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High School Athletic Booster Club Suggestions

photodad1photodad1 Registered Users Posts: 566 Major grins
edited August 7, 2014 in Mind Your Own Business
I am a sponsor for our local high school athletic booster club and was looking for suggestions to partner with them to get my name out there. My business name is on their website with a link to a photo gallery of all there sports as well as in the school's main board on front of the school and in the gym. I've been doing this for a couple of years with little success with parents or students purchasing photos. I get a lot of hits on my website and some small files are purchased for downloads. Any suggestions on getting the word out?

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    SamSam Registered Users Posts: 7,419 Major grins
    edited August 5, 2014
    photodad1 wrote: »
    I am a sponsor for our local high school athletic booster club and was looking for suggestions to partner with them to get my name out there. My business name is on their website with a link to a photo gallery of all there sports as well as in the school's main board on front of the school and in the gym. I've been doing this for a couple of years with little success with parents or students purchasing photos. I get a lot of hits on my website and some small files are purchased for downloads. Any suggestions on getting the word out?

    Sounds like you got the word out. Now listen to the response. This is what I hear................."we ain't all that interested". :deadhorse

    Sam
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    johngjohng Registered Users Posts: 1,658 Major grins
    edited August 6, 2014
    Sam is correct. 10 years ago there was good money to be made shooting youth action sports. Now, not so much. So, what has changed?
    1) Pictures are now shared via social media rather than printed. Those shared pictures are constantly changing - so it's about having a picture from the last hour to share - not about a better quality picture taken a day or two before.

    2) Every parent has a smart phone or digital camera so they can meet that need for immediacy better than you can.

    3) By now, every parent has had lots of opportunities to get high quality photos of their kid playing sports. And, they realize that they really don't need new photos every year of their kid playing the same sport. It's cute when they're just starting out at 5 or 6. By the time they are in High School? There really isn't much need.

    4) There are more and more parents with decent cameras taking photos already and giving them away for free. So, even those parents that still want a 50th photo of their kid playing basketball - they can get it for free. And it's the whole blind squirrel thing - the team parent photographer takes 50 photos of your kid one of them is going to be good.

    So, who is left as a potential client? Not many. And then you have to ask yourself - for that discerning client who is willing to pay for professional level photos: are your photos really that good? Are you really capturing something special?

    Sam is right - the problem is not you getting the word out. The word is out - unfortunately, not many people care. Not a knock on you at all - there's just no demand for what you're offering.

    If you want to make money - then go after the T&I contracts - but you better be good at it or you'll be replaced after your first year. Different equipment and different type of shooting. But a lot more profit with a lot less time.

    If you just want to shoot action because you enjoy it - then keep doing it as a hobby, but don't expect it to be a business.
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    ian408ian408 Administrators Posts: 21,921 moderator
    edited August 6, 2014
    What John & Sam said.

    Aside from T&I, have you tried sports oriented senior pictures? Sportraits?
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
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    GlortGlort Registered Users Posts: 1,015 Major grins
    edited August 7, 2014
    This market can be tough no doubt which is why I would suggest that you need to be leveraging your marketing a whole lot more than " Just getting your name out there".

    A person could pizzle on endlessly whineing like a pussy about all the reasons people won't buy and why the sky is falling and make all sorts of excuses . You can make up excuses about why the most successful businesses in the world won't work and if that's what you focus on, then the outcome is not going to surprise anyone in how dismal it is. Often the differentce between a successful and failure business is the outlook and attitude by those steering it.
    The other alternative is to look at it as a challenge and take the bull by the horns and be determined to drive the concept and make it work.

    One can also look at these negatives and say this is what I have to overcome and do better to give people a reason to buy. Do you have any real marketing in place other than getting your name out there?
    When I look at your site, frankly it's not very compelling. The only text is about you and what you have done. BFD. I'm pretty sure your clients don't give a damn about any of that. I'll gaurantee you could put something to the effect that after you were released from prison on a technicallity after serving 10 years for a mass murder conviction it wouldn't make any difference to your sales. The only qualification you need is to take a pic they want to own.

    I would be putting something in an index page talking about how quick they grow up, how it's just another game but one that can never be repeated. at teh end of the year, what will they have to show for it, what will your kids be able to show their grandkids... Start giving them some emotional attachment to the images not just showing them. I'd also be pushing the custom borders/ mag covers etc a lot more. Give them something unique and different. What about a promotional slide show somewhere to get some emotional attachment going? You could quickly and easily thrown the pics from a game into one and add some music and effects and you are there. COuld be a good motivvator.

    There is nothing compelling the people on your site to want to buy. All they see is a pile of very large and easily stolen pics in the gallerys. Yeah you can't right click save them but I'll bet any kid that wanted one would have it downloaded faster than you uploaded the things!

    Another thing that comes to mind is how are you reaching the parents? The notice board and in front of the gym don't seem at all an effective or well directed initiative to me. What qelse can you do to get to the ones that would be the buyers of your pics? I can't see the kids wanting a lot of themselves so the parents would be the ones I'd be focuing on. Can you get a list of emails from the school? Create your own Opt in list, give out flyers ( put them on the seats before games, hand them out at the door, at the canteen....???? Can you do a table with V stations at the next game? Find out how and where you can get the pics in front of the parents.

    This is what I look at FIRST of all. Shooting pics is easy, selling them is the trick so you need to look at that before worrying about anything else.
    I think you need to write a marketing plan and break it up into how to get people to your site and how to get them to buy. Get aggressive with your marketing and selling, don't just be satisfied your name is out there. If you want to really do this, MAKE it work and don't be put off by the naysayers.

    And look at your prices. $3 for a 6x4?? Seriously, what's the point of selling something that cheap? Not like they are going to be buying 1000 at a time. I sold 8x12's every weekend for $30+ and no one ever complained. That was the only size I had apart from 2x 5x7's for the same price.

    I'd look at packages and inducements for multiple buys and deals to shoot a player in every game or so many games at a package price. Include something like custom slide shotw at the end of the year or some other creative inducement.

    This isn't an easy market BUT it's not an impossible one either. It really just needs some hardcore business thinking and proper marketing to make it work. Once you do that, you may well see other and better avenues that you can do even better out of.
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