To the Coolest Flower Designer in this City,
I found out about you from my event planner.
I host about 10 events each year in our city, and we use flowers on stage and in our meeting rooms and in our offices as well. We want our clients to feel special and “Upleveled.”
Your arrangements are perfect. I love your work. And I love the exclamations we get from our clients when they see what you create.
But there’s a slight problem.
You’re losing money.
Lots of it.
And I know. I know. I’m over-stepping my bounds here. (It certainly won’t be the first time. And probably not the last.)
See, I’m weirdly passionate about people succeeding doing what they love. And though I know you must be doing okay in your business — after all, you’re good at what you do — I also know for a fact that you’ve lost many thousands of dollars in the last six months alone.
1 – You won’t let your clients do the thing they most want to do.
I always post photos of your amazing arrangements for my Facebook friends and followers. We use a professional photographer for all of our events – so the photos are awesome!
I tried to link to your Facebook Page and brag on you and send people to you. (Yes, lots of locals follow me – many are women. Many host their own events. Many will be getting married someday.)
But you don’t have a Facebook Page.
You only have a Facebook Group.
I can’t link to a Facebook Group. So, you’ve now created arrangements for us on 6 different occasions. That’s a lot of times I could’ve shared you with my peeps. That’s a lot of views (about 36,000) and extra links you’ve missed.
I’ve also noticed that your brides visit your Facebook Group so they can share their wedding photos with you because they are so excited for you to see.
Think about this:
Brides have Facebook friends who are: bridesmaids, sisters, friends from college, friends from home, cousins, brother’s girlfriends, all of whom will someday be brides. And all of whom have Facebook friends who will someday be brides.
None of these people (NONE!) can see your beautiful flowers because posting on a Facebook Group doesn’t share, and can’t be linked to or seen by anyone who isn’t in your group.
One more thing…
When I wrote you on Facebook to let you know I was trying to let the world know about you and to encourage you to make a Facebook Page, you didn’t write me back.
Quick Action Step:
You’re a local business. You need a Facebook Page. Not a group. If you don’t know how to create one, ask your front desk person to research it – and have her do it. (She wasn’t very busy when I visited your shop. I’ll bet she could help you with this.)
2 – You’ve made it hard for people to find you.
You’re a local business.
But your website doesn’t have your shop’s address on it.
Yes, someone could call for the address.
But why make your customer jump through hoops?
Quick Action Step:
Hire a new web guy. Or find a friend who can get in there. Add the new address right there on your contact page. There’s also that shop employee! She might be able to do some research and figure this out.
3 – Your website has been abandoned.
Your website still says “2010” on every page.
It looks like you checked out two years ago and never came back. (Not unheard of in our crazy artsy town!)
I know you’re probably already overwhelmed. But it doesn’t take much to add updates once a week of some sort.
Think about it.
You could post photos of your latest arrangement.
You could write a blurb about your new favorite color or flower.
You could post a photo of you meeting in-person with one of your bridal clients. Your clients want to know you connect with them. (We LOVE that shit!)
Quick Action Step: (Okay, maybe this isn’t quick. But it’s not as hard as you think.)
That new web guy? Tell him to make your site a WordPress site. Tell him to show you the Dashboard – and how to upload a new post. (Or better yet. Make him show your shop employee!)
Then, create a habit. Once a week… update your website. You take the photo or write the blurb. Your employee uploads it every Tuesday.
4 – You Didn’t Call Me Back
I came by your shop to tell you how much I love your stuff. (Yes, I had to call to find your address.)
I also wanted to make you an offer to become a regular client of yours. You weren’t available, so I shared with your shop employee that I want to have you create and deliver two arrangements to my offices every single week for the rest of the year.
Your employee told me you would call me back with pricing tomorrow.
Tomorrow was weeks ago.
Quick Action Step:
Create 30 minutes of “prospect” time each and every day of your business. Use that time to return calls, check in with other wedding vendors, thank people for referrals, follow up with last weekend’s bride’s mom to see how it went. It doesn’t matter what you do – just schedule the time so you keep the pipeline full. Don’t wait until business dies down. I won’t be there anymore.
5 – I can’t refer you.
Here’s the thing about me.
I’m one of those people who tells the world about businesses and services I love and use. But I can’t do this with you. And it totally BUMS me out because I love what you create.
But I can’t rely on you to take care of the people I send to you.
So, I’m not going to send them.
And I’ll find another person to do our flowers every week.
This is not about being nice. It’s not about being mean. It’s not about punishment.
It’s about service.
And every business is a service business.
Will some things slip through the cracks every now and then? Of course they will. And maybe these things I’ve mentioned are crack-slippers and the rest of your business is running smooth as silk. I truly hope so.
But if not, know that I’ve written all of this with compassion. I’ve been where you are now. And I don’t think it’s because you don’t care. I think it’s because you’re overwhelmed, and maybe even a little scared. That’s all.
Take a second to make a decision that your business is going to be a strong support for your skill and artistry. And then start small. And watch how things transform. I promise… you can do this.