Marie Forleo introduction


I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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I just got back to LA from speaking at the Glazer-Kennedy women’s business conference in San Antonio, Texas. I’m proud to say I was blessed with a standing ovation for my presentation.

As I was flying home, I realized that every person at the conference wanted the same exact thing. More customers.

So let me ask you this…

Are you daaaumn good at what you do, but frustrated because only a small number of people know who you are?

Look. You can have the best product or service on the market, but if nobody knows about it – you’re screwed! After all, no customers = no business.

I see so many talented entrepreneurs struggling because they lack the one critical skill that’s the MOST important aspect of any business: marketing.

In today’s episode of MarieTV, join me as I get all up in one local cupcake shop owner’s virtual oven to turn the heat up on her local business marketing strategies.

Whether you have a brick and mortar business, or a virtual storefront that serves the world, in this video you’ll get five valuable marketing strategies that get more customers in the door.

Make sure you watch all the way until the end. You’ll thank me for it.

View Transcript

Check out this episode on The Marie Forleo Podcast

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Now I’d love to hear from you. In the comments below, answer one of the following questions, or both if you’re feeling extra smart.

1.  Got more local marketing ideas to share with Beth? Leave your best idea in the comments so this small business owner doesn’t get baked by the competition.

2.  Which of the five marketing strategies in this video will help YOU the most and why? Tell me exactly how you’ll implement this strategy in your small business.

Last but not least, we’re in the home stretch to win The Shorty Awards as best videoblogger! I’m gaining ground on the puppets so if you can spare a Tweet, click here to vote. 

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  1. Another tip to market to local businesses (more specifically, to restaurants, eateries and bakeries): Set up an Urbanspoon ( profile, include photos, and ask customers to write a review if they enjoyed your cupcakes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to try something new and went straight to my phone to find recommendations on Urbanspoon. I think there are other social platforms too, and it’s definitely something worth looking into, especially since there are a lot of people just looking for new places to eat on their phones, who feel like they can trust the recommendations.

    As for me, I really have to get cracking on that email list thing! Also been thinking of contacting fashion and wardrobe stylists and bloggers (particularly those who are interested in sustainable fashion) to get my stuff out there. I’ve firsthand (and mostly accidentally so far) discovered the power of networking and forming strategic partnerships when it comes to my business, and I think I can take it to the next level, now that my business is just over a month away from officially launching.

    Thanks for another great video!

    • Loved this video! Great advice and so entertaining! 🙂

  2. Great advice for local businesses, Marie. Google’s search revamp & Google+ may help local businesses even more, as detailed in this piece from SearchEngineLand~

    If I could send you a heart-shaped cupcake in the comment form for Valentine’s Day, then you could have your cake and eat it, too. 😉

  3. Here in Texas, we have a great cupcake shop called Sprinkles (its in LA and other places, too). Its “all the rage” among all the girls I go to college with (white, upperclass — being honest). They are super cute with great, original flavours, just like this woman. What makes them all the rage is that they have celebrities as social proof. Blake Lively loves their cupcakes and developed a s’mores flavour with the store (or atleast she slapped her name on it). In addition, some profit from the sales of the S’mores goes towards helping child soldiers in Somalia.

    So maybe finding your target niche and having a hook that would appeal to them. The girls at my college love Gossip Girl (the show Blake Lively’s on), LA (many of them went to high school in california), celebrities, and feeling like they are helping those less fortunate.

    • Love this! Thanks for the tip!!

  4. Agreed- getting appointments and networking is so crucial to local businesses. So many people KNOW they need to do it, but when it comes down to it, they don’t make TIME for it, or they believe they are too SHY to do it. One of my friends has rocked her marshmallow business with social media on Twitter, Facebook, Etsy, Wedding & Party Planner networking, and I think she might even be on Pinterest now too! This girl works her tail off because she doesn’t have a retail storefront- so she also frequents whatever craft fair or farmers market she can find to meet new clients and customers. Her name is Lydia, and you can look her up at Sweet Lydia’s in Lowell, MA.

  5. OMG! Marie, what great ideas! I love this video and I think I can use the same strategie for my freeelance hairdressiner busniess… I moved from Switzerland to London 4 weekes ago and I want to build up my clients here in London… I know I’m a talentet hairdresser and my clients LOVE my highlits…. I will pick some ideas from that video… thanks Marie and team for your great work… much love from London, adriana

  6. Such great advice as usual from Mama Maria! I would suggest getting a facebook page and twitter account and POST PICTURES of those beautiful cupcakes! For example, with a daily or weekly cupcake flavor promotion, post some beautiful pictures of the cupcakes on social media. One of the things my nutrition clients get the most excited about is food, especially pictures of it!

  7. She definitely needs to do Facebook Ads. You can target your ideal customers by Zip Code which is perfect for local area marketing. And guess what, you can even target users on their birthday!
    All bases covered!
    PS Click on my name for free advice on my blog 🙂

    • Victoria – That’s an awesome tip. I didn’t know you could target by birthday. Genius girl!

  8. Great points there Marie!!!

    I’d add a few things …

    Contact local malls and see if you can get a little outreach sample stand for a half day – you can give tasters of your cupcakes, capture emails etc …

    Another thing you could do run a promo with kiddie gyms (sorry dunno what they are called in the US) and offer a competition where someone can win a cupcakes for their party … the competition could include favourite flavours etc

    Another idea is “Get a cupcake named after you!” or “name a cupcake”

    All these ideas bring together the community surrounding your cupcake store, making it fun, and oh so tasty!

    Good luck!

    • Great Ideas!!!! Thank you!

  9. Love these ideas! 🙂 I wonder how you can apply local marketing techniques to branding businesses. I’ve always wanted to have more local clients so I can work on the branding work live.

    LOVE the ideas you gave her. I would def. get a REALLY awesome graphic designer to make special signage and ads that will attract her target market. I find that good design is the differentiating factor with local restaurants and bakeries right now.

    • Have you considered doing branding workshops for small businesses and individuals in the area? It could open up a new local market for you … you could also make money at the same time by charging for it – you could tie up with an entrepreneur group or a local college ….

      I know virtually EVERY entrepreneur or small business is interested/desperate for branding advice and services!

    • Well,
      1. make a list
      2. update your info
      3. find local partners and meet people – promote your product
      4. offer free demonstration to people that sign up or ‘like’ your page
      5. make an offer for their birthday (I have cosmetic and healthy life style products) so I offer free birthday treatment for birthday ladies
      6. include personal people opinions
      7. always hightlight what makes you different.

  10. I’ve found that one of the best ways that local businesses can beat the pants off the competition is by using video.

    A few youtube videos about cupcake recipes or showcasing your ‘flavour of the week’ will put you so far ahead of the competition it’s unreal.

    Your videos don’t have to be fancy AT ALL. Even an iPhone video will do the trick.

    And leverage your videos – upload them to youtube, embed them on your website, add them to your Google Places page, all that good stuff.

    Put your keywords (e.g. ‘cupcakes lynchburg’ ) in the filename of your video, and in the title and tags on youtube. This will give your vids some SEO power.

  11. Marie that was a super video!!! I would love to suggest to Beth that she approach the local indoor playground places where a lot of parents have their kids birthday parties at and set up something where parents can order the cupcakes for their kids party when they book the party at the playplace!!! Moms love one stop shopping when planning their kids parties!!
    Also, can cupcakes be made “nut free”?? Huge demand for that here in Toronto!! Distribute flyers through local schools and take part in any type of local school functions perhaps (fundraisers etc). High schools are always looking for ways to raise money all the time!!

    Marie thank-you so much for your help with my question to you last video!! I LOVE how this “KARMA” thing works in business for women!!
    YOU ROCK!!!

    • Yes! Nut free, gluten-free, egg-free etc … that’s something that is a huge selling point. I know that I snap up any gluten-free delight I can get my hands on!

      • Really good suggestion Anna!

      • Gluten free is where it’s at! I’m sensitive to it and return again and again and again to the bakeries that offer GF options.

  12. Another great video Marie!

    I love strategy #2: Find Local Partnerships. Pet Industry Marketing always suggests we walk ourselves in to our local vet offices, animal supply shops, etc. for introductions but your ideas to market to Event & Wedding planners, and the PTA work for a pet sitter/dog walker as well! I love it! And I’m totally going to implement this stuff asap.

    What didn’t work so well for me was Facebook advertising. I’m still wondering what a successful FB campaign looks like? I had hoped for more clicks and a higher number of new relationships.

  13. Hi Marie!
    My husband noticed you’re extra wacky in today’s video… it that what being in the Cali sun has done to you? You need to share some of that energy with us east coasters!
    I’m definitely adding “birthday” to my opt in for my wellness center 🙂 so I can start giving away a free Amethyst BioMat session on subscribers birthdays…
    You rock! xoxo

  14. OMG! hilarious.. blue dress.. lol

    I love all these marketing ideas and i am happy to say that i’m implementing most bc i learned them in b-school.

    I’d like to piggy back on your PTA idea, and suggest that people get involved with school fundraisers. I ALWAYS donate a free private yoga session, a DVD, and a few free yoga classes from the studios I teach at. The baskets are usually set up on a table where they let you put out flyers and business cards- I have gotten a ton of business from doing a few of those a year.
    Also, how about a cupcake contest to name the next “flavor of the month?” is there a local fair in your town that you can have a booth and do this at? We have an “art in the park” every year that draws thousands of people- something like that would be perfect.

    xo Danielle

    PS- MARIE, my husband was watching next to me too, and was cracking up the entire video!

  15. Marie
    Great Advice! As an advocate to save the local business in the community, all of these ideas are right on point. One thing we have to remember, is that you have to ALWAYS be marketing and doing something totally creative to let people know you exist. Put your message out there, BE BOLD!

    Another idea I think you should try, is get in touch with the Bridal Boutiques, Bridal Salons and wedding planners.Not everyone is going the traditional route and buying wedding cakes anymore. You have the younger brides that are willing to break traditions and go with Cupcakes!

    Try It!

    Nikki Curry

    • oooh! Good one Nikki!

    • Thanks Nikki!!! I am working on the “BE BOLD” right now……I know it is my biggest struggle:)
      Thanks for the tip!!!

  16. Great advice as always Marie!

    I would also recommend fun contests as a way to drum up more business. Perhaps some sort of “suggest a new flavor” type would be a way to get some excitement brewing.

    Also, I would create a gluten free cupcake and vegan options if you didn’t have these already and then target that market (it’s big in our area). This would expand your options to grab a whole ‘nother market.

    I love cupcakes – you could always move here. Heh heh…..I’d come every day. But uh….I guess that’s not a very brilliant strategy.


  17. Some awesome tips from Marie and also the other ladies in the comments!

    Another tip is utilise Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Join a few business related groups with people in your area and post a few times to let them know you’re there. Build relationships with the people in those groups so next time they want cupcakes, they know who to call!

    For me it will be to get my email list cranking, I have a sign up form on my website – – but no real incentive for people to want to sign up. So I’ll get working on the incentive first, then blast all my social networks and tell everyone to go join it and share around.
    I will also run webinars to get more people onto my mailing list.

    Thanks for another awesome Q&A Tuesday Marie, and Happy Valentines!

    • Great Idea on using LinkedIn, Phillipa Kiripatea! Personally I use LinkedIn to broaden my network with professionals who I might not meet in person.

  18. I am a sales rep in the biotech/ pharm industry. We are always looking for great treats to share with our customers. Something new and exciting.

    1-Go to your family doctor and ask if they could share the names of some of their favorite reps to add to your list. Give the reps a call and offer them free samples and quantity discounts for sharing your treats with their customers. Maybe even put together a loyalty program for them.
    Some restaurants offer these reps a 10% loyalty for their continued support. You choose the way you handle it.

    2-We also use a lot of different caterers. Give your local caterers and offer to sell them your cupcakes to add to their offeringds to their customers.

    3- Biotec/ Pharma Sales reps are an awesome at marketing. We come in contact with hundreds of people each week. They could alone take you to the next level. And believe we have lists!

    I do know that their are lots of these reps in central/ southern VA I am one.

    • This is a freakin’ awesome idea!

  19. Once again, a rock solid performance by Marie.

    Morning everyone from Mattapoisett.

    Love your easy to act upon, action items. Great way to get the cupcake lady out into the community in a very fun, engaging way – birthdays, cupcake flavors, and naming a cupcake are all fabulous.

    I definitely agree that getting some praise up onto her site will be good. I just recently starting getting some praise from my coaching clients and slapped it up onto my website. Makes a world of difference (even if for my ego when I am feeling down!)

    xo Johanna

  20. Awesome advice!
    When checking out local businesses don’t forget to check out personal trainers and gyms too.

    Right now I am working with a local bakery to gift my students a free mini-cupcake coupon when they come in for a workout on their birthday. When you connect with the right small business the cross promotion benefits go a long way!

  21. Great tips maria! how about a cupcake contest to name the next “flavor of the month?” Thats great and can work for anything! Love it! I think your hot!

    and Happy Valentines!

  22. I’m inspired AND my mouth is watering! Thanks Marie

  23. Excellent advice, Marie. It’s so great to hear advice for a product based business. And yours NAILED it!
    I’ll be playing and replaying this video!!
    Keep the blue dress clean! Giddy Up!

    • Marie, this is in my opinion your best video EVER! I love the outfit btw. Marketing is definitely one of the most difficult areas for business owners because it can seem so daunting. Another thing that a cupcake business could do is simply hitting the streets and hustling. I mean throw on a giant cupcake suit and offer samples, branded balloons and postcards to local shoppers. I’ve never seen a company do that and if I did, I’d take notice! Rather than following what everyone else in your industry is doing, do something radically different. The ideas from fellow ‘commenters’ are amazing!

  24. Lots of great ideas in the video and here in the comments.

    I especially like 1) getting opt ins – building a list and 2) asking customers to share reviews on Yelp, UrbanSpoon, etc.. and 3) PTA – lots of influence there.

    My suggestions would be 1) connect with local media and bloggers who can get out the word for you and 2) hold networking events to get more people in the door.

  25. I am writing an ebook on unique places to have meetings outside of the coffee shop. Cupcake shops made the list. I think you can promote the user of a small area of your store for people to have quick meetings. Business people are loyal and will buy your cupcakes for client gifts and co-worker gifts (especially around the holidays) if you promote it. My fav cupcake shop in Houston serves milk in the old fashioned jars. Super cute! Lastly, you can do a frequent cupcake card…buy a dozen and get one free. Good luck with your marketing ideas. Lots of awesome ideas on this page!

    • Excellent idea Terra–people love freebees and a frequent buyer card is spot on. another great marketing strategy is to give a free cupcake when a dozen is ordered. It makes a great impression on people who get that surprise.

  26. Sam

    I love you Marie! And I love your blue dress–uber sexy! I would like to add something here I observed after visiting Taste Selects Website. Although the company logo fits perfectly (cupcake vector), the company name doesn’t seem to fit. It doesnt “grab” my attention. Maybe change name to include the word CUPCAKES or a more mouth watery name. Even something like “Sweet Selects” The best cupcakes in the world! (you get the idea) I know it is costly to make such a huge change, but the $$$$ return will more than pay for it. NOW–I would def pop in that cupcake store just to make sure they in fact ARE “the best cupcakes in the world”! 🙂

  27. Wow, so awesome. Absolutely loved this video! This information was so helpful to me as I am currently running a virtual storefront for a cake and cupcake business on the side of my full time job. Since starting my business, I’ve quickly realized that marketing is actually one of my favorite things to do! Whenever I watch your videos Marie, I feel so inspired to work harder on my business and feel so hopeful that I will reach my business goals. Since the cake biz is slow in the winter months, I’m actually using this time to re-vamp my website and focus on marketing myself, definitely will be using your tips as I move ahead! So many of my cake orders come from word of mouth referrals, I’ll do a cake for a party and then friends at that party will contact me to do a cake for their upcoming party. To keep this flow going, I offer a discount to my loyal clients whose referrals give me a new order.

  28. Hiya Ladies, Dudes and Marie!
    1) for Beth, how about getting a bunch of fun cupcake shaped magnets and put em all over your car with a one that says, “Please, take my cake” or something like that, so that way where ever you drive round you have passive marketing, and then folks will stick it somewhere and remember the story of how they got the magnet.
    2) I ‘ve really been working on the getting out in front of people, doing a face to face hustle event a couple of time a week, putting myself out there more. And I’m working on a personal image rebranding, really making sure what I’m conveying is what I intended, and does it fit with my offerings.
    As always, you folks are awesome!
    See ya next week!

  29. I am surprised that no one has mentioned Living Social or Groupon so far. Also, asking for referrals from current customers might be helpful.

    • I was thinking the same thing. Groupon and LivingSocial are easy ways to get business.

      Just be careful: 102,000 cupcakes! Small bakery burned by Groupon

      • Yes I agree Stacey! Groupon and LivingSocial are good options to consider, but you have to be prepared to offer timely product and great customer service under what could be an avalanche of demand.

        I know that you can limit the number available. And say when the deal starts and expires.

        Idea – do you offer mini cupcakes or skinny cupcakes? Organic is also another option that might appeal.

        (these are my ideas, not psychic ones!)

        • Aren’t there special restrictions/rules that you can place on these offers, so you’re not getting the 100,000+ customers? Remember that for that particular small bakery they ran a national ad, rather than sticking to one town/location.

  30. Marie, thank you for your consistently kick-ass awesomely informative and relevant videos! You da bomb! Using social proof and proving what makes my biz different is what I’ll be adding to my landing page on my new website. I was a bit stumped when it came to idea for what to include on it but this video truly helped me line up what’s most important. My photography business is just about to become an LLC and be fully legal, so, I want to get the word out and in the most efficient manner as possible! It helps when customers hear by work of mouth, or SEE by findin you online that your product is worth it for them and it’s a luxury they want to afford. Having tips like these every week have been assisting me greatly… I plan to set up email marketing ASAP! I foud out about Mad Mimi Marketing recently… Great tool!

  31. One idea that I guarantee will add business is to find a way to reach out to pharmaceutical sales reps. I was in that business for 10+ years and we/they are constantly looking for new/different goodies to bring into offices. You could even market directly to them by having a frequent buyers program. (many business do this because pharma reps provide snacks almost every day somewhere…why not your amazing cupcakes? email me if this is unclear and I will be happy to clarify! GOOD LUCK!

    • Love Love Love this!!! Thanks Kendrick!

    • Onika Robinson

      can u explain the process not entirely sure

  32. Ooh Marie, so many good sprinkles for us cupcakes! I am thinking about point #1. I have a newsletter signup on my website, and honestly, the number of people on my list is sluggish. I definitely have an edge where I don’t know how to offer an incentive for signing up that won’t seem sleazy or taking advantage as a healing practitioner.

    Such good advice here for Beth. Here is my two sprinkles worth:

    Market yourself as being a bakery having that extra sumpin sumpin. I would hightail it to a bakery that advertised icing only Cupcakes! I know I’m not the only one – I was at a party recently that had a cupcakes tower, and I watched adults licking the icing off and leaving the cake.

    A cupcakes party kit where you supply unfrosted cakes, fun icing and sprinkles would be hot hot hot. Kids love do it themselves food at parties.

    Thanks to everyone who posted today for the awesome advice, I am brewing some tea and getting right on my website to implement the great tips here.

    Peace out,

    • they do those here in Denver – they are called “Icing Shots” or “Frosting Shots” and are served in a shot glass.

    • Robin,
      You could offer a list of stress relieving strategies or ’10 Ways to Increase Your Energy’. Just a quick 1 page ‘report’ could be your freebee.

  33. Who’da thunk getting out is the key to business success?!?! It’s easy to be seduced into thinking sitting behind the computer or behind a counter is “working,” however, I now realize that just a couple of KEY partnerships will explode a business faster than one may think.

    Love the ideas of partnerships…and of course, BUILDING THE LIST!

  34. Creating and contacting peeps on a FRANK list could be really helpful too. FRANK stands for F-friends, R-relatives, A-acquaintances, N-neighbors, and K-kids.

    • I always ask my friends, coworkers, acquaintances, etc for referrals because I hate looking in the phone book or online for services, products, where the hot spot is for dinner, etc. I think letting everyone you know that you offer a certain product or service is one of the best ways to market yourself.

  35. As someone mentioned above, def hit up caterers too — they’re often on the lookout for suppliers to provide what they don’t specialize
    in. I worked in the service industry for years — with caterers, restaurants, wine bars and so on, and I can tell you, local partnerships
    like this REALLY come in handy!

    And as Chad mentioned above, work with pharma reps — great idea! The last restaurant I worked for did tons and tons of business
    this way.

    Also, partner with wine bars to do a cupcake and wine tasting. One of the cupcakeries in my local area does this to great success!
    About once a month, they provide cupcakes for a wine tasting at a local wine bar, and both the cupcake place and the wine bar
    send invites to their email lists, and each promote it on their Facebook pages as well. It’s become a regular third Thursday of the
    month event that benefits both businesses. And hey, who doesn’t like cupcakes and wine?! : )

    Or what about running a promotion with a local florist, where for $100, you get a dozen roses and a dozen cupcakes delivered?

    Another thing she could do is build excitement and engagement on her Facebook page by promoting the day’s special flavors, etc.
    There’s a bakery in my town that does really cool FB promotions this way. So they do a status update in the a.m. with the flavors
    they plan to run that day, then as the flavors start selling out, they highlight this fact on their Facebook page: “Key lime custard
    almost gone, 6 left, come in and get yours!” Then their raving fans post things like, “Dang, gotta get down there now!” and more
    comments roll in throughout the day, which really builds excitement and makes a person want to get their behind in there and get
    some cupcakes! : )
    This same biz promotes “day-olds” on their Facebook page too, where at the end of each day they give away cupcakes they can’t
    sell anymore b/c they’re a day or two old. Man, people LOVE this, and it gets peeps in the store who then buy other things, plus it
    creates tons of goodwill.
    I’ve got some other ideas too, but this comment is getting way too long. : )

    Another great video, Marie, thanks for all you do!

  36. What about offering a free cupcake, or X% off a half dozen for signing up for the email list? Some people will unsubscribe, but a lot will stay and your cost per cupcake can’t be that high. You wouldn’t have to do it forever, but it would help get your list going.

  37. Fiona Campbell

    Hi Marie, I loved the lateral thinking you got me doing. I make really powerful Seaweed Gel which heals the kind of skin conditions modern medicine can’t shift, it’s natural and the only side effects are increased energy and feelings of well-being! I sell it from a farmers market stall in Ireland and have been knocking on doors during the week which seems to be working well, but slowly. I want to reach the children and teenagers who are suffering from eczema and psoriasis and the PTA meeting idea sounds good. I’ll keep you posted!

    • terri

      im interested in your seaweed gel, do you have a website or facebook page?

  38. Thanks Marie!

    This is perrrfffffect! I have launched a social media company to help local businesses “make their websites work for them”. My absolute main strategy is creating the optin for them so they can build a list. Whether it’s an email or mobile list, as you said… THEY NEED TO BE DOING THIS! It’s the biggest bang for your (small) buck!

    Your video gave me some additional great ideas! I love the birthday idea… adding birthdate in the optin form!



  39. Wow Marie,
    You’ve done it again and this is the niche I’m building as well! Awesome ideas all the way around.

    There’s also a few things she can do on her google places page by adding a coupon and some video featuring some of her yummies right there. The same content can be used on her facebook page as well. Lots of people mentioned buying ads on facebook and geo-targeting them as well. What keeps the price low of facebook ads is if your ad directs them straight to their facebook page vs taking them off facebook which is more expensive. So definitely keep that in mind!

    Another simple thing is running some 1 day only feature ads in her local area through google. These are CPM ads that are cost per 1000 views that can be geo targeted to her area. These are different than pay per click and you’re able to reach a wider scope of people through contextual advertising. Lets say people who are looking for a coffee shop or anything related to desserts.


  40. doka

    my question is what happens when u give all these free samples and discounts and the customers is not enough? wouldnt u lose money??

  41. Robyn

    Teachers and schools…..provide free cupcake coupons for teachers/principles to give to students for doing something outstanding.

  42. Donate multiple items to the silent auction of local charities. Establish an upgrade path that makes sense (for you and the customer) and watch your sales grow.

    • This past week I was at a local cafe eatery where they had a bulliten board full of ads for fundraisers for local charities and individuals struggling with medical issues. Many of them were looking for donations to auction off. This got me thinking about how often opportunities will come to mind as you are out and about doing your normal thing like getting lunch!

  43. Great ideas! I think adding a promotional punch card for repeat customers so when they buy 10 cupcakes, they get the next one gratis is a great way to keep ’em coming back.

  44. GREAT video! excellent advice.. and so many wonderful tips. Beth, you may also want to really think about the customers you already have (you have been in biz 6 years).. make sure everyone who comes in your store gets on your newsletter list and maybe do a monthly drawing , sweepstakes or “sweetakes”.. reward them for their business and they will share with others..

  45. Good stuff again M.

    Agree with all, especially #5. Not much more to add.

    For Beth I would find that niche item and brand the hell out of it.

    Work with me here:

    I know Lynchburg has a doc that specialized in Autism, Dr Mumper. Her organization is the Rimland Center. There is your possible contact and possible niche market. Someone may or may not be in there. Who knows. What if they have a cafeteria or snack shop you could stock…just throwing the ideas out there.

    Why: Parents of autistic children are very limited in what we can feed our children at birthday parties and the like. Especially when we travel. We usually have to bake our own and bring with. Maybe, quite possibly a DF/GF cup cake could be that niche. Dunno. Up to you and your business strategy. BUT I would save parents like me time and worry. and WE LIKE THAT.

    Is it worth looking into…in my opinion yes. Looking doesn’t hurt.

    Because if you would ship, we would buy.



  46. RV

    What if you don’t offer a physical product, but services? I’m a speaker for conferences and events, and could use some advice on how to advertise/market my work…

    • Hi RV! I will respond to you comment about your biz and not offering a physical product the same way I did a previous comment. I said before that this past week I was at a local cafe eatery where they had a bulliten board full of ads for fundraisers for local charities and individuals struggling with medical issues. Many of them were looking for donations to auction off. This got me thinking about how often opportunities will come to mind as you are out and about doing your normal thing like getting lunch! But here is another idea: a while back I went to my favorite locally owned coffee shop. That morning they had reps from an insurance company present at the shop buying customers coffee if they were willing to take their business card. I thought it was a great opportunity for a biz to market to new customers.

  47. All great suggestions about networking & advertising but don’t overlook online Local search marketing – Attract new customers who start their search online through google local, yelp, restaurant sites, etc. I’m a consultant for local store marketing @ and can send you a free marketing plan for local stores. 🙂

  48. Colleen Hargis

    Expand your market…get ready, this is crazy–start doing some Dog cupcakes. People LOVE their pets and will spend spend spend for them. American’s spend over 40 billion (with a B) a year on these furry balls of L-O-V-E. This would be an untapped market for you. You could resell them at local pet boutiques. You already have most of the ingredients and these cup cakes have a much longer shelf life than the human versions. Besides, when they come get a cupcake for Fido’s birthday, they will most likely buy a half dozen or more of the human variety too!

    • We just started this on Valentines week……its going over pretty huge!! Thank you for the tip Colleen:)

  49. ali

    Marie – I L*O*V*E you and your advice. Great tips for this cup cake biz and very transferable to other businesses, however girl friend…. (keepen’ in the fun Marie Style 🙂 The one thing this Mamapenour mentioned is she is a mom too. Running a business, not to mention a cup cake business which must be incredibly labor intensive, being a mom and all that entails…well…I am sure her time is pretty maxed at as it is. She might be able to only pick one or two of your great tip list. May I add to your list of recommendations, perhaps she can reach out to another mom friend who is looking to do something and build up their career again. A mom friend who loves her, her story and her cup cakes and have her do the marketing for her. This can be done part time by another mom who loves marketing and its a great story and subject to create marketing efforts around.

  50. Hi Marie,

    What do you think about creating a squeeze page? Do you think it works to grow a list, or is it true that google consider it spam?

    Many thanks in advance : )

  51. networking was the key ingredient to my successful local following. my events went from an attendance of 3 women to 40 women in one year as the result of strategic collaborations. : )

    • Hi Indigo! While you are networking don’t forget to ask for referrals or connections to people who might help move your biz foward.

  52. Great tips, Marie! I have one for Beth and all the ladies with fabulous Local shops. Consider entering your business into Google places. It’s a quick and easy way to get up on the 1st page of Google. Especially for Beth, who has a specialized business where there might be a lot of “Foot traffic” due to spontaneous sugar cravings (never had one of those!), it’d be really good to be in the Google places which will show up on Mobile devices quickly.

    Make sure you drop your keywords in there like “Virginia cupcake shop” or something with your locale. Use words that someone with a sugar craving would use like “Virginia sweet shop”, etc. Hope that helps!

    Marie, thanks for the laughs! I love the tips on getting social locally and giving samples away to generate business. I know that networking has been something that I’ve allowed to hold my business back locally, so thank you for the reminder!

    Happy Valentine’s day!

  53. Great tips as always Marie! Here’s my brainstorm dump for ms. cupcake shop 🙂

    1 – For teaming up locally, think about party planners! Or local party supply stores, local party photographers, etc
    2 – Offer to be the location where any of your target influence groups meet since you have a physical store – PTA meetings? Local event planning association? Offer up a night/time of day that is normally zero-to-little business activity for your store anyway
    3 – Do you have a Google Places page yet? Between that and local review listings, you can have a huge boon in your local search ranking efforts. (how to set up a google places page –
    4 – And just ditto on all things email list-related. SO important! And love the birthday offers idea! MailChimp is great for just starting out (free up to 2,000 subscribers) or check out Aweber for your email service provider

  54. Wow, some tremendous suggestions are coming out of this discussion.

    I can see taking mini-cupcakes to a networking event and handing them out along with your business card.

    How about selling your cupcakes to local cafés that don’t do their own in-house baking.

    I’m also for the idea of a gluten free, dairy free option. A creamy nut butter icing on a sweet corn meal & rice flour cupcake. Yum!

  55. Hey Marie I love your “stuff” I m a huge fan and user of PLF 3 and first saw your interview with Jeff since then I have been a fan ! I think Beth should check out Childrens Soft Play areas and send them special offers for Childrens parties and birthday parties.
    Keep the emails coming love your work and success
    Have you any other irish fans !!
    Hope to meet sometime and one of your women’s special events
    Susan Bourke

  56. i’m obsessed with you.

  57. Mindy

    Awesome ideas Marie! How about cupcake tasting event. Have kids from school hand out all the flyers to people on the streets to attract people for this event. During this event add all the different cupcakes taste as a way to brand your store!

    Thanks Marie for another great Q&A! Have a fabulous V-day

  58. All great ideas! Now what you got for a Realtor?


    • Hi Laura L! One of things that I found interesting in the neighborhood I grew up in (which was a housing development basically) was that when one of the houses was up for sale, the realtor send out postcards throughout the neighborhood. I think this way of letting people know that there was a house for sale was great, because it was an easy way to pass along information about the house to friends, family, coworkers, etc.

  59. Great ideas here Marie. They can be applied to so many different venues.

    I am, among other things, a marriage officiant so I can definitely say that the cupcake idea for weddings is great, especially for small, intimate weddings. I’ve seen it done often where they put cupcakes on a tiered stand so that it looks like a traditional wedding cake. There is a lot less waste with this, it’s more affordable, people have choices, and it looks very pretty.

    The idea of taking samples is also a good one. I have a website namedHealthy Eating On The Run in which I have written a Recipe book called “Alive Health.” All of the recipes are wheat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free and artificial sweetener-free (and therefore guilt-free!)

    Every time that I have gone to a networking meeting, I have taken some samples of my recipes, such as zucchini brownies and oatmeal pumpkin bread. Each time that I have done this, I have sold copies of my book. When people find out that good-for-you food actually tastes good, they buy.

    Barbara Roberts

  60. Marie – I was recently introduced to your work by Prescott Paulin who met you last year at an event and suggested that you and I meet! 🙂 Clearly you’re a busy hustlin’ ladaaaay, so I don’t expect to have the honor of meeting you just like dat! but I hope to some time in the future 🙂 In the meantime, I must say, your videos and advice continue to impress and inspire me – and oh by the way, make me laugh so loud that my three-legged cocker spaniel gives me the “Mommy’s crazy (again)” look. 😉 Anyway, just wanted to say thanks again for another great little video. Maybe I need to dig through your archive some more, but might you suggest how to apply the principles you spoke about in this video to the motivational speaker world? I’m just getting started and believe myself to be a great speaker with a unique background and a passion for helping and inspiring others, but other than cold calling and attending networking events, I’m not sure where to go from here (stuff I can do myself, not have to pay someone else to do – or how do I know what sort of stuff I DO need to pay someone to do??). Thanks so much! 🙂 Sarah

  61. Hi Marie! 🙂

    GREAT tips in today’s video! 🙂 This week I’m actually working on some of this myself. I’m doing a re-brand, so along with that I’m updating my optin offer and getting ready to do some Facebook Ads to drive traffic.

    Your tip about finding PARTNERS got me thinking, as well… So that’s something I’ll be looking at in the near future. 😉

    Thanks for the fabulous tips!

  62. Love these Marie! Beth, do you have a media strategy in place? Why not contact your local television station’s morning show and tell them you’ll do a cupcake demo? If you start now, you can pitch an Easter theme.

  63. I didn’t read all the comments so I hope this isn’t a repeat. Everybody loves local especially other local businesses. See if you can start doing deliveries to local coffee shops and teashops daily or every other. There is a man in my town who actually brings local baked goods by bike to other local businesses, talk about local and eco friendly. Just an idea:)

    • Hi Night Wind; I’ve done this in the past where I’ve asked to leave a stack of my business cards at local businesses. In exchange, I’ve given them some of my product as a thank you!

  64. Have a “kids specialty day” of the week! This will make mom’s go positively crazy & get the entire school system to your cupcake biz! Beth could offer a different, super fun & playful flavor or topping each week and I’m sure this would bring in kids by the masses (which means their parents and all of their friends & families, etc etc….)!!

  65. One thing I’ve seen is having a vase where people can put in their business cards when they come to a shop. Once a month, a business card is drawn and that person wins something…a dozen cupcakes in this instance? There could be notice placed on the vase that the emails on the cards would be added to a list so that they are opt-in.

  66. Awesome advice, Marie! Besides totally nailing it (like you always do), you really showed that you researched this person’s company! Love everyone else’s ideas, too. Really makes you want to send in a question when you know you’re gonna get this much great feedback! My 2 cents: Offer a Vegan or Raw cupcake, too, to hit that crowd.

    Just to let you know, Marie, the new finger chastity ring as worn by Zooey Deschanel on Saturday Night Live this week (in the “Million Moms” Skit) covers 3 fingers, not just two. 😉

  67. Kelley Burrus

    Frequent buyer cards for PTA moms and teenagers are a must.

    Also, blow up a photograph of an incredible cupcake bar fully loaded and gift it to 10 of your favorite event planners in town. If the photo is fantastic, they’ll likely hang in their offices and you cannot imagine how many people come through those doors–both social and corporate clients. Mpix is one of my favorite canvas maker–worth every dime in marketing!

  68. So good Marie.
    Love watching your videos.
    All your ideas are so workable.
    You are one smart cupcake!!!


  69. What a wonderful video! Marketing local is always something that slips my mind, as a woman of the online world. Makes me forget there are people right outside that I can connect with too!

  70. Awesome tips! Will have to see which ones will work well with handbags! But honestly, now i want to open a cupcake shop because of this video!!! hahaha! Really though – only problem is I don’t ‘cook’ but I can bake!

  71. Great ideas!

    This is a shout out to list here. I know I need an opt-in but I haven’t found one that is working for me. To be honest, I have tried feedburner but I couldn’t figure out how to see who was subscribing and I tried another one that I couldn’t get to work. I’d send out a test email and I never would receive it. I apologize, I don’t recall the name. Setting up computer things is difficult and frustrating for me. We all have things that sap our energy and strength; this is one of those things for me. I have tried finding someone I could pay but my budget is so limited that I can’t find people who are committed to the work. As a result, nothing changes.

    I am not trying to complain. I am asking for suggestions or a list of widgets or plugins that will work easily, are free to start, for a wordpress based blog. They need to be simple to use and easy to insert. Thanks in advance.

    • I second beth’s question 🙂

      • The Tech Husband has an online tutorial for mail chimp, and both his tutorial and mail chimp are free!

        • Thanks, I have checked out the site and it looks like an awesome one. Just exactly the kind of videos and information I can use.

          • MailChimp is a great, free newsletter/email marketing tool. It works well with WordPress, Facebook, email opt-ins (for forwarded emails) and has good statistics. Can’t really beat it for free. It’s what we use for our web and social media consulting company. Can’t say enough great things about it.

  72. Hey Marie,

    Most inspiring video! I just launched my business as a holistic anxiety coach/motivational speaker/self-help writer for college girls struggling with anxiety a few months ago, and you have been a kick-ass coach for me throughout the entire process! As you and many of my other business/entrepreneurship gurus told me, I started building my list with an opt-in offer right away. However, in the past few weeks, new registrations have stagnated. Thus, I was really appreciative of this new Q&A Tuesday vid. I really like the suggestion about getting new registrants’ b-days and am going to start doing that asap! The one other thing I haven’t been doing is using Facebook Ads, but I think it might be time to spin that wheel and see how it rolls. Looking forward to the next Q&A Tuesday!


    Hadley Gustin

    P.S. I got this piece of advice from Laura Roeder, and so far, I’ve had some success with it: Contact online radio shows and podcasts to book yourself interviews. What I love about online shows as opposed to ones over the air waves is that you tend to get a lot more talk time to highlight your expertise and business excellence! Plus, these kinds of shows also speak to more niche audiences, so you are more likely to reach those who will be interested in doing business with you!

    • That is a great idea from Laura Roeder. I’ve seen this done on Rober Irvin’es show “Restaurant Impossible.”

  73. I’d love to see some video tutorials about how to make cupcakes and maybe even little snippets about decorating or stories behind the flavours. It would build a real buzz about the shop – even internationally. This could open it up for some cool products down the line – a cook-book or cupcake making kits.

    Another thing is on your Facebook page, you could post pictures of customers with their favourite flavour and why. Would be mucho cute.

    Good luck!

    x Denise DT
    Author of Lucky Bitch!

  74. 1) Send assortments to all the media outlets in your town, Radio, TV, Newspaper – if the on air radio personalities love it they will TALK about it

    2) Service group meetings, Rotary Clubs, Lions, Civitans JCs etc, they all have weekly meeting for breakfast or lunch

    3) Many Chamber of Commerces have a “Business After Hours” type of event – some only cost $ 10 to have a table

    4) Post videos on YouTube (since Google owns it) of your different specialties, and have specialties for every Holiday and Celebration you can think of – also send the specialty flavors to the people on the lists from item 1 above.
    Especially send Valentine and Mothers day specialties to the female on-air personalities and to the newspapers reporters and editors that do the Food Section and the Lifestyle section

    5) Pitch a story about your business to the local business newspaper and the editors at the local newspapers

    6) Local Church group fundraising events – sell them to the group at a wholesale price and let them retail them at their events

    7) if the Moose Clubs and American Legions host Bingo they will also sell snacks – contact them to start carrying your cupcakes

    Good Luck

  75. Luv the video Marie, so many good ideas. Beth, how about bringing samples to your local chamber meeting, they would then do some of the marketing about town for you. They have evening and morning meetings, how great would that be? Best wishes.

  76. Bka

    Dear Marie, How about getting customers when you’re not a local business, but an independent profesional? for a startup, what should I start doing to promote my qualified services if I yet lack experience to show off?

  77. I freakin’ love Q and A Tuesdays! Love the slightly irreverent style, fun!
    Great tips about marketing. I’m building my list, and have been doing a drawing for a featured health/wellness product for all new signups each month.
    I have also made lists of local day spas, fitness franchises, to market nutritional products and skin health products; and made a list of other practitioners such as area chiropractors, therapists, massage therapists who may be looking to have another income stream to supplement their private practice (to market becoming associates/distributors for– my product partner: usana health sciences)
    I am a creative arts therapist in private practice ( and want to grow my USANA Health Sciences business, attracting more customers and business associates. blog (
    I want to have more choices about the projects, and amount of therapy clients I see; by building my network marketing business. Marketing is not something I’ve done much of; I spent years working/studying etc.. to become a very good therapist, and the idea of selling is uncomfortable at times, but beginning to be more palatable. I’ve learned a lot by subscribing to your email updates. Thanks for all you do.

  78. Oh so timely, Marie. My hubby’s friend’s wife opened a cupcake shop in Atlanta just a few days ago! I haven’t even met her yet, but I made sure to forward your email with the link to this video. I know your advice will be a blessing to her new venture.

  79. Lucienne

    Great energy – in your words Marie – so many of us entrepreneurs need to “get our hussle on”! We know it but don’t do it!

  80. Ershad

    Hello Marie

    I recently joined this group and I have viewed all your videos. I think I am the first person writing from India.

    All your videos and the inputs are great and gets directly stored in the grey matter.

    These days I have started waiting for Tuesday and your videos greatly motivate me and spreads a high energy level in me.

    Thank you for all the wonderful things that you are doing to this world.

    Take care and keep rocking….

    Best Regards

  81. Melissa

    This is just what I needed! Thanks Marie!

  82. These are amazing ideas! The only one that I could add to the list is targeting book groups/local meetups. These groups LOVE to eat while having their meetings and nothing is better than a little shot of delicious sugar!

    Giving samples at these groups and maybe coupons (get one cupcake free with a dozen) would drive the locals to your store as well.

  83. Nice dress! Great tips – but Marie, what about those of us who want to expand our list with a more online oriented business. Top tips? I know, I guess the marketing and all the rest applies in the same way as you mentioned in the video. Hmmm, guess it’s just getting on and doing it.

  84. Also,

    what about kids birthday parties along the lines of Decorate your own cupcakes (before you eat them)
    and a home delivery service with a handwritten note ?
    Catherine MArche

  85. Colleen Hargis

    We have a great local chocolate company where I live ( that holds a Wine Tasting with their Chocolates both in their factory and at corporate retreats, events etc. Such a few, different idea….you could pair your cupcakes with specialty beer tasting or wine tastings….hooks in some of the people who may not normally buy cup cakes but are IN for the beer and wine. Fine a local brewery or wine store to partner with.

  86. Standing O, Marie! Love this… particularly the birthday idea. I didn’t know I could set that up with my email marketing list!!! I’m an Astrologer & I’ve been sending birthday emails manually – oy! Thank you 🙂

  87. Marie, when you ask: “You like this video?” I can’t help but scream at my screen: “I freakin’ love it!” And then I add with a more subtle voice:”And I love you too.” Not only are the things you say ALL applicable to my business (and I thought I had it under control!) but this is a great entertainment.

    LOVE YOU – thank you for enlightening my Tuesdays (and my life).

  88. So you’re saying we need an email list?…………… Only kidding!

    I’ve just started building mine and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done!

    Great video and I love all the other ideas in the comments – way to go people!!!

  89. Love this video and all of the amazing suggestions in the discussion! As the owner of a bon bon business, one of the most successful “draws” for getting people on our mailing list/email list is to tell them about our “New Year, New Flavor” party. When we want to add a new flavor to our line, we host a party where our customers can come and sample 4 or 5 contending flavors. They get to vote on which bon bon flavor gets added to our line. You only get invited if you’re on the mailing list. The typical response is “Where do I sign up?!?” It’s also a great ‘focus’ group for us, ensuring that only a runaway favorite makes it into our signature lineup of handmade hand-dipped bon bons.

  90. You are so hot. DAYyam. I just love your videos. You make all those other make-a-million marketers out there look like dull doofuses. I loved the idea of going to local biz ppl and connecting with them – I think I could probly do the same with my Daring Dreamers Showcase radio show – tho I’m not sure what goodies I can shell out like cupcakes! Altho…hm…maybe I’ll have some devilish-I-Dare-You-Radio cupcakes made up as gifties – you got me thinking –

    as always, thx and aloha –

  91. Jo

    Fun, savvy and fierce… Grrrrrreat advice! This stuff I can put into practice asap, thank you so much!

  92. Hey there Maria,

    Wow, what an awesome little video! You have filled me with excitement to charge ahead this morning! not to mention you are my kinda funny! How I would love to meet you, have you see my business, and hear your ideas. We were recently featured in Sunset magazine and know our business is heading somewhere amazing!


  93. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful information specially the last part 🙂 I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this certain information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  94. Barbara

    Pretty cool tips today, Marie.
    I’m definitely going to add birthdays to my client email list. A great way to stay in touch and remind people that it might just be time for giving themselves an extra birthday present in the form of … coming to see me again.

  95. THANK YOU for the motivation on finally making the time to get my opt-in box up on my site!

  96. Rick

    All these promotion ideas for clients, but let me ask you this…
    What about any local business consultants and ways they’re getting clients?
    I’m hoping a few of you are consultants making a living getting customers for business owners. I really am interested in the methods used to secure a paying client.

  97. Marie, great advice and what a fabulous collection of tips and ideas from your tribe. Nearly all of them can be applied to so many other businesses and that’s they key for me. I’m an author of fiction books written for tweens about entering puberty. When I stepped outside the regular way of thinking about marketing and expanded my ideas (and got outside my comfort zone), things started to explode for me.
    By the way, can you send cupcakes o.s. cos I live in Australia and a-d-o-r-e cupcakes!!!!????

  98. I would also suggest setting up a twitter and facebook page and USING THEM. Just having a facebook and twitter is not enough–you need to leverage these tools. Creating a conversation with regulars using your facebook and twitter is a great way to up your marketing efforts. Plus, they’re FREE!
    She can encourage customers to “like” her facebook page and use it to create fun and interactive contests that keeps her cupcakes top of mind. For example, have a contest where fans can create a new cupcake flavor and the winner gets a free cupcake in that flavor. For Twitter it’s great when fans can tag her business in their posts. “I love @virginiacupcakebiz”. Free authentic marketing. Word of mouth is key!

  99. Local Marketing is very important for every kind of business! I love this tips and video with Q&A!

  100. Inger

    Hay-yulp! Love love love the idea of partnering with other businesses. We are looking to ramp business up here by bringing in an investor. Though the thought of a cash injection is lovely, we are looking for a skill injection. A designer, a web savvy someone, a retail specialist. My question is how do i get the info out that we are looking for someone to join us?

  101. The list, the list, the list. I’ve signed up for a newsletter service because I keep hearing how important building your list is. To hear it is your number one tip convinces me it is so important for my business. And I think it can be a fun part of my business, not a forced chore which makes it even better. Love your stuff!

  102. If you don’t offer catering I would consider doing it on at least a small scale to get the word out more about what you offer. Think baby showers, bachelorette parties (the more sedate part), bridal showers, and something called “goddess parties” (the long and short, a bunch of women gather together to get pampered like goddesses, usually men are hired to staff but you could definitely supply some sweets!) I think reaching out is great and you could even do special themed cupcakes, like think doves, white, lace, pearls for a bridal shower (or even find out the theme for the wedding and match it with flavors and presentation). That would definitely be a day to remember next to the big day!

    As for me, I’m working on all of them, except the local partners. I have an email list on my blog, but I’m going to hook up the link to all my social media too so no matter HOW you come across me there’s that little note to keep in touch. I’m researching Facebook ads but I might hold off for now. I am building a testimonial page for my blog [IDEA ALERT! Make a testimonial page for your website with something fun & catchy like “Taste-monials” or “Sweet Shares”!!!], and I’m even going to alter my header in my store a bit to highlight what makes me different – “I specialize in one of a kind, custom orders!” After all who doesn’t want to be set apart from the rest and have that special item?!

  103. Hi Marie
    Love this content and have featured it on my blog here:
    Please let me know if there are any problems featuring your YouTube video or any of the wording… I have of course credited it to your goodself….

  104. Hi Marie,

    These are great ideas for a place that actually has physical inventory. What about a business that offers mostly services rather than inventory?

    We have been networking but we’re having trouble gaining clients, even though they all say we have great services to offer when we talk to them. The businesses that we are trying to support are very rude if we try cold calling and I’d rather not do that, if at all possible.

    • Hi Melissa, do you have a website you are driving them to (maybe on a business card if you are networking). You could offer a free report on the subject that your services are in, once you have them on your list you can market to them, keep in contact with a e-zine. Let me know what you think. Regards, Sandra

  105. Hi there, this subject hits home. I will be opening my first little healthy coffee shop in Paris France in September. But to get there,mi still need to get a little support. Please check out the following link,many what could I do to get more support ? Peace and love from Paris xx

  106. Elizabeth

    Marie, guess what??? I do not know how to tranform my small, and I mean super small, out the trunk of a car business to a booming beauty supply in Asheville NC. I feel like I am dealing with people from 1940, which I am. I think I am just lazy, and have been running from this task for the longer, now I just got to face the funk, help me!!

  107. Haha! Love today’s video Marie … and thanks for the suggestions.

    Oh and Beth … if I actually found a local cake store that had pre-made gluten free cupcakes I would be there almost every weekend.

    My daughter is celiac and I always have to bake treats and other food to take to birthday parties … and i’m not always very organised, so this would be a great idea … then go and find the gluten free families in your area or on Facebook and tell them! …

  108. Elsa

    that was amazing advice Marie!
    one thing I would add would be theme cupcakes for the holidays (saint patrick’s coming up) and once a week or once a month an initiative to help out a charity of your choice (donating a dollar for each cupcake sold, you could make puppy shaped cupcakes for animal shelters, pink cupcakes to help women around the world…). I would love to eat a cupcake thinking that I’m helping out too 🙂
    best of luck!! xx

  109. The story on Taste Selects Confectionery (which was later re-named to “Sassafrost”) is an interesting one. I got curious about what ended up happening with the company, so I Googled them. What I found surprised me….

    Sassafrost permanently closed its doors Jan 2013. Despite all the success they had post-Marie’s Q&A video featuring them, the biz didn’t work out. It leads me to wonder if maybe the business owner’s heart simply wasn’t in it.

    I wrote up an investigative article about Sassafrost and why it closed. Hope you don’t mind me sharing this link here:

  110. Marie,

    I absolutely love the advice you provided on this video. I was wondering how can I apply these same/similar strategies to a service based business. I am a professional organizer struggling to get clients. I would like to drive clients to my site in the hopes of them booking appointments. Can you offer some tips on how to get clients for this type of business. Also, could you elaborate on email marketing as I have no clue how to do this? Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

  111. Thanks a lot, Marie!! These are amazing tips for local business marketeers. Great entertaining video as well! Local business marketing can also be done by selling franchises.

  112. Zobeyda Gomez

    Dear Marie,

    First of all I want to let you know that I LOVEEEEE YOU!!! You are amazing at what you do and you an inspiration to me. OK, now… My name is Zobeyda and I would like your advice on how can I promote my new business. I have a brand new Interpreting business and I live in Pittsburg, KS and it is a very small town. I would like some tips on what I can do to promote and get some client.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      Thank you so much for your kind comment, Zobeyda! We appreciate you and are honored that you’re enjoying Marie’s videos. Congrats on opening your interpreting business!

      Marie has some great tips for marketing and getting customers here (, as well as in her full MarieTV playlist about building a meaningful business ( You might also like Marie’s online program, B-School (, where she teaches students how to start and grow their businesses using smart online marketing skills. We’re wishing you much success! 🙂

  113. Hi I’m David I’m a license massage therapist and I need help marketing my business I have twitter facebook instagram yelp massagebook thumbtack vistaprint and hopefully google and I’m still not booked how do I make and email list that would be very helpful please contact me

  114. Hi Marie, this is a fantastic post, I have learnt a lot. Thought I’d also mention that I know another perfect tool to help you with finding local customers. I am one of the creators and may be a little biased… but it does work, and the results are actually useful.

    It’s called GoPinLeads and it uses machine learning and AI to deliver the details on businesses in almost any geographic location. It returns employee details, social media profiles, and email addresses.

    Have a look and see what you think:

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    • Julia - Team Forleo

      We love this! Thank you so much for sharing with your co-worker. Win-win 🙂

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