Building a Loyal HS Senior Model Program

 

Building a HS Senior Model Program

 

Lesson Info

Building a Loyal HS Senior Model Program

Like susan said, we're going to talking about how to build a loyal senior model program I can I have been doing photography for the last almost four years and we really have found our niche in the senior market before we started photography I wasn't used development and so I have a lot of experience working with like young people specifically young people sixteen to twenty four years old so when we started doing photography we're trying to figure out what we wanted to do I wanted to shoot wedding that I want to shoot seniors because that was familiar to me I could connect with them I loved being around them there are fun I love fashion I watch gossip girl so those are just a few things that that drew me to them so we started picking up seniors and kind of figuring out the whole market and we kind of got lost because when you're not a senior or when you don't have a senior it gets tough tio kind of reach them kids don't hang out the way that you see they're not at the malls the way they...

said they're online they're on facebook and things like that so we're trying to figure out what we could do to reach seniors and we came up with this cheap in concept so a little bit of fun facts about us like yeah it's about us the long story short we met on myspace a long time melissa we met online I'm originally from virginia she's born way through march that's the west coast east coast fusion yeah we have darted just turned one and it was wisdom you know her and followed her online she's on instagram what some of the fun facts about us I was evicted tio scandal and I'm so excited october and can't wait for it come on tv so just a little fun things about us we recently rebranded from latakia case with arguably that I can toss and that's how we got here so why high school seniors I kind of want to that a little bit we have a background I have a background in use development I'm used to working with high school seniors so it was really an easy kind of transition way love incorporating the urban environments and because we live in to calm a lot of times like when you were looking at on your porch it they were doing a lot of vintage e things but no one was like really using like this city and so we try to make that our niche um we like to have fun and so seniors air fun way love the energy work with young people were kind of wild ourselves so we just meshed like that environment shooting seniors being on location with them just it works for a personality type who we are as people so yes and we're really focused our relationship and what young people if you want to engage them you need toe have relationships with them and that's always been a really huge priority for our business we want to know our clients you wanted toe love our clients and so seniors were a really great move for us because that's what they want they want relationship too so it made sense and then we love the fusion we just decided to include video and so it's just really fun to be able to include that in the packaging and the things that we do so what is the street team? A street team is a term used in marketing to describe a group of people who hit the streets to represent a brand our products so we created a street team to represent our brand which is I can't talk in our product senior pictures and it's very similar to your traditional fear model program where you're seeing a rep program but it's just kind of a cool kind of coming of age name that kind of allows it to be a little more edging a little more fun we're going to show a video of our most current street team we're also gonna have our street team members here so if you have questions you can in those ends and asked them I always think it's interesting because as senior photographers we think we know what's best for seniors but we had been seniors in a really long time and I know what I thought was cool is the senior isn't necessarily what's cool now, so I thought what would be really cool for this presentation is to bring some actual high school seniors here so you could ask questions that maybe you might want to ask your clients but don't feel comfortable doing so I have some of my shoe team members here they're so excited to be out of school and to be here with us. So as you think about things that you may want to know, you can send those questions in and then and then susan will get them to us. So we're going to go into our video right quick and show you guys our latest street team session that we did just this year and just kind of go into some information about how that all comes into play and how we use this kind of environment in sequence to kind of build momentum what our seniors and kind of get them excited about the brand and spread the word about us as a little behind yeah, okay, no seniors were hurt in the filming of that video, so over the course of the last couple of years we found that there are four key steps to build this near model program, and those are the things that we're going to discuss today quick side note about that video our businesses aiken tosh photography in motion the motion parts so any kind of videos that you see I'm always behind the scenes by film in the video doing that so that my portion of this whole thing and helping build excitement around just showing videos and so yeah that was it so we're going to talk about four steps that four key steps to building a loyal senior model program and then today I'm going to give you four steps to get started and if you go to our website two day on lee and you click for photographers you'll be able to download our application and a welcome letter this is the same application that we used to recruit our young people the application is a huge part of the process because it allows you to ask questions that maybe you wouldn't be able tio get like if you were sitting it out so you can really use your application to focus in and hone in on the questions that you want to to get the information that you need to pick your rest and I'll talk a little bit about that in detail as we go along so I can touch that com click for photographers if you go there you give me email we give you a welcome letter and an application and that will be really helpful and getting started with your senior program first step recruiting choosing your senior models a lot of people think that it's about the recruiting and the recruiting is an important piece, but it's really about choosing the girls are choosing the girls and guys we have had street teams that have included guys but we came to learn over the years that is usually mom who wants the boy to be on the street team and not necessarily the girls and so I'm going to make reference to girls because that is our street team, but street kids can be any way that you want them to be our cia moral model programs can reflect any demographic that you want them to be. I'm choosing your supermodels the first thing that you want to do in choosing your supermodel is established with the core values they're going to be for your street team aa lot of model programs kind of focused on the cute popular girl and that's good like you'll get referrals but sometimes that is a poor method because the popular girl may not be well like the popular girl may not be someone that people respect and admire so what? We were choosing our values for our senior model program we really want to focus on girls who had integrity girls who are natural leaders maybe they're not the person that's the most popular one maybe they are the person that people go to when they need someone to talk to you those are the girls that represent our brand, those of the girls that represents something that we want to put out there is really important to know the values of your street team and what it is that you're trying to accomplish because those girls represent your brands and who you have out in the street represents your business. And so you want to make sure that the girls that you choose or the members that you choose are in line with your rent and your business. I remember I was telling the girls that were driving up, I chose in the street team member and I got on facebook one day and they basically had cussed and put a lot of derogatory terms in their status, and I got a message and somebody was like, I just saw that kid's status and he's on your street team and that doesn't really line up with what I know about you, and I realized in that moment that these air like our little foot soldiers and they are an extension of us, we are endorsing them the same way they're endorsing us and so it's really important to know what it is that you want in a street team members of that when you are searching for that person, you're looking for the person with those qualities in those integrity, so step one would be establishing the values of your program step two development application process that ask questions that directly hone in on those values in our application process. We asked if you could spend the day serving anywhere where would you serve? What words would you use to describe yourself one hundred fifty words or less? You know what? What who are you with the person we have these people described? We asked specific questions that get to the values that we're looking for. What activities are you involved in that school? Are you in key club? Are you an espy? These are things that are very revealing and that tell me who they are as a person. The other reason we asked them to write essays and to describe or explain why they would want to be on the street team is because you can tell a lot by a person and how they write and how they speak, and if they can't speak about why they want to be on our team or why they feel that they're a good fit for our street team, they're not going to be able to speak about my brand or speak about their experience to their peers and that's one of things that we learn if they can't write about it and talk about it to you, they're not going to be able to do it to their friends when their friends going to like what they cost so much but it doesn't make sense, so you need to be ableto have people that can speak and can be talking on the third step, teo recruiting and choosing your senior models I'm creating a challenge way we learned do this process that sometimes the parents are the ones that fill out the application and it's, not necessarily the students that our client it's really, the parents who want a great deal and don't want to have to pay for senior pictures because there still may cost them their senior. So if you create a challenge for your young people to d'oh, they're forced to go out and to get it done. So one of the things that we asked our senior ups to do was give us twenty names of students that were in their senior class and to bring back their instagram and their twitter handles and whether or not they had facebook pages. When you have them out there doing that, you get a chance to see if they can follow directions and how many of the directions they're actually gonna follow if they can attend to deadlines because deadlines are going to be important in the senior year in the senior process. Getting the yearbook picture in on time you don't want to be the one that has toe stay of late night to get the dimensions right so they have their yearbook picture of the day before so those are some of the things that we did thea other thing that it did for us is that helped us identify if it was really the young person that wanted to be the street team or if it was their parent no parent is going to find twenty of their kids high school friends and ask for their instagram handle and their twitter name and if they do then surely their child should be on the street theme the last thing that we dio in choosing our seniors is picking our models in setting our expectations up front I remember when we first got started and we were doing our cia rep program I would be nervous to talk about the money part like I never want to talk about how much we cost because I was always kind of nervous about that and you look like the bad guy when it s so how much does it cost you I'm gonna put you on the phone when I realized I said the expectations up friends then the girls know what to expect and I also can give them a way to talk about about the expectations about the cost about the things that are kind of tough words discuss so be very clear in the in the beginning, make sure that you set the expectations the beginning and that it's laid out so that they know what they're getting into and that they know what they're committing to. And there are questions on the back end. Oh, second step, tio building a royal our season, a loyal as street team connected and building the relationship we always do a planning meeting. And at this planning meeting, we call it an ice cream social. So it's not, like commented that this medium that's gonna be serious. But it's come and participate in this fun activity and get to know us, and we ask the young people to bring their parents with them. And during that time, we talk about the senior portion experience. I know that when I was a senior, which was not too long ago, thirteen years ago, senior pictures were very, very different. I remember being so excited about going to this photography studio and having my name and gold in the left and the in the year two thousand actually gave myself away on thirty one class of two thousand. So that's, not with these kids want anymore, like they want high fashion, editorial, looking, fashion, forward pictures and their parents, and I understand that they're like where's, the where's the folio that opens up and has this picture here in this picture here like where are those things that I'm used to? You know, the things that are hard to find so we love to have this this meeting because we have the parents come to get an opportunity to see that girls get excited about the hair and the makeup and the glitz and the glam and they also get to see the girls get excited about the experience we show our street team videos way let them feel in touch the product and they get they get a chance to buy in to what it is that we're offering. They get to see these amazing folio boxes offered by black river imaging are most amazing lab they get to touch those such a shameless plug that they get to touch the product and see it and they get to see why the girls are so excited and why they're like so adamant about being on the street team and generally after that meeting we have such buyin that the moms are so excited that they're like whatever we need to do to make sure you get your senior package, we're going to do it and they're figured out ways to negotiate can we family sessions because I'll book a family special make it happen and that's what you want you want that energy where they can support the young girl are the young person they're not going to be upset when you pull them or when you ask them to come and do things, they're going to be behind them because they see the value in the work that you're doing. We schedule activities that promote bonding. We just showed our street team video. We use our street team shoe as a way to get the girls, too get to know each other and then also to get to know us. And so we usually set aside a full eight hour day, sometimes twelve hours. We do hair makeup call at seven o'clock, we get pete weii get snacks and everyone comes and we have a hair and makeup and clothing party. Basically, we run around tacoma and taking pictures, and by the end of the day, these girls have spent all day laughing and getting to know each other there's a bond that is formed and what we have come to find out is that it's so important that all of the street team members participate in that shoe because if one is left out, they miss out on all of the activity that's happening. They feel like there's, something that they weren't a part of, and that's when the bonding begins. So you could do a street team shoot you could do you know, a movie night? We've done game nights we were playing candy land just a couple of weeks ago we just got together just to just to check in with them and to see how they were doing and how it was coming along s so that's what we deal in part of our we're very open people like our home is very open we invite people into our home so when we had like that shoot that you saw the video that all took place inside of our house so now everybody knows what our house look one year old you know, we're not getting new stuff for the next twenty years anyway, so but and this is the very first shoot we ever did we did it out of studio and we're no longer in that studio we're just out of our house so we just say look, we'll do to steer and a house will have a stylish and everything just come over and just take over our home for a day and just the right people in and for that connecting like if they can come into your home and feel like they're part of the family and know you as a person, it just helps that bond and helps them be able to relate to you and make them want to work for you even more so and if you aren't comfortable with coming into your home, you don't have to do the hunting. You totally do a studio. You could totally create the saving the idea of getting the world together and giving them an opportunity to interact and to spend time together and then also to see you in a different light. Because one hour on location taking senior pictures is not enough for them to buy into representing you for nine months of a school year. The third thing established a promotional plan and troubleshoot so a lot of times will be like, um, you're my senior red. This is what I want you do. Okay. Now get out there and go do it and let me know how it goes. Well, what we wanted to do was sit down with their girls and say, ok, what is your plan? What are you going to need? What do you think works? A couple years ago, we were just doing rep car, and we found that that's. Just not enough. So we decided to do a senior magazine. We have a couple events coming up where are girls can bring their friends to the event, and they can get to know us and get discounts on the shoot, so creating opportunities for the young people, too. Reach out and to speak about what you're doing, but they're also supporting them and and not just pushing them out there to just do it on their own and saying, just come back and let me know if you have any questions like we get together, we troubleshoot what are some of the conversations that you that you are having? Some of the girls say that they're talking about senior portrait's and they give these questions about our prices, and people don't want to come to us because we're too high or were more expensive than, you know, the other competitors. Well, I want to give them something to say back, I want to give them talking points, so they're not trying to figure out how to convince their friends to go through us, and so I want to coach them and make sure that they're confident about what it is that we provide, what we're offering and why they're friends should come to us, the value the fourth thing is create accessibility. One of the things that I didn't do very well when we started was being available to the girls, they would email me, and then a couple days later, I would get back to them. But similar to a bride, seniors feel like this is like the biggest year of their life. They've waited eleven years to get to this moment, and if they're going to be working for you, they need to know that you're there to support them. So what I've done is we've created a facebook group, and so the girls can talk and they can discuss and they can share information about how things were going. And then we also started a group meet, chat, you guys know what group me is? Hey, this is another thing about being a senior photographer. I've heard about all these things like snapchat, and like, all these things that I never would have known about fire, so we were out on a trip and I was like, man, I wish there was a way that I could communicate with the girls and just tell them how we're doing, and we had one of our street team members with us and she's like, oh, my gosh, we should use group me, that's, what you do and she's like, give me your phone and so she downloads the app, right? And she puts group me on basically it's like a well chat for your cell phone, so it's, so cool, because these girls can text and they consent questions and everybody sees the question and so if they're texting me and I'm busy or I'm sleeping, the other girls are seen it too and they may have the answers they may be able to support the girls or give the girls ideas and then I can check in every once in a while and add my kind of two cents or ask questions to the girls or get information out and I have a guarantee that they're going to see it I'm not relying on email I'm not relying on a phone call and trying to create their schedule I'm getting them where they are which is on their phone and it's been perfect for us today before we're on our way I was like just won't let you guys know that we're getting ready to go on and so the girls like awesome good luck way to go guys and it's just really cool it's just a great way for us to communicate so I want to check in real fast and see if we have any questions questions you guys are just bringing it right now I just want to tell you that a couple comments ra monica said I love your energy that video just gave me life that was incredible demarest says love them already love that they actually are going to have their own senior models here so people are excited so the question is from d m rs and as far as building the relationship what about the opposite being true like where is the line you have to maintain with seniors? She says or he says, I worked with youth in my church and they often want to meet me and I love that and including them in my life but I don't know how to approach the seniors as clients like where do you draw the line between building the relationship and then having them declining that's a really great question well, I learned in youth development and justin my social work background that you should never ever like meet one on one with the young person unless you have a relationship with them our personal relationship with their parents so I can I never meet with our girls alone or any of the any young person alone on die just think that's a tough one because I mean you're here tio do a job and to provide a service but I do think, oh damn rs you are getting me I was I was safer demers you know, I guess I'm assuming he's a male right? I'm not sure it sounds like you say he said I'm going to sunnis and now if you or feed that if you're meeting what a young person if they want to talk about things I'd say have make sure that their parents involved so like a facebook message where it's like all three like it's a conversation a group conversation that you gotta have if it's a group text message it's an email we do a lot of communication via email and we see see like it's need tosh a parent in the senior and email so that way everybody knows what kind of communication is being head and what's going on it is tough I mean if you have events, if a lot of people are going to be there, you know it's like a senior their friends are other people around with him but like I say when it's that one on one it can be a little tricky and you know and we really ever were kind of unusual because it's there's always entity us and wisdom most most likely so we'll never really be one on one, but I would caution that I would say either have them bring a friend well to whatever if you're going to talk or you know you're still you're still responsible, you're still business person you're still an adult, so I think those same rules would apply if you were working with the young person in school, you don't want to cross the line, you gotta use your own personal judgment about what makes sense and what conversations you should be having and so on and so forth it is a she by the way awesome. And it is good that girls travel in groups. Yes, right. Right. So she, you know, she's off. Sorry, women. Because it sees women get a little more leeway because what are street teen? And I will be mentioning that, like our very first treating head guys in goes. And then after that, we just focused on girls so it's a little more awkward for me to have a one on one conversation with the female versus tasha having a one on one conversations. So it helps that she's a female, was shooting all of this because they can come to her. And she can kind of meant to them in a way as well is also being the photographer. Was me being a guy I have to be more cautious about, like, how I approached him, what I say to him and when I say so. So next point three referrals. Incentives. So this is how it all works is how we bring it together. So what? We were creating our street team, we had to figure out what it was that we wanted to do in terms of numbers. How many seniors did we want to shoot? I get this question a lot, like, how do you know how many reps, tio tio put on your on your street team like how many? How do you pick that number? So what we do is when we're figuring out our goals for the year because we're also wedding photographers, we also teach we figure out how many young people we want to shoo in order to attain our goals, and I have this whole science down, and so usually he brings me the number, and then I know that I want to keep it manageable for our young people. I don't want them to bring me twenty people twenty people is daunting they're probably not gonna get twenty people the book, so I like to keep the number of between three and five I feel like if you go to school with two thousand kids, you're going to be able to bring back three to five referrals, so of our goals to shoot fifty, and I know that I want each girl to bring back five referrals that I'm going to need ten senior reps and that's how we determine our number, I get that question a lot like whether they should be from the same school or whether they should they should be from different schools, we based it on our interest if we have a lot of interest from a school and it's a big school that I'll put two girls there because they're gonna have a huge area so tio work with they usually have different groups of friends or usually hanging out with different people. If it's a school where I don't get as much, you know, I do office that I'm sure somebody was like, why would you put more people in this school that has more, you know, less interest and then do the opposite, but to me, I'm like if people are coming from that school that I want more people to come from that school, so I'm gonna put my eggs in that basket and work harder on that, and I'm just gonna that's how I'd like to divide it up on deny put, you know, one or two in schools that maybe we don't get as many, but that gives that person opportunity to kind of build and work that out. Also about the numbers russia's state, you don't want to put a lot of pressure on one senior to try to build your business like I need to shoot fifty seniors, I need you to get like twenty girls are twenty guys do your best, and I'm counting on you go out there it's a little with so make sure you go and do it for each other system, and we also anticipate people with that'll book outside of our city reps so it's, not just our senior rips that's kind of our base, but we know the other people are going to see their friends like a senior gets a referral that were froze friends may see in also book office, so it's also, like kind of like an umbrella situation going on with that, and as well as with the numbers we live in, urban overran a city, so, like their schools, like twenty, fifteen minutes apartment, didn't they? This city I grew up in, like there was one high school, everybody went to that one high school, so depending on where you live really may depend on highly approach the whole, you know, getting scenes and what schools you want to get to, we have friends that just they just focus on one school, so they just have, like, a certain amount of kids and at one high school, and they just basic around that so that's something to consider when you are recruiting and how you want to go about setting the numbers, it's a great point, insensitive. So we like tio go to our youth, our young people, and ask them what it is that they want, what we're recruiting, and we're doing the application process, we ask, what is why are you getting senior pictures, what is the reason why you come, because some people they may be getting senior pictures for their graduation outfit have a lot of girls who do these big coming out parties, and they just want pictures of themselves all over the room. People aren't using senior pictures the way that we would think there are a lot of high schools that don't even allow you to put your picture in the yearbook, and I'll talk about that a little bit too, so it's important to kind of know what it is that they're looking for so that you conform your incentives around those things. And so we sat down with our girls were like, what is it that you're looking for? And they're like, I want this and this and this until we're able to create our incentives based on what it is that they would want and for every refer all they get one part of their senior package that's how we set it up so we don't have this whole package, and if they get five and they get the whole thing, we just go one by one by one, and that way they feel like they have if even if they can't get the whole number, at least they're getting something from the deal, so that's, how we set it up interesting story. Uh tara who's going to come on later on I was like, yeah we got these folio boxes was like there so often and I was really excited about that and she's like touch we need get lanyards like land years like what we need a land for like there's a beautiful campus pray here like that, you know, just like night lanyards and iphone four cases I would not think land years because I don't rock a lanyard but everybody in high school that's where they put their keys that's how they handle things so I just know that like so revealing and I guess it was just like, oh, I guess you better get some land, your sin and they know what it is, what people like and they know what's going to motivate them to sell and so it's just really cool toe having you've been formed incentives a lot of times we based our incentives on what we think is cool or what we can afford for our business. What makes sense to us what's going to be low cost so that's just one of the ways that we build our referral marcin of program third thing goal setting and rewards so our girls like I said, every referral that they bring back they earn a part of their senior package but they also like to have a group goal for the girls so that they're working together and encouraging each other, so are below fifty I would love to get fifty seniors this year, I don't know if we will, but I like to provide incentives and things that they can work together for. We're putting on a conference in november called blink, and we're going to talk about the street team program, and we're gonna be doing all kinds of things down there, and I told the girls about in there like, oh my gosh, we're all coming to blink all ten of us were getting off the plane would come to blink. I'm like, all right, you all come to blink and so that's the goal like that's the thing, and it may not be related around in your pictures that something they can work together on to make happen, and so I really love that lets setting goals with them about what are we gonna do this year as a team? What? What kind of numbers we want to get and then what's going to be the reward. It could be something like regina beach house and bringing the girls there for weekend, and they get to bring their best friend or something like that, you could do all kinds of things, we're going to do a skating night together and it's going to be on, I cannot just different things for different things and we can get ten referrals by next week we're going to go out too the melting pot and eat chocolate and strawberries way celebrate all the time to keep them up to keep them excited every senior session that we do we post on penn trips I told you we do the street team session and we use that for promo and for our ads and stuff for the year and after a street team session I uploaded the pictures the petrus and I would go on the facebook group and I would prove me and I'm like oh my gosh honey your picture just got repent and we would all celebrate that any time a girl gets a referral on texting out oh my gosh lynda you just got a referral that so often your friends shooting that she knows what's happening she gets excited she doesn't feel discouraged because she knows that what she's doing is working so she's going to keep working at it and then she knows that I'm acknowledging her and that I see that what's happening you know so she's going to keep going so we celebrate and we have a good time together and we do that often so I think we're going to pull the girls in and asked them a few questions and then if you have questions you can ask them to pull them in now yeah let's do it okay so I'm gonna introduce these beautiful girls love them so much. This is tawni teo teo rod in high school, down in puyallup, washington and rob is kind of more of a suburban school kind of more middle class upper middle class families and, uh, it's just kind of out it's not necessarily that he's kind of right outside of the city targeted to todd beamer high school, which is in the city. It's a little more urban, a little different kind of mix of demographic and socio economic background. And then we've got alina and she goes development prep. So she goes to a private school that's a little more fluid, and I brought both all three of these girls because I thought it would be good to talk to girls that go to different high schools that have a different experience that hang out with different people and just kind of get an understanding of why they two senior pictures like, how similar? Are there reasons? How different are their reasons? What are they looking for? So the first question that I want to ask you guys is when you're looking for you're seeing photographer, what was it that you were looking for? I'm very much but I looked for first of all is that with one thing that always gets me and pictures is I love eyes and when reminds my sister was a part of your very first street team I remember looking at all of her pictures and everyone else in the street to me like off their eyes they look so gorgeous I love it so when it was my turn out like I want to be part of this I wanted strange because I mean everyone just talked about you guys how incredible you were and I think I want to meet them I want to be able to talk like I know them too so when I got there I was like oh, you know I had pretty eyes in my picture I just was excited for the whole thing so yeah, so something for me that I looking for senior pictures is something that they can work with both personalities because everybody's different and everybody looks for different things. So when I first saw aiken, tasha and I saw their pictures I saw something more very vintage very unique a lot of fashion but then I saw something that was more natural that could work with other girls because some girls don't like too much makeup or don't like too much blame in there harris so they kind of fit both personalities and I think that's really important toe everyone yeah um, I was really drawn to aiken. Tosh is passion. I could really tell that they were really invested in everybody and the pictures they took, but also the people. It was really important for them to form relationships with us. And I found that we broke down the wall from not only seeing them as photographers, but also his mentors, which was really important to me to have a connection with you, because I often get really nervous in front of the camera. But I found that with them, I felt very comfortable. So my next question and I actually asked a few my photographer friend's like, if you can ask these girls anything, what would you ask? And so they sent some of these in. So the next question that I want to ask you guys is why would you want to be on a senior model program like initially? Like what drew you what made you want to be a part of it? What were the benefits? You and did you really actually want, like, someone was like, how am I going to convince you to actually run for like what? What's the benefit to you outside of of the pictures on the bed, I would say this overall the ex variance has been incredible like as we went into it was talking about earlier like we never thought this would ever be a part of it we just want to be like, ok let's be cool meet some girls get some pictures taken hangout like this is incredible so like we never thought that this would ever be a part of it but um yeah I just definitely the experience you guys really boston like alina was saying you guys makes feel comfortable like for the first time meeting you guys I tried to shake you and you like that a hug I really like I felt like I've just known you guys for years so that's definitely a huge contributor just knowing that like you guys kind of have our backs and you know, like we'll be people feel comfortable in front of guys in the camera and that's a big thing to making your client feel like they're comfortable to be able to move impose in front of you and also how sometimes the photographers try to tell you exactly how to move and like posing you feel awkward and you don't feel like yourself but with you guys you let us do our own thing you turn on music were relaxed and comfortable and he'll give us pointers and stuff but you know we feel like relax to be ourselves and stuff with you guys it with huge so so when you're out talking, this is for you, tony on it at another question, talking to your friends and you're talking about your experience all that she seems like what what made you when they're asking you like you chose us? Like what made you want to be around and be a part of our street team versus somebody else who might have a senior model? I would say I would want to rape you guys, because, first of all, I know you guys are absolutely fantastically dio your quality of your photos are great, and I know that anyone else to be out there with love to have you guys as their photographers to, um I think, a way to bring no think of how to put it into words, why would I would I would want to market you guys and promote you guys that I know that, um, you guys won't like, disappoint your clients or anything like that. You always bring them what they need. You're kind of like tara was saying earlier, you kind of accommodate to everyone's own style and feel, and you give them the option to do kind of what kind of shoot? They are what they wanna wear just like the freedom to kind of culminated to what their style is and their feelings and not like ok, these are my photos were going to do it this way and this is how you're gonna look and that's how we're going to tell you but they're able to do their own kind of thing we got guitar what made you want to be a part of the shooting so because you guys are really close to my family members my cousin was telling me a lot about how he had his experience you guys and being on the street team and having them she with you the overall experience was really amazing so when I looked at their work and excuse me your work I was like, oh, well, that seems really fun so I also wanted to do you guys a favor because I know that for me I love marketing I look promoting and advertising and have a fun time doing it overall so I was kind of like what we could do to favor aiken d'oh we really hard working for them and show them that I am determined to help them as much as I can and also I'm going to have a good time and being here and being here overall I've met incredible young women who are all here unique in their own different ways and I just and we've not only have we been here to take pictures but we've been hearing to create relationships with each other which is a huge blessing that you guys gave us so I want to shout out morning she came into our house and she was like, hey tosh, how are you like I'm good I'm good she's like can I do anything for you? Do you mind if I give wisdom about I said yes absolutely baker please thank you and I was just like I love this girl I love our street team this is amazing and that's one of the first things they also when they walk in like what can I do for you? What can I help you anyway? That's just my love these girls so much so I just had a shot around what about you, alina? I was really drawn to the idea of being a part of something bigger than myself and also stretching myself and I found that the opportunity arose when I was browsing facebook. I had a friend who was on your street team last year n k and I was not only really amazed by the photography it self, but also how well you represented her and the personality that I always knew that you could see just in that one photo and I think in that moment I realized that I really wanted to represent you and that was really important to me and even though it was something out of my comfort zone that's exactly why I wanted to do it I felt like my values aligned with your values and I could really stand behind you and represent you the way you actually got me a little teary oh do you have any questions from the audience so impressed with the ladies ladies are so articulate and confident and just totally blowing me away thank you. I don't see why you picked these girls here. All right? I have a question from laurie profit and I guess the question is for you ladies what is it? What is it that you ladies want? Are you just really looking for photos for your facebook and how is that different from what your parents want? How do you find that compromise as faras what you get taken well something that I look for I mean, I know a lot of like a lot of us well obviously use it for social media and stuff but my mom actually likes using them for around the house picture frames memories she is obsessed with pictures so I know that it benefits my family a lot because not only into we get to use them in our way for social media but our family gets to use them for memories and things that will just love to last a lifetime for them so I think what was big for me, um, was that when you go into, like you're saying seen years, they're kind of like the brides and suffer like, well, this is my year, you know? And you're kind of like what I want and your photos, and I want to see something that I can remember forever and, you know, I keep talking about the experience of the experience, such a huge part of it, like, you don't even realize until you get in to it, but yeah, the extremes, like, just like a wedding day, your senior photos and everything is definitely, like you guys gave us, like, the princess treating and, you know, you just pampered us and made us feel like your actual models of ground next top model or is everything everything I just like the experience is what I would definitely wanted, you know? And I got it above and beyond, so thank you. So I'm not somebody who takes a lot of pictures, so thiss was definitely really new for me, and so I'd always seen senior photos on face book, and everybody always looks so stunning, and I never thought that I could look that way that's, not something I've ever seen of myself and after we did the street team shoot the next day people at school were coming up to me and specifically telling me how beautiful the pictures were and how beautiful I was which was really telling and something really new for me that's something I hadn't really seen before so that was special I think so I actually I told the girls the question wasn't asked but I didn't want to hear their answers so they really want to be organic and so it just it feels good to know that what we have worked to build is actually what what they're getting from us so if you think that someone had a question yeah this is a question a lot of you what are your feelings or what do you think if there was a male cosmos off your your team are our ladies are females so what would you guys join if there was mail in it or would you how come you don't have any guys just curious when we have my on the first two years and what we found were that the guy's been enjoy their sessions and they had a great time it was kind of the same response is that these girls gave they were like oh, it was way funnier than I expected I had a really good time but boys don't seem tow lot pictures as much as the girls do it's really just kind of become especially with customized senior portrait photography it seems to be more of something that's kind of trend and been towards young girls it's not really something that a lot of guys and I'm not I don't want to speak for the whole high school population because that's probably not true but it seems like they're motivated mohr in our area by their parents and that's awesome we shoot guys we have tons of guys on our website we do shoot boys but when it comes to going out and speaking and referring and bringing back you know actual clients it just wasn't happening you know it was mom's that we're doing it and so for us we spend a great amount of money investing in our street team and in their experience I really wanted to invest in something where we would get a turnaround and so for us girls this work it doesn't mean that guys can't work in the future it doesn't mean that we don't love guys I just got it increases but it was like I would love to be on your street team like all you're too late he would have been the lone soldier but no we definitely we have worked with guys who've had guys in the past but just for where we are, what we're trying to accomplish it just made sense to have girls on the team would you guys still join if there were guys on the team yeah, yeah, e think could make it did yeah, there was guys on, and I think, honestly, like all of us would be ableto help motivate them to want to work harder and to want to work for you guys more because, like I said, all of us have this strong bond where we want to help each other and how we want to motivate each other, like, well, like in the group meeting, we'll ask questions, we'll say, how do you get so many referrals? Because sometimes some girls are, like, shy, or whether it's, they want to ask questions on help, we do it and not sometimes ask, you know, I can talk because we have dancers, we go out weighted groaning for you guys. Susan, do we have any other questions? We absolutely dio there were quite a few people, including tax mama r tx. Mama, I don't know why I e o there were quite a few people asking about, like, when, what time of the year do you start to select your street team? As a great questions that fall spring right way actually start preparing for our street team during slow season and photography, so generally in january, is when we will announce that we're going to start looking for street team members and I use a lot of time like I used like january february to kind of talk about into kind of build up and then I gave I actually wait a long time I do two months of just kind of silence and letting the application float around letting people know and talk about it and then we hit heavy with like this applications due april fifteenth and we start going and I do that because these guys are still in school they can reach girls who are getting ready to graduate that may not have gotten their senior pictures done on dh so that's what we do I don't know there are other people that do it differently like I said, we're not just exclusively senior photographer so we have other things going on that's just what works for us the slow season to ramp up and then generally what we'll do is due there we do their sessions I would talk about this a little bit later these guys actually have not had their official senior pictures don on day I'll talk about why but we do a big shoot while they're still in school so that she can go to school the next day and someone could say, oh my gosh, I saw your senior pictures are they booking because I didn't get mine and I've changed my mind I do want them you know, so we do that during the school year is that there's still some time for them to talk about it while they're at school? And then they have the entire summer to promo and to show the picture so that when they start in the fall, we've already booked a lot of their friends that's kind of a cool way of questions to be on it absolutely will you guys started your first street team? How did you get the word out? Like cause I know they have susan thing you know, we were blessed to be at a very large church at the time and there are a lot of girls who had been following us for a while before we have shot here, so we just grabbed a lot of girls and said, hey, I want to be on the street team because you got to start somewhere so they were stand up girls I knew they would talk about us they had seen or works their families had shot with this before, so we just grab because when you try to start something, you just want somebody that will just be down for your cause and sometimes you'll have to do that. There may be people who already shoes seniors and it may just be an easy thing to incorporate into your business, but that's how we started originally initially was a great question so I think maybe one more. Yes, absolutely. So there's a question for you, ladies, this is from pro photographer. How has your experience? What I can talk to change the way you think about photography? That's a great question. I can definitely speak on. Speak on that. I recently went to a conference called summer scissor with aiken tossing. I had no idea how big photography was until I went to the conference with them watching them speak and even going tio black river imaging studio to see how they make the product and just talking about what kinds of photography layers of raul, what kind of different pictures you take? You know what? What you have to do to make, you know, a positive senior program like them or how they take wedding pictures? I mean, it's really amazing. It's really breathtaking on how much there is a part of photography and just learning. And overall, just seeing what? It's like it's been amazing during with them and learning more about the photography industry, they look at it different differently. No, because before, you know, even photographed by other people and you get like results. But with you guys like you, you have your own kind of individual look, and here is a look like you and me be able to see a picture like that looks like I can toss his work and you know, every every person you don't really like. Think about it until you really kind of actually look at your guys working other people's working, compare. I mean, they could both be absolutely great, but you can build like, ok that's, their stone that's they're selling. You can kind of judge things based off of okay. I really like their self so I can go with that. And like, I like yourself for this, things like that. So photography definitely has to do with personal preference. That things I think that this has taught me a lot about perspective and about how having one person shoot your senior photos over another can really change how you see yourself and how you really know how to capture the person in the most natural light and capture exactly who they are in a photo, which is amazing because I mean, upon meeting us, you already knew how to make us look our best. Morton and you knew what we wanted and what works best for us. And it was really effective now can agree. Must have really let's do one way time doing here like you have a question. Coming in so there's another question from d m rs one of the physical rewards for each referral they bring you are we getting into that's not coming out? We're not going to get into that we're not going ok I'm not gonna get in that today but I will say I can kind of get a quick overview on we do these folio boxes which are really, really amazing and they include prints on the inside they're matted so this is one of that really cool reward this is actually part of black river image ings lost mine they just came out with this new product it's a it's a like a matic image and has like a fine art field so it's not like fine art prints but just really fixed so it's a really cool it's really nice way to present the image is not just a bunch of loose prints in the box was something that just feels like it's worth you know something is working for them yeah absolutely take around like like so I could keep this is a simple way also do metal prince and there's one right behind us we do canvas print we actually do their session they earned their session so I am going to get into that and then we dio a ten by ten press printed album yeah albums are product what we offer kind of is in line with our business model so what? You may want to offer your students just seniors maybe depending on what you want to represent your business. So for us, like, we like to find out we like really nice like products that lasts a long time, so this is one can take it lady campuses metal prince was a big thing for us because metal prints are nude, a little more edgy, you can't find them at costco like this it earlier. So that's one of the things that we wanted because it z when people see a metal print that what's that is that metal like, is that the license plate? So so, yeah, I think that was I think we wanted to represent our business and to be able to offer people so that's part of the incentives that we offer our students so that's like a quick overview of what we offer, but we don't have much time here, so awesome. Thank you, way talked about choosing your young people for your street team. We've talked about excuse me a second as I look connecting with the young person building the relationship, and then we talked about the referrals in the incident, so the next part that we're going to go into is retention how do you keep them excited about you for nine months? How do you keep them engaged? Connect with them and often I check in with the girls often like once a week I'm texting and saying how's it going guys even if I really don't want to know I'm still going to make effort so that they know that I have not forgotten about them that I'm thinking about them and I want them to be thinking about me I want them to stay I want I want to stay on their mind I want them to remember what it is that they need to do they're going to have a million different things going on that are actually just got crowned miss washington I have some cheerleaders on my on my team so they've got a million things going on there may not be thinking about getting their senior pictures, but if I'm always checking and every once in a while seeing how things were going then I kind of stand the forefront of their minds second meetings we meet once probably every other month just to check in way had a really busy summer it was really crazy I haven't seen them since we don't our street team shoot, so we invited them over for a barbecue and we just hung out two hours of my life for them to come and just to check in with us and to see how they're doing we played candy land that's what we ended up doing with the time and just casually talking about how it was going and what they thought might be that might work them in the process, and and during that time, we were able to discover that they were kind of struggling, and so I talked to them about what they might want to do, and they talked about a bit creative it that other people can come to where they be able to meet up, and so we're going to do an event where they can bring their friends and their friends will get opportunity, meet us, meet our hair makeup eighteen meter stylist, and they also will get discounts, but only if they have a ticket from those girls. And so it's just a great way for them to engage their friends with us and for us to get to know those people, uh, don't give everything away up front if you shoot with me and I have my senior picture is, why would I care about hanging out with you for the rest of the year and referring? So what we do is we do that shoot, and we create imagery for them to use on their promo cards and for us to use what we're recruiting sears. But I have total control over that shoot everything that they wear I pick out every everything that they put on their face makeup I choose the makeup I choose the hair because that chute is about me it's about our business and where we want to go and the girls that were trying to get they have to earn their session and when they bring their first referral back I know they're serious and I am ready to go we've planned their session in the past we would do the sessions ahead of time and then they were just like I'll just buy my pictures I don't need to do anything and so I've given up all this time and all these resource is and I got nothing back in return and so what we learned is if we've been just a portion of that shoot to shooting individual shots we're able to get what we need so that they can get the stuff that they need to go out and who young people but they didn't have any control so they weren't really there senior pictures they didn't get to wear their clothes and they didn't get to blow the place is that they wanted to go teo so they have a reason to keep working for us so that they come back and earn their package and these girls were chosen to come today because all three of them are my highest referring girl and they just now all earned their packages so it's really cool, so they'll be having their sessions still so quick work like these images that you see we're from the street team shoot where from the big shoot that we set up, we use that shoot to create images for them to market. So that's, what you're seeing here is just images from that. So you and these are great images, but I mean this these are stars close, this isn't makeup or hair that star may have wanted, but this also will excite tara about her session and what the possibilities are, because this is what happened when I was in control, when she has to be in control and she gets to bring her ideas to the table, she knows that it's going to turn out really well, last thing, create a long term purpose for the relationship. So, again, if I'm only asking you to read me for one hour shoot, you don't have a reason to continue to talk about me. So what we started to do was create reasons for the girls to want to continue working for us. Every single girl goes the homecoming or goes to prom, so we created this idea called prom parties or homecoming parties. The girls you know, I don't know if you know this thing in our area kids don't want pictures at the homecoming dance because they don't want to stand in line for two hours and then get up in front of a backdrop and then have that one little while a key chain pictures so what they do is they get their friends together a couple hours before they usually go to a park or some really cool place and they have their portrait taken well, what we do is way have different things that they can do are different goal that they can meet and then we plan to do those pictures for them and their group of friends so you can create like different things along the way that would make them want to stay working for you that they can earn capping down pictures mom and dad usually want that that doesn't happen till the end of the year they can't do it until they have their captain gowns so you can create that as an incentive incentive to keep them working for you. The other thing that I think is important when you're creating your contract and when you're creating an application you've got a lot those girls in and you've got to give them a consequence for may be cheating on you with someone else, so our bill signed a contract that goes from may of their junior year to june of their senior year, they can't shoot with anyone until after june, and graduations in this area happened in june when they're done with school, they're not going to be searching for a senior, a portrait photographer to take their senior pictures, they're onto college now or whatever they're doing after high school, and they've moved on, so I don't run the risk of them going to someone else and making me feel like they didn't like my stuff or, you know, it didn't work. Um, I was going to make another point that I just lost. Oh, the consequence. So if they choose to kind of break contracts, we have a contract that very spelled out it's kind of set up like a rent a car contract, everything is stated and there's a line that the initial kind of like when you rent a car, if you choose not to read that that's your own fault, but you initial and we make them and their parents initial that if they choose to break contract, or if they go on work for someone else, they're responsible for the entire value of their senior package, whether they earned it or not. And our value is somewhere between seventeen to two thousand dollars, so that's a great big chunk of change that I'm sure their parents don't want to have to pay for it, so they're going to make sure that they're not cheating on us with someone else that's how we get over that. So we came up with four quick and easy ways to get started today, so those of you who are like, oh, my gosh, I have seniors, I want a model program, what can I do? How can I make this relevant? How can I go out and start? We've come up with four ways that you can start today, so one you need to determine the value, and when I say that, I mean determined the reason why kids in your community are getting senior pictures, if you understand why they're getting them, then you're able to kind of figure out and know what it is that they're going to use them for. I understand that the timelines of your high school, you need to know one if they're able to use those pictures in the yearbook, and if so, when are they due? Because that will influence how you market and how you go out to get those young people for those things that you can partner with high schools to a lot of high schools will say your name on air if you let them or you can get a young person from high school to do that you understand that they are able to use the senior pictures in your book you're able to kind of plan accordingly in terms of your marketing and promotions and getting young people in line so one understanding why kids get senior pictures sitting down doing a focus group, figuring out why they want them and into understanding the high schools and what the requirements are for the high schools um I kind of talked about that in the first light doing a focus group like getting the kids together figuring out one you know how they reached their friends, how to market to their friends what's going to make their friends come to you like figuring out talking with them and getting to know the kids at large in the community and this really applies to people who you may not have a senior program now and want to start one and they're not sure how to get started. They said when we first got started we found kids in our church and so we did a lot of this kind of stuff we got together and said, why do kids take senior pictures like what do they want, what they want to see? How should we be talking? What should we be doing? What should we be offering they can inform that because they're with their friends, they know what their friends like there were people that came before them, people that came out are that are coming after them, they've been talking about it I knew I wanted to shoot with when I was a sophomore in high school, these kids know to they've already thought about it, they're ready to go there just waiting for the begun to shoot and for that last assembly where they become a senior so you can find out from them from them what the different things are, and they'll tell you and then order products based on what they say you know, you can't sell, you can't get young people excited about what you have is they can't touch and feel things I can. I have had times where we didn't have product and we didn't sell any, and when we did have products and when parents were able to touch them and we were able to see them and show samples and examples of what was there, we sell every time you can't imagine anything if you've never seen it and so you're going to always, always have people say I want to just because they don't know what else is possible it's just show what you sell show what you want to sell, and I might say so set the goals for your program set the volume how many young people do you want to shoot? You got to know that ahead of time and then you've got to determine how much you want to make and once you figure those two things out you can decide who are how many young people you're going to need as a part of your street team I one of the other things that I think that you should do when you're setting the goals for your program is figuring out who you want to shoot who are your young people? I know that my young people are fashion forward they love fashion, they love the city they love urban I just did a session this week and the girl was like, I was like, so tell me more about your searches like I'm a city girl and I was like, ok that's why she told this because she wants to see the rustic bridges and she wants to see kind of the urban alleyways and things like that so figure out the kind of girl or the kind of senior u want to shoot so that you can focus on that and if you can't find those people you can create that you know you can do stylized sessions, you can do those kinds of things to create the kind of person that you want to reach you're not going to find I can I in the country shooting on horses because that's, we don't have access to that that's not our brand that's not a part of who we are, so those girls don't come to us, but the girls that do come to us are kind of looking for that urban kind of fashion forward kind of feel to the work forces are kind of frightening to me if they move the wrong way on my world okay, I'm step three oh, excuse me. Ok, step three create a rocking brands so decided to excuse me, dissect your brand figure out if your wedding photographer may be the way that you reach brides is not gonna work for seems so it's okay to look at your brand it kind of figure out if your brand even works too teo attract fourteen to nineteen year old because high schoolers are fourteen to nineteen and just because you're reaching sears doesn't need that under kaufman aren't looking at you too. I have girls that are in the eighth grade and like when I'm a senior, I'm gonna shoot you know unlike all lord, if I'm shooting pictures in like fifth eighteen years when you're a senior, you know? But there are people there like I can't wait and thomas enough so I can shoot with you, so you're not just shooting for seniors that you want to reach your shooting for underclassmen too there are all kinds of girls that have access or all kinds of young people have access to your work. So you need to think about that as you are, you know, determine your brand and make changes to your brand. That makes sense for reaching a younger market. It's ok to do that, it's ok to have, like, an off brand or something that you do differently for young people to reach them, develop new products that are not related to photography. We have this really awesome ampersand shirt that actually is pretty popular, both among photographers and our seniors. And I have people that write me better, just like, can I just have your shirt? Like the shirt is cool? You know it represents, I could talk, but it's, just a cool statement piece and these guys can wear the shirt with pride one cause it's fashion forward, and they don't ever have to say anything about us. People ask them, tell me about that shirt like what's that about. And so I think it's important to have different products that the girls can carry around with them that represent us without them ever having to speak journal's cell phone cases, different things like that that just makes the easy for them to start a conversation kind of move forward, um they said they wanted to be on the street because they thought we were cool. Part of that is because of branding and what we pushed out, we've pushed out that cool brand, we look for the things that are going to intrigue young people, and we try to figure out ways to incorporate that into our business. We're very much still young mining ourselves, you know, in the way we live our lives like we watching tv, she says. She watches gossip girl and a bunch of the shows that white addictions, a pretty little liars and me in my street team tweet about it when it's on there you go it's out there on instagram like, you know, will be on twitter like you know, I'm on youtube just half second orbit, just trying to do a lot of stuff that will put ourselves in front of the young people and let them see omar. Don't instagram in the instagram feed it's kind of cool and their hashtag in the hashtag in my friend's pitches and stuff like that, but if that's not you that's fine, that doesn't have to be you, but you can create the product and allow the young people to be the face and to be those things. So it's just important to know how to do that and like he said hash tag is important you don't have to be the one that hashtags but I tell these girls were driving up here like social network here the hashtags is what you need to say you know and they can do that for me if I'm not comfortable doing that so I can hire unique because our personality allows for that but it doesn't mean that you can't figure out a couple ways to do it yourself and to just kind of stick to it not so you have a shooting that's why you have young people representing you because the things you may not want to do they're willing to do for you um create buying an incentive when we give away every girl that shoots with us we give them a senior slat bag and in the swag bag includes it includes this t shirt and a couple other really cool things and I always tell them at the end of the session if you go to school and you wear this t shirt and you take a picture of yourself wearing this t shirt with a couple of friends we will add a fifty dollars credit to your your your senior package so they have a reason to wear stuff they have a reason to talk about it so you want to create kind of buying for the products that you're creating and partner with vendors, we have really amazing hair makeup artists that have their own following and do their own thing, and we have found that by partnering with them, it just makes our branch stronger. We have people that call us and they're like, we want to book with you, and we want this particular hair and makeup artist because they're just amazing, and they know that they're going to get and an awesome experience from that person. So partnering up with hair makeup artist partying up with the stylist and working with other people who have strong brands on ly promotes and helps your brand look even stronger and better, for example, this this particular shoot, the video that you saw going back to that we had a stylist style the girls and create a look for them that helped our brand and also people on the outside looking in are looking that, like, whoa, what's that what kind of clothes? It it? I haven't seen that outfit before, and they're talking about the experience like, you know, tiny center like they felt like a model because big in the stylist address them, they're getting hair and make up, and if you have been there's other people that you can work with that kind of add value. To your business to your session three kids are going to talk about that and so yeah, you know, I lady came in from someone so business and she did this or she offered that are and should have the store up the street we should go there and we should purchase stuff so it's just a really cool way to kind of build relationships and then cross promote and stuff for a launch your movement, announce your program and give yourself enough time to get the conversation going just because you announce it doesn't mean that people are going to care about what you're nothing, so you need to allow enough time for you to continuously talk about that thing, especially if it's new I told you that we take like two to three months where we're just talking about it and we're just sitting out e mails about it it's good to do that because people are going to forget and it's not important sears are only thinking about that thing that is important to them when it's important for it to happen so it's good to allow a lot of time for the first time we launched the application process, I was so bummed because no one responded and I just realized that I just had to be diligent and be patient it just takes a little time for that to happen pick your reps get toe work, start working it out, start figuring out what works, what doesn't work be okay with, you know, adjusting some things have a plan and move on it and last but not least don't be afraid to fail we have which so many mistakes in this process but by making those mistakes we figured out what works there are things that that we we learned in this process that we weren't doing that we started doing before people willing tire and I would send out an email of information and people just they didn't want to read it they didn't get in and so we realized that process like the best way to do it with send out a magazine or even like having boys on the street team was awesome having boys but that just wasn't working for us and just being okay with realizing that some things work, some things don't and you can move forward. Another thing that I realize it is what we would do that big street team shoot girls couldn't make it I'd be like, ok it's not a big deal, we'll make it up leader, but what ended up happening is when the girls weren't there, they feel like they really had missed out on something there was really like a bonding experience that had taken place and what I noticed as I watched is that one person who missed out they didn't make it it didn't last and so along this process we just learned a lot about what works and what doesn't work but we're okay with things not working in adjusting and so if it doesn't work don't give up because it's easy to give up especially with young people you're just like I just I'm just out of the loop I can't do it I don't know what they like just got to keep at it you have to keep going with that you've got it times change all the time young people are intrigued by different things you just have to try a lot of different things before you figure out what works the key phrase in our model program mystery team like being team it's it's a team effort so having two goes being able to collaborate with each other as well as with us helps the program work and right for aspect you know our brain is very much the urban senior urban star photography so even just the name street team just you know makes it just it's how we are as people and what we're trying to do for our brand so everything and to think about like what you want to represent and how you want to approach the holes you know, getting your senior models and is well as we're putting out what works and what doesn't work is far from it all men this isn't work well, could I do to make this better? Why are not getting as many guys I'm getting from the girls, or why these kids in this school is excited about me? Is these kids in this school and going back to the drawing board and re approaching the situation? Yes, so many questions where to begin, I could have answered the question this is from anna are elizabeth and king. How do you get the wardrobe for the street? Hey, girl, so you guys had said that you had a stylist come in, but I'm wondering when you say that you are more you like more of an urban look, are you really involved with the selection of the clothes that the girls or guys choose for their sessions so that it be consistent with your branding cross? The lulea tosh is like a closet stylist. She won't say it, but like I should tell the kids, bring over your whole entire closet, these here's will bring the entire crisis, they will lay it out on account in, she'll pick out outfits based on what I'm watching pretty little liars just for fun. I'm watching because that's that's where it happens, it happens on tv, I mean, so that and also, you know, nobody wants to be left out, everybody wants to be I feel like them balls. So if you've seen our photos and you see how our kids look, you're not going to show up to the session with a white shirt and blue jeans, your private get maybe purchasing new outfits for you shoot because you want to look like your friends or you know of tar referred. You saw her phone was man. She looked really good. I guess I should bring it. You know, let me go get some outfits, and then we work with the kids to help pick out what kind of clothes works and to answer e case question was way. Do I absolutely sit down and we lay everything out and we go outfits outfit and I go ok, all the shirts here, all the dresses here, all of these things here, and I go, okay, what do you absolutely have to where it's, non negotiable. This is the most important thing, and then we just kind of take and pull and move things out, and then I'm always like, do you trust me? Because I'm going to put these things together and may not make sense. But do you trust me? And in terms of our stylists, you know, we made a decision to invest in our shoot because we had a goal in mind, and so we did we pay for a stylist only paid for what it took, but we were trying to accomplish something, but those are things that you can do pinterest is full of amazing ideas, there's a lot of inspiration on television, and so that is why I am addicted to team shows because I want to stay ahead of the curve and he's, right? If I could have been a stylist, I would have been one I love. All right, well, speaking of pinterest and I know you mentioned these cool apps on your phone that you have heard of only because you're hanging out with seniors. Yes, high school seniors gon's photo asked what social media sites or seniors on now, we've noticed that seniors have my radio wave away from facebook a little bit. So are you using that more of this high school seniors, social media platforms? Then you would be regular pop, okay, so like, I don't have snapchat, but these girls were talking about snapshot the whole right up here, I'm not going to get snapchat, I'm not going to keep up with snapchat, you know, I have to do what makes sense so I allow them to use whatever it is that they used but definitely I'm using instagram I'm using facebook and you know, I think that's a really good question to ask to ask one of the girls like where they are because I I'm not seventeen I would like to be but I think that they would probably say I'm looking at them that that kids are still on instagram yeah, and they said facebook they said kids are on facebook you know what if you two don't know there's no hope for anything you don't know all right? We'll move on to the next question if you guys have any questions do you want more than welcome to get those ready just in douglas who says great seeing my mentors on creative live says I would love to start a senior rep team, but would you guys recommend behind the scenes video to roll the program like you showed us you think people should jump in the video? All right? I'm a big big on video because my initial starting to video was just document in our life I wanted to create a presence of what a presence our presence on the web as well as on youtube youtube is a big thing like, you know, a lot of team a lot of seniors are on youtube, they're looking at funny youtube video so part of my plug for us was to get videos on youtube is everybody wants to know what it's like to be a part of something I love watching behind the scenes videos of a show of a movie just seem like what it's like if you guys made a behind the scenes video on creative lab it would go crazy so I think that's helpful to getting people to see what it is in life so that way they get buzz and say ok, I want to be a part of that because I want to be I wouldn't say that video is in addition I don't think it's necessary but I think that motion is exciting I think people like to see what's happening do I think it's necessary to start your teen years your street team program? Absolutely not but is it like an added bonus absolutely it's fun watching to see what happens it's fun watching what's happening and seeing what's going on you know, behind the scenes so we do instagram video you know we do those kinds of things and I think it's so cool because we live in a time where it's easy to make those kinds of things it doesn't have to be no one really cares about claude I mean quality is important but if you want a corporal incorporate the u n show what you're doing I think that you can do that very easily which is really cool there's very few seniors that are probably not watching it because the audio is in perfect right? You know they don't laugh yeah exactly totally say you have a question over here thanks so you mentioned that you do still she weddings and I'm wondering it seems like the window of time where you're shooting senior purchase probably kind of overlaps the wedding seasons that how do you handle that in your business model and do you plan ahead for like blackout dates for weddings or black person so the way that we kind of set up our year we'll start from january so january through march is promotion for seniors and then april through june is kind of a mexican it's easier because there's two of us but it's kind of a mix of seniors and weddings because we live here in the northwest like wedding season is a little bit later than everyone else but that's what we dio on and so we usually have our weddings booked ahead of time but I negotiate with my seniors I'm always like um if by chance we do get a wedding we will bump you on that's just an understanding from the beginning and we've never had an issue it's never been a problem so if you are a wedding photographer and that's something that you do I think that's just something you could say from the beginning I have to use pick two d because of rains here, so we have the initial date and then if we need to change, have a back up so you could do that during wedding season pick two days so that if something does happen, then I don't have to feel guilty, and I can still do what I need to do because that's a huge loss if you're not able to shoot a wedding, the dynamic there is two of us on heavy on our weddings, and I control a lot of the wedding flow when she controls live a senior flow so she's, good at managing the scenes where she was just let me handle wedding clients right way didn't necessarily have to be there if it came down to that, but that just wouldn't be the case. We would just bumped the senior, all right have a question from katrina marie photos who's from cincinnati, ohio, asked how many different schools in your city do you recommend? How many girls do you choose per school? And how many schools do you actually really focus on? Okay, so we have time and girls at eight schools, we have five schools in the city of tacoma, I don't have a girl in every school, and the reason why is because the schools are in such close proximity and there's so many of them. Many times our cedars overlap and they know girls at other schools so that's kind of how we set it up so she said how many schools how many schools do how many girls per school right? How many schools do you like really focus okay, so generally we focus in on all of the schools where we have ribs I don't care about any of their schools that I don't have reps if they're able to get girls from the other schools that's awesome I leave that to them but in terms of what I'm focusing on on focusing on the girls in the schools that we have him in like I said earlier if we have a school where we know we can get big numbers and we put more than one rep there because they represent different groups at the high school if we know that we're not going to get a ton of numbers than we just put one girl in this school and we just let them work that whole situation that will flow there is a little bit of a financial incentive in schools that we put kids in so we know that this is a school where kids that are more affluent we're going toe put a little more focus on their school and be more careful about what goes with putting at school and how many we want based on you know the goals for the business so okay, so have a clarification question this is from crystal clear memories, so if you don't do your street teams individual sessions right away, what do they do for the yearbook photo deadlines? If they have one to use the images from the street session and crystal clear says I asked because our high school deadline is november, right? That's good? Well, the hope would be that everybody would have at least one referral on dh. So, like I said, these girls help each other and sometimes all get a call and someone doesn't even know that we have a street team and I'll say go on facebook, find a girl, let them know you want a book so you can get the discount, and so we try to help and move that forward to but yes, if they did not have their session, they would be allowed to choose from one of the ones from that we've already taken. All right, question from carrie lynn photography. Never work with boutiques or our local clothing vendors for the team shoot. If so, what incentive incentives you provide? Sort of it's a good deal for them as well. Well, images it's kind of yeah, it's a trade off like we are working with a business owner and tacoma who is just a new owner and just got the store, and she loves the pictures, it's a way for her to show off, you know what she could do on what she can put together for our shooting shoes, and we also have partnered with that person so that she could provide styling to our sessions, so she gets paid along that way, so that that's, the trade off for us, like she gets money and she gets pictures and it works out so that's, how we kind of set up our our situation way paid the styles, but, like she owns the stores, also promotes her story right after the keys and go to her store and say, hey, I, like closed like that, working on fire more outfits and go shopping at her story and find more product, and it just helps her business. We actually have partnered up with this particular person, and we're goingto have our street team party. They're so kids will get the opportunity to shock lower there, which is a really cool incident for her, and so it'll bring kids into the store that may not know anything about it, and it will give them an opportunity to buy outfits, and I think how this sounds to a school, because kids may be looking for unique outfits or you know things that they can wear and they may not know where to go and so it's just another way for us to kind of open up a vendor that may not be someone that they knew before. All right, well, we have about five more minutes so people take one more question then if you guys have any final thoughts yeah, all right, cool, alright, chickie poo would like to know what do you what do you have the girls say to their friends to help them book shoots and I'm wondering how much do coach them on their language? Are you picking people and just you basically are trusting that they're going to come up with the right language? Great question. So like I said in the application process, we ask questions that help us figure out that this person can communicate well for a believable and written you know, written excuse me if they could write well and if they can communicate verbally and what I try to do is give the information to the girls and let them express it or talk about it in the way that makes sense for them so I'm not really coaching them, but I'm definitely giving them the information and I'm explaining those things to them so they have a clear understanding they can speak about it well that's what's important I don't want to go in and say you need to talk about us this way because that doesn't make sense like that's not their language I want them to be able to go out and that's why it's important when you're doing your application process to ask questions that are going to help you identify the girls that can speak about your business and what you're trying to accomplish and part of it for us is you know we are we try to help that goes by saying, hey, if you could book or if they can if you get to write a book with us and they usually they're afraid they'll get a discount offered their sessions so it just kind of helped him so I get a discount if I gotyou that's just something that helps you awesome all right, you guys have any final thoughts or did you have a video? Did you have anything we dio way are hosting a conference in november called blink and way? We're going to be given away one seats of link teo anyone that goes to our website and signs up to get that application process so we're going to show a little problem well, awesome cool I think living down there wait pretty exciting way have amazing speakers zach and jodi gray will be there don davis logical it will be going into more streets and stuff this time went so fast I'm like, oh my gosh, I can't believe it's almost over and this is just the tip of the iceberg so I think we'll be going into way more I could hear with them in the background will be going more into senior see your street team and different things regarding that um it doesn't say is, uh, you know, since we started she team we just have seen a huge increase in our referrals and it made it so easy as a wedding photographer for us because we don't have to go out and build this part of our business, we have a group of young people that are out doing it for us, and so it allows us to kind of focus on other areas of our business that we might want to put more time into whether its product development or whether it's our wedding clientele are family clientele. And so once we got our street team situation together and we got our program in place, it was a way for our senior part of our business to just kind of run itself. So I do believe that these tips work and I do believe that if you put them in action today that you'll see that as well and yeah, it's just it's been amazing how works I mean, obviously these girls are great reflection of that so awesome! Well, this has been incredible. I think we have a special guests e o join us and also I forgot to mention that everyone in the studio audience today is going to get a one year subscription to see your style guides forum which is really cool it's full of amazing this is my baby it's full of like amazing information about senior photography a lot of amazing resource is and so I'm so your style got his giving you a membership to that form for one year and then we also have twenty five percent off of your editing service with photographers at it and the on ly way that we could do all the things that we do is by outsourcing like that makes I do not sit at a computer. Obviously I have a one year old that's not what I want to do is that it photo so today they have given twenty five percent of your first order so that you can outsource and add it to so you can book your stream team session and they did it on over to the titles that and they'll take care of it and don't forget to you know, she mentioned earlier I can touch dot com and there's a link for from target is I believe it says phone a week teo put an information to get that application streets application in the world

Class Description

Capturing the youth voice and vision can be a challenging endeavor — from staying up on ever-changing posing and wardrobe trends to keeping up with how to tap into the senior photography market.

Latasha and Ike Hayes will show you how to build a senior model program that sticks and garners the excitement you need to keep your business growing and going. They will are going to introduce you to our street team concept and how to build a loyal group of young people who not only represent your business, but also help grow and expand it.

Reviews

Bethany Disbro Miller