Opening your home baking business can be an exciting venture... until you've been in business for weeks and haven't made a single sale. With all the delicious and convenient local bakeries available to most people, your home bakery has to stand out and really make an impression for people to decide it's worth ordering goodies from you (instead of just driving down to Safeway). With some smart social networking and online advertising, however, it's possible to build a large and loyal online client base, and run a successful home bakery. Here are some ways you can use the Internet to market your home baking business.
When marketing online, you don't have the advantage of showing off your goods in person, only through pictures and text. Nobody can decide to buy your cookies based on the mouthwatering smell, but must decide solely based on the image, description and price. Since pictures are such a vital part of selling any product online, you might consider investing in the services of a talented photographer to capture your foods. If you decide to take pictures yourself, make sure you have good lighting (natural light works well) and a decent camera. You should take a picture or two from a short distance to capture the full effect of the presentation, and also some extreme close-ups to capture the unique textures of your creations.
Etsy is a charming website on which you can sell anything vintage or handmade. Baked goods classify as handmade, so you can list them for sale - and many people do. Items on Etsy automatically filter by the most recently listed, so stay active and list new items frequently to generate views and interest.
Joining forums is a great way to network with other bakers and people interested in baking. You can share recipes and advice, as well as make yourself known in the baking world. When conversing in a forum, don't blatantly advertise your business within your posts. You can create a link to your blog, Etsy shop or any other website you run in your signature (so it's present without being annoying). Forums you might consider joining are:
Start a Blog
A frequently updated blog is a great way to get fresh viewers and generate interest in your business. Your blog should be baking related, so the visitors you get are already interested, but it doesn't have to rotate solely around selling products. Try sharing recipes, reviewing baking equipment or even telling fun personal stories about baking. In your "About Me" page on your blog, mention your business and provide contact information or a link to wherever you sell your products. Some of your blog viewers won't be enticed, but you'll be sure to get business from some of those who are.
Make sure you're marketing yourself well with high quality and appealing photos, and use popular websites and forums to network and build a customer base. By following this advice, you can promote your home bakery online for maximum success.