MB 029: Contracts For Magicians With Todd Neufeld


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Contracts For Magicians

Todd Neufeld Discusses Contracts, Documents, Deposits, Refunds and Other Things ‘Legal’




In This Episode We Discuss:

  • Business organisation
  • Having the correct documentation
  • What is a contract?
  • Why contacts help customer anxiety.
  • How to deal with disagreements you may have with a client
  • How to stop it getting ugly with a client
  • Deposits – the benefits and disadvantages of taking them
  • How much should ask for a deposit?
  • Can you ask for full payment before the booking starts?


Links and resources discussed in this episode:

Todd’s personal site:  www.toddneufeld.com

Todd’s performing site:  www.twistedballoon.com

Todd’s business management software:  www.managersal.com

Special Magician Business deal exclusively for Magician Business listeners.


Magician Business Special Offer

Get a 90 day free trial of Manager Sal by quoting Magician Business. This is 2 months extra on top of the regular 30 day free trial.

Note: Ken and Julian have no affiliation with this product and receive no money in any form from bringing you this exclusive offer.


This is an interesting discussion about putting a non-refundable deposit on your contract. Though on a photography website, just cross out the word photographer photographer and insert magician to make it relevant.


This is the Balloon Workshop Blueprint we talked about. It’s a great way to get extra bookings over the times when school is out. (You don’t need any balloon twisting skills!)







The winner of the free membership to the Balloon Workshop Blueprint from the competition we ran in Ep.27 is Joe CooverWell done Joe. Contact us at julian@magicianbusiness.com and we’ll get you logged in so you can start immediately.

Thank you for listening

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Thanks again, Ken and Julian

Meet the Author

Julian Mather

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • In the “everyone is still figuring things out for themselves” category, definitely some things here that don’t agree with some of the other interviews. To me, the most notable one was his comment about NOT staying around afterwards, something I’ve consistently heard from numerous people here and elsewhere is a good thing to do.

    I’m not sure if balloons are the same since I could see people continuing to ask for a balloon to be made, whereas if you have a magic show, it’s less likely that people will come as say, “one more trick.” Of course, I think you should always have some more tricks, especially ones to hand out business cards, but that’s a different topic.

    • I’ll have to listen again Bart. I thought Todd said that having to collect the remainder of the payment allowed him stay around which was a good thing as opposed to getting payment before which meant he could slip out quickly which is tempting for obvious reasons. I know you pay attention to detail Bart so i’m thinking you are right.

  • Ken mentioned a processor that is well below the 5%. I was wondering if he’d care to share it, or it it’s available in the US, because PayPal or credit cards are going to take around 3%, sometimes more – and that’s a guaranteed 3% that they will take out. So if you are losing 5% of shows, that’s now down to a 2% (or less) difference.

    I’m also wondering if you have you done any experimenting with how small a deposit you need to take in order for people to secure the date and keep the cancellation rate at 0 (or very low) ? I could see a small deposit working as well as a larger one, because from a psychological point of view, the person has paid you SOMETHING. And, the less they pay online / more they pay in cash, the less money you’re paying to the company handling the process.

    • Can’t answer any of those % questions. To me it’s just a cost of business. Find a payment processor that suits you for other reasons and as long as it is in the same ballpark, sign up and move on to getting bookings. I’m sure there are many who will point out that over a year or two this attitude could amount to thousands of dollars. True. To me I value less stress in my life way more than $$$.

  • While I agree with the contracts being a plus in terms of making you look more professional, in today’s social media / review site era, even if your contract is iron-clad, you need to evaluate if taking a hit on your ratings is worth it to get paid if there is any dispute. From what I’ve read, it’s often very difficult (and sometimes impossible) to get unjustified bad ratings removed.

    Here’s a take on dealing with customers (even bad ones) that says do WHATEVER it takes to make the customer happy and get the highest possible review. He does have one four star review somewhere with the rest (over 100) being 5 star reviews.


    • Ah, yes, the wonderful world we have created for ourselves. This has good info in this video. Thanks Bart

  • steve wick

    I have to admit that I was little unsure of this Podcasts topic. I don’t ask for a deposit and as yet I have never had a problem, I didn’t think I used a contract, but I quickly realised that my Booking Confirmation that is sent to every booker is infact exactly that. And I’m pleased to say that the detail that I put in is just what Todd has suggested. While I always thought of it as a way of making sure that I had the right information about the event and the clients expectations,while also reassuring the client of what was going to happen, I now see it in a different light.

    • That you are thinking about it means we have enlightened one person and there fore the podcast was worth the effort. Mission accomplished.

  • I only use contracts with corporate events or request deposits (I actually call a retainer fee) if the event is more than 2 months away. So far I’ve never been taken in. You all might want to check this very cool ap called “Shake” where you can type an agreement on your phone/iPad within a few minutes. Both you and your client can sign & copies emailed. So far it only works “in person” but I would definitely use it if I had to draft something real quick. Maybe not related to my entertainment business… worth checking out!

  • Another great podcast! I’m already on the free trial as I was previously using invoices as my “contract”. This is way better and I like the tracking tools for managing enquiries. One point I did questions was not taking payments upfront in order to have more stable cash flow. I take most booking payments in advance. Primarily because I work mainly in the corporate and wedding industry where clients EXPECT to pay up front or at least put down a deposit. However, I think with this new “contract” system I’ll be able to bring this over to more kids events.

    Insofar as cash flow management, this is not a problem if I run a proper business budget. If anyone is having issues managing cash flow and how to have a weekly “pay” as such, I recommend checking out http://www.ynab.com. These guys started as a personal budget tool, but it is fantastic for running a “Magician Business”. I’d love to hear feedback on what others do to run the financial side of their business. Always open to new ideas (although I do love YNAB…. ;p)

  • Graham

    I really enjoyed this podcast made me re think contracts for all events not just some which I think reminds me that consistency is a big key to success ………………………oh did gibe a 5 star itunes review so looking forward to the dancing video