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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Best Lists to Purchase to Book Giggs (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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BenCummings
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Hi,

I am interested to hear from soem more experienced folks in their opinion of this question:

What are the best lists to purchase to book gigs?

By that I mean... Event planners? Booking agents? High schools / colleges?

I realize the standard reply will be - "depends." However I am just curious how some of you weigh in on "best bang for the buck" with regards to effective prospecting that actually seems to pay off with real world bookings. I don't really care what angle / niche you're in, what I am after is YOUR opinion as to what has worked best for you with regards to target marketing. For instance, I realize if you're a magician booking B-Day parties, your prospecting list will be vastly different than a corporate worker etc. I'd love to know (a) what angle/niche you typically work and (b) the best list that yields bookings.

This could help us ALL and could open our eyes to new opportunities as well. Thanks for your feedback!

- Ben
Conversations With Mind Readers - Crawl inside the minds of 32 of the greatest<br> mentalists on the planet. After a decades absence, it's available again on a limited basis:

http://conversationswithmindreaders.com
magicofCurtis
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I get event planners that plan over $10 million in events a year. They tend to be top notch people to work. Who are you getting your list through?
BenCummings
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I am friends with several very busy full time performers. One of the most reliable markets - that is also extremely competitive - is the "college" market. (No duh - right?) The thread of consistency for many of them, with regards to success in that market, seems to be regular direct mail pieces, throughout the year, to the primary people at the colleges who book these acts.

Ben
Conversations With Mind Readers - Crawl inside the minds of 32 of the greatest<br> mentalists on the planet. After a decades absence, it's available again on a limited basis:

http://conversationswithmindreaders.com
Mindpro
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I agree and have worked the college and education markets for years, but do not know anyone that has ever purchased a list. Most lists come from working the system, creating your own leads through the two main associations and their related events.

Purchasing lists seemed popular to me in the 80';s and 90's but haven't really heard much about it lately.The results for those that did do this back then were minimal and usually question the quality and accuracy of the lists contents.

I agree withy direct target marketing and myself have had success in the college and education market, fairs, festival and some corporate, although I really don't prefer these much anymore. These were for both either my own purposes, my agencies or both.

I've always found it is best to specialize inn a market or two and then generate your own leads by being active in industry related associations and events. The other side of the coin is many eventually get burned out on these market (especially college) and it can require a decent investment. Good to see you back Ben.
Al Angello
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Ben
When you find that magic booking list share it with us.

IMHO
If there was such a list it would be kept under heavy guard in a bonk vault somewhere.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
BenCummings
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Thanks Mind Pro. I agree.

Al, it is my guess that I could hand over the best list in the world, and that no one would STILL do anything with it, eg. they have no clue how to market themselves effectively; they have no ability to follow up with leads, etc. So the magic is never in the "list" but in the overall marketing attack and that person's ability to position themselves properly and of course actually follow through with multiple contacts. I know a thing or two about this, if you know my background Smile You might benefit from reading this book if this topic is of interest to you: http://amzn.to/QH4ngS

Ben
Conversations With Mind Readers - Crawl inside the minds of 32 of the greatest<br> mentalists on the planet. After a decades absence, it's available again on a limited basis:

http://conversationswithmindreaders.com
magicofCurtis
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The key to a list that you buy, needs to be updated and target and with lots of info. I use the emails that are provided and then get the leads to be warm then mail them the info.
Al Angello
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Ben
Are you looking for a list, or offering a list?

Your post to me seemed to be about marketing.

Are you asking for advise, or pitching your book?
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
BenCummings
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Al - I don't have a book to pitch and no list to pitch. We are brainstorming ways to get gigs by discussing mailing lists to target. The book recommendation is by Dan Kennedy and is about effective use of direct marketing (eg. direct mail.)

Ben
Conversations With Mind Readers - Crawl inside the minds of 32 of the greatest<br> mentalists on the planet. After a decades absence, it's available again on a limited basis:

http://conversationswithmindreaders.com
BenCummings
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I forgot to mention: The high school market is a terrific one for certain entertainers. I have a friend who has earned an excellent full time living, sending postcards to a list of his state's high schools. The kye he has told me is consistency of follow up and contact.

Ben
Conversations With Mind Readers - Crawl inside the minds of 32 of the greatest<br> mentalists on the planet. After a decades absence, it's available again on a limited basis:

http://conversationswithmindreaders.com
Kevinr
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Quote:
On 2012-12-05 07:40, Al Angello wrote:
Ben
When you find that magic booking list share it with us.

IMHO
If there was such a list it would be kept under heavy guard in a bonk vault somewhere.


Here is the leads Al Angello but in the end the leads are all the same:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DO3hk9NR0V8
Al Angello
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Thanks Kevin
It all makes perfect sense to me now.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Tim Zager
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I work almost exclusively with associations. I use the "Encyclopedia of Associations", found in almost any library, to build my lists.
.
Make sure your customers never lose your information,
with a Digital Business Card.
David Marcus
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Hi Ben,

When I left the white collar world, right after it left me Smile in first quarter 2002, I needed to get money coming in fast. Between fourth quarter 2001 and first quarter 2002 I saw my 401K, which was all in stocks, mutual, and money markets just disappear by 77%. Fortunately, my house and car were paid for, but I still had no reserves. I'd been a part time pro musician for about 30 years but always as a member of a group. Now I was on my own. The key I found for survival and strival was: diversify. I took on some private music students. I was not to advance man for the groups I was in but knew a few bar owners and I had done a (very) few company events. But I needed contacts. I needed LISTS.

I had great luck with two lists, both of which I paid something for but also had to develop myself. Having more time than money, I figured I use the experience as part of my business education. It worked. The lists were:

1. I joined the Chamber of Commerce of the largest of nearby towns. Figuring the businesses of the smaller towns (businesses that were big enough to hire entertainment for their events) would be members in the largest town saved me a little money. Although I might suggest a person consider joining all of them if he can afford it because the networking opportunities would be better. Each member is given a list of the entire membership, complete with names, addresses, and phone numbers of people in different departments of the companies.

2. I bought phone books of the surrounding area. It's time consuming to go through the Yellow Pages and make lists but that was the most up to date information available. Businesses pay to be in there so they'll make sure the information is current and accurate. And of the phone company charges to put them in there so there not going to keep a listing that is no longer in business. One could also get that information by going to a few area libraries. This method might be considered old fashioned now but for one just starting out it's a good exercise. And it still works.

These gave me excellent lists that enabled me to fill my schedule for the next nine months. I also hand addressed the envelopes and I'm not sure if that had much to do with it but my reply rate was 25% of the mailing. And I booked all but two inquiries. My first mailing was approximately 630 pieces. Yep, I booked 155 shows. I got my price from talking with about a dozen working solo musicians and matched the going rate. In my opinion it was dreadfully low and now, 10 years later, my fee is 3 1/2 times what it was then. My show setup is much bigger too and I don't just do music. I also do stand up comedy and magic in the shows. I use a backdrop, large sound system, lights, and more. But that's getting off point. I don't do many of those types of show now anyway. I prefer doing shows for little kids and old folks. Not as much money per show, but I like doing them more.

So that's what I bought for a list and how I customized it. And it worked great for me. Like Al said, I might be smart by keeping my procedure locked in the bonk vault, but I don't think it's any real secret. Besides, as you said, how many would actually do the work involved.
“Next to music, beer was best.” - Carson McCullers
Mindpro
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That's really not the same as "buying or purchasing" a list. You researched and created your own list, and joined an association and either got their list or made your own through their resources. These are great methods, but really much different than purchasing lists from a list service. Great story.
Al Angello
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Ben
I will give you one piece of priceless information. If you Google MDR, call them, and speak to one of their rep's to design for you a custom school list any where in the USA, containing any little tidbit of information your heart desires. You can send them their fee, and be able to use your custom school list in a matter of hours.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
David Marcus
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That's true Mindpro. But I bought the phonebooks, does that count? Smile

Thanks for your comment on the story.
“Next to music, beer was best.” - Carson McCullers
David Marcus
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I've never looked into buying one of those kinds of lists, but I read somewhere that you can order the results in great detail. For example, you can get a list for companies with 25 to 100 employees that don't do business on Saturdays and have a green luchroom.

And I also read that you can only use the list once. The list company puts some fake addresses in that they monitor to see if you use it more than once. That would mean you only rent the list then. Are these things expensive?
“Next to music, beer was best.” - Carson McCullers
magicofCurtis
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David Marcus,
You can usually use the list more than once. Depending what you agree upon.

List can range from $400 to the $1,000's. Depending on the the details of the list.

The last list I ordered well corporate planners and it was $1,800 for 25,000 names, emails, address, phone numbers, etc and etc.
It was well worth it!

But, lots of work - working it!
David Marcus
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Yes, Curtis, I can see the value in a list like that.

Elsewhere I mentioned that for now I'm not doing as many shows or traveling very far from home. I have four main types of venues that I go after and my largest list of those is 660. The smallest is 144. At one time I covered a triangle area from Niagara Falls, Ontario to St. Augustine, FL to St. Joseph, MI. But now I'm sticking pretty close to home, about 200 miles or so max. Definitely a small time player for now.

Appreciate the info.
“Next to music, beer was best.” - Carson McCullers
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