Getting More Shows
Determine that you will get repeat business and referrals. This means, work on the quality of your show. Constantly make it better.
Think about marketing yourself in three stages: Local first, regional second, national third. Start local. Too many are trying to reach the world without being known in their home town. Put up posters, use community bulletin boards, put out brochures. Build your business where you are, then let it grow.
Identify your marketing “front line” (which means those who are the first people who might help promote you) and cater to them. Who is most likely to tell other people about you? Mothers? Teachers? Civic Leaders? Pastors? Youth Leaders? Take extra time with these people. Do things for them, take them out to eat, if nothing else, when in contact with them, address them by name and show genuine interest.
Give away samples, but never the show. Do appearances, not freebies. (This means you may do a bit that is ten minutes or less for the “exposure,” but will not do your full program for free.)
If anyone expresses interest in your show, immediately ask if you can get their business card. File these cards and organize the information. Giving away your information is fine, but what you really want is their information. It is actually better to get their card than it is to give them yours!
Have a great website. These days it is crucial.
Improve your promotional materials. Get a nice logo, create a look or image that represents you well, use quality in production…not typing paper and an old inkjet printer.
Do not say, “Can you use me sometime?” Instead, when a contact is made, always suggest specific dates. Such as, “I am scheduling now for March,” or “Here are three dates when I know I could be there.” This leads to a specific decision rather than matters being tabled for “who knows when.”
When approaching schools or churches, offer to do something short for a special occasion. Tell them you will do it at no charge. Limit it to five minutes or less. Then, if they say, “Yes,” do a good routine for them and make sure you stick within the promised time. Do not go overtime under any circumstances. Conduct yourself with grace and professionalism. Understand that this can open doors for you. You are providing them an opportunity to get to know you, and see what you do, without having to make a full scale commitment to you. In other words, many clients will be reluctant to give you a large block of time if you are an “unknown” to them. They don’t want to have to do damage control after you leave. However, they will risk five minutes or less on an “unknown.” If it goes well, they may enthusiastically follow that up by booking you for a full show.
Once again, about the quality of your show, remember what the late comedian Johnny Carson said… “Talent alone won’t make you a success. Neither will being in the right place at the right time – unless you are ready. The most important question is – are you ready?”
Make sure your advertising materials focus on benefits. The important thing is not how great you are. It is what you will do for the customer. Rather than listing your credits and accomplishments, suggest why you are needed. Instead of saying, “Hire the world’s greatest magician,” say, “Bring a wonderful magical experience to your event!” Many beginning magicians feel inadequate in preparing promotional pieces because they don’t have honors and high level experience to brag about. That isn’t the issue. If you can make people happy and bring success to their special occasion, that is what matters. That is what you need to emphasize.