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Episode #18 - The Power of Online Reviews

This blog is a transcript from our Facebook live recording on 22nd August.

Online reviews and ratings are so important in today's world of beng a small business owner. As wedding Florists, our clients often find us online or at least check us out on our website/socials after being recommended to us, so to display your good reviews can make the difference between that couple booking you to create their beautiful flowers or not. Join me as I talk about a bad review I received, how important it is to get good ones, and how to get them.

Speaker 1:0:06

Well , hello there , my fellow wedding, florist friends, and welcome to the wedding florist social podcast. This is the podcast for wedding florist to learn all about acing their online presence. I'm your host Vicki laughy , and as a wedding florist of over 10 years now, and a certified digital marketer, I want to help you get the right clients, get more followers and never be stuck for content ideas. Again, click the link in my description to get your free wedding Flos guide to social media content creation today. So welcome. Welcome. I want to talk to you today about , um, online reviews , um, the , you know, the , the , the good ones, the bad ones, the lack of them , sometimes the , the crazy ones, why we should all have them and how to get them all sorts of things. Really. So , um, this all stemmed really from when I launched my new book on Amazon a few weeks ago. And, you know, I want to sort of just be totally, totally honest here. Um, uh, I received a , a bad one star review from one person and it , and it normally, I don't let these things bother me, but this really, really affected me. And it , you know, it was my first book ever , uh, which was a big deal for me. Um, and this was my first review on that book. So I was kind of gutted really. Um, but the more I read it, the , the more I kind calmed down, because the more I realized , um, how silly it was re really , um, you know, my , my book is very clearly described as being , uh, blank templates and forms and , um, you know, things along those lines, sample terms and conditions, et cetera. Um, yet they complained it was just forms and templates, and even went so far to say that I described it like that, but she was still unhappy when it turned up like that. So , um, I'll be honest. I even look further into it and she has a , a habit of kind of leaving one star reviews for things as , as , as well. You know, I wouldn't have even minded if it was a , um, you know, a three star review or something like that. So , uh, but, but, you know, she came back with a really extreme one star review , um, and you know, so I've received other great reviews, but because of that one bad review , my book now sits at three and a half stars over an Amazon. And , um, I was a bit gifted to be honest, but, you know, I've kind of quickly calmed down and came to terms of this. Um, why am I telling you this? Well, first of all, this whole experience kind of really gave me a great, I idea for this , um, this recording here. Um, I think reviews can be incredibly important in the online space and, you know, you know , particularly in the case of Amazon where these customers, these, these browsers have, have never met me and never will. Um, but you know, who knows how many more books I would've sold, if that person had just, you know , perhaps come to me and offered some feedback instead of just immediately resorting to this extreme one star you , um, I think we , we , we've all kind of been there in business. Um, you know, especially if you've been in business a a while . Um, we we've all been there. We've all had a review and you've thought, you know, if they'd have just come to me to just sort of sort this out first before , you know, resorting to this low star review , um, then everybody could have been happy and there was , there was no need for , for the review, you know , quite often with these reviews, it's the first you hear of, of an issue. Um, you know, I think in our, our wedding flourish business, it , it it's carries a lot of importance as well and more so on Google, you know, someone is Googling around for a wedding flourish and , and they come across , um, you know, two people, two companies that , that they like, but one has three stars and one has , uh, five stars. And, you know, they're more likely to contact , um, the five star one first initially, aren't they , um, you know, it takes social media, for example, you know, bad news can spread really easily. I don't know if you , um, if you saw, if , if you heard about this over on Facebook, but , um, recently there was , there was , uh, a story that spread like absolute wildfire course Facebook. And , um, it , it was, it was a wedding venue. I , I forget the name of the venue even now, but , um, maybe that's a good sign for the venue. Uh , but, but there was a wedding venue who tried to implement a fee for suppliers to work there. And this wasn't just a , um, you know, a little , uh, kind of, kind of arrangement with the recommended , um, suppliers or anything like that. This was like a fee for all suppliers. Um, and it , it , it , it did not go down well, <laugh> news spread really fast and , um, you know, everyone on Facebook and it was talking about not just people in that area , um, people across the , the , the wedding , just , um, they were all talking about it and , and there , there was so much backlash at the end of it. Um, you know, they're just completely backtracked basically. And, and , but by then, the damage was done, you know, they had to shut down their reviews for a while . They had to , um, you know, really, really deal with things , um, in , in a different way, the damage was done to their business at that point, because people were leaving reviews. There were , there were sharing posts. There were, there were bad mouth in the business online, and it's, it's actually probably, you know, for a little bit of greed at the beginning, they've done more, more damage than , than good, you know, there's gonna be , um, couples who would've perhaps booked them, who now won't. And so I don't think it was a particularly wise move, but I think it was made a lot worse by online reviews and , and online presence in general. So , um, but I , I , I think, I do think people are very savvy and they do check out reviews good and bad before making a decision. And it's a bit like, you know, if you've ever booked a holiday and, and you go on trip advisor to , um, you know, kind of just say , uh, say read, sometimes I go on just to read the negative reviews, to be honest. Um, but it , it , you know, you read the good ones and the bad and the bad ones, and you sort of think, oh, well, I see that person's point, but I'm not really bothered about that. Or, or that, that person seems a bit silly. That's a silly thing to complain about, or, you know, so you don't just take the five star review for granted you or the three stars or whatever, you know, you , you kind of, you read further into it. I think people are very savvy like that, but still it does help having , um, the best writtens in , in reviews. Um, I know when I used to have my retail shop before I really sort of niche down and , and specialized in, in weddings , um, I , uh, had people come to me occasionally who, because there were , there were other flower shops on , on the high street within a few hundred yards of me. Um, I had people come into me and because they'd Googled me and I had a five star review. So they came and came to me first, you know, so, so it does, it does help. Um, you know, I should say, I don't want all this, you know , to be all negative and doom and gloom today, you know, we certainly shouldn't be afraid of , um, you know, bad feedback or even worse held ransom to it. Um , I have heard stories like that where , uh, you know, wedding florist have been kind of held, ran into to it. And , you know, I'm gonna give you a bad review if you don't do what I want or give me what I want , um, thankfully touch towards that has not happened to me, but I have heard of people saying that, but, you know, I don't want it to be all bad and dooo today . I want to talk to you about kind of harnessing the power of, of good reviews as well. Um, you know, Google and Facebook, you know, those , those are places where you , people can actually leave reviews , um, as well as, you know, people sending you thank you cards and Instagram, DMS, and stuff saying thank you. And given that , given you feedback and reviews, or, you know, even comments on your social media posts , um, you know, you , you can, you know, absolutely use these and , and , and not just , um, you know, in , in one place, you know, absolutely, you know , milk, good , good reviews. Um, you know , you can send your recently in terms of, you know, how, how you get these things, you can send your recently married clients, for example , uh, a link to leave a Google review. Um, you know, if you could just, you can actually go on Google my business, you know, on , onto your Google, my business account. And , uh, there's a , you know, a little link that you can click on and just copy and paste into an email to , uh, to ask your clients to leave your a review . Um, you know, if they send you a card or, or a DM on Instagram, for example, you know, take a picture and a screenshot and , and pop that on your Instagram stories, along with a picture of their flowers, for example , um, you know, put that story into a , a highlight , um, an Instagram highlight and , uh, labeled reviews or testimonials or something like that. And , um, get those pictures on your website page and , and entitled to testimonials or happy clients or something along those lines as well. Um, you know, so, so it's, you know , we're not just talking about using these things in, in one place here. And , you know, it's not just about public kind of reviews on , on forums like Google and Facebook, which, which are still, you know, important if you , if you can get them. Um, but it's about using, you know, positive feedback and, and thank you using reviews in general. Um, and , and , and, you know, this can be in more than one format. You know, if somebody sends you a card, you don't just have to have that card pinned on a wall in your studio, for example , uh, you know, get it out there into the online world. Um, it it's, you know, if you follow floral quarter , my , my business over on Instagram , um, you'll see that I sometimes do that. You know, if a , you know , a bride or a groom or whoever has sent me , um, an Instagram DM, or maybe they've just put a comment on , on a picture of their flowers that I posted, for example, I will screenshot that I crop it. So it's just the , you know , just their words. And I will pop that on my Instagram stories and that Instagram stories then goes , um, onto an Instagram highlight labeled. Um, I think it's, you know, called testimonials or something like that. Um, I even made an Instagram reel of one actually. Um, I've just booked this absolutely ideal client. And she sent me an email back, you know, after I'd said, oh , you know, thanks for booking, et cetera. Uh , she sent me an email back saying Vicky , it was as easy to say yes to you as it was to say yes to Matt. Uh , who's her fiance. Um, so naturally me being me , I made a reel out of that, you know, so I did did a video of some flowers and , um, kind of put her quote over the , over the top of that. Um, it's really important to, to have this sort of content, this like user generated content and real client reviews, because it, it builds up more of a trust with viewers online. Um, they can, you know, see you , uh, see what real couples have said about you and , uh, what, what they've felt or experienced and, and , you know, they can therefore see, it's not just you being, you know, some sort of fake account online or someone who pretends they're , uh, something that they're , that they're not, it , it , it's basically what they call , um, something called social proof. Um, it's, it's the online equivalent of, you know, asking a group of friends if they've used a certain product or what their opinion is that , you know, if you die in the pub and you you're asking, oh, can anybody recommend a good plasterer or something like that? Um , or , or , you know, asking them if they could recommend a certain thing. And , um, you know, you're more likely to, to trust , um, you know, know that, you know, somebody's more than somebody who's like put a flyer through your door, for example, you know , um, I think, you know, I would love to know, do get in touch, you know, DME or something like that. If any of you have ever had a , you know, a really bad or really good experience of reviews, I would love to know , um, you know, have you ever had a , you know, a time or a situation where you've just thought, oh, if only that customer had just come to me first and let me resolve it , then we would both be happier. And , uh, it , it wouldn't have affected my reviews and, and rate so much. Um, so I guess, you know, to, to kind of sum up to, to sort of, you know, summarize , um, I would say, you know, to , to help your business with , in , in this respect, go get more reviews. First of all, if you're gonna do anything today , um, go ask your previous clients for reviews, and this could be a Facebook , um, page review. This could be a Google review. Um, even just some feedback on an email, whatever it is , uh, you know, go get some more reviews off, off your customers so that you've got this feedback, you've got , um, a feel for what they experience, and you've got some content to post. Um, this is , you know, absolutely get yourself out there, get more reviews, don't be afraid to contact people. Um, you don't have to ask everyone for reviews, if you don't want to just, you can just ask ideal clients. I find that particularly useful to just ask ideal clients, because they're the ones you want to attract more of , and you want to hear more about what they say and what they experience so you can offer more of that. Um, however, you know, don't be disappointed if you, you know, if you get something that's slightly not negative, but, you know, if somebody said, oh, it would've been great. If, you know, we could've had this, or, oh , it was a shame that, you know , don't take that to heart. Just , um, take it with a pinch of salt, take it for what it is and, and just kind of move on, take the good from it. Um, get those reviews on your socials and sing about them basically. And , uh, pop the links to your testimonials page all over your website as well. That's a , that's a huge thing. Um, on my website, for example, I'm a big fan of, you know, Le leading people around your website, so that it's , uh, um, you know, it's not just one page and where do we go next? You know, for example, if you go to the , um, I think on the galleries for , for example, you know, there , there is an option to, you know, if you , do you like this, go, okay , click here to go into my inquiry form , the , the there's options to , um, kind of go on to , you know, if you , if you wanna read more about client, what real clients have said about me, click here first, you know, bef people might wanna do that before the inquire. Um, there's even on my , um, on my email template that I send out to , um, invite someone for a consultation after they've inquired, there's even a link on there to mat , to the testimonials paid on my website. Um, so absolutely, you know, get these things on your website, get these things on , on your socials and , uh, really kind of milk them for what they're worth. So , uh, I hope you have , um, I hope you've enjoyed listening to , to that today. I hope , um, you , you've all got some great online reviews that if not go out there and go get them , uh, I hope it's been useful for you hopeful . Hopefully it's been informative and , um, it's, it's glad, I'm glad to be back after, after a extended high eight , this of, of , uh, you know, lives and podcasts and things like that. Thank you very much. COVID uh , but it is glad I , I'm glad to be back. Uh , so thank you so much for, for tuning in, well , thanks so much for listening all the way to the end of wedding, florist , social, remember the heads subscribe so that you don't miss out any future episodes. And if you want access to some free community and support, then head across to Facebook and look me up on the worldwide wedding flourish community group . I look forward to seeing you there .

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