Embracing Change

In the last few months I've had a recurring conversation with colleagues and coaching clients regarding the topic of the economy and businesses that are doing poorly. The truth of the matter is that the economy is doing well. If you've been in business for over ten years, then you know what it was like before the great recession when everyone was doing great. If your business is doing poorly today, then you're doing something wrong. You're probably doing business the same way you were eight years ago.

embrace change - marketing tips
embrace change - marketing tips

The world is a much different place than it was eight years ago. Most of the social media and the mobile devices that are so common today, didn't even exist. People connect and communicate very differently than they did back in 2007. This video goes into more detail on how to connect with your target market and grow your business.

Lou Serrano

You’ll Never Become Bigger Than Yourself If You Insist On Working Alone

You'll never become bigger than yourself if you insist on working alone.
You'll never become bigger than yourself if you insist on working alone.

As speakers, entertainers, artists, coaches, and consultants, we go into business because we love what we do. We have a passion and we want to share it with the world. We don’t have a boss. We set our own hours. We tell the world we are entrepreneurs, when in reality we are freelancers.

Seth Godin has gone into detail describing the difference between a freelancer and an entrepreneur. I’ll give a brief description here. A freelancer gets paid for doing a job. An entrepreneur builds something bigger than himself.

In reality, a freelancer has many bosses. Each one paying when the job, service, or product is delivered or completed. An entrepreneur on the other hand builds a business and can get others to run it. Once the machine is created, it can keep running without the active participation of the entrepreneur. He has built something bigger than himself.

One is not better than the other, but it’s a good idea to make the distinction. It helps clarify what it is that we’re doing.

As a speaker, author, coach, and professional magician, I’m a freelancer. I get paid when I do a job. I get paid when I speak, sell a product, or perform a magic show. If I don’t do the job, I don’t get paid. And for the most part, if I stop working, my business will wither away and die.

Like most freelancers, I wear many hats. I’m the marketing department, booking agent, project creator, and the star entertainment. Unlike most freelancers, I enjoy wearing all these hats.

The problem is there is only so much one person can do. We can become so busy running the business that we don’t have time to really enjoy the thing we set out to do. We become the bottleneck on activities and ideas that can propel our business forward.

So what can we do? We can build a team of people who are willing to work with us. This team can consist of other freelancers, but each team member has their own area of responsibility. As the team leaders, we set the goals for the business, but we have to be willing to let go of the reins and empower our team members to shine.

In the past year, I’ve developed a team of people who work with me. Sometimes they stumble, but they always pick themselves up and learn from the experience. By drawing on the talents and skills of my team, they’ve allowed me to reach greater levels of success than if I had tried to do it all on my own.

Build a team of people whom you can trust, delegate some of the responsibilities to your team members with clearly defined goals and areas of responsibility, be a leader, get out of the way, and watch your business grow.

Lou Serrano

Passion Trumps Technique - Public Speaking Tips

Do you speak too fast? When I first started performing as a Los Angeles magician, one recurring suggestion I’d get from my peers who were trying to help, was to slow down. They said I talked too fast.

Even today when I give a speaking presentation or perform magic, I have a tendency to speak very fast. There are a several reasons for it. If I’m even a little nervous, I speak fast, and it’s difficult to control. Sometimes I know my material so well, that the words just flow out of my mouth without even thinking about it. Other times I’m just so passionate and excited about the ideas that I have to share, that passion and excitement reveals itself in my quickly paced speaking.

So, is this a bad thing? Well, it can be. If you speak so fast that you don’t enunciate your words, people won’t understand what you’re saying. Other times the information will go by so fast that the listener won’t be able to grasp your message. So it’s a good thing to be aware of the pacing of your speaking.

One of my best friends, is comedy magician, Zach Waldman. When we first met, he would often tell me to slow down. I was speaking too fast. As time went on, he changed his mind. He said, I should just continue to do what I felt comfortable doing, because that was me, and to try to force me to speak a certain way would not do anyone any good.

I’m a long time subscriber to Success magazine, which is a fantastic magazine for anyone who’s looking to achieve greater levels of success in any facet of their life. Every month an audio CD is included with the magazine, and in the March 2015 issue, they featured an interview with life coach, author, and professional speaker, Tony Robbins. Tony Robbins is arguably the most famous and most successful speaker on the planet, and I was amazed at how fast he talked. He talked a mile a minute. I had to rewind the CD several times to just to grasp the message he was sharing, but I could feel the passion for what he had to say, and that passion was infectious.

So my answer to the question, “Is speaking fast a bad thing?” is… “Not necessarily.” I think it’s more important to be yourself, and share your passion.

Lou Serrano

Passion Trumps Everything
Passion Trumps Everything

Do Personal Posts Have Any Business In Marketing?

  A strong relationship will pay off over time because your audience will get to know, like and trust you.

 

On January 5, 2015 I posted a video on this blog titled Ringing In The New Year In New Orleans. I also posted it in the blogs on my magic websites www.LouSerrano.com and www.LouSerranoMagic.com. It's a video where I share my recent leisure trip to the Big Easy. It has nothing to do with marketing or my magic business.

A friend and fellow magician asked why I posted the video? It obviously takes a considerable amount of effort to edit and post the video.  How could this video help in promoting my business?

It got me thinking. What's rather obvious to me isn't always obvious to others. The same goes for you. There are things you know that you probably take for granted that can be enormous revelations to other people.

It's a commonly accepted idea that all things being equal, and given the choice, people would rather do business with others they know, like, and trust. It's the way things have aways been. I blogged a little about it back in August of 2011 (What Does This Have To Do With Marketing?)

Back in 2007 I attended a speaking conference in Las Vegas, and Ali Brown was giving her presentation regarding online success. She talked about how she took her business from generating $35,000 per year to a multi-million dollar business in just a few short years. One of the things she mentioned was how she was able to grow her list and engage more of her followers when she posted little tidbits of personal information.

It's a strategy that has stuck with me all these years, and it's something I try to implement from time to time. Posting the occasional personal video gives people a little insight into who I am outside of my business. As people get to know me, hopefully they'll like me as a person, and in time begin to trust me through my other posts that deal with my business. It's a strategy worthy of consideration.

To your success!

Lou Serrano

Standing On The Books We Read

"The only thing worse than not reading a book in the last ninety days

is not reading a book in the last ninety days and thinking that it doesn't matter." 

-Jim Rohn

I try to read at least one book every month. Some of the most successful people in the world read one book every week. Books are a great to way gain knowledge from the experience of other successful people.

In this video I share my five favorite books I read in the last twelve months. These aren't my favorite of all time, but my favorite from the past year. Choose to read one or all three, apply the ideas that are shared, and reap the rewards in your business and your life.

Lou Serrano

Los Angeles magician & Corporate Entertainment Specialist

Upping the Ante in 2015 - Marketing for Success

How did you do in your business last year. Did you have a great year, or did you fall short of your goals? In either case, 2015 can still be your best year ever! In this video, I share some tips on how to make 2015 your best year yet, and I also set the tone for what to expect from me for the rest of the year.

I'd love to hear your comments, questions, or concerns, so please feel free to leave a comment.

Wishing you much success!

Lou Serrano

Ringing In The New Year In New Orleans

  I want to thank everyone who has followed me over the past year on this blog. I've tried to provide as much value to you, my readers and subscribers, and I plan on providing even more valuable information throughout this coming year to help you grow your business.

In the next couple of days I'll be posting a new video to help you get your year started on the right track. Until then I wanted to share a video of my recent trip to New Orleans.

My girlfriend, business partner, and muse, Dee Dee Clark, and I rang in the New Year in The Big Easy. This town knows how to celebrate! The accompanying video contains a snippet of our adventures.

I'm wishing everyone a happy, safe, and prosperous 2015!

Lou Serrano Los Angeles Magician

Hit The Ground Running

  Hit the ground running - marketing for speakers, magicians, and small business owners

 

We have two weeks remaining before the year comes to an end. Are you coasting trying to ride out the end of the year, or are you giving that final push to finish off the year strong?

Regardless of where you’re at in your business, we should all be giving that final push.

As a professional Los Angeles magician, I booked over 30 gigs for the month of December, but I’m not resting on my laurels. I’m still actively promoting myself trying to book some last minute engagements.

Aside from the final push to close out the year strong, I’m also setting myself up to hit the ground running when January rolls around. I’ve already created my business plan for 2015, I have clear goals that I wish to attain, and I’ve been busy creating new website landing pages for different niche markets.

Come January 1st I won’t be wondering what I should be doing next to drum up business. I’ll already be doing it.

How about you? Are you finishing off the year strong? Come January 1st will you stall out, or will you hit the ground running? Make the decision today to keep pushing forward and propel your business to new heights.

Lou Serrano

Don't Be Your Industry's Best Kept Secret

Yesterday I sent out my snail mail monthly newsletter, and it went out to 600 clients that were in my database. I invested $300 to mail out the newsletters, and within 24 hours people started receiving the newsletters and I received my very first booking from the mailing.

Last month I sent out a newsletter to the same 600 people for the same investment of $300, and over the course of a month, it created $6800 worth of income. That's a $6500 profit on that one investment. That's in addition to all of the other things I do to market my business. That's just one strategy at work.

And it got me thinking. If I can share with you one key idea that could grow your business exponentially, this is what it would be.

VISIBILITY

If you want to grow your business, you have to become visible.

If you want to be your industry's best kept secret, then become invisible. Don't let people know what you're up to. Don't share your thoughts and ideas. Keep your ideas close to your vest for fear that your competition might steal them.

I think that's a sure way of staying small. I'm not talking about proprietary secrets. I'm talking about letting people know what it is that you do and how you can help others.

I'm going to share with you some of the things I do to create visibility, and most of these things are FREE. For instance, I participate in Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. I participate quite often and I try to engage people in conversations on all of these platforms. It generates visibility.

Sometimes people may thing that you post too much, if you post often, but here's the deal. If people are bothered by what you have to say, they're probably not going to buy from you anyway. They're not going to invest in your products and services, so who cares? Focus on the people who have an interest in what you have to offer.

There are other online things that I do, like participating in online forums that appeal to my target market for certain products I offer. There are also review sites like Yelp.com where if you can get people to review your business, will generate income. These services are free and can generate visibility.

There are also paid platforms. As a magician, I participate in Gigmasters.com and Thumbtack.com that generate quite a few leads to my business. As a speaker, I participate in SpeakerMatch.com where I generate leads for speaking gigs. I have Google Adword  campaigns that drive traffic to my websites, which create more visibility and create more income.

Offline I participate in networking groups and mastermind groups. I send out postcards and newsletters to my past clients. These are all things that create visibility in my marketplace.

If you want to become successful, become more successful, and expand your business, don't be afraid to be visible. Let people know what you're up to. Let them know what it is that you do. Let them know that you have a solution for a particular problem, because if people don't know about it, how are people going to contact you and hire you to be the solution. They won't, because they won't know about you. So let people know you exist.

Until next time, go out, share your message, share your talent, share your expertise, and make a positive difference in the world.

Lou Serrano

Los Angeles magician, Corporate Entertainment Specialist, and Keynote Speaker

A Challenge To Create Breakthrough Results

success challenge Recently, I’ve been working with a good friend and fellow magician on a show that we plan on showcasing in the near future. It ’s a self-produced show where we’ll be renting a theater and publicizing it to the general public.

My initial plan was to weave in my existing show into his show, and create a show that would combine both of our talents. My fellow performer had the idea to create something truly special, and has been working on completely new routines and effects. After seeing his initial efforts, I was blown away by the magic he had created. His routines truly looked like magic, and were far better than I had initially thought he would produce.

It was a wake up call for me. It’s forcing me to look at my own show, and step up my game. It’s forcing me to look at my tried-and-true routines that I’ve been performing for years, and explore how I can improve them.

Surrounding myself with a very creative magician who is taking action on creating new and wonderful magic has inspired me to work even harder to create even more powerful moments in the magic that I already do.

The same concept can apply to all areas of our lives. It’s easy to become complacent when thinking of our own goals and dreams. After all, most people live a life of default instead of a life by design. They spend their days reacting to what’s before them instead of creating the circumstances they desire.

Surrounding ourselves with people who are go-getters, who are making things happen, who have big dreams and taking action to achieve those dreams will inspire us to do the same.

In the last couple of weeks I made a concerted effort to reach out to people who have achieved great success in business. It’s pushing me to take action and create results in areas that are important to me, but for one reason or another have neglected (it might be because I’ve been reacting to circumstances instead of creating them).

So here’s a challenge, which if you decide to accept may produce breakthrough results. Over the next week, seek out and associate with people who are doing great things, and see how it affects your mindset, actions, and outcomes. I think you may be surprised by the results.

As always, I welcome your comments.

To your success!

Lou Serrano

Los Angeles Magician, Corporate Entertainment Specialist, Keynote Business Speaker