Flower Sourcing Transparency with DVFlora

Kelly Perry - 00:01 - You are listening to the team flower podcast where we talk about flowers with the people who've dedicated their lives to sharing them with the world. We believe that your work with flowers batters and we are cheering you on. Hi, my name is Kelly and today we're talking with John Burk of DVFlora. John is their ecommerce project manager. For over 58 years, the company has been providing wholesale flowers and floral supplies source from around the world to professional retail florists and event designers. They specialize in offering one of the largest loose pick operations in the country and provide the option to order by bunch piece or gaze from their extensive on selection of fresh items in hard goods. They also offer direct shipping options from their offices in California, Miami, and Florida. On this episode, John is explaining the logistics of how DVFlora works from the shipping process to ordering to the grower direct program.

Kelly Perry - 00:55 - We're chatting about the importance of transparency and the origin of flowers, especially in the wholesale market and how this has positively affected sales for DVFlora. John is sharing about the DV crush program, what it is, and who can participate, and we're chatting about the need to identify instagram content that resonates with your followers. We're sharing tips on using Instagram to grow your business, whether you're looking for a new source for flowers or have questions on using social media for your business. This is a great episode for you. This podcast is brought to you by Team Flower and online support community dedicated to educating, connecting, empowering flower levers worldwide. We provide online classes, in person events and free weekly resources designed to support you in your journey with flowers. Whether you're a professional for is our farmer really anyone in the industry. Maybe you just love flowers. There's a place for you here to come join the party at teamflower.rg. We're happy to have you.

Kelly Perry - 01:55 - Well John, it's really great to have you on the podcast today. Welcome.

John Burk - 01:59 - Alright. Thank you very much for having me on. Very excited about this. So thank you again for the opportunity.

Kelly Perry - 02:03 - Yeah, absolutely. Well, tell us a little bit about DVFlora.

John Burk - 02:06 - Sure, yeah, we are. We are basically an importer and distributor. Headquarters is located in southern New Jersey, probably probably 10 minutes outside of Philadelphia. We are now in our 58th year of service. We have 10 distribution centers including the one in southern New Jersey here, so. So we cover Monday through Friday, early morning, local deliveries from let's say New Hampshire down to the northern part of Virginia out to Pittsburgh and a little bit west of there. So we covered that area on a daily basis. The majority of what we do is we call it loose pick operation, so we have a full warehouse here, have a fresh inventory that includes flowers, greens, tropicals are goods. We have a whole hard goods warehouse including produce, gourmet, or whatever else a florist could need. We have in in New Jersey and we distribute that early morning next day to customers. We also have locations in Miami, Florida that we can ship nationwide and in Oxnard, California that we work out of as well.

Kelly Perry - 03:11 - That's awesome. So you've got that sort of trucking area that you're working with. It's going from New Hampshire to Virginia and over to Pittsburgh and then you're shipping all over the nation as well.

John Burk - 03:23 - Yes, that's correct. So what we do is we can ship nationwide from all locations, from direct from Miami, California and here as well. What I would say the majority of what we've done over these 58 years is is focus on, uh, the loose pick operation to our customers, uh, out of fear. So that's basically, it's what we call hub and spoke model. So, so everything is, is, is housed here in New Jersey and then we have, we have trucks that leave here every night, Sunday through Thursday and go to those other distribution centers, which is then broken out into local delivery trucks that are run by us and our internal logistic.

Kelly Perry - 04:04 - Tell us a little bit about the farm direct programs that you guys offer.

John Burk - 04:09 - Yeah, so I'm heavily involved in the program. We have called grower direct. So if I back up a little bit, part of my background is it. So I started in an it role here, which at the time we were switching to a new computer system, new warehouse management systems, so I got to learn all facets of the business here, whether that was shipping from the farms, how that, how that worked with our system, receiving the product here, a, the cells, entering the orders, how that affected the operation. Um, and then eventually that led into the ecommerce project management role that I'm in now. So, so we're part of a team that helps develop the website, the ecommerce website we have. And part of that is this program we have called grower direct will. That program allows our farms. Right now we have 60 farms offering product directly onto our website that is all built on our logistics.

John Burk - 05:08 - So whether that's flying from South America on our flights are consolidations and South America into Miami. We're trucking from California, Mexico, Florida from Holland. We fly into New York and Miami, Canada. We have trucks from Canada. So all those, all those offerings are based on our logistics. So those farms can offer basically any product that they grow, they can offer on that system. So our customers can log in and they can choose, they can see which farm they're buying from, they can see how many cases are available, they can see the price. So what I like to say is that, that program is really a win, win, win for everybody. The farms, the farms can offer whatever they grow directly to the customers, um, without, without a middleperson saying, I do want to speculate that on or I don't want to speculate on that product. So an extreme example might be orange carnations and December will farm, can offer orange carnations in December and if there's a retail or customer, our designer who wants to buy orange carnes, well they're going to be there.

John Burk - 06:09 - You'll be able to find them on that program. So, so it allows the farms to merchandise any products that they grow. And then, and then from our side, uh, it's a, it's a true prebook offering. So, so really when that product comes in, it's already labeled for the customer at the farm. So we just basically cross docket and we can send that out to the customer and then the customer is rewarded with us the freshest product that they can get because everything is built, like I said, on our logistics. So, so there's no delaying the product anywhere in any warehouse. It comes in and it goes right out to the customer. So there's less handling involved. Yeah. So it's been a really good program for us.

Kelly Perry - 06:44 - Yeah. Well, on the website, whenever I've logged in to check on things, something that is really neat that you touched on a little bit is the origin of flowers in you can really, you can see and understand where your products are coming from and I really appreciate that a lot. Let's talk a little bit more about that. Why did you guys decide to be transparent with where the flowers are coming from and um, how have you seen that impact your business?

John Burk - 07:15 - Yeah, that's a really good point. We do feel that it's important to be transparent with product and that's basically built on the feedback from customers over time. So it, and it kind of, it, it goes back a long time to the, I'll say the second generation ownership of the company here. We're now in our third generation, but the second generation when they implemented this, this computer system we have that. They knew that when we were creating all of these Sku areas we have, we knew that it was important to have certain farms listed or origins listed under them. So. So we took the arduous task of making sure that when we set up all these products in the system that they were, they were very transparent and gave the buyer or the customer as much information as possible when they were ordering. So whether that at that time when they looked into the future, they knew if they were buying online that it was set up correctly or when a sales associate here with selling it, it had all the information in front of them so that they could, it could easily relay that to the customer who was, was placing the order.

John Burk - 08:19 - So we kind of start it. It starts with A. I'll say that the actual description of the product. So we thought it was important at the time to make sure that we listed each item by variety and size. So for instance, let's take a time, let's say Charlotte rose. We knew that we had to sell that as a rose Charlotte, not just the red rose, but a Charlotte rose. And then if we had another rose, we would sell that as a freedom and then we break that down into centimeter size so you'd have a, an Sku or a skew for 40 centimeter, 50 centimeter, 60 centimeter, and let's say 70 centimeter so that the customer could, could easily compare the difference between those four codes and decide which one they wanted to buy based on whatever their needs were. A. So the variety was very important there and the centimeter size. So that kind of took it to the next level. And we said, well, we need, they need to see the origin as well because an Ecuadorian rose is different than a Colombian rose

John Burk - 09:18 - Or Costa Rican lily is different than a California lily or Dutch. Uh, same thing with peonies. He said, you know, the list goes on about the different, how origin can affect the product. So, so we felt that it was important to at least display the origin as well and where that product comes from. And then a step further is the grower as well. So in some cases we can list different Skus but by growers. So, so you would know if you, if you happen to like a certain grower over another, you could order that Sku every time and get exactly that grower each time. So we feel that it's important to offer all those options to our customers. But like I said, it all started with that, with when we set it up, when we set up these products and it allowed us to say, well we need the space and our coolers to be able to have different pick facings for all of those different Sku by, by variety, by origin, by grower.

John Burk - 10:15 - Um, so that allowed us to scale over time and make sure that we were built to have five different facings or, or space in our cooler for those five different growers or three different origins of that stuff that different or the same item. That makes sense so far.

Kelly Perry - 10:33 - Yeah, it absolutely does. It's very complex in some simple at the same time, which is what some beautiful about it and I love that the system allows people to sell a relatively consistent or a more consistent product. I think that that's really important and something that is helpful you, you kind of can when you know which farm it's coming from and all those different kinds of things, you have an idea of what to expect and I understand there's still some minor variances, but it's just interesting because even two types of the same rose grown into different farm are a little bit different. The size is different and all those kinds of things. So I think that that's really helpful. And then just even to have the, to understand the price and how that's attached to it, and to have that option on the front end is, is really powerful to me as somebody who would be purchasing flowers. I really appreciate that a lot.

John Burk - 11:29 - Yeah, absolutely. There's, there's other customers too. I know Kelly Shore from Petals by the Shore. She's a great example of somebody who who loves American grown flowers and she loves that she can go on our website and look for just the American grown flowers. You don't want the same would go for anybody that loves a certain farm, but. But that. That option's there is they want it. Yes.

Kelly Perry - 11:52 - Financial support for the production of this podcast is brought to you by Team Flower's foundations for growing cut flowers online course. This class is designed to help you start your growing journey on solid footing. This class is perfect for beginners or those who have tried growing flowers before, but haven't been successful yet. People aren't born with a green thumb. It's something you have to cultivate in this class. You'll learn how to set up your space for seed germination and care will demonstrate planting and watering so you can be confident you're doing it just right. You'll be guided through an entire year in the life of a cut flower grower and Lauren tried and true principles to take the steps from seed to bloom and beyond. Whether you'd like to start a career in growing specialty, cut flowers, or would just like to look at beautiful blooms in your garden, you are welcome here. If you're ready to experience the magic of growing your own flowers, you can learn more today at teamflower.org/online.

Kelly Perry - 12:46 - I'm excited about seeing you guys at the American grown dinner in Nashville coming up here pretty soon. I'm not sure when this episode's going to air, but regardless, the dinners take place, um, you know, all year and if it's something that you're interested in, you can check into it. But the American grown council host these really fun dinners, face dinners, and we're headed down. It's just a total celebration of American flowers and they're doing really great things in labeling flowers and helping us to have that piece, so it's kind of cool because something that you can use in your marketing if you want to head in that direction or maybe you're doing a pop up shop or something and you want to use all American grown, this is a way that it's easy for you to find and source American grown product pretty much year round. Right? Right. John like you have.

John Burk - 13:40 - Absolutely. Yeah. We definitely are a big proponent of American grown. We do help sponsor that program as well. We like to be a part of that. We feel it's valuable and there's, there's plenty of designers out there who love and support it as well, so. So we're glad that we can participate in it. And as you said that the, the upcoming field to vase dinner in Nashville is wanting a couple of weeks, right? Three weeks. So that's really exciting. I'm looking forward to that. I'll actually be out to that one, so I'm looking forward to joining that. I know we've said we've had other people at the other dinners as well and they have nothing but wonderful things to say about it, so there shouldn't be a really good opportunity looking forward to it.

Kelly Perry - 14:20 - Let's circle back real quick to the whole, um, kind of ordering process. So there's the website piece of it, but then I, I know I have a sales rep as well. Can you sort of elaborate a little bit on the ordering process and kind of what different, what the best path would be in, in picking your product and those kinds of things based on different needs that you might have because I also know you can order far in advance. You can order the before, like there's a lot of options with the way that you guys have set your business up and just wondering like what would be best for pricing and you know, just kind of some pros and cons of those, those different things with the ordering?

John Burk - 15:07 - Yeah, absolutely. Our sales team, we have already 80 sales reps and sometimes we don't like to call them sales reps or sales associates. We like to think of them more as consultants, so. So yes, there, there on your team and. And one thing that we do offer, we have a lot of programs so we do have, we have a year round standing order program. We have a seasonal standing order program that could be for fall or spring. We have free books for Christmas now that we're offering or the grower direct program that I mentioned. There, There's so many programs that we offer it and you can order up until 5:00 PM today for early morning delivery tomorrow. So. So you can order now. You can place your advanced auto now for an event you have coming up in the middle of October. So. So those sales consultants are, they're, they're, they're on your side that they, they've, a lot of them have been here. I've been here 18 years and I'm the baby. The lot of them have been here 20, 30 years.

John Burk - 16:03 - So they know the industry, they know the business, they know the flowers and, and they're, they're helping you guide you the whole time and they can point you in the right direction if they think you'd prefer this farm or that farm. So that's, that's probably the most beneficial way to go is to, to, to use your sales consultant as your tool that they are there to help you. They're there to help you shop, help guide you.

Kelly Perry - 16:27 - Oh, I was just. Would you recommend like whenever you start that relationship, like sharing your business plan and what you do and who you serve and your calendar and then kind of asking for program recommendations based on that and kind of coming into it maybe a little bit more with what your priorities would be and, and those kinds of things. Um, I feel like sometimes it's hard to know what to ask your sales, your consultant because you're not a hundred percent sure how it works behind the scenes, which is one of the reasons why I really wanted to have you guys on today to help us understand, um, that different side of it. And kind of what's going on over there so that we're more educated and informed about the kinds of questions that we can ask or that we should ask or what's available to us because it's busy and things move quick and sometimes we can be a little bit shy. So

John Burk - 17:26 - Sure. I mean that makes sense. And like I said that there they're a great resource for the designer or the business owner because they can help guide you with, with any questions you have or maybe questions you don't know. So, so you may think that maybe you get a lot of walk in and you'd like to create maybe simple arrangement, so certain with certain flowers and, and, and you prefer certain flowers or the other, maybe you like how they open a, maybe they opened quicker, where they look better or they show better or you're an event designer and you like more high end stuff. Well they can help guide you into what works best with your business. So. So we talk about the programs. Well, we have a, uh, an online Dutch program as well that's custom ordering. So there's a lot of event customers that we have who liked Dutch product, they don't need boxes of things, have it, they know exactly what they want so the sales rep can also help build that order for them from Holland.

John Burk - 18:25 - So, so they could place that order and they could say, I don't know, you need 10, 10 stems of this 10 stems of that 20 stems of this item and they can custom make that box for you direct from Holland. So that product would come in here and then they would consolidate that with the standing order that you have or any open market item, let's say a roses or whatever grower direct product you have a. We would all consolidate that. It can definitely help guide you with your business plan and what works well with your business based on whether that's pricing or quality or origin. But they can help and they have access to the, the buyers here as well. So. So all of them have direct access to the buyers and they can work with the buyers. So for instance, we have an event division who focuses strictly on event designers and they can, these sales reps can work directly with. We have a specific buyer for that as well. So they can go to him and they can say, listen, I need customer, the customer has an event coming up, I need these specific items for that event and he will go source that product director for that. It's strictly for that event.

John Burk - 19:32 - So. So I think all of those tools are there to help. And like I said, the sales reps have been here for a long time. They've dealt with many different customer types so some of them have small brick and mortar retail florists to large, large retail florists that have multiple locations. Or like I said, we also have that event division that if you're strictly events we can assign you a sales associate that will work with you just for events. So. So. So a lot of them have been through all this before and they can help guide what, whatever way that you want to go or just maybe talk about things and try to figure out what's best over time.

Kelly Perry - 20:14 - Yeah, absolutely. There really is. I feel like there's so much potential for variations in business plans whenever we really understand what kind of products are on the market, a couple layers below maybe what we've experienced so far. So if we're like, oh, this is a really beautiful flower but it and it is relatively inexpensive and I could offer this whole product line with this collection of flowers over here that serves a different client that could help my business grow in direction are over here. So that's something that I just wanted to just quickly touch on. If you're listening today and you're thinking about, well who do I serve? Or maybe if you feel like, oh, the price of flowers is just going up and up and I'm not sure how to pivot or scale or move my business around. Like these are really great questions that you can ask people who really have a great pulse on that supply chain aspect of it so that you can shift and pivot and that you can weather out and get your profit margins, all those kinds of things where they need to be.

Kelly Perry - 21:21 - So we're going to do that. If you happen to be an event designer or a florist that's listening today in you would like to start relationship with DVFlora, like let's do this, let's share business plan and share the calendar and ask for recommendations and put together some of our favorite types of flowers. Like let's, let's share what we love and what we don't like and really be open about that so that we can get so that we can close some of those communication gaps in some of that not knowing and just asking those questions is, is the only way that we can get educated and move forward. So anyway, it's sometimes if you're brand new year, a little bit, a little bit shy to ask or just not quite sure. So I hope that this conversation is something that will be really helpful to people who are brand new and to have even been in it for a long time.

Kelly Perry - 22:16 - Maybe you didn't know that it was possible to order direct from Holland or some of these other things are that you had an option for if there is an emergency and you needed something to be there overnight next day or something like that. So I think that that's really fun. Another program that you guys have that I thought might be fun to chat about is the DV crush program. So tell us a little bit about what it is and how it works and who can participate if you don't mind.

John Burk - 22:45 - Sure, yeah, absolutely. That is definitely an exciting program that we launched back in March. Uh, so the way it worked was we have the, the lady that oversees our event division, Lisa, she came to me and she said, John, I have this new product and I believe it was Japanese product at the time. And I don't know if you've ever seen Japanese product, but it is amazing and to be honest, it's expensive and some people say, I don't want to, I don't want to spend that much money on sweet peas or whatever it may be. So the idea was, well, let's take some of this product and let's send it to customers, let's send it to these designers and, and let them design with it. And uh, so they can experience it and maybe they share it with, with their customers as well, and other people see it. Then they get a feel for what it looks like and how it performs and can provide more information about these items. So I said it's a fantastic idea.

John Burk - 23:40 - I love it, but it's going to grow when people start to see that they're designing with these, with these wonderful items that we're sending them. Other people are gonna want to participate. So we said, all right, let's build a strategy around. So we coined it DV crush. And the way it works is essentially every month we send out 10, what we call surprise boxes of product to different customers. Every month and then in there there's a little postcard that says thank you for participating and it includes the rules which are very simple, create something using your imagination and share it on social media. So so far the participation has been overwhelming. And in fact in July, since it was American flowers month, we thought what better way to celebrate than use DV crush with all certified American grown products. So it was really neat. So we worked with several of our farm partners who are certified American grown.

John Burk - 24:33 - They send us, we kind of talked to the farms and we said, hey, send us, send us what you think is good, so send us, send us nice stuff. Maybe it doesn't get the attention you think it deserves, maybe it's new, colorful texture, send us, send us whatever you got. And they blew us away. So for three weeks in July they sent us the most amazing product, color, texture. I mean everything was in there. So. So for three weeks we sent out 10 boxes each week to different customers. And again, inside was a little postcard that says thank you for participating American grown flowers month, DV crush. And then we told them to create something and, and again, the participation with that was overwhelming as well. I mean the designers completely blew us away with those designs. So it was really fascinating. It was overwhelming too because we sent out, it was 30 different designs that were created out of this and, and all of them were amazing.

John Burk - 25:30 - So. So we're still trying to process that now in September, but what it was definitely worth it and it, and it was amazing. So the one really neat thing about it, it Kinda like I said earlier, let's them test new products out, so maybe something that they wouldn't buy before they get to try it out and it sparks some creativity out of them and it helps their social media engagement as well. So, so there's, there's a lot of businesses out there that still don't, are still having adapted to Instagram or Facebook or social media in general. So this kind of, it helps them, it provides them with content and something to do two posts to get there, let's say consumers involved as well with their business. So. So it in turn it helps them as well. And that's, I think that's ultimately what would I like to see out of it is we had a customer who never had an Instagram account, so they end up because of this program, they set one up, they started to post pictures. So yeah. So we feel that that was very important. Yeah.

Kelly Perry - 26:28 - Financial support for the production of this podcast is brought to you by team flowers, creating inspired designs. The fast track online class designed to set you free in your work with flowers. Nurturing creativity in our lives is important. Designing that our clients love and network excited about is important too. If you've ever experienced that tension between what you'd like to create, what your client needs, this class will help together. We'll go on a journey and creative expression. We'll explore a personal design philosophies. Learn how to break out of creative breathes and step out from under the weight of perfectionism will cover both client and personal arrangements and learn techniques for bridging the gaps between these two types of work. If you're ready to get back to creating from a place of joy and inspiration, you can learn more at teamflower.org/online.

Kelly Perry - 27:20 - It's interesting how those, how different types of initiatives have these fun sort of unrelated or probably you didn't maybe expect when you started the program for that to be the start of somebody's Instagram account. But I love how there's kind of those side things that can pop up sometimes too.

John Burk - 27:41 - Sure. We also did a, um, we called it DV crush for a cause. So we worked with one of our designers in New York City, so we sent, we sent him and I believe it was 10 designers, surprise boxes to each designer and then they, they picked a charity of choice. So they created their designs. We created a whole webpage on a nice marketing campaign and we allowed people to vote on which one they thought was the best design. And then we donated to that charity, so it was fun. Yeah. So, so more ways that we can help build it and we have some good ideas coming up to a. that's just gonna help give it more.

Kelly Perry - 28:22 - One thing that I really appreciate about your company is that there is this very, there's a hallmark of this win-win thinking all the way around that it works and it's efficient on everyone's and there's always that kind of mentality of like how can we do it, how can we do this in a cleaner way or in a more efficient way and that it can reach and that it can touch and you know, all of these things in more ways. And I think that that's something that, that really resonates with me about what you guys do. And that's a great example. That's a great example of it. Yeah.

John Burk - 29:01 - Thank you. Yeah, we definitely, we definitely feel that the way I look at it from my perspective is we want our customers to succeed. We want to provide them with all the tools necessary to succeed and you know, and whether that ultimately generates in business for us, uh, you know, I don't know, but as long as they're succeeding, I think that's good for the industry as a whole. So what we want, we want consumers to think about, well, we want them to buy more flowers. We want them to be involved more and see the beauty of it. So however we can provide to the customers for them to provide their customers, I think, you know, it just adds more to it and it helps everybody win.

Kelly Perry - 29:38 - Yeah, absolutely. So with the, with the crush program, you can just register for it online, right? John?

John Burk - 29:45 - Yes, that's correct. Yeah. So, so on our website, a dvflora.com, there's a link at the top to the DV crush page. We just have a small form on there for your name. If you're a customer, they'd put in their customer code that we can identify in our system. And then just the short little synopsis of why they want to participate. You know, we want people who are excited about it, who are gonna make the most of it and do something with it, which, which is ultimately what it's about. So yeah, so it's, it's pretty easy and, and we're looking for participants and it's fun.

Kelly Perry - 30:18 - Tell us what some of the, I think you guys have a Hashtag for the program. If people wanted to see like the past designs that you've mentioned. What is that?

John Burk - 30:27 - Yes, absolutely. So, so the Hashtag is simply DV crush a DV crush and those. We also created a separate Instagram account for it too. It's just the handle is @dvcrush where we repost some of those designs so, so the audience can see there as well or they can follow along the hashtag. Yes.

Kelly Perry - 30:47 - Awesome. And speaking of Instagram, you are a part of the team, if not perhaps the person who puts together the Instagram feed for DVFlora, is that correct?

John Burk - 30:58 - That's correct. That's correct. Yeah. I have a small team that helps. Um, we kind of work together.

Kelly Perry - 31:04 - We talked about it a little bit. I was actually up at DVFlora in July after the slow flowers conference. I met a couple of your colleagues, John, and they said anytime that you're nearby pop over, and I happened to have another little loop of my trip that I was taking in. Jesse was giggling and he said, Oh, there were only 20 minutes from here. We need to pop over. So we showed up brother unannounced, but they were so gracious and took us to where I met John and we got to see in pop through the facility and all those kinds of things. Very sophisticated and really cool, but we also. John and I started talking about Instagram a little bit, whatever we were there and kind of like what we felt like was working and helpful and I thought it was interesting. We had both kind of realized something similar that we talked about that I thought might be fun to share, but posting things that are particular customers really care about as opposed to having so much focus on the actual visual of it and where the energy goes for that. Do you wanna elaborate a little bit on your end John, about your process with that? And I can on mine as well. Yeah.

John Burk - 32:14 - Yeah, absolutely. And I think you hit the nail on the head, um, for the longest time we struggled and we, we want to do lifestyle pictures and we want to show this beauty of the product being used in an arrangement or, or you know, maybe that arrangements at someone's house to show more of those environmental pictures. And we realized that that didn't work. That's not what our customers wanted. That's not what our followers one. Uh, so, so we quickly realized that as a B2B or our followers, the true followers, the poor want to see the product, they want to see what we have, what we're offering, what's new, um, and, and the times they don't care if it's, they don't care if it's open. They, they sometimes want to see what the product's gonna look like when they're going to get it in their store. That seems to be what works for us. And, and so we try to build that and we try to mix in some other stuff here. And there just to keep the engagement going, but for the most part it's, it's, it's customers and followers want to see the product that we have.

Kelly Perry - 33:17 - Yeah. I think it's so interesting

John Burk - 33:21 - And that's a struggle.

Kelly Perry - 33:22 - Yeah. There are times.

John Burk - 33:23 - It is, it can be, it can be frustrating at times.

Kelly Perry - 33:26 - Yeah, it is. It's hard to know. Instagram is kind of like a little bit of like a pattern recognition piece, kind of scrolling back through and seeing what is really resonating with people and what are people commenting on and different things like that in and simply doing more of that, more of those things that are resonating and are really ringing true for people. So I feel the same way about it. I for a long time really was like oh I have to get the color right so that whenever it scrolls and there has to be just the right amount of negative space in here and you know as visual people there can be such a big emphasis on that that we forget about the people that are reading it or that we're serving. And I feel like the same thing can be true and in products and things like that, at the end of the day, I forget, I think it was Gordon Ramsey had some type of TV program about hotels that were like horrible and he would travel to them and like, oh they're better.

Kelly Perry - 34:27 - And it has always stuck with me something, something that was said on that program about who is the most important person in your business and it's the customer is not the person who's running it. And so it seems simple, but it's, it's the values of the customer and there has to be that nice overlap of the values of the company overlapping with the values of the customer. Right. But just like we can emphasize different things because we think they might be important, but asking that question of is it actually important to my customer? And if it's not, then we're, we're just kind of spending time on something that doesn't matter a whole lot.

John Burk - 35:13 - To some extent it is, it is wasted energy. Yeah. You're just, you're wasting energy. So to some extent. Sure. And, and I mean you mentioned that about the customers, but for us when you have so many sales associates, part of this caters to them as well because they're talking to customers so, so if they can see what we're sharing and they can relay that message to those customers that maybe aren't looking, aren't following. So, so it kinda has two folds to it as well. That's, that's definitely very important for us to include our sales associates on that message.

Kelly Perry - 35:46 - And also kind of unrelated specifically to our conversation, but something I was just noticing on Instagram with accounts that are newer that I think is really interesting is the engagement level and the commenting on them being pretty significantly higher than accounts that have been around for a long time or that have a lot of followers or different things like that. And so there is also a lot of emphasis placed on like how many people are on the account or whatever. But I think what's really powerful is when people are interacting with the account and they're having that true connection piece with it, that they're finding it useful or whatever. So anyway, I thought that was really interesting and I'm just those conversations that can, can take place there. So anyway,

John Burk - 36:38 - Yeah, it's definitely, that's definitely important and we start to see the value of that, the, that, the commenting, replying is very important and all that is going to help that algorithm, which bless anyone who can figure that out. There's something crazy about it. But um, uh, yeah, and it can drive you nuts sometimes but, but you have to, as somebody who manages it, but whether that's, you know, somebody's listening now, um, or maybe somebody that knows this but, but always pay attention to those things. Always pay attention to when you go into your feed, whoever's going to pop up first in your feet is who you engage with the most. So the same thing goes for your business, the business account, so, so you need to start engaging with people more and then, and then that's your stuff is going to appear higher in their feet as well. So it's just take note of that stuff as you look at it and trying to realize how things are working, how things are showing up when they show up.

John Burk - 37:37 - Do you see things phase later or do you see things right away? I think all that so important to follow subconsciously, I guess to try to think about it consciously and figure out how things are working with times. Right? When's the best time to go on, when's the best time to post all that stuff plays a very important role in.

Kelly Perry - 37:56 - I think it's, I think it's interesting too, like if you want to, you, if you want to use Instagram as a way to grow your business or whatever, you have to show up and participate. Um, and you just, you just touched on that and I just wanted to go back to that a second. You can't expect, um, the comments to start rolling in on your page if you aren't commenting and you aren't engaging with other people. So it really is one of those things that it takes, um, it takes engagement on both sides and it takes awhile to kind of get the train rolling, but I think that's such a powerful habit if you are wanting, if you are wanting to grow it and use that as something in your business and it's not, they may not be the thing that every business needs or the way that every business functions, but if it is something that you want to do, I think that participation factor is really, really key. So

John Burk - 38:53 - I agree completely. Absolutely.

Kelly Perry - 38:55 - So, um, what are some ways, actually just before we close, just thinking like what are some ways, some tangible ways that you think people could participate in Instagram? Of course you can go in and you can comment on somebody's feed or you know, like something. But if they want it to be strategic about it. Do you have any, give any thoughts or just really maybe any little Instagram tip at all before we sign off here today that you think might be helpful to somebody who maybe is like that person who just sat there, maybe just that, their Instagram account last week or who is, um, you know, just feels like they've stalled out a little bit.

John Burk - 39:38 - Yeah, I think a couple of points. I would say one of the bird is is timing. I mean look the sea when the best. When you think the best time is that you get engagement. I know, I know for business accounts will provide, it'll provide the user with some data on when, what times your followers are, are looking at is the gram, so kind of follow that as best you can. It's not going to always be an exact science, but I think most importantly is create some kind of personal connection with your followers. I think, and that's, this is my opinion. I think people want to see who you are, how your business is run, what you do, maybe a little glimpse into your family life. It just creates that connection with those followers and I and I, I think it will allow them to comment more and then build that engagement a little bit. So again, to that other point is, is make sure that you are, you're commenting or replying to people when they say something on your post or they send you a message, make sure that you reply to them and answer whatever questions they have. So, so I think those three things are important at the time. I think create a personal connection and an engagement are our three key factors.

Kelly Perry - 40:49 - Yeah, absolutely. Be human, be normal.

John Burk - 40:52 - Yes, exactly. Exactly.

Kelly Perry - 40:53 - Pretend you're in a party in the room. Whenever I've in there. You didn't here. Not to say say not today. Is there anything? Anything else you might like to share with listeners and we'll make sure that we have a way for everyone to connect with you guys in the show notes on the website, so if you're wanting to connect with DV, we'll put all of those things over there, but the website just real quick, I guess we could just sort of say that what, where would people go if they wanted to hop on your site and your Instagram account?

John Burk - 41:28 - They could find us online at dvflora.com, all one word, and our Instagram handle is @dvflora as well. We're pretty simple.

Kelly Perry - 41:38 - And anything else and I didn't. I didn't leave a space for you.

John Burk - 41:45 - Yeah. I thought this was very good and I appreciate you having me on and allowing me to, you know, to talk and, and hopefully some of the followers can get something out of it. I appreciate it that very much.

Kelly Perry - 41:56 - Well, it's been great to have you today. Thank you so much for hopping on and sharing a little bit about your world.

John Burk - 42:01 - Yes. Thank you again.

Kelly Perry - 42:02 - If you enjoyed today's episode of the Team Flower podcast, would you help us by leaving a rating and review the more ratings and reviews, the easier it is for other flower lovers to find the podcast. Thanks for being a part of Team Flower in helping us build this dream together for so grateful.

Making Transitions Successfully with Myca Sturtevant