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Benji Bruce
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I thought you guys might be interested in the recent post I made in my blog for marketing. The basics...stop providing a service and start providing an experience. It is no longer enough to show up and perform. Clients must have an experience at every point of contact with you. Sending thank you cards isn't enough.

Here is the quick video about the topic...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXouUu2Q_eY

Or visit the blog at http://www.paidtoperform.blogspot.com

So I want to know...how do you guys provide an "experience" for your clients? You do a show...but what else? (the video gives you a few ideas on how I provide an experience for clients)
magic4u02
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Great question and a very cool food for thought. So many magicians fail to see what they do as a business. If you get paid even 1 cent for the magic you do you are in a business. If you get paid for your magic you are also a professional. There is no semi-professional. That gives the impression that you are not trying to be professional in what you do. In my mind you are either a professional or you are not.

With this concept in mind, you are a professional at all times. It does not start when the curtains open and end when they close. A professional entertainer is one always. It is the way you conduct yourself on the phone, the way you dress, the way you talk to the client's guests and so much more.

Every point of contact from the moment the lead comes in to long after the event is over, you are there to be a professional, act like a professional and give that client not just a show. You are much more then that.

Why is the person hiring you in the first place? Many may say "to perform a show for their guests." However, in reality, they have a need that they want a solution for. Consumers do not buy anything unless there is a need that they are searching for an answer to. You need to find out that those needs are and then offer a solution that meets and exceeds those needs.

Think about it for a second. You would never go to a mechanic unless there was a need you had for your car to be fixed or looked at. You don't go to the grocery store unless there is a need to restock on food items for the family. Likewise, folks do not buy entertainment unless there is a need for it.

We must also realize that the need they have goes much deeper then the classic thinking of "oh we just want our guests to be entertained". That may very well be true, but their needs often are far greater then that. It can be a variety of things such as:

- we have a need to raise money for our group or school
- we want the kids at the summer reading program to be rewarded for reaching a certain level of books. So this show becomes all about goal setting
- we have a need for the children to be empowered because they are mentally challenged and we want ways in which to teach them how to interact in a fun way
- we have a need for a show to educate children on an anti-drug or anti-bullying message so that they understand and learn
...and the list goes on and on

We must stop thinking we are there to just give the service of performance. If we are in the business of magic, then we must realize that it is called show business for a reason. So how does one provide an experience over just a service? Well for starters, we must learn a very powerful word. The word is a short word and only 3 letters but has the power to move mountains....."ASK".

You would be amazed at how many entertainers simply do not ever ask the client things they really need to know. We often just assume or never ask in the first place. If you are to be a solutions provider, you need to learn the real need or needs the client has. To best find those out, we simply ask them. "Michelle, can you tell me the ultimate goal of your event and what are you trying to accomplish that evening?" This gets them talking.

It is no longer about you hard selling to them. You are showing an interest in THEIR event and asking them to tell you what their needs are. Once you get them talking, it is much easier to be able to have the ability to offer solutions that directly answer their needs. You start to do this and your perceived value climbs high in the mind of the client. they no longer see you as magician A,B or C. They see you as for who you really are. They remember YOUR name because you are providing something no one else can or is willing to do.

Now the "experience" can continue and should continue through out the entire booking process, show process and long after the show is even over. You are building relationships with these folks. The more you build the relationship, the more power you have to keep these folks as repeat clients year after year.

I will try and talk later about different ways you can build the experience throughout the various stages of the client relationship. There are some great ways to really "reach out" to the client in a powerful way that gets them to see you in a much different light.

My 2 cents worth.

Kyle
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Starrpower
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Isn't it all really just semantics? Regardless of what you call it, if all you have ever been doing is "show up and perform" you aren't gonna go far. Sometimes, I believe we over-think things. One of the very basic concepts is to do an entertaining show.
jonathandupree
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Benji,
I think you have shared a great message about creating an experience. When you go above and beyond, when you go that extra mile even after an event by sending a personal thank you note, you create Top of the Mind Awareness Through Others. Next time they need someone or are speaking to someone and something about your industry comes up, you're on the top of their mind.

I did watch the video. I use video testimonials all of the time. I do believe that if I gave my camera to the host of the event, they would not want to be going around gathering video testimonials for me after their event. They usually have more important or better things to do. Part of me going the extra mile is that when someone books me, they can relax and enjoy their event and network and socialize and hear how great the show was by simply mingling with the guest after. Just my thoughts from the types of events I perform and speak at.

But again, I think your message is vitally important and I think 99% of people will hear it and still miss it and not consistently perform and serve their clients by going the extra mile and creating that experience. Thanks for sharing. And don't take my video comments the wrong way, that might work wonders for you and if it does, keep on doing it man!

Jonathan Dupree

P.S. Kyle, you hit the nail on the head. Creating the experience goes long after the event is over. EVERYTHING is about creating and building relationships.
magic4u02
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You are so right in that people can listen to this and even be handed all the tools they need and they will STILL refuse to take any action towards making themselves more successful. You can lead them to the water, but you can;t make them drink.

Creating the experience is just so much more then just performing a good show. If your thinking only goes that far, then you are really missing out on the most important aspect of being a paid professional.

One approach I take is my thank you kit that gets mailed to the person after the show is over. In it I will always write what folks said to me after the show. I include quotes from the kids and adults and state that I thought that they might be intersted to hear what others were saying about the show and THEIR events.

The reason I do this is often times (as Jon pointed out) the client is so busy running around that they never hear any of this stuff. This is my chance to let them know the great comments people were saying about the event. It makes them smile and feel good and is a wonderful way for me to continue the relationship after the show is over.

Kyle

Kyle
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Benji Bruce
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Quote:
On 2011-03-20 10:36, Starrpower wrote:
Isn't it all really just semantics? Regardless of what you call it, if all you have ever been doing is "show up and perform" you aren't gonna go far. Sometimes, I believe we over-think things. One of the very basic concepts is to do an entertaining show.


I'm not talking about the show at all. I'm talking about what you do before the show and after the show. For example...if you provide a service then you're doing a show. But if you're providing an experience then you do something like this:
-They call you and book you
-One week later they get an email from you with a link to a personal video that tells them they get to decide how the show goes. If they want Option A then they need to let you know asap because you will send them something in the mail. If they way Option B then they will need to ask people to take pictures of themselves to be included in the show for something special. So before your show even starts...it starts. When entertainers send a prediction in the mail they are starting the show before it really starts.
-You do your show
-At the gig, the person who hires you hears tons of feedback from you (either because they're recording it for you or you're telling the people one on one to go up and thank "John" for hiring you)
-A couple days later you send "John" an email with a link of a video that has people at the event saying, "John we loved Magician X, thanks for hiring him." And there are several people talking directly to John. It would be a video similar to this... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwRuWxyF9BY
-A week later, they get personal video footage of how you had them on stage involved in one of your tricks (you get them on stage and record it just so you can send it to them) and you email them a few pictures
- etc etc

Basically, you're providing an experience. They are involved before, during, and after your show. The experience doesn't have to be something elaborate but it is an experience.
jonathandupree
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Here is an email from a recent client of mine. After every show I send a thank you card with a box of gourmet brownies. In that thank you note, I make it just that, a thank you note. It is not a thank you note with some of my business cards stuck in there. It doesn't say, "Thanks and by the way, I appreciate referrals." I call that frosted covered dog crap. You know, when someone has a hidden agenda. Don't make your thank you a sales letter disguised as a thank you. People will "sniff" it out as frosted covered dog crap.

What are the results of genuinely appreciating your clients? Here is the email. By the way, they booked me for the same event next year even though I didn't mention I would like to do it in the thank you note. My thank you simply said Thanks for letting me be a part of their event.

Jonathan
BTW, I know Benji is talking about a lot more than just thank you's. I am just saying this is just one of the little factors we often miss that can make a huge difference in creating a great experience for our clients. Thanks again for starting this thread Benji.

Click here to view attached image.
Mindpro
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Great testimonial...what did you put in those brownies???
jonathandupree
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I am telling you man, the brownies are the stuff! I sent out 5 boxes with thank you notes last week and got 5 similar emails and voice mails.

I think it's just that people like being appreciated. They rarely get something "good" in the mail. Aside from the junk mail and bills, it's almost that child like feeling when you get a package in the mail unexpectedly.
magic4u02
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Jon: You are absolutely right. People do not send letters or write to people in the snal mail any more. it is so easy to just email people. I think that is why receiving a handwritten thank you note and a gift in regular mail means even that much more to a person.

I also send out gifts as part of a referral rewards program. I like to reward folks for passing my name along to someone else as they like the gift and it encourages them to do it more often. at the same time, they get to see how much I appreciate it.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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Starrpower
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Quote:
On 2011-03-20 13:46, jonathandupree wrote:
It doesn't say, "Thanks and by the way, I appreciate referrals." I call that frosted covered dog crap. You know, when someone has a hidden agenda.

Jonathan


Not to rock the boat, but isn't a thinly-veiled brownie-bribe just so much frosted poo-poo as well? Or, just as readily perceived as such?
jonathandupree
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No not at all. It is a gift saying thank you for booking me. There are no hidden agendas there at all. Frosted poo-poo would be including a business card or having my website in frosting on the brownie! Smile I am genuinely saying thank you , I appreciate you.
Dannydoyle
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Here is a tip. Once they are sold, they are sold. Do the best job you can do, but at some point leave them alone.

Yea I have heard all the guru nonsense for 25 years now, and now that we are on the other end, I just want guys who show up, do the show well, and shut up and go home. THAT is valuable in and of itself. There are people, (most in my opinion) who do not want to be upsold. They are sophisticated enough to see it comming a mile away from a 20 year old.

I have clients who will use nobody but me who I NEVER keep in touch with. I don't bombard them with idiotic emails about how my favorite football team is doing, or how my kids are doing or what the latest special they are running. They don't care, they really don't. I had a guy send me an "update" email FROM A PLACE I SENT HIM! What better way to tell a person you are not important to them than that huh?

There is a point at which you just leave them alone and let your work speak for itself. I know when you are 20 you want to get your name out there and all that, but it can get tiresome from a client perspective.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Starrpower
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I generally agree with you Danny, but this time you only have me about 70%. Yes, I think that the "It's ME, the Good Ol' Boy, and you're my buddy" contacts are annoying and transparent. But I also think that 1) a simple "Thank you" is never out of line (even though I still think brownies might look like the $20 next to your driver's license -- but's that's just me!), and 2) an occasional contact to remind them that you're out there will rarely be seen in a negative light.

People move, job situations change, some people are more organized than others, cards are lost, names are forgotten, etc. A gentle reminder may be all it takes to get the job again.

Now if you'll excuse me, my favorite ball team just won their game in Arizona and I am going to email my client list about it.
Dannydoyle
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Like anythung there is a happy medium.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Starrpower
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Quote:
On 2011-03-23 15:11, Dannydoyle wrote:
Like anything there is a happy medium.


Seems like there is a mentalist joke in there somewhere ...
Dannydoyle
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Yea some sort of mentalist/dwarf thing but it is late sorry.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
jonathandupree
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Anyone paying me a couple grand to come perform plus flying me in and putting me up in a hotel room can get a box of brownies with a thank you card. I don't believe it's over the top. It costs me a total of $11.00 including the shipping to send the card and brownies. Just my way to say thanks. But again, it's what I enjoy doing and works for me. You can just as easily send a thank you note or don't send them anything at all. This is just what I do.
Nash
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Jonathan

Your brownies are not over the top. People LOVE to be treated special.
I know if it was me, I would've LOVED it!
Don't give up, don't EVER give up.

virtual magic show
Close.Up.Dave
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Quote:
On 2011-03-24 15:45, jonathandupree wrote:
Anyone paying me a couple grand to come perform plus flying me in and putting me up in a hotel room can get a box of brownies with a thank you card. I don't believe it's over the top. It costs me a total of $11.00 including the shipping to send the card and brownies. Just my way to say thanks. But again, it's what I enjoy doing and works for me. You can just as easily send a thank you note or don't send them anything at all. This is just what I do.


All you're doing is promoting diabetes. How do you live with yourself?

Send them a diet book and two weeks free with a personal trainer.
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