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The Early Bird Books the Gig

birdThe key to making more money may be as simple as getting better at answering your phone. 

Have you ever missed a call from a client and returned their call later on only to hear “Sorry… We already booked someone else for our event”? Just by missing their initial call you missed out on a booking! Hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars lost… vanished.

It’s something that has happened to all of us. But, how can we try and prevent this from happening?

Be The Early Bird and Reply Faster

The first step is to think about what’s going on inside the minds of the client. Once we understand what they’re thinking and feeling we can implement a strategy to try and capture these leads.

We would like to think that customers are trying to book us because they specifically want us for their event. But the reality is they may just be contacting you because you were the first search result in Google or you were the first guy to answer their phone. This may sound like a bad thing, but if you’re able to be that first guy listed on Google, and you’re good at answering the phone, that’s actually good news!

Do you always answer your phone when it rings? The best way to prevent these lost bookings is by always answering your phone. Do whatever it is you need to do to make sure you’re answering your phone. Get in the habit of having your phone near you, having the ringer on, and whatever else you need to have prepared in order to take the booking.

Depending on your personality and schedule, replying to messages promptly might actually be quite difficult. If you find it especially dreadful or time consuming to reply to show inquires, it’s probably because your system for booking shows is too cumbersome. Create a booking process for your business that’s easier so it isn’t as much work to followup. I’ve found that the best way to keep me motivated to respond to show inquiries is by being accountable to my clients. I do that by promising my customers that I’ll return their inquiry within 24 hours. 

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Somebody Stole my Website Content

I was discussing one of my websites with an SEO expert and he discovered that another magician had “borrowed” several text paragraphs from my website to use on his own website.

When I told others magicians about it they thought that I would be upset over it. But, I didn’t really care. You know what they say “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Honestly I think its kind of cool that somebody thought my website was good enough to steal from in the first place.

Only one thing bothered me about it. I don’t want MY website to get punished in the SEO results just because somebody else took my content. From my SEO studies I’ve always read that Google will punish a website for having duplicate content. Since this incident though I’ve learned that Google will only punish the website that didn’t post it originally. If you want to learn more about duplicate content you can visit the Google Blog.

Nevertheless, I still wanted him to remove the content from his website just in case. I want my website to rank well organically as much as possible. I sent him and email requesting that he take down the areas of his site where he had taken my content. He got back to me in a couple hours and took down some of the content, and said that his web designer would remove the rest of the content within the next few days. I ended up getting an email a couple days later letting me know that everything had been removed. Problem solved.

At this point you might be wondering “I wonder if somebody has borrowed my website content too?”

How to Find Stolen Website Content

I’ve had a couple people ask me “How did you find out he was using your content?” There are online “duplicate content finders” or “plagiarism finders” that you can use. Copyscape.com and PlagSpotter.com are two websites that I have used in the past. All you have to do is put in your website URL and it will search the entire internet looking for copies or similarities of your page.

If you have unique photo’s on your website that you think have been stolen, you can use Google’s “Search by Image” website. Just upload or link to an image and it will show you every page on the internet that uses that photo.

If you found these tools helpful, please let me know in the comments below. As always, don’t forget to like, comment, and share this article with your magic friends!

Late Night Conversation – Lecture at the 3 of Clubs Magic Convention

This past weekend I lectured at the 3 of Clubs Magic Convention in Coquitlam, BC Canada. In the talk I discussed my stage setup for shows, branding, marketing materials, advertising, newsletters, and evaluations. There were a few additional topics that I discussed live at the event that aren’t included in the below video. You’ll just have to attend in person if you want to hear everything!

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Dynamic Birthday Party Invitations

Recently I designed PDF party invitations for my birthday party website. Customers who book a show through me can download the invitations and print them out themselves. What makes the PDF invitations so cool is that the blank lines on the party invitation are editable so parents can fill out the invitation on the computer instead of filling out all the invitations by hand.

I used Adobe Photoshop to design the invitations, and I used Adobe Acrobat XI to save them as a PDF and create the interactive PDF elements.

Finished example of my birthday party invitation:

Birthday-Party-Invitation-Horizontal

  1. First off you’ll need to design your birthday party invitation. The final product should fit onto a standard 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. For my invitations, I put two invitations onto a single page.
    Birthday Invitation

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My Pet Peeve

magicalKidThis may come across as nitpicking but I think it’s important. If you’re going to be a professional children’s entertainer you should use and learn the proper terminology when talking about your audience.

When talking about children use the word children instead of “kids”. A “kid” is what a baby goat is called. (Look at that picture of a little goat with a top hat— Awwwww) When talking to clients in person and when corresponding by email I suggest that you use the word children.

However there is an exception. On your website you should use both “kids” and “children” throughout the site. The reason being is that “kids” is used a lot more frequently than “children” in web searches. To make sure that your website ranks well for both “kids” and “children” you’ll want to include both terms throughout the site. In the graph below you can see that “kids” is a more popular search term than “children”.

search for kids vs. children

If you look at my current birthday party site you’ll notice that I use both words throughout. However when emailing clients and talking in person I try my best to always use the term children.

Building your Brand New Magic Website Fast with WordPress

My last post was about how to tweak and improve your existing website. But what if you don’t have a website yet and you don’t know where to start?

In this article I’ll cover the basics on how to build a brand new website.

In order to have a website you need two things. You’ll need a domain name, that’s the www.example.com which is about $10/year. And you’ll also need webhosting. That’s a server on the internet that you pay for. They host your website files so that people can access your website. The fee for a webhost can change drastically depending on your needs, but it shouldn’t be more than $5-10/month for a basic account.

I recommend Bluehost as a great webhost service provider. You can also register and manage your domain name through them as well making the progress as simple and streamlined as possible. Simply create a new account at Bluehost and follow the steps in the video.

How to register a domain name with Bluehost and install to WordPress:

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