A lot of people get intimidated by the word media and advertising and usually take it to mean powerful conglomerates of print, broadcast and the Internet. While that is a common perception, it should not come to the point that people like you would feel inferior because of it.
One thing you should know about media and advertising is that they are simply tools. The high-profile nature it has stems from the fact that the people in it want this to be so. But if you choose not to fall for this illusion, youd find that you are in as much a position to use these tools as anyone else. To be more specific, you can use these tools to promote your business as a magician or illusionist.
Now before you protest with how much it will cost to put up ads in the paper, radio and TV, allow yourself to be informed on alternatives that may increase your bookings without breaking the bank.
First of all, your advertising strategy will not have as wide a coverage as a national campaign, which makes your costs all that much smaller. Second, you dont need to be an established performer to get your own advertising. Even a newbie or someone building on a career in the magic business can make use of advertising tools.
Now you can move on to knowing what kind of media is out there and how you can advertise on them.
Tri-mediaPrint, TV and radio are the traditionally held avenues of advertisement and these are what you see as newspaper ads, TV and radio commercials. As the most established forms of media, these have the most circulation in a population. It is this ability to reach literally millions of people that advertisers pay a lot of money for.
PrintSince you dont need to reach a million people, you may just do as well to start with your own local area. Very likely there is a community paper that you can visit to inquire about placing ads. If the rates are too high for you, consider putting out a press release and sending it to the papers editor. Press releases dont cost you anything because publishers are always on the lookout for material to fill in blanks in the layout. Just make sure your press release is relevant to the paper youll be sending it to.
TVGiven the right circumstances, you can advertise yourself on TV and/or radio without spending a cent on production costs. You can do this by lending your services to existing shows that may need your skills as a magician. A deal can be worked out with the shows producer where in exchange for your skills, your contact information will be put on air.
RadioObviously, the suggestion for TV will not work for radio but even then, you can advertise on radio in a similar way you did for print. Benefit shows or fundraisers enjoy the privilege of free radio announcements. If you can work out a deal with the fundraiser organizers, you may be able to have your name included in the radio announcement, thus creating awareness of your services.
New mediaNew media has come to identify everything else outside the realm of tri-media. For now, this pertains to the Internet and mobile technology that is growing at a breakneck pace while remaining affordable to the common Joe.
WebsitesMost magicians now maintain their own websites meant to promote the performer and the show. One thing you should know about websites is that more does NOT necessarily mean better. Sometimes a website could have so many pictures or words that the information is literally in the visitors face. Instead of inviting the person to learn more about you, you may end up turning them off with a website thats too cluttered or too loud.
Restraint is the key here. Remember that the idea is to generate an interest in you. Dont rely on the website (or any other form of advertisement) to get you booked as only you (or your agent) can do that. Give enough information that answers typical questions like what you do and to what events have you performed at. Leave the nitty-gritty details of your act to the actual conversation you hopefully will have with a prospect after theyve visited your site.
Other forms of new media like email and mobile technology employ the same principles as with websites and tri-media. It is simply a matter of mastering the technology of your choice and making it work along with your core message that you can help solve peoples problems with the services you offer.
Finally, after all that glitz in media, your quality of work is still the final deciding factor whether you can convert the hype to reality. So dont forget to build on the skills you are advertising and your reputation in the magic business just might take off sooner than you know it.
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