If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.
Touching, but not true. A statement like this devalues artistic output.
There will come a time in everyone’s life where you’ll need to monetise your passion, or risk losing it.
I haven’t seen the inside of an office in almost 3 years and I don’t miss it. I don’t miss the grating californian accent of the girl who sat next to me. She managed to fit more syllables into the word ‘marketing’ than anyone in the world… Muh-arrgh-kat-in-guh.
There wasn’t enough pirated music in all the land for my iPhone to drown that out. So I turned to Magic as a niche and started to publish my original ideas.
- Fate – #1 Best seller on Theory11
- Extra Extra – #1 Best seller on Theory11
- Non-Toxic – #1 Best seller on Theory11
- Latch – #1 Best selling download of the year on Ellusionist in 2015.
- Fly – #3 Best selling download of the year on Ellusionist in 2015.
- Jack Black – #6 Best selling download on Ellusionist in 2017 (you can’t win them all)
- Cipher – #1 Best selling download on Ellusionist in 2017 (so far)
Of course it helps if the material is good, the trailer is good etc. But that’s not all.
Getting to the elusive #1 spot is easy when you know how, but not everyone knows how.
Today i’ll be teaching all of you the 3 biggest mistakes I see when people publish magic online. This won’t guarantee you get a hit, but it will support one.
Much like a fire needs 3 elements to burn; Fuel, oxygen and heat. A best-selling trick needs substance, timing and hype.
#1 THE WAY YOU PROMOTE
The number one killer of all good magic is poor promotion.
Let’s say you’ve got an effect you want to get out there. How do you do it? Contest right? WRONG!
This sin is one I see from Magic companies as well as individuals, Facebook contests and Youtube LIVE videos giving you the chance to win a copy of that new release.
Nothing makes my skin crawl more than this. Just take a barrel of piss and pour it on your profits why don’t you!
A contest on a brand new item for sale does two things for you.
- It ensures nobody buys it as they hope they’re all going to win it.
- It shows the world you’ve got stock to give away, thus devaluing it.
You may think you’re building hype because 500 people shared it on Instagram. Big whoop. Instagram conversion rates with online shopping are at an all time low. Why would I buy it if I could win it?
Like a World War Z-esque virus, the more people you infect with your contest, the less buyers there are to purchase it. It spreads FAST.
You’re also training your audience to not respect your work as something they should value. Don’t believe me? I know some artists with huge followings selling as little as 27 units of a new effect.
You need to be smart about the way you explore reach. Kevin Kelly says you only need 1,000 true fans to be able to make a living with your art. 1,000 people who will stand by you and purchase ANYTHING you produce.
It’s not about the quantity of people you can reach online, it’s about the quality.
You need buyers.
#2 HAVING BAD TIMING
The number 2 biggest mistake when releasing magic is having bad timing. Releasing your effect in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“My effect is out this Monday”
Great, i’m sure very few people will buy it. Why? Because email open rates are at an all time low on Monday. It’s a bad day to release something. As are weekends statistically speaking (unless you’ve tested it and it works for you).
You need to be researching your insights on your social media fan pages to see when the highest point of engagement is. If it’s at 9pm, then post at 8pm. This will allow your content to have some engagement on it and be present in the feeds of anyone coming online for 9pm. Obviously the times will change depending on your particular audience.
That’s why you need to split test release dates and times… Only a fool shouts to a deaf crowd.
If a photo or status does particularly well, remember the time of day you posted it. This will come in handy for when you need to monetise something, release a new product or promote a sale.
As the famous Spice Girls scholar; Ginger Spice always said “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.
I practice what I preach. I’m writing this blog on a Monday, but you won’t see it until Tuesday because email open rates are bad today.
Timing is everything.
#3 IS IT EVEN WORTH IT?
It’s sad to say this, as the pill is so hard to swallow that you might just choke.
Is it even worth releasing at all?
Not every product created can be a great seller, because not every product should be created in the first place.
In the magic industry Twixster is a perfect example lately. A chocolate bar with a playing card reveal on the bottom of it. It’s a funny pun for that one guy who’s been living under a rock for 30 years, but for everyone else it’s just awful.
Now you may think I’m being harsh. I’m not. Harsh is the word for all the people who came into contact with that poor ‘creator’ and said nothing. Not one spectator, camera man, editor, marketing guy, product developer or friend spoke up and said “Maybe you shouldn’t do this mate.”
The truth is that some things don’t need to be created.
I can’t take a shit these days without someone ‘creating’ a new flap card gimmick and selling it online.
You have to sit back and think about the impact of whether that effect should even be published. I have a notebook full of 30+ things that aren’t. They aren’t good enough.
Could they make me money? Yes.
Is that short term income worth damaging my long term reputation? No.
A best-selling effect begets another. Under promise and over deliver and you’ll earn the respect of your peers. Peers that will gladly support you again and again on your ascension up the ranks.
A boy asked me in a private Facebook message what I thought of his new effect a few weeks ago. I was disturbingly honest and told him it wasn’t worth releasing.
He chose to ignore my advice and release it anyway the very next day.
I can’t remember his name for the purpose of this story… and that in itself IS the lesson.
He failed to make an impact on the industry, and I don’t want the same for you.
You can’t spend failure.
LEARN: For more in-depth tuition and consultation on your own campaigns or product launches, feel free to check out my coaching HERE. There were 2 tips cut from the section on timing in this article as it was feared by friends that it was too much to give away.