Authenticity and passion are words that come up time and again when people in the food industry talk about telling their food story. These two ingredients are vital when it comes to making a connection with the consumer and convincing them to trust both you and your product. Don't underestimate the value of that story, or the willingness of consumers to hear why you do what you do (and why you love it).
I recently had the opportunity to take in a seminar with an impressive line-up of chefs and bloggers who had plenty of experience as "food influencers" on social media. The hour-long presentation offered plenty of tips to build a social media presence, but everything kept coming back to those two familiar words – authenticity and passion. Chef Todd Perrin bluntly said people will "smell a phoney." He’d been talking about the dynamics involved with having a presence on social media, but the advice is solid no matter whether you are putting a photo on Instagram or talking to your neighbour. Authentic means just what it says.
To emphasize Chef Perrin’s point, Chef Dennis Prescott recalled talking to a producer who posted frequent pictures of vegetables harvested that day all cleaned up for the camera. He urged her to change her approach by showing the vegetables as they appeared fresh out of the ground.
It proved to be a more effective approach.
Today's consumers want to know how the food being offered to them is produced, and you don't have to know too much about farming to realize crops come out of the ground covered in dirt when they are harvested. Chef Michael Smith, who can lay claim to the title of being PEI's most famous foodie, agreed. As he said to the audience, "If you don't have something real underpinning you forget it. You have to start figuring out what works for you."
That's the key: using an approach that what works best for you.
The best way to present yourself online could be a far cry from what works for an award-winning chef, or even for your neighbour down the road. Here at the Connected Farmer, we can help you find the best approach to make that authenticity and passion shine through.