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Ben Arnot has another Smoking Hot Confession to share — he’s not scared to fail. That’s because he nails it when it counts.
The Australian barbecue educator, Smoking Hot Confessions podcast host, and self-taught digital media mastermind, was our guest on Digital Hospitality, where Ben Arnot shared stories and lessons about his digital growth, the business of BBQ, and hacks for Planning, Producing, Publishing, and Promoting your own digital media online.
“The purpose of Smoking Hot Confessions is to help people improve their lives through the power of BBQ.”
• Visit Smoking Hot Confessions online : https://smokinghotconfessions.com/
• Follow Ben Arnot on Social Media @smokinghotconfessions : https://www.instagram.com/smokinghotconfessions/
• Check out the Smoking Hot Confessions podcast : https://smokinghotconfessions.com/shcpodcast/
• Meat N Fire Media Services : https://meatnfiremediaservices.com/
Ben Arnot on Digital Hospitality | Episode 104
Ben Arnot is everywhere it seems.
As the host of the Smoking Hot Confessions BBQ podcast and one-half of the husband-and-wife Meat N Fire Media Services company, Ben’s online engagement spans time zones, platforms, and language barriers.
However, during the pandemic, he was stuck at home like everyone else.
Sadly, it wasn’t all good at home.
“We hired this guy for a $15,000 job on our house and he was a complete con man,” recalls Ben Arnot on the Cali BBQ Media podcast.
“It turned into a $50,000 job. We had to hire someone else to redo everything that he’d done.”
Down on cash and with the world quickly put on pause, Ben and his wife Bree Arnot had an extremely difficult call to make.
“We were in this situation of staring down the barrel of this giant mortgage and going, ‘OK, we either sell the house and move back in with my dad and try and find jobs somewhere else,’” begins Ben, “‘or we back ourselves, take stock of what we’ve got, see what can we do with it and double-down on ourselves.’”
Arnot Family Goes All-In on Digital Skills:
As you can guess by the people we have on this show, you already know what Ben did.
Doubling-down on the work skills of him and his wife, they went full force into creating content and providing digital services.
“I built this home studio that I’m sitting in now,” shares Ben Arnot. “And I started to do a bunch of different stuff while we were all in lockdown because we have quite a sizable community on Facebook.”
@SmokingHotConfessions Social Media
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SmokingHotConfessions
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smokinghotconfessions
• Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/SHConfessions
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/bbqconfessions
• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/benarnot
‘Sizeable’ is a fair choice of words. Not only is the Smoking Hot Confessions Facebook group composed of 3,000 users, the group is incredibly active and engaged.
This was true in a tumultuous 2020. Seeing his tribe in trouble, Ben Arnot dug deep to take care of his people during the pandemic by entertaining, educating and engaging online.
“During lockdown, I really felt obligated to take care of this group,” Ben says. “I put a lot of time into that and I take care of a lot of the people. One of the things we did was a barbecue game show. Sitting here in the studio, I found this online platform that would allow me to type all these questions with a photo and multiple choice answers. I worked out how to stream that live and have people engage almost like Jeopardy. We did that every Friday for ten weeks.”
Connecting to Communities Online:
While the game show received rave reviews within his community, it was the post-primetime follow up that really revealed Ben’s heart and healed.
“After each one, we had a separate session that was not recorded, and it wasn’t branded,” starts Ben. “I would actually turn off the Zoom call, take off all my branding and just kick back. We’d have a beer and just chat like a social circle. I think that that meant a lot to people just to have that.”
This connection to community online was amplified during the time of social distancing but Ben doesn’t see it going anywhere even when the pandemic is far behind us.
“I think that’s going to be the future of the barbecue scene,” Ben Arnot says. “We’re going to see a lot more digital stuff happening, a lot more digital stuff going on.”
For a man that’s seen his house almost fall apart to now seeing his show do 20 times the numbers of the past, Ben is sturdily stationed at the same home in Gold Coast, Australia, but he’s also on about every social platform there is.
That’s because it’s all about connecting with Ben.
“What’s at the core for us always has been helping people,” says the BBQ media maven who also teaches English to immigrants. “Last year during the lockdown, we were able to help not only the guest that we were interviewing, but all the other people so they can apply those techniques in their own businesses.”
For Ben and his wife, the year that started with $50,000 of home repairs and a pandemic led them to not only double-down on themselves, but also amplify their intentions.
“The show is not about us,” Ben Arnot proudly states. “The show is always about other people. The people listening. We want to make sure that they get value for time because time is the most valuable thing that we have.”
For a man that made the most of what most considered a lost year, we’ll take his word for it.
— Feature Article by Cali BBQ Media Content Creator Ian Stonebrook. Get in touch with Ian on Instagram and Twitter at @IanStonebrook
Watch and Listen to More:
Host Ben Arnot interviews Shawn Walchef on the Smoking Hot Confessions podcast about Ghost Kitchens: https://smokinghotconfessions.com/shcpodcast156/
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