Senior photography is hands down one of the hardest genres to market to. A marketing strategy that worked one year might not be as successful the next. Why is that? Because it’s teenagers that you are trying to reach, and their trends and tastes change as quickly as the weather. Gone are the days of ambassador programs where you could snag a couple senior models, do a free shoot, hand them some rep cards, and watch the referrals come in. Today’s seniors are looking for a complete rep experience. They want to feel connected to you as a business and have fun while they promote you! So how can you make sure your rep program is thriving? Here are a few tips to follow:
- Don’t be afraid to try new things – When it comes to marketing, you need room in your plan for change and to adjust fire. Just like in this article by Vickie from Senior Style guide, teens and tweens have become an integral part of her marketing program for her seniors. By bringing in teens at a younger age, she’s creating reps who will be loyal to her brand before they even reach their senior year.
- Cultivate an experience – In today’s market, the top photographers are all about creating an experience for their models and being hands on. Model rep shoots are more often done in a styled shoot for the group. This allows the other girls to connect, make a few new friends, build up each other’s confidence, and just have fun! Be active (but not creepy) on their social media pages, leave comments when they post about landing the lead in their school play or getting into a certain college. Be their cheerleader. Host a pizza party at your studio for your models after the shoot for a fun reveal of the images.
- Cross market with their favorite shops – Find a fun salon to team up with for hair and makeup not only for your model shoots but for all of your seniors to see before their shoot. Team up with a local boutique to supply clothes for your model shoot and maybe even work out a special for your seniors if they shop there before their shoot. Write down a list of places that your ideal senior visits and get creative with how you can market with them!
- Offer new and fun products – Keep your products fresh and exciting. Canvases might not be as popular right now, but standouts, metallic prints, or wood blocks are new. Are your albums/books not selling as well? Try offering sticky albums, plus this is a great way to get word of mouth going. Incorporating videos, like snippets from Snapchat videos, can be a great way to breathe new life into your slideshows.
- Jump on the Snapchat train – While Facebook and Instagram are still important, Snapchat is one of the most popular forms of social media for teens right now. Share a couple behind the scenes videos from your shoots. Show how much fun they’re going to have! Show videos of new print products that have come in. Don’t shy away from new social media platforms, because you’re losing out on a great way to connect and communicate with possible clients. Know your audience and cater your posts to them.
In the end, keep your eyes open for new trends and don’t be afraid to try new ways to create an all around experience for your seniors! How are you going to improve your rep program? Let us know in the comments below!
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