HSC Influencer Series with Skyler Bouchard
Skyler is one of the youngest female “foodie” personalities making a name for herself online, on television and through social media. As a young entrepreneur, self-trained recipe developer, and social media personality, she is seen as a role model to millennials across the map and her blog serves as an uncensored guide for people looking to push their culinary boundaries and (as she puts it) get #ballsy with their taste buds.
How did you get started in blogging and why a focus on food?
I basically popped out of the womb eating duck fat curly fries. Not actually, but if they had duck fat curly fry baby food, that’s what I would have been eating. I started blogging back in college because I knew I wanted to entertain but I also wanted to do something different than what was already out there. I always had this passion for food (whether it be trying diet fads, finding limited edition Oreos at Walmart or eating oysters and caviar with my parents) and I realized at the time that there was a lack of young women in this field on television. Of course, there were the Food Network female hosts who were mainly cast in the kitchen, but I didn’t feel like I could relate to them as I categorized myself as a young Andrew Zimmern. So, my journalism professor one day said “start a blog about something you like” and that’s where it all started. My Instagram followed soon after and I slowly built and grew my brand.
You’re so adventurous with your food! Tell us about your favorite food experience. Where was it? What was the dish and who was the chef?
One of my favorite food experiences was dinner at Eleven Madison Park. There was no one dish that was my favorite, but the whole meal was incredible. We went there to celebrate Christmas a bit early with my family in New York. For those of you who don’t know about Eleven Madison Park, it’s a very luxe dining experience. There are eleven courses and each one of them is a whole new experience. For example, one of our courses was gift-wrapped and we had to unwrap it to eat it. Just really cool stuff and impeccable food. The chef is Daniel Humm.
Now tell us about your least favorite food experience!
I was working with a restaurant and they sent out sardines. Then they sent out olives. Those are two of my least favorite foods. It’s not their fault, but I was just like “oh no, please pass the pinot noir.”
You’re also a TV host! What came first: Instagram or the Food Network?
I actually started blogging I wanted to be a TV host. It’s funny how everything really falls into one place. With the blog came the Instagram and experimenting with YouTube and other video channels. Then, one lucky summer day, Food Network reached out to me back in 2015. I’ve been doing digital content with them since then!
You work with a lot of restaurants and brands Do you reach out to brands or do they reach out to you? How do you decide who to work with?
With branded partnerships, brands typically approach me and I provide them consulting services to come up with specific campaigns designed to benefit them. I am very selective with the brands who reach out to me and don’t like to work with those who do not align with my voice or mission. If they can’t take a joke, I can’t work with them.
What would you say is the strongest asset or skill that you posses and have used to build your business?
I would say my ability to execute things I envision has helped me come a long way in blogging and in business. When I say I’m going to do something or if I have made up my mind about something, I will do it. No questions asked. No sleep will be had until it is done. (Also a weakness, I guess.)
How important do you think is it to have clear goals and a business plan when it comes to blogging professionally?
I’m going to be honest with you. I had neither when I started my blog and/or business. But, I do think having both is very important. The likelihood of someone having an accurate business plan and 100% clear goals at the beginning of starting a new blog/brand is very slim. I think that starting your own blog/business is all about adapting and figuring out what works with you and your audience. You need to find a happy medium that allows you to be you, be than other bloggers, and then you need to make sure you’re producing content that keeps your audience coming back for more. Then, with that, comes a business plan where you can talk to advertisers and say “hey, this is who I am and this is what I can do for you.” The beginning phases take a lot of trial and error, in my opinion.
In your opinion, what are the vital skills needed to be a successful blogger?
A strong personality, an eye for production and the willingness to incorporate production into your daily life.
What’s one vital organizational tool or system that you use every day and couldn’t live without?
This is a weird answer, but if I don’t go to the gym my brain becomes a scattered mess. I actually go do emails while walking on the treadmill.
Any more advice for budding bloggers?
Stop thinking about it and just do it.