Meet Chef Nikki Cross with the Intuition Kitchen and see what she has to say about bringing Instagram into your Personal Chef business. This post was originally posted on the Intuition Kitchen Blog here:
I started using Instagram in 2012, because I had to. I downloaded the app, put up a few photos and let it sit untouched for about a year. On my road trip last summer, I had a lot of free time and started dabbling with it again. When I started to see actual results, I was hooked. What was once an occasional pastime eventually turned into an all-out obsession!
If you love beautiful food, you can’t help but love Instagram. The minute I plug in, my senses are filled with delight. Amazing imagery, fresh ideas, new recipes and lots of personality. As I began to fall in love with this app and post more often, my followers grew. I started to invite more comments, likes and engagement. I even increased my website traffic!
This got me thinking about all the ways entrepreneurs, especially culinary entrepreneurs, could benefit from an updated Instagram account. It’s really quite impressive, so I’ve been super excited to share this…
How You Can Boost Business on Instagram
Find Your Voice
If you’re a chef, or if you create recipes, this is great place for you. There are tons of chefs on Instagram, as well as health coaches, yogis and cookbook authors. Plus, there are people who just enjoy looking at food, want to learn more about cooking or are following a special diet. So it’s really the perfect platform for sharing your food photos and talking to people about your perspective.
Show Your Work
Let’s say you get an inquiry from a potential client. They’d love to learn more about you, so you send them some sample menu ideas. That’s great, but what if you also send them a link to your Instagram account, featuring images of all those outrageous recipes you plan to make for them? Just put yourself in their shoes: would you rather read the word “Double Chocolate Cake” or see a picture of it? Plus, you can show people the behind-the-scenes work you do, so they can better understand your services.
Increase Your Fan Base
Unlike other social media channels, anyone can like, find and follow you. You don’t have to approve people who want to see your photos, so you have the potential to really expand your audience. You can also include hashtags relevant to your business and the area you service. If you live in Denver, Colorado, for example, add #Denver along with #PersonalChef to your posts to establish yourself as the go-to resource in your area.
Network with Local Businesses
Maybe you want to share samples of your food at a gourmet shop or cook for yoga retreats—or maybe you just want to get more involved in your community. You can easily find olive oil stores, wineries or yoga studios in your area on Instagram. Follow them! Then, like and comment on their photos. Establish a relationship with them, and follow up by inviting them to coffee in the neighborhood. This is a smart strategy if you’re not a fan of cold calling, because you’ve already established a social connection.
We all fall into food ruts, even us chefs. Instagram is a recipe haven if you’re in the process of menu planning and need some new ideas. Look at pictures, get fresh recipes and connect with other chefs. It’s also a way to support other small businesses and find connections when we spend our days working alone.