We are constantly looking for innovative strategies to get new clients and expand our reach. Some of the ways may work better in your location than others, but they are worth a go. We've compiled a list of the most frequent ways pet sitters throughout the world offer their services.
If you own a dog walking or pet-sitting business, you've certainly heard a lot about marketing and the need for an internet presence. This is the article for you if you're in the pet business.
It is true that marketing encompasses far more than the traditional features, particularly for businesses without a physical site. Many pet sitters will tell me that recommendations and word of mouth are sufficient. So, guess what? What if....your most important client relocates unexpectedly? What if you have to relocate and don't have a website or marketing strategy in place, forcing you to start from scratch? What if a new pet-sitting service arrives in town and grabs the majority of your clients?
Those things, however, should not prevent you from beginning your own dog-walking business. Always keep in mind that fortune favours the prepared! That is why, if these things occur, we want to be as prepared as possible. And having these in place will not only help your firm become well-known in your community, but it may also be the catalyst that rockets your personal brand into the stratosphere. There are a few crucial actions you can take to guarantee your business is profitable and well-known. It's wonderful to have references, but nothing is certain in life.
You must be willing to do new activities that are outside of your comfort zone as a pet sitter or dog walker. Professional site design and social media tactics might be intimidating, but they don't have to be. There are several easy strategies to broaden your marketing efforts, and I swear they're easier than you think!
Local print advertising
Don't underestimate the effectiveness of local print advertising. Advertise in local newspapers, magazines, or community newsletters. You may also print and distribute fliers or pamphlets in high-traffic places such as pet stores, veterinary clinics, and dog parks. Make sure your advertising is visually appealing and includes all of the necessary information, such as your services, contact information, and fees.
Give out cards to dog owners you encounter while dog walking or at the dog park. It allows you to speak with them and let them know who you are and how you can assist them. For some, face-to-face marketing will be the most effective. Prepare to strike up a conversation and to respond promptly to queries. You never know how much time you're going to have!
Attend community activities
Both pet-related and non-pet-related. All you need is a shirt and business cards, and having a gorgeous dog never hurts. Everyone who attends community activities such as farmers' markets, community days, parades, and artisan exhibits is generally local. So you know you're actually focusing on your target market. This form of marketing is an excellent approach to demonstrating your involvement in the community. It promotes trust and makes it simple for others to get to know you and realize who you are.
Bake Your Way
Make handmade all-natural dog treats and sell them or give them free at community events if you're a baker. You may also try volunteering for a community raffle or auction to benefit a worthy cause. Schools, churches, and recreation centers are always doing fundraisers and require items given for people to bid on/purchase. You know it's for a good cause, and people see your name attached to it.
Social Media Advertising
Pet sitters may use social media to promote their services. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter provide customized advertising alternatives, allowing you to reach out to a specific audience based on their geography, age, hobbies, and other factors. You may build eye-catching advertisements that emphasize your services and demonstrate your knowledge of pet care. Social media advertising is also inexpensive since you can set a budget and track your return on investment (ROI) in real-time.
Even a simple TikTok on how your business works can do wonders for your business. You may never know but you may be viral and burst out of the scene if your content works.
With Instagram here's how it works: Look around your neighborhood. You offer services and hashtags related to dogs and pets. You might check for a local dog park or popular hiking paths. Then, respond to those posts and follow the individual. They'll recognize you and be aware of your services right away. Make sure your website URL is included in your profile so that people may access it. Obviously, you'll want to upload a lot of lovely pet images as well as infographics about your services and pet care information for the owners.
Referral programs are a great technique to get your current customers to refer new clients to you. Provide incentives such as a free pet-sitting session or a service discount for each recommendation they bring in. Word-of-mouth referrals are extremely strong, and happy customers may be your finest advocates.
Client recommendations and word of mouth are enormous and, by far, the most prevalent way for pet care specialists to acquire new clients. You can't go wrong with someone raving about how amazing you are to a buddy. You may promote it by offering a discount for each referral they make to you.
Advertisements in a Local Pet Connection Magazine
Don't underestimate the importance of ad placement in newspapers and magazines, but don't be concerned if it doesn't work for you.
Connect with the Local Vets
Veterinary and grooming clinics! Bring in pizza or doughnuts on a regular basis. During a staff meeting, ask to introduce yourself and your services and if you may drop business cards at the front. Pet owners frequently inquire of veterinarians and groomers about who cares for their dogs. A reference from them is quite strong. Get out there and make some connections! You must have a lot of local businesses where you live, right? You may begin creating a referral network and connections in your local neighborhood. If you want to collaborate with other pet companies, I've written an article about how to approach them.
Local Facebook Pages
This is a method of making a post visible to people in a certain location. If you have current clients in the group, they will remark on the post and promote you without asking. Your message should contain a link to your website as well as a quick introduction to who you are and what you do.
Purchase Booking Software
There is a plethora of software and solutions available to help you automate specific areas of your business. Scout is a piece of software that is highly suggested for pet-sitting businesses. Scout is a comprehensive and user-friendly program that may help you streamline the operations of your pet-sitting business. It is intended to assist you in managing your reservations, customer information, and payments, as well as providing useful metrics to measure your success. With Scout, you can worry less about the tiny details of operating your business and more about the bigger picture!
Set up your Website!
Do you have a website, by the way? Is it simple to use and SEO-friendly? It takes time to work on it, but it is well worth it in the end. Getting people to look you up is only half of the battle. They must also enjoy what they see and understand what you do. Having your own website is similar to having a digital house to welcome your consumers too. You may simply make or commission a designer to produce one that is professionally designed and user-friendly for both new and returning clients. You may incorporate booking features, making it much easier to expand your business. You can use third-party website programs like Squarespace and see how it will help your business bloom in this modern internet era!
Another efficient advertising tool for pet sitters is Google Ads. You may use Google advertisements to build advertisements that appear at the top of search results when people look for pet sitters in your region. You may establish a budget and target certain keywords relating to your company, such as "dog walker" or "cat sitter." Google Ads also provides comprehensive statistics, allowing you to measure clicks, impressions, and conversions. Google My Business is highly effective and can help you with SEO and putting your page in front of customers. It is a free and simple tool for managing a company's or organization's online presence throughout Google, including Search and Maps. To get the most out of it, you may optimize it.
Local SEO: For pet sitters who wish to be found online, local search engine optimization (SEO) is essential. Check to see if your website is optimized for local keywords like "pet sitter near me" or "dog walker in [your city]." Claim your company in local directories like Google My Business, Yelp, and Angie's List. These directories will assist potential clients in finding you and providing them with all of the necessary information about your company.
Finally, there are several efficient advertising tactics for pet sitters. Experiment with several techniques to see which ones perform best for your company. Whether you use social media advertising, Google Ads, print advertising, referral programs, or local SEO, the aim is to reach out to potential consumers and demonstrate your knowledge of pet care. With the correct promotion, you can expand your business and give your furry customers the attention they deserve.
And if you need more links or resources on how to improve your pet-sitting business, check our brief article here.