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!
__________

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 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!

The Truth of the Matter

Finding time to work ON your business can be a challenge for pet sitters looking to grow their businesses. The bottom line is that your busy life is always going to get in the way, whether it be children, illness, social engagements or most commonly for pet sitters…. visits, dog walks and overnights.

Lack of time can most definitely be an obstacle for growth, and I wish I had an easy answer on how to hurdle it, but here is the truth… You do not get results from things you don’t implement. What does this mean? It means that you are not going to see results in growing your business if you don’t take the time to learn and then implement what you have learned in your business. There is no magic pill. You have to do the work.

You do not get results from things you don’t implement. Click To Tweet

My Hard-Learned Lesson

I went five years running myself ragged and making a very average income while doing it. One day I thought to myself, “what is the point of all this?! I have no life, and I have no money.” I knew if I wanted to grow my business and achieve financial success, not to mention gain my freedom my back, things had to change.

My Solution

I completely removed myself from the actual pet sitting part of the business. I found that the best way to makes sure I have the time to work on my business was for me to hire a staff to take my dog walks and pet sitting duties off my plate.

Don’t freak out! I’m not saying you have to remove yourself completely. What I am saying, is that you need to schedule the time to work on your business and to market your business.

What this may look like for you:

  1. You hire someone to cover all of your dog walks and visits one day per week and then you commit that one day per to working on your business.
  2. You hire someone to cover all of your weekend visits and then you commit your weekends to working on the business.
  3. You keep your midday clients, then hire someone to cover the pet sitting visits. Now you have your mornings and evening free to work on your business.

If You Don’t Schedule It, It’s Not Real.” 

Most importantly, you schedule your time to work ON your business. Marie Forleo said it best, “if you don’t schedule it, it’s not real.” Your good intentions to do something it not good enough. By actually plugging your marketing time into your calendar, you are much more likely to do and complete the work.

If You Don’t Schedule It, It’s Not Real. Click To Tweet

For Those Completely Not Ready to Hire Yet

If you’re thinking your business just isn’t ready to hire yet, then my suggestion is to make more time out of the time you already have.

  • Ask for help: Maybe your mom can pick the kids up from school one day a week, or your husband can cook dinner a night or two. (Trust me, it won’t kill him!)
  • Hire a housekeeper: Perhaps it’s time to delegate a different duty – Housework!
  • Hiring a different form of help: Such as a Bookkeeper, Client Happiness Manager or Social Media Manager.
  • Change your schedule: Get up earlier, stay up later or forfeit TV time.

Your Homework Assignment: Once you find the time to market your business, schedule it!

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.

Do you ever feel like your business has peaks and valleys? Meaning, you may have an influx of clients for a few months and then all of a sudden you hit a drought, and your left wondering, “how did I get here?” This phenomenon is very common in small business, and it’s due to a lack of consistency with your marketing. So, what’s the answer?

Always Be Marketing So You Always Have Clients

Most business owners think they shouldn’t market if their business is flush with clients. This is incorrect thinking! To always have clients you must always be marketing. You must count on the fact that you are going to lose clients. People get laid off from work. They have babies. They move. They divorce. You should not count on the fact that customers are yours forever once they sign up with your service. You must implement a variety of marketing strategies to create a consistent pipeline of new business. You must also effectively market to your current customer base to increase customer retention. When you successfully do both of those things, your business revenues will increase dramatically.

Most business owners think they shouldn't market if their business is flush with clients. Click To Tweet

Your Homework Assignment: Map out you marketing calendar a year in advance, so there is absolutely no guesswork. You will know exactly what you should be doing week to week to attract new clients and to increase the revenue from your current customer base.

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.

Negative online reviews matter! Many consumers make their buying decisions based on a company’s online reviews. My advice for you today is to try your very best to turn those negative online reviews around to work in your favor.

Let’s pretend that a customer leaves your pet sitting business a scathing review on Yelp. Below are three different ways that you can handle it;

#1. BAD: You completely ignore the review

#2. BETTER: “Hi, thank you for your feedback. We will use your comment to strive for a better experience for our customers.”

#3. GREAT: “Dear Eileen, We sincerely apologize for the negative experience you had with [insert pet sitting business name]. I am disappointed about [insert negative event.] We strive to provide the very best that pet care has to offer and in this instance it doesn’t appear that has happened. I would appreciate the opportunity to make things right with you and [insert pet’s name.]. As a token of good faith, I would like to offer you a full refund for your service order. We value you as a person and as a customer of [insert pet sitting business name]. My sincerest apologies, [insert your name]

Some Things To Remember:

  • Personalize the response by using the customer’s name.
  • Address the issue.
  • Be accountable and take responsibility.
  • Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.
    • Would you be frustrated if this happened to you?
    • What would it take for you to feel better about the situation?
  • Don’t make things worse by writing something negative back, out of anger.
    • Make sure you have calmed down and are thinking rationally before writing back.

Additional Tips:

  • Regularly solicit customer feedback. If your customers believe that you truly care and want to hear from them, they will be less likely to post a negative review without first coming to you for a resolution.
  • Encourage your happy customers to write positive reviews and showcase them on your website, in your newsletter and on social media.
If your customers believe that you truly care and want to hear from them, they will be less likely to post a negative review without first coming to you for a resolution. Click To Tweet

If you would like to read the example I spoke about in my video, click this magical link. <=====

Here is an infographic for you that will help illustrate the importance of online customer reviews:

The Power of Customer Reviews for Small Businesses

Your Homework Assignment: Create a system where you are consistently soliciting feedback from your customers and encouraging positive online reviews.

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.

Stay in Touch Marketing for your pet sitting business is an extremely effective marketing strategy to create loyalty and repeat buyers.

What is Stay In Touch Marketing?

Stay In Touch Marketing is a marketing strategy that you can implement in your pet sitting business, so that you stay top of mind with your current customer list.

When thinking about growing a business, most business owners think in terms of getting new clients versus increasing the lifetime value of their current customers.

Yes, getting new clients is awesome, but it’s also much more difficult to acquire new customers than it is to create a repeat buyer.

This is where Stay In Touch Marketing comes into play. If you have systems in place in your business where you are reaching out and keeping in contact with your customers on a regular basis they are going to be much more likely to use your service again when the need arises.

A crucial mistake is to assume that a customer will use you again, because you did a great job for them the last time they used you. This is not a given! However, if you stay in touch with them, they are most definitely going to call you when they are in need of pet care. This I can promise you!

Here are some ways that you can stay in touch:

  • Create a Birthday Campaign for your client or client’s pet.
  • Send out a bi-weekly or monthly ezine.
  • Run different types of promotions throughout the year.
  • Send a “thinking of you” card.
  • Send out holiday reservation reminders.
  • Run contests.
  • Write an informative blog that your customers will find helpful.

The options are endless. Simply look for reasons to reach out to your customers.

TIP:  Don’t only use email. Using different forms of media to stay in touch is an excellent idea.

Another perk of Stay in Touch Marketing is that you are building credibility, reliability and trust with your customers. For anyone that is in the pet care industry, you know that credibility, reliability and trust are 3 crucial ingredients for success.

Your Homework Assignment: How are you going to stay in touch with your customers? Create a plan and execute it systematically, so that it happens without you even having to think about it. That is the key. Good luck!

Autoresponder Resources For You:

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.

As a pet sitter you are in the customer service industry. I’m sure this isn’t news to you, but customer service is one of the most challenging fields to work in. Sometimes certain “personalities” just make you crazy!

Today I have some tips for dealing with those difficult pet sitting customers who drain your time, your energy and your sanity.

Tip #1: Get crystal clear on exactly what type of problem client you’re dealing with and then take appropriate action.

Are they the high-maintenance client who just demands top-notch service and won’t let the tiniest mistake slide?

These types of people are why we are in business. They may be difficult to work with at times, but they hired your professional service because they wanted a professional company that will do the very best job. They only want the absolute best for their furry pals. They are good pet sitting customers who are happy to pay you for your superior service. They are also the people who most likely tell everyone they know about your awesome or not so awesome service. They are your squeaky wheels that demand the grease. Unfortunately, these are the peeps that you’re just going to have to grin and bear it with.

Tip #2: Set clear boundaries and expectations with your pet sitting customers.

Are they the type of client who cancels without notice and demands a refund or continuously schedules last-minute?

These people need a refresher on your policies and procedures. Here are my suggestions:

  1. Write a warmly worded email reminding the client of your policies and procedures.
  • Create a web page that you can easily refer these people to where they can see your policies under your company header written in black and white.
  • Institute a fee schedule for these types of clients.
    1. Create a 24 hour cancellation policy: If 24 hours notice is not given of the cancellation, then the client gets charged for the visit.
  • Create a late booking fee: If the client does not give 24 hours notice of scheduling a visit, a $10 late booking fee is added to their service order.

At Pet Nanny we first waive these fees as a token of good faith and then send them the email making note of our policies with a link to the policies web page. This system will shine a good light on your business while also keeping your clients informed. You are creating expectations and boundaries with them.

Tip #3: Master the art of writing a warm email and pursue the path of least resistance.

Are they the type of client who is simply a jerk? Are they rude to you and your staff? Does your stomach drop every time they call or email?

These people are your “heart sick clients” and you DO NOT have to continue to service them. At Pet Nanny we have a very strict, “No Jerk Policy.” Anyone that is rude or nasty to me or my staff gets tagged as “Jerk” and they are added to my “Do Not Service” list. My suggestion for how to handle these people, is to:

  1. Pursue the path of least resistance.
  • Master the art of writing a warm email that tells them in the politest and nicest way possible that you will no longer be able to service them for “X” reason.
    1. Examples you can use are; you no longer service their neighborhood. You had a sitter quit unexpectedly, and you don’t have coverage at this time. You’re downsizing, etc.
  • The key is to make it super duper nice. I don’t think it is necessary for you to have a confrontation.

You are in the customer service industry and your reputation is everything. Don’t give them a reason to blast your good name around town.  You are in the customer service industry and your reputation is everything. Click To Tweet

IMPORTANT: If you’re not comfortable with the suggestions given above and you feel it necessary to address the situation head on, DO IT ON THE PHONE. Do not put anything in writing that could later be used against you or published somewhere. Good luck! I know that unleashing heart sick clients is not an easy task, but I promise you will feel so much better after you cut ties. The “heart sick clients” are truly not worth it. Trust me on this one!

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.

Social Proof is one of the most powerful and low cost marketing tools that you can use for your business.

Social Proof is a powerful marketing tool. Click To Tweet

What I mean by “social proof,” are testimonials and rave reviews from your current customers. The best part about testimonials is that they do all the selling for you, and it costs you nothing. Testimonials from happy clients will put your prospects more at ease about working with you.

First, I want for you to create a “follow-up and testimonial request system” to start gathering testimonials from your customers.

After each and every service order you will want to follow-up with your customers and gain their feedback. Then, if they were happy with their service, request a testimonial.

TIP: Ask your customers for pictures of their pets to go along with the testimonials. People LOVE sharing pictures of their furry pals.

Second, I want you to create a page on your website that is solely dedicated to rave reviews from your current customers.

Third, start posting the rave reviews on social media.

Fourth, go to www.fiverr.com and have an attractive PDF created with your best of the best reviews to give to client prospects.

Fifth, start showcasing your reviews in your monthly newsletter. Create a section called, “This Weeks’ Raving Fan!”

Your Homework Assignment: Create and implement the system that I just explained above in your own business.

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.

First, I need you to understand that you must think of spending money on your business as an investment. For example, say you spent $50 in a month on Google AdWords and those ads brought you in only 1 new client and the lifetime value of a new client is $1,000. You can easily see how that $50 is money well spent. You paid Google to bring you that new client, which you may not have gotten without them and you can expect that on average, that client will spend $1000 with you over their lifetime of using your service. Make sense? Investing in your business is a good thing. That being said…

There are some very effective low cost marketing strategies for pet sitters.

 #1. Get a website

Nowadays you can create a website for free and pay less than $1 per month for hosting, so there is no excuse why in the digital age we live in, you should not have a business website!

For FREE websites try, Tumblr, DoddleKit or WordPress.

Here is a video on how to easily create a free Tumblr blog site.

Here is a video on how to create a website using WordPress.

For inexpensive hosting, here is a list of the cheapest hosting companies in 2015.

 #2. Crush them with social proof.

Testimonials are one of my favorite low cost marketing tools, because they cost you nothing and they do all the selling for you.

Create a page on your website dedicated solely to rave reviews and direct your client prospects there. You can also create your own PDF handout with your very best testimonials. If you want to get fancy, go to www.fiverr.com and have someone create an attractive PDF for you. $5 is serious low-cost!

 #3. Send out a Warm Letter

A Warm Letter is a personal letter written by you to everyone in your address book. Your letter should be “warm” and it should tell your peeps all that’s going on with your business and the best way for them to refer you.

Make sure that the letter is written to the person (don’t make it general) and sign the letter. You can use a Word Doc Mail Merge to personalize the letters. Again, if you don’t know how to do a mail merge, go to www.fiverr.com, search for “mail merge” and hire someone to do it for $5. When choosing who to hire to do your work, make your choice based on their user rating. They can also create your mailing labels template from your list of contacts. Fiverr gives you the ability to have tasks like this completed for next to nothing, so there is no reason you should waste an entire day trying to figure out how to do it on your own.

Your Homework Assignment:

  1. If you don’t have a website, go get one. A website is an absolute business must-have!
  2. Start collecting testimonials from your clients and post them on your website and package them in an attractive PDF handout.
  3. Write a warm letter and mail it to your contacts.

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.