I’m delighted to start off the week with this special guest post by my workshop co-host, Fiona Humberstone…
Whether you’re just starting out or at the top of your game, a well-planned and well-executed blog has the power to move your business forwards. Done well, it’ll build your brand, captivate your current and prospective customers, and generate real and meaningful business opportunities.
And whether you dream of higher value bookings, that elusive book deal, more high profile events or simply would like to sell more flowers, a powerful blog can help you achieve your commercial objectives, as well as being another tool to nurture your creativity.
Ahead of our Social Media for Florists workshop in London next month, I thought I’d share my top tips on creating a blog that helps you generate work.
10 STEPS TO CREATING A BLOG THAT WINS YOU BUSINESS
1. Own your space. Create distinctive and memorable content that helps you stand out and cut through the noise.
2. Focus on adding value. Create blog posts that make showing up worthwhile for your readers; whether that’s sheer creative inspiration or sharing some of your expertise.
3. Demonstrate the experience. When you blog about a wedding, don’t just show the flowers. Tell the story, share the emotion, explain why and how you arrived at the designs you did. Show how you fulfilled the client’s brief, how you added value and how thrilled your client was with the result. And it won’t be long before you have brides queuing up to work with you.
4. Be inspired. When you’re excited about your work, you’ll communicate that energy through your writing and you’ll create a buzz. That doesn’t mean you need to shriek, but it does mean that you should blog when you feel inspired to and take a break (within reason) when you don’t. It’s the inspired, creative posts that will give your blog traction. So, blog from love not obligation.
5. Create captivating photographs. Pinnable, inspirational and creative images are essential in getting your blog noticed and showing off your work in its best light. Don’t just re-hash images from your site: your blog gives your business another dimension. So learn some basic photography skills and enjoy styling up your flowers to really tell a story.
6. Do. Not. Sell. Your blog isn’t a news feed. It isn’t a sales channel, it’s a dialogue between you and your readers. It’s a notebook, a journal or a scrapbook. It’s somewhere people go to for inspiration. They don’t expect the hard sell and they won’t stick around if that’s all they see.
7. Remember the 80/20 rule. The biggest way your blog will generate business is by attracting the sort of visitors who love your style and through your posts can see that only you can deliver your particular brand of fabulousness. But every now and again, like 20% of the time, it’s ok to have a little plug…
8. Give people an insight into your world. It’s easy for those of us who aren’t florists by trade to overlook the 4am trips to the flower market, the freezing conditions, the wear and tear on your hands and just see the carefree glamour of floristry. I’m not suggesting for one moment you shatter our illusions, but you do get to work in some pretty exciting locations; what can you share without breaking confidences?
9. Build a dialogue with your readers. Take the time to respond to comments, both on your blog and via social media. Write intimately rather than broadcasting to the masses (even though tens of thousands of people might be reading) and use your readers’ feedback to guide what you post about moving forwards. It’s this dialogue that will build brand loyalty, help you increase your readership and generate enquiries.
10. Show you mean business. It almost goes without saying that to be taken seriously it’s essential that your blog looks smart at the very least. This might be as simple as using a template theme or investing in a beautifully bespoke design that really enables your business to stand out from the crowd.
What would you add to the list above? I’ve deliberately focused on the things you can do to generate enquiries and help build your brand rather than the mechanics of getting your blog out there or using it for Google juice, but I’d love your thoughts. What have you done for your blog that’s worked well?
And if you’re not signed up already, it would be great to see you at our Social Media for Florists workshop on September 14th where we’ll be getting you focused, helping you brainstorm exactly what you could blog about and getting you super excited about carving out a unique space in the market that only you can own.
(Image : Rona Wheeldon | Flowerona)