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James Munton
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Dallas, TX
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Ed,

I've always enjoyed your posts and feel you are a wonderful addition to this forum. I also get annoyed when I feel people are manipulating me to buy something. Just tell me what it is, how much it costs and be done with it!

Warmest regards,
James
JeffWampler
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Bristol, TN
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Using the word "tactic" is just a matter of semantics. Perhaps the word "strategies" would be better?

Certainly different tactics or strategies work better in different markets. One way to find out what works best is to read, study, and figure it all out yourself, or to buy a course from someone who's done all the heavy lifting for you. I've heard great things about Jack's course, and James, your video looks awesome.
jackturk
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I do happen to do a whole lot more than birthday parties, however, I am not ashamed to admit that the majority of my magic business is family programs - for schools, scouts, PTAs, and others.

Saturday night I performed for a morale event for a local Project Management consulting firm - which was fun as I've done a ton of serious software project management work myself, and I can definitely relate to a technical, nerdy audience.

Regarding the notion about "hunting folks down like deer" with tactics, I think that's clearly not the focus you should have in your marketing.

The key to great sales copy (and I'm a big fan of writing great sales copy) is to truly understand the needs and pains and challenges your prospects are facing. It is not an "Us vs Them" kind of thing - it's more like, "how can I truly help them better by understanding them better?"

Yes, you do have strategies and tactics to get your business message out there - that's critical.

I look at it this way:

People have life and business situations where they need the types of services I provide.

I do a great job at providing those services.

Therefore, it is not only good business on my end to make sure information about my services get out there, it is in fact my moral responsibility to make sure that prospects know and understand there's a quality, reliable solution available - and that solution is little ol' me.

If you're good, you should make sure customers know you are an option.

If you're not doing so effectively, you are letting those customers down by enabling less qualified options to get their business.

--Jack Turk
"59 Ways To Recession Proof Your Entertainment Business -- FREE!"
http://www.GetLeadsLikeCrazy.com

"How To Make $25,000 a Year Doing Birthday Parties Part-Time"
http://www.magicmarketingcenter.com/birthdayPT
trickychaz
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Quote:
On 2010-01-28 13:06, jackturk wrote:
I do happen to do a whole lot more than birthday parties,
however, I am not ashamed to admit that the majority of
my magic business is family programs - for schools, scouts,
PTAs, and others.

Saturday night I performed for a morale event for a local
Project Management consulting firm - which was fun as I've
done a ton of serious software project management work myself,
and I can definitely relate to a technical, nerdy audience.

Regarding the notion about "hunting folks down like deer" with
tactics, I think that's clearly not the focus you should have
in your marketing.

The key to great sales copy (and I'm a big fan of writing great
sales copy) is to truly understand the needs and pains and
challenges your prospects are facing. It is not an "Us vs Them"
kind of thing - it's more like, "how can I truly help them better
by understanding them better?"

Yes, you do have strategies and tactics to get your business message
out there - that's critical.

I look at it this way:

People have life and business situations where they need the types of
services I provide.

I do a great job at providing those services.

Therefore, it is not only good business on my end to make sure
information about my services get out there, it is in fact my
moral responsibility to make sure that prospects know and understand
there's a quality, reliable solution available - and that solution
is little ol' me.

If you're good, you should make sure customers know you are an option.

If you're not doing so effectively, you are letting those customers down
by enabling less qualified options to get their business.

--Jack Turk


Jack

I have discovered as a full time magician that I will soon have to branch out into other family shows. I look at them as "live advertising" to get more birthday party work. I have been strictly doing birthday parties since November...with the exception of Christmas calls.

I suppose rather than tactics we could look at them as "awareness" Each "awareness" that you put to use will be an opportunity to keep yourself in front of your paying audience. I am not sure where the guy came up with "hunting folks down like deer" came into play, but that is not my intention at all. I do however want to constantly look for new marketing ideas or "awareness" to keep myself in the top of my prospects minds.

Can you elaborate on my "tactics" a little more? I don't want to come across to my customers that I am "hunting them down like deer" THanks Charles

Quote:
On 2010-01-28 10:27, Ed_Millis wrote:
I wonder about the concentration on "tactics" - sounds almost like you're a hunter trying to bag the most and biggest deer. Yah, in one sense marketing _has_ to be about finding out what works to get to the customer you need to reach.

I just know that I can feel it when I'm approached by someone who sees me as a target, rather than a real live person. What "tactic" is going to "get to me"? The one that lets me know you value me as a person, not just a wallet in your gunsights.

I really don't worry about this "personal touch" from Wal Mart or the gas station. I'm not emotionally involved with those purchases. But when you're going to present me with the opportunity to part with a major chunk of money - especially in this economy - and I feel like "you" (used generically, not personally) are simply trying out different baits to see which one I'll bite on, then I'm totally turned off.

I speak as someone who's never looked at a marketing course (other than reading some books and blogs), but been the target of much marketing over the years! What ever happened to just being a nice personable guy that people want to do business with? Or doesn't that bring in enough money?

Ed


Personable and nice is a huge part of my equation. When I say "tactics" I mean ways of reaching those that are looking to hire you. The more you keep yourself out there in the public eye, the more they will think of you when they need your services. I don't throw marketing at my customers like a dart board. I like to know my entire script, all the benefits from it, and then let the customer do 90% of the talking while I take notes. When I hear a "problem" I can offer a "solution".
Ed_Millis
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Like I said:
Quote:
and I feel like "you" (used generically, not personally)


So I don't know if you, Charles, thought I was personally singling you out.

Quote:
I speak as someone who's never looked at a marketing course (other than reading some books and blogs), but been the target of much marketing over the years!


Marketing is not my gig, and I hate the traditional idea of sales. There's a lot involved in there, and I'm not going to go into it. But I also tried to make it clear that I do not understand any particular "lingo" being used, and this is how it strikes me. Especially when I've felt severly "targeted" over the years by businesses who are obviously using some kind of marketing program. They must be, because it all looks the same and turns me off the same!

So now that the shoe is on the other foot and I'm the one who needs to market to them, I want to be very careful that I do not make my prospective clients feel like fresh meat in my sights.

I hear "tactics" (or "strategies", or whatever), and it makes me feel like I'm given the blueprint for a maze, and if I just drop my prospect into the maze and celverly guide his responses to choices, then he'll pop out in customer database paid in full. So none of it rests on who I am, only on me "taking action"!! And none of it feels respectful of the customer, who is a person like I am.

Again, just my feelings from where I stand as a non-marketing-savvy Joe Blow individual. I think I've got to learn about this. I've not delved in very deep yet - got a lot of other stuff going on. But I also have ignored a lot of what I've read because of the way it hits me - the customer is just a raw bit you drop into your machine, and you turn the cranks until he pops out as a paid invoice.

Feel free to ignore me at your earliest convenience.
Ed
James Munton
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Quote:
The key to great sales copy (and I'm a big fan of writing great sales copy) is to truly understand the needs and pains and challenges your prospects are facing.


This is why it is good to have different perspectives. Personally, I think writing good sales copy is extremely overrated. I also don't think it really matters what color your business card is or what font you use. Most of my customers don't have any "pains and challenges!"

I've found that most of my customers are like Ed. They just want to know what you do, how much you charge and want some degree of confidence you won't be awful.

But there are many ways to do this stuff. No rights and wrongs. I just know what has worked for me.

James
lou serrano
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Quote:
On 2010-01-28 15:25, Ed_Millis wrote:

So now that the shoe is on the other foot and I'm the one who needs to market to them, I want to be very careful that I do not make my prospective clients feel like fresh meat in my sights.



Ed,

I think many people have the same opinion that you do. Marketing and business is not about manipulating people, it's more about educating them into making the best choice for themselves.

In my course I have an entire section on converting prospects into customers, but that section begins with how to make an instant connection with the person you're dealing with. It's by having a "genuine" interest in the other person. I'm not saying, "pretending" to have a genuine interest, but authentically having a genuine interest in the other person.

In communicating with others, listen to what they have to say. What problem are they being faced with, and how can you be the solution to their problem?

Your marketing efforts should clearly define who you are and what solutions you provide. I don't think there is a person on earth that would be turned off by your efforts in trying to help others.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano

Quote:
On 2010-01-28 15:51, James Munton wrote:

Most of my customers don't have any "pains and challenges!"



James,

I wish my customers were like yours. Life would be so simple.

Everyone of my customers is faced with some sort of challenge when they decide to hire me. A husband having a birthday party for his wife is trying to figure out how to keep their guests entertained for the evening. A restaurant owner is trying to figure out how to keep guests from leaving the premises when there is an hour wait for a table. A company exhibiting at a trade show wants to make sure they're booth is packed with prospects to make the best use of the tens of thousands of dollars they are spending at a convention. A company having a sales meeting wants to deliver their message in a compelling way to energize their sales force.

All of these are challenges. The person that can best convey how they are the best solution to tackle these challenges will have a recipe for success.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
trickychaz
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Quote:
On 2010-01-28 15:51, James Munton wrote:
Quote:
The key to great sales copy (and I'm a big fan of writing great sales copy) is to truly understand the needs and pains and challenges your prospects are facing.


This is why it is good to have different perspectives. Personally, I think writing good sales copy is extremely overrated. I also don't think it really matters what color your business card is or what font you use. Most of my customers don't have any "pains and challenges!"

I've found that most of my customers are like Ed. They just want to know what you do, how much you charge and want some degree of confidence you won't be awful.

But there are many ways to do this stuff. No rights and wrongs. I just know what has worked for me.

James


I think its a combination of all of it! I like what you say "they want to know to some of confidence you wont be awful"

Really though...a ton of my phone calls are I want more information on your show, how much?

I like to say "OK I have several packages avaliable suitable for everyones needs" Do you have a date confirmed?"

I keep asking questions and listening until I can find their problem and then offer a solution.

Posted: Jan 28, 2010 5:29pm
As for Lou, Please don't take this the wrong way, but I think it is terrible that someone has to buy a course to find out the information they are seeking. That is why we are here...to learn from others.

What gets old for me is when these marketers throw out bits and pieces and then say go here "website link" and buy my product to learn more. I personally don't think you can put a price tag on knowledge. If someone is passionate to learn, then a mentor will sweep them off their feet and teach them the ropes "free"

One other thing that aggrivates me; Marketers complaining that we are seeking free free free without wanting to pay a price.

This is not a direct stab at you..I don't even know you! I like to offer my birthday party moms a party planning guide filled with tips, hints and tricks and compliments of "kids party entertainer john doe" I am not asking them to buy anything...I am offering them something of value and letting them know who I am and what I do.
Davidicus
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<<One other thing that aggrivates me; Marketers complaining that we are seeking free free free without wanting to pay a price.>>

Really? Care to give examples? I personally have not heard compaints. More along the lines, "If you do not want it, don't buy it".

There are MANY GOOD marketers and teachers out there freely dispensing their knowledge to anyone who would honestly like to learn. I have picked up many tips and tricks from the likes, of Jack Turk, Joel Bauer, Dean Hankey, Dave Lakhani and many more. I HAVE picked up some of their material, but most of it after the fact to make sure that their line of thinking is a right fit for me.

<<I like to offer my birthday party moms a party planning guide filled with tips, hints and tricks and compliments of "kids party entertainer john doe" I am not asking them to buy anything...I am offering them something of value and letting them know who I am and what I do.>>

Who wouldn't like to offer a tip guide? It's a great AIDA and positioning tool!
lou serrano
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The local library is full of free information. When I didn't have any money, that was the first place I went for information. The Magic Café is full of free information given by highly respected professionals like Jim Snack, Dean Hankey, and Seth Kramer. You can sign up to get free marketing and business tips on my website and on the websites of others. I have mentored free of charge countless magicians and other small business owners. I'm sure others have done this as well.

For the record, I have invested about $30,000 educating myself on business and marketing. I've invested in books, CDs, and courses from all types of marketing experts both in and outside of magic. I've attended seminars, lectures, and teleseminars given by countless marketing and business experts, and I continue to invest in my education.

Doctors and lawyers attend many years of school and invest tens of thousands of dollars for their education. The same goes for many other professions, yet nobody complains that they have to pay for their education. If you have the ability to pay for an education, more power to you. if you aren't currently able to afford an education, there are plenty of free resources available to anyone that is hungry for it.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
Davidicus
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Quote:
On 2010-01-28 17:54, lou serrano wrote:
I have mentored free of charge countless magicians and other small business owners.


Lou, would you mentor me on the Steel Ball Routine? Smile

Sorry, I couldn't help it Smile
lou serrano
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EventEntertainer,

Call me.

Lou
trickychaz
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Lou,

I should elaborate on what I said a bit more. I was not making a stab at you in particular.

What I am saying are infomercials that Tease Tease Tease to try and get you to buy. It's a waste of my time unless they have something of benefit to me. I don't need the next revolutionary mop that will solve all my problems. On the other hand If my mop was giving me back problems from bending, and they stressed that in the ad...I would probably buy it!


Most marketing courses are 97-197-297 and are wrapped up in some good deal that you just can't pass up! It's getting annoying, and chaps my ass.

Jack Turks course is affordable to those who want the info. In my opinion a book on marketing with a DVD, audio set shrink-wrapped doesn't add any value to me. It's the usefulness and affordability that caters to my needs. I give out goody bags for the birthday party moms and they like that I offer them b/c it saves them time.

They never say "hey, I could have bought these cheap toys online at wholesale rates, put them in a bag and twist tied them. It's a benefit to them b/c it saves them time in their already busy lifestyles.

Quote:
On 2010-01-28 17:47, EventEntertainer wrote:
Quote:
One other thing that aggravates me; Marketers complaining that we are seeking free free free without wanting to pay a price.

Really? Care to give examples? I personally have not heard complaints. More along the lines, "If you do not want it, don't buy it".

There are many good marketers and teachers out there freely dispensing their knowledge to anyone who would honestly like to learn. I have picked up many tips and tricks from the likes, of Jack Turk, Joel Bauer, Dean Hankey, Dave Lakhani and many more. I have picked up some of their material, but most of it after the fact to make sure that their line of thinking is a right fit for me.

Quote:
I like to offer my birthday party moms a party planning guide filled with tips, hints and tricks and compliments of "kids party entertainer john doe" I am not asking them to buy anything...I am offering them something of value and letting them know who I am and what I do.

Who wouldn't like to offer a tip guide? It's a great AIDA and positioning tool!

I can't recall but I did hear a reference on a teleseminar. As I said it's not a stab at the guys here on the Café.
Thom Bliss
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"What ever happened to just being a nice personable guy that people want to do business with? Or doesn't that bring in enough money?"

Well, it won't bring in any money if people don't know you, don't know what you do, don't know that you are a nice personable guy ...

One very important part of marketing is letting people know that you exist ... Another is letting them know how to contact you. One you've contacted them or (better) they've contacted you, then you can be the nice guy .... And one that can solve the problem they have.
lou serrano
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Charles,

I didn't take your comment as a stab at me. I too was talking in general.

Affordability and value is subjective. If somebody invests $1000 into a marketing program and that person increases his yearly income by 10, 20, 50, or 100 thousand dollars, that person would have found value in that program. On the other hand, if someone invests $20, follows the program, and they get no results, then that product was completely worthless. It's a waste of time and money. It's all subjective.

Luckily for you, nobody is forcing you to buy any of the products that are on the market, and nobody is forcing you to read any of the advertising.

I know that if I'm going to make a purchase, I want as much information as possible before I invest my hard earned money.

Sincerely,

Lou Serrano
Jim Snack
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This is an excellent interesting discussion, and I'd like to jump in with a comment on strategies and tactics. People often confuse the two; it's not a matter of semantics, it's a matter of focus.

It seems that everybody wants to learn new tactics, i.e tell me the specifics on how you do what you do to get work. Then, taking a shotgun approach, they start doing all the things everybody else is doing, hoping it will get produce clients. But they have a more fundamental problem. They are putting the cart before the horse.

Before implementing tactics, you must first create a vision for your business, Then, formulate strategies for realizing that vision. Strategies will vary for different people with different visions. Only after creating a clear vision for the next one, five, or even ten years of your business, you can formulate a strategy for turning your vision into reality. You shouldn't even worry about tactics until you lay that foundation.

Lance Burton always envisioned having a large illusion show. His early strategy was to create a world class ten minute manipulative act, and work that for ten years plus years in Las Vegas, while building his illusion show. His strategy from the beginning was that his ten minute dove act would eventually be the opening of his illusion show. Lance had a clear vision and specific strategies for achieving that vision.

At the Legends of Magic convention a few years ago, someone asked Lance about how to market and his response was classic. He said, "Don't ask me, I've only had three jobs in my whole life!" Lance never sent out a brochure, or done any of the tactical things we are always discussing.

Ed, in one of his insightful postings, wrote, " When I hear "tactics" (or "strategies", or whatever), and it makes me feel like I'm given the blueprint for a maze, and if I just drop my prospect into the maze and cleverly guide his responses to choices, then he'll pop out in customer database paid in full. So none of it rests on who I am, only on me "taking action"!! And none of it feels respectful of the customer, who is a person like I am."

Ed is right, and if that is how you view strategies and tactics, then you are focusing on the wrong thing. Strategies and tactics do help one navigate a maze, but it's not the maze for the customer, it's the maze for the performer, trying to build a successful performing business.

And there are many possible paths through that maze, all leading to different exits. Some will exit in las Vegas, others will exit doing trade shows, still others will exit doing school shows. Before deciding between take a right or turn in the maze, you might want to think about where you want to end up when you come out.

Jim
Jim Snack

"Helping Magicians Succeed with Downloadable Resources"
www.success-in-magic.com
TheDean
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Jim, as always, YOU are my HERO!
Dean Hankey, *M.D. - The Dean of Success Solutions!
Serving & Supporting YOU and Your Success!
"Book More Shows... Make More Money... SERVE MORE PEOPLE! - Not Necessarily In That Order…"

(*Marketing Doctor) Smile
Bill Hilly
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Good thoughts Jim. And I too appreciate this thread.

I've bought a few marketing courses, some trash, some I'm still angry about and need to get over it, and some that were and continue to be very good and useful.

Joining the email lists of these guys is a good idea too. One of the lists I'm on sent a message to all past customers about a January Blowout sale. I missed the deadline but lucky for me there was such interest that he decided to burn a few extra CDs and I was able to get on of those. I know from my radio days that kind of "extended because of..." thing is sometimes planned in advanced, but even if that's what happened here I don't care because I did want the thing. I just didn't see the first notice.

As it turns out, one of the audios was taken from a question and answer session of a conference I have on DVDs. I always intended to make a CD of it but didn't get around to it. Now I have it, and I'm happy about it. Thanks Jim. That Blowout thing was the best the buy I've made it some time.

I would also suggest to read everything you can about the course you're interested in, the guy who sells it, and how it's worked for those that bought it, right here on the Café. There are two guys who get praise on here that I don't agree with, but I bought their stuff before I read about them here, and I did learn something from the guys. Mostly I learned not to do business like them. NOTE: I did decide to keep the stuff and not return it for a refund - because I learned something. BTW one of those guys gets slammed at least as much as praised here, so it's balanced I guess.

And I am NOT talking about Jim now. Jim is a true professional, a gentleman, and a giver. Anyone looking into him or his stuff should know by now the evidence is overwhelmingly positive. And he did not pay me or give me anything to say that - not yet anyway Smile
Dannydoyle
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I for one never ever wanted to chase the one night shows. I have always centered my focus on long term gigs. I was prepared to move to wherever this would happen to take me, and happy to do whatever it took to avoid doing the one shot deals.

It was just the way I wanted to go about it. I have never sent out flyers, mass emails, or any of the things in most marketing programs.

One thing that was hit upon, and I think it is a weird thing to grasp, but not all marketing works or is right for all people. I mean I know all the "solve your customers problems" stuff is all the rage right now, but every time we have ever tried to work with people like that they never seem to work out too well for what we need. I think there is a lot of work out there for a guy who just shows up and does his job, and moves along. Many clients or agents today do not have too much need for "problem solving" ability.

Again I do not deal in those one night dealios so I do not presume to speak about them or say what is right or what is wrong. There are a lot of programs out there though, because there are a lot of different types of venues and performers.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Bill Hilly
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Jim, maybe you can help me with something.

(See how I spoke nice about him before without asking, and now....)

I've going through the "#2 Getting Grants for Performing Magic.pdf" in the Special Reports folder of "Success in Magic" and I'm wanting to use that to help me figure out how to approach companies to sponsor me at certain places.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Beano
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