From Next Time to See You Tonight!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by William Draven, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. So I've been noticing a trend with my friends and family in the past, oh I don't know year or so. I've got quite an impressive social network, I know a lot of people, so when I have shows coming up I hear a lot of lip service.

    "Oh William, you're great! I am so sorry I missed your last show. When is your next? Thanks, I'll be there!"

    Have you ever heard something similar to that? People asking when your next show is, and then wanting to attend? Maybe even they bother you for a comp? But what happens the day of?

    "Oh I'm sorry Will, I can't make it. I've got to go home and wax the cat." Or something equally important. How on earth do I convert my existing err lets call it "fan base" into a motivated group of people whose lives will not be complete until they've seen my next show?
  2. They burn diamonds at the Kimberley diamond mine.

    My friends are always asking me, or just dropping hints that they want me to do some magic. Usually at parties or at poker night. I've performed for most of them once, some of them twice and alot of them haven't seen me perform pro-bono at all. I believe that is why they ask. They want it because it's uncommon for me to perform when I'm not working. The less available something is, the more value it has.

    So they burn diamonds at the Kimberley diamond mine.

    With you William I dont suspect it is a classic case of friends and family being sick of seeing cards, or are sick of you trying out new effects on them, as with plenty of magicians. I suspect it may actually be down to your success. If you have a constant stream of shows to invite them to this will be a factor. A steady stream of shows makes your act less exclusive, it doesn't take away from it at all, but it is undoubtedly less exclusive and missing a show will seem like less of a big deal. Im not by any means saying that you should take your foot off the gas, but this is something that comes with success. Think of it this way, if you are a headliner in vegas in 10 years time, your family wont be in the front row twice a day, six nights a week. This period may just be the start.

    I rarely perform shows. I currently work as a barman, which gives me the chance to do magic, and as a promoter running gigs. The hardest part about running gigs is getting people in the door. So I do know how you feel, getting the friends and family excuse of, "I'll be at the next one, is there a gig next week? Oh I'll be at that one!". I have a number of bands playing every week and it's successful. To the extent that it has outgrown the need for my friends and family to support my shows by being there every week. And that's the aim of any performing art, I think.

    So it's not about convincing the social network to come, some nights they will, some nights they wont, it's about overcoming the problem. For every friend waxing their cat that night, you hand out two more flyers. For every uncle who's going to stay at home to watch breaking bad, you put up a poster at another bus stop. And so on. I can tell you it works for promoting bands, make it work for you.

    That and never, ever, ever perform for your friends and family. Tell yourself that the next time they see you perform they will have bought tickets. Just make sure they see your posters. If they say 'we'll come to the next show', tell them the next show is sold out, but if they want to buy tickets for the show after that, they should buy them right now, as they're going fast too.

    Hope there's something in there that helps.
  3. Interesting topic William. I'm thinking Red may be correct in that if you are constantly available or have shows frequently, perhaps it isn't such a big deal then to your fan base. They might not see their "missing" your show as a "loss" because within the next few weeks they could come see it anyway. If you are only doing a big show at a venue 1X for that year...maybe it would be different.

    The other aspect might be what show you are providing. For example: If Joe Schmoe comes to town to do his stage show in a local theater, but I just saw him two years ago and it is the same show, 9 times out of 10 I am NOT going to go see him again unless it is something completely different.

    I can't say I have a fan base at all because I don't. I am still just going out and doing my killer strolling sets at gigs or doing the same birthday party show that I've been polishing for the past two years. It keeps getting better and better. The downfall is, that if I don't start getting a new show repeat bookings are not going to happen.
  4. Well I guess the better question to ask is: "What do bands and comedians do when they perform at a bring 'em type of event?"

    Bands have legions of loyal fans who will buy a new CD release before it even drops. Hell Magic companies have legions of loyals who will buy a deck of cards at premium price the very second it becomes available.

    Will these cards perform differently than any of the other decks in your inventory? Probably not... yet servers are crushed by the amount of frenzy and traffic.

    What builds this kind of fanatical fan base? That's what I need to tap into. That's the secret that I need to learn.... Then use to better build my brand.

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