WeBlogNorth Featured Content Creator of the Week - You Say Tomato
This is a space that showcases all of you awesome WeBloggers in the North and gives everyone a chance to get to know each other, as well as raise your profile (and your DA!). This week we're chatting with Gemma Wade, founder of You Say Tomato, who shares delicious tips, tricks and recipes from her home cooking classes.
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Name - Gemma Wade - You Say Tomato Cooking
Location - Wilmslow, Cheshire but I also run (and started) my business in Silicon Valley, California where I go to teach twice a year and where we lived 2011-2015.
Blog - yousaytomatocooking.com
Youtube - You Say Tomato Cooking
Twitter followers - 472
Instagram followers - 2016
Facebook followers - 1877
Other social stat – My site gets over 1.5k unique users visiting per month.
I also have over 3,000 engaged people on my newsletter programme
I get a 50-60% open rate on my twice-monthly emails.
The stuff we post is such a curated view of a second or two of our day. Be honest and show your followers that you’re not perfect.
How long have you been blogging/vlogging/creating content?
I started my own business teaching cooking classes in 2012 and started using Facebook to promote it then. I started on Instagram a couple of years later but have only really been focusing on the social media side for a couple of years.
Before that, I was more focused on growing my physical business through word of mouth and email marketing. I started blogging recipes and tips in 2013 and moved from a free WordPress to a custom built site in 2015.
Why did you decide to start your blog?
I love writing and wanted to share the recipes and tips I share in my cooking classes with a wider audience - and to give people a taste of who I am so that they'll come to a class. I also wanted my clients in California to be able to still get inspiration while I'm over here.
Do you see this becoming a career or part of your career?
Yes. It already is my full-time job as it supports my cooking class, demo chef and food writing career. I was an Account Director in advertising for 10 years before doing this so love taking what I learned from that, what I learned from living amongst and teaching the tech people in Silicon Valley and what I learn on the job.
What do you hope to achieve for your content in 2018 and what’s your big-picture goal?
Overall I want my social media to run efficiently and to grow my following by having more structured content, embracing the new ways of engaging people and getting more of the tips and recipes I share in classes online.
I want to organically grow my followers across all channels and also my email list. I will do more video content, having started creating things more professionally at the end of 2017.
I've just got back from California in April, where I spent a week teaching and creating content with various food producers. I'm working on my first cookbook and want to grow my followers to give publishers confidence in me.
What is your favourite social media channel & why?
Instagram - most inspiring and less cluttered.
What is your favourite tool or app that helps in your content creation?
My phone! I also use Splice for video editing and Later for Insta scheduling. I use MailChimp for my email marketing and sales. I also love the notes section on my phone and use it to make notes of new combinations of flavours and techniques when I’m eating out.
Who is your content inspiration and why?
So many - I love Food52, Erica Davies, Does my bum look 40, Edit 58 (one of my old work friends!), Elly Pear, Rosie Foodie. I just like people who are honest, in it for the right reasons and who seem like they’d be fun to hang out with in real life.
What do you like to do on weekends? Where can we find you hanging out?
You’ll probably find me in the kitchen, cooking, plotting, drinking and chatting with my children and our friends. When we renovated our house we wanted a big social space centred around the kitchen so that I could teach from home. I love getting the house ready and having an excuse to cook for a crowd.
I spend time with my husband and my two sons - Gabriel who is nearly 8 and Beau, my American born but very Mancunian son, who is 6. We usually start the day with a quick HIIT class at the gym then a National Trust walk and lunch at Altrincham Market or a country pub. Or we’ll head to Manchester, visit the museums and eat in the Northern Quarter.
At weekends I try and find time to cook and plan for the week. I grab time to read the weekend papers and magazines when I get chance.
Sunday mornings I'll be on the side of a rugby pitch, clutching a coffee watching them all practice. I still don't know the rules!
If you could go anywhere in the world or experience any one thing, what would it be?
I can't limit it. Travel is a huge love - which is why we jumped at the chance to live in California. My dream is to live in each of the major cities for a month once my boys are grown up - to live, shop and cook like a local and learn the languages.
For now, I love hitting the market wherever I go, buying local food, cooking it and eating in local restaurants where ever we end up.
We spent a few years exploring California and Mexico but now we’re back working our way around Europe. I’m as happy in a tent as I am in a five-star hotel, well not quite as happy but close!
What're your tips for staying motivated and/or organised in your work?
Lists! I’m a Bullet Journal convert. And setting aside dedicated time to work. I need to get better at having a boundary between work and home but then the upside of having blurred lines is that I can see more of my boys as I work while they’re at school and in the evening after they’re in bed.
My biggest motivation comes from the constant interaction I have with my clients and followers, seeing them cook one of my recipes and, even better, their children eating what they make is a huge boost.
What is the one piece of advice you’d give other content creators & aspiring bloggers/vloggers?
Don’t create just to get likes. Create because you love it and because you have a group of followers who love it too. Don’t compare yourself. It is easy to feel down if you’re not hitting the numbers you see other people get.
The stuff we post is such a curated view of a second or two of our day. Be honest and show your followers that you’re not perfect and they’ll be more engaged.
Fun/Random fact about you (go on, surprise us!):
I adore music but the only instrument I can play is the spoons.
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