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Jolly Roger
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"Actually, what I really want to know, is what style does Roger use when promoting his shows? Both at the show, or in print, or in the mail? Does he push hard, or is he gentle, or in between? Does he "push" in a similar way to the way he pushes here? What does he do, and does it work for him? What can we learn from what he is doing? If it works, can we adapt it to make it work for ourselves in our own business?"

My good friend Donald posted this on another thread, so I shall attempt do give away a few of my marketing ideas on a new thread. To celebrate the occasion, I have introduced a new Avitar. I hope you like it. It seemed appropriate as I have been asked to discuss marketing. Maybe the best thing would be if people out there ask me questions, and I will be happy to answer them.

I am fully aware that I may have ruffled a few feathers since I started posting and advertising on the Café, and some folks consider me pushy. However, as you will see from many of the posts on a different thread, I have many loyal supporters who actually like my approach.

So let me start with a simple explanation of what I believe. I believe that as many people as possible who are aware of your existance is the start to successful marketing. There is hardly a child in Phoenix, the 5th. largest city in America, who has not heard of Jolly Roger. In the same way, there is hardly a person on The Little Darlings who has not heard of Jolly Roger! Does this make me an egomaniac? Not at all. Those who know me well know I am actually quite a humble sort of chap! So, my friends, this is my first lesson. Saturate the market with your name and your product. There is, however, one step before this that I left out. Make sure the product is good! As this is the opening of what could be a long thread, can we please try to make it all positive, so we can learn from each other. I have much to contribute here if folks would like to listen.........and all the advice is free. So, I await the questions..........
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2006-10-29 21:49, jolly roger wrote:
There is, however, one step before this that I left out. Make sure the product is good!


Before we get to the "saturate your market" part, and all the nuances of that, my first question is, "How you do you know if your product is good?".

Your opinion? Opinions of other pros? Opinions of friends? Of enemies? Opinions of customers? (If your customers, how do you ask your customers? Surveys? Something else? How do you know they are telling the truth?) Do you know you're good if people tell you without you asking? You get tipped? You get referrals? You get repeat business? etc?

Is doing a good show only a part of making sure your product is good, or is there more to the picture?

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Jolly Roger
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Great questions, Donald.......

The answer is confidence. If you are confident in what you do, you will succeed. It is very important you do not take too much notice of what others say. Especially magicians and Australians! That is the biggest mistake. Listen to everyone around you, but go with your gut. Do not worry about the consequences. In magic, as in politics, there are people who love you and who hate you. It doesn't matter. Ignore it! Go with your gut, your instinct, and the world is your oyster!

To summarize, if you go out there, and you are confident about what you do, you cannot help but be successful!
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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Quote:
On 2006-10-29 21:49, jolly roger wrote:
As this is the opening of what could be a long thread, can we please try to make it all positive, so we can learn from each other. I have much to contribute here if folks would like to listen.........and all the advice is free. So, I await the questions..........


Interesting way to start a thread.....MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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Quote:
On 2006-10-29 22:33, jolly roger wrote:
Great questions, Donald.......
. It is very important you do not take too much notice of what others say. Especially magicians and Australians! That is the biggest mistake.


HHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That is way too funny. Who are we supposed to listen to now? I love this kind of strategy....NOT! HAAAAA!! HHHAAAA!!!

I have a marketing strategy to share with everyone. If you don't care what other magicians and aussies say, post it in a thread in the Little Darlings section of the Magiccafe.com and then they'll post back and keep your thread at the top of the list and other magicians who you shouldn't listen to either, will keep reading your thread and your fame albiet unneeded by the magi you shouldn't listen to will at least maybe even buy your products although they shouldn't be listened to. Don't tell me it doesn't work. Even those north of the border will be won over and come to your assistance. ****News Flash**** Coming soon to cyberspace: "JoJo's thoughts and links for kids marketing strategies". I'll keep you posted. By the way,,,,I will listen to your ideas and thoughts as part of my own marketing strategy...REALLY!!!! HONEST!!!!!
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
Jolly Roger
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I love you JoJo!! When I arrived in Freemantle by ship many years ago, I recall taking a train from Freemantle to Midland station. It was very slow, and there were sheep on the tracks. When I went to the local pub and asked for a Watney's Pale, and all they offered me was Swan Lager, I nearly dropped the Svengali pack onto the sawdust covered floor!! Seriously, though, I would love to hear more from you about what it is like entertaining the little darlings in the Australian Outback! I really do love your country........seriously!! My friend Joe Pasquale, who used to be managed my good friend Michael Vine(who now manages Derren Brown), was in Australia filming a series of survivor a couple of years ago. At some point I will share with you some stories he told me! Cheers!
SeaDawg
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Here is one that I used just yesterday. Thee was a tourist destination withabout 10 shops that wanted to promote their little area so they sent out hundreds of flyers offering a safe halloween trick or treating at the shops with a passport that had to be signed in the shops.

The organizer booked me to do a warm up magic show to launch the festivities. As one of the questions in the Passport, everyone had to answer my name...
Then as part of the show, I taught all the kids a "Free" trick. I attached the instructions for the trick on a paper with my contact and party info to a treat that all the kids then got.

The parents liked the idea, it was cost effective ($10) and I think I have booked at least 2 shows....
Crazy people take the psycho-path thru the forest...
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2006-10-29 22:33, jolly roger wrote:
The answer is confidence. If you are confident in what you do, you will succeed. It is very important you do not take too much notice of what others say.

[snip]

That is the biggest mistake. Listen to everyone around you, but go with your gut. Do not worry about the consequences. In magic, as in politics, there are people who love you and who hate you. It doesn't matter. Ignore it! Go with your gut, your instinct, and the world is your oyster!

To summarize, if you go out there, and you are confident about what you do, you cannot help but be successful!


I have a couple of questions related to that.

First is, what if you think you are good (are confident) but you really aren't? I agree that the idea of ENTHUSIASM plays a big part of ones success. However, what about those performers we've read about and seen who just are below average. Maybe they've fooled themself more than the audience. What if they think they are good, and aren't willing to listen to others, or just don't see the clues? What if they aren't willing to work on improving? What if they put performances out there before they are properly rehearsed? What if their entertainment value is just bad? (I saw this really bad performance of a dancing cane the other day, in a link. He actually put the performance online, because he was proud of it.)

I am not talking about others. What if that person is you, and you don't have a clue?

How does one "clue in"?

You said "listen to everyone around you" (great advice!), but you also said "go with your gut" which to some people means don't really listen. Sometimes stubborn-ness doesn't mean the same as confidence.

Also, what if one doesn't really know what their "gut feeling" is? I'm sure that takes time to discover and trust as well. What if one flip flops back and forth?

Just some more questions, to get clarification.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Jolly Roger
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Donald........

In my humble opinion, you ****ize all this way too much! Please don't take that remark personally, as I believe most people do. You ask a number of "what if?" questions.

"What if they think they are good, and aren't willing to listen to others, or just don't see the clues? What if they aren't willing to work on improving? What if they put performances out there before they are properly rehearsed? What if their entertainment value is just bad?"

My response would be, "what does it matter!"

If you believe you are good, are happy in what you do, and can actually make a living out of magic.....or at any rate make some good weekend bucks if you are a semi-professional, surely that is all that matters.

I think I am the greatest children's entertainer on the planet(lol), my friend JoJO thinks I am mediocre....so what! I have a wonderful life. I love every second of every day. I have bought happiness and smiles to hundreds and thousands of children over the years, and I have just bought a Lamborgini! I am sure you will have more questions, so keep them rolling in. Look out Dave Dee!!
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2006-10-30 11:10, jolly roger wrote:
My response would be, "what does it matter!"

If you believe you are good, are happy in what you do, and can actually make a living out of magic.....or at any rate make some good weekend bucks if you are a semi-professional, surely that is all that matters.


If a person has a desire to be a full-time pro, or make lots of money as a part-time pro, shouldn't it matter, the difference between thinking you are good and actually being good? Isn't that the part of the picture that helps you "actually make a living out of magic"?

Don't you think quality AND marketing are both part of the overall growth and success of a business?

Belief in oneself is important. Happiness is important. However, it isn't what pays the bills. Lots of business is what pays the bills.

McDonald's(TM) makes an average / good burger. Not great. Average / good. But you also pay the price of an average burger. You are also paying in part for the speed of their service - that is part of what sells their product. If the food quality was poor, but they believed it was good, eventually the customers would tell them it wasn't by not buying their products. Isn't the same true for a magic business?

Average or better is important, isn't it?

I guess we are on to the next part. How does one saturate their market so every child knows about you and wants you? Is it more important for the children to know you and like you, or the adults, or both?

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Jolly Roger
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Ofcourse quality and marketing are both part of the overall growth of a business. But all I am saying is if a person believes they are good, even though you may not think that they are, and they are happy with the money they are making, and they believe they are good at marketing........leave them alone. Focus on Donald, and don't concern yourself with others. I have never seen your show Donald. I am sure you are wonderful. However, if I didn't like your show...so what? There are bound to be others who think you are wonderful. So believe in yourself and follow your dreams. Winston Churchill said" The only thing to fear is fear itself!" Very profound!
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2006-10-30 10:38, Donald Dunphy wrote:
I am not talking about others. What if that person is you, and you don't have a clue?

How does one "clue in"?


Like I said earlier, this is not so much about the quality of others, as it is about your own quality.

It might sound like I am asking about others, but I am asking how one determines it for themself.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
randyburtis
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I think this is a good, but hard question, because if you say"I wll try stuff out at the local magic club" you very often just get polite applause and don't get constructive critisism, so judging by the outwards response you get from "peers" you could be fooled.

"real"(ie laymen) audiences can sometimes be deceptive gauges. I have been doing shows for some audiences, and get,what I judge, as a mediocre response, Then when I do followup I get am amazing ref letter or return bookings. My thoughts from this...different people respond differently, so it makes it hard to gauge. I know even personally I can really enjoy something, but don't respond outwardly that much, so if you we observing that, you could be lead to a false conclusion.

On the other hand, there are times you "go with your gut" people I trust to give me constructive feedback,told me they didn't like a rubberband routine I do, but I "just knew" it would kill, and from audeince response seemed to verify that.

I wonder if this question is "the impossible question" to answer, performance ,since it is an art, will always be subjective. My performance, presentation and style will absolutley kill with some groups, be seen as average by others, because of the lens they perceive things thru. Yet, there also seems to be some universal "thing" where folks can look at a performance and all say, "man, that sucked" or"that was great".

Some random Randy thoughts thrown into the mix Smile
Randy Burtis
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John Bowlin
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I was just talking to a corporate event planner awhile back. I brought up the fact that I was a magician as I prepared to hand him my business card. He then told me with a laughing smirky look "if I even bring up the word magician to a recent client I will be run out of town". He then went on to tell me about a magician that he hired when he was really in a bind. The magician was one heck of a salesman. He did a few impressive close up tricks and spoke of how he could entertain hundreds with his stage/illusion show. The show was an incredible bomb, half the people decided it was time to head to the back of the room to socialize during the show. The corporate people that had to take responsibility for the event were furious and told the planner that if not for a few years of very successful events he would be gone and blacklisted. They had to listen to magicain jokes nad got cajolled about the debacle for weeks. "How do you clear an event hall quickly and quietly in case of an emergency?...throw in a magician"

Funny thing is it turned out I knew the magician. I ran into him a few weeks later and he told me about this great stage show he did where he even got a standing ovation. The standing ovation I heard about was people getting up to go to the back to socialize. He explained the quietness of the crowd as "stunned silence". He even bragged how he hardly rehearsed and winged it. As he rattled on I realized it was the same horror show I had heard about. He talked about what a great time he had and how well things went. I very prominent magician tried to embue upon him the impotance of rehearsal and routining. He was rather disillusioned. This is not the first time I have heard a story like this...there are many. Even the Café is full of these stories.

Much of the crowd was an oriental group in as guests of the corporation so as respectful as most asians tend to be, I'm sure they didn't boo him or tar and feather him out of politeness. He has ruined not just his reputation in that corporation, event planning area and to anyone that these people share the story with but...he has darkened the profession of magic for magicians he will never even meet. Can one magician in Baltimore damamage the careers of magicains around the world? Yes the butterfly effect pertains to magic too. I have talked to countless people that I encounter that scoff at the word magicain because of the lack of professionalism, skill, or just plain cheesiness they have encountered. Most people in the world of laymen will encounter maybe one magic performance in their life. We have a responsibility to make that single performance for them the best we can muster.

If you want to be a hack and do magic for the fun of it, do it for friends, family, people in third world countries....but don't do it for the paying public! If many people are telling you that you need to polish your act..you probably do! Believe in yourself and listen to what others tell you. C hoose those that you seek advice from wisely. You don't have to believe everything you hear or heed all advice but be realistic. I have been in the home improvement business for decades and every month I dealt with a potential customer that had been the victim of some hack with tools and a pickup that defamated the reputation of the home improvement profession. I spent more time overcoming misconception than I did selling my product. I don't want to have to sell my magic that way! If you do not want to consider the realm of magic a profession then hold on to a "let's all just have fun attitude". We have to understand that our art is different from all the other performing arts. We are the smallest group by public exposure. Most lay people have never even heard of Chris Angel. If a person hears a bad singer they only have to turn on a radio, tv or go to a club to have a good singer erase the memory. Same with acting. For magicains, that bad act may well be the last magician that person ever sees, but the story will probably be told many times. I honestly feel that our art can bring more joy, amazement and
memories than any other performing art out there because we combine all the aspects of the other arts and we often make it interactive. With the potential to do that, there is the potential to do the antithesis. God help me if I ever get the surgeon that is in it just for the fun of it.

I'm all about everyone having fun with magic whether it is a hobby or career. The attitude of taking the profession of magic lightly without realistic self evaluation is discrediting to the art and profession. The idea that a self proclaimed consumate professional would try to propogate this attitude is just pathetic. Anyone that claims themself a professional and is not always asking.."how can I be better"..should probably just sell magic tricks and leave the performing and performance advice to those that remember that the love of the art should come from the reflections of those that enjoy us. I tried to weather this little storm out quietly but when the brown snow gets deep it's time to get out the shovel! Confuses say..."Man who talk out both side of mouth lose audience in front of him."
Jolly Roger
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I believe some of my comments are being misunderstood. Let me be very clear about what I am saying. Of course I cringe when I see what I judge to be a dreadful act. Will I offer advice to this individulal? Yes...you bet I will. Will they listen to me? Possibly. Will they continue to do shows? Almost certainly. My point in all this is, if someone is determined to perform, they will do it anyway. That is part of life and living. If they contine to get booed off the stage, they may give it up. Or they may not. We simply have to accept this as a fact of life, even if we don't like it. What should concern us is concentration on our own performance. Let that be the focus. Elevate our standard to the highest level possible. Don't waste your life away pulling others down. Instead, raise yourself up to more than you can be.....just like the song says!!
randyburtis
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Good point Roger, but I wonder if the point isn't being made...what if these poor performers actually think they are doing okay... and then making it introspective, what can we do, as performers, to ensure the view we hold of ourselves and our performances, are actually at the level of what we think they are. I agree, we can't controal another persons decision to perform or not, or the quality they do it as, but are there some steps we can do, for ourselves, practically, to ensure we ARE raising ourselves up to be more than we have been.

Maybe soemof those checks are:
1.Are we studying our performances..do we regualrly video and evalute our performances, and get other trusted people to do likewise?
2.Do we take time to study performace techniques, such as blocking, etc to refine and develop our skills.
3.Are we refining the elements of our act. Do we script, refine,evaluate and edit our routines and patter? Do we still have that joke that worked int he 1980's in when it really needs to be updated for today's audience...

theswe may be a few check and balances to ensure we are presenting as we think we are and should be
Randy Burtis
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John Bowlin
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" But all I am saying is if a person believes they are good, even though you may not think that they are, and they are happy with the money they are making, and they believe they are good at marketing........leave them alone."

"Of course I cringe when I see what I judge to be a dreadful act. Will I offer advice to this individulal? Yes...you bet I will."

These are two quotes of yours from this post JR. How could I not misunderstand you?

I do not condone trying to bring someone down at all. Yes if I see a 50 y/o magicain with 20 y/o props that is just horrible(recently saw this) I'm not about to try and offer my "expert" advice. But if I see someone that is looking a bit green and I can offer constructive suggestion of even just an observaion they may have overlooked I will not hesitate to share. I prefer to offer positive feedback whenever possible. What I was trying to get across is the idea that "it does matter"! Contrary to this series of quotes....

"What if they think they are good, and aren't willing to listen to others, or just don't see the clues? What if they aren't willing to work on improving? What if they put performances out there before they are properly rehearsed? What if their entertainment value is just bad?"

"My response would be, "what does it matter!" "

"If you believe you are good, are happy in what you do, and can actually make a living out of magic.....or at any rate make some good weekend bucks if you are a semi-professional, surely that is all that matters."

Tell that to the magician that has to sell himself in the neighborhood that that guy just decimated. Any magician can be bad and continue to get work because the maketplace is so variegated and dispersed. But every magician that has to travel thru that persons wake suffers for it.

I appreciate the opinions and advice of others no matter how much I may agree with or not. But I cannot continue to respect contradiction, disguise of intent and patronization. All sincerity of desire to contribute is lost in these things.
Jolly Roger
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Randy,

I think all three of those checks you mention are excellent ones.

Al Goshman once said: "Finally, I've learned something along the way and I will give it to you in a few words. If an agent is willing to send you out to do a magic show and you get paid and if you do this night after night, don't ever again listen to another magician. Because if the agents are willing to pay you and the spectators enjoy it and you do it on a regular basis continuously, you have no problems. You're making it" I saw this posted by an unmitigated genius on another forum, and I think it is a great quote!

By the way, Randy, thank you so much sor purchasing Ridiculous Ravioli. Let me know how you get on with it. I know you will love it! I hope you like my new Avitar!
randyburtis
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Quote:
On 2006-10-30 14:18, jolly roger wrote:
Randy,

I think all three of those checks you mention are excellent ones.

Al Goshman once said: "Finally, I've learned something along the way and I will give it to you in a few words. If an agent is willing to send you out to do a magic show and you get paid and if you do this night after night, don't ever again listen to another magician. Because if the agents are willing to pay you and the spectators enjoy it and you do it on a regular basis continuously, you have no problems. You're making it" I saw this posted by an unmitigated genius on another forum, and I think it is a great quote!

By the way, Randy, thank you so much sor purchasing Ridiculous Ravioli. Let me know how you get on with it. I know you will love it! I hope you like my new Avitar!


Is money/getting paid THE indicator? Should repeat bookings be a stronger indicator? Or is there a better gauge? Some folks have the gift of selling bottled water to a fish, even when the fish doesn't realize at first that the bottled stuff ain't that great.

In other words, some folks are great business men and can sell anything, even if the show isn't that great...some only have work because they are the cheapest out there... Are there some better gauges?

Avatar looks fun, my advice, keep your arms in tighter when in the black tube or you are going to flash and lessen the impact of the ravioli trick on your audience Smile lol
Randy Burtis
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www.calgarymagician.com
www.Facebook.com/calgarymagician
John Bowlin
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A few guages that your stuff is good are...
referral business
agent repeatedly books you
people stare in a jaw dropped wide eyed gaze
same client books you again
you aren't constantly traveling farther to get work
people applaud uncued
all the kids run up to you at the end of your show(not running up to your props)
all the mothers run up to you(and not at you) after your show
a referred customer calls and the last thing they ask is the price
a customer offers you double money to get a date you already have booked
you can actually quit your regular day job and not give up eating
you don't have to sell magic products to supplement your income...hehe(that was a joke)
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