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Cheshire Cat
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Wilmslow, UK
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Hi, Just interested to know what percentage of your annual income do you spend on newspaper, Yellow Pages, other Directory, magazine etc. advertising.

I know the best advertising is recommendations, and this has been discussed before. Nor do I enquire as to your annual earnings; but just interested to learn what you plough back into this form of advertising.

I quite surprise myself when I realise we only plough back about 3% of annual turnover. This goes into Yellow Pages. No newspaper/magazine advertising. There is an entertainer operating within the same areas as ourselves who last time I checked a few years ago advertised in: 4 separate editions Yellow Pages covering a HUGE area; a Thomson local directory (poor man's yellow pages); plus around 48 weeks a year in a large newspaper group. This must amount to 18%/20% of annual turnover I would imagine. (What does all this advertising say about an entertainer do you think?)

Cheers, Tony (new user name, more anonymity, same ol' me!) - Meeeow!!
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Hi,
Mine works out about 1%
Phillip
Cheshire Cat
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To put this into understandable terms this means Phillip puts back $1 or £1 into printed advertising media in every $100 or £100 earned. We put back £3 or $3. Having said that we do not utilise the advertising potential at parties that some entertainers do, which is our personal choice. However I think it would be fair to say that both ourselves and Phillip have a very high repeat/recommendation turnover.

We also pay a modest sum each year for web hosting.

The down side in some respects is when we reckon up income against expenditure at the end of the financial year and find we have so little to claim for. Just wondering whether guys like the one I mentioned make a decision: "now shall I give the money to the Taxman or to turning over new (not seen before) kids in new locations by mass advertising". (Or whether they are just plain awful entertainers).
magic4u02
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I put NOTHING into print ads. The reason for this is I am a strong believer that passive marketing does not work nearly as well as active style marketing.

This is why I spend my money and time doing active style marketing on a daily basis. I have found my success and return rate are ten times better for me if I work it this way.

I can elaborate on this if anyone is intersted.

Kyle
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Cheshire Cat
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Yes, please elaborate Kyle.

Not that we need further business but it's always interesting to hear the ideas of others.

I would myself call newspaper advertising "passive", as it presents an option of a service to the reader; whereas with Yellow Pages the user has already made the decision to search out a service or product. Thus I find the latter by far the best.

I'm sure that many entertainers would also agree that you find someone booking you "out of Yellow Pages" - but by the time you get to the party they have had half a dozen recommendations for you also. Yet initially they were prepared to book a service from a stranger. This seems a curious logic doesn't it?
Emazdad
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I spend about 3% on my yellow pages advert. this is my only advertising outlay. It more than pays for itself over the year, even though it only brings in 10% of my work.

<<<<I'm sure that many entertainers would also agree that you find someone booking you "out of Yellow Pages" - but by the time you get to the party they have had half a dozen recommendations for you also. Yet initially they were prepared to book a service from a stranger. This seems a curious logic doesn't it?>>>>>>

Cat, there's also the ones who say MY FRIEND RECCOMENDED YOU, on the phone, when really they found you in yellow pages, asked a friend if they know about you and then the friend reccomended you.

Also the reason they booked you when you were a stranger, was they may have phoned a few entertainers out of the YP and your general phone manner, personality etc during the phone call came across much more profesional/reliable/helpful than the others they spoke to.

it may also be they'd tried a couple of others, and they were busy, by the time they got to you their frame of mind is, I'VE LEFT IT TOO LATE, THE FIRST ONE that's FREE I'LL BOOK. so looking at in from different sides you can see where the logic comes from, and how sometimes how they say they found you, isn't really accurate.
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.
Andy Wonder
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The yellow pages is where people look for you even when they know you. I have a lot of clients that call me because they have either seen me before or heard about me from a frined but still go to the yellow pages to get my number. I've got to be in there.

Mine works out to be 0.8% now. 4 years ago when I 1st went full time it was about 1.5%

I am not spending any less, in fact I am spending more now but my turnover has grown more. Also I have not factored in income from school shows etc where yellow pages advertising is not a factor. I mainly book school shows with direct mail.

BTW: you can view my yellow pages ad: Click Here

(so Tony we should call you Cat now instead of Ace. Can we have a new avatar to look at?)
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Cheshire Cat
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Andy, I like your ad. The graphics are not my style as I like to tell them as much as possible (within the bounds of keeping reasonably bold type), - but you make a great effort to get them into viewing your website, the same as us.

An avatar, - well I have an English pub sign somewhere "The Cheshire Cat" amongst my Adobe albums, but as I get older I'm getting more outspoken, more darn abrasive in my views, so a little anonymity maybe? This Café almost gives us the feeling of just exchanging views or having friendly lighthearted disagreements with e-mail friends, - but then you suddenly realise, - it's a PUBLIC FORUM! and you think, oops!
Andy Wonder
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Still you clients don't really come on here do they?

Who are you trying to hide from?
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Cheshire Cat
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No, not the taxman Andy, - can say that truly hand on heart. Do a Google search on yourself "Andy Walker, Entertainer". Bet it will not only find your website and all the online directories you are listed in, but also your entries in the Magic Café. Like me, you have expressed certain opinions if I remember rightly, over the years? Would "Yellow Kiwi" be a good name for you to ask Mary to change your postings to?

God, hope the Americans don't think I'm related to Cat Stevens!
Andy Wonder
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Good point, but I've never found any of my Café postings when searching for myself on google or any search engine. I'm not sure why that is. Yeah if they were showing up I would change my Café name.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
magic4u02
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If you are going to do passive advertising, then a yellow page ad is probably your best bet. Just keep in mind though that at least in the states, many people who go to the yellow pages are what we call "price shopping". They simply call names on the list and find the cheapest one possible to go with. Your hopes is that you can convince them and sell them on you and your show and your benefts to them before they ask the price.

Passive marketing can work but it is not nearly as effective as active marketing can be. With active marketing, you are the one going out and getting the clients. You are also more in control of the sle at all times. With an ad, you can not do much more then wait by your phone after the ad is placed. You have no control over people calling you or not. At that point it is out of your hands.

This is not to say that passive marketing can not work. It can work and you certainly can and should use it as a part of your marketing tool box.

However, people usually stop right there. They do not even understand active marketing or try to use it. But, the amazing thing is that ACTIVE marketing is much more powerful.

Let me give you an example of an active marketing approach in hopes that this might be more helpful in explaining how it all works.

- You have a show, have rehearsed it and know your show fits and works well. It is tested and ready

- Your marketing materials and website are top notch and of good quality

- You then determine that you want to go into a particular market. This is called target marketing. Target marketing is esential when you want to make sure your marketing efforts give you the best return on investment. For sake of arguement let us say the market is a festival in your area.

- Active marketing now has you going to find those leads. You search for the people who you feel can most benefit from your services in the market your after. Your going to them rather then them coming to you.

- After obtaining a list of potential suspects and contacts you then send out your initial mailing including a sales letter or lead generation letter and your promo packet in the mail.

- You then follow it up with a 2 part follow up system. This can be an e-mail or letter 1 week after you sent out the packet just asking them if they have received it and if you can answer any questions they may have. You also give them a reason to contact you by giving them a discount on a show or a free gift etc.

- You then can do a second follow up a few weeks later if you have not heard anything. The idea here is that you are always in control at all times. You are building relationships with these people and getting them to see you as a solutions provider to them. They start seeing you this way, your perceived value climbs in their own mind.

By doing even the above few steps (of which there is plenty more), you can see how active marketing works. It is you going out there and taking charge and bringing your infomation and your benefits to the people you know can benefit most from them.

You are in total control all the time. A passive marketer gives out a business card and hopes the person calls. An Active marketer gives his or her card out and then asks for the person's card in return.

See the difference here. The passive marketer gives out the card but then loses control at that point. He/she has to HOPE the person calls.

An active marketer gives out the card but by receiving a card back, now has regained control back again in his or her favor. Now when he/she gets home, they can send out a nice thank you e-mail or letter saying how nice it was to talk with them. This helps establish those key relationships and gets your name constantly fresh in their minds.

I will leave it at this for now, but I felt I needed to elaborate a bit more on this topic since it is pretty new to a lot of people not familiar with it.

I think a strong combination of both passive and active marketing is really the best way to go for any magician serious about building their business.

As always I look forward to comments from all of you.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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Emazdad
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There would be no point me using my valuable golfing time to activly market, and persue customers. My diary already fills up early nicly and I spend a lot of time, turning people away that I can't fit in.

The ones who are price shopping are the ones that start the conversation with "how much for the magic show" and I know before I start going through all my phone sales pitch, that when I eventually tell them the price, there will be a sharp intake of breath, and a quick "OK I'll talk to my parnter and get back to you". I know they won't be back, and I'm not bothered because I also know if that dates free It will fill soon enough.

Once your well established you don't need to chase work, If however I was after a specific market, Like school educational shows, then I would go down the active route to promote my show.
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.
p.b.jones
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Hi,
I agree with Emazdad, Active marketing is only better than passive marketing if you need it. why waste valuable time if a passive aproach will get the job done just as well.
phillip
Decomposed
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"The ones who are price shopping are the ones that start the conversation with "how much for the magic show" and I know before I start going through all my phone sales pitch, that when I eventually tell them the price, there will be a sharp intake of breath, and a quick "OK I'll talk to my parnter and get back to you". I know they won't be back, and I'm not bothered because I also know if that dates free It will fill soon enough. "

HA! I didn't even think of the last few days calls where she said this very same thing Clive:) Okay, I'll talk to my husband and let you know. Never once has anyone called back who said that.


Good one:)
Rupert Bair
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Like the reason for the change, ace...cat, I prefered the old you, sorry! I like what George does on his site and in one part he says this is no way connected to my entertainer persona. Maybe I should change mine to Magic Catt for peace of mind,lol. I don't pay for advertising (execpt business cards ect) most of my shows are word of mouth but recentley their has been a big increase on phone calls from free advertiment sites such as kids party ect so I'm very happy with the results of that.

Matt
magic4u02
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Clive:
If your already maxed out and already doing the amount of shows you want to do, then marketing as I suggested does not have to be done so much. However, you still market and probably are not aware you are doing so.

If you provide a top notch quality show everytime you go out, your marketing. If you are professional when you get there and try to meet the needs of the client, you are marketing again. So even though your not doing hard sell marketing, your still doing it just because it has become second nature to you. Congrats on that!!! =)

The only thing I would suggest to you Clive is that if your finding yourself tunring away work, then you might want to raise your prices again or set up yourself as an agency and farm out the shows you can not do to other magicians you trust and collect a finders fee. Just a suggestion is all.

Phillip:
You are right to a degree. If you are already established and maxed out in work you want to do, then you can take a step back from the active marketing approach. You can just use your marketing skills to maintain the level that you are at.

The line of, "let me talk to my partner" is a way for the prospect to simply say.. WOAH too pricey and NO not intersted without themn thinking they are being rude. You come to expect it and usually know that they will not call back.

I just get in the habit of never saying a price to anyone until I have had the proper time to tell them what they are getting from me and how I can meet their needs of their party.

You would not rush right out and buy a car without first learning about it and test driving it. The same should apply to hiring a magician.
Kyle Peron

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Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2004-09-25 09:42, magic4u02 wrote:
The line of, "let me talk to my partner" is a way for the prospect to simply say.. WOAH too pricey and NO not intersted without themn thinking they are being rude. You come to expect it and usually know that they will not call back.


I get this, and sometimes they do call back (about half the time). It is because the decision maker is not just the person calling. It might be one parent, both, or even the child might be involved, too.

If you ask early in the phone conversation, who is involved in the decision, you will find your answer. Then you can be prepared for that comment.

I also ask early in the conversation for their mailing address, so that when you are done, you can send them a birthday show (or whatever is relevant) information kit. I ask them in such a way that they give it to me. They also give me the child's name and age.

Remember, this is not when they are booking, this is actually during the inquiry call. I do not grill them about this information, it is freely given in most cases. If they resist, then I put it off until the end of the call.

Sometimes when the price is an issue, they need time to think about it, and recieving support materials will help them make a positive decision.

That being said, I do agree with Emazdad, that the ones who are very concerned about the price, in most cases (but not all) are unqualified.

Here's a post I made on the Dean's List about how I deal with the "price push" question: On TDL thread... Yellow Page Ad Question.

Andy Walker shared how he deals with the "price push" question later on that same thread (page 2).

- Donald.

P.S. Tony, this year, I spent a whopping 25% of my income on print advertising. Way, way too much on yellow page ads that aren't pulling results. However, my parent magazine ads are currently pulling decent results.

Next year, I am dropping the display ads in the YP, and going with line listings only. Then I will focus my advertising money on direct mail, and also my monthly "keep in contact" mailings to past customers (newsletters, thinking of you cards, fun inexpensive gifts, etc.)
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Emazdad
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The last thing they get told is the price, they have to listen to my sales talk first, which not only is designed to give them a complete idea of what they are getting, but questions I ask on the way, let me know whether I want the job. I look at the diary as I'm going through the patter, and the final bit is basically, yes I can do something that day and the fee is £....., or No I'm afraid I'm booked.

Only yesterday I was looking at an empty page in next years diary telling a bloke on the phone, that I was fully booked not only that weekend he wanted , but both weekends either side of it.

As Donald said, sometimes they do genuinely have to confirm the decision with someone else, you can generally tell by their tone whether it's an excuse or not. I've lost count of the number of times someones said, "OK I've got to talk to my husband and I'll call you back tomorrow" and when they phone back the slot they wanted has already gone. I've had a few who've seen me before who have then changed the date of the party or even booked me straight away for next years to garuntee getting me for that one.

I wouldn't send out letters to them either the only mail my customers get from me are the contracts, or invoices for the show they've booked.. I'm not into all this mailing stuff, think of the poor postman who has enough junk to carry.

I don't take provisionals or pencil anything in, I've had cases where when talking to other magicians in my area, we've found we have all been provisionally booked by the same person. The tactic is to phone round, provisional book everyone who's free, then decide who you want to actually book. But they never phone the others to say they don't want them.
One lady phoned Billy on behalf of her son and his wife, and actually told him, she was booking people for her grandsons party, and when they get back from holiday, they would decide who they want. She was politly informed he doesn't work like that, and as usual when we get a dodgy caller he phoned me to warn me she was phoning around.


<<<The only thing I would suggest to you Clive is that if your finding yourself tunring away work, then you might want to raise your prices again or set up yourself as an agency and farm out the shows you can not do to other magicians you trust and collect a finders fee. Just a suggestion is all. >>>>

Prices are going up next year Kyle, Billy and I would have put them up sooner but as we did 2 price rises last year, and some of our re-bookers would have been hit by a double wammy we didn't want to come across as greedy, even though we know they'd have paid it. We have however increased our prices for bookings that are not birthday parties.

We are already at the top of the tree here, and next years increase will increase the gap between us and our competitors further. They are generally charging about £25 less a party than us, But Billy and I have this place sewn up.

As for making myself an agency, who would I give the work too? the only entertainer I ever reccomend round here is Billy Wiz, who happens to be not only my mate, but also the only entertainer that is up to a high enough standard. Not just in his performance, but general professional standards. Plus if there was someone up to our standards, he would be a competitor, If he's not a friend we would not want to pass stuff to him anyway.

I'd never pass on work to anyone who I did not think was good enough. Also acting as an agency is more work, as I've said before I don't want to work for a living. Nice suggestion though Kyle ifI was that way inclined.
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.
magic4u02
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Congrats to you and Billy and Philip. That is great that your in an area and set up so that you have as many shows as you want to work and even more you have to turn away. Your doing soemthing right and that is always cool to see.

However, in my area, a problem exists of way too many entertainers in one location. I have a TON of guys doing magic here and there is so many for people to choose from. This means for me that marketing is a MUST.

My lucky break is that I KNOW and UNDERSTAND marketing and the importance of it and because I do, I have made my perceieved value in the minds of my prospects and clients go way way up. They come to me because they know I am not only good, not only going to help them but I am a solutions provider for them.

I also really make my show entertaining. I am not a Trick magician and never will be. I am a magician who throughly entertains every corwd I perform for and I enjoy it as much as they do. So many others in this area simply do not get that concept at all. They end up performing for themselves only and that is just sad.

That is great about raising your prices. I always say that if your getting too many bookings and finding yourself turning a lot a way, that is a good sign to raise the prices again or think about doing so. This way you cut back on the turn aways and still maintain the shows. You then make more money doing less performances. That is a winning concept if you ask me. =)It is awesome to see you guys at this point.

I toitally understand about the agency aspect and about referring work. I also ONLY will work with peoplke who I KNOW can deliver the same type of entertainment and quality that I deliver. Let me tell you this narrows the field very fast hehe. But in my area, there are still quite a few that fit this bill and I feel safe with.

However, I also have lists of jugglers, stilt walkers, ballon people, clowns etc. All people I trust, have seen there shows and know do good work.

Because I work a LOT of festival and fair type events each year, I always get reqeusts or asked if I know of other acts that can also work that day. If I am can offer them help, I not only look good to the client, but my value goes up.

This is where I act as an agent for them and try to find other acts I know do good work wo fill up the rest of the afternoons entertainment line up. This insures a great show, I look even better and I receive extra income off the finders fee.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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