It wasn’t that long ago that the best way and pretty much only way to get word of mouth referrals to succeed at any type of dog training marketing, was through a friend or maybe your vet. Those were prized referrals since your friend had actually used you and if a trusted vet referred you, you must be great. A rather slow way to build your business but it worked.
Today, word of mouth is still around, it’s just done mostly on the internet.
Lots of folks think that in our world today with all the computers, smart phones, tablets etc. that we’re just not as connected to our friends and neighbors and there’s just not that sense of community.
I would not necessarily agree with that.
There is definitely a sense of community and friends are still regularly connected to their friends. It’s just everything is faster and a lot of it is done online.
You can look at it this way. Before the internet, friends would talk over their side fences with each other, or sit outside on a nice evening. With today’s harried world that doesn’t happen as much. Most homes have both parents working and kids are involved in all kinds of activities. Sometimes you never even see your neighbors.
The fence and the sitting outside have been replaced by smart phones and tablets.
Let me explain why.
You can pretty much have your entire world in your hands when you have a smart phone. So it easy when you’re waiting in line for something to simply pull out your cell phone and go chat for minute or two on Facebook.
Or you’re waiting for a meeting to start and you remember that you promised everyone that you’d find a great dog trainer to come work with Fluffy. Out pops the cell phone, a quick local search in your town for a dog trainer and all your options pop up. Hopefully as one of the smart dog trainers who know who to use the internet to market. your business showed up.
I’m not saying that nurturing a relationship with your vet to refer you is not worthwhile in your dog training marketing endeavors. Having brochures to give out, while expensive, is another means of dog training marketing.
What I am saying to you is that if you understand how to properly use the internet you can accomplish many things to grow your business.
1. When you write your blog and you speak to your client in a way that connects with them, you have started a relationship.
2. When you engage on the social media channels like Facebook, people will ask you questions and begin to see your expertise. Others will speak about how you’ve helped them. It’s a much faster way to get “word of mouth” working for you.
3. When you’re on the internet either on your blog or social media, you are right there in front of your potential customer. They have the immediate opportunity to connect with you.
4. Being on the internet allows you to connect with many at one time. A brochure is a one person connection.
5. Engaging on social media and seeing what people are talking about is the opportunity to find a way to meet the needs these dog owners have. You now know exactly what they’re looking for and you have the opportunity to provide it to them.
6. This helps level the playing field between you and more established dog trainers.
When I talk about marketing your business using local internet traffic I’m talking about a recipe. A recipe for a plan of action if you will, that allows people to get to know you, begin to seek you out for advice and learn to trust you to train their dog. It becomes a system that will gain momentum and has your dog training business showing up everywhere on the internet.
Again, it’s all about relationships, you’re just nurturing them online. This has had a profound effect on the growth of our business, it can help you too.
Your customers are online and they’re looking for you. Can they find you?
Leila Martin is the brains behind the success of petiquettedog.com on the marketing side. She has run our online and offline marketing system since 2006. Leila’s ability to grow an online presence using both a website and social media in the dog training world has been a critical part of petiquettedog.com success . She has tripled the number of visitors to our website and increased our revenue by 25% each year. Bottom line: Our appointment book is always filled.
In her spare time Leila can be seen in her office dancing with her black lab Sammy Burwell.