Getting the ball rolling

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Guest » 08/29/05 07:23 AM

I am currently working a Monday-through-Thursday full-time job, and trying get a balloons and magic business off the ground. And unless this thing can very suddenly and consistently jump into an annual gross of about 65K, I cant see quitting the day job. Im trying to create a few different party packages, and promote some specialty sculptures. Im in a rapidly growing small to midsize community, with virtually no competition - the flip side is no networking or camaraderie, either.

Id like to hear how others in my position got rolling:
** What did you do to get your name out there?
** How did you decide what to concentrate on, and what to let go by?
** What did you do that you wish you wouldnt have?
** What did you pass up that you wish you would have done?
** If you had to pick the one thing that got you started, what would it be?
** Considering the demands of family, the day job, and the rest of life, how do you keep this thing from taking over? (Especially since it's so much more fun!)

I'd appreciate hearing comments from anyone.

Prof OfWhat
Guest
 

Postby cataquet » 08/29/05 09:11 AM

Prof OfWhat says:
And unless this thing can very suddenly and consistently jump into an annual gross of about 65K, I cant see quitting the day job.
The answer is obvious: Don't quit the day job!

You can spend a huge amount of money getting your name around, but until you start performing, you won't earn a reputation. Until you actually start performing, you won't know what works and doesn't work for you. Reading is one thing; doing is another.

Nonetheless, and this is my biggest point, every success story starts off with the founder working long, hard hours with little pay. Your first and last points clearly indicate that you're not prepared (or able) to make the required sacrifices. Everyone has to pay their dues.
cataquet
 
Posts: 261
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: England

Postby Matthew Field » 08/29/05 10:20 AM

Ian Rowland has just published a new book that might be of interest if you're interested in turning full-time pro.

It's called "Making Money From Magic" by Drew McAdam and is available from www.IanRowland.com where you'll need to answer a question to get to the products area.

It's a serious book and it presumes you are willing to do the work to succeed.

Matt Field
User avatar
Matthew Field
 
Posts: 2460
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hastings, England, UK

Postby Guest » 08/29/05 11:35 AM

Originally posted by Harold Cataquet:
Prof OfWhat says:
And unless this thing can very suddenly and consistently jump into an annual gross of about 65K, I cant see quitting the day job.
The answer is obvious: [b]Don't quit the day job
! [/b]
I was never intending to quit my day job. My intent was to garner advice on getting a part-time weekend business rolling a bit faster than it is at the moment (which is somewhere between leaves rotting and my 14-year-old maturing).

You can spend a huge amount of money getting your name around, but until you start performing, you won't earn a reputation. Until you actually start performing, you won't know what works and doesn't work for you. Reading is one thing; doing is another.
I do perform, but much too occasionally for my tastes. I do have a bit of reputation, but again not as much as I want. I am reading, I am doing, I am learning - and have been for about 6 years or so.

Up to this point, I have been working for and relying on a party service business for bookings. Due to insurance issues, they are no longer employing anyone. That leaves me free to get work on my own. That's a good thing, because I didn't have many referrals through them because they didn't do any agressive marketing.

So now I need to create a marketing plan that will get me where I want to go. I've got some ideas, but I wnated to get others' points of view so I don't try to reinvent the wheel or waste time on what has been proven not to work.

Your first and last points clearly indicate that you're not prepared (or able) to make the required sacrifices.
No - I am not prepared to sacrifice my family and other important things of life for a small slice of success. I will not drive my family into debt of either time or money just to invest in this business venture that may not work out as well as I hope - if inded it works out at all.

I am convinced I can boost it up to a few events a month, rather than a few weeks between events. I am also convinced that I would rather give it up all together than see my wife kids as rarely as I now perform.

Prof OfWhat
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 08/29/05 11:53 AM

Originally posted by Matthew Field:
Ian Rowland has just published a new book that might be of interest if you're interested in turning full-time pro.

It's called "Making Money From Magic" by Drew McAdam and is available from www.IanRowland.com where you'll need to answer a question to get to the products area.

It's a serious book and it presumes you are willing to do the work to succeed.

Matt Field
Thanks, Matt. I'm not interested in "turning full-time pro", but I am interested in doing more than I am now. It seems to be well worth a look. I appreciate the link.

Prof OfWhat
Guest
 

Postby Jeff Haas » 08/29/05 02:01 PM

A good web forum is Dean Hankey's "The Dean's List," where you'll find a lot of performers like yourself discussing the marketing side of magic.

http://www.thedean.net/

There's a ton of info there, you're sure to find help for your plan.

Jeff
Jeff Haas
 
Posts: 919
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: San Mateo, CA

Postby cataquet » 08/31/05 09:58 AM

OfWhat, your initial posting made it sound as though you were thinking of giving up the day job. In reality, all you want to do is add more dates to your calendar.

Given you have a day job, my best advice is to tackle the entertainment field in that area, as you have an expertise. For example, if you're a chemist, you can speak the lingo and (assuming you're good enough) work trade shows. However, trade shows are rarely weekend events, so that's another problem you'll have to deal with.
cataquet
 
Posts: 261
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: England


Return to General