Marketing your Flowers: Part 3 - Marketing Yourself
There is one simple fact in small business.
Heck, this even applies to large businesses now, given that the world seems to be getting more and more personal.
That fact is that people like buying from people they like.
Sounds simple of course, but it's really powerful.
Think about yourself. Do you have a favorite store you like to go to? A place that maybe you go out of your way or make an extra effort to travel to because you love it?
For me, that's our local Trader Joe's. Silly example I know, but I love that the team there not only recognizes us but asks how we're doing, how our flower farming is going, and even exchange recipe ideas. We feel welcomed and love going there because of the people first.
In the same way, you'll want to build a relationship with your customers so that they know and like you.
If you're talking about building a brand and building customer loyalty, then there's no better way than doing it than by getting people to know you.
It's the reason why businesses have open houses, lunch meetings and go to expos and festivals - when you meet someone you like, you are already halfway there.
HOW TO MARKET YOURSELF
With social media, it's a very easy way to let people get to know you on a way they wouldn't be able to before. Instagram stories being a perfect example - when Caleb Whitfield of First Fruit Gardens is walking around his plants, I feel like I'm literally walking around his property.
Or, as we probably all have felt, Erin Benzakein from Floret Flower Farm speaking as if she's our bestie and telling us all her magical flower secrets.
Use this to your advantage, immerse your customer into your life and your flowers and what you do. If they can see it from a first person perspective - from your perspective - they will immediately start to bond with you and feel like they know you - which then will give you the advantage, since they will already feel a connection with you.
OR DO IT THE OLD FASHIONED WAY
One of the reasons why we were successful with selling to florists was due to the fact that Steven was in charge of a community floral showcase that involved many florists in the surrounding area.
Guess what? After getting to know Steven, many florists in the area then started buying floral material. Not necessarily because they had just been waiting for someone to grow Cafe au Lait dahlias (although that might have been part of it) but because they already knew Steven, liked him, and were inclined to buy his floral material.
We can't help but do it - it's in our nature. It's the same reason why we purchase soap from the Beekman Boys, support a local Vietnamese restaurant and how we selected our doctors, veterinarians, coffee shops and photographers. When you're likeable, people will stick with you.