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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » "I Really Don't Understand Why...?" (30 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Theodore Lawton
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Thank you. I'll be adding these points to the growing list in my notebook!

I have a lot of questions, but I'll chew on this for now and come back later with more.

Thanks again for all your help!
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
CurtWaltermire
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This thread is quite refreshing. Good, solid words of wisdom from real pros that is well-received and discussed without all of the drama.

Perhaps it should be closed while still in this condition!
Dannydoyle
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I've been thinking the same thing.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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Yeah, I've been getting a lot of messages saying the exact same thing. As I've said before this is what many really come here for, and by the PMs this past week many are very appreciative of this and such real content as it also has brought out some of those that are regularly here but that refrain from posting due to the direction and nonsense most threads seem to take.

Glad so many are finding it beneficial. As Curt said, this is what can happen when pros can speak openly and properly without worry of the derailments and distractions, while others interested in learning more about such information can have got much to gain and benefit. This is what Tricky Business should be about.

Looking forward to more of Theodore's and others questions.
Theodore Lawton
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I'm reading this again tonight and making some notes and I have to admit I'm overwhelmed by how much I don't know.

I kind of feel like I'm drowning in an ocean of marketing information. Smile

Am I correct in thinking that once I have my product- my act, that I should seriously consider how I package the product for consumption and to what markets?

i.e., Determine my style, how I want to be perceived, where I want to be seen and then begin to build from that foundation with my first basic marketing tools like a website, business cards, etc.?

Should I put together some kind of rudimentary promotional package? And I don't have a clue what that might include. A folder? Flyer? Don't do this, it's stupid?

Or should my focus be just performing in more relaxed environments like you said, but not focusing as much on the marketing aspect at first?

I'm just trying to get these steps ingrained in my thinking so it will be second nature when I start moving forward to make the correct steps.

Another way I might phrase this line of questioning would be: you as professional, successful performers host a show called "Let's Make A Magician!" ...After determining the product, the act, what are the most basic marketing strategies and branding you would drape over this blank slate to help move them forward in small steps knowing that they have a limited budget and knowledge?

Sorry if I seem like a slow study. I can sometimes get lost in details. I hope I'm not making you feel like you have to repeat things to me, but I'm also the guy in job training that asks a lot of questions so I make sure I get it right. Probably comes from my traumatic childhood, but it helps me to succeed at work! lol

Also, there is so much information in this thread that I get a little dizzy trying to take it all in, so I'm really just trying to make sure I have the absolute basics nailed down for moving forward.

Thanks again!
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Jul 26, 2018, Theodore Lawton wrote:
I'm reading this again tonight and making some notes and I have to admit I'm overwhelmed by how much I don't know.

I kind of feel like I'm drowning in an ocean of marketing information. Smile

Am I correct in thinking that once I have my product- my act, that I should seriously consider how I package the product for consumption and to what markets?

Another way I might phrase this line of questioning would be: you as professional, successful performers host a show called "Let's Make A Magician!" ...After determining the product, the act, what are the most basic marketing strategies and branding you would drape over this blank slate to help move them forward in small steps knowing that they have a limited budget and knowledge?


No, lol. Let's clarify a few things before moving on.

First let me say, creating the right and proper foundational process will properly and correctly answer every single question you’ve presented. But until that is done, let me address your concerns.

First "marketing" in one of the last and final things you should be worried about. No marketing information should even be considered at this time. You are far from marketing. The proper sequential order is most important. You wouldn’t put the final details on a vehicle on an assembly line before the internal components were first properly assembled would you? Same here. Marketing only comes into play once your performance has been first determined, then created, then rehearsed and market-ready. Marketing should not even be on your radar (with the exception of your initial foundational decisions) until it's time comes in the sequential process. How will you know what you are marketing and to whom otherwise?

Let's look at the first thing you said - "Am I correct in thinking that once I have my product- my act, that I should seriously consider how I package the product for consumption and to what markets?"

Unfortunately this is how many magicians approach and do it, and also why so many struggle and eventually have to go back and redo things. Let's look at what you've just said - you are going to create a show, THEN find someone to book it/sell it to. This is a** backwards business.

What are you creating the show based on? - YOUR thoughts, preferences and ideas? Who are you to determine what the market needs or wants - you’re the uninformed, uneducated beginner. Does that qualify you to make such decisions? Unfortunately this IS how many magicians approach it.

Research and get a thorough understanding of that/those market(s) and venues you are choosing to serve, understanding their interests, needs, emotional aspects and preferences? Wouldn't it make better sense to first decide who you are going to serve (the markets, venues, etc.) THEN create the show that is needed by those markets/venues and created for those markets? Using the automotive analogy again, you wouldn't create a huge, fancy, top of the line Cadillac and try to sell (market) it to teenagers would you? Not at all.

Same for your website, business cards and marketing tools. Why would you make then until you know who they are designed to target and speak to? Unless of course you are just winging it and seeking to be a generalist, then as others will tell you “just do what you want”, lol. As a beginner that may be all you are seeking. We each have to decide what we are seeking out of it, and what best serves that need or approach.

As far as you saying “Another way I might phrase this line of questioning would be: you as professional, successful performers host a show called "Let's Make A Magician!" ...After determining the product, the act, what are the most basic marketing strategies and branding you would drape over this blank slate to help move them forward in small steps knowing that they have a limited budget and knowledge?”

I would never play that game because again that is not at all how I’d approach it. “After determining the product” is not how I would do it. I would determine the “who” and “whys” first, THEN determine what they want, need or expect. How can you possibly determine the marketing strategies and branding without knowing this information first?

The foundational determinations cost nothing and budgeting isn’t even a concern. Information and knowledge are the important factors. Really how can you even know what markets you want to serve until you understand and have some knowledge of the available markets to make such a decision?

I agree, start with a blank slate - but not having anything to do with performance or marketing, but rather the outline of exactly what you want to create (based on factual information and knowledge derived from market research), how you want to position yourself in the market(s) once determined, and based on who and what you will be serving and their specific interests and needs. Then how do they operate? Kids parties work differently than fairs or festivals, which work differently than schools, which are different than corporate markets, which are different than cruise lines, etc.

Then the remainder of the foundational questions will quickly make many of these decisions for you - what to charge/price points, services/additional services, how and when to market and with what materials are needed/required, the exact timetables of when to market, and sooo much more. It is a thing of beauty as it all simply falls perfectly into place - when you are approaching the foundational process the right way. Otherwise, mark my word, you will fall short of expectations and eventually have to come back to this place (if your ego doesn’t prevent you from ever doing so as some we’ve seen here).

No problem with the confusion or feelings of overwhelm, again that is the norm for those sincerely trying to understand. This is also why many do not ever get to this place, as they think they know better, can skip over it and do just fine, and “can figure it all out on their own.” Few do. I admire and respect you for trying to understand and process and make sense of it all.

Focus on one approach, commit to it, break it down into easily digestible bite-size pieces that you conquer one at a time each working in concert with each other to create the greater picture. What’s good about the foundational process is once it is determined it is the basis to guide you in all things to follow without the worry of making wrong decisions or straying off-course.
Theodore Lawton
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AHA! I'm starting to understand!

So what would be a way I can do market research?
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
55Hudson
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Theodore,

You may want to spend a little time at the library or book store looking at marketing books. Classic marketing strategy includes the 4 P's: Product (or service) Promotion, Place, and Price. All are interrelated. As Mindpro discussed, understand where you want to go and then you can put together a complet e strategy with the four elements working together.

Think of it this way: let's say your product is a kids show.

- Your Price is now set in a range by your local market, but probably in the range of $200 to $500 per show.
- your channel to market (Place - how you reach customers) might be Gig Masters, local advertising, or word of mouth
- Promotion will be targeted toward parents. You might advertise at toy stores, with copy that would entice parents to think of you as a good child's entertainer. You might want to work a family restaurant where you will get exposure to parents & kids.

Circle back to the show - no blue material, 30 to 40 minutes, perhaps a message. Perhaps a colorful costume.


Now think of all these aspects of you want to entertain corporate clients. All four aspects are different. From the show, the price, the image and how you reach potential clients. Danny's history in another thread addresses these elements in different words. Regardless of the framework you use, an integrated set of actions is necessary to be successful in which ever market you choose.

Good luck!

Hudson
Theodore Lawton
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Thanks Hudson!

Yes, I definitely need to get some marketing books.

Everything you are all sharing with me is starting to make sense now. I can see I had things bass ackward. This is getting exciting because I can begin to understand it now.

Look at my market(s) FIRST. Tailor my product for that market's needs, price points, channel it properly to THAT market, present myself to that market properly, etc.

I can see how this foundation would quickly answer ALL my other questions like Mindpro said! I've been chasing the wrong things.

So since I have my markets in mind, roughly, I can now start to build a product for those markets. It makes so much sense! I can now begin scouting my new area months in advance and prepare to market myself where I want to perform.

This will affect and shape how I want to be seen, what I perform, everything really.

Wow. This is great.

I've learned more about magic as a business here in the last several days than in all my first 8-10 years as a magician.

This could have saved me a lot of time, energy and frustration in the past.

Well... I know a little bit now, time to implement these ideas and keep learning.

Thanks again and I'll be back!
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Jul 27, 2018, Theodore Lawton wrote:
This is getting exciting because I can begin to understand it now.

I can see how this foundation would quickly answer ALL my other questions like Mindpro said! I've been chasing the wrong things.
It makes so much sense! I can now begin scouting my new area months in advance and prepare to market myself where I want to perform.

This will affect and shape how I want to be seen, what I perform, everything really.

Wow. This is great.

I've learned more about magic as a business here in the last several days than in all my first 8-10 years as a magician.

This could have saved me a lot of time, energy and frustration in the past.



So glad to see it is making sense to you now. Good for you for sticking with it, not getting discouraged, or complaining about how the information was presented to you. Taking the time to try to understand the content and context in which the information is offered is the real key.

You are correct, when done right it can save you years of time and effort, and save you a ton of money on poor, ineffective or unproven advice based only on opinion or personal experience or a single magician's perspective/thinking.

I always say, give me 30 minutes and it can change your business. You can also see why many never understand it, figure it out, or spend years missing these crucial points and process. Yes, most chase the wrong things but it takes you actually getting it to truly realize this. It does affect everything really as you've discovered. Also in the foundational process, you will uncover things even you never knew yourself about your performance, your business, and the greater picture, including your own true desires, conscious and subconscious. As I said, it is a thing of beauty, and so easy once understood.

Imagine hearing this regularly, almost daily from those seeking such assistance. It is very rewarding to help them realize what they haven't been able to do on their own.

The key is researching and knowing your markets, the proper foundational questions to ask, the proper sequential order, and how to properly conduct market research to get the information you need to complete the foundational process.

Excited to hear of your progress.
Dannydoyle
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I tell you though that it takes the first 8 or 10 years of doing it wrong, to understand what doing it right means.

I don't think anyone can START with knowing these things. I don't think that when a person decides to be a professional entertainer you have a LOT to learn even BEFORE you are ready to start a business. I know that it matters that these things are done, but most are just not ready to do them at first.

It takes you 5 years to learn what you DON'T know.

Plus without a product that matters all the business knowledge in the world won't sell it. The thing that is TOUGH is when to make the transition! When to decide that business matters!
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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I agree but think many never realize they are doing it wrong. Instead, they tend to blame things other than themselves - the economy, their town or area, too much competition, people don't want to pay the prices of a professional, there's no work out there, and so many more common excuses or accepted justifications.

Then what I have found is crazy is when someone tells them this they get very defensive, offended, and even angry. For some people, they simply can't step outside of themselves to see themselves from the outside as others experience them.

You are right because there is no gatekeeper they tend to just do it as they want, which is rarely effective or right because they haven't a clue as to how much they don't really know. Then what is even crazier, is they often turn to others that also don't get it are being led even more off course. It becomes the blind leading the blind.

I think your timetables are spot on, as is the point about not having the right or proper product, as without it it all crumbles or never gets off of the ground.

There is where the Café and especially Tricky Business has helped many. Many people bash the Café but if you know where to look and who to listen to, can separate fact and experience from opinion and thoughts, it can be a plethora of information, This is also a primary benefit to having a mentor or coach.

I think many focus on the product (performance) more from the inside than from as others do from the outside.
Dannydoyle
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The most detrimental part is then people would prefer hearing what they want to hear, as opposed to what is needed to be heard. Seeking advice that makes you feel good rarely does anything to help a business.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Greg Arce
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I use nonsense to pretend this all makes sense. Smile

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
thomasR
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Having the mental ability to see your mistakes, own them, and learn from them is the real secret. It doesn't necesarily matter if you learn them yourself as you go along, or you learn them ahead of time from a coach, either way you will spend time and money learning what you don't know.
Greg Arce
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Very weird. The post I made above was at another thread. Not sure why it ended up here. Weird.

Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
Dannydoyle
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Quote:
On Aug 13, 2018, thomasR wrote:
Having the mental ability to see your mistakes, own them, and learn from them is the real secret. It doesn't necesarily matter if you learn them yourself as you go along, or you learn them ahead of time from a coach, either way you will spend time and money learning what you don't know.

All things being equal where learning happens is not actually relevant I agree.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mindpro
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Just curious, it's been 5 months and I was wondering what's been happening with Theodore? Did you move? Are you working in your new market? How are things going?
imgic
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Quote:
On Aug 12, 2018, Dannydoyle wrote:
The most detrimental part is then people would prefer hearing what they want to hear, as opposed to what is needed to be heard. Seeking advice that makes you feel good rarely does anything to help a business.


Great advice
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Theodore Lawton
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We moved. We've been living in a nursery for 3 months. We just moved into the guesthouse and I can start getting serious about things. I am going to take my time and learn more about how I should market myself, branding, etc. while I get things together.

Thank you for asking. It's been a crazy few months.

But totally worth it to be with our Grandson! Smile
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
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