Like most photographers, you have probably had in influx of senior calls recently. Schools will be back in session in less than a month, parents are trying to squeeze in appointments before their kids get busy with their final year of high school. What are you doing to turn your calls into appointments?
I have carved out a niche market in my area for senior girls; approximately 90% of the calls my studio receives turnover into appointments. I believe that my branding and marketing has a lot to do with this booking rate; my clients already know they want to book before seeing my pricing. However, if they are on the fence about booking, I have created high-end material and benefits for booking with my studio. If you are having trouble sealing the deal, below are a few tips to aid in the process.
Pick Up The Phone
I receive many inquires via email and sometimes text messages. Instead of communicating through long drawn out emails and text, call them! It will help get relay the information quicker and they will get a feeling of your personality over the phone. This is the perfect time to give your “elevator speech” or sales pitch on why they should choose you. If you have a studio, invite the senior and their parents to come in for a pre-session consultation. You will ease their minds about the process by simply being available to answer their questions and inform them on what to expect. Keep in mind; many seniors are nervous about having their picture taken and how this process will work.
You must have a professional way to present your information and pricing. Are you giving your clients information and pricing in a high-end presentation of some form or are you emailing them a PDF price list? A couple years ago, I put together an online senior magazine that all of my clients receive. It includes photos from my rep sessions and features some of my best work from the year before. Not only does it highlight some of my favorite work, but there is information on styling, props, locations, and an overview of what to expect and how the process works. Every client that receives the private link raves about the magazine and is very thankful for all the information. Take the time to create something that highlights your work and shows your professionalism. I try to stay as green as possible, but you could always print and mail your presentation. Consistency in your branding should shine through in all the materials your client receives.
Many seniors and parents are lost when it comes to choosing outfits and styles. If you can alleviate some of this concern, you have made the process much easier and more enjoyable. Our studio has partnered with two local clothing boutiques that are targeted towards that age group. When booking with my studio, each of my seniors will receive 15% off their entire purchase and the boutiques offer a personal stylist to help choose the right fit and outfit. In addition to finding the perfect outfits, offering professional hair and make-up is a must. We have partnered with a salon that is proficient in editorial make-up and hair. Find a salon or a stylist that knows what looks good in front of a camera. There is a difference between daily make-up and photo-shoot make-up. We encourage seniors to add on hair and make-up to any collection for an additional cost.
Your senior clients need to know that you offer something more and/or better than your competitor. The above suggestions should help you provide more of an experience not just a photo session. Actively engage with your clients and offer suggestions and ideas. Seniors are looking for more than professional images; they are looking for professional advice and guidance to bring their experience full circle.