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Topic: Yellow Pages
Message: Posted by: keeblem (Apr 10, 2003 05:22PM)
I've had my first advert in the Yellow Pages for nearly a year. When I first phoned the yellow pages, the lady I spoke to said she was surprised at the amount of advertisers under "Entertainers" in my area. I've just had a quick count and there are about 40 adverts for magic and/or children's parties.
Does that sound like a lot of competition? How much competition do you have in your area?
Message: Posted by: Andy Wonder (Apr 10, 2003 06:42PM)
Where I live there are about 30 other direct competitors that offer entertainment for birthday parties, including puppeteers, fairies, clowns, story tellers & magicians. The population of my region is just over 1 million people.

I think these days having your yellow pages ad direct people to a persuasive web page is a must for people in the birthday party market. Almost half of the people that call me for parties have already seen my web site, so they are pre-sold.
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Apr 11, 2003 12:37AM)
There are 38 such ads + line listings in our edition.
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Apr 11, 2003 03:49PM)
Hi Keeblem, - Manchester South Yellow Pages which we've been in since Sept. 1980 has probably now quadrupled. Since 1994 we have been Ace Parties which of course alphabetically does help. Prior to this we were 'Parties and Puppets' and 'Tony and Sue'. We always have a yellow quarter column payable over ten interest free direct debit payments. The cost has reduced for the second year running. We prominently place the web address in the ad. and make sure the phone number is in bold. We keep the text to a working minimum and have a thick black border. Some entertainers like pictures etc. - but we think this serves no purpose. Bear in mind we've been est. 25 years so most of our work is referrals - but YP is still a brilliant source of advertising and the only paid one we use. I think it fair to assume that a lot of these 40 in your directory will probably be 'no-goers', or roughly spoken or rude on the phone, or maybe never around to answer the phone! There probably will be a few from out of area just dipping in a toe. You might even find you only have 2, 3 or 4 others who are 'serious' competition!
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Apr 11, 2003 04:50PM)
Hi Mark, How many of those are actually in your area? How big an area does your YP cover? You may find there's not as much competition as you think. When people look throuth YP first they look for people in their immediate local area as logic states that to hire people from further afield will cost more.

There is quite a few in my local yellow pages, who do children's parties but it covers all of South Devon and Cornwall so only about 12 of them are in Plymouth. Out of that 12 only 4-5 are full time professionals, 2 are face painters and one is a 10 year old spoilt kid who goes out for free. The rest fit into Ace's no-goers category. (You forgot unreliable Ace, as these are the ones that cause frantic parents to phone round on a saturday morning when they've been let down) There are a couple of others who only advertise in the local rag on a friday.

It doesn't matter how many there are though because if you do a good show and if you have a friendly proffessional phone manner your reputation will get you the work.
Yellow pages points people in your Direction, but when they're looking through YP and they say to a friend "what about Kidzmagic?" if the friend says "I've heard of him, my friend had him he's good" you'll get the job. The No-goers by virtue of the things Ace mentioned soon find the calls dry up as their not so good reputation soon gets round.
Message: Posted by: keeblem (Apr 12, 2003 01:27PM)
Thanks for the replies, guys. Some interesting points brought up. Ace mentions people who are rude when you phone up. Before I actually experienced this myself (when phone around to see what the competition are charging) I wouldn't of believed how people could have such a bad attituted when trying to sell themselves.
This has also been mentioned by people enquiring about my show: "Oh, I phoned so-and-so and he was SO rude." Incredible.
I had a booker phone up only a couple of weeks ago who said to her: "... I like working with little girls..." This was probably said quite innocently (I hope) - but what a bizarre thing to say.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Apr 16, 2003 12:56AM)
Same thing here, Ace. First I was "Dynamike" in the YP. Now the business name is "Ace Productions." I now have other entertainers in my business, (Clowns, moon bouncers, pony rides, comedians, DJ's, etc.) It does help because most people won't call more than 15 numbers.
Message: Posted by: magicguyri (Sep 26, 2010 11:09AM)
To change the thread, just a little, Has the Yellow Pages become obsolete with the internet being what it is? I would love to hear what others think!
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Sep 26, 2010 01:09PM)
7 years is a long time, Andy Walker had his finger on the button with his post. Yes YP is now practically obsolete, at least as far as entertainers go (and lots of other trades too). I no longer spend any money with them, their response to online advertising is - sadly - a joke.
I think the problem with YP is that not long ago, there were BIG commissions and bonuses to be had, YP had a virtual monopoly, sales were easy, and their sales staff made very good money. As the public have turned to the Internet for their information, YP have rather arrogantly created Yell.com, and expect to charge equivalent rates to their directory advertising. But Yell.com gets only a tiny fraction of internet searches. The Rest of the World realises that Google is the new YP.
In order to stay the market leaders, YP should have spotted Google as SOON as it started. At that time, YP were World-leaders in providing contact information. Part of the job of being a market-leader is to STUDY the market, and to respond to inovation. If YP had bought out Google back then, they could still be market leaders. But they didn't, and they're not.
Now, YP is a big number of middle-aged, average sales professionals, whose company is diving onto a hard place.
Thank God I'm a pirate!
Message: Posted by: Don Lamb (Sep 26, 2010 08:34PM)
I can't remember the last time I used the Yellow Pages for anything. Couple folks getting rid of their land lines with the fact Google and the internet are so main stream - it doesn't bode well for the YP sales reps.
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Sep 27, 2010 07:21PM)
It's completely obsolete in areas where there is broadband internet access. In Ireland that means the cities and towns. Still used in the rural areas, but that will die out over the next year or two.
Message: Posted by: Sammy J. (Sep 29, 2010 10:11PM)
Back when I had my business (not magic) in the 70s, 80s and 90s, I spent most of my advertising budget on Yellow Pages. Today, I don't even look at the Yellow Pages at all. I just Google whatever I want to find.
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Sep 30, 2010 01:59PM)
On 2010-09-29 23:11, Sammy J. wrote:
Back when I had my business (not magic) in the 70s, 80s and 90s, I spent most of my advertising budget on Yellow Pages. Today, I don't even look at the Yellow Pages at all. I just Google whatever I want to find.
....in the 70s 80s and 90s, you put your copy of YP by the phone. Now, you put it straight in the recycling bin, as soon as it arrives. How cruel the hands of time can be. I prefer to keep my eyes off that ever-ticking second-hand!
Potty ;)
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Nov 6, 2010 02:45AM)
It is now November 2010 and I've just found this thread on internet purely by chance. It's years since I was here (I thought I was banned) :) :) Yes, of course Yellow Pages is now no longer an option. It's ALL internet now. I wish everyone all the best for forthcoming Christmas work. We're doing kind of alright in these difficult times.

Yes, how time marches on Potty. Over 30 years now for us. We just give it our all and enjoy every moment of entertaining these days.


Message: Posted by: keeblem (Nov 6, 2010 03:18AM)
It's funny how this thread keeps popping up! It was posted 7½ years ago! I no longer advertise in the YP and all my work comes through the internet.

Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Nov 6, 2010 03:28AM)
. . . and yes Don Lamb (hi), fixed landlines are now becoming obsolete. We have used two mobile numbers for a good while now. The days of the old Binatone huge answering machine with it's tape deck have long gone (although I dare not explain what our first phone looked like when we started in 1979 - other than "quaint"). Landlines started to attract far too many unsolicited sales calls and pests too.

Well, it's a cold but beautiful sunny Saturday November morning here in North West England. First party today a 10 till 12 midday - don't you just love this type of customer who'll book a party out of usual hours and allow a couple of other bookings later :)

Back in another 10 years . . .

Message: Posted by: Tony James (Nov 6, 2010 03:49AM)

To answer your original question from all those years ago, in the South Manchester/North Cheshire YP area we had between 40 and 50 and increasing entries in the then single category of Entertainers. This climbed to well over 60 and then fell back last year to 62 across the two categories of Entertainers and Children's Entertainers.

Actually, the numbers increased each year even more because a good handful fell out each year and still the numbers increased.

This year, in the new A5 format, there is a total of only 16 across both categories.

In one sense it is a shame that YP no longer works because it was always a handy and easy annual indicator of the volume of competition in the area. In the old days, when there were only 5 or 6 entries we used to multiply by 5 to get some broad estimate of the competition. There will always be many times more who don't advertise and draw attention to themselves.

When I mentioned to someone recently that 60+ in YP equated to 300+ in the area the reply was 'And the rest'.

Clearly, very, very few people here are dependent on children's entertaining for a living in the conventional local birthday party/school Christmas party sense of the word.

On the other hand, very few ever did. It was always a part time paying hobby for those with another job, a small business or a pension. Professionals have always been thin on the ground.

Posted: Nov 6, 2010 7:25am
I feel sorry for you Sue and Tony. THREE two hour parties this wonderful sunny, blue skied November morning. I must get back to my smoked salmon and scrambled eggs! They are going cold and the champagne is getting warm!!

Before I do I've been asked to clarify the numbers. A few years ago YP added a new category of Children's Entertainers in addition to the longstanding all-in-one Entertainers. Caused a lot of comment as elsewhere a main category had sub categories immediately following it, so perhaps should have looked more like:

Entertainers - General
Entertainers - Children's
Entertainers - Musicians etc

In what was seen as a cynical move YP put children's under 'C' and not 'E' and thus so far apart from the traditional entertainers most people wouldn't link them in spite of the fine print indicating 'see also'.

The numbers I quoted in my previous post are net i.e. reflecting the number of individual acts advertising in total. Some acts doubled up their ads of course across both categories.

The total number of advertisements at peak would have been towards 75 or 80 but crosschecking each one that represented only 62 acts. Only!!!!

And all in a radios of a few miles.
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Nov 6, 2010 03:42PM)
Oh you are still here Jimmy James (sorry I mean Tony James) :) Hey, let me tell you things have not been a bed of roses even for the relentlessly competitive Tony and Sue this year, and that's giving away a lot of information for reclusive, secretive people like us! Our kids party customers have changed from those rich hello Henrys we survived upon for so many years to, well . . . normal people. Actually I rather love normal people. They do things like pay you in cash the moment you arrive instead of Coutts cheques reluctantly written as though they are signing their own death warrants; and bring you plates full of meat pies and cakes. Their kids are balanced and well behaved too. We've also been doing some great parties around North Wales from our static caravan there and have caravan park shows already lined up for next Summer. I have also signed on as a Michael Jackson lookalike (see the avatar) with "Totally Blind Lookalikes" in Manchester, but the phone has been a little disappointing on this one.

I hope you are doing just fine as well Tony, you are one of the finest P and J entertainers in the UK and have been going now how long? 40, 45 years? Take note of this man, Magic Café members, he has more experience than you'd ever imagine.

(PS I'll be in H. No**is later this week. Just have the cash in a brown envelope for me then).


I should still be banned really you know. It is an honour to get banned from the MC and I feel as though that honour has been withdrawn.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Nov 7, 2010 12:09AM)
I worked as an artist for the yellow pages making ads for 11 years. My job came to an end at the end of September, just over a month ago. I saw the end coming for a long time though, and got myself prepared to go full time with my performing and freelance art. I figure in the months when one is slow, the other might be better.

For all the years I worked for the yellow pages, I ran an ad with them, often under three headings.. 'clowns', 'magicians' and 'entertainers-family & business'. The ads worked great for years, I got tons of calls and it paid for itself ten times over... until 2 years ago when it suddenly just stopped working. My call rate dropped from 15 or 20 calls a week to 2 or 3 a month, and the change happened very quickly. About the same time I got my first website up, but didn't know anything about improving my search results, so it wasn't generating business at first. I used my home phone in my yellow page ad and my cell number in my website so I'd have an idea where the calls were coming from.

I knew, when the calls stopped, it was the 'canary in the coal mine' for my day job. If my ads weren't working for me anymore, the other advertisers were going to be experiencing the same thing, and if the calls don't come, the ad isn't worth running no matter how they sell it, cutting rates, pay per call.. it doesn't matter, if you're not getting calls, who cares how cheap it is.

It makes me sad of course, partially because it was a good union job and I enjoyed it, but also because it was such a great 'go to' type of advertising. One place, super simple 'search', it created the sense that you were a legitimate business, and it was local. Nothing else has really come along to replace it, nor do I think anything will. Google gives results all over the place, your standing can change from day to day, results are often not local.. but, it does work and websites can be much cheaper than print, they're easier to make changes to, and when somebody finds me and contacts me through my site, they are looking to book ME specifically and not just going down the list price-shopping as was often the case with yellow pages. This means the rate of converting calls to sales is generally much better.
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Nov 7, 2010 01:02AM)
So what will Google get up to next? Will they start to differentiate within their free listings between people who are spending money with them on Adwords, and those who are not? In others words, the more you spend with them the higher your normal search engine placement will be irrespective of how you use meta tags. However clever a strategy they have had in destroying Yellow Pages, is it legally and morally right to have the monopoly they are achieving in this type of advertising over the whole Western world?

Also concerning their Adwords. They claim to have safety fraudulent click procedures in place. But in these times of recession there are ever increasing numbers of people out there trawling Adwords and clicking on them to gain access to your phone number so they in turn can try and sell you something over the phone, i.e. unsolicited Sales calls. So in other words you are paying them to call you and try and sell you something you don't want! They are obviously working to the theory of "this guy has an advertising budget, so is a prime target".

In the early 2000's we gained work from both Yellow Pages and being one of the first entertainers locally to harness internet (I think there was just Norman T. who did it before us Tony J.) But I used to predict then that all of that would end, and there would be a heavy price to pay. Whilst we ourselves are still involved in Entertaining I would personally be reluctant to share my own ideas on advertising for new business techniques in a forum (other than being darn good and getting recommendations), but every alternative must be considered.

Apologies for presenting an out of character, sensible (?) post. :)

Message: Posted by: Tony James (Nov 7, 2010 04:02AM)
On 2010-11-06 16:42, Cheshire Cat wrote:
..........and (you) have been going now how long? 40, 45 years?..................[/quote]

Steady on Tony - you'll have people thinking I'm an old man! I just started very young!!

All of us only successfully progress through life by reacting to market forces and that's why we end up doing what we do as a consequence. The entertainment business - and children's entertainment particularly - has changed a lot over the last fifty years.

Anyone who is interested in how much the UK market has changed will find a thumbnail outline here:


When I turned professional in 1973 I was working the club circuits with a comedy magic act in the evenings and children's parties in the afternoons. I first worked Punch & Judy in March 1973 and for four years worked it either abroad or exclusively for children's parties in the UK. Then my agent pleaded with me to help him out with some outdoor P&J for the Queen's Silver Jubilee in June 1997.

After this he sat me down and told me there was an excellent market available to me at outdoor events and shows but my show would need to be built up - I was using quite a small booth designed for the indoor birthday party market. The bulk of birthday parties were still held indoors, specially at the rich, county family, country house and stately home level which Tony alluded to and they were at that time still my main market.

So I built a big traditional Victorian style booth and the structural framework of that booth is the one I still use today and it travels all over the UK, Ireland and Europe.

Had you told me at the time that this would develop into my main business I would have laughed.

But talk to most entertainers in our side of the business and few of us imagine ending up doing quite what we do when we set out. Chances come your way and experience guides you in your decisions whether to embrace one particular opportunity rather than another. Show business is full of bandwagons - someone, somewhere comes out with something different and suddenly everyone is copying. It has always happened.

It happened 350 years ago with P&J and some things burn out and others sustain mainly because clever operators keep tweaking the format and keeping the show relevant and up-to-date.

You move with the times, provided you recognise which aspect of today has some sustained future. Very little in the world is ever new and what is old generally comes round again but with modifications and is then perceived by current markets as different, fresh and therefore they brand it as NEW!

Some of us have seen it before and occasionally the original was much better but not often. Usually the old and original would no longer be a practical proposition today so things have to change to succeed.

Magic, children's entertaining and even Punch & Judy are no exceptions to these changes and they never will be. The important part is to put your own individual stamp on it and avoid being a copycat clone of others.

That's what separates out the professionals from the amateurs.
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Nov 7, 2010 07:58AM)
Just called in for a mug of tea out of my 60th Birthday Party mug! In between finishing at Lymm and going to another at Whaley Bridge.

Hey Tony, you only turned pro. 3 years before I turned a pro. Pianist in 1976! Still lots of life left in us both yet! Lots of early nights and free statin tablets! Plus a bit of "what you fancy"!

Tony ;)
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Nov 7, 2010 08:46AM)
Meta tags don't work like they used to. Google's search algorythms have become too sophisticated to 'fool' with just keywords and meta-tags. You have to look at what Google's real priority is.. (no, it's not actually making money, that's the results of their focus on the real real priority) their real priority is to provide the best possible search results. Basically it means their focus isn't us, it's the people who are looking for us. That means matching the search request to the best results based on actual content in the site. If you want to improve your search results, answer more potential questions in your site, think about how people might find you. There are a lot of things you can do, but it boils down to thinking like Google does about it, your site has to become a better answer to the questions people might be asking about children's entertainers in your area.

I don't think their strategy was ever to destroy yellow pages either. That was, again, a by-product of their focus on the main thing, that is, providing better search results than anyone else was providing. The fact that they did this very well and in a way that people liked is what made them the giant.

By the way, I believe one area where yellow pages went wrong was precisely that they were focused on making money, not on providing the best answer to the customers question. Sure their basic core product, the physical yellow pages, was a doomed dinosaur, they knew that though, and they had time to reposition. And their response to Google was always kind of corporate and cynical, and they squandered their opportunity (they were well positioned to be competitive in internet search early on) by trying to second-guess Google and the customer instead of doing the basic thing their customers needed.. to provide an online version of yellow pages that works as well as the paper one did for years and years, and then promote it's use, tweak it, improve it and create their own good search engine. Instead, most online yellow pages are awkward, too expensive for advertisers, and don't do the basic job of answering the questions well and quickly.
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Nov 7, 2010 01:13PM)
Tony and Mr Pitts, thanks for some great posts. I love to read your "histories of Children's Entertainment" Tony. You put everything into a perspective that is SO important to understand if we really want to push the envelope with what we do.
And Mr Pitts, your comments about the YP are spot on. I would add that they had a "bonus culture" going on for years, in which (like the banks of today) salesmen could earn huge bonuses quickly and easily by "selling" the product to customers who were already sold. I'm an ex-salesman (though never for YP - but I know lots of folks who did work there). I can tell you that jobs like these are the Holy Grail of sales jobs. Often, you had the clients CALLING YOU to spend their cash! Managers could earn large salaries easily, and no one really needed any sales expertise.
It was only when the YP started to lose their monopoly, that the cracks in their system were torn open. The fatal mistake they made was not to challenge Google head-on as early as possible.
But, they didn't and now we have Google. At least for the present, Google is an ethical organisation. I really hope that continues to be the case. They are more concerned about creating the best search engines, than fleecing everyone who uses their service.
Though I understand the nostalgia for YP, I for one am delighted that we now have a far more powerful and effective tool - our websites. After just over a year, I'm about to have my 38,000th hit. No guesses, I can even go to Google Analytics and discover the unbelievable minutiae of detail which Google can provide about these visitors. How long they stayed, which pages they viewed, where they found the link to the site.....etc. A HUGE amount of information, which is gold for the advertising professional. My opinion is that if you want your website to do well, you MUST build and maintain it yourself. As far as I can tell, ALL the young up-and-coming entertainers are doing this. I think the next generation of entertainers may be startlingly good, from what I've seen. And, they will be competing on the internet with all of us who are established.
I wish them all the best of luck, and meantime, I'm enjoying keeping my website up to date. It is a bit of fun, and I think we should learn to see it as part of what we do. All the Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn options....and blogs, fan pages, etc. These are all valuable tools which we should, rightly, be considering. And the more of all that stuff you get up to, the higher Google is likely to rate your website.
Doug :)
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Nov 8, 2010 01:38AM)
My main criticism of Google is that it is apparently impossible (please correct me if I'm wrong), to contact someone and speak in person either by phone or e-mail.

I simply find myself being re-directed to YouTube Tutorials, or continual links that lead to more links, that lead to even more links then beg the question "did you find this helpful?" If I am to spend my hard earned cash with someone I have the pre-requisite myself of needing to have personal contact with them.

Maybe as an older entertainer who dealt with Yellow Pages successfully for 25 years I merely resent change, I concede this could be so. Over those 25 years I became used to the sales tricks and gimmicks of Yellow Pages. I saw the UK version pass from the ownership of Thomson (yes, in 1980 it was Thomson!), to ITT, to British Telecom. They manipulated boundaries to endeavour to get Customers to buy into more Directories, and then the final straw was manipulating Classifications. But whilst it all worked it was nevertheless very convenient.

I still believe that Google have future financial motives to pursue however, and we all must be wary of them.

But yes, internet has opened up opportunities previously thought impossible. For me it has meant I could create an online brochure packed with information on our Kids Shows, plus it has enabled me to record and submit to iTunes, Amazon etc. my Piano Compositions of many years, which do actually, to my delight, sell. The latter would have been impossible before, due to costs of recording and production.

Tony (the other Tony)
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Nov 8, 2010 05:25AM)
Tony says: "If I am to spend my hard earned cash with someone I have the pre-requisite myself of needing to have personal contact with them."
That would be a fair enough comment, if Google asked you for money. I pay NOTHING for my Google services! The costs of my online presence are: website hosting, design and maintenance (I have several sites, so choose to spend £140 per annum for multiple hostings), and the cost of my URLs (usually between £5- £10 per annum each.) I also submit my site to an SEO engine, though I'm doubtful if that is really neccessary. This costs an additional £100 per annum. So in total, I spend less than £300 a year, and for that I can have as MANY websites as I like, no limit. (Though, there is a limit on the total space used, which is more than I could ever need.)
I just received the lastest "The Phone Book" from BT. This is the publication that belatedly tried to challenge YP. It had some success, and for several years, many entertainers paid to advertise in it. This year, it looks like a pamphlet more than a directory. Less than 400 small (A5 roughly) pages, to include THREE main categories: Residential, Business and Classified entries. There are NO entertainers, NO children's entertainers, and NO general entertainers. Interestingly, not only are there none in the classifieds, but we have all been deleted from the Business Listings. YP have also called me to tell me that I must now pay if I want to be listed at all - £200 roughly!
What they obviously haven't considered, is that their "directory" has now become an "advertising magazine". It's not comprehensive, in fact, they are happy to cut out certain business categories completely, and pretend, I guess, that they don't exist. So, when Mrs Jones goes to her BT Phone Book to find an entertainer for her kid's party, she discovers - nothing. What does she do with the book? Probably throws it out. A list of businesses who pay to advertise is very different from a comprehensive list including details of many additional service providers.
Quickly flicking through, the "directory" now looks more like a poor man's version of "comparethemarket.com". Here you can find Insurance, car stuff, solicitors, builders, and restaurants. Plus a few other minor categories. And one tattooist. I wonder how many folks will be rushing to their copy of the "BT Phone Book" when they want a tattoo? Hmmm.
I think the real problem with these publications now, is that they don't just fail the businesses, they fail the end users too. With so many smaller businesses now excluded from the book, what real use are they? It's the equivalent of a whole heap of junk mail assembled into one book.
I blame the management, who likely are less than expert sales professionals. Every time they make a change it is, as has been said, cynical. This latest idea to exclude thousands (I'm guessing) of smaller businesses will be a disaster to the future of their book.
I believe we can all learn something from YP's failures. It's important to keep up with the times, and to be diligent and intelligent about our marketing - as well as other aspects of being a kids' entertainer. And we should above all, put our clients' and customers' needs first.
Potty :)
Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Nov 8, 2010 07:48AM)
I was of course referring to Google Adwords.

. . . and yes, I've had sites online since April 2000. So I do know a little about it all. I even know how many visits via the Magic Café my Piano site has had this morning and the IP addresses :) Special greetings to the US colleague who uses Comcast Cable :) The knowledge is there - but just needs grasping, especially by older people.

Best Wishes, Tony.
Message: Posted by: MoonRazor (Nov 8, 2010 09:28AM)
I"ve also dropped my yellow page ad. Anybody else?
Message: Posted by: Potty the Pirate (Nov 8, 2010 11:48AM)
Tony, I think it's a reasonable approach that if you benefit from Google without paying, that you may at some point decide to try out AdWords. I know what you mean about speaking to someone. But, I suspect the thinking goes along these lines: it would cost a small fortune to pay a team of telephone assistants to take the (inevitable) thousands of calls they would receive if they offered this service. This would immediately need to be funded from advertisers. The information these telephonists would give, would of neccessity, be directly read from a computer screen after a relevant search. Google expects you to do the search yourself, online. This saves you, the client, the cost of funding a vast network of calling centres. It also enables you to do the search quickly and efficiently, without waiting on a phone line. But, it requires you to be moderately computer-conscious. There are ways to contact Google via emails, which I'm sure are dealt with efficiently, only a very few elliciting a phone call from the staff of Google.
It is, undoubtedly, a real problem for some folks in our profession. I know of several performers who (I think) are just afraid of the Internet and everything computer-related. Some don't even have email addresses. I have no better advice for them than: "just do it!" Get a computer, and LEARN the stuff you need to do. For most, it's quite easy. But, if you can't touch-type, then perhaps that's something to learn as well. I can't imagine getting on with my computer if I couldn't do that.
In the forthcoming years, there will be no other resource that is likely to provide as much benefit as Google, and the whole integration of the computerised office into our work as performers.
Overall, I'm very excited by it all. Quite magical!
Potty :)
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Nov 8, 2010 12:59PM)
My YP ad expires in May or July (somewhere around there) and I will not be renewing it.

Message: Posted by: Red Shadow (Nov 9, 2010 02:54AM)
I left the book last year and my work-load has actually increased. But here are many good reasons for leaving the Yellow pages:

1. No more telemarketers trying to sell you advertising space in a different book.

2. No more telemarketers trying to convince you that a wall-planner is a good idea.

3. Less charity show calls. All these people tend to just go through the yellow pages.

4. More calls that actually turn into bookings. People who call you have found you and want to book. Yellow pages people are just after a price.

5. No more fake calls from yellow pages staff pretending to be clients (and again not booking) in hope of making the book sound more used than it is.

6. No new re-directed telephone number forced upon you (YELL.com)

7. No printing errors you have to sort out and get a 'credit' for which is useless. When they print your number wrong, you still have to pay 4/5th of the advert costs, even though no clients can actually call you.

8. No cheesy sales tactics forced upon you, such as having to be in two or three criterias (entertainers, children's entertainers, discos). No box system or bold text upgrade packages to worry about. No being placed next to another more attractive advert and losing all the potential clients to the advert that's is bigger and costing more money that yours.

9. No more price shoppers, as that is the only people still using the YP. They go through all the adverts and book the cheapest, That's it. Most don't even look at your website or check you out. If your not the cheapest; its a waste of time.

10. So you free up the phone from all those price-shoppers so that actual clients that want YOU, can actually get through.

11. No more sales rep wanting to come over to your house, taking up your free time and trying to pressure sell you a more expensive advert.

12. Save the planet - less adverts mean less trees cut down.

13. You now have a reason to actually go and get that wobbly table fixed, rather than using the yellow pages under the leg to stop it from wobbling.

Message: Posted by: Cheshire Cat (Nov 9, 2010 05:27AM)
The above poster has reminded me of what a beast Yellow Pages was. Yes I remember all of this. What I miss are the entertainers calling themselves "AAA1AAAAAA aaaaabracadabra" !! We switched to "Ace Parties" for better positioning in the mid 90s, and many people also used the name "Amazing" (magicians, caricaturists etc). But once those silly multiple "A" names appeared it became a farce. Poor Tony (J.) ended up right at the back of the column with a splendid picture of Punch and Judy Puppets etc.

There have been issues with entertainers using false locations for Google "Places" listings. Suddenly entertainers I'd never heard of were based at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester!! But I've noticed that now Google seem to have caught up with this scam.

:) :) Tony.
Message: Posted by: Magicforkids (Dec 12, 2010 09:24PM)
We used to do a lot in the yellow pages, At one time the yellow pages was king. It seems that the web is where it's at these days. I hear parenting magazines are helpful for some but even that sounds a little pricey
Message: Posted by: phoeberyan (Jun 11, 2021 06:04AM)
Does anyone know any good alternative to yellow page or backpage for advertising purpose. Please help me out.
Message: Posted by: MeetMagicMike (Jun 11, 2021 10:48AM)
The number one thing is a website. If someone Googles for a magician in Gainesville my site will be near the top of their results.

In addition to my website, I also advertise on a website called Fun4Gatorkids.com. They are a resource for parents wanting things to do with their kids in Gainesville.
Message: Posted by: phoeberyan (Jun 14, 2021 05:51AM)
Seeing the popularity of ads online, many websites dedicated to classified ads were created. These classified ad websites served as a primary purpose to buy and sell things to a plethora of people. One such popular classified ads platform was Backpage. But various complaints filed against it led to its extinction. https://gizmocrunch.com/backpage-alternative-websites/