My Recommended Pet Sitting Tools, Apps & Software Programs

You asked, so here you go…

A comprehensive list of all the pet sitting tools, apps and software programs that I personally use to manage my business.

Computer: Apple-Desktop, Mac Air, iPhone, iPad,
Calendar: iCal
Web Browser: Safari
Pet Sitting Software: Bluewave Professional Pet Sitter
Email Marketing: Infusionsoft
Stay in Touch Marketing: Send Out Cards
Connect Infusionsoft & Send Out Cards: Fix Your Funnel
Outsourcing: UpWork & Fiverr
Operations Manual: Sweet Process
Screen Recording Software: Techsmith (Jing & SnagIt)
Project Management: Asana
Team Communication: Skype
Files/Documents: Dropbox
Forms: Jotform
Social Media Management: Meet Edgar
Website: WordPress– Woo Themes: Canvas 
Website Hosting: GoDaddy
Website Security: SiteLock
Grammar and Spell Check: Ginger Software or Grammarly
Landing Pages: LeadPages
Image Creation: Canva
Mind Mapping: MindMeister
Video Hosting: YouTubeVimeo
Job Postings: Care.com & Craigslist
Trackable Links: Bitly

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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How to Turn Your Overwhelm Into Productivity

In this day and age, there is so much information available to us, it is easy to get stuck in information overload or overwhelm. In this week’s video, I’ll tell you about a simple method I use to organize my projects and tasks. It’s been a lifesaver for me, and I hope it helps you!

Here’s an example of a Mind Map:

This image was created using a paid tool called MindMeister. You most certainly do not have to use something as fancy as this. A free tool you can use is Canva or a pen and paper works just as well!

Your Homework Assignment: Get all of those ideas out of your head and onto paper in an organized fashion so you can create a plan of action!

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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Is Everything Working on Your Pet Sitting Website?

Today’s video blog may seem like complete common sense, but after a recent experience of mine, when I couldn’t contact someone who I really wanted to hire it got me thinking… “is everything working on my websites?” I hadn’t tested my links, contact forms or web forms in eons and strangely enough, sometimes these super-important pieces of our websites stop working. I have no idea why or how, but it happens! It’s time to take an audit of your pet sitting website to make sure that the path from your customer prospects to you is clear and easy to navigate.

Pet Sitting Website Functionality Audit

#1. Test Contact and Subscribe Forms

If your lead capture forms aren’t working correctly you could be missing valuable leads, who could turn into customers, who could turn into revenue. This is very important! Test each and every form as if you were your customer prospect.

#2. Click on Your Social Media Profiles

Click on each of your social media icons to make sure they are pointed to the most current URL’s. Also, be sure to add any social media accounts that you may have started to use. For example, if you created an Instagram account, you will want to add that to your pet sitting website.

#3. Complete The Pet Sitting Website Functionality Audit above

Set a recurring calendar date for your functionality audit, and use this as a checklist to look at your website functionality. It’s likely 15-20 minutes of your time and it can save you all kinds of headaches.

#4. Click all Menu Items and Internal Links

If one of your pages or posts has a changed URL from the last update you did, did it update the navigation/menu properly? Also, be sure to check all of your text links and graphical icons to make sure they are working and directing properly.

#5. Click on Your Videos

Make sure that your videos are playing correctly. If not, then update the code from the 3rd Party (i.e. YouTube, Vimeo etc.)

#6. Double Check Your Core Information

Have you changed your services, pricing or policies? If so, make sure all of that core information is updated on your pet sitting website.

#7. Update Testimonials and FAQ’s

These items are not meant to be static. They should be continuously updated on your site to keep it fresh and timely.

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How to Get The Respect You Deserve From Your Pet Sitting Clients

This week’s advice for pet sitters answers the question of how to get the respect you deserve from your pet sitting clients.

If you want to be treated like a professional business owner, it’s vital that you present yourself as a professional business owner.

If you want to be treated like a professional business owner, it's vital that you present yourself as a professional business owner. Click To Tweet

Ask yourself, “what are my prospects first impression of me and my business?” If the answer is something like “hobbyist,” it may be time to spruce up your image.

My First Piece of Advice: Your Website

Have a professional website created or have your website professionally redesigned. In this day and age, you can have a beautiful website created for as little as $300. This is a cost of doing business and an important one. In most cases your website is the first impression a client prospect will have of you and your business. Your website is creating a pre-frame for how your clients will do business with you down the road. Right from the start, you want to create a pre-frame of being a professional, well-structured and thought out business.

Note: If you need help with finding a cost effective web team let me know. I can help you with that.

My Second Piece of Advice: Policies & Procedures

You must have Policies and Procedures that your clients can initial or sign before you start providing service for them. This document or webpage is an easy and organized way for you to let your clients know how you do business and what they can expect from working with your company,

Tip: You can use JotForm to easily create online forms that you can then embed directly on your website. JotForm also provides the functionality to have your clients sign or initial the forms.

Here is a blog post I wrote that includes everything you need to create your own Policies & Procedures.

Your Homework Assignment:

  1. If you do not already have one, have a professional website designed. This will be the best money you will ever spend on your business.
  2. Create your own Policies & Procedures for your 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. Grab my FREE report, 125 Ways To Get More Pet Sitting Clients. This resource is 100% FREE and is my gift to you. Enjoy!
  •  

YES! Send Me The Complete Checklist of 125 ways to get more PET SITTING CLIENTS!

 

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How To Focus

The life of a pet sitter is busy, busy, busy, so it can be very difficult to find time to sit down, focus and WORK. If you do happen to find the time to work on your business, it is nearly impossible these days to work without interruption. This is not a good recipe for success.

Did you know that on average… It will take you 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to a task that has been interrupted? Click To Tweet

Being interrupted also has a psychological cost. It causes stress and frustration due to the feelings of not being able to keep up. It also increases feelings of perceived effort. In short, distractions make your work much more difficult than it needs to be!

Another problem, when you’re continuously interrupted while working, you are not able to establish deep cognitive thinking and there is no way to get into a flow.

My advice to you today is to get in the habit of carving out time in your day to work on business building and marketing activities and start working without interruption.

First, understand that you must do the work to see results.

There is no easy fix. If you want to create a successful business, you must DO THE WORK. It’s not going to magically happen. Information does not create transformation. You actually have to implement what you learn.

Second, I want you to schedule your marketing/ “client attraction” time.

Put it on your calendar. You are much more likely to actually do it if you schedule it.

Third, shut it down!

This means you must turn off:

  • Your phone
  • Your email
  • Skype
  • Instant messaging
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

For those of you that get easily distracted working in your homes, I suggest heading to the local library. This single change in my routine has boosted my weekly productivity ten fold!

Your Homework Assignment:

  1. Get it on the calendar! I want you to schedule your marketing time.
  2. Shut it down! While you’re working I want you to cut out all of the distractions.

Let me know how these productivity tips worked for you!

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!

 

Privacy Policy: We promise to protect your privacy and we will NEVER share your email address.

4 Steps To Growing Your Pet Sitting Business

In this video, my pal, Mike Linville over at Black Dog Marketing discusses the importance of working ON your pet sitting business versus IN your pet sitting business.

You have probably heard me talk about this before. This is one of those hot topics that I am constantly harping on, because I think that it is the most important concept for pet sitting business owners to understand and embrace. Often when I am working with my private clients, I get a lot of push back on this topic. They tell me that they love doing the pet sitting and they don’t want to give that up. Oy! I’ve heard that a thousand times.

Listen, we all got into this business because we love animals. I get it! But the truth of the matter is that you will never make a substantial income in this industry if you don’t take yourself out of the role as “pet sitter and dog walker” and move into the role of “owner and marketer.” That is just a fact.

In Mike’s video he breaks down a simple 4-step plan to start implementing the concept of working ON your business, which will ultimately help in growing your pet sitting business.

#1. Set a Goal: Your goal needs to be a little of out of your reach. You don’t want it to be too easy or you’ll get lazy.

My thoughts… 

Think B.I.G and remember to always write down your SMARTER goals. (Here is a great article by Michael Hyatt about goal setting.)

  • #1. Specific: Identify exactly what you want to accomplish.

    • Write 2 blog posts per week.
  • #2. Measurable: Quantify the result.

    • Lose 10 pounds by June 1, 2015.
  • #3. Actionable: Start with an action word, not a to-be verb.

    • Create a referral program by March 1, 2015.
  • #4. Realistic: But out of your comfort zone.

    • Transition out of my mid day dog walks by July 1, 2015.
  • #5. Time-Bound: Must have deadlines attached to your goals.

    • Raise my pet sitting rates by August 1, 2015.
  • #6. Exciting: They need to be personally compelling.

    • Don’t set a goal to run a marathon if you hate exercise and running! This will just set you up for failure.
  • #7. Relevant: Appropriate to the season of your life.

    • Don’t set a goal to do morning yoga when you have little kids to get off to school.

#2. Break Into Smaller Chunks: Each of your goals needs to be broken down into smaller action steps.

My thoughts…

So, if your big goal is to launch a new website by June 1, 2015. You would break that goal down into smaller pieces…

  1. #1. Choose a platform
  2. #2. Choose a layout
  3. #3. Homepage

    1. Write copy
    2. Record video
    3. Choose which testimonial to showcase
    4. Identify your lead magnet

You get the picture.

#3. Schedule It: Break out of your mundane daily routine of doing the same thing, every day, and over and over again. Schedule your time to work on your goals and tasks.

 My thoughts: 

My advice on this point is to create your marketing calendar for the year in December of the previous year. This takes all the guesswork out it. I would also suggest planning your day out proactively versus reactively. What I mean by this is plan out your next day ahead of time. By doing this you have an action plan to follow versus waking up and reacting to what is waiting in your inbox that morning. When you work reactively all of your good intentions go out the window and you will never see any real progress.

#4. Review It: You need to take time to review your progress.

 My thoughts:

Plug review sessions into your calendar on a weekly basis. Otherwise, your goals will just become empty promises.

Mike Linville of Black Dog Marketing has created a program called Pet Business Marketing Mastery, which will help you to grow and scale your business. Go here now and check it out.

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!

 

Privacy Policy: We promise to protect your privacy and we will NEVER share your email address.

On-Page SEO For Pet Sitters

On-page SEO is the way you let Google know what each page on your web site is about.

There are 5 on-page SEO elements that you should optimize on each page of your web site and today I’m going to give you that 5 point checklist.

If you have a webmaster that works on your site for you, you can forward them this article. Otherwise, read carefully and start implementing these strategies!

There are 5 points that you must consider when creating any blog post or page in WordPress.

First thing’s first. I want to make sure you have the very best tool for this important job…

I use and HIGHLY suggest using Yoast SEO plug-in for WordPress. It is so simple and easy to use. I’m ticked I didn’t start using it sooner, but you don’t know, what you don’t know, right?

#1. Optimize the Slug

What’s the slug? URL slugs are the exact address of a specific website. It is the location where webpages are accessed when typing their URL in the address bar.

Here’s where you’ll find the slug…

IMPORTANT: DO NOT change the slugs of existing pages or posts on your website without doing a 301 redirect from the old page to the new page.  Google, and your users, do not look kindly on finding 404 Error pages where pages used to exist.  The 301 redirect will permanently redirect anyone visiting a URL to a new URL.  You can use a plug-in like Simple 301 Redirects to make things easy.

#2. Optimize the Body Text

You want to use the target keywords in your copy wherever it is natural. Do not try and force or stuff keywords into the text or you will lose the attention of your readers fast! A good rule is to always consider the users experience before your SEO ranking.

Don’t do this…

NOTE: If you have difficulty working the target keyword into the copy then perhaps you should try a different keyword.

#3. Optimize the Images

The focus of this element is the ALT tag. ALT tags are invisible descriptions of images. You want to make certain that you add these descriptions for each image on a page. Use your target keyword as the description in the ALT TEXT and TITLE.

NOTE: Google’s dislike for keyword stuffing extends to alt text as well, so it is to be avoided at all costs.

#4. Optimize the Title Tag

This is The Big Whopper of the on-page SEO elements.

The title tag is an HTML title element critical to both SEO and user experience that is used to briefly and accurately describes the topic and theme of an online document.

The title tag is displayed in 2 key areas:

  • The internet browser.

  • The Google search results page

Your target keyword should be used in the title tag. Again, DO NOT overstuff keywords into your title tags. The Yoast plug-in for WordPress gives you the added bonus of being able to view how your title tag will appear in Google’s search results under “Snippet Preview.”

#5. Optimize the Meta Description

A meta description is the snippet of information below the link of a search result. Its purpose is to describe the contents of the page to the searcher. The end goal is to convince and persuade the searcher to click through to your website. Any words that match the search term are bolded in the description.

This meta description will be read by most of the people that are choosing which search result to click on.  So… it’s an important SEO element.

The meta description is also pulled by a lot of the social sharing plug-ins as the descriptive text on what exactly is being shared.

You will compose your meta description using the Yoast plug-in for WordPress and like the title tag, you will see what it will like in the Google search results in the “Snippet Preview.”

That’s all folks! It takes some practice, but most definitely becomes easier the more you do it.

Your Homework Assignment: If you have a WordPress web site, (you should) download and activate Yoast and get optimizing!

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9 Tips to Beat Procrastination

Procrastination is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the “last minute”.

How strange is it that right before I had was supposed to get started with writing this article, I thought to myself “maybe I should play a couple games of solitaire first.” Can you believe that?!!! The procrastination devil will always be strong at work. It’s important to know this so that you can start monitoring your thoughts and stop yourself when that little devil rears his ugly head. I immediately caught myself, shifted my focus, marched myself over to my computer and started writing.

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