Step 1: Start a Podcast and make 37ish Episodes
Step 2: Email them
Step 3: Ask them to come on your show and then ask them whatever you want
I’m Joking! But let’s see where this takes us…
If you’re reading this, you can get magicians to chat with you about whatever you want, without starting a podcast!
To make it easy let’s start at step 2 because that’s the important one. Then we can talk about 1 and 3.
Step 2 is what really matters:
How Do you Email a Magician you admire to ask them a question.
I’m assuming that if you’re reading this you either aren’t emailing your favourite magicians to ask them questions or you are, but they aren’t answering. (Or you could be reading this for pleasure or because you read everything I write: HI DAD).
If you aren’t Emailing anyone, you should! You can become great friends over the internet!
If you are Emailing them, and nobody is answering then you’re doing something wrong.
Here’s my proven* Email structure:
*(It works for me a ton, but of course not always)
Intro, Request with context, Compliment, Simplify, Pre-answer Objection. (In no particular order)
Here’s an example from a recent Guest (I blanked out some details, but this is how it went)
Hey XXX. My name is Jonah I’m a huge fan of your work. Me and my partner have a magic podcast discourse in magic (www.discourseinmagic.com). This month the theme of the episodes is “XXXXXXXX”. We would love to have you on an episode? Would you be interested. (We’re in Toronto, but we record over skype, so you can be anywhere in the world at any time)
See if you can spot each part. The intro, the request with context, compliment, simplification and removing objections
It’s mega important that you introduce yourself. Do the best that you can to give a related description of who you are. By related I mean mention something notable you’ve done, some source they could know you from or namedrop people if you have to. You need to give the person context as to who you are.
I know namedropping sounds childish, but if it’s the only thing you have, you need to give them a lens to view you with, and often that’s a person you know which gives them context.
For the first dozen or so episodes of the podcast my emails would include the names of the highest profile guests we had recorded at the time (Steven Brundage, Patrick Kun, Lee Asher, etc…)
You should always tell the person you’re about to ask advice/favour from that you enjoy what they do. You don’t have to, but think about if you were that person. They should know that you’re coming from a place of wanting to learn instead of wanting to challenge. I also hope that you’re reaching out to people who you do actually look up to. That’s the point of this whole thing. If you’re going to email someone to insult them, this is not the advice blog for you
Request with Context
Now you get to ask them the thing that you wanted
This is often the difficult part because when you’re asking someone to help you, participate in something with you, or do something for you they need to understand the context.
You need to always Imagine them asking the question in their head “why would I do this”
For example they’re more inclined to do something if you need it from them specifically. Give them a reason why it’s important that it’s them and not someone else.
Another example of context is if there’s inherent benefit to them. When we’re asking people on to the podcast I imagine they understand that they get a certain level of exposure, and a platform to share their ideas.
I’ve even asked notable magicians of social media to share content of mine online.
But think about it; If you’re prominent on social media sharing related things and someone hands you free great amazing content for you to share. That could be a valuable thing for you instead of a favour for them.
We often think that explaining our point, question or idea in as many words as possible allows our reader to truly understand every detail of what we mean.
The truth is it doesn’t.
A long message is daunting for someone to read and reply to. It’s likely they won’t do either.
Short messages are easy to consume.
Long messages are sent from people who have time to sit down and craft 6 paragraphs of detail on their subject.
Short messages are from family, friends and busy business people
The shorter and simpler you’re message can be (while including these things) the better.
If you can guess what they’re first questions and initial responses are going to be and answer them upfront you will appear more prepared, and get less rejections
For me the number one reply I get to asking people on the podcast is: where in the world we are (as in they think the recording is in person), and how long it will take. I try to answer those BOTH up front. All they have left to say is YES.
There you go you now know how to send an email that get’s replied to by your favourite people in magic
“But what about step 1 and 3”
Okay here they are reader who probably wasen’t wondering about 1 and 3.
Step 1: Start a podcast and record 36ish episodes
Obviously this was a joke. Please don’t start a magic podcast just to talk to magicians you look up to, there’s an easier way.
BUT, the idea has value.
When you tell someone who you are, and you can provide a link to a sea of your content, they understand that you aren’t just a random kid learning magic for the first time stumbling upon their name.
If you want your questions answered by other magicians it wills surely help to be googleable. Even if all you have to link to is a youtube channel with a few videos, a page with some blog posts, a free trick, a magic website or even a magic Facebook page.
Having a body of work is the easiest way to be taken seriously in a field of your interest.
If you don’t have a body of work, or don’t have body of work you’re proud of you can stick to namedropping people who do, who you’ve worked with.
Step 3: Ask them to come on the show and then ask them whatever you want
Here’s how this can be applied to you!
See if you can have a conversation instead of having them answer 1 question. For someone to type out an answer to an email takes a crazy amount of effort, compared to having a conversation on the phone.
If you can get somebody on the phone or Skype talking about the things that they love (magic) getting them to answer your question in detail is going to be no problem.
Replying over email takes not only more effort, but you might feel bad replying to that email with even more questions, whereas in a conversation it’s the most natural thing to do.
See if you can meetup, get on skype or do something longer than 1 question. Interview for a project, an idea related to one they’ve created you need to show them on skype, get creative
Secret Step 4: Mind the Medium
The younger the person is, the more likely I will reach them over inbox on their top social media platform then I will with email.
When in Rome…
It works. But the older they are, the more you should stick to email.
Don’t be afraid to message them on different platforms. Just not all at the same time.
When in Rome…
Let’s summarize so that you can actually take action and send some emails:
- Have a body of work – I promise you that if you have something to show for yourself you’re going to get a ton more replies from people you look up to than you wiould if you’re ungooglable. (Not to mention you’ll have context for needing the help of other magicians)
- Send a good email – Pro’s get dozens if not hundreds of emails a day. You need to use all of the tools I gave you (and whatever else you can imagine) to get them to actually answer your emails
- Get yourself a conversation instead of getting yourself an answer – Get someone talking about what they enjoy, and you can have any question you want answered by anyone. But ask 1 specific question and anything more than that is going to be like pulling teeth
- Secret step 4 – Don’t be afraid to use social media for one of its major uses. To connect with others with similar interests as you do.
There you have it that’s it!
Now you know enough to start talking to your favourite magicians about the questions you’ve always had. If you thought that this was valuable, or maybe you’re looking for even more examples because your not ready yet I made something special.
I made a pdf with 1 email template and 5 actual emails I’ve sent (details blocked out) for guests to come on the podcast!
If you want the template and example emails just put in your email below and we’ll send you the pdf!