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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » A tangled web we weave... » » New website - rip it apart if need be. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bill Hoffman
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Please proof read and let me know. Rip it apart if need be. I am a big boy and am the one asking for it.


http://mentalmagic.weebly.com/index.html

If you have any positive comments those are accepted as well.
MagicBH@Gmail.com
<BR>http://billhoffmanmagic.com
Wes65
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To be honset I didn't find a whole lot on that page. You need some photos, some videos, some testimonials and some information about you. Who are you? How long have you been doing magic? Why do you do magic?

It's best to separate this into different pages with lots of clickable graphics.
Wes
Fábio DeRose
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There's waaaaaay too much to read there. Keep it simple and direct and stick to the point: YOU.
Fábio De'Rose - Ilusionista
www.ENIGMAGICO.com.br

Twitter @Enigmagico
Bill Hoffman
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Thanks guys. I agree I do need some video testimonials and action shots. I will add them after my shows this weekend.
MagicBH@Gmail.com
<BR>http://billhoffmanmagic.com
Stanyon
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Landrum, S.C. by way of Chicago
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Two mentalists are walking towards each other on the sidewalk, one says to the other, "You're fine...How am I?"

Agreed, too wordy!
Stanyon

aka Steve Taylor

"Every move a move!"

"If you've enjoyed my performance half as much as I've enjoyed performing for you, then you've enjoyed it twice as much as me!"
landmark
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I like the top banners of the audiences laughing.
On page 1, a mistake: "Bill Hoffman's Mental Magic show is full of crazy prediction's that come true, "
There should not be an apostrophe in the word predictions.
On the second page you have a two column spread--the words of column one are running into column two.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but I suspect anything done by an amateur webpage designer is going to look amateurish--which it does now.
If a professional look is necessary to your marketing--and I don't know if that is the case for you--then I would suggest hiring an experienced designer. There are probably a bunch of them on the Café.
Eric Jones
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Quote:
On 2011-03-25 18:07, landmark wrote:
Please don't take this the wrong way, but I suspect anything done by an amateur webpage designer is going to look amateurish--which it does now.
If a professional look is necessary to your marketing--and I don't know if that is the case for you--then I would suggest hiring an experienced designer. There are probably a bunch of them on the Café.


I tend to agree with Landmark and would like to submit my web designer Michael Eaton down in Orlando Florida. He's easy to work with, his layouts are clean and professional, and he's very affordable. Tell him I sent you. Here are a couple of examples of his work:

http://www.ericjonesmagic.com
http://www.jasonwethington.com
http://www.calebwilesmagic.com

He also designed almost all of the DVD covers for my products, aside from Twizted which was designed by Daniel Garcia:

http://www.ericjonesmagic.com/products.html

I would highly recommend his services......
“We're two tigers away from an act in Vegas.” Greg House M.D.
<BR>
<BR>http://www.ericjonesmagic.com
Chad Sanborn
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I would like to add that you should get your own site and not a weebly.com site.
May I suggest billhoffman.com or just hoffman.com to keep it short. The shorter the better.
People on average don't like to type. The web, while interactive, is more of a visual place.
Its like on demand tv. You don't want to think about it, just experience it.

Hire a professional and work with them closely. Remember you're website is you, when you are
not around. So it needs to have the same look, and feel as your live shows and include some of
same elements.

check out my site as well as those already mentioned. Great examples of what to do in web design.

Chad
Chad Sanborn
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my fingers hurt from typing,
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Ps...one last tip. The web is now MOBILE! So make sure it can be viewed on a mobile device!
Bill Hoffman
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Changed them up took most of your suggestions.

I have a photo shoot next week so that will help.

http://www.billhoffmanmagic.com/
MagicBH@Gmail.com
<BR>http://billhoffmanmagic.com
Benji Bruce
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Hey Bill you should take a look at the video I made on creating an effective website for magicians/entertainers.

It is on my blog:
http://paidtoperform.blogspot.com/2011/0......ite.html

I clicked on your Mental Magic page and the first thing it talks about is "what is mental magic." From a client's perspective...they're not interested. They want to know whether you can make people laugh or if you're doing a trade show then they want to know if you can bring leads to their booth etc. The number one thing with copywriting is that you have to enter the conversation the reader is having within their own mind. (you do a better job with that on the other pages of the Mental Magic site)

You also should have video testimonials because social proof is the number one persuasion tool.

Those are just a few suggestions and there are tons more in the video above
Howie Diddot
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Bill, here is a suggestion

Now that you have billhoffmanmagic.com, it would be a good idea to not use the gmail address any longer and direct the mail to bill@billhoffmanmagic.com.


Buzz
Howie Diddot
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Quote:
On 2011-03-31 11:17, Benji Bruce wrote:

I clicked on your Mental Magic page and the first thing it talks about is "what is mental magic." From a client's perspective...they're not interested. They want to know whether you can make people laugh Those are just a few suggestions and there are tons more in the video above


I disagree with benji

If I were a client looking for magician to perform and I never heard of mental magic before I would look into what mental magic was.

What better way to do that then to keep them on your web site and educate the person that is interested in hiring you?

The alternative with be for the potential client to leave your site, do a search on the meaning of mental magic and have all the other results of competing magicians come up.

I suggest keeping the client on your site with information page, and at the bottom of the page, lead the client to the audience reactions video page, then lead the client to the contact information page.

Just my humble opinion.
Howie Diddot
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The top half is good.
Mental Magician Bill Hoffman could be in a designed type face
I would run the client logos across one line for easier reading
I would duplicate
• HOME
• WHAT IS MENTAL MAGIC?
• SCHOOLS / UNIVERSITIES
• CORPORATE
• CLIENTS
• FAMILY MAGIC
At the bottom of the page so visitors can go to the next page without having to look for a link
Having your contact information on every page is great, don’t change that
Bill Hoffman
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Thanks for all the input guys, you have been a great help!
MagicBH@Gmail.com
<BR>http://billhoffmanmagic.com
monstercreations
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Hi,
There is a big difference between being a designer and designing for the web... the samples mentioned in the previous posts
maybe good examples of design but they are NOT good websites! There is more to it than pretty pictures such using the right code, making the site optized for SEO, h1 tags etc.
Ade
AndrewJ
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Travis County, TX
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Quote:
On 2011-04-07 01:08, Howie Diddot wrote:
If I were a client looking for magician to perform and I never heard of mental magic before I would look into what mental magic was.

What better way to do that then to keep them on your web site and educate the person that is interested in hiring you?
I'm going to actually side with this comment. The core audience looks like people who would hire for a business/corporate gig. But, also, if you want a talented act who works for Target at your cousin's birthday party, then you can have someone of this quality too.

There's a natural narrative to the self-promotion that I personally like.

Alright: Criticism. Ten bucks, at most, will get you a domain name. A cheap host will run no more than ten dollars a month for a good one, five dollars a month if you want an AOL-style nightmare of canceling an account with them. There's also NearlyFreeSpeech.net which offers cheap, pay as you go web hosting. Really cheap.

The way your site looks right now is that you do corporate shows for Target but can't afford the twenty dollars for a "real" web site. The rest is clean enough. I really wish your contact information was repeated at the bottom instead of that gray box urging us to design our own layouts at Weebly. I know it's unavoidable for now, but if/when you make the switch to another web host then please consider reiterating your contact information where that box used to be.

Oh, my. I lived in the 810 area code for eleven years. I have family up there. I'll be there in July. Today is April 17 and it's snowing in the 810. I'm glad I'm not there in April. Smile
KC Cameron
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Socially, it is hard for us to be honest with each other if it is negative. We generally lie.

I am going to assume you want the "unvarnished" truth as I see it.

This is coming from an old, short, bald, fat guy.

Also please understand this is not about you or your show, but just a piece of advertising.

Photos are a big deal. The photo with the hanging chicken in your mouth tries to be funny, but looks forced and falls short. It would be much better if you held it in one of your outstretched hands with a great expression on your face. The next photo to the right looks like you are serious and attempting to look cool. It is better . . . but not great. Putting these photos together tells people you are still looking for your niche. Take if from a guy that took way too long finding his - make this a priority. Right now it looks confused.

A good magician is not one who is technically proficient, but one that is entertaining. Something missed by most magicians. The same goes with photographers. Some have "it", some don't. I just spent $400 on an hour session. The $200 photographer I used before was good, but this guy was better. Better at putting me in good poses and catching the exact right moment. You don't want a "record keeper" photographer, you want an artist. Look through his/her website and see how many pictures scream quality. Look at many other photographers as well. Get the best you can afford, (which may NOT be the most expensive!).

The "Family Magic" and "Mental Magic" graphics don't fit together at all. The "Family Magic" looks amateurish and the "Mental Magic" looks funny....and your mentalism pose looks serious.

Also hosting you sight on "Weebly" is a BIG mistake. It screams amateur. This is a business, get a good web designer, they will save you YEARS on developing your business.

"Magician Bill Hoffman provides amazing magic for any occasion." - I was always told "Don't tell 'em, show 'em!"

~~~~~~~
Six months ago or so I saw a bunch of magicians on Dave Letterman. These were older, established magicians, icons in our field. They were boring. If these guys are boring, and they are the idols of most magicians, what does this say about us? There is a reason you don't see magic acts on national TV often. Thankfully, a new breed of magician is on the rise.


Most magicians try to be someone/something they are not. Why? We are, as a group, geeks who crave attention. Magic gives this to us. Geeks, as a group, are not known for being particularly funny or cool. This is why we constantly use old corny lines and use other's routines. We try to make others THINK we are cool . . . We may do cool things, but at heart, we are various levels of geeks who do cool things. I find the "cooler" a magician TRIES to be, the more boring he becomes.


I highly recommend you find who you are and come to peace with it. When you are at peace with yourself, you can get your mind off of TRYING to be funny or cool like someone else, and start getting creative and entertaining. Being funny or cool is NOT like putting on a jacket. These properties come from within. This is something many of the younger magicians realize that many of us in the older generation often missed.
Wizzard
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Wow, site #2 is much better!
Bill,
In this economy this is a great site you show a lot of talent not only as a mentalist/ Magician but, utilizing your dollars wisely. Sure, you can go out and hire a "web Designer" but, how much business is that going to bring you? No matter what you do, you still have to work your A** off to make it all work.
Simple classy web site tells them what you do, but you have to use the shoe leather to get the business.
Sorry if that offends, but, it is the truth. If you sit back waiting for some schnook to come to you because of your website you my friend will more then likely be a very old mentalist.
Bill, you have energy, life, vitality and a drive to make it, go for it. Do not be seduced by the Siren's of the web telling you what you should do, just go do it. Every show you do has 5 to 10 potential next clients, don't overlook the potential you already have.
I have been in this business a while, my simply wed sites bring in 3 to four bookings a quarter, all I want and can handle, but I have two other web sites that bring in six figures a quarter, and they are both "free servers sights". Because you are not paying big bucks for a web site and server doesn't mean squat.
All the best,
You have the drive, if you are the mentalist you say you are, you already know that!
Just go do it!!!!!!!!
Regards,
Sgt. Newlon
BuncoUnit.com
It's never the wand, it's always the magician
KC Cameron
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Well, I could not disagree with Sarge more (but I am just a Siren). This is not about the quality of your show, or how hard you work in other forms of advertising. Nor is a website the only way you should get work. All of that is important, but it is not about your website - and it was about your website that you asked. Your website is often the first glimpse a potential client has of you. I fear Sarge is entrenched in his methods (because they do work well), and a bit naive about web marketing.

I imagine in Sarge's previous job, he was doing much of his act now, just in bits and pieces not as polished. Once again, I imagine people would tell him he was very entertaining and should consider doing it professionally. I imagine that job made the transition in to professional showmanship much easier than for most.

Quote:
Sorry if that offends, but, it is the truth. If you sit back waiting for some schnook to come to you because of your website you my friend will more then likely be a very old mentalist.


Well, looking at Sarges website, I can understand his sentiment. I am surprised it does as well as it does. I agree that a website should not be the sole means of advertising, but if you are going to do it, like everything else, do it right! It is not about how much you spend on it, it is about how well it works for you. There are a million ways and people who will happily waste your money on a website that does not work. It is important to do your research on a designer that not only produces great looking websites, but sites that are focused, easy to navigate, and show well in search engines. This rarely comes cheap, but it is worth it.

This being said, for Sarge, his website seems to be just a method of getting in touch with him, I imagine most of his clients are already sold on his show (via word of mouth, or personal experience). He states he gets about 4 gigs a quarter from his site, and that is all he can handle. I am sure that is all he can handle because his word of mouth is working well. Is your word-of-mouth working so well? Do you want more from your website? I know I would be very unhappy with a site that only produced 4 shows a quarter - unless the were 4 VERY well paid shows. Am I alone on this?


Let's look at David Copperfield. He is a well known quality. I imagine the overwhelming amount of people who hire him, want David Copperfield and are not just looking for a magician. If people are generally typing in your name to find you, then a good website is probably not as relevant. On the other hand, if they don't know you, then a good website becomes invaluable. These are the people to whom you should appeal. It is with this in mind that I voice my comments. The web today is yesterday's yellow pages, magazine and newspaper.

Now with Sarge, it appears he has word of mouth and clients personal experience with him, working for him. That is about as strong an advertising as you can get (Assuming that you are good). This being said, he is also a lot older than you. This means he has more time to work on his show, he has a long personal relationship with clients that takes time. He also appears (to me) to be marketing to an older crowd that is not as web savvy. He appears to be doing well, and it works for him, so why fix it?

On the other-hand, you are not Sarge, you do not have Sarge's experience in showmanship, or marketing via shoe leather just because you are still young. You are marketing to a difference audience. Hopefully you will get Sarge's experience and knowledge, and it is best to find an expert in it and follow their instruction. No sense re-inventing the wheel. Perhaps Sarge can help?

While the shoe-leather and elbow-grease method that Sarge espouses on is great for a great show, it does have some flaws. First and foremost, it takes time to develop, and "sweat equity".

Also almost every entertainer thinks they have a good show. We know that is not true. Most of us do not leave the gate with a great show. It take experience to develop. How do we get that experience? By doing shows. Developing a show and character all takes time, and you want to advertise right now to gain experience. That is where word of mouth fails. Word-of-mouth takes too long, and people may actually be honest about your show, and if it is not seen as great, that will be the word-of-mouth


Assuming you have not developed a good word-of-mouth network yet, not mastered selling shows during a show as Sarge has, a website is a good choice. Online is how the younger crowd actively looks for entertainers. If they don't know "squat" about you, or your competition, then it is important your site makes a good first impression.
While I am not personally wild about Sarge's site, he does an excellent job of being focused - the art of the scam. He is also uniquely qualified for this, something neither of us are. Focus your site. If you want to be to have more than one focus, have more than one site.

Let's pretend Sarge also has a killer kid's show. (I don't know if he has or not.) If he advertised it with his Bunco Unit, they would detract from each other. A person using a search engine is doing just that, searching for a specific thing. With two points of focus, potential clients may wonder if you are a Jack of all trades, and good at none? Whether it is valid or not, they don't know you, and it will cross their mind. I have over 20 years full-time experience, and I do adult and family shows. One of my competition uses this against me. Even though I have more experience than he does doing magic for adults, he will point out that I do kid's shows too. This is a rather sneaky way of telling people his adult show is better than mine.

This is some of what I have done to overcome the issue. I have un-optimized website that is a showcase of what I provide. It is what I put on my business card. I DON'T advertise it on line, or anywhere that people would not have had contact with me first. The people who get my card have had some experience with me, so I am a known "product" to them, like Sarge is to his clients. The showcase links to specific websites for each show that I do. Each of these websites can stand alone by themselves, and are fairly well focused (yes, they can still use some help). These are optimized to do well in the search engines for a specific audience.

Some of these sites are much better than others. Eventually I would like them all to look great, but it takes time.
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