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Jason London
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Napa Valley
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Greetings,

Just curious if anyone has actually used any of his school show programs? If so, would you say they are worth investing in them?

Thanks!
Jason London

This space for rent
Brent Allan
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Chicago
415 Posts

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I have Dave Dee's Original Kick-Butt Marketing system, and after that, I bought his school show system. I wound up returning the School Show system with the money back guarantee. WHY?

I followed all of the steps he lays out, and sent out a mailing of several hundred pieces. I got the standard 2-3% response to the mailing. However, EVERY school that responded wanted references for other schools I had performed for. It did not matter that for some of them, I was offering a FREE show. Well, obviously, I had not yet done any school shows, so I could not provide any references. Hence, they were no longer interested. I did not book a single show from that, and even after getting my money back from the system, I had still wasted several hundred dollars on the mailing itself.

I DID keep the initial "Kick Butt Marketing System," and still use the material within. If YOU try the school show marketing, your results may be highly positive. I am just passing along what my experience was, that you may use that knowledge however you choose.
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Dynamike
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Eternal Order
FullTimer
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It all depends on what level you are on. I never had his school shows system. But I have his Kick-Butt Marketing System. I had thought of 98% of the ideas already. If you are new with schools, I'll buy it. But remember to get references first as Brent mentioned above.

There are other marketing books out also for less money.

P.S. "Oops, I spilled my water." lol
Tim Hannig
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Chicago area
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I agree with Dynamike.

A large percentage of my income is from school shows, and even though I own it, I've never used the Dave Dee system.

Most of my shows come from referrals. I know, that's what we all hate to hear when we're trying to break into a new market. However, it's the truth.

I also bought his $900 "Success Magic" package, but haven't done a thing with it. He must love guys like me! The material is good, don't get me wrong. I just haven't had time to put it into practice.

Sorry that didn't work out for you, Brent. Don't give up.
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magicalmischief
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Massachusetts
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I have been looking at his system for the last several weeks...unfortunately can't convince the miss's (who is the keeper of the cash) to let me buy it. I guess my main interest is in the phone scripts that he offers and some of his letters. Anyone Care to share? Smile
Seems to me that death is just natures way of telling us to SLOW DOWN!
Ferdinand
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I have mixed feelings about the Dave Dee material.
I think the birthday party advice is very good indeed.
However, I am quite dubious about a lot of the other stuff.
It should be noted by careful study and reading between the lines that when Dave Dee first came out with this course he was doing birthday parties only.
Look carefully at the chronology of things and the advice he gives. Look at dates particularly that he seems to be engrossed in various activities.
I know that since the course has come out he has gone on to other things.Corporate work and suchlike although I have a great suspicion that a major part of his income is this course itself. He let the cat out of the bag slightly in one of his newsletters.

However at the time of the course he was advising on things that he wasn't particularly active or successful in AT THAT TIME. He was experimenting just as you and I are doing.

I smell a rat with the free show offer to schools. It makes you look like a beggar not a busy professional.

I particularly don't like the chain letter system. I tried it using his exact copy. I strongly suspect now that he had very little experience using it himself. Study the chronology, that is all I can say. Sniff around and use your nose and you will see what I mean.

I got people actually calling me up to say they weren't interested rather than just ignoring the letter. I got a feeling that I was offending people by sending out the stuff which is quite high pressure.

I think it actually cost me bookings with meeting planners and it has taken me quite a while to recover from that stuff I sent out.

I distinctly got a feeling that he hadn't actually tried out the stuff with any frequency himself. He was learning one or two steps ahead of us, his students. I don't like being a guinea pig. I think Dave should have done us the courtesy of having been doing the stuff himself for several years before he got money out of us.

I did not ask for my money back because some of the advice was good particularly the birthday party information.

I did get quite upset though when I followed through with his direct mail plan and came to a stop because after I sent out the packages to people I heard nothing back. I sent out those awful chain letter things asking why I had heard nothing back. But I still heard nothing. I thought I had done something wrong. I scoured the book to see what I was missing. What was I supposed to do when nobody replied?

I was furious to find that Dave put out a little book a couple of years later with his "improved" version of the course advertised. He said in this little book that he had the same problem that I had! In other words more evidence that he hadn't tried out the ideas very much himself. He then gave his "solution" which wasn't much of a solution anyway.

I expect someone who is supposed to be an expert marketer to have done the things himself for many years and not be just two steps ahead of his students in an on the job training type of thing.

I am pleased to see that my negative opinions are shared by a few people. I was beginning to feel that I was the only one in the world that was less than happy after an initial positive feeling.

I must say that it has quite put me off ordering any other marketing course. I was going to buy that Randy Charach one but once bitten, twice shy.

Sorry to be so blunt but it did cost me a lot of money for a not very well produced book. At least for that price the printing and production should have been good. I regret to say the content was like a meal only half cooked.
Jon Gallagher
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Elmwood, Illinois
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I bought the Just Say No Show from him last year and mailed the material to more than 500 elementary schools in Illinois at the beginning of this school year. I sat back and waited for my phone to ring.

And waited. And waited.

Between the show, the effects I needed for the show, the cost of printing and postage, and everything else involved, I had more than $1500 invested. I finally made my investment back, and I've got quite a few shows booked for next school year because of media coverage and word of mouth. But, just because you buy his system is NO sign you're going to make big bucks.

With marketing, I guess it comes down to what you feel comfortable with. I recently attended Paul Daniels' Master Class and he told of something he tried here in the US while under contract with the BBC. They assigned him the task of "becoming famous" in a week in a US city. Normally, I would have thought that his techniques wouldn't have worked in my area, but then he told where they selected him to go and it turns out it was my own backyard of Peoria!

It seems to me that from the marketing programs that I've seen, most give you ideas, but stop short. It's almost as if the publisher is afraid to tell you everything because if they do, you'll take business away from them. They give you some specific examples of off the wall ideas that most people would feel uncomfortable putting into practice.

Bottom line: The marketing courses will give you ideas. You are ultimately responsible for which ones you'll use and adapt to your particular style.
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Tod Todson
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All of the above being said then, are there any less expensive materials that folks HAVE found beneficial? Less costly books, articles, etc?

Thanks,
Tod
Mystifier, Youth Speaker
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macmagic
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I bought the Dave Dee course when it first came out as well and it has done nothing but improve my business!I am performing full time and doing really well at it, I bought his school programs and am now performing in many schools each year for the same schools! You can't look at it as a get rich quick thing you need to build it up, your clients list will go up each year.......I actually just decided I want to try some fairs this year so I re-read the kick butt system put together some letters, I found a list of about 40 fairs, sent a lead generation letter with a fax back, got a bunch of faxes back, sent out an info package, and just got a call today and booked a 2 day fair at a little over 1000 dollars a day! it cost me maybe 15 dollars in mailing! I am not saying his system is the absolute best and only system....but here is the key to any system you get YOU HAVE TO USE IT! and be consistent keep track of mailings what works what doesn't etc. then tweak and change them, there are a lot of systems out there and you should try to get as many as you can to try different things! I honestly can't say enough how much this system has helped me out!
Greg
"Its a magic thing...........you wouldn't understand"
Donald Dunphy
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If you want to succeed at anything, you should do exactly what Greg and Jon said. You should be tracking your results, and THINKING.

As a professional, you should always be interested in growth. You should always be reading, always learning.

This means reading more than just Dave Dee's course. (I am not making any specific comment about his product. I've never bought it, but know some people who have gotten good results from it.)

There is no "great one source." There are dozens, maybe even hundreds of relevant books for professionals. Some written by magicians, some not.

You should be taking what is taught, thinking about it, applying it, and adjusting accordingly. I find it incredible the number of people who say "I tried this, and it didn't work. Now, I don't like Dave Dee." Stop and think. Ask yourself. What did you learn from trying it? Did you think about it before BLINDLY following it step-by-step? What would you do differently next time? Can you really not learn a single thing from having taken some action, even if it wasn't the right action? (At least you took some action, don't stop now!)

Failure is only a temporary setback. It took 10,000 tries for Edison to get the light-bulb to work.

You should also find yourself a safe group of friends ("a mastermind group", to quote a Napoleon Hill concept) to help bounce ideas off of. What is your goal for being in such a group?

One possible benefit -- "I tried this, but got these results. How can I improve my results for next time?" I know of one place where I have found my mastermind group. It is safe to share, and my friends care about me and my business. I give and I take, I don't just take, in my mastermind group.

- Donald.

P.S. Yes, Tod, there are other books that cost less, that have excellent ideas in them, too. A person can grow by reading, thinking about, and applying all sorts of ideas from lots of different sources. Read through the threads. Go to other forums.

The information is there to be found, just like gold waiting to be mined! Example - I recommended a half-dozen resources for school assembly information on a thread here just a couple of days ago.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
macmagic
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Yes Donald I beleive I am also a member of this wonderfull master mind group you talk about and it is my number 1 resource! it has been very helpfull!
"Its a magic thing...........you wouldn't understand"
magic4u02
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I have found my "mastermind" group and they have helped me to grow in more ways then I could ever have imagined.

Kyle
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Jim Snack
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As someone who earned more than 50% of his income for over a decade doing school shows, I have to agree with Jon Gallagher. I only send out one direct mail brochure to schools each year to remind them of my show.

Word of mouth, referrals, showcasing at arts-in-education conferences, and newspaper publicity will get you more shows than a boilerplate direct mail letter.

If you really want to learn the secrets of working school shows from four working professionals whose strategies are proven in the real world, check out http://www.magicsuccessseminars.com

You will learn more in a day and a half and pay less than buying a "show or system in a box."

Regarding Ferdinand's comment: "I must say that it has quite put me off ordering any other marketing course. I was going to buy that Randy Charach one but once bitten, twice shy." Please don't lump us all together, there are differences.

Do your research before investing. There are lots of posts here on the Café on my Success in Magic course, as well as the others. And don't forget, like many who offer such products, I offer a 90-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied.
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2004-05-23 16:38, Jim Snack wrote:
If you really want to learn the secrets of working school shows from four working professionals whose strategies are proven in the real world, check out http://www.magicsuccessseminars.com


Hey, Jim, I plugged your school shows seminar on the thread about School Assemblies. Isn't that enough for you?! Smile Hehehe!

- Donald.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Jim Snack
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You can never have enough mentions; that's what promotion is all about. Thanks for helping.
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2004-05-23 16:38, Jim Snack wrote:
As someone who earned more than 50% of his income for over a decade doing school shows, I have to agree with Jon Gallagher. I only send out one direct mail brochure to schools each year to remind them of my show.

Word of mouth, referrals, showcasing at arts-in-education conferences, and newspaper publicity will get you more shows than a boilerplate direct mail letter.


I have to tell you, Jim, that's pretty amazing. Only one mailing per year.

I think those other methods of getting the shows are terrific, too.

There are many paths to success, and I am so glad that you have found yours and are willing to share it in your Success in Magic product.

I know some people who make their living from mailing to schools, rather than showcasing. They have plenty of referrals and repeat customers, too

All of the methods you've mentioned are terrific. Thanks for sharing.

- Donald.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Jim Snack
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With marketing, you have to find a mix of techniques that you are comfortable with. For example, I was never comfortable "cold calling," so that was never part of my strategy. That is not to suggest that cold calling is not effective - for the right person, it can produce fantastic results.

My best results came from people seeing my show, which is why showcases and referrals played a major part. I also was comfortable getting free publicity, so that was a strategy I used as much as possible.

There is no one "magic bullet" that can result in a full date book of shows.

The magic is in the mix.
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
drhackenbush
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I was laid off in August 2001. I started with Randy Charach's book in June 2002, then Dave Dee's books later that year, and then Jim Snacks' Success In Magic when that came out. I am now a full-time children's entertainer and I just bought my first house this past April. I might have used just one or two ideas from each of these courses so far, but absent any other explanation, I feel that if I hadn't read - and applied the material in - those courses, I'd still be working for someone else and still be renting an efficiency. Each of the writers, while certainly promoting their own material, do suggest investing in the other courses out there. If even one idea'll make the difference between living a life based upon other people telling you what to do and being your own boss, it's worth $97 or even $1,000. I bought a used copy of Napoleon Hill's "PMA Science of Success Course" textbook for $30 - though the Napoleon Hill Foundation sells the course for around $1,000 - one page in that book gave me the push to start my own record label and was worth thousands of dollars to me. It comes down to deciding if you'll actually apply what you read or just buy it, say "I don't wanna doooo this" and leave it on your shelf. All the courses may have some ideas you might shake your head at in regards to your own personal taste in marketing, or make you say "I wouldn't do it that way". But the key is feature extraction; finding those things you WILL make an effort to do even if you won't do anything else. I know there is a literal goldmine in all three of those authors' courses, but you can't get any of the gold unless you go out to the stream and pan for it, or better yet, stake your claim on the whole gosh-durn mine and dig it for all it's worth.
macmagic
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I have heard a lot of people buy some courses and say oh what a waste I already know all this stuff......but are you using it, testing things changing things etc. you must be constantly learning, I never wanted to use postcards, I just thought they looked cheap and sorta like a last ditch effort, when done properly they have been pulling way more for me then a lot of the other things I have tried, and I got that info from a free marketing newsletter! lets remember as well the info does not have to be specific to magic it can all be applied!
"Its a magic thing...........you wouldn't understand"
brownsentertainment
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Great advice Donald, thanks.
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