Sarah Burns shares another story with us “from the trenches.” She’s been a professional pet sitter since 2010, and recently brought on her husband (gasp!) to join her in this pursuit.
Let’s hear from Sarah how that’s been going…
My husband Dan started working for me, er, I mean, with me 8 weeks ago.
Watching him experience every aspect of this job first-hand has been the most enjoyable part. Over the past 8 years Dan was only hearing my stories from the trenches, including everything from the long days to the difficult clients.
He is now fully starting to realize what pet sitting really is (and what pet sitting really isn’t) and what being a professional pet business owner truly encompasses.
One major benefit from working alongside my husband has been the ability to see my work through fresh eyes again.
As I know you can relate, having been doing this for so long, I find most things very routine and there is not much that surprises me anymore. But hearing Dan recount his experiences allow me to look at things a little bit differently.
One intriguing thing he pointed out that really stuck:
“You know, you should really market more that we send each client a personalized text because it really does take a lot of thought and time to give each client a different update and picture.”
Prior to this, I really hadn’t even given it much thought. A text is a text and they need/deserve an update so it’s just kind of black and white to me. At least it was that way to me.
Dan’s comment made me realize a few important details:
- How much total time I spend texting my clients with updates each day
- All the details of the walk I need to remember to relay to client
- Taking time to get the perfect cute picture
- Coming up with creative ways to say the same thing about the same walk you do every day
It actually DOES take up a lot of time, effort, and energy! We can’t lose site of that fact.
This brought me to the realization of how much love, effort, and care we do put in for every one of our clients, often without even realizing it.
Aside from the personalized text update, there is also:
- Making sure bowls are cleaned
- Sweeping up litter
- Wiping off dirty paws
- Bringing in the mail
- Taking out the trash
- Watering plants
- Rotating curtains
- Turning on/off lights
These all sound like repetitive, monotonous selling points for pet sitting but think about how much time each one of those things actually take to do. And think about the BENEFIT each of these seemingly little acts truly provides to an appreciative client.
More Than Meets The Eye
As a professional pet care provider, there is plenty more than meets the eye. This, in and of itself, is the uphill battle we face as working professionals everyday in our beloved industry (the idea that ‘anyone can do it.’)
That’s why we are so much more than a person coming in and “just taking care of the pets.” We are essentially a luxury service, are we not?
There’s a very big difference between what a house looks like when a friend/neighbor takes care of the pets and when a professional does it.
Don’t Forget the Small Stuff
Start to look at your business and services with fresh eyes and you may find that you have a lot more to offer than you thought you do. We shouldn’t minimize talking about these extra luxuries to potential clients.
They may seem like small things but really if you think about how much effort it takes to do all those extra tasks plus detailed pet care, you are worth every penny.
What’s the best way to relay all these little things that may be taken for granted?
Talk about them… Often… Every chance you get.
Share stories on your website, on your social media platforms, in your newsletter. Chances are you have an ABUNDANCE of little stories that have hidden gems within. Stories that are funny, humorous, concerning, heartwarming, relevant.
Stories that show your hard work and your humanity. Stories that help pet parents in your community further understand what you do. And how you do it. Stories that teach, that inspire, that position you as the go-to professional in your community.
Look at your marketing with fresh eyes. Think about how much work you actually put in for each of your clients and find ways to promote it in new ways.
Over To You
What are some of those little “extras” that you find yourself doing all part of the service?
What are some ways that you relay the benefit of these additional actions to your clients and potential clients?