How to fill your magical diary. [reading time; 12 minutes]
Want more bookings? Here’s how to stop wasting time and start filling your diary!
Many of us, myself included, are guilty of procrastinating: we sit at home waiting for the phone to ring, filling our days with meaningless tasks and wondering why the work doesn’t come to us while other magicians seem to be always busy and taking the type of bookings we want for ourselves.
First things first, let’s sort our mindset out – the cold, hard reality is nothing to do with there not being enough opportunities for gigs: There is enough work out there for all of us; There are enough events happening every day for you to get a booking! So why aren’t you getting them?
Granted, not everyone will earn the same amount from their magic because different venues and clients command different price points, however, if you are willing to work hard and put the hours in there is plenty of work there for you; plenty of gigs.
Here are 6 Things you can do right now, to get bookings as a magician.
*Send out promotional material
*Visit places in person.
*Get an agent!
Choose the type of venue or event you would like to work at and start sending out emails to prospective bookers. Word the email politely, make it personal and appealing to the potential booker. Remember to show them what you can offer them, rather than what you will be getting out of the professional relationship.
If you can be seen to be fulfilling a need that they have then you are off to a good start.
Remember to attach links to your promotional videos and your best images to the email. Never send the same email to a range of venues or bookers at the same time – by this I mean sending the email where they can see the other venues in the email address bar. Make them feel like you want the relationship with them, don’t mention that you might be in contact with other venues as well at this point.
Finally for this point, don’t be afraid to send out a follow up email a week or so later as sometimes places are interested but busy venues have busy lives and it can slip their mind to reply.
In a lot of ways this is very basic to implement: Pick up the phone and start calling venues you would like to work at.
If you are a restaurant magician call restaurants. If you are a wedding magician start calling wedding venues or wedding planners. If you are a children’s magician then start calling schools and children’s groups. You get the idea.
Before you pick up the phone prepare your speech about the service you are offering and how you can solve a problem for the person on the other end of the phone. If you can make it seem like you are solving a problem for them the chance of a successful booking with increase.
Also, before you pick up the phone, have a clear idea of your ideal price point and your absolute minimum price point.
Send out promotional material:
This is done less and less in the modern world, but you could put together a pack of promotional material to send out to prospective bookers. Create an attractive looking pack of promotional material and send it out via the post, or visit venues and drop it off to the team in person. This can work well for places that receive a lot of email such as schools, where the email doesn’t always get passed on from the secretary to the class teachers who might be more interested in taking up a booking with you.
Visit places in person:
This was covered in detail by Steven Simmons on our podcast, episode 106 Put your performance clothes on and start hitting the streets. Visit the venues in person and speak to the team face to face. This can work well if you are looking at getting a restaurant residency and you are in a built up area with a lot of places to try your luck. This method works a lot less well if you are visiting wedding venues and they are an hour drive away from each other.
Real positives about this approach are that you get to see the places in person, get a feel for the location and clientele first hand. You can check first hand things like parking and transport links, Check things like parking and transport links, and, you can also (potentially) showcase your talents direct to the booker and their clients then and there.
The down sides to this approach are that it is definitely still a numbers game. Listen back to the Stephen Simmons episode 106 of the podcast for his experiences and advice on this method.
This was mentioned in (I believe) the Marco Marian’s podcast episode, 112 , and in our beginners guide for getting charity events.
Check out Facebook for local events, drop them a message and ask if they want a magician. It’s as straightforward as that!
Get an agent:
If the other methods are not working for you, or you simply don’t have time for chasing leads yourself, grab an agent instead. Working with an agent will mean you get paid less for the work you do but there will be more leads.
Why do you get paid less? The agent is now doing all the leg work finding you gigs, they are paying for advertising and you are effectively riding on the coat tails of their brand. They will take a percentage cut from the price to cover the wages of the people running all the advertising and to make sure their company doesn’t disappear should you choose to move on somewhere else.
In my experience the percentage that a booking agent can ask for can be anything from 10% to 50%.
The booking agent gets to decide the terms of the bookings but the power of choice is ultimately in your hands – if they are taking too high of a percentage simply say “no.” and go and work somewhere else.
So there you are, 6 things you could do today to fill your diary with bookings. It’s not easy but maybe that’s what stops us, as magicians, from filling our diaries… Maybe when it comes down to it we’re all just a little bit lazy and want an easy trick to make it work for us. I know that for me I go through periods where I sit back and don’t chase the leads at all and work slumps as a result. I”ll let you know as and when I’ve successfully filled my diary, time to get off my rear end and start chasing the gigs!
As always, we at the Magicians’ Advice would love to hear from you and if you need any more help or support we are always happy to share.
Ian, Phil, Rob, & Tony.
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