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gfp
11th of January 2011 (Tue), 00:00
I am getting ready to start a new Senior Rep campaign for the class of 2011 and maybe even 2012 to find a couple reps for each high school in the area, and I was just wondering what you all promise your reps.

Free portraits, free prints, free rep cards *a bunch to give out to everyone at the school*, possibly cash for each referral?

Mike30D
11th of January 2011 (Tue), 05:55
It seems a little late for a 2011 program, but you're right on schedule for 2012. Most of the kids graduating this year have already finished with their photos (at least that's the way it works up here in MI.).

This is the first year for my senior rep program so we'll see how this goes...

They have to fill out an application first and then I'm going to have a meeting with each one I pick and their parents. Then I'll pick something like 3 guys and 3 girls.

I do their sessions for free but mom and dad have to agree to a minimum product/print order. I give them the rep cards and for every card they hand out, the referred senior gets a certain percentage off of their session and the senior rep earns a discount off of their order. I also have a few bonuses for those that bring in the most referrals, such as a cash bonus or a nice sized Visa Gift Card. If it works, maybe I'll even throw something like an iPad in for the most referrals brought in, like I said, we'll see. For the reps, I also give their family a free session to be used before they head off to college.

gfp
11th of January 2011 (Tue), 11:59
It seems a little late for a 2011 program, but
you're right on schedule for 2012. Most of the kids graduating this
year have already finished with their photos (at least that's the way
it works up here in MI.).

This is the first year for my senior rep program so we'll see how this goes...

They have to fill out an application first and then I'm going to have
a meeting with each one I pick and their parents. Then I'll pick
something like 3 guys and 3 girls.

I do their sessions for free but mom and dad have to agree to a
minimum product/print order. I give them the rep cards and for every
card they hand out, the referred senior gets a certain percentage off
of their session and the senior rep earns a discount off of their
order. I also have a few bonuses for those that bring in the most
referrals, such as a cash bonus or a nice sized Visa Gift Card. If it
works, maybe I'll even throw something like an iPad in for the most
referrals brought in, like I said, we'll see. For the reps, I also
give their family a free session to be used before they head off to
college.

I did a senior portrait event last September, but I made the mistake
of just advertising for portraits, and not getting reps. This time im
going for the reps! :) Its probably to late to get that many 2011
pics, but theres a few to be had im sure.

My biggest problem is some of the schools around here wont let
outsider photographers put their pics in the yearbook, it has to be
the school photog. But most dont like the quality of the school
photog or the price.

You pick 3 guys/3 girls for each school or all together? Around me
there is about 9 or 10 that I can think off off of the top of my head.
Their not huge schools though.

So you do the sitting for free, but the parents have to buy a package,
whats the minimum they have to spend?

And you get them to hand out your business card? I figured I would
just make some rep cards from a card printer *not rep cards from whcc,
get about 10 times the cards from ONP for 2.5 times the price* and have my info on the back.

If you do not mind me asking, what packages do you offer for senior portraits?

Village_Idiot
11th of January 2011 (Tue), 12:53
I am getting ready to start a new Senior Rep campaign for the class of 2011 and maybe even 2012 to find a couple reps for each high school in the area, and I was just wondering what you all promise your reps.

Free portraits, free prints, free rep cards *a bunch to give out to everyone at the school*, possibly cash for each referral?

Here's an excellent post by Sevillafox.

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=836046

Mike30D
11th of January 2011 (Tue), 16:41
My biggest problem is some of the schools around here wont let
outsider photographers put their pics in the yearbook, it has to be
the school photog. But most dont like the quality of the school
photog or the price.

Yeah, I leave room in the app they sign in case they have to have their yearbook shot done by a contract school photographer.


You pick 3 guys/3 girls for each school or all together? Around me
there is about 9 or 10 that I can think off off of the top of my head.
Their not huge schools though.

I'd like to get 3 guys and 3 girls from each of the two high schools here in the district. If I can expand to other areas, I'll do it.

So you do the sitting for free, but the parents have to buy a package,
whats the minimum they have to spend?

It's not even a package, they just have a minimum product/print order of $500

And you get them to hand out your business card? I figured I would
just make some rep cards from a card printer *not rep cards from whcc,
get about 10 times the cards from ONP for 2.5 times the price* and have my info on the back.

I use rep cards from WHCC, it has their photo on it and maybe some other info. I will start the reps out with 50 and I hope they end up needing more.

If you do not mind me asking, what packages do you offer for senior portraits?

I don't really offer packages, it's one session with a certain amount of included things for a set price and then they can add on what they want as long as they meet the minimum order.

And I just found out today that the studio that's been in the area for the past 28 years is moving out of the area and the owner is shrinking his business down to his home studio.

Linda Browne
11th of January 2011 (Tue), 19:11
Helpful info, thank you. I've been considering doing promos for seniors, but still working on the profitability factor. My sales technique needs work.

mdelrossi1
12th of January 2011 (Wed), 15:30
Not to hijack this thread

How do you find reps?
Is there a list, or do you just hang around outside the school?
I making a move into more consumer oriented photography from the corporate sector.
thanks.
mdr

gfp
12th of January 2011 (Wed), 15:39
If you hang around the school to find the prettier ones, you may get a rep of your own. :)

If you know kids in high school, you could ask who the more popular kids are and get their contact info.

Facebook seems to be an easy way to find kids in school using the class search tool, which hasnt worked for me in a while.

Fast food places seem to have lots of teenagers, strike up a conversation with them.

I think I finished up my event content, its a bit lengthy but those that are interested, it should answer all their questions. I even have a list of the total rewards they can receive, and with 20 referrals, and getting the reward for most referrals in the school if I have 3 or 4 reps, they will earn over $1000 worth of stuff.

cdifoto
12th of January 2011 (Wed), 15:42
I didn't really bother with the whole rep thing. I just found a hot one, photographed her, put some of her pics on facebook, and tagged her in them all. She actually wasn't even a Senior...she was barely 16. I don't really like the idea of bribing people to recommend me. Kind of takes the steam out of it, IMHO.

slewi
12th of January 2011 (Wed), 18:57
Here's how I find reps. I look in the newspaper for school districts to announce their deans list or whatever, I make that list a word document, and search for the girls on facebook. If they are good looking and are involved in a lot of activities I'll friend her and message her the offer to be a rep. That's all. Just be sure to give her rep cards to hand out, tag all of her pics, and give them a good deal. then they'll produce for you.

sevillafox
12th of January 2011 (Wed), 22:47
http://www.shop.anatomyofcool.com/Model-Program-Model-Program.htm

slewi
12th of January 2011 (Wed), 23:05
I don't think you need to spend 329 bucks to learn how to get senior reps.

sevillafox
12th of January 2011 (Wed), 23:27
No, no you don't. However, the program does come highly recommended. Lol!

I will say that I did purchase this item after having a program last year.....I just finished listening to the videos that he had (over 3 hours) and there are some great AHA! moments in there. Plus, all templates he uses are included as well as print samples and tons of other video including model testimonials, posing videos, session videos. He also includes all of his wording...applications, letters, etc.

Rich Brown Photography
13th of January 2011 (Thu), 02:11
This sounds like a shady marketing technique from what most people have stated here. Finding the pretty,popular girl, hanging outside of schools, striking conversation at fast food chains with high school kids, checking out kids' facebooks, watching newspapers for popular kids. Just sounds wrong in a lot of ways, especially since you use them for your own financial gain. I'm not here to judge on anyone in particular, just sounds like shady practices from the photography community as a whole.

cdifoto
13th of January 2011 (Thu), 12:26
The pretty, popular girls (and boys) set the trends in school. You shoot them and their friends & admirers will likely want you to shoot them too.

As harsh as it is, nobody cares what the hermits do.

Having said that, I'd never creep around the school or fast food joints.

slewi
13th of January 2011 (Thu), 15:01
This sounds like a shady marketing technique from what most people have stated here. Finding the pretty,popular girl, hanging outside of schools, striking conversation at fast food chains with high school kids, checking out kids' facebooks, watching newspapers for popular kids. Just sounds wrong in a lot of ways, especially since you use them for your own financial gain. I'm not here to judge on anyone in particular, just sounds like shady practices from the photography community as a whole.

Wow. It sounds more like a way to market to high school kids in a very competitive marketplace. You are the one adding "shady characteristics" to the process.

Way to go CDI! Hit the nail on the head.

Village_Idiot
14th of January 2011 (Fri), 11:11
The pretty, popular girls (and boys) set the trends in school. You shoot them and their friends & admirers will likely want you to shoot them too.

As harsh as it is, nobody cares what the hermits do.

Having said that, I'd never creep around the school or fast food joints.

Exactly, no one knew who I was in high school. :D

gfp
17th of January 2011 (Mon), 13:20
What limitations are good to apply. Can a rep from school A refer someoen from school B, that I also have reps in? After a rep from 2011 grauduates, can they refer someone from the 2012 class? I want to be fair to the new reps but also dont want to discourage referrals. :)

RDKirk
17th of January 2011 (Mon), 15:30
Orchestra. Not band, orchestra. Their parents buy big.

cdifoto
17th of January 2011 (Mon), 15:52
What limitations are good to apply. Can a rep from school A refer someoen from school B, that I also have reps in? After a rep from 2011 grauduates, can they refer someone from the 2012 class? I want to be fair to the new reps but also dont want to discourage referrals. :)
A referral is a referral. Don't limit how they come in.

umphotography
19th of January 2011 (Wed), 07:29
I think photographers have to use their heads here and look at the big picture. I know Tiffany and i both photograph HS seniors and a lot of people want to get into this market. So, they wind up doing all sorts of things that actually hurt the market for professional photographers.

My #1 suggestion

Do not give your senior rep the session, packages, prints or the responsibility for free. Its suicide and not a smart practice. First thing they are going to do is tell all their friends im a rep and i get my senior photos for free. Every kid in the school now knows this and it puts no VALUE on your photography.

I had 2 kids approach me and asked me what i would give them to be a spokesmodel for my business. Why ?
because photographers in the area are doing this..just plain stupid.

I charge any spokesmodel for the service and i use the opportunity to get some extra sessions in and to do some creative work that i want to do to market my business. So the extra time and sessions are on my dime (my choice) but the spokesmodels pay for the products.

I also make up senior rep cards and give them to the spokesmodels to pass out to their friends. We all know the reasons why. But i put the spokesmodels to work for me, offer them incentives and product when thier friends come in with their spokesmodel cards for sessions. You cant do this with every kid out there. So if you are going to have a spokesmodel, talk with the parents and make sure they know its a responsibility, they will get discounts on products and that you are offering what ever you will offer to make it worth their time as well.

But do not give it away for free-- use your head when dealing with the kids and their parents

gfp
19th of January 2011 (Wed), 12:05
For this years senior rep program I decided to go with the following details. Next year I will probably raise the initial package they have to purchase but I want to get a footing in the schools this year and once I get some reps, I can probably get them to recommend someone for the following year.

They have to pay $100 up front for the pictures, and they will get it back after the 3rd successful referral. They also get $20 print credit with each referral.

I will make up a leather press printed book with the pictures for them to show their friends. They have to put down a $200 retainer for this as well, which they will get back at the end of the promotion, or if they choose to keep it after 8 referrals, its theirs and they get their $200 retainer back. I normally charge much more than $200 for this, but I want to make it affordable for them to be a rep, I dont want them to have to turn it down because they cant come up with the $400 for the book. They do not get print credit for these last 5 referrals.

Then they will get $20 print credit for each referral after that. With cash bonuses for 10 referrals, 15 and 20. If I have at least 3 reps in a school, and they each bring in at least 5 referrals, there is a bonus cash bonus for the one that gets the most referrals.

I did the math in excel and Im happy with the figures, the time invested, the expenses and the possible profit after all the cash bonuses.

So far I got one girl that seems very interested, and her mother has even contacted me for more information. So hopefully itll work out. :)

Each referral has to buy a minimum package to count as well with a sitting fee, and hopefully each one will buy additional stuff. :D

RDKirk
19th of January 2011 (Wed), 18:38
My #1 suggestion

Do not give your senior rep the session, packages, prints or the responsibility for free. Its suicide and not a smart practice. First thing they are going to do is tell all their friends im a rep and i get my senior photos for free. Every kid in the school now knows this and it puts no VALUE on your photography.


I agree. You can give them extra "neat stuff" that's not on your regular price list, or extended sessions..."appreciation gifts" that others can't get at any price. This maintains the integrity of your regular products and at the same time gives your reps something nobody else can get at any price. But don't anything free that others have to pay for.

umphotography
19th of January 2011 (Wed), 22:20
I agree. You can give them extra "neat stuff" that's not on your regular price list, or extended sessions..."appreciation gifts" that others can't get at any price. This maintains the integrity of your regular products and at the same time gives your reps something nobody else can get at any price. But don't anything free that others have to pay for.

glad somebody else sees the logic. cant tell you how many people i see out there with a basic camera,on camera flash, and shooting in P mode that are calling themselves professional photographers, selling kids prints for $50.00 and going back to their part time bank teller job, part time teaching job. It really is getting silly out there. This past year, I was asked to redo 2 sessions for some hack in our area. The pictures were horrible. The clients paid for 1/2 the session, got some proofs and called me. Then they wanted to know if i would help them out because they already paid for some prints someplace else. Not a chance. Regular prices but you can be sure i put the extra effort into the session. But it all went back to a client who puts no value into the photography. So if your giving it away, thats the client you will attract.

Dont think for 1 second that these kids wont tell each other what they paid for pictures. These kids are very smart and know exactly how to work a system. Giving it to them for free will not get you more business and will in fact get you less. You will attract clients that have no money. So be smart and pick out kids that will see the value in what you are offering. Thats what will get you more business. Screen your clients calls, offer an up front price format for the clients and make sure the prices will keep you in business.

gfp
25th of January 2011 (Tue), 12:31
So whats an easy way to find out who the "cool" kids are in each school using facebook? I dont particularly want to ask random kids who the cool kids are, because they will either probably ignore the message or give me false information.

sevillafox
25th of January 2011 (Tue), 15:21
Gerald, this isn't going to be easy.

did you see my facebook and seniors thread?


There is a lot of info in there that would help.

Basically, what you are looking for is a kid with a. lots of friends and b. lots of pictures. Once you score one or two really good candidates you can then offer them a small bit of picture credit for suggesting other kids to you. I offer $1 print credit up to $50 per friend. If they do more, great but they max at $50. Saves LOTS of time.

umphotography
25th of January 2011 (Tue), 16:19
So whats an easy way to find out who the "cool" kids are in each school using facebook? I dont particularly want to ask random kids who the cool kids are, because they will either probably ignore the message or give me false information.


They are all cool kids. You have to spend some time with them and find out what make them tick. Put some feelers out and interview the kids. Kids are pretty smart. For those that are shopping price anything will work. For those that want something special, product and the look that you produce will prevail. They will find you if you have the right look.

gfp
25th of January 2011 (Tue), 17:02
I read the thread and it is full of useful information. I have had a senior rep search event going for a while now and I got some interest, but not as much as I would like.

Someone else said they had luck with approaching a few of the popular kids directly and get them to become a rep, so I figured it wont hurt to try this as well. :)

spesmeadeus
25th of January 2011 (Tue), 22:39
Here's how I find reps. I look in the newspaper for school districts to announce their deans list or whatever, I make that list a word document, and search for the girls on facebook. If they are good looking and are involved in a lot of activities I'll friend her and message her the offer to be a rep. That's all. Just be sure to give her rep cards to hand out, tag all of her pics, and give them a good deal. then they'll produce for you.

This is all foreign to me but i really felt like the last line was going to say then they'll put out for you. I just find this whole process such an interesting endeavor to partake in. I personally think if you are going to be doing campaigns like this YOU MUST have the parents involved if not you could be setting yourself up for some serious trouble.

By the way i meant no offense to you slewi and was not insinuating anything about your post, just a comical observation.

spesmeadeus
25th of January 2011 (Tue), 22:43
If you think this type of work is shady the same thing happens with products that people are trying to brand as cool. They have scouts hang around malls and look for kids that are trend setters, approach them and offer them free clothing, the kids take it wear it to school and boom just like that every kid in the school wants to know what they are wearing and where they got it. Some of these kids even get paid monthly to wear cloths from a specific company. This is by no means an uncommon practice, doesn't mean its right...

spesmeadeus
25th of January 2011 (Tue), 22:44
I read the thread and it is full of useful information. I have had a senior rep search event going for a while now and I got some interest, but not as much as I would like.

Someone else said they had luck with approaching a few of the popular kids directly and get them to become a rep, so I figured it wont hurt to try this as well. :)

Hey how is it going Gerry? its Luke!

gfp
25th of January 2011 (Tue), 22:54
Pretty good luke. :) you?

I remember a while back, DMX or someone like that sent his cd to the cool kids in certain schools as a marketing plan.

spesmeadeus
25th of January 2011 (Tue), 23:10
I am doing well, ya no doubt. West 49 did that here in canada, so many other brands, I guess its no different than brands like Hurley and Etnies sponsoring kids that are good at skateboarding and surfing so that all the wannabies want to buy all their stuff. Its just marketing popularity, which to me is sad.

gfp
26th of January 2011 (Wed), 14:53
How much do you all charge for senior wallet prints?

I am contemplating changing my wallet prints to rep cards. The front will have their picture, the back will have my business logo and contact information, and will be on pearl paper, so the wow factor should be there. The only problems is they are 2x3.5 instead of 2.5x3.5, and the minimum order, which will make cost 4.6 times more than a print. I figure if I increase the minimum order of wallets from 8 to 24 the extra sales will make it worth it, even if they are less per wallet than before.

sevillafox
26th of January 2011 (Wed), 16:18
http://rfpstudio.com/seniorprices/

gfp
26th of January 2011 (Wed), 20:29
Thanks for the price info sevilla. :) I was surprised to see the lower priced senior packages, which one do the seniors tend to go for?

Are your wallets printed on a sheet or dye cut or rep cards?

sevillafox
26th of January 2011 (Wed), 21:08
Wallets are die cut. The lower priced package is new but notice my higher work session fees have a higher minimum purchase. =)

cdifoto
27th of January 2011 (Thu), 02:26
http://rfpstudio.com/seniorprices/
I'm confused by the "minimum collection", which is the next package down, being under each package. :confused:

Edit: Nevermind. There's another page. I'm not sure it's wise to have session packages named exactly the same as print packages when they don't actually have to go together.

sevillafox
27th of January 2011 (Thu), 09:26
I'm confused by the "minimum collection", which is the next package down, being under each package. :confused:

Edit: Nevermind. There's another page. I'm not sure it's wise to have session packages named exactly the same as print packages when they don't actually have to go together.


Lol! Probably not. :oops:

sctbiggs
27th of January 2011 (Thu), 10:12
http://rfpstudio.com/seniorprices/

errr... i can't seem to get the first page to turn... :confused:

EDIT: Nevermind... might wanna include some instruction with that.

sevillafox
27th of January 2011 (Thu), 10:23
errr... i can't seem to get the first page to turn... :confused:

EDIT: Nevermind... might wanna include some instruction with that.


Lol!

Well, see, I am going to eventually embed this on one of my blogsite pages but haven't gotten that far just yet.

gfp
27th of January 2011 (Thu), 13:05
I would like everyones openion on this.

Is it ok to use rep cards as wallets. They are smaller than the 2.5x3.5 dye cut ones that are offered by the lab, at 2x3.5, and it will be a heavier paper used, probably pearl gloss as well.

Do you think customers will complain about the slightly skinner print?

I really like the idea of the image on the reverse with my info, so every wallet given will have my contact info on the back.

spesmeadeus
27th of January 2011 (Thu), 23:11
I would like everyones openion on this.

Is it ok to use rep cards as wallets. They are smaller than the 2.5x3.5 dye cut ones that are offered by the lab, at 2x3.5, and it will be a heavier paper used, probably pearl gloss as well.

Do you think customers will complain about the slightly skinner print?

I really like the idea of the image on the reverse with my info, so every wallet given will have my contact info on the back.

I don't know i think if the customer is going to pay so much to get prints I think having your info plastered all over the back may be a bit much. I mean if you were giving them a great deal on wallets then I could see this, but if they are paying full price i don't think its right. If they like your work they will tell people about it, simple as that.

gfp
27th of January 2011 (Thu), 23:31
well its not really plastered, it will be my logo, name and contact info, in an elegant way. :)

And my wallet prices will actually be cheaper per wallet than before, but they will have to pay twice as much as before, to cover the additional costs. so 3x as many wallets for 2x the price. Even cheaper if they go for 48 of the same design.

Branding the work isnt a new concept, virtually everything out there has the creators logo and/or name on it.

My main concern is people wont like the heavier paper, or the fact the wallet will be slightly more narrow than the average wallet. But in reality it will be 1/8" narrower than my regular large wallets, but 0.5" longer.

im also playing with the idea of putting my logo as a watermark on my prints. :) I tried this a while ago but it isnt something I stuck to for very long. But I am trying to work on my brand recognition/value.

sevillafox
28th of January 2011 (Fri), 08:26
I logo the front of my wallets. Easy little action in photoshop.

However, kids like to write on the back of their wallets to hand out to other kids. I work in a HS....I see this every year.

IMO using the rep cards is just not as cool. You could offer them as a cheaper option but explain the difference. But, I know that kids like the die cut wallet look.

cdifoto
28th of January 2011 (Fri), 08:30
None of my prints get promotional crap plastered all over them...they paid too much for me to do that...and I won't sell a cheaper product just to get my logo on the back. I don't know where to get embossed wallets (it's kinda dated anyway, IMHO), so they get them plain.

gfp
28th of January 2011 (Fri), 13:21
Hmm, good point about the back of them. The design I was thinking of was a black background with my logo and info in pearl with a bevel/emboss done to it. I could go with a pearl background and my shade of red for the stuff and leave space on the bottom for writing.

switching to diecut wallets will cost me the same as using rep cards because the labs minimum order is the same for both.

Just for conversation sake, why are some photographers afraid to use "promotional crap", when people tend to pay more for a name/brand. Think a gucci purse will sell for as much minus the logo? :)

spesmeadeus
28th of January 2011 (Fri), 17:06
Hmm, good point about the back of them. The design I was thinking of was a black background with my logo and info in pearl with a bevel/emboss done to it. I could go with a pearl background and my shade of red for the stuff and leave space on the bottom for writing.

switching to diecut wallets will cost me the same as using rep cards because the labs minimum order is the same for both.

Just for conversation sake, why are some photographers afraid to use "promotional crap", when people tend to pay more for a name/brand. Think a gucci purse will sell for as much minus the logo? :)

Hey Gerry, I don't know if the same thing transfers to photography as other products...It may work if your name in photography is worth a lot, if not people may find it distracting. I dont know.

cdifoto
28th of January 2011 (Fri), 17:22
Slapping your promotional branding on the back of wallets isn't the same as signing a fine art piece to authenticate it.

gfp
28th of January 2011 (Fri), 17:26
How about paintings, people pay more for a signed Kinkade painting than they would from a person off of the street, and its not always because the person on the street has less skill. :)

gfp
6th of February 2011 (Sun), 22:04
Ive given it more thought, and now im leaning towards the dye cut wallets, with the studio name on the bottom corner.

Ive got a couple questions for those that have done senior portriats

1 - The dye cut wallets, do you just give them the sheets or do you punch them out and present them some how?

2 - How do you handle sales? It seems teens are pretty busy these days and the times they are available are also prime picture taking time. Do you just put them online and let them get back to you to save everyone time or do you schedule in person sales? My personal experience in person gets better results.