This article is the result of a conversation I had with a magician about his website. He wanted to know if I could build him a nice looking site that had his name and contact information on it. I explained to him the purpose of having a website and what you want visitors to do when they land on your site.
Why Do You Have a Website?
The number one reason magicians have websites is ego. They want to be able to say to people, "You can visit my website at www.bite-me-hard.com." When the person visits the website they usually see one of two scenarios:
- Brochure Site
- Typical Magician's Site - See Part 2 of this series for an example.
The brochure site is nicely designed with contact information and a few pictures. These sites usually look nice and clean. The issue is visitor conversion. Many people view the site and move on to another site. They may never return. You have missed out on the opportunity to build a relationship with them. The key element often missing with this kind of site is the ability to capturing the visitor's name and email address so that follow up direct marketing can be done. The direct marketing closes the sale. It is rare for people to hire magicians as an impulse buy.
The typical magician's site is wonder to behold. How can one person find so many different ways to use free animated graphics on the home page? It is clear that the magician designing his site learned how to color text, change fonts, and increase font size. All done in the same paragraph! Check out my prior article listed above for a detailed discussion of this topic.
Your website exists to get people to give you their permission. That's right, their permission. The goal of the website is to get visitors to give you their name and email. Believe it or not this is valuable information that is not given away freely. The website must be structured to induce people to trust you enough to give this information to you.
This is why brochure sites and typical magician's sites don't usually work well. If you haven't built a relationship with the potential client, then it is unlikely they will book your magic show. It is like it was in high school. You can walk up to the prettiest girl in school and say "Do me!" Chances are it won't be effective. Your website must establish a relationship with potential client and gain her permission. After that you can approach her and say, "Book me!"
Purpose of Permission Marketing
This approach to marketing is called Permission Marketing. It has always been practiced but Seth Godin coined the term with his book by the same name. Buy a copy and Amazon or your local bookstore. The purpose of Permission Marketing is to turn strangers into friends, and friends into clients.
I am not recommending spamming people to get more magic shows. The key elements of Permission Marketing are communications from you are expected, individualized, and interesting to the person. Let,s look at the elements in the context of emails:
Expected - People are expecting emails from you because they asked you to send them emails through your subscription form on your website. Always use a double opt in subscription system.
Individualized - Every email sent by you should be personalized to the person getting it. I don't care if you are sending out ten or one thousand emails. Every person should get an email that looks like it was written just for them.
Interesting - The subject of every email must be related and relevant to the reason the person gave you're his permission in the first place. If you entice a person to give his name and email to learn how to use a magic show to create the perfect birthday party, then don't send emails about a great business opportunity called Amway.
Another important feature of Permission Marketing is that there are different levels of permission. Permission levels range from spam (no permission) to intravenous (sending products out to customers without him ordering them). As people give you their names and emails you start at the permission scale (just above spam). Your main task is to use your communications and services to move people up the permission scale. While you will never likely get permission to just show and do magic shows uninvited (intravenous), you can build a base of trusting and loyal customers.
Gaining Permission With Your Website
Your website will impact your ability to gain permission from visitors. Two general considerations are content and design. If you have not taken the free Master Course on Selling Services, I strongly encourage you to do so. The course covers the topics of contents and design in more detail. You will find material that you can use on your website right now.
People searching the web are looking for good information. They will trust and reward those who give them the information they seek. Many will give you permission to contact them again. This opens the door to build trust and gain a loyal customer. What kinds of content should the site provide? The simple answer is whatever the person is looking for.
Let's assume a mother finds your website considering the possibility of hiring a magician for her daughter's next birthday party. She doesn't care that you do gospel illusion shows or trade shows. In fact she might be put off by it. If this magician does all of these other things, how important is my daughter's birthday party going to be? You must view your content from the visitor's perspective.
Provide content that she can use. For example, you can provide a general guide to hosting a magical birthday party. Let her know if she signs up with her name and email you will send her a detailed step by step guide to hosting the perfect magical birthday party. You could also put magic birthday party invitations on your site personalized to your magic show, but with space for it to be individualized to the child and her birthday party.
With relevant and useful content you will begin to build trust. You will get her to give you her name and email. You provide even better content and increase her trust. You can contact her about how your magic show will make her daughter's birthday party one to be remembered always. The key to providing content is to over-deliver on the person's expectations. Remember this:
The goal of your website is turn strangers into friends, and friends into clients.
The design of your site is also important. Your site must be easily navigated. You want visitors to find the information they are seeking quickly and easily. Graphics add to the site but can become clutter if you are not careful. It should have a clean look. Don't be afraid to use a plain white background. It looks good and text can be easily read. I would avoid reverse colors for text. Light text on dark background can strain the eyes if there is much material there.
An example of this approach is Learn-Great-MagicTricks.com. This new site is still growing. It is clean looking. Information is easily found. The content is useful for people learning to do magic. Within one month, the site was listed in most search engines, had decent rankings, was getting newsletter subscriptions, and most importantly the site was earning money. The point is that this advice works and I use it myself.
Copyright ? 2005 J.L. Siefers, All rights reserved.
J.L. Siefers has been performing great magic for years. He has written extensively on many topics in magic. He has shown hundreds of people how to successfully learn to do great magic tricks.
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