MB 055: How To Raise Your Fees For Professional Magicians


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How To Raise Your Fees For Professional Magicians

 Magician Business Podcast: How To Raise Your Fees For Professional Magicians

Without a doubt the topic of how to raise your fees as a professional magician is one of the most talked about and yet it is likely the least acted upon.

Israel magician Zivi Kivi (Zivi Raviv) has doubled his performing fees within 5 years and here he shares what he calls his Champion Building System that turns bookers into brand evangelists by giving them the tools to sing your praises as a performer.

Zivi is a children’s and family performer. The process he outlines here can be adapted to suit many styles of magic performance. The power of this marketing process lies in its simplicity.

In this Episode we discuss:

  • The magic market in Israel where a standard price for a Children’s birthday party is US$250. Zivi averages $500 to $700 per booking once he stopped playing the price competition game
  • What is the Champion Building System?
  • Value adding what you offer
  • Creating a personalized movie clip that summarizes the event for each birthday.
  • Customizing and personalizing the service you offer your client
  • How you can turn a one day event into a 3 day event that keeps your marketing front of mind with your clients.
  • You’ll hear the story of the family watching the video 250 times.
  • It’s the same amount of effort to think small as it does to think big.
  • The reasons not to include this as an upsell
  • How to overcome the problem of getting permission to video client’s children
  • The power of using a marketing script.
  • Using an iPhone to shoot, edit and upload a video of your magic show. Get this – it takes 20 minute to do.
  • What are the key shots you must get? What shots get the best reaction from parents?
  • Do you need a 2nd person to video for you and how to find them?
  • What benefits are there? Here are four:1. Since all of your shows are being documented via a video camera then you have the opportunity to watch yourself live in front of an audience and improve your content and your show.2. Since you know you are “live” on camera, you smile more and act bigger. You also choose better looking props and more visual material.3. Since you have the kids pictures on a video clip you can EASILY customize a thank you letter and do a follow up 1-2 year later more easily.4. It’s an opportunity for building a relationship with the customer (more points of communication with him).

Resources mentioned:

Andrew Smith The $1000 birthday party magician Business podcast Episode 1

See examples of the short videos that Zivi sends to his customers

Zivi will be giving away two sets of lecture notes that explain the system by heart (for people who share how they personalize their service).

Champion Building System by Zivi Kivi on Magician Business

To earn yourself one of these set of lecture notes you need to go to the comments section lower down this page and share how you personalize your show for individual clients.

Zivi will choose 2 Magician Business listeners who show they have really put some thought into making their package stand out from their competition.

Winners will be notified by email on the 1st August.

Magician Business exclusive special offer … Pizza Calculator.

Pizza Calculator by Zivi Kivi Magician Business Special Offer


Pizza Calculator plugin for WordPress. This allows you to embed a calculator into your site and give details to parents on how many pizzas they should buy for their party.

The calculator takes into account the kids age, the amount of kids, and whether parents will eat too or not, and it is customizable for each magician website.

This plugin allows you to give more value to your customer as you encourage them to go into your site and you can help them save money by not buying TOO many pizzas.

The cost for this plugin is 47USD but for Magician Business listeners it is 27 USD (a saving of 20 USD).

Use the special code MBP when asked at Zivi’s checkout.

This is guaranteed by Zivi. If you are not completely happy he will refund your money.  He will also give you technical support if you need a hand.

Pizza-Calculator magician Business Special Offer for Zivi Kivi

To purchase the CBS (Champion Building System) E-book

For learning more about Polyester:


Magician Business Podcast iTunes Rating and Review


Thank you for listening

To get more Magician Business Podcasts sent directly to your device as they become available, you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher!

Please help by leaving a review on iTunes, they are really helpful and we appreciate you taking the time. Reviews help our podcast get noticed by entertainers, magicians and performing artists all over the world which grows our community.

A larger community means more experience to share with each other so please feel free to share your comments below.

Thanks again, Ken and Julian

Meet the Author

Julian Mather

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • There’s a few things I do to give more value. Of course I do the standard “magical giveaways” in “magic dollars,” but here’s a couple things I learned from @joshlondonccp:disqus. I’ll give the birthday kid a magic kit, and there’s also a trick in the show where the prop has the birthday child’s face printed on it. They get to keep that as well as have their friends sign it which makes the souvenir even more special. Also, I provide the parents with a customized invitation that they can email out to the invitees. (Image attached.)

    • Kris it sounds like you are all packed with personalization ideas. Great job!
      Do you customize the invation manually each time?
      How do you get the birthday child face in advance for printing the trick? (wonderful branding here btw).
      Is the magic kit branded as well? did you play around with other gifts as well?

      • Hey Zivi,

        By the way, I loved your interview!

        For the invitation, I have a couple templates (with the same basic layout) that I designed that I populate with the party invitation. I have one for a boy and one for a girl. I design them as I need them. (I attached the boy one to this comment.)

        For the picture trick, I try to secretly get the birthday child’s face beforehand (a little Facebook research), but more often than not, I just ask the parent to provide it for me and tell them it’s for a special trick at the end of the show, though I don’t tell them exactly what for. I want it to be at least a little surprise for them too.

        I don’t have a specially branded magic kit. I just look for good deals on small magic kits when I’m out, or I buy small inexpensive sets from Amazon. I gift-wrap them though and give it to the child during the show. I haven’t messed with any other gifts, though I’m open to suggestions. 🙂

        • Hey Kris

          Thank you so much for sharing. I am so happy you have enjoyed the interview. I truly love our art form and improving the way we can affect lives with it. This is so much easier these days when you can share ideas and dig into minds of other experts without the fear of compettion. Such a great time to live in.

          I absolutely love the fact that you get those pictures beforehand. I have to share with you a secret – I get 10 pictures in advance for all of the kids that I am their birthday magician (from the mom). So in fact, using the pictures for this kind of invitation should be easy peasy for me to add. I am shooting an email to my graphic designer to create a template for me. DONE.

          As for the gift – I would do a survey 3 month after with 5 moms. if they say the kids still use the kit, it means you must stickerize it with your logo and stuff as it is a worth while marketing space. My prizes bare my logo and they last at least 3 month of playing for kids (I get feedbacks about it from customers).

          Keep up the good job Kris (-;

  • Scott Smith

    Hi Zivi!
    Thanks so much for sharing this brilliant information with us. I am going to implement your video system into my show. Not only are you providing a great value service for the customer, it gets parents sending them around to Facebook friends! This is genius!
    I might consider using two tripod video cameras during my show – one at the front facing the audience and one at the back, facing me. It will take longer but I’ll give it a try that way first. Lucky I’ve learned some video editing.

    My personalised service is in the form of invitations. I will insert all the details provided and have a5 invitations printed on card professionally at a local printer. It looks professional and the child’s party becomes the talk of the town! Other parents comment how well organised it looks.

    • Scott Smith

      Here’s one example, then I mail them to the parent.

    • Scott thank you and I hope it goes well for you. If it does I would love to see some videos too!
      I always try to KISS – keep it stupid simple it super simple so using my phone for the whole nine yards just makes sense for me, but if it is easy for you then go for it!

      About the invitation – definitely a wise idea to cusomize those and thank you so much for sharing a sample as well. The mom prints it at her home then?
      Sounds like you can go one extra mile and do what Kris does and put a picture of the kid inside – that way you are shifting from “choose one out of five” to “problem solved”.
      Plus this is the age of personalization or at least still an age that values that.
      Want to up the ante even further – embed a trick into the graphics like for example an animal hidden on the invitation that later will be forced on the show.
      Then use the printed version to finalize a trick. That way the content in the show was personalized and the invitation as well (-;

    • Hello Scott

      Thank you so much and I really believe you will enjoy the system and your customers will benefit tremendously too!
      I always try to KISS (keep it super simple) so doing it all on the phone makes sense for me.
      PLEASE share videos after you do it the first time or the second time.

      As for the invitation – I would suggest maybe even adding a hidden cat or animal and add a trick where you force it, then show everyone the invitation and prove it was in it the whole time. That way it’s not just customization of the invitation, not just personalization of the text in it but also an experience.

      Good luck my friend

      • Scott Smith

        Thanks Zivi, the hidden animal is a very unique idea and I appreciate it. I’ll have some fun designing a routine around that!
        I’ll try the tripod idea and also the iphone idea, I’m starting to think it would take me hours to do it on a computer. If there’s not a good chance of getting someone to help, the tripod could be a backup plan.
        I will do this and post a video ASAP!
        Ps. For some parents, downloading and printing invitations might not be easy for them. I’ll go the extra step by doing that and sending it to them in the mail. Whatever I can do to make it easier for the customer.

        • Scott – here is another golden nugget for you, in case you come through – http://tinyurl.com/.
          After you have a youtube or vimeo link (ugly long one with scary letters and numbers) put it through tinyurl and create a url with the NAME of the kid.

          These urls will run out fast… grab them while you can (-:

  • Zivi, you blew my mind. Great ideas! I’m also going to use the video idea in my elementary school author visits. I think giving the camera to the librarian will probably work. I’ll have to look at your book first. I’m on my way to buy it right now.

    Your podcast reminded me that I have lots of ideas on how to personalize my birthday parties, but I have done — NOTHING. What’s up with that? I know I’ve been busy with the school shows, but really, that’s not a good excuse. Thanks for the inspiration, and I think this is the kick in the pants that I needed to get something done!

    • Annie thank you SO much! I promise to refund you in case you are eventually selected – but you need to share a personalization idea to qualify (-;

      I really believe the CBS applies to any entertainment niche. The librarion would love to help you and also to SHOW your clip to many many visitors of the library. Even if she will only show it to her peers its already a huge marketing step.

      • Yep, the main people I want the librarians to share with are the students at the school (for motivation), the teachers and principal (for rebooking), and the librarians’ peers (to share the word so they’ll book).

        I’m not in the running for the book contest because even though I’ve thought about a lot of personalization ideas, my birthday party business has been really on the back burner so I haven’t implemented any of them. I think that should disqualify me because there’s been no implementation. Anyway, I’m happy to pay for the book because I know I’ll get loads more value than the price of the book.

        When I visit a public library or a school, they do get a signed book from me, and if I’m lucky, that will go onto the library shelves. I guess that’s personalization, sort of. At least it elevates my status to “author” instead of just “fun performer.” 😉

  • Hi Zivi and thank you for all the great information.

    To personalize the birthday children party I will send a letter to the children (snail mail) inside is a letter to the birthday children. Also in the letter are 2 things I ask to be completed and kept on the refrigerator door for the show day.

    1.) is a sticker printed at home – it has the child’s name on it and on the show day the child sticks it onto a magic wand that they use in my closer for the show (they get to keep the personalized wand)

    2.) is a personalized coluoring-in for my show – I display the finished colouring-in by the birthday child during the show and use the finished coloring in at the end of the show (closer where the personalized wand is used) to ask who wants a personalized colouring -in to take home (a souvenir for the day – The fact my contact details are also on the colouring cant hurt either 🙂 And so the personalized colouring-in will be soon on the fridges of 20-30 more children. heh, heh. 🙂

    • Stephen – wow your ideas are truly inspiring. Real personalization – with the sticker and colouring work (that is sent over snail mail). Hats off.
      Did it happen ever that the snail mail was too slow? Do you use this method to all ages?
      How about adding a game aspect to the snail mail – send a puzzle that they will colour, but ask the kid to hid each piece in another room or location in their home, and then later ask him to find it and hide it again, causing eventually a sitation where for a few days he plays hide and see with you in his head… Just drafting here, but since you have the platform of direct snail mail into their home, you can elavate it to even more then the show experience and wide it to life experience.

      • There have been an handful of shows where the snail mail was too slow – however, instead of mailing it, I delivered it to their mail box myself. All ages works – especially the name sticker on the magic wand for the finale.
        I have thought of how I could make a mailed item more interactive during and after the show…still in the making at the moment. 🙂

  • Thanks so much for this interview! So much valuable information! I think I will implement having the dad do videography with my iPhone.

    I find it interesting how other countries put so much emphasis on their children’s birthday parties and to what extent they will go to make it memorable. This may be an American thing or a local thing but I don’t feel that the parents who hire me are really that excited about their child’s party. I’m usually more excited than they are! It often appears like something that has to be done and over with as quickly as possible. Keep up with the Jone’s… invite all the classmates (accompanied by their parents), just like Timmy was invited to everyone else’s party. Parents often confide in me how uncomfortable they are in having their house full of strangers and they’re so anxious about having it over with. This is not every party but most of them.

    Hanging my head here in shame… I don’t do enough “added value” except maintain contact with the parent, and follow up with a thank you email and snail mail card. I always bring a special balloon creation for the birthday child following the them of the party. Will re-evaluate my methods!

    • Hi Christine

      I hope you go for it. If you do, I would love to see some results or suggestions.
      I love it when you share ideas and see them evolve later on (-;

      As for the parents who are a bit too tired from birthdays – do you see it mainly for a specific age group?
      Di you consider convincing the birthday kid parents to get rid of the other parents? there are ways to do it politely and that way you get a better karma in the room…
      If I were you I would write a guide to parents on how will the event look like minute after minute. if the parents will feel save, it will dissolve their anxiaty and will help with their stress.
      This is one of the reasons why I post a lot of blog post (in hebrew… sorry) – it helps me make the parents calm.

      A special balloon creation is something I use too, but I personalize it completely so the kid can actually choose ANYTHING in the universe (or in google images) and I will do it for him. I love challanges.

      Good luck Christine!

  • Guy Sheffer

    Hey Zivi,
    Great work!! Well done.
    I wish i had you patience 🙂
    (Discolser do all readers, i am a friend and co -worker to Zivi)
    I am very happy you keep pushing not only yourself but the entire community up.
    I hope everyone will get the chance to learn from your experience and up sell their products . i know i have..

    At birthdays i make an effort of bringing 2 exrra volunteers (adults: one man one woman at two different parts of the event) and most of my birthday bookings start with: i was your volunteer at x’s birthday and i would lije to invite you to our event..

    Good luck
    Guy Sheffer from Balonizem

    • Thank you Guy! I love your idea about using two adults in all of your shows. A very smart marketing idea and from seeing your show I can tell, it works!

      Did you try to play around with the number like maybe three or four?

      Keep up the good work and see you soon Guy.

  • Ken Morr (Morrison)

    It has been many years since I have regularly done birthday parties. For the last 30 years I specialized more in fairs, church related programs, and a few school assemblies. Most birthday shows during these years have been free gifts to the children of close relatives.
    I have not really done any of these things you mentioned back then when I did kids parties for a number of years. One reason is because back then there was no Internet, digital or tape videos, or any electronic social networks. Promotion was all by letters, phone calls, promotional flyers (usually rolled up to look like wands) given out at the part end of the party, and word of mouth.

    BUT NOW, in my current venues, word of mouth, brochures, and cold calls are all I have done, even with the advent of all this technology. I am learning much from Ken and Julian and their guests, like you Zivi. Only now am I in the process of designing a web presence and website. I really need to “get on the ball” and adapt the kinds of things you do for parties to fit the format of my shows. Of course, there is always audience participation and occasionally some photos taken for my own use. But never as an added feature and sales point on behalf of the client. That is a blessed bonus I believe I could benefit from. A HUGE THANKS!

    Ken Morrison

    • Hey Ken

      Thank you for sharing! I really believe this method is simple and fits all rooms in the house of magic. I defintily use it for my corporate gigs and the HR people LOVES it. it make them look good. I also help with teaser graphics with some comic application. The state of mind is to give as much value as possible to create champions that help you.
      If you are in that zone, it doesn’t really matter if its video, pictures, gifts, or even plain good old personal relationship.

      Thanks again

  • Liam Wall

    What a great interview! I was wondering Zivi what you put in between the clips in your “commercial” videos. I saw you out something but it was in Israeli. I will start making these but I was wondering what you put and any other tips for it.


    • Hi Liam – thanks!

      Quick note – my angle is not to put the iMovie clip into my website (although that is super cool too at the start of your website) but to make the best memoir ever for the employees of my corporate client.
      So I use the family template
      And I write:
      “Kids of Name of company
      Happy kids
      Knows how to work together (game shot)
      Knows how to have fun together
      This summer
      Loot at the magic show
      We had fun
      We did a show
      Thank you Zivi Kivi
      It was awesome
      Powered by name of company”

      Shameless plug:
      In my CBS book I have added about 20 links to private movies and gave more tips on how to brief the camera guy which applies also to corporate clients.


      P.s please show me what you made once you have it done. Have fun!

      • Liam Wall

        I have a birthday gig coming up with a friends kid so I will try out what I have learned and definitely show you.


  • Scott Smith

    Hey Zivi,
    Here is my version of what I promised – a video of my show which I passed onto the customer. I will make this one a DVD for them, and I can still edit this down to less than 2 minutes for a smaller online version.

    It helps me with my video editing skills too, which I am completely new to. I have never ever seen a video editor until a week ago.
    Thanks again. Great value adder!


    • Hey Scott

      Great great value that you are bringing to the family. Awesom job.
      I would LOVE to see the shorter version as this is the one that people will watch most – I mean outside the close family.

      You can use multiple tools to make the short version. If you need tips about that just let me know.

      p.s the crowed really loved you. Laughing sound is such a fun sound to hear!

      p.s 2 – I think you should always put your URL as the first line in the description.

      p.s 3 – wow – disco!

      • Scott Smith

        Thanks for watching Zivi. Little things like the URL in the description are things to top it off – thanks. I will post the small version when I edit it.

        Any tools & tips are more than welcome thanks! Perhaps here for others to see? I use my computer with Corel Videostudio. I really did try to get the best of the laughter & applause.

        Yeah a disco is a very successful add on! Kids are really in party mode for that – which is is what it is all about.

        Thanks so much!

        • Hey Scott

          On what age group do you use the disco option?

          As for the tools, I personally reccomend Magisto, Animoto and iMovie, and if you must then stupflix is ok too.

          Please note that some of these have free versions but those create a non-HD results.
          I personally used the paid version to tackle this, but it is a matter of taste. Start with a free version and see what you like first, this is what I say (-:

          Thanks again

          p.s – you really have to start using the p.s more often. Researches shows that people actually read the p.s more then any part of your email.

          p.s 2 – and this is so useful as it basically allows you to emphasize messages.

          p.s 3 – like for example – please don’t be a stranger – visit http://zivikivi.co.il/knowledge for the latest and greatest of the stuff that I share with the magic community (-;

          • Scott Smith

            Haha yeah I’ve hear of that little PS trick, it does work! I read the PS with intrigued focus, like how could you forget to say something in the main body?
            Thanks for the editing tools. I already got Corel Videostudio. But those are other options.

            – Scott
            Ps. My disco is available to any age from 5 & older. With young kids I will play children’s music, and some light pop, and older kids can send me a playlist & favourite artists. Every single disco has had rave reviews from parents afterwards. I’ve only done about 6 of them so far.

          • Scott Smith

            Hi Zivi ,
            Here is the 2.5 minute version of the video. Great for Facebook.

            Once again, thanks for inspiring me.

  • Hi team! I recently purchased Zivi’s Pizza Calculator and love it! I asked Zivi to make a couple of adjustments to the wording and coding, and he was really helpful and responsive. Here are 4 ways I’m using the plugin to increase traffic to my website and provide more value: 1). I used the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to do some quick keyword research. Then I wrote a blog post using those keywords and published it on my website; 2). I used Tweriod and Facebook Insights to see when my audience was online and scheduled the blog post to be published/shared during those times; 3). I added the calculator to my party resources page; and 4). I used Facebook’s Power Editor to create an ad and share the blog post with a custom audience of people who’ve expressed an interest in my show but haven’t booked me yet. It’s still too early yet to provide the results, but I’m confident that over time these small actions will be helpful to my clients, generate more traffic and lead to more bookings.

    • Bravo Evan. Your steps on leveraging the usage of high quality content are inspiring.

      I did the following:
      1. step 1 like you did, but instead of a blog post I bought a new domain and created a fully functional local website.
      2. promoted the story on facebook media on my page, shared it, and posted it in a closed moms group generating 160 reference income traffic in 24 hours.
      3. added the calculator to my auto responder for pre sale funnel.
      4. added an email list builder (sumome) on that website to start capturing new leads.

      its so fun when poeple share ideas. Such a win win situation.

  • Thank you everyone for contributing and sharing. I will now choose the two winners.

    Reminder: as stated in the podcast interview, I was mainly focused on ways that you personalize your service to a specific customer.

    I noticed several use the method of customized birthday invitation which is awesome (I personally use it too) but Kris Sheppard really took this to the next level and is able to “find” the birthday kid picture on facebook and integrate that for the mon. this is right to do in so many levels (facebook communication established, save time for the mom, easy to share etc).

    I also particularily like ideas that involve personalization of your show. Stephen Von Spiegelhauer manages to customize a magic wand with artwork made by the kid in advance and also empowers the birthday kids with custom made art sent over snail mail to the customer. brilliant stuff that truly bonds with kids and empowers them nice stuff.

    So Kris, and Stephen – please email me at zivi@zivikivi.co.il and you will recieve your free copy of the CBS E-book where I will give you scripts on how to implement the added value summary video clip, explain the psycology of it deeply and share with you 10 more golden nuggets that helped me along the way to raise value and price.

    For the sake of honesty I have to say – it was an awesome discussion all. Thank you for being such a great nation. MB nation that is.

    One more note – if you are a magician and reading this after Augost first, feel free to still share your personalizion ideas. You will not get the option to win a free copy of my e-book, but I will coach you on that idea with all of my heart.

    My very best regards

    Zivi Kivi

    p.s – PLEASE share with me videos one you make them like Scott Smith done. I mean videos made after hearing the podcast. I wanna see those happy faces!

    p.s 2 – Nice work Kris and Stephen!

    • Hello and thank you Zivi. Prizes aside, thank you to all who post ideas to these pod casts as I have already learnt much from my peers.

      Zivi, for some magical reason my email to you has bounced and said it was unable to be delivered. As an alternative I will post my email here. 2coolmagicschool4kids@gmail.com.
      kindest regards

      • Thanks Stephen. I have sent you the email and fixed mine as well (-:


  • A live example of the usage of the Pizza Calculator.

    I have also added a link to it from my site so Ketin – expect an SEO boost as well (-:


  • Philip Taylor

    Hi Zivi,

    I know this wasn’t the answer to your question, but it got me thinking how could I add value to my clients? So what I’m going to be doing from now on is taking as many pictures as possible and videos, from the moment I walk into the moment walk out. I’m thinking of adding a intro and ending video with a call to action or a follow me button. I got so much gold from your interview, simply put “amazing” thank you for sharing your ideas. Here is my first video http://youtu.be/5VPcOrOvPKU

    • Philip this clip is so happy and fun. Good job!
      I think its better to make it shorter, and would reccomended you to use animoto pro. the best investment you will ever make.
      I think the editting you do is awesome though. maybe you don’t need a tool. I love those pauses man.

      You simply managed to capture the fun in the event.

      Get rid of the “book” message at the end though. its cheap. Remember we are in the era of experience – we do not ask for people to pay us. They simply love us for how we make them feel.

      I think that doing close up and filming EVERYTHING by the spectator is simple brilliant.


  • magicpro12

    Question on the Pizza Calculator. I do not use wordpress. I use Yahoo’s web creation software. Can this work through other channels other than WordPress?

    • Hello magicpro12

      I am sorry but no.
      What you can do is use the MBP WordPress guide (it’s in video format and is free) to learn how to build a website on WordPress in five minutes.

      Then you can create a free website on WordPress.com
      Then add a link from your site to the new one.

      WordPress is so cool that adding the plugin and customizing it takes between 5-30 minutes and it’s also great for SEO

      Good luck my friend

  • Tim

    Thank you so much for such a wonderful interview. It actually inspired me to take action and make my first video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nolqY0njuIo Older brother was in charge of recording. I quickly edited it after the show using Vivavideo app. I sent it to mom next morning, she responded with so much gratitude and love. I think Ill keep making more videos 🙂 being aware there is few thing I have to improve on.
    btw. show I did on the video, was the first time I asked for full payment in advance (thanks to Ken Dyne advice), so what happened after the show, mom actually felt she owns me more money as I exceeded her expectations…no more that ugly feeling and waiting for somebody to pay you

  • mstar

    Are you really increasing your income when you are working longer? 2 hours plus 20-30 minutes to make an edit the video means 2.5 hours for the $500. I don’t know if you also spend time making up candy cups or larger balloon sculptures before the event, but if so that time should be factored into how much time you put in total. Is the end result better than getting 2 shows with a fast reset and no extra pre and post production work? Maybe, asdrive time between two gigs could equal out.
    At two hours how many parties can be booked in an afternoon or are only trying for one?

    • https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu_qFDanGPY
      Please watch this.
      I prefer making sure I make $500 for a day of work.
      If you prefer working more for less pay and make a total income which is bigger – fine. Do that.
      I am 37 years old. I want to find a balance with raising my 3 kids and not to drive that much from gig to gig.
      I love the ego trip of people paying high prices for something unique.

      Hope this help clarify my approach

      • mstar

        Thank you for your response.
        I am saying, I will have a better chance of getting two parties at $250 with less than hour drive between, than 1 party at $500 but have maybe an hour at home for pre and post show work. I don’t know why some forget to add in the time at home.
        If I include in my price a custom balloon and I think it will take x but it takes twice as long, that is time I am not being paid for .

        Yes, I have seen that guy before. It is OK advice but it starts from the point of subjective projection. Who says he is worth $500 vs $1000 a day? It is a made up number. I have been doing this for over 25 years so I can say my experience makes me worth $2000 a day, but that does not mean I will get 2000 for a birthday party when the market average is $250 for one hour.
        Most parents in USA like to present the cake and be involved. I don’t see the two hour party show around me. They like variety and time for the kids to run around. But I would love to be convinced otherwise.

        Zivi, are you saying you did not get less bids for work at the higher price? Did your demand remain the same or have moved to less but wealthier clients?

        • I am getting more gigs and more bids.
          I have a system these days that can help you test it out – I set some dates with a minimum fee of $400 and the rest of the dates for $500. After I book a gig I try to upsell for the $900 package that has cups and decor from balloons.

          Look – if you don’t feel you are worth $500 then you are not ready. It’s a harder sell so you might wanna real a book about selling over the phone and for sure you will need practice. It took me 5 years to double my price.

          • mstar

            I am worth more than that and have been paid more for school shows. It is tough when so many performers offer even live animals for $175-250 /hour and are good performers. due to allergies, I can’t work with animals.
            So I am already on the higher side but in their eyes give less if they compare . I already have balloon sculptures and puppet to make up for it.
            Zivi I have tried higher prices but work less over all. In fact I have been discount my quotes as some weeks no work was coming in to make up enough for the losses, waiting for the bid show to come in. I mean there is a point I had to take work rather than not work. I am just not able to connect with those willing to see past the price alone. I can’t blame them for being smart shoppers. Around me, parent know they can easily run the second hour of a party for less than what you charge and want to be involved. I do envy your ability to have a culture that likes to brag about what it cost then rather than what they saved.
            Zivi, I do appreciate all the time you spent on comments to my questions. I do want to learn what is affective. I still wonder if we are speaking about two levels of clients. In the interview you said the parties are middle class incomes. But did that stay the same when you raised your fee? Did you get the same income level to spend more , over the others or did you find a new crowd of upper middle class or wealthy that like to show off?

          • You misunderstood the culture. People here love to brag on how low they paid too. You need to actually convince them that you are worth it.
            80% of my customer hasn’t changed in terms of economical status. I just replaced the rest from low income people to high income people.
            You need to do two things my friend.
            1. Buy Andrew Smith’s book (episode 1 of the MBP)
            2. Make your show 100% unique. It’s easier to sell on the phone once it is.

            And please consider learning more about what I do these days at
            (And join the free upcoming webinar)

          • mstar

            Do you decide to put in x number of total time per gig at various price point s or only base it on day rate?
            That is, the $500 package, how much total time are you are putting into it with invites customization, post video work?
            What about the $900 package which has more labor it seems? Or are you not concerned about that time because you only looking at day rate?

          • I like using fair systems. It helps me convince people that it is fair. So Monday and Tuesday’s I give the discount.
            The $500 package is worth 7 hours in total of my time.
            About 3 more hours for the 900$.
            I measure my work on a daily manner. I also love not to work on some days so it’s a win win.

  • mstar

    What do you do when the parents want to use there own camera because they want more than a minute memory? Or what about them wanting to host the adult friends but you want them to work for you by following a script? Don’t they feel nervous they wil do a bad job and not be enjoying the experience? How are you convincing them they should work for you for the 2 hours? Do you feel it is cultural/regional? I don’t think US parents will do it for that long. When they do, it is in their own terms at key moments to them . I would enjoy more info and any feedback on how it works in other areas.

    • Hello Mstar

      Most parents use both my camera and theirs as well. I sell them the raw data if they want it but that’s just my style and just officially.
      If they don’t want to work for me they don’t. And they don’t get the summary clip.
      Usually they find a friend and have him work.
      I charge a lot so my customers want to work and use all of the budget…
      Some of them feel nervous but my script in my e-book solves all issues that I encountered related to briefing.

      About convincing – it’s also in the e-book. Try it and if you don’t like the content inside I will be happy to refund you…
      You basically show them a few samples and they see the value.

      I am sure there is a way to do so in any culture. Facebook make you clips and we don’t say – isn’t this rude of them…

      I agree this system requires some courage. My business grew a lot from it in many many ways


      • mstar

        Was that the only difference? I think you stated in the podcast in your country they all do a 2 hour party for $250- 350 with the same events like cake and chair raising? So was the personal video the main value add that changed your pricing or was there much more you do that others don’t.
        If you have a book and lecture on this, aren’t you concerned your competition will just do it as well and take away your USP. ( unique selling position)

        • My friend – I do so many edge-crafting (as Seth Godin calls it) in my service that really I cannot say this is the only change.
          I bring a box for gifts.
          I send check lists and tips before and after
          I come 90 minutes before the show to make bonding
          And on and on and on. Who knows what is the killer feature?
          Or maybe there is no killer feature. Just a process called marketing and it just goes on and on and on. You never stop with it. Even when you managed to raise your fees.

  • mstar

    I thought the pizza calculir was a fun idea. I am sure the pizza shops don’t like you if it is accurate sinc less is ordered. 😉
    However, I have to know what amount of pizza you are using as your base per kid? I did a test and it still is over stated. 5 pies for 15, 6 year olds? that is 40 large slices . maybe you have smaller pies than we do in the East coast ha ha. Around me , some the cut the pie into 16 for small kids. Even though we are in the United States and are thought to eat a lot, this is the one place I see a lot of wasted food. Kids are so excited and have so many other things to eat that the main course usually gets wasted. They aren’t thinking about eating as much as the parents are.
    I guess your calculator would have to be basing it on a certain size slice and how much you think they will eat of it. It seems like you’re still am estimating even at 6 years old 2 slices for child with a little extra left over correct? When I checked out the link that was provided it showed Little Caesars.
    Does that mean your app can allow you to bring two certain pizza places? Aldo in New Jersey USA we all have our favorite local pizza places and none of them are usually the chains.

    • After you buy the app I support you personally and help you adjust the algorithm
      In Israel a kid under 6 will eat only one slice. Above it – 8 slices for 6 kids.
      Parents eat? Multiple by 1.8…
      Add minor buffer…

      • mstar

        Thanks good to know you will customize. I followed the link on this page and it came up with 40 slices (5 pies) for 15 6 year olds, no adults eating. So it still over stated unless it was adjusted for the client already?

        • mstar

          Also, if it is free to use and easy to access in a face book or blog post, what helps them higher you rather than just use the tool and not book? Is there a way to track if it is an effective tool to turn the sale?

          • Only on your site as it is a WordPress plugin. Can be used on a page and on a post.
            Use analytics to find out who is using your calc. Turn to sale by good looking side page banner… Mostly use this as a tool to improve relationships with your customers

        • On my site I get 4 pies.
          Which sound right for me.