Cooking Up Business with Skype
Here on the Workspace blog, we talk about ways to improve your business and professional life with the help of technology. We believe nearly any business can benefit by offering virtual services, whether it helps you reach new clients, open a new line of business or simply live life the way you want.
With that in mind, we’ve cooked up (pun intended) a couple of the most innovative culinary-minded pros who found ways use Skype video calling to reach a wider audience. Hopefully their stories get you thinking outside of the box to uncover things you and your potential customers can do together, even when you aren’t — it may be just the boost your business needs.
Connecting kitchen to kitchen, via video
Chef Robin Blair of Cleveland-based Cooking with C.A.R.E. worked as a trained chef in a restaurant, but decided to slow down and focus more on motherhood once she had her son. She started her business in 2006, when a friend called asking for help.
“His wife bought all this food and had no idea what to do with it,” she laughs.
Today Cooking with C.A.R.E. offers personal chef services, cooking classes, demonstrations and nutrition programming. In recent years Blair began offering group and private cooking classes via Skype video calls. Her mission? Bringing families back to the dinner table, one meal at a time.
“People absolutely love it,” she says. “They’re able to prep food at a time that’s good for them, in the comfort of their own home. We both purchase the groceries, I send the recipe and we cook together over Skype. It’s a lot of fun.”
The Nourishing Vegan Jenné Claiborne, who can whip up a delectable massaged kale salad and raw mango cobbler with ease, also has put video calling to work. An actor turned vegan chef, Claiborne began her business focusing primarily on health coaching and personal chef services in New York City. To expand her reach globally and share her passion for vegan cooking with a larger client base, she offers private cooking lessons via Skype for those outside of the city – an experience she describes as “incredibly awesome.”
Says Claiborne: “My clients set up a camera and computer in their kitchen, as do I. We’re able to cook alongside each other virtually. They ask questions, watch as I teach techniques, and can participate as much as they’d like.
“I started using Skype for this because my friend, a former personal trainer, used it to train her clients all around the world,” she continues. “She built her entire practice on Skype, and really inspired me to give it a try.”
As Claiborne points out, culinary is just one of many industries that can capitalize on tools like video calling to build a business, find new customers and increase profits.
What unconventional ways have you used to bring your business to a larger audience? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.