How to Promote Your Home Bakery Business & Get More Exposure
Hey fellow baking nerd! If you’re here reading this post it probably means that:
- You know your baking tastes GREAT (your friends & family keep raving about it!).
- After some consideration and encouragement, you’re keen to sell your baked goods! Que bucket loads of excitement and visions of yourself baking up hundreds of treats with a broad smile 😀
- Then it hits you – you need PEOPLE who will buy your bakes! And where do you find them?!
Getting the word out about your Home Bakery Business is a VITAL step every Home Bakery Owner needs to go through! Getting the word out and getting more exposure is how you get clients, right?
For some home bakers this isn’t such a big deal and they get on with their ideas for spreading the word about their home bakery. For other home bakers it’s a source of panic and dread to tell people about their business!
I absolutely fall in the last category! So there’s no shame whatsoever if the thought of “getting the word out” makes you sweaty and anxious.
These tips apply for BOTH introverted and extroverted home bakers!
The most important thing you need to know right off the bat is that there’s no silver bullet that will fix everything and suddenly get you hundreds of home bakery clients.
Is there ONE ingredient in a super delicious bake?
Is there ONE step in the method?
Some recipes have over 30 ingredients and 40 method steps in them – especially if it’s from incredible desserts like Adriano Zumbo’s for example.
In the same way a successful home bakery doesn’t have just one ingredient or one method-step in it.
When a baking business succeeds it’s because there are lots of elements working together in harmony. Just like with the best recipes.
So IF you’ve been hoping for shortcuts, silver bullets, quick tips etc. that will get you hundreds of clients in 1 month, I encourage you to let that go.
Please save yourself the frustration and disappointment!
>> Try not to look for quick fixes.
Through my own painful, frustrating experiences I’ve found that when we look for quick fixes, we’re really just avoiding our own growth – and success. These beginning phases are a vital part of your journey and story.
If you want a home bakery that gets consistent sales every week; pursue LEARNING & GROWING. The more you truly learn and grow, the more your business will grow.
When I started out my goal was to have a successful home bakery. Maybe that’s your goal right now?
But over time I’ve found that this is actually a very random and difficult goal. This goal makes it very hard to live your life day to day, because the goal is sooooo far into the future that it makes you feel like you’re failing right now!
🌟 The BEST goal is to endeavour to be a better Home Bakery owner than you were yesterday.
When learning & growing are your focus, your success becomes INEVITABLE! That’s just how it works and you’ll learn to love it!
Okay, let me step down from my soap box and give you 4 tips to get the word out when you want more exposure for your Home Bakery Business 🙂
And no, you’re not going to pay money for advertising.
Paid advertising is not how I roll – just ask my course students. If a business needs to pay for advertising, it means it wasn’t built the right way. Great news is; you can totally create a sold out home bakery without ever paying for advertising! I’ve done it and so have my students. And so can YOU!
Here’s how you get the word out, get more exposure and promote your Home Bakery Business…
1. YOU START WITH FRIENDS & FAMILY
Yep, my name is Captain Obvious. Before I share any other tips with you, you need to know this foundational tip first.
Every single business on planet earth STARTS by telling your friends & family about it. And then they might tell other friends about it that could possibly be interested in your products or services.
I’m sure you also want REAL clients and feel that friends & family kind of “don’t count as clients”. I felt this way too! But this thought is SO not true! Family & friends who buy from you ABSOLUTELY count as clients. (Side note – never give them more than a 10% discount though. If you feel too guilty about charging 90% or struggle with pricing your bakes >> check out my post on pricing.)
But honestly, there’s no way around this CRUCIAL first step and it’s where every humble new business begins.
No one is above it.
If you want to start a new business you NEED the network of people you already have in your life right now.
I know first-hand how scary it is to contact all your friends & family to tell them you’re starting a home baking business – because I’ve been there!
But as I keep telling my students, fear isn’t a sign that you’re not ready. Fear is simply a sign that you’re HUMAN. That’s it.
Don’t complicate this step for yourself. It’s like ripping off a Band-Aid.
Just write a message, send it to everyone, and be done with it. If you wait to “feel 100% ready” to tell people about your business, you’ll be waiting forever.
Make a commitment to yourself to just do it. Choose a date and time that you’re going to send the message. Put this date and time on your calendar. You’ll only do this if you put it on your calendar. If it’s not on your calendar, you’ll always find another reason to procrastinate.
Then when the date and time rolls around – honour your OWN commitment!
2. STRATEGICALLY USE LOCAL, HIGH QUALITY INGREDIENTS
Now we’re going to get into some more intense tips. Don’t move on to these next tips if you didn’t do tip #1 yet. Promise me!
Okay cool, let’s move on.
There are certain ingredients that just taste better when they’re local, right?
Like honey, eggs, certain cheeses, wine, olive oil and sometimes even things like chocolate and butter!
Yes, they’re often more expensive.
But don’t let that get in your way because there’s a great opportunity here!
Let’s say there’s a local chocolaterie whose chocolate you absolutely love. They’ve got a great reputation, lots of fans and a large social media following.
- Go to their store. Take a photo of yourself at their store. Share the photo on your Instagram stories with text describing why you love their chocolate so much and tag the chocolaterie in the post too.
- Buy some chocolate, take it home.
- Bake something super yummy with it. Take beautiful photos of the bakes.
- Put them in a box with your logo on it. Take a photo of the box and share it on your Instagram stories and tag the chocolaterie in the post too.
- Take the bakes as a FREE GIFT to the chocolate shop for the owners & staff with a hand written note to say thank you for their amazing chocolate that’s the best in the world.
Odds are they’ll give you a shout out on their social media! With such a kind gesture – and PRAISE fort their product that makes THEM look good – they’ll probably give you a shout-out!
I’ve done this with lots of high quality local products. And as a result I get seen by their customers on their social media – who clearly already love delicious food (hint-hint *ideal customer alert!).
This strategy also increases your business’s reputation because you’re associating yourself with a high-rep, established business. And they’re associating themselves with you. This does wonders for your reputation – especially when you’re a NEW business.
Please note that you need to be HONEST here. Don’t say their product is “the best in the world” if you don’t mean it.
And your photos need to look nice. If they don’t look nice the business might not be so eager to share your photos spontaneously. Click here to get some of my photo tips I’ve shared on Instagram.
3. USE LOCAL, FOOD RELATED HASHTAGS ON INSTAGRAM
I used to think hashtags are just these random things you use on Instagram because everyone’s doing it. But hashtags are SUPER STRATEGIC my friend!
I learned everything I know about hashtags from Instagram expert Carla Biesinger.
As a local business you need to use LOCAL hashtags to get seen by your ideal clients – who are local!
Let me use my own Home Bakery as an example:
I live in Cape Town, so if I want Cape-Townians to find me on Instagram, it won’t help to use the hashtag #baking. First of all it’s a super popular hashtag, so my post will just disappear down the line.
Secondly it doesn’t reach my IDEAL client who LOVES food and lives in Cape Town!
Better hashtags to use will be #capetownfood #capetowndesserts #capetownfoodie.
They’re all very specific to my area AND they all revolve around food. These are the hashtags my ideal clients are using in THEIR posts, so odds are they check out these hashtags’ feed at least once a week.
You can find your best local food hashtags by going to the free Instavast Instagram Hashtag Generator. Click on free tools >> hashtag generator >> Keyword. Then type in your town/city in one word e.g. capetown.
Then they’ll give you a bunch of different ideas of local hashtags that are being used on Instagram already.
Just make sure you don’t use hashtags that have been used more than 200k times. When a hashtag is huge it becomes very difficult for small accounts to trend for this hashtag. Meaning, your post won’t make it to the top 9 posts and get seen by lots of people.
And please use a local hashtag even if it’s tiny! if the hashtags are small and have only been used a few thousand times – use it! Quality matters here, not quantity.
Imagine if it’s only been used 2000 times, but then your post makes it to the top 9, and 63 ideal clients see your post! Imagine if just 10% of those people order, it’s still 6 orders which is a lot!
Using smaller, local food hashtags increases your chances of being discovered by your ideal clients.
4. TRADE AT LOCAL FOOD MARKETS
Obviously this doesn’t work when there’s a pandemic going on. A pandemic like Covid-19 is a rare exception to the norm.
Local Food Markets can be a brilliant way to showcase your bakes, get more exposure and make some good money. Some annual Food Markets/Food Shows boast with attendances of up to 20 000 people – craaaazy!
If there’s one thing that humans LOVE to do, and never seem to get tired of, it is eating GOOD food.
I’ve had my fair share of Food Market Stalls over the last 7 years. I’ve traded at 7 DIFFERENT markets for a total of 22 TIMES. Was it worth it? YESSS!!!
If you can manage to trade at the exact same local Food Market for at least 6 months, you’ll build up a LOT of credibility and trust.
People might not see or notice your business the first 2 times. But when they KEEP SEEING you and your bakes, the odds that they’ll buy from you increases.
The repeated exposure you get from Food Markets is amazing. Plus, it’s the BEST way for you to learn how to interact with clients and confidently speak about your bakes.
Confidence mostly comes by repetition!
5. WORD OF MOUTH STILL WINS
Word of mouth is still, by far, the best strategy to grow a business! Whether you’ve just started your home bakery or been going for years; word of mouth trumps any other form of marketing.
Seriously; 1000 flyers are less effective than 1 person telling their best friend “Jane, you’ve GOT to order from this bakery!”
Remember this line: People buy from businesses they know, like and trust.
If these things aren’t in place, people simply just won’t buy.
Word of mouth is SO effective because you’re essentially piggy-backing on the trust that people have in their personal relationships.
Jane will buy from you because she trusts her best friend. With word of mouth it’s irrelevant whether Jane trusts YOUR business or not.
So make sure your current clients (even if it’s just 2 friends and 3 family members right now) have the BEST possible experience with you!
If you take great care of your clients they WILL talk about your business. When a client loves your business, they’ll promote your business FOR you – and for free! It’s SO rad!
And here’s a little secret >> their experience with you is about so much more than just baked goods!
Remember that home baking is all about family and love. So, every single moment you’re in contact with a client you need to CARE.
Care about the things THEY care about. Care about the important details in their lives that you’re baking for. Always follow up. Always be kind and excited to see them.
Your business exists to serve your clients and make them feel good & special.
If you want more clients, be faithful with the clients you have now. Do for 4 people what you’re eager to do for 400.
BONUS TIP #1: Website and SEO
Honestly, you don’t NEED to create a website when you’re just starting out.
But when you want to grow your baking into a part-time or full-time career, you absolutely need to create a website.
The reason is simple; people search on Google to find products & services they need. And Google literally cannot recommend your business to anyone if you don’t have a website.
And, believe it or not, creating a website isn’t such a HUGE thing as people make it out to be! It doesn’t have to be complicated and you can create one in an afternoon.
Wix makes it super easy! They’ve got awesome templates and it’s an extremely user friendly platform.
And then, once you’ve created your website, you also want to check out Wix’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) options.
SEO sounds like something super complicated, but it’s just a fancy term for doing things to make Google like you 🙂
Also, definitely list your Home Bakery on Google My Business, so it’s even easier for Google to recommend your business!
You essentially increase your “digital footprint” by having a website, optimize the website with SEO and are listed on Google My Business. And then slowly, but surely, a steady stream of NEW clients will start finding you!
BONUS TIP #2! Learn how to Stand Out from your Competitors
It’s difficult to draw attention to your Home Bakery. The number of new Home Bakeries (and storefront Bakeries) is growing every day…
All over the world, more and more bakers are realizing that they can actually bake for money – from the comfort of their own home!
And although that’s a wonderful thing, it does present a whole new set of challenges.
With so many talented bakers, how do you get people to notice your business?
How do you draw a client to yourself instead of those other hundreds of bakers?
The answer is quite simple: my friend, you need a CLEAR STRATEGY to STAND OUT in the crowd! And I’ve got a free guide for you to help show you how to do it.
Click the pink button to get the free guide I’ll see you on the other side inside the Free Resource Library!