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Topic: Yellow pages???
Message: Posted by: briansmagic (Sep 29, 2004 11:11PM)
I am 16 y/o and do a fairtly decent amount of shows...TONS of kids shows and that's not exactly my thing, I prefer larger stage magic and illusions and working for adutls or a mixed family audience. Unfortunately, the majority of my shows are kids shows. So I would like to increase my number of bookings, especially those by corporate clients. What is an easy and inexpensive way to do this? Is getting a listing in the yellow pages under "magicians" and "entertainers -- family and business" effective? Let me know what you think about yellow pages and any other ideas you have. Thanks!

Brian
Message: Posted by: Kent Messmer (Sep 30, 2004 12:28AM)
Hey Brian,
A simple yellow page add is one of the best spent money as far as advertising goes.

Think about this, when someone needs entertainment do they flip through the TV or radio channels, look in various papers? No, they go to the yellow pages.

If you do not have much compitition in your area you can just have a name listing under magician, entertainment and party planners. These do not cost very much at all and will more than pay for themselves.

As far as "kids" shows. There is nothing wrong with doing them. In fact it is much harder, IMO, to do childrens shows. It takes talent to keep their attention and entertain them. Besides there are way more shows to do for children than any other type of show. (there is a birthdy party every day of the year)

Kent
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Sep 30, 2004 06:49AM)
[b]Yellow Pages[/b]

Yellow Pages, the Big Yellow Book, SuperPages, and any other name referring to the phone book, is one form of advertisement. Some companies and corporations do very well through the phone book. Auto Repair Shops, Construction Companies, etc., and individuals who can profit from a service that everyone NEEDS more than once in their life. Business is very competitive and exposure is critical for their survival. These individuals do well in the Yellow pages.

As a matter of fact there is a science on how one goes about "Positioning" themselves among their competitors. Color ads draw more than black and white, pictures make a difference, the size of the ad, the placement on the page or location in the section makes a difference, the headline, the amount of written text, a coupon, a discount, a guarantee, certification, licensed, etc. all make a difference to the consumer looking and reading that advertisement.

A Yellow Page advertisement also gives the company and individual a sense of professionalism. The premise goes, if one can afford to advertise in the Yellow Pages, then they are legitimate and not part timers. This is important to Magician who want to be full-time working professionals.

There is truth in the fact the bigger the ad, the more likely you are going to get called. Also a company which lists first [i]AAAA Xzader Auto [/i] will get called more than [i]Willy Auto Service[/i] because most people, once they find the headline, look at the ad, will call the first person and go down a list rather than going backwards alphabetically. Consumers will also price shop, calling several persons until they reach one which meets their spending budget. (The Yellow page Companies are wise to this trick and you must demonstrate you’ve been in business with AAAA My Company for many years before they list you at the top)

There is also subconscious beliefs related to the Yellow Pages, the bigger the ad, the more it will cost the consumer. Decisions are made by the consumer based on their financial status. This is also of concern for the magician.

What is difference with a magician, as opposed to an automobile repair ad? Everybody doesn't need a magician, but because of the sheer number of cars, a consumer will need to repair his auto. [b]Magicians are NOT in demand[/b], and that is the determining fact which decisions related to yellow pages should be made.

[b]Business Phone Line Expense[/b]
The phone company requires you to have a business line in your house or place of business to advertise in the yellow pages. A business line comes with an escalating monthly expense. Depending on the plan, you could be limited to the number of incoming and outgoing phone calls as well as time limits per call. Like cell phone, when you reach that limit specified in the selected plan, additional costs will occur.

[b]Yellow Page Block Ads[/b]
Obviously, an ad is charged by the line, by the inch, by the size and by the boldness, as well as many other enhancements. Take a look at the ads in the all the yellow page directories where you want to be listed. The two areas worthy of placing an ad is under the heading [b]"Entertainers"[/b] and [b]"Magicians"[/b]. Keep in mind that you will want to be listed in numerous books in your area, so the cost becomes a multiplication factor.

A single line with a Bold heading is the very least one should do. It will stand above the others visually.

[b]800 Number[/b]
An 800 number can increase call outside the local calling area, and it is another monthly charge and per minute charge. It is about $5.00 a month and 20 cents a minute. Not bad for a potential client.

Chick Here to see an example of what is written here: [url=http://www.magic-magic.com/images/YellowPageAdv.gif][b]YELLOW PAGE AD EXAMPLE[/b][/url]

As a guide, your monthly cost for the ad should not exceed half the cost of one show. In other words, you must do six shows a year just to pay for the yellow page advertisement.

[b]Investment vs Ad Pulling Power[/b]
When the decision is made to use the Yellow Pages as a means of advertisement keep in mind the yellow pages is not the most powerful means of advertisement. Direct Mail may pull more clients than a Yellow page ad. Your advertising cost should be used wisely and most efficiently.

[b]Magic as a Fundraiser[/b]
This area requires a little more thought. Since a fundraiser Magic/Illusion show commands more money, the advertising cost can go up proportionately and the need to advertise in the [b]"Fundraising"[/b] section is additional costs.

[list][b]Keep in mind the following points when considering Yellow Pages:
[*] The need to show clients full-time professionalism
[*] The need to stand above other and be visual
[*] The need to keep Yellow Page costs to a Minimum
[*] Over-Kill in the Yellow Pages is a costly mistake for Magicians
[/b][/list]

Track all calls from the Yellow Pages, and evaluate the results.
Message: Posted by: raymond (Sep 30, 2004 10:56AM)
I get very good results from the yellow pages and find it an excellent medium.

I am no marketing expert but I can certainly give you a couple of tips which are purely personal and my opinion only. Disagree if you wish.

One is that you should never say to a client "you will find my number in the yellow pages" if you don't have a card handy or a pen to write it down. Why? Because all your competitors are in there too, of course! You coluld end up talking yourself out of a booking if you do that. Either make sure you always have a business card with you or find a bloody pen. My father once told me "a businessman should always carry a pen"
I don't always follow this advice but I should.

The second thing which is anathema to me is the bloody silly habit of saying you are "AAAAAA magic man" or something like that. I don't give a *** what studies say about being the top person in the listing. I always think the "AAAAAA" thing looks bloody stupid and amateurish.

It is actually quite laughable and customers have even remarked to me how desperate the advertisers look.

I have often thought that if you get too bound up with marketing techniques you forget common sense.

I have often mused that you don't really need a marketing course. Some chap with a modicum of common sense could detail the whole thing in a few paragraphs on a single sheet of paper.

It won't be me. I never did have much common sense.
Message: Posted by: MagicalPirate (Sep 30, 2004 04:04PM)
If you are not looking for Kids Shows then don't use the yellow pages. The yellow pages is notorious for producing Birthday Party inquiries. Those are the people that will be looking in the yellow pages.

At 16 I'm not sure what your chances will be doing corporate work. Since I don't know you don't take this the wrong way. You may dress corporate and act 25 so without knowing I can only go by chronological age. I'm a big fan of Fairs and Festivals and they can always use a stage magic/illusion show geared toward a family/mixed audience. Start local so that you can actually go meet the decision makers and show them your top stuff that makes everyone go WOW. Of course this does require being adept at close up as well as stage. But the personal touch can put you miles ahead of all the brochure mailers. Randy Charach started out this way at your age and it has seemed to work for him.

Join your local Lions club and go do a free talk about how magic can help them to market their business. This is a place to network with local corporate and business owners and they usually have a meeting every week.

Become a volunteer in local groups that make a difference and get lots of publicity. Help them create the fundraiser show to beat all fundraisers. Learn how to do it from one of the many programs going around in the magic community. Charge them less than you normally would on one of these split deals or donate your services 100% and use the testimonial from this great successful event to springboard yourself into other deals where you do take a cut.

I hope these ideas help, they will get you into the type of markets you want to be in. But it is a lot of hard work and nothing like the kid shows you have been doing up to now.

Martin :pirate:
Message: Posted by: briansmagic (Sep 30, 2004 06:59PM)
Thanks everyone for the advice -- WOW, all sounds good so I will go for it! All of you were very helpful, good to hear from you guys.

Magical Pirate:
I do perform fairs and festivals and LOVE them, also, I do do some corporate work, just not very much. I want to get more

Thanks for the input!

Brian
Message: Posted by: Kenn Capman (Oct 1, 2004 11:02AM)
We have been displayed near the top of the Yellow Pages for more than 10 years. (It's free with our business line and 800 #)

If I thought about it I could probably count the number of bookings generated by that placement.

In my experience, most people looking for entertainment throught the Yellow Pages are 'shopping' and will most likely purchase the first product that they can afford. Unfortunate if you're charging above the 'average' or 'fair' rate as seen by your potential customers.

The vast majority of my work has always come from other avenues of advertising and promotion.

Yellow Pages are nice, but limited in their effectiveness.