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 Post subject: A question for kyle the great and other kids show performers
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:14 pm 
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Joined: 21 Aug 2005
Posts: 56
How did you start getting your name out there? and did your first show go well?


Perry75K


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:22 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 23 Jul 2004
Posts: 2440
Location: NJ
i am still trying to get my word out as much as kyle, but i started by getting buisness cards. i handed these out everywhere. i did family friend birthday parties and i gave buisness cards out there. a kid would meet me at that show and hire me, then i would go to his party and give out more buisness cards. and eventually i got pretty well known around my town and a town next to mine. i so far have done a little more then 10 shows.

hope this helps.

ben winter


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:44 pm 
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Wow! It's been so long since I started that I really can't remember. I do remember performing at a school talent show and it went over really well. Parent were in attendance and I started getting calls for birthday parties. I had more than enough material for children's parties at that time and I produced a pretty good show.

From there, word of mouth took over. I was asked to perform at a telethon, and that produced a whole bunch of bookings. I was even hired to do a shopping mall opening.

All of this happened within a period of about 2 years. Once I started to realize I could actually make some money with this stuff, I decided to take more of a business approach to it. So, I developed a business plan, had professional cards printed, and developed my advertising and promotional materials.

As time goes by, word of mouth continues to grow and your abilities continue to improve. Every year, I revisit my business plan and adjust it to achieve my more immediate goals. Anyways, that's how I got started.

Kent


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 9:40 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 14 Aug 2005
Posts: 2705
Location: San Antonio, TX
business cards and your name in the phone book.


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 Post subject: '
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 11:46 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 04 Aug 2003
Posts: 2171
Location: Loveland,Ohio (Cincy)
Business cards is a must..now! The phone book is great but it's not cheap. You may have to wait until you get alittle cash flow going before you get into that.
Make up fliers and take them around and put them on doors or outside of mail boxes. Put your card on boards in stores that allows advertising.
Any party you do hand out ad material. Color pages, business cards. Go to places where crowds of families gather i.e. parks. Do small magic or just hand out your card. You can put them on the windshields of cars at the park or children stores...Toys R' Us.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 2:55 pm 
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Team Penguin

Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 1854
Location: Georgia
Okay...I advertise a lot...but a lot in different ways...and I have done different things over the years.

The best means of advertisement is word of mouth. Do a few free shows (charity type...nursing homes, hospitals, etc) and get some people talking. Have a friend of yours attend the shows and take pictures and gather quotes. Then write an article and send in photos and the article to the local news papers. The editors will put them in. THis will be a good start.

Flyers-they work a little... I used to use them...but not anymore. People just seem to hate to see a piece of paper stuck on their windshield when they come out of a store or leave an event. To me...when somebody hands me a flyer...it is almost like them saying "Here...you throw this away for me!"

Business Cards-do like me and you get away much cheaper...make your own business cards on the computer. Get the printable business card sheets from wal-mart (the ones without prefferated edges [they look more professional (one (f))]) Don't make the card too busy...but make it attractive and clear.

T-Shirts- I had my own T-shirts printed with my logo, slogan, and contact information on the back, and a picture and my name on the front "The Magic of Kyle Jarrard". They are a goldish yellow color and I wear them all the time in public.

Parades-This is a biggy! I book more shows through parades than anything else besides word of mouth! Ride in your local parades throwing out playing cards with a sticker version of your business cards (which you also make on the computer). Throw out as many cards as possible! DUring parades, I ride in the back of my truck or "Magicmobile" with kids sitting in the back also throwing out candy, wearing top hats, and waving wands. Walking along the sides of the trucks are family and friends handing out cards with business information on them and candy. Everyone is wearing one of my T-Shirts. I play the Six Flags Theme song over my LOUD sound system to get everyone moving to the beat. I wear my costume, shoot large party poppers, and throw cards into the crowds. Withing the 1st week of the 1st parade, I booked 9 SHOWS!!! People continued to call and told me that they caught one of my cards.

Ads in local free magazines and classified papers will nag a few shows.

Ads in family magazines are pricey but they get quite a few.

Yellow pages are okay...never did me much good.

Business Packets-If you want to start doing bigger shows such as elementary schools, festivals, and other large events/venues, form yourself a business packet that has promo photos, contact and show information in them. Clients think these are very impressive and they love to get them in the mail.

Just recently, I have been using a web site. It has gotten me a few calls and basically lists everything my business packet does. (with more photos of course)

At a show, give out cards like crazy...the kids will love them and everyone will want one to take home.

ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS...ask people who call you where they got your name from or heard about you at...this way you can determine what means of advertisement works best for you!

There are sooooooo many different ways to advertise...you really have to try several ways to see what works best in your area. Getting your name out is the hardest thing to do/part of this business. It will cost you some money$$$$ to advertise...more money than you probably think...but look at it like this...it takes money to make money, and with time, you will make the money back and then some that it took for you to advertise.

Good Luck!


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 Post subject: '
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 10:12 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 04 Aug 2003
Posts: 2171
Location: Loveland,Ohio (Cincy)
I have to agree flyers will get you a few jobs, for someone new trying to get your name out there it's fine, but then other methods work better. I'm suprised Kyle didn't have a lot of calls from the phone book. I just have a small add and I get about 30% of my gigs from there.
Parades are great. Being in the Shriner's we go to lots of parades. While I'm in the crowds doing walk around stuff I am also handing out about two hundred cards. Lots of good advertising with that.


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 Post subject: promo
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 1:32 pm 
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Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Posts: 227
Location: New England
Wow, Kyle, gou gave me lots of GREAT ideas. For some reason, I never thought of parades...as well, the idea of putting printed stickers on actual playing cards is really good...

I'd have to disagree, though, with one (small) point in your post. I think you should have promo materials, and especially business cards, done as professionaly as possible. Now that there are lots of really inexpensive, online print companies (my favorite is vistaprint.com), you can have full-color cards done professionaly (on a press) for incredibly little amounts of money. I just had 1,000 cards printed in color, with printing on both sides, as well as 50 full-color refrigerator magnets. The cost, including shipping? $70. I'm a graphics design student and I work as a designer for a national company, and trust me, 90% of professionals (whom most of your clients will probably be) can tell the difference between a home-printed and professionaly printed card immediately!

Well, so much for my own two cents. Again, Kyle, thanks for the post - it gave me lots of ideas, as your posts usually do...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:53 pm 
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Team Penguin

Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 1854
Location: Georgia
You're welcome...I hope the information helps you.

When I said you can make your own business cards, of course I meant do a professional job at it. My business packets were written as professionally as possible and then checked by an English teacher with a doctor's degree on the subject.

My business cards are also professional in the sense of style and looks. They are well made, and look just as good as many other professional (company printed) cards.

If you were thinking that my business cards are playing cards then let me clear up what I might have confused you with...they playing cards with business card stickers on the backs are for parades only...they are much cheaper and easier to throw out. Any other time, I give out my professional business card.

Of course everything should look professional...and that is what I said, so I really don't see what you mean when you said you would have to disagree with one small part of my post.

Just because you make something yourself, does not make it unprofessional :wink:


Last edited by KyletheGreat on Sat Oct 22, 2005 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 11:16 am 
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Joined: 27 Feb 2003
Posts: 35
Location: Arvada, Colorado
I was thinking to have like a coloring page with a cool picture for the kids to color, maybe a picture/drawing of something in the show like joker tube or roxie raccoon. Something that they will remember you by and then have your contact info at the bottom.
I have not tried this yet because I'm still working on putting my show together but let me know what you guys think.


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 Post subject: '
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:13 am 
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born to perform.

Joined: 04 Aug 2003
Posts: 2171
Location: Loveland,Ohio (Cincy)
Rox,
A coloring page is a very good idea. I had this girl who is an artist draw up a coloring page of my show, it's a replica of me and the set up I have. On it is contact info, all kids at the show get it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 3:14 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 04 Jul 2004
Posts: 701
Not the phone book! Who looks in the phone book? Honestly...


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 Post subject: '
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 4:05 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 04 Aug 2003
Posts: 2171
Location: Loveland,Ohio (Cincy)
Yes the phone book. Like I said, I probably get approx. 30% of my business from the book. You don't need to spend hundreds on a big elaborate add, just your name & phone number.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 8:09 pm 
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born to perform.

Joined: 03 Aug 2005
Posts: 1934
Location: ~looney~ veggies are good when they dance mommy! i like dancing!!!! sjfgdfyfydxyhdfydgpenguinnnnnnnn
KyletheGreat wrote:
Okay...I advertise a lot...but a lot in different ways...and I have done different things over the years.

The best means of advertisement is word of mouth. Do a few free shows (charity type...nursing homes, hospitals, etc) and get some people talking. Have a friend of yours attend the shows and take pictures and gather quotes. Then write an article and send in photos and the article to the local news papers. The editors will put them in. THis will be a good start.

Flyers-they work a little... I used to use them...but not anymore. People just seem to hate to see a piece of paper stuck on their windshield when they come out of a store or leave an event. To me...when somebody hands me a flyer...it is almost like them saying "Here...you throw this away for me!"

Business Cards-do like me and you get away much cheaper...make your own business cards on the computer. Get the printable business card sheets from wal-mart (the ones without prefferated edges [they look more professional (one (f))]) Don't make the card too busy...but make it attractive and clear.

T-Shirts- I had my own T-shirts printed with my logo, slogan, and contact information on the back, and a picture and my name on the front "The Magic of Kyle Jarrard". They are a goldish yellow color and I wear them all the time in public.

Parades-This is a biggy! I book more shows through parades than anything else besides word of mouth! Ride in your local parades throwing out playing cards with a sticker version of your business cards (which you also make on the computer). Throw out as many cards as possible! DUring parades, I ride in the back of my truck or "Magicmobile" with kids sitting in the back also throwing out candy, wearing top hats, and waving wands. Walking along the sides of the trucks are family and friends handing out cards with business information on them and candy. Everyone is wearing one of my T-Shirts. I play the Six Flags Theme song over my LOUD sound system to get everyone moving to the beat. I wear my costume, shoot large party poppers, and throw cards into the crowds. Withing the 1st week of the 1st parade, I booked 9 SHOWS!!! People continued to call and told me that they caught one of my cards.

Ads in local free magazines and classified papers will nag a few shows.

Ads in family magazines are pricey but they get quite a few.

Yellow pages are okay...never did me much good.

Business Packets-If you want to start doing bigger shows such as elementary schools, festivals, and other large events/venues, form yourself a business packet that has promo photos, contact and show information in them. Clients think these are very impressive and they love to get them in the mail.

Just recently, I have been using a web site. It has gotten me a few calls and basically lists everything my business packet does. (with more photos of course)

At a show, give out cards like crazy...the kids will love them and everyone will want one to take home.

ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS...ask people who call you where they got your name from or heard about you at...this way you can determine what means of advertisement works best for you!

There are sooooooo many different ways to advertise...you really have to try several ways to see what works best in your area. Getting your name out is the hardest thing to do/part of this business. It will cost you some money$$$$ to advertise...more money than you probably think...but look at it like this...it takes money to make money, and with time, you will make the money back and then some that it took for you to advertise.

Good Luck!


Wow. how much must that cost? I mean, you said a little spending money but cmon! that must cost hundreds of $$$$$!!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 8:31 pm 
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Penguin

Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 32
Location: SouthEast
Word of Mouth is more powerful than anything else that has worked for me when it comes to kids parties. Also, where I live, we have a network of magicians that if they are booked on an occasion, then pass the show to another magician of equal stature. Seems to be great. Booked all the time. Advertising in Yellow pages never really works to great because you get a bunch of calls that are really useless. Some get sticker shocked, and others have no idea what exactly they are looking for.
Word of mouth is powerful because people have seen you perform and are willing to tell their friends about it. "A person would rather buy from someone who has already bought from you." - In other words, someone has already done the shopping, and other come to buy the same thing because they see their friends with it.

When starting out, you HAVE to put yourself out there somehow, but then always hand out business cards, and send thank you notes to the client with another business card. Make sure the letter/Card is catchy, and that way they will keep it longer.

Even a better idea is to take a digital photo with the birthday child, and have it printed 4 x 6 or 5 x 7, and send it along with a "thank you" note. They are sure to keep it, and when people ask, they will give you an instant referal without even knowing it (write your info on the back so they dont forget your name!!) - That is just a hint for those starting off in this business *smile*


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