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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » How Do I Get Gigs In A Highly Competitive Market? (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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RebelEntertainer
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John Abrams
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OK everybody. I officially resend my "Don't give up. Follow your dream" tag. I stand behind the rest of the post.
Dannydoyle
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http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dream This is dreams.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Goals This is goals.

It is important to know which you strive for, and the differences they contain.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
RebelEntertainer
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John Abrams
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I meant "Rescind" not resend.
andrewdodds
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Number one way to book gigs...land a restaurant period.
Ray Pierce
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Lol.. Geez... I thought I would get blasted for the heretical thoughts against "going for your dreams"! I'm speaking from so much personal experience as I was that guy! Now I seek wisdom over knowledge and I just try and be realistic (lol...but only when necessary!) Danny had some amazing thoughts as always and John, I still think the rest of your post was great and very valuable!

It's a tough room... but yields great results!
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
NexusMagicShop
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Buzz, while I admire your tenacity to experiment with marketing, and education. The one thing that needs to be looked at before building a site like Cheapest Magician. Is to really research keywords that are searched. And honestly I haven't checked yet, but my extensive marketing experience would think a parent would look up: "Hire a Magician" or "Hire a Magician (insert your city here)" or even "Book a Magician" would be searched over "Cheapest Magician". I would also venture to guess that "Affordable Magician" is searched more then Cheapest. Additionally cheap is a negative, so I would think that you may have greater success with a website named after one of my previous suggestions. But since you already have this page established I would make the following changes.

First off the site is nearly immediately deceptive to the visitor. Your visitors searched to find the Cheapest Magician. And yet you instantly say "I am not the cheapest working magician in the Bay", but I have a wonderful magic act for Children's birthday parties. The first part of that sentence is a major turn off to most people. And they will leave at this point without reading the rest of your page. I liken it to pulling into a gas station that has lower prices then the one across the street. Only to find that they are changing the pricing the moment you start to pump the gas, you would feel deceived.

I would would say something like: Honestly, no one wants to hire the Cheapest Magician. Really you just want a great value for your money, and yet still book a wonderful act. I understand this and ----> (At this point is where you make your introduction) This will lower your bounce rate instantly.

I would also now eliminate the following sentence. You covered it in the revision I suggested. REMOVE ----> You're not going to get a show like that from the cheapest magician in the Bay Area.

Lastly, I would place a link on your websites home page to this page with the anchor text Hire Magician in San Francisco. I would then establish mutual back links on other magicians websites outside the San Francisco bay area with the same anchor text. It's a sort of scratch yours if you scratch mine. Keep it to about three or four exchanged links. I suggest exchanging these links with other magic sites that rank better then yours. It helps lift your importance in the eyes of the search engines.

I hope this little bit of advice helps. There is so much more to SEO, but this is just the basics.
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*Mark Lewis*
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It appears that my gut feeling was correct.
Dannydoyle
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I do not think that getting people thinking about price is a good thing at all. You need to think about "value" not about the number of dollars spent. Value is a relationship featuring the benifits you offer. Price or the number of dollars for the show is not a relationship.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Ken Northridge
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I’m not so sure Danny. I believe there is a large percentage of the population that only cares about price. And I’ll bet there are many people that include ‘cheap’ in their google searches.

I guess no one wants to admit they are going after the cheap market or lower price market. But lets be honest, it does exist and its big business if you do it right. Ask Walmart.

How do you get gigs in a highly competitive market? Many politicians make the mistake of trying to be everything to everybody and wonder why they get voted out of office. Pick a segment of the business, excel in it, in fact do it better than anyone else. Then go after it with your marketing.

I’m not saying I would go the route that Buzz is going, but I’m giving him an A for creativity and courage. And incidentally, he is not alone:

http://www.cheapflights.com
http://www.cheapentertainment.com
http://www.cheapdrugs.com
http://www.cheaphomes.com
http://www.cheapapartments.com
http://www.cheapelectronics.com
http://www.cheaplawyers.com
http://www.cheaphealthcare.com
http://www.cheaperthandirt.net

To name a few.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
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Dannydoyle
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Whatever Ken. If you think that a magician trying to give a client an experience that they will remember so they hire them again is akin to airlines, lawyers, or whatever else you want to list, I can't help you. If you think that they are the same as Wal-Mart again, no help for you is available. If you can't see that there is a HUGE difference in what is going on, then cool.

Go for being the cheapest arround.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Leland Stone
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Quote:
On 2011-07-02 23:05, Dannydoyle wrote:
I think that you need to provide a little more info on the particular market you want to jump into. I am not in LA, though I would imagine it is pretty thick with performers.

If you are looking to be a kids performer, then the path is much different than trade shows. As Mindpro suggests your question is quite vague. It is one reason I was more funny than spacific. Contrary to what Benji seems to think there are different strategy points to different markets.


I'm not in L.A. either, but -- at about 25 miles SE in neighbouring Orange County -- I'm close enough to see downtown's high rise buildings and visit the Magic Castle. The economy here is charitably described as slow; Los Angeles county's unemployment rate was 12.5% as of March of this year (with other California counties' rates ranging as high as 20%).

My daytime job is carpentry, and like many industries, mine was severely shaken by the housing/economic collapse. In that job, I've seen a precipitous decline in homeowners improving their homes (most of my work was finish carpentry: doors, crown moulding, cabinetry, and trim). The much lower volume of calls I now receive is for long-deferred 'maintenance,' which is, in reality, 'fix this as cheaply as you can, or I'll get a guy from Craigslist to do it cheaper.'

It's an economic reality that people who fear losing their homes are going to be less inclined to improve those homes, and landlords who fear losing tenants aren't going to spend money on maintenance. Common sense seems to indicate that this same hierarchy of needs assessment applies to expenditures for other non-essentials as well...like magic for a party.

Yes, I'm aware that Rolex is still selling watches, Neiman-Marcus hasn't closed shop, and sharp magicians I admire (like Danny Doyle and Donald Dunphy) are doing okay with magic as a profession. And yes, failure is sometimes the marketplace's way of saying "not everybody gets to be an astronaut, kid!" But some of us, even reasonably competent magicians and fairly savvy marketers, are having a little harder go, and it's not *entirely* a lack of effort, initiative, planning, execution, or visibility.


All right, let me stack this kindling...there we go! Now, I'll pour some kerosene on the pile...like so! Okay, who's got a match? Let the flames begin! Smile

Leland
Domino Magic
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I agree with most of the points brought up here. It's a large market and there's a place for everyone. Ken's points about "cheap" are valid. Not everyone is looking for "an experience", but will be happy having any magician come in for 45 minutes at a low price. And even at a low price, there's no reason you cannot surpass your client's expectations to be asked back.

Not everyone is going to work for high paying clients and that's for a variety of reasons. Just as not everyone gets a shot at a national TV appearance and even less get a chance at a TV special.

But success means different things to everyone. Someone may be happy making $30,000 a year as a professional magician. Others will not be satisfied at less than $250,000 and that number is laughable to someone striving to make over $1,000,000 a year.

The economy isn't going to turn around in the next few months. It's going to take a few years to get out of this mess and some performers are going to be forced out. Others will get by and be able to wait it out. And there are others who will thrive. There's no correct answer/direction/plan because there are so many variables with each performer. There are easy-entry markets one can get into if they need to make money. I listed three in a previous post. Pursue those markets in a larger city and there's no reason one couldn't make $30,000 a year. No, they're not glamour gigs. No they're not going to get you corporate work or get you a spot on TV, but it's better than sitting around waiting for the phone to ring.
Ken Northridge
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Quote:
On 2011-07-05 11:37, Dannydoyle wrote:
Whatever Ken. If you think that a magician trying to give a client an experience that they will remember so they hire them again is akin to airlines, lawyers, or whatever else you want to list, I can't help you. If you think that they are the same as Wal-Mart again, no help for you is available. If you can't see that there is a HUGE difference in what is going on, then cool.

Go for being the cheapest arround.


I’m assuming you think that “giving your clients an evening to remember” is the only respectable and legitimate business strategy to adopt. Why isn’t it respectable and legitimate to do a large volume of shows at a low price?

By the way, this is not my strategy. In fact, I’ve raised my school assembly price last year and I am about to raise my birthday party prices. And frankly, my business is doing very well. I’m just saying it seems people who have low prices are looked down upon, when in fact they could be making more money than many other magicians that are waiting for the few clients that can afford to pay their price.

And, I guess I am beyond help because I think the Walmart analogy is a good one. Walmart makes huge profits catering to customers that are price conscious. High volume, low profit margins, but high profit dollars. Do you have to do a lot more work for you money? Sure, but some people don’t mind hard work. Some people are not on their way to becoming the next David Copperfield. Some people want to run a profitable business in this difficult economy any way they can.

How do you get gigs in a highly competitive market? I think lowering your price is a legitimate and respectable strategy. Some of us may be frustrated by it, but it is an honest answer to the opening post.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
Ray Pierce
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I totally agree with Danny about shifting the focus to value. I will also admit that I was looking for a new voice over guy to do a commercial spot for me and in looking online, found a service called CheapVoiceOvers.com. I was on a massive budget constraint and when I checked it out I found a really good quality guy that gave me a great deal as he worked out of his home studio for people all over the country.

This is not meant as an endorsement and I have no connection to it but I have to admit that at the time when I had limited funds, I did look at the site based on the name, then found a great value in the product.

Do I want to sell my product as "cheap"? Probably not but it was effective for certain markets. Yes, it's frustrating and now we have to carefully position ourselves individually depending on our product and market. It's just always hard to tell others where they should draw that line with marketing. I know where mine is but that's a very personal choice. Be your own judge!
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Ken Northridge
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Domino,

Thanks for that post. We seem to be on the same page. No really, we are both on page 2. Smile

Concerning your earlier post:
Quote:
On 2011-07-03 12:10, Domino Magic wrote:
Here are three suggestions if you need to book shows right away:

1. Retirement communities.
Get on the phone and call independent living communities and you'll book shows right away. In the LA area, I would guess you'll make about $150+ a show.

2. Daycare Centers.
Do the same. Get on the phone and call. You'll start booking shows right away.

3. Restaurants
Get in the car and go to restaurants, talk to the manager/owner. If they're not interested you will know within a couple of moments. If they're on the fence, offer a free couple of hours. If you're good, you'll get the job. The money may not be great, but it's a great showcase.

You will find virtually zero competition in these markets. It just takes getting on the phone or getting in your car to book the shows.


That is great advice but when you say ‘virtually zero competition in these markets,” I must disagree. Maybe its just my area but both Retirement communities and Daycare centers are flooded with competition. And restaurants? Oh my goodness, I don’t know what it is about this area but it seems 9 out of 10 magicians in this area are knocking on the doors of restaurants!

But because of the large number of these places, with enough effort I’m sure your advice will end with some success even in the busiest of markets.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
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TheDean
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Though it IS too bad… too many things are becoming more and more ‘commoditized’ for too many reasons to list. Look at “Groupon” (and all the discounting sites) and “FIVERR” (TenBux, FFiver, …etc) where you can get just about anything (LOTS that ARE great quality!) for ONLY $5 and $10 bucks!

THAT is NOT to say that WE have to ‘commoditize’ our own services and success. I guess you can, and performers have been doing it for years long before the ‘Groupon/Fiverr’ phase.

I totally agree that promoting value is one of the keys and for too many, easier said than done or we simply would not have this problem I would say.

Too… based on my experience; passion, dreams, vision, your ‘worth-it’ factor, purpose DO have a powerful roll in our over-all success and even marketing success. To dismiss that element in our over-all success mix would be costly on many levels.

Just sayin’

My two cents worth…
Dean
<><
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…"

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Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2011-07-02 15:09, mgsmagic wrote:
I live in Los Angeles where I've been attempting to build my magic biz to no avail. I get only sporadic work and even when I give away my work I get nothing (I stopped doing that--the exchanges for "free publicity" to do a show don't work). I have bought marketing material and have what I think is a fair to decent web site. I've been trying for over 5 years and no growth in business at all. I just want one party or event a week...that's it I don't plan to be f/t pro...just enough to continue to refine my act and provide quality entertainment (If I can get more than great!). Help!


I saw that you have some customer testimonials on your website. They are very hard to read in IE (looks different in FF). Are you aware of that problem?

They should also include the last name, to have more impact. Are you aware of that problem?

There are other things that should be done to your website to improve it, too. Some were mentioned earlier on the thread. Video, photos, copywriting, etc. If your website needs help, maybe other aspects of your marketing need help, too.

Also, do you have repeat customers? And, do you get spin-off shows?

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Dannydoyle
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Ken, yea there is money in being the absolute cheapest thing going. Dollar Store is proof.

I simply am saying that shifting to a value stance as opposed to a price stance will make even a price motivated client happy.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
NexusMagicShop
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Here is the current real stats from Google Ad words:
Locations: United States Languages: English

Searches per month for: "San Francisco Magician: 590

Searches per month for: "Cheap Magician" 320
Searches Per month for: "Bay Area Magicians" 320
Searches per month for: "Magicians for Hire" 6600 Medium to high competitive status
Searches per month for: "Magic San Francisco" 5400 - low competitive status
Searches per month for: "Parties for boys" 246,000 Medium competitive status

Based on this: The reality is while it may be true that people want a good deal. The facts show that a majority of parents are not searching for Cheap Magicians for their Children's birthday party.
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Domino Magic
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Based on those stats and considering how large San Francisco is, there's not a lot of people looking for magicians in San Francisco. 590 is a very, very low number and in the internet search world, the difference between 320 & 590 is minimal.
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