Whether you want to work as a caterer, personal chef, private chef or food stylist (or some combination thereof), the common denominator is that your business is client based. This means effective, and continuous, marketing is key to your success. After almost thirty years experience as a culinary entrepreneur, I've learned a thing or two. Wanted to pass some of that experience on to you...and I look forward to hearing about your thriving business!
Basic Sales Techniques – questions to ask yourself:
• Have you ever worked in sales?
• Will you be comfortable promoting yourself?
Twenty-five DIY Sales Tips
1. Market when you are busy.
2. Have a professional and current head shot.
3. Print on both sides of your business card.
4. Create a catchy slogan or logo.
5. Don’t steal ideas: improve upon them.
6. Set deadlines for yourself, and be accountable.
7. Contribute articles to local publications.
8. Publish your own calendar, newsletter or small cookbook.
9. Send handwritten thank-you notes.
10. Become a guest speaker at your local city college or business groups.
11. Teach a class that showcases your talent.
12. Have an 888 or 800 toll-free number.
13. Have embroidered aprons for your kitchen staff to wear on jobs.
14. Record a professional voicemail message.
15. Conquer the Chamber of Commerce.
16. Barter, trade or hire a graphic designer.
17. Give interviews on local radio.
18. Give referral fees.
19. Have a web page and email. Update web page regularly.
20. Be easy to contact. Have a cell phone and return calls promptly.
21. Write press releases of parties and classes you’ve taught. Email to industry publications, local newspapers and clients.
22. Contribute your talents to fund-raising events, making sure local media knows about your involvement.
23. Maintain a current list of excellent references.
24. Have a portfolio that is up-to-date, neat and organized. Include photographs and thank you notes.
25. Hire or barter with a local film student to get footage of you planning, prepping and producing a major job.
Denise Vivaldo is the author of seven culinary books, among them; How to Start a Home-Based Catering Business, How to Start a Home-Based Personal Chef Business, and The Food Stylist's Handbook.