Flirty Fleurs Magazine Issue Three!!!

Flirty Fleurs Flower Magazine, Issue ThreePurchase Issue Three

We are thrilled to announce the release of the third annual print issue of Flirty Fleurs!
This issue has a little something for everyone. If it’s travel that inspires you, stroll the streets of New York on a walk through the NY Flower District or tiptoe through the tulips in Holland. If it’s stunning images of gorgeous bridal work you like, cruise the pages of Bridal Beauties and our Real Weddings & Inspirational Shoots to be inspired by our peers. Read up on the incredible Field to Vase Dinner Tour, which pairs flower farmers, florists and local chefs to brings guests an unforgettable al fresco dining experience rooted in American grown flowers in an article brought to us by our dear friend Debra Prinzing. Sit down for a chat about flowers and design with acclaimed New York designer Lewis Miller and learn what it takes to be the nation’s “first florist” at The White House with Laura Dowling. Treat yourself to some great tips from cake designer Rachael Teufel of Intricate Icings about working with fresh flowers on cakes. Get down to business with the Alisons—Alison Ellis of Floral Artistry chats with us about branding and Alison Dahlson of Mayesh reviews the estimate-creating software programs currently on the market. Be ready to have your heart strings tugged by the incredibly inspiring women and stories told in “A Full Heart” with Shawn Chamberlain, “Plan B” with Nancy Liu Chin, and “The Long Road Home” with Ashley Woodson Bailey. And we think you all know by now that we love roses, so it brings us immense pleasure to fill more of these pages with gorgeous garden roses from Alexandra Farms. As always, we finish off the issue with a good dose of the giggles in Just For Laughs – stories brought to your by our fellow floral designers.

We thoroughly hope you all enjoy our latest issue of Flirty Fleurs Magazine; this year the magazine grew to 106 pages! It could be called a labor of love, but a project that is so worth the work in our eyes – we are constantly impressed by the beautiful work submitted by our peers as the features for Real Weddings, Inspirational Shoots, and Bridal Beauties comes together. As we pour through these pages and see work from designers throughout the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia, and United Kingdom it is a reminder of how our love of flowers connects us around the world!

All of this comes to you from a team of three (who never even breathe the same air!); the founder of Flirty Fleurs, Alicia Schwede, Robyn Rissman of Bare Root Flora, and Kim of Kimberly Schwede Graphic Design & Illustration. In addition to writing numerous articles in this issue Robyn also designed the floral arrangement gracing our front cover, photographed by Laura Murray. Kim once again brings together all our articles and imagery in such a beautiful way, you’ll want to treat yourself and sit for a spell while feasting your eyes on all this beauty.

**Order your copy HERE**


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Book Club :: In the Company of Women

In the Company of Women: Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs

In The Company Of Women By Grace Bonney

Hands-down one of my favorite books right now, it sits on my desk and whenever I need a break from the computer or an inspirational kick I pick up this book and read one of the interviews. As the title says – 100 Makers, Artists, and Entrepreneurs, are interviewed in this book – Grace asked them great questions that speak to my creative entrepreneur mind. Plus, the imagery is bright and crisp and equally inspiring as the text.
Be sure to add this one to your book list, it’s a keeper.

2016 Annual Review for YOU!

2016-reflections
Hello flower friends!
Well, it is that time of year, that inevitable time when we reflect on the previous year and set goals for the upcoming year. So here we go – print this out or save a copy of it to your computer, do some pondering and jot down some thoughts about 2016 and set your goals for 2017:

Accomplishments I am most proud of from 2016:

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The 3 Best Lessons that I learned in 2016:

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The 3 Smartest Decisions that I made in 2016 are:

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The 3 Biggest Risks that I took in 2016 were:

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The 3 Biggest challenges I faced in 2016 were:

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Upon Reflection, if I could re-do 3 things from 2016, what would they be?
(What would you do differently?)

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Jot down 3 things I’d like to do more of in 2017:

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What 3 things do I need to do less of in 2017?

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When I think of 2017 the 3 words that come to mind are…?:

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What are my 3 biggest goals for 2017:

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Flower Shop Signage

Twig.

Twig.

The Comparison Game

Where ‘o Where do I even start with this post?!
Do you all know what I mean when I say The Comparison Game? It’s when we look at other people’s facebook, instagram, pinterest, twitter, websites, blogs, etc and convince ourselves that someone else is doing it better than we are. Oh, it’s an ugly downward spiral and it can all go out of control very quickly. Deep down we all know it is silly and a waste of time, nevertheless there are times where just about everyone can get sucked in — right?!
So I’m not going to go on about why/how we go down the trap of the comparison game. Instead, let’s talk about ways to get ourselves out of the trap, and quickly! The quicker you can get out of it the better it is for your mental health!

1) Call someone. Pick up the phone and call. Not text, not email. TALK .. outloud.
2) Call someone who is NOT in the event industry. Call someone who will want to talk about something other than flowers and event design; someone who doesn’t give a damn about Instagram.
3) Go for a walk. During this walk do not pick up your phone to look at social media. Instead say hello to other people who are also out walking. Stop to pet a dog. Stop to admire a flower. Stop to feel the sun on your face. Leave your phone in your pocket.
4) Go shopping. Retail therapy does a body good! Don’t pick up your phone and instagram the store you are currently shopping at.
5) Meet up with a friend for lunch, coffee, dinner — something fun and relaxing. Do not talk about the industry!
6) Go get a pedicure and read a magazine (put that phone away!) .. magazines are distracting and can even give you new inspiration.
7) Have a brainstorming session about what you can do with social media to make yourself feel better — work on your business and don’t worry about what others are up to!
8) Write a blog post for your business, you know you need to…
9) Exercise! It’ll help release any pent-up stress!
10) Clean your office, work space, basement, garage, shop, etc — you’ll be productive with work and completely distracted from social media.
11) Write a list of things you like about yourself! Yes, a list of things you like about YOU! List out 5 things right now. Why? Because it is so easy to pick on ourselves when comparing ourselves to others.
12) Write a list of things you are thankful for! List out 5 things that you are thankful for in your life!!

How’s that for a list of suggestions of how to re-focus your attention??
Share your suggestions in the comments section!

Spell Check

Hello Flower Friends!

Well, this is a post I probably should have done back in January when everyone was writing up floral bids. Sorry. It has occurred to me that many floral designers don’t know how to spell some of the key words used in floral estimates. So here goes, a few words that I often seen misused/misspelled.

Petals, not Pedals
Aisle, not Isle
Altar, not Alter

Unless you prefer to alter the wedding plan and pedal your bike around the isle instead of walking down the aisle on petals to the altar.

Boutonnière, not Bootinere or about 50 other ways I see people spell this word.
Bouquet, not Bokay. Look it up in a dictionary – Bokay doesn’t exist. I realize some use it as word play…
Mantel, not Mantle. Ok, I got that one wrong, too!

Those are the six words that I most often see misspelled, what are some of the words you see misspelled/misused in floral bids, blog posts, etc.?

And because we cannot possibly have a blog post with out some flowers, I leave you with these gorgeous Ashley Roses grown by Alexandra Farms

Ashley Garden Roses by Alexandra Roses

Inspiring Logo Designs

Results from Marketing Survey

A few weeks ago we posted a marketing survey and here are the results – thank you to the 168 respondents. I hope you all find the information as interesting as I do!

Where do you advertise you floral business?
168 Responses

Facebook Page for your business 94.64% 159
Referrals by Previous Clients 89.29% 150
Instagram 72.62% 122
Referrals by other Vendors (Baker, DJ) 70.83% 119
Pinterest 64.88% 109
Referrals by Wedding Planners 57.14% 96
Wedding Wire Website 45.83% 77
Preferred Vendor Lists 42.26% 71
Your own Blog for your business 41.67% 70
Twitter 37.50% 63
Bridal Shows 29.17% 49
Other Networking Groups 22.62% 38
Yelp 22.02% 37
Local Regional Magazine in your area22.02% 37
The Knot Website 16.67% 28
Chamber of Commerce Networking Group11.90% 20
Style Me Pretty Blog 10.71% 18
Local Resources Blog (ie, in CO we have “Couture Colorado”) 10.12% 17
Wedding Chicks Blog 5.36% 9
Google Ads 5.36% 9
The Knot Magazine 4.17% 7
NACE Networking Group 1.79% 3
Elizabeth Anne Designs Blog 1.79% 3
ISES Networking Group 1.19% 2

Any other place where you promote your floral business? (blogs, websites, magazines, networking groups not mentioned above?)
47 Responses

We started an alternative wedding show/vendor networking group here in Pittsburgh called Hitchburgh, which focuses on local and artisan vendors and products.

free add in the local Independent wedding issue

Wedding Wire, Snippet and Ink

I put flowers (leftovers usually) at a winery that gets a lot of traffic and fits my aesthetic.

Maybe that would fall under blog, but we try to get a newsletter out as often as we can without being annoying to our customers. Top of mind awareness.

Targeted email newsletters on a quarterly basis

Once Wed

A Practical Wedding (planning blog)

Local bakeries, dry cleaners.

Local events/workshops with other small business owners

Once Wed

Website

Statement stuffers in other local businesses that have house accounts

Website

I am on Grey Likes, but won’t do that again.

Website

Active in community charity donations

Wedding unveiled magazine. Grace Ormonde platinum member. Business Network International

Once Wed, Be Inspired PR

Newspaper. During holidays or bridal book.

None, it’s mostly word of mouth. I’ve tried ads in magazines and it’s pretty much like throwing money out in the wind. Getting featured on blogs or magazines is great too.

University alumni group

We send out 2 newsletters via email, a month.

Green Wedding Shoes

Local radio

I give back sponsorships for local golf and ski course fundraisers. I also donate to the local high school arts program

Junebug weddings

Wedluxe and Elegant Wedding Magazine

Any networking with fellow event professionals proves most affective for my business. Relationships in general and getting my floral designs seen.

Local networking groups

Stylized shoots that get published.

Our own website

Local events and local charity.

Once Wed

Once Wed

Radio

Creating photo shoots with other local vendors to get in their market.

WellWed

Biz cards at local businesses.

I’m the florist that teaches. I network at BNI and with an artists/creatives group. I regularly send press releases to the local paper and recently applied for and received funding for a floristry/arts project, which has built my mailing list and raised my profile recently.

Teleflora member

Word of mouth…everywhere. I never miss a opportunity to talk about my shop after all I am my biggest fan!

website, networking groups

florist networking group, social media campaign starting in 2015

Of the places where you promote your floral business, which ones do you feel truly provide the best leads?
163 responses
Referrals by Previous Clients 83.44% 136
Referrals by other Vendors (Baker, DJ) 48.47% 79
Referrals by Wedding Planners 38.04% 62
Facebook Page for your business 30.67% 50
Preferred Vendor Lists 19.63% 32
Instagram 17.79% 29
Wedding Wire Website 16.56% 27
Bridal Shows 9.20% 15
Your own Blog for your business 7.98% 13
Yelp 7.36% 12
The Knot Website 6.75% 11
Style Me Pretty Blog 5.52% 9
Local Regional Magazine in your area 4.91% 8
Chamber of Commerce Networking Group 3.07% 5
Pinterest 3.07% 5
Other Networking Groups 2.45% 4
Local Resources Blog (ie, in CO we have “Couture Colorado”) 2.45% 4
Google Ads 1.84% 3
Twitter 0.61% 1
NACE Networking Group 0.00% 0
ISES Networking Group 0.00% 0
Elizabeth Anne Designs Blog 0.00% 0
Wedding Chicks Blog 0.00% 0
The Knot Magazine 0.00% 0

Where else do you promote your business that you feel produces qualified business leads?
50 responses

Venues

The best place I get qualified leads is from wedding planners that we work with. Its the best way for us!

Google – general SEO of our website; making sure our website shows up on page 1!

Meeting clients in-person at wedding shows, then following up with an email.

Neighborhood women’s group, fellow non-profit board members in my community service work,

On my personal twitter account; I’ve ended up doing flowers for lots of friends’ weddings this way.

In my store – being with customers.

I feel Business Marketing International will be great. I’m in the process of joining now.

wedding faryes

Flowers in local businesses

Through fundraising partnerships. I give a discount to have my marketing material present.

Word of mouth is #1. Providing good service and product gets us more business than any other means.

I know it sounds weird, but I volunteer with flowers at church without any expectations, but have met clients this way.

Going directly to venues seems to help. Venues are typically the first stop for a bride, so going straight to the venue seems to help.

website

Out in the community networking

Getting featured on popular wedding blogs. The first photo shoot we did with a new planner 3 years ago got featured in 4 different blogs and we are still getting brides coming in with the pictures or they are on Pinterest boards .

Photographers in general seem to be good leads

Out of all the blogs that we have been featured, Style Me Pretty is really the only place were we have seen qualified paying leads.

Local orchard as preferred vendor

Through my own community volunteer service

*The preferred vendor list is one a photographer’s website

I have found that collaborating with photographers on styled photoshoots is an excellent way to promote business. If you’re slow, it gives the impression that you’re busy, and if you’re busy it’s a great excuse to get really creative and try something kind of off-the-wall. Photographers have been my best leads and being able to consistently post high quality images of your work is an excellent way to stay top of mind for potential clients.

Best leads come from Preferred Vendor Listings

Farmers’ markets

My business website leads to contacts and bookings. I created the website myself, and worked quite a bit on my SEO so I would be found easily on google, and it has paid off.

So far we have seen Yelp give us the best increase in orders.

Networking

Wedluxe and Elegant Wedding Magazines

Handing out business cards

In our small town, the bridal fair is great. It’s not large but produces a lot of results. It is small enough you have a chance to meet with nearly every bride who may still be looking for a particular vendor.

Referrals from other vendors and wedding venues is where I get most of my business.

Woman’s only seminars Classes in the community Free small vases at local businesses and coffee shops

We belong to several small, local and informal wedding professionals groups, basically coffee groups.

Foot traffic at our storefront. We’ve been in business for 3 years, but 2014 was the first year we have had a storefront and not just a studio/workshop. Our wedding business has increased significantly as a result.

Funeral directors

Google Maps

Actually, word of mouth has gotten me the most business so far.

Word of mouth works best for me.

I’m new so still searching out possibilities

Facebook is amazing! Strangely enough it’s my best advertising, and it’s even better that it’s free!

Complimentary flowers to our local banks and business’s with our business card

Once a month a local art galleries.

Children schools

wedding Shows

Leaflets

Any current places where you advertise that you feel are not worth the investment of your money and/or time?
Responses: 80

Most blogs beyond SMP, I still get a lot from them

We used to advertise on wedding blogs but they are so diluted with other competitors that we hardly even get any web traffic from them, much less leads.

Sometimes I wonder if the Knot and Wedding Wire are worth it for what it costs. We do get leads, but not as many as from local venues and planners. Sometimes I wonder if it would serve me better to take that advertising cost and put it into freebies or gifts for industry professionals.

Bridal shows…so much money for florists to participate in and not enough return.

Wedding Wire paid package

Online advertising has not worked for me. Print is questionable…..

Lots of time invested in facebook but nothing so far..!

I’m very reluctant to do wedding fairs & paid blog spots

Wedding Chicks

Hate to say it, but local newspapers and tv ads will not do it in our area, Bozeman MT,

When it comes to social media, you really have to work hard and make sure you’re updating every so often and not every few months. It’s also important to find that balance were you aren’t bothering people with constant updates.

Facebook

Not sure if Wedding Wire is worth it. I don’t seem to get many inquiries from there.

Wedding wire leads all are low budget weddings and brides just gathering quotes, find myself not charging full labor on these trying to fill my calendar. Chamber of Commerce here great people – but that involvement has led to multiple requests for donations (which I try to honor when possible) but no wedding leads.

bridal shows

I regret locking into a monthly contract with yellow pages ( the main phone directory online in canada) as i truly don’t think I get much in return from it. When it ends in the summer I am going to just switch to a basic listing with website line.

Newspaper and phonebooks

some bridal shows

I stopped advertising with the knot because I felt that it wasn’t generating enough leads and the brides that I was connecting with were very low budget brides.

Wedding planners – don’t usually pan out because the planners are shopping for the best deal not the designer that best fits the couple:(

local small newspaper, advertise 3 times a year and don’t feel it’s worth it

The knot, wedding wire

I’m not sure about Once Wed, It’s only been a couple months, for the money if I get one wedding it’s worth it to be out there.

Yelp ads – but just having a regular good maintained Yelp page is awesome

Wedding shows / magazine

wedding wire

local blogs, paying services of any sort. Our advertising budget is now $0 because anything we’ve ever paid for has not had a return.

Local newspaper

Grey is the only place I’ve ever advertised. Not renewing.

Wedding Wire doesn’t seem to really be worth it.

Bridal shows

chapel designers

Local newspaper

Not sure about Grace Ormonde at this moment

Once Wed

Once Wed, Be Inspired PR, Twitter,

Newspaper. Some places I think are just for building brand awareness in people’s minds.

In the last two months I’ve had no return on my SMP ad, or the local bridal magazine ad that I tried last year.

Ive tried numerous magazines.. it’s not worth the money.

Wedding wire…low budget brides. I’m now doing free listing.

Local Wedding magazine

I was part of a wedding conglomerate studio and it was a horrible investment

Regional magazines

Have previously been on multiple preferred vendor lists including Once Wed and WedLuxe (Canada) and received very little business because of them. Decided to discontinue my membership to put money elsewhere.

At this time, I have no desire to invest money in advertising. I feel that word of mouth is the best advertising I could get-because it comes from people who have worked with me and are highly satisfied with my work.

face book. we tried the paid ads that redirect to our website, but the numbers they “claim” and what we got were very different.

Local Magazines

magazines and venue’s brochures

Newspapers

Weddingwire and The Knot are marginally effective I think.

Facebook Paid adds

Wedding wire

Wedding wire seems to have low quality leads for me. Very low budget.

Wedding Wire!

facebook

I feel like The Knot gets me a lot of leads but few bookings. Being on the Knot and recognized as ‘Best of’ does however speak to brides who found me elsewhere but are also on “The Knot”.

Local business or parish magazines, tried that, no good. Also Google ads, unless you’re prepared to spend a LOT of money

I stopped advertising on SMP and Grey Likes Weddings. I just never saw much of a return on those ads.

Not that we can think of for the most part we have fine tuned things to where we see a return on most all efforts in place.

I did a bridal show and got no replies back from many of the leads. Just feel I dumped a ton of money and time into it and nothing in return. Time will only tell.

Wedding shows do not produce well for us. We are more of a boutique, non-cookie cutter company and we don’t compete well against the biggies who show up with huge budgets and truckloads of flowers.

any type of print advertising

On line florist sites which charge money. Doctors surgery cards

My Wedding.com

Local paper

Anything online that you have to pay for

Tried for a year – Wedding Wire. Not renewing. Many followers on Pinterest but I’ve yet to receive one business inquiry.

Facebook

Once Wed

I also advertise with mywedding.com however it has not generated any leads. Not worth the investment for my business.

Nationwide blogs

Country Club membership books

Recently dropped Blue Ribbon Vendor on Southern weddings, Wedding Chicks, and Grey Likes..nothing accomplished from these except building my ego

Newspaper inserts

Facebook changes have made it hard to connect with people. I do pay for advertising but in not sure it’s worth it anymore.

No paid for ads, or free sites.

Bridal shows…so much money out, for very little return

Local newspapers

local wedding magazines are to expensive and they rarely if never use me

Yelp.com not one phone call. Giving out free flowers don’t work.

 

Anything else you’d like to share with us regarding the marketing your business:
Responses: 52

Instagram has been huge for us and we are returning to blogging. I think it was a big error to quit blogging. The internet is loaded with old images.

Work with your peers!

I have found that the various media we use to advertise are important for different reasons. Meaning… Facebook is great for connecting with those in the industry in our local market by making sure everyone sees our latest work (and therefore hopefully sending us referrals). Instagram is great for engaging with current clients and can boost sales by being able to showcase new products. Also, a younger crowd (aka the modern bride) is on Facebook. Vendor relations, especially when it comes to venues and planners, is by far the best source of leads for us. So taking a planner out to dinner = advertising… believe you me.

I did some market research myself (small scale, amongst married women as I do mostly weddings) and 3/4 of my sample (about 60) used a florist recommended to them by a friend or family member for their wedding (I asked them how they knew of the florist they used).

I’m trying to work out to attract more clients without spending a fortune!

Instagram has been very good for my business!

when it comes to flowers, two things are important: the quality of your printing materials and the quality of your work. Printed materials (say for example trade and bridal shows) will give customers that don’t know about you an idea of your arrangements and what you can create for them. The quality of your actual flowers will get people talking at events and they’ll always remember something special you did, and word of mouth starts. On that note, always support your local businesses. Ordering printed materials online can be Chelsea, but I’ve gotten weddings purely out of the local print shop (who also do a great job). And always be kind to your customers.

highly targeted marketing has prevented me from having to respond to lots of non qualified potential clients or write a lot of proposals for low end competitive bid jobs that I don’t want to do in the first place.

Partnering with other wedding industry professionals bring me qualified leads which often result in business.

Located in a very small town in Oregon, area not fully recovered from recession. All my costs are rising but brides budgets are not – no dollars available for marketing right now.

I feel like i spend 24 hours a day thinking about, worrying about and working on marketing my business. it is consuming me. I’ve read a whack of books about instagram, pinterest, facebook, linkdin, I’ve taken a pr course and listen to marketing podcasts on my commute everyday. It is a constant uphill battle to make time to do good marketing, and even when it is good it doesn’t often get much of a result. I have to say that I find marketing of my everyday business harder than weddings. It is hard to be a small local business with a small local reach trying to get the word out. Somedays i think I’m making progress, others not so much. would love to hear what other people are doing that isn’t wedding related marketing!

We appreciate all YOU guys do to support and promote florists!

We have become almost completely reliant on social media to promote out business. Collaborations with local blogs and vendors has far outweighed editorial magazines and other big dollar amount advertising, etc.

Instagram has been one of the most surprising and beneficial tools in my business development. Almost every bride that I book mentions it as one of her reasons for hiring me. In addition, it is a wonderful platform to connect with brides in the months before their big day!

Take the time and take advantage of free marketing via facebook and Instagram.

we take advantage of social media to create our brand and gain fans. Our top source of referrals is always vendor recommendations by other wedding pros.

good seo on website

Having a good website and reviews from our brides.

I never pay to run an add for my business. The only thing I pay for is to be on Wedding Chicks preferred vendor list. I try to tag and blog as much as possible to boost my SEO so Im #1 or 2 in Google searches. I get most of my referrals from Google, past clients and other vendors

I have found collaborations with other planners, photographers, rental companies etc. To be very helpful.we form friendshio s and refer each other.

Facebook has become more of a reference people go to (like a website) rather than a new lead driver.

I recently booked a bride who contacted me and communicated through Pinterest .

Its definitely a constant battle and you really can’t let this slide. You have to market every single day, reach out to new contacts every single day.

Word of mouth & Facebook has been my biggest marketer.

SEO Is The Best Marketing Tool For Me. Yelp Is Second.

While a lot of items are checked in question #1, I’m really bad about actually keeping up to date with so many advertising outlets (ie: I don’t tweet or blog nearly as often as I’d like, I don’t keep our business pinterest account very active, etc). I devote most advertising time toward Facebook, Instagram and networking with local vendors. I’ve found that referrals from local vendors (specifically planners, photographers and venues) give me the best bookings!

Making it different than what others in the area offered. Be prompt and flexible.

GET ON INSTAGRAM! We get about 90% of our business from Instagram. It’s huge and if you aren’t there you’re definitely missing out.

Making your current clients the happiest they can possibly be is the best way to get those referrals.

We’re still looking for that magic place to advertise! 🙂

I have found just being nice and a friendly face, I also have found being part of The Lonely Bouquet movement has been great

I keep business cards handy at all times.

Some of my floral friends have passed on leads during their maternity leaves so it’s good and important to have good relationships with others in the same line of work.

It’s hard to know what works! But I try to stick with a type of advertising for at least a year plus to see if anything comes from it.

Marketing is a daily task!

In general-make friends, (clients and vendors alike) love what you do and be the best at it you can be and the rest falls in place. If you love what you do, you will want to share and so will the clients and vendors you worked with and your business grow.

its bloody difficult, I’m not a marketeer by trade and I often feel I’m lost, floundering and wasting my time effort and resources! A “how to market being a florist” course would be a godsend!

Networking! It is the best way to generate business. It take time and patience but it is with it in the long run.

Be creative. We see a bigger results when we add out if the box eye catching details. Like or girl with orchid hair and speech bubbles http://www.stacykfloral.com/floral-subscription-program/

The advice I give to newer folks in the business is to meet and greet, meet and greet, meet and greet. The more people you put yourself in front of on any given day, the more exposure you create. It’s a numbers game. The other thing we do is to execute our job flawlessly time after time. This is the best marketing there is.

yelp has been a huge source of business and we have gone from a free listing to a paid one for the past 3 months and we have see a 25 to 30% increase in that short time. Positive reviews on yelp are key.

Always changing. I look at the cost and x it by 3 and ask my self will it be likely generate this level of sales.

Yelp is powerful

Regular updates on social media is key

I’d like to hear from those who advertise with national wedding magazines, how long they have to advertise in order to get enough business to pay for the ads.

I would rather do styled shoots than buy ads. Getting my work out there for folks to actually see is my favorite marketing tool. Plus submit as much as possible!

I wish there was a better local blog that didn’t focus so much on DIY. I think having a good blog that is specific to your area is a great way to advertise as long as it’s done right.

Blog regularly to keep the google ratings up!

It is difficult to keep up with updating ads, Facebook, blogs, Instagram and everything!

We are in a small town with another flower shop so we try to stay very involved with the community and promote our customer service. We have even done the library’s reading dogs birthday! No cause too small.

Being patient and knowing your product and competition well is a bonus. People who want your product will be repeat customers which is worth a great deal more than one off orders. Look after your customers and respect their money and they will respect you and your business.

 

The views and opinions expressed on this blog post are solely those of the original contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Flirty Fleurs.

What a Bride Wants..

Bridal bouquet of pink hydrangeas, pink roses, green cymbidiums, orange roses and pink dahlias

I know us floral designers are often asking .. What does a Bride want? How do I get brides to hire me? How do brides find me? How did she make her final decision in who to hire?
Recently a friend of mine married on the coast of Central California and I asked her if she’d share her wedding planning experience with us.

Sarah, how many florists did you meet with?
Since we were not super local to our venue, I emailed and checked out websites, blogs, and facebook of many florists in Monterey. I personally met with 2 after narrowing it down.

How did you find florists to meet with?
Mostly just online searching. One friend recommended a florist but they never got back to me. They were a bigger shop and I went by their store once when I was in the area, but their customer service wasn’t good in person either so I didn’t pursue them further.

Did you compare websites?
Yes.

What were some things that you liked about a vendor website, what did you not like.
Of the two florists I met with, I liked both of their websites. They had all sorts of photos of different styles of weddings including ceremony spaces, table arrangements, bouquets, etc.

Why did you pick your florist?
I decided on the one I went with for a few reasons. The biggest reason was when I personally met her, she was awesome. She worked out of her home and she was showing me a bunch of things she was working on for the upcoming weekend. Her energy and personality were a good fit for me, in addition to really liking what she showed me. She was within my budget and she also had done the flowers for our venue many times which made me feel more confident. The other florist I met with was not impressive in person. I didn’t care for her personality (she was slow like she seemed drugged or something) and it just didn’t seem like a fit. Also when I met with her in person, all of her photos seemed really old and she hadn’t worked at our venue.

Anything during the process that you wish would have been different?
Our florist was great. Besides that one in person meeting, everything was done online. She was very quick to respond, she eased my fears, answered my questions, and I was so happy with how the flowers turned out. They were exactly what I was hoping for- a bright pop of color with a variety of textures.

Anything else you’d like to share with flirty fleurs readers about your planning process?
I think the biggest thing would be go with your gut. I knew right away after meeting with the 2 different florists which was going to be the right choice for me.

Bridal bouquet of pink hydrangeas, pink roses, green cymbidiums, orange roses and pink dahlias

Q&A :: How do I get brides to hire me?

The Question:
Hi my name is Cheryl and I currently run a home based wedding floral business.
My question is, how do you get more brides to go with you instead of another big local florist around the area? How can I entice them more? I try to be as personable as I can with brides, but how do I get more consultations?

Cheryl in Ohio

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The Answers:

In regards to attracting and enticing more brides to your home location:
-Create an inspiring yet organized space in your home for consults
-Post your “Home Studio” pics on Facebook, Pinterest and website
-Speaking of websites… in a bride’s mind if you don’t have a website, you don’t exist
-Use your “Home Studio” to your advantage! Less overhead and more personal attention to their event!

Getting the brides to you:
–Bridal Shows…Use those lead lists! (1) Personal Phone Call / (2) Email Blast / (3) Direct Mail
–Visit all of your local Venues & bridal shops (which are usually the 1st locations a bride visits)
–Bring the Manager or main contact a little floral arrangement with your cards & marketing materials. Tuesdays are usually the best day to stop in casually.

Jennifer Mancuso, Michigan

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Fifteen years ago, it was word of mouth that got me to where I am today. Prom corsages have developed into wedding events and flowers for those families. The local Chamber of Commerce has been a effective way to advertise for a nominal fee. Being visible in the community is vital although as a studio designer it is difficult at times to be everywhere.
Kris of KRISanthemums, Oregon

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You really need to brand yourself. Set yourself apart from what everyone is doing. Really stand out, if your thing is rustic make sure your work is the BEST, if it’s modern really stand out. If your doing bridal shows make your booth is the “talk” of the show. Find your niche and make it happen. My brides come to me because they love my look.
Tracy of Park Place Design, Michigan

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I suggest calling around to photographers and doing some styled shoots. You will get some nice material to show your skills and then get those published, that gets your name out there. Also, advertising on local wedding blogs and/or one of the big online companies such as the knot or Wedding Wire. Then word of mouth will happen.
Buffy of Pink Posey Design, Colorado

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I think part of having a home based business is that you’re (typically) not as well known and will get fewer consults than a brick and mortar store. I don’t do any advertising. My Yelp reviews bring me most of my business, followed by recommendations from other vendors and past brides. That being said, I really focus on getting the jobs I do consults for. I go above and beyond for people that interview me. My goal is that they would leave our meeting better off than when they went in, regardless if they hire me. This means I “show my cards” a lot more than others. I do give away ideas, let them know what to expect, give sketches or photos with the estimate, etc. I try to genuinely serve them well, and in turn, they typically hire me. If I don’t get the job, they leave feeling served and don’t have a bad taste in their mouths. I have a booking rate of about 80%, so even though it takes more time up front, it ends up saves me time and money. Book the people you do interview and you don’t have to chase work! I wish there was a silver bullet that would work every time, but I find that as long as I’m listening to them and serve them well, I get a majority of jobs.
Chandin of Studio 3 Floral Design, Washington

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I, too, have a home-based wedding flower business. I have been in business for 3 years. Lately I have been getting a ton of positive feedback that a good number of brides have chosen me because of my prompt response to their emails. I started advertising with a popular and reputable vendor information site and as soon as I see an inquiry I get an email out to the bride as fast as I can, always within a few hours of me getting the email. I met with a bride the other day and she told me that of the 5 designers she contacted, I was the ONLY one that got right back to her and her fiance. She said the spoke volumes to her. That was 2 weeks ago. Apparently, she has still had no response from the other larger florists in town. I think personal, sincere and prompt responses and service are what the brides want. I also make sure that when I do have a consult that I take a tablet with me so that we can look at ideas together from my Pinterest Boards, Facebook business page and my website. Make sure you have all of those updated and have a lot of items for the bride to look at. Keep plugging away. Get better at your business and managing skills and it will come…
Lauren of Garden Gate Florals, Florida

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If you are like me, and usually meet at coffee shops or at the venue, bring a portfolio of your work in digital format, like an iPad or slide show on a laptop. Be sure to use only professional photos. I also have developed welcome letter that I send to my brides via email. I always make the appointment about theme not just solely focused on the flowers. We talk about her dreams and visions of her wedding day, and then dive into the flower part. Ask about her day, her dress, how she met her man, etc. Let her get excited and keep her excited through your appointment. I’m working on developing a catalogue of items I rent to take with me (containers, candle sets, table runners, etc) . Good luck! You can do this! And just be yourself!
Jessica of Blooms ‘n Blossoms, Kentucky

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It takes time! Just keep doing a good job. Ensure you have a good online presence and for the first few years maybe lower your prices a little not much, but as you are not retail you cannot charge full retail prices. This has been very successful for us. We are in our 10th year of business and as our customer base grew we increased our pricing. I treated that slight savings for the Brides as an advertising cost.
Jane of Budget Blooms, British Columbia

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Do you have a question you’d like to ask for a Q&A session? Email it to me at: info@flirtyfleurs.com