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Topic: New School Assembly Website For Performers Coming Soon
Message: Posted by: todd75 (Aug 8, 2007 07:48PM)
I will soon be launching a new website designated to full-time professional school assembly performers. The site will contain links for clients (schools who are looking to hire presenters) to go to in their state to find great school presenters.

IT WILL NOT BE LIKE OTHER SITES THAT ARE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE THAT LIST VARIOUS ENTERTAINERS and one that anyone can pay to be listed on. In other words, not just ANYONE can sign up to be listed on the site....only one performer from each state will be allowed to have a page on the site which promotes their programs. NO EXCEPTIONS! This will be VERY LIMITED and will only promote school programs- nothing else.

There will be a charge to be listed on the site (approx. $300.00 per year- only $25.00 per month) but it will contain very detailed information on the presenter and their programs. The page will have contact information as well as link directly to the presenters website, if they have one. There will be NO BOOKING FEES and NO COMMISSIONS whatsoever.

Again, not just anyone can sign up. Space will be limited only to those who work full time and are willing to travel doing school programs in their state. The site will be ranked in all major search engines and it will help to promote school shows in your area. There will also be resource links for schools looking for FREE REPORTS, etc., on hiring school presenters.

If this sounds like something YOU might be interested in, please PM me with your information and I will place your name on our list to contact when the site is done.

Message: Posted by: AshleyW (Aug 9, 2007 12:01AM)
No offense, but anyone can do this on their own.
I fail to read here what makes your site different/better/or worth $300 per state?
Are you advertising it in national school magazines that principals read?
What do you mean "ranked on search engines"?
Are you paying the high fees to be an "advertiser link" on Google, Yahoo & AOL?

Again, I mean no offense I just don't understand why you think school staff will flock to your site in search of a magician?

Please give more info. Thanks.
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Aug 9, 2007 05:54AM)
It's possible that Todd may be directly sending out materials to state education departments to get the initial contacts for you. I don't know.

Message: Posted by: todd75 (Aug 9, 2007 09:12AM)
There will be advertisements going to PTA groups, etc. and all of the internet marketing as well will be done. If you have ever paid someone to get your site ranked high in the search engines, you already know that it can be very expensive which is where the yearly fee comes in. It also is something that you have to stay on top of. In other words, you have to pay to keep it ranked where you want it. There will also be paid per click campaigns going on as well as other forms of getting the site going.

The nice thing about this site is that only one performer from each state will be listed so you are automatically not having to compete with others like most sites on the net today. When a principal, counselor, PTA mom, librarian, etc. goes to look for an assembly in their area they might type in something like..."educational school assembly", or "school presenters", etc. and the site will show up. Pretty cool! All the client has to do is click on the state in which her school is located and there is your information. They will not have 30 different people from which to choose....only one site per state.
Message: Posted by: AshleyW (Aug 9, 2007 11:57AM)
Thanks for clearing that up.

They may not have 30 different performers to choose from on your site, but keep in mind they will have OVER 30 websites to choose from. To stay on "a top search" of Google alone for a year will cost a lot. Then there's all the other search engines.

I am not saying it won't work. It very well might.

But not long ago right here on this forum someone offered almost the exact same thing (Julian Franklin) except it was for doing Blue & Golds for Scouts, the general opinions as I recall were that no one got any business out of it. And it was a loss.
Here is the link: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=199558&forum=17

Now Julian is a marketing pro, and it was hard to make it work even for him. You had better know your stuff AND be a good speller! (for those keywords).
Message: Posted by: Scott O. (Aug 9, 2007 12:30PM)
To be fair, I don't think Julian is a web guru. His blue and gold site was pretty basic, and I believe he relied on a single ad in a national scouting magazine to generate traffic to his site. Had it been optimized for web searches, the concept may have faired better.

Todd, good fortune with the site you are proposing. I googled the key phrases you mentioned, and there are already quite a few sites that pop up. But "all things are possible..." you know the rest.
Message: Posted by: todd75 (Aug 9, 2007 01:08PM)
FYI- I have an awesome web site porfessional that knows what they are doing and do it very very well. If it does not work then I have people that will not happy and therefore not renew and keep the site working. My goal is to make sure that it does indeed everything I say it will and more.

This is a work in progress and something that I am going to test. I plan to offer the first few months FREE without any charge while we are getting the site up and running. Afterwards, anyone that wants to stay in will need to pay for the site to stay online and work for them.
Message: Posted by: todd75 (Aug 9, 2007 01:22PM)
As I mentioned, this is a work in progress. No idea when everything will be complate and up and running. It may take a few months....we will just have to wait and see.
Message: Posted by: honus (Aug 10, 2007 09:18AM)
On 2007-08-08 20:48, todd75 wrote:
I will soon be launching a new website designated to full-time professional school assembly performers. The site will contain links for clients (schools who are looking to hire presenters) to go to in their state to find great school presenters. [/quote]

I'm having a hard time picturing this. Okay, so I'm principal of Chico Escuela Junior High, and I've gotten info about this site, so I go there, click on my state...and I get info about one performer only?

So if I like the guy, I've got one assembly covered, and if I don't, I have no assemblies covered, and I don't ever need to go back to the site, because it's just going to list the same guy?

I'm not understanding why, from the school's perspective, they would want to use the site.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Aug 10, 2007 09:45AM)
In part of the world, there are 2 main ways schools find their assembly presenters:

The first is through a provincial showcase, where school district reps have a chance to see various performers and make choices. This showcase organization also produces a directory of performers (more than are allowed to showcase). Certain SD reps will book certain performers into entire districts, because of attending this annual showcase.

This is a very popular method that certain schools and school districts use. Sometimes when I approach schools directly, they suggest the showcase / organization to me. It's widely known.

The second method is through direct mail (or phone call) approaches to the schools. This tells them of your existence and your offerings. (Can you meet their need)? As a response to your mailing, they either call you. Or they hit your website, and then call you.

Because of the abundance of ways they already have people contacting them, plus their limited spare time, it just seems rare that anyone from schools would have to, or choose to, intentionally seek out random school performers through a search of the internet.

I'm skeptical of whether this idea would work, based on my experience in dealing with schools over the years.

In my area, they might look through incoming mailings first, and then the directory / showcase. Or the other way around.

- Donald

P.S. In certain U.S. states, no showcase exists. So, create your own. For example, in New Hampshire, BJ Hickman created and runs a showcase to meet the schools' needs in that state. This was talked about in one of the KidShow Kalideoscope Audio Magazines (publisher - Steve Taylor) last year.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Aug 10, 2007 10:03AM)
There are many search engines, but everybody goes to Google. Will you be paying Google for your website positioning? If the answer is "no" what does the $300 give a subscriber to your site?
Message: Posted by: todd75 (Aug 10, 2007 10:49AM)

Yes the $300.00 covers the high rankings in search engines.

FYI- I personally have a large number of schools and PTA's that search for school assemblies on the web and hire me and others based on our web site.

As far as having one person per state listed, this is done in fairness to the performer. If you have 20, 30 or more performers listed per state, it is a matter of the client PICKING you. A great example of this is http://www.schoolshows.com.

You go to their site and pick what you want and are given a huge list of numerous performers. They do not rank high in search engines and they only give the performer a very generic listing.
Message: Posted by: chris mcbrien (Aug 10, 2007 11:21AM)
While I respect Al's comments I believe we should not be criticizing Todd here. He's got 20+ years in this business and knows how to advertise via internet. I know him and trust what he does. It works. I think he's being very generous here, and is being upfront. One of the things I find offensive on the magic Café is the rush to be critical when there's no call for it. It puts people on the defensive.

Todd's offering an opportunity here, and he's being a gentleman. I think that some of the responses to his offer should be in the form of questions about the service that aren't tainted with pessimism.

I don't trust very many people in this industry. I've been burnt like some of you may have been. Todd is one of the few people I actually trust.

BTW: ther's a showcase about 6 hours from me. I saw their site. Lots of color and flash...but when they showed the size of the crowd...minimal at best. While I think showcases are extremely important and love going to them, it should be noted that these are one way to get exposed. Mailers are extremely important, but so is a reputable site that comes up on top. And, reputation is everything.

Todd is putting in his own efforts here...not to mention he has to have people on the site that reflect the reputation he has. He's putting his livlihood on the line for something. Yes, he'll make some money, but it's not a replacement for his livlihood.

Try looking at the glass "half-full" instead of "half-empty".
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Aug 10, 2007 11:51AM)
On 2007-08-10 11:49, todd75 wrote:
A great example of this is http://www.schoolshows.com You go to their site and pick what you want and are given a huge list of numerous performers. They do not rank high in search engines and they only give the performer a very generic listing. [/quote]

Hi Todd -

Could you please clarify your comment about schoolshows.com, "...they do not rank high in search engines..."

This is a quote from an e-mail that Rick at schoolshows.com sent me last fall:

[quote]Rick at Schoolshows.com:

I'm writing with good news about SchoolShows.com...

* It's the largest directory of school assembly programs in the world.
* Over 6000 visits by schools every month.
* #1 on Google and Yahoo searches for "school shows" and "school assembly programs".

I checked today, and that assertion is still correct about their search engine ranking. Actually, on Yahoo for "school assembly programs" they have dropped to the fifth position. But otherwise, still #1.

BTW, I've been listed on schoolshows.com for about 4 years now.

- Donald

P.S. I have to say, Todd, that I am genuinely surprised that you get lots of school show bookings from web searches. For me, experience has proved otherwise. Interesting. I could be wrong. After all, what works for one performer doesn't always work for another. I have no problem with you running with the idea.
Message: Posted by: todd75 (Aug 10, 2007 12:02PM)

They may rank high but only under a few keywords phrases. We all know that some people type in strange things to a search engine. Some schools don't even call them school assemblies! What if someone where to type in something else? Then you see them nowhere!

Schoolshows.com does offer their service to ANYONE who is willing to sign up and pay the fee. This does NOT mean that their work is any good at all. What we are trying to do is create a site that has only full time professional school presenters who know what they are doing and have a certain level of experience.

Anyone can sign up at most sites on the net but I have yet to see a site that only promotes true professionals. I am not saying that professionals are not listed on some of these sites because they are. But....there are also some people with very little experience if any at all. We plan to use a screening process with lots of references and videos of the presenter.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Aug 10, 2007 12:05PM)
Like I said, Todd, have fun and run with it. :)

Let me know if I can be of any help in any way.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: todd75 (Aug 10, 2007 02:26PM)
Thanks Donald!

I really think this is going to be a positive thing that schools and presenters will love. I am not playing agent or wanting people to think that they will get rich and do 500 shows per year by being listed on the site.

I talked with the web guy today and we are working on some things that we both think will work really well.

I am off to Kidabra on Sunday and will be out of touch for about a week and a half. Once I return from Tennessee I have to start pushing my school programs and this is on my list of things to get done.

Talk to y'all soon......
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Aug 10, 2007 02:51PM)
It is easy and cheap to get a high ranking on search engines, but a high ranking on Google is very expensive, so are you saying you offer a high ranking on search engines, or are you saying you offer a high ranking on the Google search engine?
Message: Posted by: calamari (Aug 10, 2007 04:10PM)
$300 @50 performers only = $15,000 per year( if you have all fifty states covered), my only question would be why? when you consider a large chunk would be used to do the marketing effort etc.. And unless I am mistaken most schools put on more than one assembly per year, don't they? and usually mix up the performers from year to year etc.. So one choice of performer on your site?

I know quite a few performers who do school assembly work in multiple states. Don't get me wrong I am not bashing your idea and I wish you well and hope everthing works out great for you and the performers who sign on, I guess I am just having trouble seeing the big picture.
Message: Posted by: kenscott (Aug 10, 2007 04:56PM)
I think this is an interesting. I think it could work. I am listed on schoolshows.com and I think I have had 3 calls in three years from them.

Like Donald said I rarely book school shows because they do a web search. 99% of them are from word of mouth and flyers sent to them.

Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Aug 10, 2007 05:11PM)
I've been listed at schoolshows.com for at least 9 years, and in those 9 years I have had one booking that I know of from that listing. There are indeed many variables in a school show booking that a web site listing just doesn't address.
Message: Posted by: todd75 (Aug 10, 2007 06:21PM)
Thanks Ken!

I can tell you that the way we are wanting to set it up is so that each performer has their own designated keywords and only their page pops up in the search engines...not multiple, like most site where you have to search for the performers. This was not the way we were going to orignally do it but after discussing some things....we have decided to go in this direction.

I promise to keep you all posted!

P.S. See ya at Kidbra next week Ken!
Message: Posted by: Creative Coach (Aug 13, 2007 06:41AM)
If you're waiting by the phone for someone to call you from a website listing....GOOD LUCK! I use my site AFTER the client calls to inquire. Keeps our calendar full!
Message: Posted by: phaddad2 (Aug 17, 2007 12:03AM)
Most all of my school shows come from direct mailings. Some are from PTA people who have taalked to other PTA's and recomended me. I usually have to send them to my website to get a look at my style(very brief video). It has cemented a booking but rarely do I get bookings directly from my site.