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Johannes Lindrupsen
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Norway
110 Posts

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Hey everyone! As the title says, I need help. Really! I don't like to make a post like this at all, but after all this time on the magic Café, I know people usually are really helpful and try to do what they can to help each other, so it feels a bit better to make this thread when thinking about that.

A little bit about me: I am 22 years old, I live in Norway and I am trying to work as an entertainer full time (that means, I have no other income)
I have a great kids show and a great comedy/magic show for adults. I am also an actor and do acting gigs when I get the possibility.

So, here is the problem. I am stuck. I have been doing magic for 15 years, and I started doing this fulltime for around 3 years ago. I have always had problems with marketing and to get my show out there, and I have only survived because I have been lucky and because I am a pretty likeable guy with a lot of connections. Right now I have 0 shows to look forward to, and I am, for the first time in my life, in the beginning of having money issues.

The fact that I always thought marketing and things that wherent the most funny things to do was so hard, has been my biggest problem, and I have been very angry with myself for not doing what was needed to get where I want. Earlier this year I got diagnosed with ADHD, and that solved a lot of my anger problems, as I now know a lot more about why I am the way I am.

The problem still is: How should I organize my working days? What should I focus on and how much time should I use to do it? I am pretty good at working as long as I know excactly what I need to do and when I need to do it.

I have been looking for people in my area that are marketers/salespeople/managers to help me, but I haven't found too many people. I would really be grateful if someone here would be able to help me in any way. Thank you for reading and please ask more questions if there is anything you are wondering.

Thank you for the help!
misterillusion
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Roseville, California
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To quote David Ginn: "There are only three ways to market yourself: 1. mail, 2. phone, 3. in person. Myself, I find the most effective method is the phone with a follow-up mailing for anyone who wants more information. Make enough calls and you will get bookings. It may take a lot of calls though. Direct mailings are fine, but you will only get a 2% result of possible interest. To use the in-person method, you could do either discounted shows or pro bono shows for social groups or organizations to "showcase" what you do. It takes a lot of these to yield results though. You could do a very short fifteen or twenty minute set for clubs or organizations which show what you can do and then take advantage of the time to pass out brochures, cards, and other materials--even sell BOR items to make a little cash. The fact of life, unfortunately, in marketing, I have found, is that you need repetition. Doing anything once when marketing is not enough. Typically it takes seven or eight times to result in a booking. May I suggest you contact Jim Snack (just do a search for him on-line). He does a great job of explaining what it takes to grow your business.

Regarding marketers/salespeople/managers: You can try this, but unless you find a really motivated person, they will never do as good a job as you will do yourself. Even if you go that route, you still need to market as if they are not there at all.

Keep in mind, that there are not many other people doing what we do as magician entertainers. To me, that means that there really is no competition like there is in other industries, so all you need to do is let people know you are available to satisfy their needs. Keep that in mind: "to satisfy THEIR needs". They might never have thought of hiring a magician until you call them.

The holidays are coming up, so this is a good time to get started.

I wish you the best.

Charlie
May every day be magic!

http://www.misterillusion.com
MichaelDouglas
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Portland, Oregon
767 Posts

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Hi Johannes,

You are wise in reaching out to others for input. There are lots of experienced magicians here to help.

1) I'd first recommend that you get crystal clear on who you are as a performer. Are you a magician, juggler, or hypnotist? You may dabble in multiple areas, but when it comes to marketing, you can't be all things to all people and be very successful.

2) Clearly identify who your target client is. Don't just say "Anyone with cash in hand". Based on your act and experience, what market is most likely to buy what you offer? What type of people have hired you in the past? Who have you most enjoyed entertaining in the past?

3) Create a web site to sell to that market. (there are shelves full of information on creating your own web site. For a quick and simple one, just go to wordpress.com It's free. The site you list on your profile here on the Café isn't working for me.

4) Print some business cards....yes there's lots that can be written on how to design a business card. As with all of this stuff, you don't have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going. Just simple basic card with who you are, what you do, and your contact information is good for starting. Later you can make something fancy.

5) Send a newsletter to all of your past client's every couple of months or so. Or a post card. Or a greeting card. The point is to keep in touch with them. Otherwise it's easy for them to forget about you. "Out of sight = out of mind". Read around on the web and you'll figure out what should go into those newsletters. Be sure to ask the for referrals to their friends who may need an entertainer.

6) Send thank you cards to every customer and include a couple of your business cards that they can hand off to their friends and family.

7) Make sure that your show is very good. Be so good that they kids and parents can't help but talk about you to their friends.

8) Give out a coloring page for a periodic drawing for a prize if they mail the page back to you with their birthday and parent's contact info.

9) Give out a jumbo bank note with magic tricks on the back for kids to learn. It should have your contact information on the front side. The goal is to stimulate the other kids to want to have you at their birthday party also.

10) Buy a magic marketing course. Do a search here on the Café and you'll find several.

11) Sign up for free marketing newsletters, read blogs, and listen to free podcasts on internet marketing. Some offer some great info in free newsletters. Do a google search to find some. Here are a few:

http://www.magicmarketingcenter.com/
http://www.smartpassiveincome.com
http://www.internetbusinessmarketing.com
http://www.hubspot.com

12) spend at least as much time on marketing as you do on the art of magic. Make it your goal that every day before noon, you'll send out 5 or 10 marketing letters or emails.

13) Talk to all of the child care businesses, retirement communities, and restaurants around you to offer your services. Find out what other performers charge and adjust your fee based on the competition's fee, your experience, and the strength of your show.

14) Have someone take pictures of you and your audience reaction shots during your shows and use those pics in your marketing material and web site.

15) Collect testimonials from your customers after your show. Get them to send you an email or give them a post card that is postage pre-paid and have them write their thoughts and send to you after the show. Use your smart phone to get video testimonials immediately after the show and include the best of those on your web site.

16) Before you go to sleep at night, make out a list of the top 10 things you must accomplish the next day. Cross those things off as you do them. Crossing off completed tasks inspires me.

17) Find someone you respect who is supportive of your business goals...possibly a parent but maybe not. Share your goals with them. Ask them to hold you accountable for accomplishing these goals. Set deadlines for these goals.

Now GO GET B U S Y !!!
magicofCurtis
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Los Angeles
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MichaelDouglas just gave you a successful business plan for free!
Now the ball is in court.

I would suggest first thing is to create a website and make sure it is SEO friendly! Then business cards and start looking for business!
Send emails to potential clients when you are up late at night and then contact them during business hours.

Best wishes.
charliecheckers
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I too learned a ton from reading posts here. I will share some that may apply to your situation.
1st - focus on Creating one show with a specific audience in mind. This is helpful because it will allow you to devote all your time and resources to one direction. This also helps you leverage developed business relationships and your show image to a better degree. This will build your business faster.
2nd - take your show and make it unique and entertaining. Find ways to offer what others are not. Know what that thing is, and promote it.
3rd - get photos taken from a studio - could be just a department store studio (that are not costly).
4th - Create an ad free web site. Display photos and a short video.
5th - strategically go after bookings that provide you with the potential of more shows in the same market. I found this to be much easier and less costly than trying to focus on birthday parties, where you are always searching for new customers that have no relationship with prior clients. Libraries, country clubs, scouts and festivals worked well for my plan. Some find value in daycare centers. Schools would also work, when you are ready.
6th - read past postings of The Great Zucchini here on TMC about branding. This will help confirm suggestion #1 in your mind.
7th - keep in mind that you are competing with other professionals, so everything about your show has to be top notch. Do not allow yourself any excuses or exceptions.
8th - read the postings of MindPro and Danny Doyle. You do not always have to agree with them, but they offer sound advice and words of wisdom that are not really available elsewhere at any price. There are many others here that also offer great advice. Investing in James Munton's course greatly helped me.
9th - if you continue to have difficulty getting bookings, it is your show itself you need to look at first, and evaluate if it is as special as you thought it was.
misterillusion
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Roseville, California
690 Posts

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Quote:
On 2013-09-18 13:39, charliecheckers wrote:
I too learned a ton from reading posts here. I will share some that may apply to your situation.
1st - focus on Creating one show with a specific audience in mind. This is helpful because it will allow you to devote all your time and resources to one direction. This also helps you leverage developed business relationships and your show image to a better degree. This will build your business faster.
2nd - take your show and make it unique and entertaining. Find ways to offer what others are not. Know what that thing is, and promote it.
3rd - get photos taken from a studio - could be just a department store studio (that are not costly).
4th - Create an ad free web site. Display photos and a short video.
5th - strategically go after bookings that provide you with the potential of more shows in the same market. I found this to be much easier and less costly than trying to focus on birthday parties, where you are always searching for new customers that have no relationship with prior clients. Libraries, country clubs, scouts and festivals worked well for my plan. Some find value in daycare centers. Schools would also work, when you are ready.
6th - read past postings of The Great Zucchini here on TMC about branding. This will help confirm suggestion #1 in your mind.
7th - keep in mind that you are competing with other professionals, so everything about your show has to be top notch. Do not allow yourself any excuses or exceptions.
8th - read the postings of MindPro and Danny Doyle. You do not always have to agree with them, but they offer sound advice and words of wisdom that are not really available elsewhere at any price. There are many others here that also offer great advice. Investing in James Munton's course greatly helped me.
9th - if you continue to have difficulty getting bookings, it is your show itself you need to look at first, and evaluate if it is as special as you thought it was.


Some real good advice and wisdom here...
May every day be magic!

http://www.misterillusion.com
Johannes Lindrupsen
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Norway
110 Posts

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Hey everyone! Thank you so much for the input so far! It made me understand that I just need to do stuff, and I have known that for a while, but the problem for me is to actually do it. The to-do list is a great asset for me, so I have to be better at writing lists and crossing off items every day!

Right now I am sitting and working on a new web page for my kids show (using http://www.wix.com) and that is a thing I should have done the last two months, so it's good to get started.
My girlfriend has designed a poster for me, so I am going to make the text for the poster, and we will design a businesscard together before I get them printed and start to hang up posters at schools, kindergardens, grocery stores and so on.

I am thankful for you guys taking time to answer and to help me! I am in a good mood today, so I hope that I will get a lot done the next weeks Smile
thecharlatan
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Quote:
On 2013-09-19 05:22, Johannes Lindrupsen wrote:
Hey everyone! Thank you so much for the input so far! It made me understand that I just need to do stuff, and I have known that for a while, but the problem for me is to actually do it. The to-do list is a great asset for me, so I have to be better at writing lists and crossing off items every day!

Right now I am sitting and working on a new web page for my kids show (using http://www.wix.com) and that is a thing I should have done the last two months, so it's good to get started.
My girlfriend has designed a poster for me, so I am going to make the text for the poster, and we will design a businesscard together before I get them printed and start to hang up posters at schools, kindergardens, grocery stores and so on.

I am thankful for you guys taking time to answer and to help me! I am in a good mood today, so I hope that I will get a lot done the next weeks Smile


Sounds like you are making all the right moves, which is great news!

Remember you are a businessman now, and if you are going to run a successful business you will need to learn all aspects of doing so! You can learn about digital marketing online for free - start with your own .com, a professional looking website (with photos and video) and read up on SEO and PPC. AS with any business you might need to invest a few quid to kickstart it (beg/steal/borrow/wait til things pick up), but you'll get there.

Best of luck mate!
bobn3
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Wichita, KS
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There has been a lot of good advice on here. Another thing I do is email marketing. Figure out what specific niche(s) you want to cover. Don't do too many, as you'll spread yourself too thin. Once you do that, do your online research on groups/agencies that are connected to the markets you want to cover. If the websites do not give you the contact person that you need, you will need to do two emails. The first is asking who is in charge of hiring entertainment. Talking to the wrong people wastes their time and yours. From those that respond back, you reply back with a second email stating the benefits of your performance. Do not give features...in this cold world, people don't care what you do, they want to know what is in it for them. Be friendly always. This is basically electronic direct mail marketing.

Too many people look at the wrong part of the phrase show business. If you want to make a living, have a good show(s) first, but ignore the latter part at your own peril.

Bob Phillips
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
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Move to America and I can help you. Starting a successful business in Norway is something I am totally ignorant of. Many are and it might be good to keep that in mind.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Dimitri Mystery Artist
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Israel/Ukraine
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Quote:
On 2013-09-19 14:58, Dannydoyle wrote:
Move to America and I can help you. Starting a successful business in Norway is something I am totally ignorant of. Many are and it might be good to keep that in mind.


easier said than done, unfortunately
charliecheckers
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Quote:
On 2013-09-19 05:22, Johannes Lindrupsen wrote:
My girlfriend has designed a poster for me, so I am going to make the text for the poster, and we will design a businesscard together before I get them printed and start to hang up posters at schools, kindergardens, grocery stores and so on.

A word of caution- while taking action is necessary, you will be much more successful if you prioritize your activities and have a over all game plan. Start with your show content and production value. Unless they are rock solid, promotion is too early. Rather than going around and hanging posters all over town, ask yourself (and others) is that going to provide the greatest return on time investment? You may be better served to focus on trying to personally meet with someone who can hire you and sell you show, rather than take the same or more time to plaster posters around.
Bill Hegbli
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Johannes Lindrupsen, for immediate and future business, if you did not write done all the people that hired you the last 3 years or more, that is your 1st project to tackle. If not sit down and make a list of what you can remember, find addresses, phone numbers, business addresses. The best work is repeat business. If you are not getting repeat shows, then look at your show or contact them and tell them you have a new show. A new show would be changing 1 to 3 tricks and routines to make it different. If you did some birthday parties, then a new year means a new birthday. Now call them, and "sell" them on a show this year.

Good Luck!
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Dimitri Mystery Artist
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Actually, I agree with Danny, 2 years ago I have moved to another country because I felt my career was stuck and my style is does not fit to the culture; I don't know a lot about norway, but moving to another country or city is something you might consider.
Dannydoyle
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OH I wasn't suggesting he move, I was suggesting that nobody outside that specific frame of reference is going to know much to help.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
charliecheckers
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Quote:
On 2013-09-19 14:58, Dannydoyle wrote:
Move to America and I can help you. Starting a successful business in Norway is something I am totally ignorant of. Many are and it might be good to keep that in mind.

Johannes - this is suggestion #8 I was talking about.
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On 2013-09-19 22:33, charliecheckers wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-09-19 14:58, Dannydoyle wrote:
Move to America and I can help you. Starting a successful business in Norway is something I am totally ignorant of. Many are and it might be good to keep that in mind.

Johannes - this is suggestion #8 I was talking about.



NO NO NO.

I was absolutely NOT suggesting he move. I was however suggesting that people who do not understand the Norwegian culture are going to be woefully ignorant of how to best procede.

Here is something my father was fond of saying. Be wary of anyone offering advice who does not have to live with the consequences.

Now we all take and give advice on some level. But really giving advice about a culture you have not experienced might not be as helpful as it seems. Don't forget to this kid it is as real as it gets. Not some theoretical thought problem or brainstorming session. It is easy to lose track of that.

Once the MGM grand found out about cultural phenomenon because they had a cute lion mouth to walk through as an entrance. Asian play dropped to serious low levels because culturally they would not walk through the lions mouth. Oops. It happens all the time. Heck it happens here between regions much less countries. Be careful about offering advice cross culturally unless you know the culture.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
magicofCurtis
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Dannydoyle,

I see you point, but I think the advice so far has been given could pretty much be universal. (But I scan through tons of the posts)

A few simple questions to ask to see if it is:

Do similar companies and entertainers in Norway use business cards?
Do similar companies and entertainers in Norway use websites?
Do similar companies and entertainers in Norway use marketing materials?
Do similar companies and entertainers in Norway use emails for initial contact? (I know in spain the prefer phone an in person meetings)
Do similar companies and entertainers in Norway use direct mailings?
Do similar companies and entertainers in Norway use promotional items?

Etc...

I don't think there has been any misleading advice so far?

Danny can you point out what you believe is misleading/wrong?
Dannydoyle
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As I said I don't know the xulture. I have said nothing was misleading or wrong. It may well all be right.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
magicofCurtis
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Than, why comment at all? lol
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