I was struggling for many years to get higher-paying clients in my wedding floral design business. For years, I thought couples wouldn’t want to pay more for flowers and everyone is stingy with their floral budget. Yet I saw all these luxury floral designers doing massive, lush, floral designs. Why was I not able to get those luxury couples to reach out to me?!
BECAUSE MY PORTFOLIO DIDN’T REFLECT HIGHER END
Here’s what my wedding flower portfolio looked like:
- unedited images directly from my cell phone
- images of outdated styles i.e. ugly tulle down the church aisle (cringe!)
- images of ugly low quality fake flowers
- images of styles that looked very DIY & handmade
- images of chair covers, sashes, table runners and organza overlays (these have nothing to do with flowers but when people see these at weddings that I worked on, it gave the feeling that the wedding was low-budget vs. nice chair & linen rentals)
- images of baby’s breath and mason jars (Cool if that’s your thing! But those weren’t the weddings I wanted to do)
Well, NO WONDER I couldn’t attract higher-paying clients! I wouldn’t have hired myself to do more luxury designs either when looking at my own portfolio! The KEY i s to SHOW WHAT YOU WANT TO ATTRACT! I was not showing anything even close to the styles I wanted to attract and the types of wedding couples I wanted to work with.
Here’s how to curate a beautiful portfolio that will get potential clients to reach out to you:
1. Make Sure Your Gallery Has High-Quality Images
No more unedited images from your cell phone! Hate to say it, but posting images straight from your cell phone gives people the idea that you are not professional. They’re often dark and sometimes blurry.
The best is to hire a photographer to do a photoshoot so you can get high-quality images for your marketing. You can also find out who the photographer is for your client’s wedding so that you can ask them for photos after the fact. Of course, ensure them that you will credit them when you use their photos on your website or social media.
But a word of caution, even if you do ask the photographer for photos after the wedding, do take some shots on your phone after you’re done setting up at the venue. This is a very important backup in case the photographer falls through OR sometimes they just don’t take good images of your work. Not because they aren’t professionals, of course, but because they don’t have the eye of a florist. They won’t know which angels best showcase your work, only know how best. So taking backup photos are important.
If you must take photos of your flowers with your phone, here are some tips on how to take beautiful flower photos with your phone.
2. Hone in on Your Style and Design
This goes back to my point about having images of everything that I did, all the different styles, different designs, looks and vibes. Couples were confused what I specialized in and it gave off a “cheap” vibe since I did a lot of things all at once.
Here’s an example. If you have a little bit of money to spend and looking for a pair of sunglass, would you be going to a general store to get your glass or would you go to a more specialized store to get your glasses knowing that they will have the experts there to guide you in choosing a perfect pair for you. Which one of these stores would appeal to you more? Now imagine you have “everything” on your website versus more specific styles that you specialize in, which do you think would catch the attention of a higher-paying couple?
3. Only Show What You Want to Attract
Remember what I said I had in my portfolio? Ugly, unedited cell phone pictures of outdated DIY decorations… <puke>. This was why no higher-end couples who had more money to spend reached out to me for a quote. In their minds, judging by the images on my website, I wasn’t capable of doing what they wanted for their wedding.
As difficult as it was! I deleted all my Instagram photos that didn’t vibe with the types of work I actually wanted to be doing. The first round of purge, I deleted the really ugly ones. As I did more weddings, I deleted more images during my second and third rounds of purge. So I’m not asking you to do it all at once, though you can if you want! GO FOR IT! But you can work gradually to make that shift. I also deleted a lot of my website galleries to showcase only the types of weddings I was proud of and ones that I wanted to attract more of.
When I wanted to level up my portfolio but didn’t have higher-end clients who booked me for what I wanted to do, I did a photoshoot to create exactly what I wanted to put out into the world going forward.
4. Give Each Product Their Space in Your Portfolio
Space is king! Display each product by itself instead of putting everything together all cluttered. Do you feel the gowns on the left or the right being more expensive?
White space in product images also gives a more luxurious vibe. Do the wreaths on the left feel more expensive or do the wreaths on the right? The left images look too cluttered and give off a “general store” vibe, whereas the wreaths on the right look more handcrafted and “exclusive”.
Let them breathe!
5. People Need to Visualize Themselves Using Your Product or Service
Your couples are more likely to hire you if they can visualize themselves using your flowers. If your brides and grooms can create a mental interaction with flowers, it will increase their desire to book you. Companies place their products or services in a “ready-to-use” position for this exact reason.
If you’re a florist, you might want to show images of a happy bridal squad all prettied up and holding your bouquets and laughing, or show your floral arch as the ceremony takes place with the couple in front of it doing their first kiss. If you’re a baker, show the happy couple cutting cake and feeding each other. If you’re a DJ, show images of people on your dancefloor.
You should have as many images of happy couples as you can on your website, ESPECIALLY as soon as clients land on your website, which means the header on your homepage should have an image of a happy couple. When your potential clients can imagine themselves with their bouquets or flowers on their wedding day, they will be more likely to hire you as their wedding floral designer.
Your social media feed should also feature your products and services in action. Which of these florist’s grids below would you reach out to first to get a quote for your wedding flowers? Do you see how different they feel?
Now, let’s curate a portfolio for you only of work that you want to be attracting moving forward. Will it be deleting outdated photos or putting together a photoshoot? Share in the comments and let’s keep each other accountable!
Cheering you on!