The amount of magician’s promo pics that are cheezy, hack, or just plain bad is staggering. The goal of a promo pic is to get your personality out. I think a lot old school logic is that they need to know you’re a magician. You wouldn’t know that from David Copperfield’s pic on his billboard.
I know what you’re thinking…it’s David Copperfield, he doesn’t need that. You’re right, the billboard has some context, like his name.
Guess what? Your promo will also have some context, like your name and what you do.
You don’t have to be holding a fan of cards in your pic, they goal it to get a little bit of your personality out. Look at the headshots of the headliner’s on any comedy club’s website, you’ll see a lot of personality coming out in those pics.
Recently I had some pics taken and I was goofing around and this pic came out of the photo sesssion:
Is it the best pic to promote a magic show? Probably not. Does it show much more personality than a me holding a fan of cards or having an ace in my sleeve? YES!
Oh man, so I’ve written about how crowd sourcing advice on Facebook is pretty much a bad idea as everyone has an equal position to give their opinion. Now everyone’s opinion and “taste” is different and yes their opinion is valid, but you also need to know their background. Especially when getting advice about your show or the marketing of your show.
The other day Katrina Kroetch posted a picture on Facebook asking if it was a good promo pic. She got many people telling her it didn’t “scream magic” and that should should have a top hat, cards, or rabbit in the picture. That’s horrible advice, but before I tell you why, here’s the picture:
This is a fantastic picture, there’s a lot going on in it. Now Let me tell you why:
There is a story happening: She is doing something with the string/rope, but the cat is attacking it without her knowing. If I saw this pic in a program I’d think, is she a cat trainer…I don’t know, but I want to know more.
It’s not a generic magician picture: People won’t be bringing a mindset of the stereotypical magic show when they see this. If I saw this pic in the program, I’d expect a light hearted, fun show.
Now let me tell you why everyone that is telling her she needs to have a top hat, doves, or that the pic doesn’t “say magic” are wrong. No one goes and sees a magic show based solely on a picture with no context. They days of a venue having a sign in the window that says “now appearing” and just a headshot taped below it with a showtime are long gone. You’re marketing or advertisement will always have context with it now, it’s not 1990 and hasn’t been for two decades.
Personally I think if I saw just a pic of a guy holding a top hat in the window of a venue, I’d think it’s a children’s magic show and keep on walking. If I saw just Katrina’s pic I’d probably want more information. However, I like I said before in 2021 you’ll rarely encounter just a headshot without context.
The more unique pictures you use, the harder it is for someone to put their “box” of preconceived ideas about your artform around you.
In any art form you are taught to be different, and as far as your show goes that’s what I think about magic. Marketing is a bit different. Recently someone in a Facebook group for magicians wanted advice on getting an agent to get them shows around the country. In my career, every agent that … Continue reading “Follow The Crowd…”
In any art form you are taught to be different, and as far as your show goes that’s what I think about magic. Marketing is a bit different. Recently someone in a Facebook group for magicians wanted advice on getting an agent to get them shows around the country. In my career, every agent that consistently gets me work has seen me perform and approached me. Sure, there are more ways to do it than my route, that’s just my experience.
One thing about agents is they’ve come into my life when I was ready for the kind of gigs they book. One of my agents has told me I’m “starting to level up” and I need my promo to reflect that. I’m currently working on taking my promo to the next level. That’s the thing, if you promo isn’t at the level you expected for where you want to work, then you’ll have a hell of a time getting any agent to take you seriously.
Here’s a good example, my core market is performing at fairs. I want to work indoors more, and the first thing I did was look at the websites of people who were doing the gigs that I wanted to do. If you look at a lot of them, you’ll start to see things repeating. Not tricks, but things all of their promo has in common. Things like the length and style of their promo videos. Are they one trick, a sizzle reel, or a combination of the two? Are their headshots studio or something else? There’s a reason they are common things in promo, that’s because that’s what the industry expects.
Now you need to take a moment and look at your promo, what can you do to take you to the next level?