How to promote your pet care business without breaking the bank
Like the businesses and people it serves, marketing has evolved over time. What once was an ad in the Sunday newspaper and a big sign out front has become a sea of platforms, terminology, strategy, and money all to let your customers know that you do what you do well. Don’t worry – if you’re overwhelmed with where to even begin with marketing your pet care business, you’re not alone. Many pet care professionals are experts at pet care, but aren’t sure where to start when it comes to marketing.
Money is often a hurdle that keeps pet pros from pursuing a marketing plan, but you don’t need a huge budget to get people talking about and using your services. The easier your services are to find, the more business you’ll get. These steps will get you in front of the people you’re trying to reach, without breaking the bank:
Create your brand
Your name, logo, color schemes, and even the voice you use to promote your business are all part of your brand. The stronger your brand, the more recognizable and appealing your business will be to potential clients. Having a logo that represents your business and helps identify you from other pet care pros is the first step to creating your brand. You want your logo to embody you and your business, but it doesn’t have to be complicated – simple is okay! Canva and Fiver are great resources for affordable, eye-catching designs. Once you have your logo and color scheme, make sure to stick to them. Consistency is key!
Google is the first place many people go to find restaurants, things to do, and even their pup’s next groomer nearby, which is why it’s important to list your business and services.
List your services on GoodFriend to reach pet parents looking for your services. GoodFriend helps to simplify your marketing needs by bringing pet parents right to you! It allows you to customize your services and streamline the booking process by allowing clients to find your business and even book directly through the site. Start by claiming your business for free!
Create social media accounts for your business. This is where your brand personality can really stand out. You can also connect more directly with your current and future clients. Social media helps to elevate your business, and let people see your professionalism and the quality of your care. An active social media presence also lets prospective clients connect with you easily and build trust in your business. A common mistake business owners make is to create an account on every platform available. Unless you have a full time social media professional on your team, it is nearly impossible to maintain several accounts well. Instead, choose 1-3 platforms and use them well. Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin are great for those just starting out.
Become a 5-star business
Once your services are listed in all the places people are looking – ask for reviews. Those 5 star reviews, with meaningful feedback from clients, let people know their pet is in good hands with you. If you receive a bad review, here are some tips on how to respond.
Create and source content
You don’t have to be a social media influencer to capture, create, and source great content for your business. In the modern social media space, authenticity is much more valuable than production value. In your pet care business, you have the gift of having content people love to see right at your fingertips, literally. Who doesn’t love a cute animal on their feed? And what’s even better – your clients can help you create content for your business. Did they share an adorable photo or video of their pup right after a doggie spa day with you? Ask if you can use that photo or video on your social media.
Want to set yourself and your content apart? Canva is a digital design tool that is easier to use than other platforms – and it's totally free. The site is built for newbie with templates and it's easy to plug in your logo and brand colors and build professional-level content from scratch!
Get organized: plan your marketing
If you’re on social media, the first rule to follow is to be active. You don’t need to post every day, but you do want to post at least weekly. Working in the pet care industry means unpredictable days can be the norm. You may not have a ton of time every week to create and plan your content. An easy way to save time is to “batch out” your content by theme. For example, create all of your groomer spotlight posts at once and then post one a month. There are some solutions to help you plan and post your content like Later, Hootsuite, or Facebook Business, which allow you to schedule posts weeks in advance, and they do the posting for you. Planning is a great way to stay on top of your social media presence, but don’t discount the quick story or video when the moment is right!
When it comes to marketing your business, you don’t have to be perfect. Your marketing plan will grow and change with your business. What works for one business may not work for yours. What’s important is to try new things, stay true to your brand, and work to provide the best possible experience for your customers – then they will do your marketing for you!