11 Ways To Generate Trust With Your Pet Sitting Customers and Prospects

The best piece of advice I can give you for owning a pet sitting business is to create a reputation for yourself and for your business as being “trustworthy.” In this industry, our customers are in essence, giving the keys to their homes to complete strangers. They’re basically saying, “Come on in (while I’m not here) and take care of my precious pals and worldly treasures.” If you think of it from this perspective, you can see how hiring a pet sitting service is a very scary thing for our customers. It is your job to show your pet sitting customers and customer prospects that you and your business can be trusted implicitly. So, how do you create trust with your pet sitting customers and prospects? Here are 11 ways…

#1. Owning a pet sitting business requires a professional website

  • You literally have 3 seconds to make an impression on your website visitors. If you have a poorly designed and unprofessional looking site, it’s going to be a serious detriment to your credibility and will most likely result in lost opportunities.

#2. Include your business phone number at the top of every page on your website

  • Phone numbers that are front and center invoke trust.
  • Answer the phone when it rings! People will feel immediately comfortable if they know they can get a live person on the phone when they call.

#3. Post your credentials on your website by including the logos to associations for which you are affiliated

#4. Crush them with social proof!

  • Showcase the positive experiences of others who have used your pet sitting service. The more the better! If you only have a few, don’t let that stop you. You have to start somewhere.
  • Dedicate an entire page for your positive reviews. Here is an article on how to use social proof when owning a pet sitting business.

#5. Make it personal

  • People trust people. Showcase who you are on your About Us page. Tell your story on this page and be sure to include a picture or a video, so people can connect with you.

owning a pet sitting business

#6. Have a Meet Our Team Page

  • Your prospects will feel more at ease if they can visually see who will be coming into their homes. I suggest using video, but at the very least, include a picture and write-up of each team member.

#7. Have a blog on your website

  • Fresh and relevant content, for which your prospects will find valuable, is not only good for search engine optimization, but it also shows that your business is alive and kicking, which breeds trust.

#8. Include a Privacy Policy

  • Be clear about what you will and will not do with any personal data you collect. Make it easy to read.
  • You can have one generated for you by Ibuenda.

#9. Clearly communicate what your customers can expect from your services

Be crystal clear on exactly what your customers can expect from using your service. Click To Tweet

This is the knowledge-bomb!

  • Don’t ever promise anything that you can’t deliver on. It is better to under-promise and over-deliver.
  • Lay out your Polices and Procedures and be sure they understand all of them.
  • Let them know exactly when they will hear from their sitter to schedule their registration meeting.
  • Let them know exactly how they will hear from their sitter when they are gone.
  • Let them know how you will communicate with them.
  • Let them know exactly what will happen at each and every visit or house sitting stay.
  • Let them know how you will follow-up with them.
  • Let them know how they can schedule and how long they can expect for a service order to be processed.
  • MANAGE THEIR EXPECTATIONS! If you deliver on what you promised, they will trust you and they in turn will spread the word.

#10. Offer a Guarantee

  • Offering a guarantee will alleviate your customer’s sense of risk.
  • Pet Nanny offers a 100% money-back guarantee. I know that we offer superior service, so I’m not worried about people cashing in on this offer, and if a sitter does mess-up, I want to give my customer’s their money back. Why should they pay for a service they didn’t receive?
  • You may from time to time come across an unscrupulous individual, who is purposely trying to take advantage. When you do come head to head with this person, give them the refund and chalk it up as the cost of doing business (I’ll tell you a good story about this at a later time.)

#11. Keep in touch on a regular and consistent basis

  • Creating a “Stay-In-Touch Marketing Plan” will help to keep you top-of-mind with your customers and customer prospects, but it also essential for owning a pet sitting business. When your customers can rely on the fact that they will hear from you on a consistent basis, they also know they can rely on you to take care of their most prized possessions.

 Your Homework Assignment:

  1. Go to your website as if you were a first time visitor and ask yourself, “would I trust me based on this website?” If the answer is no, it’s time to revamp your site.
  2. Start to implement some or all of these 11 ways to generate trust with your pet sitting customers.

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How to Create a Powerhouse Pet Sitting Website

How to Create a Powerhouse Pet Sitting Website

Last week I wrote a post about the 5 elements of on-page search engine optimization. My hope is that you quickly turned around and implemented the strategies I laid out for you, but my guess is that many of you tuned out the moment you read the term “SEO.” If this was you, don’t worry! I get it! I too used to wander off to lala land whenever high-level technology conversation began. It was just so overwhelming to me that I’d rather pretend it wasn’t important.

Well, I have some good news for you. You don’t need to know how to do these types of overwhelming tasks. WOOHOO! Isn’t that a relief? You should delegate them to a team of skilled professionals who know what they’re doing and can complete the tasks in a fraction of the time it would take you to learn and then implement yourself.

Personally, I didn’t even know that these types of services existed until about 5 years ago. I mean, I knew that there were people who would make changes to your website, but I didn’t know that you could hire a team of professionals who were skilled in ALL things technology. Once I made this fascinating discovery and I hired my first web team, I saw my business pick-up a ton of momentum.

Repeat after me… “My pet sitting website is the cornerstone of my business.”

Say it again… “My pet sitting website is the cornerstone of my business.”

If you want to see your pet sitting business reach new heights, you need to have a pet sitting website that is client attractive, meaning it pulls in your ideal prospects and pushes away your non-ideal prospects. You need to design a FREE offer, so you can capture the information of your prospects and follow-up with them to turn them into paying customers. You need to write a blog with Google Authorship, so that you are adding fresh new content to your website and therefore ranking higher on Google. The list goes on and on.

How to Create a Powerhouse Pet Sitting Website

A team of website professionals has the ability to…

#1. Create a beautiful and functional web site design that is also mobile responsive

#2. Design an opt-in for your free offer

pet sitting business

#3. Design web forms that your clients can submit directly from your pet sitting website

pet sitting website

pet sitting business

#4. Create a blog design that is simple and easy to read and SEO friendly

pet sitting website

#5. Create an E-Commerce Store

pet sitting business

#6. Add video to your pet sitting website

pet sitting business

#7. Create beautiful PDF’s, ECovers and Infographics

pet sitting website
They will also…

Help with SPAM, page loading speed, Google Analytics, search engine optimization, social media optimization, article marketing, video editing, marketing material creation, keyword research and mail merges. You name it, they can do it!

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5 Things I Would Have Done Differently In My Pet Sitting Business

Tips I wish I had known when I started my pet sitting business

It’s hard to believe but it’s been 19 years since I first started my pet sitting business! There have been ups and downs, but I’ve learned a lot along the way and today I want to share with you the five things that I would have done differently (if I knew then what I know now.)

Hopefully, you can learn from these tips and do them differently in your pet sitting business, so that you can get where you want to be much faster.

One: Have a clear vision of the results you want to achieve

The first thing I would have done differently is to have a clear vision of the results I wanted to achieve in my business versus just flying by the seat of my pants, which is pretty much what I did.

I had no plan, I had no vision, I had no idea what I wanted to create, I had no idea what I wanted to make each month.

It took me a long time to get to where I am now because clarity equals power, and I didn’t have any clarity. Be clear on what you want to achieve, and you’re going to get there much faster.

Two: Hire help as soon as possible

If your business depends solely on you, you do not have a business, you actually have a job. I know because I did this.

I had a job for many years. I created a large job for myself. As my business was ramping up and I started getting all these customers, and I was booked out all the time, I worked 12 to 15 hour days, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

I had no idea how I could stop being the sole person that was managing the business and doing all the client work. When I finally learned how to do it, and I built a strong team, things started to happen really quickly. I created a balance in my life and my work, which is just so important.

Your business is supposed to add to your life, not to make you miserable, exhausted, and burned out.

5 Things I Would Have Done Differently In My Pet Sitting Business

 

Three: Use technology to expand your business

The third thing I would have done differently is I would have leveraged technology so much sooner.

If you are still doing everything manually it is going to be hard to grow your business successfully. There are tools out there now which can save you time, energy and in the end help your business to bring in more money.

There are online scheduling systems, automation tools for your emails and social media marketing which will make running your business so much more efficient and profitable.

Creating processes and systems that happen automatically through the use of technology was a game changer for my pet sitting business.

Four: Understand the lifetime value of your customer base

Your lifetime value of a customer is how much a customer is projected to spend with you during their lifetime with your business. It costs way much more money to acquire a new customer than it does to incentivize your current customers to book from you more often, this, my friends, is a game changer.

I should have been nurturing the relationships by staying in touch with these customers instead of just assuming that when they needed pet sitting or dog walking that they would call me. That’s an assumption you don’t want to make.

People forget who they work with. People want to do business with people. They want to know that by you staying in touch with them that you care about them, that you care about their pets, and they’re going to easily remember to book with you each time they need service.

By staying in touch with them you’re also going to create raving fans. It’s not just enough to have customers in this crowded marketplace. You want your customers to be raving fans who use you all the time and are going to spread the word about you and your business.

Five: Hire a business coach 

I waited way too long before I hired my first business coach. Back then, there really weren’t any pet business-related business coaches, so mine was not in the pet field and yours certainly doesn’t have to be either.

If you find someone who runs a business that you admire, that has the results that you would like in your business, that has the business model that you want to follow, go and hire them. Ask them to help you to get you to where you want to go. It’s a shortcut. You don’t have to try to figure all these things out on your own.

So, these are the five main things I wish I had known back when I started my pet sitting business. I hope they help you to design and run the business you are dreaming of.

 

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Think BIG & Dream BIGGER

Think BIG & Dream BIGGER

You must set high goals for yourself to achieve great things in life

When I speak to a client about how much money they want to make in their pet sitting business, I am shocked at the answers that I receive.  The responses usually range anywhere from $30,000 to $75,000.  That’s an average of $52,500 per year for what these businesses hope and wish they could make. I find this not only shocking but also sad. You see, you must set high goals for yourself to achieve great things in life, and with all of these pet sitting business owners setting the bar so low for themselves, it’s no wonder there are so few profitable pet sitting businesses out there.

I‘m here to tell you that you CAN make so much more in your business and that you don’t have to play small. You can create a greatly prosperous and professionally fulfilling pet sitting business. I know that it may not seem possible, but I can tell you from experience that it is! By creating systems and leverage techniques you can ignite your pet sitting business into a moneymaking machine. First, you must change your mindset: 

You must think BIGGER, dream BIGGER and BELIEVE that you can do it. Then you have to do the work.

My personal business coach, Fabienne Fredrickson, shared with me a paragraph from Louise Hay’s book “You Can Heal Your Life.” This excerpt has resonated with me and hopefully it will do the same for you.

“I love the visualization of standing at the seashore looking out at the vast ocean and knowing that this ocean is the abundance that is available to me. Look down at your hands and see what sort of container you are holding. Is it a teaspoon, a thimble with a hole in it, a paper cup, a glass, a tumbler, a pitcher, a bucket, a washtub, or perhaps you have a pipeline connected to this ocean of abundance? Look around you and notice that no matter how many people there are and no matter what kind of container they have, there is plenty for everyone. You cannot rob another, and they cannot rob you. And in no way can you drain the ocean dry. Your container is your consciousness, and it can always be exchanged for a larger container.”

Think BIG & Dream BIGGER quote

After I read this I looked at myself and realized that I was carrying only a small pitcher. I wanted to make money, but I was content with “just enough.” That was the thought that I constantly told myself. (You have to start becoming keen to the sabotaging thoughts that go through your mind.) It wasn’t until I shifted my mindset and asked the universe to triple my income that the right opportunities started to present themselves. It’s strange how the universe works. “Ask and you shall receive.” It’s so true.

Your Homework Assignment:

Picture yourself on the shoreline, feet in the sand, looking out at our vast ocean of abundance. What’s in your hands? Now, change that mental picture to that large pipeline. Next start writing the goals down as if you have already received them and are so grateful. Remember, you can’t ask for too much because you can never exhaust the supply of abundance that is available to you.

  1. I’m so happy and grateful that I received 5 new clients this week. I’m so grateful! Thank you universe!
  2. I’m so happy and grateful that I hired 2 new fabulous, responsible pet sitters this week. I’m so happy and grateful. Thank you universe!
  3. I’m so happy and grateful that I made an additional $50,000 in revenue this year.

You get the picture. Be specific as possible and always be grateful for it. Without that element you won’t get very far. Remember, you are the only person that can set the limits. Think BIG, dream BIG and BELIEVE you can do it. I believe in you.

Here is one of my actual goal cards

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Implement Quickly

Implement Quickly and You Will See Results

“The biggest difference between an average income and financial freedom is Implementation.” –Bill Glazer

There are some people in this world that take action and implement and sadly there are others that don’t. Let’s just say I have 2 different people purchase my product, 9 Secrets to Building a Stellar Team of Pet Sitters.

This product includes everything one needs to create a fabulous team of competent pet sitters. It has the EXACT documents, emails and procedures that I use to build my team of 30+ pet sitters. All these two people have to do is implement the systems and strategies in their own businesses. The first person grabs it and runs with it. They go home and take everything they were given and put it into immediate action. The other person takes it home and reads through it, then puts it down. Then a month later picks it up again and thumbs through it all the while humming and hawing that they’re “too busy,” or that they “know this stuff already,” or they’ll “get to it next month.” Now, from those two types of people who do you think is going to have the more successful business? The first person, of course! This person is a doer! They IMPLEMENT. They don’t need to ask questions, or over-analyze or complain or make excuses. They just do it and they do it quickly.

pet sitters implement quickly

Would it surprise you to learn that most successful millionaire entrepreneurs believe that implementation (a.k.a “getting things done”) have named it as the number one KEY to success? That doesn’t surprise me at all… because it’s true!

I’m no stranger to procrastination. I understand it completely, but I can say with total confidence that when you finally decide to just bite the bullet and get something done, it is far less painful and time consuming than what you have created in your mind. Therefore, it’s worth the effort. Plus, the satisfaction that you’ll get from finally putting a check mark next to that task is priceless!

Here is a mantra that I follow in my business, “ACT WITH SPEED.” I have learned first-hand that it is not only the act of implementation, but actually the speed with which you do it that will show you a drastic return on your investment.

Your Homework Assignment:

  1. How can you implement more effectively?
  2. What do you have on your To-Do list for a long while? Put a deadline on the tasks, write them on your calendar and get them done! No excuses please.

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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Productivity Hack for your pet sitting business

Super Simple Productivity Hack for Pet Sitters

A simple tool to help pet sitters get more done with less stress

If there’s one thing I’m certain of, pet sitters are short on time, which is why I’m excited to share this week’s business building tip that will show you exactly how you can create more time and get more efficient in every area of your life.

You and I all have one million things going on in our brains each and every day that we need to get done.

For our pet sitting business, we need to get a newsletter out, we need to get marketing emails written, we need to schedule all those clients, we need to send that client a baby gift, we need to reach out to that sitter to figure out what’s going on with her summer schedule, the list goes on. And it never stops!

Then, on top of all of that, you have your personal stuff to take care of.

For me, it might be events at my children’s school or signing up the kids for camp, packing for a camping trip, getting the car serviced, etc.

When we have all this stuff swarming in our heads overwhelm sets in, and overwhelm causes inaction. When we have too much to do it’s easier to just ignore it than to actually get it done.

This is where my super simple productivity tool can help pet sitting professionals just like you.

The Weekly Brain Dump

STEP 1

Each week, preferably on Sundays, I want you to get out a piece of paper and do a thorough brain dump on every single task that you can possibly think of that you need to get done. Include personal tasks as well as those for your pet sitting business.

STEP 2

Cross off the things that you do not need to complete this week.

STEP 3

Schedule the remaining tasks onto a calendar of your choice. And the most important point – make sure you include due dates because if you don’t schedule it, it’s just wishful thinking.

I’m going to repeat that – make sure each task has a due date!

Make The Brain Dump one of your success habits to get you where you want to go, so much faster. It may be simple, but it’s an effective tool to help your pet sitting business grow.

FREE PDF Download For Pet Sitters

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 to Get More Pet Sitting Referrals

How to Get More Pet Sitting Referrals

Referrals Make The Very Best Pet Sitting Clients
This is the actual icon that Pet Nanny uses in our Welcome Email. Right from the get-go we want our customers to know that we love and appreciate referrals.

Why do referrals make the very best customers?

  1. Referrals are coming to you from someone that has already done business with you and is happy and pleased with the work that your pet sitting business has done for them.
  2. Pet Sitting Referrals that come from friends are also great, because they know that their friend has no ulterior motive other than to do what is best for them.
  3. Referrals are much more likely to buy because they have been given the green light by the 3rd party. They are pre-sold.
  4. You don’t have to spend money on advertising to bring them in as clients.
  5. You don’t have to sell yourself, because someone has already done that for you.
  6. Referrals are the customers who will be more loyal to your business. The psychology behind someone standing up for you and saying how wonderful you are, breeds the loyalty factor.

How to Get More Pet Sitting Referrals quote


How do you generate more referrals?

  1. First and foremost, you have to provide outstanding service. Nobody is going to refer any run of the mill business. These people’s names will forever be attached to you, so they are only going to refer your pet sitting business if your customer service and level of pet care is truly exceptional.
  2. Create a connection with your client’s right from jump street. All new Pet Nanny clients receive a Welcome to Pet Nanny greeting card, which thanks them for their business.
  3. Celebrate their Birthday! Send them a birthday card with a small gift card or discount code to your pet sitting service. I personally believe that Birthday card goes a lot further than a Christmas Card does. Christmas cards and gifts seem to get overlooked due to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
  4. Send them handwritten cards. In the digital age with which we live, the art of a handwritten note is becoming rare. If you take the time to do this, it will be noticed and appreciated.
  5. Send thoughtful gifts. Each year (not at Christmas) I send my highest revenue generating clients a gift. It’s usually a care package for their pets, but I’ve also done gift cards, wine and scotch. This will depend on how well you know the client. Take notice to the things they like and surprise them with it!
  6. Ask for the referrals. I know this sound strange, but some people just need to be reminded that you love and appreciate referrals. As noted above, we let our clients know right from the start. I then have reminders and promotional campaigns in place to continue to drive referrals.
  7. ALWAYS thank your clients for referrals. This is a MUST! Do not take for granted these people will continue to send you referrals. You must thank them. I know a painter who continuously received word-of mouth referrals from this one source. I continuously reminded him to thank her, which he did not. Can you guess what happened? That’s right! The referrals dried up. She has not referred him in over 2 years. I warned him.

In short, if your business provides outstanding service and you make your clients feel good and appreciated, you will create a continuous pipeline of the very best clients!

This is a short list of idea. If you have any great ideas to share, please comment below. I would love to hear.

Your Homework Assignment:
Make a list of the things that you currently are doing to generate referrals. Next, brainstorm some ideas which you can implement to greater fuel your referral pipeline. Trust me, you’ll be so glad you did. As soon as I learned the importance of referrals and implemented my own strategies, I saw a huge jump in the amount of new monthly business that Pet Nanny generated. Huzzah!

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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Tax Tips for Pet Sitters

Tax Tips for Pet Sitters

Plan ahead and never again get caught short at tax time

Taxes used to stress me out more than you can imagine. Every year I would be shaking in my boots as I anxiously awaited to hear what I owed. The problem was that I never planned ahead. Why didn’t I plan ahead? Because I didn’t know how. You don’t know what you don’t know. Now you will know. Pet Sitters that follow the simple method below will always be prepared for the tax man.

Tax Tips for Pet Sitters

#1. You need to stay on top of what your quarterly tax payments need to be and if you’re making more money than you anticipated, you need to be putting more money aside for taxes.

#2. Create a separate account for your taxes: I use Capital One 360 (previously ING.) It’s super- easy to create an automated savings or checking account.

 

#3. Name the account “The Government’s Money”: The money you deposit into this account is not yours. It is the government’s money. Labeling it like this will be a gentle reminder that the money is not yours to touch. Do not borrow from this account!

#4. Deposit 20%: Every single time you make a deposit into your business account, you transfer 20% of that deposit into your tax account.

I most definitely suggest that you consult with your accountant about tax planning, but if you follow these simple tax tips for pet sitters you will always be prepared for tax season. Hallelujah!

Today is tax day and I’m completely prepared. I never thought I would see the day. I’m a happy Pet Nanny!

Your Homework Assignment:
If you don’t already have one, open a tax account where you can easily transfer at least 20% of your business deposits into. Then name the account “The Government’s Money.” You’ll thank me later. 😉

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!

Enter Your Info Below to Download The Complete Checklist For Starting a Pet Sitting Business!

 

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