You can make the most beautiful, delicious cake in the world, but you don’t have a business if you can’t sell it. Marketing, the practice of communicating your bakery’s story to your potential customers, can mean the difference between a flourishing business and an expensive hobby.
If marketing scares you, don’t worry. We have put together a list of ideas sure to set your cake-making business apart. These ideas are creative, unusual, and low-cost. They might take a little more work than print advertising, but they will save you money and increase awareness of your home bakery! Here are ten ideas for inexpensive cake marketing.
1. Consider using one or two social media platforms to promote your products.
Start small, and work your way up. Include behind-the-scenes photos in addition to shots of the finished product.
2. Give away a cake sampler featuring your signature frosting and cake combinations.
Include order forms or a price sheet, and follow up with your potential customers.
3. Hire a designer to create a logo, color scheme, and price sheet for your business.
A professional-looking company commands higher prices and customer loyalty.
4. Ask customers to share their photos of your creations on Instagram or Twitter with a hashtag using the name of your business (#yourbakeryname).
Create a customer gallery for your website.
5. Create a beautiful magazine-style catalog of your cake designs.
Hire a photography student with a good portfolio to save on cash, or swap baked goods for photography services.
6. Partner with a nonprofit organization (like a women’s shelter or food shelf) and donate your time and baking skills.
For example, you could make cakes once a month for shelter residents’ birthdays once a month or provide cupcakes for fundraising events. Creating goodwill in the community can lead to other business.
7. Ask a friend to host a cake-tasting party.
He or she can provide the space, and you will guide guests through tasting different kinds of cake and frosting. Bring lots of catalogs, price sheets, and business cards, and ask guests to pass them on to friends and family.
8. Consider selling pre-made versions of your custom cakes at a farmer’s market.
Oftentimes, customers who try one of your creations will come back with a custom order.
9. If you make wedding cakes, investigate participating in a wedding show or advertising in a local specialty magazine.
Location-specific publications and events often have lower advertising rates when compared to their national counterparts.
10. Partner with a bridal salon, wedding hairstylist, or jewelry store to offer beverages and samples of your creations in exchange for the opportunity to distribute your marketing materials to their customers.
Your partner gets to improve their customer satisfaction (for free) and you get to reach potential customers directly.
With a little practice, marketing your cake business will soon change from chore to second nature. Getting started is easy; pick your favorite idea from above, make an action plan, and take the first step. As your business grows, add another idea, and watch the cakes fly out the door!