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Kameron Messmer
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Billings, MT
749 Posts

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It seems every time I post here looking for opinions I get torn apart, so this is a risk. Please be tactful and restore my hope in magicians! I have posted my site here before looking for opinions. After revamping and redoing EVERYTHING for hours and hours I think I like it. There are still minor details to iron out, but in general this is the new design. I do kids shows, and adult shows and sideshows, so there are 3 different websites that split off the main one. Again, be kind, I did everything myself cause I cant yet afford a professional webmaster or promo video material etc. I'm working m yway up with what I have. I know people here will say "pay a designer, pay a webmaster, pay proffessionals to make your promo vids, otherwise don't bother!" but I cant afford all that yet.
With that in mind what do you think?


http://kameronmessmer.com/
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22900 Posts

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That is much better, the only thing I would suggest is your name be much bigger. Also some color areas in the back ground to make the site more exciting.

Consider taking the 'Are you' off. Make it something like, "Looking for a great magic show?

You did nice layout of the areas. Good job.
gman
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Lancaster, pa
751 Posts

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Well, I will say this I like your logo but I do have a 2 questions for you.

Err...Nevermind...I like the logo.
Ken Northridge
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Inner circle
Atlantic City, NJ
2305 Posts

Profile of Ken Northridge
Kameron,

First of all, I admire you for asking for opinions, despite the fact, as you said, you may be torn apart. The only way to learn and grow is to constantly challenge yourself.

Overall, I like it and think you have some really good ideas. I can tell you’ve been doing your homework. By the way, I do not subscribe to the view that you have to have a professional do you web site and videos. I think you did fine.

With that said, you have a very difficult task in selling yourself for kid shows when you also specialize in ‘bizarre’ sideshow entertainment. Even your children’s video has fire eating in it. If I were a parent I might be inclined go to the next magician as soon as I saw that. I don’t have a solution, just something for you to think about.

Your quotes are very funny, but I’d work on putting more legitimate quotes more prominently. Your GigSalad quotes are excellent, but I really had to search to find them. I’d plaster them all over your web site. Repeat them if you have too. I got the overall impression that not many people had nice things to say about until I found them.

Same thought with the calendar, I may take that off until you get more bookings, it just says, “I’m not in demand.”

I think your video’s are great. They are short, show lots of audience reactions. No problem there. I like how you are integrating Face book also.

Keep up the good work!
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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Kameron: I do not mean to be a jerk or anything. that is not my intentions at all. However, you post a question for feedback but you word it in a way that you basically only want good feedback and that no one should even attempt at being honest regardless if it is right or not. If you come here with the approach of just having an ego stroked, then that is not going to do you any good at all.

Part of learning and growing in the magicla arts is the fact you need to learn through failure. failure is only failure if you fail to learn. If you learn even opne thing through failure..failure is a stepping stone to success.

Take all the feedback (both good and bad) and utilize it to make you better and your magic better. Do not settle for second best. be open with yourself and others and take every bit of advice to heart. It will make you a better performer in the long run.

I will try and take a look at the site later and give some advice. Just realize I am always 100% honest.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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Kameron Messmer
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Billings, MT
749 Posts

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Hegblini: Good tips. I made the logo bigger and it looked odd, but you're right the name could be bigger. Just don't want the logo dwarfed...
Kameron Messmer
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Billings, MT
749 Posts

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Gman: You can ask. I was expecting criticism, just tactful kinds...
Kameron Messmer
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Billings, MT
749 Posts

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Ken: good advice. It is hard to sell both shows, but honestly it doesn't seem to bother most people. I do fire eating at EVERY show (except for where there are regulations). I've done it hundreds of times for kids and it has never been a problem. In fact it's the favorite. I always ask the parents and they light up and say "Oh they would love that are you kidding?" That being said I don't do the human block head or whatever at a kids show. I do lots of warnings that I am a semi trained professional.

Good tips on the gig salad. the reason its not more places is the widget is ONLY a vertical and it's hard to find good places for it. I'll just have to take text quotes and put them up.

I am still trying to get as full time as possible, so the calendar is as full as I can get it. I'm going to put up past shows (the ones I can find written down) and list them on the side. It will look more impressive. The thing is, this is Billings Mt. It's the only city to have more than 100,000 in Mt. and wyo, ND, SD are all VERY sparsely populated. There just arent a ton of people to demand magic. So doing 4-5 shows a month is good. It sounds odd to people in other parts of the country I'm sure. To counter this, I am going to do the free lessons as promotion. I want to go to each school and do a free lesson and then eventually EVERY kid in the public school system will know I do magic shows and lessons. Cool part is, THe kids will forget to give the parents my card, but hopefully the parents will ask "Who taught you a magic trick?"

thanks for the tips and being kind!
Kameron Messmer
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Billings, MT
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Kyle,
I do take the bad. It just seemed that every time I came on TMC I was beat down. If this was a bloodbath I might not have ever posted something again, and I think I need feedback from other professionals. don't think I didn't want critisim, I just wanted people to understand where I was coming from "Every time I come on here and ask an innocent question I am insulted and beat down. Please don't be a jerk" Everyone now had nice things to say along with tips. I really appreciated that. Thanks guys!
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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Kameron: That I can totally understand my friend. I hear ya there. many do not know how to give feeedback that maeans something worth while without it being a !@#$% session. I can give feedback (good and bad) in a way that is meaningful and never a personal attack on anyone. Great to see that you are probably the same way.
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

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magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Hey Kameron,

I want to go through your site and try and give you as honest feedback as I can and also offer up some solutions that may be of help to you. My pleasure to do so.

- I do like the logo and hope you continue to use that as a brand image for you. You may just want to add in a tag line to your logo that you can utilize on website and other promotional pieces. something that is short and to the point but describes a bit more of who you are and what makes you unique.

- I know what you are trying to do by creating a portal with the site to the 3 main areas that you do. I just do not think it is working ideally for you at this point. The problem is that if I am looking for a children's performer, I can not help but to see the fire eating photo and the adult show next to it and that may put me off right from the start. I am not sure that as a parent, I would want to go further into the site even if your kid show is totally safe, fun and perfect for kids. it really is a perception thing. You have to put yourself into the mind of the parent or client. Perhaps you can still do the same approach but maybe you do it with different photos or maybe even with type only. For example you could have a nice photo of you showing personality and that is on the main page. along with that is some short intro information that is you talking to the customer thanking them for coming to the site and telling them briefly what makes you unique. Then have the 3 areas they can choose form but have that as maybe buttons that are text based and not photo based. in this way you are not possibly having a prospect get confused thinking you do fire at a kid's show etc. something to think about.

- The video is not a bad idea. However, having one main video for all 3 different shows is working against you and not for you. the reason is similar to the above. If I am looking for a b-day party, I want to only see what you offer me for kids shows. I want to see kid show magic and interaction and kids laughing and smiling. However, I would not want to see fire eating, glass walking or sawing a guy in half.

I think the best idea for you is to take the video and separate it into 3 different videos. make a video for each of your markets. by target marketing in this fashion, you will land much more gigs because you are focusing more on what the client wants. Allow them to click on the area they want to go to and then have the video at that location. it makes better sense and will serve you better. By doing so, you are not confusing the client.

- the Facebook idea is ok but not working ideal for you. the reason is that it is YOU saying what others have said. That is not as powerful as simply getting quotes from others and posting them through out your site. Simply post a great quote and place the name and event next to the quote and do it that way. it will be more powerful for your prospect. they will see OTHER people praising your work and not you doing it yourself. makes a huge difference. You can also add audio quotes if you want to go that route. Bring a recorder or even use an app on your phone and ask people if they would not mind giving an audio quote for your site. These can be added easily and given even more value to what you do.

- Kid show magic: The problem with this area is the fact that it does not tell me anything. There is a total lack of information here. if I am a parent looking to purchase your services, this does nothing more then say you are the same as every other magician I have seen or searched.

you have to make sure that you state what the person is getting with your show. List to them what your show entitles and what comes with every performance. these are your features you offer. Then hit them with the benefits. the benefits is how the features of what you do directly benefit the prospect. How are you helping them to have a great event? Then answer questions that you know parents have either asked you or want to know. You have to view this area as a sales pitch because that is what it is. Give the parent information that they want and need to book you.

- do NOT put fire eating or really dangerous or adult tricks listed in your kid show area. that is a big no no. It really turns parents away and they will not hire you at that point. Take that out and really show and answer to the prospect what you are giving them and what makes you unique.

Place in some quotes on this page from satisfied parents and customers and then have the good photos and a video of your kid show performances.

- If you are going to use photos for kids shows, make sure they are showing personality and not showing this serious look. parents want to see a fun person who is lively and full of smiles. If you are trying or showing a serious pose, then it works against you in this area.

- I would really make sure that if you are going with the 3 tiered approach that you allow your site to actually be 3 sites in one. in other words, let them go into a site (kid show,.side show or adult etc) and then give them the option to look at photos and quotes etc. that are based ONLY on that market. it will work much better for you.

- as much of a pain that this may be, you need to get rid of the ads that pop up and anything that takes away from the main message. it just makes the site look amateurish and not professional. It distracts from what you are trying to sell to the customer.

- "Keep in mind if there are a lot of children wanting balloons, Kameron can rarely get back to performing magic!" get rid of that line totally. never place a negative in your ad copy on any site or promo piece. save that information for your contract or when you speak with them on the phone. The goal of the site is to entice a customer and not turn them off thinking you are hard to work with.

- Just a personal preference, but I never list prices on my site. The reason is that I want and need to know what the person's needs are before I can offer them a customized solution that fits their needs. by putting a price down, you often will not get people contacting you simply because they see price and nothing more.

- create a better form page. It is easy to set up and a much better way to obtain information from prospects. They fill out the simple form and their information goes right to your email address. It is professional and easy to do. It also forces them to provide information that you need. You have a form page but you are not directing them as much as you should. make sure you get them to include their name, email address, location they are from, what information for what type of show are they looking for? You can make these drop down choices to make it easier for them. But this information is great for you to get so you can quote them better.

- quotes section: I know you are trying to be funny here and it is funny. However, this does nothing for a prospect but work against you. ONLY place real quotes on your site from real customers. it is more powerful. People will not take you seriously as a performer by doing it in the way you did. it will only hurt you in the long run. So lose the comedy approach and only place in quotes that are real quotes.

- calendar area: As others have said, if your calendar is not loaded with shows, then remove it. right now it is saying to a customer "this guy is not busy at all and so must not be any good". Unless you have a full calendar with a lot of shows listed, remove the calendar as it will work against you.

- ok this is another pet peeve of mind. I never show or reveal any tricks or secrects of magic on my site or on YouTube. too many lay people can go there just to learn a secret and that is not right for the magical arts. if you want kids to learn, direct them to good books they can check out at a library or good DVds at certain magic stores. The idea is to force them to work a little more at it. You can even create a magic club. however, this is where a parent or adult must give permission. You then give them a code (sent via email) where they put in to gain access to this secret area. This protects you and does not have you revealing secrets to the general public.

I do hope this helps. it is not a personal attack at all but intended to be an honest review. I hope it gets you thinking about how to revamp the site to work better for you.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

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Doruk Ülgen
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I like the logo too Smile

And Kyle; you are amazing Smile
Kameron Messmer
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Billings, MT
749 Posts

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Thanks Kyle. I see where your coming from. Some of the issues are just things I havent ironed out yet. SOme of the info hasnt been tweaked and is a placeholder...
Honestly the fire has been my saving grace sometimes. It just got me a show cause it was eye catching!The mom saw it and said "cool!" and booked me on the spot. Im not sure what you mean by ads? I have the banners on the bottom cause I'm listed there (dex/city slick, magician directory etc) but I don't think I have pop ups...
I am in the process of making videos for everything. That one is my first and kinda a placeholder and shows a bit of everything I do. and again I know it might turn some people away, but the glass and fire etc is family friendly. I might have to stress the family friendliness of it more cause it's a big part of my performance. I've done both numerous times and never had a complaint, in fact its their favorite part! Do any of you do things like that? It seems I get magicians who don't do fire or other dangerous stuff telling me it turns people away, when I've only seen the opposite. Is this experience or just a guess? I know SOME mothers wont hire me, but they probably wont hire me because of my hair, or something else random... now I'll get back to work!
Thanks again!
Kameron Messmer
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Billings, MT
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The facebook feed is not necessarily me saying what others said, it's just statuses pertaining to my magic. Like the 10 year old who said "i like your work" I thought it was funny she put it like that. Shes 10, not 30. When I post more on there it might make more sense.
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Doruk: I am just trying to help others. I have always been that way. If anyone ever wants an opinion, know that I will honestly give it.

Kameron: You are most welcome. keep in mind that everything I wrote to you (which indeed did take some time to do) is my 100% honest opinion. I try never to sugar coat anything because it doesn't help anyone if I do. Hopefully my thoughts will help you out.

The ads on the bottom of the page are distractiong from the overall message. I do not think you really need them. I think it is much better to just have great copy that answers questions the customer has. it is more effective usage of space.

We disagree a lot on the fire. I knwo you are good at it and I know you have a passion for it. However, one must learn when to take out something you love for the sake of more gigs and more bookings. I can easily say that as many bookings as you get (kid shows) from the fire eating) you are losing even more that are saying No way.

What you may want to do (as a happy medium) is to not show it on express it on your website for the kid show area. Let the client get to you and be intersted in your show. Then offer it up to them as an option. this way you do not lose the gig before you they even contact you. I think it would be a smarter move for you.

Once again, the glass walking and the fire eating falls into the realm of working against you. now I know your presentation of it may be family-friendly. you may have a great routine for it. However, in mnost clients minds (parents and family shows) they see it as dangerous and something they in no way want to have a child seeing or possibly imitating. Trust me on this.

have it in your other adult area but leave it out of your kid show and family show offerings. they will see it and not understand it and you will lose opportunities because of it.

I know folks who do fire eating and glass eating and side show stunts. The biggest thing they all told me was knowing when and where to bring it up in their marketing. They have admitted to me over the years that they have to be careful about it because it can work against them in bookings.

You have to understand that a pwerson seeing this has never seen your show. they are seeing it for the first time. Because of this, they have no idea who you are. they only see fire and glass and that conveys a bad message to them. It says the guy is not safe around kids cause he is doing danergous things that they can mimic and hurt themselves with.

Now I know your routine is probably fine and iyou give warnings to the kids and you may even have it very family friendly. The fact is that prospects simply do not see it this way at all. I really would leave it out of that part of your website. Take it out of anything that is kid's focused or family-focused.

Leave it in your other adult section so that they can see it there if they want to and can ask about it if they like. then, as stated before, you can choose to bring it up when they contact you and ask them if they would like you to add it to your show as an add on to the show experience.

this is better marketing and better business. It will get more people contacting you. When they do, you can start to guage how many decide to go with the fire eating and how many decide to stay away from it. Instead of guessing if people like it, you can find out for sure by testing it honestly.

Hope this helps.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

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magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

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The facebook stuff makes it sound like it came from you. The reason is that your name is attached to everything. it is a marketing think really. it is not to say you can not use the information. What I am saying is that it needs to be utilized in a MUCH different way.

Take out the facebook scroll app on the site. Save all the quotes and such you had there. Then ad those quotes as quotes from the people who actually said them. Place them around your site. having a quote coming from someone else is so much more powerful.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

Entertainers Product Site

http://kpmagicproducts.com

Join Our Facebook Fan Page at

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monstercreations
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England
116 Posts

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Hi,
I offered to mock a freebie design but heard nothing back.... Smile
Ade
jhard
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Dallas, TX
135 Posts

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Anything dangerous to children, fire eating, glass walking etc. in your show....disclaimer or not....is going to open you up to lawsuits at some point in time when some kid forgets what you said and tries it himself. I don't understand why you even attempt this in a children's show.
Success to all.
Kameron Messmer
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Billings, MT
749 Posts

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Ade, I cant afford anyone yet. nothing personal!
Kameron Messmer
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Billings, MT
749 Posts

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Jhard:
I've been doing fire eating with my magic shows for over 10 years. I've never had a lawsuit or even a call about a kid doing anything that ive done. It's hard for me to make a torch, I find it hard to believe a kid would make one and attempt to try it. If the parents are ignoring their kid enough that they make a torch and play with fire then they have bigger problems. Besides, they assume its magic. Its fake fire or something and they wont try it cause they cant do magic. I understand what your saying, but I think what happens is I do the fire, the kids love it, the moms love it, I give a disclaimer and the second I leave they give a speech about never doing that kinda stuff ever. Once the moms see the fire they know its a possibility so they nip it in the bud. If not, they are bad parents and the kids have already lit themselves on fire...
I know, its a risk, but its the favorite part of the show hands down!
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