By now you must know, Houdini is my idol. He is one magician who did it all, prestidigitation and running his career as a business. This post is going to be a bit on the “educational” mode. But before moving forward, we would like to say that the following article was originally written for managers of a large Manhattan company and their managers and employees. I am including it here because I think it is important to widen one’s idea is of a magician doing business. Houdini was a marketer and a manager of his employees and so can you. Or, if having employees is just not in the cards in these pandemic days, reading this post will hopefully get your thinking about the opportunities presented by partnering up with a business owner in your community who does have employees. You could get this person to consider doing a “magic campaign” with her or his employees. Here now is employee marketing.
First, what do we mean by the term “Employee Marketing?” We are talking about two major things: (1) internal marketing to your employees, and (2) once they are engaged to have them act as ambassadors for your brand when it comes to marketing outreach.
And of course, we bring up the question now: what if you are a solopreneur and do not have any employees? Good question. The response is that you can either give up and decide employee marketing is not for you or push forward and find a partner who does have employees. Another possible move is to get an organization you are a part of, such as a theater company, and get clearance to pitch company’s actors or theater technicians to become a part of the promoting experience. This works the best if the promotion you are doing is beneficial to the theater company’s members.
Regardless of the way you get them, once you have an audience of employees to pitch to, do so with care. The idea is that you are literally working toward getting employees to “buy in” and the more you can get them to do so, the more receptive they will be to help.
So, you have two phases to focus on: (1) get employees engaged, and (2) show them how they can participate in the marketing program.
As you might expect, I have at one time or another, been faced by this challenge. When working with a chain, for which they were the largest in in their industry in terms of locations in Manhattan, NY, I was faced with having to actualize the described two steps. Here is how I did it.
(1) Engaging employees. I did so in person in a room filled with the managers of various locations and did a presentation for them. The idea was that once the managers were convinced to go along, they could in turn talk to the employees at their location. I did use a presentation (you could use PowerPoint or Google Slides etc.) to the managers. I described to them how beneficial it would be for the staff at their locations to get involved with the marketing program. I told them how this could build location morale.
I had materials handed out for them to study which gives them clear cut instructions of what to do with their team. Needless to say, is, that this presentation was in-person, but the same approach can be used with managers being presented to online through an online presentation free software or paid one.
If you do, do an online presentation, be sure to let them know the financial percentage increase they will get (though this is with the corporate model of the organization incentive for managers to earn more if employees sell more). If there is not the built-in financial reward, you can show them how having their team be on board with the marketing campaign, they will in turn have a more motivated staff. This concept works best if the company’s business model is such that the employees getting more customers involved means higher retention for them as well as tips and so on.
Do not forget to get the best email for all the managers. At the finish of your online presentation you can then email them with materials being promised.
This now sets into motion the employees acting on what they have learned from the managers that you trained. You need to track this process to make certain that managers are approaching motivating their team in the best way possible.
If there starts to be a lag in the process, seek out to get the employees, via the managers, to have even more “buy in” such as having them involved in coming up with campaign concepts themselves. This could be made to have more of an incentive for participation if it is maybe a contest with the winner having come up with the marketing campaign concept that makes the most sense.
Hey, you could do this for your magic business, either with employee’s of your own or somebody else’s. You are only limited by what you can see yourself doing. If you can imagine it and can see it happening to you, you will able to take steps forward.
These days when I make things float I do so more as a mentalist. A mentalist is a magician who reads minds. In fact, I don’t really call myself a magician anymore. I self identify as a hobbyist performer who writes eBooks on mentalism and marketing. These are both topics that interest me greatly. They even intersect at some points. For example, marketing involves psychology as does mentalism but the goals are different.
One of the aims of marketing is to use psychology to target an audience and convert prospects into a customer. While a mentalist’s goal is to to use psychology to entertain and baffle an audience. Both mentalists and marketers have an audience, but have different agendas in regards to their audience. A mentalist wants to entertain you, while a marketer desires to sell to you. A combination of the two is what some call Entertainment Entrepreneurship.
I’ve mostly survived over the years as being an entertainment entrepreneur.
A problem that my pal Marketer Magician has is reigning in the use of illusion sometimes to make himself look better in the eyes of the women he dates. Thankfully I. Manhattan Magician, does not have that problem, at least not at the level Marketer Magician does. I admit to using a bit of illusion sometimes in the beginning of a relationship, but it is quickly relegated to being a trick deconstructed in full disclosure. This reveals whether the woman being dated is worthy of further pursuit.
Attraction and the Truth
Everyone has a different way of pursuing love. And the meaning of love for some is attraction and for others, truth. The trick (pardon the pun) is to bring together both attraction and truth. And the trick that is the goal, is to bring about attraction fueled by the truth! This is not an easy accomplishment for many because we live in an external world where attractiveness has a price. Therefore if you seek out to be attracted to the truth in someone, your chances of having a successful relationship increases.
What has Been Your Fate?
Manhattan Magician has done a bit better than Marketer Magician over the course of time, that is if you consider having a relationship based on the truth as being better than wielding illusion as a fishing line. Manhattan Magician is having a long term relationship, already almost 7 times longer in years than that of relationships he had prior. Although relationships building up to this point had flaws, each one was a part of an evolutionary process, falling back on occasion, but a steady path. Marketer Magician on the other hand still goes to speed dating events.
I never thought this day would come, when not only do I have copycats who pretend to be me, but then some of these same people even make claim to my website URL. They post this website address on their social media page as being theirs for reasons that are unclear. The kind of person who would do such a thing doesn’t deserve the attention I’m giving this issue. Because the world has enough challenges as it is, let alone adding yet another level of pain.
I bring this up as a segue into the topic of being our authentic selves and how important this is. We live in a world that is being destroyed by an invisible enemy, yet for so many people it is bringing out their best side. People really caring about people and being who they really are. Because in the end, no one can quite be you like you can be you. Sorry if this also sounds like a bunch of new age tomfoolery, but it is so very true. And important too. Especially at this time.
Who Will You Help Today?
Who are you really? What do you represent? What is important to you? For that matter, what values do you strive to achieve? Do you desire to be a better person today than you were yesterday? What steps do you take to achieve this? How has this been working out for you? Who are your friends? Are you selective about who you spend time with? Do you let go of the people who are not aligned with what matters to you? Are you a forgiving person? Do you acknowledge that none of us are perfect? Who have you helped yesterday? Who will you help today?
Getting back into legerdemain at this late point in my life has caused me to stare into the crystal ball of magic entertainment. What do I see in this metaphorical sphere? That it’s never too late.
The Lure of L.A.
When I was young at one point I was faced with pursuing magic or Hollywood. At the time I chose La La Land, which if I had it all to do over again I would have gone down the conjuring path.
Looking for Answers
And even with the recent challenging experience that I had with creating a mentalism product and getting recognition from it, I still hold prestidigitation close to my heart. Once a magician, always a magician. I don’t need to stare into a crystal ball to know that.
Magic is a double edged sword. On the one hand it is good entertainment and people want to be entertained, while on the other hand you have to be careful with it, because it can blow up in your face.
The Real Deal?
All these years later magic as a form of entertainment is misunderstood. True magicians never claim that what they are doing is “real magic.” They are clear and strive to make it clear to their audiences that they do not actually have super powers and are there only to help provide a fun time. Anyone claiming to be the real deal, is most likely a charlatan.
But in spite of this, magicians are sometimes accused of trying to get over on spectators that they truly posses mysterious powers. Take Houdini for example, who in later years made it his life’s work to expose fake mediums by being able to perform each of many effects that so-called psychics tried to get over on people as being the real McCoy. But despite this, people still see Houdini as having had supposed powers.
So if you decide to become a magician, be very careful, because doing magic could blow up in your face.
Ever since my last post, I have been being asked “What is the difference between you, Manhattan Magician, and the other conjurer Marketer Magician?” The main difference is that while I may be connoisseur of the art of magic, Marketer Magician seems to be very concerned with “selling himself.”
A Magic Lecture
Case in point was the lecture last night at the Society of American Magicians Parent Assembly #1, Manhattan, NY. This lecture was given by Jonathan Pendragon who gave the more than quorum crowd of prestidigitators a window into his own creative process. I, being Manhattan Magician was fascinated by Pendragon’s take on magic effect creation, while Marketer Magician seemed concerned only about the tips that Pendragon gave which related to magic promotion.
As recent evidence of Marketer Magician’s obsession with marketing is his latest Magi-cation entitled “USA Magicians,” does pay an homage to some of the best living magician’s in the world today as well as in history. But Marketer Magician uses it as a self promotional moment and has the gall to actually insert his image in with these achievers. But again, Marketer Magician’s advertising tendencies can be found right in his name: MARKETER Magician.
This is going to be brief. I guess I should have seen it coming. Fact: it’s been quite a while since I updated this site. Fact: I told everyone last post that I was changing my name to Web Design Magician. Fact: I really tried hard to make it work, I really did.
A Decision with Conviction
But unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, I have shed the mantle I only just put on. I can’t do it. I can’t take on the persona of a person whose initials are the same ones as Wavelength Division Multiplexing.
Knows Who He Is
And speaking of personas, I have a beef with whoever it is that has started spreading the rumor that I am also Marketer Magician. That’s absurd. I know I look like him, we could even be twins, but I am not him. I am Manhattan Magician through and through.
So you’re a magician in Manhattan. How can you possibly differentiate yourself from other magicians? How can you use media to stand out? But most importantly, how can you use these and other tools to get more bookings?
Build a Brand
First things first. You do need to take into consideration your branding of yourself. What is the image you want what you wear to convey? What is the image you want your magic to covey? And a very important: what differentiates you from other magicians? What do you have in your magic presentation that no other prestidigitator does? This is not going to be easy, but once you do you will become clearer on your brand – what you represent – while also making sure to have this reflected in your business card and website.
Have an Online Demo Reel
Another point to take note of is that it is very difficult to get booked just through electronic means. Though, that said, you can increase your chances tenfold if you have an impressive video of you performing cut together in short snippets much like a movie trailer.
Get a Referral
Probably the most effective strategy of all is to ask for a referral from the person who booked your most recent performance. You will want to tell this person how much you enjoyed working with them and your audience and if they were to find anyone in the future who might need a magician please think of you. Some people think asking for a gig referral can be awkward and it can, but if you don’t ask, you most likely will not get that referral.
But just because we have brought up the referral concept doesn’t mean you don’t need digital media promotion tools. You do. It is a way for the person considering hiring you who has been referred by a friend or associate. One of the ways is through your site. So if a person checks out your web presence it will reflect your talent.
Another strategy that offers you a potentially a means of being in contact with many persons at once is to have a presence at a convention or fair of some kind. It could be a show that caters to the corporate world or even things such as wedding conventions. The point is that you figure out who your audience is and then figure out a way to get in front of as many of audience members (your demographic) as possible.
How to Promote Yourself
There are two methods of doing this. One is to be a vendor with a table where you can perform as people pass in front of you wowing them with your legerdemain. This can be expensive though. So another way to attend the event and do close up work that can be done standing. Have plenty of business cards on hand and even an effect that involves your calling card in some way which you can then give to the spectator as a memento.
Make a Difference with Your Magic
But wonder if you are just starting out and although you have a wonderful show to offer you don’t have any current bookings. Therefore it is more difficult to ask for a referral. So what do you do? The next option is to volunteer your services to nonprofit organizations that make a difference in some way. Even though you are performing for free, this can sometimes be a strategy to help the community while possibly landing gigs.
Strike a Balance
Another approach is to make yourself known through social media. Careful with this one though. Know how you are going to engage others through possible performing a portion of your show live and streaming. You don’t want to be in people’s faces with trying to sell, sell, sell. But you do want to let them know you are available for hire.
Get in Gig Directories
And of course there is making certain to get yourself into guides that people use to book entertainment for their events. You often times have to pay for this so weigh the reach of the book against the cost.
Consider Pursuing a Niche Audience
And it goes without saying, know who your ideal audience member is. You can specialize in something in your act that will be of special interest to a group of your choosing. Sometimes it pays to go niche rather than trying to capture everyone.
Don’t forget the paid search engine ads you can get. Some search engines charge more than others, but it can be worth your time to explore, especially if you have a plan on how to use the traffic. Have a fun way you can get the viewer to give their email such as having an eBook that they would be interested in that you automatically give to them in exchange for their email.
Consider Search Engine Ads
To make this worth doing you need to be very clear on the demographic your are trying to reach and what you want them to do when they reach your page. You will need to come up with a phrase you will use in your ad. The phrase is what you pay for. In other words you want to pick something that your ideal customer will be searching for and then you will provide it for them when they come to your page through the paid advertisement.
These are just a few of the many ways you can get gigs. We hope you have enjoyed this post and maybe even found it useful. We wish to thank Media Administration and their article on “How Tos” that inspired us to create this magic “How To.” Also NYC Aim for their inspiring idea the media projects are possible for many of us which means we can use it to promote our magic.