How to Separate Yourself From the Competition Quickly

Struggling to figure out how to separate yourself from the competition? This article gives you my super simple approach to shortcutting the process and getting results!

(And yes, it's super easy!)

When I look back now, it seems so obvious. But when I was in the thick of my struggle, filled with so much doubt and uncertainty, the very idea of making this shift, being the florist who openly talked about the ins and outs of our craft felt scary AF.

Way back in the day (just after the dinosaurs roamed this beautiful planet), nobody was showing up on Instagram openly talking about all the shiz that goes on behind the scenes.

But I was so sick of battling price shoppers, wondering how to compete with grocery stores and struggling to compete.

In our town of 40,000 people, we had dozens of florists all fighting for their little patch of land as well as the hundreds of florists who wanted to come down from Sydney to do weddings + events in our beautiful little corner of the globe.

Needless to say, this particular footprint is the definition of competitive.

And, as a newbie-you're-not-from-these-parts immigrant, I just felt like everyone was looking for reasons for us to fail.

But, to cut a long story short, when I decided to blaze my own trail and begin to share the behind-the-scenes and pro-actively educate our customers on the ins and outs of flowering, the game changed. It's how we grew our business so quickly and cracked the code on how to separate yourself from the competition.

We started getting enquiries with budgets that aligned to wish lists.

We started to have customers call us and say 'Hey, I just love your vibe. Can you do a flower delivery for me?'

And yes, nobody cared that I was new or had just finished my formal qualifications. Nobody asked me how many years I'd been in business and nobody gave a rats ass if I had ever been published in a magazine or featured on a blog.

What they saw was a helpful team of people, making it easy for them to find answers and ready to shower them with phenomenal customer service.

Flipping the Script is How To Separate Yourself From the Competition

I don't need to tell you just how secretive our industry is.

Now, just imagine being in your customer's shoes. It's nearly impossible to get a simple answer to the most obvious of questions, right?

The reason sharing your expertise ahead of time works so well is because it builds trust. And trust is a must in order to get the customer to the point of paying you money.

The real magic of understanding this strategy lies in knowing how customers make decisions.

The most important piece to know: humans do not make decisions instantly. Particularly in the overwhelming, confusing and "I don't know" land of flowering.

Quite specifically, your customers need to move through three steps before they even get to the point of paying you money.

  1. They need to find out about you.
  2. They need to like you.
  3. They need to trust you.
  4. ...Then they'll pay you money.

What's even better is that most of your customers are on the hunt for flower information at all hours of the day – so no, making them wait until your business hours just slows down the process and increases the chance you lose the sale.

Are you totally overwhelmed by the world of online marketing? Join me inside Flower Boss Academy and get access to all the templates, tools + live coaching you need to fast track your results and show up with confidence online. Click here to learn more.

So, while every other florist on the planet is keeping all the info, expertise and know-how, I encourage you to do the exact opposite.

Quite literally.

Give it all away.

Talk about your design process on your website. Share your best tips + tricks on Instagram.

(Here's a helpful YouTube video talking through the right Instagram strategy to follow.)

Be proactive when it comes to educating your clients on budgets and how much they should be spending to create a specific impact.

If you wanna dig into this even further and get my best tips for learning how to separate yourself from the competition, jump into this week's podcast episode – Why Cutting Through the Secrecy Makes You Money So Fast

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

Why you don't need to worry about the competition coming in and "stealing your ideas"

What to talk about and how to make it easy to attract better customers

My favourite shortcuts to cut through the confusion and overwhelm of not knowing what to post on social media

How to streamline your approach to marketing, sales + social media and make it even easier to attract higher-value clients

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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#1 Mindset Tip For Florists Who Struggle With Confidence

Looking for mindset tips for florists? You're in the right place, my friend!!!

But, before I pass along my #1 mindset tip for florists who struggle with confidence (and wanna stop feeling like a total imposter), there's one little itty bitty bit of insight I want to provide so we're all on the same page.

Why Being a Business Owner Feels So Awkward...

Here's the thing nobody tells you when you make the decision to start a flower business:

You're in charge.

On the surface of it, this doesn't seem like such a big deal but it is everything. Like yeah, E–V–E–R–Y–T–H–I–N–G.

It's this one thing that makes us feel like a fish outta water.

Every one of us has spent years, decades, being told by other people what to do. We grow up with our parents telling us the rules. Then we go to school and have teachers and advisors telling us how things need to be done.

Then we go to university or get a job...and there are more people telling us what to do.

Then, somehow we get this crazy idea to start a flower business and get our paperwork sorted and...NOBODY TELLS US EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT.

But everything is different.

When you're the head honcho, the Flower Boss, the CEO, you are the one calling the shots, making decisions and need to take charge.

And that sh*t is awkward.

Being in charge, calling the shots, is not our normal way of being.

But that's OK. It's not a problem.

The secret to making it work is focusing on mindset tips for florists. (Also, if you're anything like me and you like a little positive voice in your head, cheering you on, be sure to check out my weekly Podcast #ForFlorists – it's a great resource to feel supported and know you're not alone.)

I Wish I Had Known...

The truth is, starting a business is actually super simple. You fill in some paperwork and check some boxes. Maybe you pay for some sort of formal registration. But really, it's all super standard stuff. It happens every day. Ain't no thang.

But nobody tells us the identity shift that is required. There is no popup box or 'please check here' to confirm that you understand that you are now the one calling the shots.

Nope.

And because nobody talks about this stuff, we all walk around feeling like total imposters and complete frauds (waiting for the flower police to show up and tell us we're doing it wrong.)

If that sound familiar, I'm here to tell you it's totally normal.

You are not broken. You are a human being with a human brain and that human brain of yours is working just as it's programmed to work.

That fear, doubt and uncertainty, it's to be expected.

Particularly when you make the decision to start a business.

Personally, I just wish someone had told me that the day you decide to start a business is the day that you're signing up to be a CEO – a Flower Boss – and that requires you to learn a whole new set of skills (way more than just what's in season and how to get good at design).

Mindset Tips for Florists

Here's the one thing I've learned in +10 years of running my own business: it's OK that being a CEO + Flower Boss feels awkward.

Feeling awkward is OK.

Feeling awkward is not a problem.

Seriously. It's not.

If you dig beneath the surface and do an itty bitty little bit of research on your favourite leaders, creative entrepreneurs and CEOS, you'll quickly learn that none of those people came out of the womb knowing how to do all the things.

Literally, they knew so little about what was "right" and what was "wrong". They just decided to show up, kept putting in the time and energy and figured it out one step at a time.

At the end of the day, they are no different to you and me.

They are human beings with a human brain. They also have moments of doubt, fear and uncertainty. That's a normal part of the human experience.

And yeah, when you show up to work today, you will have moments of "WTF am I doing here?"

If you struggle with confidence, you're not alone. That's precisely why I created Flower Boss Academy. Join today and get access to a supportive community of flower fairies, jump into live classes and get access to private 1:1 coaching every single week. Click here to learn more.

No doubt, those moments happen when you need to step up and be the CEO. And then you'll have moments of 'Hey this is kinda fun.' That's more likely to happen when you're designing, doing the flowering thing and being an employee in your own business.

This distinction is really really helpful – knowing there are times when you'll need to be a CEO and time when you get to be an employee. And learning how to jump between the two is one of my favourite shortcuts for making progress. In fact, you can use these two personas as a great hack for creating more confidence.

The truth is, this has been one of the most powerful mindset concepts I've ever adopted – and I use it in so many different areas of my business. It started with pricing, but since then, I've adopted the Employee v. CEO Mindset shortcut in almost every other area of my business.

If you wanna dig into this even further and get more mindset tips for florists, jump into this week's podcast episode – CEO v. Employee Mindset 2.0

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

Why you need to think about being a good CEO and a great employee in your own business

The real reason we stay stuck in overwhelm and confusion as business owners

My #1 tip for conquering pricing, not overbuying at the market and staying consistent on Social Media

My easy shortcuts for knowing when to step into the Employee role versus when to be the CEO

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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Online Flower Business Tips – 6 Essential Skills For Flower Biz Success

Looking for simple online flower business tips? You're in the right place.

The other day, a friend of mine asked, "Kathleen, what does it really take to be a successful florist in 2022?"

It's such a great question and it actually made me laugh.

Why?

Cause if you had asked me a few years ago, I would have said, in order to be a successful florist, you need to:

  1. Be a great designer
  2. Have lots of followers
  3. Be the owner of a sexy AF flower shop

...And each one of those things needed to be absolutely perfect or else success was never going to be possible.

Oi.

It took me a few years, but I'm so glad I finally figured out I was so wrong. (So, so wrong my friend!)

If I could rewind the clock and go back and pass along my best online flower business tips, here's what I'd tell me from a few years back.

Skip the obsession with followers and engagement. Set up a shop if it's the right thing operationally. And focus only on learning the mechanics and techniques that help you create the look you want to create.

And then, know this...In order to run a successful flower business in 2022, you only need to learn 6 new skills:

  1. Develop a CEO Mindset
  2. Get Good at Goal Setting
  3. Own Your Outcomes
  4. Think Like Your Customer
  5. Conquer the Customer Journey
  6. Sell Like a Boss

Wanna conquer the business of flowers? Want to get access to all my online flower business tips + shortcuts? Come join me inside Flower Boss Academy. Click here to learn more.

Online Flower Business Tips

The truth is, our industry is changing. The world of marketing is so different to what it was just a few years ago.

The rise of TikTok, the dominance of Facebook + Google, and our customer's appetite for immediate solutions means we gotta change the way we're approaching our business.

No longer is the retail shop the backbone of a successful flower business. No longer is having a lot of followers a road to success.

And no longer is it necessary to have the best portfolio or flashiest styled shoot set-up.

Nope.

When it comes to conquering the business of flowers and learning online flower business tips, the game has officially changed. Welcome to being a floral designer in 2022.

At the end of the day, when it comes to getting customers, scaling your business and increasing your revenue, these are the two things I'd prioritise:

  1. Get good at marketing (and I don't mean start posting to TikTok, I mean understanding strategy)
  2. Learn to manage your mindset (cause you're the only thing in the way of your own success)

Heck, if I'm honest, you don't even need to be the best at those two things.

Ain't no need for perfection here.

When you can learn to shift your focus and get good enough at these two things, the money will follow.

Yep.

Being a successful flower boss can be boiled down to this very simple formula:

Marketing + Mindset = Money

I wish someone had told me that making money isn't complicated. (In fact, it's actually super straightforward.)

The thing that makes making money so messy is the fact that we're human beings. And we have all these BS stories we like to tell ourselves about what is and isn't possible (particularly when it comes to making money as a floral designer).

But that, my friend, is why I'm so excited to share this week's podcast episode with you – Your Super Simple Formula for Conquering the Business of Flowers in 2022.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

My super simple formula for conquering the business of flowers in 2022

My favourite shortcut for feeling more confident + showing up with more authority in your flower business

The exact steps to follow to make more money as a floral designer

My story...and my best tip for building your business faster (it's so good!)

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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How to Increase Florist Sales

A few weeks ago I put a call out on Instagram, asking y'all to send through your questions and 'if we were to sit down and have coffee, this is what I'd want to ask you' questions.

Here's one of my favourites: Kathleen, if you could only do one, which is better: paid Instagram placements, Facebook ads or Google Ads?

Great question.

Different Ad Strategies for Different Offers

One thing I didn't really appreciate early on in my business is that different audiences go through dramatically different sales processes.

For example, a couple getting married at a big hotel will go through an entirely different research process compared to someone looking to getting flowers delivered to the local hospital. I totally didn't even pay attention to this in the first few years of my flower business.

I kinda thought that all things were equal and I just needed to get more followers to get more customers.

I spent years in that thought process until I finally sat down one day and asked myself, "If I was getting married at XYZ Venue, what would I do to find a florist?"

I did the same thing for flower deliveries: "If I was a son living out of town and wanted to send flowers to mum to wish her a speedy recovery at the local hospital, what would I do to find a florist?"

Putting yourself in your customer's shoes is one of the most powerful exercises you can do – and it's one thing we never really spend much time on (I was too focused on my own insecurities and worried about being called out as a fraud that it never even occurred to me to shift my perspective and put myself in my customer's shoes.)

At the end of the day, the marketing priorities in your flower business and understanding how to get more florist sales depends entirely on your niche.

Narrow down your niche and get clear on your ideal customer and you'll start to gain much more clarity in terms of where to focus your time, energy and money to grow your business and get more sales.

How to Increase Florist Sales: Daily Flower Deliveries

Even if you have a flower shop and are able to attract a steady stream of walk-in customers, I've found that the volume game is won online.

More and more customers are getting comfortable ordering flowers online and this is one of the greatest opportunities we have when it comes to figuring how to increase florist sales.

In fact, no longer is having a physical retail shop a 'must have' for a successful flower business. So many florists these days are launching their businesses from home, investing the time and energy in growing the volume and then a few years in, making plans to open retail shop space.

The truth is, profitable flower deliveries is all about playing the volume game. And being online is the name of the flower game in 2022.

And, when it comes to being online, your website and, more specifically, your online catalogue offering, is super important. I used to believe that more choice was better. But having tested out a few different strategies in a few different cities around the world, it's clear to see that's not the case.

In fact, having a core offering of 12 products is my go-to recommendation. It gives you just the right number of options to cover a range of prices, including a mix of hand-tied bouquets and designs in a vase as well as offers a mix of colour palettes. (It really is a great mix and just like Goldielocks said "It's just right".)

Once you have your online catalogue set up and sorted through a seamless checkout experience, now it's time to focus on getting that order volume through the door.

We spent years testing out different options – offering up free arrangements to local businesses in the hopes that exposure would turn into paying customers; paying for expensive print ads, boosting posts on Instagram, setting up Facebook Ads and sorting through Google Ads.

For us, Google Ads was where the magic happens. In fact, these days, I wouldn't even spend a penny on any other form of advertising when it comes to increasing florist sales for daily flower deliveries.

The targeting available on Google, the volume available, and being able to set up conversions, makes Google Ads one of the single best options for florists. And no, doubt some huge percentage of potential customers immediately jump to Google when they want flowers delivered.

So, if you're wondering: Kathleen, if you could only do one, which is better: paid Instagram placements, Facebook ads or Google Ads? My answer is obvious: Google Ads. No doubt about it.

4 Google Ads Tips for Florists

Be warned, the Google Ads interface is super complicated. But that's why we've just hit publish on a brand new, step by step training inside our Flower Boss Bootcamp Study Vault. We've mapped out the exact ads to start with, how to get your conversions set up and the exact steps to follow to get your first campaign off the ground.

If you've already started playing around with Google Ads and you're not seeing much progress, here are four pro tips to help you refine your approach:

  1. Make sure your delivery area is included in the search terms. By default, Google is going to offer up your ad to anything who types in "flower delivery". But, if you only deliver to Cambridge and a customer is looking for delivery to Chicago, there's no point in paying for that, right?
  2. Negative Keywords. This is one of those quick shortcuts to getting better results on your ads. Inside the Google Ads interface, you can start to flag 'negative keywords'. That is, words that people might include in their search phrase that are a definite no and mismatch for your business. It's a good practice to go in every week or every other week and refine that negative keyword set because it will give Google a better guide on who a good customer is a who isn't worth any $$$$
  3. Set Up Conversions. A conversion is a fancy bit of code that give Google the signal that someone who clicked on your ad eventually purchased. That bit of code is super helpful for Google because then it will show your ads to other people who have similar search behaviours as the people actually purchasing your work. I find the easiest way to make it happen is to find someone on Fivrr.com – they can get the whole thing set up for in a matter of days and probably less than $100. So worth it!!
  4. Play the long game. Google Ads is not an overnight solution. It takes 2-3 weeks for Google to start to figure out who your ideal customers are and, even then, you need to be willing to invest the time and energy to continually refine and optimise your ads and campaigns. But it is by far the fastest way to get that order volume up. Over a matter of weeks, you'll start to see a difference and, if your online catalogue is set up correctly, you'll start to see the order rollin' in more consistently!

Let's Go Deeper: Get More Flowers Order Faster

Being stuck with a cooler full of flowers feels awful. Knowing you're a good designer with a great product to sell your customers, while just not having enough customers or getting enough order volume is so disheartening.

Don't fret! We're here to help.

In this week's podcast episode, I'm digging into more nuts and bolts and specific tactics to help you grow your flower business.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

How to set a sales target in your flower business

The right strategy to follow when you're setting up your online catalogue and focused on in creasing order volume

The easiest way to get customers to spend more money so you can increase your revenue and profitability

That fastest way to increase your order volume and where to focus your time and money to get more orders in the door

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript

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10 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business

Looking for the 10 things I did to grow my flower business? You're in the right place.

One of the most common questions I get asked is, "Kathleen how did you go from a newbie, fresh outta flower school designer to a 6-figure designer so fast?"

Well friends, if that's your question, you're in exactly the right place.

And I mean, let's be honest, even if you're already a six-figure florist, I really hope I'm able to drop a few knowledge goodies for you too.

I spent so long trying to piece together all the things and it took me years to figure out how to attract the right customers, feel confident with my pricing and finally run a business I actually liked.

My goal with this blog post is to pass along the exact things I did to grow my flower business and make it easier for you than it was for me. Cause ummm yeah, this industry is so secretive when it comes to getting customers and makin' money. But I'm here to bust through the silence and pass along as much wisdom and expertise as possible.

So, let's get into it, shall we?

Actually, Just Before We Begin...

Here's the thing: hindsight is 20/20.

I don't want you to think that I knew what I was doing – it's not like I had a list from another florist called "10 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business". What I want to map out for you here is a very clear, step by step guide on what you need to do, having learned from the 1000s of mistakes I've made and blunders along the way.

Know that, yes, 100% I messed up. I made so many mistakes when I was trying to figure out how to grow my flower business. So know that I did not come out of the womb knowing these things and being able to pull together such a succinct list is because of the benefit of hindsight.

I just want you to skip over the 'I don't know WTF to do first' bit and jump to the 'making money + enjoying flowering' part waaaaayyyyy faster than I did.

For those of you who have been following my journey for a while now, you already know many of my failures – attempting to sell super cheap wedding packages, offering up table arrangements for $45, overstuffing designs every which way to Sunday and hesitating to even charge clients $15 for delivery.

On the other hand, if you're new here and you're thinking that Kathleen's business growth has been so easy, I'm happy to burst that bubble. Imagine the exact opposite of that...and that was what the first five years of my flowering journey looked like. #hotmess

Now, let's get into the list, shall we? If I could rewind the clock, start all over again, here's exactly what I would focus on to grow my flower business...

10 Things I Did to Grow My Flower Business

#1 – Branding

Let's start at the beginning (even if you've been in business a few years) when it comes to the 10 things I did to grow my flower business, branding is definitely at the top of that list.

Take the time to craft a premium brand. And no, I don't mean get a fancy designer to work on your logo and get business cards printed. I mean sit down and go through a very intentional, strategic planning process to land on a clear vibe (like the one I teach inside Flower Boss Bootcamp).

In the end, no one thing is going to make or break your brand but what I know now is that the collective power of all the pieces of the puzzle contributes to attracting better, more premium clients. So be intentional with every customer touch point, the packaging you use and the overall vibe of your website and Instagram feed.

And, yes, this is something to start sorting through on Day 1. Right after you land on your business name, lock in that URL and save your IG handle, I'd start mapping out your vibe and brand.

No, it doesn't need to be complicated or hard (or expensive). In fact, in my experience, you can get your brand sorted in an afternoon and then get to work on pulling together all the details as you build your business.

If you want to learn my exact approach, come join us inside Flower Boss Bootcamp. I break it down for you step by step and it's one of the best things you can do today to get your dream business sorted.

#2 – Define Your Offer

I used to believe that in order to grow a profitable flower business you had to cater to a broad array of customers. Kinda like you had to be all things to all people and have your clients dictate your designs.

I did that for three years. It was awful.

It was hard in so many ways and it's actually a super inefficient way to run a business. It's kinda like if you were to walk into a restaurant and the chef had to be ready to make any meal at any time. Imagine if the first customer who came in wanted a vegan lasagna, the second customer wanted chicken vindaloo and the third client wanted a triple-chocolate gluten-free donut tower.

Oi. That just feels hard.

But that's how so many of us are taught to run our flower businesses.

It's time to turn the whole thing on its head and put yourself in the driver's seat. Decide now who you want to cater to and who your ideal client is. Then spend time thinking about your design aesthetic and what you want to create.

#3 – Create Your Set Menu

By far, this is one of the best ideas I've ever landed on as a floral designer. The basic concept is that you get to sit down ahead of time and decide the formats you'll use, the ingredients you'll feature and the colour palettes you want to offer. Do the math to set up your prices and then get to work learning how to sell that work (again, not actually that hard).

The concept is exactly like that of a restaurant menu. And, in fact, it's one of the most helpful things you can do for your customers – too much choice, too many decisions always leads to overwhelm. Overwhelm and confusion leads to no sale.

Again, this is how so many florists run their businesses. We wait for the customer to tell us what to make. Take a really long time quoting it up and then get surprised when we're ghosted. Again.

It leads to disappointed customers. And disappointed florists.

So, do your future self a favour. Sitting down now and map out your core menu. Be super selfish and decide how abundant you want your designs to be, what kinds of ingredients you want to use and the formats you'll offer. Do the math.

And then, instead of scrambling to quote new designs or new work, pour your focus into learning about sales psychology and marketing tactics. (Fun fact: the problem is never the price. Your customers want more than just a cheap bunch of flowers...but you don't get to learn that until you move past the self-doubt and uncertainty around pricing.)

#4 – Focus On Your Website

One of the biggest changes to come from the pandemic is how customers are shopping for florists. no more looking for the local flower shop or physical retail space. More and more customers are confident shopping online – whether it's for flower delivery, signing up for a workshop or ordering wedding flowers.

These days no longer is having a physical shop the mark of a credible, well-established florist. Instead, the functionality, sophistication and ease of your website is the most important asset of a flower business. (Yes, it's way more important than that window display you wanna work on in your shop.)

In today's online shopping world, customers expect a great user experience, modern design and easy to navigate content. Plus, in today's "I can Google anything" world, they want to get answers to their questions quickly.

Having a website that aligns with your customer's needs makes a world of difference to your business growth and that's why it's #4 on my 10 things I did to grow my flower business list.

#5 – Sales Systems

Now, I know the word 'systems' makes you wanna barf. I get it. It's boring and unsexy. But even a set of email templates, a basic Google Doc you can copy + paste from will save you so much time.

But taking 20 minutes to map out your customer's path to purchase, the steps they go through from the minute they find out about you to the moment you deliver the flowers to the end recipient, the more you can put that on rinse and repeat and that's good for you, your customers and your bottom line.

Why? Well, two reasons (1) you'll save heaps of time, which is awesome. But (2) you'll also save heaps of energy and as you know, it takes a lot of energy to be a floral designer. So anything you can do to make your systems more 'rinse and repeat', the better off you'll be.

#6 – Share Your Knowledge with Your Customers

I know this sounds a little crazy, particularly in our industry where everyone wants to keep their knowledge to themselves, but all that expertise and know-how you have, use that in your marketing. Write blog posts sharing helpful tips + tricks for planning a wedding. Use your Instagram captions to educate your customers about what flowers are in season and how to get the best bang for their buck.

When I started to brave the waters of sharing more helpful content on our website and our Instagram feed, I saw a dramatic shift in our sales. The speed with which we were booking clients was so amazing! Even better, our clients started giving us more creative freedom – they trusted us more because we were so open with our expertise. It's so fun!

#7 – Instagram Hashtags + Helpful Content = More Wedding Enquiries

This combination is exactly how we landed on the preferred venue list of one of Australia's top wedding venues (with no local area contacts, no insider scoop and not all that much experience).

PRO TIP: Focus on hashtags specific to your ideal client and then create a content strategy that aligns with what matters most to your customers.

In reality, most florists are so focused on "out designing" their competition that they completely miss the opportunity that Instagram provides to us. This is where you can come in and scoop up the good customers.

And yes, even with the tise of Tiktok, Instagram is still one of the fastest ways to get found by your dream customers and get bookings at those big fancy venues.

#8 – Google Ads, Google Business Listing + Simple Online Catalogue

I wasted so much time, energy and money on sh*t that delivered $0 to our bottom line. But when it comes to increasing your order volumes and getting more customers, Google Ads is by far the best option (I'm sharing more on this in next week's blog post so stay tuned for that goodness).

Getting your Google Ads sorted, paired with the right online catalogue strategy and a basic Google Business listing and you'll start to see more online ordering coming in pretty quickly.

PRO TIP – you can have a Google Business Listing even if you don't have a physical retail space. When you set up your listing, there is a checkbox to tell Google "I don't serve clients at this location" so then you can work from home, maintain your privacy but still be listed in the places that matter most.

#9 – Build Your Flower Family

Being an entrepreneur is hard work. Having support is a must. And having the support of people who get the weird-ass flower world we operate in matters.

One of the best ways I've been able to connect with like-minded florists is to sign up for workshops. I've met some of my closest flower friends during these experiences and I know that coming together with a shared perspective, shared values and shared mission makes all the difference in the world.

Even if the other florists have travelled from far away and you don't see them in person very often, just having a network and community you can connect with, share your troubles with and ask lotsa questions, makes a world of difference for your long term growth.

#10 – Get Coaching

I landed in the world of coaching kinda late in my career. Honestly, I spent so long thinking "I should be able to do this on my own" that I know it held me back.

These days, I see such dramatic progress in my business because I find the experts who can help me and teach me. In truth, I've spent more than $100,000 on my own training and education and I have no inclination to ever stop.

But, investing in yourself is always a great investment – it's the only thing that keeps paying off year after year after year.

So, whether it's having a mentor, signing on with a business coach or joining us inside Flower Boss Bootcamp, you'll see bigger results so much faster with the help of a mentor or coach by your side.

Let's Go Deeper: How to Grow Your Flower Business Faster (FREE Resource)

In this week's podcast episode, I'm sharing one of my favourite shortcuts for creating bigger, better business results quickly. I know it all sounds a little too good to be true, but that's why I wanted to record this podcast episode.

In this episode, I share my favourite mindset hack for showing up when things aren't really going to plan (i.e. you're not making enough money). And I teach you how to get 'unstuck' when you feel like you're not making real, measurable progress in your business or you've reached a plateau in your growth.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

Why learning how to own your accomplishments matters and how it impacts your results

Why most of us consistently feel frustrated with our progress and how to break that habit

My super simple approach to learning how to own your accomplishments (even if you're convinced your goals are too big and too ambitious)

The one daily practice I've created in order to support myself on this roller coaster ride. It's super helpful even if you are making progress in your business and making money

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What Qualifications Do You Need to Become A Florist

It's a fair question these days...what qualifications do you need to become a florist? Every time you turn around, it feels like new florists are popping up all over the place and no, doubt, if you're here, you're looking for a super simple, clear answer.

So, let's cut right to the chase. The truth is, floristry is an unregulated industry. That means there is no overarching board or flower police who are going to ask to see your credentials.

Unlike lawyer-ing, doctor-ing or accounting, you don't need any formal training or qualifications to be able to call yourself a "Florist".

So what? Well quite practically, no one is going to drop into your studio or shop and say, "Hey, show me your paperwork."

Having said that though, if you're looking for a job and want to be employed as a florist, it's super common for established flower businesses to prefer to hire formally trained, qualified florists. But that's certainly not true for all business owners so definitely ask around and do your research. (Some businesses might even offer on the job training or an apprenticeship.)

On the other hand, if you're looking to set up a flower business and want to be self-employed, you don't need to be formally trained. From my perspective though, I do think it's really important that if you are going to call yourself a professional florist and hang a sign out front (literally or online), you commit to upholding a standard – kinda like an agreed-to code of quality, professionalism and expertise.

What Qualifications Does a Florist Need?

I get asked this question all the time. But, instead of thinking about certifications, credentials and qualifications, I like to think of this slightly differently: What skills does a professional florist need?

It's a great question to dig into because yes, there are some obvious areas to cover – design, flower care, and mechanics. And, yes, quite practically those three areas are where most formal floristry training programs focus on.

For the record, I am a formally trained, certified florist. And yeah, I am so grateful I did my formal qualifications because I got to learn first-hand from florists who have been in the industry for decades. It was an awesome experience. Every one of my teachers was such a wealth of information and knowledge, really open with their experience and willing to answer all my questions.

To this day, I carry their lessons with me. (FYI, if you live in Australia, and you're exploring formal certification, I do recommend talking to the team at Pearsons Flower School. They have a calendar filled with a variety of short courses as well as offering formal certification. Plus, their staff is super helpful and willing to help guide you in the right direction.)

I do wish though that someone had told me that pursuing formal qualifications, learning about mechanics, flower care and design is just the beginning of the education journey. It's the place to begin. It's not the 'end all be all' of floristry and flowering business-ing.

Most formal floristry training programs are set up specifically to focus on the craft of traditional floristry and "increase your career prospects" (that's definitely the way the system is set up in Australia).

It's awesome if you want to get training to cover the true foundation and fundamentals but where I went wrong was thinking that getting my formal qualifications was enough.

Looking back now, I remember on the first day of my formal training, our teacher sat us down and said 'This is not a business class.' I don't think the gravity of that really sunk in until a few years later when I realised how valuable my fancy pants marketing background was to our business success.

After I finished my formal training, I quickly realised I needed to keep going and that my learning was only just beginning. To this day, I love going to workshops and learning from other designers. It's one of my favourite ways to push myself creatively and hone my craft.

Make The Commitment To Keep Learning Even After Your Formal Qualifications

One of the things no one tells you when you're starting a flower business is that the learning curve is really steep.

There's the time, energy and money we spend learning about mechanics, design and flower care but it's a whole other thing to then learn the right sales strategies, marketing priorities, mindset shifts, money management, and team building. Plus, customer service, tech stuff, and tax requirements all become part of the job when you make the decision to start a business.

It's a lot.

So, it's like formal qualifications are chapter one and as soon as you finish that chapter, 11 more chapters mysteriously appear and you didn't even know they existed until now.

That's precisely why we created Flower Boss Bootcamp so you can get my A-Z blueprint for building a succesful flower business. We've laid it all out for you step by step and offer heaps of support to make it easier than ever to turn your passion into profit! Click here to learn more.

PRO TIP: All That Time & Energy You're Investing Learning About Flower Care, Share It With Your Customers (You'll Make More Money That Way)

Early on in my flowering career, I made the mistake of thinking being a good designer was what mattered the most.

It took me years to learn how much value our customers place on the full experience – from the minute you answer the phone to the minute you deliver the flowers. Even putting careful thought into what you post on Instagram and the overall usability of your website impacts your customer's view of your work and positively impacts your bottom line.

Sharing helpful tips about flower care and giving your clients guidance on how to extend the shelf life of their flowers, in many cases, is just as important as delivering quality work. It's all part of the value of the service we offer our customers.

So, regardless of whether you're formally trained or totally self-taught, when it comes to getting customers and growing your business, one of the easiest ways to separate your floristry offering from the competition (particularly others focused on lower priced point offers) is to double down on sharing your expertise and knowledge.

All the invisible things about our work, make 'em visible. For example, talking about flower availability and seasonality is an easy way to quickly gain trust with your customers. So is talking about what's involved in making a design happen, the process of bringing in flowers, and all the steps it takes for a simple bouquet to be created.

With all the time and energy we spend learning about flower care, seasonal availability and the logistics of floral supply, it's of value to share that information with your customers too.

When it comes to answering that question "what qualifications do you need to become a florist? and learning how to grow a flower business, I've found that being helpful, and sharing that guidance and expertise is one of the fastest ways to grow your business and make more money. It's so awesome!

Let's Go Deeper: What Qualifications Do You Need to Become A Florist in 2022

If you want to dig into this topic even further (and learn more helpful tips), be sure to check out this week's podcast episode. I'm diving into way more details about the ins and outs of formal qualifications, certifications and credentials and sharing my 'I wish I had known' insights to help you build a thriving flower business.

I pass along the exact approach I followed to get good at design and give you helpful tips to help you fast track the floral design learning curve. I talk about my experience having gone to formal floral training here in Australia and I share my #1 strategy to help you learn floristry skills faster.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

My five guiding principles when it comes to investing in personal development, learning the basics and levelling up my design skills

Innovative and modern avenues to explore to help you figure out what qualifications do you need to become a florist in 2022

Deep dive into deciding whether formal training is really right for you and your floristry ambitions

My perspective on the best bits of flower school and pursuing formal education as a florist

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Floral Order Gatherers and Wire Services – 3 Things Florists Need to Know

First things, first, WTF are floral order gathers and wire services?!?

You've probably heard of common brands like FTD, Teleflora, Petals, or 1800-Roses. There are hundreds of brands popping up, whose sole purpose is to offer floral order gatherers and wire services.

Essentially, their job is to bridge the gap between the customer and the florist. But as a Flower Boss, it's super valuable to dig in, go behind the scenes and really understand what's involved when it comes to floral order gatherers and wire services, as a business owner.

History of Floral Order Gatherers and Wire Services

One of the most common floral order gatherers is Florists Transworld Delivery (FTD), founded in 1910. The company actually started as a partnership between 13 flower shops across the United States, looking to expand their offering and solve a very real problem for customers; that is, to be able to send flowers to a loved one in a different location.

Back in the day, that whole thing was done via telegraph. (WTF even is that?!?!)

And, over the last 100 years, technology has obviously evolved a lot but each of these relay services or wire networks is still solving a very similar problem.

In its most basic form, floral order gatherers and wire services are bridging the gap between the customer and the local florist business, gathering orders (mostly online) and distributing them to florists around the world.

What Florists Need to Know

When we bought the flower shop back in 2015, there was an affiliation already in place with Petals (part of the Teleflora family). The shop's website was run through the Petals platform and, early on in my flowering career, we did a huge amount of orders through the Petals network.

Total transparency: I thought we had to be part of a relay service or wire network. I assumed it was part of the plan and was a must for legitimate florists around the world.

But, as we started to get $$$ deposited into our accounts and we spent more and more time trying to decipher the monthly order value and revenue statements, the more questions we had.

We started to dig deeper because we really wanted to understand what the deal was with floral order gatherers and wire services. What's actually happening here and how much money are we making (or not making) from this opportunity??

Here's the thing I wish someone had told me about floral order gatherers and wire services: every flower business owner gets to decide for themselves if they want to participate in a relay network or partner with an order gatherer.

There really is no 'right' or 'wrong' answer here and it's up to each individual to decide what's best for them.

To help you make an informed decision, here are a few things I've learned through my journey...

What Problems Do Floral Order Gatherers and Relay Services Solve for Florists

In essence, the premise of the relay network is the same as it's always been: connect the customer with a local flower shop. It's the 'how' that's evolved over the past 100+ years.

Back in 1910, when FTD was founded, it was a group of local florists working together to support each other. And to solve a very real problem for its customers. Before the days of the internet, how was a customer supposed to connect with an out of town florist – the idea would be just too overwhelming to consider.

But, Aas technology has evolved, as more and more customers are shopping online, the way floral order gatherers and relay services are showing up is evolving too.

Essentially, at this moment in time, they are filling the role of marketing + sales for the local flower shop.

The relay service is the one investing in Google Ads, setting up a basic website with an online catalogue and being that "front of house" solution that customers are looking for.

The relay service then 'wires' the orders to a local florist and the local florist is required to fulfil the customer order and do the delivery.

In exchange for doing that front end marketing, the relay service will take about 30% of the sale as their commission.

Looking for a step by step solution to getting your Google Ads + Online Calogue sorted? Come join Flower Boss Bootcamp and get access to our step by step trainings, replicate website and everything you need to level up your digital marketing game. Click here to learn more.

Let's Go Deeper: Is Joining a Relay Service Right for Your Flower Business?

With every week that goes by, it feels like there are more and more different relay services and wire networks popping up. And yes, there are lots of horror stories of bad customer experiences and disappointed clients.

With more and more customers ordering flowers online, having a strong online presence is an integral piece of the puzzle. And with the layers of detail required to get Google Ads + a functioning online catalogue sorted, for many local flower shops, being part of a relay network can feel like an easy win for the local floral designer.

But, when it comes to answering the question "Is joining a relay service right for your flower business?" it's worth taking a construction look at the pros and cons of their offering.

And that's precisely what I'm doing in this week's podcast episode. We're diving into all things FTS, Petals, Teleflora and going into the nitty-gritty of floral relay services and wire networks.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

What are relay services and wire networks and what role do they play for flower shops?

How do you know if a relay service or order gatherer is right for your flower business?

Why might being part of a relay service be good for business (or not)?

3 things every floral designer needs to know before signing on with a relay service.

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How to sell floral subscriptions in 2022

Wondering how to sell floral subscriptions in 2022? You're in the right place!

Floral subscriptions are definitely rising in popularity. Florists are recognising that having a set, recurring income is awesome. Customers are recognising that having flowers in their workspace or on the kitchen island is awesome.

It's the definition of win-win, right?

And from the outside, selling floral subscriptions feels like it should be simple. It's like "Who wouldn't want to have flowers delivered to their house regularly?"

It's easy learning how to sell floral subscriptions in 2022 should be super basic, right?

After you've gone through all the effort of getting the subscription tech sorted on your website, you step out into the big bad world and tell a few people about it.

Maybe you mention it to a few friends or family members. And then you sit back and wait for the orders to come rolling in...

...But all you hear are crickets. Nada. Nothing.

Maybe you've had a handful of customers pop on from now and then, but it's not the rush of revenue you thought it would be.

You're left feeling frustrated, wondering how everyone else makes it look so easy but you're left wondering what you're missing, wondering "WTF am I missing?"

Maybe you've even Google "How to sell floral subscriptions in 2022?" (Well hello there. Nice to see you too!)

Let's get into it!

I'm here to share a few helpful tips to make it easier for you to sell floral subscriptions this year!

Back to Basics: What is a Floral Subscription?

(I know it might seem obvious, but just in case the whole concept is new to you.)

Just like the name states, a floral subscription is a regular, recurring flower delivery you make to a customer. It might be a corporate client who received flowers for a reception table every week. Or it might be for a family of four to put on their kitchen table every week.

Typically, the frequency of the delivery is weekly, fortnightly or once per month. But there are no real set rules around timing.

Some florists require their clients to sign a contract, locking them into a specific window of time. Others allow their clients to navigate subscriptions on a self-serve basis, meaning they can go into their account and pause their order, update their details and change their information. (It's kinda like if you signed up for a CSA or weekly veggie delivery. The customer sets up their account info and then has total control over the details and delivery.)

What's the Most Common Mistake Florists Make in Offering Subscriptions?

One of the most common mistakes I see florists making when it comes to how to sell floral subscriptions in 2022, is offering up too many choices and too many options for their customers.

Most of us would assume that giving our customers choices, leaving the possibilities open, will lead to increased revenue.

But it doesn't.

Instead, it leads your customers to overwhelm and decision fatigue. And that always leads to no sale.

I know it sounds counter-intuitive but in actual fact, one of the most helpful things you can do for your customers is narrow down the choices. Yes. Scarcity leads to easier decision making, leads to more sales, leads to increased revenue.

So, if you're wondering where to start in terms of how to sell floral subscriptions in 2022, start with a very simple offering of two choices, each in just three sizes. One in a neutral palette, one in a more colourful palette. And make sure the size variation price points increase by at 30% between sizes.

For example, you might have your smallest size start at $135, your medium is listed at $175.50 and your large is listed at $228.15 (and yes, you can set your prices even higher than this).

My #1 Tip For How to Sell Floral Subscriptions in 2022

I used to think I needed to ask the client to supply the vase or that I needed to offer enough options to cater to a wide array of containers.

Turns out, it can be a lot simpler than that.

Turns out, one of the best sales tactics you can implement for floral subscriptions is to design with a specific vase in mind – a vase you pick. A vase that aligns with your vibe and your brand.

Every florist I've met has heaps of stories of showing up at a client's house, thinking we knew what container everything was going in...only to find out that container is actually four times bigger than the sizes they provided.

So, set yourself a little shopping mission. Go exploring and look around at different container options and find one that feels right for your floral designs.

Offer it up as a 'free' incentive for a new customer to start their subscription and then you'll know, with every week's bouquet you're making, it's going to look awesome because it's going in exactly that container.

Yes, it makes your job 100x easier. But just as important, it makes the flowers look great.

That adds to your customer's satisfaction and, because of that, they're more likely to tell their friends or share a photo on social media.

That, in turn, increases your exposure. More people find out about your offer. And, just by having offered a super simple solution for your customers, all of sudden you're experiencing the power of word of mouth marketing. SHAZAAM, more orders come in the door! So good, ain't it?

Let's Go Deeper: Selling Floral Subscriptions Like a Boss

Want more inspo to help you learn how to sell floral subscriptions in 2022? I've gotcha covered!

On this week's podcast, I'm diving deep into all things floral subscriptions. I'm passing along three tips to help you get better results when it comes to selling floral subscriptions in your business and we talk strategy.

Whether you're brand new to the idea of subscriptions or you've been selling floral subscriptions for a long time, this podcast episode will give you lots of juicy tips and tricks so you can sell floral subscriptions like a Boss.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

The right marketing strategy to follow for selling floral subscriptions so you can get results faster

Sales tips to help you grow your revenue

My #1 approach to making it work so you make faster progress

Simple, step by step guidance on levelling up your floral subscription business today

Listen to the full episode here

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How to Feel More Confident as a Floral Designer

Wondering how to feel more confident as a floral designer or farmer florist? You're in the right place.

To start with, I have a question for you: have you ever stopped to wonder where confidence comes from?

If you're anything like me, it's definitely not something most of us ever think about.

I used to believe that confidence was something you were born with. Like there are people who just 'have confidence' built into their DNA...and then there are the rest of us.

As a floral designer and creative entrepreneur, all of our self-doubt and imposter syndrome come bubbling up to the surface the day we make the decision to start a business. (And navigating that self-doubt is something we every dang day, right?)

My friend, if you feel like a fraud, a total imposter, you are not alone. Not by a long shot.

I used to believe I was the only floral designer on the planet who felt like I don't have my shit together – everyone else seems to be showing up on social media with their perfect studios, perfect flowers, perfect number of Instagram followers and perfect customers...

Meanwhile, you and I are falling deep down into the comparison spiral, second-guessing everything we're doing in our businesses. Every day we wake up wondering, "How the heck did those famous florists figure it out?!?!?"

Since starting my own business more than 11 years ago, I've been learning a lot about confidence and where confidence comes from.

And, I thought it could be super helpful to share some of my best 'a ha' moments and gives you my favourite tips for feeling more confident.

If you're a brand new florist, these tips will help you navigate imposter syndrome and overcome a lot of the self-doubt that keeps you stuck in inaction.

If you're a veteran designer, who still feels like a fraud and you're wondering how to feel more confident as a floral designer, you're also in the right place.

I am on a mission to make sure every floral designer on the planet has the tools they need to show up with more confidence – regardless of your formal training, qualifications, credentials or the years you've been in business.

Back to Basics: How to Feel More Confident As a Floral Designer

One of the best places to start, when it comes to learning how to show up with more confidence, is getting really clear on what confidence is.

For so long, I walked around just wishing I could feel more confident...but I never really thought about what that meant (in its truest, most tangible sense).

So, when it comes to learning how to feel more confident in your flower business, let's define what that means.

The kids on the Googles, define confidence as: the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.

In this instance, I will suggest we get super pedantic in the definition and replace "someone or something" with "themselves".

That being said, we can define confidence as: "the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on themselves".

I find this definition so empowering because it shows you exactly where to turn to when it comes to creating confidence: yourself.

That leads me right into Lesson #1...

Lesson #1: Increasing Your Confidence Is An Inside Job

Simply recognising and learning that confidence isn't something you're "given", it's not something that is handed over to you like a glass of water or a new sweater.

If you're wondering how to feel more confident as a floral designer, the first 'a ha' moment I had was realising that confidence is a feeling or a belief you create in yourself. It is 100% self-made.

And feeling confident in your own abilities comes from your own thinking. The way we humans are programmed to operate is that you create a feeling of confidence by thinking confident thoughts.

For most of us, that doesn't come naturally. We don't wake up in the morning thinking, 'Yeah, I am freakin' amazing!!'

Nope.

Why? Cause your human brain has a built-in negativity bias. That negativity bias is super helpful for keeping you safe and making sure you stay alive to see another day...but it's not helpful when it comes to feeling more confident.

In fact, it's the exact opposite – it is the opposing force and the thing we need to learn to unwind, in order to show up with more confidence, more often.

PRO TIP: We teach a lot about confidence and managing your mindset inside Flower Boss Bootcamp. If you're struggling with self-confidence, come join us and learn my best secrets for showing up with more authority (even if you're brand new, have no IG followers and don't wanna open a shop space).

Lesson #2: How to Think Thoughts That Create Confidence.

The work here is to redirect your default internal dialogue. Your brain loves efficiency and that means it wants to, by default, think the same thoughts over and over (and over) again.

As you walk through the day, without anything else to focus on, your brain is going to keep coming back to the same thoughts it's been thinking for the last few decades – for most of us, that narrative isn't very empowering.

For me, my default internal dialogue has traditionally been some version of "I'm not good enough" or "I'm not smart enough to figure this out."

For you, it might be "I'm not qualified," "I feel like an imposter," or "I'm too old/young".

And yes, we all have our stories. We all have our well-practised "I'm not good enough" internal narratives. All of us.

Here's the thing though, because you're a human being with a human brain, you also have the ability to think about what you're thinking about. And if you don't give your brain new thoughts to think, it's going to forever repeat the "I'm not good enough" storyline.

You're probably asking, "OK Kathleen, how do you do that?"

Great question!

Can you think of a time when you did a hard thing? Maybe you're the first in your family to go to college. Maybe you've had five kids. Maybe you've learned to speak another language. Maybe you're mother in law in a difficult person. Maybe you finally broke up with that partner who doesn't treat you like a total Queen. Give yourself a few minutes to think it over.

I want you to think about a hard or challenging experience you conquered. Something you feel really proud of (it can be anything!).

We all have experiences in our past that can serve as fuel for our futures.

Now, I want you to take a moment to recognise, truly appreciate, that YOU made that happen. (Yes, you!) And, if you're able to make that happen, then you can make anything happen. Right?

You can, in fact, figure out how to build a profitable flower business. Right?

You can, keep going on the hard days. Right?

You can do this. Right?

Use that past experience, that past feeling of confidence as fuel to move you forward to the next step of your growth.

Lesson #3: Repetition Is Key

Now, your brain, when left to its own devices, isn't going to automatically switch its internal thought patterns. Every day, it's going to want to come back to the "I'm not good enough" dialogue.

(Remember, we've been thinking that for years, so it's very comfortable staying in that pattern and it's going come back there until you create a new neural pathway. To do that though you need to be relentless in your repetition.)

You need to find ways to bring your brain back to thinking the thoughts that create confidence on purpose. You need to keep reminding yourself that if you make that happen, you can do the next hard thing.

This is a daily, often hourly practice.

And the most important piece to remember is that when your brain goes back to its "I'm not good enough" storyline, nothing has gone wrong. You are not broken. You are a human being with a human brain.

And learning to create confidence intentionally is 100% in your power. It just requires you to stay on top of your thinking, manage your mindset, and be relentlessly repetitive in your intentional confidence-creating thinking.

Let's Go Deeper: 3 Income Producing Beliefs for Florists

Once you start to see the power of shifting your perspective and you see that you can stop allowing your default brain to repeat the same BS narratives it's been repeating for decades, you'll see that you really can do anything (yes you can!).

Yes, you're going to have hard days.

Yes, you're going to get blindsided by difficult clients, wholesale supply will forever be a moving target and growing a team. And yes, becoming the next version of yourself brings a new level of discomfort and personal growth.

But that's precisely why I thought it would be helpful to put together a new podcast episode that dives into all of this more. And, even better, gives you my three go-to income-producing beliefs. (Save this podcast and be sure to come back to it when you need a boost of confidence and a little kick in the pants.)

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode You'll Learn:

Why more qualifications, more followers and getting published isn't enough

How to feel more confident right now – even if you're new or unqualified

What to do when your not seeing results, making the revenue you envisioned, or reaching your sales targets

My 3 go-to income-producing beliefs for floral designers and farmer florists

Listen to the full episode here

Full Episode Transcript

 

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8 Website Must-Haves for Florists

Looking for a list of website must-haves for florists? You're in exactly the right place.

Y'all heard me preach about how important your website and I believe that down to my bones. Particularly now, with the continued increase in online ordering and more and more customers getting comfortable connecting with florists online.

Your website is the easiest way to make your sales process super simple as well as making marketing way more streamlined.

But it's also really easy to get overwhelmed sorting out website must-haves for florists. The additional layers of tech, trying to troubleshoot and getting totally confused by the possibilities, add-ons and additions is totally normal.

In fact, I just saw another ad from Shopify, celebrating how easy it is to get a shop set up on their platform. I think these ads actually make the issue even bigger for us.

Yeah, it is easy to get it set up and started but getting the products uploaded, looking the way you want it to look, getting the delivery date picker sorted, and the checkout streamlined in a way that suits the needs of your customers is a totally different game.

So, I thought it would be helpful to put together a list of my 8 website must-haves for florists.

Website Must-Haves for Florists – Tip 1: Your Website Is Your Flower Business.

One of the biggest changes to come out of the last two years of upheaval is that more customers are shopping online than ever before. In fact, the world of online shopping is expected to exceed $5.5 trillion dollars in 2022. That's a big number, right? (Check out this article from Cloudwards.net.)

No longer is having a brick + mortar shop the benchmark for success as a floral designer. In 2022, your website is your flower business.

So, the goal is to translate the in-store shopping experience, the expert status of being a professional florist into your flower business website, creating an easy-to-navigate online experience for your clientele and a money-making asset for your business.

Tip 2: Find a Restaurant Theme For Your Website.

If you are going to use one of the DIY platforms like Shopify or Squarespace, when you're looking for a theme to use, focus on restaurant and cafe themes.

In the early iterations of my website, I made the mistake of paying for a portfolio theme (yes I totally got sucked in by the prettiness of the templates). But then I had to back to the beginning, figure out how to add heaps of new content, set up new page layouts from scratch and add on extra plugins and widgets.

Learn from my mistake and save yourself a giant headache on Day 1: focus on finding a theme that works for a cafe, a bakery or a restaurant.

There are so many crossovers and similarities between floristry and restaurant services that you'll be able to repurpose a lot of the default theme templates and layouts to really fast track your progress.

It's one of the easiest shortcuts to adopt when you're sorting through florist website must-haves.

Tip 3: First Impressions Matter.

Particularly in our industry. We're selling a luxury service and marking up our designs at a hefty premium. That demands that we put our best foot forward in terms of our marketing and the first impression we present to our customers.

So, be intentional with your visuals, the flow on your website and the level of sophistication you put out into the world. As crazy as it sounds, your customers are going to use your website as a placeholder for your ability to design. That means those first impressions really do matter.

If you don't want to figuring all things florist website, be sure to join us inside Flower Boss Bootcamp – we give you the templatest to follow, the words to use on each page and give you the tools to make it easier to build a better flower business website. Click here to join us today.

Tip 4: Use Simple, Direct Words.

One of the common mistakes I see florists make is trying to be uber creative with the words they use on their website. Yes, there are SEO implications with our word choice but just as important is that we need to make our language as simple as possible for our customers to understand.

Most customers are incredibly intimidated and overwhelmed by the prospect of talking to a florist and if we use too much industry jargon, designer speak and just make it all too fancy and complicated, they're going to run screaming the other direction.

So, when it comes to things like 'Order flowers', just say that. You don't need to get fancy and go with 'fill your basket' or 'spread joy'.

The general rule I like to follow with website words is to stick with the language your seven-year-old nephew would understand. Keep it simple AF.

Tip 5: Set up an About Me Page

I spent years hiding behind the facade of our business because I was worried I'd get called out as a fraud or not good enough. Turns out, I lost customers because they didn't know there was a real person, a real family behind this business.

So, don't be shy about telling your story.

Share with your clients why you LOVE flowers, how you first fell in love with this work and what your mission is. In turn, you'll notice your clients will fall in love with you even more because they'll be able to see your passion and your drive.

The brand Toms is a great example of this. We can buy a pair of slip-on shoes from thousands of different businesses around the world.

But we buy Tom's because we know their story and want to support their mission.

Your flower business is no different. Embrace the discomfort and start to share your mission and passion with the world!

Tip 6: Integrate Your Instagram Feed

This has got to be one of my favourite shortcuts for making your website look good. Integrating your Instagram feed into a few pages on your website keeps the content looking fresh, but you don't have to spend any time going in and updating image galleries or uploading new photos.

And, rather than just having it on one page on your website, don't be shy about doubling up. I suggest having it on your homepage, your about me page and your main services page.

This one tip has got to be one of my favourites when it comes to website must-haves for florists.

Tip 7: The Top Navigation is More Important Than You Realise

I didn't realise this but there is actually a lot of thinking that goes into setting up that top navigation on your website.

The goal with the navigation is to make it easier for your customers to navigate themselves through your customer experience. You want to serve up the experience and your content one step at a time.

So, put yourself in your customer's shoes and map out the process you want your clients to experience – from the moment they land on the page, to where they want to go next, second and last. And go through it all step by step (better yet, have a trusted friend do it for you and give you an honest opinion.)

HOT TIP: One of the best lessons I learned is to NOT have your wedding enquiry form linked in that top navigation. Yes, it lead to lots of enquiries but most of them were a waste of time.

Tip 8: Take It One Step At a Time

The thing about getting a kick-ass website stored is it is a lot of work. And what seems like a simple idea (thanks to Shopify), ends up leading you down a whole path of solving lots of itty bitty problems, constantly running into roadblocks and then taking the time to figure out how to overcome it.

One of the reasons getting a florist website sorted is complicated is because we need to have lots of layers of tech. For example, when your customers are ordering flowers, there are some very specific plugins we need to include (i.e. card message, delivery date picker).

This is what makes florist business websites different to other websites (and much more complicated than Shopify pitches it to be).

One of the best things you can do is get off your computer and grab a pen + piece of paper. Map out the process. Go step by step and really think about the stages your client needs to go through.

You can even look at florists in other cities, heck even head on over to Interflora or Petals just to see the steps in the process. And then start to sort it out for yourself.

I find drawing myself a diagram and going through it in detail to be really helpful.

In my experience, of all the website platforms available, I like WordPress the best. I've found it to be the most flexible, SEO-rich and cost-effective option for florists.

I know the initial set-up on WordPress can be overwhelming so check out this YouTube video where I walk you through the process step by step.

So, when it comes to sorting through website must-haves for florists, remember to take it one step at a time.

My #1 Tip for Streamlining Your Approach

Your website can be one of your best allies in growing your business. All the struggle and frustration we experience in trying to sort out the tech and getting it working is 100% worth it. It's one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and our business.

One of the biggest reasons I've been such an advocate for getting a kick-ass website sorted is that it saves you thousands of hours of time. Literally.

And it doesn't even need to be the fanciest, most sophisticated solution out there. I'm not talking about the sexiest plugins and latest widgets. And I'm definitely not saying you need to spend $$$$ on it.

On this week's podcast episode, I'm sharing heaps of helpful shortcuts, tips and tricks and ideas to help you use your website to streamline your approach.

Spending a little bit of time now can free up so much time and energy in the future, giving you more flexibility and allowing you to spend more time flowering and less time admin-ing.

Inside This Week's Podcast Episode:

Simplifying the website building experience for florists

My go-to strategy for getting your website sorted

The five layers of every flower business website you need to pay attention to

What to focus on first when you next evaluating your own website and making planned updates

Listen to the full episode here

 

Full Episode Transcript


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