Pricing for Magicians, Part 1.

Conjurer's Coffee Break - Episode 014


- Hi, welcome back to another double episode.
- Remember, that's two episodes, released back to back on the same day.
- So, take two coffee breaks today, or save one episode for tomorrow!

- This week I'm going talk about pricing.
- And this is something I've sort of held off talking about.
- And that's because, I get the impression, pricing is something magicians get pretty obsessed about.

- I've had several conversations with other magicians before recording this, but I wanted to let you know that this is my opinion.
- And I don't claim to have the right answer for everything.
- As I keep saying in these podcasts, if all I do is make you think a little deeper about a subject, ask a question to yourself, or start a conversation then I will have done my job.

- OK, one last caveat. This episode is perhaps more suitable for those at least partly established in magic.
- If you are new to performing, check out my episode from last week about getting your first paid bookings.

- Alright. let's get into it.
- One thing, that I don't like is that magicians are often really secretive about how much they charge.
- But, I think we've got to have more open and honest conversations about why we set our prices at a certain level.
- That not only makes it easier for others to set their prices, but also because without those conversations, I think there's a natural tendency to think that you need to undercut others in order to be successful.
- And a race to the bottom is no good for anyone.

- The first piece advice for setting your price, and this an exercise you can try straight away, is to decide how much you want to make over a year, and then divide that by how many shows you want to do, and are likely to be able to do.
- If you're only working Friday nights and weekends, you're probably going to have a higher hourly rate, than someone who works four restaurants during the week, every week.
- So, as I said in the first episode, what do you want to do?

- Now, a friend of mine went as far as figuring out how much it costs to run his life, with his mortgage, and bills and insurance, etc.
- I didn't go that detailed when I set my price. Instead, I just started from an overall figure, which I'll be honest with you, this past year was £35,000 turnover, and this year it's £40,000.
- And then I looked at how the types of shows I do, and how many I might do per week.
- Not forgetting, of course, to factor in some time for taking a break!

- And that yearly figure will rise slightly each year.
- Remember, everyone should get a pay rise as their experience grows, so as you spend longer performing magic, as you get better, you should get a pay rise too.
- The only difference is, you have to give yourself that pay rise.

- I get the feeling that a lot of magicians get stuck at that point, because they feel like they will lose the business, if they raise their price.
- But prices are going up, everything is getting more expensive.
- It would be crazy to keep your prices the same.
- Because, if you don't raise your prices, you are in effect giving yourself a pay cut.

- And, I don't know about you, but when I have taken on events lower than what I would like, I feel a little cheated, even though I've previously accepted the price.

- That's not a great experience for me, or for the client.
- In the first episode about knowing what you want, I spoke about recognising when to say, "Sorry, this event isn't really for me."
- That absolutely applies to your price too.
- Either accept the work at a price you are 100% happy with, or don't take it at all.
- Man, that is worth repeating.
- And if you've not got a pen, now might be a good time to pause this episode and grab one.
- Either accept the work at a price you are 100% happy with, or don't take it at all.

- Of course, to do that you have to have the confidence in yourself to know what you are worth.
- But you know that the motto of this podcast is - you build a better business when you become a better performer.
- Here's one way you can see that idea in action because, hopefully, by becoming a better performer, you will recognise the work that you put in, and that will give you the confidence to charge based on your experience, not just on how long the job is for.

- I'm going to end this episode by telling you how much I currently charge.
- But it's worth saying before I do that, that my prices aren't always fixed.
- As I said last week, Part of making magic work as a business is finding a balance.
- Some events, a party on a Saturday night, are an open and shut case.
- Other's require a bit more flexibility.
- So yes, the price can be lower than my normal fee for example, for something midweek, and in fact last week, I did an event on a Wednesday morning just a few miles from home.
- But for an important life celebration on a Saturday night the price is going to be at my set rates.
- Again, I don't think that's hypocritical. It's about finding a balance.

- So, with all that taken into account, here are some prices for 2023 based an event in the performers normal area.
- For 2 hours of close up magic at a private party, I would suggest the price would be somewhere between £400 to £700, as I just mentioned, depending on your experience.
- For stage magic, I would suggest a price from £500 to £900 for a 30 - 45 minute show at a corporate event.
- And for children's magic, a 45 minute show at children's party would be £150 to £250, or £250 to £400 for a full party package.

- You know what, it's always difficult giving actual numbers as there are multiple factors and things do change, but as I said upfront, it's important for us to have these conversations.
- With that in mind, it's much easier for me to give my specific prices, based on the same criteria.
- So for me, at the current time, for two hours of close up, I charge £440.
- For a stage show, I charge £550.
- For a children's magic show, I charge £195, and for my full party package it's £295, but that's going to go up again soon.

- Earlier I said you should, only accept the work at a price you are 100% happy with.
- Of course, you'll be too expensive for some, but what can you do, you can't just keep getting cheaper to please everyone.
- Plus, you can be so cheap that some clients won't think you're any good.
- With that in mind, here's something else you can keep in mind, your prices should be at at a level where you feel comfortable over delivering on service.
- In short, don't undersell yourself.
- And again this is for the professionals who can deliver that high quality service.

- For those breaking into paid work, check out last week's episode, if you haven't already.
- And for everyone else keep sharing, keep subscribing and let's jump into part two.

Additional Show Notes

- Here's a fantastic saying, that I actually heard in a conversation with a friend:

"Too many of us attach our self worth to our achievements. Time taken to be present with friends, family and in your community is every bit as important as the next gig booking."

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  1. […] Episode 014 – Pricing for Magicians, part 1 – Episode 015 – Pricing for Magicians, part 2 – Episode 016 – The 3 Words that need to disappear […]

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