Today, Flowerona celebrates its 7th birthday! And to mark the occasion, I thought I’d share with you advice I’d have loved to have had at the very start of my flower journey.
1. REALISE THAT YOU CAN’T BE ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE
Spend time analysing who your audience is. When I started Flowerona, I was much more focused on the content, blogging about anything that had a flower on it! And it took me quite a while to get my head around the fact that I was attracting two different audiences – florists and people who love flowers. They’re different audiences with different wants and needs.
What may appeal to a florist, may not appeal to someone who loves flowers. The language and terminology that florists are familiar with may seem alien to someone not in the industry. So, really pin down your audience, specialise and have a niche. (My main focus with Flowerona now is florists, floristry students, florist-farmers and flower growers.)
2. YOU NEED TO BE IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL
In the early days, appreciate that there may be times when you wonder why you’re working such crazy hours, but seeing little or no return. If you’re feeling wobbly, seek advice.
I’ve never shared this before but, in the first few years, when there was very little, if any, money coming in, I did have a long conversation with my husband about jacking it all in and getting ‘a proper job’ back in an office. Thank heavens I didn’t!
3. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING BUT NOT EVERYTHING
No matter what, there will never be enough hours in the day. So you need to prioritise. Really think about what lights you up and how does it bring in revenue? If you have so many ideas and paths that you want to follow, invest in a coach, as I have recently. I can’t tell you how much of a difference it’s making to my business…and my sanity!
There are only 24 hours in the day. So, ensure you’re productive rather than busy. And yes, I still struggle doing this, but sometimes it’s ok to say ‘No’.
4. THINK ABOUT HOW YOU CAN STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
Don’t be mediocre, be different. When I was a growing up on a tiny farm in deepest Devon, I didn’t want to be called Rona (sorry mum!) and have curly hair. I wanted to be called Jane and have straight hair.
And how glad am I now…I love my Scottish name. And yes, I’m embracing my curls, even though occasionally I have my hair straightened. Think about your point of difference. What do you want to be known for? Don’t be afraid to plough your own furrow.
5. RECOGNISE THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR BRAND AND ITS DISTINCTIVE AESTHETIC
Investing in your brand – the logo design, colour palette and fonts – is key, as is nailing your aesthetic, if you really want to be taken seriously in the oversaturated marketplace.
Also realise that at some stage, you may need to rebrand to take you to the next level. And even if at the time your branding project seems like a huge financial investment, long term it’ll be worth every penny.
6. BE PREPARED FOR THE ROLLERCOASTER
There’ll be times when things are going so well that you pinch yourself – like winning awards or being invited to attend amazing floristry workshops. But there’ll also be lots of challenges along the way including people imitating your blog, lifting content from it and web hosting issues, to name a few.
Pick your battles wisely. Remember it’s all meant to be and that you have to experience the lows to appreciate the highs.
7. PRIORITISE SELF CARE
There’s only one of you…and you need to really look after yourself. If you’re not well, your business won’t be able to function. Working for yourself, it’s so easy to work every waking minute. So, set boundaries and decide which days you’re going to work and when you’re going to start and finish.
When you’re on holiday, switch off completely and have a digital detox. Do whatever form of exercise you enjoy, regularly. Your health is of utmost importance. Put yourself first.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through these seven points, and some of them have resonated with you. Thank you SO much for all your support, both here on my blog and on social media over the last seven years. I’m so looking forward to seeing how the next twelve months pan out…watch this space!