From Wedding Cakes to Email Campaigns. How I Became a Digital Marketer
Updated: Jun 4, 2019
I started my career in the digital universe by accident! It was never my intentions to become so good at it!
In 2011, I started making cakes from home. Making the cakes wasn’t the problem it was getting the word out about them. How was I going to make everyone in my local area know about my new venture? Should I print leaflets, should I ring everyone I know, Maybe put an ad in the local gazette or knock on doors? It was then I realised I had the world at my fingertip.
I was an avid Facebook user. I updated my status about every breath I took. You know those people who bought a courgette and told the world... yeah, I was one of those. 3 - 5 status updates every day. True story!
I had over 500 Facebook contacts, so I decided this was an excellent place to tell people about my business. Every day I wrote posts and shared pictures from my creations using my personal account. Eventually, I created Jadie Cakes a business page.
Facebook was constantly prompting me to reach more people with paid advertisement, so I decided I’d invest money into a Facebook marketing campaign to test the waters. Nothing too hefty, I think it was around £50, but it brought in a few extra likes, and that gave me new business. It's incredible how targeted you can be on Facebook.
I was teaching myself new cake skills all the time, but it was the marketing side of things I was most excited about, finding new ways to increase my presence and getting the word out about my cakes. I was using 3 social media channels when I decided I would create a logo and build a website. I did this myself relatively quick as I already knew about web development. Back in 2004, I went to college for 3 years. I studied ICT & Development and left college with a GNVQ and an A Level. ICT has always been in my bones. I remember the first time I ever used a computer as a child it was in school. I also remember my year 4 school report like it was yesterday. "Jade has brilliant computing skills and is a very fast learner". Anyway, back to the point. I had been researching and learning all that I could about making my online presence known.
A few months later armed with lots of new knowledge, I had optimised my website to the best it could be, and I was ranking high in Google. My site was bringing in a lot of clients, some people would live 20-30 miles away, but they were happy with my work, and the distance didn’t seem to bother them.
Through my passion and drive to be the best I was continually looking for ways to be noticed, Paid social campaigns, Promotions, Discounts, Keyword targeting, Regular content updates on my website but what was next? I was doing as well as I could for a small business with one employee (me) Did I need to try to get more clients? But a thought came to me, wouldn’t it be useful if I could remind existing clients they had a birthday coming up, or it was almost Mother’s Day? I had all these email addresses I could use to send emails to retarget them for more sales, but I wasn’t doing this.
I invested some time into research on Email Marketing, and after learning all there was to know I signed up to MailChimp and began my marketing. I sent out monthly newsletters, Emails about special offers and upcoming classes ( I also taught cake making lessons) I would list information about every client in a spreadsheet, who they were, when they made a purchase, who the purchase was for, how old the receiver was etc. I then sent out reminders to clients 6 weeks before the upcoming event “ Dear Jane. It’s almost Lauren’s 5th birthday! Don’t leave it to late to book her special cake, and you know how much she loves Peppa Pig!”
I had taught myself how to create wonderful celebration cakes, but I’d also taught myself how to master Online Marketing. I had Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, a website and an email targeting campaign going. I had almost 2000 followers and over 100 repeat clients, and I couldn’t have been happier that I had achieved this. The online community was my only outlet for marketing, and I’d hit it off. Cake master by day and Tech master at night! I ran Jadie Cakes for 6 years, and with all I learned about marketing and Social Media, I achieved measurable results. I generated an income over £180,000 all because I was passionate about finding new ways to market my business and become the best I could at it.
Six years of baking personalised cakes had taught me more than I imagined it could have. I was at the top of my game digitally, and I decided that this was where I belonged.
Are you a Social Media Manager or a Marketing Exec? How did you find your calling? Share your story below. I'd love to hear it. Or tweet me at @jadekinsella88