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You’re all set up and ready to go, you’ve looked at bakery rules and regulations, you’ve answered the thorny question of “do you need a license to sell baked goods from home?”, you have your license in place and your kitchen is sparkling and all done up ready for your first bake for customers.
So, let’s talk about how to promote a home baking business. You don’t want to be baking for hours each day, to sell only a handful of the goodies you’ve made. You need to keep regular customers coming back and you also need to keep attracting new ones, so not only do you get to do what you love, but you have the satisfaction (and the dollars!) of a really successful home bakery business.
But where do you even begin with how to start selling baked goods from home if you’re not a marketing guru?
Read on for our home bakery business marketing tips:
Start at the beginning if you can, with your home baking business ideas, your home bakery business plan, your branding, and the business name. These things shape everything you do in your home baking business, including bakery promotion ideas.
Don’t worry if your home bakery business is already underway. These marketing tips will still work for you. Just go through your current branding and where you want to take your bakery and work out your marketing plan from there. And if you find you don’t like your branding or the bakery name, you can change it. That’s the beauty of working for yourself. It’s your business and it’s up to you how you run it.
Think about how you want your customers to feel about you and your bakery and what impression you want to create. Are you cool and cutting edge, cozy and homely, sweet and cute, elegant and classic? Whatever you want to put across needs to be reflected in your marketing.
What should be in your bakery business marketing plan? Here are some ideas:
Your website needs to be clean, uncluttered, and easy for customers to use, whether they’re browsing or buying. When building your website, think about your branding, including the colors you use, the tone of voice, and what sort of font would suit your business. Then, when you create anything else from social media posts to print leaflets, be consistent everywhere with the same look and feel, so potential customers begin to recognize your branding and remember who you are and what you do.
With Castiron’s website building software, you can quickly and easily build a beautiful and practical website that’s specifically tailored for your home bakery business. Manage your inventory, take custom orders, keep track of your customers’ preferences, manage allergens easily, take payments, and more. Add in social media and email marketing, and SEO tools, and you can focus more on running your business and doing the baking you love. Even better, it’s free!
What you do has huge visual appeal. Who doesn’t love a delicious-looking cake, oozing with gorgeous filling? If you can take excellent, high-quality photographs of what you make, don’t just save them for your website, get them on social media, too. Choose Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest first, because they are such visually focused platforms, but Facebook is also a good place to add your posts, as you can build a business page and add a Shop button right there to get people to your online store. You could even share recipes on YouTube and share what you’re making this week.
What to post? As well as those gorgeous images, with descriptive captions, run polls for the cake of the month, or this week’s special, talk about sales, show off your kitchen, talk about your day, give out some recipes, though of course not your Nonna’s super-secret family recipes. There really are so many ideas about what to say on social media.
People are busy and attention spans are short. If someone buys from you once, that might be the last time you see them. However, if you find a way to get them onto your email list, you can market to them every week or at least every month, with new products, cake of the week, any new specials you’re trying out, sales, competitions, reminders for holiday events, like Valentine’s Day, and more.
Bonus points for sending them a discount code or a $5 dollar gift card to spend in your shop on their birthday.
You can become like a friend, popping into their inbox each week with all your tempting goodies and news. And they really will never forget you.
Keep people coming back of course with high-quality products that they can’t wait to have again. But you could also hand out a loyalty card, just like they do in certain well-known coffee chains, where when they’ve collected so many stamps, they can have a free donut or a coffee on the house.
What if you ran a joint competition with a complementary business and both of you promoted it on social media and in your newsletter? You could give away a small hamper of your goodies, while perhaps teaming up with someone who makes Prosecco, or a jam maker that’s a perfect match for your homemade scones. There are so many different types of companies that you could collaborate with. And you’ll both reach new audiences, get more followers, and build your mailing lists. We call that win-win.
For more ideas on collaborating with other businesses, check out our article 5 Ways to Grow Your Food Business in 2022.
Done right, you can sell your products at live events, and you can market them and your business, too. You can hand out free samples, along with a card or a leaflet offering a discount for shopping on the day. You could create small flyers with a discount for your website and a QR code to scan, and you can make sure that everything on your stall is branded in your colors, with the same look and feel as your website and social media, to boost your brand.
For more advice on how to make the most of selling at fairs and farmers' markets, check out our article on How to Make Your Cottage Food Business Stand Out.
When you’re thinking about how to start a bakery business from home, make marketing one of your top priorities and you should be well on your way to having a successful home bakery business. However, bear in mind that when you deal with a customer or present them with a beautifully packaged box, when you make your checkout process smooth and easy, when you ask people for feedback on what your next product should be… every one of these things gives your customers an impression of your business and helps them decide whether they’ll come back or not. Marketing isn’t just the obvious things you do as part of a marketing plan. It’s in everything you do as part of your business. Make it count!
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