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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Seth Godin on Talent and Vendors (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Close.Up.Dave
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If you don't read Seth's blog then you definitely should! This was his post today, and I thought it would be great to discuss.

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/......ors.html
Ray Pierce
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Really well thought out. I've also warned about using a vendor as a consultant, similar problems.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
rjones683
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Seth is always a good read. He usually comes up with a different view on things. The Purple Cow is an excellent book.
Regards,
R
rjones683
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Seth is always a good read. He usually comes up with a different view on things. The Purple Cow is an excellent book.
Regards,
R
Ed_Millis
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When I read that, I realized that most people who inquire about a show treat me like a vendor, not like an artist: they expect to get a cookie-cutter show that is comparable to anything else and that's how they value it. If I can't raise my prospect's perceptions of me to see me as an artist creating something just for them, then to them I will always be just another vended commodity.

When I'm faced with choices of vended items - in a machine, in a store, in a phone book, on Google - I'm not looking for something based on meaning, I'm looking for something based on value per dollar. If I perceive the jump house is a "better deal", that's what I will get. But if somehow the magician has managed to convey a personal, artistic, unique touch that I must have and can get nowhere lese, then I don't even look at the other options. I'm not staring into a vending machine - I'm buying art.

Ed
Close.Up.Dave
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I agree Ed. It is very frustrating to talk to people who treat us like we are vendors.

I have to say though, it also falls on us in the way we portray ourselves to potential clients. This is something I feel like I struggle with every time I encounter a person who treats me like a vendor. Its tough to change someone's perspective on our role as as an artistic service, especially in this economy.
Chris Capstone
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The way to insure that prospective clients will treat you as an artist with talent rather than a vendor selling a service is to BE AN ARTIST WITH TALENT.

You must also portray that fact on your website, in promotion materials, and in the way you conduct yourself when communicating with prospective clients.

If people are treating you like a vendor it's because you allow them to do so. Your IMAGE as a professional magician is your most valuable asset. Carefully develop it and guard it.

It is a good sign that you are succeeding when the majority of prospective clients are contacting you because they want you in particular rather than just looking for "a magician."
Chris Capstone
Ed_Millis
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A further thought -- my main business focus is kid's parties, libraries, and schools. As a general rule, these people are not looking for an "artist" - they're looking for a vendor: who's got close to what we want for a reasonably cheap price? If this is where I want to work, then I am setting myself up as a vendor, yes? Is that bad?

I think it's Jack Turk who says most parents look for a birthday magician like they look for a plumber: "I need someone now! Quick - who's available?" (At least, that's how *I* do it!) But over time and by recommendations, a certain vendor gets a reputation and becomes the "go-to" vendor. Still a vendor, yes? But a highly-valued one, and therefore the one selected.

Am I mixing thoughts here and saying the same thing only different? Or is there decent worth in simply becoming a highly-valued vendor of your particular product?

Ed
Close.Up.Dave
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I think no matter what you do, there will always be price shoppers or people who don't get the concept of how to buy artistic services.

However, I still think its up to us to inform/educate people on the difference. This article I think was aimed to do that, and shows that there is a need to educate people on the subject. We are on the other end of it, and I think that shows that there are still ways that I, and many others, can improve in this area of business.

As for being a highly-valued vendor, I think there is still something to be said about it. You don't have to have brand loyalty to still use a big brand named product.
Chris Capstone
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Quote:
On 2011-09-12 13:29, Ed_Millis wrote:
...my main business focus is kid's parties, libraries, and schools. As a general rule, these people are not looking for an "artist" - they're looking for a vendor: who's got close to what we want for a reasonably cheap price?...I think it's Jack Turk who says most parents look for a birthday magician like they look for a plumber...
Ed


Ed, I respectfully but strongly disagree that libraries, schools, and other bookers of family/kid shows are not looking for quality performing artists with talent.

Many years of experience tells me that these bookers are tired of no-talent, look-a-like hacks using the same props, jokes, and bits. When a truly unique performing artist with actual talent comes along, they are more than willing to pay a premium if their budget allows.

Just because a potential booker has a small budget it doesn't mean they want to hire a no-talent hack at a cheap price. It just means they have a small budget. They still want a quality performer. They just can't afford one. These people are not qualified prospects unless you are willing to give them a discount (but only in exchange for some benefit to you.)

If you choose to view yourself as a vendor (like a plumber) rather than a performing artist then you will be viewed that way by potential clients. Remember, it's your choice to be what you are. You don't have to allow others to define you.

If you don't have actual talent you can develop it. Study children's theater, acting, movement, voice, storytelling and puppetry. Read classic children's plays and literature to understand what makes a good plot or device and then use those principles in your routine scripts. Develop a unique and engaging performance persona.

With respect to your magic, include unique effects and routines. Don't look at your magic as a collection of props. Your magic should be an expression of your artistic vision and the props are incidental to that.

If you aspire to be a performing artist with talent and you work hard to become one, then you will view yourself as one, you will present yourself to others as one, and others will view you as one. This is a difficult path but very rewarding.
Chris Capstone
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