It is a magician’s rule to never reveal her or his secrets. In fact, it’s a pledge you have to take when joining the Society of American Magicians. So even though I am about to reveal something that has to do with conjuring, I’m not going to expose the behind the scenes of performing legerdemain. Instead I’m about to share with you something that has to do with the subject of illusionary arts.
Developing a What?!
What is it? Drum roll please…It’s the news that I have started developing a magic act! It has been more than three decades since I worked professionally as a prestidigitator. The exception to this is the fact that I have in the recent past performed in a school classroom setting for whatever grade my 10 year old daughter was in at the time.
Magic Neighbors Theater Company
Except now she’s going from the fifth grade into Middle School and she professes she’s too old for that kind of thing. And another form of magic performance I have done more recently is working with the Magic Neighbors Theater Company (see image) and pulling rabbits out of hats (allegorically) with the group in various branches of the New York Public Library.
Magic for Grownups?
All of this has been done using Kid Magic, magic tricks that appeal to children. But now, probably due to attending S.A.M. meetings, I’ve gotten bitten by the bug to perform magic for grownups. Also, I’m getting my Master’s Degree within the next month so the present is a good time to start on a new adventure.
Don’t get me wrong, I may never actually perform, let alone plan out the details of the act. Constructing a magic show is a very time consuming activity especially due to the reality (or illusion) that it’s been over 30 years since I’ve really seriously been an entertainer.
Marketing Tip of the Week
Among magicians it’s almost a clique for someone planning a new program to do so in the realm of mentalism. And yes, that’s exactly where I may end up (or not!). Which brings me to this week’s marketing tip: don tell people what you are going to do before you do it. It’s always the best policy when planning a marketing campaign or some such thing, that you keep your lips sealed about it.
When you talk about what you’re planning, you run the risk of people giving you all kinds of advice. They mean well of course, but it can be awfully distracting and even make you question your goal. Plus, in all things marketing, it’s best to deliver surprising and fresh content. So again, to hit the point home, keep it to yourself and…Don’t do what I’m doing!
Are you a magic learner? Do you believe that learning is like magic in the way it can empower people? Do you ascribe to the belief that we should always be learning new things? Do you think that you can achieve your dreams with the right education? If so, you’re going to enjoy this edition of the ArtisticPreneur Newsletter, featured this week on the Manhattan Magician website.
Learning by Doing
As some of you know I am a marketer, educator, NYC magician and student who is in my last semester of grad school. I am getting a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration. In the past I have had success with doing “How To” videos, so for one of my final project for school (as a part of an “Independent Study”) I am creating a web class on the topic of making an online course and then promoting it.
The Learning Venture is, as of this Post, Entitled:
“The Online Course Method:
How to Create a Profitable Online Course
Plus Market and Sell it Using Low or No Budget
Internet Guerrilla Marketing.”
The key concepts here are “Online Course Method” and “Internet Guerrilla Marketing.”
Would You Like to Make and Promote Your Own Online Course?
The final project won’t be completed until I graduate in late May. I am weighing the possibilities and might then decide to release it to those who can benefit from it. Why? Because I believe that if you are someone who has an expertise of some sort or if you know someone who does, developing an online course can be a great way of building trust with your audience. And of course a little bit of magic.
Do You Perceive Yourself as an Expert on a Topic?
Featured in the course will be you or your designated expert. When you finish creating your learning experience you will then be able to promote it through a series of marketing campaigns. This is a terrific way to not only help people but to make a profit while doing so. Also, through the viewing of the course you are simultaneously promoting yourself and/or your products and services. It truly is a win-win situation.
Uncover Your Audience
So let’s say you wanted to create your own online course on a topic you are passionate about, how would you go about doing it? First and foremost you need to uncover whether or not there is a market for it.
Define Those Who You are Trying to Reach
Who is your audience and why do they need your course? What problem are you solving? It’s helpful if you are filling a gap in the market. Or, in other words, offering skill building that folks want to learn but no one is really providing to that niche. Yet.
Will You Be Featured or Someone Else?
Once you have your topic, you need to then decide who will be featured in the course. Will it be you? Or someone you know? This is an opportunity to become visible as an expert. Because the perception is that someone who is spotlighted in a course really knows her or his subject matter. And if you are providing a solution to a problem that can be solved with your consulting and/or your products and services, all the better.
A Technique for Getting in Front of Your Audience
So let’s say you’ve finished creating your course. Your market research has shown you that there is a niche audience for it. But now the challenge is getting your course in front of your demographic. We believe the best way to do this is through low or no budget Internet Guerrilla Marketing.
No Social Media Needed
Internet Guerrilla Marketing is totally different than offline guerrilla marketing. This is because the cyber world poses certain challenges of reaching your audience. For example, people are getting frustrated with social media as a marketing method because its reach is getting smaller and smaller, seemingly because the social media provider is trying to get you to purchase ads.
The Magic of Internet Guerrilla Marketing
Thank goodness Internet Guerrilla Marketing does not involve social media. It has instead 10+ digital marketing tools to choose from. And the magical thing about Internet Guerrilla Marketing is that it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Plus, “Abracadabra” just like that, it can get you results in the form of online course sales and as well as making additional income through your consulting and/or products and services.
2 Not 1 Income Stream(s)
Remember, being featured as an expert in an online course can entitle you to charge higher fees for whatever it is that you do. If you’ve got the knowledge you can convert it into profitability for your business as well as sales from the course itself.
If This Resonates with You Please Reach Out
At this point I’m not sure if I am going to release this course in May or later or at all. If this sounds like something that could be useful to you, please let me know. Again, I am in a very early creation phase regarding making and promoting the course.
I’m Doing as You Might Do
And finally, just like you will need to do if you decide to make your own online course, I am currently in the market research stage of course development. In fact this email is kind of a form of market research. Why do I mention doing market research? Because I try to practice what I preach! That’s all for now magic learners! I hope to hear from you!
Harry Houdini’s primary residency was in the Harlem neighborhood of the Big Apple, making him likely the most famous Manhattan Magician who ever lived. He was an artist and an entrepreneur or to put it another way, he was an ArtisticPreneur – the ultimate ArtisticPreneur. He not only paid close attention to his art of magic but he also realized that to be successful he needed to focus on the marketing aspects of his creative career as well.
One of the ways that Houdini would bolster his publicity would be to escape from a straight jacket while hanging upside down in the middle of the town square of whatever city he was currently performing in. These publicity stunts would draw a large crowd and newspaper coverage, providing an opportunity to let others know that they could come see the escape artist live and in person at a local theater.
Houdini also paid attention to what people wanted to see. For example, early in his career he billed himself as the “King of Cards” which was an act he was doing with lukewarm response. But then when he began to do escapes in his shows, the escapes resonated with his audience. And through the suggestion of a booking agent Houdini decided to focus on escapology. Hence he became known as an escape artist.
Some believe that the reason that Houdini’s escapes were popular was because vicariously and metaphorically his fans would see the escapes as an affirmation that a person could escape from any problems she or he might face. Whatever the reason, Houdini brought his escape work up front and center by freeing himself from chains, large milk cans and even jail cells.
Houdini’s ArtisticPreneur orientation was ever present. He was proactive when it came to his creative career and created opportunities for himself rather than waiting for or hoping that others would do it for him. He knew that the promotional aspects of his creative career were in his charge.
Later in life, around 10 years prior to his early death at age 52, Houdini recognized the importance of the then burgeoning art form known as cinema and anticipated the very strong impact it would have on audiences. Ever the master marketer, he produced, acted in and promoted several films. Unfortunately, his film career was not successful at the time. But now in the present day Houdini’s movies are one of the ways we are able to learn more about this incredible showman. Some believe that had he lived longer, Houdini may have ultimately triumphed with his film ventures.
Toward the end of his life one of the missions that Houdini had was to debunk phony mediums and mystics by matching any of the acts of spiritualism that they would do. Houdini’s aim was to show that using the art form of magic he could do the same feats that so-called psychics did such as manifesting spirits in a dark room.
Ironically, even though he was somewhat cynical regarding most spiritualists, Houdini at the same time secretly held on to the idealistic notion that there might be some way of getting in touch with his beloved mother once she had passed away.
As another attempt at finding out if people could communicate with the dead, Houdini made a pact with his wife Bessie Houdini. The arrangement was to remember a phrase that would be kept only between the two of them. And after Houdini’s death Bessie contacted psychics hoping to find one that could channel Houdini’s spirit and utter the secret words. As we’ve mentioned before in this website, Bessie Houdini spent the last days of her life in a home within blocks of where we the editors of Manhattan Magician work.
And the death of one of the greatest Manhattan Magicians of all time – Harry Houdini – couldn’t have happened on a more opportune day in terms of marketing. His demise was on Halloween, 1926, the holiday known for ghosts and goblins. Even now many years after the escape artist’s passing, magicians gather annually in congregations all over the world on All Hallow’s Eve, October 31st. They hold seances in an attempt to reach Houdini’s spirit and find out if he is able to escape death.
Although no one has been able yet to manifest Mr. Houdini’s spirit, he is still very much alive in terms of interest from a global audience. This is a testament to the wonderful marketing abilities and artistry of this Manhattan Magician and ultimate ArtisticPreneur.
A recent blog entry on the site of our friends at NYC Create dealt with the issue of how to make money as an artist. And if you’ve read our About page you probably got that we consider Magic to be an art form that is made up of several different art forms.
Therefore if you are a Manhattan Magician it is suggested that you check out this NYC Create article. At the bottom of the page of the link given is a bullet point list of different steps you can take to have a more profitable magic career. Enjoy!