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HypnotizeAmerica
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I know I know, 2007 is a week away but I wanted to get a jump-start on 2007 and filling my calendar with dates and my bank account with money. In order to save some money and pay cash for everything as I go along I am going to be cold calling high schools within a 4 state radius and offering a non risk fundraiser or school assemblies instead of mailing them a flyer or post card. .

I am going to have to call after hours (since I still have a full time job) and leaving a voice mail for the student council advisors. I know that this isn't as good as talking to them directly, but due to my schedule it will have to do for now.

My message is going to be:

I my name is XXXXXX XXXXXXX, I am a stage hypnotist who specializes in no cost fundraisers and school assemblies and I'd like to help your student organization raise money for upcoming events or perform a school assembly to help students improve their confidence and goal setting. Please give me a call at XXXXXXXXXXXX.

Thoughts, suggestions?
Dannydoyle
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Get used to disappointment.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
keithmagic
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Hyp -

That sounds a bit difficult, especially as school isn't in session right now, and won't be until 2007.

If you are going after high-schools, you may wish to consider selling PAID (ie non-fundraiser) shows for all night parties that seem to be very prevelent May-June.

You never did tell us by the way... How did the ear stapler thing go? Maybe you could book that before the schools... Everyone has New Years resolutions, right?

Keith
Author of "The Festival Entertainer" The Professional Entertainer's Guide to Booking and Working Outdoor Fairs, Festivals, and Events.
Available at http://www.howtobookfestivals.com
magic4u02
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I agree with danny. Get ready for a low return rate. the reaosn is that your first point of contact with them is to a person who probably is not even the decision maker who ultimately decides if you get booked or not. Chances are that if it is not the decision maker and you leave a message, the person is not going to take the time to respond back to you or call you back. The only reason I state this is because I know from experience when I started breaking out into the fair and festival market many many years ago. I learned the hard way.

One thing you will want to do is create a list and then "qualify" that list first before doing a mailing out of your materials etc. By qualifying the lead you are simply cold calling not to hard sell to them, but to simply ask them if you can confirm the information you have for possible consideration for the coming year. the goal here is to get the decision makers contact information and confirm it.

I hope this helps a bit.

Kyle
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itshim
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Kyle has a very good point. The problem with getting work from schools is that the person you contact is not normally the person who should be making the decisions. Often you get to a receptionist whose job is to turn away everything (at least that is the way it seems to me). These mini-Hitlers need to be avoided or side-stepped so asking a question like "I'm thinking of offering your school a magic workshop, who would I need to talk to about that?" stops them saying 'no' to you.

I would then address your literature to that person. If you think it will be intercepted by a secretary and ignored write 'private and confidential' on the envelope and the secretary must then give it unopened to the person concerned.

A little while ago I was starting to offer workshops to schools and was getting a lot of negativity from phone calls but the parents of children at the schools I was targeting were very enthusiastic. I started asking the parents who I should contact (when I met them at parties or wherever). Being able to say that one of the parents had suggested I speak to them was a very good way of introducing myself. My work load for the dead period (January - March) has increased dramatically.

Nigel
I knew a man who kept saying "pliers, pincers, scissors". He was speaking in tongs.

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ufo
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"Mini-Hitlers"....LOL! How true!
"What's your drug?" she asked. "Hope" he said, "The most addicting one of all."
HypnotizeAmerica
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Thanks for the warm thoughts ;-)

I don't expect a huge return. If I can book a single show from my calling it will be worth it, if I can book one a week it will be even better. But I'll have a semi fixed cost when it comes to marketing and as a result of lower cost my profit from the show will be higher. Plus it gets me off my butt and forces me to use action to get this business off the ground.

TC
HypnotizeAmerica
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One more thing, I'll be calling after hours and getting VM of the person I need to contact (student council advisor or if they have it student council president voice mail). The most I have to lose is time.

TC
Dannydoyle
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If you book a single show from this I will be amazed to say the least.

If you book one a week, start a religion.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
keithmagic
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I think he already tried the religion thing.

Something about stapling peoples ears together or something!

All joking aside, Hyp - You say all you have to lose is time... but don't forget - time IS money...

Also - (and I have no idea - I am just asking) - isn't a hypnosis show kind of a difficult thing to sell to a school? I know a lot of people in the midwest who (because they don't get it) have serious reservations about such topics and activities. Do you have to combat that?

Keith
Author of "The Festival Entertainer" The Professional Entertainer's Guide to Booking and Working Outdoor Fairs, Festivals, and Events.
Available at http://www.howtobookfestivals.com
Dannydoyle
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Keith it is easier than you think at the post prom stuff. Fund raising is traditionally the candy sales. It is tough to crack and you have a tougher time doing it with a voice mail.

I am still curious about the staple thing as you told us you would let us know.

Tim the only way this idea will work with any level of return is if you hire someone to make the calls and get through to someone. Put them on a comission.

I know you don't want to put up a lot of up front money, but really you do have to invest something.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Doc Dixon
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Quote:
On 2006-12-21 21:10, keithmagic wrote:
All joking aside, Hyp - You say all you have to lose is time... but don't forget - time IS money...


Gotta agree with Baron Von Stickley -- with just $100 bucks you could send out about 300 postcards. Once printed it would take about 30 minutes -- tops -- to label and stamp. Cold calling that many schools would take ... well, it doesn't matter because like the others said, I just don't think it will produce. Getting voicemail cuts down on phone sales. Starting a phone campaign where that is ALL you expect to get is like running a race with an anchor tied to your leg.

Fundraising is an EXTREMELY competitive marketplace (as Danny mentioned) and half-hearted marketing efforts just won't cut it.

Good luck,

DD
“For centuries we’ve said playing cards – even a single playing card – could reveal a person’s innermost thoughts.
Now you can prove it!”
See http://www.dixonmagic.com/page5/page5.html
magic4u02
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I agree with Doc and the others that have chimed in here. I know for my wife and I, time is indeed money. Whenever I do any marketing I make sure I go about it the right way and spend the time and energy to get myself the greatest possible return on my investment that I can.

One of the problems with just making after hour calls as I see it is that if you are not "qualifying" the lead (as stated above), then you are really wasting a lot of the power of effective active style marketing. Also, by calling without qualifying, you are never really sure who you are contacting or leaving a lessage for.

You can sometimes hope and pray that you contact a "gatekeeper" (a person who is not a decision maker but stands directly between you and the decision maker) and you hope that the gatekeeper passes along your message. but here is the hard part. In most cases the person on your generated list may not even be a gatekeeper at all. This person you call may not have any say in decisions to hire you and may nto even know who does. If this is the case, then your call becomes much wasted time and lost energy.

Another factor to remember is that when I market, I want to try and make it easy on people as I possibly can. I just am not sure by leaving a voice mail message, that a person is going to take enough iniative to listen to the entire thing and then take action to call you back.

The reason I state this is that I actually did a study a while back on this very thing. It was trying to find information and data on how people react and handle certain situations at certain times of the day as well as certain days of the week. I found out that many times people will listen to voice mail message in the morning. This is a common thing but what tends to happen is that in the morning they are rushed to get into their job, go to work, get the kids to school etc. They tend to listen to the message as quickly as possible and tend not to devote so much time to it.

This is one reason that if I have to make a call to a suspect or lead, I want to try and get a live body. The reason is that if I can get ahold of someone, I stand a much greater success rate of getting and obtaining the information I am seeking.

I just think there may be more effective ways to use your time to more effectively market to the schools. I think you have the right idea in that you want to take direct action and get out there and do something. I also understand about working a full time job and trying to fit it in. I just think there may be a better way to still be able to do what you want to do and market and keep your budget down as well.

I would be happy to go over and suggest a few ideas with you if you would like. It would be my pleasure to do so.

Kyle
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Brent McLeod
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Myself & fellow Hypnotist over 3 yrs have developed a market strategy that fills halls every time we perform

No one in our area markets as much or correctly as we have found through trial & error in the early days!

Surprising thing is even newspaper & radio ads don't work unless done correctly-we get feedback from people at each show as to what works & doesn't & now have a simple formula to guarantee success

Attached pic I took from halfway across the stage, half the audience isn't even in the shot!!- was from 1 out of 4 nights we sold out over 700 in the hall each night!!

Click here to view attached image.
magic4u02
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Amen to that Brent. My wife and I have had very similar success over the past many years all from learning marketing, applying sound marketing principles and then adapting those marketing ideas to a system that works for us and the unique markets we perform for. You can have the greatest show around, but if people have no idea who you are, then it doesn't add up to anything. You need to spend the time to learn about why they call it show "business". =)

Kyle
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Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2006-12-22 20:00, Brent McLeod wrote:
Myself & fellow Hypnotist over 3 yrs have developed a market strategy that fills halls every time we perform

No one in our area markets as much or correctly as we have found through trial & error in the early days!

Surprising thing is even newspaper & radio ads don't work unless done correctly-we get feedback from people at each show as to what works & doesn't & now have a simple formula to guarantee success

Attached pic I took from halfway across the stage, half the audience isn't even in the shot!!- was from 1 out of 4 nights we sold out over 700 in the hall each night!!


Can I help here ? Oh man your RIGHT! newspaper and radio ads will NOT work unless done correctly!

Posted: Dec 22, 2006 8:56pm
Can I add a word of caution. New Zealand is FAR differnt from marketing things here. What works there may or may not work in Europe or the US.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Brent McLeod
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Hi Danny-

Great advice from you as usual-thanks for that

New Zealand is definetly a different market & at times harder than many other areas-a friend of ours tours 25 colleges in california every year from here in Auckland & has huge success

The chap I perform with also works many shows in South Africa-Resorts, Corporate & Casinos-Sun City etc as well as I have performed many times in Europe & Asia-same process!!

The process we use is as mentioned above in some posts -you must deal with the right person from the beginning or your dead before the show starts

Universitys & colleges all need money for teams travelling etc & its how you put this to them so that they do not lose out & for little effort on their part is the key with the right person to help you!-win win for them! There going to make lots of money- & its easy for them

Thanks Danny & Kyle

interesting post

-Brent
Posted: Dec 23, 2006 1:50am
Also meant to add to above

We use a similar process but not direct calling etc but principles used in speaking to people

that Vince Carmen & Gene McCarthy used all those years ago to fund
huge tours of magic & Illusion

Was speaking to Gene last week at the world festival of Magic with Jason Byrne & Shimada & Tony Laffin etc
Tod Todson
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Hi Brent,

What are some of the methods/formulas you use to fill up these locations?

Thanks,
Tod
Mystifier, Youth Speaker
<BR><BR>
HypnotizeAmerica
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Wow I take one day off and come back to this ;-)

The ear stapling was a no go. I figured that if I spred myself and my money too thin that I was doing a diservce to me and my business plans. Once I get the hypnosis stuff up and running I'll look into it again.

I appricate everyone's comments and suggestions. I expect a low return rate and if I call 1000 people I am expecting about 10 to call me back. Book two or more of those and I'm in the money. Now this isn't going to be forever, just until I get enough cash to start marketing other ways. I don't do debt (anymore) and once I get a few grand saved up I'll start with postcards, letters, etc. The only cost besides my time (where I use to watch TV) is the cell phone bill. I'll keep you all posted on this and let you know how it turns out.

TC

PS: I also am going to hit the local rotary clubs, service clubs, etc to get some additional gigs. A few well placed press releases and some radio apperences would be great as well to increase business.
magic4u02
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I did a full theater production show on Thanksgiving weekend last year and we sold out both shows at the theater. We also then in spring of this year we put on the same production show at a 660 seat theater and set an attendance record for the biggest turn out for a single show event. It certainly can be done if you go about it the right way. I would like to try and share some thoughts and ideas with you as to what my wife and I have personally done and used for these events that seemed to make a huge difference to us.

The one thing to keep in mind is that no matter when you have the show a great show is NOT enough. The biggest thing you can do for the success of the show is to MARKET, MARKET and MARKET some more. I can not stress this enough. A great show is nothing if you can not get people filling those seats.

We marketed that show like crazy and got people excited about it. You simply have to let people know there is a show happening and get them to take action upon what they see from you.

As I stated above, we put the same show on again at a larger 660 seat venue in May and we are took what we learned from last year's show and applied it directly to this year's show. It produced wonderful results but you must be willing to do a LOT of work. I ended up doing more work marketing the show than I do performing it. It just is the reality of doing theater-style shows. You must be willing to work and work hard at it.

I can give some examples or ideas of things we do if that would be of help to anyone.

As many of you may know, My wife and I are gearing up for another run of our magic and Illusion show called "Fantasy of Illusion" for 2007. We debuted it last year to sold out crowds at a small 200 seat theater near us. Then this past May we filled a 660 seat theater location over in NJ.

Let me take this time to fill you in on what we have done the past few times with this show and what we intend to do for the 2007 performances. I hope this may shed some light on the subject.

We usually try to do the following every time we perform and market this larger show:

- Posted full information about the show and confirmed posting of this information to well over 40 online websites and calendars including newspaper and other media websites.

- Created a full website just for the show itself and to promote it. It answers a lot of the common questions people have and out marketing materials is geared at directing people to it. It also allows people a direct means to contact us or the box office for advance ticket sales.

- Created a customized logo and brand identity for the show that is being used on everything to brand the show in the minds of the target audience. The consistent message is what becomes recognizable in the minds of the consumer.

- Created posters, 8.5 by 11 flyers and smaller flyers for retail business usage. These flyers are in full color and have the logo as well as the information about the show.

- We have set up a full answering machine message service at home to act as a box office for all incoming calls in regards to the show with a turn around time to contact them back in less than 12 hours if not sooner. In some cases I have even had the answering machine forward my messages directly to my cell phone.

- I have created library flyers and library book marks which have already been mailed out. We had last year a total of 200 flyers and book marks going out to about 5 libraries locally to the vicinity of the event location. These will be replenished as we get closer to the event date.

- We had over 250 flyers already confirmed and mailed to retail businesses who are not only placed the flyers up but also placed the smaller flyers on the counters.

- We had over 2250 color flyers going out to a multitude of day cares in and around the area.

- We had also contacted private and public schools in the area and had over 2500 color flyers going out to these schools in the area of the event location.

- Last year we got approval to get our flyers into the hands of the entire Public School system where the High School Auditorium we used was being held in. This was huge for us as it meant a staggering number of flyers and posters being placed in the direct school district.

- We had already posted up posters in the high school itself and gave coupons and tickets to the front office. They are excited about it and were more then eager to help us out.

- We had also sent flyers as well as e-mail announcements that had gone out to every magic club IBM and SAM in the NJ and PA and NY areas. We had also sent flyers to be handed out at their meetings as well as had them post our information in each of their newsletters.

- We had also contacted numerous MOMS clubs in the area of the event. These clubs have been wonderful to us and we had sent over 500 flyers to these clubs. We also had 5 of the clubs post our full color ad in their newsletter for free.

- We sent out a formal e-mail invite to our friends, relatives, magic friends and all of our ACT contacts, leads etc. These also were given a follow up invite within 2 weeks of the first mailing.

- A good friend of mine who lives closer to the event area, also sent out the invite to his contact list of over 200 people to date.

- We also started doing public appearances and we performed a paid Blue and Gold Dinner who also let us display and promote the show at the event. I also offered to sign and autograph the flyers to any kid that wanted one. This got a huge response and now the flyers are signed and people were taking them home. We also checked out to see what events were going on in our performance area leading up to our show. Then we contacted these places and offered to do a free public appearance in exchange for being allowed to pass out flyers and advertise the show.

- We also had the full color flyer posted on public access television in the area.

- I had a full press release ready and created to go out to a lot of media locations both radio, TV, Newspaper and magazines.

- We also posted up posters all through out the town of where the event was being held.

- We also got permission by the location to allow us to place up a sign advertising the show. This gets seen by thousands of motorist each day and had a number to call for more information.

I am sure there is something I am forgetting, but I wanted to get this out to you guys to show what we have done in the past that really made a huge difference for my wife and I and the production show we put on. I hope these ideas are of help to you and get you thinking as well.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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