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Episode 163: How To Get Your Community To Know About Your Pet Sitting Business

Picture this… there’s a huge gala going on in your community. Everyone is dressed to the nines and it’s a very high ticket event. There are local celebrities there and while at dinner they’re talking about their pets, imagine if your company’s name came up.

Here’s another example, you’re in a local Facebook group and someone is about to go on vacation, but they forgot to book a pet sitter until the last minute. They were so focused on creating a great trip and their normal pet sitter isn’t available. They ask the group who they use for pet care, wouldn’t it be amazing if your company came up overwhelmingly in the comments?

What would you do if your entire community knew about your pet sitting or dog walking services? How would that change the face of your business? Today, I want to talk to you all about how to get your community to know about your business.

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want To Miss

Getting known has to do with getting clear on what you want to be known for. Often times this isn’t the facts or what you do, but it is how you do it that matters. There is no doubting the fact that our clients are on Facebook. Instagram is close behind. You want to be the thought leader or expert in your community, but if you have no unique presence online it’s going to be hard to accomplish. Each month you should be writing blogs, creating graphics and videos, sending emails, sharing IG stories, and more. That might seem overwhelming, but Better Marketing With Bella can actually provide those things for your business with your branding, ready to post each month.

Show Highlights

  • What is one of the biggest challenges for you and your business? [4:40]
  • What sets you apart from your competitors? [6:15]
  • How can you stand out on social media? [8:30]
  • What should you be posting each month? [11:40]
  • How can you use Better Marketing With Bella to help? [17:20]

 

Community

Links

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Better Marketing With Bella

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marketing - hard work

Episode 162: 3 Problems with Marketing Your Pet Business

I’m coming to you today to talk about how you can solve the three biggest problems you have with marketing your pet business. I’ve found that marketing either comes naturally to you or you despise it. The ones that despise it are left lying awake at night wondering how to bring in more clients that they actually want. We all dream of having our business be the one that comes to mind in our local community when they think of pet care, but it’s really hard to get there.

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want To Miss

The most common challenges I see pet businesses face around marketing are not having the time to do it, the money and resources to fund it, or the creative juices to create it. Time is one of our most precious commodities. It almost always gets in the way of business owners working on marketing within their business. The lack of time to plan, resources to create, and creativity to produce something can lead you to share someone else’s content, which is only helping them, not you. Better Marketing With Bella can solve these challenges for your business by creating white-label videos and graphics with your branding, ready to post each month.

Show Highlights

  • What if you don’t have enough time? [4:45]
  • What resources go into marketing? [8:24]
  • How can you be creative when you’re burnt out? [12:10]
  • What if you had someone to help you? [16:00]
  • How can Better Marketing With Bella help you? [18:15]

 

Marketing

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    1. Click this link – Bella In Your Business
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Better Marketing With Bella

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Marketing Problems

3 Problems Everyone Has With Marketing Their Pet Sitting Business

Marketing is something that either comes naturally to you or you despise. Have you ever had that moment where you’re lying awake at night wondering how to bring in more clients that you WANT? Or how to stop getting calls, texts, and emails from the clients that you don’t want?

You just hired a few incredible people and you don’t want them to lose interest (because we all know how hard it is to find great people) but you just don’t have any clients to give them.

Or you’re on the edge of working 100% in your business and want to hire but also doing a balancing act where you don’t give up all of your work. Your bills need to be paid, so you can’t give up your clients to the first person you hire. Things would be easier if you had a steady stream of clients coming in, or your name was everywhere in the community so that you had a bunch of new clients to give to your new hire.

You hope that when the residents in your town think about pet care… they think about your company.

Does any of this sound familiar?

That is the result we all dream of but honestly, it is really hard to get there.

marketing - hard work

The most common challenges I see pet businesses face around marketing are not having the time to do it, the money and resources to fund it, or the creative juices to create it.

Can I get an Amen?!?!

I Don’t Have The Time To Market.

Your to-do list probably has a to-do list. You are running non-stop all day and you might be surviving off fast food, sugar, and caffeine. I see you. Busting your tail trying to hold it all together, wishing for the day when things weren’t so busy. Even when a day comes when you finally have a few hours to work on the business something happens. You have a mental breakdown, you don’t have the energy, or it just isn’t the day.

We all have 24 hours in a day yet there are people who are far more impactful. What do they have that I don’t? How can I make an impact like them? Maybe you’re wondering how these 7-figure companies that I talk about pull it off.

One 7-figure mama who I work with comes to mind. She lives at a dog kennel, runs a large dog walking business, homeschools her two sons, and takes regular vacations. I am in awe of her. The mental power it takes to accomplish all of that is inspiring.

But she doesn’t do it alone, she has teams that support her, the family, and the business. She also has incredible will power and determination to succeed! She could say she doesn’t have time to do everything but she makes the time.

I’m sure you could be checking something off of your to-do list now, but somehow you ended up here. 🙂 Maybe you feel like you haven’t spent all of your time well. You dream of having more time to learn something new, work on the business, or plan dinner.

Time is one of our most precious commodities. It almost always gets in the way of business owners working on marketing within their business.

Marketing time and money

Marketing Uses Resources And Money.

In addition to taking a lot of time – marketing also isn’t cheap. When you think about how much an hour of your time is worth ($50? $100?) and how many hours you can put towards marketing, it is costing you a lot. Not only in time (for things like finding a designer and a scheduling software to help…) but also to fund the designer and the software to help streamline your efforts.

If you are like me when I used to have my pet sitting company of 14 years, you would binge on creating marketing materials and then go stale for a long time. It was only when you were feeling creative or found a designer that new materials were created. Then you might regret hiring the designer because there goes lots of money out the window. $500.00+ each time it seems.

Sometimes we are fortunate enough to have someone to help us schedule the marketing – but then that is all that they can do. They can’t create the campaigns and they don’t know how to do hashtag research. They take 3 times as long to do something that it would take you. It costs a lot of money to produce all the marketing efforts.

It Is Challenging To Be Creative When You Have No Brainpower.

You know exactly what I mean…. I hear it all the time “I am so burnt out” and you know what happens then? Good-bye all the cute marketing ideas you might have had to create a new program, event, design, etc.

When your brain isn’t functioning or you’re permanently running on cortisol and stress, there is nothing left to get creative and be inspired. Have you ever logged onto Facebook to see that it was “international dog day” and everyone is sharing pictures? Now you just feel down and out because you think “why didn’t I know it was national dog day?”

All these special days are starting to get out of control, don’t you think? BUT — it is a great talking point, and you are in the pet industry, so it does make sense for you to jump on the bandwagon.

Feeling the pressure to post something, and not having the time or software to create anything, you just end up sharing someone else’s “international dog day” content.

There. It’s done.

But is it really? The lack of time to plan, resources to create, and creativity to produce something have lead you to make the worst decision. Which is sharing someone else’s content, because it’s only helping them, not you.

Golf Clap. Bravo.

Gosh, This Is All Tough, Right?

Who the heck is looking out for you? Who is there to be creative for you? Know exactly what works in your dog walking or pet sitting business? Something where you don’t have to constantly be finding vendors, spending time mapping it all out and deciding when to post the content, or trying to figure out the best software to make things?

Oh, and then goes what? Instagram and Facebook changed their algorithm….. again!

I got news for you – it happens multiple times a year and just when you think you have “beat” the system, it changes. And now we are all back to square one.

But what if you had someone in your back pocket? Someone with their ear to the ground… breaking down every conference and announcement that Facebook and Instagram makes? Knowing some of the top marketers in the social media space? What if you knew someone who had a proven track record in generating hundreds of thousands of dollars from social media? What if I took all the guess work out for you – gave you videos, graphics, outlines, content calendars, coaching sessions, IG and FB stories, captions, cover videos, and so much more?

I’ve Got Your Back.

Did you know that I have a program called Better Marketing with Bella? Did you know that every. single. semester. the program changes because social media is always changing?

What worked on social media in January 2017 isn’t what is working right now.

Did you know that if you type “comment, share, or like” in your description, you will not be shown in the newsfeed? Do you know that in 2017 you could post a description and still be seen in the feed and now your best chance of being seen is video?

Do you know there is no one else in the industry creating white-label videos for people like you – who have pet sitting and dog walking businesses to use on their platforms? Videos that are interesting, don’t all look the same, and that have your colors, logo, and font on them? Yeah. It is huge!

Listen, for the lowest price EVER – we are opening the doors soon for Better Marketing with Bella. You can get one of the limited seats, but the doors will close soon and it won’t be an option until 2020 to join for the second half of the year.

Even if you are the tiniest bit interested, you should fill out the short application – this will be time well spent, with money that won’t break the bank, and creatives from professional designers that would cost you thousands of dollars a month if you wanted to hire them privately to just do your brand.

Better Marketing With Bella

Episode 161: Why Rover Is Beating The Professional Pet Sitter

I wanted to talk about something pretty controversial today. Our listeners are at a myriad of levels in the pet industry from buying multiple businesses all the way to people who are on Rover or Wag and wanting to start their own professional company. I want you to take this message to heart, no longer are we mom and pop companies plugging away. There is something very unique that is changing in this business. Specifically, I’m going to be talking about why Rover (or any other app or hobby sitter) is beating the professional pet sitter.

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want To Miss

The reason why Rover or Wag might get more sign-ups than a professional pet sitter is because they’re beating us at the automation game. Pet parents don’t even get to experience how great our services are because our entire intake ignores the user experience. The experience your customer has with your business before even meeting you is paramount. Speak exactly to your avatar on your website, if I can copy and paste your website onto someone else’s site, you are doing it wrong.

Show Highlights

  • Why do Rover sitters get more sign-ups? [2:55]
  • How can we avoid people from moving on to other sitters? [8:15]
  • What is the most important part of the sales process? [9:00]
  • How can the professional sitter win against Rover? [12:15]

Rover

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    1. Click this link – Bella In Your Business
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Facebook Group - Mastermind - Rover

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Facebook Groups

Episode 160: How To Use Facebook Groups In Your Pet Sitting Business

What would you say if I told you I had a way for you to get in front of a lot of local clients? And that you could have a way to position yourself as an expert in your community? Well today I’m really excited to talk to you all about Facebook Groups!

We’ve talked about Facebook Groups two other times on Bella in Your Business. The first time was way back on Episode 42 with Maureen McCarthy and then again on Episode 110 with Erika Godwin, but today I’m actually going to take it to a higher level. Over the past year I have been flying around the country, and soon the UK, to speak on this very topic. I have been able to grace some pretty big stages and been called an expert on Facebook Groups so I thought that it was only fair to bring it to my audience.

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want To Miss

Your Facebook page is like your front yard, while your Facebook Group is your back yard. There’s a gate to get into your back yard, so it’s more private and it’s where you host a party, entertain your guests, and invite them to mingle. You want your group to Be The Destination by becoming an expert in your local community and connecting with other businesses in your community.

Show Highlights

  • What has Facebook said about Facebook Groups? [2:30]
  • What is the front yard and back yard analogy? [5:20]
  • How can your group Be The Destination? [9:15]
  • How do you create content for your Facebook Group? [13:05]
  • What questions should you ask people joining your group? [15:00]

Facebook Groups

Links

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Did you enjoy the show? We would love it if you subscribed today and left us a 5-star review!

    1. Click this link – Bella In Your Business
    2. Click on the ‘Subscribe’ button below the artwork
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Facebook Group - Mastermind

 

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Charge - pay online

7 Considerations When Deciding What To Charge Your Clients

Knowing what to charge our clients is always a hot topic. It is hard to figure out if we should base it off of what others are charging, the averages, stay competitive, or something else. There is a fear that if we charge too much, we won’t have any work or a bunch will leave. So whether you are just starting out or have been in business for a long time, the following will be a timeless message.

Charge - pay online

What Are You Charging For?

Duh Bella… pet sitting and dog walking you might be saying. But what if I told you that is what everyone else is doing and you should be different!

How?

Easy. Are you charging for a service that takes someone’s problem away and gives them a certain positive feeling or are you taking their money and giving them X amount of your time?

It is really as simple as that and it is something that many don’t think about. Most pet sitting websites look like this:

15 minutes = $18
30 minutes = $22
45 minutes = $25

We walk, feed, play, and love on your pets just like they are our own.

Blah… blah… blah…

Now if you are feeling a little irked at me for saying that, I beg you to stay with me and hear me out. What I just showed you above is what the majority of business owners present. How about presenting a problem that you take away and then give them a positive feeling?

Like this:

Lunch Time Let Out: Never worry about racing home in the middle of the day from work to give your dog relief. Take back your lunch break and relax while we let the dog out. TLC, Water, and love always included.

Puppy Visit: Congratulations on your new addition! Just like babies, puppies are a lot of work and we are here to help save your carpet and furniture by keeping your same training schedule so your carpets don’t get soiled and your furniture gets chewed. With our help, your puppy can learn the rules of your house at an early age with the consistency we provide. We reinforce the words you are using and get all their puppy energy out.

Do you see how one is like a menu and the other is more emotional? Take some time to think about what you are selling and how you are selling. This basically comes down to quantity vs quality. 

charge - sign up online

How Is Your Sign Up Process Presented?

We did an interesting experiment in the Mastermind. We pretended we were a new client for 9 of the members and timed how long it took for us to be able to check Pet Sitter/Dog walker off of our to-do list. The average sign up took about 8-10 minutes. Some we couldn’t even sign up.

Side note: If you are in the Mastermind and didn’t watch yet, it is in the Processes Unit 🙂 

Did you know that 60% of the sale is over by the time you even hear from the client? 60%! Imagine how many people are actually going to your website but not converting. Do you know why? It just might be because of the user experience on your website. How easily can they get what they need or sign up? Most of the time if people have questions, they will NOT ask you.

I feel like many business owners are quick to blame it on the price. The price is too high… I can’t charge that much, which might be true, but it is neglecting to look at the full picture and this part of the picture is called User Experience.

What Do You Upcharge For?

Upcharges are those additional fees for extra pets, time or tasks. Consider a few things here:

  • How does it make your client feel when they have a base charge but then all these add ons? Does it focus them on the price?
  • If you charge by time (ie. 15 min and 30 min…) then are you always leaving a bill if you or your staff is there for extra time? Like 20min or 25min? or are you just leaving money on the table? Who decides how long the job should take?

In other words, will your charges be all-inclusive or al la carte?

Will You Put Your Prices On Your Website?

This is a tricky one that really depends on a number of factors. I will do my best to break it down:

Put them on your site if:

  • You have a cheap price.
  • Your ideal client is a price shopper.
  • Your website is not professionally created.
  • You do not have a software where the client can automatically sign up without speaking/emailing you.
  • It is a very simple fee structure.

Do not put them on your site if:

  • Your price is average or high.
  • Your ideal client thinks of their pet as their baby or this service as a luxury.
  • You have software that is simple and easy to sign up.
  • Your website is professionally created with a user experience (UE) that really is impressive.
  • You have problems that you solve on your site, not exchange for time and money.

I am sure there are even more factors, but basically, you don’t want the price to be the determining factor. No one is going to buy from you because you have a pretty website. Price is a factor but when it is introduced into the conversation is important. That being said, if you choose not to have your prices on your website, your call to actions need to be on point (and easy). You also need to address it somehow like, “Prices starting at X.” or “Email/call to find out about our current monthly special” 

So when you are trying to decide what to charge consider if it is important to you (or not) to have your prices on your website. That will play a factor when determining what to charge.

charge for dog walking

Will You Always Be Solo Or Will You Have Staff?

This is a tough one and where business planning comes into play. Obviously, you have a lot larger piece of the pie if you are just solo. However, if you ever want to bring on staff, you must start early in understanding the numbers and what it will take to run a healthy operation. The pricing structure and strategy guide is great for this. This will be a factor in deciding what you should charge.

How Much Does A Visit Cost You?

Have you ever done a cost analysis of how much a visit costs? How much it takes to acquire the clients, wear and tear on your car, gas, your time, supplies, admin work for the actual booking, etc? There are a lot of hidden costs that I don’t think many take into account. This is going to be your expenses. They must be covered and then some. Especially if you have or will have workers in the future.

Will You Be Giving Raises? and When?

Something else to think about when deciding how much to charge is that wiggle room. You want to be able to leave some room for raises. Think about how much you will want to give and how frequently.

it is math

Math not Emotions

At the end of the day, you have to remember that deciding what to charge is a mathematical equation and it is not a popularity contest. If you have a keen understanding of all the things that will go into creating your price, you will have a much easier time at the actual marketing of your services. Even though XYZ Pet Sitting company does the same thing as you – the experience and quality are very different. Am I right?

It is exactly why a Ford Fiesta costs $13,000 and a Tesla Model X costs $80,000. Ultimately, both vehicles get you from Point A to Point B bu the experience in which they accomplish the transport is completely different.

How do you think of your business? There is no right or wrong answer. It just all needs to tie into your end goals for what you want from your business.

Most people I talk with want to do less work for more money, be disruptive in their market, have a steady flow of clients, and happy employees who love their pay.

How about you? Tell me below. I want to know!

Jump Start Your Pet Business - What should you charge

relationship marketing

Episode 159: BEST OF BELLA: Relationship Marketing & Buyer Personas With Jessika Phillips

Today for the Best of Bella series we are replaying Episode 120 with Jessika Phillips. She runs a multi-million dollar marketing firm where her major platform is relationship marketing and at the end of the day as small service providing businesses in our communities it’s all about the relationship. Jessika really leaves you with a lot of nuggets to think about that you can use in your business today, you don’t want to miss this one.

 

relationship marketing

Show Highlights

  • Who Is Jessika Phillips? [3:00]
  • How do I get started with relationship marketing? [7:30]
  • How do we tie in relationship marketing with buyer personas? [15:30]
  • What does a relationship marketing plan look like and how do I know if it’s working? [20:00]
  • What should we be doing on social media to start implementing relationship marketing? [26:00]
  • Describe your FREE social media toolkit? [27:15]

Original Show Notes

Jessika Phillips helps people master Relationship Marketing and as a relationship marketing evangelist she is often sought after for her approach to marketing. She’s the passionate Founder of NOW Marketing Group and host of the largest social media marketing conference in Ohio, Social Media Week Lima as well as the host of a weekly live video show called Magnet Marketers.

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want To Miss

  • When it comes to marketing, the first step is to think about how you are capturing attention. How are you standing out? Attention is the game when it comes to marketing. Usually somebody will take notice of you because you’re helping them in some way. Articulate your message in a way that’s clear and concise. Create micro-moments that will build the relationship. Make them feel excited to do business with you by creating a unique and enjoyable experience.relationship marketing

 

Special Offer

 

Links

Share The Show

Did you enjoy the show? We would love it if you subscribed today and left us a 5-star review!

  1. Click this link – Bella In Your Business
  2. Click on the ‘Subscribe’ button below the artwork
  3. Go to the ‘Ratings and Reviews’ section
  4. Click on ‘Write a Review’

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instagram secrets

Episode 158: BEST OF BELLA: Instagram Secrets For Your Pet Business With Jenn Herman

Today we are replaying Episode 116 with Jenn Herman as part of the Best of Bella series. Jenn literally wrote the book “Instagram For Business for Dummies” and she is a wealth of knowledge. She is incredibly insightful, she talks fast, drops lots of value bombs, and you are sure to learn stuff from her.

instagram secrets

Show Highlights

  • Who Is Jenn Herman? [2:25]
  • Why Do I Need Instagram In MY Business? [4:30]
  • What Are The Different Ways Consumers Can Use Instagram? [6:55]
  • How Do We Figure Out HOW Our Audience Consumes Instagram? [10:25]
  • What Tactics On Instagram Can We Use To Build Our Local Following? [13:10]
  • Should You Always Use A Location Tag? [17:25]
  • What Kind Of Strategies Can I Use For Hashtags? [18:25]
  • How Often Should You Post On Instagram? [26:20]
  • Why Should I Have A Kick-Butt Instagram Page? [29:20]

 

Original Show Notes

It’s no secret that Instagram can be a powerhouse social media platform for your business – but I see so many business owners that are just NOT using it to its fullest potential. If you’ve been wanting to dive deep into the inner working of Instagram and learn useful Instagram secrets, then today is your day!

Jenn Herman is a social media consultant, speaker, and globally recognized Instagram expert. She is the forefront blogger on Instagram marketing and her blog, Jenn’s Trends, has won the title of a Top 10 Social Media Blog in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Through her blog, consulting, and speaking Jenn provides tips, resources, and training for small to medium-sized businesses that need to structure their social media strategies. Her business background includes Administration, Sales, Human Resources, and Marketing and she enjoys bringing all these skills together to help you grow your business. Jenn has been featured in Inc., Fox News, Yahoo Finance, HuffPost, The Verge, CBS Radio LA, and numerous other podcasts and publications. She is the author of “Instagram for Business for Dummies”, “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Instagram” and “Stop Guessing: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Social Media Strategy”. Learn more about Jenn on her website http://jennstrends.com.

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want To Miss

  • Above all, you have to have a consistent strategy. Being active and taking the time to implement the strategy you develop is key.  Your processes will drive the results that get you clients, regardless if you have 50 followers or 50,000 followers. What matters is who’s going to find you and bring you business. Build an amazing community of the followers you have and use strategic efforts (i.e. hashtags, stories, following events) to turn that into business.

 

instagram secrets

 

Special Offer

  • Pick up a copy of Jenn’s book, Instagram For Business For Dummies, on Amazon here: http://bit.ly/IGBizDummies

 

instagram secrets

 

Share The Show

Did you enjoy the show? We would love it if you subscribed today and left us a 5-star review!

  1. Click this link – Bella In Your Business
  2. Click on the ‘Subscribe’ button below the artwork
  3. Go to the ‘Ratings and Reviews’ section
  4. Click on ‘Write a Review’
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pet sitting employees

Episode 157: BEST OF BELLA: Coaching Your Pet Sitting Employees To Success With Niki Ramirez

This week for the Best of Bella series we are replaying episode 95 with Niki Ramirez. Niki is a wealth of information for everything human resources related, she is also a monthly guest in the Jump Consulting Mastermind. A lot of pet sitters and dog walkers may think that they’re too small to afford an HR specialist like Niki, but in actuality, it’s one of the biggest things you can have on your team. Listen intently to see how she helps pet sitters and dog walkers and everything you can learn.


pet sitting employees
Show Highlights:

  • What is coaching and why should we coach? [6:20]
  • What do great coaches do to unlock the best potential of their employees? [10:50]
  • Are there different types of coaching? And when should we implement these techniques and why? [14:50]
  • Is there any easy way to say “I’m going to be coaching you?” [16:30]
  • How can you coach stubborn pet sitting employees? [20:20]
  • How can you find Niki and tap into her resources? [25:20]

Original Show Notes

Today we welcome our friend, Niki Ramirez! She is a Human Resource specialist at HRAnswers.org, who provides full-service HR consultation, compliance support and employee training for small businesses. Their mission is to take care of “HR” so that their clients can focus on their business. Today we’re talking about how to be a coach to your pet sitting employees and why it is so important.

 

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want To Miss:

  • We are all natural coaches. But the way that we interact and socialize makes it difficult. Be mindful and focused to practice the skills that are already within us.
  • Coaching is an opportunity to point out what you do well and also offer immediate ways to adjust. It is also a top opportunity to build relationships and report with our pet sitting employees
  • How often should we be coaching people? We don’t want to be a “mother hen” and we don’t want to go overboard. It is more important to go hard during the introduction time period. When an employee is new you want to coach them more.
  • Counseling vs coaching where do you draw the line? As a leader, you have to send questions ahead of time that guides your thinking. You have to identify that they are going through something but work through it quickly. Let them know you value them and you have a support base for them if needed. But you can’t “counsel” them.
  • Where do you draw the line of counseling or coaching and those personal boundaries? You can’t always get too personal, even though you may want to. You have to have a distinct boundary line
  • Can staff members coach each other? Definitely! In fact, they are a great resource for team building. Find who is doing a wonderful job that will help you grow. Tap into that and help them grow naturally within your company.

Links

Find and contact Niki for a quick and easy consultation at HRAnswers.org

coach

Share The Show:

Did you enjoy the show? We would love it if you subscribed today and left us a 5-star review!

  1. Click this link – Bella In Your Business
  2. Click on the ‘Subscribe’ button below the artwork
  3. Go to the ‘Ratings and Reviews’ section
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coach

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Lain Ehmann

Episode 156: BEST OF BELLA: Defining Your Brand With Lain Ehmann

Bella chose episode 56 with Lain Ehmann to be part of the Best of Bella series because it was one of the most downloaded episodes of Bella in Your Business. Bella and Lain dive in deep on branding and how to make your website stand out. They talk about figuring out who you are as a brand and a business, Lain even offers a free download to help you!

brand

Show Highlights

  • Who is Lain? [3:25]
  • What mistakes do small businesses make on their website? [4:30]
  • How can you correct the issues? [7:00]
  • What is messaging? [9:50]
  • Should all businesses be concerned about branding? [18:00]
  • How do you share your marketing across different platforms? [20:40]
  • What is something businesses shouldn’t do in messaging? [23:50]
  • Where can you find out more about Lain? [27:20]

Original Show Notes

On this episode, Bella spends time with Lain Ehmann, Marketing Strategist at #FastLain.

You will learn how to make that message different between the mediums. In particular, be conscious of the frame of mind people are in when they are reaching out to you vs. when you are reaching out to them. Give them something they wouldn’t expect. Don’t sell them. Listen in as they talk about the mistakes small businesses make on their websites, including telling a story that your audience wants to hear vs. telling the story you want the audience to hear. Be mindful of your audience.

Messaging, which is “communications branding”, is critical to success. It is the message you are going to consistently send out to your audience that also helps you distinguish yourself from others in your niche. As a bonus, doing so may even allow you to charge more.

“Messaging is a tool to do that by defining who you are, what the value is that you provide, and the audience you provide that to.” – Lain Ehmann

The next logical step in the process is helping customers see that you can solve the problems they have.  You can drive customer motivation by tapping into their “pain points”. Bella recommends that you include the benefits of your online scheduling as part of your messaging.  Lain says that playing up your “secret sauce”, that unique niche that you have identified, will help you reach those who need that service and even build your standing among those who don’t because they see how much you care.

They also recommend doubling up on your marketing. For instance, doing a Facebook live with tips about dog walking and then putting a link to that under your services page.

Another common mistake Lain points out is that often business owners speak from their point of view and assume that the audience knows everything that they know. In fact, educating the audience should be an important part of your efforts. Make sure they understand the terminology and services you are offering. Lead them through your site to the call to action.

About Lain

Lain is a bestselling author and communications strategist, who specializes in helping six- and seven-figure entrepreneurs uncover hidden profits and potential – FAST.  Her superpower is saying what your customers and clients really need to hear, to get the results you want as quickly as possible.

Links Mentioned In This Episode

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Navigating Social Media

Episode 155: BEST OF BELLA: Navigating Social Media with Mari Smith

We’re taking it back to episode 93 on this edition of the Best of Bella series, when Bella had the sincere pleasure of interviewing Mari Smith. She knows everything that is going on and she is the nicest, most approachable woman Bella has met in the social media space. They had fun talking about the ins and outs of social media and Bella wanted to bring her to you all again.

Original Show Notes:

Navigating social media can be pretty difficult, especially when it comes to your online business. Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is hailed as the premier Facebook marketing expert and one of the most influential and knowledgeable new media thought leaders in the world. In fact, Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to go on tour with the company to teach business owners across the United States how to grow their businesses using Facebook!  Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.”

social media

 

Mari is an in-demand speaker and travels the world to keynote and train at major events. She also serves as Brand Ambassador for many leading companies.  She has over 1.7 million followers on her various social channels and is the author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day.

 

 

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want To Miss:

  • How did you become such an expert on Facebook? In order to become an expert, you have to put in 10,000 hours into your skill. Be unwavering in your focus. FOCUS= Follow One Course Until Successful. It helps you keep on track.
  • Overall it is a universal mindset with fear-mongering. You can get really upset or you can be a calming voice of how to overcome or make a change regarding a problem you see, like pet food recalls or puppy mills. Mari encourages us to be the calming voice.
  • You have to be mindful of what you post for relationship marketing. Treat people with respect and use proper social etiquette even online. Ask yourself “would I be comfortable with this…appearing on the front page or on a google search. Even more, would you be okay with your Mom seeing it? Quiet your ego and try to diffuse tangents. Don’t be drawn into petty conversations. There are always screenshots that will be your digital ink.
  • How can you add value to your business with Facebook? You become a leader in social media by using groups and stories. Have a good strategy for your stories and you easily convert your personal Instagram to a business Instagram and have those post directly to your Facebook, which drives traffic to your website.

 

Navigating social media Mari Smith

Show Highlights:

  • Mari’s expertise in Facebook and how she got started on her path to becoming the “Queen of Facebook.” [3:30]
  • How to FOCUS for success [7:45]
  • Creating meaningful relationships on Facebook [10:50]
  • New business skills that everyone needs [14:10]
  • Benefits of setting up Facebook Groups [16:30]
  • Advice on how to build your online community [24:00]

Links:

Find more about Mari Smith and her new book at www.marismith.com

Check out The 12 Biggest Social Media Marketing Mistakes Businesses Make at http://www.marismith.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/12_Social_Media_Mistakes-MariSmith.pdf

Downloadable Offer:

Free PDF download. Mari Smith’s recommended Video Gear List for Facebook Live broadcasts:www.marismith.com/fblive

Share The Show:

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Joey Coleman

Episode 154: BEST OF BELLA: Customer Experience With Joey Coleman

Bella chose this episode to be part of the Best Of Bella series because it is with Joey Coleman. She first saw him live at Social Media Marketing World 2017 and his presentation skills blew her out of the water. Without further ado, she wants all of you to experience Joey and his First 100 Days methodology.

Pet Sitting Customer Experience

Show Highlights

  • How has Joey done and accomplished the things in his life? [4:40]
  • What is the First 100 Days methodology? [8:10]
  • Is there a direct correlation between telling stories and solving problems and value? [12:50]
  • How can business owners create a meaningful customer experience? [15:00]
  • How can employees get involved? [28:45]
  • Where can everyone find and connect with Joey? [30:50]

Links

customer experience

Original Show Notes

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

  • 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 acknowledgments.
  • Doing a monthly quick check of the pet (for any issues).
  • Giving the pet a bath unexpectedly.
  • Sending quick personalized videos of 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.

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hiring

How To Stop Asking The Wrong Interview Questions At A Dog Walking Interview

Picture this…. You are all excited about this new hire you just brought onto your team. They have worked at a dog rescue as a volunteer for over five years. They have three dogs of their own. Their husband makes all the money and has the health insurance and their kids have almost graduated high school, with one in college. This new hire seems like a dream come true.

And then, she becomes demanding her second week on the job. She only wants certain clients and only want to work certain hours. She doesn’t like cats, only dogs, and she always has an opinion on the way you do things.

This new hire, that you were so happy about, is now a thorn in your side. You have no idea how to actually pull out this thorn and you have to constantly watch out that it doesn’t prick you deeper. In reality, you just wish she would quit. Eventually, the resentment grows and you feel like a hostage in your own business. Does this sound familiar?

Ever wonder what actually happened? How did she go from the perfect during the interview to a witch in just 14 days?

I see this all the time. Even I have been guilty of allowing it to happen on my own team. I can’t stress how important it is to streamline the hiring process in a way that is always being perfected. To create an image in your mind, let’s call it the gauntlet…

Interview

The Hiring Gauntlet

I think it is important to keep in mind that when you start the hiring process it isn’t about you being on your high horse and having people beg to work for you. Just as it doesn’t work that way on a first date, it certainly isn’t that way during an interview. The interest has to be mutual.

Looking for people to work for you is very similar to looking for clients. You have to appear attractive and appeal to your avatar. You have to understand why they are looking for a job, what value you offer, and why they should pick you over, let’s say, Rover, Wag, or any other company.

Is it possible that your own bias got in the way because your interview process is failing you? Are you blaming it on the job market or your area? I got news for you… unemployment is at an all-time low right now – so you can blame it on whatever you want but the truth of the matter is that excuses aside you must figure out how to systematically overcome this hurdle.

The process of interviewing should not be off-putting. The initial communication shouldn’t be an application or a long list of questions. If you do this, you will decrease your chances of getting people interested in the job and therefore your conversion of the people who look at your application to those who actually apply would be under 10%.  You should always be aware of your conversion rate – it will directly tell you how attractive your hiring ad and process really are. You will learn to tweak it this way.

Interview

If You Want To Be Attractive Here Is What I Suggest You Do:

1. Have a hiring ad that talks directly to your avatar in real human language. If you are lost on what I mean by this, I have a free 3-hour training you can watch here.

2. Have under five initial knock-out questions. For example, you can qualify the area they live in, ask them how much they are looking to make or find out their availability. The hundred other questions that I know you want to ask really don’t matter at this stage in the game. How many people do you meet these days who do NOT have a smartphone? This isn’t 2005. 🙂

Once you have qualified the right type of people to be in your hiring gauntlet now the hard work begins. However, if you have software to help you with this, you won’t ever have to think of what to say again and again because it is as easy as pressing a button to move them from Phase 1 to Phase 2.

This stage could be three open-ended questions. Where they have to describe what they would do. Or, you can have it as a multiple choice. But the toughest part for you is to create these questions. Here is what I mean.

Value-based vs Skill-based Questions.

Would you agree that if you don’t like dogs, you wouldn’t be applying for this position? Would you also agree that we can basically teach people how to walk a dog, scoop cat litter, and feed the pets? If we can agree on that, then we really need to focus more on the VALUE-based questions.

Let me give you an example:

Let’s say that you value treating others how you would want to be treated. How can we test for this? One way might be an open-ended question like:

You are walking home from going out to dinner. There was too much food so you are carrying a to-go box with you to save for lunch the next day. You stop at a corner and a homeless woman engages with you and asks you if you can spare any change so she can buy something to eat. What do you do?

1. Pretend you don’t hear her and keep walking. There are homeless people everywhere.
2. Tell her you don’t have any cash on you.
3. Give her money from your wallet.
4. Give her your leftovers. If they were good enough to take home, they are certainly good enough for her.

You would have to decide ahead of time which is the right answer for you and which is the TOTALLY wrong answer for you based on your values. Now, of course, one question can’t give you everything you need to know about a person so certainly you will have to ask more questions. Perhaps even testing the same thing, but knowing the RIGHT questions to ask is huge.

How do they take feedback? Are they adaptable?

I want you to watch this short clip of Trivinia Barber of Priority VA. She was our guest expert for the training we had in June about delegation. Listen to what she says about asking questions, role-playing, and feedback. Can you incorporate this into your business?

 

This is a great example, showing how the ability to adapt to situations could help give you insight into your applicant’s ability.

Stop Asking The Wrong Questions:

Ever since pet sitters started interviewing I’ve seen the same questions come up again and again.

“If you walked into a home and there was poop everywhere, what would you do?”
“If you walked into a home and the dog looked like he was in distress, what would you do?”

All these questions are something you would train the employee for. You would tell them your protocol. Typically the first step is “call the office.”

If you can ask the right questions before you hire people… how much better hires will you make? Would you have to let people go after two weeks? There is always room for improvement and this task is never 100% perfected. Maybe what I said here helps ignite something in your system that you can test. Perhaps you want to know more of what Trivinia said or wish you had software to help you with all of this?

Well in true Bella fashion I will never give you more problems to solve, so you can:
1. Join the Mastermind to watch the entire 1 hour training with Trivinia and 15 other high-level experts we have had over the past year.
2. Grab your trial of JazzHr, 50% off, my hiring ads, and knockout questions here.

Just ask yourself… Am I asking the right questions to understand this person’s values? You need to hire for attitude and train for skill.

Jump Mastermind - Interview

What Happens To Your Business When You Join A Mastermind?

So many relationships have been built and broken on missed or targeted expectations and joining a mastermind is no different. When you join a mastermind you should know exactly what you can expect from the group, the leader, and what is expected of you. To make sure that everyone has a positive experience, we have to understand that expectations are a two-way street.

What Do I Need To Do For The Group?

Mastermind

Show Up

As a member of a mastermind, it is important that you show up, ready to listen, be challenged in your thinking, and receive constructive criticism. Simply attending the predetermined meetings can change your experience of the group and it is important for you to be present so you can ask questions, get help, and give help to your fellow members.

Homework

It is also important that you do your homework. Typically at the end of the meetings, you are asked what goals you have for the next meeting and you either have completed it or you haven’t. It is this simple task that helps you practice creating goals and gives you small wins each week when you accomplish your goals. It also shows group members that you are serious about your business and want to move forward.

Encour

You may or may not be the “smartest” one in the group, but know that your opinion, support, and advice always matters. Be sure to show up not only to get help but allow yourself to encourage other members. Your encouragement or confirmation of an idea they have could change their entire outlook! Don’t sell you or your fellow members short.

What Should I Expect From A Mastermind?

Learn From Others

You can expect that people will come from different backgrounds and business practices. Just as you will learn what you CAN do, a mastermind is also an opportunity to learn from others’ mistakes. Sometimes when you’re sitting in on one of your meetings you’ll hear a story about a fellow member who went through a really tough time with a topic you’ve been struggling with and came out victorious.

Let’s use raising prices as an example. You learn from a fellow member that they had all the same fears you had before they raised their prices. Maybe they even said exactly what you’re thinking, “I’m afraid my clients will get mad and I’ll get angry emails or lose clients”.

Then you learn that they were SHOCKED they didn’t lose any clients. Or the one client who left was a client that always complained and they really didn’t like them anyway.

Seeing how other people have faced the same challenges you have and what the outcome was will help give you the confidence to be the incredible business owner that you are. There is a lot of power in knowing that you aren’t the first one to have gone through it. And if the worst happens you have an entire group of people to support you and help evict that negative self-talk that tends to creep up when we are alone in our thoughts.

A mastermind will support you and give you ideas in a way that is empowering, useful, and often proven methodologies.

Long-term Relationships

In most masterminds, you can really rely on having long-term relationships with the members.  It often isn’t a fluid group where there is a revolving door of people coming and going.  The group typically has members enter at a certain time and the group forms together.  People bond and feel a closeness that you don’t feel elsewhere because the intimacy grows as you face struggles head on and cheer each other on.  It’s actually quite powerful and why the group bonds together because they are all vested in each other.

Long-term relationships allow consistency with members and encourage the bonding of the group. People tend to be quite open about their finances, fears, and dreams so they can be better understood in the group and therefore better supported.  There aren’t many other places where a business owner can feel comfortable opening up without fear of competitors seeing, being judged, or feeling inadequate. Masterminds expect you to be vulnerable and comfort in doing so happens because of the long-term relationships created.

Celebrations

Just as a mastermind will be there to get you through the hard times, it’s equally as important that they are there to celebrate with you when you have achievements. Arguably, they are the only ones who really know how much work and guts it took you to make that achievement and you can expect them all to cheer you on through each one.

Episode 151: BEST OF BELLA: Interview with a Small Business State Auditor

This episode is part of the “Best of Bella” series. Bella chose this episode with a former state auditor as one of the best, because she loves being able to bring unique experts to you. If you missed this episode the first time around you’ll be pretty surprised by what you hear.

Interview with a state auditor

Show Highlights

  • Who is Katrina Kadyszewski? [4:10]
  • How does interpretation come into play with auditors? [6:20]
  • Which documents should you have when being audited? [10:55]
  • What is the goal of an auditor? [15:20]
  • Should you get your lawyer or CPA involved when being audited? [17:15]
  • How are businesses chosen for audits? [22:40]
  • How far back should you be keeping records? [24:45]
  • What is the VCSP (Voluntary Classification Settlement Program)? [26:00]

Interview with auditor Best of Bella

Original Show Notes

In this episode of “Bella In Your Business”, Bella talks with Katrina Kadyszewski, a former state auditor with the State of Connecticut.

Katrina has over 16 years of experience working in a variety of financial positions. She started in the brokerage industry with a Series 7, 63 and 65 and life and health license, and then transitioned to audit work for the CT Department of Revenue Services. She then left to support small businesses in their efforts to get organized for expansion.

Katrina spent 3 of her almost 8 years with the CT Dept. of Revenue Services in the Business and Employment Tax Audit Unit, focused primarily on payroll tax issues. The last 5 years she has worked as a Corporation Tax auditor, traveling across the US auditing largely Fortune 500 companies.

Main Topics

Bella and Katrina first discuss a big controversy in the pet sitting industry, which is misclassification of employees as either independent contractors or employees. Katrina outlines some key indicators that auditors look for in making that determination:

  • Is there an actual contract between you and the contractor?
  • Are your payments to them regular in nature?
  • How much control do you have over them with regards to work hours, uniform, training, etc.?
  • Do they offer the same services to other companies through their own business?
  • Are you providing them all the tools, training, and supplies they need?
  • Basically, consider how loose is the relationship?

They also discuss why they think business owners are so apprehensive about audits, what documents a business owner should have at their disposal if they are being audited, and whether business owners should take their lawyer and accountant to the audit. Katrina also gives some insight into what triggers an audit.

Resources

There are resources out there to help small business owners. Katrina and Bella suggest a few, like the IRS’s  20-factor test to help you determine employee or independent contractor status and amnesty programs that exist to help encourage business owners to make the right switch.

Have you ever been audited? Want to hear about pet sitters who have been audited? I have interviewed a handful and reported about it all here.

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