Social media helped these chefs get out of the kitchen


Based in a town of retirees, Raposo’s business declined as its customers feared contracting Covid-19. “I spent every day sleeping trying to avoid going to work for as long as possible because I was so exhausted,” she says. “I found myself lying in my bed scrolling on TikTok a ridiculous amount.”

Raposo started making videos on New Years Day 2021, hoping for a fresh start for his mental health. Instead, she ended up finding a way to stay open and reach new customers out of season.

As other local businesses considered closing, Raposo began to see a slight increase in the number of customers. Almost overnight they were as busy as they were in the fall when there were tourists.

“The number of people who have driven literal hours to come to the bakery is just amazing,” Raposo said. “I’m not tech savvy at all, so I had to learn on my own,” she explains. “There have been some real flops, but TikTok looks like the last hub of this crazy year, and my followers have done more for my business than any ad could ever do.”

Today, she has over 600,000 subscribers on TikTok and regularly meets new customers who come to buy a cake or who found her online and order on her website.

His suggestion? Stay positive when you put your skills and yourself on social media. “I’ve only been doing this for a few months, and I’ve had people hating my guts over my opinions on gas stoves or the way I dress,” shares Raposo. “I can’t please everyone, but I’ve learned that if I put positivity in the world, then I get it back.”

Also, don’t forget to watch the room. The day before Valentine’s Day, Raposo’s busiest holiday, she was at the bakery cooking after midnight. “I made a video about the kitchen utensils that I refuse to allow in the bakery which has gone viral,” she says. “The biggest thing I learned from this video was to look presentable because you never know when 4 million people will see you with the biggest bags under the eyes imaginable and no makeup on.”

Courtesy of Amber Walker

Amber Walker is not a household name Again. She started her private chef and catering business, SZND (pronounced Seasoned), at the start of the pandemic after being fired from her full-time job as a chef for a catering company. “I was taking care of my three-year-old niece at the time because my sister, who is a nurse, was working with Covid patients,” says Walker. “I had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that everything I worked for could disappear overnight.”

At the start of the pandemic, she entered the Favorite Chef Contest. She filled out a profile, uploaded photos, and detailed her story, goals and signature dishes. The contest promised the winner $ 50,000 and a double page spread in a future issue of Enjoy your meal magazine. Walker hoped to use the funds to help mentor more young people in his community and grow his business.

Although Walker did not win the competition, she made it to the top 15 chefs in a global competition and took the opportunity to unearth invaluable entrepreneurial skills. “With all the support of my friends, family and the community, my business has skyrocketed and the contest has brought more subscribers to my business pages,” she explains.

“I’ve posted what I’m doing for SZND on TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram,” Walker said. “The biggest day was when I posted my ABC 27 Good Day Pennsylvania interview on Facebook over there. I contacted a lot of people, and they congratulated me on my success since starting up. a new venture in uncertain times. “

For Walker, social media is about more than the number of subscribers. It’s about connecting to her community: the customers she cooks for, other members of the LGBTQ community and the young people she mentors. “Social media has helped me promote my business and show people that you can create a better future for yourself through hard work and determination, rather than working normally 9 to 5 or for someone. else. “

So it makes sense that one of his tips for using social media to promote your work or skills is to give back to your community. As a Métis member of the LGBTQ + community, Walker uses social media to connect with her clients and the causes she supports. “I donate 20% of my profits to a local LGBTQ foundation from every pop-up I make,” she says.

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