flowers + reading
Wondering if either of these scenarios sound familiar? We’ve heard them both repeated over the years in the BB community.
We’re excited that Alison Ellis of Real Flower Business is ready to address these common hiccups in the entrepreneurial journey of flower business owners! That’s why we’re welcoming her to the blog today to share what she believes to be one the keys to landing your ideal clients. She regularly provides our profession with opportunities to learn more about running and marketing a flower business.
Guest post by Alison Ellis / Real Flower Business
When I started my home-studio floral design business in 2002, I had about 9 years of design experience–so I knew a lot about flowers–but I didn’t know a thing about marketing my business. I’d never heard the term “ideal customer” at that point and my branding efforts were totally DIY. I was mostly doing cold calls to find new clients because there was no such thing as social media in the early aughts, and I was in business for 2 years before I even got my first website.
But several years into my business, it became clear that if I wanted to find higher budget clients who were willing to pay me for my time and talent, I would have to learn how to attract better clients to my brand first. It wasn’t just about getting a new website or having a cool logo, I needed to know what to say to my ideal customers so that I could stand out above the competition. I had to find a way to develop the voice of my brand.
Over the last 12 years, I’ve learned to become as good at branding my business as I am at floral design. Investing in training and workshops to teach me the things I needed to know was the first step, but practicing sharing my brand message is where the real change happened.
After 20 years of running my small business, I know the most effective way to book the best clients year after year is to follow an intentional marketing and branding strategy that speaks to the hearts of your ideal customers so that they KNOW you’re the best choice for them!
And if you’re like most florists, you probably don’t have an intentional marketing plan, yet. In fact, 97% of the florists I surveyed last month said they do NOT have a marketing plan for their business at all. They’re just winging it day to day.
The problem is that without an intentional marketing strategy you’re not actually focused on bringing the right clients to your business–which means you’re either not getting enough inquiries or you’re spending too much time on clients that aren’t a good match.
Posting on social media just to keep up with “what everyone is doing” means your marketing efforts are more like “post and pray” than anything resembling a plan to increase your sales and brand position.
The secret to successful marketing isn’t posting “a lot”–it’s not frequency that clients respond to. It’s about sharing a clear message that helps build brand trust and encourages people to take action to work with you. Marketing is not a measure of “who can get more likes or follows or views”. It’s about what your business is saying that resonates with your ideal customers and invites them to buy from you.
So if you’re posting as much as humanly possible on Instagram, but you’re still attracting lower-budget clients instead of customers who are eager to work with you, then what are you going to do to change that so you start attracting better clients in future?
Instead of throwing out random content, it’s time to add intention to your marketing efforts so that you actually get the results you want — great clients, increased sales, consistent bookings, more joy and freedom in your work.
And once you have that intentional marketing strategy in place to attract better customers, you can build upon it and refine it so you continue to attract the BEST clients year after year. Because your success isn’t about where you are right now — it’s about where you’re going. And if you don’t have a clear goal for where you’re going, it’s harder to forge your own path to get there.
Every January I teach a group of highly motivated floralpreneurs how to build their own premium brand in my group coaching program, The Art of Good Business.
Whether you decide to join me in one of my training sessions or you choose to “go it alone” from here, the most important step is to add intention to your marketing plan so you can book great clients more consistently and create your own version of success.
See all of Alison’s course offerings here.
Heard all the talk about having effective sales copy? Wondering what exactly sales copy is? Click here to hear Alison explain!
You might also enjoy our conversation on the BB Podcast where Alison shares her thoughts on Rental Pricing and Floral Markups. Click here to listen.
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