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The Secret Sauce to Smartphone Storytelling for Business | FSMA Webinar | DH123

Smartphone Storytelling presentation by Shawn Walchef in November 2021 for the Foodservice Sales and Marketing Association

Smartphone Storytelling doesn’t have to be difficult. These tips will help you learn to tell your story online.

Speaking as a guest of honor at a Foodservice Sales and Marketing Association (FSMA) webinar, Shawn Walchef (Cali BBQ Media) shared the secret sauce to online storytelling, digital marketing for business, more inspiration and ideas.

➤ FSMA Online:

3 Takeaways From This Episode:

1. Smartphone Storytelling is Your Job –

It doesn’t matter your title at your company, you have the tools to be a smart phone storyteller. By amplifying your story and your brand story, the ability to raise awareness and connection around your company starts with you. Why? Because no one can tell your story better than you.

2. You Already Have the Most Important App –

Over the years, we’ve seen smartphone storytelling evolve from Facebook to Instagram to TikTok and everything in between. While platforms change, one app remains the same: the camera app on your phone. Regardless of how new your phone is, the camera app is the most powerful resource when it comes to smartphone storytelling.

3. Where Are You Online? –

The beauty of the internet is that you can work from anywhere. However, they have to find you somewhere. By claiming your profiles and pages online and showing up in search, you’re giving yourself and your business the best chance to be seen and the best ability to have your story shared.


Learn to Tell Your Story Online —

Shawn Walchef knows who he is, and if you’re reading this story there’s a good chance you know who he is, too.

Why is that? Because the Cali BBQ Media founder is invested in online storytelling to connect with the world.

Whether creating content for his restaurant, sharing videos about the power of social media, or posting photos of his family, Shawn Walchef is fully sold on the idea that digital technology has the power to propel both business and relationships.

The ingredients may surprise you, however, if you’re reading this on a smartphone consider yourself prepared to jump into smartphone storytelling.


1. Smartphone Storytelling Starts With You:

For starters, you’re probably wondering, ‘Who in my company should be in charge of smart phone storytelling?’

Well, whether you’re the owner, accountant, public relations director or the janitor, the answer is the same: you.

“It’s your job to tell your story, no matter what position you are in the company,” Shawn states. “The more people that start talking about the work that they do in sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution, the bigger impact that you’re going to make.”

Now that you know it’s on you, how do you get started?

By doing it every day. Just like any other facet of business, having consistent deliverables and real goals go into the practice of making smartphone storytelling a habit.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re on an Android phone or an iPhone,” Shawn Walchef (@shawnpwalchef) said. “The most powerful tool you have is the camera app. If you do nothing else, you need to move the camera app to the home screen of your smartphone, and you need to accept the fact that nobody on Earth has your perspective of your business.”

With the camera app, your storytelling begins.

2. Post More Short-form Videos #shorts:

Creating content should go deeper than just taking a photo and posting a caption on social media.

“Video is the easiest way to solve all of your social media problems,” declares Shawn. “Short form video specifically.”

“Do all of your knowledge in less than one minute. You post that video on TikTok, that video works on LinkedIn, that video works on Instagram and that video works on Facebook. And it is a terrifying experience, but for the 10% of you that decide to actually take action, it’s not about posting one video, it’s about developing the habit. In doing so, you can develop deep relationships and business opportunities that are beyond your wildest dreams.”

Once you’ve taken the plunge of making a one-minute video, not only do you have sharable video that can go on any and every platform, you have audio and visuals that can live in various forms.

3. More is Better:

For Shawn Walchef and his Cali BBQ Media content team, creating short-form videos can cover any and every subject. Famously, they have made videos created to hire new talent, shown how his tri-tip barbecue is made and even done an unboxing of their Toast POS system.

“The more that you start sharing your story online, the more that you’ll connect with other people in your space that are also doing it,” notes Shawn during the FSMA webinar.

“They’re going to find you on the internet. They’re going to find you on these platforms. And if you make compelling content, if you do all the things that you already do in real life, but you publish them online, all of a sudden somebody will see that piece of content everyone was worried about. And if you make compelling content that makes them stop scrolling and they go, ‘Hey, you have to see this video,’ and they share that video? Now, all of a sudden you’ve made a deep connection.”

4. Repetition is Vital:

Essentially, the secret sauce to creating content online is simply to keep doing it. By putting yourself out there on video, you can continually improve your ability to tell your story and how it relates to the brand.

While getting your story out there is important, it’s also important that people can find you.

“One of the most important things you can do right now today is look at your presence on the internet,” emphasizes Shawn during the FSMA Digital Media Explosion presentation.

“How are you showing up in search results on Google? How are you showing up on the Apple phone in Safari? How are you showing up in a Yahoo search when people type in the name of your business or the product they’re looking for? Are you showing up?”

Having a strong digital footprint for yourself and your company is vital in the modern era of branding and business. By creating content, speaking on podcasts and being featured in articles, potential clients, customers and employees can have a grander sense of who you are and what you do before you even connect.

5. Create Profiles Everywhere:

The second step of online visibility is making sure that all your social platforms are active, complete and true to you. Not only is this important for branding and awareness, it’s essential in being found and the ability to network.

“If we can’t tag you then we can’t promote you,” admits Shawn. “If you don’t have a digital presence on these platforms, there’s no awareness. But the more that everybody starts to tag everybody now, you start to gain awareness for what you’re trying to accomplish.”

6. Sharing is Hard But You Can Do It:

At this point, telling you and your brand’s story online and appearing online sounds both simple and daunting. That’s because it is. While winning the digital game is straightforward in approach, it takes a commitment and a willingness to put yourself out there that few are truly ready to take on.

For Shawn Walchef, a man you already know because he chose to do what was difficult but also at his fingertips, you know who he is and can easily find him. The proof is in the pudding as they say, as the man with a restaurant that’s hard to find on the map couldn’t be easier to find online.

“We built our brand in a very difficult location at a very difficult time,” Shawn says on starting in Spring Valley, CA in the midst of a recession. “And we’ve been able to do over $30 million in sales in the last 13 years. Digital is where you have to focus.”

Smartphone Storytelling presentation by Shawn Walchef in November 2021 for the Foodservice Sales and Marketing Association

-Feature article by Cali BBQ Media Writer Ian Stonebrook.


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