Marketing with intent…
13 Schools spanning up to 1.5 hours away
425 people in attendance
Runway Image Credit | Jessika Feltz Photography
Step and Repeat Image Credit | Thomas Nguyen Photography
Each year I try to think of ways to engage my model crew year round and beyond. Events are a big part of that for my business. For the last four years I have put on a charity teen fashion show in April. My model crew looks forward to this. In fact, during the interview process it is frequently brought up. It is something that my model crew will participate in at least two times before graduating. And for my teens, they get the opportunity to participate each year as they grow up in model crew. Think of the opportunities for them to discuss this event! The conversation naturally starts with their peers.
Putting on a fashion show is not something you can just snap your fingers and do. However, like anything else, with a little planning and organizational skills you will be able to wow your clients with an event they will be raving about for months!
Since I emcee the show, I rely on my good friends to come help photograph the event. This year Jessika and Jimmy Feltz and Thomas Nguyen captured the event for us. I really cannot thank them enough! It also helps to get their feedback after it is over to know what to improve upon for the next year.
The show is one of my key marketing pieces for the year. The first time that I did this, it took me a whole year to plan! Now after completing my fourth year, I am able to successfully plan the show in three months. It takes an army and I have the best moms around who all come together to make this show the talked about event of the year for their teens! My moms are a very important part of model crew. It is their experience too!
The show fits beautifully with my clientele because I attract teens who are typically the top of their class, uber stylish and who are very civic minded. That is one of the things I am very grateful for. I was able to identify my ideal client early on and attract that client repeatedly to both my model crew and business. In order to market effectively, you have to know what you want in your client and how to market to them.
I felt it was important to be the first person to do this in my area because then I would be known for it and it would be a key part of my marketing. If you know me, then you know I love a good cause so all of the proceeds go to anti bullying efforts each year. In the last four years, we have raised over $20k for anti bullying education in the schools.
Could I have done this show without attaching it to a charity? Most definitely, however remember what I said above…my clients and model crew are very civic minded. For a lot of schools I work with, this counts toward community service credit. This is important. I want my teens to have the night of their life, but I also want them to do something that will benefit others along the way.
At rehearsal, I encourage the teens to be themselves but to keep it PG-13! By giving them the freedom to express themselves, they put on quite the show for our audience! Our t-shirt sponsor always makes sure we have plenty of extra shirts for the kids to throw out into the audience for their friends. This is a win win because those same kids are now wearing our shirt to school as advertisement. Not to mention the 56 teens who participate in the show!
Sometimes our models get creative and do a promposal during the show! I love how happy everyone is in this moment!
We work with local boutiques and stores to style several of the models and I love having the owners of the stores attend the show. They get to see their customers rocking their looks. It is awesome to see these stores get the much deserved publicity. And the feedback from them is always incredible!
Prom is one of my favorite sets. I love seeing the latest styles and the girls love being able to use their dress for more than one occasion. And the parents love it too because they get incredible photos of the dresses!
Did I mention I tell them to have fun on the runway and to express themselves?
Sometimes the upperclassmen surprise the freshman girls. If you don’t instantly smile seeing this photo there is something seriously wrong with you…like I bet you don’t even like butterflies or puppies type wrong. #freshmanyeargoalsmet
A step and repeat allows everyone attending the show to stop and get photos with the models. It is great for their friends to jump in and get a photo to remember the night by!
The fun doesn’t end when the show is over! Do you remember the shirts? Well the shirts take on a life of their own the next day when they go to school and instagram them. I see these shirts on the teens over and over throughout the year. And let’s face it, what teen doesn’t love a fun and FREE shirt?
I have been told repeatedly by parents that the show is the highlight of senior year. I love watching these teens transform in front of my eyes. They arrive nervous, unsure and scared they are going to fall off the runway. They leave empowered, self assured, proud and beaming. The bonds and the friendships formed backstage at the show can never be adequately described with words. It is something you just have to witness. I tell each and every one of them the first time you take the stage you will be nervous but the minute you get back in line you are ready to rock it. There is a certain energy backstage that you can only understand if you are there. I love how after each show, the teens who are the most apprehensive come to me and say “I didn’t believe you when you told me, but you were right!” The fashion show solidifies the bonds for the year of model crew. It also gives them the confidence to rock out anything else that is put in front of them. They naturally talk about the experience and that right there aids in their marketing efforts for our business. Other teens want to know how to be a part of this and that leads to a discussion about us!
Let me know your thoughts and what you will be doing to engage your model crew this year!