The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Yellow Pages (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
keeblem
View Profile
Inner circle
Essex, UK
1166 Posts

Profile of keeblem
I've had my first advert in the Yellow Pages for nearly a year. When I first phoned the yellow pages, the lady I spoke to said she was surprised at the amount of advertisers under "Entertainers" in my area. I've just had a quick count and there are about 40 adverts for magic and/or children's parties.
Does that sound like a lot of competition? How much competition do you have in your area?
Mark
Andy Wonder
View Profile
Special user
Auckland, New Zealand
744 Posts

Profile of Andy Wonder
Where I live there are about 30 other direct competitors that offer entertainment for birthday parties, including puppeteers, fairies, clowns, story tellers & magicians. The population of my region is just over 1 million people.

I think these days having your yellow pages ad direct people to a persuasive web page is a must for people in the birthday party market. Almost half of the people that call me for parties have already seen my web site, so they are pre-sold.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
p.b.jones
View Profile
Inner circle
Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
2642 Posts

Profile of p.b.jones
Hi,
There are 38 such ads + line listings in our edition.
Phillip
Cheshire Cat
View Profile
Special user
Wilmslow, UK
941 Posts

Profile of Cheshire Cat
Hi Keeblem, - Manchester South Yellow Pages which we've been in since Sept. 1980 has probably now quadrupled. Since 1994 we have been Ace Parties which of course alphabetically does help. Prior to this we were 'Parties and Puppets' and 'Tony and Sue'. We always have a yellow quarter column payable over ten interest free direct debit payments. The cost has reduced for the second year running. We prominently place the web address in the ad. and make sure the phone number is in bold. We keep the text to a working minimum and have a thick black border. Some entertainers like pictures etc. - but we think this serves no purpose. Bear in mind we've been est. 25 years so most of our work is referrals - but YP is still a brilliant source of advertising and the only paid one we use. I think it fair to assume that a lot of these 40 in your directory will probably be 'no-goers', or roughly spoken or rude on the phone, or maybe never around to answer the phone! There probably will be a few from out of area just dipping in a toe. You might even find you only have 2, 3 or 4 others who are 'serious' competition!
Emazdad
View Profile
Inner circle
Plymouth UK
1954 Posts

Profile of Emazdad
Hi Mark, How many of those are actually in your area? How big an area does your YP cover? You may find there's not as much competition as you think. When people look throuth YP first they look for people in their immediate local area as logic states that to hire people from further afield will cost more.

There is quite a few in my local yellow pages, who do children's parties but it covers all of South Devon and Cornwall so only about 12 of them are in Plymouth. Out of that 12 only 4-5 are full time professionals, 2 are face painters and one is a 10 year old spoilt kid who goes out for free. The rest fit into Ace's no-goers category. (You forgot unreliable Ace, as these are the ones that cause frantic parents to phone round on a saturday morning when they've been let down) There are a couple of others who only advertise in the local rag on a friday.

It doesn't matter how many there are though because if you do a good show and if you have a friendly proffessional phone manner your reputation will get you the work.
Yellow pages points people in your Direction, but when they're looking through YP and they say to a friend "what about Kidzmagic?" if the friend says "I've heard of him, my friend had him he's good" you'll get the job. The No-goers by virtue of the things Ace mentioned soon find the calls dry up as their not so good reputation soon gets round.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
keeblem
View Profile
Inner circle
Essex, UK
1166 Posts

Profile of keeblem
Thanks for the replies, guys. Some interesting points brought up. Ace mentions people who are rude when you phone up. Before I actually experienced this myself (when phone around to see what the competition are charging) I wouldn't of believed how people could have such a bad attituted when trying to sell themselves.
This has also been mentioned by people enquiring about my show: "Oh, I phoned so-and-so and he was SO rude." Incredible.
I had a booker phone up only a couple of weeks ago who said to her: "... I like working with little girls..." This was probably said quite innocently (I hope) - but what a bizarre thing to say.
Mark
Dynamike
View Profile
Eternal Order
FullTimer
24023 Posts

Profile of Dynamike
Same thing here, Ace. First I was "Dynamike" in the YP. Now the business name is "Ace Productions." I now have other entertainers in my business, (Clowns, moon bouncers, pony rides, comedians, DJ's, etc.) It does help because most people won't call more than 15 numbers.
magicguyri
View Profile
New user
RI
67 Posts

Profile of magicguyri
To change the thread, just a little, Has the Yellow Pages become obsolete with the internet being what it is? I would love to hear what others think!
Potty the Pirate
View Profile
Inner circle
4617 Posts

Profile of Potty the Pirate
7 years is a long time, Andy Walker had his finger on the button with his post. Yes YP is now practically obsolete, at least as far as entertainers go (and lots of other trades too). I no longer spend any money with them, their response to online advertising is - sadly - a joke.
I think the problem with YP is that not long ago, there were BIG commissions and bonuses to be had, YP had a virtual monopoly, sales were easy, and their sales staff made very good money. As the public have turned to the Internet for their information, YP have rather arrogantly created Yell.com, and expect to charge equivalent rates to their directory advertising. But Yell.com gets only a tiny fraction of internet searches. The Rest of the World realises that Google is the new YP.
In order to stay the market leaders, YP should have spotted Google as SOON as it started. At that time, YP were World-leaders in providing contact information. Part of the job of being a market-leader is to STUDY the market, and to respond to inovation. If YP had bought out Google back then, they could still be market leaders. But they didn't, and they're not.
Now, YP is a big number of middle-aged, average sales professionals, whose company is diving onto a hard place.
Thank God I'm a pirate!
;)
Don Lamb
View Profile
New user
53 Posts

Profile of Don Lamb
I can't remember the last time I used the Yellow Pages for anything. Couple folks getting rid of their land lines with the fact Google and the internet are so main stream - it doesn't bode well for the YP sales reps.
TonyB2009
View Profile
Inner circle
5006 Posts

Profile of TonyB2009
It's completely obsolete in areas where there is broadband internet access. In Ireland that means the cities and towns. Still used in the rural areas, but that will die out over the next year or two.
Sammy J.
View Profile
Inner circle
Castle Rock, Colorado
1785 Posts

Profile of Sammy J.
Back when I had my business (not magic) in the 70s, 80s and 90s, I spent most of my advertising budget on Yellow Pages. Today, I don't even look at the Yellow Pages at all. I just Google whatever I want to find.
Sammy J. Teague
Potty the Pirate
View Profile
Inner circle
4617 Posts

Profile of Potty the Pirate
Quote:
On 2010-09-29 23:11, Sammy J. wrote:
Back when I had my business (not magic) in the 70s, 80s and 90s, I spent most of my advertising budget on Yellow Pages. Today, I don't even look at the Yellow Pages at all. I just Google whatever I want to find.

....in the 70s 80s and 90s, you put your copy of YP by the phone. Now, you put it straight in the recycling bin, as soon as it arrives. How cruel the hands of time can be. I prefer to keep my eyes off that ever-ticking second-hand!
Potty Smile
Cheshire Cat
View Profile
Special user
Wilmslow, UK
941 Posts

Profile of Cheshire Cat
It is now November 2010 and I've just found this thread on internet purely by chance. It's years since I was here (I thought I was banned) Smile Smile Yes, of course Yellow Pages is now no longer an option. It's ALL internet now. I wish everyone all the best for forthcoming Christmas work. We're doing kind of alright in these difficult times.

Yes, how time marches on Potty. Over 30 years now for us. We just give it our all and enjoy every moment of entertaining these days.

Tony

http://www.aceparties.co.uk
keeblem
View Profile
Inner circle
Essex, UK
1166 Posts

Profile of keeblem
It's funny how this thread keeps popping up! It was posted 7˝ years ago! I no longer advertise in the YP and all my work comes through the internet.

Mark
Cheshire Cat
View Profile
Special user
Wilmslow, UK
941 Posts

Profile of Cheshire Cat
. . . and yes Don Lamb (hi), fixed landlines are now becoming obsolete. We have used two mobile numbers for a good while now. The days of the old Binatone huge answering machine with it's tape deck have long gone (although I dare not explain what our first phone looked like when we started in 1979 - other than "quaint"). Landlines started to attract far too many unsolicited sales calls and pests too.

Well, it's a cold but beautiful sunny Saturday November morning here in North West England. First party today a 10 till 12 midday - don't you just love this type of customer who'll book a party out of usual hours and allow a couple of other bookings later Smile

Back in another 10 years . . .

Tony.
Tony James
View Profile
Inner circle
Cheshire UK
1398 Posts

Profile of Tony James
Mark

To answer your original question from all those years ago, in the South Manchester/North Cheshire YP area we had between 40 and 50 and increasing entries in the then single category of Entertainers. This climbed to well over 60 and then fell back last year to 62 across the two categories of Entertainers and Children's Entertainers.

Actually, the numbers increased each year even more because a good handful fell out each year and still the numbers increased.

This year, in the new A5 format, there is a total of only 16 across both categories.

In one sense it is a shame that YP no longer works because it was always a handy and easy annual indicator of the volume of competition in the area. In the old days, when there were only 5 or 6 entries we used to multiply by 5 to get some broad estimate of the competition. There will always be many times more who don't advertise and draw attention to themselves.

When I mentioned to someone recently that 60+ in YP equated to 300+ in the area the reply was 'And the rest'.

Clearly, very, very few people here are dependent on children's entertaining for a living in the conventional local birthday party/school Christmas party sense of the word.

On the other hand, very few ever did. It was always a part time paying hobby for those with another job, a small business or a pension. Professionals have always been thin on the ground.

Posted: Nov 6, 2010 7:25am
I feel sorry for you Sue and Tony. THREE two hour parties this wonderful sunny, blue skied November morning. I must get back to my smoked salmon and scrambled eggs! They are going cold and the champagne is getting warm!!

Before I do I've been asked to clarify the numbers. A few years ago YP added a new category of Children's Entertainers in addition to the longstanding all-in-one Entertainers. Caused a lot of comment as elsewhere a main category had sub categories immediately following it, so perhaps should have looked more like:

Entertainers - General
Entertainers - Children's
Entertainers - Musicians etc

In what was seen as a cynical move YP put children's under 'C' and not 'E' and thus so far apart from the traditional entertainers most people wouldn't link them in spite of the fine print indicating 'see also'.

The numbers I quoted in my previous post are net i.e. reflecting the number of individual acts advertising in total. Some acts doubled up their ads of course across both categories.

The total number of advertisements at peak would have been towards 75 or 80 but crosschecking each one that represented only 62 acts. Only!!!!

And all in a radios of a few miles.
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
Cheshire Cat
View Profile
Special user
Wilmslow, UK
941 Posts

Profile of Cheshire Cat
Oh you are still here Jimmy James (sorry I mean Tony James) Smile Hey, let me tell you things have not been a bed of roses even for the relentlessly competitive Tony and Sue this year, and that's giving away a lot of information for reclusive, secretive people like us! Our kids party customers have changed from those rich hello Henrys we survived upon for so many years to, well . . . normal people. Actually I rather love normal people. They do things like pay you in cash the moment you arrive instead of Coutts cheques reluctantly written as though they are signing their own death warrants; and bring you plates full of meat pies and cakes. Their kids are balanced and well behaved too. We've also been doing some great parties around North Wales from our static caravan there and have caravan park shows already lined up for next Summer. I have also signed on as a Michael Jackson lookalike (see the avatar) with "Totally Blind Lookalikes" in Manchester, but the phone has been a little disappointing on this one.

I hope you are doing just fine as well Tony, you are one of the finest P and J entertainers in the UK and have been going now how long? 40, 45 years? Take note of this man, Magic Café members, he has more experience than you'd ever imagine.

(PS I'll be in H. No**is later this week. Just have the cash in a brown envelope for me then).

Tony

I should still be banned really you know. It is an honour to get banned from the MC and I feel as though that honour has been withdrawn.
Mr. Pitts
View Profile
Inner circle
David Pitts
1054 Posts

Profile of Mr. Pitts
I worked as an artist for the yellow pages making ads for 11 years. My job came to an end at the end of September, just over a month ago. I saw the end coming for a long time though, and got myself prepared to go full time with my performing and freelance art. I figure in the months when one is slow, the other might be better.

For all the years I worked for the yellow pages, I ran an ad with them, often under three headings.. 'clowns', 'magicians' and 'entertainers-family & business'. The ads worked great for years, I got tons of calls and it paid for itself ten times over... until 2 years ago when it suddenly just stopped working. My call rate dropped from 15 or 20 calls a week to 2 or 3 a month, and the change happened very quickly. About the same time I got my first website up, but didn't know anything about improving my search results, so it wasn't generating business at first. I used my home phone in my yellow page ad and my cell number in my website so I'd have an idea where the calls were coming from.

I knew, when the calls stopped, it was the 'canary in the coal mine' for my day job. If my ads weren't working for me anymore, the other advertisers were going to be experiencing the same thing, and if the calls don't come, the ad isn't worth running no matter how they sell it, cutting rates, pay per call.. it doesn't matter, if you're not getting calls, who cares how cheap it is.

It makes me sad of course, partially because it was a good union job and I enjoyed it, but also because it was such a great 'go to' type of advertising. One place, super simple 'search', it created the sense that you were a legitimate business, and it was local. Nothing else has really come along to replace it, nor do I think anything will. Google gives results all over the place, your standing can change from day to day, results are often not local.. but, it does work and websites can be much cheaper than print, they're easier to make changes to, and when somebody finds me and contacts me through my site, they are looking to book ME specifically and not just going down the list price-shopping as was often the case with yellow pages. This means the rate of converting calls to sales is generally much better.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
Cheshire Cat
View Profile
Special user
Wilmslow, UK
941 Posts

Profile of Cheshire Cat
So what will Google get up to next? Will they start to differentiate within their free listings between people who are spending money with them on Adwords, and those who are not? In others words, the more you spend with them the higher your normal search engine placement will be irrespective of how you use meta tags. However clever a strategy they have had in destroying Yellow Pages, is it legally and morally right to have the monopoly they are achieving in this type of advertising over the whole Western world?

Also concerning their Adwords. They claim to have safety fraudulent click procedures in place. But in these times of recession there are ever increasing numbers of people out there trawling Adwords and clicking on them to gain access to your phone number so they in turn can try and sell you something over the phone, i.e. unsolicited Sales calls. So in other words you are paying them to call you and try and sell you something you don't want! They are obviously working to the theory of "this guy has an advertising budget, so is a prime target".

In the early 2000's we gained work from both Yellow Pages and being one of the first entertainers locally to harness internet (I think there was just Norman T. who did it before us Tony J.) But I used to predict then that all of that would end, and there would be a heavy price to pay. Whilst we ourselves are still involved in Entertaining I would personally be reluctant to share my own ideas on advertising for new business techniques in a forum (other than being darn good and getting recommendations), but every alternative must be considered.

Apologies for presenting an out of character, sensible (?) post. Smile

Tony
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Yellow Pages (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.21 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL