Welcome to the Business of Baking, the blog that teaches you how to develop, run and grow your business.

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GIVEAWAY: A brilliant book, a brilliant apron and a surprise from me!

It’s time for a fun giveaway – and this is open for anyone all over the world!

Front Cover

I’m giving away a copy of the book Surprise Cakes (the author Marsha reads this blog AND she’s the star of my next interview), a Fabricor Workwear Apron, AND I’ll even send you a secret surprise from me! (Nope, not Oreos…)

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Why do you get the chance to win this stuff?  Well, because I love you – but also because I really enjoyed Marsha’s book AND I loved the aprons I got from Fabricor. They sent me two of them to try and I’ve spent the last few months giving mine one heck of a workout. It’s pretty much the bestest apron I’ve ever owned (and I own a LOT) and it’s the easiest thing to wash. I seriously love it, and since they gave me 2, I’m giving one to you! YAY! How cool is this – this apron actually repels water (or in my case, sugar syrup.)

Disclaimer: I wasn’t paid to run this giveaway. I just sometimes get cool stuff and I like to pass it on.

ENTER HERE:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

What NOT to Share on Social Media

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Last week I talked to you about the kinds of things you can talk about on social media – and today, I’d like to talk to you about the kinds of things you SHOULDN’T talk about on social media.

“Authenticity” is a term that gets used a lot in the online world, we talk about how we all need to be honest, put it all out there, be ourselves and share our stories with the world.  Mostly, I agree with this and I especially think it’s important for small business. Our customers LOVE to hear the story behind the business. Did you know that the “About” page is the second most read page on any website (after the home page)?  When we own a small business we can’t help but let our personality come through in our emails, our social media updates and to some degree our product. I’m fairly sure nobody would say that my style in real life or in cake is girly and delicate!  That being said, no, I don’t think we should let it all just hang out there for the world to see.

So how do you balance “being yourself” with being professional?

Whenever I’m not sure if I should share something – which is often as I am notorious for having a big mouth – I ask myself one simple question:

If this person were to walk in to my store, would I say this out loud to them?

 

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That’s it. Is what you’re about to say online something you would say to a real human standing right in front of you? If the answer is, “no,” then there’s your answer – don’t post it. If your answer is, “Yes,” then go ahead. If your answer is, “I might, but I’m worried they will be offended. I’m really not sure,” then my advice is to keep that one to yourself and find something else to talk about OR find another way to word it so it’s not offensive. Sure, some people get offended at very small things and you can’t please them all … but we all know to avoid the bigger topics of sex, drugs, and politics when it comes to our small business pages.

I really think that question should apply to everything you do online, be that posting on your business page, commenting on a forum, posting a picture and so on. Yes, we all love to have a rant and a snark and a whine, and there are places where that’s totally reasonable and appropriate. I’m not the Fun Police. I just think it’s high time we started seeing one another as people not just faceless people behind a keyboard. So when it comes to your social media (especially for your business) I just want you to remember this:

If you wouldn’t say it out loud, don’t say it online.

Marketing Your Business on Social Media

marketing your business on social media

Last week I spoke to you about feeling overwhelmed by social media and many of you asked, “But how do I know what to post? I know I need to market my business on social media, but what do I talk about?” Coming up with content for social media or a small business blog can be daunting when you don’t have many orders (so no pictures of cakes to post) or you’re just starting out. Trying to think of stuff to say can be as time-consuming as the time it takes to post.

I’m going to give you a few ideas for what to post to market your business on social media, but before I do let me remind you that your business social media pages are designed to serve your customer or potential customers. So before posting anything at all, you’ve got to be quite clear on who that is and with each post ask yourself, “Is this of any use or interest to my customers?” As an example, suppose you make wedding cakes for the local area. If you’re posting videos of YouTube cake tutorials on your business page, how is that helping your customers or potential customers? Since they are not cake decorators, they are unlikely to be interested in or see value in cake technique tutorials. Similarly, if you’re a local cake business, don’t post funny memes about dealing with difficult clients – not only is that of no interest to them but you don’t really want to “complain” about clients…to clients!

REMEMBER THIS: Everything you post on social media as got to be with your brand and your customer in mind.

marketing your business on social media

 

So keeping those people in mind, here are some suggestions of what to post on social media:

  • Pictures of cakes you’ve made with the testimonial from the client
  • Close ups on details you are proud of (and that will be interesting to clients -not 20 photos of a single petal.)
  • “Behind the scenes” pictures your workspace (note: PLEASE take these pictures carefully. No cats, no kids, no disgusting benchtops!)
  • Shout outs to other local businesses you work with (venues, florists, kids play centres)
  • Links to relevant articles that you have written or others have – and by relevant I don’t mean “hottest celebrity couples 2014” I mean articles about party planning, wedding cake trends, and local suppliers.)
  • Links to your other social media accounts – “Have you seen us on Instagram?”
  • Links to products you sell online (if you sell tutorials, etc)
  • Info about your business they may not know, “Did you know we also rent out cake stands?” and include a picture of those other products/services
  • Info about your product they may not know, “Did you hear there is an egg shortage in the US? At (business name) we only use free range eggs in our cakes and we get them from the local farm.”
  • Links back to your website – “Have you seen the updated wedding cake photo gallery on the website?”
  • Ask them to sign up to your newsletter with a link to do so
  • Pictures of you at events – “Here we are all set up at the Amazing Wedding Fair!”
  • Pictures of you in action, for example putting a flower onto a cake at a venue, rolling out some fondant etc.
  • Updates on your calendar and availability – “”We currently have dates available in November, so please get in touch by calling us on (phone number) to secure your tasting.”
  • General info that new people will not have seen – “Welcome to the (company name) Facebook page! We are a (insert what you do) company located in (place you do it.) We (insert reason why you’re awesome) and we look forward to creating something special for your next event! We can be reached by (contact info).”
  • Ask a question – “My favourite flavour is cookies and cream. What do you like?” “I recently made this cake in navy and gold and blue is my favourite colour. What’s your favourite colour for cakes?”

Pro Tip: Start to build up a library of images you can use for those days when you really can’t think of much to say. When you’re taking pictures, resist the urge to post every single one up at the same time and instead start to build up that library. Take lots of pictures when you have no immediate need for them, solely for the purpose of library building.

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In the above list, there are 14 items – which means you can do one of those a day for 2 weeks and never need to stop and think about the kind of content you’re going to put on each day. That being said not everyone sees every single thing you post (on ANY platform, crazy algorithms or not) so don’t be afraid to repeat the same type of posts more than once in a week. For example, in a given week you might have 3-4 cake pictures, not just the one.

Sitting and wondering, “I know I have to market my business on social media but I have no idea what to talk about,” isn’t doing you or your business much good. Print this list out (or bookmark it for later) so that when you’re stuck for an idea you can come back and use one of these. I also encourage you to come up with some of your own!


My marketing and social media class is coming out later this year – so if you’d like to be first to know when it’s available, just sign up here: Marketing Class VIP list. I won’t bug you till it’s ready to go.