Episode 391: 11 Low Cost Ways To Get Dog Walking Customers

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Are your marketing strategies stuck in limbo, not quite bringing the returns you hoped for?

What if the answer just needs a different approach – one that could propel your business to the top of the dog walking pack?

Welcome to this week's episode of the Bella in Your Business podcast, where we're flipping the script on conventional marketing tactics and diving deep into the art of affordable and successful business promotion.

Strap in as we unveil eleven resourceful and cost-effective marketing strategies designed to magnify your reach without evaporating your funds.

Get inside scoop on the secrets behind leveraging your personal connections, crafting standout business cards with QR codes, and why sidewalk chalk might just be your unexpected hero in grassroots marketing.

Are you ready to revamp your strategy and see tangible results? Listen now and and equip yourself with the knowledge to transform your business's visibility and attractiveness. This is your golden opportunity to rewrite your marketing playbook and catapult your business into the limelight.

Topics & Key Points

  • Julia McCoy from the “queen of AI” will join us in Jump Mastermind in June.
  • Marketing strategies for dog walking businesses:
    • Leverage personal network
    • Create eye-catching business cards and QR codes
    • Offer introductory discounts
    • Partner with local pet businesses
    • Get endorsements from veterinarians
    • Partner at local events
    • Use sidewalk chalk marketing
    • Create personalized bark cards
  • Example of marketing at apartment complexes through a “kissing booth” event.
  • Strategies are about building relationships
    • Utilize social media marketing
    • Attend local networking meetings
    • Target high density living areas
    • Building relationships is key to success

Timestamps

  • [6:24] Marketing Strategies
  • [16:19] Marketing at Apartment Complexes
  • [16:24] Relationship Building

Notable Quotes

“AI is here… Like every month is literally like a year with how fast it’s moving.”

“So your friends, your family, your acquaintances are some of the best potential clients, or they know someone who could be. Don’t be shy about letting your personal network know about your dog walking business.”

“Leveraging your personal network, offering introductory discounts, partnering with local pet businesses… these can be gold mines because a relationship will always last a lot longer than a business card.”

“Guerrilla marketing basically means cheap, effective marketing. And all of the things I’m about to tell you are things that you can do very easily right now.”

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Transcript

Welcome to another episode of Bella in your business. My name is Bella vasta. And wow, that was really great series all about customer service and how we can really turn it around by changing the way that we react to it, how we respond to it, and then how we systematize it to actually turn it around into a positive experience. So I really hope that you enjoyed all of that.

There’s so much going on at jump headquarters so to speak. First of all, my world has been rocked and upside down now because Olivia is now out of school. So any of you other mamas or Papas out there who are working your business, and the kids are getting out of school or soon to be Oh boy, here we go. So all of my meetings are monday, tuesday allow the mama guilt to set in. We just got her Barbie Dreamhouse off off, offer that off of offer up. And she’s really enjoying playing with that.

And we are also working on learning Spanish this summer, I kind of told her that if she wanted to earn her screen time, she had to teach me Spanish. So that’ll be pretty fun. That’s kind of what we’re doing. So I would love to hear how you guys are keeping it together. Those of you who may have kids at home and also trying to run your businesses.

Summer is here. At least in Arizona, we get out a little bit earlier than the west coast because of the temperatures. And so yeah, we are having a lot of fun. Here. I am I mentioned this the past couple episodes, I’m starting to blog again, and I’m starting to do some really cool stuff. With the help of AI but not in the way that you would know I’m going to tell you all my secrets.

And I’ve one of the queen of AI is come in to the mastermind in the month of June, I am really excited to have Julia McCoy. Come on in, she used to actually be very much against artificial intelligence. And she ran a very profitable writing company, she had tons of writers. And she was convinced that it is, you know, it’s, it’s gonna sound so cliche if I tell you, so I’m just going to tell you, you need to join the mastermind, because the stuff that’s going to be popping off next month, you’re not going to see anywhere in the industry.

And I understand AI is scary. Some people think it’s a fad, some people are very much against it. But you know, it’s it’s technology, and it’s coming, it’s here, it’s not even coming, it’s here. And like every month is literally like a year with how fast it’s moving. Last year, we talked about AI in the mastermind, and I had the founder of a company come in. And that is already that was already outdated in three months.

So to know it to leverage it is going to only enhance your business, it’s kind of like refusing to learn Google or Facebook or Instagram, and tries to operate your business, like you’re gonna have to start learning about it. So might as well start doing it. Because, again, it’s the only place in the industry, you’re gonna be able to learn about it. Just go to jump consulting dotnet forward slash mastermind. And yes, I am being cocky and conceited about that, because I just don’t know why anybody else doesn’t talk about it. So there you have it. Um, anyways, let’s get on with today.

Today, we’re getting too quick and dirty, we are going to talk all about getting dog walking customers for cheap 12 effective strategies, I also have a free download for you. It’s like a 10 page download. And it’s all one of my gorilla systems. Gorilla basically means cheap, effective marketing. And all of the things I’m about to tell you are things that you can do very easily right now.

And it’s not going to break the bank. In fact, you might not even have to go to the bank. So I know that you have a passion for for building your business. But you probably also sit there and think about like, How do I turn that into a thriving dog walking business without breaking the bank.

And before I give you all of these things, I also want you to keep in the back of your head that every time we’re looking for more customers or clients, it also can be also to attract employees and partners. So think about how you can adapt it to that. Now when I say partners, I mean like referral partners. When I see employees, well that’s kind of self explanatory, right?

So you can hustle. I don’t really believe that you have to pay a lot of money in Google ads in with petsitting, I also can cook for very firmly say that many people are blogging incorrectly. They’re wasting their time, they’re wasting their money, and they’re doing it wrong. And they’re not helping their website. They’re actually like diluting their website.

So I’m actually not even gonna be talking about blogging today. Although if you do do it right, it is an amazing strategy. But the very first one I want to talk about is leveraging your personal network. So your friends are your friends. Your family, your acquaintances are some of the best potential clients, or they know someone who could be.

So don’t be shy about letting your personal network know about your dog walking business. This means those of you who are like, I don’t want to put it on my personal Facebook page or your personal Instagram page, why not? Like, it’s okay to share it from time to time. And I mentioned your pet sitting and dog walking service at different gatherings that you might have. And your loved ones want to support you, you know, especially when they’re like, Oh, how’s that business going? Like, it’s amazing. Like, Hey, would you mind sharing something like from time to time, you know, if they live in your service area, and the way that you phrase it can make all the difference?

And so it’s a difference between like, oh, yeah, I have a pet sitting and dog walking company, and we’re looking for clients. Versus Do you know, anyone who gets asked to watch their friends or neighbors pets when they travel? I’d love it if you would think of us the next time. Right? Okay, so another way you could do it is create eye catching business cards and a QR code.

Okay, because it is 2024. I think it’s actually funny QR codes really tried to make it on the market. And like 2018 2019, and no one was having them, no one was doing them like the behavior modification did not happen until 2020, when we all had to access restaurant menus with a QR code. And now my parents understand QR codes like my almost 70 year old parents, they would probably cringe if they knew how much I talked about them on this podcast.

Anyways, I’m so on your business cards. If you leave them at different places around town, I always was a fan of vertical cards, and then you get vertical holders for them. Because everybody has horizontal, so be different. And also on those cards. Part of being memorable is talk about what makes you unique. Don’t just list out your services aimlessly like what makes you unique. I know a lot of our pet care team training people, they tout and they brag that they are double certified the only double certified pet sitting company in Scottsdale, or something like that, right. When I had my company, I always said the we’re the only nationally and locally award winning company in the area. Because we were I got the National Business of the Year given by naps in 2007. And I was also the Arizona Republic 30 535 entrepreneurs when I was 25.

So definitely have eye catching business cards and a QR code be different. Don’t be boring. The next one I want to talk about is offer introductory discounts. So when you’re a new business, offering discounts is a great way to entice potential clients to give you a try. I would always put this as part of your pricing strategy, though. And I have a lot to say on that.

So I would really suggest if you’re not sure about how to do this the proper way to check out my pricing structure and strategy guide that you can get on my site, jump consulting.net by just going to services and downloads. But generally speaking, let me just like sum this one up by saying don’t charge, let’s say $25 because that has to be your price, and then cut off your left arm to give a discount to 23 or $20. Start off at $30 If your price needs to be $25 so that you have that room to discount. Okay, so build it into your strategy. The next one I want to talk about is partner with local pet businesses for referrals. This might sound like duh, Bella, but you’d be surprised how many people actually don’t do it.

And you’ll be surprised also how many people don’t do outreach on social? Do you know how easy it is to connect with other local pet businesses. When you do it on social media slide into their DMS, like their stuff on it on a weekly basis, share their stuff, be social on social media, it’s way better these days to be able to connect with different brands in your your area than driving around in the car, especially in the hot Arizona summers by the way, like I used to have to go knock on doors and go walk in and talk to people. You can break the ice so much easier and grab a beat like grab a meeting for coffee with someone on social.

So please partner with your local businesses for referrals, the more people that know about you the better. Another great thing is to get endorsed by a veterinarian. If you have a vet that already, you know, recommends you then ask them Hey, can I get a recommendation in writing or on camera? And most of them will say yes, I’ve done this I have a video of my own I actually had two vets that recommended us that endorsed us, and I got them on video and I’ll put it in the show notes and you can see that video. It’s It’s adorable.

I don’t have enough time to go into this. I could go into this on and on and on and on what makes a good one. But I’ll put it in the show notes and I also wrote a blog on all of this that I’m going to directly link for you and then you can also ask me anything you want on social to go into it further.

And next thing that you want to do that one of my clients, your professional pet sitting and dog walking up in Canada recently did, and they’ve been doing it a lot actually is doing a yappy hour, we did that I also, lo and behold, have a class on that as well, how to have a howling event. All of my download classes are only $79 and make them super affordable so that you can grab them. But having events and partnering with local pet businesses is huge.

I’ve done a ton of different ones. And I’ve seen my jump the r s do many unique ones as well. And you could do different ones like a scavenger hunt, you could do a yappy hour, or you could do a cheering station, there’s so many that you can do. And again, I’m going to put in the notes, a blog that I’ve kind of explained all of this in a lot more detail so that you can kind of look through it.

But these can be goldmines you guys because a relationship will always last a lot longer than a business card. The next one, and this is also where I have a freebie for you is sidewalk chalk. So this was first developed during COVID. When I challenged my group of clients to do a scavenger hunt to find chalk messages around their town, people would find them take pictures and post on social media with the hashtag.

Over the years it’s evolved in developed into multiple uses. dog walking businesses have gotten other businesses involved, send out emails to clients and even press releases. So one of my companies the Perfect Pooch, Leland runs out in New York City. She said from to 2020 to 2022. We did notes from pets all over our service area in and around Central Park and Riverside Park in New York City.

When she was feeling motivated, she would post next door and run contests for the neighbors to post pictures of their quote, notes and post to social for some swag or goodies. They got some leads from it. And actually more cards were passed out personally, as people would stop and ask our talkers, what they were up to. We stopped for a while just because we got really busy and it fell off her radar.

But as things are slowing down, she’s going to be bringing them back. And again, I have pictures of this on that blog that I told you I’m going to link to in the show notes, you’re really going to want to see that. But what I also have is a free sidewalk chalk guide, I have letters that you can send to local businesses, I have a pressvarieties. And I have exactly how to do it step by…

The next one is bark cards on the doors. These are cards that you can just kind inches. And I do have a method to my madness. It’s usually an obnoxious dog on the front with the words Bark, bark, bark, and on the back half of it is left blank purposely so that you can write on it. And you can say something like, I think it was a big dog. I think it was a small dog. And he was saying please walk me to.

And it works when you’re walking dogs or you’re passing people’s houses and you can hear the dog barking in their house. And you write on it and you put it there because it’s personalized. And there’s usually an incentive. We also create these for $100. And all you got to do is email me and get me your branding. And we will get right back to you usually within 24 hours or my team is pretty awesome.

All right. The next one is utilize social media marketing, hello better marketing with Bella. But even if you’re not part of better marketing with Bella, there are you have to have professional graphics. Without it, you’re just a glorified like photo album on your Insta or on your Facebook, okay. And nobody cares about these pets, unless it’s their own pet, let me let me just tell you that like they just they don’t care.

And so it’s really important to have a good, you know, combination of the two, you want to post engaging content regularly. You want to share cute dog photos and videos that speak directly to your avatar, they have a story that goes behind it that that would definitely connect with your person. And then you could share helpful pet care tips. Again, these are really good in like reels and B roll, and then highlight your services with happy clients. That’s also like screenshots like gold, absolute gold, you guys.

So again, I’ve got more resources for you on that I’ve got lots of other episodes that I’ve talked about and gone into a lot of detail. And I’ve got a whole bunch of them like how Connie landed a client using a video tactic I taught or easy video ideas that you can do now, and the most effective social media tips. So go check out the notes because I’m going to share a blog with you that has all of these resources. I mean, you could drown in the resources that I have for you guys.

And most of them are free. We also have another one is local networking meetings. My goodness this is getting long. I’m wondering if I should have made this a two part podcast, but local networking meetings. This is also a goldmine when to attend networking meetings, it’s all about getting your name out there, the more people that know you, the better chances of you being referred.

The obvious is that someone at the meeting will need your services. But what people don’t think about is they might be the the one that the people that are always asking you to help with their friend, neighbor or relatives dog, or someone in the group might know someone who might be a good connection for you to meet in the group, or someone in the group might have a community who might love to gain your business as a referral partner.

So they can be really, really helpful. And you have to remember in networking meetings that givers get, so think of ways that you can offer to those that you’re connecting with some sort of value. You know, are there local events coming up in town? Can you offer some resources? What is it exactly that you can help them with? Another idea for cheap marketing ideas is high density living?

Oh, my gosh, you guys to talk about this all the time. And it was so fun because I was up in where was I at Denver with Ann and I was doing an all day intensive and our Airbnb, the Airbnb that I had her come to and spend the day with me. They were doing a happy hour. And it was in the posters in the elevator. So I was like, watch this. And she’s like, I can’t do this. I can not do this, like I watch.

And so I walked up to the person, I basically was like, Hey, how old would you guys like it if like, like, I was a pet company, and I wanted to come in and do like a kissing booth or something for Valentine’s Day. And just like have like a little like fun thing for your residents around happy hour.

They’re like, Oh my God, that sounds amazing. Like, but how much? I was like, nothing. It’s free. I just if I was a dog walker, I’d want to do like a cross promotion with you guys. Is that something that you would welcome and that you would like, willingly like, market? And they’re like, yeah, absolutely. Oh, my gosh, we have this portal, we can put it in the elevators, we can put it in the common areas. We have all these different ways of getting messages to our clients.

So wait, you’re saying you can’t do it? I was like, No, I don’t live here. And they’re like, do you know someone who lives here and and had traveled to that area. So it wasn’t her business. But it was really interesting because these these communities, they want this stuff to happen. I mean, people make businesses off of making events at apartments and condos for pets, like there are businesses that do this. So you might as well do it as a pet sitter, it’s really a great way to get in. And so those were my really quick ideas really, really quick.

Just to kind yet them. It was basically leverage your personal network, create eye catching business cards and a QR code. Offer introductory discounts partner with local pet businesses get endorsed by a veterinarian, partner with local pet businesses at events, sidewalk chalk, bark cards on doors, utilize social media marketing, local networking meetings, high density living. And so there’s a lot that you can do. And I don’t want you to feel like you can’t do anything. A lot of this if you if you really think about it. This is all based ways based off of building relationships.

Okay, it’s not about flyering the town, and being spammy and putting your business cards or flyers everywhere. It’s about building relationships with people. And that is how I built my six figure company in a small saturated area. Over the years of 2002 to 2016. You guys, it’s been another episode of Bella in your business. I welcome you personally into the mastermind, if you are ready to get going with your business and be around a bunch of winners and people who are doing things that are positive that are full of not only solutions, but like outside of the box things.

That’s the place to be. Not only that, but we also have an HR person that comes in we have five years worth of organised lessons, okay, all for 179 a month. That’s it month to month. You can drop it whenever you want, although most people don’t. And then you also get me Monday through Friday. What more could you want? Just go to jump consulting dotnet forward slash mastermind.

And until then, I will see you all next week. It will be June. What? Yup, June is here, you guys. It’s here. So let’s get our business building on. And actually, wait, actually, I’m recording this on Memorial Day. It is June 1 Right now, as this comes out. Today. It is June 1 Oh my lanta. All right. So yeah, that puts it right there for you. All right, you guys. This has been another episode of Bella in your business. Thank you so much for listening. I’ll see you again next time. Always keep jumping by now.

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