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Mikael Eriksson
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I have a specific problem.

Too little people know I exist. How do I get new people to know I exist?

My target group is private children's parties. No schools etc.

I don't want help getting re-bookings, but new customers.

I don't want to appear in the paper or radio or TV. I want a way of doing more direct advertising about myself.

What I want is to have people that have never seen me book me.

Am I clear enough?

Thanks in advance.



Mikael
Michael Messing
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Hello Mikael,

Do they have any parenting magazines where you live? These are magazines directed at parents and small ads in them are an inexpensive way to reach your target market. (At least, they are here in the U.S.)

Otherwise, you'll have to get a list of your target market and mail them letters or postcards. That, to me, would be more expensive than it's worth in the private children's party market.

Michael
Donald Dunphy
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Mikael -

You might not like this advice, because there is no "magic bullet" involved.

Simply put, there is no simple way. It takes W-O-R-K to book more shows. (Some people don't like that word, "work", because it is a four-letter word to them! Smile )

Here's how to get known by new customers. (First, I am assuming you have a good show. This is important first. It will also help if you have some testimonials from past customers, to show to new possible customers.)

Here is how to book shows. You can do that by calling people on the phone, mailing letters (more effective when you have permission first), visiting people to sell your show in person, etc. This is called active marketing.

The more action you take, and consistently (that's a key... consistent action over a long period of time), the more shows you will get, provided your service is good. If you have a poor service, you might serve a customer only once. Word of mouth will work against you then, and you will have a harder time making your business grow.

To find the right things to say to people on the phone, in letters, or in person meetings, you will need to be open to learning new things and ideas from reading books, and becoming a student of marketing and human relation skills.

In short, this will take an investment of resources such as time and money, and once again, work.

Other ways of passive marketing include classified ads, parent magazine ads, yellow page ads, giveaways at other shows, etc. You have less control over the results of this type of marketing.

To get more shows for children's birthdays, you might need to do some passive advertising, or perhaps do shows at local daycares and schools, and (with permission) have the children take home information promoting your birthday shows. A colouring or activity sheet, with your contact information on it, for example. Also be sure to give the colouring or activity sheet away at other birthday shows.

For non-birthday shows, then active marketing is the way to go.

- Donald

P.S. I know you said you didn't want to know about this, but media publicity is an important element to growing your business, and another important element is getting repeat business from past customers. Past customers should like you, and be predispositioned to doing business with you again. In short, they should be easier to sell the next show to, so it makes sense to focus quite a bit of effort on them.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Mikael Eriksson
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Quote:
On 2005-12-24 17:40, Michael Messing wrote:
Hello Mikael,

Do they have any parenting magazines where you live?


No. Not for just my area. Only for the entire country.

Quote:
On 2005-12-24 17:40, Michael Messing wrote:
Otherwise, you'll have to get a list of your target market and mail them letters or postcards.


I've looked into that, and it's incredibly expensive, just as you say.

Mikael

Posted: Dec 25, 2005 5:25am
I don't mind work. I mind not knowing how to do it.

If I would call people (which I can't do since I don't have their numbers) they would think I was crazy, or criminal, so it's out of question.

I can't mail them since I don't have their addresses. and I definately don't have their permissions.

I can't visit them, they would think I was crazy, or criminal.

Word of mouth is not working that good, because people very often looks at it in a practical manner: "My daughter has already seen his show at her friend´s party, so it would be a waste of money to hire him"

About investment of money. I don't really have any money to invest.

What are classified ads?

As I said, parent magazine ads are not local, so it's just a waste of money.

Yellow page ads. I'm in the yellow pages, and have not got a single job from it.

What are giveaways?

About having the children take home information promoting my birthday shows, I have tried it. No result.

Media publicity. I have appeared several times in the newspapers and one time on the radio with fabulous reviews, but haven't got a single job from it yet.

Past customers like me, and at a few times have contacted me for repeat bookings, but it seems that people here are very practical when it comes to money: "We have seen his show once, so what's the point of seeing it again?"

I have never thought about contacting past customers again. I feel that would be to invade their private spheres too much. Do american magicians really do this???

I notice a very clear difference between swedish in the descriptions of american audiences. They seem to have more money they can waste any way they want to. Swedes have to turn every penny around to be able to cope. Based on the descriptions of american audiences I would do very well in the US. Or some people are exagerating.

Mikael

Posted: Dec 25, 2005 5:28am
I might mention that what has worked pretty well for me has been:

1. Word of mouth, BUT not as often as I would like to.

2. To put up a note at some public place. this too doesn't give me as many jobs as I want to.

I might add that of the NUMEROUS daycares and schools I have done, they have hardly ever produced any parents that have called me and wanted me to come to their childrens parties. Once again, people here seem to be very practical about money.
And they also seem to want more variation than americans. Thus they don't hire a magician for the party over and over again.

Mikael
Zack
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Michael,

Do other magicians advertise in "Sweden Parent"? If so, you'll want to be in there.
Mikael Eriksson
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Quote:
On 2005-12-25 08:45, Zack wrote:
Michael,

Do other magicians advertise in "Sweden Parent"?


I don't think so. And the ad is so expensive I can't afford it. No point of paying 10 times what you earn for an ad, right? By the way, most of it's readers have very small children, too small for magic. And I would get jobs all over Sweden. There are no regular families that could afford paying the kind of money that's required to get me to their place. What I want is families in my town.



Mikael
Bill Nuvo
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In regards to the Yellow page ad. What section are you advertising? Under magician only? If so consider putting one under entertainer/entertainment and clowns( Now I know that you may not be a clown, but here in North America, I find most people when looking for children's entertainment will look under clowns. If you perform for children you should have a character anyway, and this can fit into the clown section since a clown is a character. But say in your advertising that you are a Wizard or whatever character you have. Even just saying you are a magician under the clown section will help.)

In your own town, get involved in a charity group. Don't perform free for them (maybe you could-that's up to you ), but just help out. Talk to other people about your magical interest. Have business cards. People who like you will be glad to help you by having you at their parties (where you can hand out more advertising) or help you by handing your info to a family with kids.

In your advertising at for giveaways (colouring sheets, etc..) you can announce "new show for 2006" and so on. Sure you can do some of the same but have at least 2-3 new things to show.

Keep track of clients and what show you have done. When booking, see if they want show #1 or show #2.

How exactly do you advertise with the take home advertising at parties? You have to give something that the parents will see, and hold on to.
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2005-12-25 04:56, Mikael Eriksson wrote:
If I would call people (which I can't do since I don't have their numbers) they would think I was crazy, or criminal, so it's out of question.

I can't mail them since I don't have their addresses. and I definately don't have their permissions.

I can't visit them, they would think I was crazy, or criminal.


You mean they don't have phone books in your country, or the internet?

You personally have chosen to eliminate the only 3 ways to actively market your show. But that's was your choice, not the customer's. (Well, I guess networking might be a possiblity, too, but I am sure you will find a reason not to try that, too.)

Surely there must be people in your country using these methods, who are not offending possible customers, and getting work or sales. And I don't necessarily mean other entertainers. You might need to talk to professionals outside of the entertainment field, and ask them their style of approaching possible customers. Be interested in others, be friendly, ask questions and show your genuine and honest appreciation for their help, and learn.

Think... and grow rich! (The "thinking" part is your responsiblity, not ours. Then you earn your rewards.)

If you don't want to actively market (again, your choice), then you have to live with the CONSEQUENCES and INSECURITY of doing only passive marketing.

Why don't you try sending 5 letters a week, for the next FULL year, and then report back to us about your success after sending all 250 letters over the course of a year? If you want more success, mail 10 or 20 a week for a full year or two (just for starters). Try doing follow-up calls to your letters, to increase your success.

There are lots of possible types of customers listed in the phone book or on the internet, that use children's / family entertainers, provided you can show the potential customer how your service meets their needs. Read some threads here for many, many examples of possible markets to mail to.

- Donald

P.S. Read my post earlier on this thread again. I did NOT say to use active marketing with birthday customers, but rather non-birthday customers. Passive marketing is best for birthday customers, but I know some that do actively market to that field with success, too.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
icentertainment
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If you don't want to market your self

you may as well hit the entertainment agencies and sit by the phone.

I think you are letting your fear get in the way of your marketing.

Cold calling by phone or email or letter- can be horrible when you get a negaitive reply

Do not let this fear get in the way of doing business.
Mikael Eriksson
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Quote:
On 2005-12-25 13:05, mrbilldentertainer wrote:

Have business cards. People who like you will be glad to help you by having you at their parties (where you can hand out more advertising)

I have tried handing out business cards after the show, but I stopped when people got a strange face expression and stared uneasy when I did so. I don't understand their reaction - they liked the show, but when I approached them afterwards they started behaving completely different. Like Dr. Jekyl and Mr Hyde.

Quote:
On 2005-12-25 13:05, mrbilldentertainer wrote:

How exactly do you advertise with the take home advertising at parties? You have to give something that the parents will see, and hold on to.

I tried business cards once, and several times a note with the address to my website where I promised to teach them a magic trick. I even promised a free show if they told friends about it and it generated new shows for me. Zero result.



Quote:
On 2005-12-25 13:28, Donald Dunphy wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-12-25 04:56, Mikael Eriksson wrote:
If I would call people (which I can't do since I don't have their numbers) they would think I was crazy, or criminal, so it's out of question.

I can't mail them since I don't have their addresses. and I definately don't have their permissions.

I can't visit them, they would think I was crazy, or criminal.


You mean they don't have phone books in your country, or the internet?


We can't search by streets in our phone books. We must know the name of the person we search for. Once again, differencies between Sweden and the US. I notice this stronger and stronger.


Quote:
On 2005-12-25 13:28, Donald Dunphy wrote:

You personally have chosen to eliminate the only 3 ways to actively market your show. But that's was your choice, not the customer's. (Well, I guess networking might be a possibility, too, but I am sure you will find a reason not to try that, too.)

I'm only eliminating what I know will not work here. When I hear an advice that works, I will not eliminate it of course.

Quote:
On 2005-12-25 13:28, Donald Dunphy wrote:

Surely there must be people in your country using these methods... and getting work or sales.


A magician colleague of mine who lives in the same town as me tried advertising in the local mag twice. Two persons called. One said: "Are you having a hard time getting jobs since you advertise?" Not exactly what you want to hear, right? The other person was very surprised he had to pay for the show, he thought it would be free. My collegue never advertised again. My colleague makes a million a year from doing magic shows, but his target is not families. He gets a children's party every 5 year. Families just can't afford.

Quote:
On 2005-12-25 13:28, Donald Dunphy wrote:

You might need to talk to professionals outside of the entertainment field, and ask them their style of approaching possible customers. Be interested in others, be friendly, ask questions and show your genuine and honest appreciation for their help, and learn.

I have tried. But I get no concrete advice, just vague descriptions I don't understand. I get the feeling no one really knows. They use to look very puzzled when I ask, and start to think deeply. Then they usually say it's hard to promote oneself.

Quote:
On 2005-12-25 13:28, Donald Dunphy wrote:

Why don't you try sending 5 letters a week, for the next FULL year, and then report back to us about your success after sending all 250 letters over the course of a year? If you want more success, mail 10 or 20 a week for a full year or two (just for starters). Try doing follow-up calls to your letters, to increase your success.

It's a good idea that I myself have investigated, but it's not doable here. I can't get their addresses or phone numbers.

Quote:
On 2005-12-25 13:28, Donald Dunphy wrote:

There are lots of possible types of customers listed in the phone book or on the internet, that use children's / family entertainers

Your phone books actually say who has children? Are you serious? Well ours don't anyway, so I can't find out from the phone book which family to write or phone.

Quote:
On 2005-12-25 13:28, Donald Dunphy wrote:

P.S. Read my post earlier on this thread again. I did not say to use active marketing with birthday customers, but rather non-birthday customers. Passive marketing is best for birthday customers, but I know some that do actively market to that field with success, too.

Oh. Some of my replies in this post doesn't make sense then. I didn't understand you meant non-birthday customers since I specifically specified I only wanted private parties.


Quote:
On 2005-12-25 13:05, mrbilldentertainer wrote:
In regards to the Yellow page ad. What section are you advertising?

The ad was not what I expected when it comes to appearance. It was a free ad and got a place under "toys" I get some mail from people who think I am a toy store. Still, I haven't got any conclusive feedback from colleagues if the yellow pages is a good idea or not.


Mikael
jl17
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It seems as though you have an excuse for everything. I know that for myself, booking shows is quite easy. However, when I just started I was 15 and didn't know where to begin. So I went to the book store and the library and read business, sales, and marketing books. A stupid thing like money or ego wasn't going to stand in my way!

I hate to say this, but it is 100% true, if you do not want to book shows, you won't! Meaning, if you do not take the steps to do it, spend some money (not a ton of money) you will never book a show. You might, but it won't be a good show.

Stop making excuses, pick up a phone book and start calling people. Cold calling sucks, but you have to start somewhere, and cold calling will give you the spine you need in this business. If, and when they say "no" you are that much closer to getting to "yes."

Go to a school, do a free show and give every kid a business card. In return for the show, have the school give you the addresses of the kids.

Basically, stop making excuses and be proactive about your business or you will fail! You are wasting your time posting your problems on here. We all have problems, but come up with a solution and get it done.

It seems that you have the internet, so why not use that to your advantage. Do a search of other magicians in your area (or withing a 50 mile radius) and see if you can work with them. If they need a replacement, you're their guy!

If you want this to be a business, treat it like one. Don't make excuses! Also, money is never an excuse. We have unique talents to entertain people virtually anywhere, so why not do some restaurant magic?
Mikael Eriksson
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Quote:
On 2005-12-25 13:47, icentertainment wrote:
If you don't want to market your self

you may as well hit the entertainment agencies and sit by the phone.

I think you are letting your fear get in the way of your marketing.

Cold calling by phone or email or letter- can be horrible when you get a negaitive reply

Do not let this fear get in the way of doing business.


I contacted the only agency in my area. I don't know what it's like in the US. do you just have to call them and you are in? It's not like that here. You have to show them you are worthy. They said "We will TRY and come to your next show to watch you" They didn't come. My comment to this is not permitted here, but you can imagine. I got a very unprofessional impression of them, and it will take a long while before I contact them again, if ever.



Mikael
Donald Dunphy
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Mikael -

If other people can find your address, and mail to you, as a result of being in the yellow pages (phone book), surely you can learn a lesson and do the exact same thing. Stop saying it can't be done. You just gave an example of others doing it.

Also, if people don't want your business card, then they might not really like your show, or you personally, or you are approaching them in the wrong way.

My style is not to give out business cards unless asked, but I am asked at nearly every show for a card. And the kids clamour for an activity book, with my contact info on it (BTW, the child doesn't want the contact info, but you can subtly point out in your show, to the parents, that your information is on the activity book for their convenience).

Basically put, all of your answers to running a good birthday show business are here on this Café thread: Developing Goals & the Birthday Party Business. It's up to you to make a success of it, not up to us to solve YOUR PROBLEMS.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Mikael Eriksson
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Quote:
On 2005-12-25 17:19, jl17 wrote:
It seems as though you have an excuse for everything.

Not for everything, just for stupid nonworking strategies.
Quote:
On 2005-12-25 17:19, jl17 wrote:

Stop making excuses, pick up a phone book and start calling people.

Haven't you read my posts? My target is families. It's not possible to call them...

Quote:
On 2005-12-25 17:19, jl17 wrote:

Go to a school, do a free show and give every kid a business card. In return for the show, have the school give you the addresses of the kids.

Handing out addresses is forbidden by law for the schools in Sweden. And by the way, congrats, you have just started a rumor about yourself being pedophile if you ask for the children's addresses. Are you really serious???

Quote:
On 2005-12-25 17:19, jl17 wrote:

money is never an excuse.

Now you really upset me. If money is never an excuse, then send me some. Talk about being 100% disbelievable...


Quote:
On 2005-12-25 17:26, Donald Dunphy wrote:
Mikael -

If other people can find your address, and mail to you, as a result of being in the yellow pages (phone book), surely you can learn a lesson and do the exact same thing. Stop saying it can't be done. You just gave an example of others doing it.

Totally different things. Again, apples and oranges. It says in the yellow pages that I have a business. It doesn't say in the phone book if a family have children or not.

They like me, no question. I might be to hesitating when I approach them.

I actually think that an activity book is a good idea. How much does it cost in the US to make one? Just to give me an idea of if it's realistic compared to what I get for a show.

Mikael
jl17
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Hey, don't get butt-hurt! Remember, you asked us for advice, we are the ones booking and performing shows. I, along with many others gave you some very good ideas, take it or leave it. I think you'll leave it though. That's ok, it's your loss. If you ask a question, you'll get answers that have worked for people. Good luck with magic, but I don't think you are off to a good start!
Donald Dunphy
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My last batch of activity books cost me about $400 to print 1000 copies. My next batch will cost me about $850 for 1000, because I am switching from using a copy centre, to a printer, because I will be happier with the quality of the end product.

There are tons of threads about resources for putting into an activity book. You can find them yourself, with just a little searching.

BTW, I CHOOSE to spend a lot on my giveaways. I don't recommend that for you, unless you are confident that this will produce results for you, or unless you have another solid reason for doing this.

I don't want to be blamed for your failure, when it doesn't work for you. I have a certain style and method that makes it work for me.

Some performers I know sell their activity books (and have advised me to sell mine, rather than give it away), or use activity books / colouring pages that aren't as fancy as mine. They can be just as effective, without a lot being spent on them.

I can spend that much on giveaways, because the expense is adequately compensated in my show fee.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Mikael Eriksson
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Quote:
On 2005-12-25 17:51, jl17 wrote:
Hey, don't get butt-hurt! Remember, you asked us for advice, we are the ones booking and performing shows. I, along with many others gave you some very good ideas, take it or leave it. I think you'll leave it though. That's ok, it's your loss. If you ask a question, you'll get answers that have worked for people. Good luck with magic, but I don't think you are off to a good start!

I'm an expert on what people are like in Sweden compared to a person not living here, so I point out the differences. It's not about me saying no to good advice. It's about me telling you that some of your advices is useless or impossible here. I'm sure they work where you live.

Things work differently in different places. You might say that doing magic always gets people in a good mood, but if you do it in a street in Liberia for example, you are dead. They believe in witches, and will quickly gather a group of people and kill you.


Quote:
On 2005-12-25 17:59, Donald Dunphy wrote:
My last batch of activity books cost me about $400 to print 1000 copies.

Did a professional printing office (is that the correct name?) do them for you, or did you do it yourself with your printer?


Mikael
Donald Dunphy
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My last batch was photocopied at a Photocopy / Business Centre, from my original pages.

The next batch will be printed at a professional Print Shop, from my original files on disk.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
jl17
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"You might say that doing magic always gets people in a good mood, but if you do it in a street in Liberia for example, you are dead. They believe in witches, and will quickly gather a group of people and kill you."

Well, why would you want to do magic in a place where you can be killed for it? What if you do a family show and they kill you for pulling a rabbit out of your hat, unless they don't sell rabbits in Sweden, or do they even sell hats? Can you wear a hat?

Plus, who would book a magician knowing that there could be a killing?
Mikael Eriksson
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Not sure what a "Photocopy / Business Centre" is. Is it what I call a printer? What are actually inside an activity book? Pictures to color? Crosswords?

Where to find material? Do we have to buy it or are there any free resorces?



Mikael
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