Wedding Cake Business – 5 Strategies for Sweet Success
By Stephanie Padovani – United States
The wedding market is extremely competitive, with good reason. With over 2 million weddings annually, the wedding industry generates over $53 billion each year.
As tempting as it is to break into the wedding cake market, you’ll need your smarts to beat your competition to the wedding cake payday.
Here are six strategies you can use to break into the wedding market.
- Use the “Sweet Talk” networking strategy.
Networking is the fastest way to get leads. Just one relationship with another wedding business can generate hundreds of referrals.
Here’s how it works:
- Identify five wedding venues or caterers that DON’T have an in house baker. Make sure they specialize in mid to high end weddings.
- Bake an especially delectable batch of cupcakes and deliver them in person.
- While they gobble up your goodies, offer to volunteer your services for their next tasting or bridal event.
When you identify the right networking targets, providing these delicious freebies is an investment that wins fans and generates referrals.
- Send an Unforgettable Postcard.
We used this strategy to break into the wedding business when we were newbies.
Print some postcards (get them super cheap from Vistaprint.com) with your smiling face on them. Be sure to leave a blank space on the back.
Every time you go to a networking event or deliver a cake, send your clients and the wedding vendors you meet a postcard with a personal handwritten note.
You immediately stand out, get remembered and eventually referred.
- Go for the bag instead of the booth at a bridal show.
Bridal shows are a guaranteed way to meet brides, but they can also be expensive. Instead of paying anywhere from $500 – $1,000 or more for a booth, have your brochure added to the gift bag each bride gets when registering. You’ll get in front of those coveted bridal show leads for a fraction of the cost.
- Give the gift of engagement cupcakes.
Find the announcements of newly engaged couples in the newspaper. Look up the bride’s name on Facebook and message her with an offer for a free “engagement celebration” cupcake.
When the couple redeems their engagement cupcake coupon, get their email or mailing address and permission to follow up. You’ll be their number one choice when it’s time to order the cake.
- Start a referral rewards program.
Give your customers a free cupcake or credit towards their next order for each person they refer. Build this into your regular email, Facebook page or direct mail promotion and watch the referrals roll in.
If you want a thriving wedding cake business, channel your creativity and your culinary talents into your marketing. Follow these strategies and you’ll make a big splash in your local wedding market in no time.
Stephanie Padovani shares oodles of free wedding marketing strategies like these at BookMoreBrides.com. She and her husband empower wedding business professionals with low cost, effective marketing strategies and powerful “anti-price shopper” communication techniques so they can book more weddings at higher prices…without resorting to sleazy, high-pressure sales tactics or competing on price.
A little pet peeve of mine are blogs and advice given by those whom are not experts within their industry.
I personally create about 300 custom cakes (about half are wedding) a year. I have tried all 5 of your strategies in the past and none of them have worked.
What does work first of all is creating the type of portfolio that you wish your business could be. If that means creating discounts or dummy cakes to do so, then do it.
Next is identifying your target bride and where and how she shops. For me I prefer an intelligent, high standards, age 20-35, who loves to do their own research.
Places like Yelp are ideal to reaching these types of clients, not lazy wedding sites or bridal shows that take your money and run (very poor return on investments).
Google adwords can work too, and make sure to drive your social networking like Facebook and Instagram (pictures are their highest impact posts).
Final piece of advice is stay away from cupcakes. texture, taste and appearances are not the same as a wedding cake. It is like comparing hamburgers to steak.