Month: April 2017

Lessons in finding the right place to backlink my guitar event services

Exploring the services of The Knot in 2017 I explained to the salesperson that in the mid-1990’s I started to advertise with the Knot as it was a new company and I’d give them a shot. In the first week of my site on the Knot going live I received an email from an excited client that wanted exactly what I was offering and was fine with my fee. I was asked to send a contract. After the formal agreement was sent I never heard back from the client. I didn’t give it much thought as I was booked all the time. At the end of the contract I didn’t renew with the Knot for the reason that the only hit I received from advertising with them was the contract that never came through. All of my bookings where from other sources; the Knot became my loss write off.

Brides.com treated me well. Not only was over fifty-percent of my event business through their magazine and website advertising but after many years of business with them I was offered the opportunity to share a table at bridal shows with their sales representative at no cost.  I assisted in giving information about their magazine and website service to brides as well as having the ability to hand out information about my own services. I also received a handsome discount on my advertising. I was rolling in events. Sadly, the magazine shut down operations as it was.

To fill the void, I took a risk and signed a contract with the Knot again. My aim was to capture the displaced clients that was created from Brides.com ceasing operations. In the first week of my site with the Knot going live I received an email from an excited client that wanted exactly what I was offering and was fine with my fee. I was asked to send a contract. After the formal agreement was sent I never heard back from the client. I didn’t give it much thought as I was booked all the time. At the end of the contract I didn’t renew another year for the reason that I had two hits; one completed contract and the contract that never came through. All my bookings where from other sources; the Knot became my loss write off.

A few years pass; the Knot has been around and proved the test of time while I watched so many other sites and event suppliers come and go. I decided to take the risk and advertise on their site again. In the first week of my site with them going live I received an email from an excited client that wanted exactly what I was offering and was fine with my fee. I was asked to send a contract which I did. I never heard back from the person. I didn’t give it much thought as I was booked all the time. There was a point in the contract period I negotiated out of the contract. I had to pay a lot but over all saved money on the last two months of the contract. The only call I received from advertising with the Knot was the contract that never came through. Again all of my booking where from other sources; the Knot became my loss write off. I remembered the excited caller and realized a pattern. I also understood my business on the Knot is equal to a Faberge Egg being sold in Walmart not discounted.

At the start of 2017 I wanted to add a backlink for my website from inside the wedding industry. I didn’t want to spend a lot as I keep my site very well optimized. This expense would be a cherry on a well iced cake. I chose the Knot again mainly because of it’s low price. The sales person also told me of many changes that have been made to attract different levels of customers to their site. When I made the decision this time to advertise with them again despite a poor performance record I went into it expecting zero business but was hoping to be proven wrong. It was a mistaken belief to think the sales pitch had any merit. Now going into the fifth month of the contract my expectations sadly have been meet except for one.

In the first week of my site with them going live I received an email from an excited client that wanted exactly what I was offering and was asked to send a contract. This time I did hear back from the client.

This is what I didn’t expect:
“Hi David,
I am happy to tell you that my assistant has mailed out your check but there is a little mix up from her. She was supposed to send out 2 checks today, one for you and another for the wedding planner. She mistakenly sent the whole payment to you. Please David, I will really appreciate if you could deduct your deposit and help send the remaining funds to the wedding planner. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

Dave”.
My reply:
“Hi David,
I will return the envelope as soon as I receive it and wait for another. The date is reserved for you.

David”

I never received the check that was already mailed out. That’s it! For the other three contract periods my excited client was a scam artist trying to isolate their prey. The consistency in my three other contracts has been zero business and three attempted scams. This fourth and the last time is running the same course. Scams are unavoidable in any internet interaction. I do not hold the Knot responsible for the attempts I received from the fictitious client. I alerted my sale representative as soon as I realized what transpired this time. They were quick to reply and I was satisfied with their response regarding the fake leads but others issues regarding the poor performance have received no reply.

Currently my goal of backlink for my website has failed miserably. My stats on the Knot analytics page show my site to be charting way below average and my Google analytics show no sign of the Knot on any dashboards. I stopped checking in on my Knot page. The only place I see the Knot name is on my credit card statement each month.

My first advertising campaign was a foul ball, the second was a strike, the third was a strike this is their last strike coming up. They are out of the series after this.

The lesson of this story is to be careful if you are starting an advertising campaign. If something doesn’t seem right it isn’t.

The lesson of this story is to think about the clients you want to attract. I have received one hit from a real client this contract period. Their price interest was $100; not the service I supply. My need is for clients who understand, appreciate and want quality work.

The lesson of the story is that if you’re looking for cheap you will get it. Do you want to work twice as hard with a low paying clientele or earn twice as much with the right clientele?

The lesson of the story is to Google search feedback on the service you want to advertise with. Read the forums from different vendors.

The lesson of this story is that the Knot struck out for this sole proprietor. I should have invested with a service that had a track record for performance.  In advance I had no expectation of developing a clientele from prior experiences. My new attempt to use the site as backline has also fallen short of reasonable expectations.

The lesson of this story is that other services have given me the experience of feeling looked after. The knot doesn’t offer that experience. I do not hear from my sales representatives. In all the other business transactions I engage in that involve sales reps a positive relationship has developed because of follow up.

 

The Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society Winners of the 2017 Philadelphia Classical Guitar Competition

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The Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society proudly announces the winners of the 2017 Philadelphia Classical Guitar Competition featuring the Peter Segal Prize for the first place Adult Division winner.  Winners received merchandise prizes generously supplied by D’Addario, Savarez, and Strings by Mail with monetary awards for first through third place winners as well.
 
Comprised of three judging rounds competitors were first judged via recordings submitted with applications.  The semifinal and final rounds were then performed as part of the two day festival on April 8 and 9  in celebration of the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society’s 50th Anniversary Season.  Judges for these rounds were Jeff Cogan, Manley Mallard, John Arnold, Dan Boring, Glen Caluda, John Demko, Keith Calmes, and GRAMMY Award winning guitarist David Russell.
 
 
Adult Division Winners: 
 
First Place and Peter Segal Prize*
Oscar Somersalo
Graduate of Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore, MD) where he studied with Manuel Barruico and Sibelius Academy (Helsinki, Finland) graduate
 
Second Place:
Carlos Bedoya
Graduate of Rowan University (Glassboro, NJ) where he studied with Kathleen Mayes
 
Third Place:
Stephen Brew
Ph.D. candidate at Jacobs School of Music (Bloomington, IN) where he studies with Ernesto Bitetti
Adjunct professor of guitar at Stonehill College (Easton, MA)
 
Fourth Place:
Leonard Ranallo
Graduate of Oberlin Conservatory (Oberlin, OH) where he studied with Stephen Aron
 
 
*The Peter Segal Prize
The Peter Segal Prize, first prize adult division, was created in 2008 to honor Peter Segal, one of the most important figures in the history of the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society and the classical guitar in Philadelphia. Originally funded through donation, the $1000 prize is now funded by PCGS and its sponsors. Peter was a prominent musician in Philadelphia and a founding member of the society in 1967. He performed with a variety of ensembles including The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Concerto Soloists, The Opera Company of Philadelphia and Relâche. His career included both domestic and international touring as a solo guitarist and in a flute/guitar duo with flutist Janet Ketchum. Peter Segal was also a well regarded teacher and scholar and founded classical guitar programs at several institutions including the Boyer College of Music at Temple University and the Philadelphia Musical Academy. He continued to be an active performer and teacher until he passed away in January 2006. His legacy is enhanced by the large number of his students who have gone on to professional careers as teachers and performers.
 
High School Division Winners:
 
First Place:
Benjamin Pasternak
Home schooled
Student of Mark Johnstone
 
Second Place:
Darla Rublesky
Home schooled
Student of Lora Rublesky
 
Third Place:
Mahima Reddy
Upper St. Clair High School
Student of Scott Elliott
 
Fourth Place:
Justin McCarty
Sun Valley High School
Student of Nick Doak
 
Founded in 1967, The Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society (PCGS) is a community of members, both supporters and musicians of all ages and accomplishments, dedicated to the advancement of the art of the classical guitar. Through encouraging classical guitar activities throughout the Delaware Valley, PCGS presents concerts throughout the year along with informal Guitar Salons and a Classical Guitar Orchestra providing performance opportunities to members of all levels.