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

Batteries Not Included…

Batteries_Not_IncludedI stumbled upon this trick by accident and it quickly became one of those “gems” you find yourself performing at every opportunity. It is contagious. Whenever I teach a fellow magician “Batteries Not Included,” they end up performing it just as often.

When I perform the trick, it is usually because there happen to be two batteries lying around; a friend is changing out the batteries in a remote for instance. Double A are best, but you can sometimes do the trick with D’s and C’s too.

You can carry a couple of batteries in your pocket to perform anytime.

“Did you know those batteries are magnetic?” Pick them up and lay one next to the other lengthwise. Nothing happens. “Oh wait, you have to rub them together to get a static charge.” Now, hold one battery and the other is magically – supposedly magnetically – stuck to it. When your friend tries it, there is no such magnetism.

If you would like to learn how the trick is done and share with your friends and family, Click here and place a FREE ORDER of Batteries Not Included.

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?

Cornering the Market on Best Sellers

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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!

Building a Magic Mailing List (Part One)

feedburner-feed-setupSocial media, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and even MagicDealers make it easy to communicate with customers throughout the day, throughout the week. But these venues are a room full of people. Yelling, “SAVE 30% OFF TODAY ONLY!” into a room of people, isn’t just rude, it’s not very effective.

You can and should promote your special offers through social media, you just have to take a different tact. Email, on the other hand, is the perfect venue for shouting, showing, and converting.

For an email to be effective, you must have email subscribers. Step one: decide how you want to collect these email addresses. If you are going to use an email delivery service such as MailChimp or ConstantContact, then those companies will have tutorials on their site for collecting and maintaining your subscriber list. For the most part, you just add a form to your website that customers fill out and submit.

As your list gets bigger, those services cost more and more money. A large magic shop may have 50-70,000 magicians on their mailing list, which can cost hundreds of dollars a month to send reliably. Be prepared for your list to grow and always check the prices of the service you plan to use long term.

But there is a free alternative to paid service providers that’s quickly becoming the preferred solution among marketers of all sizes, and that’s FeedBurner. It’s an email delivery service offered by Google. It’s free and easy to use, but it is a bit confusing in the beginning.

FeedBurner turns any RSS feed into an email and delivers it to your customers from Google’s servers, which have amazing deliverability when it’s not gmail.

Want to see a FeedBurner newsletter in action? Sign up to this blog’s newsletter—Free Magic News & Insider Secrets!—at the bottom of this article or on the right hand side of this page. You should receive our newsletter with 48 hours after confirmation.

There are two components to FeedBurner:

First, you need a FeedBurner account. Set it up and make sure you have email as a delivery option. I recommend a dynamic subject line. The options look confusing, but read through them and it will make sense after a few minutes.

Then you need an RSS feed. The easiest method is a blog. If you run your own server or have server space, install WordPress. If not, WordPress offers a hosted option too. Find your RSS URL and enter it in FeedBurner. Set your site to automatically signup customers to FeedBurner (they still have to confirm, so it is Opt-In all the way), and have an option to subscribe to your newsletter on your blog and the main sections of your website.

When you are ready, post a special offer in your blog in the form of an article, and once a day, Google will check your RSS feed and deliver your newsletter to your list of subscribers. If you decide you want to change programs later, just download your list from FeedBurner and upload it to the next provider.

But what do you post to get the best results? What do you write about to entice magicians to buy magic from you? Get your FeedBurner account setup and your blog installed, and I’ll answer these questions in Part Two next week.

The “MAGIC” of Advertising and Why it’s Hard to Find a URL

Magic_AdvertisingIn Arthur C. Clarke’s Three Laws, the Third Law states, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

And since almost everything worth advertising is, at least in the mind of its creator, a “sufficiently advanced technology,” the marketing of such products benefits by borrowing from the magic industry.

In fact, experts call words such as amazing, magical, and astounding, “stop words.” These are terms and phrases that when included in headlines and headers, cause potential customers to stop [flipping through the magazine or changing channels] and pay attention to the sufficiently advanced technology being advertised.

This is why it is difficult, near impossible, to find an available URL for your magic business that incorporates these stop words; those websites are already being used by the mainstream market.

Porsche’s recent slogan (circa 2011), “Engineered for Magic,” both takes advantage of our industry’s core term and gives credibility to the idea that men only drive a Porsche due to a “wand” complex.

Even non-technological products take from the magic industry’s precious limited vocabulary. Spider-Man is, after all, only “amazing.” The same term used to describe turn-of-the-century baking apparatus.

Magicians have struck back over the years. Magic creators parody the occasional well-known summer blockbuster for their trick’s title or they incorporate popular mainstream products, from playing cards to iPhones, in their routines.

I remember Steve Fearson performing a trick for me while we were hanging out at a magic convention more than a decade ago, when the Internet was still finding its place among the general public. He had me select a card and then go to Oprah’s website, which revealed my card right next to her picture!

Today, there is a constant supply of innovative technology advertised as magic. It is important magicians develop new magic tricks just as quickly, setting the bar for what is magic and what is “like” magic.

In the past, a young kid might say, “I know how you did that, you used one of those fake thu***.” Now days, he will say, “You know, there’s an app for that. And it’s amazing!”

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