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Ashanti Bentil-Dhue

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How To Discover The Joy Of Eating & Business

Meredith is a food and flavour lover who helps people connect to and through food. Her aim is to support people so they can eat in a more mindful, conscious and delicious way.

Food Media Uncovered Masterclass Link

WFP27 | How To Discover The Joy of Eating & Business | Meredith Whitely

https://foodatheart.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/food_atheart

  • How Meredith became a food and flavour lover.
  • How to overcome the loneliness of running your own business.
  • How and why having a business coach can be effective.
  • How she started to think bigger and scale her blogging and experience business.
  • Why it’s ok to change your mind or turn down opportunities in business.

Meredith is a food and flavour lover who helps people connect to and through food. Her aim is to support people so they can eat in a more mindful, conscious and delicious way. Meredith created Food At Heart for anyone who enjoys exploring taste, discovering new flavours and getting creative in the kitchen – but also wants to develop a more conscious way of eating and living. She works with people through her online programme, cooking workshops and one-to-one sessions.

Details of Meredith’s Course: The Joy Of Eating: The aim is to help people eat in a more mindful, connected and delicious way. It’s a 10 week programme that works through the senses and how to use them to taste more and cook better. It includes training videos, reflective activities, creative cooking challenges and expert interviews. There’s also an option to have 121 support sessions with it too.

Link to course with £50 off code (it expires at the end of July):

http://foodatheart.teachable.com/p/the-joy-of-eating/?product_id=336286&coupon_code=WIF50

Thank you for listening!  If you want bespoke help, drop me an email info@femalefoodpreneurcollective.com.

My experience is as follows:

  • Ex-Banking Consultant
  • Food Business Consultant
  • FoodBev Food & Drink Judge for 2017/18
  • Virgin Start-Up Mentor
  • Food Business Podcast Host
  • Guest Business Writer.
  • Monthly Networking Event Host
  • Facebook group Host For food entrepreneurs.

 

How To Turn Your Food Blog Into A Sizzling Brand

Women In Food Podcast: Episode 26: Lope Ariyo

Website: http://www.lopeariyo.com/

Instagram: lopeariyo

Twitter: @LopeAriyo

Book Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hibiscus-Lop%C3%A8-Ariyo/dp/0008225389

Lopè Ariyo, 23, recently graduated from Loughborough University, where she read Mathematics. In her spare time, she wrote and filmed recipes for her food blog, focusing primarily on contemporary African food. This lead her to enter, and win, the HarperCollins and Red Magazine African cookery competition, where she beat off stiff competition, wowing the judges with her incredible dishes and vibrant flavours to secure a book deal. In January Lopè  was crowned as the Observer Rising Star of Food 2017 and her debut cookbook, Hibiscus, will be published by HarperCollins on 1st June.

Topics discussed in this episode

  • Lope’s background and the start of her food journey as a cook, food blogger and Author.
  • Challenges of food blogging and the importance of consistency
  • Food blogging and building a team (skills and support)
  • Food pictures and building an audience.
  • Lope talks about winning the HarperCollins and Red Magazine African cookery competition which was responding to the lack of diversity in british cookery writing.
  • Lope’s style of Modern/contemporary fusion of traditional nigerian food
  • Her cooking book and why she called it, Hibiscus
  • The use of Hibiscus in Nigeria.
  • The process of compiling Hibiscus and how she adapted to that ‘new role’.
  • The process of marketing Hibiscus and social media
  • Networking, support from other bloggers and expectations
  • The significance of being genuine
  • Discussing generational issues in regards to the recipes in her book
  • How Lope intends to take her personal branding forward and what she wants to be known for in food.

Are you a blogger or writer looking to build a brand? Need help turning it into a business? Join our exclusive masterclass! 

Food Media Uncovered Masterclass Link

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Are you an aspiring business owner? Do you want to start a food business?

Click Banner For Full Details

After 5 years as a banking compliance consultant working for big banks like Santander and Barclays, Ashanti Bentil-Dhue is a Virgin Start Up Mentor and Contributor, Connector for Women In Food and Business Consultant. Ashanti also hosts networking events for women in food and a fast growing facebook group for food entrepreneurs. If you have a query, send an email to info@femalefoodpreneurcollective.com or visit the website to find out how she can help your business grow.

 

#womeninfood

@fem_foodpreneur on twitter and instagram

Please subscribe and leave a review if you found this episode helpful.

Any questions or queries email info@femalefoodpreneurcollective.com.

Is Hiring A Business Consultant Worth The Money?

Is Hiring A Business Consultant Worth The Money?

Investing financially in any business can be scary. How do you know if you will get results? How much should you spend? Who should you trust?

Topics covered in this episode:

  • The reason why being a ‘free information hunter’ is holding your business back.
  • The main skills any consultant you engage needs to have.
  • Things to look out for when engaging a consultancy for your business.
  • Lower cost ways to engage a consultant in your business.

Links to episodes with other consultants:

Link to Charlotte Moore episode 

Link to Tessa Stuart episode 

Link to Marcus Carter episode 

Link to Justina Rosu episode 

Do you want Ashanti to help you grow your business?

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Food Media Uncovered Masterclass Link

Leverage & Reap Consultancy

Are you an aspiring business owner? Do you want to start a food business?

After 5 years as a banking compliance consultant working for big banks like Santander and Barclays, Ashanti Bentil-Dhue is a Virgin Start Up Mentor and Contributor, Connector for Women In Food and Business Consultant. Ashanti also hosts networking events for women in food and a fast growing facebook group for food entrepreneurs. If you have a query, send an email to info@femalefoodpreneurcollective.com or visit the website to find out how she can help your business grow.

#womeninfood

@fem_foodpreneur on twitter and instagram

Please subscribe and leave a review if you found this episode helpful.

Any questions or queries email info@femalefoodpreneurcollective.com.

Food Consultant Secrets from San Francisco

WFP24 | Food Consultant Secrets from San Francisco | Ali Ball Consulting

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Topics covered in this episode:

–  Ali’s experience and background

– Why and how she started her consultancy business

–  How she helps her clients

– The food scene in San Francisco

– How Ali has created a strong personal brand in the food industry and her advice to others.

Alli Ball is the founder and principal of Allison Ball Consulting, helping food industry professionals succeed in launching & growing their businesses through her one-on-one consulting and online group course, Retail Ready.  Alli helps producers understand what it takes to get their products on the retail shelf- and keep them there- by sharing the behind-the-scene secrets and thought process of wholesale Buyers as they assess new products for their stores. Simultaneously, Alli helps specialty stores increase their sales through consulting on product assortment, merchandising, and staff training & retention. Working with both CPG and Retail clients is crucial in Alli’s consulting, as she understands the needs, expectations and challenges of each side of the food industry.

Prior to launching her consulting business three years ago, Alli was essential in the development of the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses, sourcing product & consulting up-and-coming food businesses for years on 18th Street, and then as Head of Grocery & Store Manager at Divisadero, building and managing a team and operations to support the majority of the products in the store.

Outside of her consulting, Alli volunteers her time as the Pantry Chair for The Good Food Awards, as an Advisor for both La Cocina and Kitchen Table Advisors, and as a mentor for The Food Business School.

Contact:

Allison@alliball.com

Instagram: @itsalliball

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AllisonBallConsulting/

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Are you an aspiring business owner? Do you want to start a food business?

Click Banner For Full Details

After 5 years as a banking compliance consultant working for big banks like Santander and Barclays, Ashanti Bentil-Dhue is a Virgin Start Up Mentor and Contributor, Connector for Women In Food and Business Consultant. Ashanti also hosts networking events for women in food and a fast growing facebook group for food entrepreneurs. If you have a query, send an email to info@femalefoodpreneurcollective.com or visit the website to find out how she can help your business grow.

#womeninfood

@fem_foodpreneur on twitter and instagram

Please subscribe and leave a review if you found this episode helpful.

Any questions or queries email info@femalefoodpreneurcollective.com.

 

How Food Tech Is Helping the Baking Business

myBaker with founders, Noreen & Yvonne

Are you looking for a local baker for a special occasion? Do you need more choice when ordering a cake? Are you a baker looking to reach more customers? This is the episode for you!

Website: www.mybaker.co
Follow myBaker on Instagram: @mybaker.co
Get in touch: hello@mybaker.co

Topics covered in this episode:

– Noreen & Yvonne’s experience and background.
– How myBaker came about and how it works.
– How to market a new business without using paid marketing.
– How myBaker has used instagram to build community and a customer base.
– How and where bakers have been found for the platform.
– The benefits of myBaker to users and bakers.
– The criteria for bakers wanting to apply for myBaker platform.
– The experience of applying to the JustEat accelerator and key takeaways for other entrepreneurs.
– What’s next for myBaker.

Are you looking to start a baking business in 2017? Are you a fully fledged food business but need some extra support?

Book your spot on the ultimate Food Business Success masterclass here: 

Click Banner For Full Details

Co-Founders Noreen Khan and Yvonne Lam are disrupting the baking industry with their new online marketplace myBaker, which connects small independent bakers to customers. ‘At myBaker, we believe everyone should have access to unique cakes, desserts and cultural specialties all handmade locally.’

Whether you are looking to order a cake for a special occasion, a variety of bakes for an afternoon tea or desserts for your dinner party, you can use myBaker to browse and order directly from bakers in your local area. mybaker.co is your destination for finding the very best artisanal bakers across London who truly care about your experience.

Noreen has the sweetest tooth for cakes and desserts. After completing her undergrad degree at The London School of Economics, she went on to join the Corporate Communications team at Deutsche Bank. In February 2016, out of pure frustration of not being able to find customised bakes for her sister’s wedding, she started contacting local artisan bakers to see if they’d benefit from an aggregated platform to increase their sales. A successful launch in August last year, led her to scope out her competition and meet her (now) Co-Founder Yvonne, who had started the same business.

Yvonne Lam, born in Hong Kong and grew up in Sydney, Australia. She studied Commerce and Computer Science at the University of New South Wales and proceeded to join the Finance Graduate program at the National Australia Bank. Eager to explore the world, Yvonne moved to London in 2009 and continued her career in Business Management at Deutsche Bank. With encouragement from her husband and friends, Yvonne started her own business, BudBake, an online baking marketplace in November 2016, after realising that there was no central hub for people to order bakes from home bakers and independent bakeries. Shortly after launching, she was approached by Noreen to join myBaker as a co-founder in February 2017. Aside from baking and when her daughter lets her have down time, Yvonne is passionate about fitness, actively running, riding, swimming and snowboarding.

Are you an aspiring business owner? Do you want to start a food business?

Click Banner For Full Details

After 5 years as a banking compliance consultant working for big banks like Santander and Barclays, Ashanti Bentil-Dhue is a Virgin Start Up Mentor and Contributor, Connector for Women In Food and Business Consultant. Ashanti also hosts networking events for women in food and a fast growing facebook group for food entrepreneurs. If you have a query, send an email to info@femalefoodpreneurcollective.com or visit the website to find out how she can help your business grow.

#womeninfood
@fem_foodpreneur on twitter and instagram
Please subscribe and leave a review if you found this episode helpful.
Any questions or queries email info@femalefoodpreneurcollective.com.

Tips On Creating And Growing A Successful Food Brand

Women In Food Podcast: Episode 22: Tessa Stuart

This is one of the juiciest and value laden podcast interviews I have ever done! This stuff is gold for small producers, artisans and food entrepreneurs. Furthermore if you are considering writing a book to create a personal brand asset, Tessa also shares how her books have enabled her to create a solid personal brand.

Are you looking to start a business in 2017?  Are you a fully fledged food business but need some extra support?

Click Banner For Full Details

Do you need to work on your email marketing and content marketing? If so, read this article now

 

Topics covered in this episode:

– Tessa’s background and experience.

– How Tessa helps her client.

– Tessa’s 2017 take on her infamous medium article.

– Tessa’s Books and building a personal brand.

Tessa specialises in food and drink customer research and shopper “stalking”, watching and interviewing shoppers as they make their food selections in store.

Her clients include established household name brands like innocent drinks, Unilever, and Dole, and newer start-ups like Rude Health, Peters Yard Crispbreads, Collective Dairy, Cauli Rice, Soupologie, Wahaca and BOL Foods.

She uses shopper research to help food brands perfect their sizing, branding, and pack health messages, so they get full attention and soaring sales from shoppers in the super-competitive supermarket aisles.

She also tests the appeal of new ideas on shoppers before clients present them to supermarket buyers, and consults with start-ups on branding.

She is the author of the Amazon best-selling books Packed: The Food Entrepreneur’s Guide – How To Get Noticed and How To Get Bought, and Flying Off the Shelves: The Food Entrepreneur’s Guide To Selling.

She regularly speaks at food business events organised by the Welsh Government and Enterprise Nation.

http://tessastuart.co.uk/

@Tessa_Stuart

Medium article link: http://bit.ly/2qPVyqG

Food Media Uncovered Masterclass Link

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Are you an aspiring business owner? Do you want to start a food business?

After 5 years as a Banking Compliance Consultant working for big banks like Santander and Barclays, Ashanti Bentil-Dhue is now a Virgin Start Up Mentor and Contributor, Connector for Women In Food and Business Consultant. Ashanti also hosts networking events for women in food and a fast growing facebook group for food entrepreneurs. If you have a query, send an email to info@femalefoodpreneurcollective.com or visit the website to find out how she can help your business grow.

#womeninfood

@fem_foodpreneur on twitter and instagram

Please subscribe and leave a review if you found this episode helpful.

Any questions or queries email info@femalefoodpreneurcollective.com.

5 Signs The Food Business Is NOT Right For You.

 Starting a food business has never been as popular as it is now. According to a recent survey 18% of 1.3 million Brits want to start a food business in the next year or so. This is great for the British economy and the food scene. Variety and competition pushes us all to continue to offer the best product and service we possible can.

But with better access to technology plus the glitz and glam of social media, some people are being led to believe starting a successful food business is easy. Did you know that over 75% of small businesses fail in year 1?

 Clearly then, food business ideas are pretty easy to come by but the issue is turning the idea into a thriving business.

 Are you contemplating starting a food business in 2017?

 Have you been dreaming of turning a family recipe into a money maker?

 Just before you jump in, now is the time to consider whether the food business is right for you. Here are just 5 signs it might not be:

  1. You expect your social life to stay the same.

You can find an abundance of stories about entrepreneurs who say ‘freedom’ and ‘more time’ were among the main reasons they started their own business.

Right here, right now I am here to dispel that myth for new food entrepreneurs.

Most everyday ordinary people are juggling bills, the dreaded commute, housework and children that need to be nurtured. Add starting a business into the mix and your social life will likely suffer. I can personally testify to the fact sacrifices have to be made when starting a business, the biggest one being time and freedom.

The food business is HARD work and the race is not for the swift. Buckets of blood, sweat and tears are shed when trying to build a sustainable food business. Don’t be drawn in by the ‘overnight success’ broadsheet features, as these tend to be rare or involved the skill, talent and input from experienced teams.

If you’re standing at the start line as you read this, be aware things will change. You will be busy, occupied and unavailable at moments you would usually spend with a loved one, partner or children. This is the reality of running any business, particularly if you’re a sole founder or part of a small team.

I seem like a party pooper, don’t I? Ok so starting a food business doesn’t have to end your social life. But here are a few of my practical suggestions:

  1. Surround yourself with supportive and understanding friends and family.
  2. Schedule specific time to spend with friends. This way they don’t feel neglected all the time.
  3. Communicate openly with loved ones when you can’t make an event or occasion.
  4. Strive for balance (whatever that is for you). You can learn from the experiences of other entrepreneurs juggling family life with the demands of business.

2. You don’t like asking for help.

A problem shared is a problem halved.

You may feel silly or embarrassed for finding yourself lost or confused as to what to do next. You might even assume advice or help will be too expensive. Or you might make the mistake of thinking you can do everything yourself even when it feels like a struggle and you aren’t seeing any progress.

The business climate changes rapidly. Trends come and go, prices change, margins get squeezed, suppliers change etc etc. Navigating the unexpected, disappointment and new challenges can be scary and bring on anxiety.

Now don’t get me wrong, asking for help is not always easy. Asking for help can also make us feel vulnerable.

But I believe this is only the case when we ask the wrong people for help.

Join a supportive community of food entrepreneurs to get encouragement, advice and help when you need it. Here’s what one entrepreneur had to say about the Women In Food Community:

‘Thank you Ashanti for creating such a great networking group…far by the most interactive. Everyone supports each other’.

Don’t stay stuck in the mud for longer than necessary. Reach out and start learning from others  who can help you move your business forward.

 

Click Banner For Full Details 

3. You expect to make easy quick cash.

It takes about 5 times more money than you initially estimate (or secretly hope) to start any business. The cost of a website, packaging, labeling, legal fees, materials, production, kitchen fees etc etc can start racking up without you even realizing it.

Costs will unexpectedly tap you on the shoulder or just straight out thump you in the nose! Ovens stop working, fridges break down and prices rise (especially in the current climate). Oh and good staff cost money. So does expert help and guidance to move your business forward.

It is possible to keep costs down in some areas. But you need to concentrate on the most important aspect of a new business – selling your product. Be realistic and prepare to spend money when necessary.

4. You prefer a risk-free life of certainty.

If you move forward with your food business idea, risk and uncertainty will become your new best friends. I suggest you play nice from the start.

You can plan all day and night. You can ply the food business fairies with your best recipe. You can even hire amazing people to work with and for you. But the sad truth of business (and life) is there are no guarantees. I’ve experienced more than one failure, setback or disappointment on my journey so far (even with the knowledge and skills I had at the start).

Most food entrepreneurs will tell you, the journey includes facing adversity, pressure and stressful situations. But you (and your business) can survive if you join supportive communities and get used to operating in a climate of relative uncertainty.

5. You don’t feel comfortable selling.

The ability to sell consistently is key to business growth. I’ve interviewed over 100 food entrepreneurs and they all agree, sales should always be a priority.

But sometimes we don’t quite know how to sell with confidence. It’s also very common for people to experience fear and anxiety when it comes to actually selling products or services to real people. If you want to understand some of the basic principles of selling direct to shop owners and retail buyers listen to this fantastic interview with Marcus Carter.

Are you showing any of the above signs? Or is your gut still telling you to go for it?

Well my friend, if you still want want Food Business Success, join us at the next exclusive ‘Food Business Success’ Masterclass. This is one investment you will not regret.

Click Banner For Full Details

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Did you find this article helpful? Are you an aspiring food entrepreneur?

After 5 years as a Banking Compliance Consultant working for big banks like Santander and Barclays, Ashanti Bentil-Dhue is now a Virgin Start Up Mentor and Contributor, Connector for Women In Food and Business Consultant. Ashanti also hosts networking events for women in food and a fast growing facebook group for food entrepreneurs. If you have a query, send an email to info@femalefoodpreneurcollective.com or visit the website to find out how she can help your business grow. 

#womeninfood

@fem_foodpreneur on twitter and instagram

Master The Art of Selling

WFP21 | Master The Art of Selling | Marcus Carter – Artisan Food Club

This week I chat with Marcus Carter about the most important ability you need as a small producer – the art of selling! We cover how to sell and build relationships with independent shops and owners. This is a must listen episode for small producers, artisans and new food entrepreneurs.

Don’t forget you can book a spot on the Food Media Uncovered Masterclass or Food Business Success Masterclass this summer to get on track. 

Marcus – Creator of the Artisan Food Club

I grew up in North Wales and left school at 16 to work on farms in Australia. Nearly a decade later I returned to Devon to study Agricultural Management and Seale-Hayne collage.

These early experiences set me up well for my time working with the dairy-farming sector in Devon with Genus Breading and on to my mothers food business Patchwork pate. There I worked on sales nationally and internationally and then created my own business Carter Food House – wholesale to butchers & fish shop across the UK. I also created the Virtual Farmers Market. My one passion for many years has been to help artisan food companies grow with sales. I have also created the My Own Sauce range and My Own Range.

My passion to help small startup independent food companies have a voice has been my driving force for many years and the driver behind many ventures. The Artisan Food Club has become the perfect method for this to happen. One of my mantras is to help start-ups get “un-local” and as your shop try’s these companies with very low risk introduction orders you are giving them a real chance of being a success.

Companies mentioned by Marcus:

Patchwork Foods (Mum)

www.patchworkfoods.com

Sam – Yummy Tummy

www.theyummytummyco.com

Belinda Clark Confectioner

https://belindaclark.co.uk

Coaching Lane (wife)

http://www.coachinglane.co.uk

Mani Life

https://mani-life.com

Tracklements

http://www.tracklements.co.uk

Belvoir Drinks

https://www.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk

Olives Et Al

http://www.olivesetal.co.uk

Scarlett and Mustard

https://scarlettandmustard.co.uk

Potts partnership

https://potts.myshopify.com

Ross and Ross

https://www.rossandrossfood.co.uk

Thanks for Franks

http://www.thanksforfranks.com

What a pickle

https://www.facebook.com/whatapicklecompany

Joe and Sephs

https://www.joeandsephs.co.uk

Sauce Shop

http://www.sauce-shop.co.uk

Artisan Food Club Online Training

https://user-artisanfoodclub.cld.bz/TheProducerToolkits

Masterclass Attendees Video

https://youtu.be/aW7zOCYp-qI

www.artisanfood.club

Full Artisan Club Brochure

https://user-artisanfoodclub.cld.bz/Brochure-docx

Producer Toolkit

https://user-artisanfoodclub.cld.bz/TheProducerToolkits

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Find out about our masterclasses (femalefoodpreneurcollective.com) to help you start and grow your business.

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Ashanti Bentil-Dhue is a Virgin Start Up Mentor and Contributor, Connector for Women In Food and Business Consultant. Ashanti also hosts networking events for women in food and a fast growing facebook group for food entrepreneurs. If you have a query, send an email to info@femalefoodpreneurcollective.com or visit the website to find out how she can help your business grow.

#womeninfood

@fem_foodpreneur on twitter and instagram

Please subscribe and leave a review if you found this episode helpful.

Any questions or queries email info@femalefoodpreneurcollective.com.

Pushing Dining Boundaries & Juggling Motherhood

Women In Food Podcast: Episode 20: Adwoa Hagan-Mensah

The UK’s First African Fine Dining Food Brand

http://www.eatjollof.co.uk/

https://www.instagram.com/eatjolloflondon/

https://twitter.com/EatJollofLondon

Eat Jollof London is a high end professional catering company, which was founded with the aim of pushing West African food forward. One of its main aims is to compete with mainstream Eurocentric catering companies and add a little spice to the industry.

Since showcasing her talents on BBC2’s The Restaurant with Raymond Blanc in 2012, Adowa Hagan-Mensah has been on a mission to let the world know about the immense potential of West African cuisine in the fine dining space.

Whilst at university, Adwoa found herself struggling financially, so she started her first business cooking and delivering food to fellow students to make ends meet. She started cooking British favourites and would occasionally throw in some West African staples but soon realised that students from all over the world had a real appetite for the Ghanaian and West African dishes. This gave her the courage to start London’s first Ghanaian street food stall, Jollof Pot with her husband at Broadway Market in Hackney almost 15 years ago.

From her humble beginnings with the food stall Adwoa, went on to found what is now a highly successful luxury catering company Eat Jollof London which specialises in corporate events and weddings. By producing luxury catering and fine dining cuisines Eat Jollof is paving the way for West African Food to be given the Michelin star treatment in years to come.

Adwoa’s style of cooking is very much influenced by my mother and her childhood experiences.  She discovered the flavours, textures and beautiful smells of West African food from her weekly trips to traditional markets in Ghana.

Marketing Tips mentioned by Adwoa include:

City pantry

Caterwings

Magazine Features

Tradeshows

Website

Networking

Word of mouth Business

Social media

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Are you an aspiring business owner? Do you want to start a food business?

Book your spot on the Food Business Success Masterclass and learn how to start a food business without wasting time and money.

___________________________________________________

Ashanti Bentil-Dhue is a Virgin Start Up Mentor and Contributor, Connector for Women In Food and Business Consultant. Ashanti also hosts networking events for women in food and a fast growing facebook group for food entrepreneurs. If you have a query, send an email to info@femalefoodpreneurcollective.com or visit the website to find out how she can help your business grow.

#womeninfood

@fem_foodpreneur on twitter and instagram

Please subscribe and leave a review if you found this episode helpful.

Any questions or queries email info@femalefoodpreneurcollective.com.

5 Simple Steps To Monetizing A Creative Blog

Are you regularly  producing blog posts but not seeing an increase in subscribers or engagement?

Do you feel stuck in a vicious cycle of working for free or little pay?

Do you wonder how other bloggers get the attention of brands for collaborations?

Do you worry about how to create sustainable income as you get older?

If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of those questions – bookmark this article for future reference.  The food media industry has exploded with budding food bloggers, photographers and stylists. Popular TV shows and YouTube have ignited the world’s passion for food and drink. Setting up a basic website and filling an instagram feed with mouth watering images of culinary delights has never been easier.

The accessibility of technology and social media have lowered the barriers to entry giving undiscovered talent the opportunity to build profitable personal brands. One of the best things about this movement is you can create a brand on your own terms centered around a narrative you can control.

Having said that, some of the seemingly ‘overnight’ successes we see are anomalies. Just knowing how to use instagram filters, hashtags and get likes, doesn’t mean you will have a profitable creative business. I say this regularly to clients – ‘followers and likes are not guaranteed paying customers’. Creative blogging for business can be lonely, frustrating and challenging. Most of the frustration and confusion is about how to make money from blogging.

After discussing this issue with over 30 food creatives and reflecting on my own experience, here are 5 simple steps to monetizing your blog:

No man or woman is an island. Community support is crucial, particularly if you’re self employed, a freelancer, contractor or small business. This is the first thing we discuss on the ‘Food Media Uncovered’ Masterclass. Why is this so important?

We all need support, connections and help when running a business. We are constantly having to learn new things, make adjustments and face uncertainty in business. The support of a community will help you survive inevitable frustrations and disappointments on your business journey. When I couldn’t find a community I fit into, I created one. Over a year later, I am continually inspired by the creativity and passion of the  ‘Women In Food’ community.

The ‘Food Media Uncovered’ networking event I hosted in February 2017 was oversubscribed! Our gracious panel members candidly shared the steep learning curves and rewards of blogging for business. (You can meet the panel members Meredith Whiteley, Lorna Hall and Niki Webster in the ‘Women In Food’ community).

Networking events like these give you the much needed opportunity to make meaningful connections, discuss insights, trends and new perspectives. Networking regularly will fuel your creative and financial growth.

  1.  Think like a business from the start.

Every business should have a plan. Your blog is your business. Have a plan. As you develop as a creative business owner, you will refer back to the plan and monitor progress against your goals and sales targets. Now don’t get me wrong, many creatives blogs start as a hobby. This isn’t a problem until you realise you have very little, inconsistent or no income.  

Producing interesting content with depth on a consistent basis is not easy. This is why I recommend you choose a theme or area of interest you’re genuinely invested in. Note, I did not encourage you to follow your ‘heart’ or ‘passion’. Passion does not equal profits – just speaking from experience on that one.  

A theme which both challenges and intrigues you is key. Do some research. Are there other writers/blogger covering the theme already? If so, what is their angle? How popular is this theme? Thorough research will help you get a feel for whether there is an existing audience interested in what you want to offer.

You should also have a look at the content your ideal clients, brand partners and readers already consume and share. There is little point in writing about something you don’t really care about or is so niche there is a very small audience. We go into more depth on finding a profitable niche (the riches are in the niches) in the ‘Food Media Uncovered’ Masterclass.

Food Media Uncovered Masterclass Link

Don’t worry if you’ve already been blogging for a while. The need to research is ongoing and takes time. It has taken me over a year to understand and identify who I can and want to help the most.  For example, the food industry includes many professions and roles. But I find helping food creatives and new entrepreneurs the most rewarding. Even more importantly, I see the biggest transformations in those clients. You can see examples of my what I write about here and here.

  1. Stop working for free.

This is a biggy. There are around 2 million freelancers in the UK alone in 2017. In this climate, it’s easy to worry about competition and anxiously try to prove yourself to a potential client or brand partner. A recent Guardian article highlighted creative industry freelancers are exploited and can inadvertently end up working for free or very little pay. Does this sound like you?

You may be struggling with how and what to charge potential clients, chasing late payments or being asked to work for free. The bottom line is you need to create a sustainable and consistent income. I know this struggle too well. I openly share my experience during masterclasses and my podcast shows. Working for free for far too long contributed to a deterioration in both my personal and business health earlier this year. I’m working on my money mindset and confidence and now have a clear process of working with clients without undervaluing my services.

The key is having boundaries and a clear process for working with clients and brand partners. I’ve produced content which covers the most commonly questions I get asked (this article is a good example) and direct new enquirers to my free content in the first instance. If they need more bespoke or specific help, I let them know about my paid services.

For you it could be making sure your portfolio, client testimonials and work is easily accessible and signposted on your website and/or chosen social media platform. Be firm but reasonable when negotiating with potential clients or brand partners. After all you are running a business!

  1. Create a clear product, service or package to sell.

This might sound obvious but follows very nicely on from step 3, so hear me out. Many of us are multi talented and have varied interests. If we started our creative business as a melting pot of these varied interests, our blog may lack focus. If your  objective is to get paying clients and customers, you need to make it clear what products or service you sell.

Try and see your business through the eyes of your ideal client or brand partner. Is it clear what your zone of genius is? When they land on your website or come across your content, is it obvious what you specialise in? Are your ethos and values evident?

Remember brands collaborate with influencers and partners who show consistency. 96% of big companies have allocated around 29% of their budget to hire freelancers and contractors in 2017. If you want to get hired, the value and benefits of your service needs to be crystal clear.

This approach saves you time in the long run. When you know the value of what you sell, you can pitch to potential clients with ease and confidence. Your portfolio, content and website will also reflect your expertise giving you more credibility.

  1.  Grow an email list.  Build your own community.

Even if you have a product or service to sell, you need people to sell it to! Building an email list and engaged audience to sell to is important. I see a lot of social media courses and products promising to help business owners grow their followers and likes. There is clearly a place for building a social media following but this does not equal easy dollars and pounds. None of us own or control these social media platforms. Your account could be closed at any time – how would you then contact and communicate with your followers, if you are not growing an email list?

Converting followers directly into customers/clients is hard work and requires a solid strategy. It can definitely be done, but a sensible and far more sustainable approach is to build your own email list as early as possible. I’ve already mentioned some of the many benefits a community provides in point 1.

If you grow an email list of interested and engaged subscribers, you can share your content and sell your services directly. Don’t forget your email list can consist of the contacts details of  brands of any size, readers and private clients. Be creative and find a way to keep your past, present and potential clients and customers engaged with what you do.

Ok so those are my 5 simple steps to making money from blogging. A strong foundation is the most important. Start with community and content which helps your ideal clients and customers. This can take many forms such as blogging, vlogging, photography and podcasting.  You can get more tips on how to create a successful business blog in different forms here and here.

Even after you’ve reached step 5, you need to have the confidence and ability to negotiate with brands and ensure a steady flow of clients. I teach how this can be done in my exclusive ‘Food Media Uncovered’ Masterclass. Join the next masterclass and you can also network with other creatives and writers. Places for this exclusive masterclass are limited so we can really get into the nitty gritty of blogging for business success. Book early to avoid disappointment.

If you’re wondering whether this is a worthwhile investment, check out testimonials from my previous clients here. You can also drop me an email (info@femalefoodpreneurcollective.com) and we can have an open conversation about whether it would benefit you.

Food Media Uncovered Masterclass Link

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Did you find this article helpful? If so, you will most definitely benefit from listening to one of the following short and free taster lessons:

How To Turn Your Blog Into A Business


Why You Need to Start Building An Email List Now

Content Marketing For Food Brands

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Ashanti Bentil-Dhue is a Virgin Start-Up Mentor and Contributor, Connector for Women In Food and Business Consultant. Ashanti also hosts a podcast for women in food, monthly food business networking events. For a bespoke consultation for your business email info@femalefoodpreneurcollective.com.