Posts

superhero

3 Reasons Why Dog Walkers Need A Break

What if I told you that you are not a superhero? That you cannot save the world because we all have to save ourselves first?

I know it sounds strange to say. But it’s true! As pet sitters, we are always wanting to serve others from our pets, our clients, and of course, our families. This desire to serve others often leads to us putting ourselves last…

But that lifestyle is only sustainable for so long.

 

3 Reasons Why Pet Sitters Are Not Superheroes

 

We Have To Take Care Of Ourselves So We Can Take Better Care Of Others:

Take a step back for a second and ask yourself the following questions:

  • On an average day, how many meals are you eating at home?
  • Are you mostly preparing “on-the-go” meals?
  • How many meals are you preparing at home to take with you versus eating out?
  • How many drive-throughs are you going through in a day, week, or month?
  • Are you even eating enough (a.k.a eating BEFORE 5:00 PM!)
  • Do you suffer from having extra weight on your body that you really don’t want to have?

When we look at our lifestyles objectively, our choices will either shorten or elongate our lives. That is why it is SO IMPORTANT to take care of ourselves first.

Plus, in my experience, the food I eat drastically affects my brain function and my ability to interact during the day. It affects how effectively I’m able to interact with myself and the people around me.

The bottom line? Take care of yourself. That is the #1 way we can make sure that we are our best selves for others!

 

dog walker

We Don’t Always Maintain The Best Relationships With Our Loved Ones:

I want you to ask yourself how many movies, dinners, barbeques, lunches, pedicures, hikes, etc. you’ve missed out on because you’re working? What about birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and the big one – holidays?

Maybe you’ve even gotten to the point where the people in your life are literally conditioned to think that you’re never available, so what’s the point of inviting you?

It’s a downward spiral that is too easy to fall into. We are so focused on growing our businesses, making our clients happy, and reaching that next milestone that we forget about the little (but important) things in life.

I don’t want you to have to live your lives like that, and I can pretty safely say that you probably didn’t start a business to not have a life! In fact, so many people start a business so they CAN have a life. They don’t want the corporate 9:00 – 5:00 lifestyle, but instead, want that time to spend with their husband and kids.

I am officially giving you permission to take your life back. You are allowed to say NO. 

There is a real danger that happens when we don’t eat right, when we don’t take care of our bodies, and when we don’t have relationships that matter in our lives. We get burned out, depressed, and negative. Life starts to feel like a frying pan hit you in the face. You feel tired, and those things you used to enjoy, you just don’t anymore.

I’ve been there. Sometimes I am STILL there. But my job is to give you that inspiration and motivation to realize that you are not a superman or superwoman – until you take care of yourself first! And yes, that means taking care of your relationships first too.

Sometimes We Put Ourselves In Danger

Don’t put yourself in danger anymore. Please.

Don’t take it upon yourself to take on that dog client that’s growling and snapping at you (unless you are a dog behavior expert!). Do not come in and try to save the day. It isn’t worth it. These scenarios are exactly how people get bit or otherwise severely injured.

I have countless stories on my podcast, Bella In Your Business, and my blog about pet sitters being bit in the face or even breaking a limb. You have to protect yourself and your business. I like to say that you have to be an advocate for your business. Why? Because nobody else will!

Know when to say no. Know that we cannot, unfortunately, take on every single client that gives you a call or sends you an email. If you do, accidents WILL happen.

I want to encourage you that even though you are not a superhero, it is okay not to be a superhero! If you are feeling alone in this industry (or even in this world), I want you to reach out to me. Use me as a resource.

I have an amazing Mastermind group with over 60 pet sitters where we talk about how it is okay not to be okay. We talk about how to support each other. Some of us are moving at full speed, while others are in cruise control. It’s great to be growing, but sometimes it’s also great to NOT be growing!

If you feel you are the same place you’ve been for 6 months, 12 months, or even YEARS, something has got to change. I can help you get there.

Let’s give you back that light inside of you, so you can shine it out to your communities.

Jump Consulting Mastermind

Episode 57: Lead Through Strengths With Lisa Cummings

Description

On this episode, Bella spends time with Lisa Cummings, Founder of Lead Through Strengths.  Lisa talks about how it is her life’s mission to help people get over their obsession of fixing weaknesses instead of focusing on their strengths, the things that make them happy, give them energy and make them successful.

pet sitter marketing

Lisa Cummings

“Notice what works to get more of what works!” – Lisa Cummings

Pay attention to what is working. Make sure in your customer surveys you aren’t just asking what needs improvement. Ask customers what they loved most about the various parts of the service. You may find that some simple little thing you do, like giving out a little “report card” at the end of a stay, may be the thing that keeps them coming back and gets them referring you. After all, it is easier to replicate what is working for you than to try to figure out the 50 or 60 potential solutions to something one client says they don’t like.

To zero in on your strengths Lisa recommends the book Strengthsfinder 2.0 which gives you a code to take an online strengths survey. It gets away from skills and knowledge and helps you find your natural talents, the way you think, feel and act that feel good to you. It gives a filter for helping figure out the best way for you to approach issues. The book explains the definition of the 34 potential talent themes revealed by the survey.

Another way to zero in on strengths is to look for what brings you ease, energy and enjoyment. If a particular activity causes you to lose track of time, stop and exam just what about it really kept you engaged.

On her website, Lisa  has a list of things you may want “more of” in your daily life. It can give you clues as to what activities you are more attracted to.

Two books that Lisa recommends are First Break All the Rules by Gallup Press and Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham. She says that if you read them from the standpoint of managing people and then combine that with a strengthsfinder of those people you manage it is most helpful in managing people.

When you have a business challenge imagine putting it through a funnel.  You drop it in at the top and you filter it through all the top talents and strengths in your business.  Try thinking how to solve it using each of those strengths.  Lisa says is causes your brain to think in ways it normally doesn’t and can lead to some creative solutions.

One first step you can take is to decide what you want your company to remembered for and what you want to be remembered for. Come up with a list of words and phrases around that which will serve as an outline of what is most important to you.  Another is to list out the values that are important to you. Lisa has a list of values on her website you can use as a reference.

Lisa also recommends finding out similar information from your customers.  Casually ask customers what word or words come to mind when they think of you or your business.

Finally, she suggests you make a list of at least 100 responses to “I am good at _________!”. It helps you not only affirm how much you are good at but you can group them into trends and see if you are truly applying them in your business.

About Lisa

Lisa Cummings has delivered training & speaking events to over 9,000 participants in 14 countries. You can see her featured in places like Harvard Business Publishing, Training Magazine, and Forbes. She’s the CEO of a company called Lead Through Strengths. When she’s not out spotting strengths with teams, you’ll find her rescuing stray dogs or playing drums.

Links mentioned in this episode

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

Play
Bella in your business pet sitting podcast

Episode 53: Everything You Need To Know About Vetting With Justin Recla

On this episode Bella speaks with Justin Recla, Operations Officer for The Clear Business Directory Due Diligence and Vetting Solutions.

pet sitting business

Justin Recla

They discuss:

  • The importance of vetting your potential business partners, employees, and service providers
  • How best to go about vetting
  • How Justin and Tonya’s background in Counterintelligence translated over to the business world.
  • Does having a due diligence process tells others that you do not trust them?
  • How business owners can use their vetting process when marketing themselves.

Justin and Tonya Dawn Recla are Army veterans and former government agents who bring over 20 years of combined counterintelligence experience to the business world. They established The Clear Business DirectoryTM and have forever changed the way business gets done. For the first time, consumers and business owners alike can make sure potential partners, investors, and service providers are who they say they are and can do what they say they can do.

You can find out more at ClearBusinessDirectory.com.

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

Play
bella in your business

Episode 48: Social Media & Faith In Your Business With Heather Heuman

On this episode Bella speaks with Heather Heuman,  CEO/Founder of Sweet Tea Social Marketing, Elizabethtown Family and the
Founder of Sweet Tea Social Marketing Academy.

social media pet sitting business

Heather Heuman

Bella and Heather discuss:

  • What social media can do for your business
  • What steps you should take to make social media work for you
  • What effects bringing her faith into her business had on it.
Heather is the CEO/Founder of Sweet Tea Social Marketing, Elizabethtown Family and the founder of Sweet Tea Social Marketing Academy. She is a social media speaker, strategist and trainer that specializes in helping Christian business owners and entrepreneurs, discover how to grow in today’s noisy social marketplace. Heather has corporate and locally-based client experience and enjoyed speaking at Social Media Marketing World earlier this year. She’s a proud wife and mother of three kiddos under 12 and is excited about her new podcast Business, Jesus and Sweet Tea is launching June 2017.

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

Play
bella in your business

Episode 47: Customer Experience With Joey Coleman

On this episode Bella catches up with Joey Coleman, Chief Experience Composer, Design Symphony.  They talk about things you can do as a business owner to create a meaningful customer experience. Ideas include:

  • Sending personalized gifts to your customers seemingly at random
  • Sending handwritten notes thanking them for trusting you with their fur baby
  • Keeping track of simple things like the pet’s birthday and sending acknowledgements
  • Doing a monthly quick check of the pet (for any issues)

    Pet Sitting Customer Experience

    Joey Coleman

  • Giving the pet a bath unexpectedly
  • Sending quick personalized videos of the you and the pet to the client.

For over a decade, Joey has helped organizations retain their best customers and turn them into raving fans via his entertaining and actionable keynotes, workshops, and consulting projects.

His First 100 Days methodology helps fuel successful customer experience endeavors at companies and organizations around the world.

As a recognized expert in customer experience design and an award-winning speaker at national and international conferences, Joey specializes in creating unique, attention- grabbing customer experiences.

He works with companies ranging from small VC-funded start-ups, to large Fortune 500s, with hundreds of mid-size businesses in between.

Joey developed his narrative skills as a criminal defense trial attorney, advised and counseled Fortune 500 companies as a business consultant, honed his communications and messaging skills at the White House, and did things for the U.S. Secret Service and the CIA that he can’t talk about publicly.

His design and artwork has been displayed in museums, featured in juried shows, and graced publications in the U.S. and abroad. When not traveling the world (48 countries and counting) for keynote presentations, client workshops, and quality beach time, Joey enjoys watching magnificent sunsets from his mountain-top home in Colorado with his wife and two young sons.

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

Play
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
Pet Loss Grief

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.

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

Play
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.

Communication Problems In Pet Sitting Companies

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!

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

Play

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.

Pet Sitters Overcoming Challenges

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.

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

Play

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.

small business social media

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

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

Play

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/

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

Play
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.

free coaching session

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! 

the

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

 

BarkBox

Send your dog or cat a fun box each month full of quality toys and treats. Prices start as low as $20 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. Use this link to get a month for free! 

 

 

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 (one of my FAV places!), or PetSmart are a 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 each other’s 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 fo a 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.

 

more dog walking clients

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. They are a great revenue stream to have in your business because they are predictable and easy to hire for. They require less back and forth to their home and it is typically Monday through Friday in the middle of the day.

Let me show you 8 simple ways can promote your daily dog walking service. I use the word simple because many of them don’t take that much effort but their rewards can last years after you do them. Understand that this, like anything else in your business, needs to have a plan and your messaging needs to be the same across all platforms. If you want daily dog walks, then talk about gaining daily dog walks.

 

1. Talk About Dog Walking On Your Website

The first thing I do when someone asks me for advice to get more dog walking clients is go straight to their website and to their Facebook page. If I don’t see anything front and center talking about it then that is exactly why. You must ask for what you want. You have only seconds to capture people’s attention. The messaging that you are leaving on your website and Facebook page will help or hurt you tremendously.  It is obvious that talking about it on your website and even having pages devoted to it will gain you favor with google, but I encourage my clients to take it a step further. Go deeper. Talk about the problems that your company solves for its dog walking clients. If you are unsure about what I mean, I have a 30-minute interview with the incredible Lain Ehman who gets paid thousands of dollars to make her clients multiple six figures through their messaging.

2. Blog About Dog Walking

The word blog has almost become white noise these days but I imagine that I am jumping up and down in front of you right now saying LISTEN TO ME!!! Blogging (or inbound marketing) can really help your business. I have done it myself for both of my companies and I have seen pet sitting companies that I help coach just grow tremendously by blogging the right way. Key word stuffing will not get you anywhere, you have to do it right. To do it right, that will take a bit of learning and training on your part but nothing that you can’t get your feet wet on in just one day. The person I learned everything from is Marcus Sheridan. He is an incredible teacher whose philosophy about blogging about the Big 5 will work every time if you do it. That is where I suggest you start.

3.  Bark Cards

Consider yourself lucky being here with me because I am about to tell you about an incredible idea that I had years ago and used successfully in my own pet sitting business. It hasn’t only worked for me, but many I coach with and now I am going to share my secret.

Bark card

bark card

 

Have you ever been visiting a client and the dogs that live next door are just barking their heads off. It is clear that no one is home and they are just so excited that you are in their neighborhood? This is where the bark cards come in. Every dog walker would love to have clients on the same street. It is more efficient and easier money! So why not invite the neighors of your clients to use your services in a way that is attention grabbing? Create your own bark cards and you will get responses. On the front of the card you can have a picture of an obnoxious dog barking and on the back side you can write something like 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!

4 – Get Endorsed By A Veterinarian.

Being endorsed by a well-respected person of influence in your community can give you enormous credibility. If you don’t already, try to create a friendship with a veterinarian in your area. You could even do this with a dog trainer or a popular pet store in your town. Get to know them. Help them. Blog about them. Notice how I didn’t say drop business cards off at the front desk and run? I want you to build a relationship. Once you do, or if you already have… ask them to go on camera and offer an endorsement of your services. This could be huge in your phone script, on your website and in all your marketing materials.

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. Perhaps you are creating rack cards to leave in the waiting room at the veterinarian’s office? The top of them could say “dog walking” and three examples of clients you serve to help with their dog walking needs. Just because you might be a pet sitting company, doesn’t mean you can’t create marketing materials that specifically talk about dog walking.

6 – Discounted Rates That Are Enticing!

Discounts will work beautifully!  Now hear me out. There is something that happens psychologically when we hear a comparison of price. We have all heard it before, “Typically this is $100, but today only… you can get it for $33.00!”  Well gee, now $33 doesn’t sound that expensive, does it? If you can understand your pricing strategy enough, this can really work to your advantage. Although I see many pet businesses paint themselves into a corner with this because they publish their rates and they only talk about the cost on the phone, rather than the investment. Here is an example:

The cost would be $33.00 a walk.
The investment would be going to lunch with your bosses and landing that promotion because you were able to chum around with them! Or…. save time, gas, and stress from not having to rush home every day to walk or let out the dog.

If you embrace the fact that you are not only a dog walker but also a sales person…. yes, whether you like it or not, you are… then you can really go far with a pricing strategy utilizes discounts. If it is sone the right way 🙂

Wondering more about how to create your strategy? I have an entire class on this here

7 – Start A Dog Walking or Hiking Club or a Social Media Campaign

Make it cute! Create an 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. Tell about all the dogs you do walk and why their parents need you to walk them. Your viewers will start to see themselves as your clients because they can relate to the problems you are solving.

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! Take it a step further and ask the pet store you have a relationship with if they would give you a discount on bulk toys or donate a small doggie bag that all your dog walking club members get at the end of the walk.

logo_dog_walking 4

 

8- Ask 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 from their typical pet sitting appointments with you. 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!

 

Feel like this is all too much to do?

I get it. This is a lot of effort to build your business and who has time for all of that when you are busy doing all the pet sits and dog walks, right? I know exactly how it feels because I used to be just like you. In fact, after I sold my company I missed doing the marketing so much that I decided to do it for 12 pet sitting companies at a time for a six month period. It is called Better Marketing with Bella and I provide all my marketers with blogs, emails, statuses, graphics, and photos on the 1st of every month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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