I'm starting to get very frustrated with trying to market my business. Even to the point that I'm jealous of other bakers who have more clients than I do. I go to others sites and see awards and other accomplishments and wonder how they got that. Bakers on Facebook and twitter have way more followers and likes than I do. No offense to anyone but it irks me when someone puts up a regular iced cake and gets like 20 comments on it when my fondant decorated items only get 1 to no comments. What the french toast! I think my stuff looks good. Why doesn't anybody want it? or care.
Right now it seems that i'm only getting one really big order per month. I need to increase that. That's the only good thing I see happening right now. I'm not even getting inquiries for small orders. I don't know why or what im doing that that is not happening for me.
I want to market better in person, but having some social anxiety issues prevents that from really happening. I'm not good at talking to people. I need better ways of passing out my business cards without having to necessarily talk. Talking only causes and anxiety attack and leads to me being upset later on. I have thought about having people I know leave information packets with businesses I can network with, but i'm not sure what to include in the packet.
Sorry if this was long. I just needed to rant. Not having a great day.
Well, don't give up Dreme. One good order per month is pretty good for new business. And I would suggest to learn to talk more. Facebook works good for outgoing people. It also works to have some relatives or best friends on Facebook with you to give you some comments, this way others may feel more comfortable to post a comment.
Also ask some friends or customers to write some reviews about your business on local websites.Participate in the community events.
I don't know much about twitter - but as for facebook.... I don't consider it much of a marketing tool. There are no updates for "groups" like there are for "friends", so once you've joined a group, unless you check it regularly you won't know if there is anything new. So, no reason to check back.
Most of the people that have joined my group are either friends or friends of friends - not people who randomly find me to order cake. I do get quite a few comments, but that's because my pics are used on my group page as well as my personal page. The comments come from "friends" on my personal page even though they also show up on my group page.
Don't be discouraged.... keep in mind that some people have a whole lot of friends to begin with so when they DO get into caking.... there are tons of known family and friends that are there to give them support and encouragement...
it's hard to get overthe anxiety of public speaking... I know that.... I had to....
My suggestion to you... if facebook is not working for you as much as you would want... try other avenues...
Contact your local SCORE and get in touch with a personalized counselor that is assign to you to help you jump start your business.... they can tell you of other ways to advertise...
Join your towns Chamber of Commerce.... great networking opportunities... when they are having a meeting and/or event.... offer to bring the dessert... bring cupckes (your best ones) place a nice stand to display them and have some brochures and bus. cards also....
go to your area florists and leave a sample tray with bus. cards...
same with your bank.... a doctors office that has a partnership (multiple doctors) the staff.... I do that and get a lot of business like that....
my facebook is not as good for me either.... but I do other things to help my business grow...
have a tasting day every quarter.... pass out invites to business in your area...
do a lot of research online to find other ways to advertise....
Good Luck and NEVER give up... don't worry about what others are getting... use that time to reVamp your business not to have your own pitty party... don't mean to sound tough but that is what WE need at times....
u know u r good... u said it yourself... now go and show the world....
Okay...When I started out I just left business cards everywhere I could without making businesses mad...I took cakes to the bank...dentist..real estates offices with brochures showing what I can do and prices..Most of my customers came form referrals from cakes that went out and I ended up getting a few cake orders from one party..It will come but it takes time.Don't get discouraged.
Your cookies are cakes are Stunning..It will come....
I've been your fan on fb, and for some reason your stuff never shows up in my feed
Have you thought about running a gift cert giveaway? Once you reach 250 fans and its a $25 g.c...500 fans you givee away a $50 g.c. Ask your fans to suggest you to their friends! Your work is amazing!
Try not to take it all so personal. I'ts just business and it takes time.
I know when I first got going I thought it was all going to explode in 6 months. HA! Was I wrong.
I don't have issues with talking to others in general but I do have a hard time with cold calls and such. I do get tired of having to always be in the promoting frame of mind. It does get easier with practice.
It will get there. Score is a great resource too.
check your facebook privacy settings.
something is off -- probably set to private or members only.
I have lots of group and organization feeds I see all the time (like Cake Wrecks!).
also -- consider having a referral promotion -- for every referral that books with you the person who referred gets a % discount to 5% of the amount paid by referral on future order...they refer enough and they get a cake free! (ex> referred person books a $500 cake. The person who referred them gets a $25 credit toward their cake)
dalis has given you a great list of suggestions. Doug's suggestion of a referral credit program turns all of your customers into your own personal sales staff, who are sending business to you.
But bluntly, if you're going to consider yourself "in business" then you need to get over the "don't lik to talk" thing. We are salesmen first or there are no cakes to bake. That's just how it is. You have to talk yourself up. You can be the best baker in the world but it does you no good if no one knows you exist.
I handed my biz card to cashiers in walmart and macy's who wore engagement rings; I've handed my card in to the person at the Wendy's drive-thru when I saw her ring. Always have cards in your pocket and always have your hand in your pocket ready to pull one out.
Join a networking group like BNI or a local wedding network. If there is no wedding network, start one. As you learn to get over your shyness about talking, have a good brochure made that really shows what you can do and hand that out.
a person who runs a business wears many hats and the saleman hat is the one they wear 24/7. All. The. Time.
Thanks everyone for your input! I feel alot better now. I was just having a bad day the other day.
Yesterday was a much better day. Since I had to go to the bank anyways, I decided to bake some cookies to take with me. They were thrilled to get them. I actually got through it smoothly and didn't have an anxiety attack.
dalis4joe and indydebi thanks for the organizations you guys listed. I forgot all about joining my chamber of commerce and score. Will do.
foxymomma521 and indydebi thanks for becoming fans of my page. Since the other day its gone up.
Right now I'm working on putting together some sort of information package to leave with businesses. Im not sure what all to include or if this is too much, but here are some ideas:
- 12 cookies (as they are seem easier to use as giveaways than cake or cupcakes) decorated in what ever the industry i'm networking with does. i.e. bridal shops get the dress cookies and realtors get house/moving themed cookies.
- 12 business cards
- a flyer/brochure with what my business offers
- I may include some keychains or some fridge magnets
So far that is what I have come up with. I'm trying to think of more business types to network with as well. I figure I can also use the promotion cookies to build up my portfolio.
Im feeling good about this. I just need a good introductory line to maybe get me started so I don't feel so awkward.
Thanks again for everyone's help!