Podcast 003: 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].

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Wedding Fair Advice for Magicians

Good marketing involves combining a range of methods to generate booking enquiries. One of these methods I find best is attending weddings fairs – during 2013 and 2014 I averaged 19 wedding fairs per year – and it’s this subject I get asked about most. Therefore, here’s my wedding fair advice for magicians:

What is Wedding Fair?

Wedding fairs are either arranged by a venue themselves, or hired out by a wedding fair organiser. From the venue’s point of veiw they can showcase themselves directly to newly engaged couples looking for somewhere to hold their wedding. Often they will dress a room to illustrate how it would look at a wedding

Wedding Suppliers

As well as seeing the venue, it’s also an opportunity for brides and grooms to meet with other suppliers in the wedding industry and discuss their requirements. This can include photographers, cake makers, wedding dress makers and entertainment.

It’s a good idea to be friendly with the other suppliers there, show them a trick and swap contact details. They are also in the wedding business and it’s possible one of their clients may be looking for entertainment and they can recommend you.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better!

When booking a wedding fair an organiser will often tell you how busy previous fairs have been and roughly how many brides to expect. I try to aim for shows that have around 100-150 brides. Only a small percentage of weddings in the UK have a magician so you need enough traffic through to increase the chances of you generating a booking, but if it’s too busy you just aren’t going to be able to speak to everyone and many will walk by. Often these larger shows are more expensive, so why pay extra to speak to the same number of people?

Have a Proper Wedding Fair Stand

Invest in a roller-banner stand that is about 2.5 foot wide and 7 foot high. These have come down in price massively over the last few years and can be bought quite cheaply via such sources as eBay. You may need to pay a little extra for design work, but hopefully you will have a brand and graphics brief so creating the proof should be quite cheap.

Also have some printed marketing material (even if just a postcard, flyer or simple brochure) to give people, and prettying up the table with a magic themed display is a good.

You want to give the impression you are an established professional business, I’ve seen exhibitors (both magicians, and other services) arrive with nothing more than a box of business cards, and this does not promote that image.

And Stay There!

On occasion it has been suggested to me that I mingle around the exhibition in much the same way as I would at a real wedding. Don’t do it! This isn’t a wedding, it’s a wedding fair. You aren’t getting paid to entertain, you are paying to generate business.

If people are walking about they are probably thinking about another stand at the time, and if they are interested in your service then you won’t have any of your marketing materials on hand to give them.

Where to Stand?

You are the product, therefore you need to be the most prominent attraction on the stand. I always move the table back (this means I then have no space to sit behind the table) so I can stand in front of it and interact with people more easily.

It could be argued that others spend the day sat down behind their table, so why not you? Well, those people are selling their products, so they are displaying them prominently. This could be wedding cakes, photographs or suits.

By standing in front of your stand makes it easier to stop people and ask them if they want to see a trick. Not many people will see that you are magician and approach you to request a demonstration, you need to initiate the conversation. This is after all what you would be doing at a wedding, so do it!

Give a Good Demonstration

Once someone has a hint of being interested launch into a trick. This should be a good example of what you would do at a wedding, though you may want to adjust the patter a little to account of the situation.

It goes without say it needs to be a strong trick, and one that is entertaining. Don’t try and go through your whole repertoire. And don’t be afraid to repeat the same trick to every couple you speak to.

Sell the Problem, Not the Service

Even with a good trick it’s unlikely a bride and groom will know exactly why they should book you. People rarely go to wedding fairs expecting to see a magician, or even know why they’d want to book one.

Once the trick is over explain how you would fit into their wedding.

Note how I said explain how you’d fit into their wedding, not a wedding. Help people visualise you at their wedding.

Follow Up

Make sure you get the contact details of the bride and groom, and the location and date of their wedding (if known). A day or two afterwards send an email summarising your conversation, and remind them how to book. Some people do require a poke, remember they’ve been speaking to all the other suppliers at the wedding fair and that’s a lot of information to absorb in a short time.

A booking isn’t a booking until it’s confirmed. Someone saying they’d “love to book you” can be true, but it can also be a polite way to gently close a conversation. This is why following up is so important.

The subject of wedding fairs is huge and is covered in much more detail in the Full Course, as well as in the Wedding and Party Magician course.

Learning more

The How To Be A Professional Magician Courses cover everything you need to know to set up a business as a professional magician. The Full Course contains all the information (as well as 30 minute Skype consultation to help you get your business launched), and the abridged courses also cover business set-up.

Making Your Magic Commercial

When I made the decision to turn professional I decided that I needed repertoire of commercial tricks that I could perform for my close-up act; but I realised that I couldn’t just do a pile of card tricks, or do tricks that I liked doing.

I shortlisted tricks, practiced those, and worked on the patter; knowing that as they got performed to real live paying customers they would evolve. As the tricks developed I could add new ones and remove those that weren’t so strong.

Then I looked at what I already performed, what I liked performing, my character and the way my magic had already naturally evolved since I started learning.

I mainly thought of myself as a mentalist, and started to pursue that direction and learnt mentalism tricks and routines (probably due to Derren Brown sparking my latent interest in the art). However, I had come to realise that it lacked commercial appeal for the type of events I was promoting myself for.

But then I didn’t want to go too far the other way. I didn’t want to be a “comedy magician”, or have a whacky/zany character.

Let’s look at an example. I’ve have sponge balls, I learnt a sponge ball routine and performed it, people actually LIKED my sponge ball routine’ but it just didn’t feel comfortable for me.

Creating Your Commercial Repertoire

So how do you do this, well, pick about six tricks that YOU feel comfortable doing and that others will like and practice them. Also come up with patter and script the trick. Each time you practice you perform like you are performing for an audience so you practice the lines, not just the moves. I personally chose tricks covering many styles of magic, so my style and short-listed tricks could be refined using the Darwinian principle of Survival of the Fittest.

I came up with a set of rules and criteria to help me shortlist my tricks:

  1. Have variety – not just card tricks
  2. Can be stored in a jacket pocket for close-up
  3. No re-set (or at least very quick)
  4. Something that doesn’t need lots of explaining
  5. Visual enough to be seen by everyone round a large table
  6. Multi-stage (ideally)
  7. Involve spectators

As time went on I found my style and dropped the material that didn’t fit the direction I was wanting to go in (such as sponge balls and rope tricks) but it gave me a solid foundation to build on with a repertoire that meant from the moment I turned professional I had good tricks that worked and got positive reactions.

I still perform many of the effects that went into this original set, and have added more that fits this criteria. Not all the trick in my repertoire fit the criteria, and are perhaps more artistic and aimed to illicit a more emotional connection.

Having a routine that is new, fresh, touches emotions, takes risks but may occasionally fall flat is not a good opener for a corporate audience. A solid routine that will even entertain those that have been at the free bar. These latter routines are normally the ‘workers’, tried and tested a million times by every working magician.

My aim is to have tricks and effects that fall into both criteria. This way I have some solid material to open with and engage everyone, but can have material that is more ‘artistic’ once a connection has been established.

Note, this article is based on the “Art Vs Entertainment” lesson in the Magic Theory and Presentation section of the course, as well as in some of the abridged courses.

Learning more

The How To Be A Professional Magician Courses cover everything you need to know to set up a business as a professional magician. The Full Course contains all the information (as well as 30 minute Skype consultation to help you get your business launched), and the abridged courses also cover business set-up.