When putting together your marketing campaigns, it’s important to ensure that you are keeping your brand top of mind all year long. But when time is limited, you may have to focus your efforts on certain times of year to make a big push for sales. So when are the best times to market for family photography? Here are some great times you shouldn’t miss.
Christmas and New Year
Of course, everyone loves to have photographs to share with friends and family on seasonal cards and as gifts. But you shouldn’t stop marketing when the deadline for those products has passed. Christmas is a great time to get family portraits booked in because it’s the one time of year when the whole family gathers together, including older children who may have moved away from home and elderly relatives who don’t travel often. While everyone is in the same place, you can get them in front of your lens to celebrate the whole family at once. It’s a great idea for clients who don’t shoot with you anymore since their children grew up and moved out.
This is another great family time, for the same reason as above! Try to make sure that you are marketing reasonably close to the time, so that last-minute arrangements can be worked out and everyone knows their availability. Don’t leave it so late that everyone already has plans, however! It’s a good idea to tap into the idea of family and being thankful for one another, so that your potential clients will be more interested in booking a session. After all, Christmas is a time for gifting, and so there’s more incentive to purchase a session – but at Thanksgiving, it’s more about tapping into the notion of family values and celebrating togetherness.
School End and Start
Know the dates for local schools in your area to finish for the year, as well as when they will start back up again. Teens who are leaving school may have parents who wish to take one more portrait session before they leave home or head off to college. Kids starting a new school for the first time are equally good candidates for celebratory photo sessions. In your marketing at these times, emphasise the necessity of recording these milestones for the future, and remembering children as they were before they grow into adults. Don’t forget to market for senior photoshoots too – you may even be able to pitch them to the same families you had portrait sessions with previously.
Halloween and Easter
Especially for families with young children, Halloween and Easter are two fantastic opportunities for photo sessions. Halloween is a time for dressing up, which means that perfectly ghoulish outfits will make a charming twist to your normal sessions. At Easter, it’s all about being cute and pastel colours – dressing up toddlers in bunny onesies and putting them inside oversized baskets make for the cutest family shoots ever. Around these times, the emphasis is more about the novelty of the timing, and creating a family portrait that will be totally unique. Rather than going for a plain studio background, you can also invest in great locations or backdrops and props that will really make these sessions come to life. It’s better to target younger families for these sessions, partly because they are more likely to enjoy non-traditional ideas and partly because those with older children may not find them as suitable.
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day
What could any proud parent want more than a lasting reminder of how fantastic their family really is? Portrait sessions can record a certain time for eternity, giving something to look back on later in life as well as creating a beautiful display for the home. When it comes to the days which celebrate parents, a photo session makes a perfect gift from one to the other. It’s also best if the kids can get involved and get excited – you don’t want a grumpy child trying to spoil every shot, even if it will be funny a few years down the line!
One thing you can certainly benefit from in your marketing is keeping a database of your clients, with as much detail included as possible. For example, if you do a newborn session or a maternity session, keep track of this baby and make a note of contacting parents before a special milestone birthday. You can also look out for announcements either in local publications or online, of new births or big birthdays. Weddings and engagements also make great prompts for a family portrait session – imagine the bride standing with her family for the last time before she joins her new husband’s family, or the last shot of the pair of them together before they become husband and wife. You will only know to market for these occasions if you have your ear to the ground! If you want a good tip for contacting them in a way that doesn’t feel too spammy, try a personalised handwritten note delivered to their door. You can have a postcard or small brochure printed up with the relevant services, and then post it to them with a message of congratulations on their upcoming special event. This may help to drive sales and will also help clients to feel as though you really care about them.
There are lots of times throughout the year when you can target families, but the most important times to think about are when families are most likely to be together. There may even be special events in your local area, such as a festival, which tend to bring people in – in which case, they present a unique opportunity for you.
What times of the year have you previously found to yield the best results for family portrait sessions? Let us know in the comment section, and we’ll see if they match up with ours!