New Lessons: Showreels & Video, and Cruise Ship Magic

New lessons have been added to the range of How To Be A Professional Magician courses. These are on the subjects of Showreels and Using Video to promote your act, and how to move your carer to sea and become a professional Cruise Ship Magician.

These were both missing from when the course first launch in 2020 because each is such a large subject. In fact, at l had considered expanding these lessons into courses in their own right!

Using Showreels and Video to Market Your Magic Business

The Lesson on Showreels and Using Video Effectively starts with a discussion on how video has become more important, cheaper and assessable both as a creator and viewer; and how video is moving beyond a standard showreel used as an advert to promote your act.

Breaking it down further we look into the Types of Showreel and use for video you can use, why you would use them and the various applications of the different styles of video.

Next we break down the Elements of a Successful Showreel. Whatever the style, type and application of the video there are certain features you will want to ensure your video has to improve the chances of your video doing what you need it to do: not a simple vanity exercise to get views, shares and Likes; but to generate interest in your business that leads to enquiries, customers, bookings and financial reward.

We now look at the Equipment needed. With so many options and ever moving technology this isn’t a list of equipment, but a breakdown of the types of equipment you’ll need to produce your own videos. Even if you outsource to a professional videographer it pays to have an idea of how the equipment works so you can work with the videographer to get the most from their filming and editing.

Only now do we explore What Content You Need. At first you will think it’s simply footage of you performing, but that is just a part of a well produced showreel that is tailored to the wants and needs of your specific clients. It’s also possible you already have enough imagery to make a type of showreel, even if you don’t have video footage. We also explore the use of music, and why using your favourite song can have detrimental impact on your showreel – and even give business to other magicians!

This Lesson about Videos and Showreel is included in the Marketing and Sales section of the following courses:

Becoming a Cruise Ship Magician

The new Lesson on being a Professional Cruise Ship Magician has been compiled not from personal experience, but from interviews with professional established magicians who derive a the majority of their magic income from performing on cruise ships – from small afternoon shows through to headlining the theatre auditoriums on some of the world’s largest and most luxurious cruise ships.

This lesson is very detailed and gives information not so widely known. It’s written in a way that will enable an experienced magician to create a longer term plan to get a foothold in the cruise market, and what the booking agents, entertainment managers and passengers expect from you; and what you need to provide to get repeat bookings for future cruises to turn it into a lucrative and ongoing carer.

This covers what will be required of you and your act. This isn’t about choice of material (it is assumed that by the time you are ready to perform on a cruise ship your act will be honed down) that works well with an audience, but how to build acts that fit stringent criteria of what the cruise director wants his passengers to see, but also the standard travel restrictions and sizes of cargo box.

Once you have your act “ship ready” we explore how to promote yourself, and to whom! This can take a little work and dedication, and also time. However, the goal of this topic is to improve your chances of success with consistency. We also delve into what types of contract you’ll be offered, rates of pay to expect, and what to do when you are onboard.

This Lesson about Cruise Ships is included in the Magic At Corporate Events section of the following courses:

Podcast 008: Do You Really Need A Website?

HTBAPM008-do_you_really_need_a_website

How To Be A Professional Magician, Podcast 8

Do You Really Need A Website?

In this episode of the How To Be A Professional Magician Podcast we ask if you really need to have a website. It used to be essential; but with the dominance of social media platforms is spending money to design and host a website a worthwhile expense?In this episode we ask if having a website is necessary, especially with social media providing alternative platforms.

To answer in a single word: “Yes!”

Nowadays many magicians don’t actually have a website, relying primarily on using a Facebook business page (not their own personal Facebook page, though even then some do). However these magicians are often amateur magicians who wish to give the outwards appearance of looking professional, but don’t want to to invest either the time or money into creating a unique website.

With a website a potential customer will know you are more professional than a magician who links to a Facebook page. The website domain name should be used for your email address too, ‘free’ email addresses such as Gmail and Hotmail doesn’t look professional in the eyes of a prospect.

Remember that by relying on a third party social media platform you don’t have control. The format of the pages could change, or at a time in the future you may need to pay to continue using the service – or as least pay for even those following your page to see your posts. Essentially your business model is reliant on the business model of the social media platform’s business model, and that may not be in your interest.

Whilst researching you, your prospective clients may link from your business page to your personal page; and if you haven’t amended your privacy settings they may see things you would prefer they didn’t (such as political views, opinions, personal photographs and “banter” between your friends).

There’s the possibility that your social media account could get hacked or your account suspended. The worst case would be having your entire account deleted. This would mean you lose complete control, whereas with your own website you can upload a back-up and continue business.

Website are quick, cheap and easy to design, develop and host; and easy to update and expand as you and your business develops. You can continue to use social media, and link between your website and social media accounts to obtain clients and keep them engaged.

If you have any questions about building your magic business please email [email protected].

Please subscribe so you can get more weekly bite-size magic business lessons.

You can also listen to the Podcast on the following formats:

Apple Podcasts (iTunes):

https://embed.podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/how-to-be-a-professional-magician/id1513191973?itsct=podcast_box&itscg=30200&theme=dark

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/how-to-be-a-professional-magician/id1513191973

YouTube:

Spotify:

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/how-to-be-a-professional-magician

Podcast 007: Should You Pack Small and Play Big?

HTBAPM007-should_you_pack_small_and_play_big

How To Be A Professional Magician, Podcast 7

Should You Pack Small and Play Big?

In this episode we ask why you should “pack small and play big”. It’s a common phrase that you’ve no doubt heard, and it is rooted in logic; but is sticking to this rule potentially compromising the show that you can provide? And would adapting the shows let to a better product for the client – and lead to more bookings?

To “pack small and play big” means creating a show that literally packs up small (and therefore easy to transport and carry), but can be performed on a stage and entertains the whole audience. However, this can lead to magicians packing small for the sake of it, even when there is no need to – and this can compromise the show as a trick and/or props that would be better suited will be left out.

Of course, if you are travelling on public transport then limitation will apply, but if you are travelling by a car and have plenty of room then there really is not need to make the size of the prop the primary deciding factor on whether it should be included in your show.

Compare your tricks – both what is in your current show, and what isn’t. Looks at what are ones that pack small, and compare to the ones that don’t. How do they compare on playing to the audience? Have you found that your show is made up of items that are easier to transport, even though they may not get as good a reaction as some of the larger tricks you don’t have in your show?

Size isn’t a determining factor. There are plenty of effects that DO fit the “pack small and play big” rule, such as mind-routines; or tricks that involve spectators. Conversely, there are plenty of tricks that large (and not just illusions) that may easily fill a stage but not get much of a reaction from the audience. And of course this is before scripting and presentation is allowed for.

Pick the material that gives you (and hence your client) the best possible show, not the material that takes the least room in your car.

Work out variations of the same trick that can be performed at different scales. You can then take the props that will fit the size of the gig you are working at.

If you regularly work at venues that require a show that will play large but you have restrictions on what you can take (perhaps because it’s a city centre location, or you are performing on a cruise ship and your luggage and your show must fit in a single suitcase) then have two different acts – a ‘small’ and a ‘big’ act.

You can use banner stands, flip-charts and projectors to make your show fill the stage and ensure your entire act can be seen and enjoyed by the whole audience; yet these also fold down and pack small for easy transport.

If you have any questions about building your magic business please email [email protected].

Please subscribe so you can get more weekly bite-size magic business lessons.

You can also listen to the Podcast on the following formats:

Apple Podcasts (iTunes):

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/how-to-be-a-professional-magician/id1513191973

YouTube:

Spotify:

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/how-to-be-a-professional-magician

Podcast 006: Should You Send a Newsletter?

HTBAPM006-should_you_send_a_newsletter

How To Be A Professional Magician, Podcast 2

Should You Send a Newsletter?

In this episode we ask if you should send out a regular newsletter? If so, how often, and what should you write in it?

Sending a newsletter is a great way to stay in contact with people, but who do you want to be staying in contact with. Your newsletter mailing list may include:

  • Prospective clients,
  • Industry professionals (such as agents, event management companies and event coordinators at venues),
  • Past clients.

Newsletters are a great way to reconnect with people, remind them who you are, show them what you do, and how professional you are.

Sending a newsletter is a great way to raise awareness of cross-selling opportunities, especially to past clients have booked you for one type of event and may not be aware you can also work at others.

Remove those that didn’t book you once their event has passed, and remove past clients a sensible time afterwards (such as 6 to 12 months). Ensure you comply with all GDPR and Data Protection regulations, and ensure you make it easy for people to unsubscribe should they wish.

How often should you send a newsletter? Quarterly (once every three months) works well.

From personal experience I found monthly newsletters can be a little too often, and isn’t required. You can also start running out of material for the newsletter.

Quarterly newsletters gives you three month to accumulate enough interesting stories and items to include in the newsletter.

What to include in your newsletter? You may want to include things that have happened since the last newsletter, such as:

  • Prestigious bookings you have attended,
  • Television or media appearances,
  • Involved in any interesting projects,
  • Look at your blog articles and social posts for inspiration.

Link your newsletter to your website and social accounts so people can find out more, but avoid linking to external websites if you can help it.

As well as looking back you can also look forward to upcoming seasons, and promote your seasonal shows and party options (such as promoting magic at Christmas parties in your autumn newsletter).

If you have any questions about building your magic business please email [email protected].

Please subscribe so you can get more weekly bite-size magic business lessons.

You can also listen to the Podcast on the following formats:

YouTube:

Apple Podcasts (iTunes):

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/how-to-be-a-professional-magician/id1513191973

Spotify:

Google Podcasts:

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/how-to-be-a-professional-magician

Podcast 005: Do You Need Automation in Your Business?

HTBAPM005-do_you_need_automation_in_your_business

How To Be A Professional Magician, Podcast 5

Do You Need Automation in Your Magic Business?

Automation is using a piece of software to perform tasks for you, such as replying to enquiries and sending follow up email.

You create templates and the software fills in the blank spaces, taking the information from a contact form on your website. This information will likely be their name, type of event, location and date.

The main benefit of automation is the potential client gets the information they requested straight away. If someone is looking for a magician and they shortlist you along with some other magicians to contact they will get your information whilst they are still motivated, and may even go ahead with booking you before you even realised you had had an enquiry.

If you don’t have automation and you are not available to to reply immediately it may be hours before you are able to respond with the information they requested. Not only is it likely they will no longer me so motivated, but also possible they will have already booked someone else who replied sooner.

Another benefit is the time it saves you time. Once you have invested your initial time in writing up your templates the amount of time you to need spend replying to individual enquiries will the reduced.

So do I recommend automation? Yes – but not necessarily immediately, especially if you are in the process of turning professional.

If you are in the situation that you can reply to client quickly then automation may not be required.

However, if you are busy during the daytime (which a diary full of bookings or other commitments) or magic is a side business and you have a full-time job you may not be able to get back to enquiries until later in the evening. Then automation will be very beneficial.

If you don’t feel you need automation straight away then you can simply write your templates and save them. For example, if you use Microsoft Outlook templates can be saved as signature. Then you manually fill in the blank spaces, and only takes a few minutes.

This also means that the email can be customised to the client. This is useful should it be a repeat booking, recommendation, at a venue where you are the recommended magician, local or you will already be in the area that day.

Remember that ‘people buy from people’ and customers will appreciate personalised emails (even if based on a pre-written template), and helps build more of a connection.

Then once you have replied to the enquiry simply note in your diary when you will follow them up, and those emails can also be based on templates you manually complete.

So do you need automation in your business? Yes, and no!

Having a system in place is necessary, but I personally feel the addition time spent to personalise a reply is a benefit, as long it gets sent quickly.

Do you have more spare time, or more spare money?

If you are in the processing of becoming a magician you will likely have the time available to reply, and will also want to limit your expenditure.

For an establish professional or someone in full-time employment then time will be limited, so spending a small amount on automation software will be a good investment.

If you have any questions about building your magic business please email [email protected].

Please subscribe so you can get more weekly bite-size magic business lessons.

You can also listen to the Podcast on the following formats:

YouTube:

Apple Podcasts (iTunes):

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/how-to-be-a-professional-magician/id1513191973

Spotify:

Google Podcasts:

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/how-to-be-a-professional-magician

Podcast 004: What Should You Do At A Networking Meeting?

HTBAPM004-What_should_you_do_at_a_networking_meeting

How To Be A Professional Magician, Podcast 4

What Should You Do At A Networking Meeting?

In this episode we ask what the benefits of a networking meeting are, what you should do when you are there and how to prepare before you attend.

Networking meetings are events were people in different professions get together to explain what they do to other professions; with the view of exchanging business between each other.

Often at the meeting each attendee will be asked to stand up and give a short (often for one or two minutes) pitch. Therefore, if you are attending a networking meeting prepare in advance what you will say. This is sometimes known as an ‘elevator pitch’.

Ensure your pitch makes it clear why someone would want to book you; just saying you are a magician and list the type of events you work at isn’t enough.

Ensure you make clear the benefit to others – not just to those at the meeting. Often people will refer friends and family to others they met at a networking meeting.

Don’t just perform a trick in your pitch. It will be fun and entertaining, but it won’t give the benefits. You may not even want to introduce yourself as a magician at first, but explain the benefits first.

If people are interested in the service you offer they may come up to you at the end of the meeting, and this is then a good opportunity to show a demonstration.

Networking is a two-way street, and you will be expected refer business to the other attendees. If you turn up expecting people to give you business without giving any in return it’s likely they won’t.

Take plenty of business cards.

Some networking groups have membership fees, and you will need to be a member before you can take full advantage of the benefits of the group.

As well as membership costs there are costs for food and travel, as well as the time taken to attend. It’s likely that you won’t recoup these costs straight away, but as time goes on people will still remember you and pass you business years afterwards.

If you have any questions about building your magic business please email [email protected].

Please subscribe so you can get more weekly bite-size magic business lessons.

You can also listen to the Podcast on the following formats:

Apple Podcasts (iTunes):

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/how-to-be-a-professional-magician/id1513191973

YouTube:

Spotify:

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/how-to-be-a-professional-magician

Podcast 003: What Do You Need On Your Business Cards?

HTBAPM003-what-do-you-need-on-your-business-cards

How To Be A Professional Magician, Podcast 3

What Do You Need On Your Business Cards?

In this episode we ask what information you need to have on your business cards, and what you don’t.

Having a business card is essential for giving out at events and networking. It is important to balance information with design.

Don’t clutter up a business card with information that isn’t necessary. Items to avoid putting on:

  • List of types of events you work at,
  • Testimonials and reviews,
  • Postal address,
  • Job title (such as Director, or CEO).

Your business cards should be of good quality, and printed on thick card stock. Professionally printed cards on thick stock have an air of quality about them – and will be associated to you.

Make sure the design of your business card is in keeping with you brand, using the fonts and colours on your other marketing material. Avoid using existing templates and graphics provided by online business card printers.

Your business card should have:

  • Your name (or performing name),
  • Job title (such as “magician”),
  • Tag line (if you have a unique one),
  • Website address,
  • Email address,
  • Phone number,
  • Social media (only if you use it),
  • Head shot photograph.

If you have any questions about building your magic business please email [email protected].

Please subscribe so you can get more weekly bite-size magic business lessons.

You can also listen to the Podcast on the following formats:

Apple Podcasts (iTunes):

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/how-to-be-a-professional-magician/id1513191973

YouTube:

Spotify:

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/how-to-be-a-professional-magician

Podcast 002: Should You Be A Magician For All Occasions?

HTBAPM002-magician_for_all_occasions

How To Be A Professional Magician, Podcast 2

Should You Be a Magician For All Occasions?

In this episode we ask should you advertise that you are a “Magician for all occasion” on your marketing.

It’s likely that as a professional magician you already work at all types of occasions, and you will want to work at all types of events.

However, you don’t want to come across as a magician for all occasions to your prospective customers.

Firstly, it (and variations of it) are popular, and it is a phrased used by quite a lot of magicians on their websites and therefore it doesn’t make you stand out amongst the others.

What you really need to do is come across to your potential clients that you are an expert, and specialise and have experience in exactly the type of event they are arranging.

This could be be that you have the perfect act or perfect trick for their event, and this is communicated to them. Of course, it may be the same act or trick – but it is customised to fit.

This demonstrates you are an expert in this field. They will know that you are experienced at working at similar events, and makes you stand out against the other magicians who may now come across as “generic” by not specialising.

Setting up a website, having business cards and brochures that focus on a particular type of event will really demonstrate that you are expert in that field. At a minimum you should have separate pages on your website.

Once you have established to the prospective client that you are the expert magician they want, you can then cross-sell and tell them of secondary services you offer in addition to the primary service that they initially required.

This adding of extras to the primary service can increase the total income you are also able to generate from each individual booking.

Once at the booking you will be demonstrating that you are an expert in that field, but you can use the opportunity to let the guests know you can also be booked for other events, and therefore increase the number of repeat bookings and referrals you get.

If you have any questions about building your magic business please email [email protected].

Please subscribe so you can get more weekly bite-size magic business lessons.

You can also listen to the Podcast on the following formats:

Apple Podcasts (iTunes):

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/how-to-be-a-professional-magician/id1513191973

YouTube:

Spotify:

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/how-to-be-a-professional-magician

Magic Theory & Presentation – Video Business Lesson

HTBAPM Theory and Presentation

In this business lesson we cover the subject of magic theory, and the presentation of your magic.

This is important because you need to make sure that people enjoy seeing your magic, because then they will want to book you to entertain at their events or recommend your services to other people.

Before you can perform strong memorable magic you need to introduce yourself to the guests and build rapport. Once you have established rapport and shown some fun and interactive magic you can then perform the magic that will create the long lasting memories of your performance.