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.
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.