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Why networking should be the sponge of your marketing cake

Have you heard of cake theory? Becky, Co-Founder of Sussex’s premier networking and social club for women, tells us all about it, and shares why Co-Women should be the foundation of this aspect of your business…

I’ve been thinking a lot about cake. As a personal trainer, it’s important to me, and not in the sense of restricting the consumption of it. But that’s also not really what I’m here to discuss. Today’s cake is a theoretical framework – let me explain.

What is our Cake Theory?

There are a few different versions of this, but the one I’m discussing today is an adaptation of a theme. Cakes tend to have a number of components. If we all think of one, we’ll all come up with different styles and flavours, reflecting our preferences and biases. Some might even be as fancy as a big wedding cake. Others might be more of a croquembouche (really not my thing – I hate choux  pastry), but I’m not here to yuck anyone’s yum. My point is this: all cakes have a base, whether it be a classic sponge or a pile of profiteroles.

Beyond that, cakes vary. Filling? Maybe. Icing? Perhaps. Decorations and sprinkles and fruit and any other kind of garnish or bow that you desire? Sometimes.

Some of us – hi, it’s me – would argue that icing is an essential. But if we’re being really simplistic, it isn’t. And why am I still talking about cakes in this way?

Because this thinking applies to life too.

Let’s imagine that our cake represents…

…how we market our businesses. Our cake is now our strategy. Marketing 101 is that if you put all of your eggs in one basket, you’re fucked if you drop said basket. Or if you put it down to do something else and forget about it. Or if the basket just breaks on you… ok, time to get back to the original analogy. Point being, we don’t just do one thing and expect ourselves to be a roaring success.

We channel our energy in a variety of directions in order to maximise our opportunities to get ourselves out there and achieve the result we want.

As we’re human beings and only have so much resource in terms of time and money, there is a hierarchy to these things though, and that’s where we bring the cake back in – we have activities which are essential, and ones which are more of a nice to have.

In a marketing sense, it would’ve been wild not to be doing print advertising once upon a time, but this is 2024 and life is now quite different.

Co-Women is your cake!

It’s time for some more cliches: people buy from people. Many of us are familiar with the concept of “know, like, trust” – that your customers need to tick these boxes before they’ll purchase from you. And it tends to ring true, particularly when you’re in a service-based business, which many solopreneurs are.

Lots of people will argue that social media now allows us to accomplish the first goal, but I think that even that is a spurious claim. Because we all know that you can put absolutely anything out on the internet. The best way to ensure that people know, like and trust you is still to get out there and show them what you’re made of. No, we don’t always feel like leaving the house either – I heard recently that the UK has had it’s wettest 18 months on record and I can well believe it – but when you come to a Co-Women event, we’re sure that you’ll end your time with us being pleased that you joined in.

Networking and getting out and about may well seem like the last thing that’s worth doing – that it’s not even the icing, but the sprinkles; the thing that you’ll do “when I have the time or money”, but realistically, it should be the foundation. Getting out to meet people in person, build connections, learn from other people, organically spread the word about yourself and – most radically – have some fun, will pay dividends. So come and join us, and we’ll look forward to helping you to achieve your goals!

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