Less No, More Yes: Choosing the Right Community Prospects for Yearbook Ads

selling yearbook ads

For some schools, selling ad space in the yearbook is a great way to supplement the cost of the yearbook and fundraise for the school. And while it might not be your favorite part of the yearbook coordinator role, it’s certainly an important and essential piece of your job. I know that selling ad space isn’t always easy – and it can be hard to teach your students how to do it well if you’re not well-versed in sales yourself. But when it really comes down to it, selling yearbook ads  doesn’t have to be as hard as you might think. And a lot of it has to do with the particular prospects you approach. To help make your yearbook ads sell like hotcakes, I’ve pulled together the top three individuals you need to approach below – because these are the people who are the most likely to buy an ad right away.

When you’re looking for community support, approaching local businesses to buy yearbook ads can be a great place to start! | Photo Credit: Flickr user La Citta Vita

Sentimental Parents

You’ve probably already figured out that parents want their child to have the best experience with the yearbook possible. But what you might not know – or may not be using to your advantage – is that parents love to make their own kid stand out, too. And offering that opportunity for parents to share something special in your yearbook through a fun little ad can be just the outlet they’re looking for to share something unique, or even a little sentimental, about their child. Although you might have to monitor the ads that come through (just to make sure some parents don’t go too overboard and completely embarrass their child) there will definitely be a lot of takers for some yearbook ads that really allow parents to memorialize this school year with their child.

Parent Business Owners

There are likely a lot of parents at your school who own their own business or work for a small business that’s willing to advertise in your yearbook. And that can be a great resource for you to tap! Parents typically already know that their advertising dollars go right back into lowering the overall cost of the yearbook and supporting their child’s school, which is usually all the encouragement they need to buy a small ad space in your book. It’s also a great way for them to support their local community, their child’s education and get some well-placed advertising for their business at the same time. And it’s a pretty easy sell for you and your student yearbook team!

Community Small Businesses

Even if they don’t have a direct link to your school, many local businesses are dedicated to supporting great community programming and local schools. But they’re not often approached by these local groups, simply because it’s hard to make that advertising ask. Since yearbook ads are typically pretty inexpensive, it’s highly likely that there’s room in their budget to spend a little money on advertising in your publication. When you’re approaching this type of business owner, the key to getting a “yes” is to show them the value of supporting your yearbook and your school as a whole.

To do this best, tell them about how much their support reflects on their business within your community, as well as how many parents read their child’s yearbook after it comes home. And don’t forget to let them know if you’re spreading the word about businesses who support the yearbook through the school’s newsletter, emails or your social media feed – this can be an even bigger factor when a local business owners is considering their support of your cause and can be a great way to encourage a reluctant business owner to commit to a small ad!

Yearbook Ads Are Important

If your school depends on your yearbook ads to make the publication more affordable for the student body, then you already know how important it is to find the right sponsors for this year’s publication. And while you may have been dreading this part of your project, it doesn’t have to be hard! Start by targeting the types of individuals I mentioned above to place an ad – I predict you’ll be sold out of ad space before you know it! And as you’re working through the sales process, don’t forget to keep a positive attitude and sell with a smile: even if you’re just calling a potential ad buyer on the phone, a smile can be heard through the phone and can really help you sell more yearbook ads!