I had a wonderful little gig recently for a very respectable organization. As the cocktail hour was winding down, my job was finished and I chatted with the woman who had booked me to perform. She was very complimentary regarding my style, professionalism and the quality of the magic. At one point she leaned a bit closer and lowered her voice as she gave me very real feedback about my profession.
She had shopped around and looked at several different magicians in this region. To use her words, “They were mostly...kinda creepy.”
Many people in their office had been part of the planning committee for this formal (cocktail attire) holiday party. As I worked my way through the event, several people commented that they recognized me from the promo video and pictures. They chose me based mostly on my marketing materials (pictures, website and video) and apparently, I was the only one in their searches who presented themselves with mature, respectable materials. I found that good that my stuff worked, but frustrating that that was the impression they had about most other magicians.

Magician’s Take Away: Be very critical of how you’re putting yourself out there. That promo picture with the fake flowers, ugly tie and ill-fitting purple suit that you love may be driving away clients. Worse than that, it may be perpetuating a stereotype about magicians that is less than complimentary. I appreciate the business, but I’d rather not have to fight the stereotype. This is not a criticism of style and presentation of magic, but rather an observation by a professional marketer. (I’m on the marketing team for a Top 100 Online Retailer)
Remember that the marketing materials are NOT for you. They are for the client. They are to help the client want to hire you. If you are a kids’ party magician, that is totally fine, but make that clear. If you want to work the formal, adult corporate events, the marketing needs to reflect that. MIxed messaging is the worst thing for the client to receive. They have specific entertainment needs that they are hunting for and if you don’t appear fit that need, they’ll keep looking.
If your materials make the client stop and consider you, they have done their job. If it causes them to cringe, vomit slightly and move on as quickly as possible, you’ve got a problem.