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Episode 173: Give Your Revenue a Boost by Diversifying with Chef Evelyn Williams

In episode 173 we talk with Chef Evelyn, Culinary Brand Strategist, about the how women can live on their own terms, diversify their income streams and the sky’s the limit on what can be achieved.

We cover information about what the SPACE acronym means for you, what a promotional plan looks like and why its important to narrow your culinary focus!

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.


Guest Details

Connect with Chef Evelyn
Website | Facebook | Instagram

Bio Chef Evelyn Williams is a Culinary Brand Strategist who is on a mission to help women live, cook and work on their own terms! Evelyn began cooking when she was just 6 years old and began her first culinary business at 15. She has an impressive resume from personal chef and cooking school manager to food blogger and brand ambassador.

Evelyn is also the author of the book “A Fabulous Year in Food: 52 Delicious Ways to Connect with Family and Friends”, the host of the Eat Out at Home Podcast and the creator of several web-based video series’. When Evelyn is not cooking or consulting, she spends her time teaching entrepreneurs, creatives and influencers how to prioritize their self-care.

Takeaways

  • Know what you provide to your audience so you can do it well and then check SPACE to see where you should focus next. Space stands for Services/Products/Affiliates-Ads/Curriculum/Events.
  • Food bloggers have two really amazing skills that they could sell immediately. One is recipe development and the other one is food photography.
  • Pitching your services as a B2B service is helpful to many companies because you can provide developer/creator, chef, food scientist, food photographer, kitchen assistant, etc wrapped into one and they don’t need a team by hiring you.
  • Find one thing that you’re good at that other people in your community don’t know how to do but want to. You can sell that in an ebook or a course.
  • Offer your skillset, your workflow, or any kind of processes that you can package together and offer to other bloggers.
  • If your blog has a really cool title or a cool slogan, you can use Printful integrated with Shopify to create mugs, t-shirts or aprons.
  • Digital products are perfect because there’s no printing costs and it’s put together quickly, then upload it.
  • Affiliates are a great passive revenue stream but you have to be intentional about marketing them and they are not a main source of income, just one of many.
  • You need a content plan and a promotional calendar.
  • You don’t need to be worried that you’re over selling your content to your audience. “Nobody’s paying that much attention to you.” ~Chef Evelyn
  • What makes you more uncomfortable – selling to your audience or not generating income for yourself?
  • When trying to narrow down what to focus on in a class or a course, be sure you know your culinary point of view and stick to that.
  • Find a process that works for you, then rinse and repeat.” ~Chef Evelyn
  • It takes the same amount of work for me to sell something for five figures, for four figures, for multiple three figures, as it does for me to sell something in the single and double digits. Different work, but the same amount of work.
  • “If you listen carefully, your followers or your potential clients are trying to give you money. You just are not listening properly.” ~Chef Evelyn

Resources Mentioned

Weekly Video Series on YouTube for culinary entrepreneurs

SPACE is an acronym that stands for Services, Products, Affiliates and ads, Curriculum and Events. Which categories are you taking advantage of for your revenue streams? Are you building each that you have to its fullest potential?

Join the ChefpreneuHER society – a community of like minded women building their culinary brands.

Transcript

Click for full text.

Intro:

Welcome to Eat Blog Talk, where food bloggers come to get their fill of the latest tips, tricks, and insights into the world of food blogging. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to add value to your blog. And we’ll also ensure you’re taking care of yourself, because food blogging is a demanding job. Now, please welcome your host, Megan Porta.

Megan Porta:

Food bloggers. Hey, are you looking for new ways to make money as a blogger? If so, we have got your back. We have launched an ebook called Conversations On Monetization. Inside this resource, we take your favorite podcast episodes about monetization, and we put them all in one easy accessible package. We threw a few exclusive interviews in as well. Friends, there are so many ways to monetize your food blog. Inside this ebook, we have interviews with success stories like Todd Bullock, Alyssa Brantley, Kelly McNelis, Jena Carlin, and more. All of these examples have become successful through completely different monetization strategies. Whether you are a brand new blogger, looking for your very first revenue stream, or you are a seasoned pro wanting to diversify, this ebook is for you. Go to eatblogtalk.com to grab your copy. And we can’t wait to hear your success story with monetization.

What’s up food bloggers. Welcome to Eat Blog Talk. This podcast is for food bloggers wanting a clear path to achieving their goals. Today, I will be having an interview with Evelyn Williams from chefevelyn.com. We are going to talk about creating multiple streams of income. Chef Evelyn Williams is a culinary brand strategist who is on a mission to help women live, cook, and work on their own terms. Through her career, Chef Evelyn has worked as a personal chef, caterer, cooking school manager, culinary instructor, resident chef, executive chef, pastry chef, food blogger and brand ambassador. She has assisted various celebrity chefs such as Oprah’s private chef Art Smith, Martin Yan of Yan Can Cook, Food Networks Guy Fieri, and The Chews Mario Batali. Evelyn has also cooked for Grammy Award winner Sheryl Crow, Food Network’s Giadi De Laurentiis, author and pastor Sarah Jakes Roberts and New York times best-selling author movie producer and mega church pastor, Bishop TD Jakes.

Evelyn is also the author of the book, A Fabulous Year in Food: 52 Delicious Ways to Connect with Family and Friends. The host of the Eat Out At Home podcast and creator of several web-based video series. She is the founder of the Fun Food Academy and the Eat Gourmet Everyday online cooking school. She also consults with corporate professionals who are transitioning into culinary entrepreneurship through her Chef’s Table Experience program. Oh my goodness, Evelyn. That was probably the most impressive bio that I have ever read. So impressed with you! You are just amazing. So I’m thrilled to have you here today and to get a little bit of time with you, but first we all want to hear your fun fact.

Evelyn Williams:

So a fun fact about me is I tell people that if I wasn’t a chef, I’d be a quiet storm DJ or a jazz and hip hop dancer. When I was in college, I used to work for the campus radio station and I’m dating myself here, but I would like to make mixed CDs and share them with all my friends. So I have a huge passion for music.

Megan:

Oh, that’s awesome. Food and music. I mean, you can’t go wrong with either of those, right? That must make you just the happiest person ever because food and music make everyone happy,I feel like. Well, that’s super fun. You’re here today too. I feel like there’s so many things I could talk to you about, but you’re here today to talk about diversifying. This is a massively huge topic right now for food bloggers, with the constant ups and downs from Google updates and algorithm changes from every platform, we’re constantly looking for more revenue security, I think probably than ever in the past. So you Evelyn have quite an extensive array of interest in jobs within the foodie field. You’ve done it all, it seems like. So I feel like you’re the perfect person to shed light on this subject. Would you mind walking us through the income streams you feel like every food influencer should have in their business?

Evelyn:

Yeah, absolutely. So there’s this concept and I will say that this concept is not my own. I actually learned this years ago from a fashion blogger and she called it SPACE. SPACE is an acronym that stands for services, products, affiliates and ads, curriculum and events. So that services, products, affiliates, and ads, curriculum and events. What I realized at the time was that I was in just one of those categories. So food blogging, very heavy on ads and affiliate revenue. I was in the category of heavily service-based right. So if I wasn’t there to cook for my clients, then the revenue wasn’t coming in. Right. Even after what we experienced in 2020, I feel like being in multiple categories is super important. If you can’t be there physically, or like you said, the algorithms are changing or the platforms are changing their rules, right? It’s important to have something that you can control.

Megan:

Yeah, definitely. So many food bloggers, myself included, go along for so long relying on ads. Some bloggers don’t even have ads yet and want to add just any source of income. Where do you recommend food start with that space acronym, which is amazing, by the way, I love that. It just kind of frames so many different ways that you can earn. But where would food bloggers start?

Evelyn:

One of the things that I think is really kind of right under the nose of food bloggers, is they have two really amazing skills that they could sell immediately. One is recipe development and the other one is food photography. So I would put those under the category of a service, right? So if I’m a food blogger and I’m creating this amazing content, I’ve got these amazing visuals, I’m creating these recipes for my audience and my following. What I know for me as a brand strategist is that there are companies that in order to produce the kind of content that food bloggers are producing, have to hire a whole staff. They’re hiring a chef and a food scientist and a food photographer and someone to style the kitchen and a kitchen assistant to the grocery shop. Pitching your services, initially, if you’re not making the kind of revenue that you want from your ads and your affiliate links, to these corporations, instead of as an influencer based on maybe follower account or a monthly blog impressions.

But as a service provider, saying, I can create this content to live on your website, to live on your platform versus relying on your own traffic that you’re still building a following, it’s the same skillset. So I always recommend my clients that have food blogging as a revenue stream and they’re kind of waiting for the bigger partnerships to come in and the bigger sponsorships to come in or for their their affiliate commissions to really become reliable, is I tell them pitch that same skill that you’re using to create this amazing content for your own blog, as a service to those companies.

Megan:

That is such a great idea. I have never thought of that because those recipes have to come from somewhere. So why not? You, you’re a food blogger. You produce amazing recipes anyways. So yeah, you can be a service provider instead of a food influencer right off the bat. That is brilliant. I love it. What do you think about offering services to other bloggers to start? Not necessarily like VA type admin work, but maybe doing food photos for other bloggers or writing or something along those lines.

Evelyn:

Absolutely. I think that falls into that same category. It’s again, taking those skill sets and saying, who else could use these? Or how else can I offer these services? I know for me, as a chef and I did food blogging for like a little bit, right? One of the things that I learned really quickly was that I was doing things in my food business that other chefs didn’t know how to do. Simple things like here’s what I say in my contracts. Here’s what I say to my clients to book. So I put all those things together in a little kit, almost like an ebook and I sold it and it still sells today on autopilot. Because there are people who, while I’m way past that season in my journey, that’s where they are. So they still find that helpful. So offering your skillset, your workflow, if there’s any kind of processes that you can package together and offer to other bloggers, they absolutely could use that.

Megan:

And bloggers love to streamline because as you know, there’s so much to do all the time. So if you offer an opportunity to streamline a business, a lot of bloggers are going to say, yes, please help me. What are your recommendations for products and maybe getting your foot in the door with products. This is something I’ve never done. I’ve considered it. It’s kind of scary to me for some reason. But do you have any thoughts on that?

Evelyn:

Oh, absolutely. So you can go so many ways with this and this, to me, this is the quickest turnaround item, because if you’re pitching a brand or something like that, you’ve got to find the contact information and craft a pitch and all of that kind of stuff, which is doable. But when it comes to creating products, you literally can take an idea in your head and create something or have someone help you create it. For example, one of the first products I created, it was a meal planner. I know a lot of bloggers have a free template of a meal planner, but I created a meal planner book that was like a meal planner, a grocery shopping list, recipes, and all that. I created it on Apple pages. Save it as a PDF, load it up to Amazon and it sells.

If your blog has a really cool title or you have a cool slogan, you can use something like Printful integrated with Shopify and create mugs or t-shirts or aprons or things like that. Where you don’t have to have any upfront costs, you just need the design. So whether you have somebody to create the design, whether you modify a template from something like Creative Market, you can go that route for a tangible product. You’re not dealing with the shipping and all of that. But my favorite thing is a digital product, right. Because there’s no printing costs, there’s no shipping costs. It can live on your website. So that could be a 20 recipe ebook. Which we already know, you can write recipes, you have amazing photos. You could do that. You could drop one for every holiday season. So if your blog is centered around that, there’s so many options, but I think digital products and digital downloads are my favorite because you get to keep all of the revenue.

Megan:

Absolutely. Because printing costs can really go up quickly from what I hear. Also eBooks or digital products are a great way to test the waters with what people are wanting from you without investing all that expense in printing and other things. So you can see that the ebook did great. Then maybe you do want to do a print on demand or something like that. But it’s a great way to see what your audience likes from you. It’s so easy to create eBooks. Like you said, we’re all creating recipes anyway. We know how to take photos. We know how to do a lot of graphic design and layout. So an e-book. I threw one together in a few hours this fall, and it was one of my first eBooks I’ve ever done, but it was so easy and I’d put it off for so long. Once I did it, I realized I need to do that probably weekly. What are your thoughts on affiliates? Because this is something that a lot of people do with Amazon Associates and kind of just let it sit and marinate on their sites and not really pay attention too. But do you have any thoughts on how to dig into this?

Evelyn:

Here’s the thing. I have a very, I want to say, unpopular opinion about affiliates. I think they’re great. I also think they shouldn’t be your only revenue stream. I think they’re an add on not an only. For me, I definitely think anything that you want to generate revenue from needs a plan, a marketing plan to go with it. So if you know that you want your affiliate revenue to be a substantial stream in your blog, then you definitely need to say, what are the products that make sense for what I’m talking about for my audience? How often am I promoting these? Am I sharing these right? Do I have a tools list? Because people always ask me, what kind of knife is that? What kind of cutting board is that? Is that in your email newsletter, is it in your welcome sequence?

So you have to have a plan for it. But I think that a lot of times people think if I just put the links out there, people will click on them and then I’ll make the money. IYou have to have a plan of refreshing that link, right? Because different affiliate programs, the windows are different. The cookie window is different. Really saying, how much content do I want to create to market my affiliate links if I really want this to be something substantial. So including that in there, right? So just like if you had that ebook, okay, how often, what kind of content am I going to use to push this ebook or to promote this ebook? It’s the same thing with your affiliate relationships, having a consistent promotional plan for those.

Megan:

So if there were a food blogger who came to me and said, Megan, I’m really great at promotions and taking all the products that you have created in the past and implementing them into your schedule and your plan for the year, I would hire them. So if anyone is listening, because that is my problem, I create things. I just let them go. I’m horrible about going back and revisiting and repurposing. There’s so much stuff that I’ve made that is literally just sitting doing that. That is huge for food bloggers who love to create and some of us like to promote, but I don’t think all of us do. So that is a hangup for me personally.

Evelyn:

What I found Megan is that I think there’s a difference between a content plan and a promotion.

Megan:

Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Evelyn:

So we know about editorial calendars, we know about this blog post or this video or this podcast is going to go up on this day and we even have a process in place for how we create that content. Whether we’re batching or whatever we’re doing. But when it comes to the promotional plan and this used to be my weakest point. I’ve got videos going up every week. I’ve got a podcast going up, I’ve got this going up. Then it was, what’s your schedule for making sales? Whether that’s pitching to brands for partnerships, are you saying I’m going to send five pitches a week?

Are you saying, okay, I’m going to promote my affiliate link twice a week? Once in my Instagram stories, once on my blog or in my YouTube channel description box. I think having that content plan is fantastic and then laying a promotional plan, or I like to call it with my clients, a profit plan. On top of that, to make sure that, every two weeks, I’m going to mention my ebook and every four days I’m dropping into affiliate link and once a month, I’m going to talk about this to know that I’m building it in a schedule, just the way I do with my content. I need to ask for sales or ask for people to click the link or pitch.

Megan:

You can’t just assume that people are going to remember, she was selling that video course three months ago. I’m going to go back and seek that out because that is not how people work. They need to be reminded and they have to see things over and over again. Isn’t it, I don’t know what it is now. It’s like 16 times or something before they’ll actually purchase it. If you keep that in mind, you realize that you’re probably really under utilizing that as a good strategy. You just need to keep putting it in front of them. You could put it in an Instagram story. You put it in a post, put it in your emails once a week. I mean, there are so many ways to get your stuff in front of your audience. I know I’m not alone in saying that I feel that I am annoying people or that I am overselling myself. But what do you think about that? Because I think that’s probably not a great viewpoint to have.

Evelyn:

I think you know what to be fair. A lot of us have been there. I have definitely been there thinking, I don’t want people to think that I’m shoving my affiliate links down their throat, or Hey, buy this, buy this. I had a really good business mentor who said, lovingly, I’m going to put it in my words, which were a lot more harsh than what she said. Nobody’s paying that much attention to you. She said, people are busy. They’re following 3000, 4,000 people on Instagram. They’re subscribed to 67 YouTube channels. They’re not reading every email. They’re not seeing every Instagram post. They’re not watching every YouTube video. So even if you mentioned it every single time, they’re not, they’re not even going to think, Oh my gosh, you know, she’s selling me all the time because they’re just not into it.

The people who really want what you have are like, thanks for the reminder. I definitely know that I follow people and I’ve been like, Oh, I’m going to bookmark that or save that in my saves on Instagram or something like that. Then like three months go by.Then I think, Oh yeah, thanks for the reminder. I’m never annoyed. Particularly if it’s something that I want, they’re following you because they want your content. They like your recipes. They love your stories. They like the way you make that certain thing. So if we remember that it’s just like that friend who’s like, Hey, don’t forget you have an appointment at one o’clock. You’re like, Oh, thanks. I always forget. If we view it that way and know that no one’s consuming 100% of our content, as important as we are that they’re not.

That makes it better. But also saying, which one is the more uncomfortable feeling? Not generating revenue with my blog, or I need to put those links out there. I need to share the products and services that I have. If you decide that you just want it to be a hobby and you don’t want to sell anything, then there’s no judgment there. But if you do want to make revenue, which is what we’re talking about today, you’ve got to say, you know what, I’m doing this, I’ve put my hard earned effort and energy and skill set in here. There are people who are looking for what I have to offer. Once you realize there is someone who’s looking for what you have to offer, you want to make it easy for them to find.

Megan:

That is gold right there, Evelyn. What you just said about which is more uncomfortable, putting it out there and being worried that people are going to judge you or be annoyed or not doing it and missing out on everything; money and connections and adding value to people’s lives. When you put it that way, Oh my goodness, that’s so silly because the people who are annoyed by you, you don’t want them in your life anyway. You don’t want them looking at your feed or reading your emails. You want them to go somewhere else, where they want to be. I should have just written out that and put it next to my monitor, because that makes sense to me. That really rings true to me. Because you can get so caught up in the worrying, Oh, what do they think? Who cares? Honestly, who cares?

Evelyn:

You know when people unsubscribe from my email newsletter, I’m like good. It really is. I want you to find a place where the person is delivering you, the kind of content you want. If I’m not that person, that’s totally okay. That just makes more space for the people who are like, yes, Evelyn send me all the things. I want to know.

Megan:

That is so true. I think that is a message that all of us need to hear. So you also mentioned curriculum and events. So can you talk us through those things?

Evelyn:

So the curriculum is probably my favorite. Curriculum can look like a lot of different things that can look like courses, that can look like classes and that can look like consulting. So all of that, there’s a lot of alliteration there, but all of that falls under curriculum. So for me, I do all three. So I definitely do courses. I do food courses and I do courses to other culinary entrepreneurs. Right now I’m in the middle of teaching a five weekend class of how to make money with cooking classes. That’s a course that I offer to other culinary entrepreneurs, particularly those who want to teach or move that skill online. But I also teach cooking courses to people who want to learn my style of food. So I have both sides of that in my business.

So that’s courses, or classes, either way. Consulting is when I’m walking people through the business part. So you don’t necessarily have to teach people the business of blogging. Let’s just say, for example, I used to work for a company that was a gourmet retailer here in Dallas, Texas. Every year they had this event called passport where they featured the cuisine and the culture of a certain country in the world. They’ve done this for like 15 years, so they’ve done a lot of countries. What they would do, is they would reach out to people who were living in Texas, who were natives of those countries to make sure that the food that we were presenting was authentic, that there wasn’t any kind of like appropriation going on.

You don’t always have to consult on business or blogging. It could be, I’m a subject matter expert at this and this company or this organization or this blogger, or whoever, wants to do something with this. You can consult from that angle. You could teach another food blogger food photography. You could teach SEO, you could teach your workflow. You could consult with brands about how to work with influencers. So instead of being the influencer, you can kind of be the median and say, okay, here’s what it really takes to produce that recipe that you’re asking for 24 hour edits on before it’s supposed to go live. This is why they’re charging you what they’re charging you. You can consult that way. Again, there’s a lot of skills that live inside the head of food bloggers that are monetizable. I don’t even know if monetizable is a word, but we’re going to go with it. You could teach classes or you can consult, right? Let’s say your food blog is about a healthy lifestyle. You could consult with a company about how to get their employees to eat healthier. You could bulk sell them that ebook that we just talked about, that you created.

Megan:

That’s such a great idea, right?

Evelyn:

So now not only am I consulting with you for a fee because your health and wellness programs are boring. Because nobody wants to keep going to a health fair. Sitting in a lecture. I could give you some interesting ideas and then I can also say, Hey, and you can also buy 500 copies of my meal planner to give to your employees.

Megan:

Oh my gosh. That was a brilliant idea. This is great. Okay. Keep going. Cause this is good stuff.

Evelyn:

So that’s under the curriculum. So there’s basically, I view curriculum as selling your thoughts, right? Selling your information, offering your solutions. If there’s been a problem, let’s say you’re a master batcher. You know how to batch content like nobody’s business. Like you said, if somebody wanted to come in and teach you how to do that. Now, if they did it for you, that would fall into the service. But if they want to teach you how, here’s my master, I do a whole quarter’s worth of content in one week. You’d be like, show me your way o wise one.

That falls under the curriculum. When it comes to events now, obviously in real life, when the world is completely safe to go outside again. But also virtual events. Virtual events that don’t have to be cooking classes if you don’t want to. It could be meet and greets. I went to college in Alabama. So this is very Southern, but they had these things called Chat and Choose. You could do that virtually. I saw people getting together, eating their brunch together. There’s something that I’m going to be doing with music and food. It’s not necessarily a cooking class. I used to have in-person events called The Sweet Suite. Kind of a play on words. I literally would bake all these different desserts and I had sponsors and all that.

It was just like a social evening. So I didn’t even have to teach people how to cook if that wasn’t my thing. I did that for like three years and I sold tickets and it was a great time now. I always suggest that in real life events come last because they’re the most expensive. But you could do virtual events with little to no cost. If you know how to create connections and a great experience for people. You can translate that virtually, then you can host events for your blog. Because people are looking for ways to connect around something that they’re interested in and you can charge a fee for people to attend. And they wil have a blast.

Megan:

Ah, that’s such a great idea too. So how do you recommend going about that? Just doing a zoom meeting and doing Eventbrite tickets or what do you recommend?

Evelyn:

There’s so many different ways. Let me tell you, what’s so fabulous. I think this is for any type of content created. There’s a comedian right now on social media who has been doing live streaming comedy shows. Obviously he has 1.1 million followers, but I mean like 14,000 people have bought tickets at a time. I bought a four-pack. I attend all the time. I just attended a virtual concert this weekend for one of my favorite independent artists. So you could, you could use zoom or there’s other different live streaming platforms. If you wanted to do something a little bit different. I’ve seen people do it with private YouTube links. They sell their ticket, whether it’s through their blog or through PayPal or Stripe or Square or Eventbrite, however you want to collect payments and make sure that you can communicate with the people who have purchased tickets. I’ve seen people send people to a private YouTube link and have this ready or have that ready and they have this great experience. You can sell that to your audience. Because they connect with you.

Megan:

For sure. Virtual events are so huge right now, as you said, and people are wanting to connect with other humans and they’re missing it. So I think more than ever, this would be a great time to launch into that, if it’s something that really peaks your interest. How do you recommend figuring out what to teach or what to cover in a course or class, because we’re food bloggers, we cover all of this food and so many different types of recipes. What do we pick out to start?

Evelyn:

So I really think it’s around your culinary point of view for your blog. So I actually have two clients right now who are in my cooking class program and we’re like narrowing down their culinary point of view, which is simply what kind of food you make, who you do it for and why. Once you know that, it’s really, really simple to create your courses or your classes. So for example, I have a client right now who is a chef at a hospital by day, but a personal chef and aspiring food influencer by evening and weekend. Her culinary point of view is that brunches for every occasion. So obviously for her, her first class, or course is going to be all about brunch. Let’s say if she wanted to do a class, it could be a Valentine’s day brunch, a mother’s day brunch, a father’s day brunch, a holiday brunch.

Thanksgiving brunch, she could just run the brunch thing into the ground and it would never get old. So if you know your culinary point of view, you can create courses around that. I have another client who was a nurse for 20 plus years. So she’s really passionate about helping people overcome some of their medical illnesses by eating healthier. Specifically high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. So she teaches courses and classes all the time. It’s largely plant-based, I think she’s 100% vegan actually now that I think about it. Because she knows that her audience is specifically people who have those ailments, she’s working with doctor’s offices and different organizations who are helping people with those ailments. She’s teaching classes every month. Because she’s very clear about what kind of food she makes, who she makes it for and why. So yes, as a food blogger, as a chef, as a food influencer, we can cook anything, right? Like you put anything in front of us, but when you know what your culinary point of view is, it makes it really easy to say, here’s the type of book that I can create. Here’s the type of classes that I can host or courses that I can teach. I know where to go and find the people.

Megan:

This is just another reason to figure out what your niche is, and maybe niche down even further than where you’re at, so that you can get really specific about what exactly you’re providing to people. Because if you provide every type of recipe, which some blogs do and they’re wildly successful, but I can see where that would make it more difficult to land on a topic. But if you have a really small niche, like I just talked to someone a while ago who makes only food from ingredients that come from Aldi. That is the coolest, super specific niche ever. Something like that, you could go crazy. You could make just dinners from Aldi. You can make breakfasts from Aldi, like you said, you can go crazy, like the brunch thing and different themes, different holidays. So I am such an advocate for getting that micro-niche figured out, just something really small, and this is another good reason too. Is there anything else that we haven’t touched on within your five categories that you want to talk about before we move on?

Evelyn:

No, I hope that those that are listening have a pretty good view of, I can do this, I can do this. They can start to see themselves in those different categories. So I think we did pretty good.

Megan:

You gave so many great tidbits there that I had never thought of. So I am pulling extensive value from this. So thank you for those. Now let’s talk about marketing because we talked a little bit about overwhelming our audiences, but what about when we’re delivering something from each category? Let’s say we dive into something from each of the services, products, affiliates, curriculum, events in a six month period. How do we deliver that without making them confused and just irritated? Because that can be a lot.

Evelyn:

Yeah, it can be. So here’s the thing. As we kind of look at that SPACE acronym, some of those revenue streams can be heavily business to business, right? So we talked about, if you’re offering a service to other bloggers or to companies or corporations or organizations, that’s probably not something that’s going to go on your Instagram feed, right. That’s something that’s going to happen via email or a pitch, similar to the way you get sponsorships and campaigns. You’re not necessarily posting on Instagram, Hey, brand X, Y, and Z. Download my media kit. That’s not how you market your thing. So the first step is to know which things are kind of behind the scenes that your audience doesn’t necessarily need to see and already know that, okay, that already lightens the load.

So if I’m offering a service or something like that, that’s probably not going to be front facing necessarily. Unless you want to revamp your business model and then that’s front facing, then that’s a different story. So let’s take the S’s off of there, cause that’s usually more behind the scenes. So now we’re left with PACE. And so affiliates to me, if we hop into that category, that’s your links and then that’s your advertising, that’s your sponsorships, right. That to me is more subtle. So your links are more something that they’re embedded into your blog posts. They’re in your YouTube description box. Yes, occasionally you’re doing a swipe up, if you can do that on your Instagram stories. So it’s more subtle and not as obvious as, Hey, on February 14th, I’m doing a Valentine’s day class.

So again, this goes into that promotional plan. If you know that, okay, I want to do a Valentine’s day course. And I want to promote that for the four weeks leading up to Valentine’s day, then I’m probably not going to be promoting my ebook during that time. But that’s, again, that’s looking at that promotional plan. So it’s laying out, when are you going to have certain, what I call bigger campaigns, in your own blog? Knowing what that promotional process is going to look like so that you don’t confuse people. You know, your ebook, if you’re launching that initially, you’re probably not going to launch that and a class at the same time. So if I’m releasing this ebook in April, I’m going to spend March and April and it’s all about the ebook. Yes. During that time, are people going to click on your affiliate links? Absolutely. Could you possibly have a sponsored content during that time? Sure. Could you pitch your services during that time? Yes. But all your audience is seeing is, you’re building buzz for this ebook and then you’re selling that ebook. So having that promotional plan that we talked about on top of your content plan, to make sure that you’re not trying to promote your class and your ebook and your event all at the same time.

Megan:

So really it comes down to having a plan and putting a plan on paper or in a calendar and just organizing it so that it makes sense so that you’re not killing yourself. You’re not overwhelming people who are consuming your content. That makes total sense to me. I don’t know why I’ve never put together a promotional plan, but after this, I am definitely doing that because that stresses me out. I’ve created this video course that’s so awesome. Evelyn. I put so much work into it. I love cooking with the Instant Pot. It’s all about the Instant Pot, everything anyone would ever need to know from the buttons, to how it works, to which recipes you should start with. We spent a year producing this and I did a great launch and people bought it, but I haven’t touched it since. I just beat myself up, when am I going to promote that again? So I just need to take the time and sit down and make a plan.

Evelyn:

We’re going to promote this four times a year. Then, you know, let’s get those dates on the calendar and then work backwards. Here’s the thing. This is what I really want to share with food bloggers specifically, is when you have your revenue streams that you own, and you know what you’re going to sell, whether it is an amazing video course or a cookbook, or you’re dropping six ebooks in a year, you can then work backwards from the promotional plan. That dictates your content plan versus it being the other way around. So if you want to sell this Instapot course more than once, because people are going to be buying the Instant Pot, it’s the new George Foreman, it’s the thing. Right? So then you can say, okay, if I know, I want to open this up for enrollment four times a year, then I can work backwards. The weeks leading up to that, I’m going to start sharing some of my most popular recipes, where I’m making recipes in the Instant Pot. I’m going to be talking about it. Or this is a little bit more advanced depending on where bloggers are. If you know that it’s something very specific about something, for the Instant Pot. I’ve made this amazing course, you can run Facebook ads to people who like the Instant Pot Facebook page.

Megan:

Yeah. That’s a simple one. People on Facebook go crazy over the Instant Pot. There are groups that have a million plus members just to talk about the Instant Pot. There’s so much opportunity that I’m missing out on. I do realize that. But I liked your idea of working backward and then aligning your content with your promotion. That’s brilliant. I’m totally going to steal that from you. You have inspired me because a lot of us do have those products that are just kind of sitting there collecting dust. We need to dust them off and just put them to use because people want it. People want my Instant Pot course. I saw that with my launch. So here’s a question I have for you. I did this email launch and it was really effective. I started maybe two weeks before and just built up suspense, got people excited. Then I had a three or four day period where people could purchase at a discounted price and they bought it. They loved it. They bought it. Well, if I do four promotions a year for this course, do I have to use email? Do you recommend doing one on Instagram, maybe on Facebook, with a Facebook ad. How do you recommend going about that?

Evelyn:

It’s really up to you and how you like to work. For me, I don’t like reinventing the wheel more than once. I think it’s the former engineer in me. So if I have a process that works, I want to rinse and repeat. Obviously I want to tweak it. So here’s the thing. You have to know that by the time you run it again, you’re going to have new people in your sphere of influence, new people on your email list, who have never heard of this, seeing this experience. Or people who missed out the first time, or maybe they didn’t have an Instant Pot at the time, or maybe they weren’t convinced of the joys of the Instant Pot at the time who are like, Ooh, next time. So it’s up to you. Here’s the thing you could lift those emails, right.

That you had before. Update them and reschedule them. Or someone may say, I like doing live streams on Instagram or Facebook as part of their launch. So I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way, but I would say if, you know you’ve got a formula that works, to make it easy on yourself, you can rinse and repeat it. Now, if you want to change it up because you’re, Oh, you know, I don’t know if that part went that well, or this could have been done better. I’m all for improvement. Improving conversions, but to save yourself work, rinse and repeat. It doesn’t sound sexy, but earning money doesn’t have to be hard.

Megan:

Oh my gosh. Amen to that. That’s one of my new mottos for 2021. I’ve worked my butt off my entire life. My dad always said, you have to work hard. Then, looking back, he worked really, really hard, but there was never an abundance of anything. So I’m just to the point where I know, it doesn’t have to be that hard to make money and to enjoy life. So you just said my 2021 motto, because I’m done working my butt off for very little.

Evelyn:

In full transparency, I offer things like all the way from the low end to like super high tickets in my brand. What I’ve realized is it takes the same amount of work for me to sell something for five figures, for four figures, for multiple three figures, as it does for me to sell something in the single and double digits. Different work, but the same amount of work. Don’t undercut yourself and know that it doesn’t have to be hard.

Megan:

So what if somebody listening, Evelyn, says okay, this all sounds really great. Yes. For making more money, I want to dive into new streams of revenue. How do they know which one to start with? Whether they provide a service or a product or affiliate, where do they start with it?

Evelyn:

Oh, this is great. This is something I’m super passionate about. I think this is kind of what makes my consulting a little bit different is it’s really based on their lifestyle. So I am not a fan of one size fits all brand strategies at all. So some people are full-time food bloggers, some are not, some have a full-time job, some have a house full of kids. It’s really looking at two sides of the equation. The first side is, what’s going on in your life right now? Do you have the bandwidth to offer a service? If you do, it’s a great way. It’s a low startup curve. You can pitch, and then you can make great money. But if you work a full-time job and you’ve got a family at home and you know that you’re barely keeping up with your own blog.

You can’t be out there necessarily, to help with someone else with theirs that may not be the best fit, something more passive, like a product may be a better fit. Or if you’re somewhere in the middle and you say, I have some time, but not all the time. Then maybe a course or a class is great because you can offer that once a month or once a quarter or something like that where you can block that time out and have a little bit more dedicated time. So the first part of the equation is really looking at, how do you like to work? What you have this space for, no pun intended there. But what you can actually physically accomplish. Then the other side of that equation is really looking at, what would my audience really enjoy from me, as the next part of their journey with us together.

So if I find that my audience, yeah, they love my recipes, but they love bantering with me. We have a great comment section and things like that. Maybe something where they get access to you; could that be a virtual event? Could that be a course? Or if you’ve got people like, Oh, yes, I love your site. But, who takes your photos? Because I’m trying to do the same thing you’re doing or whatever. Then that may be, Oh, you know what? There’s some people lingering in my audience who want my services more from a business to business standpoint. That’s what happened to me. I was out here being Chef Evelyn. I had people actually had non-food related people going, can you teach me what you did in your brand? Can you just send me an invoice, Evelyn? I’m threatening you if you don’t help me. That’s how I got into the consulting part. Then I decided to exclusively help people in the culinary space. I had people in my audience who said, Oh yeah, the recipes are cool, great. The classes are wonderful. Yay. This is amazing. But can you teach me this?

Megan:

So really listening, right? Listening to your people.

Evelyn:

Yeah and looking at your life.

Megan:

Look at your life, listen to the people. That sounds so simple, but for some reason it’s so hard. It’s the most simple concept. It’s a few words that we just spoke, but to actually sit quietly and look around and figure that out seems difficult. Which makes me scratch my head, because I’ve had struggles with that as well, but really, listen to what people are saying. What are they emailing you about? What comments are they leaving? Sometimes we gloss over those comments, not really letting them sink in and understanding that they’re wanting something from us. You just mentioned photography. If someone’s saying, Oh my gosh, your photos are stunning over and over then, ding, ding, you need to probably tune into that.

Evelyn:

It’s so interesting. I tell my clients all the time. If you listen carefully, your followers or your potential clients are trying to give you money. You just are not listening properly. I have a client who owns a spice company. She said, you know, Evelyn I get these emails and people ask, can you offer sample packs? Because I want to send a variety pack to my friends and my family. Can you offer bundle deals or whatever. She was getting frustrated. I was like, they’re not asking you to do it tomorrow. They’re basically saying to you, I’m trying to find other ways to give you my money. Can you create more ways for me to give you money? I said, these are good questions. So pay attention to those things.

Megan:

Yeah, absolutely. So we covered this a little bit, but I just love this phrase. This applies to so many things in our world, the phrase, “start where you’re at”, because there’s nothing daunting about that. Just taking a look around and seeing where your feet are planted at this very moment, just starting there, instead of looking ahead to this future thing that you want for your business. Because there can be such a big gap and you think, well, there’s no way I can get from here to there. But if you start where you’re at, that’s doable. That is 100% something that all of us can do. So tell me what you think about that. starting where we are and moving forward with just launching into creating additional streams of revenue or launching into figuring out what people need from us.

Evelyn:

I will say this. I never recommend people to go out and try to create all five revenue streams at one time. That’s a lifelong journey. Of having this really thriving business that has all these streams of income running at the same time. I definitely want to calibrate that, that yes, these streams are available. Evelyn is not telling you that you need to put all those things together in the next 12 months. I think also, the approach that I like to take when I’m working with people is, look at the revenue stream that you have and are you maximizing it to the best of its ability before you add another stream? I call it growing a tall tree with deep roots versus having a whole bunch of little bushes.

I love talking about creating multiple streams of income, but to your point about starting where you are, I know what happens. People hear this. They’re like, Oh my gosh, I have so many ideas. I’m so excited. And they want to turn everything on at the same time. What happens is those things all become little bitty bushes. They get a little revenue over here and a little revenue over there and a little revenue over here versus going, let me pick one that I can really sink my teeth into and that I can10x and make every step of the process or every part of it, the best I can where I’m at with the skills that I have. Get all the juice from that fruit before I go plant another fruit tree.

So I always tell people the point of having the SPACE acronym is so you can know where you’re going. You know what’s available to you, but start with what you have. If you know that, right now I have this course and it’s making really good money, I’m not going to tell you to start offering a service or create events or whatever. I’m going to say, are you giving that course as much love as you can’t get as much juice out of it as you can. You know, how many people have had eyes on it. Work that until it generates the kind of revenue that you want. When you get into a place where it feels really good and you can, I don’t want to say run it on autopilot, but it’s bringing in the kind of revenue that you want. You determine what that number is. Then you can say, okay, I’ve maximized this revenue stream. It’s working really well. There’s some stability here. What’s next. So really starting where you are, because I think a lot of times people think that if they’re not all the places, doing all the things that they’re missing out. That’s not really true.

Megan:

So true. You used the analogy of like juicing, what you have until you get all the juice. I had this picture pop into my mind, like you wouldn’t create a batch of lemon juice and half juice off the lemons and then set them aside because you had another lemon in front of you. You would juice every lemon and then you would throw it away. Then you would start just seeing another lemon. And I am so guilty of this. I have so many un-juiced lemons sitting in my archives and in my files and my computer. It’s almost embarrassing, but another thing for 2021 for me is that I am going to go back and juice all of those lemons. Because I feel like I can’t move forward until that’s done. I’m just adding heaps of things that are untapped. I need to go pay attention to them.

Megan:

Yeah and that’s what confuses your audience. If you’ve got a new thing every month, they’re just like, Oh, I can’t keep up. But if they know, I can come to Megan for this, or I can come to Evelyn for this. We talked about this before, about not confusing people. That culinary point of view. If you’ve got a course on brunch, but you’re hosting an event on vegan meal planning, your ebook is on making your homemade nut butters. I’m so confused. So we love to create content. We love it. It’s a love, hate. We love it. It’s a lot of work. We hate that, but we love it. But you don’t have to be that way with what you sell. I mean, I know it’s so cliche to hear this, but Chick-fil-A is selling the same chicken. That’s it! I think they’re a billion dollar brand, or a multi-million dollar brand, but they’re selling the same chicken. And we don’t get it.

Megan:

That is a great point. And I’m laughing because I am the worst with this. I confuse people I’m sure all the time. I did a cooking class for an Instant Pot meal, which I guess fits with my course. But then I did one on bread, baking bread. Then I made one on dessert, I think it was cookies. I’ve got all kinds of different stuff, so I need to just hone in on it and figure this out as I’m sure everyone’s like, Whoa. Now she’s a bread expert. Interesting.

Evelyn:

We’ve all done it. We’ve all done it.

Megan:

Oh goodness. I am guilty, guilty. Well, this has been so amazing. This is one of my favorite episodes I’ve ever recorded. I’ve so much written down, you would not believe my notebook. I’m going to totally create a, you call it a profit plan or promotional plan. I’m going to email you in a little bit and tell you that I’ve done it because that will be my accountability.

Evelyn:

Yes, I want to see that!

Megan:

Okay. I have one more question for you before we say goodbye. This was not in our notes. So I’m going to spring this on you. Where do you see yourself in five years, Evelyn?

Evelyn:

Oh my goodness. So in five years I see myself with a full blown Academy, teaching people how to monetize their cooking skills in nontraditional ways. I love the food space. I left engineering behind to become a chef. I think one of those things that I’m really passionate about is that just because we’re in food, doesn’t mean we have to make little money. Or as one of my mentors calls it baby money. A lot of times, because we’re so passionate about it, people don’t want to talk about the money. They’re like, oh the money that isn’t important. It is important. It is important. So for me, having this Academy where I can help people really get clear on that culinary point of view, really get clear on that promotional plan, really how to make it a sustainable business and not just an occasionally paid hobby. I definitely see myself doing that. Then also, I think maybe one day I may write my own cookbooks. I haven’t written one, I have them outlined, their sitting in my storage closet. So I have my own un juice lemons. Roll to your own advice, but definitely I’ve had a series of cookbooks in mind for over a decade. So getting them out there to enjoy.

Megan:

I love that. I love asking people that question and I want to add to your money thing. Yes. Money is important. I don’t mean to exclude the men, but it’s so important to get the message out about women. It’s okay for you to be a woman who makes a lot of money. I think there is such a stigma with that. I mean, I could go on, that could be an entirely separate episode, but I just feel so passionately about that. If you’re a woman and you think that there’s a limit, there’s not, you’re awesome. You have skills and you can do it. So I love that you’re an advocate for that, Evelyn. That’s amazing.

Evelyn:

Yeah. I mean, if I could say one thing about that, I think as women, particularly, when we’re fully expressed, right? We are living the kind of life that we want to live. I’m going to say this, this is so important. That takes a lot of money. When we give the kind of gifts that we want to give for our friends; they had a baby or a bridal shower, or someone bought a new house. We’re super generous. We want to give, we don’t want to give the cheapest thing off the registry. We want to buy the best ingredients. We want to treat our families to certain experiences. So in order to really be who we really are on the inside, we need a good operating budget to do that. So it’s okay to say I’m adding joy and value and helping people create memories through the food and the recipes that I share. It’s okay for me to be compensated well, because these are the things that people are going to share with their families for generations, right? Your dessert recipe for something could be something that a mother does with her kids. They remember that when they’re adults and they pass that on to their children. That’s a big deal. So charge for that and be okay with that. So, like you said, that could be a completely different episode. That’s all I’m going to say on that.

Megan:

I know! And it’s not greedy, right? I mean, we get so caught up in our own thinking that, well, I shouldn’t want that. I shouldn’t want the best ingredients because that’s greedy. I should be able to settle for getting this gift for my best friend because that’s greedy to want more. And I disagree. I think if you want to buy the best ingredients for your meals, you should do that. Just reiterating, you’re adding value to people’s lives. You’re not stealing from them. Goodness. Okay. Enough, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I could go on forever about that clearly, but Evelyn, thank you so much for being here today. It was seriously such a pleasure to talk to you. This episode is packed with gold. I usually have times that I write down, because I pull quotes out and I have so many times that I’ve written here. So I have no idea how I’m going to pick, but thank you just for sharing everything that you have.

Evelyn:

It’s been my pleasure.

Megan:

I am going to pull one more nugget out of you. Do you have a favorite quote or words of inspiration to leave us?

Evelyn:

Yeah, I think my favorite quote and I wish I could remember who said it, but it’s, “a different life is just a decision away”. And whether that’s your blog, your business, your personal life, anything that you have going on, once you make up your mind? The power of the made up mind is so strong. So if you make up your mind that if you want something to be different, it will be, but it’s not until you make up your mind. It’s not a want, it’s a wish. You decide I’m going to make more money on my blog. When you decide, I’m going to work less, when you decide this is going to be easy for me, when you decide, I’m going to enjoy my time and I’m only going to work three days a week or whatever that decision is that you need to make. The different life starts once you decide. So that’s my favorite quote, because I feel like it’s applicable to any area of life. If you’re trying to lose weight, gain weight, whatever, a different life is just a decision away.

Megan:

Oh, amazing. Thank you so much. We’re going to put together show notes for you, Evelyn. So if anyone wants to go see it, you can read the transcript for this episode. Any resources that we’ve talked about. We’ll put that SPACE acronym in there and everything that we chatted about today, you can find those at eatblogtalk.com/chefEvelyn. Evelyn, tell everyone where they can find you online.

Evelyn:

I’m on Facebook and Instagram and YouTube at chef Evelyn. you can always visit chefevelyn.com. I have a Facebook group for women, culinary entrepreneurs. So if you go to chefevelyn.com/society, you can sign up and join there.

Megan:

Oh, I’m going to check that out. Awesome. Well, thank you again so much for being here and thank you for listening today, Food bloggers. I will see you next time.

Outro:

We’re glad you could join us on this episode of Eat Blog Talk. For more resources based on today’s discussion, as well as show notes and an opportunity to be on a future episode of the show, be sure to head to eatblogtalk.com. If you feel that hunger for information, we’ll be here to feed you on Eat Blog Talk.


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Megan
Megan

Megan started her food blog Pip and Ebby in 2010 and food blogging has been her full-time career since 2013. Her passion for blogging has grown into an intense desire to help fellow food bloggers find the information, insight, and community they need in order to find success.

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