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Topic: Yellow Page Ad
Message: Posted by: Scott O. (Jun 9, 2004 10:15AM)
Yellow page ads -- What have you found to be the best way to use this form of advetising? Display vs In-column ads. Color vs Black. Bold.

What wording do you use?
How effective have you found this to be?

Take your pick of these questions. Just looking to get some different perspectives.

Scott ;).
Message: Posted by: Hill (Jun 9, 2004 10:25AM)
I have learned that yellow pages ads are a necessity. in my area I consistently see entetainers with colorful, glitzy ads receiving more business regardless of the quality of their work.

food for thought - interesting to see what everyone thinks and what techniques work for others.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jun 9, 2004 10:36AM)
More important that the ad or content, is what book.

There are various "yellow pages" around (at least in my area). Most claim they are the best, and pull the most results. However, in my area, there is one that clearly is used 10x more than the leading competitor. Some people are not aware of this, and waste their advertising dollars in the wrong book.

I highly recommend that you do your research first.

- Donald.

P.S. I'll bet they move this thread to the Tricky Business section.
Message: Posted by: Hill (Jun 9, 2004 10:40AM)
As always donald has a good point - the differing books will all blind you with their marketing blurb. just have a think about which book you and your friends/family use, that's probably one of the best - albeit primative - rsearch methods.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Jun 9, 2004 10:45AM)
How much is it to place an ad?
Message: Posted by: Hill (Jun 9, 2004 10:49AM)
Interestingly - the yellow pages here I not ofering full color ads in the middle of yellow pages - providing huge opportunity to create eye catching displays. very effective but also very expenseve.

not sure the exact cost magic matt, but http://www.yell.co.uk is a great resource for these prices
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Jun 9, 2004 11:00AM)
I cant find a price
Message: Posted by: Bill Scarlett (Jun 9, 2004 11:41AM)

Pricing really varies by how populated your area is; the more people the book serves, the higher the price. Best bet is to call ad sales in your local phone book and they'll give you what it would cost in your area.

Donald has an excellent point about which book to go with. I have three in my area but only one that I consider worth the money. Look at which book has the most businesses listed and this will give you a clue as to if it is worthwhile.

I do a simple in-column ad that has four lines plus the phone number. In order to have a yellow pages ad, you usually have to have a business phone, separate from your home line. It can get expensive quickly. I recommend starting out slow or you can go broke paying for yellow page ads.
Message: Posted by: Rob Johnston (Jun 9, 2004 12:43PM)
People tend to stick with the fancier ad (sad but true). If someone sees an ad with just a name and phone number, and an ad with a picture and great fonts....then who do you think they will call?
Message: Posted by: Bill Scarlett (Jun 9, 2004 01:21PM)
I live in a very rural area and sometimes I'm the only magician in the book, so thankfully, I don't have to compete with a bunch of other ads. Ads with color and pictures can get really expensive.
Message: Posted by: Julie (Jun 9, 2004 01:29PM)
I've read somewhere that offering a "satisfaction guaranteed or your money back" kind of wording (for a children's entertainer) in a relatively inexpensive ad gets great results.
I believe the writer said he'd NEVER had to a request to return his fee...
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Jun 9, 2004 01:56PM)
In my area their must be 30-40 in the book! also satisfaction guaranteed or your money back, imagine if you travel quite far and you get their and its a really bad area and the kids are behaving really bad and you don't don't a show as good as normal they are going to want their money back, you cant always have a succesful show some factors make it not a good show.
So you have to be careful.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jun 9, 2004 02:07PM)
By the way, things like guarantees and also yellow page ads have been discussed in length on other forums (The Dean's List, etc).

If this is of genuine interest to you, and would like some links, just PM me, and I'll help you out.

- Donald. :)
Message: Posted by: magiker (Jun 9, 2004 02:57PM)
I had an Ad in the yellow pages for the last 4 years. In that time I have had 3 calls and booked 1.
I find that the clients that don't know me find me thru the net. It seems that people prefer to use search engines than let their fingers do the walking.
That's my experience over here.
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Jun 9, 2004 02:58PM)
I have a full colour advert in my local Yellow pages. The advert is about 3 1/2"x4" and costs about £1300 a year. I could quite easily reduce it in size as I'm well established but as I don't waste money on lots of different advertising so I can afford to splash out a bit on the yellow pages advert.

All it has on it is:
my photo,
my name,
my phone number and website address.

That's it, I don't believe in having too much text as it will look cluttered and they wont read it. I don't believe in putting Guarantees on paper as Matt said some fool will only try and rip you off.

It's one of the bigger adverts in the entertainers section, (We don't have a magicians section over here)and it's one of the few full colour ads, so it stands out nicely from the rest.
Message: Posted by: Scott O. (Jun 9, 2004 04:40PM)
Thanks for the response.

I've never done Yellow page advertising, but did have a display ad in the area Christian Business Directory. Thus, now the YP guys are all a'callin'.

I can get a good intro price in one of the alternative books. It is one that I use. However, I have used my personal line for business (as I am not a full-time pro). If I adverise in the YP, is there a problem using a residential line?
Message: Posted by: Danny Diamond (Jun 9, 2004 09:12PM)
I was considering aYellow Pages ad recently. I asked for the advice of a more experienced magician than I, a guy who had aquite a large number of shows under his belt. He felt strongly that the Yellow Pages were NOT the best way of advertising. He said getting a restaurant gig was the best way to advertise his kid's show. He had a steady restaurant gig, where he performed for new people every week, and lots of them. He said he got more business than that than any advertising. Of course, if you don't have a restaurant gig, then his advice is pretty meaningless, huh?

I am sure it can't hurt, but as a part-time performer, I have been getting steady bookings based solely on referrals and my own marketing, such as free library shows to hand out flyers, and balloon twisting gigs in town to distribute flyers and cards.

If I were full-time, I believe I would certainly need a Yellow Pages ad, as well as others.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jun 9, 2004 10:22PM)
A lot of the time, it depends what type of shows you want, whether you should have yellow page ads or not.

I've found that I mostly get inquiries for children's birthday party shows (about 75% of all inquiries). This is great if you do children's birthdays (this thread started off in the little darlings forum), but isn't so great if you are hoping to get corporate shows.

Again, it's a research thing. Figure out what will be the best method, and one that you are comfortable with, to reach the customers you want. Then use that most appropriate method.

- Donald.
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Jun 9, 2004 10:34PM)
Donald is correct. Determine what your market is before you determine how to attack it. I have a Yellow Pages ad for no other reason than it is free with my business line. There are no other magicians listed in the book and the only calls I get (about 5 per month) are for birthday parties. I actually got more bookings from our local newspaper, when I was doing children's shows.

You need to see what avenues you have for marketing and test different approaches. One thing may work in one area and not even be available in another (for example, we have no monthly parenting magazines in our area).
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Jun 10, 2004 12:02AM)
Our dodgy Yellow Pages recently created Children's Parties as a new section as well as Entertainer's meaning we all have to spend double!!!!


Yellow Page is passive advertising. However, half the people who use it are LOOKING for a particular performer. Imagine all the fans of yours who looked in the book and couldn't find you so booked someone else.

Also, most users of the book are private citizens. That makes it great for kid's parties but less useful for festivals, corperate etc....
Message: Posted by: Emazdad (Jun 10, 2004 01:43AM)
That's right Nicholas, even if you don't put a big advert in it's important to have a presence in the nook so they can find your number. Often the flyers etc you give out don't get kept and when they decide they want you for their kids party it's no good if they can't find your number.

<<< He had a steady restaurant gig, where he performed for new people every week, and lots of them. He said he got more business than that than any advertising. Of course, if you don't have a restaurant gig>>>>

To my knowledge there is not one single restaurant in plymouth employing a magician on a regular weekly basis, I think one of my close up mates works occassionaly in a restaurant but that's it. I looked into it once but they were not willing to pay the money I asked. They would however been happy if I were to work all evening for £25. Before you say you work for tips, please remember I'm in the UK, we don't throw tips about the same as they do abroad.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Jun 10, 2004 01:01PM)
I don't really advertise I think the best way is word of mouth, I give out flyers at the end of the show for the kids to colour in and I use the line 'tell your mummy and daddy that magic matt said if I colour this in and put it under my pillow I will get 20p' (or more depending on the area) This get the adults see the flyer with my info on, Also word of mouth doesn't give any false impressions and it gets more work if your good.
Well saying that, ive had too bookings from the same family that havent even seen me before! a weeding and a birthday.
Message: Posted by: wizardofsorts (Jun 10, 2004 06:00PM)
Yeah now you have to have two ads but over here, they started "Family Entertainment" to seperate Magicians from Strippers and Escort servieces (which are both veiled covers for prostatution). So, the split was Welcome here.
Message: Posted by: Andy Wonder (Jun 11, 2004 06:32AM)
Yellow Pages are great for kids parties, but not so good for other types of markets.

If there are a lot of other entertainers in the book & your ad looks similar to all the others then you will be stuck with callers shopping on price. It takes a lot of sales skill to get them out of that mindset & sell on quality.

If you design an ad that makes you look like the market leader you will get the best quality prospects call you.

The content of your ad really depends on the type of callers you are looking for.

The best general advice I could give is put your web site address in there & have a persuasive web site to match. Half of your callers will have looked at the web site 1st & be pre-sold before you even speak to them.

Here is my yellow pages ad: http://walkermagic.com/ypscan.jpg

It did try it with the USP at the top, but it did not look quite right. Either way peoples eys seem to fall on the cartoon 1st.
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jul 8, 2004 06:49PM)
A one year ad here in San Antonio (1.2 million people) is $30 for one line or $43 for Bold print. I checked and found no magicians in the party planning section (Kids shows for me). In the magicians section, only one magician service period, and its an agency that has jugglers etc.

We also have more than one book but SBC is the largest circulated. Ad placement deadline is Aug 17 and the books go out in Nov. Thanks to Donald I read the Dean's List thread. I don't see this as a phone ringing off the wall opp but, the Kids Magazine is costing me $25 a month and it just ain't working.

The one year committment is the scary thing with YP. Perhaps they will make me a better deal with the sales staff there.

I like the Best Magic Show or Best Birthday Party Magic Show ideas.....maybe it isn't the wording but who reads it? Party Planning seams to be my best bet, it has pony rides and moonwalks. Thanks for the ear gang! I know this has been beaten to death.

I am doing active marketing now, otw to a show today, I dropped off a brand new flier (cards also) at a daycare. I plan to keep doing this and also using magic wands at the parties with my info on the reverse etc.


I got hold of sales rep for YP today. Smartpages.com will list me in three of the categories along with my web site link for $16 a month. The total number of hits (3 categories combined) in this city was 91 last month.

He also offered me a 1/2 inch square in the book for $29 a month. I'm deciding between the two. There are about 9 magicians in the magician section in my area. Just 6 hits there last month. Family entertainment and party planning are about even. Party planning has no venue similiar to mine.

Haven't heard much about the Smartpages but will look into it. For the price, it seems very reasonable.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Jul 9, 2004 10:49PM)
Just do your research first, as I advised way, way, way up on this thread (3rd post from the top).

- Donald.
Message: Posted by: R2 (Jul 9, 2004 11:24PM)

I have an ad in the area Children's Directory.

I also have a yellow page ad.
I have an ad in the mailers that go out with the coupons once a week.

I have a direct mail campaign to keep in touch with past clients and some new prospects.

I see them all as investments which pay off in the long run......However;

The biggest generator of my leads are the postcards that I leave at the largest Party Supply Store in town. The owner doesn't' just let folks pile their business cards on the point of purchase area and I knew this going in, so I devised a plan.

Understand that this might not be true in your area?In which case go ahead and dump your cards on the sales area. If you don't want to wear out your welcome then continue reading?

When I first came into the place, I bought a few Qualatex 260's and entertained the folks whilst waiting in line....I made it a big deal,but I didn't drop my name or cards just yet.....

I kept going back until I met with the store manager in a "casual" run-in....I then asked if they sold Cotton Candy Machines which I know they didn't, but she took me into the proprietor's office to inquire if he might be able to procure one for me? I might have bought one if the price was right, but my sole intent was to get a personal visit....

When the conversation was over he asked me to leave some cards on the p.o.s. if I had any? I had effectively mirrored him properly and established the rapport we both needed.

I mentioned that I mailed party planners to my prospects and that they might be of help to his store in upselling other items they carry? He said, "Sure why not, leave some of them too!"

I came back in a few days with a very proffessional acrylic stand which holds one 8x10 picture of myself and a stack of party planners which Bruce Kalver helped me with.....I also made sure to leave a stack of refills of both my postcards and the party planners....I also included a small ad for his store at the back of the party planner to encourage them to include one in every bag along with the receipt.

I give one of the register gals $20. a month to call me when the supplies get low......The only time my stand was taken down was when they ran out of my materials.....She made me promise not to tell anyone and mum was the word for me? Understand that I first offered to pay a small fee in return for leaving my materials, but the owner wouldn't hear of it.

I know that with everything the novelty eventually wears off! I decided that the only way for me to have someone in the loop get paid for being my store cheerleader/ambassador/inside mole/etc.....

You must keep the displays neat, tidy, and well stocked.....the owner Joe Ayoub feels that he is offering his clients a solution to their party planning needs by giving them some extra entertainement ideas.....

The ladies at the register are often asked about my show and they say, my show is the best in town...They actually aren't telling the complete truth because they have only seen my work whilst standing in line.....I really don't know why they do this for me, but I make it a point to be genuine when I visit them from time to time....

I don't always come in to purchase or restock my stands...I come in to chat....seriously I do! You must be geniune or they will sniff you out like a worn out dirty no good smelly rat!

I still go back and buy my supplies even when I can get them for less online....

When I am booked at an event, I ask the host if they have purchased their party supplies? If they say, "No" then I tell them that I can get them a discount because of the volume of shows that I do and materials I purchase.

In some cases I purchase the supplies for them and this is something that I don't tell the owner. He just assumes that I am buying stuff for my shows or parties....

The bottom line is that I found a way to help someone succeed which in turn allows them to want for me to do the same.....It's about helping others get what they want first?

To make a short story long..(I know too late)...establish a relationship with the party supply houses...because if party supply shoppers are going through the trouble of creating the right atmosphere with party decorations and associated peripherals then undoubtedly they are or might be interested in completing the picture with the right kind of entertainment? That means YOU!

I have had prospects call two years after having first nabbed my card...Very important remember I didn't give them my postcard..they nabbed it..they wanted my services.

Good luck and get crackin'!
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jul 10, 2004 01:35AM)
Boy, that is some marketing approach! Thanks for sharing. I did leave a card with the party supply gal but never thought about what you have done. You certainly went the extra mile.
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Jul 10, 2004 10:12PM)

This is my latest ad. It will appear in 12.8 x 6.1cm.

Its just a draft I knocked up but I loved to hear people's thoughts! (but only if they are nice ;) )
Message: Posted by: Decomposed (Jul 11, 2004 12:05AM)

I love it!!! I know I've bugged just about every Café member about my marketing approach which is lame. I keep coming up with new ideas for a Smartpages or YP ad and don't want to mess this one up.

SBC and Verizon are our biggest books. SBC is the best and most expensive.

Catch phrase that will draw them in if there is such a thing.