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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Positioning - What Do You Do To Separate Yourself From the Pack and Other Competition? (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dannydoyle
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I never even think about it.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
55Hudson
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Danny,

You may not think about it, but it's still there. Perhaps not important at this point for you, but for me, just three years on full-time, staking out a position in the market is important.

There are several accomplished magicians in the Twin Ciites. If I were to positing myself (at this point I have the option of positioning myself where ever I want - provided I can deliver) directly on top of the positioning of other magicians, then I compete with them directly for business. However, if I find an unoccupied space, and position myself there, I attract clients to whom they positioning is important with little competition.

Hudson
Dannydoyle
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What if another was in the "position" you want?

Letting others decide my fate is not how I operate.

It is only there if you let it be.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
55Hudson
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If someone else is in the position I want to occupy, then I need to make a decision. Either compete head-to-head and deliver better against that market need or forgo that positioning and compete elsewhere/in another manner.

Knowing may help and certainly doesn't hurt. Again, I don't obsess over this, but it is a consideration.

Hudson
Dannydoyle
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That is why I never bother.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Tim Zager
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The danger in spending too much time worrying about competition, is you begin to focus less on what your *clients* actually want.

Love the way Danny said..."Letting others decide my fate is not how I operate."

My personal goal is not to *sell* my service. My goal is to determine if the prospect's problem is a good fit for my solution. My service/solution is NOT the right fit for everyone. That's why it's generally a waste of my time to worry what the other guys offer.
.
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Dannydoyle
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Everyone that buys me is buying exactly that. Me. Not a magician, not a hypnotiist but me plain and simple.

NOBODY can be me but me. I have no competition in that area. It is about relationships and so many other things than my competition.

I am not saying I am better than anyone at anything, with the exception of being me. Nobody does that better.

This is too easy a trap to fall into. Do what you do well and the rest sorts itself out.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Ray Pierce
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I think there might be an intrinsic difference in approach in some markets where you are at the top of the food chain with little real competition and other saturated markets like Los Angeles which has hundreds of top tier acts all going for the same jobs. If you have a steady market to yourself it is very easy to ignore everyone else and do your own thing. I do see a very different model when there is so much competition and you do have to know the others in the field in order to form a unique angle to promote yourself.

I do agree that I want people to by me. Not the specific effects I do or any other details. They are buying the chance to have me on the stage and bring my personality to the show. Unfortunately in Los Angeles, there are literally dozens (if not hundreds) of acts trying to sell the same thing. It's as ludicrous as driving in to Las Vegas and seeing every billboard for every show touting that it's "Voted the #1 Show in Las Vegas!" The easy answer is to move where there is less work and less competition. Some just aren't satisfied with that. That is a decision each artist must make for themselves but it's important to understand the distinction of competing in Los Angeles and competing in Kansas City.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Dannydoyle
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The fact is that there is competition no matter where you are. Sports, movies, Internet, TV and literally anything else one can do for entertainment are your competition.

Yes there are many more trying to find work in LA, but there are proportionally more looking for entertainment in the first place so it is sort of a wash.

Grass is always greener sort of thing.

I don't think that there is much difference in trying to compete. In Chicago you can concentrate more on long term marketing than in Vegas where it is more intercept marketing yes. But aside from the difference in the tourist towns size of market is not as relevant.

No matter the size of the market being you is still the one thing nobody can compete with. Once that is what they are buying then it is much easier to find work. It sort of finds you.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
TomBoleware
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Yes, competition is not always who you think it is. Even if you are the only magician in town, magic can easily be replaced by some other
type entertainment. Or they can skip entertainment, as we know it, and go with a unique speaker or maybe a harmonica player.

Tom
Do What Others Do And You Will Become Average

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www.amazekids.com/magic-downloads/childrens-magic-ebooks/the-daycare-magician/

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55Hudson
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When I was in business school, one of the simplest analyses we did was the three C's: Customer, Company, Competitor.

Of course for most magicians, Company is yourself.

Understanding your own strengths and weaknesses, the customer market segments you are focused on, and your competitors all provide insight into how you should go to market.

A very simple example would be if, as a professional magician, you moved from New York City to Omaha. You haven't changed, but how you go to market had better! Your pricing will be different, perhaps the segments you go after will be different (e.g., in NYC you were doing 4 birthday parties every Sat & Sun, but in Omaha there isn't enough demand for that much work), and even the tricks you perform may be different (an established magician in town may be well known for a certain trick, so you drop it from your act). All of these changes are due to the customer and competitors, not to your own strengths and weaknesses.

If you are well established, and at the top of the food chain in your market, then you may not have to worry about the completion or the customer. You may get enough business without worrying about these types of strategic questions. But for me, thinking about these issues (wholistic, not obsessive) does help me position myself to grow my business faster than I might otherwise.

Every situation is different, but at least understanding the environment helps to support business decisions.

Hudson
PS As an old business guy, I enjoy the business side quite a bit. So thinking about market segmentation, my strengths and weaknesses visa-a-vis competitors, and other business issues is actually fun - so I may spend more time here that is necessary
Decomposed
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Interesting Hudson, do you also subscribe to Gig Masters and Gig Salad?
55Hudson
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Decomposed - yes, I am on Gig Masters and Gig Salad. About 50% of my gigs come through those two sources, although that is declining as I build my reputation.

I transitioned from business to full-time magic in 2013. 2013 &14 were building the business period. 2015 Started generating gigs in volume. So far (June) I've completed 80%of the gigs I did last years and have generated higher revenue than last year. Also it advertising expense by more than 50%

More gigs, higher price per gig, and lower advertising as I've figured out where best to spend those dollars.

Very happy with my progress.

Hudson
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On Jun 20, 2016, Dannydoyle wrote:
Yes there are many more trying to find work in LA, but there are proportionally more looking for entertainment in the first place so it is sort of a wash.


You have correctly noted the real issue which is the Qualified Performers to Jobs Ratio. I will say that in LA, it isn't quite as even as people might suspect with hundreds of people all competing for the same job (at least in Magic... in acting, it's into the thousands). It is what we call a saturated market. I get calls constantly from people wanting to come to Los Angeles to perform. My basic answer is that if you're getting any work at all where you are, stay there. Yes, there are a handful of jobs and they go to the same 5 people that everyone knows and trusts. The hundreds of others are all scrambling for the crumbs. Some of them have wonderful marketing and egos the size of the Eiffel Tower but if enough jobs don't exist, it doesn't matter. This happened in Las Vegas years ago during that magic boom. There were magic shows in every hotel and magicians from around the country started all moving there in hopes of easy work. It caused the balloon to burst and prices started dropping as people that had committed to the move started working for less and less to stay competitive and get any work.

Years ago I stated that one's worth to the open market is inversely proportionate to how many other qualified people can fill that role. I know that some people are better and more talented... I get it. This is just a basic rule. If I'm hiring at McDonalds, I know that with an hour of training I can probably get most average people to take an order. It's just not worth as much. On the

In addition to marketing, it is essential to look at alternative entry points into the market. Sadly, many acts are doing every free showcase and open mike just hoping that anyone will see them and make them a star. I came here in '77 with enough money to last a month on my own and I'm still here after touring the world with my own show so yes, it is possible but it took a lot of lateral thinking to accomplish and the normal marketing rules (although still valuable) were just a basic start in cracking the code on Los Angeles.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Gerry Walkowski
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Ray,

You are a very wise man.

Gerry
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