#1 - High Quality Photos: Showcase your work the way it deserves!
It might sound a little crazy, but I saw an immediate shift in my business when I decided to take the time to learn how to create better photos of my cookies. Even friends and family were reaching out to tell me that I had gotten "so good!" It wasn't that overnight my decorating skills improved, it was just that I was able to create content that looked professional and showed off my work. Once I did that, I start getting orders from my ideal clientele (aka people who were having lavish parties and wanted beautiful cookies to add to their extravagant dessert tables). It all comes down to marketing yourself and your work. Be the type of artist your ideal client would want.
Here are 3 sets of cookies (2 from early on...which I still love, and one from recently). I'll let you decide which one is the recent one ;)
Here's what worked for me!
Natural Light - set up & take photos near a window!
Bubb Market Backdrop - simple background that is clean and consistent throughout your photos
Props - a pretty platter, some fabric, ribbon, or even some greenery...don't go overboard but a little something like this will make your photos more interesting to look at
Studying - Scroll through instagram and save some cookie photos that catch your eye. Once you have a solid little collection, see what you like about the way each photo was taken...then try to create something similar when you take your photos!
#2 - Unique Designs: Create your own style that people can't get from just "any" cookie lady!
Designing cookies can be so time consuming and even challenging sometimes. However, creating your own designs rather than copying off of someone else is SO worth it. It helps you build your own unique style and brand that people will want. They will start to realize that they can't get cookies like yours anywhere else so they HAVE to book you!
Here are some of my favorite sources of inspiration (other than someone else's cookies). Oh and I guess I should mention Pinterest is my BFF. I search most of these things on Pinterest an Instagram!
Tablescapes - I love all of the pattern and texture ideas that you can get from a beautiful table setting. Not to mention all of the floral inspiration that comes from the centerpiece!
Wallpaper - this is one of my favorite ways to come up with funky patterns. It's also great for baby sets! Baby wallpaper is my favorite.
Gift Wrap - bows, wrapping paper, ribbon...again its the perfect way to see beautiful texture and pattern combinations that you may not have thought of before!
Clothes - I look at little baby outfits for pretty much every baby shower set I do. No more boring onesie cookies! I also love using real wedding dresses as inspiration for my wedding dress cookies.
Invitations - I am sure this one is a give, but I can't not have it on the list because it is one of my favorite sources of inspiration. The fonts, the colors, the design...they pretty much have it all.
#3 - Tasty Cookies: Well...duh. If I'm going to eat a cookie, it better be worth the calories.
The recipe I use is near and dear to my heart! My mom is a baker and this is the cut out cookie recipe she always used. As kids, my brother and I would help her pick out cookie cutters, roll the dough, and of course add our favorite color sugars on top. That's actually my favorite way to eat my cookies! No royal icing, but with colorful sugars. My cookies are thinner than the typical sugar cookie and have a slight crunch to them. In the beginning I started to worry that because my cookie recipe was different than most, people wouldn't like it. I stuck with my mom's recipe and people LOVE it. It makes my cookies me! So, find a recipe you and your family love and use it! Your customers will love it too!