Lesson 14 – How to Break into the Market Part 2 (Free Preview)

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In the previous lesson, we discussed the necessity of creating promotional material in order to break into the market as an illusionist. We focused on photographs and how to get video footage.

In this lesson, we start of by examining the different type of promo videos you can created.

Types of Videos

There are 3 types of promo videos you can create, depending on the quality and quantity of footage you have.

Teaser Video

This video is very short and showcases your style, type of performance and flavour of your show. A teaser video gives a feel of your show and excites a client to consider your show or access whether it is suitable for their production or event.

If you do not have much footage or want to have some kind of video out first before producing a full promo video, this is a good short video to have.

With minimal good footage and slick editing, you can “cheat” and get away with an impressive teaser video.

Here are two examples of teaser videos I created. The quality of the footage is better in the second one but I wanted to showcase my new show with whatever available footage that I had in the first one.

Intro Video

An intro video is a bit different from a teaser as it should introduce your brand, style and scope of work to you the viewer. You ideally should have a collection of footage to draw on that can effectively introduce you to the audience.  Although, it ultimately does depend on your own brand image and target market. It is possible to have a combination of footage, animations, photos and PTCs (piece to cameras) to create an effective intro video.

Here is my current intro video:

Selling Promotional Video

This is the ideal video to get bookings. The key words are “selling” and ‘promotional’. This video should be designed to sell your show and convince the client that your show is the perfect choice for their event.

It should effectively introduce you, be representative of your work and inform the viewer of the shows/ services you offer, all within a short period of time.

Here are some tips when putting together the content of your selling promotional video:

  • The video must be representative of your work. The performance material in your video must match your live show routines & acts
  • The video should have substance and not just fancy graphics, text and a voice-over but does not actually show much of your act.
  • The length of your video should not be more than 5 minutes long, 2 – 3 minutes is ideal.
  • The video should show footage of all, if not most, of the acts that you will present in the show. This is so that the viewer can see you in action with a real audience in real time. Positive audience reactions to your act will create an even stronger impression.

I have different selling promotional videos for each show that I offer. If it is a big custom show, I would also edit a custom video to increase the chances of booking the show. This allows the client to know exactly what they are getting in a specific show and makes an agent’s job easier as well. I never want to be in a position where a show is under or over-sold.

Here is an example of one of my selling promotional videos:

Profile/ Portfolio

Your profile or portfolio is your professional resume that should include your personal profile, credentials, milestones, notable shows, client lists, media features and awards, if any.

Be as specific as possible and communicate what makes you outstanding as an illusionist. Try to find a good balance between ‘fluff’ and substance when writing your profile.

It might be difficult if you are a new magician and have not performed many shows yet. So, focus in on what makes your magic different or what you are doing to break new ground in magic. Avoid writing about when you received your first magic set or performed your first show when you were 6 years old.

Show Program/ Information

Your show program/ information comprises of the description of the acts in your show accompanied by performance photos as well as your technical requirements/ rider.

Show Program

The show program should clearly outline the shows you offer and what is offered in your show.

Choose only relevant pieces that relate to the client. There is no point including a write-up of your full evening theatre show program if you are proposing a show for a corporate event. This will only confuse the client.

The show program should include your show structure as well as highlights of the show, if not all the acts in your show.

The style of writing should be concise and clear, typed in a comfortable reading font size.

The information basically should give the client a visual idea of what to expect from your show. So, your writing style should be graphic and colourful. Do not use technical jargon or ‘magic’ names that layman would not understand.

For e.g. do not write: “I will perform a unique version of the Modern Art illusion”. Instead, you should write: “I will cut a girl vertically in half and separate both halves of her body. What makes it unique is that there will be no boxes covering her body at any time!”

Technical Rider

Your technical rider or technical requirements specify all your technical needs in order for you to perform your show. It is important for any entertainer but particularly important for an illusionist where special consideration is needed for props and lighting.

It should be as clear and detailed as possible. Have a look at my sample tech rider for one of my shows in the lesson downloads.


Clients, like anyone else living and doing business in the digital information age, want instant information. Digital and online allows them to have instant access to your promo deck.

Having all your photos, videos, profile and show program in digital form allows you to make instant changes and updates easily. And, in an environmentally-conscious society, going green without printing is a good thing.

This allows you to email the promo kit to a client or store it in a “cloud” or online storage service for a client to download. A cloud service provider like www.justcloud.com offers cloud storage and allows you to make folders that are password protected. You can provide a client with the password so that they can download your promo deck at their convenience.

Honestly, I have never produced a hard copy promo material since 2008. However, if you are going for an important presentation, I can see the value of printing professional-looking collateral. However, this can be print-on-demand digitally printed so you only need to invest in printed material as you need.



As an entertainer, your product (your act) is fundamental and is your defining quality. However, as a commercial entertainer who performs for money, the right approach is to first examine your market viability and potential business opportunities.

It is the understanding of your market opportunities that guides the creation, presentation and marketing of your product. Most entertainers work the other way around.

The most common approach is for an entertainer to work on an act first and then try to find work with the act. This is the traditional way.

The problem with this approach is that there is a large possibility, especially in today’s market, that you might have an excellent act but no viable market to perform it in. You want a market that will give the desired financial returns for all the time, effort and skill required to perform the act.

This is one reason why some entertainers are not as successful as they can be or why some businesses fail in general. They fail to research the market and end up creating a product that does not have a place in the market or does not add great value to the market.

One key to being successful is to identify a niche market that is unsaturated and try to own it.

A niche market is a specific market within a larger general market that has specialized needs. It is a subset of the general market, also known as a small segmented market.

Niches do not ‘exist’ but are ‘created’ by identifying needs, wants, and requirements that are being addressed poorly or not at all by other product or service providers.

That is an important characteristic – niches do not ‘exist’ but have to be identified by you.

As a strategy, niche marketing is aimed at being a big fish in a small pond instead of being a small fish in a big pond. It is also known as micromarketing.

Examples of niche market products include the hundreds of cable TV stations as well as thousands of podcasts and websites that target specific audiences of specific interests and tastes. Each audience represents its own niche market.

So, all the podcasts on the Internet form the general market. However, podcasts discussing sports is a niche (subset) of the general podcast market. Podcasts discussing a specific sport such as mixed martial arts is an even more niche market.

Entertainers who specialize only in wedding entertainment and know this type of event inside out serve a niche market. The same goes for entertainers who work on festivals and fairs.

This master course in itself is targeted at a highly niche market. General information and trade courses are available to wide general markets. But a course written specifically for illusionists based on the specific needs and nature of the live entertainment industry is a highly niche market. The course is highly valuable to the illusionists (not even general magicians) in this niche market yet has little value to people outside the market. But, that is the nature of a niche market.

Your job is to identify a potential niche or segment that is untapped. Look for markets that illusionists have not explored or do not have high competition.

Remember, niches do not ‘exist’ but have to be identified by you. It is possible that a niche market has been created by someone else but they are not serving the niche adequately. You can take advantage of that and bring more value to the niche market and potentially “steal” it away.

This does take some creativity and thinking. It may not be intuitive and may require much effort for you to consider all types of angles. You are literally trying to identify an opportunity that no one has capitalized on before.

The good news is that as an entertainer, you are a creative individual! That means you have the capacity to identify a niche market if you gear your mind towards it.





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