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Gen Z Marketing Strategies for Senior Photographers :: Renee Bowen Photography Business Coaching

 

The business of senior photography has changed a LOT over the last five or so years. 

If you've been around for a minute in this industry, you probably know this.  Maybe you've noticed the subtle differences in how your senior clients use social media now ... how they consume more than they create most of the time.

Maybe you run a model team and have noticed that your team just doesn't share or post the way they did in the past - even if you "require" it.  (By the way, requiring them to post doesn't really work; I'll go into that in just a bit.)

If you haven't seen these changes yet, there is a really good chance they're coming; this just all depends on where you're located. I started noticing these changes back in 2017 because I'm in Los Angeles; we tend to see trends a little sooner in general.  But you can be sure that all high school senior photographers will see these changes because of the combination of the pandemic and how popular TikTok became. 

Yep - TikTok ushered in a whole new way of using social media, especially because of how we were all locked down.  Like it or not, it made the world a lot smaller and provided our clients with a new way to see the world - to access the world.  It's still where all the "trends" start.  Yes, Instagram is important for social media marketing and Reels is KEY for reaching new clients - but the trends still start on TikTok. 

And your Gen Z clients are 100% on TikTok.  

I've been talking about the importance of TikTok since 2019.  Way before the pandemic and way before any photographers in my groups wanted to even entertain the thought of being on TikTok 😂 I remember begging them to give it a try and most were VERY against it.  NOW they see the value in it but I still don't see photographers using it as much as they should be.  

Here's why you should care about this:

Like I mention in my little video linked here at the top, if you aren't evolving with your Gen Z clients, your business will suffer - eventually. Everything changes and shifts - even for those of you who have been in business for 20 years.  If you aren't taking even a small interest in what your teen clients consume - what they want - it will affect your leads and bookings.

Why?

There is a trend with Gen Z and their parents that I have been talking about for a couple of years now:  more and more, their parents are allowing their young teen clients to decide who they hire as a photographer, and also - what they purchase from us. 

You have to remember that these kids were raised by Gen X'ers for the most part - or Xennials or elder Millennials.  A hallmark of this parenting style is being over-involved in their kids lives - in wanting more than anything to make sure their kids are happy; that they feel good.  They want their kids to experience life but also avoid pain. 

Sounds simple, I know.  When you look deeper into the psychology of it all, though, you see why this would be important for us as senior photographers, especially those of us who run boutique photography businesses.  Our clients hire us for how we make their kids feel.  Yes, we need to be good at what we do - that's a given.  But ultimately, how we make them feel is what we are selling.

Gen Z'ers are very savvy buyers. They know how to spot a fake a mile away and they will also call you out if they feel as though you're being inauthentic.  Inclusivity, sustainability, and acceptance are what most of our teen clients value.  When they are looking for a senior photographer - even if it is their parent who wants them to hire one - they are going to vet you on a deep level before they choose to hire you.

They're going to look to see if you've photographed some of their friends, they're going to look through all of your social media first - then your website.  Do you have any content for them to consume on your social media that tells them what you will do for them?  If not, they will go to the next photographer ... doesn't matter if you have great SEO (by the way, Instagram and now TikTok are both search engines).

So, how can you help bridge this gap between yourself and your young clients? 

How can you communicate to them that you get what they want and that YOU are the senior photographer who can best tell their story? 

I have a few resources for you - depending on your time and level of commitment.

First, here's a quick cheat sheet of what works when marketing on social: (from my recent live zoom class "Social Media Marketing for Gen Z")

You can also see an entire presentation all about Gen Z on my youtube channel. If you haven't done ANY research into who they are, I would definitely start there. 

If you aren't in my free Facebook group, that's also a good place to get free info.  I'm always posting current data and stats there and helping you interpret them. 

If you run model teams or you want to, check out my Influencer Model Program, where I teach you how to run teams with Gen Z in mind.  Everything I teach in there is all about helping these teens learn to step into their personal branding - something they very much want to do but do not know HOW.  You become their guide because I teach you how to help them navigate social media, which results in you getting a ton of organic leads from an engaged, cohesive team. 

A lot of senior educators teach you how to just gather all the teens you can and turn them into a team - that doesn't work so well for Gen Z and can actually backfire in many ways.  The Influencer Model Program is built for Gen Z'ers and you get support in a private Facebook group along the way as well. 

And finally, if you need to build your business on a solid foundation or you want to revamp your current business so that it makes you more money with less time invested, you should check out my Level Up course and coaching program. 

It's my signature course and includes everything I do in my business, along with coaching from me for four months.  There is nothing like it in our industry. 

Book a discovery call HERE

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