The Folder

Many entertainers have a folder printed to sell themselves, especially if they sell by mail or want to leave literature for committees to look over. The folder is used in lyceum, chautauqua and the platform world. It is usually 8 x 11 inches and consists of four to six pages. This is usually designed by a competent artist and printed in two colors on enameled stock. I have designed many folders for the Redpath Bureau and in each I aim to put plenty of punch. If you are sold by an agent who sells other attractions, it is necessary to have a folder that compels attention. If a bureau sells you, it may want to prepare your folder or help you with it.

A number of years ago, while I was Art Editor of Photoplay Magazine, Paul Frederick Voelker, who was head of the Extension Department of the University of Wisconsin, wanted to sell me for special occasions, so I made up a special folder of my work for him. He noticed that when he placed his twelve attractions down before a buyer, my folder was usually picked up and looked at first. He asked his prospects why they picked up that particular folder first, and they said "Because it looks the most interesting". The result was that Mr. Voelker had me design a new folder for his own lectures. I solved his problem by making five beautiful paintings that would add a master atmosphere around the work. For one lecture on Joan of Arc, I had a photo made of the famous statue of Joan of Arc in the Art Institute.

I only mention this incident to show you the value of PRINTED SALESMANSHIP. The buyer does not know the performer and he must judge by the subject matter submitted to him. He gauges the performer accordingly.

I might liken good printing to a man's dress. If you call on a prospect nicely dressed, with well pressed clothes, good haircut, cleanly shaven and immaculate in appearance, wouldn't you have a better chance of selling yourself and performance for a good price than if you went in looking like a tramp.

People judge greatly by IMPRESSIONS and I cannot impress upon you too strongly the importance of creating a good appearance in anything that is associated with YOU and YOUR WORK.

Here is what Robert Ruxton, famous sales analyst, says in Printed Salesmanship.

"As the tailor tailors the good salesman, so the designer and the typographer tailor the good sales document, putting in the quality that breathes standing all along the visual line - a quality of skill, a quality of material, a quality in physical representation that inspires the confidence that men must have before they will deal with a firm with their minds at rest. It is the same confidence that we feel in dealing with a bank or other great establishment whose standing has been reflected to us from its building and interiors.

"If a badly dressed salesman loses business because of the way he is dressed, so will a badly dressed sales document. Thus a 'tramp' booklet or letterhead, purchased of some fancied saving in price, in reality becomes the most expensive form of advertising."

The beginner in magic can always start gradually and what he does should look neat and well designed. Go to someone who makes good work in printing a business, consult with an artist, an advertising friend, and see just what can be done step by step with the amount you have in hand. As you earn more and get better established you can increase your printing accordingly.

In Plates 1, 2, and 3 I am giving you examples of good folders that I designed for Thurston and Mardoni. Thurston's folder, see page 4, was printed in a deep rich brown on an India tint enameled stock. It was very rich in appearance. We were limited to one color so we wanted to get the highest type folder possible under moderate costs and existing conditions. Each page is interesting. Wouldn't you yourself like to see the show after seeing the folder? It is known as a four-page folder, each page being 8 x 11 inches.

In the Mardoni folder (see page 5) two colors were used, a brilliant orange and black. The flash of color had good selling power. To create mystery, shadows were made use of in the photography. Mardoni is a new comer into the professional field, yet he sells well. Note the sales captions: "What is Mardoni's Secret?" "The Human Enigma", "Renowned Escape Artist". Note how the photo of Madame Mardoni sells her crystal gazing work.

In these folders you note that each picture sells ONE idea and is not a conglomeration of many. Therein lies POWER.

Some performers have their pictures taken by a cheap photographer, the lighting is poor and the picture shows tables piled high with magical apparatus. The performer wears a misfit second-hand dress suit and carries a wand. The whole picture looks as if it might have been taken in the tintype period.

How does a performer hope to sell himself at a good fee with such a picture? DO NOT HAVE YOUR PHOTO MADE WITH A TABLE PILED HIGH WITH APPARATUS. It is not the conglomeration of apparatus that sells you, but WHAT YOU DO WITH IT. You must sell your PERSONALITY. You are a MAGICIAN and not a dealer in hardware or antique furnishings.

Do you want to belong to the Marshall Field or the ten-cent store class? Do you want to belong to the Rolls Royce model or the Skeedunk 1899 model?

It doesn't cost any more to print a good picture than a bad one as far as the printer is concerned, but it does add to the expense to print a "bum" picture, as far as selling results is concerned.

This is a new age, a speedy age, an age of flash and color. People want things at a glance. Give it to them.

Enneagram Essentials

Enneagram Essentials

Tap into your inner power today. Discover The Untold Secrets Used By Experts To Tap Into The Power Of Your Inner Personality Help You Unleash Your Full Potential. Finally You Can Fully Equip Yourself With These “Must Have” Personality Finding Tools For Creating Your Ideal Lifestyle.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment