Marketing?

Business By Rhienn Updated 20 Apr 2008 , 2:50am by momsandraven

Rhienn Posted 14 Apr 2008 , 4:02pm
post #1 of 20

So - I'm just starting out and I've gotten rave reviews on every job I've done... but I really need to book more jobs. I'm getting referrals, but just not enough.
I'm doing google adwords.
I'm doing tons of promo activity at mom's groups, women's events, corporate meetings, etc.


Any other ideas? What did you seasoned pros do to really ramp up your business? I'd love to book a few weddings this summer.

19 replies
indydebi Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 12:40am
post #2 of 20

I'd talk to some wedding planners. Since it looks like you do ONLY cupcakes (and I did see that you do side cakes, too), that kinda narrows down the percentage of weddings you'll get. So I'd find out from wedding planners how many weddings (out of 10 or out of 25) are cupcake wedding cakes. That will at least give you an idea of the market out there.

Pound the pavement with your box of 4 or 6 sample cupcakes to area businesses. Join a networking group (or 2 or 3) to make connections with HR people and corporate trainers (who are usually in charge of company christmas parties, trainings where meals are needed, employee appreciation days); florists and others in the wedding business. I belong to 2 networking groups ... only joined in the past few weeks/months ... and I dont' know how I ever survived without these groups. Plus they are really really fun!

Mike1394 Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 10:39am
post #3 of 20

You want cheap marketing. Do you have a fax machine? Get together a promotional letter introducing yourself. Go to your yellow pages.com look up a target audience icon_cool.gif start faxing your letters.

Mike

MichelleM77 Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 12:07pm
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

You want cheap marketing. Do you have a fax machine? Get together a promotional letter introducing yourself. Go to your yellow pages.com look up a target audience icon_cool.gif start faxing your letters.

Mike




Are you serious? I would never pay attention to spam that came through my fax. icon_eek.gif When I worked in a hospital, we got tons of it every day. I think it should be illegal since it's wasting my paper and ink, and I had no choice but to let it come through the fax machine. Junk mail/email is different....someone else paid for the paper/stamp and I can just toss it along with hitting the delete button on my email. icon_wink.gif

ccr03 Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 1:17pm
post #5 of 20

I'd have to agree with MichelleM77 on the faxes. I screen the fax here at work and toss any junk/unsolicited one.

MichelleM77 Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 1:20pm
post #6 of 20

.......I re-read my post and hope it doesn't come across as too "harsh." The "are you serious" part should be read while thinking of me with a half smile/smirk, not a nasty "what are you thinking" kind of look.

Hippiemama Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 1:39pm
post #7 of 20

I agree ~ do NOT do the junk faxes! I hate when people clog my fax with junk! I fax back or call to tell them to take me off of their list!

Mike1394 Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 2:10pm
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleM77

.......I re-read my post and hope it doesn't come across as too "harsh." The "are you serious" part should be read while thinking of me with a half smile/smirk, not a nasty "what are you thinking" kind of look.




Didn't sound harsh at all. It is a very cheap way, and lucrative way to advertise though. I own another business. I looked up fax#s from different businesses I wanted to target. I sent out faxes, and picked up three new customers. The reason the other faxes are getting unwanted faxes is that it does work. Even though yopu might toss them out, you have to look at them first. What's your first word to a salesman, no thanks. That's my usual first reply. With a piece of paper you have to look at it. If you a lovely occasion/wedding cake on it. Your going to look even harder.

Mike

indydebi Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 2:25pm
post #9 of 20

A fax MIGHT work if you call the place to find out "Who would I send this information to?" and put a person's name on it.

But I'm wiht everyone else....advertising faxes usually go right in the trash.

Rhienn Posted 15 Apr 2008 , 6:10pm
post #10 of 20

Thanks for the advice! I don't think I'll do faxes, but HAVE been emailing everyone I know.

Networking groups are a great idea. I wish I could get a hold of every executive assistant in the city - they're the ones with the real power. icon_lol.gif

I'm thinking about doing a small run of 1/2 price deals advertising on the radio. You just supply a certain number of gift certificates good for a face value of $XX and they sell them to their listeners for half price. You get your name out there, the radio station gets the money for the certificates and the listeners/clients get half price cupcakes. Anyone tried this? Most radio stations (I used to work in radio - now I work at the local paper) have this program.

indydebi Posted 16 Apr 2008 , 3:47am
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhienn

Networking groups are a great idea. I wish I could get a hold of every executive assistant in the city - they're the ones with the real power. icon_lol.gif




Ain't it the truth!! Excuse me if I show my age by using the term "secretary" but I knew a guy who was a crack salesman. He said he NEVER tried to schmooze "The Big Guy" at a company. He made sure he treated all the secretaries right. "Because if I can't get past the secretary, I'm going nowhere!"

Do you have a local chapter of Adminstrative Professionals in your area? http://www.iaap-hq.org/ That's where all of the Exec Admin's hang out!

apclassicwed Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 2:41pm
post #12 of 20

Hope I'm not too late, but there is an Administrative professionals week this month! My home calendar does not have it listed but you could go to the site Indydebi posted and get the info. That would be a great time to get in good with the Exc Assistants or let their bosses know they can order cupcakes for their assistant from you!

Update: Administrative professional's day is April 23,2008

ccr03 Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 9:29pm
post #13 of 20

As always, INdydebi is right!

I'm a receptionist and while we don't buy sweets and the such, if I get a good vibe from a vendor, I'll suggest using them and vice versa.

indydebi Posted 17 Apr 2008 , 11:57pm
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

////but I knew a guy who was a crack salesman.



Uh.... i just re-read this and for the record, I mean he was a "crackerjack!" salesman, as in "really good at his job" ... not that he sold crack! icon_lol.gificon_redface.gificon_lol.gificon_redface.gif

PieceofCakeAZ Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 12:51am
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

////but I knew a guy who was a crack salesman.


Uh.... i just re-read this and for the record, I mean he was a "crackerjack!" salesman, as in "really good at his job" ... not that he sold crack! icon_lol.gificon_redface.gificon_lol.gificon_redface.gif




Then you can ignore my email, it was for a friend anyway. icon_wink.gif

indydebi Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 12:56am
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by PieceofCakeAZ

Then you can ignore my email, it was for a friend anyway. icon_wink.gif




Gotcha! icon_wink.gificon_wink.gif

(ROFLMAO!!!)

ladyonzlake Posted 18 Apr 2008 , 1:21am
post #17 of 20

I would think cupcakes would be hard to sell unless you have a storefront but you could solicit to coffee shops (I'm from Seattle so they're everywhere).

I don't have as much business as I would like and I do mainly cakes but some of my on going marketing includes, sending "Thank you" notes, offering a "free" 1 year Anniversary cake to the bride and groom (so they remember you in a year), I also send out a reminder about the Anniversary cake 4 months before, email my past customers with monthly flavors and updated photos of my latest creations, and I offer a referral credit ( I got this from indydebi). People forget about you unless you keep their attention.

DaisyLisa17 Posted 20 Apr 2008 , 2:30am
post #18 of 20

Hey you know, crack salesmen may need cakes too!

LOL... too funny.

indydebi Posted 20 Apr 2008 , 2:47am
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyonzlake

....offering a "free" 1 year Anniversary cake to the bride and groom .....and I offer a referral credit



I just started doing the free anniv cake this year (thanks to the many CC'ers who promoted this idea!) and it is going over very well! Mothers luv the idea because they don't have to store the cake for a year! I make it sound really important by telling them "DON'T lose the certificate! You be sure to put it in your wedding book so you know where it is a year from now!"

The bride I had in yesterday for a sampling SUDDENLY remembered 3 of her friends who are getting married, when I reminded her of my referral program. The bride I had in today for a sampling came up with 2 names who she can give my card to, when I reminded her of the referral program.

momsandraven Posted 20 Apr 2008 , 2:50am
post #20 of 20

Just be careful of those radio/TV deals where you basically 'donate' gift certificates that the station sells for half of the face value. They typically are looking for very large quantities of these gift certificates in exchange for a mere mention of your name and maybe a link to your website from theirs.

My business neighbor did a deal like that a year ago, and they had to give 100 QTY $50 gift certificates- THAT IS $5000 WORTH OF RETAIL PRICE MERCHANDISE that they basically have to give away. They own a candy store, so $50 is a pretty significant amount! They curse the day they signed up for this program every time another one of those gift certificates shows up. Think L-O-N-G and hard before you do this! (This, of course, is merely my humble and unbiased opinion. icon_wink.gif )

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