Guest Author - Joann Stewart
It seems most entertainers struggle to fill their calendars with paying gigs.
Thousands of dollars are spent on get rich programs that promise the secret to a full schedule. Even after flying around the country to seminars, many performers find their schedule is empty.
The real secret to getting bookings as a magician is direct mail coupled with phone calls. Ultimately, there is no other way. This is the secret to getting all the work you need. Waiting on people to call from your advertising is slow, and you have no real control over it. With direct mail, you are in charge.
This system is three stepped:
Obtain your mailing list
Send your package to qualified leads
Phone your leads
YOUR MAILING LIST can be rented from a reliable, professional broker. You can determine the zip codes and other pertinent factors to target you market. Talk to your mailing list broker.
Your list can also be obtained from the local yellow pages. Internet yellow pages will give you listings of every library in your state.
YOUR MAILING PACKAGE should always include a sales letter. A brochure can also be enclosed, but the sales letter is the most important part of your package. This letter introduces you and the benefits hiring you has to the prospect. It must be custom designed for your market. Your brochure will have more details for the prospects, but the sales letter is the attention getter. People will not read your brochure unless you give them a reason to - that is what the sales letter accomplishes. Your brochure should also be specific to the prospect. If you do library shows, birthday parties and school programs, have a separate brochure for each. This allows you to always look like a specialist and not a "jack-of-all-trades."
Hint: use first class mail. Bulk mail looks like junk mail, and unless you have a super catchy envelope, they will toss you, either into the garbage, or to the bottom of a pile.
TELEPHONE YOUR LEADS: 5-7 days after your mailing call everyone who you sent a package to. It may help to spread out your mailing so you can call over several days.
When you telephone, ask for the person you need to speak to. Usually this is the person in charge of children's programs. It may help before calling to make PREVIEW CALLS," just to learn the name of the decision maker. When previewing your list, do not explain why you are calling or speak to that person. Only get the name so when you do call, you know who to ask for. It gives the appearance you are familiar with or to the business. I suggest previewing your list before mailing your packets, and that way you will know who to address your package to. This is a lot of work, but booking shows is work.
When you call, ask them if they received your packet. Even if they did not, explain who you are and what you do. Write out a script listing the points you want to cover. You are looking for a booking, so be sure to close the show while you have them on the phone.
If you have an interested party, and you cannot close, now is the time to offer a free preview video, or other information you may have. Sending them anything gives you the right to call again to see if they received it. Keep those doors open. At the very least, find out when is a good time to call back, be it a week, a month or next year.
WORK YOUR LIST: You have now invested many hours and dollars in creating a list of prospects. Be sure to call back those who provide a call back time. Every prospect should be contacted again in 3-6 months. Send a follow-up sales letter, which of course means another phone call. If you develop a new program or add a new illusion to your act, contact them. If you read of an upcoming event they may be hosting, contact them - they need a magician. Tell them why they need a magician. Stay in touch. When people know your name, you are the one they will call when they need an entertainer or speaker.
I hope this information helps you to get busy. If I can be of any help, please email me.