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jlevey
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Wow!

Valuable insights.

Thanks Don... Nicolas, are you out there?

Any other fellow members with some input... Kyle? Others...?
Jonathan
Max & Maxine Entertainment
Magicians with a touch of comedy!
___________________________________
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www.mindreadershow.com
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Acecardician
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New Orleans
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I do kids parties and I find the richer the client, the more they try to haggle. I told a day care owner in a poor area I went up, and my new price,(she had me a couple of years ago. And she said that is fine, she knows I am trying to make a living and glady agreed to pay my new price.

Then I had a lady who is a Dr., and said, Dr.'s don't even charge that much! I didn't argue, but held firm and ended up getting a tip. There was a Mercedes in the driveway, and a million $ house. I could have told her a dozen reasons how very few Dr.'s make house calls and can't stand in front of 30 kids and entertain for an hour. And Dr.'s see 10 or more patients an hour, 8-10 hours a day. When I do just a few shows a week. I called my sister who is a Dr. But she is humble and works for the Hospice on Salary. The client was also Indian. My sister told me it is in their culture to barter. My sister made me feel better. And that her husband actually just saw a Dr. and paid more than what my fee is. My sister is not a business person and said she is glad she doesn't have to negotiate prices. I love to negotiate. But it really was nervy when I was compared me to being more expensive than a Dr. I don't have a mercedes and a million$ home. I could go on for pages. But I think I made my point.

Ace
Tom Stevens
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Australia
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Quote:
On 2006-11-14 19:06, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
Here is a follow up question for you. I already have my own thoughts but I thought I'd throw this out there as a topic of discussion.

When do you do know when you REALLY are too expensive?


two ways:

1.No bookings
or

2.complaints that it was not worth that much.

I calculated the demand for one particular day in December was about $510 for my 40 minute show.

Last year I had so many requests for that day and some people seemed willing to pay anything to make me cancel my other bookings! But I couldn't. Naturally.

This year I got one show booked at the new price, but the rest of the day is free.

As December is fast approaching and I had not gotten any other bookings, I started to wonder if I should reconsider. but I held on, and kept quoting the same price.

today I received a call, with the date being only 10 days away! This lady had hired me last year, and was absolutely thrilled that I was available. I told her that I had hiked my prices up, which is the reason I was available for her firm. She was absolutely fine with the new price.
I had a feeling to ask her if she had an easy time finding my contact details.
She hadn't known where my contact details were so she searched for me using Google!
Last year I was not including my contact details in every email, as I do now.
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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Off the subject just a little bit but refers to what Tom just stated. A little thing anyone can do is to set up a signature within your e-mail application of choice. This is so easy to do and it really becomes almost like giving out a business card to any e-mail that goes out.

If you set it up right, you do not have to even think about it when writing or sending e-mails. It will always be there and will become a part of your overall marketing toolbox.

For my wife and I, we each have our own that has who we are, our website etc. It is easy to create the first time and just set it up to automatically come in whenever a new e-mail is started.

Just thought I would mention it a bit further since Tom brought it up and I think it is a huge marketing tool anyone can use and do that costs nothing to accomplish.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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E-mails are fine, but this is just another good reason to send hard copy newsletters and notecards in the regular mail, to your customers, to keep in touch. If you want, do both e-mail and regular mail.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
NJJ
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Here is another interesting story for you... I just did a gig where I had a basic fee I wanted. I double this fee and quoted.

The client then offered to TRIPLE my original fee to change the date (not my idea...they just said "we want to change the date...we'll pay extra"

I did the gig and it was a hit.

So much so that they booked me again but this time they offered me TEN TIMES my fee because of the travel involved. They then spent THIRTY times my fee on extra promotion, tech support, administration accomidation etc!
Dannydoyle
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OK thing on pricing.

We need to understand a difference in a "trend" and a difference in perhaps a one time aberation. What I am saying that is we can all tell stories of things that happen good and bad about price, but the truth in all of it lies in this. What are you getting or doing REGULARLY more than what happens once or twice a year and you try to make that the rule.

Many guys bounce price WAY too quickly for the wrong reasons. You have to track trends, more than the outstanding events. It will be better for you in the long run.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
magic4u02
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I find that on pricing it becomes for my wife and I a thing about perceived value. The higher prices I charge each year is never a problem for the clients I am working for as repeat clients. I have proven my worth to them and my value in their eyes is great because they know what I have done for them in the past.

It if my new prospects that I have to get them on board and change their thinking and get them to realize that my price I charge is based upon the fact that I offer them what others in my area simply can not offer them. then it becomes my job to educate them on this and get them to see me in this new light.

To many prospects my wife and I encounter every year, we at first are seen as just product A, B or C. Thge reaosn for this is that we have no value to them in their own mind. We spend a lot of time building relationships with these people and are materials we send out help to change their impression of us. We get them to change that perceived value of us.

One way I do this is through the art of listening. I now find myself spending less time hard selling to them and more time listening to them. I find the more I tune in and listen to the prospect the more in tune I get to them and their needs. Afterall every single prospect has needs and problems they need solved. If I can listen to these needs, I can often times provide the perfoect solution to mete those needs. The more problems I can personally solve for them the greater our perceived value grows in their minds. I am no longer a product to them but am seen as a solutions provider. I have greater value and they are willing to pay my higher fee for that.

Another thing I do is to always strive to have high-quality and professional promotional materials. Everything that goes out to any prospect is of this high quality and is all branded to help brand my wife and I in the way we want it to.

I always remember that often times the first impression anyone gets of you is in the materials you send out to them. If I want to charge a higher price, then I need my materials to reflect that I am worth every penny of my fee. My materials need to be quaklity and designed in a way to not only look professional, but to answer many of their questions ahead of time.

A prospect who has never used our services before is going to be skeptical. That is just the nature of people these days. they want to feel assured that what they are paying for is worth the money. That we can deliver on our promises and far exceed their expectations.

I try and add comfort to them through my websiote and the promo kit I mail out to them. This is why I like to use lettrers of reference and quotes on all my materials. It is one thing saying I am great, but far different when a past client writes a nice letter saying how much we did for them.

Every promo kit that I send out has a letters of reference kit attached to it that is customized by my wife or I to the type of prospect we are mailing to.

Hope this helps. My 2 cents worth at any rate.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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Paddy
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Milford OH
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OK Kyle, I think you answered this question in the "working festivals" thread, but I can't find it. What is in your promo kit? To follow that up, I can not afford to get a DVD made up for a promo kit but could borrow a VHS camera and have put the tape onto a DVD via my computer. It wouldn't look as professioal as if a pro did it, but it would show a 1 minute introduction by me and then 3 minutes of my act. Would this be a good propmo item?

TNX Peter
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

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magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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Hi Peter,

The promo packets I mail out to my main market usually includes two main elements 1) The lead generation or sales letter and 2) my promo packet. Let me talk a bit about each, what is included in them and why I do it the way I do. Perhaps this might help give insight when creating your own.

Keep in mind that at the point of me mailing these out, several things have already taken place. These mailings are not sent out as a first time contact with the suspect. Before I mail these out I have already:

- Figured out the general areas in which I want to work

- Obtained a client list in the market I want to work in my own area.

- Cold-called the people on my list NOT to sell to them but to simply ask who the entertainment decision maker is and if I might be able to mail them my packet for consideration.

- Update and finalize my contact list with the new information obtained from my cold calling.

This means that my list I am mailing out to has been what I refer to as pre-qualified. This means that I am sending information out to the RIGHT decision maker for that market and therefor I have a much greater percentage of return rate on my promo packet mailings.

With all of this said, I send out a letter along with my promo packet to the entertainment contact (decision maker) I have on my master list.

- Lead Letter: Because I am sending this letter along with my promo packet, I tend to keep my letter to one single page in length. My goal is to simply get their attention, peak their interest so they want to open the packet and get the details of what I can do for them and how I can solve the problems they are faced with.

My letter is personalized to the contact I am sending to. This is an important step so that the person feels it is not so much a form letter or a solicitation. Now you have a better chance of them opening your mail any ways because of your pre-qualification process. They know to expect something in the mail from you.

In the letter I give them a feel for who I am, exactly what event or events I am interested in helping them with, a little about similar clients I have worked for in the past as well as a quote or two from previous customers. I also make sure to end the letter with a call to action to give them incentive to contact me for further information and to get them to make the next logical step in the sales process.

A call to action can be anything from a discount coupon you include in the letter to a free report that they can get from you that tells them the top 10 things to remember when hiring for entertainment to even a percentage off their price if they simply contact you in a said amount of time. All these are incentives to get the prospect interested in taking that next step.

- Promo Packet: This is really where I go into detail about the who, what, when, why and how of my performances and what I can do for their event. Everything they could ever want to know about me and the types of shows I do is placed in this kit for them to review.

However, I make sure that my kit does several things for me.

- That it is of top quality in both design, presentation and the materials that I use

- That it is clean in appearance and easy for them to follow

- That each section of the promo is clear so that they can find the exact information they are interested in easily

In my promo kit, I keep each section by itself on its own 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper. This is printed on my color letterhead paper and run through my printer at home. Because I do it this way I solve several problems:

- I can customize each sheet to my client without the expense of having to reprint my entire kit over again.

- I can update the page with new information after each event I do. If a new client gets added, I can add them with ease.

- It keeps my overall cost down since I am paying only for my initial stationary print job.

Now because each section is on its own page, this makes it very easy for the prospect to flip through the pages and find the exact information that they might be interested in most. It is all categorized for them. Some of the categories I try to include as separate sheets are:

- Bio - A short bio that helps introduce yourself, who you are and what you are all about.

- Client Listings - List of the various clients you have worked for in categories so it is easy to read.

- Client Quotes - List of some of the top quotes you have obtained over the years from other events and or markets you have worked.

- The Kyle and Kelly Difference - This is my page that explains in detail why our performance is different then any other they may have had in the past. It explains a bit of the features of my festival show as well as how these directly can benefit them and solve their needs.

- Advertising Sheet - This has my logos on it in color and black and white and tells them various ways in which they can use this sheet for their own advertising needs. It also explains clearly about our stage name and the importance to them and us to use the full name instead of just saying a Magician will be there.

- Awards and Honors - This is a sheet where I list the awards and honors I have received while performing magic. Now keep in mind that I list these only if they are in a direct relationship to the type of show I am offering. In my case, I list my awards I have won for children's magic as well as the stage awards I have won. This is a way for them to see that I not only have experience with doing family style shows, but I am at the top of my game as well. Do not include awards that have no relationship to what you are offering to your specific market.

Those are the main sheets I include in my kit. I also try to include the following that are not directly printed on my stationary but are important in getting my message across to the decision maker. These include:

- 8 by 10 photos of me and my wife in performance at various events (in our market) we have worked. Some of the photos are publicity shots or head shots that shows who we are and can be used for advertising. Others are a sheet that has combined images together that shows the direct show we do and the audience interaction and reaction we get from our performances.

- An oversized postcard that is a small version of our poster. This is a way for them to see what our show is like and gives them a feel for our presentation.

- A business card that is in a slit so that it does not get lost or moved around.

- Sometimes I will also include a business card magnet so that they might be able to place this and be able to see my name and contact information on a daily basis.

- I also have received so many leters of reference over the years based upon my evaluation form system. because I have so many of these letters, I have them all scanned in and use them to put together customized letters of reference packets that I can put together and send as a part of my promo kit mailing. Each letter of reference packet is customized to include letters from clients in sinilar markets to where I am mailing the packet off to.

That is pretty much what I include in my promo kit and it has worked quite well for me. I make sure to place the kit inside of an envelope with the letter on top so that the letter is the first thing they see with their name on it.

I also make sure the envelope is also done nicely with my logo identity so it all fits together. This is important so that when it gets to their desk, they know exactly who it is from and it does not get tossed away.

My envelope is a standard size that an 8.5 by 11 size can fit into without folding. I do this for a reason so that my mailing to them does not get lost with the other mail. It stands out in the mail and they see it clearly.

For all of my promotions to date I have not had to use a DVD or video at all. I get all my gigs and repeat performances from my full promotional kit, materials and my website. I am currently working on a promo DVD but I feel you do not have to have one to work the markets my wife and I are now working.

This may seem like a lot but I assure you once you have the systems and template set up in place, it becomes a very easy process to manage. I can create a new promo kit (totally customized) in less then 6 minutes if I need to and at a fraction of the cost most would require.

I hope this gives you some insight and help into what I do myself for my own promo kit mailings. If anyone has any questions, issues or concerns, please just post them here and let me know. I would be happy to help you out.

Hope this helps a little bit.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

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Acecardician
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New Orleans
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Kyle:
Wow! That was great. I used a similiar system of qualifying my buyers first and sending them a packet with a page for each thing I wanted to show them. That was 20 years ago. Now I've gotten lazy, and just sit back and let the phone ring. If I'm lucky enought to get a week-end without work, I enjoy my day off!

Thanks for sharing and giving us so much detail. I can testify that doing this even on a smaller scale like I did really works. And I don't think we even had DVD's 20 years ago. I did have a professionally produced VHS. But I only sent it out on request. Now it is so outdated, it looks like something from World's funniest videos.

ACE
magic4u02
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Thanks. I am glad you found it informative and helpful to you. My promo kit system works wonderfully for my wife and I and really allows us to send out a quality, branded product at a fraction of the cost and allows us to customize it to whomever we are sending it out to. It took a long while to get the system set into place and such, but now that we have, it almost works itself. I have everything here at home ready to go at a moments notice.

Our promotional kit has really helps us to change prospects into paying customers and we constantly get complements on it from the folks we work for. A good promotional kit really can have impact and make a difference to you.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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inhumaninferno
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Kyle,

Thank you for your generous advice. I have worked a number of festivals over the years and am now targeting festivals to make them the main thrust of my show work. To this end, I have lined up a web designer, am getting new pics, and am putting together all the necessary materials to get the work.

By the way, I make my sole living from doing shows. I've been around awhile, but I still appreciate good advice/info when I see it. Don't be surprised if I contact you from time to time for more detail or to inquire about your festival booking procedure or graphic design services.

thanks, John
magic4u02
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You are most welcome. My pleasure. Please feel free to contact me anytime you want via PM or my e-mail if you want any advice on the festival market or on designing of your marketing materials. It would be my pleasure to assist you in any way that I can. This offer goes out to anyone who reads this. If I can be of any service to you or provide any help, please just let me know. I check my e-mail every day and also check my PMs and get back to anyone as quickly as I can.

So, John if I can be of any help to you now as you start getting stuff together, just let me know.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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Dannydoyle
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A small note about promo packs.

Nobody get angry with this. It has to STAND OUT in some way. I don't care how many letters you have, it has to be uniquely YOU. There has to be a reason that they pick the *** thing up instead of the probably hundred others they get that week.

Also my experience is the smaller the better.Many have gone to ELECTRONIC packets.

See many agents don't have time for paper. Many people planning parties have little time also.
A HUGE percentage just throw in the DVD. Spend more money on the DVD than the paper content.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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Danny is right to a degree. I think it depends upon the market you are going for. For my wife and I, we do a lot of festivals and fairs and for those, our promo kit has worked amazingly well giving us a huge return rate per mailing. Part of this is because for this market it usually is never a one person decision. They usually have meetings and out promo kit is set up in such a way that it is easy fo them to pass around and share the information with the others. Every information sheet has out brand logo onit and contact information so it still brands up no matter who is seeing what.

I do agree that it has to stand out. That is why I spent a lot of time getting it to look great and to have the design stand out from all the rest. my kit is vastly different then most for the market I tailor to and it gets noticed.

I think the market you target will also impact how you design your packet.

Just food for throught.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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Dannydoyle
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Kyle you are SO right. Where it goes decides how it looks! No doubt.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
magic4u02
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Thanks Danny. It does indeed have a lot that depends upon the market you are working or want to work. The market can often times dictate how your promo should look and in what format you may want to do it in.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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Kyle -

Have you reached that point yet, where some prospects / customers tell you not to send the kit? That they have kept the kit from other years previous? All they want this time is a current rates sheet?

Have you had it happen, and how would you handle it?

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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Thanks Donald. that is a great question. I can only answer that from my festival and fair market perspective.

For starters, I usually I will not send out a packet again to a festival I already worked the previous year or in any year prior. part of my marketing strategy is to keep in touch with my past customers and build ongoign relationships with them. For these, I will mail them a personalized letter or e-mail directly to my contact person and continue the relationship in that way.

Sometimes they will request new information. If this happens, I usually can ask them if they would prefer me to send them a new PDF file of my new rates and information or would they like a new updated kit. I give them multiple choices in which works best for them.

Usually with prospects (those who showed interest but did not book), I always requalify those leads every January. Because festivals and fair contact people can change quite often from year to year, I find this the best practice for me. If I find the same contact person, I can then ask them if they would like a new kit or just send them my new rates. If it is a new contact, then I introduce myself to them and offer to send them a kit directly to them as chances are the old packet never got to them.

I hope this may answer ytour question for you. It certainly does not cover all markets, but I wanted to give you an answer from the markets my wife and I do most of. Hope this helps.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

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