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!

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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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Policies and Procedures for Pet Sitters

Policies and Procedures for Pet Sitters are imperative for you to create necessary boundaries with your customers.

 

Would you like to avoid those uncomfortable discussions you have with your clients regarding your prices? Wouldn’t it be great not to have constant questions and emails regarding issues like… Why the sitter arrived at 12:30 pm and NOT 12:00 pm or why the sitter did not take all 3 dogs on their walk at the same time? Would you like to enjoy your evenings and weekends and not have that looming feeling of constantly having to be on-call for the scheduling needs of your clients?

Creating Policies and Procedures for your business will help solve these problems.

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What To Do When New Pet Sitting Clients Call For Last Minute Service

Hi everyone! For those of you who don’t know, I live in The Northeast, in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Well, we just had a crazy week of storms that left most people in our area without power for many days. Some are still without, including Pet Nanny’s Client Happiness Manager, Sue. I was lucky enough to only have lost power for about 12 hours, so I was able to pick up the office responsibilities for Sue.

Side note: this is something that I really like to do from time to time, because it gives me the opportunity to connect with our customers on a one-to-one basis, which I don’t often get to do. Anyhow, I’m writing today because I was reminded of a very good rule of thumb that I seemed to have forgotten. Here it is…

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I am a Pet Sitting Business Coach!

My name is Colleen Sedgwick and I am a pet sitting business expert.

Hi there! I am the owner of www.petnannymainline.com, a booming pet care business located on The Main Line of Philadelphia. In short, I am a wife to Billy Sedgwick. Mother to Lucy, James and Connor. Paddle and tennis fanatic. Wine enthusiast. Pet lover. Business owner. Workout fan and someone that LOVES to have a good time.

Today is the day. I have FINALLY decided to take decisive action and listen to this little voice in the back of my head and in the back of my heart that has been telling me to help others reach success with their own pet sitting businesses.

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