As a personal chef, the majority of my networking happens through referrals from happy customers, therefore in person networking has worked best for me thus far. In person networking also takes place via local associations such as chambers of commerce, and other local business associations. When other businesses in my area have a need for food services, they tend to go with someone like myself who is a fellow member of a common association. Given the nature of my business, which is in person, I have found this type of networking to be most effective.
I am also a member of the Canadian Personal Chef Association which itself gives my business added credibility. Through this association, leads and referrals are sent my way. However, I have found that in the rural area where I live, referrals via the CPCA are few and far between. Most of them are directed to chefs in bigger urban areas.
On line networking tools that I have been utilizing include Linkedin, Facebook, and my association with the Canadian Personal Chef Association. I have also been blog writing about food, nutrition and cooking with the purpose of remaining or becoming top of mind to clients and potential clients.
In the next 6-12 months I would like to broaden my on line professional networking. I would like to become more active on Instagram with some high quality food photography, and I would also like to try some vlogging showing some cooking in action.