What a magician can teach you about creating customers for life...

22 replies
Imagine this...

You're the hired entertainment at a private party.

It's two minutes before you go on stage and there's a few hundred people in the banquet hall. People are relaxing after dinner.

You check your set list and pat your pockets to make sure you're set then check to see that your lapel mic is on standby. The host asks if you're ready as they step up to introduce you.

You step onto the stage to a polite reception and as the applause dies down all eyes in the house are on you.

They're curious to see what a magician does, and if you're anything like the guy they've seen at their kids birthday parties. In fact most of them are wondering how long they have to be polite and pay attention.

What you do and say next is going to set the stage for the rest of the evening, and it better be good. And thankfully, again, you do a great show.

Everyone had a great time. People were doubled over laughing, jaws were dropped in stunned silence as you read minds, and gasps of delight filled the crowd when you revealed you were wearing the watch of the surprised CEO that was just up on stage with you.

But that's not even the best part.

Because people want to "mingle" with the magician. They want to shake your hand and tell you how much they loved the show.

Inevitably others come and try to drag you away because "there's just someone you need to meet."

So what's this got to do with anything making more money? A lot.

I've been a professional magician (mostly part-time) for over a decade and I've learned a lot of things about how to move an audience.

Has it always been like that? Not by a long shot.

I could tell you about a few nightmares - embarrassing shows I'm finally starting to laugh about. All performer's have them - but that's another post

I used to stink. A lot. I had a long learning curve.

It took time to be good. And a good show takes work. A lot of work and a lot of time.

But my audience is never aware of that.

Why?

Because I've worked at making it look easy. And this is the point.

Every interaction with the audience is scripted and every moment is designed to evoke different feelings and reactions.

You see, every reaction I get from my audience is carefully cultivated and planned out. None of it is by accident. While it took years to fumble towards this, I finally got it.

It should be the same with all of your communication with your customers.

Like most of you I'm on a number of different email lists. I pay attention to different blogs and keep up with subjects that interest me. I'm a part of their audience, sometimes even a customer.

And if you have a long-term business with clients and customers who trust you, you have an audience too. And if you want to mean something to someone, you need to be someone.

You have to have an opinion. You have to have personality. People want to be led and they are always looking for someone to distract them, entertain them and lead them.

And you can't do this if you're a friend to all. You have to be a 'hero' to a few. In other words, don't be bland!

You will polarize yourself anytime you take a stand, but this pays off with your customer base in the long run. Think Rush Limbaugh. People that know him feel pretty strongly about him one way or the other. There's not much middle ground. That's because he plays to his audience and makes no apologies.

You need to learn how to deliberately create the picture you want your customers to see about you and your product or service so it's always to your advantage.

And do it in advance as part of your business planning.

If you have a blog as a part of your business (you should) and an email relationship (you should) then you are halfway there.

But you need more than that.

You need a relationship, and one that's built on a role you play for your list. While I see a lot of great communication between marketer's and their lists, I don't see a lot of trust building in the way of allowing your customers to really "know who you are."

You need to foster at least a perceived two way relationship. When you have your own products and a list that trusts you - trust based on always delivering value and an insight into who you are as a person - you can live off that list for a very, long time.

While this isn't true for all online models, it's true for any long term business.

You want to cultivate an image to your audience.

In my shows, I'm funny (hopefully), casual and interested in just having fun and "wowing" my audience. I don't do big illusions, I'm not "goth", I can't see dead people, and I don't pull a furry little bunny out of a hat.

When I created the show I wanted, I made sure each line and effect fit that presentation, and it's the same with your customers.

With your list you have a lot of options.

One might be the "authority" guru. This person is an expert, a leader, and they love teaching because they love to share what they have learned with others. They have a lot of answers you may not know and they know how to pass on that education.

You'll find the "insider" guru. This person may have insider knowledge about how something 'really' operates. And they want to share these secrets with you. Think of the debt cure guy. They operate by being benevolent and letting you be "in" with them on the inside.

Another one is the "champion" persona. This person will be someone a lot like you. They'll be fighting the same fight you are and they understand your anxiety. They fought and they won, and they want to help you win as well.

There are some very important questions to ask yourself if you want to keep your customers loyal and happy...

You need to find out what you are to your customers and continue to be that person and foster that image.

What kind of solution are your providing? How would that shape your emails and blog posts?

Be pigeonholed if you can. You want to be known for a few things (maybe even just one or two) before you become an expert in "everything".

Once they trust you, they'll trust what you know. And with that comes customers that will continue to purchase from you again and again because they know who they can go to.

So go out there and BE somebody. (Just not a magician please, I like less competition )

And enjoy it, it's fun too!
#creating #customers #life… #magician #teach
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Moffatt
    Much of my IM skills come from my days hustling the street doing magic. All that one on one interaction and performance really helped out when I transferred to making videos. Nice post.
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    • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
      Originally Posted by Jason Moffatt View Post

      Much of my IM skills come from my days hustling the street doing magic. All that one on one interaction and performance really helped out when I transferred to making videos. Nice post.
      You a street hustler? Who would of guessed it. Seems like you need to make a video with a few tricks? How is the trip around the states planning going?
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      • Profile picture of the author RMC
        J-Mo, I've had a svengali deck or two. I had one that for whatever reason fanned perfectly to look like all blank cards. Was never meant to work like that but was smooth trick.

        As for OP...

        You're on point. I think dating/pickup, crowd control, and marketing are all fundamentally tied to the same principles. You can do one you can about do them all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nathan Alexander
    Thanks Neromancer

    Now THAT Jason, is a quick and harsh education. But a very good one. You're braver than I!
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Moffatt
      Originally Posted by Nathan Alexander View Post

      Thanks Neromancer

      Now THAT Jason, is a quick and harsh education. But a very good one. You're braver than I!
      Crazy thing was, when I started working the streets and bars I was just a "2 Trick Pony".

      The only tricks I knew where how to levitate a quarter or drivers license, and had a few routines with a Svengali deck. For over a year I rocked just those two tricks and did okay at it. (Was able to make drinking money and money to survive on).

      After that, I decided I needed to make a video with more tricks, so that way I could sell people the VHS out of my backpack and they'd have something tangible to go with their purchase.

      This worked way better, and helped from getting my $ss kicked by dudes in the bar.
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  • Profile picture of the author Slin
    Amazing post, needs to be bumped for more to read.

    Holy cow bro. this really helps me notice things, you kinda do decide what or how you want to appear right?
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  • Profile picture of the author francof
    Great post! The building of the relationship and standing out that's really helpful and can see how you'd be able to apply those skills learned doing magic to other businesses. The only thing I might not agree with 100% is the creating a role part, it almost sounds like you're saying you should create a character, someone you're not really. I think that might work for an evening on stage but in business sooner or later, the truth comes out...
    I think in business it's great to stand out and not be afraid to go against the current and not try to please everyone like you said... but I also think being genuine and be yourself goes a long way in making sure those relationship you've built, last.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nathan Alexander
    Hey franoc - Great post - And you're absolutely right.

    In fact, if it's possible, I agree 100% that you should be genuine and not manufacture anything untrue. I guess I'm more theorizing that you should bolden those parts of yourself that define what you're customers are looking for.

    Encourage your stereo-type maybe? Something along those lines

    Jason -

    "This worked way better, and helped from getting my $ss kicked by dudes in the bar. "

    Oh man - I remember my bar magic days. It could be fun but also brutal. Never everyone likes someone coming up to their table. That was a great learning experience too.

    Sometimes I feel like I must be officially old because I don't miss being in the bar showing anyone who would watch.
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  • Profile picture of the author freudianslip27
    Very cool, magic tricks and internet marketing

    I also love doing magic tricks. I think you bring about some interesting correlations, and how to capture the "love and lure" of a magician and pulling it into the marketing field.

    I use to do magic tricks in my therapy sessions. I would do a trick where I would "read" my client's (often children) mind, but then tell them it was just a trick, and that I really can't read minds. I need people to tell me how they feel and talk about their feelings if they want to move forward with therapy.

    Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
    I think I'm more along the lines of Penn and Teller or the Masked Magician.

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  • Profile picture of the author Aljiro
    Nice post Nathan.

    Point made and made well.

    Thanks

    BTW I always wanted to be a magician (part time) but my left hand has defects so sleight of hand always got in the way.

    Thanks again.
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  • Profile picture of the author joren
    Thank you ,I am new on the forum and your message helps a lot.
    Joren
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  • Profile picture of the author Nathan Alexander
    Nice vid bgmacaw.

    I love those guys because they're funny and make my work (as a magician) a lot easier and more fun. Today's audiences are not slow. And they don't have the patience to be patronized.

    @freudianslip27

    That's a great application of magic. My aunt in New York has a practice and (she tells me) when she speaks at conferences she uses "a few tricks" to illustrate points.

    It sounds like you made your points very well. That's always been a fascinating subject for me, using metaphor and analogy to make a point like that and I'll bet it's even more so with therapy.

    It's funny. When I am performing, I always say "now if I could really read your mind, and I can't, no one can, but if I could, I think it would look something like this."

    And then I do whatever. What's great is the audience knows I'm not claiming to do it for real, and yet there it is.

    Hey Aljiro - You wouldn't believe what you could do with presentation and planning to "fool" someone. I go back and forth all the time with preferring to do my "mentalism" show (hands-off more "mindreading" stuff with the 'work' being more subtle) and my comedy magic show.

    There's a lot you could do, and have a lot of fun doing it!
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  • Profile picture of the author KimW
    Nathan,
    So your saying a magician needs to use a disclaimer?
    Doesn't that in itself take away from the magic?

    Aljiro,
    Don't let this guy hear you say that:

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    • Profile picture of the author Bryan Toder
      You are right. I agree.

      (I started in 1974 as a magician and went professional for over 25 years. Now I am a hypnotist.)
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  • Profile picture of the author Gene Pimentel
    Hey Nathan, awesome post. I could relate 100% to everything you said, as I spent most of my teen and 20's years performing magic for schools, churches and other gatherings. Made it in the newspaper a few times, and won competitions. To this day I still 'play' with magic and follow a forum or two. Your post brought back some very nice memories -- thanks!

    P.S. That's the Magic Castle in the background of my avatar
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  • Profile picture of the author KimW
    "P.S. That's the Magic Castle in the background of my avatar "

    So, you're still doing the valet parking there Gene?


    Seriously, this is a nice thread in the fact alone that I have found so many others that have dabbled in the fine art of magic too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Slin
    No Nathan is not saying you need a disclaimer, he is saying that while he performs he says stuff like "now I cannot really read minds, but if I could I would do this."

    Then he does that, which really trips out the mind.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nathan Alexander
    Hi KimW - Not at all.

    It's pretty much what Slin says, for me at least. I can't speak to other performers, but I really like to take away every single option (for some effects) so that all that's left is...well who knows?

    My audience usually tells me every theory they have, and I'm pretty sure they find it magical.

    Take one of the standard effects. I will sometimes throw this in a set as a closer depending on my mood. It's a prediction effect where one way of doing it is to have members of the audience call out different answers to usually three different questions.

    If we could take a dream vacation as an audience where would we go? How much money would we bring (to the penny) and what time and date would we return?

    I try to make it fun and get really creative answers.

    Then, I ask the host to come up with a Fedex that they've had in their possession for many days. The envelope is not touched by me.

    It contains another sealed envelope with a notarization affirming that the notary herself sealed a written prediction into the envelope and so on.

    It's opened by someone from the audience and they predics match and so on. It's a great effect, very old (but it's always improved) and plays very well.

    Now I'll tell you. I MUST know how to "fix" it if everything else is above board right?

    There's no magic there. And yet, it appears impossible and I don't touch anything, have stooges etc.

    So I guess it's still magical in a few ways I don't use 'magic', and say I don't but it leaves the audience wondering what else could it be?

    And again, it's not original with me, it's an old effect that gets better with time and most magic guys on here would know the effect.

    And darn fun too.

    Also, Rene Levand is incredible. THAT guy has a great story and is incredible to watch and listen too.
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  • Profile picture of the author KimW
    This is probably a discussion more for a magic forum than a marketing board.
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  • Profile picture of the author Charann Miller
    Loved your insight, very eloquent . I felt like I was experiencing it along with you. I know how nerve racking it can be to speak in front of a crowd and how painful that can be especially when you go down in a blaze of firey flames, so for that I commend you.

    You're right, you honed and fine tuned your craft which was the perfect analogy with respect to business. None of us gets it perfect straight out of the gate but rather by learning from our mistakes and using them to our advantage until we finally have the best business possible.

    Great post.
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