Getting dog walking jobs successfully requires effective marketing strategies. However, you do not need to be an expert or know any industry secrets to start a dog walking business. It is all about YOU, showing your potential customers and referrers who YOU are and what you have to offer in a sincere but effective way.To do this you will need to target people both online and off-line.
If you do not have any computer skills and don’t really know how to find referrals to increase your dog walking customers, then read on…
More and more people everyday are using the web to find what they need. From information about a particular topic to a product or service they need. It’s all available at your fingertips, literally! That is why having your own voice on the web is a must if you want to succeed as a dog walker.
When I first started my dog training business I wanted to build a website too, so I searched for free web hosts and programs. I actually made a pretty looking one but nobody ever found it. I didn’t have any computer skills and I was learning on the go, that wasn’t enough.
I quickly found out that for a website to be found on Google I needed a lot of things I didn’t have, including knowledge and software. I searched a lot trying to get everything for free, and I think you could probably get it all for free if you are a computer wiz, which I am not. So, eventually I decided I needed to pay for some things and I literally drowned myself in all the tools available out there.
From buying your own domain name, to expensive online marketing books and courses, it looked like it was all going to be really expensive…and complicated. Believe me, there is more to building a dog walking website than a domain name and some HTML knowledge. You need to know what keywords to use so people can find you, you need to use social media effectively, you need to design a website that both looks good to people and that search engines can understand (this was really hard to comprehend to me!) and many more things! I felt overwhelmed and if you have been searching for a while, you probably know what I mean.
One lucky day I found SBI! (Site Build It!) which is a system that includes everything you need to build a great website. After everything I had seen, their price seemed more than fair to me. Besides, they offer a 90 day money back, which I thought was a really long time for me to decide if I liked it or not. I did…and my website pays for itself and much more!
Through them I have learned how to use social media to promote my dog site, how to write articles that are found by hundreds of people every day (you found it, right?) but what I really like most is their forum. SBI! website owners can ask further questions and learn through other members in the SBI! forum and the community is very nice, helpful and friendly. The best part is when, after a few months of experience, you start helping others improve their website. You actually become an expert yourself!
I sincerely recommend them, so check it out, make your voice heard on the web and win lots of dog walking jobs!
Even though the internet is a great tool to gain dog walking jobs, off-line networking is essential, specially if you have a business in a city community. The biggest mistake people do trying to find new customers or referrals is that they try to sell themselves too hard. Most people will distribute flyers and business cards randomly to get dog walker jobs, they hope that at least a small percentage of people will call them. What is wrong with this? These potential customers don’t KNOW you, so why should they trust you to walk their dog?
The opposite strategy is what works best. Help others in order to get help yourself. How does this work?
1 - The list below are your potential referrers and those are the people you will want to help out in order to get help. A word of caution though, be sincere. It is not about selling yourself, it is about making business friends. If there is a particular business or person in your community that you don’t like or don’t agree with their business motto, then skip them.
2 - Find ways to help them or their business. Again, be sincere and don’t over do it. The idea is to let them see that you are serious about your business and want to promote collaboration between pet businesses in the community. Below are some examples of things you can do, but be creative yourself and come up with new ideas as opportunities arise.
Hope these tips help you gain lots of dog walking jobs and new customers! Please leave your comments, questions, tips and advice in the box below.