Powerful Product Descriptions (Part One)

Illustration by HikingArtist.

Illustration by HikingArtist.

I’ll be blunt: most of our industry’s ad copy is horrible. Especially online product descriptions. Even the well-written, grammatically correct copy lacks the oomph necessary to sell a product.

It’s no wonder magicians want flashy photos and video trailers. For generations we’ve bored them to death with text descriptions.

But that can change. Starting with you. You don’t have to be a professional writer to produce easy-to-understand copy with high conversation; you just have to learn a couple of techniques.

In part one of this series, I am going to teach you a dirt-simple method to transform writing that blows into marketable prose. Follow the directions below and you will see instant results in your own writing.

Our example is a fake magic trick titled, “Jonas Powers’ Stage-Size Appearing Chair from Box”

Here is an example of the type of ad copy I’m asked to spice up on a regular basis:

Finally, an appearing chair barstool for stage work. If you are looking for a signature stage trick start with the stage size appearing barstool chair by Jonas Powers to open your show, or to close your show.

At first glance, the copy isn’t terrible. It’s a good start. In fact, it’s just good enough others will use it without question.

However, the opening is weak—nobody has really been waiting for this trick, stage-size or otherwise. The middle doesn’t provide enough information to move the reader to a buying decision, and the end doesn’t lead to the next paragraph, presumably where the reader will find a call to action.

Compare to my edited version:

Flat box, instant barstool! Open your show with the self-working production of a full-size barstool, or sit back and relax for a funny finale. It’s the durable, portable, audience-floorable Chair Box by Jonas Powers!

A visual image of the routine is revealed in the opening line. The second sentence, though it might feel a little long, illustrates the range of the product. The last line introduces the creator of the effect and leaves the reader wanting more—the call to action.

The concept here is to pack each paragraph with as much information as possible without weighing down the text. How? Instead of writing the whole paragraph prose style, I first wrote the phrases I wanted to use as free verse poetry, then I strung them together.

You can tell exactly what I did by reverse engineering the text.

From the sample paragraph, select the best one to five word segments and put them under the paragraph with a dash. Do this four times, the average length of a poetry stanza.

Finally, an appearing chair barstool for stage work. If you are looking for a signature stage trick start with the appearing barstool chair by Jonas Powers to open your show, or to close your show.

– appearing chair barstool

– for stage work

– signature stage trick

– appearing barstool chair by Jonas

The dashes represent bullet points (major selling points in a product description formatted as a list). The phrases above are what the writer is actually saying in the original paragraph. Pretty bland, huh? The whole paragraph is really just the title over and over again.

Lets try the same technique with my re-write:

Flat box, instant barstool! Open your show with the self-working production of a full-size barstool, or sit back and relax for a funny finale. It’s the durable, portable, audience-floorable Chair Box by Jonas Powers!

– Flat box, instant barstool!

– self-working production full-size barstool

– relax for a funny finale

– portable Chair Box by Powers!

With some punctuation, these bullet points could actually be used in ad copy. Here’s the tweak:

  • Flat box, instant barstool!
  • Sit back and relax! Funny finale!
  • Self-working! Full-size barstool!
  • Chair Box: The Portable Powers!

All I did to make one paragraph better than the other, was to say something worth writing about. My version may sound hyped-up—it may have flare that wasn’t there in the first paragraph—but I didn’t lie. Good magic deserves a product description that does it justice. It’s okay to be excited, as long as you’re honest. It’s a technique known as poetic license.

Hidden Opportunities Find Magicians

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“Image by Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

I received a call the other day and thought I would share it with you:

Q. Will you teach everyone a magic trick during/after the show?

A. That’s a great question! We used to teach a trick during the show, but through experience, we have found it actually detracts from the magic. We want your audience to be amazed and entertained as much as possible and for you to have a memorable event.

With your permission, we set up a magic table in the back of the room. We sell a few easy to do magic tricks that audience members can take home and share their love of magic with family and friends. Of course you can prepay for everyone to receive a kit for free. That’s a great option and gives guest something to do after the show…

A very simple way to get away from and handle a semi insulting question.

“There’s a big difference between a demonstrator and an entertainer.”

What you don’t want to do. Tell your potential customer you refuse to teach a trick and you are way above that! The customer does not understand how it works and is genuinely asking a question. We know, asking a magician to teach a trick during a show, is like asking a band how to play the instruments.

What’s the hidden opportunity? Select six to twelve tricks audience members can buy directly from you. Put your name, email, and website on all the instructions. Put them all together as a package deal or magic kit. This gives you repeat customers and sets you up for new ones. You can easily double, triple or make even more off your “dealer room”. Some magicians even reduce the rate of pay, just to set up that booth at the end of the night.

Have an intermission for some sales during the show. It works best with a partner, but don’t worry if you don’t have one. This also gives you a nice break and set up time for the second half of the show.

Let WholesaleMagic.com know you want special instructions or Magic Wand Scrolls and they will be happy to work with you. They can even give you ideas to push.

Jay Leslie

Magic Stores Report $6000 in Revenue!

icone-downloadWholesaleMagic.com launched the Royalty Free Program last month, and magic dealers have already reported combined revenue in excess of $6000.

And that is with only 40% of stores reporting!

Think about it for a moment: six thousand dollars magic dealers kept without paying a dime of it back to a jobber or vendor or shipping company; SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS in total profit that did not exist before our Royalty Free Program.

If you are in the magic business, then you know nothing much is selling right now unless you push it hard. So why not push products with 100% profit?

The pie is getting bigger! Here’s how you can enjoy a slice…

Select from any of the products listed below or from our Royalty Free product page. Add the item to your site and feature it. Send it to your list and push it relentlessly. When a customer purchases the item, you keep all the money. The buck stops with you!

I asked one of my dealers what the Royalty Free Program means to him and his business. He said, “To me it’s an endless inventory. A year-long, profit-laden revenue stream. After just thirty days my bestsellers are mostly royalty free.”

He nailed it.

He understands the program.

He sees the value in generating royalty free profits in this economy.

It is never too late to join the party. The program is scalable for any size business. Every magic store, no matter how large, starts with one Royalty Free product. Don’t just add it to your site—push it! Sell it. Keep all the money!

Complete Course in Pick Pocketing

Derek Dingle Last Notes by Simon Lovell 

Dracola by Gerald Kirchner

Burning Up by Nathan Kranzo

Bob Hummer’s Devastation Principle

Cups and Balls by Senor Mardo

Dotcha! by Gerald Kirchner

Flipper Coin Repair by Roy Kueppers

From the Stall Booklet

Interlocked Card Production

Pop-Card by Steven Pignataro

Expanded Shell Repair by Roy Kueppers

Mark Cannon’s Great Escapes Convention

If you have questions about the program, feel free to contact us. We also set up a FAQ page here.

Is Royalty Free Right For Me

Simple Strategy Transforms Your Business

Photo by Mike Kirby.

Photo by Mike Kirby.

The internet tossed a stick of lit dynamite into the old saying, “You can’t sell from an empty cart.”

Today, that small phrase sums up the business model of many small-to-medium businesses online. The internet itself is an empty cart in some respects. There are whole companies that actually sell turnkey “empty carts.”

In the magic business, it’s okay to operate an empty cart—or a somewhat empty cart; the business shouldn’t be completely hollow. If magic stores had to stock everything they sell on their website, magicians would have limited access to supplies and would need to do business with more stores—a shipping nightmare for the magician.

Instead, it’s a shipping nightmare for magic shops!

There is a rule of economy in play here: shipping costs per item increases as volume decreases.

If you’re not doing the business you were a few years ago, then chances are your shipping costs—even if well-managed—are really high right now. Every time you order one item to service one customer, you are paying a percentage of profit to shipping that you would have saved if it were part of a larger parcel meant to service more customers.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to offset these increased costs.

Once a month, call a vendor and inquire about their newest items. Focus on their top three and buy a dozen of one. Push the item through your newsletter and feature it on your website.

When you get down to two remaining units, call and order another dozen. Keep the item featured on your site and promote it to your list again. Continue doing this until it stops selling. By this time, it’s the next month, repeat the process with a new trick.

This simple concept can and will transform your business. Eventually, you will earn thirty-day net with your vendor and you will develop a relationship with them that may include discounts—even more profit.

One Simple Step Increases Facebook Reach

Photo by FACEBOOK(LET)

Photo by FACEBOOK(LET)

If you manage a Facebook page for your business or products, you may have noticed a recent decrease in the reach of your regular status updates.

Why?

The answer is simple: Facebook altered their algorithm to favor shares instead of updates.

What does this mean for you and your page? How can you increase your reach when you share information with the people who like your page?

Again, the answer is simple.

Instead of posting information about a new page or product on your website in a status update—usually a small bit of text and a link to the page—share the info directly from your website.

First, go to Facebook and select “Use Facebook As YOURPAGENAME” from the gear icon at the top, far right. Then go to your website and click the share button on the page your want to share, or if you don’t have one—and you should!—use the share feature in your web browser (may be an add-on in some browsers).

After you share the info, return to Facebook and click the gear icon again to use Facebook as your own profile account. Share the status update from your page timeline on your own personal profile timeline.

Viola!

You just tickled the new Facebook algorithm and their system will now share your content through a larger potential array of viewers.

How Many Licks Does it Take for a Review?

Pop1Ask the wise owl, “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?” and he always answers the same: “THREE(hee)!” For proof, see the original video…

But how many sales does it take to get one review on your website? The answer is a little over two thousand. That’s right, two thousand sales. Have you already given up on the idea of ever having reviews on your site again? Don’t! I have an idea that will have your site full of reviews in no time.

From my research, I have concluded that it takes a little over two thousand sales of any one item or for every two thousand products you sell site-wide, to net one review. This is just an average, but that might be why you have little to no reviews. It’s not your fault, it’s the stats fault–a numbers game. Unless your site is wildly popular and you’re selling like crazy, reviews are just not going to magically appear (pun intended).

Don’t feel hopeless. Have no fear. I am hear to help! First off, you need a strategy; a reason for customers to write reviews.

Customers only respond to a few things:

  • Discounts
  • Special Offers
  • Incentives: Free Magic, Drawings, Member Forum
  • Mores Discounts

One last thing… The personal touch. That’s right, customers respond to a personal touch. They want to know you care. And you do! Or you wouldn’t be in the magic business.

Here’s what you do: After you have answered all of your incoming email, pick your last ten orders that have been delivered and send the customer a personal email. Something like, “Hello, I see you received your last order. What did you think of MAGIC TRICK NAME?” It only takes a few minutes to write a quick, two-sentence email. Make a general letter and fill in the personal details. This will most likely result in at least five responses. Answer back with a follow-up, thanking your customer and state that you will include their comments in a products review.

Done! You just got at least five new reviews in less time than it took to read this post.

Talk Back Questions: In your experience what is the ratio of sales to reviews? What are your favorite review incentives?

The Times Square of Magic Advertising!

800px-NYC_Times_Square_wide_angle

If you have an online magic site, increasing your ranking on the search engines is like moving your business to Time’s Square. (Photo by Daniel Schwen)

Imagine you are trying to decide which magazine to advertise in and there are two options. One magazine has 10,000 subscribers and the other has 5,000. It’s a no-brainer, right?

Maybe. But chances are, if they only have a 20-30% overlap like in the magic industry, you might be saying yes to the larger group of readers, but no to a whole other demographic—the demographic you really need.

Lets level the playing field. What if both magazines had the same number of subscribers, but one of them offered to move your business to Times Square for the same cost?

Deal!

Display ads in print magazines are extremely valuable. They can put your ad in a potential customers hands. Billboards are also extremely valuable. They can give your business a presence right next door to your competitor. But neither one does much for your search ranking and more and more, that’s where customers are finding you.

If you have an online magic site, increasing your ranking on the search engines is like moving your business to Time’s Square.

So how much does that cost?

It’s surprisingly cheap due to the search engine industry’s renewed commitment to directories. Simply sign up to a directory with a strong ranking, such as MagicDealers.com—the largest, fastest growing magic directory in the world—and watch it Invade Your Stats.

Think of MagicDealers.com as another leg of your social media strategy, but unlike general sites, MagicDealers is focused on magic. You can spend $100 on Facebook in minutes and shotgun a large target. That same $100 on MagicDealers lasts you ONE YEAR and is a like a tractor beam for potential magic buyers.

Such a cheap price means you will have plenty of advertising budget left to spend with the magazines.

In addition to the listing, you can also promote your business through the special offers section on MagicDealers. This is an amazing feature that acts almost like a second newsletter, where you can showcase your high-profit items and discount promotions.

Want a sneak peek? Join MagicDealers for FREE!

Cornering the Market on Best Sellers

800px-Money_Cash

Instead of gambling your investment on a new product that hasn’t proven it’s worth, take an item that was a best seller and re-release it. Image by 2bgr8

Competition for new items with best seller potential is so fierce that it can be near impossible for small shops to compete. Size isn’t the only factor, even the largest retail entities cannot capture the exclusive every time, which is why they often re-release an old item. If done properly, you can corner the market and take a huge volume of sales.

Hindsight is 20/20. Instead of gambling your investment on a new product that hasn’t proven it’s worth, take an item that was a best seller—it can be two years old or absolute vintage—and announce it like a new product. If your competitors have this item on their website, but do not genuinely stock it, then they may be coming to you to buy it.

Here is a quick guide on how to corner the market and make your product re-release campaign a huge success:

NEVER…

  • Change the Title: You don’t want people who already have the item to buy it twice or for people to accuse you of ripping off the original
  • Call it New: If it is an old product, don’t advertise it using the word “new.” It isn’t necessary or productive.
  • Remove the Creator’s Name: Give credit where credit is due, it’s the magician’s code.
  • Re-Release a Crappy Product: Once was enough for that item. If it isn’t good, it shouldn’t have been out there in the first place, let alone re-released with your effort and market force behind it.
  • Wait to the Last Minute to Promote: Start the build up in advance. As soon as you have an item make a vague announcement on Twitter and then keep it going.
  • Use this Technique Only Once: Find what works, and replicate your success throughout the year. Corner the market on twelve products, and you’re now a pretty tough competitor.

ALWAYS…

  • Do Your Research: Record items you are being asked about that are no longer available, and stock them. Track the popular searches on your own website. Talk to a jobber about items that used to be popular and are available in quantity.
  • Re-Write the Product Description: Refreshing the ad copy is an excellent way to breathe new life into a magic product. Add information that makes it current and ties it to today.
  • Spruce up the Picture(s): Especially on vintage product. Give the sales graphic a new coat of paint—or redesign it completely—to fit the current trends. Grunge was the thing, but might be over the top today. Many young magicians are growing out of their entry-point shops and moving on to pro outfits.
  • Shoot a Demo Video: Include some sort of video in the description, even if it is just you talking about and pitching the item—show the item on screen in your hands. People like to see something—the trick if possible, the packaging if nothing else.
  • Include Bonus Item(s): If you cannot get a bulk price, offer a bonus item or kit to go with it and raise the price. If it is a DVD, include the props your customers need to get the most use out of the product.
  • Offer an Introductory Price: When you announce the product, give a discount for customers who buy it within the first three days.
  • Contact the Creator: Ask the creator of the trick to mention your renewed interest on their social media or to their list. Maybe interview them and post an article you can both promote—a magic magazine might publish it too. If the trick does well, offer to buy the rights to the item.
  • Buy Them All: Call your vendors. If one outfit has a dozen units, another has three dozen, and so on, buy them all. Make sure nobody else has them in stock. When you talk to the creator, buy their stock too, or ask them to give you a ninety-day exclusive. If there is no demand on the items anymore, an exclusive is pretty easy to get from independents.
  • Buy at a Bulk Price: When you are buying up all these units, get a good price. Buying is half the battle. Negotiations are easy with jobbers. Just ask for the best price. That first number they give you is probably it. Remember, they work on the smallest margins in the industry.
  • Offer Wholesale: Once you have everything ready to go, consider putting a paragraph at the bottom of your product description offering wholesale pricing on 3-6 unit minimums. Your competitors may need to pick up a few of your exclusive.
  • Promote EVERYWHERE! Announce your new product on all of your social media, blast your email list, call people, send personal emails, and even contact customers who have placed orders but didn’t buy that one item. Post on forums. Build demand!

Click HERE to get started!

The Poor Boy Billet Knife: Supper Size Me Please

poor_boy_billet_knife_FULLSIZEThe most popular Poor Boy magic product on the market, now in a new size. Bigger billets! Larger Loads! Plus a convenient pocket clip to keep your Poor Boy Billet Knife ready to read minds at a moment’s notice.

The Poor Boy Billet Knife isn’t a fancy magic prop. It’s a simple utility device invented by a magician, used by same, and placed on the market for a reasonable price. Like most magic gimmicks, it’s just “one of those” with “that one thing” attached to it.

However, this Billet Knife is also very effective! There are no moving parts to get stuck or jammed as with other billet knives. One simple move with your thumb and the billet is loaded, every time!

A borrowed dollar bill, signed and folded, vanishes at your fingertips. Pick up a piece of fruit from the table – or the spectator can choose it fresh from the market – and cut it open to reveal their signed dollar inside the fruit!

• Stainless steel blade!
• Durable composite handle!
• Convenient pocket clamp!
• Dirt-simple and damn reliable!
• New size for BIGGER BILLETS
and LARGER LOADS!

The Poor Boy Billet Knife can also open a sealed envelope and secretly inject a small item inside. Reveal the billet right away, or just do the cutting and let your spectator expose the prize!

The maximum FOLDED billet size, without hiding it with your thumb or finger, is about one inch wide by two inches long (compare to the original size). Fully extended knife measures nearly seven inches long. Instructions include the most famous billet trick ever, Bill in Lemon!

What is a billet? A billet is any small object, usually a folded piece of paper and often used in mind reading routines by mentalists. Use the Poor Boy Billet Knife to inject billets into impossible locations!

Three-Year Replacement Coupon Inside! With your Poor Boy Billet Knife, you will receive a replacement coupon. If the product fails within three years, Poor Boy Magic will replace it free; you just pay shipping and handling at actual cost.

Click here to check it out.

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Magic in the palm of your hands.

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