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Bella in your business pet sitting podcast

Episode 43: Helping Your Clients Deal With Pet Loss Grief With Wendy Van de Poll

In this episode, Bella speaks with Wendy Van de Poll, the founder of The Center for Pet Loss Grief and an international best selling and award-winning author and speaker. They discuss pet loss grief and what pet professionals can say and do to be supportive to their clients in their loss. They also talk about how pet professionals can deal with their own grief.

Topics covered are:

  • What is pet loss grief
  • What you as a pet professional should do when a client gets the news that their pet has a terminal illness
  • How to help your clients when their pets die
  • What you shouldn’t say or do
  • How a pet professional can deal with their own grief over losing an animal client
Wendy Van de Poll

Wendy Van de Poll

Wendy Van de Poll is a pioneering leader in the field of pet loss grief support. She is dedicated to providing a safe place for her clients to express their grief over the loss of their pets. What makes Wendy successful with her clients is that she get’s grief! “Over the years I’ve dealt with my own grief and helping many families communicate and connect with their pets long after their loss. It’s what I’ve done since I was just 5 yrs old!”

She is compassionate and supportive to all who know her. Her passion is to help people when they are grieving over the loss of a pet and her larger than life love for animals has led her to devote her life to the mission of increasing the quality of life between animals and people no matter what stage they are in their cycle of life! She has been called the animal whisperer. She is a Certified End of Life and Pet Grief Support Coach, Certified Pet Funeral Celebrant, Animal Medium and Communicator. She is the founder of The Center for Pet Loss Grief and an international best selling and award-winning author and speaker. She holds a Master’s of Science degree in Wolf Ecology and Behavior and has run with wild wolves in Minnesota, coyotes in Massachusetts and foxes in her backyard. She lives in the woods with her husband, two crazy birds, her rescue dog Addie and all kinds of wildlife.

You can find out more about Wendy and the Center for Pet Loss Grief at https://centerforpetlossgrief.com.

 

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Bella in your business pet sitting podcast

Episode 42: How To Use Facebook Groups and Video In Your Pet Sitting Business

On this episode Bella speaks with Maureen McCarthy, owner of Love and Kisses Pet Sitting. Bella has found Maureen’s use of Facebook groups, social media, and video to be an awesome example of how to market.  Bella gets the scoop from Maureen, about how Facebook groups can be a great way to connect and expand your reach as a business. Maureen started a group for her own community called What’s Up Indiana Trail and it has grown like wild fire. Through it, she has been able to get more people engaged on her own facebook page and grown her business.

They also discuss Facebook Live videos – which if you’ve been listening to me for awhile, you know that I consider video as a MUST HAVE in your business. Maureen discusses with Bella how exactly she started doing Facebook Live videos with both her and her staff and the direct effect they’ve had on her business revenue.

She talks with Maureen about:

Maureen McCarthy, owner of Love and Kisses Pet Sitting

Maureen McCarthy

  • The Facebook group she started.
  • Why she started the group
  • How much work is involved
  • How successful it has been
  • How she got into doing videos


Her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IndianTrailPetSitter/

 

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marketing tips for pet sitters

The Do’s & Don’ts of Pet Sitting Business Marketing

Are you stuck trying to decide the best ways to implement effective pet sitting business marketing? Don’t worry – we’ve all been there at some point or another. I completely get it.

I know that there are so many different tools and techniques that you as a business owner can use when trying to market your business. So many, in fact, that it would be impossible to invest in all of them. So today, let’s talk about the most effective (and ineffective!) ways that I’ve found to have effective marketing your pet sitting business.

The Do’s & Don’ts of Pet Sitting Business Marketing

pet sitting business marketing

Do: Community Newsletter Marketing

When I still had my business, one of my most successful forms of pet sitting business marketing was running my ad in a community newsletter. In fact, it worked so well that at one point I had a client on every single street in the community I advertised in. I know this strategy can work for you, too!

The community newsletter that I’m talking about here is a newsletter or magazine that goes out to a certain neighborhood or homes. These typically show owners the values of their homes along with homes for sale, events going on in the community etc.

Keep in mind that this is NOT a newspaper!

To market yourself in the best light possible, come up with an innovative, creative idea for your ad. I know this is easier said than done. But I promise you if you put your brain to work and come up with something stellar, the payoff is huge! Try to thing of something catchy to say that draws your eye and outshines the other ads in the newsletter.

Another important factor to consider is your ad placement. Think about this. When you’re reading a book or a magazine, the most natural place for your eyes to fall is the top right-hand corner. They don’t go towards the middle or to the bottom left-hand corner, right?

This is why placement is so important. You want your ad to be seen, and the best place to do this is the top right-hand corner. If you can’t get that spot, then I would say that the middle on the right-hand page is the next ideal.

I touch more on this topic and others in my video below: How To Know If My Marketing is Working?

Don’t: Mailer Marketing

You may be saying to yourself, “Wait a minute Bella, you just told me I should advertise in community newsletters. How is this different than a mailer?

The thing is really breaks down to is use. In community newsletters, people have somewhat of a use for them. They either are interested in the value or their home, or want to see what events are going on in the community. They’re more likely to keep this newsletter around on their kitchen counter or coffee table. And by keeping the newsletter around – they’re keeping your ad around!

Mailers do not do these things. Think of when you get junk mail. You sift through it for a couple seconds and then boom – trashcan. If you send mailers, this is exactly what’s going to happen to you. Plus, sending things in the mail is expensive. You’re not only paying to make your ad look nice and pretty, but then you’re paying to ship it.

This is a lot of time, money, and effort for very little to no payoff. If you’re going to invest in mailed marketing, community newsletters is definitely the way to go. Why? You will be paying to have your ad run, but then you’re done. You don’t have to worry about shipping it and getting it in the hands of people. It’s a much more cost-effective form of pet sitting business marketing – and has a greater use.

Do: Community Booth Events

Community booth events are the second best form of pet sitting business marketing, directly under the community newsletters. Many of you have probably heard me talk about this topic over and over again – but for good reason! It is because they are so effective that I write so much on them.

While community booth events can be incredibly successful, they can absolutely make or break your business. This is not to sound harsh or mean, but to encourage you to make your booth the absolute best it can be. Community events are a fantastic way to get yourself and your name out there while meeting tons of potential new clients.

They are a chance for people in the community to get to know you and your business. There are going to be a bunch of other businesses there as well (maybe even other pet sitting companies), so you want to make your booth two things: interactive and memorable.

Your goal is to both to connect with people but also to capture their information in a non-obvious way. By this I mean doing something cliche like a raffle that you have to enter with your name and email or simply just having a clipboard where people write down their information (yes I have ACTUALLY seen this here!) is not going to work.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – consumers are way too smart for these gimmicks! So you have to get creative and crafty.

To learn more about the specifics about having a rock-star pet sitting booth, check out my other articles here:

9 Must Have Elements To Have a Howling Pet Event In Your Community

What You Need To Have A Successful Pet Sitting Booth At An Event

How To Have The Worst Pet Sitting Booth At A Local Event

Don’t: Newspaper Marketing

At first glance, newspapers may seem great because they have the potential to reach a lot of people. For instance, my local newspaper is the Arizona Republic, which is state-wide. You might think I’m crazy for not advertising here, but hear me out!

First of all, you’re not going to want to put your ad into a newspaper that covers the whole state or even multiple cities. Why? Because you don’t want to be spending the time, money, and effort to send your ad to areas of your state that you don’t service.

Next, even if you are thinking about putting your ad into a smaller newspaper that is for your town only, it’s probably still not a good idea. Aside from the fact that the number of people that actually read newspapers anymore is declining, newspapers are huge and daunting. They are filled cover to cover with tiny print and tons and tons of ads. So your ad is likely to get lost and not seen by many.

Plus – newspaper ads are expensive! I recommend steering clear of them as far as pet sitting business marketing goes and just sticking to the community newsletters.

Whatever You Choose, Implement and Track!

Regardless of what type of marketing you do, you MUST do these two things: implement and track. It’s not enough to just try a new marketing technique and leave it at that. If you’re not tracking your marketing, you will never know whether or not it’s bringing you desired results.

So, whenever you get a new call or email ask the question,”How did you hear about us?” Compile a list of responses, and the you will really be able to tell where your most effective marketing techniques lie.

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Bella in your business pet sitting podcast

Episode 41: Communication Problems In Pet Sitting Companies With Adam Smith

On this episode Bella speaks with Adam Smith from Precise Petcare. They discuss communication problems pet sitting business owners often have with both the pet sitters who work for them and with customers.  They discuss how the software offered by Precise Petcare addresses many of these challenges.

Adam Smith

Adam & Lynn Smith

Precise Petcare is an online management system that could quickly become the center of your business. The online scheduling, billing and client/staff management are all in one place. With their system you’ll have fluid communication between you, your staff and your clients. Much loved features include Pet Care Journals, the Live Sitter Map and GPS sitter check-ins. Precise Petcare was co-created by a pet sitting business owner and a web developer to combine a perfect blend of knowledge and talents specifically for this industry. Husband and wife team, Adam and Lynn Smith understand first-hand what your needs are as a pet sitting business owner and have built each aspect of the software and continuously update and improve the system – without having to rely on outside talents to delay the process!

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Bella in your business pet sitting podcast

Episode 40: Positive Attitude & Opportunity With Tracie Hotchner

On this episode Bella spends time talking with Tracie Hotchner, author of The Dog Bible: Everything your dog wants you to know and The Cat Bible: Everything your cat expects you to know.

Tracie Hotchner

Tracie Hotchner

Tracie is the host of 10 pet talk radio podcast shows on her own Radio Pet Lady network, including her NPR show “Dog Talk (and Kitties, too)”. She is also the founder of the NY Dog Film Festival which she travels with around the country after an annual premiere in NYC in November.

Bella and Tracie discuss how Tracie’s successes came about and the importance of positive attitude and a willingness to step through open doors.

You can find out more about Tracie and listen to her shows at RadioPetLady.com.

You can find out more at the NY Dog Film Festival, including a list of cities it is coming to, at DogFilmFestival.com.

 

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Bella in your business pet sitting podcast

Episode 39: Vision Is Victory With Carey Conley

On this episode, Bella talks with Carey Conley, speaker and Co-Creator of Infinite Nation; a community created for skill building, mentorship, and community for aspiring leaders and business owners.

Carey Conley

Carey Conley

Bella and Carey talk about:

  • Why “Vision is Victory”….especially for entrepreneurs
  • The biggest stumbling  blocks for people to actually put a vision down on paper and follow through with it
  • What happens when people try to run a business without a clear, concise vision
  • Community and accountability

You can find out more about Carey Conley and the services she offers on her website at InfiniteNation.com.  You can email her directly at carey@careyconley.com

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Bella in your business pet sitting podcast

Episode 38: Branding & Content Marketing With George Thomas

On this episode Bella speaks with George Thomas, Inbound Marketing & Brand Strategist for The Sales Lion.  George also specializes in training people on HubSpot.

George Thomas

George Thomas

George spent  15 years working in a traditional marketing agency to design and build websites and  other types of content. George then joined The Sales Lion where as an inbound designer and brand strategist. There his daily contributions include inbound strategy and design, HubSpot intensive training, speaking at conferences, content marketing, and social media marketing as well as business management and development.

George and Bella discuss branding. In particular, they talk about:

  • How to get started in video
  • How long videos should be
  • How often you should be putting out content
  • How to push your content in multiple formats
  • Changing your thinking to being a production company first.

To learn more about George, visit him at https://www.thesaleslion.com/meet-the-sales-lion/meet-george/

 

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Bella in your business pet sitting podcast

Episode 37: Leadership, Strategic Planning, & Vision With Tarran Deane

On this episode, Bella discusses leadership with Tarran Deane, author of the new book,  “The Alphabet Principle: Your A – Z Guide to Being a Compelling Leader”.

 

Tarran Deane

Tarran Deane

Tarran Deane is Australia’s Corporate Cinderella a Leadership Development Company. Tarran works with executives, entrepreneurs, experts and emerging leaders to increase their personal effectiveness, capability, communication and commercial savviness. Bringing a maverick edge, and entrepreneurial trends to established businesses and organizations, Tarran boldly challenges, honors and equips people to shift the performance of their organization’s people, practice, and profit.  Tarran intentionally cuts through the whispered frustrations of workplaces today, equipping you to lead strategically and tactically in the fast pace of real life @ work, so you and your team can get the job done and love the company you’re in. A sought-after international keynote speaker, Tarran’s warmth, humor and 43,000 hours in leadership have helped more than 26,000 audience members to hit the shift key and lead like they mean it with boldness and humility.

Tarran DeaneBella and Tarran discuss:

  • How as a woman to be taken seriously in the corporate world
  • Dealing with problem generators in the workplace
  • Why vision and strategic planning matter.
  • Her “Signature 7 Leadership Framework” for planning out your work week. (Infographic can be gotten at https://www.tarrandeane.com/signature7leadershipinfographic/)

 

 

You can find out more about Tarran on her website at http://tarrandeane.com.
Connect with her on facebook
Get her book here

 

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Episode 36: They Ask, You Answer with Marcus Sheridan

On this episode Bella speaks with Marcus Sheridan, a former pool guy turned digital sales and marketing expert.  He is the President of The Sales Lion and a Partner at River Pools and Spas.

 

Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion

Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion

Bella and Marcus discuss:

  • The philosophy of “They ask, you answer”
  • Why business owners are afraid of just giving honest answers to potential customers
  • The five subjects that move the economy.
  • The dangers of “Ostrich marketing”
  • How important video is becoming to the marketing process
  • Assignment selling
  • Face to face sales appointments without you being there.

Marcus Sheridan’s book: They Ask You Answer: A Revolutionary Approach to Inbound Sales, Content Marketing, and Today’s Digital Consumer (available on Amazon)

Masable rates it as the #1 Business book and the New York Times calls Marcus

You can find out more about Marcus at https://www.thesaleslion.com.

 

 

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pet sitting office manager

How To Get A Business Phone To A Pet Sitting Office Manager

To all of my pet sitting business owners with staff – this one’s for you! Are you considering hiring an office manager? Or maybe you’re just going away on vacation for a week or two and need a temporary office manager to fill in? Either way, you’ll need to consider how to get your business phone to your pet sitting office manager. This can be tricky and complicated.

So, today I’m going to break down some of the best ways you can get your business phone to your office manager without the hassle!

How To Get A Business Phone To Your Pet Sitting Office Manager

pet sitting office manager

 

Temporary Solutions

If you are looking for a temporary solution, you don’t have to make a permanent move. It might be as simple as forwarding the business line to their cell phone. Or you can even physically give them the business phone. Keep in mind these solutions are only short term. They can also sometimes be a way to do a “trial run” to make sure your potential office manager is right for the job.

If you do this, don’t forget to make sure that their voicemail is personalized for the business! You want it to say something like “Thanks for calling Bella’s Pet Sitting.” You don’t want your clients to know that their call is being directed somewhere else. Keep in mind this is only a short term solution.

Permanent Solutions

If you need a permanent solution, I do not suggest handing a phone back and forth. Even physically delivering a phone to your pet sitting office manager can be messy. There’s too much room for error here. You need to set up a permanent system.

There are a number of companies such as Grasshopper, Phone.com, and RingCentral, that do a “phone tree system.” With this you can redirect a line to many different people depending on where you want it to go.

Since our offices are virtual, this is probably the best way to direct client calls. You really want it to be a cloud based system so you can text if you need to text (even though I don’t recommend it!). You also need to have a record of all communication between all lines. Plus, they have useful features such as transcribing voicemails, the ability to use your computer/tablet, and more.

What About Google Voice?

Ah, Google Voice. Super popular among pet sitters for sure, and I even used it regularly in my own business! What I’ve learned is that it’s really nice for sole proprietors if you’re trying to separate business and personal.

But when your business and operations grows bigger and bigger you will eventually outgrow Google Voice. It’s a good stepping stone but I don’t recommend it long term. It’s a great program for being free, but if you’re serious about bringing on a long-term office manager you will need a more sophisticated software.

Phone systems are really smart these days. Clients calling won’t know they’re in a phone system. They won’t hear things like “Press one for this and press two for that” – unless you want it that way!

Overall, you want your phone system to be able to adapt to YOU and your business. So, do a bit of research and choose the company or solution that will best fit your needs. You’ll be glad you did!

If you’re still unsure about taking the plunge by giving your employees a business phone, be sure to check out this blog I wrote here addressing your concerns.

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