Are you a magician who wants to book gigs?

A week ago I got on the phone with 8 Discourse in Magic fans for about 30 min each to just answer some questions and see what their magic performance and business struggles are like.

Most of the questions were about how to get started booking yourself magic gigs.

It’s entertainments biggest catch 22.

It feels like nobody will hire you since you don’t have great photos, videos, or a website.

But you don’t have great photos, videos or website because nobody will hire you!

It’s easy to get booked with years of performing expirience, but then how does someone without performance expirience start?

I did it 5 years ago.

In 2012 I was working as a full time councillor at a daycamp in the city.

In 2013 I was performing freelance magic at 4 camps for 3-5 days each.

I made just under $3000 in a month and a half.

At the time I had no photos, no videos, no website and the only proof I had that I could do and teach magic at camp was the camp that I was leaving to go do freelance magic.

Here’s how I did it:

The Mindset

I’m not the one to talk about willpower, or mindset or anything else that doesn’t sound and feel totally practical. But I would be remised if I didn’t talk about how the way you think about BEING A magician effects what you do.

One of the hardest parts in going pro in magic is committing to doing it or committing to trying it.

If you’re anything like I was, mentally and publicly you never take a magic career too seriously because you’re worried about what people would think of you if it didn’t work out.

THIS IS A DETRIMENTAL MINDSET

Here’s 3 reasons why:

  1. If you’re going to be on the phone or writing emails trying to sell people on what you do, you have to be confident that you do it well.  People can smell fear and timidness in your voice and in your writing.
  2. Every day that you don’t start taking action will make it harder for you the day that you choose to start. Give yourself a head start. Just start now!
  3. You will only ever be “trying to get booked for the first time” once. Wear it as a badge of honour. Even if you end up being an accountant it’ll be cool that you went full time doing magic for a little bit of your life even if it doesn’t work. Take joy in things being bumpy right now. People stupider, and worse at magic than you have make it through this phase.

Now lets get practical in booking those first few gigs.

Let’s look at the numbers

You have to promise not to get discouraged, because as sad as the number look, stick with me, at the end of this post I have some tips.

 

I booked 4 camps in 2013, the first summer I went freelance:

 

1 was the camp I had worked at as a councillor the previous summer

1 was from a connection I had to a camp I went to as a camper

2 came from the nearly 150 e-mails I sent to different potential summer camps.

What are industry standards?

On average. Cold e-mail or phone calling (calling or emailings strangers in your market to hire you) has a 1-5% success rate

What that means is for every 100 people you contact, on average 1 – 5 might say yes and book you

I sent about 150 emails.

2/150 = 1.33333

Which is between 1-5%…Industry standard.

No matter how you slice it you have to contact a TON of people to book your first few gigs.

There is no way around it.

Think about it. Out of how many people that call your house for window and door cleaning or duct cleaning do you accept?

For me it’s probably about 1% or 1 out of every 100 (actually more like 0)


There are two strategies for magicians to focus on

If were going to sell 100 people on magic. We assume 1-5% are going to say yes. So we can focus on collecting more contacts.

OR

Our success rate.

See…theres something I left out.

How’s your email writing skills?

It’s true that the email I sent out to 150 camps converted on average 1.3%. Which is a number within industry standard.

But it can get better!

It’s also a critical thing to focus on.

The email that I wrote to 150 camps SUCKED!

Think about it, what if we decide to email SMART.

If you can write a better email, or know what to say over the phone. Then we can change from a 1% conversion rate to make a 5% conversion rate or 10% or 50%!

There is no maximum to how amazing of a message you can send someone.

1 person books us for every 100 that we reach out to. Or 14 could book us from that same 100. 

Working on your outreach skills is arguably the most important think you can focus on in your magic business.

Here’s one way to do it right:

  1. Don’t go right for the gig: No matter what email you send to someone for the first time about magic, nobody is going to say “you’re hired!”. Instead, they’re going to ask for more info, they might have to talk to the people in charge, they might have to think about it, plenty of different reasons. SO. Instead of saying: “Hi, hire me”, you can send a personalized email to them, and help establish a relationship. It’s easy to reply to an email and make friends with someone. It’s much harder to get someone to immediately want to pay you money.

Understanding what to focus on in the beginning can make all the difference in succeeding and failing in your magic career.

Eventually, you’re going to want to have great photos, videos and a great website.

But getting a website before you have the content to fill it could be a giant waste of your time (and money).

Instead, you need to focus on the things that matter: Where to collect contacts from, what to write in the e-mails you send them, how long to wait before you follow up, what you should attach in that email, how social media helps and hurts, and how to focus, etc….

Luckily I turned this process into a fun 4 day challenge.

It all starts October 3rd. You can sign up by clicking this link, go sign up and you’ll be a part of a free challenge alongside hundreds of magicians to book 4 gigs in 4 days.

As a matter of fact thats what I called it

4gigsin4days.com

Go sign-up before October 3rd, and let me teach you the intricate details, answer any questions you have, and help you book 4 gigs in 4 days.

See you inside!

-Jonah

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