Baking cakes and registering domain names
We talk websites, domains, and social media with Amanda Macleod, award-winning cake maker Amanda Macleod, EuroDNS customer and graphic designer made a 180° turn in 2008 by becoming a cake designer. We spoke to Amanda and during out chat, we grabbed some useful advice on how to efficiently manage your online presence along with your business.
Chatting with Amanda Macleod
You used to be a graphic designer, how on earth did you end up in cakes?
I've always been creative and decided many years ago to bake a special cake for my mum’s birthday. It was very challenging and I decided that I wouldn't do it again. But my mum loved her cake and my passion for celebration cakes grew from there.
We love your website www.amandamacleod.co.uk , how often do you update the content, and do you manage it yourself?
I do manage my website myself and I update it regularly. Each new cake I make goes into the gallery with some details. I also put new testimonials onto the website as and when I receive them. I keep a blog on my page which I add to, although not as often as I should.
Cakes aren’t a typical online business. How important is your website in driving new customers?
Since founding my business in 2008, my website has been the main driving force for new custom. I do very little in the way of advertising and listings. With my Facebook page, social media has become my preferred method for getting my name and product out into the celebration cake market.
You have quite a big presence on social media, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and also a blog; how do you find time to squeeze it all in? Any tips for our readers?
The social media side of things can be time consuming but it's time well spent because if utilised well it can work wonders for a small business and it's free advertising, promotion and marketing, all of which are extremely expensive areas for small businesses.
One piece of advice I would give to anyone making use of social media to promote a business is to be strict about how much time you give it. Make a plan to spend 30 mins for example per day. Once you have decided how much time you can give this, stick to it! It's very easy to get drawn into aimlessly wondering around social media sites.
You once spent 200 hours creating a Marie-Antoinette cake, and won an award at Cake International with it. Can you please tell us a little more about this cake?
This was actually a sugar sculpture rather than an edible cake. It most definitely was the piece of work which took the longest to create. I made it as a competition entry for Cake International in the UK in April 2013. It won a gold award and best in category and the interest it sparked on social media gained 100s of new followers on Facebook and an increase in traffic to my website over the course of the three day event.
Finally, I’m sure you meet loads of customers from different backgrounds asking for funny designs - what's the craziest one you've received?
I've never had any really crazy requests although I do get lots of unusual cake designs with themes, which I may know nothing about. For example, one couple who are racing car drivers wanted a cake with tiers made to look like tyres. They told me all about the different types of tyres for wet and dry racing and wanted authenticity so I had to do some research on tyres to get them looking realistic even down to the barcodes and serial numbers!
Many thanks to Amanda @MacleodCakeArt for taking the time to answer our questions between baking cakes.
Amanda Macleod is one the of the UK's leading cake designers based in Essex specialising in wedding cakes and celebration cakes. Whether you're looking for a stunning personalised celebration cake or not, you should really have a look at the gallery of cakes.