Marketing your Flowers - Part 2: Getting in front of your customers
So now that we’ve established who we are selling flowers to, now we have to get the message to those people that you have flowers for them to buy.
Again, simple in concept, but difficult in execution. For example, floral designers are not hard to find - but figuring out how to get your flowers in front of them in an easy and convenient manner can be tricky.
It's easiest to market your flowers if you already have a captive audience of course. If you're selling directly to the public, then announcing it on social media is a good way to go. I particularly love Instagram, but Facebook, email, or even an old fashioned text works well too.
If you're selling to florists, the usual advice is to drop in with a bucket of flowers. Which can work, but can also backfire, especially if you don't have an existing relationship with the florist. They may actually get upset if you barge in with a bucket of zinnias and they're working on a big event that needed to be finished two hours ago and you are interrupting them -
Don't be that flower farmer.
Instead, I would recommend you build that relationship first prior to bringing in flowers by getting a very key item: their email address
Try getting in touch with them another way. Sending a friendly business inquiry that is polite, but also tells them what you do (briefly, don't include your mission statement in here) and what you have available for them now.
Once you have emailed them and established that yes, they are in fact interested in what you can provide for them, you can then contact them at any point for further inquiries. This can include setting up a meeting with them, dropping off a sample bucket, or even telling them your available materials (if you already have a good relationship built up).
If you're selling to the public, then it's going to be your job to get your flowers and yourself out there. Having a website or at least a social media account is going to be essential for you to start building customer loyalty and for them to be able to find you when you have flowers available.
A farmer’s market is a great way to market yourself as well - getting out there in public, meeting your potential customers, interacting and talking with other people. The added plus is of course that you'll even be able to make some sales, but we learned early on that it's more of a publicity tool than anything else.
It's important to post consistently or at least have a portfolio of what you offer. In this day and age, people like to know and see what you're doing, and use that to your advantage.
We try to post at least five times a week, but you can do more or less depending on what you're comfortable with. All I can say is that the more you post, the higher chance you'll get your flowers (or at least a photo of your flowers) in front of your customers.