It gives me such pleasure today, on Florist Friday, to feature this very special guest post by my Social Media for Florists workshop co-host, Fiona Humberstone…
Whether you’re at the top of your game or just starting out, a well-planned and well-executed blog has the power to move your business forwards. Done well, it can be more than the sum of your current reputation. It’ll build your brand, captivate your current and prospective customers and generate real and meaningful business opportunities.
And whether you dream of more high profile events, that elusive book or TV deal or simply want to sell more flowers, a powerful blog can help you achieve your commercial objectives, as well as being another tool to nurture your creativity.
I’m a huge fan of blogging for business. Long before I sold my brand styling company, I had a very successful blog that brought in a steady stream of international enquiries, opened up some very exciting business opportunities and enabled us to celebrate our unique creative style as well as attracting more of the right sorts of clients.
As a florist, you have the opportunity to do the same, but the challenge is in creating something that adds real value and cuts through the blogging noise. Sure, most people nowadays have a blog and if you’re just going through the motions, you’ll struggle to create something that wins you work. But with a little creative thought and a large helping of flair and style (something I know you’ll have in spades) you can create a blog that surpasses your PR activity and creates profitable business opportunities.
Ahead of our Social Media for Florists workshop, I thought I’d share my top tips on creating a blog that helps you generate work.
Eleven steps to creating a blog that wins you business
- Own your space. Create distinctive and memorable content that helps you stand out and cut through the noise.
- Focus on adding value. Create posts that make showing up worthwhile for your readers; whether that’s sheer creative inspiration or sharing some of your expertise.
- Talk to your customers not your peers. It’s lovely to be recognised by other florists but the people who really matter are your current and prospective clients: use them to guide what you post about and how you write.
- 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 design 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.
- 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.
- Create captivating photographs. Pinnable, inspirational and creative images are essential in getting your blog noticed and showing off your work in it’s 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.
- 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.
- Remember the 80/20 rule. The biggest way your blog will generate business is by attracting the sorts 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…
- 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 market, the freezing conditions and 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?
- 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.
- 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 on our workshop on 1st July 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… We are having lots of fun planning the details and sourcing some very lovely gifts for your goody bags, it would be great if you could make it!
(Images : Fiona Humberstone / Rona Wheeldon)