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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Eliminate Your Competition! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

lou serrano
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Los Angeles, CA
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How do you eliminate your competition? This really simple idea requires a change in mindset, but can increase your income and the income of others. Instead of viewing your competition as competition, view them as your business partners. It's a win/win situation for everyone involved. If the idea intrigues you, please watch the video on my blog by clicking on the following link. Eliminate Your Competition Do you have a different opinion? Do you agree/disagree? As always, I welcome your comments. Lou Serrano
MRSharpe
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It's sound in theory, but it depends on your area and how honest your competition is. Each time I've tried to "throw a fish" to a fellow magician, even one who I thought was a friend--one I now keep at arm's length--and fellow IMB member. I had to go to a funeral on short notice and had a gig that overlapped the funeral. I called this guy and he was glad to cover the show. I told him what the fee is and he said, "Wow, you're getting that much?" Afterward, he told me he reduced the fee by 40% because he thought I was charging too much and that they had already booked him for his reduced fee for the next year's event. He has never reciprocated on this. I have more anecdotes like that, but all I can say is to quote Joel Bauer and say, "Don't join magic clubs! It is a good way to get business and ideas stolen from you." It would have to be under very different circumstances and only with someone I trusted very well before I would try this ever again.
Custom Props Designer and Fabricator as well as Performer from Indiana, USA
Mindpro
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Eternal Order
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Nice video, thanks for sharing. I must say I disagree and was actually mislead by the topic of your video. This is a great example of "to each his own" and how differing perspective can still work to produce the desired results.

I thought the video was going to be about just the opposite of what it was - lol. I was expecting it to be about positioning and perhaps branding. Separating yourself from the competition (Eliminate Your Competition) thus making yourself the only real choice to the potential client.

But your approach was a different definition and approach to utilizing your competition to your benefit and profit.

So much can always come down to specific markets. I can see this working well in some markets for some types of performers. And yes, trust of course is an issue. I do think though that this type of referring leads to, at least in part, of all magicians getting lumped in together into one perceived image, making them easily replaceable and interchangable with each other. Personally I've invested too much into the opposite of setting myself apart from others.

As I said, two different approaches, yet each with their own benefits and desired outcomes. Good work Lou.
magicofCurtis
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Los Angeles
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Quote:
On Mar 11, 2014, Mindpro wrote:


So much can always come down to specific markets. I can see this working well in some markets for some types of performers. And yes, trust of course is an issue. I do think though that this type of referring leads to, at least in part, of all magicians getting lumped in together into one perceived image, making them easily replaceable and interchangable with each other. Personally I've invested too much into the opposite of setting myself apart from others.


Hi Mindpro... Interesting points.

How have you set yourself different from others?
lou serrano
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MRSharpe,

You make a vey valid point, and you also nailed a very big issue. TRUST

I would NEVER recommend a show to anyone whom I didn't trust. I only recommend people whom I trust to not only do a great job of performing, but to do the right thing. I realize there are some bad apples out there, but I believe it's a matter of developing relationships with people first, and then recommending only those whom you trust.

Mindpro,

You also make a great point. I should mention that the idea I shared in this video is only one strategy that comprises a much larger system of marketing and business development. It's also one concept out of two that I teach my coaching clients regarding eliminating your competition. The second concept is exactly what you describe. Positioning yourself as the only or best logical choice for your prospects and customers. Within the concept of positioning I also go into many strategies that support that one idea.

I often tell my coaching clients that I don't have any competition. In many cases, when people call me for a gig, it's because they are looking for Lou Serrano. If my clients or prospects are looking for Lou Serrano, then it doesn't matter what you or anyone else does, because there's only one of me.

At the same time, there are two types of prospects that I deal with. The first wants to hire Lou Serrano. No one else will do. The other prospect wants a magician, where almost anyone will do. In the first example, the prospect has bought into my brand. In the second example, I'm just a commodity. When people are looking for a commodity, it's easy to recommend others. It's what we do after we convert that prospect into a customer that can make the difference between remaining a commodity or having that person buy into our brand.

I also have used this system of recommending others in all types of markets, from kids birthday parties and school shows to trade shows and corporate banquets. This one strategy helped me increase my business last year by tens of thousands of dollars, and has helped me gain the trust and loyalty of magicians and clients alike.

Respectfully,

Lou Serrano
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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It's an interesting topic. I have had some experience with this.

It really depends on each of our individual circumstances. As for a 20% kickback, that's a lot of $$. Here where I live, nobody has to give money back to the one who sent the gig. I have two people who send prospects to me when they are not available, and I send people to them. They charge less than me and I tell people that. We never expect or ask for a commission or kickback. That seems to be a definite American thing. (I live in Perth, Western Australia)

In the club I belong to, it seems that people who are closer to each other send work between themselves. Some I've sent work to have never sent me work, and then again there are some that I would NOT send work to, because I don't think their act is up to scratch. I realise it's my own personal opinion about how others perform, however I don't want clients calling me back saying that the performer I sent their way was not up to standard.

Al
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
charliecheckers
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Lou - thanks for your contribution. This is an interesting topic. I work very little with other performers on gig exchanges. I know others who market courses that have found this strategy to be successful as well. I work hard to create value that I believe to be unmatched in my area and in my market, so I have a concern of using my reputation to land another performer a gig, when by design I believe I provide a better value. Making recommendations of other performers would be something I would more likely consider if I was moving to a new market and was getting a percentage for the referrals. For example if I were to have the opportunity to work fairs and festivals all summer, I would consider working with a performer to take my library gigs for a percent of the bookings. I agree with Lou in that if I were to get a call from someone who was not familiar with my show and just needed an entertainer when I was already booked elsewhere, I would be comfortable referring someone else. This hardly ever occurs for me though because my marketing does not lend itself to those situations.
eatonmagic
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A few years back, I was fortunate enough to have teamed up with a great group of guys here in Orlando. It started out as a group of 4 and quickly went to a dozen locally and eventually 50+ nationwide. The idea was that we perform out of ABUNDANCE not scarcity. A national database/registry was created and each performer given their own page to provide info and book a gig.

As far as the unity factor, we hosted a couple training seminars and made sure everyone was on the same level as far as what our goals were. Locally (here in Orlando) it has worked out wonderfully. We have enough booking that come in through our home office and depending on what the client wants/needs, each performer gets a notification informing them of a gig request. We have the option of accepting it or passing it on. Simple as that. And honestly, it's a REALLY good platform that everyone is incredibly happy with. If for some chance I get a request and I am already booked, I can simply post an alert and give it to one of our other team members. And vice versa.

So yes…I TOTALLY agree that there is power in numbers and by building solid alliances with your professional piers you can only move forward in your business.
TonyB2009
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I have always passed gigs on to the competition when I am not available. It has paid back handsomely over the years. Only one guy has abused the privilege in fifteen years.
Dannydoyle
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My business model is just not set up to be able to do such a thing.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Close.Up.Dave
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Quote:
On Mar 20, 2014, Dannydoyle wrote:
My business model is just not set up to be able to do such a thing.


I'll be honest, your post got me thinking.

I'm pretty sure that my business model was initially set up to be such a thing out of a selfish & desire to succeed sort of place. Since then I've attempted to create such a community that some speak of because I believe it to be a generous and respectable thing to do. And yet I flat out honestly can't find people to replace me at gigs. I've shown promo to clients that I'm unavailable for, and do my best to sell these folks, and they walk away until further notice. I believe we are all good entertainers in our own right, but personality and offerings win the day. And I wish there were people of a similar mind set and skill set close by that I could refer and create a community out of. I know it's possible with the right kind of effort. But I know everyone has different business and personal goals.

That being said, I applaud those who do have it figured out or have that kind of a community to be a part of Smile
Dannydoyle
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Many are qualified to do what I do. I simply sell myself differently. I sell me. I am the only me I know of. Many are MORE qualified than I. Still I am selling me.

This being said I do not work one night gigs.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
jay leslie
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I've never had a good return passing shows. Rarely any reciprocation and not that many actually send a cut (like they promise) on those last minute referrals.

However I had a friend who I made refrigerator magnets for (and myself too) he got all of mine and I got all of his. After a show in a home, he would put my magnet on the fridge and likewise.

We kept very accurate records and the magnets increased our business by 14 percent. There is nothing better then word of mouth to book shows especially when it's from someone else in the same field. For example, when my doctor recommends a specialist, I call them first.
thekidsmagician
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Bristol
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Quote:
On Mar 20, 2014, TonyB2009 wrote:
I have always passed gigs on to the competition when I am not available. It has paid back handsomely over the years. Only one guy has abused the privilege in fifteen years.


I have 3 (and only 3) guys I pass work to when I can't do it. They're all people I know will do an excellent job. They also pass work to me.

- Mike
Children's entertainer in Bristol - making children look AMAZING! - www.thekidsmagician.com
Mindpro
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Could some of you guys define what you mean when you say your refer others and it "works well for me"? Are you meaning a few jobs a year, or are you saying $10,000-$20,000 more a year by doing so? I think we may have an interpretation difference here. I would like you guys that do such referring with others to better define your spectrum of results so it can be seen in the right perspective for comparison purposes.
thekidsmagician
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Quote:
On Mar 24, 2014, Mindpro wrote:
Could some of you guys define what you mean when you say your refer others and it "works well for me"? Are you meaning a few jobs a year, or are you saying $10,000-$20,000 more a year by doing so? I think we may have an interpretation difference here.


For me, any show I can't do is passed to one of my 3 colleagues. In a year, I pass on at least £20,000 worth of potential business to them (that's £ not $).

- Mike
Children's entertainer in Bristol - making children look AMAZING! - www.thekidsmagician.com
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