ADVERTISE YOUR PET BUSINESS FOR FREE (Or very little)
FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM
This will be of no surprise to you but make the most of social media, it’s free AND probably the first place potential customers will go to look for your service.
To help those potential customers find you make sure you are asking your friends and family to share your page, interact with your posts and that you’re asking your customers to leave you reviews.
For more tips on how to ensure you’re being found on Instagram click HERE.
LOCAL FB GROUPS
By local I don’t mean dog or pet related groups (sometimes they can be militant!) but local AREA groups. Have a search on Facebook, these are usually the groups where local people will ask for recommendations. Try not to just post adverts as these can be annoying, but actually talk to people or join conversations.
I joined my local village group and asked for recommendations for a hairdresser and one lady recommended her daughter. Her daughter cut my hair and asked what I do so I told her and she immediately said oh that’s good to know we have 2 dogs and 5 cats! Long story short I looked after their pets, they were happy and 4 years later I’m still looking after their pets and have since recommended me to all of their friends and family and I literally cannot tell you how much business I have gained from that one conversation.
I’ve told this story loads of times but it’s a great example of networking.
TALK TO PEOPLE ON YOU WALKS
Again, openly just handing out business cards can put people off. If you are a dog walker you’ll probably find you see the same people while walking your furry customers so why not say hello, get chatting, ask about their dog, talk about the weather, and drop in the convo that this isn’t your dog you’re a dog walker. Sooo many people I’ve spoken to have then asked me for a business card.
MAKE FRIENDS WITH OTHER DOG WALKERS
Don’t see others as competition, see them as colleagues. We have a small Facebook group in my local area where we post dog walking or pet sitting requests we’ve had if we can’t cover them ourselves or if we’ve had a request for a service we don’t offer. This works really well and I’ve made some lovely friends this way too!
POSTERS PLACED WHERE POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS WILL SEE THEM
Ok so not completely free but very affordable. Ask your local post office, vets, supermarket, doctors surgery etc if you can put a poster up on their notice board or shop window. Don’t forget not everyone is on Facebook so this may put you in front of those who won’t find you on social media.
If you know anyone who works for a large company who have a canteen and/or notice board area, ask them to put some posters up for you.
If you enjoy writing and starting a blog is something you feel you have time for then this a great way to get potential customers to notice you. Ask your friends to share your links and it’s a great extra feature to have on your website. A blog could include your day to day life in your Pet Business or helpful tips for pet owners, food ideas or reasons why pet owners use your service.
TEAM UP WITH SOMEONE ELSE IN THE PET INDUSTRY
Do you use a dog groomer for your dog who you would highly recommend? Ask them if they would recommend you in return! Or if you are a groomer and one of your customers is a dog walker, ask them if you can team up and recommend each other. Pet Owners always prefer recommendations, especially from someone else in the pet industry.
Do you have any other free advertising tips? Share them with us!