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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Birthday Party Pro (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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TomBoleware
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Hattiesburg, Ms
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Now that’s sad. Tim and a few others was so excited about it a couple of months ago.
But I have to agree with John, “When a parent plans a party they look to friends for referrals.” This is the case in most any happenings with the birthday party age kids. Very few will seek out a service for their child without first asking the local folks.

The birthday party business is a lot like the daycare business. (Which John also understands well) Folks will not seek out a daycare without first getting an approval from some friends. They don’t trust just anybody with their children. I’ve owned a large daycare for a little over ten years now. After the first year I completely stopped all advertising, other than a small ad in the local phone book. Even though there is a lot of competition in the area, I still get all the free advertising I need from present and past customers.

Unless you are brand new in the business, if the parents and kids aren’t talking about you all over town already, something is wrong.

Tom
"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner

www.tomboleware.com
JamesinLA
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Los Angeles
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I book a lot straight from my (own) webpage. I also have a great show and get referals (and tips) from it. But the net and my webpage serve me well.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Creative Coach
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Anderson, SC
294 Posts

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James,
You have a quality show and a reputation. People know who or what to look for. I think the web is more referral driven than just typing in a random title and a performer popping up. Most people know who they're looking for.

I get a lot of school shows from my web pages too but they have heard of me and search or I've sent them to the site myself or a satisfied client has sent them to my site. (That happens a lot!)

This venture was doomed to failure before it ever started.

All the best!
John
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

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I get calls every month from people who just found me on the Internet. Unfortunately, they are from way out of my working area, by several hundred miles to many thousand miles.

It shows me there are people who find magicians solely by web pages. Here's some true facts I found which applied to me:

Test 1: Web page Only, 0 to 3 calls a month for all five domains. Web page only, advertising rating = poor.

Test 2: Parent's Magazine ad with minimal information "Abracadabra Magic Show, Phone number and Web Page Address. Too many calls. I was booked every weekend one to four shows a day. Turned down or referred to another magician.

Test 3: Stop Parent's magazine ad. Call still came in but started to dwindle down in number over a three-month period.

Test 4: Web Page only. 0 to 3 calls a month for all five domains. Zero to 1 booking per month.

Conclusion: A web page by itself is a waste of money. A GOOD web page and another marketing Tactic including a business card is a good investment. That secondary marketing tool should motivate them to look on your web page. That is a better winning combination. Drive them to your web page is an excellent marketing method.


As for the comments about Birthday Party Pro: The jury is still out. It is useless unless the majority of the public know it exists (based on web page test above)

Johnny: "Mom, I want a magician for my birthday party. Can I Have a magician mom, Can I ....Can I. Huh.. Huh, Can I Mom?"

Mom: "Hmmmm where can I get a magician?"
("The Birthday Party Pro?") Nope that does not come to mind.
("Let look in the Yellow Pages") Yes this is used
("Do I know a Magician?") Best method. Nope, don't know any! ("The Parent's Magazine at the super market had a page on parties, I'll look there") Yes, used often.

(Ask Marge: "Marge do you know a magician?" "My cousin used one I'll call him" or "There's a magazine at the market with magicians I think....)

What do you think Mom will do? Hmmm. Sounds like a good thread.
Dennis Michael
Creative Coach
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Anderson, SC
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Dennis,
Thanks for putting into words what I was trying to convey. You need a support marketing system along with the web. (Business card, handout, ad...etc.)

Several effective methods. When I did daycares I found that LOTS of parties came from my helper certificates with a discount coupon on the side. A lot of my clients still have loads of success with daycare referrals. This is just one way. The best way to grow a great party business is to provide great parties!

All The Best!
John
itsmagic
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middle earth
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Excellent advice Coach & Dennis. I still believe the Internet is a viable marketing tool, but would be more powerful when combined w/other marketing strategies.

BPP advocated combining other strategies, like bus cards, placing flyers at party stores, etc, getting press releases, and so on to drive traffic to BPP. But it makes more sense if I'm doing all this marketing, why not send them to my own website.

It was the backend & follow-up promise of BPP that was appealing. They promised to screen leads & send you "booked" shows and after a show, they offered to call the client & do follow-up questionnaires.

I had my doubts when their marketing of their services were big promises & formulaic in style. But I figured, it's worth a shot. If it works out, I win. If it doesn't, it's a learning experience.

I gave 'em two months & nothing, so...learning experience. It wasn't a scam; just BPP didn't deliver all those big promises. A lot of time, it's better to under promise & over deliver, than vice versa.
TomBoleware
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Hattiesburg, Ms
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Yes Dennis said it well.

He also has a Great looking site. If I was in his area as competition, I’m not sure I would want a site. I could never come up with one that looks as good as his. So, I would probably be cutting my own throat by throwing one together so I could just say I have a site too. Odds are my money and time could be better spend going in another direction.

I’m sure the day will come when sites play a bigger part in selling the birthday show, but even then, I’m not sure it will be a “must have thing” for every magician.


Tom
"Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week"--Lori Greiner

www.tomboleware.com
Autumn Morning Star
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Good to have a heads-up on this issue.
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
Doug Henning
JamesinLA
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Los Angeles
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I bow to people with much more experience than me, but I do keep track by and large with where the calls are coming in. I have a place on my booking slips to write down where they heard about me: the parenting magazine, one this week was they heard the people next door laughing it up in their backyards and the dad went over and asked what all the fun was about (gotta love that one!).

But I do get a good portion of cold calls coming right from the web page of people who were primarily searching just on the web. In fact, I just booked a 33-day corporate gig right from my web page. That is my experience to date. Without checking on it, I think I'm getting about 1/3 of my calls right from the web.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
todd75
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I signed up several moths ago for FREE but never got a single thing from it. No money out of my pocket though!

I did get an email the other day from Tim saying that Birthday Pro has had a lot of problems etc. due to personal reasons, etc. The email was not directed just at me. I am sure he sent it out to everyone!

Scam scam scam!

FYI- through the years I've signed up on just about eveyr major Internet site and I can tell you that they simply DO NOT WORK. Clients do not want to go through an agency- especially not to hire a birthday party magician.
JamesinLA
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Los Angeles
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To clarify, I was talking about MY OWN WEBSITE not anyone else's that I book from.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
itsmagic
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middle earth
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Jim is booking about 1/3 from his website & Phillip & Henry seems to be advertising heavily online. So I think it can work, but the BPP model made pie-in-the-sky promises that was not supported.
magicbern
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Hong Kong, China
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Quote:
On 2006-07-22 11:13, todd75 wrote:

I did get an email the other day from Tim saying that Birthday Pro has had a lot of problems etc. due to personal reasons, etc. The email was not directed just at me. I am sure he sent it out to everyone!

Scam scam scam!

I too got this email from Tim David and the reason why I didn't publish it here is that I believe it was a personal emailing to a selected list and he may not have liked it to become public fodder for arcastic and unsubstantiated comments like the one above.

Those of you who got the email would understand that there were many reasons why Tim David didn't achieve his earlier intentions - which were noble. I too had signed up but because I live overseas, he kindly explained that the booking service wouldn't be possible for me. he also gave me the option to get a full refund 9which was accepted and handled promptly).

Personally, I see no reason not to believe a man who I know has integrity (I purchased some of his products before and his customer service is very professional)when he claims health reasons among other things to explain the demise of the site. Perhaps I am not as cynical as the above poster, but please before ascertaining the validity of the email, it would be mean-spirited to assume it was part of an elaborate 'scam'.

Also, in the same email, Tim advises members to download what they want from the site before closing out their membership (if they choose)and offers complete refunds of the unused protions of their subscriptions. How much fairer can he be?


todd75
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I appologize about posting the above referenced message. I just assumed that Tim sent everyone the message that had either signed up or showed interest in signing up for Birthday Party Pro.
magicbern
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Hong Kong, China
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That's no problem. Its easy to draw that assumption based on the rather deceptive world we live in nowadays and the plethora of spam mail we get. However, I do believe it was a genuine email sent to past and present members of the website and aimed at explaining what went wrong with the project. I remember many projects in magic take off with noble intentions and things just don't go the way they were planned. I applaud him for taking the initiative and hope this helpful site comes back in a revamped and more-focussed version.
todd75
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It will be interesting to see what transpires!
Captain Jack
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Sacramento
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Here is my update. As posted above, I reported this to PayPal. After a week, still no reply. So I escalated it to PayPal review. Two days later I have received a full refund on both the setup fee and the first month that was paid.
Every man be a fool for 10 minutes each day. The trick is not in exceedin' the time limit!

Properly warned ye be, says I!
itsmagic
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middle earth
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How did you "escalate" this to PayPal review? I've yet to hear from Tim.
Captain Jack
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Sacramento
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I used their escelation process and in the comment field stated that I still had no reply from him.
Every man be a fool for 10 minutes each day. The trick is not in exceedin' the time limit!

Properly warned ye be, says I!
Captain Jack
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Sacramento
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One other thing I just remembered was in my original complaint I filed, I had all the supporting emails saved and I had stated to PayPal that I could provide a copy of them upon request.
Every man be a fool for 10 minutes each day. The trick is not in exceedin' the time limit!

Properly warned ye be, says I!
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