Did you hear the news? Rover pet care actually partnered with Walmart. I’m going to tell you why there are four reasons why you as a professional dog walker and pet sitter should actually be happy in this as a pet sitting and dog walking business owner.
I have seen the knee-jerk reaction about this online and I could see a lot of feathers get ruffled or tails not wagging so hard. So I wanted to address this here with you.
1. Exposure for the Professional Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Industry:
The very first thing is exposure. When I first started my professional dog walker business in 2002, we were still fighting the whole entire world, letting them know that professional pet sitting and dog walking actually was out there and as an option. Nowadays, we still are fighting to educate people that we exist, just not as much. There are still lots of people that don’t realize that they could get a professional dog walker or a pet sitter.
That’s why I am cheering on Walmart and Rover! Let them tell the world about this pet care option. They can spend all the money on all the advertising to help the industry.
They did this last year too. Do you remember that?
It was like millions of dollars! There were billboards, there were radio ads, there were commercials, they were … everywhere! It creates more awareness and exposure, so be happy about that. That’s why exposure is the first reason why I am happy about this.
2. First Time Clients Will Try A Professional Dog Walker Out!
While the masses are being advertised to, many will try out the services. But… not everyone will like it. And when they don’t, they will be looking for other options. The clients might get sick of having only one person, and when that one person goes on vacation or is unavailable, they have to go back to the drawing board and go try to find someone else, which is cumbersome. Right?
They might not feel a cohesiveness that they would get with a professional pet sitting company where we are trained and certified pet care professionals.
There’s going to be times when clients are not satisfied. Will you be there to court them when they start looking?
So what do we do when we want more?
We go to our phones, and we start typing in, “Dog sitter Scottsdale,” or, “Pet sitter Scottsdale,” or wherever you are. Right? And now it’s all up to you, the marketer and the salesperson.
Yeah, guys, you guys are marketers, and you are a salesperson. If you’re not, and you don’t like IT, and you don’t figure out a way to overcome that, then you will be dead in the water.
Before COVID hit, it was literally … raining cats and dogs. You didn’t have to do much. As a professional dog walker you really didn’t have to put much effort. Everything’s flowing, economy, unemployment was at like 3%. People were excited to travel, they weren’t scared to travel.
But now we really, truly, have to be salespeople and marketeers because when people start looking, when people start looking for your service, what are they going to see? Are they going to go to your website? Is it going to be beautiful, or is it going to look like a third grader built it?
Yes, I just wrote that.
Unfortunately, sometimes people have really bad websites, and that only reflects on them.
One of the things I say a lot to my Better Marketing with Bella people and my Mastermind people are, it’s kind of like Cinderella showing up to the ball with her hair on top of her head, her makeup dripping down on her face, sweat pants, and no shoes on. She not getting Prince Charming. You have to show up to the ball beautiful and dressed, and hair, nails, and all that stuff if we want to get Prince Charming.
And marketing is just like that.
So the very first thing you’re going to look at as your website. (That’s assuming it comes up in Google?)
They type in “Pet sitter Scottsdale”.
And all of a sudden your blog “How much does a pet sitter cost in Scottsdale?” comes up in the search.
This google search just got turned upside down because this potential client is now thinking, “Forget about going to a website. I want to know how much a pet sitter costs to my town. Am I going to overpay?”
But guess what just happened? You are establishing yourself as the authority on the subject matter becasue you are the only one answering this important question. If it’s you coming up, all of a sudden you just created the expert.
You are the expert.
Do you understand why your website needs to be popping now?
- Your sign-up process
- Your calls to action
- Your copy on your website all has to be good
If your secret sauce isn’t on your website and you are not talking about your unique value propositions, then you are no different than Rover. Rover can’t get personalized because they represent everyone. You are unique and I want to see your personality and value shine through on your website in the most unique way!
Sign Up Process
This is where a lot of professional pet sitters get beat by Rover.
Too many pet sitters have a stop in their sign-up process. They stop the sales process so many times. What does that look like? It looks like,
Okay, register to be on our site.
Okay, now wait for an email.
Oh, go check your email.
Oh, I didn’t send it yet.
Oh, here’s your username and password.
Oh, here’s how you do …
Oh, here’s the instructions on how to sign up with us.”
It is just too much. We work for our clients. They don’t work for us. Let’s solve problems and not give them more problems.
I should be able to sign up with you online in under five minutes in my bed, in my pajamas at 1:00 in the morning without ever talking to you. Okay?
Add to that the understanding that your mere presence can be seem as a threat these days (hello pandemic)… and you could be one of those companies right now that is sitting at 20% volume.
Do things like explaining during this sign up process you have options for virtual consultations, and contactless dog walking.
When I say be different and unique, this is what I am talking about.
3. We are a luxury service that isn’t for everyone.
We are a luxury, and it is so awesome that Rover has literally aligned with the bargain warehouse store. Nothing against Walmart but I’m not sure I would really want Walmart coming into my home because I just feel like it’s too big.
It’s not personal.
From the Walmart site, it literally shows you all of these dog walking, pet sitting, drop-ins, daycare. And when you click on the service, it takes you to the Rover website. And at the top it says, “In partnership with Walmart.” So you are going to the Rover website.
That’s great. More traffic for them. But it’s also attracting the lower-costing, cheap-minded, bargain-shopping kind of person. And when we’re doing this, when we’re sleeping in people’s beds, when we have keys to their home, when we’re coming in and out of their home quietly while they’re on Zoom, while they’re working or impressing the boss and getting the dog and leaving. It is a level of luxury that Rover can’t possibly promise to everyone on a global scale.
I know so many of your businesses and your secret sauces, so I know there’s so many special things that you guys do. Even just from community interactions and being vouched for by the community, these are things that really make you different. Rover can never really be you.
So I want you to be highlighting this.
I want you to be talking about this on your social media, on your website, in your sales pitch to people, or when you’re talking to them.
I want you to weave this stuff in there because a Rover sitter can not do this. They are an order taker. “Oh, what’s this? You want to do dog walks every two days. Okay. I can do a walk every two days.”
Well, guys, guess what? The professional pet sitter will sit here, and they’ll go down this whole amazing checklist, and they’ll give you a whole experience.
What’s the difference between the experience of a professional pet sitter and an order taker? It’s the difference between wham, bam, thank you, ma’am.
4. They Aren’t Unique. You Are!
Maybe if you have a team? That means if someone goes on vacation or if someone’s sick or someone just can’t arrive at the house, someone else will be there to back up. And because of that, you have a centrally-located communication system where they actually, you can share the information, and everyone can get the same knowledge about the household. Right?
It’s not like on Rover, if I’m going to go hire someone else, I have to train them all over again. You take care of that. Okay?
How much education have you acheived? What have you done? Have you done pet first aid and CPR? Have you taken Pet Care Team Training’s course on pet sitting and dog walking and gotten certification? That is a new training that just came out this summer. Full disclosure, I am a co-owner of it. In under two hours you can get a pet sitting and dog walking certification. That is amazing because most certifications take 10-plus hours. That means you’re paying people per hour to do all of that. You can get that certification, and you can also get a Pro Hero, their first aid and CPR certification, so you get two certifications at one place with Pet Care Team Training. If you want to see free videos on that, it’s petcareteamtraining.com/freevideos.
Do you sponsor like a tee-ball team? Or help out the PTO? Do you have yappy hours? or mutt and mingles? or Santa Paws events? or promote anyone else in your community? This is stuff Rover can never do, and this is stuff you need to be talking about and highlighting in your social media.
Is there any veterinarian that endorses you? In my business, I had a veterinarian that endorsed me. So I’d be like, “We are locally and nationally award-winning and also locally endorsed by Dr. … from … ” Is there anyone you can ask?
Just being able to say that kind of thing, you are so different than Rover.
Don’t Get Scared. Embrace This!
I don’t want you to get scared by it. I want you to embrace it. I want you to do what you can about it. I want you to make this fuel for your fire to make your business even better. If you hate marketing, if you have no idea what you’re doing, if you’re not producing at least four to five, six videos and putting them on your socials every single month, you’re missing out sorely because the algorithms actually favor videos. Good videos, branded videos. Not videos that you’ve shared from someone else, but something that has your logo, your font, your color on it.
And the same thing with graphics. Better Marketing with Bella is an important backbone in many pet sitting and dog walking businesses.
It’s really important to show me what you’re doing during the day, all of those cute pictures, but it’s also important to bring some professional branding in there, too. Together, it works really well, and it makes your brand look really awesome because you’ve got the personal side and you’ve got the professional side coming together. Okay?
Don’t make the mistake of just sharing others content. It’s not really telling or showing much about their brand. You guys have the unique position that you’re not Rover.
If you guys are interested in Better Marketing with Bella or want to learn more about it, we literally have one more spot. I’m not even joking about that. One more spot. And I normally would’ve closed the doors by now, but I know that things are so different right now that I’m willing to throw someone in there. So if you’re interested in it, let’s have a conversation. We can jump on the phone or you can go to the website. I am also able and authorized, I am the CEO, but I’m authorized to offer you a discount off of what you’ll see on the website.
What Is Your Reality?
Anyways. This Rover thing is not a bad thing. It’s not. It’s really about perspective, guys. Our perspective, even just in 2020 … Let me open this up, all of 2020. Our perspective is our reality. So what kind of reality are you going to choose to have in your life? That’s my question to you.
Are You New Here?
Welcome, I am so glad you are here. If you are a dog walker, dog sitter, cat sitter, doggy daycare or kennel owner, then you found the right place. Jump Consulting is the one place on the internet to get all the resources you need for your pet care business. Can I give you some freebies to generate sales and increase revenues for your business? Grab your freebies below.