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Profile of ohiomagic
A very brief history before I ask. I started performing in front of audiences at age 14 as an act on part of a larger show with other magic club members. We did many public shows until I was in my late teens. Early 20s started performing in a two man show - all public work. started doing strictly mentalism about 2 years ago. Not working regularly. Breaking in material on open mic nights at coffee houses and clubs etc. I guess the point is I am now a 33 year old mentalist. I only have experience with doing public work / stage shows etc.

I am looking for information on how 1 breaks into the private party business. My current plan is to (hopefully) work regularly as a private entertainer and do a small handful of public performances each year. How does 1 start private party work. I know that a lot of magicians say most of their work comes from word of mouth. Which I believe is probably true. But how do you get the first 10 or 12 private parties in order to get a word of mouth out there. Advertising in local magazine/newspapers (the few that still exist)? I have never attempted to go this route so I am completely ignorant to the starting point. Any pointing me in the right direction or info would be more than appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
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Profile of ohiomagic
I should mention as well that it is adult audiences I am targeting , bot kids parties. Not that there is any thing wrong with that , it's just not the direction I want to go with this mentalism show.
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Profile of Mindpro
I'm guess the word "bot" was supposed to be "not" and not "both", correct?

You are finding yourself at a place that many beginning performers find themselves at, where all of their time and effort has been put into their show - their choice of material, their performance skills, their effects, their props, their image, look, perception and appearance, sound, etc. to learn, create and evolve their show or performance.

As many performers, you have not done the same for the business part of the equation. Show business is two different words and you've been working on the first word "show", now you are finding yourself needing to work on the "business" of being a performing entertainer.

To me this is an exciting part of the being an entertainer and where your true success happens.

You need to establish your performance with your target market. Home or private parties are one of the easiest ways to begin. Seems you just want to start locally. Do you have promotional materials, a short video demo and a web site? These are recommended and for the market and level you are seeking should be something you have if you are serious about establishing yourself. Do you use social media? If so that can also be a tool in your entertainment business toolbox.

Ask yourself why would people want to book you? What are the benefits you can provide them? Are you a solution to their needs? Once this is determined, then you need to take this message to market.

Most performers think having a good show is all that is required. In reality if you intend to do this for profit or income, it is only the first step. For some reason magicians are typically not good at the business side of performing and actually dread it. I've never understood it because the same creative process and drive that is required for their show is exactly what is needed for the business side of things.

My only warning is do not think that all you need to do is advertise. That is the most common mistake made by performers. You need to have a plan or system in place so you are ready, know what to do and how to be able to convert those incoming calls into bookings when your marketing or lead generation does begin to kick in. So many performers think all they have to do is market or advertise yet when they start getting the calls they do not know how to generate, convert or close the booking.

Like learning your act, you have to learn the business. The business is a performance of a different type, but equally important. You are at a very exciting place, embrace it as you have in learning your show. Once you do this and have a system in place the ball can start rolling in the direction you want and you will never look back.

You are at a great point where you can establish your the foundation of your performing business. Take the time to do this properly and it will serve you for years, or as long as you desire. Best of luck.
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Thanks for taking the time to share all of that. I was not sure if I would get such detailed responses , so again thanks. But you are correct. I have not put the time into the business end. However that is what I am trying to learn now. I do realize advertising is not the only way. I need to network and make connections and constant meet people and let people see what I can do etc. I guess I am just a little lost at the moment in how to start that learning process I guess. I do not know how to write a good business plan and things of that nature. I am now thinking learning those things are where my attention should be at this point.
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It's taken me 10+ years to make
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Profile of Vick
Don't use print media
Learn how to operate a business
Don't waste your money time and efforts on 95% of marketing courses available Especially the ones targeted at magicians
Learn real world marketing and apply those techniques
Unique, Thought Provoking & Amazing Magical Entertainment Experiences
Illusions By Vick
Blog of a real world working magician
Magic would be great, if not for magicians
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Profile of Al Angello
The non magic marketing books that Vick is talking about you can usually pick up for $5 to $10 at your local book store.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
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