Hey all – just wanted to let you know that I wrote a new piece on Starting A Home Bakery over at the personal finance and lifestyle blog, Making Sense of Cents, check it out!
As a home bakery business, Instagram is probably one vital component of your marketing plan. (Check out my post about attracting customers after you read this) It is a tool that showcases your business and helps you make a personal connection with your prospects and customers by utilizing the power of images combined with words. The ability to use photos and videos of you also means that you can make this a very personal connection.
It doesn’t hurt that according to stats gathered by Backlinko, Instagram boasts over 1 billion monthly active users, and 80% of people on Instagram follow a business. That’s a LOT of eyeballs.
Making a personal connection through using your face on Instagram is essential for any home bakery business, as people like to know the person behind the scenes. It enables you to build a rapport with the customer because they bond with the person they are buying from.
The Face Behind the Business
Instagram has millions of businesses selling on its platform, and thousands of those are home bakery businesses. To have a chance of succeeding on the platform, you need to stand out and build a relationship with the customer, and that has to start with showing yourself.
The numbers support this. According to SproutSocial, Instagram posts with faces get 38% more likes than those that don’t have faces.
People who want to buy from small businesses do so because they like knowing who they are buying from. If you lack images of yourself, then that connection is not possible, and you have far less chance of people reacting to your posts and buying from you.
As the saying goes, ‘People buy from people,’ which is even more true on Instagram. The platform is centered around the visual sell, which has to include you as the owner. You are the brand, and by building this brand recognition of you, you start to build trust, which is a key ingredient in the buying decision.
How Can You Show Up Authentically
In addition to using your photo in your bio, there are several ways you can show up in pictures or videos on Instagram: your Feed, Stories, Reels, IGTV, and Lives.
Instagram Stories are a great way to use video to engage with your customers and build a connection that will end with them wanting to purchase your products. In your Stories, you want to show the great products you are baking, but you also need to show the people behind the product.
It’s worth noting according to Instagram, 58% of people surveyed say they have become more interested in a brand/product after seeing it in Stories.
Showcase the product and the process because you are engaging them in your business and encouraging them to see more and ultimately purchase. Consumers that support local and small businesses love the idea of knowing how their product was made and by whom; it adds to the enjoyment of the purchase.
One great example of engaging your audience and using your face would be participating in a hashtag campaign. These are great for finding new audiences but can also be useful for building a longer-term relationship with your customer.
One example is #FridayIntroductions, a popular hashtag on the platform used in the Feed. Think about using #FridayIntroductions as a fun way to introduce or remind your followers who you are, why you are in business, and what you offer.
Here are six ideas for what you could share:
- A little about yourself and your business
- Three fun facts about yourself people might not know
- The story behind your business name
- How your business got started
- Why you started your business
- Where you live and why you like it (or don’t)
And, don’t think that you post one #FridayIntroductions, and you’re done! Nope, you should plan on doing it from time to time; maybe aim for monthly and see how that goes.
Reels are another excellent feature on Instagram that uses 15-30 second video clips to have fun and interact with your audience. I challenge you to, instead of only focusing on your baking or icing, include your face in the video too.
Also, think about using IGTV or Lives to enhance your connection and increase engagement. Instagram rewards accounts that use its various features. You can show your customer exactly what goes on behind the scenes, answer questions, show your business’s personality, and build that all-important connection with your customer.
Overcome Your Fear
If you are not comfortable being in front of the camera, I get it! As an introvert who relishes working hard behind the scenes, I know showing up on camera can be scary. But, you are a business owner now. Push through, start simple with a photo of you in your kitchen, and work up to a Story featuring you. The more you do it, the more comfortable and better you will become. It’s a new muscle you have to earn how to flex. You can do it!
Show People Who You Are
Finally, remember you are using Instagram to connect with people and ultimately get them to purchase from you. Plan on regularly showing your face and watch how quickly you build trust.
Never forget, ‘People buy from people’ – so never be afraid to show your audience who you are and why your bakery is the best. For more tips and resources, follow me on Instagram at @whiskwarrior.