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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Do The Material On Your Video Demo! (10 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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MichaelDouglas
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Great stuff on managing client expectations. Thanks everyone.
BrianMillerMagic
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Quote:
On Apr 11, 2016, thomasR wrote:
I'm not surprised that a client would complain... I'm trying to fully understand the specifics of this complaint. That is all.
I would, personally, be surprised if a client complained that one particular trick from a demo video was not performed, unless the demo particularly highlighted that trick.
I'm not saying it wouldn't happen, but I would be surprised.


Perhaps what is confusing some of us is that you insist you understand the issue, while maintaining that the client's reaction would surprise you. If you truly understood the problem, the client's reaction would be both reasonable and expected.
thomasR
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Brian, Thanks for your reply, you have replied to my posts very politely and I thank you for that.

Perhaps I shouldn't have said I would be surprised... maybe that was a poor choice of phrase. I really was trying to get a little more insight to the specifics of this situation but clearly me asking questions has frustrated others.

I have a friend who is a very successful performer, I've seen him perform dozens of times at various events that I have attended. His current demo video has several clips from various types of shows. In one clip he does a comedy trick that I have never seen him perform live. But to me, his demo video gives clients a clear understanding of what they will receive. In my mind.. I was thinking of his video, and that bit. So when I said I would be surprised it was through that lens.

I also realize everyone has different types of demo videos. Some highlight 2 "signature" tricks or routines, others will show a large variety of tricks and routines sometimes in different settings.

Well.. either way... I thought it was a good original post, and it's a good point to ponder.
thomasR
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MindPro... Thank you. That was exactly the information that I was asking for. I'm sorry that I worded it poorly.
Mindpro
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Yes sir, no problem.
Bairefoot
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Its kinda like someone seeing your show in person and hire you for their event. Then you don't do the same things like you did in the first one. Example, man I was expecting to see you steal someone's watch. Now they have talked about this over and over to their friends and then you don't do it. The show they see you do you do card to forehead but, it think its better to do the card sword. It's just understanding what the client wants before you do the show. Ask questions to them.

Thanks Mindpro I am glad I am own your list!

Bairefoot
Ray Pierce
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I can not love this post too much! At Disney, the quote was, "Don't draw anything you can't deliver." It's the same here. I know of an international "illusionist" that had a very impressive promo video of effects he couldn't even come close to doing live as they were all over the top camera tricks. They ended up burning many international markets because they couldn't deliver on their promises. The biggest frustration for me was their comment that no one knew the difference. I beg to differ! In many ways, it's the same with head shots. Your theatrical headshot can be dramatic and artsy but your commercial headshot MUST be a good representation of what you really look like! Your promo video MUST be an example of what you can actually bring to the table. I do understand that budgets vary and I'm very clear that my promo has larger scale effects that might not fit their budget but these are there to give me a chance to push for the larger budgets if they have it. Thank you Mindpro for reminding everyone not to write a check their show can't cash!
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Ed_Millis
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So it really comes down to .... communicate with your customer.
"Did you have anything special in mind that you'd like me to do for you?"
Great opportunity to clarify what you need from them to be able to deliver their expectations.
"Yes, I can do the Big Balloon trick - as long as you have a 12x12 carpeted space with at least 10' ceiling height."
(Then show up to find a big screen TV and chandelier in the space, but they expect the Big Balloon!)
They don't know what it takes to make "that" routine happen (stage space, prop management, assistants, etc.).
All they know is it was on your video and they hired you to perform that.
You don't know that, of course - unless you're a mind reader, or you talk to them.

Ed
thomasR
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Ed... very good points. Communication is very key. I hesitate to mention this... but if Mindpro had asked the client if they particularly liked any part of the demo, he may have been able to make note of that and passed it along to the performer. Now of course it was the performer who sent the demo, and it was the performer who didn't satisfy the client, but that could have possibly been avoided with more communication.

Also... the Agent has the ability to ask the performer "what routines do you plan on performing, has anything changed from your demo that I sent the client."
BrianMillerMagic
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Quote:
On Apr 12, 2016, Ed_Millis wrote:
So it really comes down to .... communicate with your customer.
"Did you have anything special in mind that you'd like me to do for you?"
Great opportunity to clarify what you need from them to be able to deliver their expectations.
"Yes, I can do the Big Balloon trick - as long as you have a 12x12 carpeted space with at least 10' ceiling height."
(Then show up to find a big screen TV and chandelier in the space, but they expect the Big Balloon!)
They don't know what it takes to make "that" routine happen (stage space, prop management, assistants, etc.).
All they know is it was on your video and they hired you to perform that.
You don't know that, of course - unless you're a mind reader, or you talk to them.

Ed


Your rider should have all of these stipulations. It takes care of itself. My agents have my rider. Any issue the client as with the rider comes up before the contract is signed and is handled accordingly. Furthermore, my agents require that the changes I make to my rider be submitted to them, and that affects shows that have *not* already been booked. This ensures the client receives what they were expecting when they signed the contract, even if the show is a year away.
Dannydoyle
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To be fair I never work the one night shows. So that is not of what I speak.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Ed_Millis
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Coming down to the weekend warrior level ....

I am never booked by any kind of "agent" - I'm just me, and I answer the phone call or the email and talk to the client. And what they see on my video may have been done at a library, or at a picnic, or at a birthday party for a child younger or older than theirs, so it's not totally workable for their situation. (Note: not my current video, but the one I plan on getting around to!)

So *I* don't have "the" show: I have a repertoire full of routines that can be mix-n-match to create a show appropriate to their situation. Sometimes on the fly - like the time I showed up to do a library show and had two mothers bring three kids under 3. Or the birthday part with only four kids, ages 5, 6, 9, and 12.

I'd love to have "the" show that fits everything, or "the" niche that I perfectly fit, and all for whatever price I'm asking. Until then, there's stuff I can do and stuff I can't. And if I don't clarify things before the show with the client, then both of us are meeting at the event wondering what's going to happen.

Ed
Mindpro
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This is where perspectives like those offered by Tom can get harming regarding those not working with agents. The topic discussed here pertains to all performers on all levels, especially the small, independent, weekend warrior guys. Forget agents if you aren't working with them, that wasn't the point as much as again what you are presenting of yourself vs. the expectation the client is receiving and proceeds with.

I understand what you are saying Ed, but remember no one has a show that fits everything or a perfect fit for everyone or all occasions. It rarely ever happens on any level of performer. I know there are guys out there that let this prevent them from moving forward of following their desires. Don't confuse this with the topics offered here in the thread.

The whole thing is about offering what you do at the proper price for your intended client and delivering on what you present and your expectations. This is the same for all types of performers on all levels, with or without a video, promo or website. These are tools, but tools that can make your efforts and business easier, improve communication, expectation, anticipation, and most other words that end in "tion".

These resources are created and designed to help you in your presentation, selling, communication (as Ed previously pointed out) and creating that expectation efforts, however one needs to understand how these can work against you, create false expectations and communications (even if only implied or unintentionally received by the customer, which can lead to assumption and an onslaught of additional problems) and that using the wrong tools and resources can actually prevent you from getting the proper job done and create problems for all parties involved.
BrianMillerMagic
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Quote:
On Apr 12, 2016, Ed_Millis wrote:
Coming down to the weekend warrior level ....

I am never booked by any kind of "agent" - I'm just me, and I answer the phone call or the email and talk to the client. And what they see on my video may have been done at a library, or at a picnic, or at a birthday party for a child younger or older than theirs, so it's not totally workable for their situation. (Note: not my current video, but the one I plan on getting around to!)


I didn't have agents or managers until 2010. Before then I still had a contract/rider that stipulates the necessary conditions for my show. I would tell the client to let me know if there was anything that they couldn't accommodate *before* signing the contract. If there was, we would discuss it and agree to an alternative, put it in writing, and then sign off. That way you are sure that client knows precisely what they are buying. Expectations = reality is the name of the game.
Mindpro
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Also like Ed is eluding to, if you don't have the right things representing you, a whole lot more discussions and communications (and more work)are necessary to properly position yourself, verbally offer the right expectation and and offering an explanation of the proper perception and expectation. I wouldn't want that to be part of my booking process. It will likely also prevent you from qualifying proper target prospects for the best chance at the greatest results.
Dannydoyle
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I don't care what causes the expectation. For example if you are a balloon twister and show a specific balloon in a video that makes a mom hire you, it is best to meet that expectation by making that balloon.

If you do not it is very bad.

In other industries they use terms like "bait and switch" to describe the practice of showing one thing and giving them another.

How would you feel as a customer if you went into a movie theater to see Star Wars and ended up seeing Rocky? How would you feel if as a customer you thought you were buying one thing and simply didn't get it? Why is this so hard to comprehend? It is not about anything except not getting what is expected after paying for it. It is not about what you can put down as a disclaimer, not about saying this is what the style of my show is our anything else but what a customer pays for and gets being the same thing.

If you want repeat customers meet expectations. Better yet exceed them. It is that simple.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
TomBoleware
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Quote:
On Apr 12, 2016, Mindpro wrote:
This is where perspectives like those offered by Tom can get harming regarding those not working with agents.



Well Ed,
I don’t want to harm you but you can do what you like with this bit of advice.

Why not do like the vast majority of other kid show performers do and don’t include any full routines on the clips.
Actually, you need more shots of the audience laughing and having fun anyway. Works much better that way.

Forget the riders and such, having to pull out papers after a show doesn't help the situation.

If a parent isn’t satisfied with your show, refund the money and move on.


Now please don’t harm yourself.Smile

Tom
"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner

www.tomboleware.com
thomasR
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Quote:
On Apr 12, 2016, Mindpro wrote:
Also like Ed is eluding to, if you don't have the right things representing you, a whole lot more discussions and communications (and more work)are necessary to properly position yourself, verbally offer the right expectation and and offering an explanation of the proper perception and expectation. I wouldn't want that to be part of my booking process. It will likely also prevent you from qualifying proper target prospects for the best chance at the greatest results.


There is a difference between your booking process and the "local guy" booking process. Perhaps you can describe the corporate agent process in more detail. It almost sounds like "here is the video demo, you want this act or not?" I'm sure there is more to it than that.

The types of clients I speak with (organizers of local festivals, small local business events, etc.) want to discuss options. They want to feel like you are customizing a show just for their event.

Are you saying discussing options of each performer you represent is something that is not part of your booking process? If a client wants to discuss these options what do you tell them?
Mindpro
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This is about ANY bookings not just those form an agent's perspective. (See this is the damage and perception created and done by Tom delclaring that this is more in reference to workings with agents or agency booking, IT'S NOT, that was his opinion not based on anything and not what is actually from the topic). Many of my own bookings are self-represented, the vast majority of the many/most performers I work with are just individual "local guys/girls" booking themselves in their local area. Local, consumer markets.

You seem to be confusing discussing options with properly presenting yourself (not as an agent but as the local guy/performer). In actuality only about 20-25% of entertainers, even pros, work though or represented by agents and agencies. Even less, between 1-3% are exclusively represented. So most performers at all levels typically are self-represented artists.

You asked "Are you saying discussing options of each performer you represent is something that is not part of your booking process? If a client wants to discuss these options what do you tell them?" Not sure what you mean or referring to as "these options?" Options rarely come into the picture with regard to a specific performer. They are offered the way we choose to represent them which is what is in what is best for the client and the agency based on their submission to us and the terms of our acceptance .Sure we gather all of the pertinent information regarding the client, their event, interests, needs and event. We learn what their interests and expectations are, we learn the dynamics of the event and then present who we feel would be the best performer based on this information. It's not a negotiation, back and forth about variables about a performer, we present hem exactly as we have accepted them and chosen to represent them. This is also the information we present to the client. Before we ever present anyone to the client we take all of the needs and information from the client, combine it with our insight, knowledge and experience, and then decide with whom to proceed. It is a much more thorough process than most individuals and the way the typically present themselves and do the booking process (most, not all).

This is the reason most choose to use an agency, is this additional layer of service, experience, professionalism, protection and peace of mind.

In all actuality if you (the local guy or more experienced professional) have properly established yourself and your performing business, separating yourself from the pack (your competition) much of this can easily be eliminated and and not come into play. Again, at any level. Properly presenting yourself) either by yourself or through and agent) is of most importance and should always be approached from the perspectives, mentalities and psychology of the prospective customer.

But no, we are not babysitters to the performers. That's not our job. Provide us with what we need and how we need it and we will represent you to our clients and prospects. We want to work with professionals that understand what it means to be represented by us, exactly what we need, expect and why. It's a relationship. It is their responsibility to provide us with and keep us informed and updated on whatever is required for us to properly present them to our coveted clients and prospects. If they value the relationship this is typically understood and welcome to the right performers. Often we are a machine, and any bad cog can cause problems to the machine, which is why some performers are quickly and easily eliminated.

But again this topic is not about agencies, it's about the performers and the client's expectations and mentalities.
Mindpro
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I guess we were posting at the same time.

And by the way, I strongly disagree that the booking process is any different for the local guy than an agency. An agency may have a more refined process and operation, but the principles, process and expectations are exactly the same.

And client's needs and expectations are the same as well.
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