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PhotobucketWith today’s proliferation of cheap magic props, pirated instructional DVDs and ebooks, the magic industry is producing more magicians at a faster clip than ever.

Many of the new converts to our art develop a burning desire to perform paid shows. Meaning, having learned how to perform magic using a Change Bag or a Square Circle, many of them eventually muster enough courage to wade into the already crowded field of professional magic in the Philippines.

PhotobucketUnfortunately many raw magicians who convert their hobby into business before they are ready find out that running a magic business is sometimes well beyond their capabilities and native smarts. They realize that magic as a business requires more than possessing a Change Bag or a Square Circle. They come to face an awful truth that business demands a sharp business sense, rock-solid marketing savvy, and excellent selling techniques.

Toting magic wands for audiences of family and friends is one thing, performing magic for paying customers is another.

Why I’m mentioning all this is because, as is my diversion, I want to find answers to the question why some magicians use negative marketing to get business. As I said, the top reason may be because he is raw and doesn’t know any other way to sell his show except to bad mouth other magicians.

However, to my horror, I also found out that some seasoned magicians occasionally use foul and unethical methods to market their shows. The only difference is that they do it with finesse and avoid detection by their victims.

Before I tell you what Negative Marketing is, let me tell you what Positive Marketing is.

Let me put the terms as simply as I can, because this post is not a thesis on marketing.

Positive Marketing is to publicize your business by telling the public how good you are, dazzling them with your credentials or heaping praises on your show.

This type of marketing, however exaggerated, usually don’t ruffle feathers. Especially my feathers.

If you claim to be an “International Magician” because you once went to Hong Kong and performed for a waiter in a restaurant, go a ahead and tell a lie. It’s a white lie and harmless. If you get caught, you will only cause yourself embarrassment, which you can nurse with a bottle of beer later in the evening.

If you claim you are a comedy magician because you can make the children laugh one time during the entire 45-minute show with a Beakaway Wand, then live in your fantasy world and feed on your own delusion.

PhotobucketNegative Marketing, however, is selling your business by poaching shows, undercutting prices or badmouthing competitors.

If you sell your shows by telling a prospective client not to hire the other magician because his show sucks, that is Negative Marketing, even if, granting, you are telling the truth about the quality (or the lack of it) of your competitor’s show.

Talk about how good is your show, not how bad the other magician’s program.

Praise to high heavens your skills, not deride your competitor’s lack of it.

Dazzle your prospects with your credentials, not douse their interest in your competitor with put-downs or even outright lies.

Be ethical about the conduct of your business. That’s how the top magicians in the Philippines have stayed in business for long. If you aim for business longevity, play fair.

Stay magical,