5 Tips for Attracting New Customers to Your Pet Sitting Business

One of the ways that you can make more money in your pet sitting business is by attracting brand new customers consistently. Here are five ways to do that.

Increase your direct mail marketing.

I feel like so many people forget about snail mail in this day and age. They’re only focused on online strategies, but I tell you that people read snail mail. Create a direct mail marketing campaign to attract new customers to promote your pet sitting business.

Build an online presence to attract website visitors.

You want to make sure that when people are online, which they are every day, they can find you. First of all, make sure that you have a professional website.

Second, you have your Google My Business listing updated and optimized. Maybe starting a blog. Different ways that you are attracting new customers to your website, which is your conversion mechanism, which is going to convert them into paying customers. Make sure that you have your website listed on as many backend websites with all of the traffic leading back to your site.

5 Tips for Attracting New Customers to Your Pet Sitting Business


Create a social presence.

Social media, guess what, people use it because it works. You want to make sure that you are creating valuable content for your ideal clients on your social media channels. But again, direct them back to your website to convert them into paying customers. You’re not using social media for your business, just for its fun. The end goal is to convert your social media followers into paying customers.

Offer a referral incentive for customers who refer their friends.

Educate your current customers about your referral program, saying, “Hey, we love and appreciate referrals. This is the best way to do it. And we are going to incentivize it by giving you credits off of your next booking.”

Develop strategic alliance relationships.

Creating these relationships with other business owners that target the same market as you do but provide a different service. I’m not talking about pet sitters. I’m talking about pet groomers, pet photographers, pet stores, and vets. And the idea is that you’re sharing each other’s customer lists and referring business back and forth to each other.

Hey there, Newbie Pet Sitter! Are you feeling stuck or overwhelmed with starting your pet sitting business? Fret no longer, my friend. I’ve got ya covered!

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Create a Meet Your Pet Sitter Automation

One of the first things that I teach my students in my Launch and Grow program is the importance of creating the know, like, and trust factor with your pet sitter prospects and your customers.

People like doing business with people. In the in-home, pet sitting industry, you are going into clients’ homes, or your team of pet sitters are going into clients’ homes. These people need to fully trust you and your team before they’re going to raise their hand and say, “Yes, let’s do this.”

I have each pet sitter record a video introducing themselves.

One of the easiest ways I’ve done this when I grew my team is I have my pet sitters record a video of themselves, introducing themselves. They share why they join the Pet Nanny Team and explain what their pet care values are.

When I assign the pet sitter to a client, they receive an email with the video and a full writeup before their registration meeting. So that will immediately create the know, like, and trust factor with their assigned sitter and break the ice before the sitter even rings the doorbell for the meeting.

Create a Meet Your Pet Sitter Automation

 

Sign up for an automation tool.

You want to sign up for an automation tool like Active Campaign or MailChimp or Infusionsoft/Keap which I use. There are lots of different options out there for creating automations. We go deep into that in my multiply mastermind program. I give six of my most used automations, three of my best marketing, three of my best hiring automations in the program.

Howdy, Pet Lover! Are you struggling with attracting new clients to your pet sitting business? Would you like to have a consistent pipeline of new clients coming to your business? Well, wait no longer, my friend. Grab my FREE report, 125 Ways To Get More Pet Sitting Clients. This resource is 100% FREE and is my gift to you. Enjoy!
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How Much Money Can I Make As A Pet Sitter?

Today’s mini-training talks about how much you can make pet sitting. Here’s what you’ll learn.

  1. What the earning potential is at different levels of the pet sitting industry.
  2. Why a clear vision of what you want and why you want it is so important.
  3. The difference between having a job and having a business.
  4. The power of the leverage business model.

But first, in case you don’t know me, my name is Colleen Sedgwick, and I’m the founder of Pet Nanny Coach. I teach pet sitters how to launch, grow and multiply their businesses.

As you can imagine, I get asked quite often, “Colleen, is it possible to have a career taking care of animals and make a solid income doing it?” And my answer is always an emphatic, “Yes, I am living proof that it is possible.”

Back in 2001, when I started my business, I didn’t have a clear vision for my company. As you all have heard me say countless times, “I didn’t know what I wanted and why I wanted it,” which is an integral part of having a successful business. It seems basic, but it’s so necessary.

All I knew was I wanted to quit my job as a teacher and work for myself. I used to say things like, “Yeah, I want to make my hours. I want to work for myself. Make my hours. Be able to get on the shore when I want.” And I learned quickly that being the owner of the business and the technician doing the client work inside the business wasn’t easy and required an exorbitant amount of time.

I didn’t realize when I started my business that I was never meant to do the client work. I thought the opposite.

In reality, if you are doing the client work or, in our world, the pet sitting or the dog walking or the house sitting, you don’t have a business. You have a job. Please don’t get mad at me. Don’t shoot the messenger, my friends. There is no judgment here because I used to think the same thing as you.

I started this business based on my love of animals. So I should be the person out taking care of them. It makes perfect sense, right?

Wrong! As a business owner, your role is to be the strategic visionary that delegates the client work to the technicians inside the business. Who knew? I certainly didn’t. I had no idea.

In today’s training, I want to break down the earning potential for all different levels of pet sitting, so you have an unmistakable picture and can make the best decision for you on what path suits you the best.

For Solopreneurs

First, I know that some don’t want large businesses like the one that I have. You want to do pet sitting as a solo show, which is fine, by the way. You do you, my friends. Don’t email me or go to social media. But all I do is talk about growing these big businesses. If that’s not for you, that’s not for you. But we’re still going to talk, and we’re going to do some numbers for all levels, so stick with me.

Let’s do the math. Let’s assume that currently, it’s you doing all the pet-sitting. You have a packed schedule of twelve 30-minute visits per day at $22 per visit, seven days a week. This equals $264 per day, $1,840 per week, $7,392 per month, $88,704 per year. That was pretty good. On paper, this seems great. I remember the days I strived for this.

But let me be clear. This is not an equation for a happy and healthy life. This is a recipe for burnout, mistakes, unhappy clients, and an unhappy life. I know because I lived it. As a result, if this is you, you’re working way too hard. You may be asking yourself, “What am I not getting here?” You’re feeling stressed in other areas of your life. Can you relate to this? I certainly can because that was my life for quite some time.

So let’s dial this back a bit to make it more manageable. Now, let’s say that you had eight 30-minutes midday visits at $22 per visit, five days a week. So now we’re just doing midday walks. We’re not doing mornings. We’re not doing evenings. We’re not doing overnights. We’re not spending our weekends pet sitting. So it’s eight 30-minute midday visits, Monday through Friday. This equals $176 per day, $880 per week, $3,520 per month, $42,240 per year.

In this example, you’re making much less, but at least you have a life. You have your mornings, evenings and weekends free. In my opinion, this is a much more sustainable situation and a recipe for a happy life if you can live off that income. Remember, that’s your gross income and doesn’t account for what you have to pay out in taxes and your expenses.

Leverage Business Model

If your goal is to create a lucrative pet sitting career, let’s talk about the leverage business model, which I teach my Multiply Students. To make a substantial income in this industry and to achieve the freedom-based lifestyle you deserve, you need to leverage yourself through a team of heart-centered pet care professionals who hold the same beliefs, values, and pet care philosophy that you do. Let’s run some numbers to illustrate this point.

We’re going to restructure your business from that first example where you’re doing crazy visits, seven days a week, you’re making good money, but you have no life, and you’re miserable. So let’s restructure this. Okay, so say you keep six midday dog-walking clients, six visits a day at $22 per visit, five days a week. Equals $132 per day, $660 per week, $2,640 per month.

Next, you hire three pet sitters to absorb the rest of your current clients and to take on new clients. This is the same equation for all three sitters. Sitter one has eight visits a day at $22 per visit. This is $176 per day, $1,232 per week, $4,928 per month for the business, so that’s grossing for the business. Say you take 50%, so $2,464 goes to the sitter, and $2,464 goes to the business. So that’s the same equation for sitter one, sitter two, and sitter three.

Now, you have your midday walking income still, so that’s a total of $2,640 per month. So the income you received from center one is $2,464. Plus, the income from sitter two, $2,464.

The income from sitter three, $2,464. Your owner’s income is $2,640. This equals $10,032 per month. The gross revenue for the business equals $17,424 per month. Now, let’s look back at your previous structure. You were making $7,392 per month working 12 hours … 12 to 15 hours, to be quite honest, per day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Now, by bringing on only three pet centers and drastically lightening your load, you are now making $10,032 per month.

This is the recipe for creating a lucrative pet sitting career.

How Much Money Can I Make As A Pet Sitter

 

For those high-achieving pet sitters who do have dreams of growing a more significant business, you now have gifted yourself the time to work on your business and market your business to serve more clients and therefore make more money with even more free time.

Do you see how this works? I’m going to say that again. You’ve now gifted yourself the time to work on your business and market your business, so you can service more clients and therefore make more money and have even more free time. It’s an equation, guys.

All right, so let’s take this a few steps further so that you can see the power of a team. Twenty sitters are working five days per week. Each sitter has six visits per day at $22 per visit. This equals $2,640 in daily revenue, $13,200 in weekly revenue, $52,800 in monthly revenue. Your 50% equals $26,400 per month. Pretty great, right?

This illustrates the power of a team. You give the client work to the technicians, and you focus on the business growth or the strategy work of your company.

So Courtney Anderson of waggitytails.com leveraged herself through a team and experienced explosive growth in her business. Courtney decided to start building her team one year after she launched her business in 2014.

Courtney now employs 13 pet sitters and a part-time office manager. Her team services 200+ clients and 50 recurring weekly clients. Courtney’s yearly revenue has increased by 652%. And she attributes her massive success to the power of a team.

So get out your paper and figure out the math. How much money do you want to make? How many clients would you need to support that number? How many sitters would you need to support that number?

Remember to account for taxes and expenses from your gross income. In all these examples, I’m speaking gross. Again, you always need to pay your taxes and account for your operating expenses for the company. Luckily, in our industry, we don’t have a ton of overhead because our business occurs in our client’s homes, which is a plus. But again, these are all gross numbers. We need to account for taxes and expenses.

I honestly never dreamed that my pet sitting business would create so much prosperity in my life. After I learned about the power of leverage, team-building systems, processes, and automation, the sky became the limit for my business. And I’m so grateful for the blessing of my business. All right, guys, so this is what is possible. Let’s close this out.

This is what’s possible for you. When you’re asking, “How much can I actually make in this industry,” again, do the math. Figure out what you are going to charge. How many clients do you need? What kind of lifestyle do you want?

Remember, your business is supposed to serve your life. I speak to so many of you, and your business is not serving your life. And it’s sucking the life out of you. It’s not the purpose of a business.

Remember, if you do all the visits, you don’t have a business; you have a job.

Again, you can have a lucrative pet-sitting career by leveraging yourself through a team. If that’s not for you, have at it. Stay solo. And do the math and figure out what you need to do and how many visits you need to do in a day to create the income that you need for your life.

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Create an Irresistible Free Offer

Your Irresistible Free Offer (IFO) is how you can capture the contact information of prospects who visit your pet sitting business website.

Author’s Note:  This post was originally published in 2014. I’m republishing it now with a new video and updated with all my current experience and tips!
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Think of the Baskin-Robbins’ iconic pink spoon. This is their IFO, which gives their customers a free taste of ice cream, so they can decide which flavor they want to buy. Ingenious!

When somebody visits your site, they should see your offer and say, “Oh that’s really enticing, I’m going to give them my email address for that.” And then you email them the irresistible free goodie that you promised.

Why do I call it irresistible? Because it needs to be just that. A free walk or a free meet-and-greet is just not going to cut it anymore.

People don’t want to share their email addresses.  Their inboxes are flooded already and they are only going to give you their email address if it’s really something juicy.

Your IFO should give your ideal customer something of value. It also needs to be tempting enough for them to part with their email address.

Your IFO should be displayed on each and every page of your website, along with an opt-in box, where your prospects will give you their first name and/or email address in return for what you’re offering.

What to Offer

My first tip is that I have had the best luck with high-value coupons. I’ve tried PDFs, I’ve tried giveaways, I have tried everything under the sun. What I can tell you is that a high-value coupon with a whole number (rather than a percentage off) has given me the best conversions.

Currently, Pet Nanny is using a high-value coupon.  The offer is shown on each and every page of my website.

The Nurture Sequence

After your prospect gives you their contact information in return for your free offer, they become a “warm prospect.” You should have a well-thought-out, automated follow-up process called a “Nurture Sequence, which gives these prospects added value and makes your pet sitting company the only logical choice to hire.

Throughout the sequence, you are going to let them know all about you and your business, and continue to provide value.  For instance, I offer my list an Ultimate Guide for Mainline Pet Owners, which has all things pets for people that own pets on the mainline.  Things like pet-friendly hotels, walking trails, the best vets, the best pet stores.

The Ultimate Guide is also a great place to feature my referral partners. I add the businesses that refer me to the guide that I give to my prospects.

Then, when they receive their final email you’ll say, “Hey, remember that coupon you opted in for seven days ago? It’s time to take action. Click below to get started.”

The ultimate goal of a nurture sequence is to convert visitors into paying clients at the end. Click To Tweet

This is your strategy.  When someone hits your website, they see the enticing high-value coupon, they give you your email, you put them in your email nurture sequence and tell them all about you and your amazing pet sitting business.

Continue to give them value and at the end of the nurture sequence, they’ll be saying, “Yes this is the pet sitting company that I want to work with.”  That’s the strategy behind it.

Lifetime Customer Value

Now some of you are thinking “why on earth would I give away the farm? And why would I give so much money off a new customer? What if they don’t use me again?”

These are great questions and valid concerns.  I totally get it. But when you identify the lifetime value of your customer, you’re going to understand that offering something like $25 off on the front end is going to be well worth it.

To calculate the lifetime value of your customer, look up the total amount of revenue that your business has made thus far and then divide it by the total number of revenue-generating clients. That will give you a number. This is your average lifetime value of each customer, and how much a customer is going to spend with your company.

I have had customers that have spent $50,000 with my company, and I have had customers that have spent $200 with my company. So what we’re looking for is the average.

So you might think, “Oh my gosh, if someone’s going to spend $2,000, $4,000, $5,000, whatever with your company, do you think it’s worth it giving them $25 off the front end?”  I’d say so.

I think it’s a really good strategy and definitely well worth it. But you know, your client lifetime value may be lower. You might not have as many lifetime clients or as much lifetime revenue as I do.

So figure out what your actual client lifetime revenue is and determine what amount is worth it for you. You want to identify what is enticing and juicy enough to get the ball rolling and get them in the front door with your company.

Recap

So to recap, your irresistible free offer is something juicy, something compelling, something that’s going to make your visitors take action and give you their email address.

Then, you drop them into a nurture email sequence where you educate them about your company.

Your Homework

Your homework is to calculate your average lifetime customer value (calculate the amount of money your pet sitting business has made divided by the number of lifetime generating customers) and identify a high-value coupon amount to offer.

All right guys, I hope you found this helpful, go think of an awesome offer and put this strategy into action in your business right now.

Share The Love

If you like this video, please share it and hit the like button.

I’d love to hear about it and as always, I’m available to answer any questions you may have in our free Facebook group at PetNannyCoachcommunity.com.  Come visit me there and add #ask to your questions and I’ll do my best to answer them all!

Wishing you a great day!

Howdy, Pet Lover! Are you struggling with attracting new clients to your pet sitting business? Would you like to have a consistent pipeline of new clients coming to your business? Well, wait no longer, my friend. Grab my FREE report, 125 Ways To Get More Pet Sitting Clients. This resource is 100% FREE and is my gift to you. Enjoy!
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Create Your Ideal Pet Sitting Client Profile

Create Your Ideal Pet Sitting Client Profile Before Mapping Out Your Pet Sitting Business Plan

Identifying who you want to attract as clients to your pet sitting business is the first thing you should do before mapping out your pet sitting business plan. When you know WHO you want to work with, marketing becomes so much easier!

There are numerous things that universally will constitute an ideal pet sitting client.

  • Those who you really enjoy working with.
  • Those who need your help.
  • Those that value what you offer.
  • Those who can easily be identified and contacted.
  • Those who will happily pay what you are worth without attempting to negotiate.
  • Those who write excellent testimonials for you.
  • Those who will refer you time and time again.

Continue reading

The 5 House Rule Marketing Strategy

The 5 House Rule or the Forced Referral Marketing Strategy

The name of this strategy is called the five house rule or the forced referral marketing strategy. The idea is if you get pet sitting clients in a neighborhood. Let’s say the client’s names are Paul and Claire.

The 5 House Rule Marketing Strategy


You’re going to say how nice Paul and Claire are and how much you love taking care of their pets. It is customary for the business owner to offer a discount to all of the neighbors as a token of courtesy for your wonderful clients.

The idea is they’re going to then talk to Paul and Claire because they probably know Paul and Claire, since their neighbors, ask them about you, Paul and Claire are going to give you a review, and then you should be getting at least one out of the five sign up as pet sitting clients.

From there, you have five more houses to market to, so on and so forth. Instead of saying, “Hey, Paul and Claire, do you think you could spread the word about my business and give me a referral, tell your neighbors”, they might, they might not.

When you do this, you’re forcing the referral. You’re writing the sales letter, and then the neighbor will then ask your client about you and then give you pet sitting clients referrals that way.

Send a sales and discount letter to the neighbors left and right, and 3 across the street.

Offer them an awesome discount or some incentive to sign up for service. Usually, one out of the five will sign up, and then you’re going to have five more houses, so on and so forth.

It’s personalized.

It’s not just like a mass mailing. “Hey, check out my pet sitting business.” There are some great campaigns and strategies for that too. But this one is a personalized neighborhood, five-house rule marketing strategy.

Howdy, Pet Lover! Are you struggling with attracting new clients to your pet sitting business? Would you like to have a consistent pipeline of new clients coming to your business? Well, wait no longer, my friend. Grab my FREE report, 125 Ways To Get More Pet Sitting Clients. This resource is 100% FREE and is my gift to you. Enjoy!
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How Marketing  and Hiring Work Together

My mission in 2021 is to help as many business owners get their pet sitting clients back after COVID and multiply them to consistent five-figure months. I will be coming here to share some tips, tricks, strategies, mindset stuff because 2020 was a rough year. I want to give back, which is how I’m going to go ahead and do it.

Yesterday, we had an excellent question in the group from Jen Smith. Jen said asked, “Age-old question, do you hire or contract first, or get the new pet sitting clients first? Due to COVID-19, I’m personally working extra jobs by necessity, my kids and bills don’t pay for themselves… what do you do?”

Evaluate where you are in the business.

If right now you were at the Build-up Bill or Build-up Betty stage, the Launch and Grow stage, your focus needs to be on marketing and getting clients.

If you’ve lost a ton of pet sitting clients due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you want to get the marketing back up and focus on filling your client book, and then you want to switch the focus over to the hiring.

Now, when you’re at the Multiply stage, which is there are no more hours to trade for dollars, you are the bottleneck in your business, you’re the one that’s doing everything, you want always to be focused now on hiring and marketing at the same time. They work hand-in-hand.

If you don’t have pet sitting clients and marketing systems in place, don’t focus on hiring all the time.

You need to get to a certain point. You need to get all of these marketing systems and sales systems in place to have the work to give over to your sitters.

You need to have your sales, systems, and support in place.

Refer back to the video at the top of this blog post. You will find there my Multiply Formula. That’s my framework. I teach my students how to multiply their businesses to $10,000 or more a month in revenue.

When you do that, you will have more money, impact, and freedom in your life, but you need to have the three main components all working together. You need to have your sales, systems, and your support. Support is not only a team of pet sitters, but also your admin support and tech support.

How Marketing and Hiring Work Together

 

Have your marketing plan on autopilot.

With your sales systems, you need to have your marketing plan on autopilot, so every week, you have it mapped out, your marketing plan on your marketing calendar, and how you will attract new clients to your business. You always want a pipeline of new clients signing up for your service. You want it systematized, and you want it scheduled, and you want it planned out.

Then you want to wow your customers when they come to your business, really knock their socks off to show them that you are the most outstanding company that they’re going to write great testimonials for and refer you all over town.

Nurture the pet sitting clients already in your client list.

Let them know how much you love and appreciate them and incentivizing them to book service more frequently, and increasing their transaction amount for each invoice by offering different, amazing add-ons and such.

When you have your sales system going, and it’s on autopilot, you go on your networking meetings, meet with your strategic alliances, have your email campaigns going, and have your direct mail campaigns going, etc. You have all of the plans and mapped out; there’s always going to be business coming, there’s always going to be bookings.

Have your recruiting, assessment and onboarding systems in place.

Then you’re also going to have to have the sitters that will be able to handle all of the business. You need to have your recruiting systems in place and attract high-level talent to your business.

You want to have your assessment systems in place. A way to assess these people coming into the pipeline that you’re recruiting, how they will be as sitters once they get started, and then a fantastic onboarding system, which also the assessment kind of goes into the onboarding.

It doesn’t stop after the assessment, but having these unique onboarding systems in place so that by the time they are finished, your sitters are going to go out into the field and do a fantastic job.

You need to define and document your systems and build business hubs to delegate easily.

The idea is the system runs the business, and the person runs the system. You should not be the system in your business.

That’s the problem with most entrepreneurs and pet sitters. They are the system. Their business is in their head. If anything were to happen to them, the business and systems would disappear. You need all three of these pieces working in conjunction for you to be able to consistently create five-figure months, $10,000 or more a month.

Getting back to Jen’s question, you need to build up the client list. When you get to that point where there are no more hours to trade for dollars, we need to focus on the Multiply Framework, which is where your sales system and your support systems will work hand in hand. You have to do the sales part to hire the sitters. You don’t want to bring on many sitters and then not have the work for them.

Manage new pet sitter expectations.

Let them know this is not an overnight thing. This is a slow process. We’re going to bring you on. We’re going to see how you do. We’re going to do this very slowly. We’re going to get feedback from customers, but we will build your book of business within eight to 12 weeks. That is the expectation.

Then also makes you put skin in the game. If you bring these people onto your roster, you need to do your job as the marketer and CEO, as the person that’s meant to get clients for this business to fill your sitters’ schedules.

I used to have all these same concerns. I was like, “Oh, when do I hire? I don’t want to have people sitting on the list.”

When you do all of this, you do not have to worry about it. It all works beautifully together. Market your business consistently, hire consistently, build out your systems, which is my answer to Jen’s question.

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1 Super Simple & Free Marketing Strategy

Most people forget about their email signature. Number one, email is free. Every time you send an email to either a client or a client prospect in a marketing funnel, you can optimize your email signature with a call to action.

If you’re emailing your customer, you could finish with your name.

“If you were happy with your pet sitting service, please click here to leave a Google review,” or “please click here to leave a Yelp review,” or “please click here to schedule your next service.”

If you’re sending it to a prospect, you can have something like “Click here to follow us on Facebook,” or “follow us on Twitter,” or “follow us on Instagram,” or LinkedIn, or whatever other social media that you’re on.

1 Super Simple & Free Marketing Strategy 2

 

You can send them to a piece of content to warm them up. You can have a call to action to send your customers to a landing page where they’re giving you their name and email address for a coupon, which will then drop them in a follow-up sequence to incentivize them to schedule service with you.

You can have a link for whatever call to action you want. It’s free. And one of the most overlooked marketing strategies there is. Go check out your email signature in your email client and your email autoresponder and have some fun with this.

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