Guest Author - Dennis Regling
Oh no! Times are getting tough.
For many entertainers, it becomes an excuse for failure. They expect to do poorly, and they do.
Sure, vacation spending will be down. Folks may spend a less on entertainment. Some venues may dry up.
But, folks love to be entertained. In hard times, they need it so much more. Their entertainment budget may be smaller, but most folks will still be spending money.
Your job is to find the need and meet it.
It must be understood, people buy solutions. You need to be the solution.
Mom and Dad can't afford the big party for their kid's birthday party at World of Wonder Amusement Park. So they decide to hold a back yard event. The smart birthday party magician becomes the alternative for the budget conscious parent.
Restaurants have a decline in business, so the close-up entertainer is the solution for drawing in more customers. Restaurants need to add more value to the dining experience for their customer, as they raise prices on their menu. A strolling magician can be the additional draw that keeps the restaurant busy.
Fairs & Festivals will be looking for shows for their events. But they may not be in a position to hire the $3000 a day hypnotist or $5000 a show band. A top notch magic show and maybe a few hours of strolling magic thrown in becomes an attraction the fair can promote to draw crowds. Price yourself at a fair price and you can pick up these gigs. Most magicians can bring a good show for half the cost of a music group.
But what if you have a large illusion show with three assistants, two tigers, and a fleet of semis? Maybe the right price for your show is $5000. Do you sell yourself short? No. Discount performers hurt everybody.
Unfortunately, too many people that call themselves entertainers market themselves based solely on price. The clown who does birthday parties for $75 where the average birthday performer is getting $225 and up. The magician who works restaurants just for tips, when a good strolling magician can earn $35 to $10 per hour depending on the market.
You can position yourself as the lower cost alternative to other forms of entertainment. That's good business. Do not become the cheap magician though. That hurts everyone's business.
Quite frankly, the smart entertainer will be able to raise their fees during hard times. The secret is to offer more bang for the buck.
Take for example, the birthday party magician. His target is parents who want to spend a little less on their child's party than the extravagance of an amusement park or renting a bowling alley. The parents want to things: they want their kid happy and they don't want to have to do the work.
So by adding some pluses to your birthday party package, you can be the complete solution. Provide goody bags, lead the kids in games, plan and provide the complete party. There is a market for this.
Do you entertain at fairs? Keep your fee where it is, but throw in some strolling performance for a discounted price.Be the best value for the entertainment dollar. Best value, not lowest priced.
Restaurant performers can add to their value and help their clients to succeed. Provide posters and coloring sheets for the establishment. Help them to promote your presence. Provide little magic tricks the customers can show their friends. Of course, put the restaurant's name on the item. When the customer shows their friends the trick, they also promote the restaurant where they saw the magician.
The trade show magician can do the same thing. Provide attractive magical giveaways for your client. Provide more bang for the buck without cutting your fees.
When times get tough, people are still spending money. Maybe not as many and maybe not as much, but the money still flows.
Your job as a professional entertainer is to position yourself where the money is flowing. Become a lower cost alternative to, or provide more value for the dollar and you will get your share of the business.