- Be mobile-friendly
- Have on a small number of links
- Show examples of your work
- Be consistent in your style
- Be prepared
- Before you go into the show, know exactly how you will process new leads. Your end goal is simple: get the bride signed up for a consultation.
- Bring beautiful examples of your work. This doesn’t have to break the bank. Find something classy that’s not going to ruin your advertising budget.
- Be sure you communicate with the company putting it on to get a spot near the front. There's a million negotiation techniques that could help with that but we're out of room on this post.
- Be friendly
Don’t drop the conversation mid-sentence when you find someone already has a wedding florist. Are they asking too many questions? Answer the questions! If you’re not genuinely interested in the clients, you may as well close up shop and go home.
If you do have to drop a conversation, just give a reason and move on. There are times when someone is a potential client, but they are taking too much time when you're missing others passing by your booth. Just say,"Wow! It's piling up in here. What would be best is to set up a consult where we can discuss all these details." Then tell them your process for setting it up and excuse yourself to help others.
- Have initiative
- Wallflowers are pretty but I’ve never seen one book a consultation at a wedding show. You’ve got to be willing to open conversation at every opportunity you have. Be careful that your initiative doesn’t come off as obnoxious. Crazy enough…the most effective line we use is a simple, “Have you found your wedding florist yet?”
We have shared a whole long article about why florists say "No" to styled shoots. As author, Amanda Veronee, explains the reason for saying no (to free shoots specifically) is this: flowers are perishable.
For me to do a styled shoot (bouquet, centerpiece, cake flowers, other large ceremony display, etc.) is expensive relative to what other vendors PAY to be involved in a styled shoots. Take out of the equation the babysitter I need for my son and gas and it’s still about $750 WHOLESALE...The flowers cannot be reused again, and that expense is entirely a waste other than for the (lovely, I’m sure) photographs...For a style shoot florist, the return is very low. From a business standpoint, it’s almost a waste of money unless someone is new to an area, new to the market, or wanting to make certain connections that can’t otherwise be made on social media or over coffee.
If you are asked to do a styled floral shoot for free or in trade for the images, Amanda recommends offering your time and service free (just like anyone else involved in the photo shoot), but to ask that the wholesale flower and supply costs be covered because those costs cannot be recouped.
That's not to say that, when you're new, that inspiration shoots aren't a great way to get your name out, meet new vendors, and make friends. And having your work featured in a big publication does make you feel accomplished but, ultimately, brides will most often book you, not because you were published in certain places, but from past bride reviews, word of mouth, etc. The only time I recommend being willing to pay for the flowers of a style shoot is when you have absolutely no photos of your work and / or you are moving to a new style and new clientele. But be completely sure that the photographer will do you justice for the hundreds of $$ that you'll have to pay.
- Your social media presence is essentially a core part of connecting your message and experiential branding, make sure it's consistent and is truly social.
- Be sure to include your logo as your profile image and then give potential clients a first look at your style by strategically placing a photo of your work as your cover image.
- Social media marketing (for the non-gurus) is not a prime place to get clients but it is something that clients check out to make sure that you're who they would want to use. I know of some florists who get a good amount of their work from social media, but those have typically been smaller, niche florists who do 10-20 weddings a year. If you can do it, go for it!
Set up a goal for yourself. My wife set a goal for herself to meet 2 new people in the wedding industry every week. That could be as simple as stopping by their store, going to an industry event, sending an email, having coffee. Whatever. But every week, a new person in the industry would have been introduced. Nobody immediately started a warm and fuzzy relationship with us. But over time, there have been some great friendships built because we set a goal of exactly how many vendors we needed to meet every week.