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How to Create Better Content for your Restaurant, Food Truck, Catering Operations by Gary Estwick

Happy Friday GAHFN Networkers! It's Tandelyn. I wanted to share some information with you.....Check out this great content from Georgia Hospitality & Foodservice Network industry partner, Gary Estwick……..

I’ve created more than 10,000 pieces of content as a journalist and copywriter – from newspaper articles, newsletters and blogs to videos, social media posts, website copy and podcasts. After all these years, I still take the same approach. I start each assignment by asking myself a simple, humbling question:

“If I was a consumer – and not the creator of this content – would I read it, listen to it or view it?

If you’re a small business owner or solopreneur wearing multiple hats – including content creation for your restaurant – ask yourself the same series of questions:

“Does your YouTube recipe video create a feeling, a lifestyle that fits your product, service or restaurant brand?”

“Would you read past the first graph of your food blog?”

“Does your website copy connect emotionally with your ideal client, motivating them to stop by your location?”

“Are your food photos appealing?”

If your answer is no, you failed to find a balance between informing, educating and entertaining content.

Don’t worry. We’re going to get you past this content hump.

Don’t Ask Mom

This is not one of those times to send your blog, video, website copy, podcast episode, etc. to mom. Or the bestie that supports everything you do.

You need honest answers from family and friends that can place emotional connections aside and offer objective analysis.

The success of your restaurant, food truck or catering operation is at stake.

Write With Urgency

Think about how picky you are when you browse the internet… check out your Instragram feed… search for a YouTube video to watch. You breeze by dozens, if not hundreds of videos, social media posts and blogs before deciding to stop.

Even then, the content has like 0.000453 seconds to grab your attention or risk the wrath of your swiping finger.

As a business owners in the restaurant and hospitality industry, you’re facing “swiping fingers” every time you create content.

Solution: Get to the point faster. Don’t spend the first 45 seconds of a video introducing yourself, or the opening five paragraphs of a blog setting up a great punchline – you can’t guarantee readers will make it that far – unless you give them reason to (more on that later).

Create a Persona

Think of your video as an episode of a TV show; your blog a chapter in a book. While characters evolve over time, chapter to chapter, episode to episode, they’re basically the same people.

Find Your Personality. Be funny. Be super-excited. Full of facts. Full of stories. Clumsy. Unapologetic about dropping food in the kitchen while on video (Julia Child).

Be yourself. Or be someone else – it’s acting, after all. Just be consistent.

Oh, and don’t forget to smile.

Creating a persona is not just a video strategy. Your blog should also ooze with personality.

Reward Readers/Viewers with “Nuggets”

Every paragraph in a blog, every line in a video script should have a nugget that motivates potential consumers to read on/keep watching; a quick detail that keeps the story moving without telling the entire story right then, yet motivates us to come along for the content ride. With videos, allow your body language/energy to give viewers a reason to take their smartphones off mute and hear what you’re saying. Give readers a reason to read the second paragraph, then the third, the fourth, etc. That’s what I attempted to do when I told the story of Hasaan Hawthorne, a double-amputee wrestler. Each paragraph offers another glimpse into this mindset. I like to create visuals:

Hasaan Hawthorne wrestles like he lives. He wants to stand on his own limbs and never succumb to an existence on his back.

He's always felt vulnerable there, gazing above at the world, while strangers stared. Helpless. Angered. Different.

While Hawthorne is comfortable in his own "nubs," as he calls them, he fears his normal is not normal enough, although everything he’s experienced and overcome explains otherwise. To protect himself, he refuses to lose. It terrifies him.

He fears any accomplishments that aren't gold-plated. He shows disdain for honorable mention compliments that factor in his physical disadvantage. Legs or no legs, he wants to be the best.

So in life, he's made a habit out of rising – swiftly – from the floors at Wal-Mart, the hallways at Pelham, even at home when his latest set of man-made legs malfunctioned, or he lost his balance.

As one of the state's best wrestlers, Hawthorne has yet this season to give up his back. He's undefeated (33-0) heading into this week's AHSAA Wrestling Championships, thanks to a speedy and smooth ankle pick and wrist control likened to an anaconda’s squeeze. Hawthorne is Class 6A's No. 1 seed at 145 pounds.

So get to the point with copy and visuals – and fast. Make every piece of content fit together like a well-planned outfit on Date Night so consumers can’t stop, won’t stop reading or watching because the journey is too good to finger swip away. So, if you’re creating a video about the 10 best places to eat BBQ in Atlanta, get to the beef! (or pork)