Yellow Pages Or Not!
For the working magi, tweaking and planning an advertising strategy is a necessary ritual. Like a general plotting his next troop movements, the magician must plan where to advertise his or her services – while attempting to maximize value for cost.
While advertising often works – sometimes it doesn’t. It also depends on what area you are situated in. Local papers, free papers and even cards in shop windows can help, but many venture into the Yellow Pages. Over the years, on and off, I’ve appeared within the pages of this directory which is fairly large, because Devon is a wide area.
I’ve had small one-line ads, which cost a ridiculous 100 English Sterling with no real blurb, as well as illustrated display ones that cost a good sight more.
The sales people from Yellow Pages are always keen and persistent in obtaining your advertisement. The trouble is they don’t always have your best interest at heart. They obviously wish to sell you the largest space they can. They never seem to study your profession. One girl said, “Mr. Adair, you will be out every moment of the day if you place an ad in our pages.” I replied, “Amazing, because as a children’s entertainer, the children are at school all day!”
Just how many shows we do a week means it is often impossible to receive back the best from advertising in a volume such as Yellow Pages. Another girl assured me “You will receive bookings from all parts of Devon and Cornwall.” I shook my head and told her I didn’t really want to perform children’s birthday parties down in Penazance. There are others living there who would obviously charge less, and the distance would be out of the question. Yellow Pages are distributed miles and miles over the country, but many times your paying for exposure in areas you really can’t service. “I was turning down more distant work than the more accessible work I was accepting.”
It is always important to note how many others in your profession are advertising against you, and who your competitors are. Competitors are more then the other magicians in your area – they are other types of entertainers, mimes, ventriloquist, clowns, etc. It is also important to study different sizes of space available and, if you are going ahead, how much you can afford.
The usual assurance, “you don’t have to pay now, we will bill you later” always makes me smile. It almost sounds as if they are giving it away free!
Yellow Pages are a thing of the past for me, but many magicians and members may well disagree with me.