Looking for an audience? Want to give your business that extra “Magic?” Manhattan Magician has some ideas about the link of magic to marketing that could be helpful for you. Magicians who take their art seriously, adhere to the code of not revealing their secrets. For many centuries this was possible, relatively speaking.
Is the “Magic” Gone if You Know How a Magic Effect is Done?
But beginning in the early 1900’s magicians like Harry Houdini, himself a Manhattan Magician living in Harlem, became increasingly frustrated, realizing that it was getting more and more difficult to keep the secrets of effects, well, secret. And now today with video channels and other means of communication and entertainment online, it is not at all difficult to discover how a magic trick or a stage illusion is done.
Will the Competition Win?
This has been a major catastrophe for many magic entertainers who find it getting increasingly difficult to get gigs, due to the fact that audiences know how their effects are done. So what is someone to do? This same concern about wanting to keep secrets secret is felt by small businesses trying to hold on to their differentiation, the thing that makes them unique, being taken by the competition.
Value of What You Do Going Down the Tubes
There is really no answer to the reality that secrets in magic and entrepreneurship have no guarantee that their methods will be found out and used by others, diminishing their level of success as people start to realize that a business they once worked with because they were the only game in town, now had copycats that charge a lot less for doing the same thing that was costly when working with another business.
What is the Final Analyses?
Maybe a start of a solution is to see the secret as not being the important thing. Everyone is different and unique, and history shows that those individuals who have the bravery to be who they really are, are often the most successful. In other words, maybe the answer lies in not thinking that the “How” is not as critical as “Who.” Depending on who runs a company can make a big difference. So it becomes about the “Who?”
It should be said that there is an entire kind of magic in which you stay in one place, like New York City or Las Vegas, and the fans and public come to your place of performance. It has always been challenging to get your foot in the door to get your own show in a Vegas venue, but thanks to COVID and other influences, it has gotten even tougher.
Big Problems with No Easy Solution
We of course just had and continue to experience the downside of the Pandemic. When it was hitting its hardest, it was negatively affecting the careers of those in Las Vegas as well as in other places where live magic is performed. And this means even top performers faced big problems because of lack of tourists spending money thereby causing an audience member shortage.
You Need an Audience
I included this to illustrate that if the already famous had it tough at a certain point of not being able to perform, is it completely absurd that you should even try? Fame does make the process of having your own unique location in a large city, easier. You will get more bookings and residencies as a familiar face because those giving you the job know you already have your own fans, your own dependable spectators.
Qualities You Have to Have
Okay then, let us say you are not famous. Do you have a chance at getting your own venue in Vegas? It is possible, though unlikely that it can be accomplished. Here are some qualities you must have. Likeability. Effective way of chatting and engaging others.
Introverts Could Lose Out Again
Therefore, this kind of thing can be tougher for the introverted. Experience. You need to have a record of performing. For some this meant playing at colleges and universities all over the country. For others it is TV fame. At the very least, it is knowing how present that you qualify and are a winner.
Uh Oh, it’s that Darn Catch Twenty-Two Thing
It is the old catch twenty-two. They want you to be famous or highly known for you to get the gig, but how do you become known as accomplished without opportunities like the one you are trying to obtain.
Times Have Changed Things
Times have changed. In many aspects of the entertainment industry things are done differently. You do not just get everything on a silver platter. You need to be a MagicPreneur who knows how to gather investors as well as those needed to make the opportunity happen once you get the green light. Why? Because those holding the keys to the venue, now expect you to have a completely ready to go show to even consider you.
Say Goodbye to them Producing Your Show, You Must Do It Yourself
You must deliver your complete show. Owners and bookers are not going to pay for your performance needs any longer. They want it to be easier for them. And they can enforce these rules because they are in the position to make demands due to the fact there is such heavy competition from performers for a very small and limited amount of desirable performance locations.
Oh, but wait, there’s More
Not only will they no longer pay for putting your show together, they also want you to pay for their arena. But not just that. They must be convinced that you are going to bring in crowds of people on a regular basis. This is in part because they of concessions and other things they sell and want a crowd of customers. People to pay for drinks. For food and so on. That is why you must be a MagicPrenuer and Marketer Magician with rich friends.
Maybe Being an Inventor and Manufacturer of Effects is a Better Fit?
Another area of magic you can tap into is to invent, create and distribute magic and mentalism effects. Again, you need talent and originality as well having confidence and a record to point to when offering your items to magic shops whether it be in-person, online or both. Like anything magic, you will do best with a track record of success. The sales of effects are increasingly becoming a web centered activity.
Magic Effects Creator Possible Hop from One Identity to Another
It should be mentioned that you can of course leverage anything magic oriented that you are currently doing or have done with some degree of provable success. A magic entertainer or author are both hats that if you wore them in the past, this could make the trip to being a Magic Effects Creator easier.
But in the End, nothing is Easy
It can be frustrating trying to gain traction as a Magic Effects Creator. One way some have succeeded is getting testimonials from known magicians or other visible members of the magic community to use your effect and make a positive comment about your magic trick. The same works for mentalism also of course. It is going to take rolling up those magic sleeves and putting your elbow grease to work.
Magic Effects Creator
Also important is that there are generally two ways of looking at how to use your creations as a Magic Effects Creator. You can either feature your effect in a book or single effect PDF on a magic book site and other forms of printed distribution, or you can broker your effect being made into, and sold as, an actual physical magic or mentalism effect. The latter brings up additional issues such as where will your effects be available and how can they be purchased and delivered? Like anything, the more quality calls you make, and emails sent, the closer you will be to your goals as a Magic Effects Creator.
Salutations. It has been too long. It has been several months since I last reached out to you. Like many others, I have been pushing ahead through the aggravating, sad and upsetting blockade of COVID. The virus, and the way it boxes as all in, might as well be a wall, a very thick wall. Heck. It is a wall that is so formidable that even Houdini would have a hard time passing through it, as he did many times in front of audiences during the early 1900s.
Can a Computer Screen be Magic?
The upsetting truth of the wall of COVID, is that the degree of obstruction that is is felt can vary from person to person, some feeling more claustrophobic than others. Here in this great city of Manhattan, NY, as much as I truly care about my beloved NYC and have always seen it as being “Magic,” I still am faced with the reality of video online communication being the new entertainment medium for performers, having to do what we do by communicating via a computer screen.
Practicing Entertainment Effects in Front of a Mirror
Even as already being someone who stayed in much more than other people because of needing to practice my effects of the mysterious in front of the mirror for hours, even I am feeling the crunch and danger one takes when venturing outdoors as a variant explodes in growth. I yearn for the move from stage as cyber to being in front of audiences in person. Having to pull it together as a performer for my new digital spectators is my own methodology for achieving a better mood.
Grateful for What We Have
Lately New York City has been colder than ever, plunging down in temperature a few days ago to 12 degrees. We must never. forget that there are those less fortunate than ourselves. Those of us with heat in these chilly days of NYC are quite lucky. It is important to be grateful for what you have, especially in terms of family and friends. Therein lies not the problem, but the solution through gratitude. That is the true “Magic of Magic.”
Is eCommerce the Mystical Income Stream Manhattan Magician has been Searching for?
Being “Manhattan Magician” here in NYC is not always easy. The pandemic took its toll on me and was kind of a demotivator when it came to developing news effects and patter. I was not interested in doing magic shows via Zoom to fill my top hat with ducats. While indoors waiting for my second Covid shot, it became my passion to bring forth new online methods that magicians can bring in earnings. And one of these techniques I thought about and think it is at least worthy of consideration.
eCommerce the Magic Way
We here at ManhattanMagician.com have relationships with online consultants and other tech professionals. And when picking the brains of some of these media folks, the platform that kept coming up in conversation was eCommerce. The reason that they thought eCommerce could be a winner for conjurers is because they saw the format as a possible promotion tool while earning money.
Manhattan Magician’s Take
What is my take on why my digital expert friends thought that starting an eCommerce store could be a good monetary move for magic artists? My guess is that they probably meant that that a prestidigitator might consider starting an eCommerce store to sell eBooks about doing magic, offer online magic courses and maybe even t-shirts that have printed on them “I am the world’s greatest magician that nobody knows about.” Things along those lines I would imagine. From this point on in this blog post is from my dear electronic geniuses who have kindly given me the permission to publish below an excerpt from an eBook on eCommerce they are working on. So, if you are someone who makes their living waving a magic wand, you may want to check this out to see if anything resonates with you or gives you ideas on how you could use the eCommerce platform. Over and out from me and thus begins the eCommerce eBook preview:
How Were eCommerce Stores Helped During the Pandemic?
The pandemic experience for all of us has been different and varied. Some industries had growth while other ones wilted away. And jobs were impacted in different ways too. Some employees continued to do what they do but did so remotely from home, while others in industries that could not be done electronically were hit hard and lost their jobs. During the long time spent indoors the concept of “working” changed. And it became obvious that if you wanted to survive in a comfortable manner you needed to figure out a way to have a job that, if need be, could be done long distance and not necessarily in the office or other workspaces.
Should You Have Your Own Ecommerce Store or Sell On Someone Else’s?
Some people, due to the pandemic, made the decision to seek an eCommerce dream as a way of making certain that they would have at least one income stream coming in no matter what happened. Those who sought this transition found themselves being torn between two different paths when it came to how to sell their products online. One path was to invest in having their own eCommerce store, which would mean that although they would have to both manage their site and promote it, they would be able to have more options to do what they wanted to do and not have to follow someone else’s rules. Plus, they would be able to keep all the income that came in and not have to give another entity a large percentage of the money coming in. But on the other hand, if they used a third-party seller like that big one, they would have to give a large chunk of the profit coming into someone else. But the benefit to selling on someone else else’s ’eCommerce site, depending on how big and successful that site was, they would have access to more potential customers and might make more sales though only being able to hold on to a part of it. Though, when you work with one of the biggies to sell your ware, there is going to be a big chance that no matter how much you SEO optimize your page with keywords, you will get extraordinarily little and sometimes none of the traffic you need. The reason why that that the gigantic platforms do this intentionally, is because they want to get richer by you having to pay them for you to be sent visitors. Given the fact that both sites of the fence have their pros and cons, one possible approach that truly could be the best of both worlds is to use these two different approaches to eCommerce at the same time. Some have found this amazingly effective and your decision of whether to have the two paths meet, might be worth thinking about.
Are eCommerce Sites Profitable?
When trying to answer the question of whether eCommerce stores are a suitable was for the regular person to make a living, it all comes down to an ambiguous response that some of you are going to be very unhappy with which is that “it all depends.” There are several factors that go into making the decision of whether to move forward comes down to some basic questions to ask yourself and do research on. What are you selling? Is there a niche group the desperately wants your product and seeks yours out because they have a hard time finding somewhere to purchase like yours? How will you promote your site meaning will you have to pay for ads and traffic, or have you figured out a way to use free resources like being linked to other sites in your industry, being engaging, responsive and interactive with social media? What are the basic numbers for you? Are you selling physical products and if so, how much does it cost for you to get or make them versus how much will you charge for them? Or will you go the digital download approach such as eBooks and online course for which you do not have to worry about inventory for but still need an effective and workable to drive the right traffic of individuals who are avidly seeking out to buy now what you are selling?
The Manhattan Magician is just one of the customers who benefits from big tech keeping data in digital folders about people like you all over the world. And in turn, data is kept on Manhattan Magician. When the Manhattan Magician needs to get products and services in front of an ideal audience (demographic) MM can count on big tech to provide placement in search engines and social media.
There is More than Just One Manhattan Magician
And being that many folks call themselves “Manhattan Magicians” (a slang title implying big city status as a magician) many different MMs means many different MagicPreneurial audiences to be reached. No problem. Big tech has you covered. They have millions and millions of people in their databases so you can pinpoint exactly who you wish to reach.
The various individuals who call themselves “Manhattan Magicians” and have successful careers have learned a certain truth that many artists have a hard time admitting to themselves. The weird thing is that we think nothing of practicing our art for hours upon hours, yet we do not want to deal with the reality that magic is a business. We are MagicPreneurs. We can have all the talent in the world, but if nobody knows about us, they are not going to hire us.
Hello. I am Manhattan Magician and am proud to be interviewing performer/entrepreneur Yianni Stamas in a brief discussion about ways that conjurers can promote themselve. So let’s begin.
MM Yianni, tell me, what is the easiest way for a prestidigitator to position themselves in this world of distractions with everyone vying for their slice of the attention pie?
YS I believe it is still possible to be creative in building your visibility as a performer/entrepreneur without having to spend a lot. A New Year’s Eve article I did on MagicPreneur (that is going to run concurrent with this one) is on the topic of gaining traction as a magician or mentalist through the use of selling on Amazon.
MM Please tell us more about that.
YS The paradigm is really quite simple and includes selling magic books and tricks. An example of this kind of thing in the past is Mark Wilson’s Complete Course in Magic written in 1975. Though, that was a long time ago and many of your readers may be too young to remember the book.
MM I remember Mark Wilson, my friend had his course. In fact, you can still get it online.
YS A more current example is Jeff McBride’s Magic & Mystery School which is a private school located in Paradise, Nevada that teaches you how to do theatrical magic, mythology and storytelling. Jeff recently joined the Zoom call of a magic organization I am a member of and has always been an innovator.
MM So let me get this right, by helping others learn the art of magic you are in a sense simultaneously helping to promote youself?
YS Something like that. Though, to be successful with this method, you have to be sincere in your desire to make a difference.
Occasionally we get the input from you that you would like more posts about the process of becoming “Successful” as a conjurer. We are now going to show you an excerpt from an eBook that is being written on the topic of how to get on your billionaire path. Here it is:
“It is nearly time for blast off, it is time to leave us and live out your 10, 9, 8 countdown.
How to Make it?
Sometimes the advice given to get on your billionaire path is to be logical, think things through and be analytical. But most billionaires we have studied who we admire, seem to have in common a drive, even passion, and a big dream. When do you know if you are dreaming big to realize those dreams, or if you are just dreaming? You are only just dreaming if you do not believe completely that you are going to make it.
Your Choice of Blastoff
I have been around many “successful” (whatever that means) people with money, power and fame, and coming from this background I have to say that the more “successful” they seem to be by societies’ standards, the nicer they are. Many folks who have done well got there by charming others, while some do so by being cranky and mean spirited. The style you choose for blastoff is all yours
There are some billionaires who have a plan or others who do not. But even those without a plan still have a mental compass and the ability to monitor if they are off track or not. “Never take no,” some say. They talk about how they had confidence in what they were doing and felt it was their right to have their big dream come true. As we have stated earlier in this eBook if you are in denial and it fuels you, great. Just be careful that you are “awake” and able to take action that will get results.
What kind of billionaire will you be? Some billionaires believe that getting a liberal arts education is more important than going to business school. They seem to say this because they believe that you need to be creative more than a business machine. The thing that makes sense about this approach is that if you are delegating along the way and have the ability to know talent and usefulness when you see it, you don’t have to have the skillset to do the tasks themselves.
What do you want?
And yes, through all of this know one really knows what makes a billionaire. But we do know this: YOU KNOW if you have what it takes and only you. Becoming a billionaire most agree is not just having a business sense but also see doing what you do as a kind of art form. It is also what motivates you. Why are you motivated. What do you want? What do you really want? Fame? Fans? Excitement? Filling the void?”
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.