Ask Mike: How do I market my yearbook?
Written by Sarah Scott
Yearbook is much more fun when your program’s finances are in the black. That’s where great marketing comes in, and the new episode of the Ask Mike podcast is brimming with ideas to sell yearbooks and yearbook ads.
Kathy Beers is a master of marketing. She and her staff at Timber Creek High School in Fort Worth, Texas, come up with creative ways to sell their yearbooks every year. One trait that makes Beers an outstanding marketer is her willingness to try new things. As host Mike Taylor, CJE, said, “If they could make a chocolate-covered yearbook, I think Kathy would try it.”
Maximize those sales
Beers’ focus on marketing comes from her belief that as many students as possible should have a yearbook they can keep for life. This principle guides her methods and fuels her enthusiasm.
In this episode, Beers and Taylor discuss ad sales and how to maximize those sales. Her staff starts selling ads a full year before the books are delivered. Information about senior ads and senior pictures is first put before parents in the May before their child’s senior year.
Senior tributes, not just ads
Beers explains why her school calls them senior tributes instead of ads. She also describes the school club traditions around purchasing ads and the importance of keeping her “customers” happy. She shares the way her program earns extra money through senior tributes at the end of the school year.
She shares her tips to sell more books. Beers discusses when and why they do their big push for yearbook sales, how to avoid letting yearbook marketing fade into the scenery and why they put so much effort to make sure parents know about yearbook sales.
“Because it’s probably the parents who are buying those books,” Beers laughed.
The perfect gift
She talks about the ways she’s planning to use Coupon Codes, which are newly available through Walsworth this year. She also delves into why yearbooks are the perfect gifts for hard-to-buy-for teenagers.
“It’s going to last a lifetime, and it’s something that they really want.”
Buying yearbook as a gift for students is an often-overlooked possibility, and Beers suggests it to parents every year, encouraging them to pass the information on to grandparents, aunts and uncles.
As part of her belief that as many students as possible should have a yearbook, Beers started what her school calls the Yearbook Angels program. She explains where the idea came from and how her school gets yearbooks into the hands of those who can’t afford them while protecting the privacy of the student.
Beers does it all with energy and enthusiasm. It’s obvious throughout the interview that she loves creating yearbooks and thinking up ways to increase sales.
Taylor wraps up the episode with testimonials from teachers who have used Beers’ methods. They explain what worked for them and why. You’ll also hear “Kathy Beers is a marketing genius!” more than once.
You can listen to the episode at walsworthyearbooks.com/podcasts or search for Ask Mike on your preferred podcast listening platform, including Apple podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.