Posts

Show up on Social

Episode 167: How to Show Up on Social When You Have No Time

Today, I am going to explain to five strategies to show up on social media when you just feel like you don’t have the time.

Let’s face it, I’ve never, ever had anyone come to me and say…

“Oh, I have all this time, and I need to do something.”

These tips are going to be quick and dirty because I know how busy you are.

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want to Miss

Showing up on social media is as simple as making it a priority in your business! We all have a tendency to carve out time for things we deem important, why are we not doing the same for showing up on social? Find out what it is that’s holding you back from scheduling time in your calendar dedicated to social media. Don’t be afraid to recycle your posts.

If you’re struggling with the creative and the strategy look into Better Marketing with Bella and see how Bella can help boost your social media marketing.

Show Highlights

  • Find time for things that are important [2:20]
  • Recycle your posts [3:30]
  • Schedule time in your calendar [4:15]
  • Use scheduling software [5:00]
  • Hire someone for the creative and the strategy [6:58]
  • Quick Recap [8:58]

Show up on Social

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’

 

Play

How To Get Your Community To Know About Your Pet Sitting Business

One of the biggest challenges marketers (that’s you!) face is getting their community to know about their pet sitting business.

We don’t need the entire world to know about our services, just a saturation of those geographically the closest to us.  We need to get them so excited that they are the top of the mind when the need arises for themselves or their loved ones.

I specifically say excited because being known typically means that you have a certain emotion that is being evoked, which means people might not always remember exactly what you do, but they will always remember how you made them feel.

This is the secret sauce.

But how exactly can we become known to our community beyond the usual posting on Facebook, having a blog, a website, Instagram, and shaking hands and meeting other pet business professionals in the area?

This phenomenon is what is your brand saying about you when you are not there? Do you know? Or, not saying anything because people don’t know you can be just as bad.

What Do You Want To Be Known For?

Getting known has to do with getting clear on what you want to be known for. What makes your business unique? There are hundreds of businesses in your area that take care of pets and there are a lot of friends and family that can do it, too.

So, what really makes your business unique and different?

Often times this isn’t the facts or what you do, but it is the how you do it all that matters. That leaves the feeling that gets people talking.

Answering this question will be the key to your success.

Your Unique Competitive Advantage

If your brain is coming up blank I want you to take a minute and listen to this podcast episode when I had Jennifer Diepstraten on. She talked about quantum benefits and it was really enlightening to see how our businesses really were different.

I want you to try to think of 3 – 5 things that your competitors can’t say that you can.

Use these questions below to help you fill in the blanks:

Are you memorable for your:

  • Story?
  • Name?
  • Logo?
  • Operations?
  • Cost (high or low)?

Use this in all your marketing.

Talk about it at events. Make it apart of your unique story that no one else can tell. Mark Schafer is really good at this. He is the author of KNOWN — The handbook for building and unleashing your personal brand in the digital age.

He presented in the Mastermind and really pushed our beliefs on how exactly we were accomplishing this in our own marketing…

How we were going to stand out and actually hold space for the pet parents in our community to actually belong.

Check this out:

 

 

Pretty powerful, right?

That is the type of goodness we have in the Mastermind.

It was really eye-opening as to how to stop doing the same things that everyone else does and start doing the unique things in our own business marketing.

So How Can We Stand Out On Social Media To Be Known In Our Community?

Ah!

This is the million-dollar question, isn’t it?

I mean we know that 68% of Americans use Facebook. Oddly enough the same exact percentage also have pets according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey

(Side note…I thought that was crazy that they are BOTH 68% when I was writing this article too! LOL) 

There is no doubting the fact that our clients are on Facebook. Instagram is close behind. They are the sister to Facebook and growing just as fast.

Did you know that over 70% of users are under 35 years of age? Do you also realize that the buying power of this segment is major with many waiting until much later in life to start a two-legged family so they are able to pour a lot of their discretionary income into their four-legged loved ones?

We have to know the latest trends in social media.

We have to know how to connect with others, but we also have to know how to get them to:

  • Reshare content
  • Spread it virally in their local community

Even though likes are going away on Instagram, (did you know that?) we can still show the social proof of the engagement of the people who actually stop their scroll long enough because they find us interesting or relevant enough to interact and respond to our posts.

The Value Of Being A Resource In Your Community

Do you want to be a drive-by or a destination in your community for the best pet sitting business?

Imagine being the first thought of pet resource in your community. I am talking about getting all the calls from people saying things like…

“I need something for my pet — I know you don’t provide it, but I thought you would know.”

This basically means they are thinking of you as the thought leader or expert in your town.

This is powerful.

This is top of the mind awareness. But if you have no unique presence, no professional presence online…

Then this is going to be pretty hard to accomplish.

We need to stand out on social media by having professional graphics, captivating captions, and reactive engagement with our communities.

 

Here is Exactly What You Can Be Posting Every Month To Be Known (And Shared) In Your Communities:

 

How to get your community to know about your pet sitting business

 

Here are my thoughts on ways to be seen in your local community:

  1. Facebook Lives and Blogs: Write two blogs that are meaningful and follow them up with a Facebook live (record the video to embed in the blog post)
  2. Professional Graphics: Post at least 8-10 professionally made graphics with an interesting description that reflect your branding, logo, and colors. The graphic is there to capture attention and the copy is there to engage the reader.
  3. Videos: Once a week, create a square video for Instagram and be sure to convert it to vertical for Facebook to have the most visibility across platforms. Be sure to keep it to a good time limit and not to overpower the message as an advertisement.
  4. Facebook Video Cover: To give an impression that you keep up with your marketing, are trustworthy, and up to date on all the new things, impress your viewers with a new Facebook video cover each month highlighting something relevant to the time of year.
  5. Email Marketing: Since Rover is sending emails out weekly, I highly suggest that you do yours at least twice a week. Make it about your clients, be relevant, use minimal design elements. The sole purpose of this is to elevate you as a thought leader. Even if they don’t open it.
  6. Instagram and Facebook Stories: The viewership of these two platforms is growing exponentially. Creating stories in real-time WITH professionally produced graphics that link together for a common message is powerful and underutilized. Not to mention, very much reusable as you build an arsenal.
  7. Thought Leaders: Follow social media thought leaders like Mari Smith, the Queen of Facebook and Jenn Herman, the world’s forefront blogger and author on Instagram to stay in the loop. They’re both my friends. 🙂 Follow them. Read every update.

 

Conclusion

If you do all of this, you will be well ahead of your competition and other pet sitting businesses in your area.

You will be perceived as a thought leader, someone who is on top of it all, and someone they can trust.

You will want to connect with other key influencers in your area and prompt them to share your hard work so you can be helpful to them and their brand, their communities, and of course expand your own.

Better Marketing with Bella

If any of this seems overwhelming, you can actually get all that is listed above and more for the lowest price ever offered via Better Marketing with Bella.

Join us for a six-month contract to get all the graphics, captions, square videos, cover videos, vertical videos, blog/video outlines, emails, individual and group coaching calls, and more.

 

Switching ICs to Employees for Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers

Most Common Problems When Switching ICs to Employees

Switching from independent contractors (ICs) to employees can be a challenging process to execute no matter what industry you are in. It is especially tough for the pet sitting and dog walking industry because they are often small businesses, they have limited funds, and little advisement or support from experts.

Luckily for you, that is where I come in. In an earlier blog, I told you about the major shifts in our industry. One of them is businesses switching the classification of workers from ICs to employees in droves. Many are afraid to do it. They don’t know what will happen or how to do it. Stick around until the end and I will help get you through that.

What If All My Staff Leaves?

switching ICs to employees for pet sitters and dog walkers

The first thing many people are terrified about is that their staff will all leave them. Many think that if they tell their staff they are going to be getting taxes taken out and that they will now be able to dictate when people work that the staff will leave them. Perhaps they are true ICs already, running their own business, have many other clients of their own, and don’t want to give that up!

All of this is a valid concern. If your staff leaves, you are left with many clients and no one to help service them. You are only one person. There are certain ways to make sure that this transition happens perfectly and specific things you should not do.

 

What If My Clients Are Unhappy With The Shift?

The only problem that would come up with the clients is if their pet sitter changed. (See above) If your sitter decided to terminate the contract with you and the clients had to get new staff members, that is just about the only reason I see clients getting upset with your decision to switch from independent contractors to employees. In reality, they would have to find another company anyways, so time to step up the “why trust us” game.

 

What If I Have To Raise Rates?

switching from Independent contractors to employees for pet sitters and dog walkers

Ah! This is probably the biggest concern percolating in your head! Most likely, you will have to raise rates. There are countless people I have advised that had to do just this. Basically, they were paying too much (I will discuss below) and charging too little so naturally, they needed to shift their client base and raise their rates.

The numbers don’t lie and a lot of people start out with my pricing structure and strategy class. This class helps you understand what you need to charge and how to have a strategy that ties into your goals. There is a good chance you might have to raise your rates.

That is, unless you want to be a non-profit.  🙂

What If I Have To Lower Pay?

This sounds so scary and it is! What do you do if you already know you would like to pay more and now the numbers are showing you that in order to achieve your goals you need to pay even LESS.

Ahhh that is scary and almost incomprehensible.
I know.
But trust me, it can be done.

I helped one gal switch from ICs to employees. Her clients went down. Her staff went down. Her prices went up and her profit was higher than ever before. In the end, we need to remember that this is not a popularity contest.

What If I Have To Wait For VRSP?

The Voluntary Reclassification Settlement Program is through the US federal government. If you submit a form and pay a small fine they will grant you employee status and not look at your prior years.

Did you know that audits can happen up to two or three years later?!?! So even if you were to switch from ICs to employees today… it doesn’t mean in a year from now you couldn’t get a knock at your door asking to explain your ICs from 2 years ago!

Crazy huh?

We All Need To Be Leaders

With all these problems, it is easy to stick our head in the sand and play ostrich. But guess what? If we want to be the best leader of our life and business – we have to face this fact. Pretending it doesn’t exist isn’t going to get us anywhere and many, many, many states are cracking down and making it impossible to have ICs.

The benefits of having employees are that you can train them, you have more control, you won’t be scared of an audit, and YOU, the business owner, are protected because you are able to have all types of insurance. (Non-owned, worker’s compensation, general liability, etc)

As an established business, switching to employees is possible but you must have a plan.  You must know the steps you need to take and what it is going to cost you. You want to think about the big picture and know why you are doing it so it will help you get through the tough times. This is something that is tougher to accomplish the larger your company gets so if you are thinking about doing it, I would highly suggest that you do it sooner rather than later.

 

ICs to Employees webinar

Register Now – Tuesday May 21st @ 3pm

Jump Mastermind

The Journey Of Discovering The Right Person For The Jump Mastermind Group

Being around a bunch of people where you can share your ideas, learn, and really bond can prove to be incredibly life changing for any pet business.

I saw a need for the free pet sitting facebook groups I run.

People wanted to feel closer to one another where they could bond and really know exactly who was in the group.

This sort of closeness transforms businesses because when people can feel free to share openly and honestly without fear, true business and personal growth happen.

I see it all the time.

Jump Mastermind

The Problem I Needed To Solve For Pet Sitters:

People would direct messaging me explaining that they wish they could share in the free group but they didn’t feel comfortable because:
…they didn’t know who was reading.
…they didn’t know if it was going to be screenshot and publicized.
…they didn’t want to be judged.
….they were afraid what others would think.

Plus they really wanted to build their business and wanted to know how and not just in one post. They needed someone to help hold them accountable. They were hungry and ready to work.

They were also ready to invest in their own success.

They knew that the free groups, while sometimes good, only gets you so far. They knew that in order to be in an elite community where people are showing up and are caring about one another’s success, pushing together, that they would have to invest their time and money.

When this investment happens a lot of the bickering, drama, and failure to follow through on tasks or goals goes away.

 

When I decided to launch the Jump Mastermind group, I knew I needed to take my own advice and:

Defining My Audience Was A Must.

I also realized that people joining would want to know that “hey these are my people!” I know they would want to feel comfortable sharing, know that others had the same type of business and it would feel so comfortable

…almost like a family.

I didn’t want it to be a free for all where just anyone with a bank account could join.

There had to be a bit of exclusivity.

The most obvious qualification stated at the top of the Jump Mastermind landing page says that business needs to be making at least $50K a year.

I settled on $50K thinking that by this time, one would already have a website, clients, and are up and running. They also might be on the verge of having staff and just need that support.

Or they might already have staff?

I needed to set the bar at a qualification where we didn’t just get watered down with a bunch of Wag and Rover sitters. I also didn’t want a bunch of people who were constantly spinning their wheels “too busy” to make any progress.

But I have to be honest with you.

I actually had some really incredible people who are making things happen in their own business who haven’t yet reached this $50K threshold.

Their value wasn’t defined by their revenue.

It was actually defined by their mindset.

I have come to realize that mindset and participation is actually more important and any dollar number.

 

But Bella Doesn’t Care About Small Business…

It has been tough taking this type of stance with the Jump Mastermind. I have been told, “Bella doesn’t care about small businesses” which really couldn’t be further from the truth. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t have 350 blogs and 200 videos free to the world!

I have also been bad-mouthed inside some ‘not so secret’ Facebook groups. For posting videos and blogs on my own Jump Consulting facebook page and saying things like “If you aren’t growing, then your dying!”

 

 

It hurts to read these things, but then I remember these aren’t my people. They aren’t the type of people who have been flooding the Jump Mastermind.

I learned a lesson.

The very reason I set out to define who is right for this Mastermind was glaring back at me as my loyal friends sent me screenshot after screenshot of the Bella Bashing that was taking place.

The lesson was mindset.

Mindset is the most important thing to ALL business success so it should be a cornerstone of the Jump Mastermind.

Additionally, I realized that I have an enormous responsibility to the group, or the “Jumpers” as some of them lovingly call each other, to make sure that the quality of people in this group stays at the cream of the crop!

To make sure that people who would write things like the above never end up in the group.

Side note: To the point of the screenshot above…I would never, ever, try to convince anyone to become a member. The group isn’t about that. It is like working out. I can’t make you work out. You have to WANT to do it! 😉

I Learned, Not Everyone Is The Right Fit And $50K Isn’t The Barrier:

It is the right mindset. Mindset is everything.

One of my favorite mentors says to write and talk about who is NOT a good fit for what you’re doing, and thanks to this interaction I have 3 ways detailed below.

 

3 Ways To Know Who Is Not Right For The Jump Mastermind

 

1. Those That Don’t Want to Grow:

If you aren’t growing, you are dying.

It is literally a science.

You can’t change that.

Also, you really become the people you hang around. Have you ever asked yourself and took inventory of who are you spending your time with?

As pet sitters and dog walkers, it is TOUGH. We are either around pets all day or alone!

Have you thought about how intentional or unintentional you are about who you surround yourself with? Are they pouring into you or sucking you dry?

Any successful person I know has always been surrounded by people of the same mindset pushing them to be better.

And the clincher?

They typically meet with them on a regular basis.

2. Those That Don’t Want to be Challenged:

This is a really tough one.

As business owners, we spend a lot of our days pouring our heart and soul into our businesses. When someone challenges they way we do things or encourages us to change our methods to go out of our comfort zone, it’s tough to receive!

It is even tough for me.

I just put my website out into the Jump Mastermind a few weeks ago and told them to rip it apart! Afterall, they are my target audience. Naturally, the struggle is real to not react and be defensive when we hear something we don’t like. It is a real human reaction many of us have when we are told to change.

They are why I have made recent changes to my own website and for that I am grateful.

A Mastermind conditions you to take it easy. Consider others ideas and think about solutions that you might not have thought about the first time around. It is literally the ‘group think’ and it helps members become better and better each month.

3. Those Who Are “Too Busy”

I tell my coaching clients to replace the words, “I’m too busy” with “It isn’t a priority” because that is really what it means.

We make time in our life for things that are a priority.

If someone isn’t willing to make the time in their life to participate in the group then they won’t be a good fit. They won’t get anything from the group and they probably won’t give anything to the group.

Granted we all have seasons in life. Sometimes we are in growth mode, sometimes we are in maintaining mode. To know which you are in is powerful.

Remember that bonding I told you about? Two local meet ups have already happened in the three months that the Jump Mastermind has been happening. People are connecting so much online that they are meeting up IRL (In Real Life) and learning to care and share on such a deeper level.

Want to know the clincher? These people were IN the free facebook groups, and never got together until the bond they formed in the Mastermind inspired them to.

Pretty powerful, huh?

So Where Does That Leave Us?

Well if you have read this entire thing you are either in one of two camps.

Camp #1: You disagree with this entire article. It might have even upset you. In that case, that’s okay. You have every right to feel the way you do. Let’s just be happy that I have taken the time to spell it out and you know for certain this Jump Mastermind isn’t right for you.

Honestly, it’s no problem for me, as I hope it isn’t for you!

Life is too short.

Camp #2: You are already scanning the page for “where can I sign up?” Thinking YES I need a group of people who GET me, who are DOERS and not complainers, and who will SHOW UP for me. If that is you, you need to go here and sign up.

Grateful

It is tough for me to express in words how much of an imapct this Jump Mastermind has had on so many businesses and personal lives. The privledge of being able to lead this, to spend my time pouring into many people and have them supporting my goal of influencing lives and busineses has been nothing short of overwhelming. So I am just going to let them do the talking for me. Don’t take my word for it. Hear what they have to say below.

 

Episode 62: The Do’s & Don’ts Of Hiring Pet Sitting Employees

One of the most challenging hurdles pet sitting business owners encounter is hiring. Many reach a point where they absolutely cannot take on anymore clients, unless they bring on some extra hands. What some business owners don’t consider is how much truly goes into making sure you’re hiring a HERO rather than a ZERO. So what better way to get your feet wet in the world of pet sitting employees than hearing the stories of other business owners who’ve been through the process many times before?

On this episode, Bella is joined by three successful pet sitting business owners that have been through it ALL when hiring pet sitting employees. In three 10 minute segments, Bella asks each one of these industry veterans three crucial questions:

  • What is the best way to find pet sitting employees?
  • What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made when hiring pet sitting employees?
  • What’s your best secret that you would tell your old self about hiring pet sitting employees?

Listen now to find out the answers to Bella’s burning questions while gaining invaluable knowledge about the hiring process in the pet sitting world.

pet sitters

Maureen McCarthy

Maureen McCarthy has worked with dogs and cats either grooming or pet sitting since 1980.  When she moved to North Carolina in 2006, she started Love and Kisses Pet Sitting  which she continues to successfully operate today. Love and Kisses Pet Sitting is now an award winning company (4 years and counting!), honored as the recipient of the Best Pet Sitting Business In Union County. Additionally, Maureen’s business has attained the 2015 and 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award. Maureen now has 21 pet sitting employees working for her, all of which she requires to continually undergo continuing education to ensure they provide the best service possible.

pet sitting business

David Steinberg

David Steinberg founded David’s Pet Sitting while studying in graduate school to become a therapist at the UConn School of Social Work. Luckily, the program was located in his hometown (West Hartford). His friends then demanded he watched their pets when they went away. David happily obliged and before he knew it, David’s Pet Services was a thing.  David now has a number of employee’s working under him, and is continuing to hire more and more while honing the process.

In 2003 Cara Armour co-founded Active Paws Inc., in the Boston, MA area. In 2009, Cara won Pet Sitter of the Year. She is decorated in many accolades and even expanded to opening a grooming and holistic pet supply store.

small business

Cara Armour

Since 2003, Cara has been trained by the American Red Cross as well as several veterinarians in Pet First Aid and CPR. In 2011 she completed an instructor training course and became a certified Pet First Aid and CPR instructor. In 2015 she co-founded an online Pet First Aid academy and now works as a product and marketing manager for ProPetHero, the Pet First Aid and CPR division of ProTrainings. 

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

 

Play

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

Episode 56: Defining Your Brand With Lain Ehmann

Description

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

communication business

Lain Ehmann

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.

You will also 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.

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

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

Play
hiring dog walkers

Review: The Top Websites For Hiring Pet Sitters & Hiring Dog Walkers

When hiring pet sitters or hiring dog walkers, it can be difficult knowing where to start. There are so many different websites out there where you can post job ads – so how do you know which one is the most lucrative? Today we bring you a review of the top sources for hiring for your pet sitting business, so you know which ones to invest your time into.

Review: The Top Websites for Hiring Pet Sitters & Hiring Dog Walkershiring dog walkers

Indeed

Indeed describes itself as the world’s #1 job site. And we can’t blame them. They pull in over 200 million unique visitors to their site every month. One of the main reasons why Indeed is great is because it’s FREE to post jobs. Or if you’re really in a pinch, there is an option to pay for your ads so that they are shown to more applicants. Plus, if you’re feeling extra proactive, you can search through resumes and invite potential applicants to apply for your job.

One of the reasons that Indeed is NOT so great however, is because you’ll get a lot of bogus and spam applicants. I’m talking about people that are just sending out their resume to the masses, with no regard to what the job is. I know some pet sitters that have had to wade through over 100 applicants to find 1 or 2 winners. But the reality is that hiring takes time, and wading through applicants you can automatically disqualify is just part of the process. No matter what, you have to stick with it!

Check out what other business owners have to say about Indeed:

Indeed has been a useful resource for us – drives the most applicants. However, applicants almost never send anything helpful via Indeed. We send back a standard response of ‘Thanks for your interest, please apply via our website.’ That helps narrow down the pool a bit!” -Robin Brown, Manhattan Mutt Company LLC

“Very few of the folks on Indeed bothered to read my posting. The ones who had relevant experience often didn’t bother with the cover letter and very few sent a cover letter at all.” – Annamarie Hessman

Craigslist

Craigslist can be another great source for hiring pet sitters and hiring dog walkers. The website has been around for over 20 years, and has quickly become the premiere website for posting classified ads. Another great thing about Craigslist is that it is totally free to use. It is also is really great about protecting your privacy. When you post an ad, applicants will be able to contact you without seeing your email.

TIP: Try posting your hiring ad in multiple categories such as part time, gigs, domestic, etc. This will allow you to reach more applicants!

But, Craigslist does have some downfalls. There is a lot of spam job ads on Craigslist, which lessens it’s credibility. A lot of people do not consider Craigslist a legitimate source for applying to jobs. It may be harder to reach the demographic you’re aiming for.

Here’s what pet sitters have to say about Craigslist:

“Craigslist has been the biggest success with 3 amazing employees.” – Nicole Brown, Miami Pet Concierge

Hireology

Hireology is a little different than your typical job posting site. Think of it more as a hiring “hub.” According to their website, Hireology allows you to manage all hiring activity from their platform. This includes writing job descriptions, posting to job boards, interview candidates, and running background checks. It allows you to keep all of your information in one place, including applications, resumes, interview notes, etc.

Keep in mind that Hireology is not free! If this sounds like something you’re interested in, you’ll have to request a free demo. If you like the software, there will be an additional cost, which is determined by the size of your business, how many employees you currently have etc. Hireology is also billed on either an annual or multi-year basis. One business owner reported paying $400 for one year.

“Hireology is a portal for CL [Craigslist] and Indeed for me. I do not plan on renewing after this year. My company is not big enough, nor do I hire enough people to justify the elaborate portal.” – Julie Fredrick, The Pet Sitter Of Boise

NextDoor

Nextdoor is also a successful platform for hiring pet sitters or hiring dog walkers. For those of you who don’t know what NextDoor is, think of it as Facebook for your neighborhood. You’ll be able to interact with your neighbors, share reviews of services, post classified ads, etc. It’s the go-to place to find all about what’s happening in your neighborhood.

For pet sitting businesses, it’s a great way to reach local talent and potential clients. You’re able to advertise your business as well as post job postings. But there is a downside – Nextdoor recently partnered with Rover, so they do give preferential treatment to Rover sitters. They have also implemented a pet directory, which is a plus, so you’ll be able to see which of your neighbors have pets. Good information!

“NextDoor is a disaster. I was ostracized for trying to help a neighbor find her missing dog, but when I gave her my email address someone accused me of soliciting business. Apparently, you’re not allowed to advertise your personal business on this site.” – Nicole Brown, Miami Pet Concierge

Facebook

Facebook, the most popular social media outlet in the world, has rapidly become another premiere platform for hiring. Although they have just rolled out their new job posting feature, many pet sitters say it is useless at this point. Not many people are using it yet.

Some business owners say that by posting their ad on their business page, and then boosting the post via a Facebook advertisement has proven very lucrative. Definitely something to consider!

No matter which platform you choose to utilize to post your hiring ads, one thing is for sure: you must always be hiring! Admittedly, there are many problems that can arise when hiring, but it is still so important that you continue to do it, regardless. I preach this time and time again because I still get stories of pet sitters who are stuck. Business owners that have to bend to the whims of their employees because they can’t afford to lose them. I can’t stress enough how important it is that you are in control. After all, a ship can’t sail without it’s captain!

dog walking deal

 

cost of hiring pet sitters

The True Cost Of Hiring Pet Sitters In Your Pet Sitting Business

If you have employees in your pet sitting company, then you know how valuable they are to your business. But you may not have considered the cost of hiring pet sitters. Before we go into costs, I want you to think about how much a new employee could be worth to your company? How much revenue are they capable of handling in a year? Write that number down. Now let’s flip the script and think of how much does it cost to have an employee and look at it as an investment.

The True Cost Of Hiring Pet Sitters In Your Pet Sitting Business

cost of hiring pet sitters

Personality & Background Tests

While completely necessary, personality and background tests can be a costly part of hiring pet sitters. Tests such as the Orion Test are an important component of getting the applicant’s story, but these things are definitely not free. Background checks also can cost around $30-$60 each time you run them. Needless to say, these things add up!

Fun Fact: Did you know that personality tests are illegal in Massachusetts? Sorry MA friends!

Training

Training is another large portion when discussing the cost behind hiring pet sitters. Not only are you investing the money into the pet sitter who’s training them (unless you do it yourself), but you’re investing time and resources. If you pay the trainee, you’re also racking up a cost there. Hiring a new pet sitter definitely takes a lot of time and resources, so you want to make sure you’re training the right person!

New Hire Set-Up

It may (or may not) take quite a bit of time to get your new pet sitter “set-up.” This includes in your pet sitting software system and payroll company as well as setting them up with an email account and Google Voice number (if you do those things!). Also think about the time it takes to put your new hire on your website, complete with their photograph and biography. The point is it takes time to get your new pet sitter completely set-up in your company, so we have to include that when discussing the cost of hiring pet sitters.

New Pet Sitter Starter Kit

Do you provide your new pet sitters with supplies when they start with your company? This is something I personally never did in my company, but I know that lots of business owners do. This may include poop bags, first aid kits, business cards, magnets, fliers, bark cards, and more. When you give these supplies to a new hire, factor in the cost. All of these items may be inexpensive individually, but like everything in business, it adds up!

Hiring Advertisements

Do you spend money for hiring ads on sits like Craigslist, Indeed, or Hireology? While these ads may have brought you in some quality applicants, this is yet another cost to factor in to the equation. Paid advertisements are great because they can have a much larger reach, but they can be costly and of course do add up. If you’re having trouble thinking of places of where to find pet sitting applicants, check out this article here.

Overall, there is a clear and large cost to hiring pet sitters. It’s basically inevitable for any company with employees. What’s important is that you recognize this cost, and then try to minimize it. Minimizing both the financial cost and time spent by streamlining processes will make your business run smoothly and will make you a happier business owner!

pet sitting training manual

Episode 51: Selling Your Business With David Barnett

On this episode Bella speaks with David Barnett, an Author, Speaker, Educator, Seminar Host, Consultant,  and Business Buy/Sell Process Coach.

pet sitting small business

David Barnett

They discuss things you need to keep in mind when considering selling your business.  These include:

  • Biggest mistake pet business owners make when running their business
  • Understanding that there are several reasons people sell businesses. Most of the time it is not for retirement.
  • Learning that keeping your business in the best shape to sell (i.e. have strong processes in place) will actually benefit you even if you aren’t yet selling it.
  • When you will and when you won’t benefit by using a broker.
  • A high level overview of the selling process.

David Barnett has been working to help the owners of Small and Medium Sized businesses for almost 20 years. As a former business broker and financing broker, Barnett has helped people buy, sell, plan, manage and finance businesses. 

Since 2014, Barnett has authored 6 small business books, 3 of which have become Amazon best-sellers.

You can reach David in the following ways:

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 46: Website Copy, SEO, Blogging, & FB Live With Jen Phillips April

On this episode of “Bella in your Business” Bella speaks with Jen Phillips April, an SEO copywriter and social media trainer. They discuss different ways of impacting the traffic you get from search engines.

blogging SEO pet sitting business

Jen Phillips April

Specifically they discuss:

  • Website copy (the words on your website) and how you need to rewrite so people can find your page more easily when searching
  • The wide range of searches user are doing these days
  • How consistent blogging can affect your SEO
  • The importance of Facebook Live to attract customers.

Jen Phillips April’s online marketing journey started way back in 2005 with a dog treat recipe site. Using content and the best practices of SEO, she grew that site to 87, 500 visitors/month. These days, she works with clients like pet sitters and dog trainers. She writes their website copy so it gets found by Google (and their target market) and she also offers training on social media and SEO. When she is not working with her clients, she is usually reading a novel, practicing her Down Dog or cooking up a delicious meal.

Check out Jen’s free 5 day email course on “How To Gain MASSIVE Visibility with Facebook Live in Only 5 Minutes a Day — Even if You’ve Never “Done” Video Before.” 

You can find out more at www.jenphillipsapril.com

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

Play
bella in your business

Episode 45: Everything You Need To Know About Background Checks With Jason Waggoner

On this episode  Bella spends time with Jason Waggoner, Vice President of Marketing for ACUTRAQ Background Screening Solutions. They discuss the importance of background checks and how ACUTRAQ can help eliminate some of the liabilities around doing it yourself.

hire Background Checks costs

Jason Waggoner

They discuss:

  • Some of the drawbacks to using the simple background check services you see online
  • How a service like ACUTRAQ can actually reduce some of the liability around background checks
  • How you should proceed when a potential employee has something flagged in their background check
  • Jason’s UMeetU movement and acting/video production activities.

You can find out more about ACUTRAQ at https://www.acutraq.com/.

To find out more about Jason’s UMeetU movement, go to http://www.umeetumovement.com/.

To see a cool music video Jason put together for ACUTRAQ check out https://youtu.be/2giXfjnB0p4.

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

Play
bella in your business

Episode 44: Why Your Business Needs Pet CPR Training With Cara Armour

In this episode of “Bella In Your Business”, Bella speaks with Cara Armour, Product Manager and Marketing Manager for ProPetHeroa pet CPR and first aid online training program for pet business owners.

In 2003 Cara Armour co-founded Active Paws Inc., in the Boston, MA area. In 2009, Cara won Pet Sitter of the Year. She is decorated in many accolades and even expanded to opening a grooming and holistic pet supply store.

Pet CPR Training

Since 2003, Cara has been trained by the American Red Cross as well as several veterinarians in Pet First Aid and CPR. In 2011 she completed an instructor training course and became a certified Pet First Aid and CPR instructor. In 2015 she co-founded an online Pet First Aid academy and now works as a product and marketing manager for ProPetHero, the Pet First Aid and CPR division of ProTrainings.

She is also a volunteer and foster home for The Boxer Rescue Inc, a health conscious breeder of Boxers.

Bella and Cara talk about Pet First Aid and how to go about training you and your staff.

They discuss the benefits of being trained which are:

  • Being able to save the lives of your pets or pet clients.
  • Learning to recognize potential issues with a pet and bring that to the owner’s attention.
  • Using that trained status to stand out from your competition and create greater security among your clients.

They talk about how an online training course, such as the ones available through ProPetHero are more useful than in-person training because:

  • You can do them at your own pace and anywhere you want.
  • The cost is significantly low compared to sending staff to an in-person training course
  • You can monitor staff’s progress and comprehension of the material.

There is even a special discount for “Bella in your Business” fans. You can get 10% off by going to here.
Coupon code: CPR-petsitter

Pet CPR Training

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 42: How To Use Facebook Groups and Video In Your Pet Sitting Business

On this episode Bella speaks with Maureen McCarthy, owner of Love and Kisses Pet Sitting. Bella has found Maureen’s use of Facebook groups, social media, and video to be an awesome example of how to market.  Bella gets the scoop from Maureen, about how Facebook groups can be a great way to connect and expand your reach as a business. Maureen started a group for her own community called What’s Up Indiana Trail and it has grown like wild fire. Through it, she has been able to get more people engaged on her own facebook page and grown her business.

They also discuss Facebook Live videos – which if you’ve been listening to me for awhile, you know that I consider video as a MUST HAVE in your business. Maureen discusses with Bella how exactly she started doing Facebook Live videos with both her and her staff and the direct effect they’ve had on her business revenue.

She talks with Maureen about:

Facebook Groups In Your Pet Sitting Business

Maureen McCarthy

  • The Facebook group she started.
  • Why she started the group
  • How much work is involved
  • How successful it has been
  • How she got into doing videos

Her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IndianTrailPetSitter/

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 32: Amy Schmittauer Explains Video In Her New Book VLog Like A Boss

In this episode of “Bella In Your Business”, Bella speaks with Amy Schmittauer from the popular YouTube series Savvy Sexy Social

In this episode they discuss what a Vlog is, and how and why Amy got into it.  They also talk about how pet sitters can use video to enhance their business and marketing and some tips on how to overcome that fear of being on camera.

Amy’s newly released book Vlog Like a Boss: How to Kill It Online with Video Blogging just launched on Jan 31st and just by listening to this episode, you might win a free copy.

Want to join our book club?

The Jumpers in my FB group voted for Amy’s book as our next book club read. If you would like to join us, we start the middle of February. You can get a copy of her book here and join our FB book club group here

 

Amy Schmittauer

Amy Schmittauer

Amy Schmittauer  is the Vlog Boss. As a new media triple threat —YouTuber, Keynote Speaker and Author—she coaches people to go after what they want in life and leverage online video to make it happen.

Creator of the popular YouTube series Savvy Sexy Social, her channel boasts a global community and millions of views.  And let’s not forget she is Mama to an adorable Beagle named LUCY.

In Amy’s first book Vlog Like a Boss: How to Kill It Online with Video Blogging, she shares her collection of strategies and tactics to help you create video that gets the attention you deserve.

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

Play

Why Your Staff Should Use Facebook Live For Your Pet Sitting Business Page

Technology is ever changing. And with new technology comes new ways for your business to connect with your clients. One of these ways is Facebook Live – a feature on Facebook where you can broadcast yourself LIVE to your Facebook friends. Cool, right? While blogging is still really popular, video is becoming where it’s AT! Using Facebook Live for pet sitting is a great way that you and your staff can really connect with your audience. So today, we’re going to talk about why having your staff use Facebook Live is a good idea and how you can begin to implement it into your business.

Why Your Staff Should Use Facebook Live On Your Pet Sitting Business Page:

facebook live for pet sitting

Your Clients Will LOVE It!

Live video is so much more personal than pre-recorded, professional video. Clients will love getting to see an inside look of what it’s like to be a pet sitter for your company. It can also help them feel more safe and secure since they’ll have an inside perspective on what your pet sitters do at homes.

But, it’s important to note that you don’t want to just throw your staff into this new task. There is a couple different ways you can go about it:

  1. Hold an official training so ALL of your pet sitters can learn how to use Facebook Live for pet sitting to your standards.
  2. Only allow your “veteran” employees who really understand your brand to take part in it.

Whichever you choose, you want to make sure that you add an additional section in your training manual so that you have all policies and procedures documented in writing.

Your Sitters Will LOVE Doing it!

It’s no secret that your pet sitters love pets! So what better way for them to show off their love for animals by using Facebook Live for pet sitting on your business page? They will feel a sense of pride and importance once asked to be one of the many faces of your business.

Giving your sitters extra responsibility will make them feel appreciated. It will also help you promote your business through content creation. Your job, however, is to give them all the tools they need to succeed.

 

Tell Them The Rules Of The Game:

What do I mean by that? Every week you should have some type of discussion like, “Hey ____, this week on Facebook Live the topic is going to be one reason why you love working for the company.” You want to make sure you give your staff some direction. That way, they won’t have to think on the spot to come up with something to say. Also have some specific guidelines in place such as:

  • How long the video should be
  • What time of day is optimal for posting
  • Only use Facebook Live for dogs/pets that they feel completely comfortable with.

You’ll 100% Set Yourself Apart From The Competition!

We don’t have to be the only people that are the face of our company. In fact, your sitters are the main reason why your clients will come back again and again. Keeping up with the newest trends and technology allows your business to grow and prosper. Stay relevant, engaged, and in-tune with how people want to view content. If you make it EASY for people to see what you’re all about, the sky’s the limit!

pet sitting facebook group

 

Britt Alwerud

Episode 31: Types of Apps

In this episode of “Bella In Your Business”, Bella speaks with Britt Alwerud from Handlr.  They discuss  the top 9 apps they think are great for the Pet Sitting business.

The apps they discuss are:

Britt Alwerud

Britt Alwerud lives in Los Angeles, CA with her menagerie of furbabies – two Goldens, Daisy and Taj, two cats, Tiger and Monkey, two horses named Gracie and Moo, and a chameleon named Larry. Britt owns DogZenergy in San Diego, CA. Now she’s the full-time Founder and CEO of Handlr. Handlr is the ultimate business app for busy pet sitters who are looking to automate and grow their business. Learn more about Handlr by clicking here or email her at britt@myhandlr.com. You can also find Britt on Instagram @doggonetechgirl or follow Handlr on Twitter @myhandlr for weekly business tips.

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

Episode 29: What Type of Pet Sitter is Best for Rover Type Websites?

In this Episode Bella talks with Walt Galvin, an independent contractor working for Rover.  They discuss how sites like Rover can be a viable option for some pet sitters and walkers who are just starting out or want to keep it simple.

Walt Gavin, independent contractor with Rover.

Walt Galvin, independent contractor with Rover.

Some of the advantages include:

  • Not having to handle payments from clients
  • Saving  time and money but not having to handle marketing
  • Not having to deal with all kinds of administrative headaches and paperwork.
  • Ability to set your own work schedule

For Walt it has turned into a substantial retirement income and he points out that it is also a good option for those who don’t have the desire to hire other sitters and walkers as staff.  Walt also recommends that you pay close attention to the service agreements, particularly in regards to what insurance covers and you may need to purchase additional insurance to cover yourself.

Many of these online websites do not provide adequate coverage for the pet sitters. Only the clients.

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

Play

Episode 28: How To Pet Sit for Aggressive Dogs

In this episode, Bella speaks with Jennifer Taylor, the Founder and owner of JenLovesPets, an award-winning San Diego pet sitting and dog walking company.

After sitting down with Jennifer in her home town of San Diego, Bella was so impressed with the vast knowledge and stories that Jen has that she immediately knew she had to be on a podcast with the intent to help elevate the pet industry when it comes to approaching and accepting clients who are aggressive or fearful.

In This Episode:

aggressive dogs

Jennifer Taylor, JenLovesPets.com

Bella and Jen talk about “aggressive” dogs and how people often lump fearful dogs into the same category. Jennifer discusses some of the causes of aggression and ways to overcome it.

Listen in as they discuss:

1. What is the difference between fearful and aggressive dogs?

2. What advice would you have for a sitter who encounters a fearful or aggressive dog during a consultation? What steps should they take to ensure their safety?

3. What if that situation was that pet sitter’s staff member? How can one train their staff to acknowledge these types of pets and alert management?

4. Tell me a success story with a two and four legged client and how you were able to create a happy environment for that pet (the one you told me)

5. Where can sitters go to get more education on this topic for themselves and their staff?

They also discuss how a pet sitter would go about working with a fearful dog by including dog behavioralists and trainers on the team. Jen also lists some great resources for those who want to work with fearful dogs.

Mentioned In The Episode:
The Pet Professional Guild – http://www.petprofessionalguild.com/

pet first aid training online

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

Play

Episode 27:The Great Debate: DogVacay, Rover, Wag, and Zingy versus Professional Small Business Owners –

In this episode of “Bella In Your Business”, Bella speaks with Britt Alwerud from Handlr.  They discuss  DogVacay, Rover, Wag, and Zingy versus Professional Small Business Owners.

In this episode they discuss:

  • Why do you think so many small business owners are intimidated by the large powerhouses that have entered the market in the last few years?
  • How have the changed the industry? Are they really “disrupting” the industry?
  • What are the pros and cons of the huge companies versus the more personal professional businesses?
  • Are customers flocking to on-demand apps? Are they demanding an on-demand experience?
  • Are small business owners going to get screwed or what can they do to protect themselves?
  • If someone is a Rover or DogVacay user, but they want to become a legitimate small business with people working for them, could they use Handlr? What are their first steps for becoming a legit business?

Britt Alwerud

Britt Alwerud lives in Los Angeles, CA with her menagerie of furbabies – two Goldens, Daisy and Taj, two cats, Tiger and Monkey, two horses named Gracie and Moo, and a chameleon named Larry. Britt owns DogZenergy in San Diego, CA. Now she’s the full-time Founder and CEO of Handlr. Handlr is the ultimate business app for busy pet sitters who are looking to automate and grow their business. Learn more about Handlr by clicking here or email her at britt@myhandlr.com. You can also find Britt on Instagram @doggonetechgirl or follow Handlr on Twitter @myhandlr for weekly business tips.

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

Play

Episode 25: Compassion Fatigue

Holly Cook, author of My End of the Leash

Holly Cook, author of My End of the Leash

In this episode of “Bella In Your Business”, Bella speaks with Holly Cook, author of My End of the Leash: Compassion Fatigue From a Pet Sitter’s Perspective.

She started pet sitting in 1994, and won the Pet Sitters International,  Pet Sitter of the Year award in 2004;  She has been serving the pet sitting industry by becoming a state Ambassador for PSI in 2005. She has also authored several articles presented at many pet sitting conferences. She has developed donation drives for communities devastated by disaster (From Missouri floods in 1993, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina to Hurricane Sandy.). 

Holly also became a certified Compassion Fatigue Educator through the University of Tennessee School Of  Veterinary Social Work in 2016. To say she is an advocate for the pets and the people who care for them is an understatement. 

Bella and Holly discuss what compassion fatigue is and how it differs from “burn out”  Holly discloses traits common among those susceptible to compassion fatigue including:

  • Being a highly dedicated professional
  • Always expecting positive feedback about work
  • High demand for personal competence
  • A personal history of exhaustion
  • A large workload
  • Lack of trauma training
  • Identification with those in their care
  • Those is a non-supportive work environment or unsupportive friends and family

Holly then details some of the symptoms of compassion fatigue:

  • Bone-tired exhaustionpet sitter compassion fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Persistent physical ailments
  • Apprehension
  • Over exaggerated startle reflex
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Abnormal anger
  • Rumination or excessive thoughts about an incident
  • Clumsiness
  • Nightmares and flashbacks
  • Difficulty concentrating and forgetfulness
  • Tendency to isolate from other people
  • Inability to make a decision
  • Intrusive imagery
  • Reduced ability to feel sympathy or empathy toward other people or animals
  • Denial of any of the above symptoms

Grab her book here: My End of the Leash: Compassion Fatigue From a Pet Sitter’s Perspective

If you feel like this might be you, Holly encourages you to take the quiz on her website

Learn more about Holly and her book in a previous article we wrote back in June when her book originally came out.

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

Play
pet sitting staff gifts

5 Holiday Gift Ideas To Give Your Staff

There’s nothing quite like the squeals of excitement when your surprise someone with a gift. It’s even better when you’re rewarding your hard working employees with heartfelt appreciation. Day in and day out our employees put in their effort, energy, and time away from their home and family for our businesses. That’s why these 5 holiday gifts to give your staff are the perfect ideas to really show just how much they mean to you.

 

Think about it: Our employees are the backbones of our business. They are the faces our clients see, they are the ones we trust to show up as scheduled. This holiday season make sure your staff knows that you really care.

We talked with some of our closest pet sitting and dog walking business owners and here are 

pet sitting staff gifts

pet sitting staff gifts

5 Holiday Gifts To Give Your Staff:

 

Take Them Out On The Town

Our friend, Cheryle Meyer Stadler took her 6 Employees to a  VIP party at the Improv. They all enjoyed  dinner, drinks and front row entertainment with a guest of their choice. Even more, they also got a bonus, personalized wine glasses complete with a dog-inspired wine tags, plus a goodie bag full of awesome things like candy, hand sanitizer, flashlights, lanyards, nail polish, & lip stuff.

 

Send Them On a Getaway

Another great idea we got was from Krista Cugno Lofquist. She decided to give her hardworking Office Managers a trip or a cruise. Start searching now for a Groupon or Expedia and give them a much needed vacation. Our office managers work endlessly running the day to day tasks needed for a successful business, that’s why they truly deserve it! Sometimes even a stay-cation would do the trick!

christmas gifts to give your staff

Personalized Gifts

In previous years Krista also got each sitter and groomer a piece of pawprint jewelry, some with a birthstone, others with diamonds. How sweet is that? Try to find a local jeweler to get a great deal on a bulk order. This is such a wonderful idea that Katie Westerfield also gave out personalized jewelry one year. She gave pandora bracelets with the paw print dog bowl charm to her staff of three. Her staff posted about how great their boss was with pictures on Facebook. That’s how much they loved it!

Lindsay Licata likes to make things a bit more personal. She says, “I got one of my girls a beanie hat that has cat ears (Amazon $10), another one new cat dishes for her cat, a soap and cream set, a couple bath and body sets…..” What a great way to let your staff know that you put some personal through into what you got them. 

holiday gifts to give your staff

Bonuses

Sometimes when you have a larger staff it can be hard to do group parties. Pet sitting businesses aren’t set up like normal offices, where we all can break in the lunchroom for cake and punch for the holidays. That’s why Lucy Moore offers her employees cash by way of a bonus through payroll or even a year of membership at Costco. This is a perfect option for larger staffs and tougher schedules to coordinate. Speaking of Costco, they have great client gifts too!

Liz Chancey says  I always give cash. It’s not very creative, but I always loved receiving cash at Christmas. Plus, if they are having a hard time financially it’s helpful to them. I only have 3 employees and I give $50.00 to each.”

Samantha Busser also does cash with a twist: We do a girl’s day out every year (on their)  “workaversary” and Christmas with a nice lunch, a movie, and mani pedis, sometimes an old fashioned sleep over with girly movies and junk food lol, and for Christmas I also do a $50 cash bonus and some kind of gift, which I usually spend $25+ on.

 

Gift Cards

Everyone agrees that gift cards are a great way to go. For some, they can seem a little impersonal, so try to tailor the gift card to each person. Whether it’s a local boutique, pet store, or their favorite cafe, it’s more special when they know you were thinking of them specifically. Costco often sells them for 25% off, so check there first.

 

Even More Ideas… BONUS ROUND:

After I posted this article, I heard of even more awesome ideas that I couldn’t not add to the list. Take a look:

Christmas Lights and A Limo:

Sharon Jones says, “We are going out to eat this year and then a limo is picking us up and we are going to look at Christmas lights. We will have a gift exchange at the restaurant, we make it a game like white elephant but the gifts they bring are really nice. We limit to $25. Then we have for each of our staff members Holly Cook’s book “My End of the Leash”. We are celebrating this Sunday evening, I am excited!”   (BELLA NOTE: I have that book and I highly recommend it!!!)

Once you have picked out the best gifts for your staff let the fun begin!  Watching their eyes light up like twinkling lights and getting a big hug will make your day just as much as theirs. Plus, you’ll know your staff is assured of your appreciation, which is priceless. I always say, keep your staff happy, and they will keep your clients happy!

 

gifts to pet sitting clients

Employee Quick Start

Katrina Kadyszewski

Episode 20: Interview with a Small Business State Auditor

Katrina KadyszewskiIn 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 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 before leaving 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 & Employment Tax Audit Unit, focused primarily on payroll tax issues. The last 5 years she worked as a Corporation Tax auditor, traveling across the US auditing largely Fortune 500 companies.

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.

Some resources they discuss are the IRS’s  20-factor test to help you determine employee or independent contractor, and amnesty programs that exist to help encourage 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.

Subscribe To The Show:

Listen To The Show:

Play