I said I got paid for the Ďeventí not the magic show. Itís the Ďeventí as a whole that benefits the client, not the magic tricks. Magic shows are a dime a dozen, but those who can bring something special to the Ďeventí are rare. I learned early on that I needed to be selling more than just another magic show; I needed to create an event in the clientsí mind that overshadowed the show itself.

The secret is to view it as an event and not just a magic show. Events pay more.:)

Tom [/quote]
Not to derail this thread but can you tell us how many $10,000 events you did? Or even $1,000 events? Because some of the biggest names in magic were not making that at all back in the 70's. Not even CLOSE.

Average salary throughout the 70's was below 10 grand a year. For a name NOBODY has ever heard of to get 10 grand regularly for an "event" seems a bit out of sorts to me. Don Alan was on TV as much as ANYONE throughout and did not make nearly that money. Soap Opera stars at Malls probably didn't make that sort of money and they were an event. Football players didn't pull in that much and on and on. So the idea of making that kind of money regularly is just mind boggling to me. Without the internet the only way was TV and radio and local newspapers. Getting people to pony up that sort of money is not easy.

So how often did these things happen for you Tom? What "more" did you do to make it an "event"? I see this line of thinking all the time and the bottom line is that many clients simply want you to do the job and be done. A person who brings an "event" is not what "NEED" they have. They want the show. How can your "event" be what everyone is looking for?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 15, 2019 12:18PM)
[quote]On Feb 14, 2019, Keith Raygor wrote:

Word of mouth rules, and as you said, it starts with the assumption of a quality presentation. [/quote]

I have been saying this for a long time now and keep getting told I am crazy and the world is changing. Both are probably true.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Feb 15, 2019 12:51PM)
Well, the great discussion was good and on topic while it lasted...
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Feb 15, 2019 01:31PM)
[quote]On Feb 14, 2019, lou serrano wrote:

Mindpro, language is a funny thing. It's always changing with many interpretations. I define my business model as how I provide value to my customers and make money in the process. Dictinary.com defines it as "a design for the successful operation of a business, identifying revenue sources, customer base, products, and details of financing." So that we are all on the same page speaking the same language, please give us your definition of a business model.
[/quote]


In most circles "business model pertains to the model you use for conducting your operations and business. Your model for conducting your business, in this case, it would be getting bookings and business. All bookings and business is not the same.

The default business model I often refer to is a someone becomes interested in magic. They get a kit, sven deck or a trick or two, learn it, show it to family or friends and it fools them. They garner a little attention. Then they decide it is fun and to learn more. They discover magic shops or today online dealers and places communities with others like them. Then they learn more while still showing family friends and depending on age, coworkers. They may even impress a few along the way. Eventually one of these people suggests they perform at school in the variety or talent show, or at work for a social event. Or one of them asks if they could "do a little something at a kids birthday party or holiday party. They do some of these here and there, then decide "huh, maybe I could do this for fun and few bucks on the side. They let others know, maybe even get business cards printed and start accepting a few more gigs here and there for a small fee. Of course, this can become an eventual part-time thing. They go to a restaurant and see a tableside magician and think, heck I could do that and...walla we know the rest of the story. They self-proclaim themselves a magician, some guy in one of the communities says the definition of a professional is someone that does something for mommy or pay and walla - he proclaims he is now a professional magician.

Now his efforts go on booking more shows. He does the show or shows and then is back to having nothing so he tries to book more shows. Rinse and repeat.

That is the default business model of how most start in magic. The other scenario that is disappearing lately is they were a customer at the local magic store, then as a teen they got a job at the local magic store, but the process from there is the same.

Most never leave that business model. Most do not ever understand there are other business models for performers to explore. They stick with as Danny says seeking one time bookings, and repeating this over and over. Sure along the way they may get a referral or rebooking, yay.

But other business models such as Danny's is having one or a few clients that use you continually over and over again for hundreds or thousands of shows over time.

Let's use another type of model which would be amusement parks. You put your effort into getting them to book your act for the year or the season. Efforts are put into getting one or a few clients that keep you busy continuously.

Another model would be to target yourself to someone already with a lot of bookings that you can perform or tap into. A residency or variety show would be an example.

Another business model would be booking in a tourist venue/area for seasonal runs annually.

Another would be a touring business model.

Another business mode would be not seeking individual bookings but self-producing shows or 2/4 walling your own shows in theaters and specialized venues.

Another is doing free shows for great income.

There are many, many other business models for entertainment businesses and performers, but I will stop with these basic samples.

Look at Anton Zellman. In his 30 year career, he only had 12 (or maybe it was 14 clients). Yes, he had million dollar a year contracts with several of them, many half a million dollar contracts too, and of course, he renewed the million dollar contracts when they came up for renewal. In 40 years he only sought 12 (or 14) clients. Truth be told I believe he only sought 8-10 of them, others sought him out. This was his business model - not chasing after clients, but completely serving the small amount of specific clients he could commit to and serve properly with the value he had to them. Think about it, only having to get an average of one new client every couple of years to enjoy an executive living for decades. That is quite a bit of a different business model from continuously chasing the one and done type of model most do.

Truth be told very few are successful or become wealthy by doing the one and done business model. Sure some can pound out a nice living but that's about it. For some, that may be all they want is a self-employed job.

I have a unique business model for each of my agencies and entertainment businesses. In fact, many ask why do you have multiple agencies? The answer is because they each serve a different purpose, operate under a specific and unique business model, and are completely separate from each other.

There is much more than meets the eye than most experience on a surface level. I'll say it again...learn entertainment business - the real entertainment business, not the magic business, the default business or the surface business. Learn the differences in consumer markets and professional markets and the business models related to each. It will answer many of your questions and help you to learn the part of (you don't know) "what you don't know.".
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Feb 15, 2019 01:33PM)
[quote]On Feb 15, 2019, Dannydoyle wrote:


Tom [quote]
Not to derail this thread but can you tell us how many $10,000 events you did? Or even $1,000 events? Because some of the biggest names in magic were not making that at all back in the 70's. Not even CLOSE.

Average salary throughout the 70's was below 10 grand a year. For a name NOBODY has ever heard of to get 10 grand regularly for an "event" seems a bit out of sorts to me. Don Alan was on TV as much as ANYONE throughout and did not make nearly that money. Soap Opera stars at Malls probably didn't make that sort of money and they were an event. Football players didn't pull in that much and on and on. So the idea of making that kind of money regularly is just mind boggling to me. Without the internet the only way was TV and radio and local newspapers. Getting people to pony up that sort of money is not easy.

So how often did these things happen for you Tom? What "more" did you do to make it an "event"? I see this line of thinking all the time and the bottom line is that many clients simply want you to do the job and be done. A person who brings an "event" is not what "NEED" they have. They want the show. How can your "event" be what everyone is looking for? [/quote]

Danny, Iím not makings stuff up :) and I completely agree that ten thousand a year was a good salary back then for many.

I produced fund raising events for groups using my illusion show as the product. Not only did I get paid well for the show I owned the phone operation that sold tickets and sponsorships. Much like a boiler room operation would do back then, I did all the work and gave the charity group a percentage to use their name. I make a good full time living for a period of about two years raising money for groups like the Boy & Girl Scouts, 4H Clubs, American Legions, etc. Deals were different but we usually split the profit after the expenses.

My point was simply that when you do more than just the show itself you can expect to be paid more. And donít get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with doing a show, collecting the check and moving on. But those who donít mind doing a little extra, (and not to the point I did) for the client can demand a higher fee. And as Lou said, the best way to find out what the clients wants is to ask. And those who can make suggestions that will improve the event will be welcomed back.

Anyway I should have known you would try and make something out of nothing. Sorry I posted.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 15, 2019 01:47PM)
I am sorry you posted as well.

Do you mean you walked away with the 10 grand or that it was raised? Because to raise 10 grand with selling tickets and sponsorships TODAY is pretty good. In 1970 it was astronomical for a no name performer to do such a thing. Tickets were in the dollar range back then. Sponsors would not pay the thousands the do now. People in boiler rooms have to be paid, the 4H club needs its cut and the hall needs to make money.

Back then to run a boiler room was a pretty expensive operation all by itself. Not an easy task prior to the internet.

I am trying to learn the business model. You just throw out numbers.

PLUS Tom not to mention that what you are talking about has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CLIENT! YOU are the client and basically 4 walling the deal. You have NO value to them at all and they are not paying you. You are making money based on other factors. So the analogy of a boiler room show is simply not applicable to communicating your value to a client. If you want to say your value to the charity is that you will give them money and do a fund raiser on spec then sure that is something. But it is absolutely NOT the same as charging a client 10 grand to do a show.

It is the difference in lightening and the lightening bug.

I am not making something out of nothing, I am trying to stay on topic.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Feb 15, 2019 04:03PM)
Danny, It amazes me how you try and tell people they canít do something that they have already done. I would break it down and show you how it works, but I learned a long time ago you canít teach those who think they already know everything.

Anyway my point wasnít to tell anyone to do it my way. I was only trying to say that those that are willing to do a little extra can expect more. That was my point.

Again, sorry for the distraction.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 15, 2019 04:29PM)
I am not telling you that you can't do it. I find it unlikely and since you have no way to show it I REALLY feel it is odd.

But the most important part Tom is you are comparing apples and oranges, and derailing the thread to do so. YOU were the one running the boiler room and the client was NOT PAYING YOU. NOT THE SAME thing remotely.

I know how that system works Tom. But again you throw out nonsensical numbers and just expect people buy into the silly claim. Was that what you walked away with? Was it what you split with them? What were the expenses? You just give random made up numbers and they don't make sense.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Feb 15, 2019 04:53PM)
Unlikely? Why, because I wasnít a big name magician. If you think something like the Boy Scouts, American Legion, or VFW is not a big enough name to get people to donate then that right there tells me you donít have a clue how a fund-rasing is run. The show should never be about YOU, that is your ego talking.

Right this down Danny, and Iíll leave you alone: ďYou donít have to be a Big Name Magician to make good money with magicĒ

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 15, 2019 05:00PM)
Write this down Tom.

"Write" is spelled with a w when you are speaking about the act of writing.

Also Tom you do need talent. That is the block you have.
Message: Posted by: charliecheckers (Feb 15, 2019 10:40PM)
This is a great topic. A business model is your plan of making money. It is your approach regarding how you choose to come to market with your goods or services. Different companies can arrive at the same point in entirely different ways, with drastically different business models. For example, one kids birthday magician may achieve $105,000 via 300 shows booked @ $350/show through SEO strategies canvassing the masses to attract enough people willing to pay the asking fee for someone they likely never heard of before, based upon the marketing efforts. Another magician can create such a strong brand recognition that they also book 300 shows @ $350/show by simply answering their telephone and accepting the requests that come in due to reputation and word of mouth. The client is not hiring a magician, they are hiring that particular person. Another magician may decide to book fewer shows or charge a lower price and arrive at the same $105,000 by including BOR or add-ons such as balloon animals. These all represent different business models. One needs to match up what their strengths are and business intentions to create a business model that offers them the most potential in a way most suited to their personal needs and desires within the confines of their capabilities. An important factor in choosing a business model in performance entertainment is that the product (live performance) is available in a limited supply. Therefore business growth cannot simply be to do more of the same thing, especially if one is choosing a business model generally reserved for retail mass produced products, such as SEO optimization. On the other hand, if one has a product (show) that fails to truly provide significantly differentiated impact and they are not capable of (or interested in) improvements, growth thru website and mass marketing strategies may be their best available option.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Feb 17, 2019 05:47PM)
Charlecheckers, I agree it is a great topic and something worth thinking about. I also agree there are many different ways to do business.

Now since my post got twisted and taken completely out of context maybe I should explain it a little better.

ďThe secret is to view it as an Ďeventí and not just a magic show. Events pay more.Ē

What I mean is that the purpose of the gathering is not always to just view your magic show. Understanding the real reason why everyone is there is important. Is it a sales meeting, is it to introduce a new product, or is it a party? And what role are you to play. Certainly a magician would be there to entertain, but can you do more? If so then you are creating added value and once you start adding value, you most likely wonít have to ask what your value is, you will be told by the clients why they appreciate you. Clients love little extras and they love it when they think you understand and can relate to their business market

With my fund raising show example, the main purpose was to raise money for the group, ( letís say the local VFW ) but I didnít just raise money collect my part and go home. I make it an Ďeventí to raise money but I didnít stop there, I also wanted to promote goodwill for the VFW in their community. Example, I would get them a free write up in the newspaper, (not hard to do when itís for a worthwhile cause.) Get a spot on one of the local TV shows to raise awareness for the group as well as promote the fundraiser. At times I would give away free show tickets to underprivileged children in the area. And at times visit a school or hospital with someone from the group. Everything was done in the name of the group/client. I worked my butt off to add extra value to the event and that was the real reason I was paid so well and invited back. Some fundraisers would last anywhere from a week to a full month, so the show itself was a very small part of the overall picture.

Now I am not saying that a magician should work a month in order to do a show, Iím only saying that anything beyond the show itself may be appreciated and viewed as adding value to the event. Little extras are often remembered. Odds are good that they will forget your Ďtricksí pretty soon. But much like the old saying, ďpeople will forget what you say or what you do but they never forget how you make them feel.Ē You can bet your bottom dollar that people like Lou is not viewed by the client as being just another magician. He makes the client feel like they made the right decision in hiring HIM. They donít keep hiring him to just come do his tricks. They hire him because he adds value to the event.

So to answer the question, how do you know your value? Simply put, you can assume that your role there is to do the best show you can, collect your pay and leave. For most that is enough. For some it is not. Those willing, ready and able to go the extra mile wonít have to ask what their value is for long because they will hear it often from the clients.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 17, 2019 07:16PM)
Tom once again you are confusing terms. And again "write" has a W at the front.

Your value to the client in this fantasy land example is not anything like what we are speaking about. You are basically 4 walling a room and doing all the work and giving them money to use their name. In this silly example YOU are more the client! What value do THEY BRING YOU to do all that work?

Spending all month on one find raiser is ridiculous for 10 grand alleged return. You do all that work plus run the phone room and once it is all said and done they're would be nothing left of 10 grand at the end of this month long process.

To get to your 10 grand in ticket sales a movie ticket back then was about $2.50. You should have to sell an astronomical amount of tickets. Heck TV stars didn't make 10 grand per appearance.

These things are so much more informational without you.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Feb 17, 2019 07:28PM)
Danny, when you provide a service to someone they are considered your client. Not the other way around. I know what 4 walling is and that is not what I was doing. Not even close.
You donít have a clue. Ticket sales was a very small percentage of the money took in. At times the tickets were given away. So please stop being a smart a.. and derailing the thread.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 18, 2019 12:20AM)
Tom. Stop being a pain with more fantasy land bs. You can't even spell and you want to act like you are a big deal. Stop making yourself look so bad.

You were not providing much of anything to anyone. YOU did all the work. You did all the work! They had no risk, they had nothing to do except to lend you their name. This is not a client Tom, it is a different business model.

We are talking about communicating VALUE TO A CLIENT such as when a person wants to raise their price. What you describe here is totally a tangent and derailing the thread. I KNOW you just can't help but have the last word but every word shows how little you know.

You do not need to communicate value for what you do to the client. Even if it happened in other than fantasy land you were not being hired. The client was NOT paying you! If you are not being paid there is no pressing need to communicate value. The value is in the show for no risk! I get it, you will NEVER be able to comprehend this. PLEASE don't ruin this even further with your nonsense. Just stop please. You are confusing people.

Oh well this was nice while it lasted. Mindpro was right.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Feb 18, 2019 07:24AM)
Yes the topic is Communicating Value To A Client and all I have said is the same as some others have said, that sometimes you can do that through your actions. That could be with your past actions or showing a willness to take action. You know, like in Actions Speak Louder Than Words.

Now one last time Danny, yes I was being paid by my client. Why would I work for somebody and not get paid. Really do you know how that sounds. And if my example offends anyone here Iím sorry.

Really Danny, you need to get some angry control help, seriously. Calling people (that you know nothing about) a Liar may one day get you in some serious trouble. You better stop it. Take care.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 18, 2019 10:00AM)
Tom nobody is angry you are making that up to distract. Please stop the tactic never works. I HOPE this was really one last time because explaining to you is tiresome.

Calling a person on made up bs is not anger Tom. But since you brought it up and threw out the made up numbers from 1970's I thought I'd ask about them. Obviously the answer is they are made up. I never used the word liar. All I asked you to do is to confirm your statements. You simply can't. Maybe you mis used a comma I don't know. Your example doesn't offend anyone, it is just WAY off topic and just because you can't manage to comprehend it in no way makes this less true.

Here is a direct quote from you Tom.

"I produced fund raising events for groups using my illusion show as the product. Not only did I get paid well for the show I owned the phone operation that sold tickets and sponsorships. Much like a boiler room operation would do back then, I did all the work and gave the charity group a percentage to use their name. I make a good full time living for a period of about two years raising money for groups like the Boy & Girl Scouts, 4H Clubs, American Legions, etc. Deals were different but we usually split the profit after the expenses."

Yet a few posts above you say ticket sales were just a small portion of the money taken in. So were you paid well for the show or not Tom? Which is it? Two TOTALLY different statements.

So your claim is that AFTER profits in a year where average salary was about 15 grand that with giving away tickets your end of the split was 10 grand? Yea Tom nobody is believing that line.

But once again to get to the real heart of the matter. This thread is about communicating value to a client. You were doing no such thing. THEY did not pay you! YOU were the one who got the sponsors according to you in this fantasy land example. YOU were the one doing all the work. All they did was lend you their name! THIS IS NOT THE SAME THING TOM.

What is being spoken about is when a client PAYS YOU out of a budget and you are a percentage of that budget and you want to COMMUNICATE YOUR VALUE to them so they feel comfortable in giving you $X for the show which might be a high tag.Your fantasy land pretend fund raising from 1970 does not qualify.

SO PLEASE do not keep doing this. I am sorry this discussion is so far over your head Tom. But I KNOW you are a last word kind of guy so you will NEVER stop posting.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Feb 18, 2019 11:22AM)
Danny I believe I said I earned between one and ten thousand dollars. Certainly every gig didnít pay me ten thousand dollars. My base show fee was always one thousand dollars. NEVER did I get paid less than that, and yes they did write me a check for the fee. Anything over my base fee was usually figured on a percentage deal and as I said agreements were not always the same. That was usually based on how much help the group provided. This business model worked well for me at the time. But I will say that times have changed, laws have changed, and people have changed over time. People used to support the local groups, police and fire departments much better than they would today. It was nothing to get a local business, doctor, lawyer or other professional to donate 500 or 1000 dollars when you had a strong sponsor. 20 x $500 would be $10,000. I get my thousand; we split the remaining $9,000. I give all the ticket sales and concession sales to the group and everybody walks away happy. Not bad for a couple weeks work.

Now you have hijacked the thread enough. Maybe one day when I have time I will start a new thread on fundraising shows.

Have a good day.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 18, 2019 11:30AM)
So now it is not that you got $10,000, but rather you split $9,000. And that is IF we believe you LOL. Getting that level of sponsorship back in the 70's was not easy. And Tom yea back in the 70's it was NOT easy to get even doctors and lawyers to just give $500. Not by a long shot.

Yes start a new thread on fund raising in fantasy land. Sounds productive. Then I can derail it with made up crap just like you did this one.

Oh and people STILL support fire and police and local groups. They support them without doubt. More bad information thank you.

Hopefully you are done now as this has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TOPIC!
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Feb 18, 2019 05:38PM)
[quote]On Feb 14, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
Again some me-thinking at work here. Because as I said in the other thread, most do not truly understand the concept of value. Also, most operate from their own perspective, not the client or customers. Two HUGELY different things! [/quote]

This slight derailment the thread has taken is a great example of what I have said regularly here about many magicians and magician's thinking. They try to adapt context to what they THINK it to be or what they WANT it to mean, not as intended or what it actually means. It is almost always a misinterpretation or unclear understanding, that they will defend their me-based perspective to the end of time.

As I said, most do not understand the concept and principle of value, especially as it related to the entertainment business and the unique buying approach and process that ensures as compared to conventional or retail business. And of course, you see what happens when you try to inform them that what they believe is not what it actually is, especially by industry standards.

Again this isn't just Tom, but many magicians.

I hope this topic (business models and communicating value) can get back on track and maybe if Tom starts a fundraising thread, this line of thinking and discussion can continue there (as Lou did by starting this thread) if there's interest, as many are also very muddy perceptions and understandings with many performers as it pertains to both fundraising and charities. Plus, as Tom said, this old Kramein's stuff really wouldn't work well in today's market without almost a total restructuring.

I too find 10K 40-45 years ago a bit far-fetched, even with sponsors. Money was tight in the 70's, gas lines were around the block with odd and even days, and $1,000 and 10,000 were rare even for magic's top names with a proven draw. Even to achieve this once would be difficult.

It's interesting to me how one person can change the dynamics of the room (or thread).

I'm interested as well in hearing how others create and establish value.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Feb 18, 2019 06:28PM)
Mindpro,

I am talking about the late 70ís or early 80ís. I saw an old poster the other day that said 1981. I would have to dig it all out to be sure about the exact dates. But still, it looks as if you are as confused as Danny. Being a well known magician had nothing to do with being successful in the fundraising business. Itís not about drawing large crowds to the show.

You are right oh that it probably wouldnít work the same in today's market without some adjustments. Most magicians are too lazy to work it anyway. Lol

But make no mistake about it, the fundraising business as a whole is a BILLION DOLLAR market today. Small schools and groups are raising thousands of dollars with fundraisers. Heck around here you canít walk out the door without being hit up by some youngster to buy some cookie dough, magazine, or some other over priced item. We didnít have all that 30 years ago and that made it much easier.

AnywayI am done here now so hopefully the topic can get back on track. Again sorry for my part in the derailment.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Feb 18, 2019 07:05PM)
Lol
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 18, 2019 07:23PM)
Average household income in 1981 was $13,773.10 Tom. You yourself said you only did this for 2 years so 1979 till 1981. Keep making up stuff. Problem in the Internet exists! It is a ridiculous claim and you still have not told us how many times this fantasy land stuff happened?

Also Tom the HUGE percentage of groups in 1981 needing a fund raiser didnít have the extra thousand to pay you up front. Not even close and even today most won't have it.

Please be done. Your made up stories about your imaginary friends are really distracting from a great topic.

And 1981 was closer to 40 years ago and yes they did have all that stuff!
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Feb 18, 2019 07:45PM)
Talk about making stuff up.

Who said I sold anything at all to the average household?

Who said anything about getting paid up front?

Who said it was exactly two years?

Danny you have called me a liar enough, do it one more time and I will report you.

Tom
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Feb 18, 2019 09:22PM)
I found value in Tomís initial post. Why he was instantly attacked is beyond me. I donít think you can point your finger to just one person for the derailment of this thread. Multiple people are to blame. Sad. I stayed away from the Cafť for quite awhile, only to return and see that things havenít changed around here. Itís just the same people arguing with one another. Grown adults bickering like children. I guess Iíll go back to Facebook where groups treat each other with much more respect. Maybe Iíll pop in here in another 6 months if the Cafť is still around.

Have fun everyone!

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Feb 18, 2019 09:38PM)
Thank you Lou

It is sad that so many good people like you canít feel welcome here anymore.

I said that I wasnít going to let Danny suck me in on his nonsense anymore but this time was different,
I couldnít just sit still and allow him to call me a liar over and over.

I too am going to take a break from here

Thanks everybody

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 18, 2019 10:37PM)
Good Tom. Lou the only time we seem to see you is to be sold something.

Oh and Tom wasn't attacked. He was called in bs. Big difference.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Feb 19, 2019 12:36AM)
Yeah, I have to agree with this as well. Tom posted something with some figures/numbers that seemed quite far-fetched. Someone simply called him out on it asking for details (many of which he still hasn't addressed). I can't see how that is attacking - he made claims, someone asked for more details and to further explain such improbable claims. How is this attacking?

Also, I guess Lou sees something different than some of us. This is a great example where one post from one poster took the thread off track and in a different direction. I don't see multiple people to blame. What the person that asked for clarification and called out something far-fetched from someone that claims experience in something specific?

I could say the same thing, Lou. You pop in, ask for me to respond to your post and then...nothing. The conversation just abruptly stops. How is that progressing and continuing a thread you started and asked for direct input from others?

I couldn't disagree with you more about your thoughts on most magic Facebook groups. Most only bi**h about the Cafť, lol. And the Cafť? Where is it going to go? It the premier magic site in the world, why would it not be here?

Also, why do so many say there done or going to take a break yet still here? I never understand this.

We haven't had problems here in a couple of months since the place got cleaned up. We know who drives people away or makes them refrain from posting, don't kid yourself.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 20, 2019 05:26PM)
[quote]On Feb 18, 2019, TomBoleware wrote:
Talk about making stuff up.

Who said I sold anything at all to the average household?

Who said anything about getting paid up front?

Who said it was exactly two years?

Danny you have called me a liar enough, do it one more time and I will report you.

Tom [/quote]

Why wouldn't you sell stuff to average households? If you only paper the room with under privelaged people you won't attract many sponsors to the event. Oops. This shows a major flaw with this plan. Sponsors want an ROI. It is that simple.

You said you bade salary was $1,000. This puts them on the hook for the money regardless of outcome. Most groups don't do that.

You said it was 2 years.

All I wanted to do wasunderstand your claim.

I never used the word liar. You are projecting. It is entirely possible this is how you remember things. You just refuse to stop typing. Let it go.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Feb 20, 2019 07:06PM)
Danny, I guess I will try one more time to explain it to you since you seem so set on making it confusing for others to understand.

They never paid me a penny that came out of their own pocket. I only got paid when there was money in the pot to pay me. The whole two or three years that I did fundraising using a magic show I ALWAYS got paid. And NEVER was a client not completely satisfied with the outcome. True there were times when the house werenít full, but getting people to the show really had ABSOLETLY NOTHING to do with how much money we raised. ( And for the record I only did magic full time one way or the other for about five years total. I saw it as just another sales job)

I am not talking about doing sponsored shows where you go out and get businesses to pay you for the show. I have done that too. But here I am talking about doing FUNDRAISING where you get Businesses and Professional people to DONATE money to a local organization such as a fire department, the local VFW, Boy Scout Group, etc. It is usually their annual fundraising event. And what better way to show that they really are a worthwhile group if you can say that they are providing a magic show for the local disabled and under privileged kids. That is a POWERFUL SELLING POINT TO GET PEOPLE TO DONATE. Donít you think? Having two reasons to donate is much better than one. Plus when itís a once a year thing it takes the sting out when asked to donate more.

Fundraising with a magic show is NOT all about YOU, and the show itself is only a small part of the overall fundraising process. Fundraising is getting people to ĎDONATEí money to the Ďcauseí and not necessarily to come see a show. The lazy person should shy away from getting involved with a fundraiser. Unless of course you are just simply selling the show to the group letting them do the fundraising part and you just come do the show and leave. Nothing wrong with that either and magic is unique enough to usually draw a crowd, but it is a completely different thing than what I am talking about here.

Besides providing a good show when the time come I was out there deeply involved in getting people to donate money to a cause, not to just come see me do a show. I earned my money the hard way. Many times I saw people write a tax deductable check to the charity/group for several hundred dollars. I saw a few write it for a thousand too. In the end a part of every check written, depending on our agreement, was to go in my pocket. They handled all the money and we tallied up on show day. Different deals for different groups but I think I liked the 50/50 split the best. Some would be 40/60 and if I only used their name and they did nothing at all it was 80/20 with me getting the 80 percent.

Donít think for a moment that those who put together and run all those big fundraising events you see today arenít getting paid well. Not that they donít deserve to be paid but they want you believe that every single penny is going to the cause, it is not.

Since my magic days I have took part in several smaller non magic related fundraising events with great success. Wasnít doing it for the money and it is a lot of work but in the end it is very rewarding when you know you have helped a good cause.

Anyways,

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 20, 2019 07:52PM)
So is THAT your last post?

How ridiculous. Why not just call and ask for donations and not do the show? If the show is meaningless, and I believe yours was, why would people donate? I mean pick a horse and ride it.

Doing a fundraiser where they get 20% is terrible. Why would you do that to a charity?

And pretty much all checks to charity were tax deductible then.

And YOU used the word sponsorships. Words mean things Tom. You obviously don't know the difference in a sponsorship and a sonation and somehow we are to believe you are a fund raising genius?

So PLEASE be done. You did all the work and used the name of a charity. You did not have to worry about communicating value because you were paid on YOUR OWN ALLEGED RESULTS.

Please stop confusing everyone.
Message: Posted by: TomBoleware (Feb 21, 2019 02:13PM)
It most certainly is a business model. While it may not be for everybody, it worked well for me at the time. Danny just because you donít approve something doesnít mean it is a bad idea. Your way is not the only way by far. And I had no problem communicating my value. I had written letters and copies of checks from my past clients to prove what I could do.

My first post did fit the topic, but it was your continuing Ďknow it allí uncalled for bashing that killed the thread. I have apologized to Lou and everyone here for allowing you to sucker me into your BS. If you had in decently about you, then you would do the same. But I donít look for that to happen.

I will stop now. Go ahead get in your last word too. But I'm sure you will by asking more sarcastic questions.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Feb 21, 2019 02:49PM)
Tom this is multiple times you claim you will stop. But you continue to type vigorously.

I never said it was not a business model. I never claimed it wouldn't work. I said it had nothing to do with this topic and you agree. Then you blame me for pointing it out!

Then you go on to make claims that are pretty far fetched. I ask for confirmation, and point out that it has nothing to do with this topic and you just don't stop.

Now you think it is clever to parrot what I said about having the last word. Tom are you so desperate to be listened to that you have to act like this? Please really be done this time. No more.

Oh and doing a fund raiser where you give a charity 20% is abysmal behavior.