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Valentine Magic

Be my ValentineValentine Magic

 

So Valentines Day has come and gone again.

I’m not concerned with how many cards you got, but did you take the opportunity to leverage the day into additional work? Or just a moment to strengthen a business relationship?

I know it’s too late now to do anything now but there’s always next year and it should serve as a template for other special days.

Fathers day, Mothers Day , Easter  etc

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Send Cards!

Make your own or buy them in bulk.

A Magic Valentines Day mailout can be very effective.

Past Clients, Conference Organisers, Agents and Bureaux.

A nice card with nice words can work wonders.

“Love to … work with you again soon” etc.

Close Up workers can find a quick phone around to clubs restaurants etc can often result in both extra Lunch Time and Evening bookings on the big day.

So look in your diary now and plan a mini campaign for the next one, whatever it is.

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knew thenOver 10 years ago I asked a group of prominent magicians the question “If you only knew then what you know now.” I was thrilled with the responses and it became one of the most well read articles ever on www.MagicCoach.com . (Read the original here)

Recently, I decided to do the exercise again and this time fired the question to some of the most respected and busiest mentalists on the planet. What I found interesting was their different approaches to the question, some looking at the big picture, some, the important “little secrets.”

What was also significantly different this time around, was that I knew all of these performers at a much different level. I had met them all previously, had shared meals with several over the years, some had even been to my house here in the Blue Mountains and with two I had spent a memorable night at the baseball. This lead to much fuller or revealing answers than the last time I did the exercise and I really appreciate their insights.

As Jon Stetson remarked “ I hope this helps someone down the road.”

Big thanks to -

Max Maven – Legendary performer, creator & writer
Craig Karges – Thousands of performances around the world on TV and at Colleges, Corporate Events and Performing Arts Centres.
Marc Salem – Star of TV and his own theatre shows around the world
Ken Weber – Veteran College performer & author of the must read book “Maximum Entertainment”
Chris Carter – A legend in the College market and at Corporate events
Jon Stetson – Consumate performer & creator of the unique ” Stetson Experience”

 

Marc Salem

salem# … the role of practice, in any venue, at any price
# … appearance and grooming are a real turn on  …  shine those shoes
# … the latest trick that will make you famous does not exist
# … build your act to climax, gradually reveal your abilities
# … Post show is more important than preshow, get out there and be a nice guy, but perform nothing, your show is over
# … know you effects well , and their history , this keeps the inventors eyes on you
# … make the love of your art bring joy to your face, the audience will see it

 

Craig Karges
kargesSome background. I’m a 56-year-old full time mentalist/mystery entertainer. I began performing magic at 12, mentalism at 16 and turned professional at 22 when I graduated from college with a degree in broadcast speech and journalism. So it’s been 34 years of running around the world (5000 appearances in 22 countries on four continents as well as in all 50 United States). My primary markets have been corporate and college followed by some casino, theatre and special event work. I’ve made over 40 national TV appearances in the US, starred in two, syndicated, one-hour television specials and authored three books for the general public. So that’s who I am in a nutshell.

I honestly don’t know that I would have done anything much different. I can look back at choices I made and question them. For example, I went to college so I would have a “fall back” plan. Turns out, I didn’t need it. But I’m very thankful for my college education. I learned things that I apply in my business still today. I paid my way through college by performing and those extra four years of experience were invaluable. I matured and I got much better so that when I graduated I was better prepared to hit the road. By finishing school, I also had the answer to the other question I might have been asking myself — “What if I didn’t turn pro out of high school and went to college first?” I think my life might have been very different had I chose that life path and I don’t think in a good way. But who knows?

Corporate versus college work is another area where I can look at my choices and wonder. In the 80s I marketed to both — I marketed to anyone and everyone! My fees in the late 80s were similar for college shows and corporate events (with the big difference being that the corporate clients paid all travel and the college dates were pretty much all inclusive except for hotel). Then the college dates took over my calendar and there were very few openings to take corporate bookings. I was averaging about 175 one-nighters a year, mostly on college campuses. In the 90s the corporate market exploded and fees shot up. I missed the start of that parade! But by the mid to late 90s I was back into the corporate market pretty heavily and eventually, early 2000s maybe, I was doing more corporate than college work. So, should I have consciously cut back on my college shows? Should I still be doing them now when they pay less than half as much as corporate appearances? I don’t know. But I’m glad I didn’t abandon the college market as it got me through 9/11 when the corporate market just shut down and meetings were canceling left and right and it helped get me through the recent (current?) recession. Plus I enjoy the work — it gives the calendar a different dimension and in many ways it keeps me young!

Personal management is another area I could question. I never wanted to be famous. I just wanted to earn a good living doing what I love to do. However, in the mid-90s, I signed with a personal manager who believed he could turn me into, if not a celebrity, a media personality. I stayed with him for, I think, ten and a half years and paid him over half a million dollars during that time. I eventually terminated our contract when, to me at least, it appeared that we had done all we could for each other. I probably should have walked a year or two before I did but I have no regrets about the relationship or the money paid. My manager opened a lot of doors for me and he created contacts that are still very important to my career today. If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t have been on The Tonight Show or had my first book published by a mainstream publishing house. So, overall, no regrets.

I may however have a future regret if you revisit me in 5 years. That’s social media. I don’t use it at all. I know, it’s shocking! If I ever get heavily involved in it and discover what I’ve been missing all these years I might say, “If I only knew then what I know now…”

Jon Stetson

stetson

One thing? That’s a tough one, there are so many.

One thing that stands out in my mind. That would be my being somewhat reluctant to step out of my comfort zone and take greater risks. Having more faith in my own abilities. I didn’t get to that point until I was 40!

That along with not getting a college education. Particularly not learning enough about how to properly run a business and manage money. All in all, I’ve done well. However all I’ve learned has come at a cost.

Hope this helps someone down the road.

Next Issue – The answers from  …  Ken Weber, Chris Carter, Max Maven.

Subscribe below to be notified the instant Part 2 is published.

 

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A Giveaway that Makes you Money!

giveaway                   A GIVEAWAY THAT MAKES YOU MONEY!!

 

I spotted this idea in another performers emailed newsletter and asked the writer, BJ Hickman, to elaborate further and if I could share the idea with you.

BJ produces a giveaway.

But it’s probably the most complex giveaway I’ve seen for a while.

Complex in it’s size, amount of work that it would take to put it together and complex in what it achieves for him.

It positions him as an expert. It positions him as a celebrity

It gets his contact details out into the homes of his market audience. And it makes money. It more than pays for itself.

It generates profit for itself and creates more performances.

Interested?  I bet you are.

BJ Hickman produces a Magic Newspaper.

It’s described as “Magic, Fun and games Newspaper” includes magic tricks, puzzles, games, jokes, parent pages and information on becoming a magician”

16 pages of stuff.

Who’s not going to take it home after a show to try out the tricks? The parents read information that is useful (safety tips, Library Info, resources on Magic) and see photos of BJ – “at the Magic Castle, doing his “speaking presentation” etc. It positions him exactly how he wants.

But printing 12,000 copies isn’t cheap. To cover this cost, and to make money, he sells advertising space throughout the paper. And at a fairly good rate. A full page inside for example is $900.

The advertisers know exactly where these papers are going and who’s going to read them. There are adverts from – Pet Supplies, Party Supplies, Toy Shops etc. Auto Repairs, Garden Shops, Restaurants etc.

BJ of course advertises his own work, collects feedback and builds a maillist.

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I’m not going to elaborate any further on this. Think about how it works and what it achieves. It’s a great idea.

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Are you a Publicity Hound Part 2

Publicity for Magician                          Are you a Publicity Hound?

                                                            Guest Post by Tom Antion

 

Does this sound like you?

You can’t understand why the reporter at your local newspaper has quoted your competitor in five separate stories but hasn’t called you once.

You send out more than two dozen news releases every year , but they result in little more than a few lines of type.

If your attempts at media coverage have fallen flat, quit grumbling and start taking a proactive approach to free publicity by identifying interesting, compelling story ideas the media need. Yes, NEED. Newspapers, magazines and trade publications have hundreds of thousands of column inches to fill. TV and radio stations have hundreds of hours of news and community interest programs they must broadcast. The number of media outlets is greater than ever, and competition is fierce for advertising dollars, viewers and subscribers. The secret to savvy media relations is knowing exactly what they want, then giving it to them.

Here are tickler questions designed to help you identify the best story ideas within your company or organization:

PUBLICIZE AN UPCOMING EVENT

Are you sponsoring an event such as classes, an open house, a free demonstration, or a fun event? Don’t just send a news release. Think of something visual that ties into the event. Then call your local TV station and ask if they are interested in doing a story a day or two before. Coverage before the event helps spark interest and boost attendance.

THINK TECHNOLOGY

How are you using technology in interesting or unique ways? Have you found a way to draw lots of traffic to your web site—with resulting bookings? Are you using the latest technology during your engagements? Is your sales force using technology to stay in touch with existing customers and seek out new ones?

YOUR LIFESTYLE

Does the type of clothing you wear, the home you live in, your hobbies, your relationships with your family, the food you eat, and where you travel on vacation say something unusual about you? These stories are ideal for lifestyle sections, food pages, travel pages and special interest magazines. Even though the articles are not necessarily business-related, the reporter most likely will ask you what you do for a living, and that’s a chance to plug your company or organization, particularly if it ties into the reason they are writing. (Example: You perform internationally and have an extensive collection of wine you have bought during your travels. This would be a GREAT story for food page editors, and it would publicize the fact that you are a professional entertainer.)

ALLIANCES AND PARTNERSHIPS

Has your organization formed an interesting alliance or partnership with another business or non-profit? Call the business reporter and share the information. Be willing to explain the results you expect to see from such an arrangement. And be sure your partner is also willing to speak with a reporter.

TALK ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS

What are the three biggest business problems you are facing? Find out the name of the reporters who cover your industry. Then share the information with them. Who knows? Someone might read your story and call you with a solution you might not otherwise have known about.

TALK ABOUT YOUR MISTAKES

What are the biggest you have made, and how would you advise other people from not making the same ones? Don’t be embarrassed. Everyone makes mistakes. And if you’re willing to discuss yours, there’s a good chance the media will be willing to write about you.

CLEVER CONTESTS

Have you thought about sponsoring a clever contest? To celebrate its 100th anniversary, OshKosh B’Gosh launched a six-month nationwide search for the oldest pair of bib overalls. Thrifty Rent-a-Car sponsors an annual Honeymoon Disasters Contest. Entries result in amusing feature stories printed in major newspapers and magazines throughout the country. For additional publicity mileage, the company announces results near Valentine’s Day, giving the media a perfect story that piggybacks on a holiday.

CELEBRATING AN ANNIVERSARY?

The fact that your company is celebrating an anniversary or birthday isn’t news. But it would be more enticing to the media if you could tie it in to a clever event. A button manufacturer published a lavish photo history of the button—including its uses—on shoes, clothing, furniture and accessories. An accounting firm celebrated its centennial by publishing a giveaway book of commissioned original renditions of what select artists thought it meant to be 100. A national rental car company rented out its fleet of cars for free one day.

CREATE TIP SHEETS

Can you write a tip sheet that explains how to solve a particular problem, or how to do something? It includes helpful free advice. Topics sound like this: 11 Ways to Snag More Business from Your Web site, The 7 Secrets of Profitable Self-Promotion, 9 Ways to Save Money on Insurance Premiums. Each tip sheet should have a short introduction of a sentence or two. At the end, print a paragraph that states the name of the author, the author’s credentials, and contact information such as phone number, e-mail address and web site URL. Think of the Number One problem your customers are facing, and offer tips on how to solve it.

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Are you a Publicity Hound?

Publicity for Magician                      Are you a Publicity Hound?

                                                        Guest Post by Tom Antion

 

Does this sound like you?

You can’t understand why the reporter at your local newspaper has quoted your competitor in five separate stories but hasn’t called you once.

You send out more than two dozen news releases every year , but they result in little more than a few lines of type.

If your attempts at media coverage have fallen flat, quit grumbling and start taking a proactive approach to free publicity by identifying interesting, compelling story ideas the media need. Yes, NEED. Newspapers, magazines and trade publications have hundreds of thousands of column inches to fill. TV and radio stations have hundreds of hours of news and community interest programs they must broadcast. The number of media outlets is greater than ever, and competition is fierce for advertising dollars, viewers and subscribers. The secret to savvy media relations is knowing exactly what they want, then giving it to them.

Here are tickler questions designed to help you identify the best story ideas within your company or organization:

WHAT’S DIFFERENT?

Is your company doing anything unique, or different than your competitors? Examples: A magician who gives a quirky, memorable free gift to every booker who hires her. A web site company that gives its customers discount coupons good for a web site update for every referral a customer sends. An agency that buys creative toys for its employees to use during brainstorming sessions to get their own creative juices flowing.

THE LOCAL ANGLE

Are you the local angle to a national or regional event? During the war in Kosovo, many local newspapers and TV stations ran stories about people in their own communities who kept in touch with their relatives in the war zone. During the Columbine shootings in Colorado, newspapers interviewed local child psychologists and counselors who offered tips on how parents can spot warning signs in their own children.

PIGGYBACK ON A NEWS EVENT

After severe rains in Milwaukee a few years ago, a Minnesota company got several minutes of free advertising on a Milwaukee radio station by talking to the drive-time radio host about a special pump that removes standing water and moisture in the air. The host interviewed a company representative and gave out the company’s toll-free number.

OFFER FREE ADVICE

What advice can you offer that will help someone else solve their problems? Tell reporters they can call on you for advice when writing stories about your area of expertise. Give them specific examples of how you help people save time and money.

 

WRITE HOW-TO ARTICLES

Editors of many newspapers, magazines and trade publications want articles that tell their readers how to do something such as get out of debt, discipline their children, have a safer work environment, set up a home office, or acquire a business loan. Think of the number one problem your customers face, then write a how -to article about it. If it is printed, try to recycle the article for a different publication.

 

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