Part 2: Making Love In The Kitchen, And In Business
Meghan worked harder in school than she ever had in any job or school previously. Upon graduating from nutrition school, her goal was to never have to go to another job interview again, despite how much she enjoyed meeting new people and the interview process itself. She was determined to make it work to support herself, and work to inspire others that they too can take control of their health and empower them to heal through easy, simple and health supportive eating and living.
In only 2.5 short years of running it, Meghan has had amazing success including being a regular contributor for the National Post, the nutrition expert for Daily Squeeze, snagging guest spots on CTV News, eTalk Daily and CBC radio, and also being a top ten finalist for TedxToronto this past year, which brings together the city's foremost thought leaders, change makers and everyday people from each discipline and challenges them to deliver powerful, unforgettable and unique TEDxTalks. My next question for Meghan of course, was what her greatest achievement in this entrepreneurial journey thus far had been, and her simple response was typical of Meghan’s down to earth style and indicative of her true passion for her work: “My business has grown dramatically in the past 2.5 year span and has made it past the 2 year mark” which can be the breaking point for many small businesses. “It is growing and thriving and effecting the change that I set out to do. I can still do it, I still love it and everyday I wake up and get to see something different, meet new people, traveling and cooking and inspiring a really sweet way of living.”
Humble, modest and passionate about others, it’s no wonder she has such a following. But how did she go about building her business? How did she find those clients in the first place? Leave it to someone with a former job in advertising to start out with a few “gimmicks” to get the ball rolling. While in school, Meghan designed a vision board, which gave her an idea of what she wanted her business to look like. She knew that she did not want her business to be clinical, no office setting and the resulting vision board looked like the perfect holiday.
Meghan wanted her business to feel familiar and friendly, and had the idea that she wanted to do a “cooking party” – not like a cooking class. Her vision was of women her age, late 20’s and early 30’s coming into the kitchen to cook a meal together and essentially building a community through good living and good health. Meghan then began developing her template for her cooking party and a small website to get started. She sent out an e-mail for her first class to friends and family and anxiously awaited the event to sell out. Instead, she received no response. Not one to give up, Meghan sent out another e-mail about a week later announcing that the first class was full and that participants should register quickly for the second class which was open. Low and behold, her second class sold out in only 24 hours.
While classes weren’t always full at the beginning, Meghan would run them anyway and invite well connected people in the community, or people she had met along her journey that she felt could benefit or enjoy one of her classes. Meghan’s business started with friends and family and grew very organically from there. The majority of her business grew from word of mouth and referrals and slowly the classes would fill. Five months after she started her business, she started her blog Making Love in the Kitchen. This was the beginning of her now booming social media presence, one of her definite keys to success.
Meghan was an early adopter of social and digital media for her business. With her years spent in advertising in a client service role in the interactive field, she knew the power of being online and figured out how everything could work to promote her business. Realizing that she was just one person and would only be able to grow her business so much if everything depended on her, she developed online products that could be promoted worldwide through online channels such as her popular eBooks and guides covering topics including Everyday Superfoods and the Veggie Transition, which are available for download from her website. Online videos and podcasts were adopted as regular sections of her blog and Meghan watched as the traffic to her site continued to grow, and her classes filled more regularly. Doing this also began to allow Meghan to begin living the lifestyle she wanted to live, which meant less work while focusing on what she was most passionate about while still earning an income.
Meghan has also tapped into the world of affiliate marketing with many of her favourite products such as Vitamix, Navitas Naturals, Glass Dharma drinking straws and favourite books of hers being sold on her website which provides some additional income and potential to tap into the thousands of visitors to her free blog. These products are also used in many of her cooking classes and are staples in her home, which makes her recommendations all the more authentic and genuine to her clients and readers. Her website and promotional marketing materials are all very well executed and match all of the labels that adorn the spices and flours in her vegan pantry at home. All of this continues Meghan’s tone and branding throughout the Meghan Telpner experience, which is fresh, personable and authentic, and a direct extension of her personality.
To be concluded next Tuesday...
Alana Clark is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and the founder of Little Sprout Nutrition, a company that specializes in pre-conception, prenatal, and postnatal nutrition for women, as well as good food and health for the whole family. She was inspired to pursue her own passion of Holistic Nutrition after discovering Meghan Telpner’s blog, Making Love In The Kitchen. She now works to inspire others towards living in a world full of good food, great health and of course, sunshine and rainbows.