Land line or no land line
I'm researching Yellow Pages ads, and while I have never had a ton of response from them, I know they are necessary. Question is, should I get a land line for the ad or just go with my cell phone number which is what I've been using for the time being. My only concern is image as I really don't need a land line. Thoughts anyone. And BTW, in my area, cell phones have a distinct local code so most people will know it's a cell phone.
Higher Ground Media
A cell phone number will stick with you even if you move to a new area code. There is also the added benefit (or disadvantage, depending on how you look at it) of having all business calls routed directly to you even when you're out in the field, on vacation, in the tub etc.
You might as well route the ads to your cell phone as long as you are happy with your provider and aren't going to switch any time soon, but I also feel that landlines are so cheap, you might as well get one just to have a line for in-house clients to use and for fax services, if nothing else.
[Mick Haensler] "I'm researching Yellow Pages ads, and while I have never had a ton of response from them, I know they are necessary."
Why are they necessary? I've never had one because I really don't see the need for one for a Post Production company. I really would not expect a Producer to go searching the Yellow Pages for an HD Editorial shop.
Quite honestly I find them to be a waste of money.
As for what phone to list, list the one you answer the most.
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Biscardi Creative Media
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What I did was put my cell number on everything but show it as my main number. When I am in my home studio I have a second answering machine set up with call forwarding. If someone calls it is automatically forwarded to my landline and I can either pick up or let the machine get it. When I go to the other studio or location I just take call forwarding off. This way the client has only one number to keep it simple.
What Tim said.
I always have my cell phone with me, and am always therefore "in the office." All my best clients know the studio direct number, and all numbers are tied into a system like Tim mentions, so I always get voicemail notification from either number on my cell. I actually have gotten most of my best paying professional jobs from my QWEST yellow pages ad on the web. HD shoots from London and Hong Kong clients, HD posting jobs from LA, NYC, Denver and Chicago. That is the only reason for me to keep a yellow pages ad each year, as all the local calls are grinders and people wanting a job in video production!
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I wish I could remember the name of the book I read when I took out my 1st yellow page ad. I found it at the local library and it was made to look like a miniature phone book (a little bigger than a DVD library case and 3-4 times as thick with a yellow cover. The author had worked for Dominion Directories for about 15 years and grew to despise them. He revealed every dirty trick in the book (literally). It should have been mandatory reading for all unscrupulous sales people but it offers a valuable insight for you and me.
I recently went to a cell only system but I now regret it because long distance incoming is expensive on the cell and you need a "more free time" plan. I think you have much better cell rates in the US than here in Canada.
The system I had always used prior was: yellow pages, business cards and everything went to the land line. After 4 rings, calls forwarded to the cell and then went to voice mail 3 rings after that. Nobody ever got my cell number from me but could easily get me by cell when I was out. Cell companies always give you the first month or 3 months free so you go wild - text-ing, handing out your number etc. while the novelty is hot, then the free period ends and you start getting those 15 page bills.
"everything is broken" ......Bob Dylan
I would agree that texting is expensive...but then I personally find it unnecessary and avoid it like the plague.
I haven't had a land line for business in about 4 years...I have 2000 minutes (national USA no roam plan...doesn't matter where I am or in who's tower system...no long distance) per month on my cel and I have unlimited incoming calls for 5.00 USD a month.
All countries are probably not equal as was mentioned regarding Canada, but in the US, fo me, I've found that maintaining a beefier cel phone plan is less hassle and less expensive than maintaining a lesser cel phone plan and a landline with local service, voice mail and long distance...etc.
Actually, I haven't even been listed in the phone book for about 4 years either come to think of it...but that would not be appropriate for everyone's work. An event video business needs a phone book presence for instance...
I don't there is really one right answer... it just depends on how your business is set up and how you like to work.
We have a couple of land lines at our place as well as a fax line (yes, still a fax line... some people still insist on sending faxes). There is one published number, and if the first line is busy an incoming call rolls over to the second line, and so on and so on.
Although all of our crew has company cell phones we don't publish the numbers (although most of our clients have them). Usually if everyone is out of the building it is because we are on a shoot... and we don't like incoming calls busting takes or tying up someone who is trying to shoot, etc.
We do however have the phone system set up so that if everyone is out and an incoming caller leaves a message, then the system will call one of our cells and alert us to that... so that we can quickly check it and get back to them immediately if it is urgent.
If I happen to be in house, given a choice I much prefer to talk on a "real" phone via a landline than a cell phone any day (but then again one of my tired catchphrases is "We prefer the rotary phone," a line I stole from a greeting card with an elderly couple on the front). If I get an incoming call on a cell, I can't transfer it to another suite upstairs, etc., if the call really isn't for me. I'm old fashioned enough just to like a heavy handset and a corded phone when possible.
That being said though, when I am home the cell is the only phone.
Different strokes for different folks.
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I have one land line which is used for my fax and DSL service for the web.
I wouldn't mind getting rid of my land line at home though. It seems that half of all calls are solicitors.