Regardless of what type of business you’re in, you can grow sales and skyrocket customer retention rates by building an audience. Not only will people feel more comfortable doing business with you because they’ve gotten to know you, but they’ll recommend you to their family, friends, and acquaintances. Word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising there is, so you’ll be creating your very own army of salespeople, and you won’t have to pay them a cent.
I’m a Florist! Why Do I Need an Audience?
As a florist, you might think that your website is only supposed to introduce your business to potential customers, and possibly get them to order—whether online or by phone. If that’s the only way you’ve been using your website so far, you’re leaving money on the table.
In today’s marketplace, you have to set yourself apart from your competition to succeed. And one highly effective strategy is to build an audience of loyal fans. These are people who have gotten to know you. They’re people who want to support you in any way they can because you’ve given them something of value. They are loyal to you and will promote your business because they want to offer you something in return.
Start Building Your Audience by Offering Amazing Value
The key to building your online audience is offering amazing content. To do this, you need to know exactly who you’re targeting. This means building a customer profile. You can base it on your existing customer base or you can create a profile of your ideal customer. Regardless of your approach, you need to identify your target market to ensure you’re offering them the content they need and want.
For example, if the majority of your business comes from corporate clients for their events, you’d employ a different content strategy than if you specialized in weddings. A corporate client might be more interested in advice on choosing the best plants for their events—and how to save money while they’re at it—whereas a bride will probably want advice on which flowers would work best with her dress and similar information.
To really succeed with your content strategy, you need to look beyond the fact that you sell flowers, because you don’t just sell flowers. You sell beauty, you sell joy, you sell expressions of love, and you sell hope. The deeper you look, the easier it will be for you to develop a content strategy that will turn visitors into fans, and fans into customers.
Don’t Waste Your Audience: Build a List
Getting people to your site isn’t enough. You need to get their contact information so you can stay in touch with them. Most people won’t make a purchase on their first encounter with a business. Statistically, it’s been proven that it takes approximately seven encounters before someone feels comfortable enough to buy. So, the easiest way to establish a relationship with someone is by capturing their email address and sending them emails with informative, useful content on a regular basis.
The most effective way to get someone’s email address is by offering an incentive. While some people will give you their email address just to find out when you’ve posted new content on your website, for most people it takes a bit more than that to hand over their details.
So, what kind of incentive could you offer as a florist? Generally, reports work quite well. You could create a report by taking a series of your most popular posts and expanding on those topics. Or, you could cover something completely new. For example, a report on choosing the best flowers for your loved one based on their personality, or the best types of floral arrangements for winter weddings. The options are unlimited, but remember to tailor the information to your target market.
Another option is to offer coupons in exchange for email address. You could offer a 20% discount coupon on their first purchase to anyone who signs up to your email list, for example. There are a variety of incentives you could offer. All you have to do is be a little creative and offer something your audience will want desperately enough to give you their contact information.
The Value of a Subscriber List
Building a list is one of the most effective ways to leverage your audience and boost business. It helps you build a relationship with people, which is why they’ll always turn to you for their floral needs. You can use your list to promote any sales you might be running, special events, and more.
However, to keep your subscribers, you need to make sure that you’re offering them valuable content in your emails as well. Ideally, you want to send out four to five emails with valuable content for every promotional email you send out, otherwise you’ll lose all of your subscribers. If you stick to this ratio you’ll find that your subscribers will be more than happy to stay on your list and—more importantly—buy from you.
Building an audience of fans is the best way to leverage your online space. Everyone will know who you are and when they need the services of a florist, they’ll turn to you because they know and trust you. Building a relationship with your customers is essential to increasing sales, and the best way of doing that is by offering a ton of value before you ask for anything in return.