Transcript is autogenerated and may contain typos, errors, omissions etc.

[00:00:00] If I was starting a personal chef business today, hmm, when I started my personal chef business, I didn’t know anything about marketing and getting clients. And maybe you feel the same way, right? Like I didn’t have a business degree or a degree in marketing or know anything about PR or promotions or advertising.

So I just tried everything. I went to B N I A networking group where you have to refer to other people, like have to, and there’s only one person in each industry. I went to the Chamber of Commerce where like a hundred small people, small business people were trying to get business from each other. I did cooking demos.

I passed out flyers and business cards. I wore my chef’s jacket everywhere. I made maggots for my car. I put up a website. I, there was a. Facebook page. I went to other networking groups. I did grocery store demos. I passed out stuff at doctor’s offices. I even paid for ads. I [00:01:00] did direct mail. And it took me forever to get consistent clients.

Well, a lot has changed today in terms of opportunity to get the word out about your personal chef business. But the basic tenets of marketing are the same. And if I was starting a personal chef business today, this is exactly what I would do to get clients. Hey there, if we’re just meeting for the first time, I’m Chef Shelly.

I’ve had a successful personal chef business for 17 years, and when I’m not cooking for my own clients, I help passionate cooks just like you start your own personal chef business. And if that’s something you’re interested in, be sure to hit subscribe and hit the little bell so that you never miss one of my weekly videos.

So believe it or not, it’s not even about where you’re trying to get clients. As it is, the most important is that you’re trying to get clients. I have students who [00:02:00] successfully gotten clients all different ways from only word of mouth and referral to only Facebook groups to personal chef listings, you know, or a website.

And they all had one thing in common. They doubled down on one thing and made it work. Now, if you’re starting and you’re trying to get clients as fast as possible, I’m not going to tell you to do just one thing, but I am going to get into the house. If I wanted to be cooking like four days a week for clients right now, and I was just getting started, I would use All the time that I wouldn’t be cooking for clients if I was fully booked to get clients.

Let me say that again louder for the people in the back. I would take all the time I would be cooking for clients and be actively working to get clients. And here’s some things to [00:03:00] take note of. Do you know what doesn’t get you clients? Designing business cards, working on a website, changing your business name, making a flyer, scrolling on social media, watching Tik Tok, binging Netflix.

Cooking doesn’t get you clients. Building your recipe library. Making big plans, big plans. Now I’m not saying that there’s not a time and a place for all the other things that you need to do in your personal chef business. I am saying that if getting clients is your number one priority, then you need to be really aware of what you’re actively doing to get clients.

So first of all, I would get my elevator pitch or whatever. My Easy, clear description of my services and my pricing dialed in so that it can flow off the tongue and I can write it quickly and clearly because if I can’t say it or write it very clearly, how in the [00:04:00] world are other people who aren’t familiar with the personal chef business and services going to understand it?

If you can simply explain how your personal chef services work, why they should hire you, then you’re, if you can’t do that, you’re not going to be able to get clients. So if I was starting from scratch and needed clients as fast as possible, the first thing I would do is just put up a Facebook page. It’s free.

It’s fast. They have the instructions right there because they want to help you get started. I would clearly put up a banner that had my picture, a food picture. If I couldn’t take my own good food picture, I would just get a stock photo of something that I actually cook, and a statement about how I do delicious weekly meal prep services for busy families who don’t want to plan, shop, cook, or clean up.

Okay, I would put up a 10 posts with a combination of some food pictures, testimonials from people who’ve had and love my food, [00:05:00] descriptions of how my meal prep services work with pricing, the features, the benefits, and every single one would have a very strong call to action to email me, call me.

Facebook messaged me however I wanted to be contacted. So after I had put up those 10 posts, I would reschedule them in the scheduler to repost one each a day so that they would just cycle. This should not take more than a few hours, like three, okay? Because my goal would be to get it up as fast as possible.

So people have something to look at and get to know me and my services. It’s not about having perfect pictures. I am not trying to build followers. Basically, this is like a billboard or a cheap, easy and fast website or a business card. No one is going to see the, no one is going to see this unless I send them there to look at it.

And you need to have a place to send people. to look. So, you can [00:06:00] also do the same thing if you hate Facebook and you want to do Instagram, you know, it doesn’t matter. But again, the most important thing here is realizing that people are not just going to magically find you. This is more like a business card.

You are going to have to give it to people. After I got that set up, again, shouldn’t take more than a few hours, then I would reach out to every single person I know who’s local. Either in person, by phone, by email, or by social media messaging, and tell them, again, exactly what I do. And this is really important, again, that you have this very clear and easy to explain.

Because especially if you want those weekly meal prep clients. If you don’t explain yourself well and clearly, they’re just going to think you’re a caterer because that’s instantly what people go to. So explain exactly what I do and ask them if they’re interested. And I would do that with every single person that I knew [00:07:00] locally.

And if they’re not, I would ask them if they know anyone that they can pass my information on to. Are there any busy families that, you know, they’re just dying, hauling their kids around, do a thousand sportses? Sports things and practices and recitals and rehearsals. Any high end corporate professionals who are overworked and want to have an easy solution.

This should be a constant process. Everyone I know should know exactly what I do and be able to pass on my information to someone who might want my services. It would not be an excuse I would use that I don’t know anybody that could afford a personal chef. Everybody has a big, everybody has a boss.

Everybody knows other people, right? For instance, I was just at the gym earlier today. I go twice a week. If I wanted clients right now, everybody there would know that I am a personal chef who does weekly meal services. I would be taking my food with my contact info and if [00:08:00] it’s not a business card, you can go online and Google how to create a QR code and put it right to my Facebook page and it is 2023 people.

There’s no reason that you can’t do this and I would slap that on something and I would take it with me everywhere. And again, when I’m talking about taking a food sample, I’m not taking around full size entrees to people just because that’s what meal prep services are. The food is just something to make it memorable so that they remember and associate you with good food, right?

So if I was taking something to the gym, And of course, you want to do this in your cooking style, so if you’re keto, maybe you would take in some fat bombs, or if you’re vegan, maybe a protein granola sample, or just whatever. The point is, by anchoring it to food, that will help them remember and like you.

People like people who bring them food, [00:09:00] so I would be wearing my chef’s jacket everywhere. I would be smiling at people in the grocery store. I would see someone who was confused and not able to find something or not able to choose between something, and I would just Say, hey, do you need, do you have a question about that?

I might be able to help you. I would talk to my doctor at a doctor’s appointment. I would be talking to my kids orthodontist at their appointments. Places I’m already going and having relationships with people, I would be telling them what I do. Everyone at my kid’s school would hear about it. Um, I would always use my work email for communications.

You’d be surprised. How many people will notice your email? As a matter of fact, I had this happen at a yoga studio when I signed up. And you know what? My yoga studio would be a great place to bring up my services, bring in a sample and introduce myself as a personal chef who can help people with nutrition goals, right?

I then would join as [00:10:00] many neighborhood groups on Facebook in my local area, that is key, as I could. My neighborhood has a group, there’s a neighborhood mom’s group, there are parents groups, there are foodie groups, there are a million other, again, local groups to me. There are local small business groups, networking groups.

I would make sure to follow the rules and get to know people and start conversations and offer to help. Ask people what they’re making for dinner, throw out ideas, give them tips on how to make meal prep easier, if that’s the kind of place where you can have that kind of conversation, or if they’d let me promote my business, great.

I would put up a post that says, Hey, I have an opening on Monday for a weekly meal service. If anyone wants to try it out, here’s my contact information. And if you’re not allowed to directly promote, you can still get to know people, right? Because it’s important people get to know you and know your [00:11:00] services.

And then if they see me posting and they’re interested, they click on my profile and I have my Facebook business page linked there and they can go to my page and see more about my services. I would spend quality time participating in these groups every single day. Then, I would take some time and choose some likely places where I think I would be able to get clients.

Now, this for you is going to depend on what your specialty is and who your client is. I would choose some places where I can form a relationship for, like, six months. I would commit to this because, like, if you’re a vegan personal chef business and you decide to target wellness places, like holistic doctors or chiropractors or health food stores, and you drop off cards once, they are never going to remember.

or care [00:12:00] enough to refer you. They will never think about you. So choose to do this at places that you already go to make it easier. And again, maybe that’s your church. Maybe it’s your mops group or any of the other places that I just listed. But I would get out in my community and pick either a networking thing I can do on the regular, like at the chamber of commerce or a meetup or a network group.

Find one I liked. And commit to it. I would volunteer to do a cooking demo in a mops group or church or, like I said, anywhere I’m involved in. Take samples to wellness businesses and doctors with, again, business cards I just printed at home. This is all about speed. Or just a QR code. Talk to them about how I can help their clients eat healthier and ask them to refer me.

Now, the key here is consistency, keeping in touch, following [00:13:00] up, you know, committing to the networking group, if that’s your thing, or participating in Facebook groups consistently. Not doing it like hours the first week and then falling off for a month. That will not get you business. The biggest mistake I made in the beginning was like trying something once or even a few times and then quitting.

Honestly, I might have been able to get a client, consistent clients from any of the things I was doing, but I didn’t have a plan. I wasn’t committed to it and I never evaluated what the heck I was actually doing and if I was getting clients from it. So that would be a big part of this for me now. Paying attention to what was working.

Tracking where my inquiries were coming from. Did it come from my Facebook page? Did it come from that doctor’s office? You know, did it… I’ve done three cooking demos at the Mops group. Have I gotten zero phone calls from it? [00:14:00] Am I… You know, looking at not only the result, am I getting zero phone calls, but also looking, okay, I got zero phone calls.

So, after the demo, what did I do? Was I talking about what I do, how I can help them, and telling them to call me? Or was I just finishing and saying, thanks for coming, and then hoping people pick up a business part off the table? Because I did that too. That won’t get you clients. It might. But if you’re ready to get clients and you need them right now, that kind of past hoping someone’s going to take a business card is not a marketing strategy.

Because again, if you’re not actually meeting the people, telling them what you do and telling them to call you, it’s just going to be harder to get clients. Because they’re out there, and they’re hungry for what you’re cooking, but they don’t know that you’re just waiting for them to find you. So stop waiting.

Start telling them and asking them to call you.[00:15:00]