how to overcome fears and start a senior model team

No matter how long we’ve been in business or how old we are, we all have fears that sometimes can keep us from doing things for our businesses. I work with lots of photographers who want to have spokesmodel teams and a thriving senior photography business, but they’re often stopped by the fear of failure…. Especially about the idea that no one would join their model team! Today, I want to break down some of the most common model team fears and how to overcome them as senior photographers! 

I understand: starting anything new can be scary and it’s normal to be worried about whether or not your model team will work out. But, if you don’t put a team out there, no one can join! Then you’ll have missed the whole experience. 

The Truth about Spokesmodel Teams

Honestly, the truth is that you don’t need a huge team of 20 models to get started. My very first model team had only four members. And those four came from a friend, not a huge search. But, if I had been too scared to start small and start there, I’d never have my current team of 34 models.  We have to start and have a day one! We can’t let fear keep us from doing something that could be the thing that allows us to grow our businesses!

If you’re interested in starting a model team, the first thing that you can do to help with the fear of no one joining is to do some work proactively. Find a few potential models! When you’re starting your team, it may take a little bit more time on your end to find some potential team members instead of just posting on social media and hoping that someone responds. As you do this work and find those potential members, the fear of no one joining will diminish. 

Now before you say, “but Leslie, I don’t know any seniors!”, stop and think for a moment. Do you know anyone that knows a senior?  Everyone knows someone!  Start a list of people to contact who may know a senior that could be a good fit for your team.  Then reach out to those people and be sure to tell that person who gave you their name! Look at you marketing already! 

What if your program fails? 

The second fear is that your program will fail!  Well let me tell you the truth about this one….mine did fail!  And I survived!  I know that’s probably not what you wanted to hear, but it’s the truth. I think the only way to truly succeed at something is to fail and then try again. How else can you learn what truly works for you and your business? 

When you do fail, the first thing we want to do is just quit and say we couldn’t do it. But, I encourage you to pause and think about things from a different point of view. That first team failure gave me content that allowed me to show what I wanted to photograph, which was seniors!  It gave me experience at a time when I didn’t have a lot of senior clients. In turn, that gave me confidence to know that this was what I was meant to be doing. And I do believe it did help me book clients. They may not have said by name that someone sent them to me, but I truly believe the content and expertise I gained helped immensely. 

If we let the fear of failure stop us from trying then we are failing because we aren’t even trying!

What if I get nothing in return?

The third fear I hear a lot is that photographers are afraid of doing all the work and then getting nothing in return. But, that’s kind of what model teams are. There is a lot of planning that goes into your team – fingiding members, events, styled shoots, marketing, not to mention editing and photographing their sessions. You have to be willing to put in the time, while being realistic about what you will get in return. We can’t have these crazy expectations that we can just sit back and the models will do all the work for us!  The truth is we have to do the work. 

Remember to set expectations for the models right from the start!  I know when I think back on the times that I may have felt like I wasn’t getting a return on my investment with my model teams, it was because I wasn’t doing my best to set expectations for my team.  They don’t know what they don’t know!  We have to be the leader, guide them and tell them what we expect. It’s important to remember these are teenagers, not employees. Treat them like part of the team, and make sure it’s a special experience beyond the photo shoots. 

I truly believe that spokesmodel teams can be a huge benefit to our businesses, if we put in the time and energy. Although they can be a lot of work and nerve-wracking to start, without taking a risk, we’ll never reap the rewards! 

If you are wondering how to build a profitable spokesmodel team without being afraid no one will sign up, I’ve got a FREE event just for you!!  Join me Thursday, February 17 at 10 am eastern!  Other times are available!  Be sure to save your seat at HERE for this free webinar! 

Model team fears and how to overcome them: tips to launch your first senior spokesmodel team as a senior portrait photographer

Join the Spokesmodel Academy!

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 Senior Model Program that really works and makes teens want to be a part of it, then join me in the Spokesmodel Academy!

Build a spokesmodel program that is successful, gets your name out to your target market, fills your calendar with paying clients and so much more! Sign up HERE! This program will help you plan out your perfect spokesmodel program, fill your calendar with paying clients and allow you to create a must-have experience like no one else in your area!

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!

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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!

Model team fears and how to overcome them: tips to launch your first senior spokesmodel team as a senior portrait photographer

Episode 69 – Model Team Fears and How to Overcome Them


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