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Jul 9, 2020
Episode 54: Over Coffee - When to Work for Free with Kate Alarcon
Play • 22 min
> READ TRANSCRIPT HERE <
More episodes from Paper Talk
5 days ago
Episode 108: Taking Back Artistic Power with Sue Mcleary
How do you find your artistic voice? Will you ever get to the point that you can tell clients that you know what’s best for their floral arrangements—and they trust you? In our latest episode we talked with fresh florist Sue Mcleary, also known as Passionflower Sue. She has a unique and strong style. She stays true to her artistic voice, and her clients are all the happier for it. But Sue didn’t magically arrive on the fresh flower scene knowing who she was as a florist. It took time and experience. She told us all about how she found her way, and the principles all apply to our paper flower journeys as well. Listen now to hear how Sue took back her artistic vision and has built a floral career that brings her joy and fulfillment as a result. Here’s a sneak peek at three things we discussed in the episode that can help you get started on your artistic journey. Find What You’re Passionate About Sue didn’t expect to fall in love with floral arranging. She took on a wedding as a favor to a friend, and as she said: “When I was designing flowers [for the first time], I really had this moment where everything kind of stopped, and I got chills, and I thought to myself, ‘This feels so right and so good. I think this is what I’m supposed to do’” Even after she figured out that she wanted to be a florist, she still took time to find her niche. After several years, she discovered that she loved teaching. You need to do the same. Maybe you love creating large installations, but you don’t know it yet. As we discussed in more depth the episode, give yourself room to breathe sometimes so that you can watch for that moment of clarity that Sue had. Give Yourself Time Many of us, like Sue, are late bloomers to our industries. That can actually be a great benefit! Before Sue found flowers, she made jewelry. That shows in her work today. She is very well known for how she uses her floral art on the body in stunning ways. You need time to gain experience and to learn. You need time to find what you are truly passionate about. That’s okay. This isn’t a race. This is a journey to find what will bring you joy as a paper florist. Try Different Artistic Styles Those who are new to paper flowers or any artistic industry need to try different things out. They need to learn, and that usually means trying on different styles that closely follow more experienced artists. We had a fantastic discussion on the podcast about mimicking others and making ideas your own, both from the perspective of newbies and more experienced artists/teachers. On the one end, teachers need to help newer artists find their style. Sue told us about a formative experience that taught her what kind of teacher she wanted to be. You can hear the interesting details in the episode, but in short, it made her very passionate about sharing as much information with her students as possible. As she said, “You teach because you want people to be better than you. Because you enjoy the idea that you can participate in elevating your industry.” Our thoughtful discussion went much deeper into both teaching as an experienced creator and learning by mimicking. If you’ve felt unsure about either of those issues, make sure to listen. Here’s what you’ll learn when you listen to our conversation: * Why taking back the artistic vision will actually make for happier clients. * How to stop worrying about sharing what makes you special as a teacher. * Why being a late bloomer in your industry can be a great perk. * How she runs forums and offers online classes in different formats. * What you’ll learn from Sue’s two fantastic books. Join our Facebook group where you can share, connect, and grow with us. Please also consider supporting us on Patreon for even more great content like this. BULLET POINTS OF WHAT YOU’LL LEARN * Why taking back the artistic vision will actually make for happier clients. * How to stop worrying about sharing what makes you special as a teacher. * Why being a late bloomer in your industry can be a great perk. * How she runs forums and offers online classes in different formats. * What you’ll learn from Sue’s two fantastic books.
Oct 14, 2021
Episode 107: How to Build a Floral Community with Amy McGee
If the past year has taught us anything, it’s the importance of virtual communities. In our latest episode of Paper Talk we talked with Amy McGee of Botanical Brouhaha. Last year we loved learning about how she has pivoted her business over time. In this episode, we chatted about one of her newer projects, Bloom Trust Co. She’s brought together educators and resources in one place that makes it easy for fresh florists to find the help they need—and there’s lots of useful info for us paper florists, as well. Amy wasn’t planning on Bloom Trust Co. being a virtual community. She envisioned it as a place to grab info and go. But as she listened to feedback from members, she realized that people wanted more. They wanted a place to gather together. You can hear all about how Amy has successfully built up that community and what Bloom Trust Co. offers by listening to the episode. Here’s a little sneak peek of three things she’s done that have helped her virtual community thrive. Build Trust If people didn’t grow to trust Amy over the years, they wouldn’t have wanted her to create an online community. Amy has proven herself trustworthy to countless florists by providing top quality education and advice time and time again with her podcast, blog, and personal recommendations. A community must be built on trust. If you’re trying to nurture a place for people to gather, whether online or in-person, you need to gain people’s trust first. Think about why you want to build a community. We put together Paper Talk because we want our entire paper flower industry to thrive, just like Amy wants fresh florists to succeed. And people can tell when you stay true to the heart of your mission! As you make decisions that reflect those values, you’ll build trust. Strengthen Relationships As Amy mentioned in the podcast, every educator she works with for Bloom Trust Co. is someone she feels comfortable enough with to call on the phone. She knows that people will get quality education and content from them. She trusts them. Community is about bringing people together, and that means navigating relationships. You need reliable partners who can help you build your gathering place. We’ve talked about it before, but Paper Talk and the success of our individual brands wouldn’t have been possible if Quynh and Jessie didn’t have each other. Listen to the episode to hear more about how Amy has built up her relationships with the people she’s worked with, as well as who is involved as educators with Bloom Trust Co. Focus on Accessibility Amy spoke passionately and beautifully about why accessibility matters. You’ll want to hear about how she has kept that focus at the forefront while creating Bloom Trust Co., and how she has been so successful at bringing floral education to a wider audience. To put it simply, a supportive community should be inclusive and accessible to as many people as possible. And sometimes that means helping people find their place, even if it’s elsewhere. As Amy said, “If your mission is to help people, and your mission is to get access to people, then you want that for them no matter where they find it. It might be with someone who’s doing something similar to you, then that’s fine, and we’re all better for it.” Here’s what you’ll learn when you listen to our conversation: How to “flower with purpose” and choose work that is meaningful to you. When to listen to or ignore feedback. Why building a foundation of trust is crucial in business. How to nurture an online community. Which educators are involved in Bloom Trust Co. Join our Facebook group where you can share, connect, and grow with us. Please also consider supporting us on Patreon for even more great content like this. BULLET POINTS OF WHAT YOU’LL LEARN * How to “flower with purpose” and choose work that is meaningful to you. * When to listen to or ignore feedback. * Why building a foundation of trust is crucial in business. * How to nurture an online community. * Which educators are involved in Bloom Trust Co.
Oct 7, 2021
Episode 106: Making your Business More Marketable to Sponsors with Sara Kim
Attracting sponsors for your paper flower business can bring in extra money and security. But how do you find them? How do you make your brand attractive to theirs? In our latest episode of Paper Talk we talked with Sara Kim of Handmade by Sara Kim. She was such a joy to have on the podcast last year. We wanted an update from her since her business has significantly shifted focus during the pandemic. With so many big events and weddings canceled, many paper florists have had to find new income sources. Sara went from hosting large in-person workshops and creating huge paper flower orders, to now building up a successful online presence across social media platforms. She’s also worked with many sponsors. Sara shared many tips about how to make your business more attractive to sponsors, and what it’s like working with other brands. Listen to the episode to hear all of that incredible information. In the meantime, here’s a little glimpse of what you can learn. Here are the first steps you can take to get your business ready for sponsorships. Curate Loyal Followers Sara would be considered a micro-influencer, and big brands are very interested in them right now. That means that you don’t have to have a huge following in order for big companies to work with you. They know that spending a little bit of money on a smaller creator can have a big impact, often giving them a bigger bang for their buck than investing in a huge, traditional advertising campaign. You can benefit from this targeted marketing by building up a loyal fanbase. Those big brands want to see engaged and excited followers. Post consistent and valuable content. Take the time to respond to comments. Build up relationships with other paper florists. Building a solid base of followers won’t happen overnight, but the effort you put in now will pay off in the end. Create Video Content Brands aren’t paying for photos as often anymore. They want TikToks, Instagram Reels, and YouTube videos. A year ago, Sara felt very out of her depth making videos. But she learned! She looked up as much information as she could, followed artists who made content she admired and just kept trying. As Sara pointed out in the episode, you should constantly be working toward making more polished videos. It’s okay if they aren’t top of the line, professional right now, but you should have the goal to continually improve. Listen to the podcast to hear Sara’s specific tips on how to improve and the sources she recommends learning from. She shared a wealth of knowledge about how she creates videos, what sponsors ask for in video content, which software and platforms she uses, and much much more. Stand by Your Brand’s Values Whether you approach a brand or they find you, your values should line up with theirs. Your loyal followers trust your judgment. You don’t want to break that trust by recommending products that don’t align with what you value. You need to know now what your values are. What is important to you? What do you want your brand’s image to be? What do your followers expect from you? If you have a solid understanding of what your paper flower business is right now, you’ll know which sponsors are a good fit for you. Once you’ve figured out your values, Sara had some great advice on how to approach sponsors on the podcast. Here’s what you’ll learn when you listen to our conversation: * Why you should be making videos for various platforms * How to monetize your YouTube channel * Which software Sara uses to edit her photos and videos (plus tips!) * How to approach brands for sponsored content * Planning out consistent content across platforms Join our Facebook group where you can share, connect, and grow with us. Please also consider supporting us on Patreon for even more great content like this. BULLET POINTS OF WHAT YOU’LL LEARN * Why you should be making videos for various platforms. * How to monetize your YouTube channel. * Which software Sara uses to edit her videos. * How to approach brands for sponsored content. * Planning out consistent content across platforms.