Are you ready to rock the senior market?
Believe it or not, 2016 graduates are booking sessions even as you’re printing your 2015 Graduation Announcements
. In fact, if you don’t have a senior rep program in place for 2016, you’re already running behind, but it’s not too late. We have some great ideas for you to get more senior clients right now!
1. Make yourself visible to the senior market.
Get to know your future clients and their families. Make sure you are attending school and sporting events and networking with both seniors and their parents.
Don’t think about this as a time to sell your products or service. You’re just there to get to know upcoming seniors … and their parents. If these soon-to-be clients get to know you and are comfortable with you, they are much more likely to think of you when it comes time to schedule their senior portrait sessions.
You might even consider photographing some of these events and offering low cost or free images from games or concerts, etc. Even if you’re just sharing some of the images on sites like Instagram you’re getting your images from these events in front of your audience and starting to build recognition.
2. Start rep or referral program for seniors.
Senior rep programs have worked wonderfully for tons of photographers. Teens are very social and they love talking and sharing with their friends. So, the basic idea behind a Senior Rep program is that you “hire” some teens to show off their senior pictures and pass your name and contact info along to their friends. Most programs “pay” their reps in the form of reduced or free photography sessions or free products. If you have a rep program you’d like to share with other photographers, we’d love to hear from you
Setting up a rep program can be a lot of work, but it can also be simplified to a basic referral program. Give your teens referral cards after the session to give to their friends. Offer fun prizes and free products for the seniors with the most booked sessions!
3. Run ads in high school yearbooks.
A great way to get in front of upcoming grads, and their parents, is through Yearbook Ads
. Many schools offer regular ad space in their yearbooks to help cover costs, so you could run a paid ad for your business in this section.
In addition, consider giving all of your seniors a free yearbook ad with every session. Ashe Design offers a ton of great Yearbook Ad Templates
that you can customize. Then, just give your clients the digital files to share with yearbook staff. Keep your logo on all the ads you give to clients and consider it some awesome (free) advertising.
4. Get on Instagram.
According to a CBS news report
last fall, “More than 9 out of 10 American teenagers use social media, and they name Instagram as the most popular site by far.” Not only do 76 percent of teens use Instagram, but that number is trending upward. So, you need to go where your market is hanging out.
Share session images on Instagram. Show final images, but also include fun “behind the scene” and candid shots too! Make sure you’re tagging your clients and ask them to tag you and share the images as well!
5. Offer great products.
Finally, make sure you are offering amazing products that seniors want. This includes fun sessions and awesome senior photos, but more and more grads are also looking for custom products. A few of the post popular new product offerings include custom graduation announcements, albums, yearbook ads, collages and even canvases.
Ashe Design has an amazing selection of Senior Templates
to help you design amazing products.
Now that we’ve covered five ways to get more senior clients, it’s time for you to make an action plan!
Pick one of these areas to get started and start reaching more seniors in your local market.
Do you have a tip for growing your senior market?
Share it with us in the comments or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. We love talking to you!