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Understanding the steps to successful pet business marketing is vital if you want a business that thrives. I know that some of the readers of Pet Hooligans run pet focused businesses and so today I wanted to share with you some practical tips for online marketing. As well as this website you can also find me over on my site Niche Life Success if you would like to dive deeper into any of these areas. Plus, if you prefer audio then check out the Niche Life Success Podcast where I talk about all sorts of topics related to marketing a business.
Whether you have a pet sitting or dog walking business, offer pet boarding, run a grooming salon, sell pet products, write a pet blog or even own a veterinary practice, the bottom line is you need more clients and customers. If you want to find these people online then there are 5 key areas it’s important to put in place – and to work on consistently.
It’s key to have a home base to market your pet business from, somewhere to tell people about the products or services you offer – or maybe the place where you run your online store. My first choice for a website would always be to build on the WordPress platform and the theme I recommend, for ease of use, is Divi. You will need a domain and hosting and then you can either build the site yourself or, if you hate the tech side, hand that over to a developer. If you are just starting out and want a recommendation for hosting then take a look at Siteground – this has a strong track record in terms of reliability, security and speed. It also includes a free SSL, daily backups and email addresses – options that you often have to pay for separately with other providers.
If you already have a website in place, or even if you want to plan one out, it might be helpful to download my free DIY website audit, this helps you look at your website with fresh eyes and improve its layout, navigation and even gives you easy steps to help you improve your search engine optimization – so that you rank better in the search engines like Google and Bing. If you need more traffic to your site then take a look at my ebook Traffic Map for 52+ ways to grow your audience and get more eyes on your site.
Another key area to help your business to get found is to blog regularly on your website. Blogging has a number of benefits for any pet based business:
- It means regular fresh content is being published on your site – the search engines loves sites which are frequently updated and therefore you are more likely to show up better when people are searching for a business like yours.
- Blogging will naturally include many of the keywords that you want to get found for – if you want to find some great keywords for your blogs then check out this free tool, Ubersuggest.
- Blogging sets you apart as an expert in your field. Now remember being an expert doesn’t mean you need a PHd in the subject, it just means you know more than your audience and can inform them on the topic.
- Blogging isn’t about sell, sell, sell – rather it’s about educating, informing and entertaining. This can give you a welcome break from marketing (although it is in fact content marketing) and it’s great content to share with the people on your email list and on social media.
- Blogging is a way for people to connect with your business. People buy from people, rather than the business name, so don’t be afraid to be relaxed and authentic in your blog posts. You aren’t writing a school essay, you are writing as a person connecting with others.
Finally, blogging is fun. Maybe not at the start but as you relax into it, it can be something you enjoy. So mix up the posts. Write about topics you know well or love and your audience will feel that energy and connect with it.
3. List Building
This is super important – don’t delay setting up a mailing list as it’s the place where you will usually have the highest conversion rate –YES! More sales.
To encourage people to sign up to your list you will need to offer them an incentive – otherwise called a lead magnet. This can be a short pdf, a checklist, a video or a free shipping or discount coupon. The main priority is that it relates to your business.
Once people are on your list then ensure you keep in touch with them regularly. Have a routine and stick with it, weekly or every two weeks is great, but I wouldn’t leave it longer than that as people tend to forget who you are if you don’t keep in touch regularly. The content you send can be links to your blog posts; offers and info about your products or services; and helpful content for your audience. It doesn’t have to be super lengthy each time, it’s more about consistency.
This includes all the ways you tell people about your business – so it can be social media, guest blogging, appearing on podcasts, local networking events, and advertising, both online and offline.
One of the key ways you can start promoting your business for free is through social media. I would opt for 2 platforms to start with and really focus on those consistently. If you already have more in place then that’s fine, but if you are starting out don’t spread yourself too thinly.
I recommend getting a Facebook page, possibly an Instagram profile and I would definitely consider Pinterest – this is a great way to get found for your business, as Pinterest is a search engine more than a social media platform and this can help you get discovered.
Whichever platforms you choose, make sure you are posting to them consistently and that as well as your own blog posts, products and services you also share other content that is helpful for your audience.
Finally, we come to perhaps the most important aspect of building your business – and that’s your mindset. There are going to be many times when you doubt yourself, when you feel like giving up, when things don’t work out as you expect them to – and it’s in those times that you are going to need to dig deep and remember the reason you are doing this. My blog post, Know Your Why, is a good place to start if you are feeling at all unsure and if you want to take it further check out my book Unstoppable.
Always remember that those who succeed in business are not people who magically don’t have any doubts or fears, or who never run into any issues. They are the ones who continue moving forward despite problems and fears that they might not ‘be good enough’. You will feel those fears too, but keep putting one step in front of the other and keep moving forward – your clients and their fur babies will thank you for it.