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Guest Post by Tim Mannix


If your town is like mine, the competition factor is continually increasing as the entertainment market grows. However, I will say for the record that I do adhere to the belief that there is enough work for all of us, so I willingly pass this tidbit of information onto my fellow performers.

Since running my own ad for the last year and I have quickly become accustomed to the price-shopper. This type of shopper when calling doesn’t particularly seem interested in fact-finding about my experience, expertise or the type of show that I offer.

Price is their hot-button. They desire the bottom line price and have every intention of hanging up as soon as possible and continuing their dialing-for-quotes.

Their thinking seems to be “all magicians are the same, so what’s the difference except price?” The answer seems to be education.

Therefore, one of the techniques I utilize is to begin asking them as many questions as I can about their event or child’s party. Once I engage them, I can begin building some sense of rapport and educating them about my show and me. The idea is to elongate the phone conversation and to gather as much information as possible, which will aid in personalizing our brief encounter. Courtesy is foremost, but I begin by informing them of specifics about my show, i.e. intense audience participation, appearance of a rabbit, balloon animals, etc.

This added information helps to create intrigue and can entice them to ask questions that they might never have thought to ask themselves.

Obviously, price comes up quickly if they haven’t already asked in the first sentence, and I quote my price to them with a ring in my voice that says “And it’s so inexpensive” and wait for reaction. When the caller begins the impending hang-up , I ask one final question, “How much did you have in mind?” I steer clear of asking them about their budget or what price they’ re willing to spend since they can quickly advise me that I am out of range. This question brings about a dollar quote from the caller. Regardless of the price they quote, I inform them that I offer a discount if they are willing to be listed as one of my testimonial contacts. I explain that it affords me a list of individuals who are willing to be contacted regarding my show. I am confident in my show and ability so, this can provide me with an additional positive referral source. The response is usually positive.


I have turned many shoppers into advocates by offering a $25 discount. My feeling is that it is a win-win situation for everyone, and it beats losing them as a client. As long as the customer feels they are getting a deal, they will usually book me. Many people have called back since my competitors don’t seem to offer such opportunities. This technique assures that my referral list gets continually updated and generates an invaluable source when I encounter a client who requests unbiased feedback from individuals who have booked me in the past.

To date, I have found only two occasions where clients have requested my testimonial list, and they usually call only one person on the list, which is my most current show. Also, be sure to include show dates next to the contact name.

Good luck,

Tim Mannix



What are you really Selling?

headachesAspirins and Headaches –  What are you really selling?

A good friend of mine, who I met through my involvement with the National Speakers Association, is a wonderful “southern gentleman” called Bob Johnson. Bob runs the impressive sounding Johnson Corporation, and has made some serious money training salespeople around Australia and the world.

When he arrived in Sydney with his brother many years ago, they didn’t know anyone in the city or where to start growing their business. That first night, they had dinner at the top of Centerpoint Tower. During dinner, high up above the booming confident young city, the revolving restaurant gave them their first prospect list. Bob jotted down, on a drink coaster no doubt, the names of all the companies up in neon at the tops of the tallest city buildings. Then they had their prospect list and a plan. Then it was easy.

This is the sort of straightforward thinking and talking Bob does.

Bob talks a lot and when Bob talks, I listen.

One of his favourite sayings is…

“You don’t sell aspirin, Timothy, you sell the headache going away”.

Your challenge this week is to have a look through your publicity material.

Are you telling people how clever you are, the magnificent things you do in your show, the fantastic places where you have worked in the past, the incredible illusions you perform, the number of balls you can juggle?

Or do you make their “headache” go away.

Benefits versus Features.

The person who reads your brochure or looks at your Website….

What is their headache? What is their need?

How far does your material go towards convincing them you are the cure?

Each of us, working in different markets, face people with different “headaches”. Discovering and understanding what these needs are, is a vital part of all our marketing and positioning!



Magic MarketingThis is a technique that can be used by everyone from birthday party acts to multiple thousand dollar corporate acts.

The question, which can be inserted into a booking inquiry conversation is this …

“who have you used in previous years ?”

Now obviously this is not going to be applicable to every possible job that comes your way, but for those where it fits it’s a very powerful tool.

It lets you know early in the conversation the type of event the person is planning. It also delays the moment when you need to quote a price. The longer you can get information from the client and establish your credentials and benefits before you name a price the better.

For those performers who offer a range of options or different acts it is perfect.

(Or if you are a performer who is a little bit flexible on your pricing structure then this information will help you get more hits with your pricing quotes.)

They may answer the question by saying that last year they used Flippo the Clown , who you know works for $50 for an hour show and includes two hours of walkaround.

Alternatively, they might reply that they used James Splash. Now you know that they probably paid $1500 and probably were happy with a 30 minute show.

This information is very valuable.

You can also use it as a screening process. Are you going to send a promotional pack and DVD and spend an hour working on a custom proposal if you know that last year they paid $50 ?

So, when the phone rings later today and someone asks how much you charge for a show, ask the question!!!!


The Real SecretsI asked 8 prominent professionals two Questions.

1/ If you were starting out again in your career of Magic, what would you do differently?

2/ What would you do the same?

From David Ginn, Children’s magic specialist

1/ Do differently ?

PROBABLY NOTHING. I have built my career from kid hobby at age eleven through trial and error . . . the greatest experience in the world. Also, it took me a long time to LEARN to be MYSELF and not somebody else. When I first saw David Copperfield perform live for 4000 people, I often walked out of his show thinking, “I’m quitting magic. I can never live up to that, never be that good.” But within an hour or two I realized that I am ME. I am unique. David Copperfield is a great performer and entertainer and an inspiration . . . but he can’t be ME. I can handle 500-1000 kids in a school show performance as well as any magician I’ve ever seen. I know my market, love my audiences, and am happy that I am doing what God planned for me to do . . . school shows, libraries, pre-schools . . . and writing books about how to do that, plus lecturing about it to share with other performers.

Yes, I guess I’d just do it all the same and make the same mistakes . . because that’s what put me here, being me.


From Gary Oulett, TV Magic Producer

1/ Differently this time?

Waste less time learning tricks that had no inherent entertainment value and appealed only because of some clever aspect.

2/ The same?

Read everything I could on magic – and see as much non-magic theatre as possible.


From James “The Amazing” Randi

1/ Differently?

I’d learn more fundamentals, like stage lighting, audio systems, etc. I had to learn it all the hard way, travelling around the world and picking it up from the real pros. It wasn’t easy.

2/ The same?

I’d still depend upon good friends in the profession who I had to lean on and look to for advice and help. I had Sid Lorraine, Ross Bertram, Tex Morton, Roy Benson, Jay Marshall, Joe Dunninger, and then Harry Blackstone Sr. to help me over the bumps. And I survived….


From Magical Legend Billy McComb

1/ Differently?…..

I’d concentrate earlier on comedy. People pay more to laugh than to be amazed .Magic can be the hook or anything else you are interested in. With me magic was my hobby which became my vocation. As soon as I had a workable viable act I’d get a good reliable agent who will work hard for me earlier in my career. One who either has no other comedy magician on his books and who is already designated as a hard-working agent OR with a very top comedy magician on his books so that he would know the route to take to have me follow in his foot-steps. That way he would have in me a meal ticket for the rest of his days which would be an incentive to him and I would be able to spend more time on improving my act.

2/ The same?

I’d still put all my savings in real estate. That way, like now, as I get older (eighty next year) I am more selective in what I do by selling a house every time I need money. Once you have one house you can use that as equity to buy another and put tenants in at enough to pay the mortgage and possibly enough over to maybe buy the next house money down. Just make sure the real estate market is sound and in an area which is progressing favourably all the time.



From  CJ Johnson

1/ Differently?

Simple to answer. I’d listen more and talk less. Magicians have a tendency to want to talk about themselves too much. As I get older (and hopefully wiser) I’ve learned that I can learn a lot more by listening than I can by talking. While I still talk a lot, I do spend more time listening nowadays.

2/ The same?

You know, this is more difficult to answer than the first. On the surface I recognize that I’m where I am in life because of both the good and the bad choices I’ve made so I wouldn’t want to change anything. Therefore I’d have to say I’d do everything exactly the same. BUT – that’s not really the case. I think the one thing I’d do the same is to always try to learn about business as much as about magic. Growth is crucially important as an artist and as a business person and learning from others is the best way to grow.

From  Mac King  Vegas funny man

1/ Differently?

I would spend more of my college time learning about business, law, and the stock market.

2/ What would you do exactly the same?

I’m glad that as I was learning to be a magician I concentrated on doing magic for as many people as I could, in as many different venues as possible. I’m glad I read as many magic books as possible. I’m glad I learned to listen.


From  Dan Harlan

1/ Differently?

Everything I’ve done, only quicker! Get your mistakes out of the way as fast as you can. Some are avoidable with proper advice, but many you just have to experience for yourself. Failure is the only way to learn how to succeed.

2/ What would you do exactly the same?

I saved enough money to live on for one year while I was establishing my magic career. That is the best thing I could have done. It will take a while to get the momentum going so you really don’t want to worry about your bills during that difficult stage.

Dan Harlan


From Greg Wilson


1) If I was to begin my career in magic again I would focus on performing more close-up and parlor style magic. I have spent many years performing as an Illusionist all over the world. With that experience to reflect on, I have determined that, from a business point of view, I could earn nearly the same “net profit” from smaller magic without the physical pain and expense of moving and maintaining the Illusions.

And every client wants your newest Illusion, which takes Thousands and Thousands of dollars to perfect. Illusionists who do not invest the proper time and money into their props and presentations diminish the perceived value of the artform by “cheapening” its appearance.

2) What would I do the same – it is very simple

Practice, Practice, Practice!!!

Hope that this helps your readers in their endeavors to perform and earn a living with magic. I have been doing so for 30 years, and would do nothing else.

The other day we were performing at the McComb Center for the Performing Arts in Detroit MI, USA. This is a 1,500 seat beautiful theater. It was the 4th performance that day to yet another sold out audience, and as I presented our closing Illusion, Excalibur, I remembered my childhood.


I remembered watching Doug Henning on Broadway and on tour, Harry Blackstone Jr. starting his tour that led him to Broadway, David Copperfield as a young man on the TV specials with my Father and me, and of course my Father, Mark Wilson .

And I thought, as a child, that someday I might grow up to be a great magician, and do those incredible Illusions – and there I was, on stage with a wonderful audience, on tour in America doing exactly what I had dreamed of as a kid…

And that out there in the audience, is another child, watching my show having the same dream of becoming a magician, instead of something that could really make money for him like being a doctor, or a lawyer, or the owner of a McDonald’s franchise.

Best of luck to you all,


Greg Wilson

Coming Soon! The 2014 Update!


MagicCoach News – June 2014

Greetings from a chilly Blue Mountains.

Wow, the temperature has plummeted over the last week. Winter is not coming, it’s arrived. With two conferences in freezing Melbourne later this month, I’m looking forward to a well earned holiday in the steamy Northern Territory in 3 weeks time.


logosmallHuge response to this. As I warned you a couple of times, the price has now gone up $10 so you were clever if you jumped in when I first mentioned it. (Don’t you just hate those Price Going Up Soon offers that never do? Like our local Persian Rug Shop that’s been Closing Down for the last 10 years!)

Anyway, it’s still a great price for this product. I didn’t get any negative feedback from buyers  and there were many. (Last time I looked the refund rate for the product overall was about 3% which is a pretty remarkable figure for a tool like this).

Click Link for Info & Pricing     http://jvz3.com/c/216209/95609

BONUS  for MAGICCOACH –  I also wrangled a Bonus Video Graphics Pack from the makers of this. There are some instructions in the Zipped file. About 150 meg . You probably need the product to make use of this but I’m not checking who downloads it   : )

Download Graphics Pack

Big News

Some big news here at the Office, we’ve just taken on a Virtual Assistant! Mainly to help market my Corporate Services but also to help with the newsletter blog etc.

The good news for you, not only will it free up a bit of my time so I can continue to hunt out great resources to grow your business,  I’ll be using this as a Case Study and will report down the track on my learning’s, ROI etc so you can replicate if you like. I’m committing to use her for at least 12 months so we should have a fairly clear picture and some interesting metrics by then. Stay tuned.

New Tools

I’ve been road testing  two new tech tools over the last month. This is not a full review in any way but just a quick mention of   …

RODE smartLav     Very nice small Lavaliere Microphone designed for iPhones. Terrific quality and perfect for recording yourself in live situations. Rode also make a free App for iPhones that obviously works well with the smartLav. Perfect if you are getting Video shot. Mic yourself up with the phone in your pocket and add it to the video later.

Roland R-05  Recorder      If you don’t want to get wired up, this Roland has two powerful condenser microphones that have amazing pick up qualities. It’s the size of a pack of cards, records to SD card. Brilliant. I’ve been recording my shows again, something I used to do a lot but have neglected for a while. This is used by a lot of the Podcasting Gurus, but has many more uses than just that. For instance great to  grab testimonials after a show.

There are plenty of full reviews online, but thumbs up from me for both of these..

Till next time

Timothy Hyde