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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 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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Episode 35: Identifying and Overcoming Challenges As A Small Business Owner

On this episode of “Bella in Your Business” Bella spends time with Heather Dopson, Community Builder at GoDaddy.

Heather Dopson

Heather Dopson, Community Builder at GoDaddy

Heather has a passion for digital trends and innovation along with a deep understanding of social networks, consumers and branding. As a Community Builder at GoDaddy, she leverages her skills as a connector and her drive to help small businesses succeed. Her mission in life is to help people lose their J-O-B and find their J-O-Y.

They discuss:

  • How Heather got to this position of Community Builder
  • Some challenges she sees happen in small businesses and freelance communities
  • How small business should owners determine what they work on themselves or what they outsource/delegate
  • The biggest opportunities she sees people overlook when it comes to driving awareness and driving revenue
  • “Beyond the Domain” a Facebook live series of videos she is doing for GoDaddy.
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Episode 34: “Click Here To Agree” Contracts, Sharing Client Photos, And Privacy Policies On Your Website.

On this episode Bella speaks with Sara F. Hawkins, an attorney who specializes in working with startups, entrepreneurs, marketing and advertising agencies, as well as major corporations where she regularly counsels clients on all aspects of federal and state marketing, advertising, sweepstakes and contests; international promotions; social media and internet law; copyright, trademark, and digital rights; as well as general business matters.

Sara F. Hawkins

Sara F. Hawkins

With a background in consumer product marketing compliance, Sara has worked with clients to create policies and procedures for engagement with agencies, celebrities, and influencers. Sara frequently speaks on legal topics related to influencer marketing; sweepstakes and contest promotions; as well as a host of digital, native, and mobile advertising and marketing topics. Since 1998, Sara has maintained her own firm in Phoenix, Arizona.

Bella and Sara discuss:

  • Where business owners can get photos from
  • Photo licenses and what they are
  • Who regulates photos and copyrights
  • How business owners can get clients to agree to share photos
  • Privacy policies
  • “Click to agree” agreements.

Here is the resource for my Deposit Photo deal 🙂
Sara can be reached at her website or Facebook

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Episode 30: Proven Social Media Marketing Methods

Britney Young, Social Media Marketing Manager

Britney Young, Social Media Marketing Manager

In this episode, Bella talks to Britney Young. Britney is a digital marketing professional and social media enthusiast. Her day-to-day life as a social media marketing manager includes: finding/curating relevant content to post to social channels, analyzing post data and post performance to see key trends or spikes in engagement, looking for relevant industry influencers to connect with, and responding to customer inquires, etc.

They discuss:

  • What a social marketing manager does
  • The pros and cons of using automatic republishers like Meet Edgar
  • How often should you post
  • What should you be posting
  • What you should be doing with all of those pet pictures you post
  • Their favorite apps for doctoring up pictures
  • The differences in the social media channels and a good workflow for pushing one post through many of them.
  • Focusing your efforts on a few selected channels.
  • Knowing your audience and finding out what channel works best for them.

    Apps mentioned:
    – Canva
    – Abobe Spark
    – Pixaby

For more information about Britney Young, you can find her on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/britneynyoung/

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above and beyond

Out-Of-The-Box Ways To Get More Pet Sitting Clients With This Simple Concept

Question: What would happen if today you didn’t gain any more pet sitting clients because you already have enough? How would you go about keeping the ones that you have?

So many companies say they go “above and beyond” with their clients, and attribute that to gaining more pet sitting clients. But what does that really mean? How do you go above and beyond with your pet sitting clients when you are sometimes removed from the day to day pet sitting? Your heart might be above and beyond but what actions do you do to show this?

more pet sitting clients

You might try with occasional emails or maybe even gifts… but usually, that is surrounded by you wanting something or it is an obligation to give a gift (holidays, new pet, pet passing).

It is passive.

It is predicted.

Sometimes it is even talking AT them and not with them…

Well now, I want to flip your thinking.

What if you started talking to your clients just like they were your friends? Ever see something that would be valuable to a friend and share it with them on Facebook? I do. All the time and I do it in business too.

 

In fact, since selling my company a few months ago, I feel awkward because there are so many things I read that I think, “Oh wow! I want to share that!” but I don’t have anywhere to do it. So now, you are going to reap the marketing bursts my brain has:

Here is How To REALLY Go Above And Beyond To Gain More Pet Sitting Clients:

 

1. Cincinnati Winning Basketball And Streets Being Clogged

Recently, we had a member in my Facebook Group notify all her clients the about street closures for the parade that Cincinnati was having for their team who won the finals. She let them know so they didn’t get in a traffic jam going to work. Nice way to reach out to everyone in a valuable way, huh? Many thanked her for the heads up.

Simple gestures like these will stick in your client’s mind. It’s a great way to ensure that your current clients will recommend you via word of mouth – ultimately ending up with MORE clients for you!

 

2. TSA Taking Longer And People Missing Flights.

When I had my pet sitting company, I actually emailed all the clients who were leaving town that weekend and reminded them about TSA wait times. It was a big story at the time. Many people were missing their flights. I even included a link to the airport where they listed the current wait times at each terminal location. I got many “Thank you’s!” and even a bunch of, “We were driving but thanks for thinking of us!”  Great way to show that you care and reach out without WANTING something, huh? 🙂

 

3. Major Weather Catastrophes Like A Tornado, Fire, Or Flood

Admittedly, it is horrible when this happens. There is panic among everyone and if you have a client out of town, watching it on the news, they might even get anxious.

Imagine getting an email from your pet sitter while you’re away saying something like “Don’t worry about the weather going on… here is our plan should we ever need it and you can stay up to date on our Facebook page.” And then post updates!

Pet sitting software systems will help you contact a certain group of clients that are away so you can speak directly to them. You could even email everyone a blanket email saying:

To the families who are away: Here is our plan.
To the families that are local: Here are some resources.

As pet sitters we all say we care, but how do we show it to everyone? Imagine the confidence that would our worried traveling pet parents? The alternative is that there is no communication and they are calling you frantically. I can almost promise you, no other pet care company is doing this. Get ahead of the anxiety!

 

4. Snowstorm That Strands People On The East Coast

Even thought I am in warm and sunny AZ, the snowstorms on the east coast during the winter affected by business and my clients. Flights would be canceled, delayed, or worse, people couldn’t get into the airport because of the road closures or airport closures. Acknowledging the stress in your pet parents lives while traveling will make them feel safe and secure. And they will remember you. It is very similar to #3.

 

5. Pet Food Recalls

Hear of a pet food recall happening? A quick email to your client base with a link to the press release on your website will be helpful for them to know you are thinking about them and care about passing along valuable information.

 

above and beyond

There Are More Ways To Gain More Pet Sitting Clients By Going TRULY Above And Beyond

Too many to be listed! For more creative ideas and inspirations, check out these other great tips:

Just keep an open mind the next time you are watching the news or listening to the radio. Think about yourself as a journalist as well as a pet sitting business owner and that will really help shift your mindset.

Now it’s your turn. How do YOU go above and beyond with your clients? How did that help you ultimately gain more pet sitting clients? Let me know in the comments below.

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11 Unique Gifts To Give To Your Pet Sitting Clients

The holidays are a great time to let your clients know just how much you appreciate them by giving gifts to your pet sitting clients. Whether you choose to do it for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or even New Years, they are sure to appreciate it. Many pet sitters take to the Facebook Groups to ask what others have given to come up with new ideas. So I thought I would compile an awesome list of 11 Holiday Gifts to give your pet sitting clients, so you didn’t have to struggle through the process! 

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11 Gifts You Can Give To Your Pet Sitting Clients For the Holidays:

 

Surprise My Pet

Send your dog or cat a fun box each month full of quality toys and treats. Prices range from $25-$30 a box depending on the length of your subscription. With this gift idea, you don’t have to do the buying or wrapping, just purchase this box and have it shipped. Did we mention that every box sold also donates money to a pet charity too? Surprise My Pet

surprise-my-pet-package

 

Dollar Store Galore!

Squeakers, chews, balls, and wands oh my! If you have a lot of people on your list, the dollar store is a perfect place to get holiday gifts. Be cautious of the treats, but most of the cat toys are fabulous to give as gifts. What cat doesn’t love balls with bells and fake mice? 🙂 

Big Store Stock Up 

Stores like Costco, Home Goods (on of my FAV places!), or PetSmart are smart go-to tactic for holiday shopping throughout the year. Look for sales and stock up on items like medium to large-sized stuffed toys, pull & chew toys. And it’s great not only for the holidays but also as appreciation gifts for those without religious holiday affiliations, or “just because” throughout the year. Costco always has some great tough pet toys, candles, candies, even STarbucks gift sets sold in multiples. Might just be the perfect thing for the top 10% clients, eh? 🙂 

 

Classic Holiday Picture Card 

Sometimes a great gift is as simple as a company picture thanking them for their business. Gather all your employees for a sweet group picture and add business-friendly holiday message. Have an employee party where they all sign the cards while you are listening to festive music and enjoying eachothers company while sharing stories! Your clients will love the personal touch!

 

Gift Certificate 

This is great if you have a good relationship with a pet shop or groomer looking for new business that is willing to donate or discount gift certificates to your patrons. This way both business benefits, as well as your clients!  This is a great idea that you can use throughout the year as well during your networking efforts around town!

 

Make a Donation In Their Name

Go to the humane society or other local shelter or pet charity in your area and make a donation in your client’s name. Not only will you be giving your clients a token of appreciation, you’ll be helping animals in need too. You can do this either as individual donations or as a lump sum for “Clients of XYZ Pet Sitting Company.” It is the best gift that can keep on giving!  

my dog eats first

This charity was started by a pet sitter to help the pets who belong to the homeless have food to eat.

Free or Discounted Services

When you’re strapped for time or extra money, some pet sitters and dog walkers still want to give their clients something but can’t afford to. So they give a gift that they can provide. Services for free or a discounted rate. Think something like 10% of off monthly services or a free walk some have done. (I would only recommend this option if your profit margin can afford it!) 

 

Throw Holiday “Pawty” 

Take the tricks you learned from the How To Have A Howling Pet Event In Your Area and make it happen in real life. Add even more fun by having someone dress up as Santa so that clients can take pictures with their pets. Provide homemade dog treats and snacks for the humans. It’s sure to be the hit of the season.

 

Unique Gifts from Etsy (in bulk)  

Trinkets and homemade items from an Etsy store is always a thoughtful idea when showing your clients how grateful you are. Take a look at this unique wood carving that is a Christmas Ornament with your pet’s name on it. Pretty unique, huh? 🙂

 

pet sitter holiday gift ideas

 

Pet Rocks 

I have to admit, when Carol Preuett first told me that it is what she has done for her clients, I got a good chuckle. Then, she showed me a picture!  Find a local artist that can paint a rock in the likeness of your client’s pet. This one can be a little pricey, so it’s best to limit it to your top 5-10 clients. 

Carol says she has a local artist who paints these for her. The painter bases the portrait on pics Carol provide her for $35 medium rock & $40 large rock. “There’s no way a pet parent wouldn’t love one of these adorable pet rocks,” says Carol. I agree! 

 

dog walker client gift ideas

 

Photo book from Shutterfly, Simpleprints, or Photobook America 

Snap a few adorable pics of your pet clients and compile a cute little picture book. Be on the lookout for deals, sometimes you can even score one for free. You can also get great deals for these companies from time to time on Groupon. This is a truly thoughtful way to show your appreciation and love for your clients.

 

No matter what it is you decide to do for your clients, it is important to give back and it doesn’t have to always be at the holiday season. The world is full of options and they’ve chosen you to provide care for their loved ones. It’s always good to let them know that you are someone who truly cares and values their patronage.

8 Simple Ways To Get More Dog Walking Clients For My Pet Sitting Business.

I get asked this question on a monthly basis.

 

Makes sense, right?

8 SIMPLE WAYS

Getting more dog walking clients can be the bread and butter to a pet sitting company. When your vacation clients are not on vacation or your business clients are not traveling, you know that you can always count on those daily dog walking clients.

There are 8 simple ways that you can help promote your daily dog walking service, thus leading to more dog walking clients:

1 – List ‘dog walking’ on your website.

Listing it on your website will help the search engines find you as a result to those looking for “dog walking (your city)”

 

2 – Blog about wanting more dog walking clients.

The more information and pages you can put on your website talking about dog walking the better. Your website will dominate your area about dog walking.

 

3 – Bark Cards

These are cards you can leave on the neighbors doors of the houses you pet sit for. “Hi I heard your dog barking while I was visiting your neighbor. Sounds like a medium sized dog? Pretty sure they were saying, “Let *your business name* come visit me to Mom!” Let us know if we can help break up your dog’s day!

Pssst! This is a Jump Consulting original idea!

4 – Talk to the veterinarians you work with!

Grab a meeting with they and tell them that you are at their disposal for the overweight pets they see that are trying to loose weight. Ask if they will recommend you and if you are really close with them if they will let you put something in their waiting area. BONUS: Get them to write a blog or get on video with you about why it is important for dogs to be walked.

Check out what Bella’s House & Pet Sitting did with this video:

5 – Create marketing material that says DOG WALKING

It isn’t enough to have “pet sitting” on everything. You need to create fliers, post cards, rack cards (whatever you do) that specifically say dog walking and talk about the benefits pets receive from having them.

6 – Discounted rates that are enticing!

If a daily visit is $33 but you can cut a daily dog walk of four or more a week to $29 that is a $4 incentive! That is enough to make people think. Although if it is $18 regular price and you are only discounting to $17, know that isn’t enough of a difference. This all comes down to your pricing structure and if you can even afford to do this…)

7 – Start a social media dog walking campaign or a dog walking club.

Make it cute! Create a event. Looking for 5 dogs who need daily dog walking. Is this your dog? With a bunch of examples of what happens when they are not exercised. Alternatively, you can start a club. Gather people up to walk their dogs every 1st Saturday of the month. Once they see how great it is, they will want you to walk their dog every day!

logo_dog_walking 4

 

8- Attract your existing clients

What better way than to access your existing client base? Send them your blogs on daily dog walks and your discounted pricing. Ask them if they would like to sign up for once a week dog walks and up sell them. They already know and love your business, so why not use these hot leads you already have?

Daily dog walks can be a great service to maintain a pet sitting business cash flow. They are important for any business to have in order to maintain a steady business. There is so much that can be done to attract the daily dog walking customers. You can’t simply think that people will know that a pet sitter will do this or can do this.

Let me know how your results turn out!

 

8-unique-ways-to-get-more-pet-sitting-clients

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