You know what time it is? It’s Q&A Tuesday time! Q: Beth, the owner of TasteSelects cupcakes in Virginia writes… “I am exhausted, frustrated, and finished with my cupcake store. I have owned this business for 6 years, and of course I have the most incredible cupcakes EVER. All caps. But the problem is, I have no idea how to market my local business. I am the ONLY cupcakery in my whole area! WHAT…Yes…Only. I am a 39 year mother who juggles life very well….but marketing who and what we are……I SUCK at. She really wrote that, I suck at. One day I would love to have stores across the country….but not if I can’t even convince my peeps in my small town. Any ideas? A: First up Beth, I want to congratulate you for running your cupcake business for six whole years – especially since you kind of suck at marketing, as you say. But Guuuurrrl! You betta come correct – cause you AIN’T the only person selling cupcakes in little ol’ Lynchburg Virginia.
Mama did some research and there is a bakery called “Sweet Stella” that’s coming on the scene. That means you need to STEP TO cause the cupcake competition is heating up. If you don’t get your marketing game on, your business is gonna get BAKED! I’ve checked out your website and there’s a TON you could be doing to spread the cupcake love. Strategy #1 is Build Your List. First thing, when I went to your website I noticed you have no opt-in.
That means you’re not collecting email addresses and you’re leaving THOUSANDS of dollars on the table!!! I could shake the sh*t out of you woman!! Have you not been watching MarieTV? Every business needs a way to stay in touch with prospects and customers. And since every person you’re gonna do business with has an email address – building an email list is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to do that! I recommend you start collecting email addresses AND birthdays both on your website and in your shop. You can set up your email management system to send emails out on your customer’s birthdays that tells them to come in and get a free cupcake. You can also send promotional emails that tell them about new flavors, about holidays, or any other promotions that you want to offer.. There’s SO much you can do with email marketing that will dramatically increase your business. Strategy #2 is Find local partners and butter them up! Make a list of strategic partners in your area and get your hustle on. Seriously – you should be setting appointments EVERY damn day to meet these people, and form genuine relationships because they’re gonna order BOATLOADS of your cupcakes on the regular.
Want some ideas? First up: Businesses – everyone has office parties, and birthdays and going away celebrations. You could make a list of all the local businesses in your area, make an appointment, drop by, give them some samples, and then let them know you’d be happy to deliver dozen or two dozen or three dozen cupcakes whenever they have a celebration. And don’t forget: GET THEM ON YOUR LIST. Next, think about Wedding Planners and Event Planners. Make a list of everybody in your area, set the appointments, go and drop off some samples and remember, GET THEM ON YOUR LIST. Last but not the least PTA, b*tches! Go around to local schools, find out who heads up the PTA, and give them some cupcakes for their next meeting.
And don’t forget to GET THEM ON YOUR LIST. Strategy #3: Advertise Once you get that opt-in up, consider testing some Facebook Ads to attract local business. Offer a free cupcake on your birthday for newsletters subscribers only. Strategy #4: Use Social Proof You need to add some great little customer reviews on your website like this hot one liner I found about you on Yelp. Strategy #5: Highlight What Makes You DIFFERENT. Here’s what I mean, you need to shout about those special flavors you have like Salted Caramelâ Cookies and Creme and you also got some Smores – they are SO far beyond basic vanilla and yet they’re totally hidden on your site.
You want to make them front and center. You can even do a flavor of the day promotion. Remember, a little flavor porn goes a long way! So there you have it Beth, over a half dozen ways you can market your cupcake business so you don’t get BAKED (and frosted!) by the competition.