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Topic: "Past Clients" Page
Message: Posted by: Close.Up.Dave (May 30, 2011 03:40PM)
Hey guys, I'm in the process of redoing my site (I used to use iweb, but I just took the time to learn how to use dreamweaver). I'm at the point where I'm considering putting a page that lists my past clients like I have on my old site. However, I'm wondering if it might be better to simply have quotes from past clients listed in various parts of the website instead of dedicating an entire page to it. I know the value of reviews, but I'm not sure that a client might take the time to read an entire page of reviews (which will all obviously be positive), when they can read them spread out throughout my site.

I've seen people on this forum have a page for past clients, and others don't. I would love to hear people's thoughts on this. Thanks!

Dave
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (May 30, 2011 05:44PM)
I like the idea, and I think your reasoning is spot-on. Sprinkling appropriate quotes throughout the site may very well lead people to read what they might otherwise not! I also think that you would have the opportunity to pick quotes that are content-specific for the message you are presenting on any given page, as opposed to general comments.
Message: Posted by: Benji Bruce (May 30, 2011 07:05PM)
The strength in reviews/testimonials is not in what people say about you; the strength comes when soooooo many people talk about you. Anyone can get one or two people to say they're great. But if you have 5,000 people bragging about you (and the right type of people) then the only conclusion is that you must be good.
Message: Posted by: Starrpower (May 30, 2011 09:26PM)
But Benji, you didn't answer his question.

Also, I am not sure I entirely agree. The one RIGHT person saying the one RIGHT thing can be worth 5,000 people who say things that do not address the needs of the buyer.

For example, if I saw a quote by someone that I knew in my industry saying that CloseUp Dave brought in $20,000 worth of orders at a recent trade show, it would be far more important to me than 5,000 saying Benji is really funny ... [i]even if it was the same type of people in the same industry saying that![/i] Additionally, having that ONE quote on his "Trade Shows" page would be far more effective than having it hidden amongst 5,000 other glowing but irrelevant quotes.
Message: Posted by: Scott Burton (May 30, 2011 09:43PM)
Starrpower...I agree. I couldn't possibly say it any better.

Have the quotes for sure Dave.

If you want to, have a clients page too. It won't hurt - unless the client list does not match your intended target market (example - trying to work for bars or night clubs and listing "Little Wonders Nursery School" and "Johnny's Birthday" as clients) or if it's too early in your career to actually fill out a quality list of decent length.
Message: Posted by: Benji Bruce (May 31, 2011 12:01AM)
Starpower...you never know which one is the RIGHT one and which one isn't. How can you possibly match up the RIGHT quote and the RIGHT time with the RIGHT client.

I agree with you that if you're in the auto industry and you see a quote by other people in your industry then it will make the magician more credible. But you don't know who is looking at your quotes and what industry they're in so in the real world, it isn't applicable to have the one RIGHT person saying the one RIGHT thing.

If one quote talks about how "people were talking about the magician all night long" while another quote says "he made our job a lot easier because he did the planning" etc etc then that is great. But you don't know who is looking for what. Someone might visit your site because they want their event to be talked about while another person might want the magician to help out.... And because you don't know who is on the other end of the computer screen, you can't get that one right quote to say the right thing.

But if you overwhelm them with social proof then they have to naturally think, "he has to be good since everyone is talking about him".....(take a look at the best sellers on Amazon. They have so many reviews that you're more inclined to buy because they have 147 reviews rather than just 2 good ones)

So in an ideal world, one good quote will be better than 5,000. But what are the odds that you're one good quote is going to be seen by the one right person....and that "good" quote can apply to any entertainer
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (May 31, 2011 09:20AM)
Benji,
You didn't answer my question in Jeffrey Korst's thread about his web site. Since it regarded quotes - I'll ask again.
[quote]On 2011-05-27 03:16, Benji Bruce wrote:
you can have a quote saying "WOW Jeff was amazing. We had to book him several months in advance because he is a busy guy and after seeing his show, I can see why" -Private Client. [/quote]

Were you advising him to make up a quote? It certainly reads that way. Its one of the reasons so many people don't take quotes seriously. Social proof is more than just logos and quotes. And targeting is much easier if you don't try to appeal to everyone.

Dave, my personal feeling is a client page is wasted. I've always believed verifiable client quotes should be used to boost or prove your copy throughout the site. The best way to decide for yourself would be to test it using Google Analytics.
Tom
Message: Posted by: Close.Up.Dave (May 31, 2011 10:20AM)
[quote]
On 2011-05-31 01:01, Benji Bruce wrote:
Starpower...you never know which one is the RIGHT one and which one isn't. How can you possibly match up the RIGHT quote and the RIGHT time with the RIGHT client.

.......

But if you overwhelm them with social proof then they have to naturally think, "he has to be good since everyone is talking about him".....(take a look at the best sellers on Amazon. They have so many reviews that you're more inclined to buy because they have 147 reviews rather than just 2 good ones)
[/quote]

Benji, thank you for your input. The first portion you speak of (which relates to your previous post) doesn't seem relate to the question. The question is not if testimonials help. Its a proven tactic. My question was in regards to having a page DEDICATED to reviews.

The second portion I've quoted seems to relate to the question better. However, the problem is that as performers we are nothing like amazon. Amazon does not sell services like entertainers, they only sell products. The manner in which we go about selling our services is much different than selling a product. This leads me to the next point: we as performers are not all listed on one centralized site and there is no possible means for us to have unbiased reviews listed about us. Since we are the masters of our own sites, we control what content is shown.

I think if there was a way of listing unbiased reviews it would help in the same way that people approach a site like amazon. But, we are not the same thing as amazon. We have to do things in the way that suits our industry.

Also, thank you everyone else for your comments. I think I'm going to stay away from a page entirely dedicated to reviews. I think there are better things I could dedicate a page to, and still use testimonials effectively.

Dave
Message: Posted by: Benji Bruce (May 31, 2011 10:23AM)
Tom,

I ignored your question for a reason....it does nothing except start a useless argument.

If you feel like talking about having a "past clients/review" page then chime in. If not, don't ask me to engage in any negativity.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (May 31, 2011 10:30AM)
I have had a past customers list on my website at one time. As well as having a testimonials page. Now I just use a testimonials page.

Over time, I developed the opinion that a past customers page might be more useful as a part of the lead generation / sales letter mailing, as opposed to online. It's less likely to get into your competitors hands that way.

Also, I just use the customer's company name, if posting a past customers list. I wouldn't post logos without their permission.

I also think it's useful to be sure that your past customers list is up to date. Why would you list a group that you haven't worked for within the past couple of years?

- Donald
Message: Posted by: Benji Bruce (May 31, 2011 10:34AM)
Dave I'm in favor of a page dedicated for reviews....I'm sure you can tell I love testimonials :)

But think of the amazon example this way:
Before you buy a trick, you look here on the Café for reviews. If you have 4 pages of amazing reviews then you probably buy it. If you see one or two reviews, you wait for more people to respond.

Social proof sells services and products. I remember looking at a magician's page on a talent agency's website and he listed tons of previous clients like AT&T, McDonalds, Exxon Mobil, etc, etc and it went on. I immediately thought "oh wow, he performed for everyone."

And of course we won't have a review saying that we sucked :)...but that is why having sooooo many reviews is important. With one or two reviews saying you're amazing, it does little. But with a gazillion reviews (they won't read them or watch all of them) they have to conclude one thing....not all of them can be lying.
Message: Posted by: Benji Bruce (May 31, 2011 10:38AM)
Take a look at Tim Conover's site with past clients.... http://www.mentalist.net/clients.html

After looking at that, you can't tell me that you won't be influenced to hire him. All those clients give you a piece of mind which lets you know that he has to be good, otherwise he wouldn't have performed for so many people.
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (May 31, 2011 01:23PM)
[quote]
On 2011-05-31 11:23, Benji Bruce wrote:
Tom,
I ignored your question for a reason....it does nothing except start a useless argument.
If you feel like talking about having a "past clients/review" page then chime in. [/quote]

I did chime in on the subject of a Client/Review page. You obviously didn't read the entire post.

Oh, and I'm sorry Benji. The fact you suggested creating a fake quote IS a useless argument because you won't admit it was bad advice. Based on that post, none of this really matters does it? Anyone could have an impressive Client/Review page.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 31, 2011 01:53PM)
`If you are hoping for quotes of past clients to sell your show, get ready for a lot of open calendar. And by "you" I mean anyone, not someone spacific.
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (May 31, 2011 03:44PM)
[quote]
On 2011-05-31 14:53, Dannydoyle wrote:
`If you are hoping for quotes of past clients to sell your show, get ready for a lot of open calendar. And by "you" I mean anyone, not someone spacific.
[/quote]

Danny, I'm not sure anyone here is suggesting that testimonials alone sell the show. But certainly a strong list of testimonials from the right kinds of clients in your market should be part of a complete promotional package.

To address this thread, I'm certainly no marketing expert and while I tend to maintain a pretty full schedule, I am constantly learning new things about how to market myself best. I use a page dedicated to Press/Testimonials. I've always been interested in trying the other approach, of sprinkling random testimonials throughout the site, but I must say I enjoy the POW factor of opening a page with a massive list of quotes. The top 3-5 need to be the strongest and most relevant, since those are the only ones people are likely the read. If you go to http://www.brianmillermagic.com/Press.html you'll notice that I use color to accent the keywords I want the prospective client to pick up on.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (May 31, 2011 04:16PM)
You could do both - Have the pertinent aspects of the quotes on a single page and each one is linked to the actual letter on a separate page.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 31, 2011 05:40PM)
[quote]
On 2011-05-31 16:44, BrianMillerMagic wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-05-31 14:53, Dannydoyle wrote:
`If you are hoping for quotes of past clients to sell your show, get ready for a lot of open calendar. And by "you" I mean anyone, not someone spacific.
[/quote]

Danny, I'm not sure anyone here is suggesting that testimonials alone sell the show. But certainly a strong list of testimonials from the right kinds of clients in your market should be part of a complete promotional package.
[/quote]

Let me ask a question, not spacifically at you but in general. Do you really think that a client goes through testimonials and says "hmm they worked for Toyota and they had fun so WOW lets hire them"? Or that having a huge number of them makes a difference in the least to most buyers?

Really it is a lot of claptrap sold by marketing gurus to keep magicians buying their wares. Have a killer video, a pro looking site, good pics and so forth. THAT will sell and mean FAR more than a thousand testimonials. I don't think they even enter into the picture. If you want to list some clients then cool, but nobody reads what is said.

Oh and having to sit through the video testimonial is just about as much fun as watching grass grow. Don't tell me what others say, SHOW ME WITH THE VIDEO! That is what the video is for. If a picture is worth 1000 words, then video is worth 100x that.

I guess my real point is you don't need clever marketing stuff if you have the act.
Message: Posted by: Richard L. (May 31, 2011 07:36PM)
Very true about video testimonials Danny.
Message: Posted by: thebeaky (Jun 15, 2011 08:21AM)
If the testimonials are verifiable, then I am interested. Otherwise no. I may not verify them, but I will check they are verifiable.
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Jun 15, 2011 10:52AM)
There are some advantages on both sides: there's a certain credibility to having a PILE of nice things said about you. But I'm not sure that beyond seeing a "bunch of stuff" clients actually read them.

My solution: I STILL have a client page...but I also use choice comments from heavyweight clients on their own, partitioned throughout the key pages. I WANT those read.

David
Message: Posted by: DWRackley (Jun 15, 2011 09:25PM)
Thinking as a customer, I might not read through all of the testimonials, but it would strike as odd if there were none at all. I’d wonder, "Has this guy ever worked before?"

Thinking as someone about to create his own page, I personally like both ideas of scattering them throughout the site, AND having links to the original letters.
Message: Posted by: Nash (Jun 16, 2011 07:13PM)
Hey Dave

If it doesn't hinder the rest of the site, I don't see why not.
It provides proof that you have an extensive experience performing, not someone just starting out.
Its just another way to add credibility, I say go for it.
Message: Posted by: Alikzam (Jun 16, 2011 11:48PM)
On my website I have testimonials on the right side of every page. The testimonials on the side are relevant to the show-type they are viewing. For example: If you're viewing the School Festival show option, you'll see testimonials from other schools and children's events.

You can see how I implemented it here: http://www.BCmagician.com.

A few choice pull quotes are great IF it's from somebody everyone knows. If I had a quote from Peirs Morgan, The New York Times I'd include that on every page instead in the header rather than including quotes elsewhere.

I should also point out that I don't expect clients to read all the testimonials. In fact, I want to overwhelm them so that they can see that I've done a lot of shows. This builds comfort and credibility.
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Jun 21, 2011 01:08PM)
When I was a photographer, I never had a past Client Page, I found out by another photographer early in my career that other photographers would use a past client list as a list of companies that was known to use photographers and then contact them in an attempt to bid the next photo job.

Is this a problem in the entertainment field?