MB 020: Marketing School Shows with Joe Romano


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Joe Romano Marketing School Shows

Marketing School Shows

There’s power in a simple ‘thankyou’!

How much time have you spent searching for cutting edge marketing strategies and clever software  that will elevate our magic business to the next level.  As worthwhile a pursuit as this is – it’s something Ken and I always do – there comes along every now and then someone who offers an insight that is so simple and old fashioned that it almost becomes invisible, because we complex humans like to overlook the simple.

Joe Romano runs an operation called Ultimate School Shows out of the east coast of the USA. His marketing strategies share a common simplicity and directness. He sums this up in a formula called CIA: Content, Image, Appreciation

Get your copy of CIA NOW!

Ultimate School Show Secrets by Joe Romano

originalUSA Residents 

If you are a USA resident use this link.


International Customers

If you live outside of the USA the book sells for 125.00 with shipping.
To get your copy simply just Paypal $125.00 to: 

In this episode we talk about

  • Understanding the school market
  • What motivates principals and teachers to book
  • Striking a balance between message and magic
  • Taking pride in your shows and the benefit to you
  • The importance of having a good show to start with
  • Measuring your results
  • His super simple but most effective marketing tip
  • Looking to industry leaders outside of magic for marketing inspiration
  • Building a following of raving fans

Resources and links mentioned in this episode

Joe’s School Show website:   UltimateSchoolShows.com

The book about building your raving fans:
Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service

Thank you for listening

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Please leave a comment below

Thanks again, Ken and Julian

Meet the Author

Julian Mather

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Dennis

    I have been doing school shows for the last 14 years. My only fear, is that too many “magicians” will enter the field who have no ability to write and present a truly educational show. Please, folks, don’t just see schools as a way to make more money, you will muddy it for everyone. Be sure you have the passion and commitment to develop and provide truly professional, curriculum based programs.

    • Julian Mather

      It’s getting harder to get past the front door without a solid professional curriculum based show. Nicely summed up Dennis

  • Dennis

    Thanks Joe for an outstanding interview.

  • Jared Gale

    I must confess I don’t thank my customers as well as I should! I just send out a quick email! Great tips and advice as always from the podcasts, I will be sure to take the time and effort into thanking my customers properly after every booking!

    • Julian Mather

      Put on your thinking cap now Jared and come up with an idea. Post it here and might just win Joe’s book!

      • Jared Gale

        I’m going to start giving lottery tickets to thank my customers! If they win then the publicity would be huge! And even if they don’t, every time they play the lottery, they’d think of me and my brand!

        • Rubix

          My grand finale for my show is predicting the lottery numbers with a real lottery ticket used for the reveal, your idea would play into that wonderfully. Thanks.

          • Jared Gale

            No problem! I’m sure it would work, you could even give them the lottery ticket when you turn up at the show, and at the end say you have them the ticket, and show the numbers match? 🙂

        • It’s funny that when I read this I thought of John Archer. He thought about handing out lottery tickets when he does his Blank Night routine. He hands out his John Archer commemorative zero dollar bills because he felt he would be devastated if he actually handed out a lottery ticket that actually won a lot of money. I still think it’s a good idea.

          • Jared Gale

            Yeah, I might get 2 every time and keep one, otherwise I’d kick myself! Very good point!

  • Joe Diamond

    Another great $5 gift for clients is HUGO on DVD. It’s a touching story, appropriate for any age, and is about a magician! Also easy to mail!

    • Julian Mather

      I like your thinking Joe. Do you have a special line you use to go with this?

      • Joe Diamond

        I sometimes say, “This is one of my favorite movies about magic. Martin Scorsese directed it, and Ben Kingsley plays a real magician who actually lived. It’s only rated PG so you can watch it with the whole family. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.” Or I’ll just keep it simple and say, “I got you a thank you gift for being so wonderful!”

  • I don’t have a thank you to share yet, but after this episode I’m certainly going to get thinking. Do not underestimate the importance of what Joe has shared here. I’m writing this not as a magician now but as someone who has worked in schools for 15 years. Principals are hardly ever thanked. Most of the day they deal with complaints. They may be the best principal in the world, but the nature of their job is to deal with problems. If you genuinely, sincerely show them appreciation and comment on the positive things you noticed in their school you will absolutely make their day. This isn’t just a trick to get a repeat booking, this is your chance to make a difference and encourage someone else as they perform a very difficult and stressful job. I am ashamed to say I hadn’t thought of this simple gesture before this podcast, but now that it has been mentioned I’m like: “YES!” This is what principals need. Even if you don’t get a repeat booking, go ahead and make someone’s day. As for me, I’m off to research some thank you ideas (I don’t do school shows yet but am working toward launching one next year!)

    • Julian Mather

      This is such a great insight Andrew. I have it on my list of interview ideas to go to a Principals Conference and do a group discussion type interview where i just ask principals what they want, what they need, what they don’t want and what bugs them.

      • That would be really interesting!

      • Jared Gale

        Sounds like a great idea!

  • Doug Scheer

    In my thank you notes to the principal or PTA I always mention how wonderful the custodian was in making my set up easier. That info always gets passed on. The following year when I return, the custodians remember my earlier gratitude and go out of their way to assist (helping to unload, bringing me water etc). It’s always about relationships and making everyone feel better.

    • Julian Mather

      Too true Doug. Most of the world is built on relationships but we being dumb humans always have to be reminded of it. Go figure.

  • Owen Anderson

    I create custom thank you cards using high quality blank, embossed ‘photo mount cards’ available at art supply stores. Attached photo features 4 that I just sent out to library customers. One features an 80 year old book plate from a library book from that library (a total fluke find), one is of the only covered bridge in my province, one is of a waterfall near my home, and one is a silly Photoshop rabbit going over Niagara Falls in a barrel sent to a librarian near Niagara Falls. I always have a camera with me at gigs to get video testimonials so when I see some interesting local attraction I snap a shot and use it for the thank you. Depending on the dollar amount of the booking I may also include a coffee card which is signed/gifted to “Client” from the rabbit.

    • Julian Mather

      I love the one with the unique bookplate. It wouldn’t be hard to nose around and find ‘something’ that adds a personal touch. What was the response (if any) from doing this Owen?

      • Owen Anderson

        Being a thank you card I’m not really expecting a
        response although I do get some emails telling me they enjoyed the
        personal touch.

        Also, 3 out of the 4 cards pictured were being
        sent to repeat bookings so…

  • It it’s a show that I’m able to tape, I put together a short video slideshow / video montage of the highlights of the show. I’m looking through the video to gather highlights for myself as well anyway, so it really isn’t much extra time to cut and paste a few clips / screen shots to put together a 30 to 60 second highlight reel set to music. If it’s a birthday show, I’ll do it as long as the segment with the birthday child went well. I’m not going to send something to a parent that doesn’t highlight their child doing well (even if I use clips from other parts of the show myself).

    • Julian Mather

      A good integration of podcast ep 18 and episode 20. Great to see members getting value from the podcasts.

  • Thanks for another great podcast!

    It’s always astounded me how bad customer service has become. With how companies are struggling and competing, you would think that customer service would go through the roof, but my experience (and that of people with whom I speak) has been that exactly the opposite has occurred.

    I know that Joe jokes about it, but magicians sucking (and sometimes badly) is a VERY real issue. I was at a lecture this past week where someone had tried to put together a network of magicians for very specific type work. He wound up giving up for a number of reasons, but one of the hurdles he talked about having to overcome was convincing business owners that he actually screened magicians and that the magicians he would send to them would actually be good. Business owners had such a history of BAD magicians that it was a significant issue with which he constantly had to deal.

    I know that I, having started to delve seriously into this business in an area that is known (supposedly) for being one of the top areas in the nation for it, have been very much underwhelmed by what I have seen. There are notable exceptions, and I’ve seen some good magicians, but on the whole, it’s nowhere near as good as I had expected. While being somewhat depressing for magic as a whole, it also gives me hope that I’ll be able to make significant progress in the coming years due to holding myself to a high standard when it comes to performing.

    • Julian Mather

      One of the things that jogged me into thinking was when Joe said the Show is as important as the business, as opposed to the tired other cliche we all know. Just reinforces how you have to be focused and driven in everything you do to rise above.

  • Joe Romano

    Great comments and discussion so far! Thanks to all!

  • Cory Clarke

    I send out hand written thank you cards to the birthday child, and talk about something they did to help me out in the routines.

    I also send a seperate note to the parents thanking them for thier business – and tell them about how they have a chance to win a special gift for thier child. A season contest – which I’ve been doing for 4 years now – if you visit my website – you will see all my contest winners and what they have won in the past.

    For the winner – I show up in costume with my bunny – and present the child with a gift.

    For those who were in the running – I always send a small gift card (star bucks) for thanking them for participating.

    For school shows – I send a photographed and signed card of my self, along with a personalized hand written letter – and give them the chance to win a free 1 hour session for any fundraising events they have going on through the year (they usually always do!)

    Also – in November of every year – every one of my clients I had in the last 365 days will receive a holiday card with a small magic gift inside.

    I think this is the best response I get from all my clients. They all can’t believe I took them time to send them a small gift for the holidays.

    It’s so Important to show your clients appreciation – and I go out of my way to do so with everyone.

    Cory Clarke
    Magical Duda

    1 855 223 3832

    • Julian Mather

      That’s a solid client appreciation plan you have going there Cory. Impressive that you work it so methodically.

      • Cory Clarke

        Thanks, Julian!

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