A Cheap and Effective Old School Marketing Strategy

A Cheap and Effective Old School Marketing Strategy

Today, our pet business growth video is an old-school marketing strategy. When I’m coaching my students, I’ve noticed that everybody is super duper excited about learning all of the hot online marketing strategies I have to offer. Don’t get me wrong; I love online marketing. But I need to remind them that the old school, grassroots marketing strategies still work.

We go around in our community and pass out flyers once a month. For example, here is a flyer from Pet Nanny Pet Sitters of the Main Line. This flyer has a QR code right here, so anyone that sees it with their camera can take a shot at the QR code, which takes them to a high-value coupon, which then has a call to action to sign up for pet nanny service.

This works. So here’s a marketing template: I give this to my students in my Multiply Mastermind program, and then they can go ahead and make it their own. They can change images, colors, logos, and such to make it easy.

pet business marketing strategy

 

This is an effective pet business marketing strategy. We also use it for hiring. So here we go, we talk about Pet Nanny is hiring, are you passionate about pups, crazy for cats, fearless about frogs or iguanas, rabbits, chinchillas, or other exotic pets, so on and so forth. The QR code then takes them to the application page on our website.

Do not forget about the old-school marketing strategies because these work. Go around your community, find out where they have bulletin boards where you can post these, and do it. It’s so inexpensive. You can create this on Canva, have it printed right from Canva, and take action on this strategy within a week. So that’s your homework. Take action.

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4 Strategies to Increase the Average Transaction Value

4 Strategies to Increase the Average Transaction Value

Today, our business growth video is four strategies to increase the average transaction value. You may be wondering what that means. The goal is simple, to get customers to spend more with your pet sitting business on every transaction.

The simplest way to do this is to raise your rates.

You can also offer them products and services that will truly serve them and give them fantastic value when they’re using your service. So strategy number one is the obvious one, you can raise your rates.

Create add-on services.

Think about what your customers need while they’re at work or traveling apart from the pet sitting. Think about different things they can add to their pet sitting invoice. Think supply pick up or a pet taxi service, or a pooper scooper service or a vacuuming service, or if you’re a dog trainer, offering those services in addition to the pet sitting, same with grooming.

Pet Sitting Business - 4 Strategies to Increase the Average Transaction Value


Sell products that would benefit their pets.

If you love a line of pet products like holistic pet care products, you can add this revenue stream to your business. Or maybe there are tools that you love, like a gentle harness that you couldn’t live without or poop bags. You can then sell those products to your customers, which would increase the transaction value.

Offer packages and discounted packages.

You might be thinking, “Well, that’s going to be less money,” but no, not actually. If you package your services and give your clients discounts when they buy in bulk like that, they will be incentivized to book more.

They may only book three visits a day, but if you have a four visit package where all the visits are discounted, they will go with the four visit package, which results in more money and a higher transaction value for your business.

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The Top 15 Things to Automate in Your Pet Sitting Business

The Top 15 Things to Automate in Your Pet Sitting Business

Today, we’re talking about the top 15 things you should automate in your pet sitting business. When I talk about automation, I mean that you take the manual processes out of your business by leveraging technology.

Technology is designed to save you time and make you money. So, I teach how to use this to free up your time to focus on revenue-generating activities. Here are the top 15 things that you can start with.

1. Customer Scheduling.

There are a million out there, but you’re automating your customer scheduling and reminder processes using software like Time to Pet, Power Pet Sitter, Precise Petcare, Leashtime, Bluewave. If you’re new, you can also check out software called PocketSuite. I think it’s less than ten bucks a month, but worth it, absolutely worth it.

2. Backing up your files.

Do you ever think, “Hmm, I want to back up my files today.” No, it is not a top priority, but coming from someone that lost all their files once, this is an absolute must. You can use a cloud-based backup like Dropbox, where you can establish a daily or weekly time for a background backup to happen.

3. New-customer onboarding.

You can use an email autoresponder, something like MailChimp or ActiveCampaign, to run your clients through a new-customer onboarding sequence. They complete their new client forms, sign their contracts, and get introduced to their new pet sitter. You start it, and then it just runs through the whole process. I give this to my students who are in my Multiply Mastermind program.

The Top 15 Things to Automate in Your Pet Sitting Business

4. Customer follow-ups and surveys.

Again, using your autoresponder or your pet-sitting software, you schedule these follow-ups and survey requests with your customers. So important. You want to make sure that your customers are happy with your pet sitting business, but also, when they are happy, that’s a testimonial that you can showcase for your business.

5. Lead capture and follow-up.

Somebody comes to your website, and they see your lead magnet. “Ooh, this is a great high-value coupon. I’m going to give my first name and email address to get this.” Then, boom, the campaign automatically starts to your email autoresponder.

They get a series of emails to convert them into a paying customer by the end of the sequence. You are not having to manually go in, “Oh, someone filled out a form. I better send them all these emails, one, by one, by one.” No, it just happened in the background.

6. Billing and failed payments.

Use your scheduling software to keep your client’s credit card information on file and process the payment before your client’s service begins. So, instead of you providing service… so the need is already met… printing out an invoice, leaving it on the counter, hoping and praying that they mail it in.

Or they leave it on the counter, then you put it in your pocket, and you lose it, or your sitter, one of your sitters has it and doesn’t mail it to you. The list goes on about how many things can go wrong when you do this manually. If you get this all set up through your pet sitting business software, they pay ahead of time, and it’s super-easy. Then also, if their card is declined or needs to be updated, the system automatically sends them an email. You do not have to do it.

7. Referral and testimonial request.

Using an autoresponder again, like MailChimp or ActiveCampaign, you can run referral-request promotions and ask for testimonials and reviews.

8. Receipts.

We are in business. You need to have a receipt for anything that we spend on our business. Audited, need the receipts. You can use an app like Shoeboxed to scan, organize, and store your business receipts.

9. Website traffic tracking.

Google Analytics allows you to set up a simple report to have emailed to you once a week to look at it quickly to see what your traffic was, how many visitors were there, where they are located, and so on. So you don’t have to think, “Oh, I need to go into Google Analytics.” Because everybody wants to do that. These reports are automatically emailed to you.

10. Social media posts and promotions.

You can use software like SmarterQueue, Hootsuite, or MeetEdgar, which allows social media posts to be written in batches, and then dispersed throughout the week or month using a scheduler. So, you load the content up ahead of time. You decide when you want it sent out to your social media channels, and you don’t have to think about it.

11. Greeting card mailing.

Integrate your email autoresponder with a company like Rocket Notes, or send out cards to automate new-customer welcome greeting cards or thank-you cards. So, at Pet Nanny, when somebody signs up as a new client, and I run them through that new-customer onboarding campaign, it sends a notification to Rocket Notes, which then mails them a greeting card that they get in the mail. It’s pretty cool.

12. Collecting job applications.

Add an online form like Google Forms or Jotforms to your website to collect sitter applications and automatically follow up with them. Someone says, “Oh, I would like to work with Pet Nanny.” They fill out the application. They then get dropped into an autoresponder email sequence, where they are getting the appropriate emails and an invitation to schedule an interview. You do not manually have to do it.

13. Sitter hiring.

Run your sitters through an automated assessment campaign to evaluate how they communicate and follow directions. One of the best things I’ve ever set up in my business, also something that I give to my Multiply Mastermind students.

You want to create these assessment tasks for sitter prospects to run through so that you can be assured that they’re going to be a good person before you hire them. It can be automated, and you don’t have to do it step by step—such an integral part of my business.

14. Sitter onboarding.

Run your sitters through an automated onboarding campaign, which takes them through all the steps they need to complete before they are sent out in the field to work with your customers. Something else I give to my Multiply Mastermind students, I provide the link, and it goes right into their active campaign.

They customize it for themselves. They are onboarding these sitters so that they do not have to do it step by step with every sitter, and it becomes redundant and boring. You can automate so many steps of that process.

15. Contract signing.

Use software like DocuSign or SignNow to have your clients and sitters sign their contracts. Versus a “Hi, client, high new client. Here’s the service agreement.” Having to sign it, come home, put it in a file or picture it, scan it, take a picture of it, and upload it to your Dropbox or Google Drive. You can automate that whole process using one of these contract-signing software.

 

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5 Tips for Attracting New Customers to Your Pet Sitting Business

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.

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Set Your Dog Walking Business Apart From Your Competition

Set Your Dog Walking Business Apart From Your Competition

In the Launch & Grow Program, I talk about the importance of purple cowing your dog walking business. What I mean by that is making yourself stand so far apart from your competition that you’re the only logical choice in your market.

Think of an amazing offer that’s different from others.

Now, purple cow, I did not come up with that statement that Seth Godin coined. He has a concise book; if you’re interested in reading it, you can check that out. But think about what would be amazing that you could offer that’s just different from “Hi, I’m going to come to your house and walk your dog for 30 minutes.” Think about what you could package. Think about what you could include. Think about things you could do to make your customers go; “wow, this business is awesome, and they are who I want to hire.”

Survey your audience.

After putting all of your unique ideas down on paper, you can survey your audience. You can use a tool like SurveyMonkey, or a free one is Google Forms. Shoot that out to your current customers and say, what would it include if I could wave a magic wand to do the perfect business for you? Or what would it look like?

Set Your Dog Walking Business Apart From Your Competition


List Unique Selling Propositions.

The best ideas come from the customers that you already service. Then I want you to organize everything that makes you special, everything that makes you unique, into a list. We call these your unique selling propositions, and it’s just a list of what makes your business special.

I put a lot of time and effort into my list, create your own, organize them into a list, and include that on your marketing materials. If you visit my website at pet-nanny.net and see what sets us apart, you can check out my USPs. Do not copy them, please.

People want to know why they should hire you. In my programs, I teach my students to create a premium service that attracts premium clients who will pay the premium pricing, which is a crucial step.

So, how do you purple cow your dog walking business? Survey your audience, ask for ideas, organize your unique selling propositions into a checklist and put those on your website and marketing materials.

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The Fear Around Building Referral Partnerships

The Fear Around Building Referral Partnerships

Today I want to talk about the fear that most of us have when going out and building pet sitting business relationships with strategic alliances or referral partners.

First, a strategic Alliance is somebody that serves the same target market as you do but offers a different service. Our referral partner doesn’t necessarily have to be in the pet industry but is another business or person you have a partnership with because you guys are referring business back and forth.

This was a major hot topic in my mastermind this week because we talked all about marketing, and a piece of that is getting out from behind your computer, getting cookies, getting cupcakes, getting a pizza, getting bagels, whichever you choose, and going in and making relationships with these business owners.

pet sitting business referrals

 

When we first start talking about this, most of my students feel they’re crippled in fear, and I don’t want to discount that fear because I know I certainly felt it. My heart used to beat like crazy. I would start sweating when I would go in. But here’s the bottom line. You get to choose what this means to you.

This means some people may say, “Oh, you know what? We’re good. We already have a pet sitter that we refer, but thanks for stopping by.” Okay, great. Thank you. It doesn’t mean anything about you or your pet sitting business. It has nothing to do with your self-worth. You don’t seem to have an energetic connection with that business or with that person. That’s fine.

Then the next business you go into will be like, “Oh my gosh, you’re exactly what my clients are looking for. I would love to put out your cards. And thank you so much for the cookies, and here’s the best way to refer us.” You’re going to continue fostering that relationship with them over time. But you have to get out of the fear and do it anyhow.

One of my students this week had a big win. She had these awesome cupcakes made from her grocery with little paw prints. She went out, made awesome connections, and started getting clients.

So my homework assignment for you today is to stretch yourself. Step out of your comfort zone. Write down a list of people you would like to create relationships with and go out and meet with them. I do have a script. I don’t want you guys to overthink this or go in robotically, but if you need a script to help you, like what to say when you go out, go to messagecolleen.com and type in the word script in the messenger chat. And I’m going to shoot you over that script to give you an idea and a framework of what you can say.

Don’t make it mean anything about you if they decide they don’t want to be a referral partner with you. Some people will want to, some people won’t, and either is okay. It doesn’t mean anything about you or your pet sitting business.

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Can my Independent Contractors Wear Clothes with my Business Name and Logo

Can my Independent Contractors Wear Clothes with my Business Name and Logo?

Today, I’m answering a question from the Pet Nanny Coach community Facebook group member, who asked if her independent contractors are allowed to wear clothes with her pet sitting business name and logo on them.

Can my Independent Contractors Wear Clothes with my Business Name and Logo


The answer is absolutely not.

The reason why is because they are not classified as employees. If they were employees, then yes, you could have them wear whatever you want them to in terms of having and showcasing your pet sitting business name. You could have them use card magnets.

But if they’re independent contractors, they are independent of your company. In the eyes of the government, they are their own business and, therefore, should not in any way be affiliated with your company. They are not eligible to wear clothing with your pet sitting business name and logos on it.

I want you to be very careful with this. I do not believe that the benefit of having your sitters wear this type of clothing outweighs the risk. Trust me on this.

I’ve been through two audits. This was a very stressful subject in my life for many years. I won those audits, thankfully, but I know myself when it comes to independent contractors. So please take my advice. Don’t go down this road. The risk to your pet sitting business operations being interrupted is not worth the reward that you may get from your independent contractors wearing clothing with your business name and logo on it.


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Don't Let the Fear of Online Trolls Hold you Back

Don’t Let the Fear of Online Trolls Hold you Back

Today, our question comes from a member of my Scholars group, and she wrote, “I’m curious how and if you respond when your pet sitting company is recommended for service in local Facebook groups. Do you comment on the person who recommended your service or comment separately? I hesitate to throw our name out there in these groups if we haven’t been mentioned since some people are not so nice.”

This comes down to fear of judgment, which we all have.

My answer to her was to comment on the person who referred you, comment separately, and DM the person looking for a fantastic sitter. Be proud of your service.

Don't Let the Fear of Online Trolls Hold you Back


Don’t let some trolls that are sitting behind their computers, who may say something negative about you, hold you back from getting your message out to the people that need you most.

When you respond, something you can offer is a PDF download of all the amazing testimonials that your clients have given your pet sitting company, or you can give them a high-value coupon. There are many cool ways to respond in these instances, but again, do not let fear of judgment hold you back from being so proud of your service and what you have to offer.

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