Are Pet Sitters Taken Seriously?
If you spend any amount of time chatting with other pet sitters online, you quickly to hear similar stories, questions, issues, and frustrations.
One big overriding theme I see all too often has to do with the public perception of a pet sitter.
Sure, the pet owner who winds up hiring you understands and respects the service you provide, but this may be the exception, not the rule.
Dialogue of pet owners sneering at your fair pricing structure, making absurd requests, and expecting you as the service provider to be thankful that she is giving you the opportunity to be hired has got to stop.
But it starts with you.
In order to consider whether or not pet sitters are taken seriously (and why), we need to take a step back and understand what it means to be professional first and foremost.
Here are some definitions of the word.
Professional: noun. A person engaged or qualified in a profession.
Profession: noun. A paid occupation, esp. one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification.
Wikipedia defines the word professional as: “A professional is a person who is engaged in a certain activity or occupation for gain or compensation as a means of livelihood, such as a permanent career, rather than as a pastime.”
OK, so far, so good.
My guess is that you squarely and accurately fit the definition and are a professional pet sitter, right? But does your local community agree? And if they agree, do they care?
What, Really, Is A Professional?
We can throw around the word ‘professional’ all day, but what does it really mean? What does it mean to you, and more importantly, what does it mean to the potential client looking to hire you?
Let’s take the artist, for example.
What’s the difference between a professional artist and someone who takes crayon to a piece of paper and calls it art? What if that person was able to sell that scribbled paper? At what point is he an artist?
It’s just like pet sitting. Yes, any person can theoretically pet sit, and get paid for it. But you and I both know that’s not good for anyone involved. Yet, that is what we are up against day in and day out, as we work tirelessly to build our business.
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Thanks for the rant!!!
My pleasure! I hope it helps you out.
Sure did, got me fired up!! Just read the manifesto, so inspiring.
Great to hear! Let’s make sure to keep the dialogue going.
Great info Josh!!
Thanks Tanya! How do you feel your community views a pet sitter?
Totally on point! I think the business-savvy is something many pet-sitters may not have a background to naturally build (phone etiquette, sales technique, personal presentation, etc). The importance of presenting your business and yourself as an organization that “has it together” really makes you stand out from the competition.
Great to see you here, Robin! You are spot on – it’s the ‘business’ aspect that many struggle with. And it’s not easy, but if the work is put in, and the passion/interest is there, anyone can learn and strengthen their pet sitting business. How long have you been at this?
I started in June 2012. Though I still have a lot to learn, I feel like my background in marketing and business to business sales helped me to hit the ground running. Also, because I am new to living in this area, I was forced to network with other businesses since I literally knew almost no one (even socially). Prospects and customers are consistently surprised how new my business is.
So glad to see/hear this. I just recently contributed a short blog, for a local dog blogger, about what makes a pet sitter a professional. I had to narrow it down to 5 top things, and boy was it hard! I will certainly be sharing your thoughts as well.
Please do, Joanne! Glad it resonated with you. Can you share the link to the article you wrote on the subject? I’d love to read it.
I think I am going to take the blog and turn it into a full length article, there is just so much to talk about!