Christy Harp, turned her catering business online and grew it all over Instagram. She is going to share some valuable tips today and give you a few things that you can implement right away. Christy harp has been a chef for over 15 years and has built her business online in the form of a membership site called TLC Foodies. Christy’s goal is to help women achieve their health and weight loss goals, have greater understanding of food and nutrition without the use of restrictive diets, calorie counting or the elimination of carbohydrates so that they may educate the nest generation.
Tell us a little bit about you and your company and what you do.
I have been a professional chef for 17 years. In addition to that, I’m a certified weight management specialist, a pilates pro, a busy wife and mom to a two year old, so I’m super busy. I was in local catering for a really long time and after the birth of my son I just really wanted to stay at home and focus on that. I started writing recipes, I created a few e-cookbooks and then formed TLC Foodies, my membership site, out of necessity of where to house my recipes. I had them written on scraps of paper and journals. I was actually doing a periscope broadcast one day and mentioned it. I got off the broadcast and I had tons of people asking how they could get my recipes. So it kind of hit me, I was like, “I could do the recipes but I’m going to combine it with my training as a weight management specialist. I’m gonna throw the food in there, I’m gonna throw the nutrition in there, they’re gonna have access to a ton of stuff so that’s how foodies kind of came to be, out of necessity for me.
How did you actually figure out how to take your local catering business online to reach more people?
I just started using Instagram for fun. I started posting recipes and people would ask about it. I kind of played around with it for a little while and after about a year, and not getting a lot of traction I decided to take a few courses. I took a business course and an Instagram course and from each of those courses I took great nuggets of information and I kind of concocted my own little strategy. In a year I took my following on Instagram from a few hundred to now I’m at about 7200.
What would you say your unique purpose is?
There’s always been 2 things that really spoken to me. I actually went to college to become a teacher and dropped out just about a semester before I would have graduated to go to culinary school. My purpose is to take those two things I am super passionate about: teaching and cooking and combine them. That’s how foodies was born and now through different courses that I teach I really get to use my love for teaching, helping and nurturing people.
My top 3 tips to grow your instagram:
1. Do not use the big hashtags. Let’s say you are a fitness coach and you see everyone using fitfam so you use that. I want you to do is search fitfam and then scroll down the list and use the things that don’t have millions of tags. Why? Because your gonna stay in that tag longer and people are going to find you.
2. Colors. It’s all about colors.
3. Consistency. You need to be posting twice a day. I know with me having 7000 followers I know my followers are not on all the time. If your post twice a day, you’re doubling your chances of getting into their feed.
What would you say is has been the biggest game changer in your business?
The biggest game changer was listening to what my followers want as opposed to what I thought they wanted. I was busy creating meal plans and recipes. My Instagram course that I teach came about because people asked me to teach it. I think no matter what platform you’re on or how you’re advertising yourself it serves you well to either ask them directly what they want to see more from you or listen to the comments or the questions that your getting all the time. If this is the stuff that people are wanting to see from you then you should take the time to see if it’s worth it.
I think we always have so many ideas in our head and we’re trying to figure out how we can implement all of them. If you sit back and you listen and you ask questions you’re going to find what it is you’re suppose to be doing at that point in time.Listen to what your customers tell you they want with @tinylittlechef #blissfulbitespodcast Click To Tweet
Can you share a struggle in your business?
About 13 years ago, when I was cooking in restaurants, I started to flip houses, I still kinda do that on the side, but I wanted to start a soap company. I went to like Michael’s craft store and bought the fragrances and the soap molds and I packaged them all up nicely and I decided to name it Snooze, and quite frankly it was a total freaking snooze. It was horrible.
Tell us the most super high.
I think when I launched The Foodies website. I spent like days with very little sleep creating the website and they loved it! It was such great validation.
Did you actually have business training when you launched your catering business and when you launched your online business?
I did not have formal training. My mother is actually a pretty well known entrepreneur here in Arizona so I always listen to her and picked up on tidbits. I never had formal training. I’ve always been the trial-and-error girl and I love to figure stuff out on my own.
What would you say to people who are looking to delegate them?
I knew that if I kept wasting so much time every day, messing with the back end of the site and putting in recipes and not doing what I’m good (creating the recipes or teaching people) I knew it was never going to go any further. I had to step away and let someone else do it so I could do what I am great at not what I’m good at.
Why did you end up choosing Instagram?
When I started Instagram wasn’t completely saturated yet and I just loved that it was pictures.
Do you have any tips for people who want to get started on Periscope but are a little bit hesitant?
Periscope it’s just all about becoming comfortable. Say what you have to say. Don’t really script it and maybe write down a few points. Be yourself and if you are yourself people will resonate with you.
What would you say to an entrepreneur who really is looking to get started?
My number one piece of advice would be to seek out someone who you admire.
Tell us one thing in your day that contributes to your success.
I always write down 10 things that I’m grateful for in ten different categories. I’m very diligent about how I use my time. Especially on Tuesday and Thursday when my two year old is home with me all day. When I have that hour and a half while he’s napping I’m very diligent about what I do. I think its precious time and I think it pays to really get your systems in order and be organized so you can do the most effective things in the least amount of time.
Share one thing that you want our listeners and your followers to know about you that you think they don’t know about.
I feel like I have a tendency that comes off as pretty serious but I am not. I am a crazy goofball who loves like 80’s band.
How can we find you and work with you?
- Tiny Little Chef
- Instagram: @tinylittlechef
- Facebook: Tiny Little Chef
- Twitter: @tinylittlechef
- Periscope: @tinylittlechef
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