When I first decided to start to make a go of my cake business I knew I would have to embrace as many online tools as I could. Not only are they free, but they allow you to reach more people than and make some great online friends who can help you on your way. Here is a few I use:
Flickr - a great photo album website that you can register with for free and upload up to 100MB of pictures per month. You can also pay for $25 per year to have a pro account and get loads more features and options for a very reasonable annual fee. Flickr also has some great group forums where you can get help and advice from others in your field. I joined a group called Cupcakes UK and we all post hints/tips/advice regularly. Also nice for feedback and idea sharing. Flickr also have a function called Explore where they pic the most interesting photos for a period and feature them on their website for everyone to see. Here are some of my photos that have been Explored recently.
1. Football cupcake, 2. Group shot of eggless cupcakes, 3. Dirt Cupcakes, 4. Lemon swirlie heaps on vanilla cupcake, 5. Rainbow cake
Twitter - one of the fastest growing forms of social networking in recent years. I joined a few months ago as Star Bakery and I now have over 200 followers reading my daily updates. It takes a little while to get used to 'twittering' but you 'meet' some great people online and can post photos etc to showcase your work. I regularly speak to people from all over the world and have even got some orders from people who follow me. I like to think that if people are interested in looking at my website then they might like to find out more about me and I think Twitter gives them an opportunity to see the real me.
Facebook - More and more people are on Facebook now and it's an ideal marketing environment for me as the demographic of facebook users has moved away from kids and teens to adults and parents getting in touch with old friends. This is perfect for me as one of my target audiences is parents. I have a fan page on Facebook (please join!!) and this allows me to keep people up to date with where I am and what I'm baking. I don't yet have a fully functional website so this is vital for me as I want to try and have a two-way communication with potential clients and allow them to see what I can do and where they can come and see me when I have a stall somewhere.
These are just some of the tools I use, do you have any recommendation's for me? How do you feel about Facebook and Twitter?