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Topic: /Anyone actively using Yelp
Message: Posted by: drosenbe0813 (Jun 23, 2015 08:42AM)
Is anyone getting much business from Yelp? Personally I wouldn't think of Yelp to look for a magician, but maybe I'm wrong.

Thanks
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Jun 23, 2015 08:45AM)
I'm not personally, though I have seen those who do. Remember, public reviews are a double edged sword. On one hand, sites like Yelp show up in Google rankings and can definitely help your organic results. On the other hand, *anybody* can leave a review, which means that one guy at the bar that one time who had a little too much and thought you sucked can leave a review the same as your satisfied clients. Keep that in mind.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jun 23, 2015 09:18AM)
I personally am not a fan of these and really fail to see how they can directly result in business or bookings with any control, consistency or regularity. They are essentially a testimonial (or fake testimonial) that anyone could leave. Brian is correct in that anyone can leave a review which also includes disgruntled employees, drunks, laymen and as seem by many, including Danny Doyle, other entertainers (including your competition) that have a grudge, problem, are jealous or just as an attempt to discredit you.

Really, if you need these to get testimonials, you have bigger problems to worry about. Secondly, while these have different and better possible uses and perceptions for different types of businesses, say restaurants or auto repair places, they are not really established to have the same level of perception for performers.

I would prefer that any reviews, testimonials or shared experienced about my business, performances, appearances or show be from credible and qualified people that will influence other credible and possible decision-makers, not lay people, possibly with an axe to grind.

As the OP said, he wouldn't think of Yelp as a place to look for magicians or performers, and I hope it stays that way.
Message: Posted by: Tim Friday (Jun 23, 2015 09:32AM)
There is another thread about this here in Tricky Business with good info. I recommend searching it out...
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Jun 23, 2015 11:12AM)
[quote]On Jun 23, 2015, Tim Friday wrote:
There is another thread about this here in Tricky Business with good info. I recommend searching it out... [/quote]

Come on Tim, stop giving the guy "the run around". Okay, I'm done. :kermit:
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jun 23, 2015 12:00PM)
Hilarious! I thought the same thing, especially coming from Tim who is always asking for specifics.
Message: Posted by: Mary Mowder (Jun 23, 2015 12:23PM)
I ask people how they heard of me and Yelp comes up as first contact or the deciding factor in their choice to call fairly often.

I have received an Email from someone wanting to trade 5 star reviews so that is horrible.

Also two 5 star ratings were not used (one eventually was) because the clients do not post on yelp often.

It is a mixed bag but I cannot make it go away.

-Mary Mowder
Message: Posted by: Tim Friday (Jun 23, 2015 12:43PM)
Haha fair enough.

Full disclosure, I made the last post from my phone and could not easily find the older post, so here it is now: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=559540&forum=44

Donald Dunphy might know of some other posts where this is discussed...
Message: Posted by: Close.Up.Dave (Jun 23, 2015 04:34PM)
I know people who's main driver of business is Yelp. I personally can't get any of my reviews to stick because Yelp's algorithm is stupid and hides reviews that the computer deems as spam, even if they aren't. Yelp reviews are great if they come from people who write reviews and are known within the community. If you ask a client who has never used it to write a review it will likely get hidden.

Most likely you'll get kids shows from it, but thanks to one of my friend's large presence on there, we both got booked for the biggest trade show we ever worked.

Like any platform, you get out what you put in. :cups:
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Jun 23, 2015 05:30PM)
Yelp is easily now one of my top 3 drivers of business. I like it and I try to dominate in my market area by concentrating on it.

It drives more strolling business rather than stage but yelp has been a nice building block to my business.

It comes up high on organic Google searches too which is a nice plus. The hiding of reviews does drive me mishuganah but it's the nature of the beast. Just get more.

It's also free if you don't buy into the extras.

Highly recommended.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jun 23, 2015 08:52PM)
I'm trying to distinguish from the posts and poster's above if the success or failure expressed is more based on consumer markets rather than professional markets. Still not sure since Brett posted what he did. Brett are these more for professional bookings or consumer leads you are referring to? Also I wasn't aware that you did strolling. Mentalism or magic? Are your leads coming form consumers or professionals?

I could perhaps see it for kids parties, scouts and other consumer events but not as much with professionals. Interesting.
Message: Posted by: MikeClay (Jun 24, 2015 08:19AM)
Yelp is a sub culture in and of itself. It is a consumer based market.
To get the same results for professional markets you will need to use LinkedIn

There is some crossover with Yelp and you should track the top citation sites / review sites as a 1 star drop can effect you bottom line by 19% (That statistic is from Harvard Business)
You can also use your reputation to leverage more business.

The days of tons of fake reviews are quickly fading away as the review systems are much smarter and are growing all the time. Google is now even tracking paired MAC address to IP clusters to filter out fake reviews.
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Jun 24, 2015 10:51AM)
[quote]On Jun 23, 2015, Mindpro wrote:
I'm trying to distinguish from the posts and poster's above if the success or failure expressed is more based on consumer markets rather than professional markets. Still not sure since Brett posted what he did. Brett are these more for professional bookings or consumer leads you are referring to? Also I wasn't aware that you did strolling. Mentalism or magic? Are your leads coming form consumers or professionals?

I could perhaps see it for kids parties, scouts and other consumer events but not as much with professionals. Interesting. [/quote]

Mindpro me Amigo - I've been doing strolling Mentalism work for over 5 years now and it is probably at least 60-70% of my business. The YELP calls I get are typically for private parties or smaller company gigs, and strolling is more typical of what they seek.

I do zero magic - only mind reading.

I carry a leather European man bag/purse (or whatever you call it!) with me when I stroll and have a large selection of possible material for 2 to 3 hours work - usually for groups of 100-400. I won't stroll for less than 75 as those smaller size shows naturally become mini parlor shows with everyone gathering and I charge more for a Parlor show as it requires more material to fill the time.

I would say that with YELP these are probably more consumer leads (at least 50%) but believe it or not MANY companies do book me or refer to YELP as the planners more and more seek out online reviews which they generally trust.

I take zero kid parties and won't do any gigs usually for under 18 (although I did do my first Bar Mitzvah party some months ago and it reminded me why I don't like weddings much or bar/bat mitzvahs - people are usually too $$$ stretched and hiring a guy like me is an afterthought).

I know some poo-poo the strolling Mentalism but I have found that bookers, DMC's and the public like it and it has allowed me to cut my teeth over the past 5 years by doing a large number of 2-3+ hour engagements. This has let me earn a few sheckels and test ideas out in real time. I'm also and have been (living in Phoenix) a regular beta tester for PM and some of Craig's unreleased products and the strollling allows me many more "at bats."

I'm hitting a stage (pun intended) where I'm now getting a little tired of the strolling and pursuing the more lucrative stage and parlor shows and also raising my rates (which I've done every single year anyway). My strolling rates now are higher than most of the Magician's in my town but it is still not in the same league as what one could get for typical stage shows or the emcee work.

But as I said the strolling lets me get more practice and work routines to a finer point. I am able to use that in many cases to carry over into my stage work.

Back to YELP - like I said it has been a godsend for my strolling work (listed in the Magician category).
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jun 24, 2015 11:51AM)
Thanks for the clarification. Sounds like you're tailoring your offerings for your target market which is always the best approach.
Message: Posted by: sjbrundage (Jun 25, 2015 03:48AM)
[quote]On Jun 24, 2015, saysold1 wrote:
[quote]On Jun 23, 2015, Mindpro wrote:
I'm trying to distinguish from the posts and poster's above if the success or failure expressed is more based on consumer markets rather than professional markets. Still not sure since Brett posted what he did. Brett are these more for professional bookings or consumer leads you are referring to? Also I wasn't aware that you did strolling. Mentalism or magic? Are your leads coming form consumers or professionals?

I could perhaps see it for kids parties, scouts and other consumer events but not as much with professionals. Interesting. [/quote]

Mindpro me Amigo - I've been doing strolling Mentalism work for over 5 years now and it is probably at least 60-70% of my business. The YELP calls I get are typically for private parties or smaller company gigs, and strolling is more typical of what they seek.

I do zero magic - only mind reading.

I carry a leather European man bag/purse (or whatever you call it!) with me when I stroll and have a large selection of possible material for 2 to 3 hours work - usually for groups of 100-400. I won't stroll for less than 75 as those smaller size shows naturally become mini parlor shows with everyone gathering and I charge more for a Parlor show as it requires more material to fill the time.

I would say that with YELP these are probably more consumer leads (at least 50%) but believe it or not MANY companies do book me or refer to YELP as the planners more and more seek out online reviews which they generally trust.

I take zero kid parties and won't do any gigs usually for under 18 (although I did do my first Bar Mitzvah party some months ago and it reminded me why I don't like weddings much or bar/bat mitzvahs - people are usually too $$$ stretched and hiring a guy like me is an afterthought).

I know some poo-poo the strolling Mentalism but I have found that bookers, DMC's and the public like it and it has allowed me to cut my teeth over the past 5 years by doing a large number of 2-3+ hour engagements. This has let me earn a few sheckels and test ideas out in real time. I'm also and have been (living in Phoenix) a regular beta tester for PM and some of Craig's unreleased products and the strollling allows me many more "at bats."

I'm hitting a stage (pun intended) where I'm now getting a little tired of the strolling and pursuing the more lucrative stage and parlor shows and also raising my rates (which I've done every single year anyway). My strolling rates now are higher than most of the Magician's in my town but it is still not in the same league as what one could get for typical stage shows or the emcee work.

But as I said the strolling lets me get more practice and work routines to a finer point. I am able to use that in many cases to carry over into my stage work.

Back to YELP - like I said it has been a godsend for my strolling work (listed in the Magician category). [/quote]

Hi Saysold,
Kinda off topic.. but I wonder what you charge for strolling Mentalism in Phoenix. I have been playing with my rates for sometime.. (Located in Upstate New York). Just curious what they are out in Phoenix?

Feel free to avoid answering the question if you don't want to. The reason I am interested is because I was having a long discussion with a close friend and local magician the other day about price.

Thank you, Steven
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Jun 25, 2015 07:49AM)
I think this could be interesting for some here. There are several issues at hand in this area as they pertain to business operations.

Seems Brett uses the strolling mentslism often as a vehicle in his business for larger or greater opportunities. But my concern would be in other areas with this. Likely he or a mentalist could get a higher rate than a magician for the corporate markets. Yet at the same time I'm not sure why one would (other than money) reduce mentalism to a closeup or strolling environment, which screams magic to most people and in my opinion could reduce your perception and value as a mentalist.

At one of my agencies we often refuse such bookings (strolling mentalism) for this very reason. It seems to work for Brett, at least in his perception but I wonder about the bigger picture of earning potential and long term business and relations with the clients?

I'm guessing he charges more than magicians in his area. The bigger key to me if if in doing so he's doing straight mentalism or mentalism mixed with magic, which of course makes it all magic in the eyes of many.

Also Phoenix has always been a great mentalism market so I'm sure that plays a role into what he charges. I also think business operations is and likely should be different for a mentalist than a magician, just as it is for a hypnotist and a magician.

This probably should be it's own thread, but I do think this all plays am important role how it relates to audiences and Yelp positioning, feedback and credibility.
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Jun 26, 2015 09:19PM)
Mindpro: I will try to answer some questions this weekend - heading out for the evening now.

Steven - as far as rates (which I generally prefer to keep under hat) my goal for strolling is to not take less than close to a grand for a gig and that has been working well these past few years. I usually arrive 20-30 min early and get going right away.
Message: Posted by: sjbrundage (Jun 26, 2015 09:29PM)
Thank you for the reply. Fully understand that.
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Jun 27, 2015 11:46AM)
[quote]On Jun 25, 2015, Mindpro wrote:

Seems Brett uses the strolling mentslism often as a vehicle in his business for larger or greater opportunities. But my concern would be in other areas with this. Likely he or a mentalist could get a higher rate than a magician for the corporate markets. Yet at the same time I'm not sure why one would (other than money) reduce mentalism to a closeup or strolling environment, which screams magic to most people and in my opinion could reduce your perception and value as a mentalist.

At one of my agencies we often refuse such bookings (strolling mentalism) for this very reason. It seems to work for Brett, at least in his perception but I wonder about the bigger picture of earning potential and long term business and relations with the clients?

I'm guessing he charges more than magicians in his area. The bigger key to me if if in doing so he's doing straight mentalism or mentalism mixed with magic, which of course makes it all magic in the eyes of many.

Also Phoenix has always been a great mentalism market so I'm sure that plays a role into what he charges. I also think business operations is and likely should be different for a mentalist than a magician, just as it is for a hypnotist and a magician.

This probably should be it's own thread, but I do think this all plays am important role how it relates to audiences and Yelp positioning, feedback and credibility. [/quote]

I am doing pretty much straight Mentalism for my strolling as I said. I know the subject has come up many times as to whether strolling somehow demeans mentalism, or hurts it's impact but frankly I have never felt that way and rather I find the opposite to be true - that people may get a 1st taste of it and want to see more later.

For my strolling I use an ID but with a longer presentation and not the old ID routine but rather an influence routine of my own. Onbiously bringing cards of any kind into a strolling environment might scream Magician to many, but this is never the 1st thing I do when approaching. I've always felt the ID was one of the hardest hitting ideas ever created and there are many ways it can be presented. Simply walking up to someone and saying think of a card and bam - spreading to one face down (which I have seen local performers at the same gigs do with ZERO presentation using this or BW) to me is dullsville and feels magic.

When strolling my metal bending with a quarter is my signature and I typically do it first, talking about power energy between people etc. As you all know with strolling hard hitting is needed instantly to gain credibility.

For 2nd and 3rd I might use MOBT (paperback), Booked, a flashback book, Glance, CT, PK tpuches, which hand routine, key bend (Flexion), spoon bending, Cataclysm (cards agaon but with a future prediction theme), PM MD mini, Cinema Verite (great for strolling with multiple guests), and some others that I have on hand in pockets or in my over shoulder man bag. Obviously I don't need that much material for a group of 300+ as I could just wash/rinse repeat with 3-6 effects but the variety keeps ME from getting bored!

Yes Phoenix has no shortage of respected Mentalists (lets see - Kenton is here + Larry Becker up North, Craig Filicetti, Gene Urban, Chris Calswell and Max Krause just moved away a few years ago).

But I'm getting a little tired of the strolling as I am hitting the upper limits of what I can likely charge in this market, and I feel that the stage work can be more rewarding at the end of the day (or night). I feel strolling in fact has offered me a wonderful niche - and I don't regret the experiences.

I'm sure a performer like Doc Eason (in the magic world) was able to hone and perfect many skills working is Aspen all those years at the bar. As a Mentalist I've had a lot of fun with the strolling and YELP has been the best conduit for these kinds of gigs.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jul 3, 2016 09:22AM)
I just had a nice Yelp review hidden by the Yelp computer. It was a long drawn out review and Yelp computer decided it was not worthy of attention from potential customers. Its like I get a review and one drops. What gives with this place? I am told its the number two search for all mobile users. Buzzwatch being number one. Go figure. :bawl:
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Aug 11, 2016 06:42PM)
I just signed up for a $300 free credit promotional for Yelp Ads. Within hours I had a call for a video shoot from a person who found me searching; I figure on Yelp since he quoted my business name there. I really do not plan on paying a dime, its just the 300 dollars is for an enhanced page and clicks on my page. Hopefully I will not be in debt for this but will see in a few weeks. I read the fine print and I can cancel at any time.

NOTE: All of my Yelp reviews hidden and are not recommended by the way. One shows up then is removed later by what the rep says is an
al·go·rithm their computer uses running 24 hours a day. They said there are several red flags and they do not even know all the signs being in sales. I know your Yelp ad shows up nicely on google with stars only when you have reviews. Once the reviews are hidden, google no longer shows your page in search results. Very strange.
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Aug 11, 2016 06:54PM)
You did this in spite of the warning from others here? You seem to trying several new things lately, are any working for you?
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Aug 12, 2016 01:09AM)
[quote]On Aug 11, 2016, Mindpro wrote:
You did this in spite of the warning from others here? You seem to trying several new things lately, are any working for you? [/quote]


Where are the warnings? I get generated calls from them....when I have a review that is not hidden. Plus it was free....now the AD is gone....unsure what happened...calling tomorrow....appears no risk as long as my credit card does not get charged. I am only curious because of how picky their computers are. One day I have a review and the next it is gone. Now my AD is gone....
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Aug 12, 2016 06:28AM)
Ah, I was referring to the thoughts of Mike, Lou and others regarding the paid side.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Aug 12, 2016 07:17AM)
I see MP. Well I do not plan to pay long, just using the 300 dollar credit. It appears my AD magically reappeared overnight. And I have spent a total of $18.50 in less then 24 hours. At least you can see how much you are spending and can terminate at any time, just like the old Columbia House 8 Tracks club lol.

Anyway I did some searches and surprised at some of the names on there with reviews. Just wish their computers would allow quality reviews without the algorithms the sales people told me they do not even know the details regarding the red flags associated with the reviews removal. Sounds a lot like Google. :) :)
Message: Posted by: saysold1 (Aug 28, 2016 01:40AM)
W -

Yelp remains a great driver for me of what I would call consistent mid level gigs. I have nearly 25 five star reviews and about 6 hidden.

1. Don't pay big bucks when Yelp sales people call you promising blah blah blah. They are full of crap. They can do nothing for you. Nothing. The only thing that will drive Yelp business your way (because of their secret sauce algorithms) are great reviews.

2. I now pay about $100 a month max to Yelp to block competitor ads from popping up and some other thing ... I don't mind paying a few bucks to support Yelp as I get much more in return.

3. Hidden reviews are interesting. In time - sometimes a year of or more later - like magic the algorythym might move the review to unhidden. Be patient. It's their sandbox. Just keep fighting for more reviews.

4. Don't pay big money (over $100 a month) ads with Yelp. Oops already said that. Only reviews can organically boost you.

5. Ask clients for Yelp reviews - more than once. Remind them at the gig but only if you exceeded expectations.

6. Put lots of photos on your Yelp business page. Lots.

7. If a review is complete BS - complain. Yelp removed a single fairytale review this last year for me. None of the info jibed. The complainer said I performed in CA and was rude etc. the reviewer had only left a single review - mine. Yelp yanked it as I backed up the facts.

8. Please ignore the salespeople. I love salespeople as I spent half my life being one - but these Yelp salespeople are for sure over promising and not delivering. They can't deliver. Yelp is algorithm driven. Other performers I know have also been burned by the Yelp sales staff. Ignore them. Get more reviews. Then - get more reviews.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Aug 28, 2016 06:32AM)
B,

I hear ya thanks for post, sales call me all the time. I have $300 credit going right now and it has done nothing for me Brett. And the review filter, wow. One review was revived with no profile update, no photos and only two business reviewed while two of mine are hidden away with lots of activity, photos and reviews. Most wonder why bother but the google appearance only plus Yelp is suppose to be the number two search engine used by mobile users.

Getting reviews I feel is like pulling teeth unless you get a Yelper at a gig. They love writing reviews....those are the pot of gold people. Also if you can get invited to a Yelp event would be a big bonus but the Elite are a pretty illusive bunch and you cannot promise them anything in return for a review...

W
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Oct 30, 2016 06:27PM)
I noticed a lot of names I do not recognize on YELP with solid 5 star reviews all the way down. I then look at Las Vegas and only the no names with solid 5 star. IN fact, Copperfield and Penn and Teller don't even have a 5 star rating. Been wondering if having nothing but 5 stars may not be a good thing. If you look at Yelp, a 4 star review is stellar. 5 Stars is off the charts. Anyone at a gig can give whatever they want and me for instance at a restaurant, I seldom give a 5. I don't have all 5s on Yelp but still maintain a 5 star rating which does matter to me at least. All of my review text is good, just not everyone gives a solid 5. Think for instance, you do a corporate gig and have a minor disagreement with the client. She wants you to entertain while people are eating. You tell her you said in the contract that you have an interactive show and you cannot perform until after they are finished. This does not sit well with the client who hired you no matter how well you perform. I could go on and on. Even if they like you and you mention a review or not, they leave you a nice review albeit 4 stars.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?
Message: Posted by: Mindpro (Oct 30, 2016 07:18PM)
It is getting like other online, social sites, or anything offering social proof - it can be altered, stacked and manipulated to get the results you desire. Whenever this happens it loses its affect and impact. I know there are things out there now showing entertainers how to get nothing but 5 star reviews. When this happens, it becomes a manipulated and stacked game. It is just a matter of how long it will take others to start to realize this and view things exactly as you just did.

You are correct, no one gets 5 star reviews all the time without it being fishy or suspect. I'm not convinced corporate or professionals trust or view this the same as consumers markets and the public does.

I had someone mention to me back last Spring about wanting to give me a 5 star Yelp review, and I told her, I would rather you personally refer 5 of your direct associates that you think would be perfect to utilize my services. I would much rather put my time and efforts into this. Two days later she contacted me saying she referred me to six associates of hers in other departments or cities for the same company. She also gave me their contact info as I had requested. Within 90 days I booked three of them and have one other that expect to book any day now. This resulted in direct, measurable results and bookings. This is far more important to me than a Yelp review. Business is about spending your time where it is wisest and can create the greatest direct return. Just my thoughts since you asked.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Oct 30, 2016 07:49PM)
If you have all 5 stars you are manipulating the system and most will know it. If that is a good or bad thing is up for debate.
Message: Posted by: lou serrano (Nov 2, 2016 01:49PM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2016, Decomposed wrote:
I noticed a lot of names I do not recognize on YELP with solid 5 star reviews all the way down. I then look at Las Vegas and only the no names with solid 5 star. IN fact, Copperfield and Penn and Teller don't even have a 5 star rating. Been wondering if having nothing but 5 stars may not be a good thing. If you look at Yelp, a 4 star review is stellar. 5 Stars is off the charts. Anyone at a gig can give whatever they want and me for instance at a restaurant, I seldom give a 5. I don't have all 5s on Yelp but still maintain a 5 star rating which does matter to me at least. All of my review text is good, just not everyone gives a solid 5. Think for instance, you do a corporate gig and have a minor disagreement with the client. She wants you to entertain while people are eating. You tell her you said in the contract that you have an interactive show and you cannot perform until after they are finished. This does not sit well with the client who hired you no matter how well you perform. I could go on and on. Even if they like you and you mention a review or not, they leave you a nice review albeit 4 stars.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? [/quote]

Something to think to keep in mind is that whoever is searching for a magician on Yelp will be comparing your reviews to the other magicians on Yelp. If others have nothing but 5 stars and you have 4 stars, then it's probably going to have a negative effect. If you have one or two 4-star ratings and all your other reviews are 5 stars, you can bury the 4-star reviews by continuing to garner 5-star reviews.

If you do get a 4-star review, you may want to find out why you didn't get the 5 stars, and see if there's something on your end you can work to improve.

I once had a client on GigMasters who gave me a 4-star review, so I called her. I thanked her for the very positive review, and asked what I could improve the next time to garner a 5-star review. She didn't have an answer for me, and instead she changed her review to a 5-star review.

Food for thought.

Lou Serrano
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Nov 3, 2016 11:29PM)
Thanks for info Lou. Since I posted, the person updated to a 5 star review. The review was filtered before, now its showing. One weird thing however is Yelp is showing both reviews, the 4 star and the 5 star update. I know when I updated reviews, it never showed both. Strange. The good thing though is eventually, the review will most likely go into the fish filter again because the person had only one review and just joined Yelp.