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Tod Todson
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Kyle, dude, did you do all these flyers/marketing/matgerials through Overnightprints.com?

Wow,
Tod
Mystifier, Youth Speaker
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Brent McLeod
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Kyle has a very similar process to ourselves but it is very hard work
90 percent marketing & 10 percent is the show

Kyle & I have been posting each other in PM for a couple of years now & its really great to see an almost identical marketing pitch work for the success of your own shows

We also have websites for shows as well as we run 6-12000 flyers that are also delivered to every house in the area of the show-use students who get free tickets!!!!-saves your feet

We also use the local police youth groups to disribute etc

We also run 2-300 A2 & 2-300 A3 size colour posters that are in every shop & business in the area-also give them 1 free ticket as they will then bring a paying guest!

My performing partner usually hypnotises live on the radio the local DJ which is a huge success

Another idea for longer runs is get corporate companies to bring there clients for a night of fun etc on them-comp the place out first night with about one third paying & the remaining nights through good publicity & people talking about the first night will fill the halls for next 2-3 nights-this is where you make your money-never do a 1 night gig-bound to fail!!

Before any of this takes place as Kyle has mentioned above is so true....

You must have a good show before you even attempt this!

Hopefully through trial & error your act has evolved to a good level that works with a lay audience-dont worry what other magicians think!!

-Brent
magic4u02
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Tod, actually because I am a graphgic designer, I design and print a majority of these flyers and materials myself. I have a hi-end color printer that allows me to get printer quality at a fraction of the cost. However, I did get my postcards and stationary done by overnightprints.com so that I can use them in my black and white laser printer. It works very well.

I can not stress enough though that you MUST have a decent show before you engage in any of these marketing ideas. This show does not have to compare itself to other magician's shows. It simply has to be effective and enjoyable to entertain a family-style crowd. These are the people in your audience and the show needs to appeakl to them only. They need to feel entertained by what you are presenting on stage.

With this in mind, these marketing tips can and have been able to help me fill seats in most any theater or school I have ever performed in. I will say this much, if you are not willing to put forth a LOT of very hard work, then do not even attempt to put on and promote your own show at this scale. The reason is as brent mentioned. It really is 90% marketing and 10% show. You can have a great show but if nobody comes, why even bother right? You got to get the word out and get those seats filled and that means effective style marketing and applying it.

Listen to some of the ideas Brent mentions as they are worth their weight in gold. These are things we have both done and are not things we state because we are guessing. These are all tips that we know work because we have both used them time and time again and have been proven to be effective.

If you are going to put on a show like this, be ready to 1) have a decent show that fits your market 20 be ready to work very hard at the marketing and 3) have at leats 2 months head start from the event date to give you ample time to do efective marketing.

Hope this helps or gets you thinking. Let me know if anyone has any questions or thoughts, I would be happy to answer them for you.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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The Sorcerer
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I never cold call. Wrtite lots of PC's or letters, and you will get a better return.
magic4u02
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Post cards and letters work great but I would not say never to do cold calling. Cold calling can work great. It is all in the matter in which you go about it. Plus, what works for one person may just have to be adapted for another.

I do a form of "cold calling". However, when I cold call I am not selling anything to anyone in the process. My cold calling system is one in which I am "qualifying" my leads only.

By this, I mean that I start off with a master lead list of suspects. This is through research, yelow pages, online etc. This master list is full of names and contacts and numbers. However, this list will not serve me well on my ROI (Return on Investment) if I do not go and qualify these leads.

Qualifying the lead for me means making a cold call to the contact I have on my rough list and asking them politely if I may send them information for consideration and to whom should I send that information to? It is really as easy as that.

The idea there is that I am asking permission first to send information and I am asking for correct contact information. This is a way I can make sure who the decision maker is and if I have the right information. By going through this process, I qualify all my leads and can make sure that;

1) They are expecting my mail
2) They have approved me sending ti to them
3) It is going to the right person who will make the decision on hiring me

In this way of cold calling, I am now going to have a much better possible ROI because I used cold calling to qualify these leads.

When I cold call, I usually use a script something like this:

" Hi (person's name). My name is Kyle Peron and my wife and I are local entertainers specializing in family-friendly magic shows for events much like yours. We saw that you are holding the (such and such) festival on (date) this year and we wanted to know if we might be able to send over our promo packet of information for possible consideration. Would that be ok? Thank you so much? To whom should I address the information to? Thank you. And do I have the corrrect address? I have (then I state the information I have for them to correct it if it is wrong)."

That is my basic cold calling script pretty much. It is short, sweet and to the point. I do nottake up a lot of their time, I am friendly towards theperson on the phone and I am asking permission first. I am not really hard selling to them and I have found I get a much better response.

In a lot of cases, the person I am calling is a "Gate Keeper" any ways and I need to get past them in order to get the information on the decision maker. If I am polite and friendly to them, I run a much better chance of getting the information I request. I also can then use their name when I do make contact with the decision maker later on.

I hope this helps a little bit. It is a different form of marketing and it works for me. I use this partial system every time I am working my new festivals for the season or getting into new markets and it works great.

This is something you can do or you can hire someone to do for you. In either way, the process is the same and it would give you a much better ROI.

If anyone has any questions about the information above, just let me know. I would be happy to go into more detail with you.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2006-12-23 11:51, HypnotizeAmerica wrote:
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.


Here is the problem and everyone is dancing arround the issue. So as usual I will just jump in head first catuion to the wind and probably make everyone involved angry.

You say you want to start the year off right, a new business, new energy and new vigor! Great idea. HERE are the problems.

You are not devoting enough time to starting a new business. ANY business you approached in this rambling, slip shod, Persion Bizzare manner, is going to fail. I don't care what it is.

New business take time. IF you get 10 people to call you back and you close 2 of them, again start a religion. IF YOU GET 1 TO CALL BACK it will be huge.

People always have these fictitious formulas, "oh if 10 call back, I book, 2 and then the rotory clubs." Yea great IF they call IF you book them and IF you can actually get them to do a show within your time frame!

I fully comprehend you need to work while you do this. BUT without the necessary time spent in a NEW BUSINESS, it is doomed from the start. Also consider that most schools ahve been doing certain fund raisers through certain companies for decades. It is indeed a tough market to crack! How do you crack it, by just hoping they call back.

I am not trying to be a wet blanket here, as much as a reality check. As I said make friends with disappointment.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
itshim
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I do juggling workshops in schools. The current ratio of uninvited letters to workshops booked is 1%. The follow-up ratio of schools having booked once to booking again is 100%. The word-of-mouth ratio of schools booking me from knowing a school that booked me about 50% (i.e. half the schools that book me where I have not booked before and have not written that year are from word of mouth.) This is a high set of percentages apparently.

Jugglers offer workshops in schools less than magicians offer shows in schools (based on conversations in schools). Therefore my competition is smaller than that for magicians and therefore my take-up rate is higher. I live within 50 miles of 750 - 1000 schools. If I contacted them each year and rates carried on as they are then it would take 7 years to have a decent client base. For the previous 6 years I wouldn't be earning enough to live on. I'd have to do an awful lot of rotary shows to make a living.

Of course I market to more than one sector and use more than one vector of approach. I also perform about 7 different types of shows and have a good name amongst agencies. A piecemeal approach like hypnotizeamerica suggests would force myself and my family onto the streets. I doubt America would be easier.

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

www.itshim.co.uk
Dannydoyle
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You Nigel are correct sir.

I do want to address ONE thing I find disturbing with the thread. "Mini Hitlers".

Ok yea probably said as a joke. BUT to use "Hitler" every time someone does something you don't agree with dillutes the historic significance of his te horror.

Second of all, the "Mini Hitlers" well they are the people you wish to do business with. Potential clients. Kind of silly to call them names when you want something from them.

They are simply doing a job. Their job is to screen people who don't have the first clue what they are doing. HMMMM seems like they may simply be doing a good job.


The problem I have with Tim's idea is that lets say you GET a call back. What then? You need material to send them. GOOD STUFF as competition is fierce. So you have nothing to send them. This kind of thing can NOT be done on the cheap.

Your trying to sell the school on a FUNDRAISER. Shouldn't you at least APPEAR as if you can make money for YOURSELF?
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 agree and the term that should be used is "Gate-Keepers". These folks are actually very valuable to me and I make sure I treat them with much respect anytime I am talking to them in person, over the phone etc.

They are indeed just doing there job and it is their job to indeed screen people before they get to their boss. Every day I am sure they get hit with a lot of folks screaming for their bosses attention. It is their job to do the best they can to screen out what they can.

Knowing this, I try a different approach. I show them respect. I find out their name and I speak to them using their name. I try and be plesant to them and I try and understand that their time is important to them. By doing so I show respect and in a lot of ways they show that respect back to me and I am able to get the information I need and request.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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itshim
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Mini-Hitlers was said as a joke but...

A gate-keeper is somebody who decides who should and shouldn't be let through to see a particular person by following the criteria that have been laid down to them. Many of the people who answer the telephone at schools seem to think that their job is to stop anybody getting through to the correct person. Also it is not their job to decide whether or not a school should be getting a show/workshop etc. Yes you can script your talk so as to get the correct contact information from them but should that really be necessary.

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

www.itshim.co.uk
HypnotizeAmerica
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Danny:

You bring a silver cloud to every thunderstorm. I understand that I need to give the business proper funding and time. My follow up will be to either mail them a promo pack which would only cost a few dollars for each qualified prospect or email it to them which cost nothing.

I would expect out of 1000 people I would get more than 1 person to call me back Danny. Even on my least responsive mailings I had a handful of phone calls. I could be wrong and if I am I will adjust my method but this is just a starting point for me, a way to control cost, pay cash for everything I do and make the business pay for itself.

I've set a goal of 15k worth of business for myself this next year and I plan on blowing that figure away, next year I'll double it, and the year after I'm out on my own. Now that I have the goal I am just working on the exact plan of how to do that. With the increase in business I expect an increased cost of doing business.

My point is this, I am going to try this and if it doesn't work I'll try something else and if that doesn't work then I'll do something else. I am going from dreamer to do'er. Most people want to be in business for themselves but few do anything to achieve that dream. I'm taking action and that is 100% more than I did last year.

Thanks for the positive words Danny.

TC
Dannydoyle
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Tim you have to ask yourself what qualifies YOU to be an expert on fund raising?

The competition is fierce and you are competing with companies that do it as a specialty.

Oh and you are the only one who expects one phone call back!

Nigel as I said I knew "mini Hitlers" was a joke, but again it is crazy.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
HypnotizeAmerica
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Danny:

If you think my idea is only a waste of time then what is your suggestion to get started in making money with stage hypnosis?
Dannydoyle
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My suggestion?

I personally would target market as many agents as I possibly could with a heck of a promo DVD and package. Get them working for you, they HAVE contacts. YOU can still work.

The only way you can possibly make money and still work full time like you want too is to have someone do it for you.

You are leaving yourself no options.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
itshim
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I'd disagree with Dannydoyle. Getting an agent without you having the professional experience you need is next to impossible. Where I agree with him is that you can not promote yourself properly at the same time as working. My solution for you is to hire somebody to do the contacting for you. That way you get to control the script they use. If I were in your situation, as my wife doesn't work I'd employ her. You want someone who knows you well enough to answer incidental questions and throw in semi-pertinant conversation. (For example, I have children who are 6 and 3, this fits in very well with my target market for birthday parties. If my wife or I answer the phone and there is a child screaming in the background we can instantly sympathise and this forms a connection to the customer). You don't want someone who doesn't know you, doesn't know your act and couldn't care less if you get work or not. My better agents are the ones who try to sell me rather than any other artiste, those aren't the ones you get straight away with a promo video. Second problem with those type of agents is that if you don't answer the phone to tell them 'yes I can do the job' then they will go elsewhere and you can't answer the phone.

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

www.itshim.co.uk
magic4u02
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Hi guys,

I wanted to give my take on this subject as I have a different spin to it that may be of interest to some. Now this information is strictly only from my own personal experience and from what my wife and I decided we wanted to do to run our magic business. It may not work for everyone or be the solution for everyone as we each come to the table with different goals.

With that said, it was stated a few times something as follows, "... that you can not promote yourself properly at the same time as working." or "The only way you can possibly make money and still work full time like you want too is to have someone do it for you." I would like to agree to disagree with this and allow me to tell you why.

Although I understand the quote, I can tell you that you can indeed properly promote and market yourself effectively and still obtain 15k a year income doing magic while still maintaining a full time job. The reason why I state that is that my wife and I have done just that for the past 10 years now.

Now I will flat out say this upfront before I go into any more detail on this and how it can be done. You simply can not and will not be able to do this if you are not willing to do the following:

1) Success will not be handed to you. If you want success and you want to make 15K in magic income and work full time, then you must be willing to get up off your butt and go out there and get it. Do not wait the for the gigs to come to you cause it will not happen. You must go out there and get tem yourself.

2) You MUST be willing to work very very hard and work a lot.

3) You MUST be willing to maintain this and keep up with your marketing year round. The marketing of you and your services is not a one shot deal. It is something that you must continue to do to build relationships and maintain them.

4) You must develop systems and automation built into the way you do things. This is the only way you can maintain a full time job and do the business end of the magic.

5) There is a reason why it is called show BUSINESS. When working full time and doing magic as well, you must treat your magic as a business. It must be handled as one and you will realize that you spend 90% on the business and 10% on the show itself.

6) You MUST have a good product or service. This is a given. Do amount of marketing is going to keep you at the level you want to be at for a long period of time, if your show is not good. Spend the time upfront to get the show where it needs to be.

7) Learn and realize that you must find a niche or specific target market/s. You need to find out what markets your show is perfect for and what it is not. The reason for this is so that you can spend the limited time that you do have after your day job being able to focus on markets that will yield you the most Return on your Investment.

With this said, my wife and I have both full time jobs and still manage to easily make and surpass 15k a year performing our magic as a side business. We have done so for the past 10 years now and every year we surpass our goal set forth the prior year.

The reason for this success I can tell you comes from a deep understanding and commitment from ourselves to getting the job done and done right. We really put forth a lot of effort and energy making sure we build relationships with our clients and prospects and not forget our clients after we are done performing for them.

The 2 single biggest things that makes this work for us is 1) knowing and understanding marketing and marketing principles and 2) coming up with systems and automated systems for every facet of our magic business.

You got to realize that to be successful with your magic and to handle it yourself, you have to remember that what you are offering is a product and or service. This service and product needs to be marketed effectively if you expect people to buy it. In order to really get the word out, go and understand marketing principles. Read books on the subject. Attend seminars if you need to. I spent a great deal of time really researching and understanding the business side of magic so that I could adapt and apply these concepts into a system that works for us with holding a full time day job.

Now the systems we put in place are something that happens over a period of time. You realize what you need to do and you develop ways in which to break down larger tasks into smaller and more manageable ones. You then develop ways in which you can automate and simplify these tasks to save you time but also allowing yourself to maintain the level of professionalism you need to have out in the market.

So is it easy? No it is not. It takes a ton of hard work and effort. Can it be done? Absolutely.

I hope this is of some help to a few of you. My 2 cents worth.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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Donald Dunphy
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Kyle -

I have a question for you. In this recent post, you stated that your PT magic income has been at the 15K level each year, for 10 years now.

Yet in other posts, you have stated about an increase in salary because of implimenting things that Jim Snack and others taught you.

Are you just doing less shows, but at higher pay, and making the same amount of money? Still an average of 15K per year.

Or has your annual income actually increased over the past 10 years? Or more specifically over the past year or two? By only a few hundred dollars per year, or thousands per year?

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Dannydoyle
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Kyle you also have a background and access to marketing people. You work in an industry that DIRECTLY HELPS YOU TO MARKET.

Tim has no such access. Most have no such access. It matters.

Let me just say this. To be put in the game you have to at least be sitting on the bench. Nigel has a good arrangement, though your wife already does not work, so it makes sense to do it that way, BUT if you had to give up 2 incomes at the start, it would not be so easy. Nigel I agree with you hire someone. BUT they have to be paid, and you only pay agents when they actually get you work.

Mind you Nigel, I am NOT saying it is wrong, only maybe for Tim it is a bit different. PLEASE don't misunderstand me here friend.

Now I was under the impression that our friend Tim HAD the experience he needed. To do the fund raisers he suggested he would HAVE to have this experience. THAT was what I was assuming when I told him to get an agent. IF you have promo materials good enough to secure booking fund raisers, and compete in that market, you certainly have good enough materials to find an agent or 2. If I made an incorrect assumption please again accept my appology.

Tim you seem to want to jump into the deep end of the pool and to have a floaty on. Not gonna happen brother. Like I said you gotta be on the bench before your in the game. It is a leap of faith and no guarantees. You want a guarantee buy a stove. IF your not available to go to wherever whenever at first, then your going to be leaving money on the table. Not such a big deal to Kyle who both him and wife have great full time jobs. To Nigel and myself, at first at least I bet it mattered. Heck to me it did. Nothing wrong with Kyles goals mind you, they are simply different.

Kyle working to being full time can be done 1 of many ways. LOTS of those ways work. Many more don't. THAT is why it is so tough.

Tim I will tell you this and I believe Nigel will share the sentiment. It is a risk. It is scarry. No doubt about it.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
itshim
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When I made the leap from full-time to job and part-time entertainer to full-time I thought it was going to be easy. It wasn't!

First year my income dropped by two-thirds! and I still had to pay the mortgage. Partially because I thought that it would be easy to increase my client base when I could devote all my time to it (it wasn't) and partially because I was already filling most of my weekend dates and thought that weekdays would be easy to fill (they aren't). I also went into the business towards the end of a boom and the business has become very much harder in the last 15 years.

Nowadays I am looking to fill niche markets before others find them. Training in slightly different skills to enhance my overall shows. Using targeted direct mailing to access potential customers as well as sending promotional material to agents. Keeping my regular agents happy my making personal contact occasionally and sending my date sheet through regularly etc etc.

It's taken over 10 years to build my business in a way that means that I don't have to panic every month as to where the money is coming from and each year I've had to change direction slightly. Old markets dry up, agents stop working, and the sort of work that you were getting a lot of a few years ago doesn't exist now.

It is very scary giving up the comfort of a real job but on the other hand it is so much better working for yourself.

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

www.itshim.co.uk
Donald Dunphy
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Tim -

Perhaps I missed this point on the thread.

You want to do fundraising hypnosis shows for high schools. Yet you can't find time in your schedule to market those shows at the appropriate times to make it work best (lead generation calls, etc.)

When do you anticipate performing those shows you book?

Just as your job interferes with the marketing, won't it also interfere with actually the logistics of doing that type of show and all the work in getting ready for it (usually on a weekday, perhaps in the evening, set up in afternoon)? Paperwork, promotion, phone calls back and forth, etc.

It is possible to buy a cell phone, and call schools on your lunch break at your other job? Have you considered that option?

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