The single most effective and cost-efficient way to make money as a magician is by utilizing the power of the Internet. You still apply all of the teachings in this course as your foundation of tools, systems, principles and information. You will catapult your business by using the Internet as your primary source of marketing and running your daily operation.
By "using the Internet", I do not mean you create or hire someone to design a website for you that has a ton of graphics and neat features. That would be your first mistake (and incidentally, was mine!). What you need is a website with an "opt-in" option for subscribers to your electronic newsletter, highly targeted traffic, properly placed keywords, products that can be purchased in real time and more.
It is quite unlikely that you are doing this now. I know this, because I have searched the net extensively and looked at hundreds of magicians' web sites and have found few that are doing this.
Web designers are almost always a total waste of money and generally have limited knowledge about marketing. They can only be useful to you once you know exactly what you want. Then, and only then, you direct them as to how to design your site. They may disagree with you about the "right" way to do things and may even influence you to make bad choices. They do not do this intentionally. They believe that what they are telling you is good advice. From a design perspective, they are probably right. From a marketing perspective they are usually way off track. If you do not know better, you will follow their advice and join the masses of people who do not make money on the net. The proof of this is only a click away.
The good news is that the most successful site you can put together is also the simplest one to put together (once you are educated as to what to do). You have a lot of the basic marketing information in this course. The same rules apply and the principles of dealing with people remain constant. The performing venues don't change either. But listen to what I have to say next. It will open your mind up to a whole new world of possibilities.
You are wasting your time, money and energy if you use traditional forms of marketing. There has never been a better time to make a ton of money as a magician and a small businessperson. Long before the Internet became as available as it is now, I used to dream about a scenario not even close to what the Internet can do for us. I fantasized about a way to contact targeted individuals with my message at low or no cost and minimal effort. A time where I would not have to spend a fortune in printing costs and run to the post office all the time. The time has come and it has surpassed my wildest dreams. We are truly on the ground floor of this opportunity, and you are completely missing the boat if you don't immerse yourself in this right now.
Well known marketing people are still promoting and teaching unfortunate people, those who do not know better, to use outdated marketing methods. I do respect and agree with much of what is being taught. We can learn from these older methods and much of the advice is excellent. However, compared to the Internet some of these methods like direct mail in many cases are expensive, slow and inefficient ways to promote yourself as a magician. They absolutely pale in comparison with the digital alternative.
"But Randy, you keep telling us to be eclectic and that there is never only one right way to do things". I take it back. Just kidding. Right now, not everyone is using the net, but most people can read their mail. So, if you are now using direct mail to market yourself, it makes sense to continue to do so until you are properly educated in Internet marketing. Faxing, when properly done, can be great too. Also, if your primary target market is not yet wired, then that too is a good reason to use direct mail. Plus, for other reasons, a combination of approaches may be the right answer for you.
Personally, I have pretty much dropped all other forms of marketing my magic business and do almost everything online. There is more than enough high paying work for you and me and every other magician on this planet by utilizing this medium solely. My target market for the past ten years has been corporate. It is the most lucrative market available to most of us, and fortunately the clients are as intravenously hooked up to the Internet as I am.
The best advice I can give you is to learn to take advantage of the power of the Internet and utilize it. I am far from a technically oriented person, but am learning more and more every day. I have a computer and web nerd; I mean genius, who is currently working for me three days a week as I am in the midst of developing several new web sites to add to my existing ones. I have numerous sites promoting my products and shows, including a "pretty" site that was created before I knew what I was doing. It is still up and in tact for positioning reasons but will gradually be transformed useful.
If you want low cost, low risk, instantly testable methods to obtain high market penetration as a magician then do not let this opportunity pass you by. Today is just in time and tomorrow is a day too late. Get in first while you can and reap the rewards of inexpensive and deep market penetration by learning and utilizing the Internet to your advantage.
I don't want you to get ripped off by web designers and web marketing "gurus". Anyone can make money on the Internet regardless of his or her current skill level or knowledge. You can design and publish a web page as easily as you can type a letter on a word processor. You can create digital products by speaking into a headset wired to your computer. You can book shows by building a database of email addresses belonging to people who are in the market to book you and have requested to receive information from you regularly.
If you don't have a serious web presence, you are losing money and opportunities. Even if you only book one extra show per month at $2,500 as a direct result of your web site, that's an extra $30,000 per year. You can easily produce this kind of income with minimal investment of money and time.
If nothing else, put up a simple one or two page web site with a sales letter and testimonials. Be sure to capture your visitors' email addresses by offering something in return. This is how you build your opt-in mailing list. Use the information from other sections of this course and write compelling copy. Be sure the site loads quickly by holding back on graphics and any large files. Submit your site to search engines and include your web address on all your printed material.
You should also check out and consider joining the magic banner exchange. You get massive exposure, not just from magicians, but also from potential customers. Because there are so many sites exchanging banners, there is a good chance that someone wanting to book a magician in your area will find you as a result of clicking one of your banner ads from a different site they come across. It's easy to get started and there is a free and paid service available so you really have nothing to lose. I personally use this service and recommend it. http://www.magicbannerexchange.com/
Here is a list of a few (I have over 20 right now) of my current sites, if you care to analyze them:
Feel free to grab and learn from the free E-Zines that are offered on these sites.
Lesson 5 - Fees for Financial Freedom (Back to Index)
How much is your show worth? Although the answer seems quite subjective, there is a way to determine a range of the current value of your show. You start by comparing your performance to other acts that have a similar show and are equally entertaining.
One of the secrets of increasing your value far above this range is to add extra service above and beyond the performance itself. People will pay a premium to book your show over another magician who may have a similar show that elicits similar audience reaction. They will pay this premium if they enjoy dealing with you more so than with the other magician. It is worth extra money for them to book your show of similar quality rather than a less expensive show when they can rest assured that you would deliver as promised and exceed their expectations in every aspect of dealing with you.
How much extra is the superior service and comfort worth? That depends on your client's resources and your sales and marketing ability. This means that you can increase your fees again by focusing your marketing efforts on higher paying venues and clients. I have always charged substantially higher fees than many other magicians in similar markets. The higher fees themselves are one of the reasons I get more bookings, but certainly not the main reason. At my current fee of $5000.00 for a show at a corporate engagement in the U.S., I am in line with other acts of my caliber but still five to ten times the cost of the next best local performer. Now, granted I'm not doing an average of 300-400 shows per year as I used to when my fee was more modest, but I prefer to do less shows now.
Is my show worth $5000.00? Yes. If it wasn't I would not be obtaining repeat bookings from the same clients year after year at this fee. Is your show worth $5000.00? I don't know. Do you? Is it worth more than you charge now? Probably. How much more, I don't know. I could only answer that for you if I knew more about your overall business.
Keep in mind that you may have to make a lifestyle choice soon. I could be doing many more shows at my current fee if I chose to market myself aggressively. This requires traveling more than I currently am willing to do. I was just married last year and my first child, after my stepdaughter, is due soon. While I still enjoy performing out of town, I have chosen to diversify further into streams of income that do not require as much travel.
If you rely only on performing as your sole source of income, even if you are doing big numbers, you are working for a living. What I mean is, you are trading your time for money with little or no leverage. You are not reaping the benefits of business by leveraging your time. You have not set up a system whereby your skills, talents and abilities will create income, as they say, while you sleep. If you want to travel a lot, then you will have an easier time making more money as your geographical target area opens up as wide as you want it to. You should still set up other income streams that are conducive to your being on the road. Most of the same business options will still be open to you. Your social and family life will just be different than if you work mostly within a day or two of your hometown.
I suggest you raise your fee immediately as long as you follow most of the advice that I give you in this course. Raising your fee, as mentioned above, will raise the perceived value of your show. Some people will choose your show, all else being equal, over competitors, just because your fee is higher. They will feel that they are getting the best, and for some people, myself included, only the best is good enough. Accept this advice only if you have a good show. You cannot rip people off and expect to stay in business long. They must feel that they got at least what they paid for and preferably much more.
When you raise your fee in the same market, to the same clients, do it gradually or expect to do less shows and probably make less money for a while. If you move into a higher paying market, you can make a big jump from your current fee. The trick is to start marketing and obtaining bookings in the higher paying markets before you abandon your other markets.
I am providing a vast array of information on various markets in this course. It is up to you to choose which ones to venture into, which ones to expand upon and which ones, if any, to drop. Create multiple streams of income as an entertainer by working various markets.
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Co-op Mailing means that two or more businesses share in the cost and distribution of a direct mail campaign. It's kind of like having you and another non-competing business split the cost of printing, assembling and mailing an advertising flyer to a shared same market base.