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Building notoriety in Your Local Community

By Business of Baking Blog posted 08-19-2021 12:00:00 AM


Participating in a community event or competition can help you get the word out about your baking and cake business. You can even get free publicity from the local press if you know how to make those connections. Read on to learn more about the benefits of building notoriety in your local community.

In addition to helping with the blog here on the Retail Bakers of America website, I also organize a cake supply trade show in Georgia. After the cake show this year, it occurred to me that participating in a community event such as a cake art or tasting competition is a great way to build notoriety and a name for your business in your community.

Let’s consider sugar art and tasting competitions. When you compete in any competition, of course, you have a chance to win money or prizes, but winning can also come with a new title. There's nothing like being able to add that extra tag (i.e. “Award-winning” baker or sugar artists) to your introduction. Yes, winning an award can come along with an ego boost, but also you want to think about media outlets.

The local media clings to people and businesses that have that extra tag of “Award-winning” attached to their name. Phrases like, “as seen on Food Network” or other media outlets are calling cards to the media that this person might have a story to tell.

If you’ve never competed before, it can feel a bit intimidating. What if you don’t win? What will people say? Are you ready to hear feedback on your product or art? Despite all of that, I would highly encourage you to put yourself out there. Put yourself in front of folks in your community. You never know what could come of it.

Of course, you could win! Then, you can add that extra title to your name on social media. You can add a new logo to your website (i.e. “As seen on…” or “Winner of...). However, even if you don't win, you would have had the opportunity to meet new people and network with folks in your community. Not to mention, you could also add the title “Competitor” which is also an accolade.

After you’ve competed or won an accolade, don’t forget to share the news with your local media by submitting a formal press release. This will help build your name in the community as well. Don’t wait for the media to find out about your win or accolade by chance. Submit that information to them so that they are in the know and eventually pick up your story.

Even if they don’t pick up your story immediately, by submitting the press release you will likely end up on their radar. Then, when they need someone to co-host a segment on “baking activities for the family” or “cake decorating techniques” they know where to turn.

When you want to build your name in the community, the internet can be your best friend. First, establish an internet presence by creating a website. Second, branch out and get active on social media sites and blog sites that will be able to give you backlinks that connect back to your official website. This will increase your reach across the internet and solidify your online presence as a leader in your field and community.

When a blog or media outlet writes about your business on the internet and links back to your official website, that will increase your reach on the internet and boost your notoriety with search engines such as Google. In the Sugar Coin Academy, I talk a lot about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which is a fancy term for a series of strategies used to increase your rank in search engines. SEO is important because search engines are how folks will find your business on literally any platform on the internet including Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Backlinks are one of many factors that can impact your ranking in search, but it is one of the few factors that you can control.

If you want to grow your online presence beyond social media or your website, I recommend submitting a press release to a media outlet in hopes of getting their attention for an article or TV appearance. You can also guest write on a blog or connect with bloggers to see if they’d be interested in sharing your story on their blog.

In addition to competing or getting attention from the media, one more way to boost your notoriety is by earning certifications or attending a course. Now, these achievements may not be “newsworthy” on the local level with the media, but they can definitely be a great boost to your resume. If you studied under a leader in our industry or you earned a degree or certificate, you should make sure to share that as part of your story on your website or anywhere your bio might be published.


I know everyone doesn’t want to be famous, but I know most business owners want their company to be known within their community. The points above are just a few examples of how you can establish and grow your name in your area. If you’re shy, work to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. If something great happens to your business or your employees, share it with the media using a press release. Don’t wait for them to find out your news organically. They can’t announce your awesomeness if they don’t know it!

Finally, you should also go beyond social media and network with other websites to help create backlinks. These backlinks will help establish your name on the internet and eventually help you show up higher in search results. The moral of the story is that if you want to grow your business you need the support of your community. You could wait for folks to find you, or you could spend money on ads to get their attention. However, there are other ways such as using the media and other websites to help put your name in front of folks in your area. Stretch yourself. Do things that might feel uncomfortable, and toot your own horn every now and then.

Cyd N. Mitchell
Business Blogger, Retail Bakers of America

Cydni N. Mitchell (aka Cyd) is a Bakery Consultant and the Sweet Business Coach behind Sweet Fest®. Based in Atlanta, GA, Sweet Fest® is an online company that supports the business needs of the Sweet Community in the areas of professional development, marketing, branding and web design.

By trade, Cyd is an accountant & financial analyst with a Masters from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the Founder of the Sugar Coin Academy, an online business academy for business owners in the baking and sweets industry, and she is also the organizer of The Ultimate Sugar Show, Georgia’s Largest Annual Baking and Sweets Expo in Atlanta. She is also the Business Blogger for the Retail Bakers of America.