Why The Senior Rep Program Doesn't Work
Let's get into it already. Okay are you ready? Okay um I have noticed a problem in the industry which you probably have to and that problem is over saturation. We have roughly fifty seven million practising photographers in the united states today. Now obviously not all of those would claim to be professional portrait photographers but fifty seven million practising photographers gives us a little glimpse into into our into how our culture is responding to photography it's very popular that's one in every six people in our country that that is practicing photography whether professionally or as a hobby. So we have a very big family a huge community, a big family and families sometimes fight and families sometimes steal each other's things and that is exactly what happened to the senior et program. The senior rep program was a brilliant marketing strategy that came out years ago specifically marketing two high school seniors and it had high school seniors repping for your business and t...
hen you would give them free sessions when they brought you leads and then you would turn those leads that they brought you into future business. Okay, so the strategy was brilliant but then other family members started tio started to figure that out that it was working and they started doing it. And so now not only is our market oversaturated with family members but it's also oversaturated with duplicate marketing strategies so another first of all, let me tell you my experience with it because I actually implemented the senior the red program into my own studio for a while and the first year I did it it was actually doing pretty well I got a great response from that and then the next year I did it I noticed that it was a little more difficult it was kind of hard tio my bookings kind of like decreased a little bit, which is a little backwards because the more you market, the more your business should grow and then the third year my bookings decreased even more and I realized, oh my gosh, the people I'm marketing too are starting to figure out what I'm doing I was actually I was getting less bookings but mohr emails from people from high school students who were asking me if they could rep for me not asking me if I if they could hire me for shooting their senior portrait's but asking if they could rep for me. And then I was getting emails from mom's asking if I offered a rep program, so I started seeing this trend where people were looking for free sessions I discovered that I was really hard for me to find quality wraps at the time they didn't wantto they didn't want to work hard for me and read my business they just wanted a free session there was no connection between me and the people I was marketing tio, which is a huge deal, because photographers are selling themselves a big part of getting business is telling people who you are and bringing them in, starting the conversation and being connected to them. I was also spending hours and hours shooting free sessions for my representatives, editing their photos and then doing their consul. They're proved they're they're ordering sessions on lee to find out that when I would do the sale, it would be a very poor sale, because they were coming to me for a free session so they weren't able to afford a profitable sale for me in my studio, so it was kind of this cycle of not good, so I realized something needed to change. I needed a complete revamp in my studio, I needed something that was going to set me apart from my competition, okay, so I created a solution are what I felt was a solution was a solution for me in my studio in central oregon, where I live. It is the number one for most breweries per capita in in bend, oregon, central, or get that area okay, and is the number two for most photographers per capita, so this is really good for people that, like beer and not really good for photographers who like beer so I started following the breweries that we're doing really, really well in our area, and I noticed that the ones that we were doing really well, we're the ones that were doing something completely different than their competition. They were brewing like hybrid beers with the confused apple and lavender flavors and liking things that not that, like other breweries, were not doing sometimes they were just creating a really unique names for their bruise, which I thought was a great idea, and I realized that if I wanted to set myself apart from from my competition, I needed something that was going to be different. I needed to market to my client base completely different than they were, and if all the other photographers were still doing the rap program, I had to break away from that, even though it's what I knew and what I was comfortable with. So I created what I call senior week. I call it senior week because I honestly could not think of a better thing to call it, so if you come up with a better thing to call it, then you're welcome to call it something else. Um, senior week is the best marketing I've ever done two high school seniors by far, I am booking twice a cz many sessions, as I was when I was implementing the rep program um, I've been able to grow my studio's presence in my community and not only grow my studio's presence, but as I'm capturing the attention of potential clients, I've been able to hold it, which I found in the photography industry, is something that's really difficult to dio you can capture the attention of a client, but then another photographer can come in and sweep it away with something else, and so I've been able to hold that for years to come, which is setting my studio up for success in the future, not only in my booking twice as many sessions, but I am booking fifty percent of my of all of my senior sessions for the entire season in this one he's in your weak, which is which is really helpful. I am spending twenty five percent of the time that I was spending on the senior rep program implementing the strategies instead, and then, like I said, I'm growing, I'm consistently growing my studio and my presence in the computer in the community. This this program is five simple steps it starts with our model call where you were doing a model call rather than calling for representatives were getting away from all of the terms that the red program called for we're going to cover what to do and what not to do when you make a model call. Cross promotion. This is working with local businesses to mutually benefit each other. I'm very excited about this one. So if I start to get a little squirrely, will make it to this. Just may be, do this. Help me settle down senior week, which is the big push, the big, the, the one week where we're making a ton of noise, getting a ton of attention and having a lot of fun, and then we have how to efficiently efficiently implement senior pardon me, email marketing into your strategy. And then, of course, the most important part of it all is throughout all of this, all of the marketing that you're going to be doing, how to turn them into actual sessions. And this is going to be through face to face marketing.