Flower & business design insights, inspiration, and advise for the modern day florist (or wannabe florist).
So.... if you are a current student/client of mine... you already know. I find it funny when people want to run up on me or my clients in these internet streets. All my chill is lost, I'm really not here for it. If you don't know me or ISFD like that... Read our philosophy here prior to continuing on this post here.
On a call, a student brought up some troubles she was having with a local competitor trolling her business on and offline. The foe would say things like, she is overpriced, don't buy from her, leaving one star reviews, etc. Mind you my student is new to the industry and already dealing with self doubt. She's in a small town in Texas where the bridal market seems "over saturated". I know she has something different to offer and nothing to worry about as far as competition. However, you can hear the soul crushing angst in her tone.
Even though she was encouraged by me and others to ignore the jealous florist, she was still upset and annoyed. The truth is, it happens. Sometimes under our noses. That's why it's important to take care of your clients and focus on the positive. Until you need to check someone...
I'll share a brief story of a cyber stalker/troll that was annoying my team. Not me so much because, I don't really read reviews. Unless I survey my people directly, rarely to I read them. Good or bad.
For about a year, my team would relay on occasion a troll that would leave nasty posts about our classes. The thing is this troll would complain about classes he never attended and classes that never existed. He would post on a closed flower shop page I managed and my school page. I just didn't know who this ghost student was.
One day this troll actually signed up for one of my free classes so we had to do some investigating on who this Jag Jackson and Jag Johnson character was. So we had someone run his information IP and physical address from him registering for our free online class. We did this because this troll was sending us threatening emails. Which I still have and if it wasn't for the end of this post, he would have had some big issues on his hands.
We found out it was a man by the name of micheal gaffney. When we first found out we were like, ummm no way. Then we decided to post and see if he'd respond. So we posted the following:
I did some extensive research in several of your claims and it looks like we have a problem. I spoke with our partners at Groupon and LivingSocial. Over the past 4 years, there is no record of a Jag Johnson or Jack Johnson.
He removed one of the fake reviews down WITHIN THE HOUR. Last I checked there is still another one up. Which I could ask to get removed, but wait until the end. You'll see why I don't even bother :)
Shortly after doing so, another fake review popped up on our Facebook Page. By a new troll name with a profile pic of a witch (go figure). Guess who liked this fake ? Go ahead, take your time. Did you guess micheal gaffney? Well, you are correct. (See screen shot below or see our fan page. He'll probably unlike it if he see's this).
In closing, one of the first things I do is vet florists or aspiring florists who desire to work with me or my team. You've seen the application. Anyone with a pulse and who loves flowers can join us! I do the app process because students invest big time and big bucks into our programs. So I want to make sure we are a great fit.
You want to know something? Something soooooo funny and why I don't even get upset at with this troll?! A huge number of our students say they've taken a class with "you know who" and were not satisfied. They only worked with old fashioned designs. They took some 3 day workshop, but still don't know the basics and ask about our intro to flower design course. They enroll and become some of our biggest supporters.
So in closing, for real this time. If someone so "successful" who pops on the hallmark channel, QVC, such and such T.V. stations, etc. can find time out of their life to pick on little o'me and ISFD, trust and believe a little competitor from around the way who sees you as a threat will find time today.
Just remember some of your biggest haters are some of your biggest fans.