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You know what time it is? It’s Q&A Tuesday time. Beth, the owner of Taste Selects Cupcakes in Virginia writes, “Marie I’m exhausted, frustrated, and finished with my cupcake store. I have owned this business for six years and of course I have the most incredible cupcakes ever… ” All caps, “But the problem is I have no idea how to market my local business. I am the only cupcakery in my whole area.” What? Yes, only. “I’m a 39 year old mother who juggles life very well, but marketing who and what we are. I suck at.” She really wrote that. “I suck at. One day, I would love to have stores across the country, but not if I can’t even convince my peeps in my small town. Any ideas?”

First up, Beth, I want to congratulate you for running your cupcake business for six whole years. Especially since you kind of suck at marketing, as you say. But girl, you better come correct because you ain’t the only person selling cupcakes in Lynchburg, Virginia. Mama did some research and there’s a little shop called Sweet Stella that is coming on the scene. That means you better step two because the cupcake competition is heating up. If you don’t get your marketing game on your business is going to get baked. And frosted. I’ve checked out your website and there’s a ton you could be doing to spread the cupcake love. Strategy number one is build your list. First thing, when I went to your website I noticed you have no opt-in. That means you’re not collecting email addresses and you’re leaving. Yes thousands of dollars on the table.

I could shake the shit out of you women. Have you not been watching MarieTV? Every business needs a way to stay in touch with prospects and customers. And since every person you’re going to do business with has an email address, building an email list is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to do that. I recommend you start collecting email addresses and birthdays, both on your website and in your shop. You can set up your email management system to send emails out on your customer’s birthdays that tells them to come in and get a free cupcake. You can also send promotional emails that tell them about new flavors, about holidays, or any other promotions that you want to offer. There is so much you can do with email marketing that will dramatically increase your business.

Strategy number two is, find local partners and butter them up. Pun intended. Make a list of strategic partners in your area and get your hustle on. Seriously you should be setting appointments every damn day to meet these people, form genuine relationships because they’re going to order boatloads of cupcakes on the regular. Want some ideas? First up, businesses. Everyone has office parties, and birthdays, and going away celebrations. You could make a list of all the local businesses in your area, make an appointment, drop by give them some samples and then let them know you’d be happy to deliver dozen, or two dozen, or three dozen cupcakes whenever they have a celebration. And don’t forget, get them on your list. Next think about wedding planners and event planners. Make a list of everybody in your area, set the appointments, and go and drop off some samples. And remember, get them on your list. Last but not least, P.T.A. bitches. Go around to local schools, find out who heads up the P.T.A. and give them some cupcakes for their next meeting. And don’t forget altogether now, get them on list.

Strategy number three, advertise. Once you get that opt-in up, consider testing some Facebook ads to attract local business. Offer a free cupcake on your birthday for newsletter subscribers only.

Strategy number four, use social proof. You need to add some great little customer reviews on your website like this hot one liner I found about you on Yelp. “These are hands down the best cupcakes I’ve ever had in my life.”

Strategy number five, highlight what makes you different. Here’s what I mean, you need to shout about those special flavors you have like salted caramel, cookies and cream, you also got some s’mores. They are so far beyond basic vanilla and yet they’re totally hidden on your site. You want to make them front and center. You can even do a flavor promotion of the day. Remember a little flavor porn goes a long way. Ooh, yeah. Give me s’mores, cookies and cream, mmm salted caramel.

So, there you have it Beth, over a half a dozen ways. You can market your cupcake business so you don’t get baked and frosted by the competition. Now I’d love to hear from you. If you have more marketing ideas that you want to share with Beth or everybody else, please leave a comment below. Or if you want to let me know if any of these ideas can be implemented in your business, tell me all about it. You like this video, make sure you subscribe and share it with your friends. If you want even more great resources to kick ass in business and life and a little something, something that I can’t really put in a video, come on over to marieforleo.com and sign up for email updates. Thank you so much for watching and I catch you next time. I Nailed it. I’m like a Papa Smurf. Hubba hubba. Ain’t no stains on this blue dress. Ooh.

Uh-oh.

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