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How Important Is Spelling, Grammar and Language In A Pet Sitting Ad Listing?

classifieds-listingI was strolling around the web this morning and found myself at the pet sitting services section on Craigslist.

Naturally, there are plenty of listings for pet sitters trying to find their next pet sitting client.

Some listings are from established companies, while others, uh, are not.

I’d like to share with you a listing that caught my eye. Unfortunately, it was for the wrong reasons.

3 Ways to Make Your Pet Sitter Ads Better

Below is the exact ad (minus identifying pieces) followed by 3 easy, effective and free adjustments you could make that I guarantee will increase your response rate.

pet sitter needs a jobs asap

Hello my name is [name removed] and i need a job. I love working with animals and for a part time job i would be an excellent pet sitter. The pet does not matter. I need to come up with $5500 for college before August 1st, which is coming up, so I need to get this gig asap. I have helped out animal shelters before, I have taken care of my own pets, one pet for as long as 13 years but unfortunalty he died due to age, and I have taken care of other people’s pets when they went on vacation or they had work. Please e-mail me ASAP at [email removed]. my prices are very resonable and I can work out the details once you e-mail me. Thank you and have a good day!

1: Grammar, Capitalization, Spelling

You may not think grammar, punctuation and capitalization matter, but they sure do.

There are a few misspelled words in the example post and for my money there’s no excuse for it. I personally am a terrible speller. But you know who’s a great speller? Microsoft Word!

There are so many spell checks around today that there’s no excuse for misspelled words. (I’m also not certain why the word ‘job’ in the title is plural.)

Example:

would u keep reading this post if i came right out an said hey i really need to make rent this month so please sign up as my next caoching client ASAP! No, for real, my rent is only $1200/month so i only need a few of you to sign up by next Friday at the very latest!

A Better Example:

Thanks so much for reading my blog. I hope it’s been helpful. If I can continue to help in any way, feel free to get in touch with me directly with any specific questions or issues you’re currently facing and we’ll see if we can’t work you through them together. (I know how frustrating and difficult finding new clients can sometimes be.)

Oh, and as a special thank you, I’m now offering a completely FREE 20-minute phone consultation. The first 10 pet sitters to Tweet this or Post on Facebook before next Friday are in!

Which example would you most respond to?

2: Desperation

Clients or customers do not respond to desperation. Wait… People in general rarely respond to desperation.

“Please buy from me” “I really need you to buy from me” or “I need the money quickly” will not work.

A better approach might be to toot your own horn a bit. If you have some testimonials from past happy clients, even better.

If not, start getting some. Then in the listing, come up with a few things that make you the most amazing pet sitter ever (and perfect choice).

Example:

“Does your cat seem to hide and run in the other room whenever a friend visits? Well, I don’t know what it is but cats seem to love me! Call me today and let’s set up a complimentary meet-n-greet and see for yourself why cats adore me!”

Or

“Wish you could get Cesar Millan the Dog Whisperer to care for your pooch? Well, I’ve been told that I’m like the Dog Silent Communicator! No whispering needed. Call me now and watch the wonderful relationship unfold before your eyes.”

3: Lack of Trust or Association Established

I couldn’t be a bigger advocate for getting a pet sitting website up and running. Whether you choose to build one yourself or hire someone to help is a completely separate topic, but you must go in one of those two directions.

Even if you do not build a pet sitting website for yourself, you must build some sort of web presence where a potential client can read more about you and the service you provide.

Create a free Google Profile, Facebook Fan Page or WordPress page. Period. You have now set yourself apart from those who have not and are a step closer to building the relationship and the trust with your target market.

(PS – I do recommend a self-hosted WordPress blog on your own website (IE. examplepetbiz.com/blog) rather than the hosted version from the WordPress link above, but either approach is better than no approach.)

What Do You Make of All This?

I hope it’s been clear that my goal is not to rip apart this seemingly innocent attempt by someone to make an honest dollar, but rather to show 3 specific ways you can make a listing even better and attract the very clients you are going after.

The suggestions I’ve presented are simple to implement and cost no money.

So, what do you think about the original listing and the suggestions I’ve presented? Will they work? What other suggestions would you have here?

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About Joshua Cary

Joshua Cary is an all around good guy. He is a filmmaker, web builder and business owner. He is a pet sitting business trainer, coach and instructor and has a passion for helping pet sitters build a strong business through a strong website. Joshua is also the co-founder of the Association of Pet Sitting Excellence (you should really check that out).

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