How To Grow Your Cooking Business: 32 Proven Techniques & Strategies [2021]

How To Grow Your Cooking Business: 32 Proven Techniques & Strategies [2021]

Wondering how to market your cooking class business?

Marketing your cooking class business is certainly not easy, but there are many ways to promote and advertise your cooking class business.

We put together a list of the best marketing ideas for your cooking class business, so you can get your small business out there.

Here’s the list:

1. Affiliate Program: Launch An Affiliate Program

Affiliate marketing is a great way to bring in a new revenue stream, especially when you don't sell products or services.

Simply put, an affiliate program is an agreement where a business pays another business or influencer ("the affiliate") a commission for sending traffic and/or sales their way.

The affiliate typically gets a unique link where clicks and conversions can be tracked.

  • Topic: Affiliate
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Low - $50-$500
  • Result: Lead Generation

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Check out our full guide on affiliate program ➜

2. Word of mouth: Generate Word Of Mouth Marketing

Word of mouth is when a consumers reflects their interest in a company’s product or service in their daily dialogues.

Therefore, word of mouth advertising is essentially a free advertising triggered by the customers experience.

According to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family.

Therefore, in today’s hyper-connected world, a single recommendation through a word of mouth can have a huge impact to your business.

  • Topic: Word Of Mouth
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Free - Happy customers will spread the word at no cost to your business.
  • Result: Brand Awareness

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Check out our full guide on word of mouth ➜

3. Social Media Advertising : Advertising on social media

Social media advertising is the use of social media platforms to connect with your audience with the objective to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic.

According to Oberlo, approximately 48% of the global population use social media, and the number is ever-growing.

Therefore, social media allows brands access to cost-effective advertising by enabling them to interact with a large audience.

  • Topic: Social Media (Organic)
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Medium - On average, businesses invest $4000 to $7000 per month on social media management, which includes marketing and advertising on one or more platforms
  • Result: Lead Generation

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Check out our full guide on social media advertising ➜

4. Direct Sales: Build A Sales Team

Direct sales strategy implies a direct contact between a seller and a consumer without the involvement of any third party. Direct selling is popular in sectors where sellers communicate with their clientele personally. The sales technique occurs at non-store locations which include at home, work, or online.

For direct selling to succeed, hire a few (or many) salespeople to support the sales conversion process. It's critical that you assign them specific roles and responsibilities to nurture the client and provide excellent support.

  • Topic: Sales
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: High - Typical costs to consider when hiring: hiring costs, training costs, plus salary and incentives.
  • Result: Lead Generation

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Check out our full guide on direct sales ➜

5. Pay Per Click Advertising: Set Up A Pay Per Click Campaign

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a performance-based marketing method that allows you to show specific ads for services or products oriented to a very defined target, with the goal that the user visits your website or landing page.

  • Topic: Affiliate
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Low - Average is typically $1 per click
  • Result: Brand Exposure

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Check out our full guide on pay per click advertising ➜

6. Referral Program: Launch A Referral Program

A referral program is the type of marketing where you state an offer to your existing customers for the act of creating a word-of-mouth referral that converts.

According to SEMrush, word-of-mouth is considered to be one of the top traffic sources for small businesses that practice affiliate marketing.

Launching a referral program is a great marketing strategy for growing a small business. An effective referral program enables startups to increase lead generation and an active audience.

  • Topic: Word Of Mouth
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Low - $10-$100
  • Result: Brand Exposure

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Check out our full guide on referral program ➜

7. SEO Strategy: Create An Effective SEO Strategy

An SEO strategy is the process of planning, optimizing, and organizing your website to help it rank better in search results.

A good SEO strategy helps you match users' search intent such that you drive traffic that is more credible and quality leads to your website.

Therefore, invest in SEO to help your business grow online.

  • Topic: SEO
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Medium - SEO costs for a monthly retainer plan range from $750 to $5000 per month.
  • Result: SEO

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Check out our full guide on seo strategy ➜

8. LinkedIn Outreach: Reach Out To Prospects Via LInkedIn InMail

LinkedIn Outreach is the process of sending direct LinkedIn messages to prospects.

Consider that direct messaging is LinkedIn's primary one-to-one communication approach. Therefore, sending direct LinkedIn message provides marketers an effective approach for reaching the target audience in a personal way.

Often referred to as LinkedIn Inmail, LinkedIn direct messaging could accelerate your lead generation pipeline.

  • Topic: Social Media (Organic)
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Low - The InMails are sent on a pay-per-send basis, and cost anywhere from $0.30 to $1 per send depending on your target audience
  • Result: Brand Awareness

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Check out our full guide on linkedin outreach ➜

9. Networking Event: Attend A Networking Event

Networking event refers to social or economic activity where entrepreneurs meet with intention of forming business relationships, recognizing, creating, or acting upon business opportunities.

As an entrepreneur, creating connections and putting your brand out there is critical to the success of your business.

Attending a networking event you will meet like-minded people, exchange a business idea or two, and leave knowing you brought your brand some exposure.

Networking events could provide you a once in lifetime opportunity or connection that could take your business to the next level.

  • Topic: Events
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Low - $0-$150
  • Result: Brand Awareness

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Check out our full guide on networking event ➜

10. Webinar: Launch A Webinar

A webinar is an event held virtually and attended exclusively by an online audience. Therefore, a webinar can reach a wide range of audiences from different locations.

Webinars are a great way to build your existing audience and create new customers. Webinars can also help with promotions, establishing clout and credibility with customers, and can help build your email list.

Webinars are a particularly effective marketing tool because they allow brands to connect with their customers.

  • Topic: Events
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Medium - $100-$1,500
  • Result: Trust & Credibility

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Check out our full guide on webinar ➜

11. Guest Blogging: Start Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is a content marketing strategy that involves writing and publishing a blog post on another company’s website.

Guest posts include your byline and are highlighted by the editor of that website as being written by a guest author or contributor

Guest posts attract a new audience and ultimately boost brand credibility and awareness.

  • Topic: Content
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Low - $0-$300
  • Result: Brand Exposure

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Check out our full guide on guest blogging ➜

12. Quora: Write Viral Answers On Quora

Quora is a platform where you can contribute and obtain knowledge. It's a place to ask questions and connect with others who offer insights and answers to specific questions.

By contributing answers on Quora, you can promote your business and drive organic traffic to your site.

  • Topic: Content
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Free - -
  • Result: Brand Exposure

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Check out our full guide on quora ➜

13. Testimonials: Ask Customers For Testimonials

A customer testimonial is a recommendation from satisfied customers affirming the value of a product or service.

Happy customers give customer testimonials voluntarily or upon a company’s request.

According to Optinmonster, 88% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.

When combined with a sharp content strategy, customer testimonials help prospects overcome objections, hence boosting online sales and turns customers to brand ambassadors.

  • Topic: Content
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Free - Satisfied customers will leave testimonials at no cost to your business
  • Result: Trust & Credibility

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Check out our full guide on testimonials ➜

14. Search engine marketing (SEM): Create A SEM Marketing Campagin

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) refers to an advertising strategy that generates ads in search engines to position brands among the top results.

Unlike SEO, SEM strategy works through paying for keywords so that your content appears in the top position in search.

SEM can be effective in driving traffic to your website and improving conversion rates.

  • Topic: Social Media - (Paid)
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: High - On average, SMBs spend $9K to $10K per month on SEM, which includes ad spend and management costs
  • Result: Lead Generation

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Check out our full guide on search engine marketing (sem) ➜

15. LinkedIn ads: Advertise On LinkedIn

LinkedIn Advertising refers to the use of paid LinkedIn Ads targeting the platform users.

The LinkedIn paid ads provide an exceptional benefit that will help brands to meet the specific business goals.

LinkedIn advertising is ideal for businesses that want to reach customers via a professional network.

  • Topic: Social Media - (Paid)
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Low - On average: $5.26 per click, $6.59 per 1000 impressions, and $0.80 per send.
  • Result: Lead Generation

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Check out our full guide on linkedin ads ➜

16. Business cards: Create Business Cards

A business card is a card bearing information about a business or an individual.

Business cards may seem like an "old" way to market yourself, but they still may be worth it.

A skillfully designed business card can be your best marketing tool especially if you meet many clients in person.

  • Topic: Print + Traditional
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Low - $25-$200. Price depends on how many business cards you order.
  • Result: Brand Awareness

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Check out our full guide on business cards ➜

17. Conversion Rate Optimization: Optimize conversion rates

Website Conversion = # of times a web user completes a goal / site traffic.

Conversion rate optimization refers to the process of optimizing promoted search ads, landing pages, and the overall website.

Optimizing conversion rate allows the digital marketer to capitalize on the traffic and leads they manage to acquire.

  • Topic: SEO
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Low - $0-$500
  • Result: Lead Generation

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Check out our full guide on conversion rate optimization ➜

18. Case Study: Create A Case Study For Your Website

Case studies are a great way to show your audience real-life success stories from other customers.

When a potential lead see's how your product/service made a difference for an existing customer, they are likely to have more confidence in your brand and convert into a customer. Case studies are essentially used as social proof, which can be a very persuasive form of marketing.

  • Topic: Content
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Free - Case studies can be created on a simple word document or powerpoint. To create a powerful case study, all you need is time and focus.
  • Result: Trust & Credibility

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Check out our full guide on case study ➜

19. Checklist Content: Create A Checklist For Your Blog

Checklists provide readers with a concise list of tasks for how to solve a specific problem.

This type of content typically drives your customer to download, use, and share your content - all great ways to improve your SEO and brand exposure.

  • Topic: Content
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Free - There is no cost to create a checklist.
  • Result: Brand Exposure

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Check out our full guide on checklist content ➜

20. Lead Nurturing Sequence: Create an Email Lead Magnet Nurturing Sequence

Nurturing emails are a series of emails that that suit the needs of your customers based on where they are at in their buyer journey.

These emails are typically full of useful content and information and can be designed to promote a number of different offerings - such as marketing materials, website content, discounted deals, etc.

By creating targeted, segmented emails, you show your customer that you are aware of their interests which can help with conversions.

  • Topic: Email
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Free - No cost
  • Result: Lead Generation

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Check out our full guide on lead nurturing sequence ➜

21. Data-Driven Content: Create A Data-Driven Content Marketing Campaign

Data driven content is a strategy used for content marketing campaigns. This data is typically obtained from your brands buyer persona to create an effective marketing campaign.

Data driven content uses factual information generated from experiments (surveys or testing) to form conclusions.

  • Topic: Content
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Low - $10-$300.
  • Result: Trust & Credibility

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Check out our full guide on data-driven content ➜

22. Optimize Landing Pages: Landing Page Optimization

Landing page optimization refers to the process of improving or enhancing each element on your landing page to increase conversions.

In essence, you do not need to create new content or redesigning the website. Instead, you will use data and anecdotal evidence to create optimized landing pages.

Note that landing page optimization is a process. Thus, it might take weeks or even months to achieve an optimized page.

  • Topic: SEO
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Low - Companies can spend anywhere from $75 to upwards of $3000 on the design and optimization of a landing page depending on the complexity, time to build, and add ons
  • Result: Lead Generation

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Check out our full guide on optimize landing pages ➜

23. Brand Story Email: Create A Brand Story Email Campaign

A brand story email narrates the story of how and why your business was started and expresses how that narrative is still apart of you today.

Emails that explain your brand story can be a very effective way to connect with your customer.

  • Topic: Email
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Free - -
  • Result: Lead Generation

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Check out our full guide on brand story email ➜

24. Whitepaper: Publish A Whitepaper

A whitepaper is a persuasive, authoritative, in-depth report on a specific topic that presents a problem and provides a solution.

Ideally, a white paper covers a complex issue and its purpose is to advocate that a certain position is the best way to go.

When used for a marketing purpose, the white paper focuses on influencing the decision-making of current and prospective customers

  • Topic: Content
  • Level of Difficulty: Hard
  • Cost: Medium - $50-$4,500. If designed on own, the cost to publish a white-paper is next to zero. However, many businesses outsource this to an expert as it can be time-consuming and challenging, which usually costs an average of $4,500.
  • Result: SEO

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Check out our full guide on whitepaper ➜

25. Mentorship: Become A Mentor

Mentorship is a relationship between two people where the individuals with more experience, knowledge, and connections pass along the knowledge to a junior individual within a certain field.

In business, mentorship offers critical support and guidance needed to improve the problem-solving skills and develop business leadership skills.

Therefore, juniors put the skills and ideas they get from seniors to make decisions with more confidence.

  • Topic: Relationships
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Low - Mentorship fee depends on the seniority of the cadre of mentors
  • Result: Trust & Credibility

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Check out our full guide on mentorship ➜

26. Newspaper Ad: Experiment With Newspaper Advertising

Newspaper advertising refers to running an ad for your business in a print publication.

Placing ads in newspapers and magazines has been an effective way to reach a wide range of customers. Advertisers can use newspapers and magazines to run targeted advertising.

To ensure effectively targeted marketing using newspaper and magazine ads, the advertiser must research the interests of the target audience.

  • Topic: Print + Traditional
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Medium - $500-$20,000
  • Result: Brand Awareness

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Check out our full guide on newspaper ad ➜

27. Twitter Advanced Search: Find Customers Through Advanced Search In Twitter

Twitter advanced search is an underrated, little-known tool that's been extremely effective for marketers and small business owners.

Advanced search is available when using the web app and is perfect for:

  1. Finding new customers
  2. Measuring the satisfaction of current customers.

This search puts leads right in front of you and allows you to reach people who have a specific problem that your business could help with.

  • Topic: Social Media (Organic)
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Free - -
  • Result: Lead Generation

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Check out our full guide on twitter advanced search ➜

28. Twitter Polls: Conduct Twitter Polls

Twitter Polls are native surveys designed to collect feedback and give people the chance to weigh in on questions.

One great way to increase engagement is conducting Twitter polls.

Not only are these fun for your followers to interact with, but they can also be used to conduct market research and gain constructive feedback for your brand or industry.

  • Topic: Social Media (Organic)
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Free - Twitter does not charge you to run a Twitter Poll
  • Result: Engagement

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Check out our full guide on twitter polls ➜

29. Free Sample Marketing : Give Away Free Samples To College Students On Campus

Free sample marketing is the act of giving products and services to prospective customers at no cost to them.

Giving out free samples means you effectively get your products or services into the hands of just the people who are most likely to want what you are selling. Therefore, it is a quick and efficient way of gaining customers.

In addition, getting free stuff makes the prospects feel valued and happy. In that regard, free sample marketing creates loyal customers.

  • Topic: Sales
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Low - You need to cater for the cost of production or the cost of offering the free services.
  • Result: Lead Generation

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Check out our full guide on free sample marketing ➜

30. Postcard: Design & Send A Postcard

A postcard is a commercially printed card with space for a message, an address, a postage stamp, and often a photographic.

According to Data & Marketing Association, postcards get a high response rate. Therefore, adding postcards to your direct mail campaign is a great lead generation tactic.

Ideally, the message conveyed on postcards gets right to the point. In that regard, postcards are a high-impact marketing technique.

  • Topic: Print + Traditional
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Low - Design costs may vary depending on the agency, design aspects and quality
  • Result: Lead Generation

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Check out our full guide on postcard ➜

31. Backlinks: Improve Your Backlink Portfolio

Backlinks refer to links from one website to a page on another website. Search engines consider backlinks as votes for a specific page.

Thus, pages with a high number of backlinks tend to have a high organic ranking on search engines. A recent study showed that backlinks remain a key ranking signal for Google.

Therefore, improving your backlink portfolio means your website will rank higher in Google and other search engines.

  • Topic: SEO
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Medium - The price of link building varies greatly between $100 – $20,000 per month depending on quality and volume.
  • Result: SEO

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Check out our full guide on backlinks ➜

32. AMA (Ask Me Anything): Host an AMA

Ask me anything event is where an entrepreneur opens the floor to any questions from the target audience. Abbreviated as AMA, the event covers personal and work-related questions.

You can run a successful AMA session via different platforms including social media. AMA sessions help the audience to know the entrepreneur and connect with them at a personal level.

A strategically organized AMA session can be a great platform to build brand awareness, trust, and credibility.

  • Topic: Social Media (Organic)
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Free - You can run a successful AMA session on social media platforms
  • Result: Trust & Credibility

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Check out our full guide on ama (ask me anything) ➜

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

Want to start your own business?

Hey! 👋I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.

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