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Kara Buntin
Richmond VA
I Make Custom Wedding Cakes!
Recent Activity
I'm totally with you on this one. I "win" an award from a certain site every year, and they pretty much bombard me with emails reminding me to advertise the award on my site by posting their link. If I know that brides have voted for an award then I'll be happy about it, but "awards" that are handed out for advertising purposes aren't anything to be proud of. Here's my take on this same issue...
You're so right once again...I'd add that if you aren't getting any leads from referrals you should probably look into what you're doing wrong. If people like your work they'll refer you to their clients. If they don't like your work, they won't.
Toggle Commented Mar 22, 2011 on Referrals vs. Advertising at Life in Weddings
I couldn't agree with you more...I just wrote something along these lines that's going to be on my blog in a couple of weeks! Mine is more about the ethics of being a professional, though (if you want to call yourself that, you'd better act like it.) There seems to be a lot of very bad behavior in the wedding industry recently. I don't know why it is, but I have some theories. Grow up, people, do your job, and don't make other people's jobs harder in the process!
Thank you so much for posting this...I also get requests to post links on my website from people who I've either never worked with or never heard of. I won't do it, and I often take people off of my links page if I haven't worked with them for ages...I want to make sure they do a good job before I'll refer clients to them.
Congratulations on your adventure! I also want to congratulate you on your fortitude in listening to that music the whole way. I would have either driven really fast to get the trip over sooner, or driven off the road to end it sooner, if that was the musical choice. ;)
I just saw this article, and am going to link to it from my blog. Great advice as always!
I have to pipe up again...If there's one thing about me it's not that I have a hard time saying what I think about an impersonal topic! And this is an impersonal topic, it's a business decision, not a judgment about your value as a human being if you do or don't do shows! People shouldn't be afraid to look like they're disagreeing with me, I know that shows work for some people. They just don't work for me, it's the nature of my particular business niche. I'm not offended if people want to do a wedding show! I think that businesses should know both sides of it so that they can make an educated decision about whether ANY marketing platform is right for their particular situation. I'm kind of curious whether people would have had the same reaction about not wanting to post if I had said that I don't use email newsletters, or that I don't do some other specific marketing idea. Is it the shows in particular that are a super-hot topic, or are we wedding pros so polite that we don't want to publicly disagree? ;)
I'm glad to see that there are people who are willing to stand up for their shows! I was kind of surprised that nobody posted pro-show comments before. Let me be clear. I am not ANTI-bridal show, they just don't work that well FOR ME at this point in my business, so I put my advertising money in other places. If they work for you that's great. Different businesses obviously function differently. In the example given, a limo company theoretically has multiple cars available for rental on the same day, and I would assume that they're handling many, many more clients per weekend than I would be. That means that they can book two or three limos for the same time on the same day, but as a sole proprietor I can't do that. I do the deliveries, so when I book out one wedding, that time is gone for that day. Spending my time at shows telling brides that I am booked for their day and time isn't a good investment for me. As far as tastings go, clients still want a tasting appointment even if they ate your cake at the show, so the cake samples that are handed out at shows are just an additional cost as well. And I'm sure that this isn't the same for all bakers...I can see that if you're a larger storefront bakery with a payroll and rent to pay you would need to have many more cakes booked per week than I do, just to meet your overhead expenses. For those types of bakeries, wedding shows could be a good thing. I used to do shows when I was first starting out, and that was a good way to get my name out, like Jim says. BUT...for my personal situation, shows aren't the best investment for me NOW, so I don't do them anymore unless there's a good reason. My point is that you shouldn't keep doing something as a part of your marketing plan just because you've done it in the past. You need to eveluate the results and see if something, whether an ad, an email campaign, or a wedding show, is working for you at this point in your business. I think there's a lot of pressure to do the shows because it's what you're "supposed" to do, but for me it's not financially rewarding in the long run.
Dissenting opinions? WHAT? Ha, of course this isn't going to be true for everyone. If there are other opinions I'd like to hear them, but they do need to be posted here or else I can't respond ;) The "I saw you at the show" comment has been made to me MANY times, not just once or twice. When I tell them that I wasn't there, and that they should make sure who they're thinking of before they book an appointment, brides usually say "Oh well, that's okay, I love your cakes on your website, so it doesn't matter" or something else along those lines.
5-6 a WEEK??? My jaw IS on the ground. How does anyone get any work done if you're always prepping for shows?!?!?
Don't be afraid, you can do it! Well, be a little afraid, if you aren't at least a little nervous then you have to be dead or arrogant, and neither one is good.
That is so cute! I made a lot of my kids' clothes and still do for my daughter. I love the colors and I have to agree that the flower adds just the right touch.
Toggle Commented Sep 2, 2010 on pattern making, take one. at :: a happy nest ::
Ah, statistics...You can make statistics prove anything if you know how to manipulate the data. My assumption is that most people are trying to sell you something, so they'll present the "facts" that will best suit their purpose, whatever that may be. I read articles about cakes all the time that are riddled with crazy statistics about average costs and prices for add-ons. They make no sense, but they fill the space in between the wedding dress ads. ;) -Kara Buntin
Oh ho! I don't know how I missed this post the first time! YOu know how I feel about plagiarism and online copyright violations, so I'll add this. For anyone who think that it's okay to take pictures from other people's websites, remember that if it's someone else's original work it's automatically copyrighted if it's been published online. That means that if you take someone's photos or text, your website will be in jeopardy of being removed by your Web Host if the owner of the text or photos complains about a copyright violation to them. I've had a few people's websites taken down because of this when the webstie owner didn't cooperate and remove my work when I asked (told) them to, so don't get yourself into that situation. Do mockups of things that you actually can do and take pictures of that. Just be honest, it's the best way to conduct yourself in business overall.
And I "liked" it on facebook! :)
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I tweeted about it on my account
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I love Staples, I go there so much they assigned a personal business consultant to my account!
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Thanks for the update, I enjoy reading them. Last week I did two tasting appointment days, including one for one of your clients (I need your mailing address to send a copy of their contract, by the way!) Other than that it was just one cake and prep for this week. I had a few weeks that I hadn't scheduled any wedding cakes, so last week was the last one of those for a bit...
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2010 on Sunday Business Update - Week 20 at Life in Weddings
Sorry about your family member, I hope you're doing okay. :(
Congratulations on the new booking! And just keep on keeping on with the other stuff. I'm looking forward to hearing about the new blog project!
Toggle Commented Jun 20, 2010 on Business Update Sundays: Week 16 at Life in Weddings
A lot of bakers, including myself, don't do sketches of the cake design to give to clients anymore. It's too easy for other bakers to take the sketch and lowball a price. Another risk of undercutting is that the business a client hires to do the work might not be there in six months if their pricing isn't enough to sustain their day-to-day operations. I've had several brides call me at the last minute in a panic because their baker couldn't be located two weeks before the wedding. One girl went to the storefront to pay her balance and the business wasn't there anymore, it was closed, gone, and no mention of it had been made to her!
I like the updates, so I vote that you continue with them. Seeing what other people are up to gives me ideas for my own business, so I find them interesting and helpful.
I just joined through your link. It looks like an interesting group, thanks for the suggestion!
One of my "favorites" is vendors who refer to other vendors only because they receive a kickback from them. I won't deal with people who do that. Another skeevy one is telling clients that you're a member of professional organizations when you're not in order to pad your credentials. Most clients don't check, they take you at your word, but when other vendors who ARE members find out, I doubt that you'll EVER be able to really apply for membership!
This is so true...In the area of cakes there are plenty of people who offer cakes/flowers/invitations whatever. It results in a distracted vendor who has to divide their attention, which often gives "less then excellent" results. Don't be the SuperWalmart-One stop shop of weddings!