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Last Minute Valentine’s Day Marketing Tips

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and the flower shop frenzy has already begun. As we get closer to the holiday, we wanted to offer some last minute, quick marketing tips that can help boost those sales!

Social Media Special
Offer a special on your social media. Have customers like you and share it with their friends. Have them pull it up on their phones and show it when they make their purchase. This is a great way to add likes to your Facebook page!

Team Up
Located next to a bakery? Have a friend who owns a business? Team up and recommend each other to customers! Tell your customers to get some cupcakes as a finishing touch with their Valentine’s Day arrangement and have the other business recommend you as well. You can share the business and build a great new connection.

Donate a Bouquet
Put together an arrangement and donate it to a nearby bank or hotel. Say it’s for their lobby for free if you can leave some business cards as well. When customers cash their check or check-in to their hotel, the Valentine’s Day arrangement will spark their memory and soon enough they will be ordering from your shop!

Try one of these tips or all and check back with the Bloomin’ Blog for more great ideas!

Suggest an Article: The Name Game

In our newest installment of Suggest an Article, we highlight this recommendation offered by Sue Kyer of Garden Shop Inc. in Cambridge, NY. Sue wrote in to let us know about a great little marketing tool she likes to call: The Name Game! Take it away, Sue:

“We do the name game in the summer. We put on our sidewalk sign ‘If your name is Sue, come in for a free rose!’ We always have a few roses left from the week before and prices are pretty cheap in the summer. We have gotten a lot of new customers from this [practice]. It’s really fun, and we change the name every few days. It gets people taking and people coming in the shop during the slow season.”

Get Customers Walking in the Door

Sidewalk Name Game What a great idea! Using some of your older blooms to generate traffic and potentially generate new business and new customers is a stroke of genius.

Getting customers to walk in your door is always the hard part. Once you have a chance to WOW them with your stellar customer service, they won’t be able to resist coming back for all their floral needs!

And remember folks, it’s okay if you don’t have a sidewalk sign. You can use chalk on the actual sidewalk, or advertise your promotion on Facebook or Twitter. I know I would make a special trip to my local florist for a free rose!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this installment of Suggest an Article! If you missed last week’s post, you can find it here.

Remember, if you have an idea you’d like to share with other florists, drop it in the comments section below! Who knows, your idea might warrant its own edition of Suggest an Article!



Suggest an Article: Car Wrapping

HollyHock2Not too long ago, we asked our member florists to submit any ideas they had to use in future blog posts. We intentionally didn’t specify what kind of ideas we were looking for, and as a result, we received suggestions encompassing all aspects of the business. This will be the first in a series of articles wherein I take those tips and present them to you!

Car Wrapping Tastefully

As a business owner, effective and affordable advertising can be difficult to find. For Heather Aleksonis, the owner of HollyHock Flowers in Weare, New Hampshire, one solution came in the form of car wrapping. The process involved taking her vehicle to a local professional and having it covered in stickers advertising her business. This effectively turned her car into a moving billboard.

Heather says that it’s the best thing she’s done as far as advertising:HollyHock Stickers

“Forget the newspapers. You can do your car for the price of 2 ads in the newspaper. When your customers see your car all the time, they think you are busy. And then they want to do business with you also.”

Looking at her beautifully decorated ride, I can see why it works! That looks awesome Heather!

Come back soon for even more Suggest an Article tips! And if you missed the first opportunity to suggest an article, leave some ideas in the comments below. You never know, you might find your idea in the next Suggest an Article!

Avoid the Hidden Cost of Online Images

Hey, isn't that our image?Just like everyone else, I like to spruce up my blog posts and news articles with a few images. After all, who wants to read block after block of text with no visuals to break it up? Nobody, that’s who.

So after I compose a brilliant (even if only to me) article, the next logical step is to search for an equally brilliant image to complement. Easy right? Not exactly. While Google has made things simple by adding an images archive for us to pour through, those images are often copyrighted, and using them without permission could result in some stiff penalties!

Online Does Not Equal Free

Just because an image is posted online does not mean that it is free and clear to be used. Contrary to popular belief, that is not what the law means when it says “public domain”. In this context, public domain means that the copyright has run out and was not renewed or was inapplicable to begin with. It has no bearing on where the image is located or discovered. A photographer who posts his pictures online has just as much right to be compensated for their display as one who sells them in a gallery.

This means that it is NOT okay to right-click any image you see, save it to your hard drive and upload it to your blog or website. If you do, the copyright holder can request you take it down, send you a bill, hire a lawyer to draft a cease and desist order and/or take you to court to sue for damages! And no, attribution* will not save you. Nobody wants to be stuck paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars for use of some erroneous image they only snagged because it looked good and helped illustrate their point.

Is There No Such Thing as Free Images?A stiff penalty.

Do not despair; there is hope! I’m not going to slap your hand and walk away, that’s not how this blog operates. Now that I’ve told you why it’s bad to grab random images, let me tell you where to go in order to find some images you can use. I should first say that these sites are not perfect and it’s possible to run across a copyrighted image here. However, your chances of avoiding them are much better than just pulling something you found randomly.

Also, it is a good idea to attribute back to the site you used at the bottom of your post. Some of these sites don’t require attribution*, but it’s just polite. You should ALWAYS read any disclaimers or policies around the photo or site you are using. They are pretty short, and it will be time well spent.

Free Images Online

  1. morgueFile – Free photos. Need I say more?
  2. Creativity103 – Photos, designs, and videos.
  3. pixel perfect digital – Free stock photography. This site does require attribution*!
  4. Photo Pin – Free photos!
  5. openclipart – Free clip art!
  6. pixabay – An outlet to both share and find free images.
  7. stock.xchng – Free photos!
  8. Creative Commons – This site is a collaborative page for creatives of all types. You can find images, text, and even videos with a varying level of copyright. Creative Commons offers free copyright licenses to creatives who would like to share their work on limited terms.

Don't be this guy.As you can see, there are plenty of places you can go online to find what you need. It’s true that many of these sites post images by amateur photographers or have photos that the pay sites have already rejected. That doesn’t necessarily mean that these images are bad, but they may not be up to the same level of quality as images for which payment is required. You know the old saying, “You get what you pay for.” Still, there are some good amateurs out there, and every professional started out as one, so don’t discount the option of finding something you can use here.

Using online images is a dicey proposition, but hopefully this post helped you to see some of the pitfalls and provided you with a few options to avoid them. If you have any suggestions or know of another quality free site I didn’t list here, put it in the comments below!

All images are courtesy of morgueFile.

*Attribution is the act of giving credit to the site from which you uploaded your photos. The morgueFile link is an example of attribution.

Just4Florists: How To Reach Out With Community Workshops

Teach What You KnowHow involved is your flower shop in the local community? (No blank stares, please.) The more you put yourself out there, the more you will get back!

Do more for your public image by offering workshops to your community. This engaging approach cements your business in the minds of customers, and can be highly rewarding.

By developing simple, one-day sessions, you can reach out to your neighborhood to offer an event that is completely original.

Your customer base will increase, not just from workshop participants, but word of mouth as well. Think of it as summer camp for flower enthusiasts!

Host Workshops in Your Area

Flower Arranging 101 – Teach the basics of flower arranging to the DIY crowd, and make sure they know they can get the best loose stems and flower accessories from you to build their own custom creations.

Grow Green Thumbs  – Show how to care for all the houseplants you offer in your shop by demonstrating various pruning, re-potting and watering tips.

Cocktail Flower Hour – Offer a wine tasting paired with a floral design lesson for a relaxed and sophisticated evening mingle.

Posy Pals  – Make use of bright, summer blooms and appeal to all ages by teaching young flower lovers how put together a beautiful flower arrangement. (Great just before family-oriented holidays, such as Grandparent’s Day.)

[Read more…]

4Florists: Mardi Gras Promotions (Just in Time for Valentine’s Day)

You don’t have to live in New Orleans to celebrate Fat Tuesday.  Officially, Mardi Gras is on Tuesday, February 12th, but you should start your promotions by at least the 4th, if not sooner. I know what you’re thinking… “but but but.. that’s VALENTINES DAY. I can’t be bothered with Mardi Gras.” While that’s true, I’ll show you some quick and easy promotions you can do that won’t get in the way of your Valentines Day marketing plan. Because this holiday occurs so close to the biggest floral holiday of the year, take advantage of this time to spread the word about your flower shop!

"Mardi Gras" Flower ArrangementFind Your Target

You know your community better than anyone else. What groups can you promote Mardi Gras flowers and gifts to and be the most effective? If you live in an area where the holiday is widely observed, this will be easy, but if not, you might need your marketing thinking cap for this one. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Coffee Shops
  • Collegiate hangouts
  • Hotels
  • Casinos
  • Anywhere!

What They Want/Need & How To Make It Work For You

Contact all of the above businesses in your area, and anyone else you think might want a little more ‘fun’ with their [Read more…]

The 14 Days of Love – Marketing for Valentine’s Day

Florists, Valentines Day is less than a month away. If you haven’t turned your attention to Valentines Day, it’s time to start now! This could be your biggest year yet! Here we’ve composed 14 great ideas for the 14 Days in February. You can do them all, or pick and choose your favorites. If you have even more ideas, let us know in the comments below!

Valentines Day Marketing TipsDay 1. Tell your customers you love them.

Use your promotional outlets, blogging, social media, etc, to tell your customers what they mean to you. Create a special email or graphic; maybe give away coupons. This day is all about showing love to your loyal customers.

Day 2. Day of love contest

Give away an inexpensive, but desirable product in a quick and easy contest. It may be as simple as asking “I love my sweetheart so much because ____” on Twitter and giving away a prize for the best answer.

Day 3. Decorate, and decorate again.

Your front window should scream, “VALENTINE’S DAY,” but don’t stop there! Stick cut out hearts and doilies all over your walls and windows. Use red, white and pink ribbon to decorate your house plants, gift items and anything else. Catch love fever and go crazy!

Day 4. Send Valentines

Collect Valentine’s Day cards to be taken to local hospitals, nursing homes or even sent to soldiers. Advertise to your community via press release in radio, newspaper and even your own online promotional outlets.

[Read more…]

10 Easy New Years & Winter Marketing Ideas For Florists

The holiday season is a very busy time for florists. However, there are a few quick and easy things you can do that will make a big impact on your last sales of the year. Keep these tips in mind as 2013 draws near.

  • Winter Flowers1. Let customers know about special holiday hours by using your website/Facebook

If you’re closing early or will be closed during normal business hours, it’s a good idea to let customers know by doing more than taping a note to the door.


  • 2. Use holiday-themed profile pictures

The branding of your business is important, but if you’ve got time, add a Santa hat or snowflake to your logo to make it more festive for winter. Don’t forget to change it back when it’s time to!

  • 3. Host a photo contest with giveaways

Consider hosting a sunshine-themed art or photo contest to chase away the winter chill. Your customers can bring entries by your store or share them with you online. 1st Place gets a cozy winter-themed arrangement.

[Read more…]

Log Cabin Florist’s ‘Spot The Van’ Contest

Log Cabin Florist - Spot Our Van!

Log Cabin Florist in Bakersfield CA knows exactly how to get their community excited about flowers!

Every month, they begin a new “Spot the Van” contest. When someone spots their fabulously floral van and snaps a photo, they can enter it into a contest to win a free arrangement from Log Cabin Florist to be delivered locally to themselves or a friend. How cool is that?

The contest runs during the summer months of June, July and August. To spread the word about Spot The Van, the flower shop sends out emails, announces it on their Facebook page and at the workshops they host. This contest is a terrific way to get the community of Bakersfield excited about flowers and florists. Way to go guys!

Is your local florist hosting any summer contests or workshops? Are you a florists doing something like this? Share your experiences, thoughts or ideas in the comments below!

Have You Claimed Your Bing Listing?

Bing Getting Started

It’s very important to make sure all of your information is correct and consistent across all web profiles and listings. If you have not claimed your Bing listing, what are you waiting for?

Claiming your Bing Local listing is another of the FREE services that you can use to make your shop’s presence known and control the information that search engines see about your flower shop. It’s as simple as that. Actually, FSN has made it even easier for florists. We have a Checklist for Claiming Your Bing Listing you can print out to keep the information you provide for your own records. We have also recently updated (just yesterday!) our Complete Guide to Claiming Your Bing Listing that will walk you through, as a florist, with examples and screen shots.

FSN is committed to helping florists promote themselves and their businesses, both on and off the web.