You're about to hear a call between me and Chef Chris Hill. He helps chefs with personal development, which is important to the success of a kitchen—Chris knows because he's been doing this for years. He has an amazing story and a following who loves what he does, but his audience is having trouble getting started. We stumble on an amazing strategy over the course of this conversation so make sure you stay tuned!
We start off by talking about Chris's journey so far and what his ideal career path would look like. We talk about his audience and what their barrier to entry is, then we dive in on creating a quick-win to encourage them to make progress. We springboard off this strategy, diving into tactics for rallying his audience and getting them fired up through a challenge. We run through a number of strategies on this like tailoring the challenge to the right audience segments, leveraging superfans, creating natural next steps for his audience, and more. Chris ends the call with clarity and excitement—I can't wait to hear how it goes!
What You'll Learn:
Learn how to help your audience take action by getting them fired up through challenges and quick wins.
AskPat listeners get a thirty-day free trial to their software when you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section.
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 1061 of AskPat 2.0. This is a podcast where you're about to listen in on a real life coaching call between myself and an entrepreneur just like you.
And today we're speaking with Chef Chris Hill. He's a chef, and cooks things, and he's got an amazing story. But even more than that, he has a following who loves what he does, yet they're having a little bit of trouble getting started with the path that he knows that they need to go on. So he helps chefs with personal development, and chefs often feel very stuck in the positions that they're in, people who work in the kitchen feel stuck, and they just have a hard time understanding how to develop personally, which is really important to the success of a kitchen as well. So Chris knows this. He's been doing this for years, and so we're going to talk to him today to talk about a very specific strategy that just came up organically in this conversation that we were both very juiced about. So I'm excited to share it with you today, and you'll see exactly how that comes about.
But before that, just definitely want to mention and give a big thanks to our sponsor today, which is FreshBooks.com, an amazing cloud accounting software. Seriously, you've heard me talk about it before if you've heard the show, and you need to get on this. Seriously, if you are still manually keeping track of your finances or going in at the end of every month and kind of doing things—like, why not make that a little bit more automated? That's what passive income is about, doing the things that only you need to do, and allowing for tools and/or people to do the things that you don't need to do better and faster. And that's what FreshBooks can do.
So if you want to get a free trial through FreshBooks, just go to FreshBooks.com/askpat and make sure you enter "Ask Pat" in the "How did you hear about us?" section. It's going to give you easy access to their accounting software, to their invoicing software. Literally in less than thirty seconds you can create a professional looking invoice, send it off, and get paid sooner. Like, you have to check it out: FreshBooks.com/askpat. Thank you so much.
All right. Now let's get to today's chat with Chris Hill, Chef Chris Hill, that is.
Hey, Chris. Welcome to AskPat 2.0. Thanks so much for being here today.
Chris Hill: Thank you, Pat. How's it going?
Pat: It's going really well, man. I'm stoked for this. I love to have you introduce to me and to the audience, who is Chris Hill and like, what do you do.
Chris: Yeah, absolutely. Well, it's a privilege to be here. I went to college, I grew up in Atlanta, went to college, got a double major in English and Spanish. Early on, after graduating, realized that was not going to get me very far. Ended up getting a master's in marketing. Ended up doing consulting for a little while after I graduated from grad school, but then all along the way I worked in restaurants, basically everything you could possibly imagine from waiting tables, bartending, in the kitchen. And then I really grew a really strong passion for cooking, and ended up moving up to Virginia to work with my cousin who owns some restaurants up here. Opened up my own restaurant, kind of grew myself into becoming a chef, and ran the restaurant as a partner there for about five years. Sold my share in that a couple years ago, and all along the way, I was building my brand up, my personal brand, and doing a lot of TV, doing a lot of writing, being an English major.
And then finally I decided I wanted to kind of spend my time working with chefs, helping them better grow their careers. So I started doing a lot more writing. Ended up having a couple posts go viral that helped me kind of build my audience, and now I have a podcast and do a lot of speaking, or at least a little bit of speaking here and there. Yeah, connect with chefs, kind of not on the cooking side but more in the leadership, company culture, building a team that is inspired and wants to do great work every day.
Pat: Dude, that is so cool. That is so incredible.
Pat: Well done. I knew I was speaking to a chef today, but, guys, I've done a bunch of these calls back to back, and when I got on with Chris—I'm looking at his avatar here on Skype and it's a circle with his face but he's holding a knife out. And I'm like, "Wait, what is this conversation going to be about? This is a little scary," because you're like holding a knife out, but it's a chef's knife. So we're all good. Anyway, I just wanted to share that.
Chris: Everyone thinks I'm like, a Dexter.
Pat: You kind of look like Dexter a little bit in this picture. It's a really good picture though. But anyway, dude, that's super cool. So I love that you're cooking, you're doing something that you love. I love that you've traced the kind of journey a little bit and that you're helping other chefs and that you have a podcast. Tell us where we can go find you really quick before we dive in.
Chris: Sure. So my probably biggest audience is around Facebook. I have 147,000 followers over there: Chef Chris Hill. And then my website is Chris Hill Online. Yeah, Instagram, @The_ChrisHill. So yeah, different places.
Pat: Sweet. Thank you, Chef. I appreciate that. So what's on your mind?
Chris: Yeah. So I've been building, growing this audience for a long time. I have a really loyal following. For a long time I didn't ask for anything. I just put really, content out there I thought could be helpful, and I know that there's a need as I'm sure a lot of folks listening, and probably you as well, Pat, know that there's just a lot of issues with running a kitchen with kitchen culture and different language barriers, and people gain issues with drugs and alcohol and all sorts of things. So I know there's a strong need for it, and you play around with different things to monetize so that my kind of goal is . . . I've heard Jeff Goins talk about this too. Walt Disney says, "We make more movies not to make more money but to be able to make more movies." That's kind of where I am. I teach part-time just because I enjoy it, and I'd probably still do that if I was able to ramp up my income incredibly. But I'm looking for, I guess a little bit of clarity in trying to figure out what I can do to create that stream where I can keep doing the work and grow it to where I know it can be.
Pat: Well, if I were to ask you what, ultimately would you want your day to be like, Chris, what would that day look like to you?
Chris: I do a little bit of speaking, so like probably an event a two a month. I just got back from Amsterdam, speaking over there. So I love connecting with audiences in that way. I'll do a live stream on Facebook a couple times a week and get a lot of people engaged there, answering questions. So I like to spend my time really building content that I know can be helpful. I also have a program called Kitchen Leadership Academy on Facebook that I launched last fall, I guess it was, really just to kind of see what the response would be and also to kind of help keep me engaged with the average chef. That did okay. But I guess really connecting with people, maybe kind of like yourself with three different platforms with the podcast and with speaking and with one-on-one basis as well.
Pat: I'm curious like, what do you think the real challenge is here for you?
Chris: I think one of the challenges, and I'm sure you've heard this before too, but one of the things with the industry and a lot of folks that I'm connected with, is a lot of times they're busy working, and there's definitely a certain part of the demographic that gets it, that knows the need to keep growing personally, but also in their careers and everything. A lot of the folks that probably need to be doing that stuff feel like they're maybe too busy or they're making $8, $9, or $10 an hour and might not see the investment as being worth it or something they can do at this point in their career, I guess.
Pat: Right. But they're the ones that need the help the most, right?
Chris: Right. Yeah, exactly. So it's kind of like the catch-22 at least. I know there's a way to kind of crack through there. I've written a couple books too; I'm working on another one right now. But I know, as I'm sure you do as well, that's not going to . . . They do okay, but I'd like to be able to do something else that's really more of a consistent stream of income.
Pat: What would you say is their biggest—for those people that we're talking about who really need this, what is their biggest objection to even considering to grow this part of their life versus a lot of the day to day work that they're doing? Like, what's the biggest objection?
Chris: It's a lot of folks that are maybe disgruntled that feel like they're just kind of stuck working for the man, that they'll never kind of break out. I try and reiterate the fact that everyone who has made it successful, opened their own restaurant, built a big-time chef brand, they started where you are. I think a lot of people maybe see it as daunting and coming from maybe humble roots and backgrounds. They feel like maybe it's not in it for them.
Pat: Sure. Like it's not possible. Like, "Who am I to do it? I don't even deserve it," or, "It's gotta be lucky." Like, those are some things that I hear all the time.
Pat: Like people come up to me, they go, "Pat, you're so lucky." I'm like, "I worked hard for this." I still work hard, and I know you've worked hard too. And I think people are very afraid of the journey, and I think they need a person who can help them on that journey, which is kind of where you come in, Chris. What would be a . . . I'm just kind of sort of feeling around still on where we can sort of begin to start to insert ourselves into those people's lives. What might be like a really good quick win for those people that would get them to trigger in their head like, "Whoa. Maybe this is something I could do."
Chris: Yeah, as you started to ask that, one thing popped in my mind, and that's that maybe it's getting a raise, even if it's $1 an hour, that's validation that, "Okay. I'm moving in the right direction," or that, "Hey, at least people recognize me," or maybe it's not a raise but maybe it's a promotion to a job. Right now they might feel stuck, but if they work hard over the next two weeks, month, two months, there's a promotion down the line for them that can kind of give them a new sense of purpose and kind of move them forward.
Pat: Dude, that's a huge realization, man. So I'm thinking of a friend of mine. His name is Ramit Sethi. I don't know if you know who that is.
Pat: IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com, and he got his start by teaching people about personal finance. And he has a really interesting take on it. He talks a lot about different things. He doesn't talk about, "Here are the funds that you need to invest in this week," and a lot of the mainstream personal finance-related things. He talks about other things like getting promotions and getting a raise and starting your own business and those kinds of things. So it's bigger wins that would allow for you to have a better lifestyle, and his whole idea of like, "I will teach you to be rich," is not just like, "I'm going to help you make more money," it's like, "I'm going to help you live a more fulfilled life." So a lot of what you're saying resonates with me because I had this friend, Ramit, who teaches people how to get a raise in a corporate job or start their own business, and those kinds of things.
I remember one time he told me that, or I heard on a podcast or somewhere, an interview perhaps, where the idea of getting a raise is such . . . that's so much easier to make more money that way and feel better about yourself, versus like, let me put these funds away for twenty years and then get back to them later, right? And you can see instant results and instant worth. So I love the idea of you helping people.
Like, maybe it's going to be the way into your brand and everything else that you teach, or maybe it is the course. Maybe you help people understand what they can . . . like how to go into a boss's office and what to say and how to even approach it. I mean, there's so many things that I'm imagining that people would be scared about. But if you help them through that, those are just scary enough for people to go, "Wow. Okay. This is going to be crazy but I'm going to do it, and Chris is giving me the path." And then imagine like, what's their mind going to be like on the other end of that single moment if they get that raise, and how much now they are going to come back for you for more. I mean, I think that's an incredible realization.
Do you have anything that is broken down into just that particular moment? Because that's something either worth paying for—maybe it's like a, "Hey, you pay for this only when you get the raise," or it could be the way in, like the free thing that you offer that then gets them into everything else you have to offer. Do you have anything that talks about specifically the promotion or the raise for a person like that?
Chris: Yeah. For sure. I have a couple blog posts that are related to that. I mean, one very specifically . . .
Pat: Was that one of the viral ones?
Chris: No, but, I mean, it's gotten probably 50,000 views.
Pat: Okay. So legit.
Chris: Yeah, yeah. And it's funny you say that because one of the things I always talk about is having what I call a ten-minute sweaty-palm conversation where you walk in, you know it's going to be uncomfortable, you know it's going to be tough, but if you kind of get through it and move past it, then something good's on the other end. Yeah, I have a couple posts like that. So maybe offering one as a free ebook, and when they subscribe, you think? Or . . .
Pat: Here's what's working really well now. Like, ebooks are cool, and I think the only problem with an ebook is everybody already has so many things to read, or maybe they don't have the time to read. And an ebook is something that unfortunately a person downloads and usually just lets sit on their hard drive, right? I think you really want to hit home with this, and so what I would be really stoked about . . . And I'm just coming up with these ideas. You're more than welcome to slice and dice them if you will in your own way—but, a challenge. So say, for example, you go to your followers and go, "Hey, guys. We're going to do something pretty crazy. On this date, we're going to have you go into your boss's office and have a ten minute sweaty-palm conversation with them to hopefully on the other end get you a promotion or a raise or a little bit of extra time off if it's been crazy," or whatever it might be.
And the cool thing about this is you rally everybody behind each other, and you make this giant, almost kind of event as a result of it, and you get to pull out the amazing testimonials and success stories. You get to have people in your Facebook group like, support each other. I've done similar things with like, less cool things like, "Hey, let's get your first 100 emails. Let's all do this together at the same time," and even that alone gets people fired up.
So I can imagine like people getting behind Raise Day, if you want to call it that. I don't know. I'm just making up names. But like, "Hey, guys. Raise Day is coming next week," or, "Sweaty-Palm's Day is coming next week." Maybe that's better. "So look out for it. Here are some tips for you coming up. Make sure you join the email list so I can send you things on what to say. I'm going to send you like, different scenarios that might happen." And remember, it's all about the other end of this, and then you have this big event, you have all these people doing this thing and how incredible, just that alone, and sort of just, your mission.
But also it gives you a good opportunity to go, "All right. I hope you enjoyed that. There are so many other things we can do together, and hopefully shows you have the capability. Yes, you're maybe feeling stuck, but look, you can get unstuck and you've just proven it. If you want to get more unstuck," or I don't know what the language is, but like, "Here is a offer that I'm going to share with you that you don't have yet. You've already made progress. Just keep going, or if you want to get more direct help from me in accountability and some more information, here's a course or here's something. Here's an event that I'm going to be speaking at." Or whatever you want to share on the other end. There should be something on the other end.
For me, the other end was, "Hey, you got your first 100 email subscribers. Fantastic. You need to put them somewhere. Go get ConvertKit and build your email list there." And people just naturally go, "Okay. That makes sense because you've proven I can do this. I know I can get more. I'm going to get ConvertKit, Pat. I'm going to make sure I go through your affiliate link because you've helped me out so much." So it's like you're giving them a small win here, and you're making it all happen in a short period of time. This could be pretty amazing. I don't know. What are your feelings right now?
Chris: I love that idea. I really do. I definitely see that working as an event-type of feel, and I think like, I've heard so many other guests too, talk about how I have a great community, and the hardcore folks that keep coming back, they're there to kind of support each other. I'll be live-streaming, I'll answer a question, and before I can even get to it in the livestream, somebody else has already kind of gave them some advice. I think that could be really cool. Do you think that's the kind of thing that, since I do have a decent audience on Facebook, I could do like a two or three hour livestream where even like, during the event people could . . .
Pat: Come on with you.
Chris: Yeah, come on with me and kind of tell their story about going to their boss. Having something like that?
Pat: That'd be epic, man. So it could maybe be like a two day thing, and then maybe on day one, you kind of, at the end of the day have like a recap and help people who maybe like, "We're going to go in the door," but then stop and talk about that a little bit, and share some of those success stories that came out of it to encourage them. And then on the second day, it's like, "Okay, guys. Last day. Let's do this. Coming on live with more people who had done it. Like what did you feel beforehand? Were you nervous? What happened after?" You're probably going to get some people who are going to go, "You know, I walked in and I said what you said, and I didn't get a raise or I didn't get a promotion, but it just made me believe that I could actually have these conversations now. And I know what I have to do to get there." Etc, etc.
Chris: Yeah. I love that idea. I have one more kind of question about . . . So like, looking at my audience, it's a little bit segmented. So you have like, the folks that are line cooks, that are taking orders or directions from a boss. Then you have someone, another large segment of the community that's—they might already be a chef. They're making maybe $50,000 or $60,000 or $70,000, on the conservative end.
Pat: So what I would do would be—you would need to have a challenge that's specific to a target avatar. So, for example, if I went . . . So if I did a challenge that was like, "Hey, guys. Get your next 1000 emails," it might be not so attractive to the people who already have several tens of thousands, right?
Pat: And it also may be a little bit too intimidating for those who are just starting out who don't even have any, which is why the 0-100 is great because that's very doable, but it's only for beginners. It's great because beginners know it's just for them, and then advanced people know it's not for them. And so I definitely recommend having a challenge specific to a particular bucket in your audience and make it very clear this is who it's not for, and maybe even call on those chefs on like, "Hey, if you had a person asking for a raise, how would you want that person to present that to you? What would be an immediate red flag to you?" So that that way they're kind of . . . Your chefs are kind of teaching the line workers, but then you want to make sure that they know that they're going to have a chance to have something happen for them too.
So maybe for the chefs, it's like the challenge is, "Okay, chefs. On this day, we're going to do a featured menu item that is not on your menu right now. We're just going to make it a new thing that you're going to add, and it's going to show you how you can increase your earnings with something new that you can challenge yourself with and share with your customers. For any of the line workers out there, do you have any advice for like, how can a chef better approach their sous chef and line workers on any sort of surprise changes. Like what advice do you have to share with our chefs in the audience?" And that way you kind of have both kind of helping each other.
Chris: Mm-hmm. Yeah, absolutely. That makes a lot of sense. Cool.
Pat: So I think if you had literally like, a big announcement of two challenges, one specifically for one group and one for another group, and then they knew it was on the calendar, and they knew what was going to happen . . . And maybe you went live and started to tease about this a little bit and go, "Hey, I just got this idea because you're all here and you've heard this advice before, but some of you are just not taking action, and what I wanted to do was create an event that we could all get behind each other on, and for the chefs in the audience, your event's going to happen on this date, and this is what we're going to try to do. And for the others, this is your data, and this is what we're going to try to do. Let's talk about this. What do you guys think? What could we do to make this better? Are you going to be there to rally?" You can even probably find a lot of the super fans that you have who—maybe some super fans who are just diehard fans of yours who are chefs who could be like, your sort of moderators during that challenge to just try to be engaging in all those conversations to encourage people along the way. Dude, you could do so much with this, I think.
Chris: Yeah. I love it. I really do. And then on the backend of that, because . . . Do you think that . . . I'm trying to think of a way to then, us to be able to keep the conversation going. That might partially live on Facebook, but it might partially also, through my email list I'll send something out. Circle this date, something like that. But then the people that are interested that might not be connected to me, how do you think about keeping just—or just during the livestream, "Hey, make sure this works for you. Make sure to spring over to the website, and to get more content like this . . ." I'm trying to think of, like you said, sort of on the backend, having some sort of, not ask necessarily, but something that will keep the conversation going and be potentially something that they could buy a course, or something like that.
Pat: Yeah. I would definitely think ahead of time on like, after they succeed with this, what would be the next logical step for them to go deeper into this? A lot of these things that you're talking about, like getting a raise or even changing a menu, and it's a lot of psychology. It's a lot of mental preparedness and this is the stuff that seems like you're teaching in self development. And you can just mention upfront, "Hey. I teach a self development course, and it's here for chefs and line workers like you. For this challenge, I just wanted to pull a part of that out for free and show you just how powerful this is. And afterwards, for those of you who are interested, there's going the be an offer for you, but for those of you who aren't, don't worry about it. I'm not going to pressure you." And that way it's just becomes a natural conclusion. You've already mentioned it before so it's not a giant surprise. It's not a, "Hey, Chris just baited and switched us." "No, he mentioned it earlier. This is a part of his bigger thing. So he's just being honest with us." So they can't say anything about that, and then it just kind of naturally leads into that.
And then as far as like, ongoing, because these challenges that you do live are kind of like, just on that day only. One thing you could do is make this a recurring monthly thing if you wanted to do it live still, which seems like you have some superpowers related to doing things live with your audience, or you can do like what I did, which is I automated it. So I had a 72-hour challenge to build your list to 100, and after I did that live—we had 14,000 people participate by the way. That's the other thing about these challenges, is that people rally and they go, "Hey, on this date, you got to do this with me. Let's band together. Let's find our friends who this would be useful for." You're going to find some new people coming your way just as a result of this as well." But to automate it . . . So when it was live, I just basically said, "Hey, I'm going to deliver emails to you with your instructions for the next three days. And after that last day, I'll have one final email with next steps." So it was already built ahead of time. Then I could focus during the challenge on just communicating with my audience.
But afterwards, I basically just kept those same emails, and I had it just be okay, soon as a person subscribes on this landing page, they're in the three days now. They don't need me to do it live. They miss out on the sort of community aspect of it, but if they want to . . . Like, any of you listening right now—if you want to get your first 100 subscribers, go to 100Emails.com. You're going to get one email per day for the next three days. And it'll teach you to do that. And now any day, or every day, people are going and they're actually doing that on their own now. So you can position it that way too.
Chris: Yeah. And maybe finding certain articles that are along the same lines and creating a new pop-up form that says, "Join the challenge," something like that.
Pat: Love that. I love that idea.
Chris: Cool. I love it, man. I really appreciate the clarity, the help. It makes terrible sense.
Pat: Dude, you're awesome, man. So what is your very next step, just to clarify before we hang up?
Chris: I think, for me, it's figuring out what we've been talking about the last probably five minutes of . . . I love the idea of creating an event out of this. Get your next promotion/raise, and possibly getting some good copy to go with that. But then finding articles that can tie into that, and then continue to create content around that as well. And then creating a launch date for that, creating some awareness, buzzing it up a little bit, and then yeah, going from there.
Pat: Dude, I love it. You've got clarity and that's why I'm here. So, Chris, you're amazing, man. Where can people go and learn more from you?
Pat: Dude, appreciate you. Good luck.
Chris: Thanks, bud. Cheers.
Pat: All right. I hope you enjoyed that episode with Chef Chris Hill. He's got a lot of amazing things going on, and we'll put all the links in the show notes and stuff on the website. So if you go to AskPat.com, you'll see this episode and all the other episodes, plus you'll also see the application button on that page for if you want to also get coached just like Chris did today.
Now, I can't guarantee that you'll be selected. But every once in a while I go in and when we need a new batch of episodes, I go reach out to very interesting stories, very interesting people, entrepreneurs from all levels so that I can help you out and hopefully, even if you don't get selected—I know a lot of you have put in your application. I might still reach out to you. You might not know. I go back into the . . . I don't even know what I'm trying to say. The people who sent inquiries a long time ago. We go back really far to see well, how can we mix it up, how can we get some new, interesting people in here and how can we help them out? So if you've put an application in, all is not lost. I might come back to you in the future, but the truth is you're not going to get selected if you don't apply. So please apply. I can't select everybody, but I won't select you if you don't.
And also, make sure you hit subscribe if you haven't already. This is show that just continues to grow, and I love that. And the more subscribers there are, the more people we can help and the more people who get to hear these messages. And I cannot wait for the episodes that are coming up for you. So make sure you do that, and a big thank you to everybody who's recently left a review on the platform that you listen to the show on. You're amazing, Team Flynn. Keep on keeping on. I'll see you in the next episode. Cheers. Team Flynn for the win.
Want more from SPI?
Enter your information below if you'd like to join our newsletter!