Some Advertizing Tips That Worked For Me..

Business By three_sets_of_twins Updated 2 Oct 2009 , 5:49am by FleurDeCake

three_sets_of_twins Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 2:27pm
post #1 of 40

Hello everyone.
I've been seeing a lot of questions about how to advertise and get the word out there, I thought I'd share some ideas that worked for me.

1- facebook. 90% of my clients came from there.

2- contact wedding planners, or even wedding shops (bridal gowns, salons, decor shops) wether in person/phone/FB. make a deal with them. Tell them if they reccomend you to brides and other people, that when you are asked about a good salon/dress shop/whatever you will reccomend them in turn.

3- Make an email advertizement. Talk yourself up, put some photos of what you do, then send it to everyone in your list (customers and friends) asking them to pass it on. Do this every few months.

4- Find someone in another business to help. I made friends online with a woman who owns a salon. I send her my email and she makes sure to send it to all her clients. I in turn, send my clients her email advertizement. (I always ask client if they want to be on mailing list)

5- this might cost a bit, but every few months I also send out an SMS advert asking ppl to check the website cos new items have been added.

6- offer someone a 5% discount for their next order for any customer who places an order and said that they were reffered to you by that person.

7-contact other party/wedding services. Tell them about your website. Tell them that if they are willing to link your site to theirs, you will do the same for them. That way anyone looking for say, a wedding dress, will see you there in a link and say "oh let me look at cake too", and vise versa.

8- put ads up (of youre legal) in local churches, supermarkets, etc.

9- this isnt really advertising, but a way to cut down costs. Anyone living in a town that has one of those little markets in it, (family run market) might approach them with this request, I have a mini market like that next to me, and I approched the owners telling them if they gave me a % off my purchaces, I would place a note on my site stating that all my ingredients used to bake my delicious cakes comes from XXXX market.

gotta go now, kids acting up! hope this helps someone!

39 replies
dsilvest Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 2:41pm
post #2 of 40

I have ads on Kijiji - it's free. At one time I had 4000 hits until someone hijacked my account and I lost everything. had to set the account up again, Now I am rebuilding the hits.

cylstrial Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 4:44pm
post #3 of 40

Those are some good idea's!

lozpa Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 6:57pm
post #4 of 40

have a few ideas, i have put together a portfolio and asked local business to purchase some add space for $50-200. per add. it was great for me to cut cost and a way to pay for my personal advertisements.

CakeRx Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 8:03pm
post #5 of 40

Yes, FACEBOOK! Here are some other things that have worked for me and built goodwill (which is how I keep my customers when other cakers have "sales" ! Ha!)

1. Every grading period, I email local schools announcing a free cupcake to students maintaining a grade average of 2.5 or better. Talk about an increase in traffic! The student has to present their report card. I record their info and birthday on my computer. The parents and staff remember me when it's time to order those birthday cakes, graduation cakes, bridal showers, etc. I started this when my children were young, by taking cupcakes to office staff and teachers to establish rapport. I used to use flyers, now an email is a sufficient reminder of my "public service." Cupcakes or cookies can be inexpensive, quick, & don't have to be fancy for this purpose!

2. Ask your local college PR person if you can submit a coupon to include in the propaganda that is mailed to parents when their child enrolls. I offer "Cram Relief" packages that are assembled and mailed (along with an encouraging message from mom and dad) during finals week to ease the stress. I have two levels right now, and just offer it locally so far, but it works.

3. It seems simple, but advertise on your vehicle. Vinyl window decals are inexpensive these days.

4. Twice I've offered to make (for half price) the grand opening cake for businesses that were opening in our area. What a DEAL-- they pay for the advertising, they bring the people, the drinks, entertainment, etc., and you reap the benefits of being to advertise your wares for FREE. If you can't be available to serve the cake personally, have someone knowledgeable and professional in your place. Have plenty of business cards and a one-page color flyer to hand out to those who request one.

5. Whenever possible, my children bring a small decorated cake to whatever event they are aked to contribute to. Your sticker with phone number should be prominently displayed on the cakeboard. Always.

I hope this is helpful icon_smile.gif

lozpa Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 8:18pm
post #6 of 40

Now that was COOL. I like that. I will be going to some business who are currently opening for business next week. I like new ideas. that beats mine.

thanks a bunch!!

CakeRx Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 8:31pm
post #7 of 40

Lozpa,you're welcome! I've been told that I must give away more than I sell, but that isn't the case. They more you're out there, the more connections you'll make with professionals who can hook you up. Also, you gain more brand recognition in the public eye AND project yourself as a positive member of the community. (And get paid) icon_smile.gif

three_sets_of_twins Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 9:47pm
post #8 of 40

What WONDERFUL tips!!! Thanks for sharing!!!!!
I'm definately going to do the free cupcake thing! I was already debating doing it for birthdays like another poster said. Is there any kind of software to Download that programs and reminds you of B-days?
Cake RX, are you a home baker or do you have a bakery?

indydebi Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 9:54pm
post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeRx

1. Every grading period, I email local schools announcing a free cupcake to students maintaining a grade average of 2.5 or better. ht now, and just offer it locally so far, but it works.




Oh this is SUCH a good idea that I'm officially stealing it here and now! And since I'm real big on literacy (I'm a trained adult literacy instructor), this is perfect for me personally.

There's a membership fee, but I strongly recommend joining your local BNI group. I also belong to a wedding network group. The purpose of both groups is to get to know each other's businesses so clients can be referred back and forth. (I rec'd $10,000 worth of catering business from a business who was referred to me by the BNI member who sells business cards.) VERY WORTH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If there is no wedding network in your area, start one.

Doug Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 10:02pm
post #10 of 40

another thought on getting business through colleges....

if no one else is doing it...be the birthday cake connection.

same idea as CakeRx's cram relief, but you do the B-day cake the parent's would like to send.

then hit up (as IndyDebi can well attest to -- BTW: how are the "boys"?) all the Frats and Sororities and be their official cake, cookies, and other goodies suppliers.

----

don't forget major charity events like Relay For Life, MD telethon, etc.

check out local lodges, VFW's, sports clubs, etc that have catering facilities and see if you can be their official cake person.

indydebi Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 10:13pm
post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug

-- BTW: how are the "boys"?



I just did a retirement party for one of the office staff last Thursday and am catering their board meeting lunch next Saturday! Yeah, I'm their official "Banna"!!! icon_biggrin.gif

three_sets_of_twins Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 11:15pm
post #12 of 40

I dont know if this is legal in the states, probably aint lol.
But something I also do is I have hired (if thats the right word?) a couple of people to sell for me on a regular basis (twice a week.)
What I do is make a big gift basket with individually wrapped items (cupcakes, cookies, etc). The people who sell for me are people who work in VERY crowded places with no food options. One if them is a dentist (lol@ dentist selling sweets) and one is a college student.
Anyway they take the basket in with them a couple times a week, and each item has my info on it. They sell the items for me (basket always comes back empty) and get to keep 20% of the profits. They make some easy pocket money (the dentist made arounf 40 bucks last time for just laying the stuff out on her desk.) and I get advertizing and also sales.
Then again for those of you in the states I dont know if it's legal..

Motta Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 11:42pm
post #13 of 40

What great ideas! Keep 'em coming, please.

Question: how exactly do you advertise on FB? If people don't already know about you, why would they look you up on FB? I need some education icon_smile.gif

Motta Posted 1 Aug 2009 , 11:44pm
post #14 of 40

three_sets_of_twins: just wondering if you had to set up a separate kitchen where you are (middle east, if I remember correctly) ? I'm just being curious.

CakeDiva73 Posted 2 Aug 2009 , 2:22am
post #15 of 40

Please tell me how to advertise on Facebook??? I am a nut and on everyday, lots of family and friends but how does that turn into orders?

Or do you mean you get lots of friends orders....I guess I am not getting how to turn your regular profile into one that advertises but would love for someone to enlighten me, lol. I already have a public album and a link to my website.....thanks!

three_sets_of_twins Posted 2 Aug 2009 , 8:53am
post #16 of 40

Well one of the great things (great for me anyway) Is those seperate kitchen and selling laws dont exsist here. You can sell anything you want from home. everyone is "legal". Women dont have many work options here (doctor, teacher, salon, thats about it) so the country I guess understands in a way that some women want to bring in some cash without having to leave the home, (a lot of them arent even allowed by their male family members to get a job) so they have allowed it but it is kind of a buy at your own risk type thing.
Most of the women who buy "home made" are kind of activists, who are trying to empower other woman such as theirselves by purchacing from us rather a bakery that is run by a man. even the neglige (sp?!) shops, bras, panties, all sold by men. the jobs i listed above are the only jobs a woman can have here. sucks I know. So nope! I keep my kitchen very sanitary and its where all the work is done and all the lunch is cooked too lol. So many women cook and sell from their home ( but i really strived to find items unique to my area). a lot of them make crafts, clothes, sell from home, sell avon even, and some even with large homes open up daycares in their homes. However for daycares you must be legal or youll get shut down.


FACEBOOK:
Here is what I did:
I started an account using my business name rather than my own name.
In my "album" (youll see all these options once you join, and the more you use it the easier it is to figure out) instead of adding photos of myself, I put all my work.
start looking up some of your best clients to see if they have a FB account. of so, add them.
add your friends or anyone you know in your area.
start adding random people LOL LOL. its funny some people accept anyone as a "friend". Even if you only get 10 people on your list, its enough. cos their friends will see you and start adding you. I accept every add and consider it a potential customer, and they only added me cos they were interested in my work.
Then, on the bottom left side of the page, you see a little picture that says " groups"
Start a group.
This will be YOUR group, your advertizing page, where you talk yourself up and add more pictures of your work to your group. Put all your contact info in your group as well. you can also put a list of questions in your group people need to answer when making an order (flavor, design, how many, whats the occasion) to kinda get the point across you dont pull a cake exactly what they want out of your wazzoo's without needed info.
Make your group "open" so that anyone can join.
You also have an option to send out group messages to everyone in your group, informing them of new items or special promotions.
People in your group will start inviting their friends to join your group, who will invite their friends, and so on and so on.
I have about 350 people in my group, however thats nothing, I know people who have over 1000.
People in FB get notices when theyre friends join a group and usually follow them. when they see their friend has joined your group, they will also join and see your work.
I also have a "join my FB group" link on my website.
All my FB group customers receive 5% off. Which encourages them to join and everyone loves to feel like theyre getting a "Deal" even a small one. I love when I can say YES i have the militrary discount when I go out LOL. even though all it did was knock off a buck, its still a buck less than the woman before me in line spent!
So now I have people who arent even on my list come across my group in FB send me messages asking about my services.
If you make friends, or have a friend, in FB, ask them to invite all their friends to join your group, by clicking the "invite friends to join" button that will appear on their screen when they enter your group.
My group was going pretty slow when i first started, then one of my customers said she would invite her friends, and I got about 80 of her friends to join me in about a week.

TIP::: if you start a FB group, just allow comments. dont allow other people to post pictures or links. When you do, every other person out there in FB is going to try to advertize their product in your group, even other cakers!!
When I want to make an advertizing deal withsomeone, I post her link FOR HER, and she does the same for me.

you could of course use your real name in FB (i think im breaking the rules anyway by using my business name, but my FB account is only for advertizing reasons, dont have friends on there and is too public for me personally) and just add all the photos of what you do and do everything else the same. Some people use their real name but make the group name in the name of their business which is allowed.

Hope this helped..

three_sets_of_twins Posted 2 Aug 2009 , 9:00am
post #17 of 40

lozpa,
Could you give a little more details please? it's been ages since I visited home and I dont really know how a lot of things work, what exactly is that you do? you get businesses to pay you money so that you'll put their advertizements on your website?
Wow I wonder if i can do that here?

Motta Posted 2 Aug 2009 , 1:42pm
post #18 of 40

Thank you! That's just excellent info. I see I need to start from "scratch" b/c I don't have a business name yet. I have to have a separate kitchen in my area before I can sell my products so I'll keep this info for the future. Again, thanks so much for the advice.

p.s. I think it's cool that middle eastern women are finding ways to empower themselves by working with what they have. And it's very cool that they are selling Avon!

CakeRx Posted 3 Aug 2009 , 2:53am
post #19 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by three_sets_of_twins

What WONDERFUL tips!!! Thanks for sharing!!!!!
Is there any kind of software to Download that programs and reminds you of B-days?
Cake RX, are you a home baker or do you have a bakery?




You may laugh, but I still use the calendar on Outlook to record all my customer's important days! (OK, I can afford to have someone else do it now) icon_smile.gif I was a proud home baker for several years after my husband plucked us from the city and my great job into the bosom of farm country and boredom (not really) BUT, after realizing I could make a living combining my two favorite things, food and art, I opened my own place 9 months ago. Not always easy, but love it, love it, love it!

CakeRx Posted 3 Aug 2009 , 3:01am
post #20 of 40

[quote="three_sets_of_twins"]


FACEBOOK:
Here is what I did:
I started an account using my business name rather than my own name.
Start a group....


A keeper to print out and save! Thank you for explaining this in a way I certainly can't.

CakeRx Posted 3 Aug 2009 , 3:07am
post #21 of 40

[quote="Doug"]another thought on getting business through colleges....

if no one else is doing it...be the birthday cake connection.

Great idea, especially if you have their logos in your computer already (edible images). I've found that charitable organizations are (understandably) more "whoa" than "wow" when it comes to frills that cost more than the local discount bakery. Personalized edible images have been a big hit, since my cakes taste better than those big box guys! OR so those frat guys say...

MelissaMay Posted 3 Aug 2009 , 6:51pm
post #22 of 40

Thanks for all the great advice, this will surely help!!

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 3 Aug 2009 , 7:10pm
post #23 of 40

One thing I always do is put a business sticker on the cake box and tape a couple of business cards to it as well. I use the 'low tack' tape so that the tape can be removed from the card without ruining it.

three_sets_of_twins Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 7:23am
post #24 of 40

LOL cutie pie yep I do it too!

MelissaMay Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 4:45pm
post #25 of 40

I am in the process of starting my own business as well. It's really been more of a hobby of mine doing events like weddings, showers, birthdays etc, for family and friends, but I want to be "legal" I don't want to lose any business because I'm not. What would you suggest for someone who is wanting to turn a "hobby" into a "business". I wish there was a step by step instruction book, I'm just flyin by the seat of my pants!!! Any advice will do...Thanks! icon_biggrin.gif

three_sets_of_twins Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 10:52pm
post #26 of 40

I dont really have the whole 'legal' issue but Im sure there ladies can help!

IsaSW Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 11:12am
post #27 of 40

" What would you suggest for someone who is wanting to turn a "hobby" into a "business". I wish there was a step by step instruction book"

You know... that is what I have thinking the whole time I was turning my hobby into a business. Even thought about the idea of doing the book myself, but I am no writer and plus that would be too boring, but I wish somebody would do it.
Well... the first thing you need to do its a phone call to department of agriculture in your state, ask them you need to start a bakery from home, if you tell them you want to make cakes, they don't understand, believe me I got transfer so many time to different departments, and finally somebody said to me: "you should have said: you want to start a bakery from home"
I didn't know we cake decorators fall into that category, I just wanted to transform my hobby into a legal business, not open a bakery.
Anyway, after that, I think the next step would be to think of a name, and start a website.

MelissaMay Posted 6 Aug 2009 , 12:01pm
post #28 of 40

IsaSw,
Thank you got those tihngs done so far. Now just tihnking about insurance, and taking a course to become a food protection manager....the board of health says that one person in the biz has to be certified?? So off I go to find out how I take this class. Ive seen them online with proctored test centers...wish me luck!

Justbeck101 Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 8:40am
post #29 of 40

This is a great resource! Thanks

DefyGravity Posted 27 Sep 2009 , 3:09pm
post #30 of 40

I think the best way to advertise on Facebook is to make a "page" instead of a group. I still have my personal account, but just made a business page instead of making a whole seperate account.

The easiest way to do it is to sign into Facebook, and look at any page you can be a fan of. This is mine:
http://www.facebook.com/lisawinter?cropsuccess=#/pages/Muskegon-MI/Cakes-From-Lisa/120913344426?ref=ts

My feelings wouldn't be hurt at all if you wanted to be my fan as long as you're there icon_wink.gif

On the left hand side, below the photo album, there is a link that says "Create a page for my business" and it'll take you from there.

It doesn't take very long to do, plus it shows you (the admin) statistics about your interactions with your fans. Below your profile picture, it has a spot for you to send invites to people to join your group. I just added all my friends who had left me comments on my personal page about my cakes, and then more friends joined after that, and now I even have fans that I don't even know. It's pretty cool!

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