is it too late to start a senior model team

If you haven’t started preparing or advertising for your Class of 2023 model team, this episode is for you! In the last few weeks, I’ve gotten the question: is it too late to start a model team? Although it’s early February, the answer is no! It’s not too late to start a model team for the Class of 2023! Honestly, the truth is that there’s no specific date you have to have your model team organized by. In my opinion, you can totally start a senior spokesmodel team anytime before the models begin their senior year. I do think there’s some strategy involved as to when you should be looking for models, though. So let’s talk about that more! 

Searching for Your Spokesmodels

A lot of photographers plan to search for their spokesmodels before the members of their team will be seniors. Frankly, it’s just about available time and energy. For many photographers, this search takes place during their slower season, so that they can give it their attention and focus. 

When I began my spokesmodel team the first time, my search took place in the spring – so the models were juniors at that point.  I had come home from WPPI in Las Vegas with this idea of a “spokesmodel” team floating around in my head and I knew I wanted and needed one! Back then, I didn’t really know what it all entailed, how to structure one or when I was supposed to look for spokesmodels, but I was excited and wanted to start it right away!  So in the spring of 2011, I set out to find my first spokesmodels.  I didn’t do a formal launch or any sort of big search.  I simply called a friend, asked her for a few names of girls that were soon to be seniors and contacted them.  

Don’t search during your busy time!

But after that first team, I learned that searching for the girls during the spring meant I was searching during one of the busiest times in my photography business. Unfortunately, that meant things could fall through the cracks or just not have my full attention because I was busy shooting and editing sessions most of the day. It was too much. 

I knew right away that I had to do things differently the next time. I began to think about when in the calendar year I was at my slowest for the business… not only would it give me more time to focus on what I needed to do, but my business would use the little boost from the search.  There may not be a magic date when you should start but there is a better time to start the search for your team.

Launching the search for a spokesmodel team in a less busy time will give you more time to actually plan out the search, have the time to get to know the applicants and will give you something to promote in your business when you aren’t shooting as much.

How to Know if You’re Ready to Launch Your Team

There’s a few questions to ask yourself as you prepare to launch your team search. The first is: Why do you want a model team? If your answer is to build a team of high school seniors to help market your business, have content to show what you want to shoot and create a community of your ideal clients (AKA: seniors), then now is a great time to start your model team. 

The second question to ask yourself is…do I have the time to plan and execute a model team?  The search alone takes a bit of time. You have to promote it, spend time finding models, accept applications and more in order to find the right people for your team.  I didn’t plan out my first model team and that was a big mistake.  Don’t do that!  Take the time to sit down, plan everything out on a calendar so you can see exactly how long the search will be to know if you have the time to dedicate yourself to finding your spokesmodels.

The third question to ask yourself is…When is your busy season with senior clients?  You want to make sure that you search for your new team during a time that won’t take away your focus on your already booked clients!  For me, my busy season is usually the fall of their senior year and the spring of their senior year!  So when it comes to starting the search for my model team, my best times would either be in the winter or the summer. 

You can get your model team up and running by March 30:

Now I know you are probably on social media and you probably follow a ton of senior photographers!  Which means you may have seen some of them already announcing their team for the Class of 2023!  And maybe that has you thinking, “I guess I’m behind and will have to wait until next year!”  But the truth is you don’t have to wait!  Use the timeline below to get your model team up and running by the end of March! 

Spend 1-2 weeks planning out your program if you don’t have one already!  And if you do have one, spend this time evaluating your team and what worked and what didn’t.  Make any necessary adjustments.

Start teasing the search for your team on social media for about 1-2 weeks.  You want to build the excitement about your search so people are ready to apply when you launch.

The next two weeks will be spent accepting applications for your team!  Make sure you are talking about this a lot on social media, while also contacting anyone you know and asking them to nominate someone for the team!  Reach out to those nominations and share info about the team and the application.

Spend 1 week going through the applications and getting to know the applicants.

Invite those you want to get to know more to an in-person meeting or zoom meeting.  If you host an in person meeting be sure to give about 2 weeks notice.

Take some time to make your decision on who will make the team.  I would suggest spending about a week to make your decisions

Announcement time!

With this timeline, you can have your team announced by April! Not only will the search for your new spokesmodels create buzz for your business with juniors, but any seniors who haven’t booked their senior session with you may start to reach out!  While there’s still plenty of details to work out, this timeline should help you jumpstart your model team search!

Is it Too Late to Start a Model Team for Your Senior Portrait Biz?, Seniorologie podcast host Leslie Kerrigan discusses how to kickstart your team

Join the Free Event All About Spokesmodel Teams!

Are you a photographer wanting to create a Model Program that works for your business?  Have you started one but it hasn’t worked the way you hoped?  If you want to learn how to create a Profitable Senior Model Program that really works and makes teens want to be a part of it, then join me for this FREE Training!!!

This event will cover the mistakes I see being made when it comes to running a spokesmodel team and how to avoid those mistakes in order to create a successful and profitable spokesmodel team that fills your calendar with high school seniors and allows you to become the go-to senior photographer in your area!!  Click HERE to save your spot in this FREE training that starts next Thursday, February 17 at 2pm Eastern standard time!

Is it Too Late to Start a Model Team for Your Senior Portrait Biz?, Seniorologie podcast host Leslie Kerrigan discusses how to kickstart your team

Stay in touch!

Are you a member of the free Seniorologie Community on Facebook?  If not, I would love to have you join to continue this conversation and many more!  The Seniorologie Community is a great place to get to know other senior photographers, share your wins, ask advice and much more!  To join, click HERE!

Have we connected on Instagram?  If not, I would love to get to know you!  Come say hello and send me a DM so I can thank you for listening to The Seniorologie Podcast!

Seniorologie’s Instagram & Leslie’s Instagram

Need help with your senior photography business?  I’ve put together lots of FREE resources to help you in your business!  You can have access to these awesome free resources HERE!

Episode 68: Is it Too Late to Start a Model Team?


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