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Ready to Attract the Senior Market?

Intro by Skip Cohen

There’s so much great content out in Cyberspace, and it’s not only free but loaded with actionable ideas to help you build a stronger business. The Joy of Marketing is one of those sites you need to scroll through.

While this post is part of Sarah Petty’s blog, it was written by Erin Verbeck a few years back. Erin is the Chief Joy Officer at the Joy of Marketing and a non-stop contributor to excellent business/marketing tips, content and working with Sarah to help artists raise the bar on the quality of their business!

As we start to head into a new year, many of you are going to be thinking about more diversity in your business. You’re going to be looking for new revenue streams and with that search come new target audiences.

Be logical in your choices to diversify. For example, there’s a logical connection between families, brides, children, babies, pets, and seniors. On the other hand, if you’re thinking about doing tabletop photography targeting product managers and commercial ad agencies, those images belong on their own website. An account exec at an agency looking for a photographer to do still life product shots is going to run the other way when looking at galleries of babies, family portraits or wedding photographs.

Erin shares some outstanding ideas to help you start to build a business that targets the senior market and being “cool” is one of the most critical ingredients. You need to have a reputation for being fun to work with. Remember, for most seniors; this is their first real experience in a relationship with a professional photographer.

Part of the best way to build that reputation is through community involvement, especially in the school system. This is relationship building at its best and just being involved in support for the high school in any capacity will help pave the way to expand and utilize your expertise to capture senior portraits!

by Sarah Petty

Even the big guys with the huge marketing budgets are moving to social media to accomplish their sales goals and implement their marketing ideas. Just this week in Brandweek, Macy’s and Sears talked about their social marketing plans to attract prom dress shoppers. Sears has a dedicated microsite for prom goers where they can take a quiz to find their prom dress personality, get hair and makeup tips and learn the top 10 hottest trends in prom fashion this year.

What’s important to note about these plans is that these big mass-market retailers are attempting to move from only a provider of prom dresses to a partner in making the perfect dress selection. By giving hair and makeup tips, trend advice and more, they are positioning themselves as experts in all things prom! As small business owners, what can we take away from this?

First, one thing that high school students are never short on is time. So this senior portrait season as you’re trying to attract high school seniors to choose you for their senior portraits, why not partner with a local clothing boutique, make up artist, hair salon and accessories store for a ‘Make Your Senior Year Your Best Ever’ event.

Use your senior model ambassadors to spread the word, run Facebook ads, if you want to charge a small fee then donate the proceeds for the event to local schools. The event should be an educational event, teaching seniors what colors, hairstyles and clothing options look best for senior portraits. It’s not about selling, it’s about giving advice. Serve refreshments, hire a DJ or at least have a rockin iTunes playlist made by someone who knows what is hip right now. Give away prizes from each of the sponsors. The possibilities are endless! And remember, it doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to be cool!