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Why Rick Bayless Needs to Get Cooking on YouTube

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    NEWSLETTERS

    There's no question that chef Rick Bayless, owner of Frontera Grill and Topolobambo, is a restaurateur rockstar. Currently, the man's got 138,640 followers on Twitter and 14,716 fans on Facebook -- no small feat in the foodiesphere.

    But visiting his YouTube pages is downright depressing. Inc.Well aims to illustrate best-practices for up-and-coming entrepreneurs, but in this case, we'd like to call out "what not to do." We haven't spoken to Bayless about his video posts, but we have some observations that could be pertinent.
    Rick has two YouTube sites. That is branding no-no No. 1. Youtube.com/user/rickbaylessdotcom looks desolate. There's one video posted with 1,187 views since August 2010, and the date that someone from Bayless' team last visited the account was 8 months ago. Rick's other page, youtube.com/user/fronteragrill, looks only slightly better -- it has similar colors to RickBayless.com, his main website. There's also only one video posted there that has gotten 17,322 views since March 2009. Last visit date? One year ago.
    What happened, Bayless? Were you so bowled over by roasted tomatillos that you just couldn't look back? Did your Public Television show take priority?
    Here are several suggestions (just suggestions, because we revere Bayless's brand) to help him move back into the YouTube sphere and rock it like the culinary idol that we know he is.
    By the way, a quick search of Chicago chefs and restaurants in Chicago brought me nothing in the way of great YouTube pages, which leaves open the opportunity for an enterprising chef to start posting videos.
    Here's what Bayless should consider.
    1. Scratch the two different pages and convert them into one. Since your fronteragrill page has 165 subscribers, I'd start there.
    2. Post more videos. This is the essence of YouTube and for a chef, far and away the easiest way to show people your cooking, what you serve in your restaurants, and why you've built a business based on the Mexican kitchen. I love me some guacamole and I've made it countless times, but I could always use pointers from one Rick Bayless speaking to me in my own kitchen. Without regularly posting content, you lose momentum and potential customers.
    3. Add your main website's URL to the beginning of each video's description. The video you have posted right now has this description: "Rick makes Roasted Poblano Rajas." Instead it should say "http://www.rickbayless.com Rick makes Roasted Poblano Rajas." I'd also request a bit more description, ideally with keywords that help direct folks to your main website. You can even list your Facebook and Twitter profiles in the description so folks know where else you live online.
    4. Keep the tags to each video the same, and the titles similar, too. That way, the 'suggestions' videos that pop up to the right of your uploaded video are also yours. Create a playlist, which is easy to do and can really help you. If you really want to spice things up, spoof a viral video. T-Mobile just did it with "The T-Mobile Royal Wedding" which was a spoof of the "JK Wedding Entrance Dance," a video that went viral and now has 65 million views. (Many thanks to Chicago tech goddesses Nancy Hoch, Jen Knoedl, Barbara Maldonado and Hope Bertram for these tidbits.)
    5. Will public television permit you to post two-minute teasers on your YouTube page? Pretty please?
    These tips should set you off to a good start. Any questions? Happy to discuss over pollito en pebre with some ostiones (and some ceviche fronterizo, with a few mochomos) anytime. Your kitchen or mine? 

    Jill Salzman is currently growing her third entrepreneurial venture, The Founding Moms, the world’s first and only kid-friendly collective of monthly meetups for mom entrepreneurs. Having built two successful companies, she launched The Founding Moms to connect mom entrepreneurs around the globe with one another.In her spare time, Jill enjoys kloofing, traveling to small towns, and erasing her daughters’ crayon artwork from the kitchen walls.