What Has Been Your Most Effective Advertising

Business By Crustymuffin Updated 17 Nov 2014 , 6:28pm by antonia74

Crustymuffin Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 7:32pm
post #1 of 34

I have a legal Kitchen and now I am ready to put some money towards Advertising. I would like for my $ to count and was wondering what others recomend or do not recomend!

Here is what I'm considering:
1. offering 10% back to wedding planners who refer thier clients to us.
2. Brochures for wedding oreiertned buisnesses

Here is what I am doing:
1. Press release to 50+ publications or news goups
2. Graphics for my dilivery car

Any Suggestions?

33 replies
Dolledupcakes Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 7:45pm
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I love the xB.

I would visit your local bridal shop. Leave business cards on the cars that are parked near the shop.

Doug Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 7:46pm
post #3 of 34

better to offer 10% back to BRIDES who refer others to you. (tho' 5% more reasonable -- don't give away the store!) allow them to accumulate it as much as they want and then cash in as rebate on their cake.

bride could earn a free cake if sent enough business your way.

the "bridal girls" network is stronger than the wedding planners.


for wedding planners and others -- try to create a "preferred vendor" status -- you recommend them if they recommend you -- this works for florists and venues too.


there's another thread running about samples


and then there's the bridal shows -- strut your stuff!! (w/ samples and dummy exhibition cakes


could even do an "open house" in conjunction with a wedding dress shop -- they have an event to show off the newest line of dresses -- you supply the cake for the event.


direct mail -- read the engagement announcements and fire off a post card or self-mailer brochure or note congratulating them and enclosing business card.


very strong web site presence.


IndyDebi can fill you in on Twitter and tweeting




(green w/ jealousy re: that CAR! --- fantastic!)

snocilla Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 7:59pm
post #4 of 34

What Doug said icon_smile.gif
Also, stick an Ad on Craiglist. 43% of my website hits are craigslist referrals! And it's free!

snocilla Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 8:01pm
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And see if your local cake decorating store has a place for business cards. A lot of brides will go in to look at toppers, and will grab bakery business cards....

Crustymuffin Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 8:49pm
post #6 of 34

I have a killer Web site www.crazycakes.com (let me know if you do not like it)
I also have a very established Facebook page (search Crazy Cakes Inc.)
The local Cake supply shop has me on their recommend list

Ive been to the Bridal shows here booth is $800 and their book advertizing is $1.8-3K. The show is cool but When I was there is interviewed a lot of people and most said that people do not look at the books much. The problem I see is if you do not advertise in their book they will give you a cruddy spot in the trade show. I once was an Art Director for a Tradeshow exhibit company, and that was very common.

Thanks for the input.

Doug Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 9:18pm
post #7 of 34
Originally Posted by Crustymuffin

I have a killer Web site www.crazycakes.com (let me know if you do not like it)

really like it B U T...

is that really going to attract a Bride, it that's the market you seek?

looks very BOY, sci-fi, techno-geek.

I'd consider TWO different websites.

Keep this one -- it's great for everything BUT weddings

and then one just especially for Weddings and girlly frilly stuff.

just as you can create multiple sets of advertising pieces each geared a special way.

TARGET market -- create sites, brochures, etc. targeted at specific markets.

one for Wedding, shower crowd.
one for b-days
one for 3D extravaganzas
one for corporate

paper is cheap -- and when its so easy now to do short print runs, much easier to have multiple promo pieces.

can you imagine General Motors putting up just ONE website or mag ad for ALL their cars?

nope -- they target.

leah_s Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 10:09pm
post #8 of 34

So, shoot me, but crazy is not a word I'd associate with wedding cakes. Brides are not looking for crazy, they're looking for elegant, sophisticated, classy. Brides run from crazy.

metria Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 10:16pm
post #9 of 34
Originally Posted by leah_s

So, shoot me, but crazy is not a word I'd associate with wedding cakes. Brides are not looking for crazy, they're looking for elegant, sophisticated, classy. Brides run from crazy.

Heh, leah, it's a little different in Austin ... we pride on weird. i don't ask, i just live here.

but yes, you have a great point. you might get hit up a lot for groom's cakes. brian i'd love to see some wedding cakes in your portfolio!

Doug Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 10:25pm
post #10 of 34
Originally Posted by leah_s

So, shoot me, but crazy is not a word I'd associate with wedding cakes. Brides are not looking for crazy, they're looking for elegant, sophisticated, classy. Brides run from crazy.

ah....showing OUR age aren't we.....(and I'm including me too!)

yep -- urban slang....so "different"

from Michael Jackson's "I'm Bad!" meaning I'm soooo great, so good, so cool, man, cool

to "crazy" as in totally off the hook, cool, hip, exciting, "dope", etc.

off the hook being so one of a kind unique!


so to the modern young (cough cough what I certainly ain't!) it probably won't be a turn off - it'll be RAD! or PHAT!!

indydebi Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 10:49pm
post #11 of 34

Most "reputable" wedding planners don't ask for nor do they accept cash-back for referrals. It looks bad on them. ("They only recommended THAT cake lady because she gets a kickback from it!")

You need to network. Lots and lots of networking. BNI, Rainmakers, join (or form your own) WEdding Professional Networking Group (see this one that is very successful in INdpls: http://www.indianapolisweddingprofessionals.com/ ) I actually have an article "in the pipeline" for CC magz on this very topic coming up in the future. Networking is not exchanging cards with "you refer me and I'll refer you" agreement. It's relationship building. Get out your toolbox and start building.

I agree with Doug that your website is very techy. There's nothing on your homepage that says "wedding". If I were weddign cake shopping, I'd click out and move on. (If I were shopping for a unique cake for hubby's birthday, then you've got my attention.)

I have two websites (wait ... 'had' .... not used to the past tense yet! icon_biggrin.gif ). One for cakes/catering and one for cookies. I'm working on another one for my writing/speaking/consulting work right now. Websites are cheap and/or free. Utilize them.

It may be hit or miss for many, but I did VERY well with my ad on The Knot. Business rec'd compared to expenses paid for this ad put me WAY ahead money-wise! WAY ahead!

I've used referral credit for decades. It turns every one of your customers into a salesman for you. It's also cheaper for you. I gave 5%. Let's say someone referred $2000 worth of business to you. With a 5% cash-back plan, you'd have to write a check for $100. But if you just give referral CREDIT, you'd give them a free cake worth $100, which would only cost you about $20 out of pocket.

Never do cash back ..... always do store credit.

Crustymuffin Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 11:07pm
post #12 of 34

I think I can blend to edge look with some elegance. I like all the input and am not loading my gun or anything icon_biggrin.gif

I am in Austin where crazy is a good thing and wealthy young and tech is big and pretentious is not. I sell a lot of high end high priced Grooms Cakes. I will however be posting some wedding cakes soon. if you can imagine the detail I put in my other cakes done in an elegant way.

Anyway all of your points are well taken.

indydebi Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 11:25pm
post #13 of 34
Originally Posted by Crustymuffin

I will however be posting some wedding cakes soon.

That will be great! Something to get them to look further! thumbs_up.gif

stampinron Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 3:18am
post #14 of 34

At a local Jewlers store I saw some cards for another cake business and thought "what a great idea" Get them where they get engaged. I guess the same could be said for florist shops, bridal and tuxedo stores, photographers....

emrldsky Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 1:10pm
post #15 of 34

Just wanted to say, great ideas. But are you a REALLY REALLY GOOD driver? I'd take a long time to evaluate my driving before adding permanent advertising to my vehicle.

Nothing makes me decide NOT to use a specific company more than seeing someone in a company car drive like a jerk (ok, maybe ONE thing could beat that...if the person themselves were acting like a jerk). Just sayin. icon_wink.gif

indydebi Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 2:27pm
post #16 of 34
Originally Posted by emrldsky

Just wanted to say, great ideas. But are you a REALLY REALLY GOOD driver? I'd take a long time to evaluate my driving before adding permanent advertising to my vehicle.

Agree. The very day I got my van lettered, I laughed to my husband, "Well, I guess this ends my days of driving like a bat outta hell!" icon_lol.gif

Crustymuffin Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 4:46pm
post #17 of 34

I'm a good driver. The reason I did this is you just can't beat the number of impressions to the public for the cost. The statistic I have seen alot is somting like 600 looks a day for the adverge driver. The graphics cost $700 and last about 5 years.

KHalstead Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 11:19pm
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word of mouth has been my BEST advertisement, when you get customers take GOOD care of them and you will get MORE customers from their big mouths!! lol

Crustymuffin Posted 12 Jul 2010 , 10:58pm
post #19 of 34

I re-skinned the Web site to be a little more neutral. Let me know what you think.

drapes330 Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 5:03am
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I just wanted to say that your Gollum cake is INSANE (And I mean that in a very good way). You are super talented! Good luck!

Solecito Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 5:47pm
post #21 of 34

Still too boy-ish for me...

dreamcakesmom Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 6:05pm
post #22 of 34

Thanks for getting the ball rolling on this topic. I have definitely gotten some good ideas through this question. I think a solid website, good word of mouth is key. If you are really trying to get in to the wedding market regardless of your style you definitely need to have a very "wedding" specific section catering to the brides- things like a wedding gallery section, how you set up consults, ideas for designing cakes. Also I find a consultation contact section for customers to put in their info and email to me has been super helpful.

I think you are super talented and unique and I know that each area has it's own trends, etc but I know enough women that I think if you girlie it up some more you will draw a bigger audience

Crustymuffin Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 6:21pm
post #23 of 34

The wedding section is coming. This was just a re-skin to soften what was there.

I am adding a wdding page that should do the trick. I just need time icon_cry.gif

dreamcakesmom Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 6:53pm
post #24 of 34

crusty muffin- so funny- Can you imagine what we could do if we just had more time! Your work is amazing! Good luck

elvisb Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 6:54pm
post #25 of 34

Word of mouth. Can't say it enough. It's the best AND WORST advertising you can get. This is why good customer service is so crucial in addition to being a great baker and decorator. Every aspect of your business will be talked about and if it's good, you'll get phone calls, and if it's not good, don't wait by the phone.

Facebook has been awesome for me. I don't have a ton of fans, but I'm at the county fair right now and have tons of people coming up to my booth and saying hi to me and that they saw me on facebook. Quite a few said they check back often and should probably just become a fan, so I know I'm followed more than I realize. And every post shows up on your friends and fans pages, which is seen by all of their friends.

Graphics on the vehicle is a great idea. I just have my logo, name and phone number on the rear windows, but I've had people stop me as I'm loading groceries in the parking lot because they saw the name on the car. Be sure to keep business cards in your wallet/purse/car glove box so if people ask you about a cake you can get a card in their hand quickly. I totally agree on making sure you keep the road rage in check. My husband is no longer allowed to drive my Jeep because he is notorious for tailgating people. icon_smile.gif

I also invested in custom printed ink pens. You can buy them in bulk reasonably. I keep a bunch in my purse, and every time I go somewhere and write out a check, I "accidentally" leave it behind. Do spend a little more money on one that writes nicely. You don't want people to shove it in a drawer and forget it. You want them to like the PEN and use it often. They'll see your name by repetition and remember you.

I also give people credit for referrals. Let other people sell for you. And again, this is word of mouth advertising. You can brag yourself up all you want, but when it comes from someone other than you, people will listen more. And if people have incentive to talk about you, they'll do it all the more.

antonia74 Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 6:58pm
post #26 of 34

The best business advertising I ever did was my first. I took about 6 of my photos to the printers and they made me up a high-end "pop-up" flier pretty cheaply. (I think I got 200 for $300?) I didn't want just a 3-fold pamphlet that people might glance at and throw away. This one folded out at 4 angles and was really cute, simple and fun!

To save money, I took them home and cut them all out, folded and mailed them myself to all the local wedding planners and venues I could find listed in the phone book and online. Every time I found a new planner, I'd mail them one to introduce myself.

The business that poured in from just that $300 investment was enough for me to quit my job and do this full-time! thumbs_up.gificon_smile.gifthumbs_up.gificon_smile.gif

If I'd had a car at that time though, I'd have gone with those decals for sure! I'd have plastered it with my logo and web address. thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

scp1127 Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 11:07pm
post #27 of 34

Check your state laws... most states forbid "bird dog" fees paid for referring business.

indydebi Posted 13 Jul 2010 , 11:15pm
post #28 of 34

On the topic of cash for referrals, see what Wedding Marketing expert Andy Ebon, based in Las Vegas, has to say about it in his blog series .... scroll down to "the unasked question" part of this short article. My comment following the article includes a link to my blog with my own views on cash-for-business transactions.


Crustymuffin Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 1:50pm
post #29 of 34

My press realease went out yesterday and in just 4 hrs we hooked 2 TV spots and several print spots. It is just blowing me away as to how intrested they are in our cakes.

dreamcakesmom Posted 14 Jul 2010 , 5:34pm
post #30 of 34

Yay!!! COngrats!

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