I wanted to write about why magicians should start posting magic on social media, as there are a lot of magicians out there who still only post photos of themselves on stage (we’re all guilty of this from time to time). Before we get started, I’m not going to tell you what lighting to use, what software to edit on, or how to produce the content. Maybe I could write about that in the future?
In this article, I’m going to explain the benefits of posting magic.
Having a social presence is crucial.
Have you ever been looking for a restaurant nearby and clicked on a restaurant to find they have no website?
It could be the best, most homely ‘locals’ restaurant. But no doubt, you’ll be put off because you can’t instantly see the menu.
Clients do the same thing to you on social media. 95% of employers do background checks before hiring a new employee, it’s naive to think that your client isn’t doing the same to you.
It’s all well and good having a collage of “my office for the night” pictures, but it doesn’t actually tell your client anything about you, or what kind of magic you do. By adding magic to your profile, it gives your client a taste of what’s in store.
Think of your social media as a portfolio. If a client takes a look at my social media, they will see photos of me on stage, magic videos, and standup clips. It’s very clear to see what I do.
I recently had a discussion with Anson Chen about social media content - sidenote, his content is some of the best in the magic scene.
He described it very simply:
“It’s like filming a trailer for doing magic in person”
I couldn’t agree more… to an extent. If you’re posting algorithm-based ‘rate the magic trick’ videos, that’s a bit of a different story, I don’t think those guys are too worried about gigs.
9 months ago, a guy was at his cousin’s wedding. You were performing. Ever since, he has been telling his mates at the pub about the trick with the glass block. Every time you post on social media, he’ll think about that moment again, he’s going to want to show his friends your videos (and in turn, share your content).
When you have a social presence, it gives your clients, friends, and followers a hub based around yourself.
When I say exposure, I don’t mean revealing the latest Rubik’s cube trick.
Social media is a great form of exposure, ‘for you’ and ‘explore’ pages, and whatever Facebook and Snapchat use gives you the potential to be in front of millions of eyes.
I have gotten a gig before from someone seeing a card trick on Facebook Reels. Do you realize how insane that sentence is? Someone watched a 15-second video of me and decided that I was the person for their event, based on my characteristics and quick trick. It’s like speed dating.
Saavan Thethy (a London-based close-up magician), said to me 3 years ago that most of his gig inquiries come through Instagram messages and not email. It’s the way our generation converses.
The snowball effect on social media is wild. There is no other way (not even on TV) that you can be seen by so many people.
Building a Virtual Audience
By posting magic, you should naturally be building a following.
I would bet any money that whenever I hang out with Dan Rhodes, he’ll use the following phrase:
“Accounts are assets, and following is currency”
What he means by this is that your virtual audience can be monetized, whether it’s direct monetization like selling show tickets, or indirect monetization like a creator fund and brand deals (the creator fund is a pot of money that social networks have to distribute to creators).
When you have a following, there are many ways you can monetize them. Through affiliate marketing, merchandise, ticket sales, and brand deals. Brand deals are a bit different as your using your following to leverage money from a company.
The more content you post, the more people you are introducing to your brand. Over time you will build a nice asset that one day might contribute as an additional source of income.
How to Get Started
Getting started is easier than ever. Take your phone, prop it up, and start filming a trick. Platforms reward organic content.
The type of magic you perform is important. When people are scrolling through an endless supply of content, you need to catch their attention and stand out. In essence, everything you do on social media needs to be (what’s known to magicians as) an opener. Cut the fat, and get straight to the good stuff. People want to see something quick and visual, then you can go into your patter.
As long as you think your content is worth watching, post it. My most viral videos aren’t even magic videos, they’re jokes and travel videos.
When people start performing social media magic, they go out and buy a few gimmicks at $30 a pop. This isn’t financially smart. See what you’ve got in your drawer that can be applied and utilized on social media. Even something like a snap change can go viral in the right context (maybe you change a bank card into a $10 bill).
In 2022, I published a book called Visual A.F. Magic Tricks which was an instant hit. In the professionally illustrated, colorful book, I explained 20 visual tricks perfect for social media. The tricks used organic items like coffee cups, keys, and even condoms. If you’re more of a visual learner, I also included a video tutorial to every trick.
I’ve just launched Vol. 2 on Kickstarter. with another 20 hard-hitting, hyper-visual tricks inside. If you back the project in the first 24 hours, you’ll get an unbelievable discount. If you haven’t read the first one, I have made it so you can get volumes 1 and 2 at an unbeatable price.
This is the first time I have tried crowdfunding a project, so I really appreciate all the support I can get for it. There are also some really cool stretch goals that I would love for us to hit, so tell your magic friends and show them my cool book. On a side note, if you’re a dealer, I have added a wholesale option too.
Take a look at the new book on Kickstarter