If you are looking to get more exposure for your business with the high school crowd, one place I can guarantee they are is prom! The prep for prom begins early. In this post, I am sharing 9 steps to creating mini prom sessions so you can make the most of prom season in your area!
When it comes to photographing high school seniors, being front of mind with this crowd is key! You want them to immediately think of you when they are ready to book a senior photographer. You can do this in a number of ways including social media, email marketing, a senior spokesmodel team, and getting out in your community! When it comes to getting out in your community, it helps to look at what major events your ideal client has going on and figure out a way to work with that event. Prom is a major event in a high school senior’s life.
So how can we work with this event to make sure we are the photographer they book?
Researching your area’s high schools and when their proms are is the best way to start. Make a list of high schools, and call the schools or look at their calendars on their websites and find out exactly when prom is. Then mark these dates on your calendar! This information is crucial to planning out a marketing campaign and advertising your prom mini-sessions. You will want to make sure you have this information in advance so you have plenty of time to market, advertise and book.
Email is the best way to contact potential clients and advertise your prom sessions. Through a freebie like this, you can collect new email addresses to add to your contacts as well as round up any existing ones you already have who may be attending prom this year. Setting up this freebie early will allow you plenty of time to collect contacts and start marketing your mini-sessions. Pro tip: girls start shopping for prom dresses even before they have dates and they start as early as December or January! Consider teaming up with a local prom vendor to stretch your reach even more! Ask them for advice or tips that you can share in your freebie!
Create an email sequence that allows you to nurture your audience with helpful info about prom as well as sell/book your sessions to them. Write out 3-6 emails that will provide info (again ask those vendors for some valuable info to share) and get those on your list interested in booking a prom mini-session with you. Remember you want to use this time to nurture your list. You will send out an actual “book your prom session” email closer to prom. For now, get to know your audience, provide info and create a relationship with them.
Once you have the freebie created and the nurture emails ready to go, it’s time to advertise the freebie so you start building that list before you are ready to book sessions. Again, use the relationship with the vendor to help you reach a bigger audience and have them share about the freebie on their social channels! Talk about your freebie on your social media accounts, add a link in your bio to your freebie, include it on your website, and include it anywhere else you see fit!
While your list is growing and your nurture emails are going out, it’s time to price your prom mini-sessions. You need to have a pricing structure in place before you are able to book sessions. When it comes to pricing prom sessions, think about your goal and your audience/client. Is your goal to make a ton of profit or is your goal to make a profit but also to gain exposure and get in front of teens for future senior sessions? The answer to this may affect how you price your sessions.
Then ask yourself who is your client for prom sessions? Who is paying…the parent or the teen themselves? Again, the answer to this may affect how you price your sessions. A good rule of thumb is to charge a per-person rate for a set amount of time and a certain amount of digitals. The reason I like to charge per person is because I find that a lot of prom sessions include a group of friends. So no matter how big or small the group, you get paid per person. Keep in mind that friend groups are super common for prom.
Now it’s time to plan out your day of prom sessions! Ask yourself how long you need to photograph a group. Everyone shoots differently so you have to make sure you schedule the time you need in order to get the best shots per group or couple. 15-20 minutes per group is good for me but you may need a little more time. Make sure to space out your sessions to give you a small break in between each session too!
In addition to time, you need to choose a location. It is best to choose one location so that each group comes to you rather than you go to multiple locations. It’s also a good idea to choose a location where you know the light. Typically prom photos are taken earlier than golden hour because most teens get the photos taken then go to dinner and then prom. So you want to make sure you are choosing a location where you are comfortable with the light in the afternoon and a location that gives you a beautiful backdrop for prom photos. You may also want to consider how crowded a location is. If you are like me and have a specific spot in your town that is super common for prom photos then it could be crowded so be sure to consider this before making that your location.
Also, have a backup plan in case it rains!!
Book those prom sessions! It’s now time to get people to book their prom session. You want to give those on your list first access to booking. Draft an email to them and let them know they have first dibs before you release time slots to the public. You could even offer a bonus or a discount if they book by a certain date to motivate them. Booking should be first come first serve so by booking early they can get their preferred time slot! You want to book these sessions about 3-4 weeks before prom so the groups of friends have formed and they know who they are going to prom with. If you try to book any earlier, they may not have all that nailed down.
When it comes to friend group booking, you want to make sure one person is in charge and is your point of contact. This makes it easier to organize. Be sure to get that person’s name, cell number, email, and Instagram so you can contact them with reminders leading up to prom or any last-minute changes. Take the payment upfront at the time of booking so you don’t have to worry about that on the day of prom!!
Once you are at the session, it is a great idea to get everyone in the group’s contact info so you can follow them, and reach out to them with any future specials, announcements, etc. I like to have each of them scan a QR code that has my information on it, asks them to tag me in their posts of the photos once they receive them, and gives them the link to where the photos will be once they are edited and ready! This way you have an entire group of mini-marketers for your business.
Email and text reminders leading up to the day of the prom sessions! Make sure you keep all of your contacts informed and send reminders so no one misses anything.
The one thing I know about teens and prom is they have a window in which they like to share their images and it is fast! They do not want to share images a week later, so do your best to get the images turned around fast. And the more they share, the more people see your work and the more people are likely to book you when it comes to future sessions!
That was a lot of information and I hope you found it super helpful! But to help you even more…I’m going to give you homework! Because as you know around here, I want these posts to help move your business forward!
Here’s your homework:
You’ve got this! Follow these 9 steps to creating mini prom sessions and your business will be growing this spring! Prom is an excellent way to get exposure for the senior side of your business.
I want to share with you a free social media post that is all about prom! This can be something you post to get your followers interested in getting on your email list while also providing valuable info regarding prom or better yet, valuable info around something they are definitely interested in…aka prom! Click here to download the free prom post complete with graphics and prom tips that you can share today.
If you need more help with marketing to seniors and getting booked for prom sessions or regular senior sessions, making 4 -figures per senior session, and becoming the go-to senior photographer in your area, The Seniorologie Semester is for you! It is a six-month coaching program specifically designed for photographers like you! This program includes marketing to seniors and parents, building websites that convert visitors into clients, pricing your work for profit, creating an amazing experience seniors want to be a part of, and so much more! The Senioroligie Semester is currently open for enrollment! If you are ready to take the senior side of your business to the next level, book senior clients on repeat, and make 4 figures per session, the Seniorologie Semester is for you! You can learn more about it by visiting www.seniorologie.com/semester.
If you are already using email marketing in your business or are ready to get started, I would love to hear from you and help you in any way I can! If you have questions, you can DM me on Instagram or email me at email@example.com!
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