An Open Letter to a Creative Entrepreneur and Her Business - Christine Kane

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.

Here’s how…

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.

With Love,

Christine

29 COMMENTS ADD A COMMENT
  • Katie Bagby

    Christine – these are such helpful and totally doable recommendations. Thank you!
    I’ll share this with a group of entrepreneurial students I’m working with. AND I’ll start blocking off 30 minutes of prospect time every day.
    I love the compassion in your voice here. Looking forward to following more of your work!
    Warmly, Katie

  • Cindy Heath

    Hey there Christine,

    Just wanted to say you are an awesome, wise, committed, shining, caring, compassionate, bold, courageous, energized, visionary leader.

    When is the clone due out? The world needs a lot more of you.

    You are definitely making memories to last a lifetime Girlfriend!

    Take care,

    Cindy Heath

  • Melissa Cohen

    I am so glad I came across this post again today. After years of doing everything myself and months of thinking about hiring a VA, I finally hired one today! I re-listened to some of the modules of UYB and I am completely clear about what I need someone else to do so I can focus on my genius work and my family. I even wrote about this for my ezine!

  • Ken

    I know… I’m not your niche and probably the only guy on this thread, but what a great left-handed way of getting your message across! Very cool. Ken

  • Rachel

    Wow. What an amazing gift your are. And you just gave. I think this is my favorite post of your so far. Again, wow.

  • Caryn

    Send it. If they don’t think they’re lucky, they’re crazy!

    Seriously,

    Caryn

  • Kalia

    Great post Christine- love the basic message here- help me help you –
    I also love the personal tone, it touches some really deep places, places i’ve been, places i’ve moved beyond, places i see myself still lingering at- good call to have systems to make sure 1-it doesn’t fall through the ‘cracks’ and
    2- I don’t wait until i ‘feel like it’ or have no fear – to take action

    • Christine Kane

      Yay Kalia! So glad to see your beautiful face here. And yes, the big lesson is to not wait til the fear goes away. (If I did that, I’d still be sitting in an audience somewhere waiting to do my first open mic night. 🙂 )

  • Camille Gaines

    Loved this post Christine, especially the daily 30 minutes of “prospect time”. It’s so easy to get busy and forget that this time is the source for our revenue…Thanks for this reminder.

    I also like the way you break tasks into one hour or so increments; I used to feel like I had to “chunk” an entire project, which actually delayed project completion because it’s difficult to find a full day. So, I am benefiting from this tip that you shared at your event.

    Thanks again, Camille

    • Christine Kane

      Great Camille! Thank you! Let me know how this progresses for you! I’d LOVE to hear more about what you’ve implemented since coming to Uplevel Your Business LIVE! Feel free to send me a message!

  • Jeanette Henderson

    Wow, Christine. You just gave her business a make-over … free of charge!! Most people would pay out the nose for this type of consulting. And, it’s also personal feedback from a client … double whammy! You totally should have sent her this letter. It may be painful for her to hear but how else do we know what our clients are thinking without feedback?

    I would love to see more “business critiques” from you. It really helps all of us in our businesses. Thanks!!

    • Christine Kane

      Thanks Jeanette! (This is what I do when I do my “Instant Uplevel” sessions at my live events and when I go on tour. So I am doing this quite a bit in my work, for sure.) The only difference here is that this person didn’t ask for it. I really believe that some people don’t want to Upelvel. At some level, they are so committed to playing small. And sometimes you just have to wait til they get so frustrated with their results that they finally reach out for help!

      • Sharon

        CK, you are so right that some people just want to play small. Perhaps one day that florist will wake up, wonder why your (purchasing) business disappeared, give you a call and then get a real wake up.
        I look forward to next week when I’m back in my house, my office is set up and I can start that 30 min/day prospect time. And start on Gold!

  • Joella

    I was really fired up when reading this post because it reminded me of an encounter I had recently with a Personal Trainer. She said, “I’m looking for a full time job, I can’t find any clients.” Note, she’s been doing this many years. She told me her price and asked if I thought it was too much. I invoked a total Christine Kane approach and said, “Well, no, but you shouldn’t discuss your price necessarily with them right when they ask, it puts them right into their head…and furthermore, maybe you should be offering packages.” I couldn’t help myself. Anyway, I asked for a business card and told her I’d call later (we’re acquaintances). When I went to contact her later that day and pulled out the business card, there was no website, no email address and the phone number was a home phone (she has a cell phone). Worst yet, I called the phone and left a message and didn’t hear from her for two days. Hmmm…perhaps we’ve discovered the reason you have no clients. She blamed it on the economy. I do mostly weight loss coaching now but I so wanted to get my hands on her business. I realized how much I’ve learned from you and other sources and how far I’ve come.

    • Christine Kane

      Awesome story, Joella! And since I’ve coached you in person, I can totally see you doing this – and it makes me smile! 🙂 I love it when people start Upleveling their businesses and getting those great results — and they can then spot when people in their world are “doin’ it wrong.” It’s like they can’t contain themselves! So congratulations for “coming so far!” You rock!

  • Gayatri

    Marvelous post Christine .. Never thought that a creative person can lose out so much because of so simple reasons anyone can miss out on a busy schedule.. Never thought of Facebook as a place to create business before. ..

    PS : I’m watching your free dvd .. Its amazing !

    • Christine Kane

      Thank you Gayatri! I’m so glad you like the free DVD! (I had one person write me to tell me he’s made over $18K just from watching my free DVD alone. Guess I did something right there!)

      And yes, the creative types seem to be the worst for losing out on money. I think it’s a self-worth issue more than anything else!

  • Sage

    Wow, wow, wow! These are completely doable steps for any business. It really is all about service and setting up systems. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Christine Kane

      You’re welcome Sage! And yeah, it’s really really really about service. I can’t wait to work with you this year!

  • Lisa Larter

    LOVE this post!! Reminds me of our conversations many many years ago before you had a Facebook Page!! And now… well…. um, you are a Facebook Rock Star!

    I had a similar situation with my Vet. She is amazing. Homeopathic, totally caring amazing vet and she doesn’t have Facebook and WORSE, she doesn’t even have email on her website or her business card so I may need to print this blog post ad mail it to her!!

    I have to say – I might have to write my own social media inspired letter… every week!!

    Thanks CK for the great post, it is SO BANG on! Interesting stat for you too – customers who are connected to your Facebook page tend to spend double what a non connected customer spends (according to Facebook info). So it is well worth the investment of time and resources.

    • Camille Gaines

      Nice tip Lisa, thanks!

    • Kalia

      Thanks Lisa! I was just listening to your interview with cK from uyb – you are a great resource- thanks to christine for bringing you to us! I’m finally having *fun* with my facebook page, and it’s making a huge difference in spreading my message-

      • Lisa Larter

        awesome! Fun and authenticity is what it is all about!

    • Christine Kane

      Wow Lisa – nice stat. (I know you’re a numbers girl – so give ’em to us!) And yes, I do remember the days of you yelling at me to get a Facebook page. (Two years ago? In web-world, that was like the dinosaur age!)

      • Lisa Larter

        Lol, yelling? come on, nicely cheering and explaining why people wanted to like you and your page on Facebook and um… judging by the number of likes and the community I see… I was right! Cuz you my friend are a rockstar who is positively changing the world, one fabulous woman at a time.

  • Nneka, Working Mystic

    It’s all about systems. Just implementing one of your suggestions a week will turn any business around. Keep the rich content coming!

  • Christine Kane

    Thanks to everyone for your amazing comments on this post. We had a server mess up and everything (including the post) got deleted. So I’m reposting with a huge apology that I can’t respond to your comments as they were all lost! So sorry!