Targeting Niche Markets: Seniors
Here's five things you can do if you're starting to go after senior some you may have heard of some you may not have uh add in the high school paper okay in the beginning we were running ads in the high school paper looking for ambassadors that's what we did and we first started out we're looking for ambassadors that's what we needed after that after time now you're not looking for ambassadors anymore it's more of an awareness campaign and look let's be honest, some of the senior papers you can get into the senior papers for seventy five dollars all the way up to two hundred dollars just see what they're looking for him for two hundred bucks if you get a full page in the newspaper, spend the two hundred bucks especially if you're going after the high school senior market take whatever you can get you know look into it see how much it is um direct mail we're going to send direct mail pieces five times a year it's gonna be may, june, july, august, september that's when those pieces shoul...
d go out and then of course you need that ambassador program this is your mini sales force in the school okay, these kids going to sell for you I'm going to show you our marketing pieces for this year, so they're different right? So this is our direct mail flier this was done by my graphics design girl she did this uh this is custom for us right? So every year we're switching our campaigns so that they're different they're fresh they're exciting on the back side so this is ahh nine by six card okay it's going to go out it's going to go out to them and um this is the front one image powerful image then on the back noticed the branding right I love that little we'll tape thing that we got going on there I just think it's really cool that is not a foreign language that is what's called lauren gypsum on it's just there s oh that it's a placeholder for tax so this out comes back to me for my designer so that I can start laying stuff out in there but it's a very branded piece from them so this is the front again this is the back the space on the bottom there is for the address information but this is what's about to go out well what about my utters my ambassadors they're going to get their rep cards that's a little five by seven card for them okay, so that's what we're going to give them it's one card notice it is a branded campaign so the same thing hitting the mail boxes at home is the same thing that the kids were handing out in school the branding haas to be identical stop making this look like a mom and pop operation. Make the investment of a couple hundred bucks. Get some templates we sell templates. Other people sell templates, do whatever you got to do but make it a brand it experience. And if you're going to spend ten hours designing flyers for spending one hundred box and buying templates, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but the choice is yours where you want to spend your time and energy so it's a very branded, cohesive thought that's the front that's the back and then that's the five by seven card. Ah, that we're using. Okay, so let's come back to this. What about running facebook ads? Facebook ads can go after seniors as well. There's nothing wrong with that that's a huge opportunity. So for facebook ads, what about here? Here we go again. We went into that adds manager we talked about okay, check this out. United states o'fallon I'm looking for us right within ten miles of o'fallon and notice the age range sixteen to seventeen years old women okay, nine thousand three hundred eighty people that I have access to from that adds manager. So check your own cities so now I'm giving you a direct mail option I'm giving you a digital medium option right using facebook you can check out google so these air always to keep getting your brand out there reinforcing them controlling costs obviously direct mail is going to cost more than a facebook campaign but it's not a single effort right it's a multi pronged approach to keep your brand out there and people aware now if you're going to do a facebook campaign it can't just be running a facebook campaign give me a reason to click talk about your twelve hour sale you're seventy five percent off sale talk about all these things get them going give me a reason to click on your ad and engage with it right make sure it's a compelling picture those pictures they're so small it's got to be a picture of a beautiful face on their right don't show me one that's architecturally uh based where I can't even tell what I'm looking at make it a pretty face right and what's our campaign here game on right so maybe for me when I run this facebook ad I'm gonna go classic twenty fourteen game on right and they're going to see an awesome picture hopefully that can that can click but that's only gonna be one campaign iran it's on facebook I can run multiple campaigns to see I could go back and look att insights like we talked about on day one on friday and see who the game on campaigns not working okay let's kill it nobody's clicking on it so let's just kill it what is working? Get seventy five percent off your session fee so we can run all these campaigns in parallel to see what language what pictures are working so whenever you're doing something on facebook don't you send out one uh campaigns don't don't run one campaign run multiples because you've got to test it you understand all the big marketing cos this is what they do you know they have a different marketing strategy for the northeast and they do out west right then they do on the southeast they're trying all sorts of different things and then they're going okay here's what worked up in the northeast let's try it in the southeast did that work? Well? Here's what's working in the midwest right in the midwest? They're typically a little more conservative than they are in the northeast she would never run that same marketing campaign across the entire united states. Most companies do not do that they tweet the language they tweet the imagery right and things like that why would we operate any differently? So run multiple campaign see what's working? How about free yearbook headshots? How about offering that to your schools and getting the schools to promote that right? So yet another way to get into the school there's a lot of kids, by the way, who can't afford yearbook shots even at thirty bucks so most schools have a pre negotiated rate for head shots for the yearbook okay, so they'll go some schools it's free, you go into the school and get your free year by picture's not all schools operate that way. So in my area, not all schools operate that way when I have capacity will offer up a single day for free yearbook pictures so that they can come in kids who can't afford it and get a very nice yearbook headshot that's my way of giving back to the community, right? That community supports me when they bring their kids in seventy five to one hundred kids and they're having their senior portrait done in our studio why wouldn't I want to give back to the community right if it leads to a sale great, if not that's not what I'm doing it for. So I'm spending that one day and I'm just investing back in the community now I'm not suggesting for a minute that that's what you do a czar, you're main business practices, what I'm suggesting you do is add this it's gonna help you network it's going to make connections it's a great way of giving back to the community you're going to feel good about it, but you're gonna get in good with the school as well, so it's a win win all the way around just making sense which one of you guys are all going after seniors rachel I know you're heavily going after seniors this is where you want to be what here could you feel like you can implement or what questions you having an internet? I'm gonna come to you for questions here in a second well I've already been talking to some of the high school's about their newspaper and I ran into one snag where they had a um contract with another photographer so they're like well you khun do family photography but not high school so how would you go about that that's actually incorrect I love that you're that's why I'm asking you guys I want to hear what objections you're coming up with uh based on what we're talking about here in theory just because they have a contract for who can submit to the yearbook they should not be controlling who's in the school paper so they're actually trying to control who is in the school paper yeah it was the teacher that was running the program and she wasn't sure andi box okay you need to push back on them and go I'm sorry I'm not trying to be difficult to work with at all. It just doesn't make any sense to me how when you're already controlling who can submit to the yearbook why you control who can run ads in the magazines or what kind of you're creating monopoly for that studio that's the language I would use because they are in fact creating a monopoly for that uh for that school so don't give up on that pushback on her that had been thinking about it here's what I'm thinking because there's no reason you can't submit and maybe you are putting seniors families babies in there but you're definitely going to show a senior picture in your ad and if she wants you you want to play the game you wanted to say families okay, we shoot families get your family done shows senior picture I don't know like play the game, figure it out ah, what else? Who else is working on seniors? So we made a list of all the high schools in our area that we wanted to be in with and contacted all of them left messages sent emails I can't even get anybody to get back to me from the school's yeah, yeah, the schools are absolutely horrible toe work with and I don't know if that's a reflection on this staff or what it is but they are horrible and you've got to be persistent so everybody out there I don't want you to believe for a minute that it's smooth like I call up the high school when I get a call back my high school's air the same way yours are it took me three years to get into one of the high schools three years of calling calling calling just being a giant pain in the ass and not letting go right so don't give up its none of this is easy you've got to be persistent this's great for me because I've been trying to figure out how to get in the schools without you know tryingto find an ambassador or no junior whatever I never even thought about doing like a free head shop things because usually have big companies like life touch doing all those photos and whatnot so I don't know how to go about it yeah you the ultimate goal is you want to get in the good graces of the school, right? So it's typically the yearbook advisor that's hole is the gatekeeper so yearbook advisor is in fact the gatekeeper they're the one's blocking you and you know there's a story I used to tell there was a school back home who's, belleville east and I could not get into that school at all. They would not even return phone calls, nothing. We finally get a hold of the yearbook advisor and we're like, hey, we're trying to make sure we're on the school list baba he's like all absolutely goes you're gonna be on the list no problem like great all of a sudden the list because what happens is school sends home a list to the parents telling them here's, where you can get your senior portrait done for the year. This was one school that had, I don't know somewhere the neighborhood's seven to ten photographers on the list of senior I think the senior class is over a thousand seniors, okay, so no one photography studio is really gonna be able to handle that, so they were sending them tio seven to ten studios list comes out were not on it, so I call him up I go crazy he's like, yeah, we decided you're not going to be on the list of shit like you told me we would there's well, it's too late at this point and I knew what was going on. It was this good old boys network of photographers they'd never heard of us. They didn't want to let us in. I went, I mean, I went crazy on him and I didn't let it go. I escalated it ii didn't end around one of my clients, ok was on the local board of education and an attorney, so I called her. I told her what they were doing, she was like, uh, we're not having any of this, she calls thie superintendent the superintendent now calls the principle, okay, they don't like that kind of stuff, man, I was ruffling massive feathers to get into that school but I wasn't going to take it I don't like that man give me an opportunity if you're going to block me block me for a reason but don't tell me you're going to let me on the list and then not put me on the list right? So I'm fighting for my business here puts pressure that the superintendent puts pressure on the principal principal puts pressure on the yearbook advisor guess what? We were on the list and we've never been off the list ever since so the moral of that story is do not take no for an answer and the best part about all of this is the new yearbook advisor she loves me so much she's my bride okay, so now she went in got engaged and the first thing she said when she got engaged he called me she's like there's no one else I'd rather have photograph my wedding uh than you right and I love her I love her to death she's awesome her fiance is awesome but this is what I'm saying don't give up man you've got to keep fighting for your business is no one else is gonna fight for you alright questions on the internet few things online yet man you're talking about persistence right now may take a few times to get their attention but persistence can give it right away if it were easy everyone would do it right and so you definitely have to fight for what you want and what you believe in our no one else is gonna do it for you okay, so this is a question I'm sure a lot of people have out there especially if you're just beginning in the photography business and that cell is resa restless says what if in the area you live in the high schools they use only one studio and you are not a studio but working from home as you know, a lot of people don't have studios they or from home initially is there a way around the beginning gets present yourself is maura I guess professional or gets established so that's a great question let's go back to where we started from we had very humble beginnings two thousand seven eight and nine we were working out of our home so we didn't have ah really studio most of my chutes were on location we didn't really use studio lighting we brought people into our home for those meetings, but of course we don't have kids, so if you have kids, you can have kids running around the house, so maybe from that perspective you're going to go out and you're going to get kind of, you know p o box or something like that or shared space or what we talked about yesterday the business incubators that's where you're gonna end up going right so you're gonna look for that stuff to give you more of ah presence but don't be ashamed if you're working out of your home but it might not be the right place to bring clients you've got to figure out how to get that professional look and feel and of course going to start with your website believe it or not more than if you're working out of your home or not all right the next question is kind of always a hot topic in our chat rooms and loved to hear your thoughts on this question comes from we um what do you feel about partnership with web sites such as living social group on et cetera no man is gonna open up a can of worms uh so group on livingsocial if you want to destroy your brand start running some advertising on group on when I start seeing listen to me we offer professional services okay do you see doctors and lawyers running their professional services on groupon no because you're devaluing your brand okay you know you see running deals on on livingsocial on groupon you see people who are shooting and burning doing that I understand because I'm sure I'm gonna get an influx of e mails and people going no I do group on it's amazing okay are you running fifteen hundred or two thousand dollar average? Probably not because you're connecting with the wrong clients if I did that to my brand and I went out on group on, I'm immediately diminishing the value of what I'm offering up now don't get me wrong if you're selling a product or service that is a commodity product. Okay, whether it's you know, like photographers for tigers have all sorts of sites like that aperture society, god there's a ton of sites out there that are selling photography related stuff there, commodity products, okay, presets or commodity product uh, frames are a commodity product, but when you're selling your services that are time related, we cannot diminish the value of that and that's what a group on site does that's not where you want to be with your brand. Please do not do that with your brand. I think that will utterly hurt you in the long hall let's kill. I mean, I want to keep going on that. There are ways to do it, maybe a discounted session feet, but here's, what happens on groupon and almost all the sights. First of all, they want you to offer a near fifty percent discount on whatever you're selling, sometimes more let's. Just say you offer a fifty percent discount, you've already cut it in half, then they typically want youto have product associated with it, not whether it's a digital images or um product like a canvas or something like that so not only are you discounted by fifty percent they now want fifty percent or more of what comes in okay so you are now getting twenty five cents on the dollar of what came in through that site so you're attracting the wrong client what kind of client you're tracking one who appreciates art the one who's looking for a deal that's who goes to group on when I when I'm looking on group on the only time my purchases my mic damn that's a good deal okay and I'm purchasing that and typically what I'm buying our commodity products restaurant gift certificates I write things like that makes total sense so let the hate mail begin that's awesome okay next question I think we have lined up is from adrian and ohio who had a great question earlier as well round here most of the schools are contract id with the large companies for the yearbook photos is it worth it to continue trying to get into these schools s so the short answer is the long answer is we have the same schools buy us that our contract id we're dealing with the same thing here's what it means when your contract it it means that the actual yearbook photo is it has to come from that contract it studio that is the on ly thing that has to come from that contract at studio so what you have ahead of you is an educational problem. You have to educate parents that they can in fact, go someplace else, right? You don't have to go to studio acts, you're only going there for your yearbook photo so you can run all host of ad campaigns right where you're like, get your yearbook photo taken and come to us. We'll give you fifty percent off your session fee will refund your yearbook photo. Alright what's wrong with that? They're paying about thirty bucks twenty five thirty bucks for a yearbook photo I'll give them the twenty five or thirty bucks. Go get your yearbook photo taken someplace else, right? Get your lame pictures taken there come nose for the high fashion experience and that's what you have to do, you have to educate your clients that they have options in our local market. There's o'fallon high school o'fallon high school has created a monopoly for one of my competitors and I'm going after him. I am not gonna let him own the market while I'm sitting in the town on a historic building and it's, one of the largest buildings in the town of o'fallon, I'm not going to let my competitors dominate the local market there's no way, so I'm fighting with the mayor about it, I'm fighting with the principal about it, I'm making a stink about it and I'm going to create an ad campaign with flyers that brings it to the attention of parents that the town has created a monopoly and we're here be aware of us, right? I don't want all the language is going to be, but it's definitely gonna be in in your face campaign. So if you're serious about this again, I can't just sit back and let someone else control my destiny. I've got to get aggressive in going after this, so don't be afraid to get a little pissed off and start going after ah, what you're looking for a man again no one's gonna hand it to you, we're in a competitive market. Everybody wants to be in this school, there's over a thousand seniors a year that this guy has access to and they just go to him that's crazy, right? I'm right there up the street from him, so we're going. We'll make some change as the consistent saint theme in the chat rooms. They're exactly what you're talking about terms of monopolies, these high schools using just one main contractor for that, but if I'm hearing you correctly let, don't give up, be persistent and find ways around to get into into that market work the system every every school every system's the same all cities are the same right? You've got these life touches in there they're dominating things but again it's understanding what their contract it for their only contract id for the yearbook photo you need to understand that because that changes the way you go after that student body, so to speak and let's not forget of course, when you're being persistent at the end of the day, you still have tohave a beautiful product, your service and all those things you know once you do get in the door that's absolutely right. How am I going toe woo away those clients who want we're going oh that's cool! We can go someplace else, but if they now look at my brand and my brand is justus good as the photographer they're already going to why would they come to me there mom's gonna go just get it all done at studio acts there's no need to go over there but if I create this brand where the kids were like, oh my god, no I don't want to go there all my friends are going there I want something different. I want that high fashion experience like the pictures you see the kids will get their parents to go and take them someplace else and we're seeing it we're seeing it already happening withy schools