Why Your Senior Rep Program Isn’t Working

If you’ve been a photographer for any amount of time, you know all too well that senior photography is, hands down, one of the hardest genres to market to.

While you can market your work to other clients like brides or moms fairly easily and with minimal spend, for whatever reason, marketing to seniors can be as unpredictable as the weather.

One year, your marketing strategy knocks it out of the park, and your calendar essentially books itself. The next year you deploy the same strategy and get one to two bookings, if you’re lucky.

Sound familiar?

If this has been frustrating you year after year, you’re not alone.

And if you’re wondering why your marketing attempts aren’t resonating with seniors, it’s as simple as a #trend.

We all know that teenagers’ trends and tastes can turn on a dime.
Gone are the days of ambassador programs where you could snag a couple of senior models, do a free shoot, hand them some senior rep program 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 an individual and have fun while they promote you!

And while all of this may sound well and good, you’re probably wondering how you can actually ensure that your senior rep program is once again thriving.

Don’t fret.

We’ve got you covered.

Read on to learn more about how you can take your senior rep program game from zero to hero.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things

When it comes to marketing, you need room in your plan for change and to adjust your strategy. 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.

So as you approach your marketing strategy, start looking at how you can appeal to younger audiences to ensure that you build a reputation with them that will persist when it comes time for their own senior photos.

Cultivate an Experience

In today’s market, the top photographers are all about creating an experience for their models.

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.

By creating an experience, you create a relationship that builds brand loyalty among these individuals, encouraging them to support your senior rep program.

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 and Tik Tok 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 senior rep program? Let us know in the comments below!

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