Stay Blackpool Members Day at The New President Hotel

Stay Blackpool Members Day at The New President Hotel

Blogging & Free’ish Marketing Presentation

By a “Self Employed Event Florist”
what does she know?

You can’t be remarkable without the right customers to be remarkable for.
We all need the right type of client or guest to suit our business, simply put; a Vegan doesn’t want to eat at a Steak House and the Steak House doesn’t really want the Vegan, though they probably do something to accomodate the vegan. if pushed though it probably won't be brilliant it’s just not their speciality, the vegan isn't going to be waxing lyric to all her friends about the remarkablness of the Steak House and spreading the word, in other words its a waisted opportunity, a client served who was always going to be dissapointed.
In our business we specialise in beautiful fresh flowers, we aren’t the right choice for a client who loves artificial flowers or worse still balloons.
Be confident in the knowledge that you can't be everything to everybody, my stuff doesn't float everyones boat and that's how it should be.

Potentially having the wrong guest or client in your business is going to be unsatisfactory from everyone’s point view; a feeling of negativaty prevails no-one feels good or remarkable.

But what if your new guest already knows a bit about you, a bit more than your informative generic website can tell them, she knows you love the theatre and do special theatre suppers and drop offs outside the stage door, he knows you cook old fashioned home cooked Lancashire food, your hot pot is legendry, you have the most amazing collection of hanging baskets, your needlepoint is your life, you’ve visited the same art gallery, you drink the same beer, you love Michael Ball, you’re a fitness fanatic running a marathon for a charity they support or quite simply they know you are utterly passionate about your business, your service and your guests the possibilities are endless.
How can we impart this kind of information, without it sounding like a list? How can we connect with other people we haven’t met yet? We need to make sure the world knows we exist and just how special what we do is, even if what we do doesn’t seem that special there’s still going to be people who want exactly what we do or we wouldn’t be doing it, right!

There are loads of free’ish possibilities Blogger, Face Book, Twitter, MSN, My Space, and Windows Live etc etc

How much easier would it be to exceed someone’s expectations if they are on the same page as you to begin with?

How much more likely are they to spread the word of your greatness if you share similar interests to them and their group of friends.
Like minded people gravitate together, Creatives, Business owners, Foodies but most of all remarkable people, if you are remarkable you tend to get remarkable friends, conversley the same is true with unremarkable. That's why we're friends with Mark & Claire Remarkable or Unremarkable? you decide!

Start today, get into the habit of telling people what you’re doing, you’re running your own business that’s part of the deal, (There are things you don’t want to or ever should share with randomers and that’s for you to decide and to set your own boundaries)

Start a Blog, it’s a very easy way of leaving a trail all over the World Wide Web that leads back to you and it is completely free.

What is a Blog?...
A blog is basically a diary or journal that is available on the web.
The person updating a blog is “blogging” and someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger.” Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in chronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominently.’ Source

Create Your Own Blog.
Just follow the link and then follow the instructions simple as...

Update Your blog at least three times a week, my readers seem to check in at set times each day, usually lunch time so I try to make sure my new postings are ready in time.
Be patient it takes about three months of regular postings to build up a following, but remember tell everyone about it, e-mail all your contact list, every shop you visit etc etc.

Down load a free Stat Counter, its addictive and gives you access to lots of interesting information.

Include lots of links to other blogs and list the blogs you read in your “Blog List” spread the love...

Read other peoples blogs you learn so much, after all that’s what they’ve put them there for.
Share information, be generous you'll get it back 10 fold, be a bit educational imagine a B&B owner in Provence, Blackpool is the centre of the universe for hospitality they want to know what you know, it’s got to be give and take.
I have loads of Florist readers I know because they email me, comment and download my pictures, amazingly my suppliers have started sending me samples of new lines to try new varieties of roses and other flowers because they know I’ll feature them on the blog, creating a desire and they in turn sell more, so we all win. That said I also read a huge number of florist blogs and learn plenty here's one of my favourites.

Comment on lots of blogs, it shows you’re interested, but most of all if your thinking something good wouldn't it be great to let them know it. Sometimes people track you back if they like what you said. A really lovely client of ours from Pilling found us entirely from tracking back a comment I left on a cookery blog.

I personally think you should never be negative on your business blog, you can be controversial, provocative even, on a personal blog but if you want customers to like you be very careful, it’s amazing what people read between the lines, or take offense at, they may have misunderstood so keep it nice.

My Flower Design Blog is quite literally my pictorial and written diary of my day to day working life, I sprinkle it with personal detail and anecdotes, we do as a family live Flower Design, consequently the balance of content works for us.
Other Free'ish Marketing Ideas...

Do a press release to relevant publications for anything & everything you do that isn’t the norm e.g. Competitions, Charity events etc etc
If your budgets don’t allow for advertising don’t spend money on it! Be clever be creative, but don’t sit inside your business and hope customers will come and find you, get out there and find them.
Don’t steal other businesses customers, it never works out, find your own and then really work hard at keeping them.
Look after your loyal core customer base, treat them if you can with priority stuff give them your direct line to speak to you, invite them to special events you’re hosting. It doesn’t have to cost you a bean. Remember there is a lot of choice out there and as independents we’re unlikely to be the cheapest so we have to be the very best we can be.
No one single thing will work! You need lots of layers, Loyalty cards, Newspaper editorials, Web Site, Blog, Special Events, Charity work, getting out and about and talking to people, loyal staff and colleagues who are committed to the business etc etc
Network with other industries, get to know other business people, Florists, Photographers, Taxi Drivers, Hairdressers, Nursing homes, Café’s, Beauty therapists, Antique shops, Funeral Directors, anything that is independently owned just like us, because that’s the one thing we’ve all got in common and hopefully we’ve all got friends, good data bases, connections after all you want to do as you would be done by.
We’ve worked with Mark & Claire at Number One South Beach to create our own Number One Flower Design Supper Club, we advertise entirely through the blog and have sold out everytime.

You will need lots of energy, lots of enthusiasm, lots of creative thoughts, if you don’t have these you’re probably not self employed
You don’t need lots of money! But you never know you might make lots!
The thing is you may or may not be stuck in a rut, Change is great, do something different and remember, You can Change Everything and become Remarkable! or if change isn'tnecessary just be even more Remarkable!

Comments

Great advice there Jane (as usual!)

Thanks for the link as well!

Jonny
x
ABC Video Blog said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
ABC Video Blog said…
Just sent the link to a colleague, been trying to persuade him to start a blog for the last few months but keep getting the standard reply that he needs to do more work so that I have something to talk about...
StayBlackpool said…
Great great advice! And to ABC Video - why not get your friend to join Jane and StayBlackpool at Blackpool City Learning Centre on 24th June where we will physically work through step-by-step to get BLOG's set-up there and then.
ABC Video Blog said…
Thanks StayBlackpool I've sent the comment on...can you e-mail me the details info@abcvideofacilities.co.uk (Sorry Jane using your blog like this!)

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