Marketing ?????

Business By CreativeGirl220 Updated 3 Sep 2008 , 3:20am by Cakery

CreativeGirl220 Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 3:51am
post #1 of 17

I was told a way to put yourself out there is to make free cakes for ppl like say a office. Well I've done that before but its never gotten me any where. The way I feel about it is that alot of ppl are all about Free Free Free. So I want to know when doing a free cake, how do you know where to give it to but yet know making the cake wasn't a waste of time that you will get a customer or customers? I work on a military base so I know I have some type of advantage but I don't know any soldiers like that. I wanna make a cake and bring it to say a soldiers job and I hear very few wives/decoraters do that but I think how can I do that if I don't know a soldier like that. Plus there's a big soliciting rule on base but I feel like whose gonna turn down free food.

16 replies
kookyfaery Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 4:26am
post #2 of 17

One thing you can do is but donate them charities, golf tournaments, benifits, etc. If you donate them to events it shows that 1)You are interested in what ever event it is 2)it's free advertising, and 3) all those people that had the money to pay for the dinner, round of golf, what ever, they need cakes too. So you have to be there, serve the cake, mingle and talk and network. A lot of times there are business owners there and people with money who will need cakes for this that or the other.

tiersfromheaven Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 11:03am
post #3 of 17

A few people on the board take samples to local florists, photoghraphers and others in the wedding industry. My husband works in a federal building and today he is tasked with finding out if I can market there. People are always getting cakes for birthdays, retirements and the like.

I don't know if I would give samples to charities, as then they would expect donations, but maybe if you give a sample with a business card with a note written on back stating a special discount for charity events. So they know not to expect a full donation. javascript:emoticon('icon_wink.gif')

Schools or daycares would be a good place for cake truffles. But just ask if they will accept them as a gift and place them in the teachers lounge. Again, a special discount for school related events. Just so people know that for private events, full price is expected.

Maybe suggest a certain percent off after so many orders or on orders over a certain amount.

costumeczar Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 11:52am
post #4 of 17

One of my chef instructors told us to never do anything for free and expect to get any business from it, and I have to agree. If you donate a cake and you're not there, people aren't going to care who made it, they're just going to eat it and move on.

I think that the better strategy is the one where you give sample cakes to other wedding professionals who are in the position to refer people to you. Word of mouth is the best referral system, but you have to get to know the people you're referring clients to and being referred from. Personally, I don't donate anything unless I want to, not because I expect to get business from it.

courtney1009 Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 6:52pm
post #5 of 17

I have given away TONS of cake and it's got me 1 order.... well actually 2 but it was the same person who ordered a different cake. The funny thing is is that when I gave these cakes away I got comments like "I've never had a cake this good before" or "I don't even like cake and I ate three pieces it was so good". Yet when it comes to coughing up the money they never do. So now I am out of the freebie business and onto figuring out something different.

ccr03 Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 7:40pm
post #6 of 17

I'd be careful with giving to charities. My sister's company has about 2-3 places they'll donate too, but they get HIT UP ALL THE TIME!! And like just recently she got hit up for promo exchange from teh radio station. SHe said no - they already reached their limit on that.

step0nmi Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 7:53pm
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by courtney1009

I have given away TONS of cake and it's got me 1 order.... well actually 2 but it was the same person who ordered a different cake. The funny thing is is that when I gave these cakes away I got comments like "I've never had a cake this good before" or "I don't even like cake and I ate three pieces it was so good". Yet when it comes to coughing up the money they never do. So now I am out of the freebie business and onto figuring out something different.




DITTO!

the only problem with schools though (and I don't know if this is every where) is that some schools don't allow home baked good anymore. I know the schools in my area you are only allowed to bring pre-packaged items for any events and birthdays...it's kind of strange but you really do need to ask.

Bzer Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 7:59pm
post #8 of 17

I also agree...everyone wants it for free... but ,as soon as you say, I'm charging...well, they make you feel like your stealing from them. Makes me just want to quit.

ccr03 Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 8:07pm
post #9 of 17

Bzer - you are exactly right!!

This particular radio station was telling my sister exactly what they wanted (a VIP tent area) and when my sister told them, 'okay, it'll be such and such' she responded, 'oh, we wanted to do an exchange for ads.' My sister stopped her dead in her tracks and said they have already reached their limit. The radio rep was so surprised! She said she'd have to check with her boss and get back with my sister - she never called back.

indydebi Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 11:24pm
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

One of my chef instructors told us to never do anything for free and expect to get any business from it, and I have to agree. If you donate a cake and you're not there, people aren't going to care who made it, they're just going to eat it and move on.

I think that the better strategy is the one where you give sample cakes to other wedding professionals who are in the position to refer people to you. Word of mouth is the best referral system, but you have to get to know the people you're referring clients to and being referred from. Personally, I don't donate anything unless I want to, not because I expect to get business from it.




I ditto this entire post!!

snarkybaker Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 11:31pm
post #11 of 17

Just my experience, but the people who ask for free cake, and the people who are willing to buy expensive cake don't hang out at the same parties.

You can get some good exposure giving away cake, but YOU need to choose the recipient.
Donate themed cupcakes to the cast party for the school play at the most expensive private school in town.

Donate a fancy cake to the ribbon cutting for the chamber of commerce.

Take a pretty little box of cupcakes to the event planner of every fancy hotel in town.

Don't expect to get any marketing value from:

service organizations with a very small demographic, public school fundraisers, or most church functions. Donate if it speak to your heart, but market with your head.

michellenj Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 11:47pm
post #12 of 17

If I was going to give away free cake, I'd find out which venues allow people to bring in their own cakes, and give the sales department a free cake/cupcakes/platter. Every place that I've worked that allows outside has talked up the caker who did that. Try to do it during a slow time, like Jan/Feb, and leave your cards and promotional info with them. Many times, people will pla a party and want a special occasion cake, and will be too lazy to investigate, and will just ask their salesperson who to call.

CreativeGirl220 Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 11:55pm
post #13 of 17

I heard the same thing about you can't bring home-made food to school parties or events because you may poison the kids or something along that line. But I've worked in a bakery and I've seen things from food falling on the floor, to ppl eating out of the icing bucket. etc Buying 4rm the store isn't 100% food safe, even though you may think it is. My sister went to Le Cordon Bleu and said the same thing. I did a free cake for an event two times. On both occasions they both brought those out of the freezer cakes from a bakery and it wasn't even all that either decoration wise. I haven't done one since Easter of this year for an event b/c that said to me you doubted what I could do and it made me kind of mad. I feel like ppl around my area our cheap. My teacher did say trying to sale out of the ordinary cakes in a small town, you won't get any where but in a city you will. Looks like she was right.

step0nmi Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 12:01am
post #14 of 17

actually CreativeGirl...the reason here for not bringing in home baked goods is because of all the nut allergies they kids are having now days. They believe that because the pre-packaged goods have the label on them that they are 'more safe" it's a silly way to look at it if you ask me...but it is what it is!

and yes...being in a small town doesn't help with marketing...you really have to know who to talk to in order to get some good marketing going on. and yes...during the slow seasons is when to speak with someone! icon_smile.gif

Cakery Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 12:35am
post #15 of 17

As many have shared already.....sometimes the "freebie" rule will work and other times it won't. I have been taking leftover cake batter....making it into cupcakes.....I don't make them super fancy....just my normal frosting....some sprinkles, etc....and I drop them off to every bank in my town....which happens to be about 10 now. I don't every month....but when I have extra batter....I do it on a rotation bases. Let me tell you....it works! In the last 2 years....I have gotten 15 wedding cake orders....from just bank employees. Now....I have 4 of the banks who orders each month for their monthly birthday cakes. This does not include all the other orders I have gotten for birthday, wedding and baby showers for their office parties or holiday cakes.....and I took the idea to our City Hall....now they are ordering cakes as well....and I have 2 local business's who are ordering monthly cakes. All because I drop off cupcakes now and then. They don't get them each month....but to me....a dozen cupcakes that I had on hand....has brought in some serious money for my shop.

BitsnBites Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 2:05am
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakery

As many have shared already.....sometimes the "freebie" rule will work and other times it won't. I have been taking leftover cake batter....making it into cupcakes.....I don't make them super fancy....just my normal frosting....some sprinkles, etc....and I drop them off to every bank in my town....which happens to be about 10 now. I don't every month....but when I have extra batter....I do it on a rotation bases. Let me tell you....it works! In the last 2 years....I have gotten 15 wedding cake orders....from just bank employees. Now....I have 4 of the banks who orders each month for their monthly birthday cakes. This does not include all the other orders I have gotten for birthday, wedding and baby showers for their office parties or holiday cakes.....and I took the idea to our City Hall....now they are ordering cakes as well....and I have 2 local business's who are ordering monthly cakes. All because I drop off cupcakes now and then. They don't get them each month....but to me....a dozen cupcakes that I had on hand....has brought in some serious money for my shop.



Cakery, who do you give the cupcakes to? Do you give them to HR or leave them with the receptionist? Or someone else?

Cakery Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 3:20am
post #17 of 17

A couple of the banks.....I just leave them with the person who is at the Customer Service desk....telling them compliments from Diane's Cakery for the break room. Then most of the other banks....know me so well....I just take and hand them to one of the teller's.....and they take them to their break room. I make sure my business card is on every container of cupcakes too. Like I said....I've been doing this for a little over 2 years now. But it's worked very well for me. I also have 3 doctor's offices added to my monthly birthday cakes....and a couple local business's. So it adds up with "standing monthly orders".....each month on top of my regular cake orders.

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