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How to get more wedding cake orders

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I am trying to focus more on wedding cake orders and am interested in how everyone 'draws' in the brides. I rent kitchen space so I don't have a store front. I have a website (cakes-by-michele.com), I am on Facebook and on different wedding sites on line such as weddingwire, onewed, etc. In the past, I have gone to reception venues and have left cards, brought cake samples, etc. but this didn't bring in any business. I have done a couple bridal shows but they are very expensive and I didn't get enough orders to justify going again. What have you all done to get more brides? Who are the best wedding vendors to talk to? I do have a invitations vendor who has gotten me a couple orders but I really want to grow! Thanks for the help!
post #2 of 14
I had a quick look at your website and I would recommend a redesign. A well designed website can go a long way toward getting more clients. You need to make it look more professional and showcase your work. I would also remove any of the pictures that don't show your best work. In my opinion, it's better to have fewer pictures that show the best you can do rather than alot of pictures.

Good luck!
post #3 of 14
You may want to look into online advertising on Google, Facebook, and/or Yelp depending on your target market. Your web site could also benefit from some updating, a professional web designer should be able to help you with that.
post #4 of 14
It seems like your best way to get new brides is most likely referral. I'd look at finding a creative way to contact your non-wedding customers (or wedding, if you've done some already) and talk to them about referring you to their friends. Maybe you can give a discount on a future order or a special of some sort if they send someone your way.
post #5 of 14
1.advertise in wedding magazines that are LOCAL and handed out at wedding shows. There are at least one or two everywhere, find out who they are and put your ad money there.

2. Network with other wedding professionals. Find out if there are networking groups and go to the meetings. For brides the best way to get business is from referrals through other vendors. It's a new client base every single time, so you want to minimize the time that you have to spend chasing each individual client. A referral from a planner or a venue is worth more than any online ad.

3. Follow up on every email and phone call from brides FAST. It's amazing to me how a huge number of wedding vendors take forever to answer people. A quick response impresses people.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the feedback. I definitely want to connect with more vendors. I haven't been able to find any networking meetings/groups in my area. Any suggestions on connecting with vendors?

Crushed - I would love to take a look at your website. Can you leave me the address?

Thanks
post #7 of 14
I'm actually in the process of doing what I suggested you do. I'm reworking my site to make it look better, more professional and more streamlined. I didn't hire someone to do it for me (wish I had the funds), so it's taking FOREVER. I've been checking out the websites from a bunch of my favorite folks on CC and getting a ton of ideas. I am absolutely in love with FromScratchSF's website. Love the clean lines and modern color scheme. Check out some of the sites from people who've been really successful in their business and see what about their site resonates with you.
post #8 of 14
i'm new and this topic is kind of dated, but i thought i would offer some suggetions just in case there are still some people reading this post.

- for minimal participation at shows you gain access to their email list. send an email blast using services like chimpmail or constant contact. they have templates for the e-newsletter that look professional, and the cost is minimal. you can use it to offer info about the company or feature a promotion to entice the consumer. keep adding to your email list and you'll be surprised how quickly it grows. if you are finding some of the addresses are getting old, then offer a referral deal (get 25% off a specialty cake if you refer [company name] to your friend who buys a cake for $XXX or more.)

- websites aren't as daunting to create as they used to be. try services like 1and1.com. for a monthly fee of $10 you can have a great looking site quickly and easily. i'm a firm believer that time is money...so in the beginning try a simpler way to obtain a great site and as businesss picks up, then consult a web designer/developer who can make your website more tailored to your business model.

- social media is key as well. the trick to social media is you have to offer infomation that will keep your fans enganged so they don't want to leave. therefore, share information not just about your cakes and what you are up to, but mention any discounts or promotions and offer tidbits of information the consumer wouldn't readily know (example post: "did you know that a "serving size" is based on a 1" by 2" rectangle?" you'll be surprised how many people respond to info like this). also, like other pages. if you like a page, for example Martha Stewart Cakes, then the fans of Martha Stewart will see that you liked that page and might click on you to see what your page is about. if your page is engaging, then they might like your page too and ultimately stimulate business.

t.
post #9 of 14
I also checked out your website. I think it's easy enough to navigate, however there are a few things you could try I think that might help your goal of targeting brides:

- think about updated your website's look to a more modern template. Larger, clearer photos are important.
- make your wedding cake section the main page to navigate to if you want to be seen as a wedding cake specialist
- put your other occasional cakes in one page, in categories
- invest in a cheap DSLR camera and begin taking clear, beautiful photos of your wedding cakes...brides want to see great photos of great cakes
- get more fondant-covered cakes in your gallery. Most of the ones I saw appeared to be BC-covered and some look a bit dated (eg fountains). Check out the latest trends (wedding magazines, websites etc). Perhaps even make three dummies, decorated in current fashion (eg vintage, frilly, bling-y, textured, oversized gum paste flowers etc), take a bunch of great pix and feature them on your wedding cake page.

I really liked your FAQ section...informative and to the point. It's clear too you've ad a lot of good feedback - I'd emphasise that, too!

I hope this helps a bit icon_smile.gif

Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

Reply

Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

Reply
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Tymmy - I really like the idea of 'liking' a vendors website on the social media sites. Thanks!

In regard to get more updated pictures with fondant, I am in an area where people want buttercream. 95% of my customers prefer it over fondant so I have to do what my customers want, therefore, most of my cake gallery is going to be buttercream. Also, the fountain cake is making a comeback in my area. The ones on my site were done in the last 2 years, so again, it may seem outdated to some, but current brides have wanted it in my area. I custom order to my clients, so if they want it, I'm not going to tell them no, it's outdated, I'm going to give them the wedding cake they want. My website reflects my current wedding cake work. Again, thanks for the input and help.
post #11 of 14
Please don't feel I'm criticizing your work. You clearly are an experienced BC decorator. Your fondant cake in your pics was great too, btw. I understand some clients are going retro with fountains etc. You asked what could attract more wedding clientele; I'm simply saying add a greater variety of styles and you will attract more (different) wedding cake clients. If at present 95% want BC, then 5% want fondant - that is a potential market to expand upon.

Sorry if my post last night sounded brusque in tone. I was trying to be succinct icon_smile.gif

Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

Reply

Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

Reply
post #12 of 14
no problem, michele. i'm glad i could help.

i to looked at your website and i agree with crushed. it just appears to need updating. showcase your best work even if it means less pictures. and show whatever style of cake you want...just make sure it is tailored to your market needs. and if buttercream and fountain cakes is what your market wants, then so be it.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by crushed

I'm actually in the process of doing what I suggested you do. I'm reworking my site to make it look better, more professional and more streamlined. I didn't hire someone to do it for me (wish I had the funds), so it's taking FOREVER. I've been checking out the websites from a bunch of my favorite folks on CC and getting a ton of ideas. I am absolutely in love with FromScratchSF's website. Love the clean lines and modern color scheme. Check out some of the sites from people who've been really successful in their business and see what about their site resonates with you.



Wow, thanks!!! My website is a labor of love.

My impression of your site is it seems like you are throwing a bunch of spaghetti against the wall and hoping a few noodles stick. That's the impression I get when I go to it. If you want to focus on more weddings, you badly need a redesign on your page focusing on weddings. The other stuff is nice, but believe me you will still get just as many calls for christening cakes as you do now if you drop the "religious" tab, combine all your photos into 2 galleries, "Weddings" and "Everything else", and pick 4 or so of your best work representing each category. Tim Gunn talks about it all the time on Project Runway, and it's true... think about your target market. Think about your bride. Who is she? What style is she? What income do you think she has? Is she a Pinterest Rustic Bride that wants wild flowers in mason jars and handmade upcycled centerpieces made out of bicycle spokes getting married in a yurt (yes, I seriously had that)? Or is she a country gal that gets her hair bleached, nails done, loves Tiffany's, is wearing her rhinestone cowgirl boots with her wedding dress and wants hay rides at her wedding? Or is she a career girl that has zero time to plan a wedding during the day so most of her vendor search is done in the middle of the night? I get this one a lot so my page's color scheme was specifically designed to not be in bright colors and simple fonts so it won't offend the eyes if you look at it at 2am.

All these things matter when putting together your company image in the bridal market.

Trust me, I had the same problem. A little over a year ago I went thru a complete company image overhaul, which included a new name that sounded more professional, a fancy logo and branding, and a new webpage. And I drastically raised my prices to be more in line with the income bracket I wanted my target market to be in. All my emphasis is on wedding cakes and I put cupcakes and birthday stuff on the back burner. I really though I'd loose business, especially my cupcake sales, but a funny thing happened - in the past 12 months my sales have quadrupled from 2011, and 2013 is looking to blow 2012 out of the water.

So I hope you see some wisdom in my long rambling post!
post #14 of 14

where do I find your website?

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