My Story – Going Pro in Kids Entertainment Part 1

Steve Wickenton Going pro as a kids entertainer

Going Pro as a Kids Entertainer

Over the coming months I am going to share with you how I took my Children’s Magic Entertainment Business from a small part time affair to a full time career. Well, you get to experience it with me …

The exciting thing is that as I write this, I am still a Part Time Children’s Magician, but all going to plan, I will finish writing these posts as a full time Magician.

When I first made the decision to go pro, I was doing between 3-5 magic shows a month. I don’t know when, but at some point I realised that I could actually make some good money out of magic and so I set a goal to be a full time Magician by Dec 2015.

I had read and heard so many times before that goals can always be broken down into smaller goals, but I had never really understood what that meant. Sure I had tried it a few times for different things over the years, but somehow it all just seemed unrealistic and unachievable, so this time I approached it all a little differently, this time I planned my plan.

I started with my goal of being full time by Dec 2015 and calculated how many shows I needed to do a week in order to equal the income my family had become accustomed to.  I then set interim goals, but unlike in the past where I had broken my goals down into “where I wanted to be at certain times”, I worked out “where I needed to be at certain times” in order to reach my goal and its deadline.

Next steps

Next I planned how I would actually get these extra shows. With a very quick look across my current business, I realised that 95% of my work came via my website. Therefore if I wanted to increase my number of bookings, I needed to increase the number of potential clients visiting my website. So my first smaller goal was to start an AdWords Campaign and also continue good SEO practices to help improve my Google rankings. That seemed simple enough, but in order to do that I needed to learn how to run and maintain a successful AdWords Campaign and that became a goal in itself. I also decided to improve my show to a higher standard so that my clients truly felt they were getting value for money, and this created even more, smaller goals.

As I worked my way backwards from my main goal to each smaller goal, I realised that I was in fact breaking my goals down into achievable goals with easy deadlines to work towards. All these small steps have now been broken down even further into daily and weekly routines that include AdWords maintenance, client relationship building, monitoring SEO rankings, adding ideas and improving my show, planning and writing new shows, networking, and educating myself with new ideas and software that help  me reach my goals easier.

After just a few months of working at these broken down goals I have progressed so quickly, that my main goal of going full time is actually well within reach and I am now aiming to be full time by July 2015.

Of course planning this plan is really only one slice of what I have done to grow my business so fast and in my next post I am will be sharing with you a hard lesson I learnt on how saving money can sometimes be a very expensive exercise.

  • Jeffrey Knight

    Sounds great, Steve. I’m in the same process and have been working over the past 12 months to position myself to be full-time in the business by this summer. I am at 65% of my goal at this point with 18 show this month. I am still working part time in my former career. I look forward to learning more about what you are doing and would be happy to share what seems to be working in my business. Thanks.

    • steve wick

      Hi Jeffrey please share anything you feel may benefit someone. The greatest thing about this Hub is we can all learn and grow from each other. From what yoiu have said it sounds like you have reduced your full time work as your entertainment work has grown. That is a great idea and something I am goinng to implement soon. I have really hit that spot at the moment where I feel like I’m holding down 2 full time jobs. Thanks for commenting and I hope you find my future posts of value too

    • Yes Jeffrey, please share. Steve has graciously let us in on his ups and downs. I was desperate for this sort of knowledge when I started out. I had so many questions but no one to ask. You guys are the experts on this. I don’t want to hear what it was like 30 years ago, I want to know what it is like in March 2015. The forums will be up and running within a week. This sounds like a good category to have.

      • Julian, I’m with you on wanting to know what it’s like right now! Don’t get me wrong, I love to hear how the pros have done it but 20 years ago, everything was very different. Sure, there were lots of challenges then but I relate much better to folks like me who have only been in this industry a few years. I too have been following Steve’s journey – we both started it about the same time with your BYMS modules! Seems like yesterday!

  • Wow! This is going to an incredible blog to inspire people like us who are wanting to be full-time magicians and entertainers. Steve thank you for sharing your experiences down this road. I look forward to learning more. I too am wanting to go pro in the coming years and I am just now in the middle of Build Your Own Magic Show. To both you and Jeffrey best of luck in hitting that goal this summer. How long have you both been doing magic part-time?

    • steve wick

      Hi Jeffrey and thanks for your support. BYMS is an excellent building block for a successful Kids Magic Entertainment Business. I know it is because that is where I really got things going for myself. I began performing Magic for audiences 2 years ago this April. It has been a whirlwind of events and while technically I’m still part time, I really feel like it’s full time now. You are in the right place Jeffrey, surrounding yourself with people like Julian Mather, Ken Kelly and all the BYMS and KEH contributors will give you all the information you need as you need it. Looking forward to hearing more from you as your business grows too.

      • Jeffrey Jester I have personally witnessed Steve’s transformation over 18 months. It’s chalk and cheese, it’s from acorn to oak tree. All he needed was the right tools and encouragement and Steve is building his own road to doing what he wants to do. You guys should really compare notes. The value of being part of community with a common purpose is so important in getting you to where you want to be faster.

  • Steve, having followed much of your journey through the Build Your Magic Show group, I’m really looking forward to reading these posts. I can relate to what you said in the comments, at the moment I also feel like I’m holding down 2 jobs as my magic business grows but I still need to maintain a primary income source. I’m enjoying the ride, though, and am always inspired hearing how others are going in their similar journey.

    • steve wick

      It’s very excitting times for us Andrew. There are quite a few of us from BYMS that are pushing through to the full time position, and I know that you are hot on track to go Pro. I am going to be writing a post about balancing the income source. It is a subject very hot in our houshold at the moment. Anything you want to share would be greatly appreciated by everyone here.

      • I find that energy and time are two of the most precious resources at the moment! What you’ve said about breaking long term goals into smaller actionable ones is so important. There are so many things we “could be doing” to get our businesses going, but not everything is contributing toward the long term goal. I’m having to be really selective about what I do and don’t action. Sometimes this means in the short term some lost opportunities, but in the long term I need to be heading in the right direction or I’ll never get there.

        • steve wick

          That is a very valid point Andrew. It is an ongoing question in my head everytime I find myself getting sidetracked by something that I hadn’t planned on. “Is this something that will be of benefit to my goals and secondly is it a priority or something for a rainy day. There are so many distractions and things we can use as procrastination tools to avoid the harder tasks. I am careful too though to try and open new doors and see if there are new things that will benefit my long term goals or extend them further.

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