Oluwatosin Olaleye, or Tosin for short, is a baker located in Canada. Tosin has channeled her love for baking and desserts into launching her own startup bakery, Royal Queen Cakes and Pastries.
Having studied accounting and earned a masters degree in management, Tosin initially treated baking as a much-loved hobby that she made time for on the side. Then, in 2017, she decided to hone her skills as a baker and share her talents with the world. From cakes to pastries to other desserts, Tosin now makes beautiful, sculptural desserts for all occasions. She is also a Certified Food Handler and a member of the Canadian Institute of Food Safety.
One of Tosin’s design trademarks is that nearly all of her cake decorations are edible. She decorates her cakes with colorful frosting, chocolate drizzles, and sometimes fruit and candy. Her specialty is to sculpt decorations from fondant, a thick paste made from sugar and water. She uses fondant to create everything from teddy bears and bow ties to flowers and faces. One of her masterpieces is a very detailed model of a camera–which is red velvet covered in fondant.
Throughout Tosin’s entrepreneurial journey, she’s promoted her work on social media. “Always create posts that catch the eye of your customers,” Tosin said. Her belief is that a strong social media presence is key to building a recognizable brand image.
“Go to PosterMyWall!” Tosin said, which she gives credit for helping her build her brand and increase customer engagement.
For other budding bakers and chefs looking to promote their own businesses on social media, Tosin provided the following tips:
Take professional photographs
If you take a look at Tosin’s Instagram feed, it’s obvious that she puts a lot of effort into her product photography, carefully staging the best background, lighting, and presentation to showcase each cake and confection.
“The right background can make or break your image,” said Tosin. For her photos, Tosin selects neutral tones, which make her colorful products pop. Often, her backgrounds are just draped pieces of cloth or curtain.
“A good backdrop is one that pushes the product to the front and allows it to shine,” Tosin said.
Once she’s selected her backdrop, Tosin lights her subject. She says that lighting is essential in all cases, but even more so if you want to highlight the details of your product. “It’s important to get the lighting right, so your photograph is neither too dull nor too bright,” Tosin said. That said, you don’t need expensive equipment to achieve this. For many of her shots, Tosin achieves good lighting with a single light fixture aimed directly toward her cake.
In terms of presentation, Tosin keeps it simple so nothing distracts from her product. She places her cakes front and center, using surfaces and surroundings that blend into the background. By doing this she ensures that the viewer’s eye focuses on her cake.
Captivate customers with video
While photographs are effective, a single image can’t capture every angle of a cake creation. Tosin believes that when a customer purchases a custom cake, they want to see every detail–and all sides of her creation.
The best way to do this is with video. “People love to see food in motion,” Tosin said.
Tosin’s videos are typically short, giving the viewer a panorama of her design from all sides. “So far, my videos have generated the most engagement of anything I post on social media,” she said.
Leverage free PosterMyWall templates
Online design tools make creative marketing so much easier for entrepreneurs. Now, instead of creating a design from scratch or having to hire a graphic designer, you can simply log in to tools like PosterMyWall and have free access to a variety of social media post templates.
Tosin makes full and creative use of the free templates available on PosterMyWall. From a Mother’s Day post advertising her cupcakes to a Women’s Day post, Tosin uses PosterMyWall to add variety and themed posts to her feeds.
Don’t be afraid to be different
Tosin’s final piece of advice is: “Always have a product that people will have a hunger for.”
There are a lot of bakeries, so if you want to stand out, you need to provide something unique. Tosin’s creations definitely do this, from cakes that look like tuxedos and books–to her famous camera cake. “A product that is different and creative will always earn you appreciation,” Tosin said.
Starting a baking business isn’t easy. But, as Tosin demonstrates, if you have a great product and strong marketing, people will notice.