Harry Houdini is a name that is well known in the area of entertainment, escape artists and magic. And the amazing thing is that he died in 1926 yet is still recognized today. Why is this? The answer is that not only was Houdini a master magician but he was a master marketer as well. He was also the ultimate ArtisticPreneur.
Houdini recognized early on in his career that he could not depend on anyone else to promote him, that he needed to promote himself. And promote himself he did. In fact just about any moment in Houdini’s life was a promotional opportunity. And the great thing is that he enjoyed what he promoted and promoted what he enjoyed.
In a recent blog entry in the Manhattan Magician blog, there is an article that deconstructs the methodology that the escape artist used. He was smart enough to realize that if he took on subject matters in conjunction with his conjuring that people were interested in, he could continually build his audience.
Houdini represented himself as a super human being. He was in top physical condition and he could do the impossible. But it wasn’t enough to do the impossible but he also made sure to build visibility for the impossible things he would do. And once he did anything of interest such as escaping from a prison cell, he made sure that all the right reporters had been contacted to their stories on it.
And Houdini would exaggerate what he accomplished. He realized that history is in the hands of those who document and market it, so he would always be sure to spin whatever he did in the best possible light in front of the most people as possible.
For example, he was once photographed with a president in conjunction with a large group of other folks. So what did he do? He cut everyone out of the photo except for himself and the president and that was the image that was published. Seeing just Houdini and the president had a much greater impact and meaning.