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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Magic for elementary schools (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Magicjg
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Well the first of the year is here, and this is by far the slowest time of year for me. I’m thinking of adding Elementary schools to my market. I just have a quick question though. Who do you contact to bring the idea up and what is the best way to approach? I mean, do you get a hold of the principle, or is there someone else that makes that type of decision? What is the best way to approach also? Just call directly?
Jim Snack
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The best approach to the elementary school market is to start with your show.

If you want to do assembly programs, you need an educational program that meets the needs of the marketplace, and possibly the learning standards required by your state.

What educational theme or message(s) are you going to communicate with your show? The importance of reading has been popular for many years. Character building, respect and anti-bullying programs seem to be the latest educational themes adopted by magicians. Do you have a quality show that does more than simply entertain? Have you broken in the material at other venues, such as libraries, community centers, etc? Have you collected a few solid testimonials that you can use in your promotional materials?

If the answer is yes, then you can move to the next step, getting your educational support materials and promotional materials together. Have you created the necessary support materials, such as teacher lesson planning guides? Have you created your promotional brochure? Do you have a website that is designed to sell your school program?

While you are completing those steps, start your market research. Contact your state education department and obtain a list of all the schools in your target market. Build your mailing list because you are going to be sending them a direct mail brochure.

Who to send to? Certainly not the principle, but perhaps the principal (spelling does count when you are marketing to educators). Or it might be the PTA or PTO President. You could call each school, speak to the secretary, and ask who to send your brochure to.

Start with all the schools in a 100 mile radius of your home, then expand if necessary. Find out if there are any showcases for arts-in-education programs in your target markets, and if there are, go, exhibit, and showcase if possible.

Don't expect to fill your calendar for the upcoming spring, as most schools are booked by now. Focus on the fall of 2007, and get started now.

For more information, do a search on the Café as this has been discussed in the past. Also, I have some resources available at http://www.success-in-magic.com/resources.htm

Check out the DVD set, Magic Success Seminars: Targeting School Shows for Your Success, or the less expensive audio CD set at: http://www.success-in-magic.com/newproducts.htm

If you don't have an educational show, you could offer a family night/fundraiser show. I explain one such approach in my Magic Show & Ice Cream Social Special Report.

The elementary school market can be rewarding in many ways. Approach it like a professional, learn as much as you can, and you can do well.

Jim
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
mrunge
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Charleston, SC
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Wow! Thanks Jim. That's an entire lesson in marketing right there.

Mark. Smile
Habu
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I concur with Mark--excellent steps to follow.

I am a substitute teacher and will be until I have enough income as a magician to replace that, and will probably continue so I can keep a pulse on the kids.

I do mostly elementary school teaching.

What I can tell you is this:

I am an artist, have done many children's book cover art projects and illustrated others. When the teachers learned of my artistic ability they fell over themselves to get me to teach little art classes to the kids. Elementary schools have cut out most art classes and have focused more and more on math and reading. Teachers are looking for ways to put the art's back into school.

If you can submit a program that has educational value or character building, but also incorporates a sense of artistic expression, then you will catch the eye of educators.
www.magicbyhabu.com
Real name: Rick Jackson
Habu: Taken from SR-71 spy plane I worked on. It's name came from a poisonous snake on Okinawa. Hope my magic isn't poisonous!
johnobryant
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I know when I was younger I saw a magician came to my elementry schools PTA meeting and we bought tickets. I went and I don't remember anything educational...The show was phenomonal and very entertaining. Then the magician would get a percentage of the ticket sales, etc. It is a great oppurtunity to just have fun and raise money for the school.

Does this mean that not all school shows have to be educational? After all the show was at night time, after school hours.


I would like to perform my non education family magic on stage as well, but have never promoted that to schools just yet, but I am about to (the marketing material is almost done). What do you think about doing just a stage act at a school auditorium to help raise money for the school PTA/PTO so they can, later on, use the money they made to use the money for something educational, such as a field trip!

That is one sales pitch I plan on using, because I feel it WILL work. It is fast, fun and easy for the school and the magician to make money!


-john
Habu
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John,
I did around 20 or so fund raisers for PTA in the late 70,s early 80,s. They were not educational based at all; French Guillotine, Doll House, Squared Circle, Ribbon thru Waist, Rabbit/silk Productions and rope tricks as best I can remember.

They all went over very well and were seen as only entertainment. Some were after school and others were school assembly.

I think now-a-days it might be an easier sell if an assembly show was educational or character building in some way since it is taking up alloted school time...which is harder to pitch since schools are on a very tight schedule.

As for after school programs you can get PTA involved strictly from a fun/fund raising selling point.
Rick Jackson
www.magicbyhabu.com
Real name: Rick Jackson
Habu: Taken from SR-71 spy plane I worked on. It's name came from a poisonous snake on Okinawa. Hope my magic isn't poisonous!
kenscott
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In my experience in doing elem schools, I do my family night shows when I have been there during the day doing my educational show. Sometimes schools will have me come in and do the family night show.

John, that could work! But I will say if a school is going to book you for the family night show, more than likely you can sell them on booking your day time program.

Fact is, when I am there during the day performing for the students and I tell them I am coming back that night to do a different show, the attendance is always much better after they have seen me during the day.

Ken
jkvand
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Johnstown, PA
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"What do you think about doing just a stage act at a school auditorium to help raise money for the school PTA/PTO so they can, later on, use the money they made to use the money for something educational, such as a field trip!

That is one sales pitch I plan on using, because I feel it WILL work. It is fast, fun and easy for the school and the magician to make money! "

Jim Snack has a great idea for this in his Success In Magic course, and I believe he also offers it now as a separate piece. It's a fundraising show combining magic and ice cream, and it sounds like it might guide you in what you're trying to do. Best of luck, Jeff
jkvand
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Johnstown, PA
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I just realized that Jim already mentioned this in his post above - sorry for the redundancy! -sorry for the redundancy! -sorry f
johnobryant
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Texas
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Quote:
On 2007-01-31 08:59, kenscott wrote:
In my experience in doing elem schools, I do my family night shows when I have been there during the day doing my educational show. Sometimes schools will have me come in and do the family night show.

John, that could work! But I will say if a school is going to book you for the family night show, more than likely you can sell them on booking your day time program.

Fact is, when I am there during the day performing for the students and I tell them I am coming back that night to do a different show, the attendance is always much better after they have seen me during the day.

Ken


Yes-sir, I that is another great pitch. The more attendance...the more money for the school! Right on. They first give some to get some.

-john
Hagerman
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My best marketing strategy for schools is to buy a list from EDI in preprinted labels. You can get 4000 schools for about $150.00. Send postcards addressed to Cultural Arts. Simple and works every time.

http://www.ediusa.com
dkmontgomery
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In my state, I was able to go to the Department of Education web site and download a data base (which was free) that listed all the schools in my state (MO). I then went through and did some minor editing of information that I did not need and converted it to labels. Did not cost a thing. Of course, it might not be that easy for some of the other states out there.
jakeg
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Our local elementary school has a magician doing an evening show every year. There is no cost of admission. I have no idea what they pay, or, for that matter, who pays for the show. I went to the last one, and it carried no message.
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