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smolderingbbq
02-18-2013, 09:04 AM
Hi everybody, I posted about taking my barbecue business to the next level and got some great feed back. I figured I would start a thread about marketing now that I know that it is probably the second most important thing behind fantastic food. So, here goes...

What are some different industries that we as caterers can get into, like hospitals, wedding venues etc. ?

What are the best cost effective ways to market or advertise a product (besides word of mouth) ?

Any other advice would be wonderful!

Blake:decision:

Bamabuzzard
02-18-2013, 10:16 AM
I'd use Facebook if you're not already. It's free and it can reach a mass amount of people instantly.

smolderingbbq
02-18-2013, 10:45 AM
I am using facebook. Any insight in how to get more likes, other ways to promote that seem to work?

Bamabuzzard
02-18-2013, 11:23 AM
I am using facebook. Any insight in how to get more likes, other ways to promote that seem to work?

Keep your page in front of people's face. Put a status update everyday. Since you're into food, cooking and stuff maybe offer some cooking tips on bbq, side dishes, the "do's and don'ts" of things. People love pictures. Their eyes are drawn to them. Post nice looking pics of some of your dishes. Like what many do on the BBQ forum. The main thing is you have to stay at the forefront of people's minds when they think catering. Out of sight out of mind applies here.

Here, take a look at our FB page and get an idea of what I'm talking about. We keep people informed on where we're going to be, what show we're going to be in next, pics of what we cooked over the weekend etc.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Double-Ds-BBQ/112864168786570?ref=hl

Smoke House Moe
02-18-2013, 08:28 PM
Bamabuzzard, do you get a good response at the home/garden, and outdoorsman shows? What type of booth setup do you have?
Thanks for the great info already.

Bamabuzzard
02-18-2013, 08:40 PM
Bamabuzzard, do you get a good response at the home/garden, and outdoorsman shows? What type of booth setup do you have?
Thanks for the great info already.

We normally cover our cost and have enough money left over to pay next month's overhead. The goal of tradeshows is to get our product in the eyes, minds and mouths of the public. It's not where our "bread and butter" money will ultimately come from. Tradeshows such as hunter's expos, farmer's markets, home and garden shows etc. is another way of advertising.

We normally buy a 10x10 booth, have our booth decorated with our signs and stuff. We sample our bbq sauce with either pulled pork or smoked sausage. We've been doing tradeshows for one year. It's produced repeat customers (some are members of this board) and continues to build our brand.

smolderingbbq
02-18-2013, 09:49 PM
Here's my fb page: https://www.facebook.com/smolderingbearbarbecueco?ref=hl

Bamabuzzard
02-18-2013, 09:53 PM
It looks like you're doing it right man. Your page looks great. Keep doing that and if you can afford it get in a few trade shows, festivals, farmers markets etc. and keep plugging along. Patience and persistence is your friend.

Triple T BBQ
02-19-2013, 12:52 PM
Would recommend joining your local business network and or rotary group. This set of groups puts you in touch with most of the business people in town and gets you additional connections and usually a favorable nod when you want to get in on the latest fair, festival, etc that is being planned. Plus you get mentioned when someone is looking of a vendor because you are a member in good standing.

Motley Q
02-19-2013, 01:13 PM
It looks like you're doing it right man. Your page looks great. Keep doing that and if you can afford it get in a few trade shows, festivals, farmers markets etc. and keep plugging along. Patience and persistence is your friend.

According to my browser your website is not secure for shopping..

If it is wrong, what controls do you have to make it secure?

Bamabuzzard
02-19-2013, 02:54 PM
According to my browser your website is not secure for shopping..

If it is wrong, what controls do you have to make it secure?

According to my IT dude it is secure. In the "checkout" function, there is a locked pad image and "https" that appears in the address bar indicating secure.

I've contacted godaddy.com and it is secure and security certificate is valid and working.

This Web site is secured with a GoDaddy.com Web Server Certificate. Transactions on the site are protected with up to 256-bit Secure Sockets Layer encryption.

GrillsGoneWild
02-19-2013, 11:00 PM
The two things I know about South Carolina is 1. There are lots of BBQ places and 2. There are lots of golf courses. I would think you could bring those two things together. Try contacting some of the local golf courses to see if they may have a need for your services. Some courses only have a small deli that may serve a cold sandwich and hot dogs. Maybe they can resell your BBQ sandwiches? Just a thought.

Spartan_Jeff
02-19-2013, 11:30 PM
I liked your Facebook page and shared your page on my timeline....can't hurt right?

Bamabuzzard
02-20-2013, 08:29 AM
The two things I know about South Carolina is 1. There are lots of BBQ places and 2. There are lots of golf courses. I would think you could bring those two things together. Try contacting some of the local golf courses to see if they may have a need for your services. Some courses only have a small deli that may serve a cold sandwich and hot dogs. Maybe they can resell your BBQ sandwiches? Just a thought.


^^^^Excellent idea. :clap2:

cynfulsmokersbbq
02-20-2013, 02:54 PM
This is a great thread. Thanks to all that are participating.

I created my facebook page a few years ago after taking a class.
Cynful Smokers-bbq

One thing we were told in the class (and this may have changed over the last couple of years) is that you want to create your business facebook page as if it were a person. Supposedly you can do a lot more with it, rather than just having people "like" your page.
We invite people to "events" we participate in "chats" and can reply to posts on people's "Walls"

Like I said this may have all changed since I created my page...

Bamabuzzard
02-20-2013, 02:58 PM
This is a great thread. Thanks to all that are participating.

I created my facebook page a few years ago after taking a class.
Cynful Smokers-bbq

One thing we were told in the class (and this may have changed over the last couple of years) is that you want to create your business facebook page as if it were a person. Supposedly you can do a lot more with it, rather than just having people "like" your page.
We invite people to "events" we participate in "chats" and can reply to posts on people's "Walls"

Like I said this may have all changed since I created my page...

Yeah, that is correct. I tried to "like" your page from mine and couldn't. I'm very limited on what I can do from my page. You've got a cool page BTW.

Motley Q
02-21-2013, 03:56 PM
[QUOTE=Bamabuzzard;2374736]According to my IT dude it is secure. In the "checkout" function, there is a locked pad image and "https" that appears in the address bar indicating secure.

I've contacted godaddy.com and it is secure and security certificate is valid and working.[/QUOT

Bamabuzzard
02-21-2013, 04:33 PM
[QUOTE=Bamabuzzard;2374736]According to my IT dude it is secure. In the "checkout" function, there is a locked pad image and "https" that appears in the address bar indicating secure.

I've contacted godaddy.com and it is secure and security certificate is valid and working.[/QUOT

Neither the http symbol or the locked padlock appeared when I was on your site 2 times.

Both symbols appear today

If its secure, then great, and continued success.

That's odd because an administrator from this site ("Ron_L") tested it the same day you did and it was secure for him. I also tested it myself with a mock transaction and they were there. So again, I think the problem was with your browser, not my site. Thanks.

Kenny Rogers
02-21-2013, 11:51 PM
We are getting started in the business too. AND we just got married a couple of years ago.
Wedding catering seems to be the cream of the crop jobs, people don't mind paying for GOOD food, and you can set your number of people, unlike festivals.

What I know about marketing for wedding catering is this:
Most large venues have their preferred vendors that they refer their clients to, and most clients don't know who they want until their venue coordinator tells them. Make some great relationships at the large wedding venues around your town, and send them gifts OFTEN! Cater lunch for their staff on an off day here and there...

Wedding fairs are the place to be. Brides and Grooms are out shopping for people that can provide your services, put your best foot out there, and reel 'em in!

As someone else mentioned... networking is the key to ALL of this! Rotary, Shriners, Elk, Moose, Church... get your name and your product out there to the masses, especially to the influential people you'll find at these places!

smolderingbbq
02-24-2013, 06:05 AM
Great stuff guys! There are lots of BBQ places in SC, just not where I live. The few we have are pretty bad so I figured I could make some noise. This is all wonderful information and I really like the golf course Idea. Thanks!

FLAQUE
02-24-2013, 03:12 PM
Great thread. It will be helpful to me in the near future.

smolderingbbq
02-24-2013, 04:11 PM
@Cynful Smokers-bbq
I went and "liked" your page as myself not my business. I REALLY want one of those vertical barrel smokers on your page, btw!

cynfulsmokersbbq
02-24-2013, 06:06 PM
Yeah, that is correct. I tried to "like" your page from mine and couldn't. I'm very limited on what I can do from my page. You've got a cool page BTW.


Thank You.. Be sure to friend me if you find a way! I'm working on the website, but we are trying to do it ourselves so it is a learning process.
I guess that is another avenue people would have opinions on. I have a BBQ buddy that has his website professionally done, but truthfully it isn't updated anymore than mine.

www.cynfulsmokersbbq.com

cynfulsmokersbbq
02-24-2013, 06:09 PM
@Cynful Smokers-bbq
I went and "liked" your page as myself not my business. I REALLY want one of those vertical barrel smokers on your page, btw!


I got that down in Kansas City. Honestly we use it for chicken, b/c it cooks real well, high and hot, and when done and it's cooled we will place it out in front of the vending cookers b/c it gives us some instant advertising.

smolderingbbq
02-24-2013, 06:35 PM
cool gotcha. I was going to try to buy one if you built them lol!