Tips on keeping customer service on-point for Valentine’s day with Alison Ellis

Tips on keeping customer service on-point for Valentine’s day with Alison Ellis

Holidays are a time when florists find out what we’re really made of.
We have to have systems in place to survive the hurried pace and high volume of orders, yet throughout all of the hustle and bustle, we cannot lose sight of the fact that how we treat our customers matters.

Valentine’s day is a time when florists are accused of being “overpriced” which is why we must remember that our excellent customer service is one of most important ways we provide value to our clients.

You can’t compare my business to a grocery store; they don’t do what I do.

In short, our systems and processes aren’t effective without good people who follow through.

Check out my video (perhaps watch it with your employees, too!).
Thanks so much for taking a few minutes to watch!

Find out more about Alison here: http://realflowerbusiness.com/about

A look at Branding for Floral Design Businesses

floral designer website, Betsey Brooks

Betsey Brooks website

Stationary of Florescence Flowers in North Carolina

Stationary of Florescence Flowers in North Carolina

Stationary of Florescence Flowers in North Carolina

Stationary of Florescence Flowers in North Carolina

Julia Testa floral design logo

Julia Testa floral design logo

Passion Flowers Design & Forage Florals - marketing artwork for design class series

Passion Flowers Design & Forage Florals – marketing artwork for design class series

Which Social Media Platform is Your Favorite?

The Question:

Which Social Media Platform is your favorite and why?

The Answers:

My favorite social media platform is Instagram.  Like all social media, it has it’s positives and negatives. Positives: I have made some amazing connections with photographers and wedding planners – which has translated into a good bit of business for me.  I’ve also found some terrific local flower growers and can easily stay current with what they have coming out of their fields.
Negative:  If you let it, it can stifle your creativity and make you question your abilities.  Be mindful to only follow people who lift you up and inspire you.  
“Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique. Be memorable. Be confident. Be proud.” ― Shannon L. Alder
Sue Prutting
White Magnolia Designs
Washington DC

I love Instagram – its visual nature lends well to the kind of work we do.  I’ve been able to run successful shop promos and contests through instagram without spending a dime.  And it links to Facebook & Twitter easily.
Michelle Hodgson
Blossom & Vine Floral Co.
Vancouver, BC.

I love using Instagram and Facebook – I can easily post current photos of weddings for prospective brides to peruse. They love seeing new ideas in the location where they are getting married.  It often leads to add-ons because they fall in love with a look.
Melody King
Fleurish Floral Designs
Carmel, California

Instagram is our favorite social media platform, because our work is so heavily based on visual aesthetics.  Instagram is the best way to give a quick and varied pitch to potential clients and brides because it shows a collection of our work in a simple and fun way.  I love setting up weddings all weekend, and then getting inquiries on Monday with pictures that I posted, saying that they want to book me based on what they had seen.
Mary Coombs
A Garden Party
New Jersey

Instagram is my favorite social media platform.  It is easy to use and I love the visual aspect.
Shelly Bagdasian
B Floral and Event Design
Chevy Chase, Maryland

Flower Business Logos

Where do I find brides? by Alison Ellis

In today’s Q&A video I answer a question from a subscriber: “Where do I find brides?”

The truth is that engaged couples are everywhere, but you need a strategy to find the right customers for your business. Click to watch today’s video! Thanks for tuning in!

Check out Floral Artistry Courses here: http://freshevents.floralartvt.com Read all about Flower Math, 12 E-mail Templates for Florists, How to Write Proposals That Sell, and Flower Boss, a FREE course for florists.

Contact Information:
Alison Ellis
Floral Artistry
http://floralartvt.com
Vermont

Pricing Mistakes Florists Make by Alison Ellis, Part 3 of 4

This video is third in a 4-part series on pricing mistake florists make. This mistake is one that everyone makes at some point…hopefully sooner rather than later. You set the prices for your business. You are in the driver’s seat.

Check out Floral Artistry Courses here: freshevents.floralartvt.com Including Flower Boss. A free training course to help move your business forward.

Contact Information:
Alison Ellis
Floral Artistry
Vermont

Ask The Expert :: Graphic Designer Kimberly Schwede

Good Monday Morning!
Today we have a special treat for all of you, an interview with Graphic Designer extraordinaire, Kimberly Schwede! Kim is the amazing art director who designed both issues of Flirty Fleurs Magazine, plus my book Bella Bouquets, and many of the graphic images you see here on the Flirty Fleurs blog.
‘Tis the season that many floral designers are updating their marketing materials – website/blog updates, new business cards, stationary, heck a whole new business identity – so I’ve asked Kim to answer a few questions y’all have sent into Flirty Fleurs.

Kimberly Schwede Graphic Design

Question –
When working with a floral designer, what helps you to understand the client’s brand so that you can create a logo or website for the client?

Kim – A great place to start is to research the competition. What is the competition doing? How can we improve and beat the competition! Below are some questions I often send new clients to help them better understand their business wants and needs.

YOUR COMPANY
Describe your business: What do you do? Who is your main competition? How do you differ?

YOUR PROJECT
Who is your target market? Age groups and demographics?

Who are you currently marketing to? How do your clients find you? What makes your company unique?

Question –
What type of input materials do you like to see when designing a logo or web site…photos, other designs, etc.

Kim – These are some questions to get the creative juices flowing…

Describe in a few words the feelings you wish your brand to evoke: Beautiful, Modern, Feminine, Humorous, Fresh, Classic, High End, Friendly, etc…?

Which companies (design wise) do you like and dislike and why? Does not have to be in your market.

Are there particular designs you like in my portfolio? www.kimberlyschwede.com

For print materials photos need to be 300DPI resolution and for a website 72DPI resolution. The larger in size the better because I like to be able to crop and focus in on the key image.

Kimberly Schwede Graphic Design - Business cards for Florists

Logos – Vines Business System – Logo Design, Business Card, Letterhead, Postcard Promotion

Question –
What do you find most helpful when trying to bring to life someone’s business or brand?

Kim –
I like to see their reaction once the design process goes under way. There are usually 3 phases of design drafts. After the first phase the client chooses a direction to move forward with and from there we finesse the design until its satisfactory. To see a clients excitement and hear feedback on the various design phases leads to a beautiful final product. In the end its a lot of creative collaboration between the designer and client.

Kimberly Schwede Graphic Design - Website Design for Florists

Graphic Design – Logo, Business Card design and Website Design

Question –
We are redesigning our website this year – exciting! We have decided on a template and have taken an inventory of our current site. We are figuring out what we would like to keep, what to remove and what to add. My question is, at what point in the process do you recommend bringing on the graphic designer? We were thinking we would figure out the written and visual content and then pull in the graphic designer, but I would love to hear your take.

Kim – It’s great for the client to organize their thoughts and content before meeting with a graphic designer. You’re off to a good start! Upon meeting a designer they will likely ask you the following questions:

*What is the focus of your website? Informational, Portfolio/Gallery, e-Commerce/Online Store?

*What feelings would you like a visitor to experience while visiting your site? Do you have a logo, color palette or font guidelines/style guide?

*Is there a particular product/service you want to draw the most attention to? What are your biggest money-makers?

*Please list a few websites you find compelling, interesting or similar to what you hope to achieve. What are the strengths of each of these sites?

*What does the outline of the website look like? What pages and sub-pages would you like? (i.e. Home, About, Gallery, Services, Press, Blog, Contact, etc)

*Then when gathering content a Word document of the text for each website page and 72DPI JPEG photos can be sent via Dropbox or email.

Kimberly Schwede Graphic Design

 
Thank you, Kim, for joining us today on the blog and for answering some questions from our readers! We really appreciate you expertise!!
For our readers, if you’d like more information about how to freshen up your business identity be sure to check out Kim’s design portfolio at: www.KimberlySchwede.com

 

Fleur Friday

Interesting Links I’ve come across this week while surfing the good ‘ole World Wide Web ..

How to Increase your Instagram Following by Ashley Beyer on Once Wed
Download Alexandra Farm’s comprehensive Rose Wedding Guide here
De-Myth-Tifying Cut Flower Care, some great tips on this oldie-but-goodie article!
 

One of my designs this past week; an old garden urn filled with sensation lilacs, clematis, persica frittalaria, tulips, and white bleeding hearts. Thank you to Georgianna Lane for giving me some tips on how to photograph my work better!

Bella Fiori in Washington, Urn with purple lilacs, white clematis, bleending hearts, persica frittalaria, and tulips

Upcoming Workshops that I’ll be teaching –

Compote Floral Centerpieces featuring PEONIES! – Saturday, May 23, 2015
Hands-On Floral Arch & Chuppah Workshop – Saturday, May 30, 2015
Register for these workshops here

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend AND Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!

 

Inspiring Logo Designs

Why no one’s reading your blog and it doesn’t matter by Alison Ellis

Social media. Ugh. Am I right? Or am I right?

I blog, therefore I am. If you have a design business and a website with a blog and a Facebook page you understand the ongoing pressure to not only create beautiful work, but write beautifully about it. Quite frankly, it’s exhausting. And it’s a lot of pressure. And on top of that it feels like no one is even reading it anyway!

You can put out some of your best work, your most unique creations and highest quality images and still hear a pin drop.

There are endless hours you can spend on social media and you can be left wondering “why”. Well, that’s a good question and depending on who you ask you will get different answers.

The big guys who blog as an occupation will say that you should blog several times a week. Several times. Each week. To that I say hogwash.

Here’s the truth: You are not Style Me Pretty and you will never be Style Me Pretty. (Sorry if that bursts your bubble, but I bet you kinda know that already.) If you are operating a full-service floral shop or a boutique wedding design business you would need to hire a full-time employee to keep your social media up to snuff (i.e. posting multiple times a day on Facebook, re-tweeting crucial links and “news”, responding to comments on Instagram and updating the blog).

Unless your blog generates money it’s not worth putting excessive energy towards or making yourself crazy to create content. If you want to have a successful web presence without dedicating staff to the task (which by the way is complicated in itself because he/she has to fully understand your “voice” and the point of view of your business) then here are some tips you can start following right now:
First of all, be real. Instead of contrived status updates and blog posts share photos of what you’re doing in your biz right now. Simple photos of a flower that you’re excited about today can generate more “likes” than grandiose statements about your “huge event this weekend”.

Second, be generous with your knowledge. Help people. For free. Sounds crazy, I know, but that’s what a blog is at its heart. It’s also an opportunity to brag and promote your work, but it’s more interesting to create useful content as well.

Thirdly and most importantly, talk to you customer and no one else. If you’re not looking to sell prom flowers don’t blog about prom trends just because its prom season. If you’re selling upscale wedding designs talk only about the topics that interest upscale wedding clients. It’s simple, yet genius. And frankly, kind of freeing. You cannot be all things to all people. Focus on the people you want to be YOUR people. Not everyone will agree with you or like your style. (But I bet you kinda know that already, too.)

How do you handle your social media presence? What are some of the tips you’ve picked up along the way that have helped you either feel freer or reach more people? Tell us about it in the comments!

Thank you, Alison, for this article! I agree wholeheartedly with what you have said here.
Alison is the owner/designer at Floral Artistry in Vermont.