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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 14 Aug 2015 (Friday) 20:07
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Marketing to High School Seniors for FREE

 
rsmith6621ab
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Aug 14, 2015 20:07 |  #1

The local high schools do not have a newspaper. So where would you market your wears and not pay a cent.

I am trying to build a senior business from scratch and dont have $$$ to run an add in our useless local newspaper.

Thanks




  
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Dan ­ Marchant
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Aug 15, 2015 18:00 |  #2

rsmith6621ab wrote in post #17669163 (external link)
I am trying to build a senior business from scratch and dont have $$$ to run an add in our useless local newspaper.

In business you need to spend money to make money. Any advertising/marketing route that is any good is going to cost something. If there were a good advertising option that was free you can bet that everyone would pile onto it, so overloading it that your message would be lost in the noise.

If you want to be successful look at where/how your successful competitors are doing their advertising. Then put a unique twist on it to make your offering stand out.


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breal101
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Aug 15, 2015 20:32 |  #3

I don't shoot seniors but I've seen flyers for senior portraits posted in local grocery stores, barber shops, beauty shops and other places around town. Some are just hand written, not even printed on a home printer. I have no idea how effective they are but it's certainly cheap to do.

If there's a place the kids hang out try to place something there. I've seen some people here who shoot seniors say that they recruit ambassadors among the senior class to spread the word about their service in exchange for free or discounted pictures.

Best of luck.


"Try to go out empty and let your images fill you up." Jay Maisel

  
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JonQCanon
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Aug 16, 2015 10:29 |  #4

Kids these days are marketed to constantly (with extremely sophisticated techniques) since they're on their phones constantly. So they're pretty good at filtering out most of the ads that come their way. My advice would be to find some girls in that age range (nieces and their friends, daughters of friends, girls at your church), and offer to shoot them for free. Then make some nice 5x7 cards with their pics and your contact information, give them to the girls, and offer them a referral fee of $50 cash for any of their peers that return the card to you and book a session.

Best of luck!


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bubbygator
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Aug 16, 2015 11:06 |  #5

Occasionally, some HS have an open bulletin board..... outside the Admin office, or inside the cafeteria, or next to the gym snack bar, or outside the Athletic office.


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JacobPhoto
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Aug 16, 2015 16:46 |  #6

Most students these days are not only on social media, but spend substantially more time on it than reading a newspaper / bulletin / any other paperwork from school. Any advertising outside of social media should be in addition, not in substitution.

There's some great targeting options on Facebook, and twitter / instagram ads are getting much more complex as well. Do some small, targeted tests (perhaps targeting only 1 or 2 schools in your area with a low daily budget), then expand as necessary.


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Jethr0
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Aug 16, 2015 19:55 |  #7

I'm not in this market as a photographer, but shouldn't you be marketing to the parents? Aren't they the ones paying the bill?


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dodgyexposure
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Aug 16, 2015 23:06 |  #8

Jethr0 wrote in post #17671490 (external link)
I'm not in this market as a photographer, but shouldn't you be marketing to the parents? Aren't they the ones paying the bill?

They may be, but I bet that they are not the ones making the decision.


Cheers, Damien

  
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golfecho
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Aug 18, 2015 13:22 |  #9

dodgyexposure wrote in post #17671663 (external link)
They may be, but I bet that they are not the ones making the decision.

^^^ True, unfortunately ^^^


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mr_head86
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Aug 18, 2015 20:39 |  #10

If you are friends with any seniors/parents of seniors, you could offer free/low cost services to them. Before the session, establish a website, Facebook business page, Instagram, Twitter, etc. After the shoot, promote a blog post through all the social media platforms and tag the senior (you will also have to be friends on Facebook and have Instagram handle, etc). The power will really come through the free advertising/word of mouth when the senior sees the excellent pics you post and shares them with all her friends. Hopefully, others see it and share as well. If executed correctly, you could easily get 300 website hits, new Instagram followers, new Facebook page likes, etc. The only cost to you is the website and opportunity cost of free initial services, but you will likely make up for it with new inquiries.

I tried this strategy just this weekend for an engagement shoot and it seemed to work flawlessly. 350+ website hits, 305 Facebook people engaged, 1,119 Facebook post reached, 150+ Facebook likes, 2 inquiries, 1 booking, several Twitter/Instagram followers for only $7/month for new website. Big jump for me in social presence without much effort. It seems like this plan would work well for seniors too. My website had 9 views and my Facebook page had 4 Likes prior to posting (Sunday morning).

Check out my pages here if interested:
http://www.danheadphot​ography.com (external link)
http://www.facebook.co​m/danheadphotography (external link)
http://www.twitter.com​/danheadphoto (external link)
http://www.twitter.com​/danheadphoto (external link)


http://www.danheadphot​ography.com (external link)

  
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breal101
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Aug 18, 2015 21:05 |  #11

The social media approach does sound like it might work. Before he does that he should do some market research on his competition. Someone above suggested he should offer $50 for referrals, the flyers I see in my area are offering 200 pictures on disc for $50, so not a good idea in my town.


"Try to go out empty and let your images fill you up." Jay Maisel

  
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JonQCanon
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Aug 18, 2015 22:53 as a reply to  @ breal101's post |  #12

Naturally, if the OP is going to try to be the low cost photographer in his area, then no, paying an adequate referral fee to seniors isn't going to work for him. I was assuming basically a 10% "finder fee" with a $500 minimum revenue. I honestly think the seniors wouldn't be motivated to refer people to you for less than $50 though. They don't really value free pictures, since it's most likely their parents are paying for those anyways.


www.grinandbarrettphot​ography.comexternal link

  
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Niccas9
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Sep 23, 2015 08:49 |  #13

I currently work at a high school and have for the past ten years. I don't really advertise for myself as it is kind of a conflict of interest, but have found that our administration has been fairly responsive to photographers who have come to the school asking to advertise. As someone earlier said, advertising to the parents is very important, but you also want the kids to really want you as a photographer. My suggestion is to go into the local schools and ask if you can display some advertisements, and maybe see if you can set up a small table at some of the popular sports games. The parents who are showing up to the sports games, and have invested time/money into their child playing sports (not cheap at all) they are the type of parents who will definitely be doing senior portraits. Most schools also have senior information nights, and if you talk to administration, or the yearbook advisor, you might get to pitch your services there as well. Good luck!




  
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the ­ flying ­ moose
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Sep 23, 2015 21:58 |  #14

dodgyexposure wrote in post #17671663 (external link)
They may be, but I bet that they are not the ones making the decision.

That's the exact opposite in my experience. I remember my grad and senior photos. My parents wanted them and I didn't. I went for them. If they didn't push it, I wouldn't have bothered. Stuff like that doesn't seem to be a big of deal like that in Canada I have found.




  
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Littlejon ­ Dsgn
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Sep 24, 2015 09:13 |  #15

the flying moose wrote in post #17719672 (external link)
That's the exact opposite in my experience. I remember my grad and senior photos. My parents wanted them and I didn't. I went for them. If they didn't push it, I wouldn't have bothered. Stuff like that doesn't seem to be a big of deal like that in Canada I have found.

I think it depends a lot on the gender of the student. Guys tend to not care so much about senior photos, the girls on the other hand tend to care a great deal.




  
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