Starting up your own cupcake business is a fun way to bring in a little extra cash. But in such a competitive market how can you stand out from the crowd? Solopress have a few tasty marketing tips to help you bake the world a better place…
1. Always our easiest, and most crucial, tip to pass onto any new business owner: make sure you have an unbelievably great product before you even begin to dream about promoting it.
2. Think of a great name for your cupcake business. It’s got to be something that people will remember.
3. Snap professional photographs of your cupcakes. Your cupcakes must look as good as they taste.
4. Look everywhere to constantly inspire yourself with new and interesting cupcake recipes and designs. Your cupcakes must taste as good as they look.
For some instant cupcake design inspiration, check out our accompanying 18 Tremendously Tasty Pop Culture Cupcake Designs blog article.
5. List all the ingredients in your cupcakes, especially if any nuts or nut oils are used in the recipe.
6. If you can, add speciality cupcakes to your menu that are free of nuts, gluten, dairy or soy products to give your customers the widest possible choice of purchase options. Why not also trial low-calorie versions of your most popular cupcakes?
7. Design a professional logo to use in all of your promotional materials such as business cards, flyers, posters, stickers, roller banners, packaging, till receipts, website, social media pages, etc. Most cupcake business logos have a sweet and colourful look to them.
8. Print your logo, contact info and website address on your cupcake boxes – or print them onto stickers instead.
9. Give away free samples of your cupcakes. Target the right people though, people who make buying decisions for a larger group. PAs, office managers, wedding planners or events organisers, for example, will give you the most bang for the buck.
10. Take your cupcakes to local shops, fairs, festivals and farmer’s markets to sell. Does a nearby shopping mall or shopping centre have a short-term lease on a vendor stand going cheap?
11. Nicely ask customers to give you a glowing testimonial about how spectacular your cupcakes actually are. Ideally, these customer reviews should be posted on their own social media profiles on sites like Twitter or Facebook, or on a specialist reviews website or online forum.
12. Use these quotes on your website and printed leaflets to sway prospective buyers into making their first purchase from you.
13. Try different special deals and offers like 10% off your first cupcake order or buy one, get one free to see which one works best for your business.
14. Blog and Tweet about new recipes, new cupcake decoration ideas and new promotions.
15. See if you can partner up with any other local businesses to mutually promote your businesses or offer a discount on bulk orders. Maybe a local estate agent would like to hand out a complimentary box of gourmet cupcakes when they buy or sell a property for a client? Don’t forget to include a business card, sticker or coupon for your own cupcake business in the box.
16. Add your customers to a monthly or fortnightly e-mail newsletter. Once you have enough cupcake-lovin’ fanatics on your mailing list, why not go weekly with it!
17. Offer gift certificates or cupcake gift baskets as prizes for charity events and raffles.
18. Run cupcake decorating classes. Make sure these classes are kid-friendly, so that they are a fun activity and a must-go-to edutainment destination for the whole family.
19. Regularly organise specially themed cupcake decorating classes, based around current events, to bring in fresh faces and also encourage the return of former attendees. Themes can be based on anything that’s popular at the time, such as Halloween, Christmas, Easter, World Cup, Olympics, a new blockbuster movie or the anniversary of a favourite TV show like Doctor Who or Coronation Street. Remember to promote these themed events using all of your usual print, e-mail and social media marketing outlets.
20. Sponsor a local community group, charity or sports team.
21. Hold cupcake decorating contests.
22. Add a catering or home/office delivery service option to your cupcake business.
23. Enable customers to order and customise their cupcakes on your website.
24. Cupcake of the Week or Cupcake of the Month is a great way to promote a new cupcake design or recipe. This is a great opportunity to test an unusual combination of ingredients, flavours or design ideas to see if your customers want more.
25. Properly #hashtag all of your Tweets on Twitter and photos on Instagram or Pinterest. It’ll help you attract a wider audience on these social media networks.
26. Upload useful cupcake decorating tips and video tutorials onto YouTube. Encourage viewers to ask questions about making cupcakes – offer them expert help, advice and insider tricks in return, maybe even create a new video that answers their specific question.
27. Similarly, if you’re asked, give advice to any budding cupcake makers in the comments section of your blogs and social media posts.
28. Send out review samples of your cupcakes to foodie journalists, bloggers and local newspapers.
29. Take a selection of your yummy cupcakes to parties, weddings, baby showers, business meetings or networking events – you never know who’s going to be there!
30. Ask customers what kind of cupcakes they would like to see you make in the future. Feedback cards are a brilliant way to do this, as you can also harvest any contact details on them to your direct marketing lists for future communications by e-mail and post.