With social media pretty much controlling all communication these days it’s brought along a unique challenge…WHO are you reaching in your marketing? And WHO do you need to reach?
I know that many photographers are marketing directly to the Seniors now thru Instagram and Twitter. But my main communication for the last several years has been starting with the moms.
Just for the sake of clarity, I realize that sometimes it’s a grandparent/guardian/aunt that handles these things. I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with many types of families. But my first contact is typically an adult and it’s usually the mother, so I’ll write from that point of view for this article. No hate mail please 🙂
The moms are almost always the first one to contact me regarding a session for their son. “But how did you get the moms to notice you in the first place?”. Great question.
Answer – I started with one great guy session then I promoted it everywhere!
If moms can trust you to get great photos of their baby boys looking handsome and sweet, you will be their favorite person in life. And I promise they will tell ALL their friends about you.
It may sound like a stereotype, but moms of boys usually have less photos of their boys than they do of their girls. So if you can get one mom talking about you to her network of friends, you’re off to the races.
When I first talk with them on the phone or even if it’s a response thru email, I make sure they know I’m confident in photographing the guys and in fact I LOVE working with the guys! It’s amazing how many times the moms will sound almost apologetic that I have to photograph a guy because there’s a perception that the guy sessions just aren’t as fun as the girls. Nobody will admit that out loud but I’m pretty sure you know what I’m talking about.
Of course nothing could be further from the truth with me, and I encourage you to make sure in your communication that you’re portraying your “passion” equally for the guys and girls. When the moms realize that you’re not only excited about photographing their son but that you also have lots of great ideas to help them out, they’ll be thrilled that they chose to contact you.
If you’re able to meet with them in person after that first contact that’s when you can really get them on the hook. Ask the moms to start telling you about their boys and they’ll relish the opportunity to talk about them. Once you get a better idea of their personality you should start suggesting locations or ideas to incorporate their hobbies and sports.Talk about the things they love best about their boys and how you can’t wait to capture that in your session.
Here’s a biggie when meeting with the moms too….show them sample products with guy images!! Even if you only have one guy session, get a few sample products made from that session so you can show those off. I’ve said it a million times that the moms want to see that you have photos of boys. Show them as many photos as you can (even if it’s of the same guy) to reinforce the fact that you’re confident with the guys. Showing off a whole portfolio of lovely Senior girls won’t be near as convincing as a few great shots of Senior guys.
If the guys are the ones that happen to make the first contact it’s usually on the referral from another guy friend. If you create a comfortable session with your guys, and not make it a stressful big deal, they’ll usually tell their friends about it just for the fact that it wasn’t as bad as they thought it would be! And that’s a glowing endorsement for those guys that are kind of “doing it for mom”.
The greatest thing about getting the moms on your side is that it’s a very tight click that those moms of boys have. Once they find someone they trust with their baby boys, they are more than thrilled to go tell all the other moms about their good fortune. And since most photographers don’t market to the Senior guys, you will be quickly be known as the Must-Have Go-To photographer for Senior Guys!
And in case you’re wondering how I’m such an expert on “moms of boys” it’s because I am one…I have 3 boys! My oldest is a Senior this coming year and I can assure you that I would have searched the planet if needed to find a photographer that could capture great photos of my baby boy. Luckily I didn’t have to resort to that!