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trickychaz
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Since I have determined that my starting market will be birthday parties I decided to price check on ad's for parent magazines. I heard back from an advertiser that is willing to run a 1/2 page ad full color for one month at $325.00.

Is this reasonable? My show is a 1 hour party for $175.00. Will I see a good ROI? What are your experiences?

Charles
SpellbinderEntertainment
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Do your homework:
--Find out if this is “the” magazine that parents read.
--Find out what their distribution numbers are, and demographics of readers are.
--Look at several issues and see who else is advertizing.
--Consider half-page vs. quarter-page, and color vs. black/white.
-Ask about multiple-month, and other available discounts, deals, and barter.

If you go for it:
--Run at least six-months to see what builds, and track your sales.
--Think carefully about your ad copy, and your benefit statements.
--Have the ad Professionally designed, not for “free” by the magazine.
--Make absolutely certain that your ad is far different from other entertainer’s ads.

This is a good chunk of money:
--So consider where you want to spend it, not if you want to spend it.
Print ad, Google Ad-Words, mailings, web-design, etc.

And don’t place an ad until you are 200% certain
--that you have a magnificent and polished show,
--that it stands up to your hype, and will get many repeat and referral bookings.

My thoughts,
Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
This is a good chunk of money:
--So consider where you want to spend it, not if you want to spend it.
Print ad, Google Ad-Words, mailings, web-design, etc.


A comment on this for Charles:

Another option is newspaper classifieds (guess it fits into the "etc" category). While I haven't tested that for a while, I used to have success with running ads for birthday shows in newspaper classifieds.

- Donald

P.S. I pay less than $100 for my parent magazine ad, and usually book an average of 1-4 shows per month from it. Sometimes at the higher end, sometimes at the lower end. It is just one of many ways that I market my birthday shows. Also, I consider my parent magazine ad to be 1/2 of the equation. The other half is my website.

Phone script and your show are also other parts of the overall picture.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
TheDean
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Well advised all!
Dean Hankey, *M.D. - The Dean of Success Solutions!
Serving & Supporting YOU and Your Success!
"Book More Shows... Make More Money... SERVE MORE PEOPLE! - Not Necessarily In That Order…"

(*Marketing Doctor) Smile
Blair Marshall
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An interesting observation....

I adverstised in a weekly local newspaper, all the children's party performers did. One time, and I think it was for 3-4 weeks (once a week), I ran a quarter page ad. In a newspaper this is LARGE ad. I would quiz my calls as to where they got my name. All the calls from that newspaper were from the classified section, none from the major display ad. Folks were using the paper, and knew about the listings of entertainers in the classified section, and that is where they headed!!! LOL

As business dropped off from those ads, and came from the local parent magazine, the number of performers in that paper dropped.

It's already been mentioned, but wherever you advertise (print, web etc.) YOU
HAVE TO TRACK!!!! I can't say that loud enough! LOL

B
trickychaz
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Hey guys thanks for the sound advice.

325 is a large investment for me. Tell me more about the classified ad....how it works etc?

Thanks
Charles
ThomasJ
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I'd definitely try to run ads for more than 1 month or negotiate for other discounts. Also consider a full-page ad rather than half-page if the price difference is still affordable for you. And as Walt said, check the demographics of the readers of that magazine as well as competing parent magazines.
Donald Dunphy
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I disagree with the idea of going for a larger ad. Don't do it for the sake of testing, when you haven't even run any ads to begin with. Spend more only if you know it will work (proven results).

Start small and work up, if it works and you feel like you have the extra capital. Of course, that capital could just as easily be used somewhere else.

My parent magazine ad is 1/9 of a page.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
ThomasJ
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A full page ad has virtually nothing competing with it.

1-4 bookings/mo. on a 1/9 page ad is pretty good, but imagine if you had the full page to yourself. You could probably triple the amount of bookings considering how many people would see it as opposed to turning the page before having a chance to see your ad. Of course I don't know what other ads surround yours, where yours is placed on the page, etc. My thoughts are that if you make the investment to stand out to potential clients, they will assume you'd take the time to make their event stand out as well.

And again, there's not much competing with a full page ad if it's well-designed and appealing. If it isn't appealing then having a full page ad won't do you much good.


Respectfully,
T.J.
Gerry Walkowski
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I've heard several magicians say that the parenting publications just don't pull like they did "in the good old days."

Maybe others here could chime in and address that.

Gerry
MikeClay
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Parenting publications do much better if your a guest writer
and send in articles all the time
robertwong
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Charles, remember a person has to see an advertisement at least 5 or 6 times before they react. I remember the first time I put an ad in the local Parents' magazine, I did not get a call for at least 4 months then after that, my phone started to ring. I should mention my first ad was a little too wordy, once I changed it to a larger advertisement, I began to see more results. To avoid this make sure you show your proof to everyone and have several versions, get everyone's feedback then make a decision.

Less is more or as they always say, "Keep it simple stupid"

Robert.

PS. The rate you were quoted, way too much!!!!
misterillusion
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My Parents magazine ads have yielded very little for me. Most of my activity comes from my web site and Gigmasters.
May every day be magic!

http://www.misterillusion.com
RobertSmith
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Quote:
On 2009-10-06 00:38, trickychaz wrote:
Hey guys thanks for the sound advice.

325 is a large investment for me. Tell me more about the classified ad....how it works etc?

Thanks
Charles


Sounds like your thinking small. You're looking at only one month which, as others have mentioned, probably won't generate the money you'd like.

If $325 is too large an investment to make you need to find a regular job or other source of income to raise capital for your business.

If you went and got a regular old retail job for 25-30 hours a week you'd make about $700.00 or so per month after taxes.

Roll that money into your business.

You'll do far better getting a regular job for 4-6 months to raise some capitol for your business than you will shooting the occasional advertising flare into the newspaper.

PS: Get a business license. As I understand it the Yellow Pages give 1 free line listing to a registered business. While the yellow pages have been discussed on TMC ad nauseam, it's free and it's a start.
trickychaz
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Quote:
On 2009-10-06 09:35, RobertSmith wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-10-06 00:38, trickychaz wrote:
Hey guys thanks for the sound advice.

325 is a large investment for me. Tell me more about the classified ad....how it works etc?

Thanks
Charles


Sounds like your thinking small. You're looking at only one month which, as others have mentioned, probably won't generate the money you'd like.

If $325 is too large an investment to make you need to find a regular job or other source of income to raise capital for your business.

If you went and got a regular old retail job for 25-30 hours a week you'd make about $700.00 or so per month after taxes.

Roll that money into your business.

You'll do far better getting a regular job for 4-6 months to raise some capitol for your business than you will shooting the occasional advertising flare into the newspaper.

PS: Get a business license. As I understand it the Yellow Pages give 1 free line listing to a registered business. While the yellow pages have been discussed on TMC ad nauseam, it's free and it's a start.


Hello Robert,

I came to that realization after 3 months of trying to live off magic alone..lol I was able to find a job a Krogers..pays decent, nice coworkers and part time so that I can pursue the magic on my days off. Capitol is something I lack, and that is why I made the move to get a side job. Part of that income will go into bills and the rest will be invested.

Thanks
Charles
Sam Sandler
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I would agree with a staement made that the parent mags do not bring in the kind of business it used to. However that being said, I would think you would be better off finding a parents magiazine or parent newspaper and running 6 months in the parties section.(Check out Parent Life In VA) Parents know about this and look there. it would only cost you about $100 a month and after 2 months I bet you start to see results.

By the way having a one page ad may not bring in any results as they may think you are too expensive unless you advertise your price in this ad. But I would not go for the big one page ad its not worth it at this point. Besides do you know how much it costs!

I used to advertise in 3 different publications and it brought in tons of business
however I am at a point now in life where I guess I am lucky as I don't advertise any more. Oh sure I have the websites and business cards and will now do bulk mailings to previous customers but no more print ads unless it and here it comes the great idea TRADE. I trade a show for advertisements.

Most of these parenting mags all sponser or are a part of Baby toddler expos or kid days of some sort.

So contact them, offer to perform a few shows for 2 or 3 ads in their paper.
Now you get to perofrm and HAND OUT YOUR CARD at the event plus have your ad in the paper for several months FREE. Of course you spend the time for the shows but that's the networking and networking is a must! As an added bonus the paper will print your name and info for free to advertise you being at their event and then you can use that as part of your advertisements!

Good luck and if you need more ideas or info on what I was talking about with trades let me know.
I do this all the time and it yields tons of work for.

P.S. I just booked a few last week for the upcoming season!

Good luck
sam
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
http://www.samsandler.com
http://www.deafinitelymagic.com
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2009-10-06 02:13, ThomasJ wrote:
A full page ad has virtually nothing competing with it.

1-4 bookings/mo. on a 1/9 page ad is pretty good, but imagine if you had the full page to yourself. You could probably triple the amount of bookings considering how many people would see it as opposed to turning the page before having a chance to see your ad. Of course I don't know what other ads surround yours, where yours is placed on the page, etc. My thoughts are that if you make the investment to stand out to potential clients, they will assume you'd take the time to make their event stand out as well.

And again, there's not much competing with a full page ad if it's well-designed and appealing. If it isn't appealing then having a full page ad won't do you much good.


Respectfully,
T.J.


I'm going to challenge you on this assumption once again. Have you actually tested this THEORY personally, or is it still PURE THEORY?

I know from experience that bigger is not better, when it comes to marketing birthday party shows.

I also know from experience that when you don't have a lot of capital, you are better off sinking that money into a smaller ad for 6 months, as opposed to a large ad for 1 month.

Experience has taught me lessons. And while they may have been costly to me, I think it is important for Charles to know what others have learned from their EXPERIENCE. I've been performing and marketing for over 30 years, and I've learned some lessons.

And it is important for people to admit when they are giving advice that is theory. It really bothers me when people are encouraged to make poor decisions based on someone's theory that isn't even tested.

I don't mind people giving advice based on theory, but at least make others aware of that.

Your advice that running a full page ad for a birthday magic show, sounds like the advice that publishers of the parent magazine might give. Ask them to provide you some testimonials from the advertisers doing larger ads, and you get at some genuine insight. The people with larger ads are not tracking their results, or are going for image advertising, or are selling something different.

BTW, Sam gave some great advice in his post.

Also, I don't recall reading this on this thread, but I have read the theory that your marketing should pay for itself with one show. If I send out 100 letters for a mailing, then 1 booking should pay for that mailing (and maybe even turn profit). So, if you are thinking of paying $325 for 1 ad, but you need to book 2-3 birthday shows to make a profit, that might not be the best investment.

- Donald

P.S. Charles - you asked earlier for more info on the classified ads. I created an ad that was about 15-20 words. I started with the words "Birthday Party Magic Show" (I've also tried other variations, but that pulled the best.) I included my phone and website. I created punchy and crisp sentences around some features or benefits. That ad is not a display ad, and does not include any clip art. I would place it in the business personals, and also sometimes newspapers had a category specifically for Entertainment. Also, I found that repetition helped the ad to work better. This was a weekly or twice-weekly publication. I also tested it. If I ran it for 2 months with minimal results, I would pull the ad.

P.P.S. This thread is full of great advice:

--> Magic Café thread titled... Advertisement advice
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Sam Sandler
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Hey Donald thanks for the plug on my info.

Just FYI to all
your ad should only contain 7-9 words if you can't sell yourself in 7-9 words you can't sell yourself.

Look at any billboard or professional ad by anyone. They use branding
Coke- the real thing
Mcdonalds (newest catch phrase) I'm lovin it

Now I consider words to be NOT your name and NOT words that are in a picture.
If I knew how to attach an image I would share an ad we just made for a Family phone book that goes out to over 75,000 homes and I got it for FREE in trade for a show. It's a quater page ad in full color.

A great book for all to read is by my good friend Toby Travis called "the Professional Amateur" I think I still have a few copies. I sell them at my lectures at magic conventions. It's a great book and covers almost all the stuff we are talking about and so much more.

So when advertising keep it short and sweet and to the point!
sam
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
http://www.samsandler.com
http://www.deafinitelymagic.com
Chris LaBarge
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You might want to try posting on Craigslist. I post once a week and it gets me at least 2 shows a month and it costs absolutely nothing... maximum ROI. Yes you get a ton of tire kickers but putting a price with it alleviates that issue usually.
trickychaz
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Quote:
On 2009-10-06 14:21, Chris LaBarge wrote:
You might want to try posting on Craigslist. I post once a week and it gets me at least 2 shows a month and it costs absolutely nothing... maximum ROI. Yes you get a ton of tire kickers but putting a price with it alleviates that issue usually.


I listed with craigslist and get a ton of e-mails from solicitors..I must have done something wrong
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