Guest Author - Jason Hodge
Who says you have to know it all or that you've had to produce it all to become a major player in your field? Here are some techniques that will help you overcome your perceived deficits and capitalize on the expert information out there to boost your personal cheffing business.
The libraries, Internet, magazines and like information hubs are full of experts that are not only wanting to expand on their audience base, but are ready to throw in some of their best material, for free to do it. Why not take advantage of this phenomenon and skyrocket your personal chef business in the process?
It's a lot easier than you think and the rewards are limitless. I'll share with you a few of my strategies below using the common resource hubs.
The next time you're in you local library, strike up a conversation with your librarian. It'll prove more valuable than these mere words can begin to describe. Your average librarian is, at the very least, a walking, thinking and breathing, flesh and blood resource with an underused mental catalog of information and/or the wherewithal to quickly and efficiently gather the information that will make your life processes much easier.
When I go to the library, I always put my friends, the librarians, to work. We always get into a great exchange and by the time we're finished, we've come up with a 10 - 30 item list of publications that give me exactly what I need to get my proposed project underway. Librarians, to me, are like pulling into the local gas station, when lost, to grab a map of the area and find my way. I don't tend to have the time or desire to figure it out when I've got a willing and well equipped resource that can talk back to me and put me on the right track.
Ask your librarian for a list of experts on topics your audience will benefit from and then let them do what they do best. Look for their websites, videos, published articles, etc. and begin to connect the dots and, possibly, connect with them.
The Internet is a storage tank of content in almost every format visitors want it in. If you're reading this article, then chances are you're on the Internet or got it off of the Internet. Jump online and start a search on your topic. Let me caution you on the whole competition farst... when it comes to exposure and expanding your audience base, there really is no such thing as competition.
Let me explain...
You have the knowledge you have and your 'competition' has the knowledge they have. Your audience can be enhanced from their input as can theirs by yours. What you will find is that you've, by partnering with your competition, broadened not only your reach, but theirs as well. You've created a win-win relationship and neither one of you lose out. You've also begun to foster a professional friendship.
Many times I will pop into one of my forums, put on my media planner hat, and go to work answering questions on effective ways to build business in this ever-changing marketplace. I will offer to the readers something that they haven't been getting before and it doesn't take away from me; instead, it creates friends who not only want to hear what else I have to say they are willing to send their audience my way. No threat!
Don't ever be afraid to share the glory.
Magazines & Periodicals
Pick up one of your favorite periodicals and scan it for great content. When you find content that will add value to your audience, share it, making sure you give the proper credits. The wise business person will take the best of what's out there to offer and ...offer it. You'll be looked at as a professional who cares enough to put their ego aside in order to provide the best, even if you didn't create it.
Remember... there's no rule that states you have to create all the good information out there for you to be valid. You can do your audience/clients a great service by being the information hub for them to return to time and again.
If you could go to one place to get all of the things you need, would that be attractive to you or would you opt to go all over the world to get it? The reason why places like WalMart, Target and the shopping malls exist is that their customers like the idea of being able to go to one place to get everything they need. Folks will even take things that are a little or a lot less quality to keep the convenience of not having to go through too many changes to get them. Take that concept to heart and go one better though and make sure that you're, not only, providing your audience with the conveniences, but aren't skimping on the quality either. You'll be looked at as the expert by association and your business will flourish.
Get it all under one roof
Once you've discovered all the content and contacts that work for you and your audience, package it up, put it all under one roof [you] and offer it, again, and again, and again and watch your business take off.
As always, it's been my pleasure sharing with you these principles that will help your personal chef business grow. Until next time...