The senior portrait photography industry is a pretty big one and luckily it’s one of those businesses with constant demand. That makes it a highly competitive market that can be hard to get into and especially thrive in. There are a few ways to grow your business and increase profits and buying a bigger, more impressive lens/camera isn’t one of them, although many photographers believe that’s what it takes to impress the seniors and sign the contract.
Here are three tried and tested methods to increase profits and boost your senior portrait business.
1. Be A Big Dot On the Radar
It goes without saying that if you want to be successful in any kind of business related to photography, you have to be visible. It should be obvious that if you want people to hire you, they have to know you exist in the first place. This is ongoing work on your behalf, whether or not you have clients. Show up at all the events that involve your targeted high schools. They can be sporting events, drama productions, performances, charity fundraisers and so on. Strap that camera around your neck and take candid portraits (with permission from school management of course). Then pass cards with links to your blog or Facebook page. It works a lot like the snowball effect. You start getting visits, the seniors start sharing photos of them on their Facebook page and the attention you get sky rockets.
2. Know What Your Clients Are Interested In
One of the key elements in developing this business is knowing your target audience and what they want specifically. You have to anticipate their needs and coming trends and adapt your business model accordingly. One of the coolest and most efficient ways to increase profits is adding something like the Plymouth Cards Wall Décor in your portfolio. These high quality photo insert cards can be color coordinated to match the high school, the team’s or the sorority’s colors. Each pack includes a photo insert card with custom printing on the borer. It can be “friends”, “sisters” or any custom phrase your clients want. The package also includes four blank photo insert cards, five white mini clothespins and 6 ft. of jute twine.
It’s a great marketing tool that will set your business aside from the others and it will communicate that you are the professional who understands seniors’ needs.
3. Be Generous
It’s usually not a good idea to give good stuff away for free if you want to make a living from this business, but in this case, going the extra mile for seniors will take you a long way. If you’re just starting out, do a couple of free shoots. If you have a clear policy about time you spend shooting each senior, spend a little more if you can. The point is to make it clear that you’re giving something away. In this line of work, the number one marketing tool remains word of mouth. Seniors are very social and if you can get them to mention you and your work, business will flourish.