- Written by Claire Mitchell
- May 12, 2016
A few weeks ago I needed to find a florist in Ireland. I wanted to send a 'thank you' bouquet to a lady who had booked me for a training workshop. Easy, you would think, except it wasn't. Part of the challenge was that whenever I searched, I got hit with loads of websites that all looked the same. They all had their standard 'Interflora' offerings on the front page and there was nothing to differentiate them from each other. They used the same images, the same words, the same everything. The thing is, I didn't want 'standard', I wanted something special and different. I spent close to an hour searching before I gave up and ordered a large 'standard' bouquet, feeling slightly underwhelmed.
Now there is one thing I know for sure. They were NOT all the same. Each of those florist shops had a fantastic team working there. I'm sure that team LOVES creating new, funky, gorgeous creations. I'm sure they go the extra mile and are brilliant to deal with. But I never got a chance to find out because I didn't have time to deep dive into their sites and even if I had, I doubt I'd have seen any evidence of the personality behind the brand.
I guarantee if I'd seen the slightest hint of something different among those websites I'd have been on it like a car bonnet – it would have STOOD OUT a mile. And I'd have bought from them. And I'd have happily paid more for something different.
Now, is this ringing any bells with you? Are you starting to squirm a little? Is this feeling a bit close to home? If so, GOOD! Because we can do something about it and you'll sell more as a result.
Here are 3 ways to inject personality into your marketing and attract people who will happily pay more. What's not to love?
1. There's a PERSON hiding behind those flowers.
Oh yes there is, but we hardly ever see them and that's such a shame because I LOVE seeing the face behind a business. I don't mean the website and Facebook page has to be all about you but I'd definitely like to see who you are, warts and all. I'd like to see you sharing your thoughts and your passion for flowers. I'd like to learn from you. I'd love to see you in action! More of that in a bit.
Now, if you're thinking 'oh no! I'm too old/fat/wobbly/shy/spotty/weird to show my face on my website or on social media I have something to tell you. First of all, whatever your excuse was, the answer is 'no you're not'. Secondly, and please don't take this the wrong way, I don't care. I don't care what you look like. I just want a peek at the person who runs this lovely business and to hear you talking about the thing you love – floristry.
2. TEACH ME, please!
So, following on from the bombshell that you're going to have to come out from behind the counter and be the face of your business, the next surprise is that I want to learn from you. Not so I can do it myself, but more so I can see what I'm buying. I have NO IDEA what flowers are called. I know roses, I know lilies, I know carnations but beyond that they are either big, small, spiky, a bit like an artichoke or look something like a hyacinth but with bigger flowers in a lovely blue. Now, granted, you may have a clue what I'm talking about but I would LOVE to say "ooh lovely, I'll have some of that 'thingy-anthus' and ooooh, those 'diaphiwhotsits' look beautiful, please add some of those to the arrangement." You need to understand that as the customer I have almost no clue what I'm buying and zero control because I don't know the language of flowers – literally – I don't know what to ask for. But I'd love you to teach me.
I'd love to see little 1 minute videos where you take each flower and tell me what it is. Tell me what it goes with. Tell me if it smells nice. Tell me how to care for it so it lasts longer. If I know what it is, and you have been kind and patient enough to make a little video to tell me about it – guess what?
I'm MUCH more likely to come and buy from you, in fact I'll probably make an excuse to come specially and tell you how much I love your videos. I'll put lovely comments on your Facebook page and I'll tell my friends how helpful you are. You just need to get over yourself and make a couple of little videos on your phone. Easy peasy. (And I'll be sharing some tips and ideas about videos very soon!)
Even better, all the videos you make can go onto your website too, along with little descriptions of what the videos are about. The search engines LOVE regular new content like this and consequently you're much more likely to appear in Google searches. Yay!
3. SHARE YOUR SECRETS!
I know this probably sounds really weird but I would LOVE to see what it's like when one of those big lorries pulls up outside your shop, full of flowers. I've always wanted to see inside one but I never get to. I'd love to see what it's like when you're decorating a church for a wedding. I'd love to see your stock room. I'd love to see how you make a buttonhole.
OK so I know you're probably shaking your head and thinking 'bless her, why on earth would anyone want to see that??' but let me share something. You work with flowers every day. You get to see inside the big lorries and smell those thousands of flowers. You get to create amazing masterpieces in churches and hotels and houses.
I love seeing how things work. I enjoy seeing behind the scenes. I want to see how you do things, not so I can do it myself but just because it's interesting.
I'd love to see photos of things you're working on posted on your Facebook page. I'd love little videos of the team working on a huge wedding order. I'd love to see a photo of the inside of your delivery van full of flowers with a little comment that says 'ooh is one of these for you?'
I promise I'm not some weird florist stalker, loads of people would love to see these things. Your Facebook page and Pinterest boards and Instagram account could take on a new lease of life. I've bought flowers on several occasions just because I've seen one of my local florists post a beautiful bouquet and I've thought 'ooh I'd love one of those' or 'I'll send my friend one of those to cheer her up'.
Injecting personality into your marketing makes you stand out from the mediocre crowd. It makes you interesting and approachable and engaging. It means you can increase your prices because you're not doing 'standard' offerings and it DRIVES SALES. I'm living proof of that.
Over the next few weeks and months I'm going to share lots more tips and advice on marketing your florist business, so if this article has got your brain cells whirring, keep checking back. I'll show you how to make marketing part of your day, how to make the most of all the social media platforms and how to use some easy methods to stay top of mind and drive sales. Even better, it's all totally painless and I can't wait to share it with you. Till next time!