Hi Ive just started up my own cake business, I have interest from a local newspaper about doing an advert in a wedding feature section! I havent done a wedding cake yet but want to eventually do this. Do you think its a good idea to put an advert in?? it will cost me though, or maybe if i get a website done first it will generate enough business that way?? help!
Do both! Get the website first. There are so many great services who can make help you with a site. You can creat a site in an hour! Super quick and easy! And you can put the web site address on your advert. So brides ready the advert can go look at your work and get more info.
Personally, I never got a lot of business with newspaper advertising. You'd be better off finding a glossy bridal guide that will be passed out at local wedding shows.
The professional association I belong to had a Q&A session with recently married brides, and NOT ONE said that they used the newspaper when planning their weddings. They all did use the internet, though.
You definitely need a website, get that going first.
I'd save the money and invest it in your website and I'd stay away from the free site builders. if you can. It makes a HUGE difference. It used to be that the face of your face was your face... you were the first thing that people came in contact with. But this has changed dramatically and now your website is the face of your business. Make sure that face doesn't look like you threw it toegther in an hour using a free service. You don't have to spend thousands on a custom site either. There are some great template sites out there that will run you a few hundred.
I used homestead.com, you can use the templates or start from a blank page. the prices a good too.
great thanks for all the advice!
Advertising in a newspaper is not a good investment for our industry. You want something that will provide numerous impressions (the number of times someone will see an ad), over and extended period of time. It takes AT LEAST SEVEN exposures before someone will take action.
Once the newspaper comes out, you will only get X amount of impressions, then it will be replaced by the next issue and your ad (and money) in the trash.
You best best is to do something that has a hyper-focus on your area.
hmm do you have any suggestions? Things like leafletting to party shops etc...??
I don't know. You have to do some research for your area to determine what's the better value for your money. Research everything.
For example, my Local online bridal guide is $1200. Local online with The Knot is $900. In this case the The Knot was better because it is more well know and has a better reach. Meaning more brides are familiar with The Knot versus the Local online guide. However, I had to do some researching in order to figure that out. Or I would have been out $1200.
be careful with The Knot and talk to people in your area who use them. Around here no one has much success with them and it's a gross waste of money. It also has a huge concentration of budget brides, so if you are not a budget caker (as I am not) it's not always a good idea to focus your advertising budget on budget brides.
I didn't have any luck with the Knot either, and they were really nasty when I told them I wanted to cancel. They came up with all kinds of "statistics" about how many hits were coming to my website from the Knot's site, and when I asked them to send me a hard copy of that they wouldn't. I knew it wasn't true because I can see my statistics on my website's control page.
Some people do have good luck with it, just check in your area before you sign up for a year with them. If you do want to try it, ask if you can do it for three months, then make sure you ask EVERYONE who calls you where they found out about you. If you're not getting any worthwhile traffic it's not worth paying the Knot for the ad.
A website is a given. You HAVE to have one of those. But a website isn't good enough anymore, you have to have a way to draw people - your target market - to your website.
But again, you HAVE to do the research for your area. I booked 90% of my weddings from the Knot last year. How do I know this? I asked the clients how they heard about me. The rest were from vendor referrals. The Knot (online only, no print) was also the only paid advertising that I did. So it definitely work, but some areas might be better than others.
That's why you absolutely have to do your market research and know the options available in your local area, and find the ones that best reach your ideal target market.
Also, advertising does not = marketing. Advertising is only ONE small piece of the marketing.