Jen Basford with Seniors Ignite and 3 girls photography joins us for another interview about building your senior model program. In this article, Jen touches base on what her models receive as part of her program.
When speaking with Jen, the first thing she emphasizes is that your models should be full paying clients. What do you offer to entice them into your program? You have to provide benefits that are appealing to your model and helpful to your business. Jen believes that offering free or discounted products and sessions cheapen your brand. It will also make your models and their parents expect more free products or services. The best way to avoid this is by providing what Jen refers to as a “popsicle”. The “popsicle” is something that draws them to your business and makes them want to be involved with your program. Below are a few ways you can give your models incentives in your program.
Model Shoot – Almost all senior rep programs start out with a model shoot. It is important not to give your seniors too much during this session. You want them wanting more; this is just a taste of what is to come during their personal session. There are many different ways to enhance your models photo-shoot experience. Jen suggests styling, themes, couture, or destination shoots. Give your models something different that what everyone else will receive during their senior shoot. You want this shoot to show off your skills and inspire your potential clients. You can also add professional hair and make-up to your photo-shoots which provides a pampering experience for the model and a boost to your end product.
Cash is King – All of Jen’s models are full paying clients, but she does offer incentives through a system where each model can earn points. To earn these points, models can post something on social media or directly refer a friend. Once these points add up, Jen offers cash rewards. By doing this, her models are more likely to refer their friends as they can do whatever they want with the money. Earning print credits or products doesn’t carry the same value as cash to a senior.
Events - Offering events can be expensive and time consuming but when done right they will have a large payout. Jen stresses to “operate at where you aspire to be”. Even if you are new to the senior business, appear to be busy and booming. Offering events like a fashion show, studio open houses, or even a gallery display at a local coffee shop can make the models feel important and popular. They will invite their friends and family to this type of event, thus increasing your exposure and reach. If you are worried about money or how the event will turn out, start small, and build for the future. Events are a great opportunity for your models to shine and talk up your business to their friends.
There are other ways to give your models incentives that won’t break the bank or harm your brand. Be creative, and think about what motivates this generation. Photo-shoots and events are a great opportunity to team with other businesses in your community. When planing your program for next year, think about what your "popsicle" will be and how this will draw more clients to your brand.