Marketing a cake business can often be a mind field! Where do you market your cake business? How should you market your business? All valid questions. I caught up with one man who is on a mission to make marketing that little bit easier for the home cake maker.
Meet Simon Allen, owner of Occasion Maker, an online platform designed to help showcase and market cake makers businesses and their works of art, all for a very affordable monthly fee.
So let’s get to know Simon and Occasion Maker.
Simon, lovely to meet you, so how did you come up with the idea for Occasion Maker?
In 2011 I met my first professional cake decorator. A single mother and who ran a small home cake business. She explained to me how she loved to create cakes but struggled to sell enough, and market her business. The marketing side daunting and ridiculously frustrating. A past experience hadn’t helped either, she been badly burnt (excuse the pun!) from a sales and marketing professional who had promised her the earth but not delivered. Having been called by a sales representative, they said they would promote her business for £250 per quarter. But they didn’t advertise her business at all and even threatened her with legal action when she wanted to stop! She unfortunately lost a substantial amount of money. Money that she could have spent on her family or put towards her business in other ways.
Coming from a single parent family myself, I understood how much of a financial burden this would be on her family. It shocked me that cake makers were being taken advantage like this.
So I decided I needed to do something to help and OccasionMaker.com born.
Sadly, I think we can all relate to the above story one way or another. I know I can. When I first started my business I got into a similar situation. I remember getting a call from a sales representative from a magazine promising me a fantastic deal. At the time I had never experienced a call like this before and it didn’t end well! I found myself locked into a 12 month contract paying around £100 per month. I never did see the magazine, couldn’t find it anywhere! So I have no idea where my money went and needless to say it was a pricey lesson to learn.
So what makes Occasion Maker different?
It has one simple goal, to provide a fun and safe environment for cake decorators to share their best work and display their contact information to help promote their business. And we do promote. We promote our 200+ world wide cake makers on the website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.
You’re website at the moment is great but you’re launching a brand new Occasion Maker website, why now?
Over the last seven years, we have had several versions of the website, each time improving on the last. We have added better content, more competitions and improved ways to celebrate the amazing edible works of art and flavours.
We decided 2018 was the year to build version 4. It is mobile friendly, super easy to share on social media and each cake decorator will be able to have their own user login and account. Meaning they will be able to upload their own gallery of wedding cake, create a biography, add opening hours and of course their contact details.
But not only have we invested in the website, we are also working with S.E.O wizards, social media junkies and other jargon speaking marketing pro’s to ensure that we drive as many customers to your business as possible. Hopefully saving each cake decorator time and money.
It really is my aim that each member of the Occasion Maker website really gets a buzz out of sharing their page on social media and gets more time back for spending it with the family and at the end of the day, making a better income.
If a cake decorator wants to join Occasion Maker and boost their marketing, how much is membership?
Full membership is less than a cup of tea per day! Between 25 to 33 pence depending on whether an individual opts for 1, 3 or 6 months subscription.
It all sounds fantastic, so how can cake business owners get in touch with you and join your website?
Simply get in touch by visiting our website and, clicking the join tab and filling out the form. You can also follow us on social media.
LinkedIn Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4946840
LinkedIn My Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/simon-allen-6b26204b/
What is favourite part about running Occasion Maker?
My favourite part is helping to support and grow over 200 cake decorators businesses but my absolute favourite part is receiving the amazing thank you cakes and letters. Yes, I said thank you cakes, I particularly love receiving those 🙂
Lastly before you go, lets have a quick fire question round!
- Where do you think a passion for baking comes from?:
A shared memory of baking with a parent, son or daughter
- What do you think the cake trend for 2018 is?
I’m really excited to see where the world of Geode Cakes goes
- Which are some of your favourite cake decorator profiles on the Occasion Maker?
There’s so many but I love looking at designs from Môn Cottage Cupcakes in North Wales, Edinburgh Cakes in Scotland and Florabunda and Cake from New Zealand.
- Aside from immersing yourself in the world of cakes and website design what else do you love doing?
I love animals and I am a trustee for my local animal sanctuary charity
- Fruit Cake or Sponge:
Sponge cake every time!
- Favourite Cake:
It has been a real pleasure getting to know you Simon and hearing about your fabulous business. I am all championing people with a passion to help the cake business community. I wish you continued success with Occasion Maker.
We would love to hear your thoughts, let us know if you use Occasion Maker and how it has helped you in the comments box below.
Looking for help with pricing your cakes? Why not take a look at my 7 Step Pricing Formula.