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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Use of reference letters (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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RonCalhoun
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Independence, KY USA
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If someone ask about card moves why would you tell them you only do coins and berate them for asking for help.
******************************************************

If you need help with promoting your business using reference letters, here is a link to help.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=17#0

If you don't use reference letters you won't need it.
Mike Robbins
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Quote:
On 2004-11-24 04:13, p.b.jones wrote:
so I agree with others that if you have to ask for it it is not worth the paper it is writen on except as a dishonest marketing tool.
phillip


None of my marketing is dishonest.

In the corporate world, these folks are very busy and many treat it as another business transaction (which it is). Many would not think of writing a reference letter as they normally do not do that when buying any other service and so to ask for one is appropriate. I can also tell you that no one feels pressure when I ask them. Again, I do one follow-up and if I don't receive one then I figure they're too busy to write it and let it go at that.

I've done the holiday show for one large company for three years straight. I asked for a letter the first year and didn't get one. I did get one the next year. They called me and booked me every year after the first. I've had a similar situation with other companies. So I didn't get a letter the first year, but they were pleased enough to contact me the following year and book me again.

I don't know, Phil. I've read your statement above a few times and it seems to be a sweeping generalization to me. It certainly doesn't apply to my situation.
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
Shakespeare
TrickyRicky
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I don't have a Web Site, nor do I advertise in the yellow page.
I'm fully booked from cards, word of mouth references.
I have a reputation in Toronto as the best in the business. There is only one other performer who is as good or if not better, and he's in conversation with you guys right now.
Build a reputation and you wont need these fancy web site. If I do, it will be just for show.
Richard Lyn "Tricky Ricky"
p.b.jones
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Hi,
My comment was not meant at anyone in particular, I just firmly believe that soliciting reccomend letters is no different than the sales people who go to old peoples houses and make hard pressure sales..... to me asking for attaboy letter is applying pressure to a person to give a complement that perhaps they really did not want to give. I see it as a dishonest practice and would not do it. You have to admit most people feel obligated to do something if asked. An obvious example is a pettition often people will sign a pettition against something because they are stopped in the street and asked (particularly if it is someone they know even if distantly)that they really did not want to sign or might not actually care about, just because it is easier than saying no and feeling embarraced.
Phillip
Chrystal
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Hi,

Thanks Peter for that wonderful information it answered Starrpower's question.

I am guilty as well of not sticking to the subject. Another poster kindly reminded us this forum and the Café is about magicians helping magicians and not "tooting your own horn". Thus, My personal apologies to you Starrpower.

The best of luck breaking into a new market.
NJJ
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Quote:
On 2004-11-23 19:30, Fernando wrote:
I always get suspicious of people who are actively marketing all the time. If they are marketing constantly and talk of nothing else day and night it is always a sign that the show itself is no good.

This particularly applies to children's entertainers who do birthday parties but to a lesser extent other branches of magic as well.

All quality promo proves is that you have a good printer and graphic artist. It doesn't mean that YOU are any good. In fact the fancier the promo the more likely the act is mediocre. Not always of course just usually. I expect there are people on this very board who have fancy promo and websites and are actually quite good. However they will be the exception rather than the rule.

The reason is pretty obvious.You certainly have to market hard at the beginning of your career but once you have been around a few years if you are not getting work without constantly selling yourself then there is something wrong with your show.You should have enough word of mouth and repeat bookings so that you don't need to be constantly marketing yourself day and night.

I used to book people at one time. Alarm bells would always go off if the promo was too fancy.It often meant the performer was quite awful and had to produce an expensive fancy brochure to try and convince people he was worth booking.

However I once had a magic business and did a fair bit of mail order. I was always amused that the bigger and more celebrated the star the crappier their promo was. Business cards would always be very amateurish. Their letterheading was awful and the paper quality was inferior. Yet these were the highest paid acts in the business and also the busiest.

However I could always tell the starving magicians. They were the ones with the fancy brochures that they insisted on sending me.

Next time you admire a fancy website look more closely. The performer may not be doing as well as you think. The crappier the website the busier they are.

Fernando's rule you know.


Many performers are in small or heavy markets where they have to compete with other performers for work. It doesn't mean they are bad, it just means they may be one of many good performers in a small market.

Movie stars go from city to city actively marketing their movies...it doesn't mean they are bad movies does it?

I was in a situation where I was VERY busy, doing WAY too many shows and exhausting myself doing gigs I didn't want to do! My solution? I have jacked up my prices and spent a little more time actively marketing to do the show I WANT to do.

These days, I do LESS gigs then 12 months ago but makes MORE money....all thanks to marketing!
magic4u02
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Getting back to the original post, I must agree with Star. No matter how successful I get or have become in a given market, I always market myself all the time. Marketing to me becomes a 24/7 thing that is just now a habit and a good habit at that.

I also would like to say this. That even those who cliam they do not need to market or have not martketed because they are so successful now, I bet they still market and just do not realize they are doing so. I bet you that is the case and I strongly beleive that.

Marketing does not mean a person or magician has a bad show or a weak show. This can not be further from the truth. You can be great at marketing or stink at marketing and it does not have any relationship to the quality of your show at all.

The only thing that can be said is that if your show stinks, no quanitity of marketing will ever get you to where you want to go. Marketing can only work with the assumption that you have invested the proper time to have and create a show that is what the aucience and prospect is looking for. Your show must be a good product and you must perform a good service for any marketing to be truely effective.

In regards to reference letters the best way to get them is as simple as ASKING for them. Sounds dumb doesn't it? But that is what it comes down to. If your show is good, then there is no reason why you can't simply ASK for a letter. Most will be glad to comply.

Now there are ways you can make it easier for the client to send a reference letter, but I discussed this in the other post and so will leave it out here.

Kyle
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Starrpower
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Cheshire, why so nasty and condescending? We're just having a discussion here. The only reason I brought up what I did was because you have been needling me in several responses, hinting that I either can't, or don't, make a good living performing. I can. And do. It's not a "secret market" that only arrogant Brits are working in.

Getting back to the original post, I don't know about British "telly" but here in the U.S. testimonials are used all the time; simply check out countless TV commercials, radio spots, and print advertising. It IS effective. And ASKING for them tends to be the norm ... almost every restaurant I go to has comment cards, as do *every* cruise line. They want to hear the good as well as the bad. That's asking for positive comments.

My whole point was to ask how YOU GUYS use them ... and those who responded so far, with a few notable "Olde World" exceptions, have had some interesting thoughts on the subject.
RonCalhoun
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If you don't use testimonials or don't need testimonials or don't want testimonials, please read and answer this post.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......17&0
------------------------------------------------------------------------
magic4u02
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It is NOT about having a FANCY website or a FANCY business card. It is about having a website that WORKS and having a business card that WORKS!!!!

There is a big difference there. Fancy does not get people in your market to contact you, a website that works and is targeted properly will. The same goes with any marketing that you do.

As far as reference letters go, I use them all the time and I ask for them any chance I get. If you want something... simply ask for it. If I feel my show is good and went over well, then there is no reason why I should not ask for a letter from my client.

Now if my client does not feel the show was great, then he or she certainly has the option and right to deny writing one in the first place. I certainly do not push it on them at all. I simply ask that if they enjoyed the show as much as the children did, It would mean so much to me if they could express that in a simple sentence or two on my evaluation form I give to them. I make it easy for them to do this IF THEY so decide to. It is their option.

in my own personal work and magic, I know and have seen reference letters really do work and are a crucial part of anyone's marketing tool box.

Even if you are a pro and have more shows then you can handle, I still feel strongly that reference letters are appropriate and still should be used. Why not? They certainly do not hurt you any and they are easy to obtain. If nothing more, for the pro, it backs up your credibility even more then your word of mouth does.

Kyle
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El_Lamo
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I posted this in the thread that is now locked. So I have moved it here.

I have performed in a number of daycare centres. I use written testimonials to solicit business with other child care centres. It helps to open the door and it provides more legitimacy by demonstrating that you know how to perform appropriately for that particular audience.

If a certain type of business is pleased with your approach, style and presentation then other businesses in the same field may be interested in working with you. Lots of businesses choose to use the same services that their competitors use. This is true for many endeavors, not just magic.

1. This is a link to a thread in tricky bu......onials.

2. This one is in tricky business about li......website So you probably need written ones first. (Smiles)

Lastly an outside link to one of the thousands of sites that give reasons for using testimonials

Cheers - El Lamo

"Final note: When I mention the concept of asking for testimonials in my sales training
workshops, people often express their concern about asking for testimonials. What I’ve learned is that people WANT you to succeed and they want to help you. Unfortunately, most people don’t think of automatically sending you a testimonial or endorsement. You have to ask!"
The above quote is from materials available from Kelley Robertson, President of the Robe......g Group
Life is a system of circumstance presented coincidently in an illusory way.
NJJ
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El Lamo.

That is a very good point! If people compliment you on their show and say things that you wish they would say to others then ASK them to write it down and they will be happy to do it because they want you to do well.

I wouldn't ask just any client to write me a reference but when I get those over excited happy customers, its great to be able to record their excitement for my future customers.
RonCalhoun
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Billy Whizz,

It was not my purpose to start a new fight. I was hoping to stop the old fight by having two discussions going at the same time.

Billy please remembers the question starrpower ask is, WHAT do you do with testimonials?

It would have been helpful if you had said something like;

Here is a copy of a great letter that I put it on my web site

“I have not heard so much laughter for ages. Billy Whizz kept the children entertained”
Lynda Chapman - Plymbridge Nursery

from: http://www.billywhizz.biz

I'm only trying to be helpful to starrpower and the many others that are just starting out or braking new ground.

Ron Calhoun

How can you use them.

Use them on your web site

A great example is here.

http://www.jonesp6.freeserve.co.uk/general/

Click on "Clients Letters"
Billy Whizz
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I think the argument is the fact the you guys tend to ask for a testimonial, but most guys here in the UK use them if they have been sent to us without having to ask for them. Yes, I have one on my site, I didn't ask for it, I never have, but I have a folder with hundreds of them in.
magic4u02
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Well there is one way in which to get testemonials without ever having to ask for them at all. I use my thank you kit. I give a thank you kit to the parent after avery performance., In this kit is my thank you etter to them, my evaluation form (multiple choice, SASE, some business cards and a box of candy for them.

it really is easy to make, cost me nect to nothing and is a perfect way to generate testemonials from the evlaution forms that they mail back.

I do this a lot and it generates a lot of positive written word for me without me ever having to flat out ask for one. it basically encourages them to do so on their own.

Just an idea.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

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Cheshire Cat
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I just simply cannot understand why everyone is so confrontational in this Section at the moment. Is asking someone where they are posting from really needling them?

So for anyone who is interested in using reference letters can I refer you to Andy Walker's site:

http://www.magicparty.co.nz

Andy, who I consider to be a personal friend, has developed not only text but AUDIO references. Just have a listen to them, they are really great. I respect Andy for doing this as obviously it's part of his marketing that works in NZ. For us personally here it would be "overkill". I know Andy won't be offended at me saying this, as we both know that different Countries mean different solutions; and whether Andy traded in New Zealand, GB or the States he would be highly successful.

Tony.
magic4u02
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The audio testemonials are even better and a GREAT idea for websites. I have seen this done and also on Andy's site and it works. Certainly something to look into as an option for your website.

Kyle
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RonCalhoun
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This is a copy of the PM I sent ABC

Hi ABCofMagic,

I'm Ron Calhoun. I wanted to say thank you for your posting in Reference letters, testimonials.

There are two reasons I ask folks who don't use testimonials to not post.

First, Is something here at the café we call “off topic.” For example if a magician ask a question about doing trade shows and someone posted they only do kid shows. The post is a waste of band space. Our main goal here is for magicians to help other magicians. Off topic posting only waste space and of course don't help.

Second, sometimes if a person disagrees with someone it might be better to sent that person a nice private message.

Here are two threads covering what I'm trying to say.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......39&0

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......39&0

So I hope to hear more from you soon, and if you have any questions please send me an PM anytime.

Ron Calhoun
TrickyRicky
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TrickyRicky
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Quote:
On 2004-11-29 09:44, magic4u02 wrote:
The audio testemonials are even better and a GREAT idea for websites. I have seen this done and also on Andy's site and it works. Certainly something to look into as an option for your website.

Kyle

Now you're talking Kyle.
Go back and read my first post in this conversation. No one noticed what I said about voice references.
Everyone is so tied up with letters that they can't think out of the box.
I've been using this method for years with great results.
Richard.
magic4u02
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Richard it really works great for websites. I use a combination of letters of reference as well as voice ones once my new website gets up sometime in Jan. Using both can be very powerful indeed and a great tool in your marketing toolbox.

Kyle
Kyle Peron

http://www.kylekellymagic.com

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