If you want to go professional with your food blog, there is one area that most people need to improve at in order to get there. I’ve brought a guest on the show, Sara Maniez, and we’re talking about Sales Skills Essentials. Because there’s a little salesmanship involved in blogging, whether it’s selling yourself or selling your blog, these are important skills to have. If you’re curious about more more blog basic skills, listen in as I talk to Mariah Mercurio about Mariah Mercurio on How to be a Successful First Year Blogger. And then there’s Taylor Kiser who shares tips on Building Your Food Blog Team.

Learn about Sales Skills Essentials for food bloggers with Sara Maniez of Life's Little Sweets.

OK, everyone, it’s time to get down to business. If you’re a food blogger and you’re working hard to get those page views up, grow your social stats, and improve your food photography, that’s all great, but it may not be enough.

The first order of business is to determine what type of Food Blog Revenue Strategy you will pursue. The interesting thing, though, is that all of these strategies require some kind of sales. You’re either selling your blog to your readers, to brands, or to people who may be buying products on your site. Sometimes we’re doing all of the above! That’s why today we’re discussing Sales Skills Essentials!

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I reached out to Sara because not only does she come from a different professional field, architecture, but she also spent some time in sales before pursuing a food blog. Interestingly enough, Sara describes the amount of time she spent in training to learn how to sell. I find that intriguing because I have lived under a false assumption — that people who are good at sales have a sort of innate skill. And I’m sure there are some people who are like that.

The rest of us are so happy for you. (That’s best said with mock enthusiasm).

Sara describes how she was very shy as a child and how that shyness followed her into her teens. And then when she was architecture school she had to defend her work twice weekly and what a difference that made. She learned to have confidence in her work. She learned she had to believe in the project before she could get others to buy into it as well.

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Then after the housing boom, no one was hiring architects anymore. After her job was eliminated, she found herself in a predicament, so she did the unthinkable. She took a job in sales.

Interestingly enough, they put her through hours and hours of training. Some of that sales training included behavioral formats where they would actually practice sales, including understanding human behavior to better determine customer needs. Sara became so good at it after awhile they had her running some of the sales programs. And eventually a competing firm found about her and enticed her with a better offer.

How’s that for a shy girl?!

A lot of this discussion around sales may seem foreign to food bloggers, but we draw the parallels in today’s discussion. Because food bloggers are constantly selling their work to their audience, on social media, to brands, and more. And the same principles can be true on your blog as on a showroom floor — if you’re not confident in yourself and your product, you’re probably not going to do very well.

So get your sales skills essentials going by listening to today’s show!

Featured Content – Sales Skills Essentials

Here are some of the highlights of my discussion with Sara about sales skills essentials. Here are some of the specifics:

  • We discuss why Sara created her blog and how the name changed
  • We talk about the professionalism of food blogging
  • Both Sara and I pursued professional careers in the corporate world and switched to food blogging
  • Sara and Marly talk about their love of spreadsheets
  • The lines of success are never a straight and Sara describes the ups and downs of her adventure after giving up her career in architecture
  • She talks about how her career as an architect and how the training involved helped her learn to have confidence in herself and her work
  • We discuss the self empowerment that comes from learning to cook
  • There’s always more to learn as a food blogger
  • Sara considered applying to business school or film to be a film director
  • Authenticity is a huge part of being confident in your skills
  • Sara talks about how she’s involved with blogging network (see below)
  • We talk about perfectionism and how to stop ruining your life by editing things to death and freaking yourself out.
  • Marly talks about giving yourself permission to set your own rules
  • Sara talks about how many sponsored posts she did
  • We talk about the time spent on brand development
  • Every step of the way you absolutely can negotiate
  • Sara describes how she didn’t know her self worth
  • According to Sara, working with a brand is not something to be intimidated by
  • Good advice from today’s guest: Never burn any bridges with a brand.
  • Sara talks about how she used her iPhone for her blog photography
  • We talk about procrastinating…tomorrow
  • Sara says that success is all about knowing your craft
  • We talk about followup
  • Sara and Marly use Passion Planners (see link below)
  • We discuss VA’s and Sara says she uses Megan Lamb of Cook Craft Love

Show Notes

This episode on how to Sales Skills Essentials includes references to some resources you might find interesting. Here they are:

  • Learn more about today’s guest at Life’s Little Sweets and Sara Maniez
  • Give a shout-out on Twitter and Instagram to say thanks for the Chopped Podcast interview!
  • Related Episode: How To Grow Your Instagram
  • Sara says she participates in the following blogger/brand networks: Social FabricCollective Bias, and Linqia
  • We love recommending the Passion Planner. If you choose to buy one, be sure to put in a referral email: marly@choppedcon.com We appreciate the referral!
  • Connect with Chopped Academy Online:  Instagram  | Twitter
  • Connect with Marly: Namely Marly |  Instagram  | Twitter
  • Production, music, graphic art & sound design by Shawn Beelman
  • Learn about future Chopped Podcast episodes and get some awesome tips on food blogging by subscribing to the ChoppedCon newsletter. Just add your email in the subscribe section at the bottom of this page. You’ll be glad you did!

Subscribe to the Show & Feedback

Thanks so much for listening to today’s podcast. I hope you found it informative and helpful to the work you do every day. Make sure you don’t miss out on any of the Chopped Podcast episodes by heading on over to iTunes to subscribe to the Chopped Podcast. While you’re there, provide a review and rating is a great way to help other podcast listeners find it too! That’s it for today’s podcast. As always, thanks so much for joining in the discussion!

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