The Know, Like, and Trust Factor

Increase the Know, Like, and Trust Factor on your Website

Hey, guys! My strategy for you today is the Know, Like and Trust Factor. This was originally published in 2018 and is even more relative today.

I was out and about early this morning. I had to be at the hair stylist by seven o’clock to get my hair done.  The Pet Nanny Coach site is being updated (I can’t wait until you see it!), and I needed some fresh, new photos (if I see that picture of me with Dr. Watson one more time. . . !).

I wanted to get new pictures taken for my new site, and this got me thinking about your websites.  There are so many that I visit and I don’t see anything of you anywhere on your site!

I’m not saying I don’t understand, because I did the same exact thing with my first site. I didn’t want to be anywhere on there. I had pictures of pets everywhere, but Colleen was nowhere to be found until my business coach taught me the importance of the Know, Like and Trust Factor.

What is the Know, Like, and Trust Factor?

So, what is that?  It is giving the people the opportunity to know, like and trust you through your website, because people like doing business with people.

People want to know who the owner of your business is. People want to know who they’re going to trust to come into their homes to care for their most precious pets, and their homes and their prized possessions, and you can do this through your website.

A Challenge – Part One

So, my challenge for you is first, to create a video on the homepage of your website – face to camera. You need to look at the camera and say, “Hi, my name is Colleen Sedgwick. I’m the owner of Pet Nanny, and my pet sitting company rules, and this is why.”.

You want to let them know who you are, what you're about, what you stand for, and what your values are. Click To Tweet I can promise you this – you are going to see a huge uptick in the number of new clients that you get from visitors to your website. They’re going to have a connection with you through the video, and they’re going to get to know, like and trust you.

A Challenge – Part Two

The second part of this challenge is to look at your “About” page and spruce that page up!  Your About page is the second most-visited page on your website, after your homepage. So, you really want to make this page shine.

You want to let people in. Share details about you, such as:

  • Let them know what organizations you belong to.
  • Why did you start this business?
  • Did you have a defining moment in your life that made you say, “Hey, I want to start a pet care service that is extraordinary.”
  • Are you involved in rescues?

Tell them your story

Anything that is going to open a little window into who you are is going to make a huge difference.  Your website visitors are going to begin to know, like and trust you right from the get-go, and you’re going to sign up clients much more easily than when you were not showcasing yourself.

So get out there and complete this challenge!  Create a face to camera video to put on your homepage, and spruce up that “About” page and show people who you are.

All right, guys, I am wishing you a great day. Take care!


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The Business Vacation Test

Take the Vacation Test Challenge

Can you take the vacation test in your business?

When you first start your pet sitting business it can be overwhelming.  It takes a huge amount of your time and energy. You probably can’t imagine taking a vacation and leaving the business to run successfully without you.

But I’m here to tell you that it is possible to create a successful and profitable business and still spend quality time with your family and friends and do the things you love. If you can’t step away from your business and have it continue to run without your everyday presence then you have a job, not a business.

Now you might not be there yet in your pet sitting business, but I have a three-step plan which can help you create the balance between the day-to-day work you love and the need for quality time for yourself.

Step One: Build a team

The first step is to build a team of pet care professionals to take care of the client work. One of the students from my Multiply Mastermind program hadn’t taken a vacation in 10 years, so one of her business goals was to create a small team to be able to spend more time with her grandchildren and take a vacation. Within just four months, she hired a small group of sitters to take care of all the client work and she was able to go away and have an amazing, beautiful vacation with her family. See her beautiful vacation photo below.

 

Step Two: Hire a manager

Even with a team of sitters in place, you will still not be totally unplugged on your vacation if you have to check in each day and handle all the admin and scheduling work. The next step is to hire a manager you can trust to run the business in your absence. Having a manager means you will have someone to answer the phones, do all the scheduling, take care of any new client inquiries, and deal with any issues that happen with your clients or your team.

Step Three: Create systems and processes

The third step is creating systems and processes so that your manager and your team of pet sitters know exactly what is expected of them, what their job role entails, and every single last task is documented from start to finish. This will allow you to relax while you are away, confident in the knowledge that your pet sitting business is being run exactly the way it would be if you were there.

Build a team, hire a manager, and document your systems and processes so that the system runs the business and the person runs the system.

Take the Vacation Test. One, are you able to get away? And two, are you able to get away completely unplugged?

 

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The-Top-3-Essentials-for-Pet-Sitting-Websites

The Top 3 Essentials for Pet Sitting Websites

Pet Sitting Websites are the Cornerstone of Your Business

Pet sitting websites are the cornerstone of your business. In most cases it will be your customers first impression of you and your business, so it’s important that you make those first few seconds when a visitor lands on your page count.

My advice to you is to hire a reputable graphic designer who will create a beautiful and functional web site for your company. I promise you, this will be the best money that you ever spend on your business! You can easily have a new site created for a reasonable amount of money. Visit  www.guru.com,  odesk.com or elance.com (odesk and elance is now upwork.com) to post your job and find a great designer.

When designing your pet sitting website it’s important to communicate with your designer exactly who your target market is and what it is that you’re looking to accomplish. Remember, designers are great at creating beautiful sites, but not many know and understand the business side of things. You need to let them know exactly what should be included.

The 1st Essential for Pet Sitting Websites

The first essential is your contact information on each and every page of your website. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but how often are you on a site where you can’t fine the phone number? Pretty often, right? You don’t want your visitors to ever have to search to find a way to contact you. Also, we’re now in the mobile age where a large percentage of your pet sitting prospects will be on their phones when they land on your page. Make it easy for them to reach you. All they should have to do is point and click to call your office.

The 2nd Essential for Pet Sitting Websites

The second essential is to establish the “know, like and trust factor” with your visitors. I know I’m always harping on this, but in our industry this is crucial for converting visitors into paying clients. Think about it this way… our new customers are in essence giving strangers the keys to their homes and trusting them to take care of and safe-guard their most prized possessions. They need to visually see you and immediately get the feeling that you are a person for whom they can trust and rely on.

How do you do this? You add a video of you on the homepage of your site. I know everyone’s first reaction to this is, “no way!” That was certainly my first reaction, but I’m telling you if you want to bring in tons of new clients, video is a MUST!

The 3rd Essential for Pet Sitting Websites

The third essential is testimonials from happy clients. Social proof is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to convert prospects into paying clients. If they can see that your current customers are raving fans they will be much more likely to use your service. If you don’t have testimonials, go and get them! Ask your clients if they wouldn’t mind writing a few words about their experience with your company. If you’re just starting out, be sure to go above and beyond the call of duty for your new clients (you should always do this,) then follow-up with them afterwards to see if they were happy. If they are, you ask them for a testimonial.

Try and get into the mentality of going and getting the things that you need but don’t have versus having the mindset where you say, “I don’t have that, so I’m not going to do that.” You won’t get too far in business if this is the way you think.

Your Homework Assignment: Go and do it or go and get it!

  • If you don’t have a website, get one! Websites are so inexpensive these days; there is really no excuse to not have one. If you don’t have a website you will lose credibility with your pet sitting prospects and you will fall drastically short against your competition.
  • If your website is basically a virtual brochure it’s time to upgrade. Hire a designer and get a professional site created. Be sure to include the contact information on each and every page.
  • Record a video of you on your homepage. If you can’t afford to have a professional one created then have friend record it for you on your phone. It doesn’t matter! You just want your prospects to know, like and trust you.
  • Gather testimonials for your site.
  • Download my 12 Website Essentials Infographic right below this post. This will help you to create your new amazing pet sitting website!


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7 Tax-Saving Tips for Pet Sitters

7 Tax-Saving Tips for Pet Sitters

  Grab your FREE 7 Tax-Saving Tips For Pet Sitting Businesses PDF here!

 

Tax time is upon us. I want to talk about seven tax saving tips for your pet sitting business.

1. Keep your tax and financial documents for at least seven years.

If you’re ever audited you’ll need those records. Any claims made at tax time require supporting documentation. Keeping good records is an excellent idea for any pet sitting business owner because it encourages organization, always a good thing.

It’s challenging to reconstruct records at a later date. To give you a real quick story about how this is very important, I have been audited twice. They tried to audit me one year after the second audit that I had won. I’m supposed to have five years safe harbor.

My accountant went back and said, “Hey, you guys audited Colleen last year.” They said, “We have no record of that. We have no documentation of that. You need to prove that we did.” Thankfully, we had all of our records. I was able to send it to them so that they couldn’t continue with the audit.

So, a simple system I use is Dropbox, and I have a Financials folder. I have a folder for each year where I store all of my financial documents. There you go, a straightforward system that you can implement today in your business.

2. Understand your loans.

The IRS doesn’t classify most business loans as income. The interest paid on loans is generally a deductible expense. It’s essential to have records regarding the use of any loans, which may be for equipment, or to finance some other activity.

In the year 2020, with all those PPP loans, you must understand how that implicates your taxes and how it’s forgiven if you took out a PPP loan.

3. Know the different types of audits.

First, there’s an office audit, which generally is a simple audit where you’ll be requested to report to your local IRS office to resolve some slight discrepancy.

Then, there’s a correspondence audit where they’ll, it’s hard to say, where they’ll ask you to mail in some documentation.

Then, there’s a field audit, which I went through. These tend to be comprehensive audits conducted at your place of business—very, very stressful. I would never want any of you to have to go through what I went through. I ended up winning, by the way, which was good.

Then, lastly is the criminal investigation audit, which, hopefully, will never happen to anybody watching this video. If you get notified that a criminal investigation audit is happening to you, immediately consult your lawyer because you’re suspected of tax evasion.

4. Pay your quarterly tax bill.

When you have an employer, your taxes are regularly taken out of your paycheck. If you’re self-employed, you’re required to estimate your tax each quarter and pay it. Failure to pay this can result in a significant tax penalty.

You might also end up with an enormous tax bill than you can handle in a single payment.

7 Tax-Saving Tips for Pet Sitters

 

I did not pay my quarterly taxes for years, and I would stress about it, and I would toss and turn, “Oh my gosh, am I going to have enough money to pay the taxman?” One year I did get caught with a $15,000 bill that I was not prepared for. So, I never again missed a quarterly payment after that experience.

5. Prepare early.

The vast number of tax filers wait until the last minute. If you’re expecting a refund, this can be the worst time to file. The IRS is overwhelmed with all the tax returns that pour in. So, preparing your tax return early leaves you time to find any missing documents and answer any questions, all right? It just gives you peace of mind to get it done with, get the monkey off your back.

6. Get help.

Depending on your business finances’ complexity, hiring an expert to prepare your pet sitting business tax return is an excellent idea.

In theory, the money you spend ought to result in a smaller tax burden. It can be helpful if any legal issues arise. The price you’re going to pay for using an accountant and a CPA lets you know what you can be deducted. You don’t know what you don’t know. That’s going to be money in your pocket that you’re not paying to the government. I’s going to pay for itself to use an accountant or a CPA. That’s number one.

Number two, when I was audited, my accountant was so awesome. He dealt with the whole thing. He knew exactly how to structure the audit. He knew exactly what language to use. He knew exactly how to organize everything, where I easily won that audit.

Without him, I don’t even know what would have happened. That audit was for using independent contractors appropriately. That’s a whole other story. Thankfully I had him because he was an MVP in that experience.

7. Avoid using taxes collected from employee payroll, or that you put aside to pay business expenses.

Don’t do that. That happens when you have all of your money in one account.

My tip for you today is to create a bank account outside of your regular bank. I want you to title it The Government’s Money. It’s not your money.

Every week, you’re going to take a percentage of your revenue; you’re going to transfer it out of your bank into the government money account. By the time you’re ready to pay your quarterly tax bill, the money is there set aside, and you’re not tempted to touch it because it’s outside of your regular bank, out of sight, out of mind, okay?

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My Secret Sauce to Building a Lucrative Pet Sitting Career

My Secret Sauce to Building a Lucrative Pet Sitting Career

I realized that I had been making videos for members of the pet sitting industry for many years. Some of you may not know who I am if you’re new to the industry. So I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know a little bit about me and how I was able to make millions was in the pet sitting industry, and how I became to be a coach to help others create lucrative pet sitting careers.

Flashback to 2001. I was a special education teacher teaching Down syndrome children, and I was completely unhappy in my career. As much as I loved the children, I did not feel like I was supposed to be doing this. I felt like I was trapped in the classroom all day. I wanted to be out in the fresh air, and I didn’t know what to do. I graduated from Ohio State with a special ed degree. So I had just assumed that this is what my path is supposed to be, to be a teacher.

After a heartfelt conversation with my parents where they asked me, “Colleen if you could do anything, what would it be?” And I said, “Well, I wouldn’t mind playing with dogs all day.” I said it as a joke, but it ended up being the sentence that changed my life. I decided at that moment that I was going to create a business based on my love of animals. That was how Pet Nanny started.

The problem was I knew nothing about business. Back then, I think there was like one book on the market. I read the book, and I followed the instructions, but that’s pretty much all I knew about business.

I didn’t know about business, marketing, team building, systemizing your business, and managing my finances. I spent a lot of years spinning my wheels. I did not get very far with the company. I ended up creating another job for myself, where I was working a lot.

I had clients, but non-ideal pet-sitting clients who didn’t respect me. They took advantage of me, called me all hours of the day and night. I had no free time. I’d never spent the night in my bed because I was always at my client’s houses, and it got exhausting.

To me, it was like I was maybe making a little more than I was when I was teaching, but I had no free time whatsoever. I completely lost my freedom. So at that point, I was trying to decide, do I want to do this? Or do I want to start something else? Maybe pharmaceutical sales, go back to teaching. I didn’t know.

Then again, I made the decision. I’m going to give this a go. I’m going to try to create a business that can run without me being an integral part of running it.

Create a business that can run without you being the integral part of having it run.

So I hired a business coach. I attended events, read books, and did everything. I implemented, and I got results.

How I've Made Millions in the Pet Sitting Industry 2


Currently, I have three managers that manage the company and a staff of 40 pet sitters that go out to take care of my client’s home. On average, we make around $75,000 a month in revenue, and I only have to work one hour a week in the business.

I started knowing absolutely nothing to get where I am today. It took me a lot of years to get to where I am today.

That’s how you will market your business, how you’re going to get new customers, how you’re going to wow your customers, and how you’re going to nurture your current customer list.

Have support. Find amazing pet sitters.

This is how you’re going to assess to make sure they’re going to be a good fit to work with your company, and it’s how you’re going to onboard them.

So by the time they’re ready to get started with your customers, they’re going to do a fantastic job.

What systems do you need in your business for it to run like a well-oiled machine? How to document them and build out your online business hub so that your business can run without you. That is how you know you have a true business.

Have the freedom to continue growing the business and doing things you love.

Guys, money is a good thing. Think about all of the things you can do and all of the charities you can commit your time to if you have extra money.

And freedom. You’re not stuck working like I was seven days a week, 365 days a year. You can have the freedom to continue growing the business on the backend. You can have the freedom to take part in hobbies that you love. Horseback riding, tennis, and paddle tennis. You like to travel. You want to work from different areas. You can do that when you build this type of business.

How many pet owners and pet lovers in your community can you impact with your amazing service?

So by you building this awesome pet sitting business, you’re going to be able to service so many more pet lovers and their furry pals and provide them with stellar pet care. And become a standout in the pet sitting industry.

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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The Importance of Having a Powerhouse Team

The Importance of Having a Powerhouse Team

We are now in 2021. I was very excited to close the books on 2020 because it was the worst year of my life as it was for so many. I was excited for 2021 to hit the ground running and start with a bang and throw myself back into my pet sitting business because business building makes me happy.

When out of nowhere, I received a positive diagnosis for COVID, completely unexpected. A family friend accidentally gave it to my entire family. We’re all fine. I had a horrific headache and exhaustion for two weeks—nothing where I had to be hospitalized or anything.

The reason I’m telling you this is that something unexpected happened to me. And I was once again reminded about the importance of having a powerhouse team to help with your business.

The system runs the business, the person runs the system.

My business could entirely run without me because I had everything from soup to nuts systematized, and then I have a team of amazing people who implement the system. So, therefore, I am not the bottleneck.

So I’m not even just talking about having a pet sitter team as the business owner. It would be best if you had somebody helping you on the administrative side because you might have people who can go out and do the walks but if you were sick like I was, I was pretty much narcoleptic fallen asleep every hour, I needed somebody to be able to manage things on the backend.

For my coaching business and my pet-sitting business, the managers were able to take care of everything. I was able to sleep and heal, and everything ran seamlessly.

Start thinking about the systems in your business.

Every single thing that you do needs to be documented with point by point outlined instructions so that you can easily delegate it to a team member and they can implement the system. I will repeat it.

The Importance of Having a Powerhouse Team

 

When you have a business that can run without you, you truly have a business.

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Become a Visionary of Your Pet Sitting Business

Become the Visionary of Your Pet Sitting Business

When I first started my pet sitting business, I was going through the motions. I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t have the slightest clue what I wanted to create. I would go day by day by day, and I pretty much flew by the seat of my pants for about a good five years… until this concept was introduced to me.

You think, well, of course, I know what I want to create, but most people don’t.

Today I want you to get clear on exactly what it is that you want to create in terms of your business.

#1 What is your vision for success?

It would be best if you get crystal clear on what you want to create in your business. You need to close your eyes, and you need to think about it.
– How much revenue do you want to generate?
– How many clients do you want to service?
– What services do you want to offer?
– How many team members do you want?
– What role do you want to play? CEO, Manager, Pet Sitter, Dog Walker etc.

Become a Visionary of Your Pet Sitting Business


Close your eyes and visualize in your mind what your successful business looks like.

For me, I created this business where I was the bottleneck, and I was working 7 days a week, 365 days a year, living in other people’s houses. I got clear on the freedom that I wanted, and I visualized the business to give me freedom.

And then I felt what that was going to feel like. That is part of it. It is not only seeing what you want to create in your life and your business, but feeling how it feels now and being grateful for it now, and trusting that it will come to you in the future.

#2. Create a daily practice of closing your eyes, painting a picture in your mind of what your future success looks like.

We are all creators of our own lives. What we think about and what we feel is creating the reality we live in. We’re manifesting stuff daily, and we can do it more powerfully, effectively, and intentionally if we connect with it and take small steps to get a little closer every day. Commit just 5 minutes every day to visualize what it is that you’re trying to create.

#3. Believe with the conviction that your vision for success is yours for the taking.

Trust in knowing that it’s on its way to you. Believe whole-heartedly that it’s on its way to you. You have to get yourself in a place where you believe that you can achieve your goals with absolute certainty, that it’s your destiny and your reality. Feel like success is already yours and on its way into your life.

Get clear on what you want, tune in with the vision every single day, and believe with conviction that it’s yours for the taking.

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TITLE - Email Marketing Ideas for Your Pet Sitting Business

Email Marketing Ideas for Your Pet Sitting Business

I get a lot of pushback with regards to email marketing. Most of my students don’t use an email autoresponder like MailChimp, Active Campaign, or Infusionsoft in their pet sitting business.

They say, “I don’t want to be pushy. I don’t want to send emails.”

I get that. I used not to like it either, and it made me feel uncomfortable.

QUOTE - Email Marketing Ideas for Your Pet Sitting Business


Thus, this is why people and business owners should have an email strategy in place in their business. Today, I want to go through different email marketing types you can implement in your pet sitting business.

Have a welcome email.

When you sign up with a new customer, you want to have an email that shows them exactly who you are, easy to follow steps and systems to go through to onboard them to your company.

They will now know who you are, how you do business, what their responsibility is as a customer and your responsibility as the business owner.

I’ve had many welcome emails that I keep making better as time goes on. A welcome email is one of the easiest ones you can start with. Have a welcome email to open your arms and welcome your new customers to your pet-sitting business.

Offer an educational email.

You’re keeping in touch with your customer base, or your customer prospects, to stay top of mind with them so that when they are ready to buy or are willing to schedule service, you’re going to be the first person they think of. You do this by offering value and educating them.

Think of what you can send to your customer prospects and customers that would make them think like, “Wow, that’s an excellent email.”

Think of anything newsworthy in the pet sitting industry. Think about cross-promotions with other pet businesses in your area. Would your customer love a $30 coupon to a local pet store?

You and these businesses can work together and cross-promote, educate, and provide value to the people on your email list.

Think of different, fun ways. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What would my customer find value in? And if I were the customer, what would I like to see in my inbox?

Write promotional emails.

You’re allowed to promote yourself and your business. You are in business to make money.

“Hey, Christmas is coming up. Are you headed out of town for vacation? I would love to take care of your pets. Here’s a pop-up sale we’re doing. Book your summer services now. Pay in full, and you’re going to get $39 off your service order.” So on and so forth.

Don’t be shy about promoting yourself, even with social media.

Create triggered or transactional emails.

You are offering a free download, a free PDF, a free coupon. When a potential client sees those and they say, “Yes, I want that. Here’s my first name and email.” boom, an automation kick in.

You don’t have to go home and say, “Ooo, I have to send this person that asked for this PDF, the PDF when I get home.” It just happens automatically.

Use lead nurturing emails.

When someone does raise their hand and says, “Yes, I want what you have to offer on your website,” you want to have a campaign set up where you are nurturing them.

You are letting them know, “Hey, this is who I am. These are my pet care values. These are the paying points that I help solve for my customers.”

You always want to speak to the benefit and outcomes that your customer prospects will get by choosing your pet-sitting service.

You can easily do this in a well thought out, nurture sequence. Your customer prospects can get, let’s say, four to five emails from you, one a day, and each of those emails is going to help move them along the process to them becoming a paying customer because you’re the only logical choice. That’s what that lead nurture sequence does for you.

Create re-engagement emails.

Often, we have these pet-sitting clients come, sign up, and use us. We don’t hear from them again.

You can do different re-engagement campaigns to offer a big high-value coupon if they book service within the next two weeks.

You could say, “Hey, Christine. I haven’t heard from you in quite some time. Here is a 40% off coupon that you can use towards your next service. If you sign up by…”.

You want to add scarcity, so put a deadline date in, and then that is going to re-engage them. One, to become active on your list because they’re taking action within the email. Your email service provider is going to say, “Okay, this person’s active.” Then, they’re also going to book service, and you want to get them re-engaged with your company. You want to nurture them again, and you want to stay top of mind with them.

That is email marketing 101 in a nutshell. Don’t be fearful about it.

You can check out MailChimp; if you want to get started to test this out on your own. It’s free for the first 2000 subscribers. Then you can choose one of these emails to implement in your business.

Take action, and then really think out an email marketing campaign for your business. Because email marketing works.

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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