The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Advertising option? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
sjballa147
View Profile
Loyal user
Tennessee
278 Posts

Profile of sjballa147
I was wondering if anyone ever gives out T-shirts, key chains, pencils, etc. with their contact info on it? If so, was this a good thing to do or was it just a waste of money?

Thanks,

Shane
icentertainment
View Profile
Inner circle
1429 Posts

Profile of icentertainment
What sort of show are you doing?

Personally I think it is a waste of money. It costs a lot and then you have different sizes.

I use golf pencils in my stage show and they are custom-printed with my website.

Key chains are not a new idea.

Marketing is about standing out - I would suggest having a look at funinc.com - they have a range of marketing (logo custom printed) magic tricks- I think these are a great idea. The only problem is the minimum order of 1000.
Donald Dunphy
View Profile
Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7405 Posts

Profile of Donald Dunphy
I have used some promotional products in mailings, to past customers, with pretty good success.

Specifically, Dean Hankey's Invisible Magic Dust product. It's not just a promotional product, but can also be used for BOR sales. Read my testimonial, and more about the product, here.

I also currently am waiting to receive an order for some special "bentcils", through a friend who sells promotional products. They are novelty imprinted pens with a wire rabbit-in-the-hat shape on top. (You can get other shapes, too.)

I plan on using those as grabbers in mailings to both past customers and to some suspects & prospects.

I use other giveaways to children in my audience, at a show.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
drwilson
View Profile
Inner circle
Bar Harbor, ME
2191 Posts

Profile of drwilson
Don't give it away, sell it!

At my flea circus, I sell a "Family Fun Pack" that has a postcard with my flea circus logo as the picture, a temporary tattoo of the flea circus logo, a plastic magnifying glass from US Toy (no logo), and some other item like a Chinese Finger Trap or other toy. You can sell a lot of these after a show.

All of the slum magic from my emporium has been repackaged with my original illustrated instructions. Naturally, these have my contact info as well.

Yours,

Paul
icentertainment
View Profile
Inner circle
1429 Posts

Profile of icentertainment
Yeah, fair enough, sell the things. People will pay to advertise your product if you give a T shirt away. Are there any promises that they will wear it? NO.

But if they buy it I would assume they either want to wear it or wait till you're really famous and sell it for $100,000.
sjballa147
View Profile
Loyal user
Tennessee
278 Posts

Profile of sjballa147
Yeah.
Bob Sanders
View Profile
Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20498 Posts

Profile of Bob Sanders
As an old university marketing professor and former owner of a personal management and booking agency for professional entertainers, I don't really recommend many give-aways for working magicians except during the show. For people who have not seen the show they have no connection to you.

I do pass out a lot of cards and small photos. But unless they are in the hands of a talent buyer, it is wasted money. In the hands of an audience member is a different thing. In my theater shows I do give away ropes, cards, silks, etc. used with volunteers during the show. Those go home with a story to tell (and a photo together, if I can arrange it). Otherwise it's like giving golf balls to mountain climbers. They serve no purpose and are without value or connection to the source. Save your money for something that works. Target real prospects.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
sjballa147
View Profile
Loyal user
Tennessee
278 Posts

Profile of sjballa147
How do I go about selling these items at my show? What shows are best for this?
Thanks,
Shane
sethb
View Profile
Inner circle
The Jersey Shore
2700 Posts

Profile of sethb
One good and very inexpensive giveaway that you might consider is an "Assistant's Diploma."

These have a typical "diploma" on one side, where you fill out the name of your assistant and sign it. (Of course, it will have all of your contact info, too.) The other side is blank, except for the last 2-3 inches, which is black with a white stripe on each end, so that when you roll the diploma up, it looks like a magic wand.

I always have a couple of these diplomas rolled up and ready to go, with small rubberbands around them to hold them. Give one to your assistant to help perform the trick; at the conclusion of the effect, unroll it, sign it and give it to them to keep. The kids love it (and so do the adults!).

You can buy these "magic diplomas" ready-made, look HERE and also HERE.

With a little ingenuity, you can also design your own diplomas, using "Print Shop Deluxe," "Microsoft Publisher" or a similar desktop publishing program, and have them copied at the local Kinko's or Staples for about 6-8 cents each. In my experience, these make a very good giveaway/promotional item that also has a connection to you and the recipient, as Bob Sanders has noted, and so will likely be kept for at least a little while, anyway. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Steven True
View Profile
Special user
Bonney Lake,WA
765 Posts

Profile of Steven True
Bob-
Were you a professor at an old university or an old professor at a university???? Just kidding.

Steven
drwilson
View Profile
Inner circle
Bar Harbor, ME
2191 Posts

Profile of drwilson
Shane,

The best kind of shows to sell things at are pitch shows! If you have a regular magic show, not a pitch act, look around here for what Kyle Peron (magic4u02) has to say about back-of-the-room sales at fairs and festivals. It's worth reading!

I like the atmosphere at fairs and festivals. People are either going to get another plate of fried dough or ice cream, or they are going to get one of your magic sets. They are there to have fun and go home with no cash. If you know the kinds of people there, and what their price points are for an impulse buy, you can do well, especially if you add value to your stuff with custom artwork.

This can work at family shows also. If you are in a show with some other entertainers, you can pitch stuff in the lobby at intermission and after the show. Maybe you can work with someone who can do a pitch.

Go to Ringling Brothers Circus sometime and look at the first thing you see when you walk into the arena: carts with high-priced RRB&B stuff. Everything has a logo on it, and is carefully selected to drive kids nuts. Learn from the greats.

Yours,

Paul
sjballa147
View Profile
Loyal user
Tennessee
278 Posts

Profile of sjballa147
Thanks, this helps me a lot. Any other thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks,

Shane
icentertainment
View Profile
Inner circle
1429 Posts

Profile of icentertainment
The giveaways I use are custom-printed playing cards which have my name and contact details- Kard well international (advertised in Magic magazine) have nice casino-quality cards that can contain your business details and name. They act as a nice business card and I use them. Well, I have actually run out and am trying to get more but they don't seem to respond to my emails and phone calls (calling from Australia) but the quality is good and a low deck-minimum.

I do a lot of card tricks card to wallet and give the signed card away at the end.

It makes sense- I need business cards and playing cards- why not make the playing card a business card? It is cost effective.
sjballa147
View Profile
Loyal user
Tennessee
278 Posts

Profile of sjballa147
Cool idea. Does anyone ever use t-shirts or hats?
Thanks,

Shane
Aptaker
View Profile
Regular user
Boston
113 Posts

Profile of Aptaker
Speaking of Asistants Diploma's a great idea just popped up here http://magicinterviews.blogspot.com/2006......ngs.html
It is a much sturdier assistant diploma which requires no rubber band and won't crumple. It is something that won't get torn (Sturdy) and is a great idea.
Aaron Aptaker
sethb
View Profile
Inner circle
The Jersey Shore
2700 Posts

Profile of sethb
Good catch, Aaron -- this shows there's always more than one way to solve a problem! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
Thanks Paul for the kind words. I appreciate them. My wife and I do a lot of BOR sales at every show we do and especially at our fair and festival markets. I will try to elaborate on the subject a bit more if it may be of help to others.

First, BOR is a marketing term that stands for Back Of Room sales. It means any item or product you sell after or before any of your performances and is a way of extra cash stream for magicians and entertainers to supplement their show income.

Having my wife a part of my team has been IDEAL. She mans the BOR table or booth when I am doing strolling magic and it keeps the BOR going throughout the day. The only time we shut down is when I am performing.

The idea is to keep the BOR tricks easy to do. If you can demo it after the show, you can get kids even more excited about it. But if the child can not learn to do the trick in a short period of time, they will only get frustrated with it. The idea is to have the tricks easy to learn so that you encourage them to learn more. What you want to do is empower the buyers of your BOR items.

When I do BOR at my table at the festivals I work, I usually am only demoing the effects in the magic kits I am selling. People want to see not only how cool the tricks are, but also know that they can do these same miracles themselves. They get a chance to see the magic happening and get excited about it. Most people have never seen the effects you sell so you want to make it a habit of demonstrating them for them.

I usually perform 2-3 shows a day at the festivals and in the show I also give out some of the tricks that are in the kits or that I am selling at my BOR table. I give them to the helpers that come up on stage.

This acts as a great way to lead folks directly over to my BOR table following that performance. It works quite well and kids love to go home with magic they feel good about and can learn.

Since I am also a graphic designer, I redesigned the packaging for most everything I sell to customize it to my show and to help brand myself long after the show is over. This branding helps to market myself in the minds of the customers who buy and helps to establish my brand.

But with any kit or trick you sell you need to make sure that the tricks look good, are colorful, made well, have instructions for each trick and are EASY TO DO.

The easy-to-do part is the most important. I want to encourage kids to want to learn magic through my magic kit and tricks for sale. Every trick in it a child can learn to perform in under 3 minutes. This encourages the child to want to continue with it rather then getting frustrated. If a consumer gets frustrated with what you sell, then that can certainly work against you and your secondary income stream.

BOR has been pretty consistent for me. What you will realize is that you will sell a certain amount based upon the size and scope of the festival you are working. This is why I always make notes when at a new festival. I grade every festival 1-5 point system for overall size of crowds, spending and buying habits etc. This way I can immediately place a value system on those festivals that seem to bring in more BOR.

This point system then gets entered into my ACT database. You can add in point system categories for anything that is beneficial for you. It just works great to be able to evaluate the festival and know what to expect and if it is worth marketing to for the following year.

I also make sure that I write down and track every single item that sells on my BOR table. This is so important. I use a receipt book so it makes a carbon copy as I write them their receipt. This way at the end of the day I can track what were my best sellers and figure out why.

The general rule of thumb for me is to keep most of my product line under 10 dollars. That is not to say you can't have items above that, as sometimes I do based upon the event or venue. The idea is to have products of various prices ranging from 1 dollar on upwards. This way every person that comes to the table can walk away with something. I know many parents have bought the 1 dollar items just to keep the kids happy and quiet. A lot of 1 dollar sales can still add up at the end of the day.

You can often have prices and products for sale around 1,3,5 and 10. This has usually worked pretty well for me.

Also make sure that your name and contact information is given to every person that buys your product. As a graphic designer, I have repacked and redesigned the packaging for most every item I sell. This not only looks impressive, but it helps brand me and get my name out to them even long after they leave the festival.

Another thing you will want to do is get cheap plastic bags and make sure to place the item, receipt and a business card or brochure into the bag on every purchase. You might even throw in a coupon with a certain amount off if they book a show and mention the festival they saw you at. This can be an incentive to get them as a prospect.

I also try to really push my 10 dollar magic sets. These are what are often times my big sellers. They are 12 tricks all packaged and wrapped with directions for each.

I always make sure to give kids that help me on stage one of the tricks in the magic kits. This helps to advertise the kits and get kids excited about wanting one after the show. I also use the magic kit as a prize in my coloring contest as well. This keeps the kit out there and gets kids excited about it.

Back to the BOR sales. I often search long and hard for the best products that sell well and that I can get for the lowest wholesale prices. You have to look and keep your eyes open all the time. You then make a list of these sources and this becomes your buying and product bible. The lower you can get them at wholesale prices, the more the markup and the better the profit margin you can make from it. For example, I get my complete magic kits for about 2.25 dollars per kit, but they sell for 10.00. This is a nice profit but is still certainly worth the 10 dollars as the kit is a dynomite and quality product.

Also, make sure you do not sell anything that can harm a child or cause a complete mess for the festival your working at. Keep in mind that you want to be booked for next year and you want to be asked back. Keep your products top-quality and you should be OK.

When doing festivals, BOR can be a great thing and a wonderful way to not only make some extra income, but to also market yourself through the products you sell.

I also went searching for new BOR items and picked up some great items at a local dollar store. I always get into the habit of going to them at least once a month. That is a great source for some often times great festival BOR items.

I hope this is of some help to others on BOR and how it can work for you.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
sjballa147
View Profile
Loyal user
Tennessee
278 Posts

Profile of sjballa147
Do you only sell magic and magic kits or do you sell other things as well? Such as: T-shirts, hats, keychains, etc.

Thanks,

Shane
drwilson
View Profile
Inner circle
Bar Harbor, ME
2191 Posts

Profile of drwilson
Kyle,

Wow, that's great information!

I looked around for cheap magic that looks great and is easy to learn. This eliminates almost everything out there. Here are some of the items I have sold:

Svengali Deck - This is the ultimate pitch item, but has do be done as a demo. No one will touch these unless there's a pitchman. Get Don Driver's video and Barry Govan's book, One Pitch is Worth a Thousand Words.

Wild Card - This is my name for Barry Govan's Color Cards, a packet trick you make from the extra cards from making Svengali decks.

Two Card Monte - Make this yourself using cards from Haine's House of Cards.

Ball & Vase - We sell this as Vase of the Pharohs, and this is one of the all-time greats!

Cups & Balls - This won't pass Kyle's test of being easy to learn, but when you demo these Adams plastic cups, you can make them look fabulous, using walnuts for the final loads. Kids can at least learn to do a few simple penetrations, watch the Penguin video online.

I have heard from someone who does well pitching Dime & Penny sets. I heard another story of a traveling salesman (not magic) who made a lot of money on the side selling only Nickels to Dimes. That would be a heck of a pitch, it's a great trick, and you can tell them all they have to do is get a couple of rolls of nickels from the bank and they can make back all their investment in a short time!

Look at the other stuff that is sold in toy stores as cheap magic: Spikes Through Coin, Paddles, little plastic Lota Bowls, the venerable Imp Bottle, and the like. For cards, besides Svengalis, there are strippers and readers.

I would also add that when picking magic that you are going to pitch, pick something that suits your style and character that you can make look great. In other posts, Kyle has stressed having a very limited number of choices. In a real pitch act there is only one choice. There is nothing worse than having someone dawdle over whether they want this one or that one, while other people walk away because they don't have time to wait. The magic set is a great idea.

I would stay away from the hats, T-shirts, keychains and the like. Everybody else does these. People have closets full of this stuff. You might be a great act, but with this sort of merchandise you are competing with Ozzy Osbourne, NASCAR, and dozens of sports teams. You are a magician; sell magic.

Yours,

Paul
magic4u02
View Profile
Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
Thanks Paul for the kind words. I hope the information will be of help to others as well. My pleasure.

Shane: I have not sold shirts or keychains or the like but I have sold posters and 8 x 10 photos from the shows we perform. I have tested and found that these do get a lot of interest especially at our theater-style shows or shows where we are the only BOR booth. After our shows I tend to lead people over to my BOR table.

I do this by having stools placed near my table and signing autographs for any child who would like one. As we do this, often times people like to buy a poster or a photo to have them signed as a way of remembering the experience. I can keep the cost low as I can print all the photos and posters myself on my graphic system at home. It still provides top quality graphics that are worth their investment while keeping my cost low.

I do tend to sell a lot of magic tricks and effects because I also see my BOR table as not only an extra income stream, but also as a chance to empower children and adults to enjoy magic and to possibly make it a hobby for them as well. I can empower them by offering them easy to do magic that they can learn right there and feel good about.

I also will personally teach anyone any of the effects if they purchase them from the BOR table. Because my wife mans the booth for me, it allows me to take them back behind the table and show them the basic workings. People love this and get empowered more because they know thay can do it. Parents feel safer and glad knowing that the child has something that they will want to use and play with instead of feeling like they wasted money. Ultimately this ends up in increased sales as you often will get people buying more than one item at a given time.

I actually do sell cups and balls. The idea behind this is that 1) it is an attractive looking item and 2) you can keep the basic presentation and teaching to the more basic moves.

The first thing I realized when doing BOR is that people and children are attracted to the products I sell that look the best from a visual standpoint. I have tested 2 tricks that were the exact same thing and same price but only packaged differently. What I found out was that folks gravitated to the better looking product. With this in mind, I redesigned a lot of the packaging so I have my information and logo and brand on them. If I can not do this, I look for items that are packaged well and look visually exciting.

With the cups and balls, the second point I made was to keep the routine basic and fun. I sell cups and balls by showing a simple and fun routine that I know I can teach anyone in a short period of time. Since when I demo my magic, I like to keep the routines short as it gives the person a much better time to get excited and to purchase something. If it gets too drawn out, you tend to get the person so nervous that they will not be able to learn the trick, or you get parents who want to move on. I keep it short and to the point and it tends to work very well for my wife and me.

Let me know if I can answer anything else for you.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

http://facebook.com/perondesign
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Advertising option? (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.32 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL