When getting into the business of magic and putting on magic shows, it does not necessarily mean that having a great show will translate to a lot of bookings. As it is with any business, promotion has a lot to do with whether your phone will be ringing off the hook or if youll be constantly checking whether its broken or not for the lack of calls.
While it is perfectly understandable to believe in the quality of your craft and that it will speak for itself, if thats all youre relying on, it falls short in getting non-practitioners (your audience) to make that call and book you. You will need to promote your skills to people who will be in likely need of your craft. That means you would need to come up with promotional materials.
Promotional materials are simply things that will call attention and inform people about your skills and craft as a magician. These could be anything from a flyer, brochure, video, website, calling card the list can go on and on. What is important is that after being exposed to the material, that person will be motivated to know more and call you for details regarding their own needs and how you can help them.
That said, the heart of your promotional materials should NOT be how good you are in pulling off tricks and how complicated your illusions are. The core of your promos should be how you can solve their problems and address their needs.
For example, if someone planning a corporate sales rally were to come across your website, that person would not be interested to know how many girls you can cut in half. He/she would probably want to know whether you could entertain their sales force of about 500 strong. Only when youve established how you can address your clients needs can you then delve into certain details about your show.
Now that you have the core principle in promoting yourself, you can now start to do so. The range for the cost of promotional materials can go from practically nothing to as far as your checkbook can take you.
Phone calls Never underestimate the power of a timely phone call. While this may seem simple, this needs some research on your part. This means you would need to know what times of the year are magic shows in demand. If youre seriously into this business, this will not be hard to figure out. If youre a newbie, ask your more established friends when are they the busiest, or simply observe the trends of the craft youre in.
Once you think youve got the period suited for your particular call, make the necessary adjustments to call at just about the time events organizers are starting their plans. For example, if youre a close-up performer, you may want to target events like weddings or Christmas parties. Do your homework and find out what times of the year are those events likely staged then give the organizers a call about 3 to 4 weeks before that time. Call too early and they might forget you, call too late and theyve probably already booked someone else.
Brochures/Flyers/CardsPrinted materials are only as good as the distribution system that goes with it. One may use high quality paper and professional layout for their printed collateral and have no bookings to show for if the materials are not distributed properly.
Take care not to annoy people with your flyers or brochures by thrusting them at their faces, especially when theyre in a hurry. A lot of businesses fail to see this point and find their costly printed promos tossed in the wastebasket as quickly as it was handed out.
Instead, distribute your cards and flyers on occasions when people will be more receptive to the idea of magic shows. One idea is to stage a short casual show at a park where there are a lot of people and have a friend or two hand out your flyers and brochures to those who pass by to watch. (The same principle should also apply for your booked shows.)
Just remember that the idea of the printed materials is to generate interest in what youve got to offer and provide information to people on how to contact you.
As a final word, with competition practically growing by the minute, you will need to find a way to distinguish yourself from the rest. In making your promotional materials, avoid presenting yourself as a do-it-all guy. While this may sound good at first, you may not necessarily be able to live up to that claim. Find a specific need you can address well and build your reputation on it. In this line of work, thats about as big an investment on promotion you can make.
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