Effective Local Marketing for Pet Professionals With Co-Authors of ‘Wildly Profitable Marketing for the Pet Industry’, Pam Foster and C S Wurzberger

With so many free marketing tools out there, it doesn’t take a huge budget to promote your business. But with great marketing, comes great overwhelm!

Far too many pet professionals are getting stuck and don’t know how to go about marketing their business. Or even worse, they split up their time between 900 channels, when they could be working on more important things, like improving their business.

That’s why we sat down with pet industry marketing specialists, Pam Foster and C S Wurzberger. As co-authors of the book Wildly Profitable Marketing for the Pet Industry, Pam and C S are on a mission to help pet businesses of all sizes thrive. We were lucky enough to talk with these two pet industry veterans about how pet professionals can utilize online and offline marketing to grow their business, no matter the economic climate.

If you’d like to hear the full 19 minute interview, become a member of Pet Sitter Directory today!

 

For More Information On Wildly Profitable Marketing for the Pet Industry:

What Makes Pet Sitter Directory Different?

For the past few years we’ve been keeping an eye on the pet sitting industry and have noticed some unique flaws that nobody has filled. After years of monitoring, and a lot of direct pet sitter contact, we’ve created Pet Sitter Directory to overcome these challenges.

Challenge #1 – Getting Found Online
A large portion of pet sitters belong to one association and harbor that relationship like a “Survivor” alliance. For the associations this brand loyalty is great, but for the pet sitters and the pet owners this isn’t great. It creates a fragmented market that doesn’t give pet owners the ability to select from a complete list of qualified professionals and limits exposure to pet sitters.

Solution => Create a national directory that accepts all pet sitters and highlights those that belong to professional associations, hold certifications, etc.

Challenge #2 – Lack of Leads/Traffic
Most online marketing (directory listings, sitter websites, etc) is not optimized for search engines, but search engines are the key to introducing your business to NEW customers. This lack of optimization yields very little (if any) search placement. So most online marketing taking place today is worthless.

Solution => Search engine optimized listings that drive traffic and leads to every city and zip code in the US. Pet Sitter Directory currently submits over 80,000 URLs to search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing) every day.

Challenge #3 – Positioning
For years we’ve heard of sitters losing jobs to the cheaper kid down the street. When a professional loses business to a less expensive competitor, there are really only two reasons why.

  1. Market is wrong – Some people will always look for the cheapest price. These people make for bad customers because there’s always a competitor that will undercut price to get business. The solution is to do a better job of defining your target market.
  2. Value – If you’re being compared to the kid down the street, you haven’t explained the value of your services as a professional pet sitter.

SOLUTION => We are creating content that will educate pet owners on why they should do business with professionals instead of the kid down the street. By increasing awareness of the value of a professional pet sitter, the issue of price will diminish and bring higher quality clients to our sitters.

As you can see, by responding to each of these challenges we have created a site that:

  • Educates pet owners on why they need professional pet sitters.
  • Generates more traffic and leads for pet sitters.
  • Allows pet owners the opportunity to see the best pet sitters in one place.

How To Add Your Business Listing To Pet Sitter Directory

“Hello, and welcome to Pet Sitter Directory, where pet owners can find the best sitter for their best friend. This video is intended to walk pet sitters through the listing registration process. So enough with the chatter, let’s get started.

Step 1

Search for your business listing on the Pet Sitter Directory homepage with either your zip code or city and state.

Step 2

You’ll be taken to the results page for your city. The first 5 listings are reserved for enhanced memberships, so most likely you’ll have to expand the listing for your city. You can do this by hitting, “click here to view all pet sitting listings”.

This will show all the pet sitting business listings in our database for that specific area. Scroll down the page or search the page with a “find” command to locate your listing.

From here you’ll do one of two things:

  • If your listing is in our database, click its link.
  • Your listing will most likely be very basic, like this one. So to start customizing it, simply hit the “Click here to claim” button.
  • From there, you’ll be asked to fill out additional information which will be available to pet owners browsing Pet Sitter Directory.

Once you fill out all your information, click the update button at the button of the page, and that’s it.

Sounds easy enough, but you may be asking yourself “What do I do if my business isn’t listed?”

Let’s go to back the expanded city list.

If your listing is not in our database scroll to the very bottom of the page and click where it says “Do you offer pet sitting and/or dog walking services? Add your listing here.”

You’ll be given 3 different business promotion options.

  • To only manually submit your directory listing, select the Community Member button, and your desired membership. The different options and pricing plans will be broken down here.
  • If you’d like to report a local event, or any other pet related news for your area, Community Leader is where you want to be.
  • For more information on how to become a guest blogger for Pet Sitter Directory and get your posts read by pet owners looking for qualified pet sitters in your area, head over to Community Expert area.

Thank you for joining me on this tour of Pet Sitter Directory. If you have any questions or want to learn even more about Pet Sitter Directory please send us an email at members@pet-sitter-directory.com.”

Improve Your Website With These 4 Questions

As a pet sitter, your website is crucial to your business.

It allows pet owners to figure out if you and your business are a good match for them, generally making a decision on a gut feeling. If your website is giving people bubble gut or something similar to the aftermath of excessive dairy intake, it may be time for a website tune up.

But before you do anything at all, ask yourself the four questions below to figure out where your website needs attention.

What does my audience really want?

Before even purchasing a domain name you must understand exactly what your target audience wants and why they would want it from you. Most likely they’re looking for a pet sitter in their area.

Okay, that’s a start. But what do they want on an even deeper level?

They are looking for a professional who can care for a member of their family. They want to enjoy themselves when they’re away and not have to worry if their pet is in good hands. Their pet is so important to them, that even the thought of losing their fur baby can be heartbreaking.

When developing a strategy for your website, or any other marketing piece, think about how you can appeal to the true needs of pet owners.

How can I give them more?

If every pet owner who found your website hired you immediately—life would be good. But in reality many pet owners cruise the Internet super highway to scope out pet sitters for future use. Some may bookmark your site, some may get distracted, do something else and forget about your website. Either way, only giving contact information on your website is not the best idea.

Give something to those scoping pet owners by creating blog posts. Creating blog posts will allow you to showcase your expertise on a variety of different topics, with 2 fantastic outcomes.

First, you’ll be able to education pet owners and potential clients with your expertise in the industry. This will help them to remember who you are, and encourage them to hire you when they’re ready for a pet sitter. Secondly, each blog post is a gateway to your website, something search engines love. Blogging will help increase your indexed page count, and help search engine rankings.

Can my audience easily find what they’re looking for?

One of the biggest sources of website aggravation is not being able to find anything. This will cause website visitors to become frustrated and leave a website. The fact of the matter is that there are other people out there, who do what you do, in your area.

It doesn’t help to try and trick prospects into calling you, because they will most likely leave your website and never come back.

To get the best results, understand what visitors want and find the easiest way to get them there. The farther they go into your website, the more committed they become and the more information you can give them.

How can I connect with my audience?

As mentioned before, not every pet owner who comes by your website is going to be ready to hire you. Instead of letting them leave, never to be heard from again, find a way to stay in touch.

This can be done in a few different ways. One of the most popular is collecting email addresses. This allows you to keep up with them on specials, new services and other information that would be of interest of them.

Another popular option is to connect with visitors through social media. This allows you to share similar information that you would with an e-newsletter, but in a more fun and personal way.

Long Story Short

The big point that needs to be made: you have to understand your website visitors. Take into account what they want and how you can easily give it to them. This gives them a little taste of what a fantastic service provider you are, and what you can do for them and their pet.