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The Business of Magic

Feb 16, 2015
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What books do you feel like helped you with the business side of magic, the most?

I am looking for more magic business books or resources of any kind.

I am looking to build a brand, work weddings, events, restaurants.

*note I have already got 'Close up the real secrets of magic' - David Stone.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
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The best business I've received has come from lectures and direct conversations. There just aren't many books or videos that are valuable, many of the ones out there are outdated. Anything on social media, for example, is nearly worthless less than a year later, as the algorithms change so constantly. Marketing books are almost as bad.
 
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Jan 26, 2017
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Michael O'Brien (@obrienmagic) has a book called "How to Magish", which is a great source I've used.

There is also a great book that I'm forgetting the name of. If I remember it, I'll let you know (though judging by it's popularity, it'll show up on this thread in a bit).
 
Feb 16, 2015
45
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ChristopherT

That is both helpful and frustrating, any lectures or people that you could point me towards?
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
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Maaz - Would that be The Approach by Jamie D Grant? It's a great primer on how to get paid performances as a strolling magician, but does not cover really any of the significant aspects of business, as Jamie specifically emphasizes not being a professional magician but using it as a side income (albeit a lucrative one for him).

Aiden Sinclair's lecture was great - he goes through the whole process he had of starting from nothing (fresh out of prison, to boot) and building up to a very successful show at the Stanley Hotel.

Paul Prater has some good points on marketing. I think you can buy his lecture notes on that subject separately, I do recommend them.

Gig Flow is a 28-day long email "course" by Kennedy that helps you develop a working marketing model.

You're also going to want to look into basic accounting/budgeting - until you're very well established you won't have steady gigs all the time, so you need to know how to manage your money for the leaner times.

There isn't a lot in the magic world that teaches the nitty gritty of running a business. Partly, I think, this is because the subject is covered in plenty of books outside of the magic world, and partly, I think, because those who are successful are often guarded and cagey about their systems because they fear competition. These fears are mostly unfounded, but what can you do.

Read books on marketing. The significant difference between a professional magician and an amateur one, is that a professional is able to sell their show regularly enough to make a living. That largely hinges on marketing.
 
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Feb 16, 2015
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Christopher

Now that was very very helpful. I am very great full.

I am beginning to learn that marketing is a big part doing magic for a living.

So marketing books, I will have a look myself but have any stood out for you in particular?

Thank you!
 

RickEverhart

forum moderator / t11
Elite Member
Sep 14, 2008
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I will second The Approach by Jamie Grant. Great book especially for someone who is starting from square one or not a whole lot of experience under their belt yet.

Everything else I have learned by direct conversation with magicians at conventions or at our IBM meetings.
Be cautious though as some magicians do not want to share their tips and tricks (lol) especially if you are in the same area and going to be competing with them.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
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Some books I have liked:
"Rework" by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson (that is not an easy name to type)
Primal Branding by Patrick Hanlon
All Marketers Are Liars/Tell Stories by Seth Godin (fun fact - I got this book free after advising Seth on where to get custom decks printed. Really nice guy)

A book that's been recommended to me, but which I haven't read yet, is "Trust Me, I'm Lying" by Ryan Holiday.

There's a podcast called "Well Attended" as well, which has some really informative interviews. I don't listen super regularly, because I'm just not a podcast guy, but I distinctly recall one about unusual venues that's stuck with me.
 
Feb 16, 2015
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That is sold I am getting ‘the approach’ thank you so much!

Also what I have never heard of IBM what is that!
 
Jan 26, 2017
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Just to add to my post (forgot this last time), How to Magish is also available as an audio book right here on the TXI Marketplace. It shows you how to build a brand, be more professional, advertise and grow, etc. I've read through some of it and really enjoy it!
I will second The Approach by Jamie Grant. Great book especially for someone who is starting from square one or not a whole lot of experience under their belt yet.
(That's the one I was thinking of earlier)
 
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