(This article appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
By Deanna Martinez-Bey
As cottage bakers, it is clear that we love to bake. But to bake for more customers, we must learn how to market our business successfully. You may not have money to set aside for marketing, which is okay! In this article, we will discuss free and affordable marketing ideas.
Create a Free Website
Creating an eye-catching website that provides business and contact information is essential for your cottage bakery. Google will often crawl the internet looking for website updates, so update your website weekly and share your website on social media channels often. You can easily create a free website through Wix. The key is to link it to a domain you make with your business’s name. For example, let’s say your business name is I Bake For You – create a domain such as www.Ibakeforyou.com. Most domains are inexpensive to maintain, usually $15 per year. You can check out 1&1 IONOS for your domain. They often run specials that offer your first year at a discounted rate.
Email marketing is a form of owned media, which means you own it, and no one can take it away from you. This fact alone makes email marketing important to a cottage bakery. MailChimp is a free email marketing tool. MailChimp allows you to store your email addresses and send out newsletters. I recommend sending monthly newsletters (unless you would like to send them out more frequently). You can include:
- New or seasonal products
- Your social media channels
- A funny baking story
- Anything you think your audience would like to read
Sharing pictures and short videos about your cottage bakery on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok will grow your following and help you make sales. Start by creating the following channels:
- Facebook business page
- Facebook group*
- Instagram business account
- TikTok account
When creating your channels, be sure they all have the same name and logo so potential customers can easily find your business. You should also consider running a Facebook ad that targets people in your city. For example, you can run a $10 ad and reach a decent amount of people. By doing this monthly, you will reach new local customers who would otherwise not know about your cottage bakery.
*Facebook group tip: When creating your Facebook group, be sure to add a membership question asking new members if they would like their email address to be added to your bakery newsletter. Doing this will help you grow your email list. Then, all you have to do is transport the new email into Mail Chimp manually.
You can create a YouTube channel for free and post videos about your cottage bakery regularly.
You can share videos of you talking about your products, giving a quick baking tutorial, or a slideshow with music showcasing your products. Video marketing is an easy way for people to find you online and is one of the most prominent digital marketing trends of 2022.
Other Inexpensive Tips That Will Help Grow Your Bakery
Order a car magnet with your logo, bakery name, and phone number. You can drive around with it on your car, and your vehicle will become a free billboard for your cottage bakery. It is also an excellent way for customers to find you when you meet them to pick up their orders.
You can order affordable business cards from VistaPrint or 123Print online. Hand them out when you are selling at events, add them to your orders, and hand them out whenever you can.
Logo Product Stickers:
You can order logo stickers to add to each product sold from the online sites where you order your business cards. These add a professional touch to your product packaging.
Printing Your Ingredients Labels:
Type up your ingredient labels on your computer. Add as many as possible to one page and print them out in black ink. Then, cut them apart and use them rather than spending money buying ingredient labels for your products.
- Be sure your products look appealing in the photos you share on social media
- Keep your pricing in the range for your city
- Promote your work regularly
- Market to your location
- Create a fantastic customer experience
- Partner with local businesses (Ask them if you can leave business cards in their shops and offer to hand theirs out to your customers.)
About Deanna Martinez-Bey
Deanna Martinez-Bey is a cottage baker, baking class instructor, content creator, and multi-genre author. With twelve published books under her belt and a certified cottage bakery, everything she does revolves around food and writing in one way, shape or form. www.thefierywhisk.com