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Local Flower Cart to National Seller with Instagram

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The Ecwid E-commerce Show hosts Jesse and Richie talk with Jaeleen Shaw, the founder of FloraFlowerCart.com. Starting last year, she and her husband have taken an offline flower cart and used their website and Instagram to build a business. They started offline selling flowers locally at farmers’ markets, pop-ups, weddings, and events.

We discuss:

  • Local networking groups
  • Teaming up with a photographer
  • Web designers and developers
  • Instagram strategy
  • Instagram tool UNUM
  • Shoppable posts
  • Email strategy

Transcript

Jesse: What’s going on, Richie?

Richard: How are you, Jess?

Jesse: I am great.

Richard: I’m excited today. I’m always excited to get going back on the podcast, but it’s always great to talk to a merchant.

Jesse: Absolutely. It’s been a while here. So for merchants listening, send in your notes. We want to talk to you. We want to help you spread the word and everything. Yeah, we get to talk to the merchant, and I think what I really want to talk to is that her Instagram game is excellent. My Instagram game is not that good. Random pictures here and there, they all look different. They’re blurry; it’s kind of a mess, really. We want to really dive into figuring out how she did this Instagram game. Anyway, with that, let’s bring on our guest Jaeleen Shaw. How are you?

Jaeleen: Hey guys! Thanks for having me. I’m good.

Jesse: So you are the owner of Flora Flower Cart.

Jaeleen: I am. Yeah.

Jesse: Well, give us a little background on your business.

Jaeleen: For sure. We’ve been in business for a little over a year. We started last April. And it evolved. I’ve always loved flowers and loved people and wanted to do something in the community here; we’re in Fresno, California. We had been back east to Nashville, and there’s a lot of flower tracks and things happening back there. That gave me a little bit of inspiration and because they had a similar concept where it’s “build your own bouquet, do it yourself,” which is what our flower cart is. So we came back to Fresno. We really wanted to do something different because Fresno doesn’t have any cool florists. They have a normal florist but not an interactive kind of thing. And so another friend of mine happened to be had gone to visit the flower trucks in Nashville and was thinking the same thing. She helped me design and helped get it started, and it bloomed from there. Fresno has really loved us well. That’s the small story.

Jesse: Awesome, I like the usage of bloomed from there. Now to give people a listing of pictures, so I’m looking at your website, which is FloraFlowerCart.com. I see the flower cart. I see a bike with a cart. Almost like a hot dog stand, or I don’t know what’s a better word to describe this.

Jaeleen: I describe it as Paris-themed. Kind of like Magnolia farms, Paris style. It’s like black and white, and it’s mobile so we can ride it with bikes, we can petal it, using all the puns. (laughing)

Jesse: Awesome. You’re doing farmer’s markets and things like that, festivals where you ride the bike, bring the cart in and open up shop?

Jaeleen: Yes. We do a lot of pop-ups, a lot of farmer’s markets. We do a lot of coffee shops, and we also do a lot of birthday parties and bridal showers as where the flowers are the favor and activity for the party. But yeah, pretty much just local things in Fresno.

Jesse: I like it. So you get to see the city as well. You’re out on the weekend festivals. Drinking coffee and having fun, and meeting people too.

Jaeleen: That’s definitely the best part, being a part of Fresno community. It makes it feel a lot smaller when you get to meet a lot of people in town.

Jesse: You’re selling in person as well. Do you take online payments as well, like credit cards, just cash? How do you do that?

Jaeleen: We take card and cash. Online, and when we’re out with the cart, we take both.

Jesse: You’ve only been doing this a year, so you don’t know it has been hard but like five years ago that would have been a very difficult proposition. Lucky you started when you did.

Jaeleen: Yes, for sure.

Richard: What’s been your main focus so far? Now we’re going to get into the online side of it obviously but when it came to the events, what’s been really working for you? Has it been farmer’s markets? Did you get a lot of word of mouth there because it’s such a cool looking cart? I imagine people come up just to check out the cart and let alone: “Yeah, you can hire us to come to your event or your wedding.” So what’s worked for you so far with the referral and all that?

Jaeleen: So the number one thing that I say when we first got started that really helped us boost and get in front of the community because we are really a word of mouth and experience-based business. So people come to us for that perfect Instagram picture and all of that. And the way we really got out in Fresno is we’re a part of a local entrepreneurial group that’s called Tuesdays Together, and there are chapters all over the world, and they’re part of the rising tide society. We got a part of that community really early on, and all the people involved in that really core in the creative community here in Fresno. They all shared about us on their social media and with their friends, and that made it where we really blew up really quickly because they really loved us and cared about us. That was the biggest thing.

Richard: That’s super cool. I never really heard that phrase, the perfect Instagram picture, but it makes sense. There is this local coffee and flower place in my neighborhood down here. It’s just like clockwork, I know every single time I’m driving by there, it’s always someone taking pictures in front of that thing — word of mouth on steroids.

Jaeleen: I have a picture, I came there because of that coffee shop. (laughing)

Richard: That’s funny. I live right down the road from there.

Jesse: That’s interesting. This business has been accelerated by not that you marketed on Instagram necessarily, but the fact that Instagram exists. People are very conscious of their Instagram profiles.

Richard: Ages here with Jesse but we knew that as the Kodak moment spots where you just go and have these little perfect place to take these film pictures. (laughing)

Jesse: That’s become huge, way more than it was ten years ago.

Richard: You got people literally doing cool looking graffiti on the sides of their brewery, so they know people were gonna come take pictures. “Oh, that brewery in San Diego,” and they’ll probably come in and have a beer.

Jaeleen: Yeah, totally.

Jesse: Makes sense, and now you get to help fuel that. I love the usage of your local communities. Are there local networking groups? Because we talk about all our online stuff and yes, there’s all these online ads and such you can do. But that’s business 101 that’s always been a thing. Talk to the local network with other local entrepreneurs, love it that way — a big part of your growth.

Richard: People sometimes forget social media starts with the word social, so why not just go out and be social from the get.

Jaeleen: For sure. It has a lot of impact.

Jesse: Yeah, for sure. You’re not hiding at your computer, which I sometimes do. (laughing) Get out there, shake some hands, say hi. Be nice. All right. Awesome. Now not only are you doing the whole flying game, you definitely have a beautiful looking website, great social. How did you know the online side? Did you do it yourself? Did you bring in an agency? How did you get started online?

Jaeleen: As far as our website, my husband does a lot of the behind the scenes for me. He does all on our website. And we do have a photographer for photography-wise, and we have a local lady that takes photos for us. But yeah, it has been set up, all of our website. As far as taking payment, he has a really good eye for design and then we do have a designer that works with us as well as far as like graphics and things like that.

Jesse: Okay. That’s good, so you get to be the front-facing, and you get to play with flowers.

Jaeleen: I get to do all the fun stuff. (laughing)

Jesse: Your husband is like sweating it out behind the computer. (laughing) Do you happen to know what platform he’s using for the website builder?

Jaeleen: Yeah. He uses WordPress.

Jesse: Okay ,great. It looks great. WordPress is one of the most popular platforms out there, so that makes sense. And yeah, I can tell you could have done this yourself but I can actually tell that you invested a little bit more money to have really good photography and a designer, it shows.

Jaeleen: Thank you.

Jesse: Good use of funds. It basically brought you ahead, like three years of where you could do it on your own. For people listening. Please start your own, not saying you should hire somebody. But if you want to get there faster, hire somebody.

Jaeleen: Totally. And it frees you up a lot to do. Like for me, my gift is a lot more behind the scenes involving and people as compared to just doing the website or design. So yeah, it frees up a lot of time too.

Jesse: Perfect. I get it. I’ve done both. Sometimes just pay somebody some money, and you get way better pictures. It just gets done a little faster and faster. Now on the social media site as well, I mentioned these pictures. Is that all you, is that all the photographer? How do you get that done?

Jaeleen: As far as Instagram goes, I run Instagram. I do all the posting and interaction on Instagram and the photos. We do have a photographer. What we do for that is, and I set a couple of shoots per month and pre-think out at the beginning of the month what we’re going to be posting. I do a lot of batch working. I’m a really big fan of batching things in the business. We do one big photoshoot a month where we bring in different local people that could be models if you want to call them that and just to get different faces on Instagram, to get interaction, and to show who we are. So we do photo shoots and then she also weekly if I have things I’ll just take them to her to get photos of them. I do all that Instagram, part of it as far as posting, interacting with people, and what we’re going to write on Instagram and things like that.

Richard: Super cool. One of the reasons we love talking to merchants so much is other merchants that are listening can learn some out of the box things that you get caught in your own business sometimes. Are you teaming up with this photographer in some ways? I mean to ask a question, you can go as deep as you want, it’s not necessarily personal, but you’ll get why. It’s so perfectly set up to where if this person is let’s say mostly a wedding photographer, it’s a natural that where do you think this person is going to ask: “Hey, I recommend these people for flowers” or “If you’re doing flowers, I recommend this person for.” Do you guys have some sort of special setup there? Are you friends? Again, you can go as deep or as little as you want.

Jaeleen: I found her on Instagram from seeing all of her photos. We’ve become friends from me asking, kind of hired her to do our photos and which has been really cool. It’s really neat how you can create really good friendships from Instagram. It’s crazy how that happens, but you can meet a lot of really good people and create friendships. We met through there, and she does mostly portraits for family and a little bit of brand photography. Then since us being together, she has a lot more brand photography, which is really cool that we’ve been able to in a little bit of a way I hope to boost her ability to do more brand photography. And we get a lot of hearing from her as well as sharing about us. A lot of her neighbors and she uses us if she has flowers to deliver and things like that. But yeah, there’s a lot of collaboration when you use local people because they care about you a little bit more, they want to invest in you. They know who the people are that you’re marketing to. I think it’s really valuable having somebody that is local that you can both feed off of each other and share about each other.

Richard: We won’t get political or anything but just sometimes in the world it gets to where it’s like if I’m winning, you’re losing. It’s nice to have people thinking: “No, we can bake a bigger pie together. We’re literally helping each other out; we’re both helping each other’s brands.” Her pictures are going to look better with a bunch of pretty flowers in it. So good stuff for sure.

Jesse: What I caught there, I think people could learn from is that you do this monthly. Maybe it’s more often. You don’t just say: “I need some pictures, and in the future, I will get some.” You schedule it monthly. “This is my scheduled day; I’m going to have a bunch of pictures. I’m going to batch it.” It doesn’t mean you post all those pictures the next day. You spread it out. For people that need a lot of social content, that is the way to do it. Pick a day. Get a bunch of content and then drip it out throughout the month.

Jaeleen: It definitely helps a lot. And also creating, and shoots, and inviting other people that are local also helps a lot, which is like marketing yourself because they share about it, and you have a lot more people sharing about it. It just has a further reach when you include a lot of other people to shoots and things like that.

Jesse: That’s good. And now with social and letting the content out, dripping the content out. Do you do that just natively inside of Instagram? Or do you use a scheduling tool? What do you do for that?

Jaeleen: I do. It’s called UNUM, I don’t really know what that stands for, but it’s an Instagram planner that you can see your feed before you post it. So I usually do it in two-week blocks. I can write all my captions, have all my hashtags, and see what Instagram is going to look like when it’s on my feed beforehand. I put everything inside of that app and pre-write it and all that. I have tried something that automatically posts for you. That’s a little tricky because it doesn’t post your comment or things like that.

Jesse: Another tool, UNUM?

Jaeleen: Yeah, that’s it. I don’t know what that stands for.

Jesse: That’s fine, I just want to be able to share that with other people. Is it an app for your phone, or is it a desktop tool that you can bring all the photos in? Which one is it?

Jaeleen: It can be both. I usually post from my phone, and then I create all the content on my laptop online because it’s easier to type on your laptop.

Jesse: Your process will be when you take all the photos in the batch. The photographer gets those too in edited format with obviously a very consistent style. Then you will schedule the photos on your phone and then do all the hashtags and stuff using the tool on a desktop.

Jaeleen: Yeah. She’ll give me all the photos, and they’ll all be on my laptop, so I’ll just download them on my laptop and add them to this UNUM. I add all the photos and all my comments and everything on there. Then all I had to do for my phone is I go to the app, and I just post it from there. I don’t really technically do any typing on my phone or adding photos, and it’s all you can do everything on your laptop.

Jesse: Got it. That makes more sense. I missed a step there.

Richard: For other merchants out there that are potentially thinking of hiring someone else. What way do you transfer these files? Because I’m sure those images, that’s a lot of space. Do you use Google Drive, Dropbox?

Jaeleen: She uses a website called Pixieset. I have a link, and she just continues to add folders to that link. It’s what a lot of photographers use to send different shoots to their clients. You just have a login, and then I do download the photos to my laptop. But I have that link so I can get that at any time, which is nice.

Jesse: You don’t have to edit photos or add any captions, that’s all done for you, right?

Jaeleen: Yeah. I just then add it from my phone. It’s really fun.

Jesse: All right. Love it. I’m not going to edit photos, so that would be nice. If I could at least start with a nice photo, I could do way better on Instagram. (laughing) Awesome. We put it through an e-commerce comment or two here since this is totally Ecwid E-commerce. I noticed you are using this Shoppable posts functionality. Every now and then, there will be a post where if you’re scrolling through the feed, you’ll see the little shopping bag. Do you know if that’s worked for you or not?

Jaeleen: Yeah, for sure. We have had quite a few people utilize that link and ask questions about it. And I really love it. I love being able to have that just because it helps people see that “Oh, I can actually purchase this.” It shows a price right away because people don’t like to click off of the app. They just scroll really quickly, and you can grab their attention a little bit, and that helps a lot. With that tool, they can see that “Oh, I can actually purchase this.” That gets them thinking a little bit more as compared to just seeing pretty images.

Jesse: Good, I’m glad. Usually, when we talk to people that have a strong Instagram game, we have to encourage them to do that. You’ve already done it, so good. Good job. With that, have you played with the ratio of the amount of posts you tag products on? I didn’t see many. So I wanted to see if that was on purpose if you’ve thought about it deeply. Just your thoughts on it, I guess.

Jaeleen: Yeah. Good question. I haven’t really thought about it a ton as far as ratio goes. That is a really good question, though, and I don’t have a specific plan of how I do it. I usually do it if I’m talking specifically about the bouquet that I would be selling. So that’s typically when the caption is about purchasing it. That’s when I’ll usually add it to it. If it’s just a picture of a bouquet with a different type of caption, I usually don’t add it. Maybe that is a little bit of what I do.

Jesse: So yeah, you have a plan. (laughing) I just want to dig into it a little bit. I was sort of sensing that if it’s a shot just of the bouquet, so essentially a product shot for e-commerce people, then you do it. But if it’s more of a lifestyle shot where there’s a little baby holding the bouquet, you tend not to take that. Is that good or bad, I don’t know.

Jaeleen: That’s a good question.

Jesse: I think the jury is out on that. By the way, I don’t know the answer, but my guess is you don’t want to be overly salesy, and that’s probably a good idea.

Jaeleen: I can definitely agree. Don’t be salesy at all types of sides. It is good to add that, and that’s probably where I am coming from. I don’t want to sell, sell, sell. But also you have to in order to make a business.

Richard: Yeah, you’re a business. And one of the ways you can offshoot that, this is just an opinion, take it or leave it, it’s up to you. I would even think about doing maybe Instagram lives or YouTube videos or on whatever platform you prefer, sounds like Instagram. Showing people how to make these bouquets because, on the one hand, people get afraid: “Oh my gosh, someone’s gonna just go do it.” But what ends up happening 90+% of the time is they’re like: “Oh my gosh, that was so awesome.” And then the reciprocity. They’re like: “Well, that seems like too much work. I got to go still go buy all that stuff and put it all together. But they did well, who would I buy it from? I buy it from the person who just showed me.” It’s literally like it. Again, it sounds a little scary at first sometimes. “Wait, someone else might start doing this in the local neighborhood.” But it really works. I’ve seen it work a lot. Man, Jessie and I had a friend that used to do this before everyone was replacing iPhones. But he just did videos “Here’s how you replace. Here’s how you do the screen. Here’s how you take it apart.” Then next thing you know, everyone’s going from those videos to his site to buy all these parts. And then you can sell more. Like, “Oh, by the way.” It doesn’t seem as sales because you’re like, “I’m also showing you how to do it yourself.”

Jaeleen: Oh, for sure. That’s a really good idea. I love that.

Jesse: As you were saying, Rich, I was scrolling through your Instagram profile, Jaeleen. I didn’t see too many videos here. The pictures are beautiful. There’s no one knocking that. But I didn’t see too many of the Instagram Stories. So maybe an opportunity where stories are the action. People are spending their day with their heads hunched over looking at other people’s 30-second lives. It might be a good idea.

Jaeleen: Definitely.

Jesse: Because you’re at these beautiful locations, weddings and markets and things like that. I’m sure they’re very picturesque. Beyond the picture, they might also make good Instagram Stories.

Jaeleen: Totally, that’s definitely something we really want it. I need to do more. I feel like video takes a little bit more thought beforehand, and that’s probably why I haven’t done it. And because I want to do it perfectly, do it good. But it doesn’t have to be perfect; you just have to do it.

Richard: There are different levels, we won’t dive into too much detail on this, but sometimes it’s just behind the scenes. “Here we are, setting up at the local market.” That one doesn’t need to be perfect. They understand you’re setting up at the local market. And sometimes if you do those too perfect, then they don’t believe it as much.

Jaeleen: It looks fake. Yeah.

Jesse: I get it. I can see that perfection in the photos. A video is harder. I totally get it. But they disappear after a day or two. If it’s behind the scenes, I think your quality level can go down. You have to let go a little bit. I don’t want to pressure you. (laughing)

Jaeleen: I love that. That’s definitely something I need to work on.

Jesse: Instagram looks like your main platform. I saw your service Facebook profile. How does your flow work? Facebook versus Instagram. What’re your thoughts on that?

Jaeleen: I’m pretty much focused on Instagram. And then we do sometimes automatic posts to Facebook. Mostly because I haven’t had the time to put into creating Instagram content and Facebook content and say Pinterest content. Because they’re all a little bit separate and you have to spend a lot more time to do all three. Instagram has been our main, but then Facebook, we just do automatic posts sometimes. Our main customers are on Instagram. That’s why we focus on that.

Jesse: It makes sense. Your main customer being what demographic?

Jaeleen: My age group. Females that are between 25 to 35, and they’re typically on Instagram as compared to Facebook. Facebook is a little bit of the older crowd, which we love, but they don’t tend to be as interactive.

Jesse: Shout out to the old people, there I go. (laughing) It makes sense, you’re right. I just wanted to check on that. I get it. What you do on Instagram, usually, you can automatically post it on Facebook. I think when you’re limited in the amount of time, that makes sense. You mentioned Pinterest, as well. Do you also do the same idea there, also post on Pinterest on occasion?

Jaeleen: I’ll go on Pinterest every now and then, just add a bunch of pins. I don’t actively do Pinterest. But we’ve definitely seen a lot of interaction on our website from Pinterest. We get a lot of clicks to our website from Pinterest. That’s something I need to upper game, especially when we start doing more online stuff.

Jesse: I think you’re on the right path there. I get how Instagram is probably your main place you would focus on. Because your pictures are so good, I think Pinterest would also be great for you. But if you only handle a local delivery area, then some of that effort might be wasted. UNUM also allows you to post on Pinterest from the same platform that might be an easier way. Just click another button.

Richard: That leads to another question we had. So you’re delivering locally. You started out offline. You started to see, “Hey, we should have at least a presence online.” You’re using Instagram; you’re still doing it locally. How are you handling delivery right now?

Jaeleen: People order online from our different size options for our bouquets. And then we go and deliver locally to Fresno and Clovis, and it’s our area right now. We do deliveries, and then we also do subscriptions. We have a lot of local businesses that get it bi-weekly or just other local people, as well. So we do deliveries and subscriptions locally, and it’s all purchased through our website.

Jesse: I love the subscriptions. I didn’t catch that on the website. So that’s great. You know every two weeks or so how many flowers you need to buy and what you need to deliver on what day. It makes life a lot easier. “Next month, this is the amount of revenue I should expect.”

Jaeleen: We love subscriptions as it really does help a lot.

Richard: So you’re doing local, and you’re delivering local right now. Do you have aspirations to take this outside of Fresno, or what are you looking at there?

Jaeleen: Yeah, we do for sure. Our goal that we’re aiming for right now is by the beginning of December, January-ish, we’re going to be launching a delivery service to 48 states. We’ll be able to ship to anyone in the States. I’m really excited about that because I’ll open up a lot of availability to more people, not just local. That’s our goal, which is our next biggest step in the business. We’re super pumped for that.

Jesse: Wow. Yeah, that’s a big step.

Richard: That’s super awesome on a couple of levels. Not only is it a big step and good for you. I love that you have aspirations to grow but also keep that local flavor, but this might go back to a couple of things we covered earlier. You showing people how to do this, that’s how they can feel like they know you even if they’re not next to you in Fresno. That’s one thing and then to Jesse’s comment if you were going to stay just in local some of that effort on Pinterest and stuff might get lost, but it won’t be if you have plans to grow. You might not see the result as quick right now, but — I’ll stick with your puns — you’re planting flowers. (laughing)

Jaeleen: Totally agree with that. Investing more in Pinterest, I’ll definitely do that, for sure.

Jesse: Is there any pressing questions that we could help you out with the platform?

Jaeleen: One thing that we have been looking into is being able to as far is when people are ordering to have block out days. We don’t deliver on the weekends right now locally, and we don’t have a way to block out days where they can’t even choose. That would be super cool to be able to have a way where we wouldn’t have to email them: “I’m so sorry, we don’t deliver locally on the weekend.” Because they can click on it and see that one thing would be super cool.

Jesse: Got it, totally makes sense why you would want to do that. First let me ask, if somebody orders on a Friday at noon, do you still deliver on that Friday?

Jaeleen: On the website, we say that we require twenty-four hours to have a guaranteed delivery day. If we can make it happen and the order is at noon, we will make the delivery. But if we’re not able to put it into our schedule, we just email them and let them know that it needs to be twenty-four hours. “Would it be OK if we deliver this on Monday?” We really try to work with them being that they were able to order. That’s how we deal with it right now.

Jesse: The reason I asked that is because the answer for how you would solve that depends on how you want to handle that. What I think you would want to do is you’re basically looking at a delivery schedule that’s a lot like a restaurant even though you’re not a restaurant. Ecwid is actually built also to have a lot of restaurants that use us so heavy. This is where you would want to look at the docs yourself. You could look for restaurant delivery options if you want to talk to support, which I would recommend.

Richard: Or make your husband do that. (laughing)

Jaeleen: I’ll get it on his list. (laughing)

Richard: And that’s not that you can’t do it, that’s just what he does.

Jaeleen: Just outsourcing. (laughing)

Jesse: We’re outsourcing this to the husband. (laughing) He’s going to look at setting up delivery like a restaurant, and support can help with this. Go to a live chat to the support, and they’re going to help walkthrough. You could block out ordering on the weekends, but I think rather than that, you would run it be able to scheduled deliveries. That way, you could take an order on say Friday through Sunday but do the delivery on Monday. I want to answer your question: yes, you could turn off the ability to order on the weekends. However, I wouldn’t recommend that I would prefer you to say let’s set up the delivery window as such so you can take on Friday night if you’re at happy hour and somebody wants to buy some flowers. Let’s let them buy some flowers, but let’s just let them know upfront that you’re not going to get it delivered until Monday. I want you all to make money over the weekend. Basically, no, that is yes. Talk to support; they are your friends here.

Jaeleen: Yeah, I wanted to tell you that your chat support is pretty awesome. They do a really good job.

Richard: We try to recommend that pretty often on the podcast. There’s a lot of people that do take advantage of it and love it. Then there are other people that sometimes shy away, and we try to remind them, use it, that’s what they’re there for. They love helping you out. It’s part of why we even do this show.

Jesse: And they’re very good, it’s a live chat, but they will solve almost all your problems. Not all your problems in your life, but yeah, check out the support, think of it as a restaurant option.

Jaeleen: Perfect, cool, that helps a lot.

Jesse: We’ve mentioned a demographic there, do you do anything on Snapchat by chance?

Jaeleen: I don’t, and I’ve actually never had a Snapchat account before. Do you think that would be a good thing?

Jesse: I’m torn. I’ve never had a Snapchat account either because I am a little too old for that. But I know that the thing about Snapchat is that they definitely have some younger demographics, but people that use Snapchat don’t use other platforms necessarily. They’re all about Snapchat, and it’s more of their messaging. It’s that when they look at their phone, they’re looking at Snapchat. It’s tough for me because I don’t necessarily use it myself. But if I were looking to sell to a younger demographic, I would consider it. Yes, it’s more work, you have to post again. I get it. I mean, maybe. You’re just doing such a good job with these photos; you’re already paying for them. If you could also post them in some other place without it being too much work, that that might be an option. Just because you mentioned the demographic, it fits. Rich and I love to help people out with whatever problems you have. Are there any marketing plans you have that we might be able to offer a hand?

Jaeleen: Yeah, I think that the next thing we’re going to be working on as far as marketing goes is email marketing. We haven’t done a whole lot of that yet and that I feel like that’s a whole other world. And I know that it works really well and we definitely want to use that especially if we’re going to be shipping out and having a lot more of an online presence. So yeah, if you have tips on the email marketing since we’re going to be getting into that soon for sure.

Jesse: Number one, absolutely, you should be doing email marketing. It’s low-hanging fruit, you’re already gathering some emails from your store, but you can gather a lot more. I saw your Instagram profile. There’re like 70,000, almost that magical 10,000 swipe up number.

Jaeleen: So hard to get there.

Jesse: You’re close. I don’t want to distract you from that goal; I get it. But there are ways to gather. All that people on Instagram would they sign up for an email newsletter if there were some freebies are giveaways. You won’t get 10,000 right away, but you won’t get to 1000 unless you start getting people opt-in. Whenever you start, you’re going to wish you had started a long time ago. Just start gathering emails. Platforms, it doesn’t really matter. There’s a lot of good ones. It depends on if you just want to send newsletters and such. The big guys out there, they will probably all work. If you’re thinking more and you really want it tied into Ecwid, I would look at the Ecwid App Market and look at people that are already integrated by that. The names are escaping right now, but they’ve been on a podcast before. You want to do the abandoned cart emails. If people are on the site, those are nice or follow-ups.

Jaeleen: We do use those and those actually helped a lot and abandoned cart emails, we noticed a big difference at this.

Jesse: Those are good; you’re using the integrated e-commerce ones, but it sounds like you’re probably not doing a newsletter or building the email list.

Richard: Also showing people how to do it because you can do multiple things in a newsletter. “I’m going to send you one and show you how I built these bouquets.” One of the things that’s great about email even though a lot of people say: “Oh, it’s dying. It’s going away.” Can’t forget every one of these platforms you use an email address to sign up with. Pretty much, a couple you can use your phone, it’s getting a little more usual — to use your phone to sign up to. Between the email list, let’s be honest, all these platforms, we love them, they send us traffic. People are doing social posts and sharing, and it’s fantastic. Definitely, do all that, but you actually own your email list. So if Snapchat or Pinterest or Instagram slows down, they’re your organic reach because let’s be honest; they’re all platforms. They want you to spend money to get more reach. Another good way to work around that is to have an email and can bounce that. Plus, as you get more and more of those email addresses, you can input that email list into those platforms and advertise specifically in front of your customers.

Jesse: To be more tactical here, for people that followed your path where it’s social media-heavy, Instagram first. I’ll say your online path has been Instagram first. So you could repurpose a lot of what you do on Instagram. I would probably create two lists — one that’s a locals list and one that is outside of Fresno basically. In the Fresno area, “Hey guys, blah-blah, super excited about Saturday. We’re going to be at the farmers market, please stop in and say hello.” Here are some pretty pictures of sunflowers. Maybe there’s a sale. I probably would do it every single time, but more letting people know where you’re at and then also giving people a little entrepreneurship journey. I saw you had some new flowers placed at a shop, some coming soon, even announcing. People want to encourage people; they’re happy for your success. Not like pictures of Lamborghinis there from your flower sales, but we grow a business, come over and say hi. I think you could have a nice locals list of people that have met you at weddings and things like that. It would be great. Then the other list is more thinking down the road and selling across the US. That might be more of the how-tos. Be less personal, more about the flowers and the product.

Jaeleen: Yeah, that makes sense.

Jesse: Those are just some ideas. Again, repurposing the pictures you already paid for, and you get to use them in these emails. Maybe people just stop looking at Instagram for awhile. They don’t see your feed, but they will see those emails. So bring them back, and also those email lists can also be used when you do more online marketing. If you get a list of like 2,000 emails, you can plug those emails into Facebook Business Manager, which is used for Instagram and Facebook advertising, and then you can target those people with ads on Instagram or Facebook. It’s just another way to reach them. A little bit in the weeds that might be for your husband. (laughing) What’s your husband’s name?

Jaeleen: His name is Chase.

Jesse: Chase, I’m sorry, if you listen to this podcast.

Jaeleen: He’ll get a long list. (laughing)

Jesse: Rich, any last questions here for Jaeleen?

Richard: No, I’m just super happy for you. I would just throw in one thing too on your shipping stuff that you were talking about. Is that because you don’t work on the weekends or is it because you have so many events? Cuz, there might be even a slight little tweak. Another thing for you and Chase to think about, where they can order online but pick it up at the fair or flea market or whatever you’re doing. Just another thought, that’s about it. These are beautiful. Now our wives are probably going to be like: “How could you do that show and not have sent us any?” (laughing) We’re bummed that you’re not already, but please let us know, and we’ll gladly get some for our wives.

Jaeleen: I will. We’ll give you guys some free flowers.

Richard: Even better. (laughing)

Jesse: Perfect, we’ll help you out with some shipping. Jaeleen, really appreciate you being on the show. For everybody listening, get out there and make it happen.

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Jesse is the Marketing Manager at Ecwid and has been in e-commerce and internet marketing since 2006. He has experience with PPC, SEO, conversion optimization and loves to work with entrepreneurs to make their dreams a reality.

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