Use clients as models for marketing

“Seeking models for local photo shoot”

It’s been long proven that customer testimonials are an effective way to turn website visitors into customers. Testimonials are unbiased reviews that can provide the final nudge during a customer’s buying journey. Your everyday customers are a true reflection of your ideal market.

As a small business owner, one of your leading goals is to build connections with the local community. How do businesses make a deeper connection with the community. Examples of community engagement might include sponsoring local events or fundraisers, or partnering on projects. Along these lines, an alternate tactic similar to customer testimonials is to engage customers as models when creating content and marketing collateral for your small business.

Here’s a quick strategy:

1. Identify opportunities for images in your marketing plan.

When developing your marketing plan components and as you build your plan and begin the process of creating your strategies and tactics, get together with your team and brainstorm marketing ideas that require larger audiences.  For example, let’s say you are creating a new company brochure or flier, consider including a picture of your storefront that shows a line of people (of all ages and sizes) entering the front door.  Your casting call would be “seeking models for local photo shoot”.

2. Issue a call for models.

Review your marketing plan and identify upcoming opportunities where you will be posting a picture, creating a marketing piece, or developing some other kind of collateral that includes people (or even pets!).  Post a call for actors/models through your social networks.  Include a link to your company’s About Us page and information on the project.  You might even consider holding an open casting call on a Saturday afternoon at your storefront.

The explosion of social media proves that people love sharing about themselves and their lives.  We all have a little vanity streak and why not, it’s healthy.  Your models will undoubtedly forward copies of your brochure or flier to their audiences tagging your business and themselves in the photos.  You should do the same.

3. Repurpose content to show the human side of your business.

Don’t stop there… Build on this creative strategy with other social media channels.   For example, take lots of candid video footage of the modeling shoots for your YouTube channel.  Publish a “bloopers” video that shows the behind-the-scenes of the photo shoot.  Think bigger… Consider making  the photo shoot a spectator event where you invite your fan base to watch the modeling shoot from the sidelines.  This would be a great time to offer a special discount for spectators to use while they are at your storefront.