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

On Location at MagicDealers.com

magicdealers-300x170MagicDealers.com is a directory of magic related websites. I’ve had the pleasure to work on the site and help out with promotions. With my help, MagicDealers.com has skyrocketed back to the top of search engines and is getting a ton of traffic. If you get a chance, check it out.

Recently, the buzz peeked the interest of Vanish Magazine. They came to our offices for an interview. You can get a copy here: Vanish Magazine #10

Below is our interview:

Gerald Kirchner, CEO of one of the largest magic distributors in the world, made it his mission to find potential customers and deliver them to magic stores. The result is a website that is quickly becoming popular among magic suppliers.

“I go to bed each night thinking about magic shops,” Gerald said. “These places are owned and operated by people who work hard to deliver magic to every inch of the Earth. I wake up in the morning and imagine ways to make life better for that community.”

Gerald isn’t alone. There is a growing number of magic store owners who understand the value of networking. Those of us in the magic business—my fellow dealers, wholesalers, and manufacturers—are a family of distant relatives. Gerald’s new directory, MagicDealers.com, is like a family reunion, or an ongoing dealers room from your favorite convention.

“I go to bed each night thinking about magic shops…”

I visited Gerald at his office at Magic City—wholesalemagic.com—two massive warehouses filled from top to bottom with millions of dollars worth of magic books, DVD’s, the latest tricks and classic staple magic. It’s aisle after aisle of the world’s best magic.

Hanging on the wall behind his desk are Gerald’s favorite tricks—items he produced in his twenty-one years at Magic City—now celebrating their 40th year in the magic business.

I said, “Gerald, it’s like the most creative magicians in the world exploded in your office. There are cool toys and magic everywhere.”

“Yes, there’s a lot of history in this room,” Gerald said. “My dad, Chuck Kirchner, sat in this chair for over thirty years. He helped mold the magic business as we know it today.”

“I hate to reveal this to you,” I said, “but after listing my site in the MagicDealers directory, it quickly became my number one magic-related traffic source.”

Gerald explained, “That’s not a surprise. I hear that from many of the certified dealers listed in the directory. The website gets a tremendous amount of targeted traffic and we aim it at magic stores who want new customers.”

“Gerald, it’s like the most creative magicians in the world exploded in your office. There are cool toys and magic everywhere.”

“How do you deliver results so quickly? What makes people click my link?”

“It doesn’t always work that quickly,” Gerald said. “But I try to ensure it happens eventually. Every dollar that comes into the directory is spent in advertising our members. We run Facebook and Twitter campaigns for our dealer pages, plus we tap a few traffic sources I don’t want to make public.”

“Pretend I’ve never heard of MagicDealers.com. What is it?”

Gerald took a sip of his coffee and said, “MagicDealers is the world’s fastest growing magic directory. We don’t have every dealer listed yet, but we’re working hard to find them and deliver them a whole new customer base.”

Aaron Smith: Why should people list their site in the directory?

Gerald Kirchner: Everyone can use new customers, readers, or clients. The directory funnels those prospects to its members. Traffic pours into our site from search engines, social media platforms, and our proprietary sources. Our goal is to deliver actual, paying customers; people looking to buy magic tricks right now.

AS: Who can join MagicDealers.com?

GK: The site is for anybody with magic-related services they want to promote. Performers, dealers, manufacturers, magic magazines and news sites, really anyone in the community. The best part is, you don’t even need a website. You can use MagicDealers as your website.

AS: How much does it cost to become a member?

GK: Right now, you can have a listing in the directory for $99 per year (Magic Shops) $25 per year (Magicians).  That price may go up next year. Additional tools, such as promotional sales throughout the website and key features hidden within your listing, are available for premium members for just $99 per month. Premium members also get a discount from the Acme Magic Banner Exchange, only $25 per month for full rotation. Acme has now served over thirteen million banners on magic websites, so it’s a tremendous offer.

AS: A hundred dollars for a lifetime listing is a good deal. How does a magic shop or magician get listed in the directory?

GK: It’s easy. Go to the website, magicdealers.com, and click “Get Listed.” Fill out the form with your information and submit it for certification.

AS: You mentioned certification again. How are magic dealers in the directory certified?

GK: We verify the information provided by every dealer. I don’t have a way of guaranteeing it at this point, but we make sure the store is legitimate as best as possible. Honestly, not every magic store makes it through. I have to be able to go to your site or visit your establishment and know that you are an actual store. Sometimes it’s obvious the site isn’t real. If they claim to have every product distributed by Magic City for instance, but haven’t ever bought from us, I know they’re not real. Sometimes I have to call around and check references. I do what I can without being overly-demanding for information.

AS: But what if I’m traveling and don’t want to navigate the site to find a dealer?

GK: There are two mobile options to access our complete list of magic dealers in real-time. You can download the “Magic Dealers” app from the App Store on any IOS device, such as your iPhone or iPad, or from Google Play for any Android device. Our app had over 400 downloads in the first week. It’s very popular.

AS: That’s a lot of downloads for a directory app. Congratulations. Other than the app and website, how can I find out about new stores on MagicDealers.com?

GK: You can follow us @magicdealers1 on Twitter and like our Facebook page at facebook.com/magicdealers — we keep both sites up-to-date with the newest additions to the MagicDealers family

.AS: I noticed that MagicDealers.com is sort of it’s own little world. Sites within a site.

GK: Just like Facebook and Twitter, MagicDealers is a form of social media that shouldn’t be ignored. Google, Bing, and Yahoo rely heavily on directories like ours for content and current information. My advice to magic stores, creators, and performers is to get listed in the directory right now. Don’t wait. Join now. Keep your listing updated with all of your current promotions. You have a whole new place from which to draw traffic. To get customers. To make sales.

AS: One last question. Is that a Klingon Bat’leth on your desk?

GK: [smiling] Yes. Yes it is. I use it as a letter opener.

Source: VanishLive.com

 

Dotcha! Magic and Mayhem with the iPhone

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I love phone tricks. I have five DVDs available on the subject! I also have a book devoted to iPhone tricks and gags entitled, Magic and Mayhem with the iPhone. It doesn’t have a release date yet, but it’s coming soon. Stay tuned!

Since I’m always on my iphone, I thought, why not try and come up with a fun little gag to share here on the blog? I use iMessage a lot and so I decided to play around with that. What’s my least favorite part about texting? The waiting for a reply, of course. You know, the three dancing dots that pop up as the person you’re texting is texting you back. I’ve had to stare at those three dancing dots many times. That got me thinking, wouldn’t it be funny if you could just leave that text bubble floating there? How long would someone sit waiting for a text that wasn’t ever coming? Turns out, people will wait an almost unbearably long time. It’s pretty funny. As you can imagine, I proceeded to torture friends and family with this gif for days.

text1

I created the Dotcha! gif on Photoshop. The initial image was good, but I wanted to see if I could find a better image elsewhere. Google didn’t have the images I was looking for, but I did find a post on cnet by Jason Cipriani describing the same idea. He almost had it right. What’s the difference? His bubble gif does not look like the iMessage bubble gif. So close!

I’m offering it here to all those who love mischief and pranks for free. Enjoy!

Click Here to Download your copy of Dotcha! by Gerald Kirchner, It’s FREE!

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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?

Did You Know: Find Magic Dealers Right in the Palm of Your Hands?

 

Magic in the palm of your hands.

Magic in the palm of your hands.

TheSocialMediaPartner.com has joined forces with Magicdealers.com to bring the ultimate magic resource right to your smartphone.

The Magic Dealer App is your handheld resource for Magic Dealers, Latest Magical Effects, Profiles, Convention News, Reviews and More. With our app stay on top of the latest magic news, find the hottest new trick or lecture. You can also join our mailing list and stay on top of all the current happenings in the world of magic.

If you would like to download this Fantastic FREE app search Magic Dealers on iTunes or Google Play and see what your missing!

For Apple iPhone users: Click Here

For Android Phones: Click Here

Magic Chatters: An Untapped Traffic Source

Magic Chatters: An Untapped Traffic Source

Introducing the official MagicWholesale magic chat room! wholesalemagic.com has teamed up with Cybergician—the premier new magic chat community—to deliver our clients an untapped traffic source.

One of the challenges of lone chatrooms scattered across the Internet is that they do not have enough chatters at any given time to keep momentum. Online magic shops, for instance, may only have a few visitors who want to chat throughout the day. When potential chatters get to the chatroom the chat is empty, so they just leave.

Collectively, there are hundreds of magicians who want to chat about this subject we all love—magic! If we have several sites all feeding the same chat, we will pool together one large group of magicians.

That’s why MagicDealers has partnered with Cybergician. Their non-profit business model is unique and fills a valuable niche. Cybergician doesn’t advertise on their own site, but they will build you a custom interface that you can link to and advertise your products and services all you want.

Everyone with a custom site shares the same group of online magicians in which to fill the chat; to keep the momentum.

What does it mean for our group of certified magic stores? Magic Dealers now have a place to meet up with current customers, plus gather new customers! You can chat with fellow magicians through our custom branded interface, or create your own custom chatroom and link to it on your site.

We are one of the very first affiliates to join this massive project and I think it will be big! You can be apart of the magic. Click here to contact me and I will create for you a custom chatroom for your website.

Click here to chat!

Join us on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook

At Magic City, we like to engage with our customers and colleagues. Please follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel so that we can stay in touch. Plus, you’ll be the first to get all the latest product news and industry information.

Twitter Click Here

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Like us on Facebook! Click Here!

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Subscribe to our Youtube channel!

 

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Magic Banner Exchange

While you are here you can even click the link above and join the Acme Magic Banner Exchange. They are a FREE banner exchange for your website. Free advertising is always cool!

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