How to Secure Local Businesses to Advertise in the Yearbook

Sometimes you have to get out there and speak to businesses face-to-face in order to make a sale.
Photo credit: Flickr CC user: Ross Voxphoto
Sometimes you have to get out there and speak to businesses face-to-face in order to sell a yearbook ad.
Photo credit: Flickr CC user: Ross Voxphoto

The school yearbook’s main purpose is to capture the milestones of the school year – both on and off campus. Looking back over old photos and yearbook archives, you’ll notice the yearbook serves as a time capsule for the community, as well. You might notice an old theater marquee behind a car during the Homecoming parade that isn’t there anymore, or see how the football stadium has changed over the years. You can also see what local businesses were around by the local advertisements in the yearbook.

Getting local businesses to buy ad space in the yearbook is very important and there are many ways you can go about approaching them to gauge their interest. First, plan out a campaign, and map out pricing, spacing, and deadlines, then get ready to sell some ads!

1. Reach out to the student body

One of the easiest ways to find advertisers is to ask the student body if they know of any businesses that might be interested. More often than not, parents of students who run a business will be more than happy to buy space in the yearbook to support their child and the school. You can even let the business customize the ad to give a shout-out to their kids with a picture of them working in the store or doing something active on campus. (For example: If it’s the town’s go-to burger joint that always does concessions at football games, get a photo of them dishing out food at the stadium.) You can get the word out by making a morning announcement, writing a bulletin in the school paper, or posting on social media channels like your yearbook’s Facebook fan page and Twitter account. Make sure to follow up with any leads right away before people lose interest.

2. Hit the ground running

Another way to drum up advertising is to start knocking on doors. Create a committee within the yearbook staff to handle all advertising endeavors and have them set certain advertising goals. (Example: “We want to raise $500 by the New Year in ad sales). Then have them get to work. Create a flier explaining why businesses should advertise in the yearbook (“Your ad will be seen by more than 1,000 students!”) and come up with a price plan. Now, make a list of all the potential businesses in the area that would be receptive and start calling. What to make a more memorable impression? Go to the business in person and ask to speak to a manager or the owner. Leave a flier and follow up on the phone in a week if you haven’t heard anything. If the owner is there when you walk in, you might have yourself a sale right then and there. An added bonus: Some businesses might get a tax deduction for advertising in the yearbook.

3. Draft a contract

Once you have businesses interested, it’s time to draft and sign a contract. In the contract, explicitly lay out the terms of the deal – how much ad space they get, who will design it, and when payment is due. You can even write in how many revisions they want. Once all the i’s have been dotted and the t’s crossed, you can start designing the advertisement for your customer.

Have any tips on how to secure local advertisers? Leave your comments in the box below.