Erica C. Boling, PhD
Northeast K9 Conditioning
In today’s day and age with an increase in social media marketing and canine professionals becoming increasingly more business savvy, it can be difficult to stand out from the competition. Not only do you have to provide a need for your clientele, you also have to find creative and innovative ways to differentiate yourself from others. One way that canine professionals can be one step ahead is by integrating canine fitness into their programs. Last month we introduced the “Top 4 Reasons Why Canine Professionals Can’t Ignore Fitness.” Today we are going to expand upon the various ways that you can use canine fitness to help generate more revenue for your business.
Connect with Your Audience
Personally connecting with your audience is an excellent way to attract new clients and maintain the ones that you currently have. If people feel like they know you, like you and trust you, you will have a huge advantage over other canine professionals providing similar services in your area. How can you use canine fitness to help with this personal connection? It’s simple! Just get out there, do activities with your dog and share your adventures via email, newsletters and social media. Not only will this serve as a great motivator for others to get out and be active with their dogs, but it also helps them connect with you. They’ll also be eagerly awaiting your next posting!
People love to be a fly on the wall, gaining a view into other people’s lives. Do you go for that morning walk before heading to work? Do you enjoy hiking with your dog during your days off? What fun activities do you do together? In addition to sharing information with your audience about your business, you can take photos, videos or even do a Facebook Live so that your audience can see what kinds of fun things you like to do with your dog. We mistakenly think that it’s all about selling a service or product to potential clients and often forget to take the time to build that personal connection with them. Trust me, it will make a difference with your business.
Engage Your Audience
As you grow your following and your online audience, it’s now time to engage them! This will help take your business to an entirely new level as you grow a dedicated fanbase. If you’ve been sharing your day-to-day activities with your audience, engaging them is an easy next step. Ask them to share pictures, videos and stories of all the fun things they like to do with their dogs. Summertime visits to the beach, playing in the backyard and hiking on the gorgeous autumn trails are great possibilities! Engage your followers in a weekly or monthly Facebook challenge and have them share their photos and videos. Shine a spotlight on some of your biggest fans by highlighting them on your business page, in a newsletter or on your social media site. Who doesn’t love to talk about their dog and share photos and videos? If they need a little help getting the creative juices flowing and aren’t sure what to share, be an example and share some of your own photos and videos.
Communicate and Educate
Now that you have their attention, it’s time to help educate your audience and provide them with some great value! This will continue to build their trust and help position you as an expert in your field. Share educational articles, quick tips, blogs and videos on health and fitness topics. Create your own content or link to free resources that others have created and shared. Consider offering seminars, workshops, online webinars and online Q&A sessions for your audience. If many of the health and fitness topics are new to you, not a problem! Bring in some expert guest speakers or writers! Not only will your audience benefit from their expertise, but your guest speakers will bring some of their audience to you. This is yet another great way to grow your audience and client base!
Offer New and Innovative Programs
Do you love the idea of helping your clients get more fit and active with their dogs? Are you super excited about spreading the knowledge so that you can help their dogs become healthier and happier? Spend some time educating yourself on canine fitness. You can learn about canine fitness through online courses, face-to-face workshops and even through certification programs. If you have the interest and desire, the information is out there! Offering your own canine fitness classes, one-on-one coaching sessions and fitness evaluations with weekly exercise plans is a great way to provide new and innovative services to your clients.
Be Connected with Your Clients – There’s an App for That
As a business owner, you want to take full advantage of platforms and apps that will make your life easier and help your business prosper.
Investigate platforms and apps that will open communication channels with your clients. Consider some of your activities and how you reach your clients:
- Offering a class? Asses your methods for informing your clients – email, mail a brochure, text a notice. Determine how to improve your reach and know how many clients are reading your notice. Keep in mind, a diverse clientele requires diverse methods (don’t use just one method).
- Need to pass along great information? Upload a file or video for client education and send to your clients or tell them how to find it on your website.
- Fill up your schedule? Investigate apps that make it easy for your clients to schedule an appointment. We are all “on the go” and your business may miss a potential appointment if the only way to schedule is by a phone call. Check those apps that enable quick scheduling from smart phones.
- Time for a contest? Perhaps you want to run a contest to see who has lost weight on the exercise program. Some apps make it easy for pet parents to track the pet’s weight with a nice graph they can share with you to show the pet’s weight loss.
- Keep tabs on exercise statistics of pets? If your clients use a health monitor, use an app that allows them to send the exercise trends in a nice graph to you.
Investigate what platforms and apps improve your ability to connect with, engage, and educate your audience. Explore ways to use technology to help you operate in efficient and productive ways. One such platform is BizBarkTM for pet professionals and the corresponding BabelBark for pet parents. Be sure to check out their health monitor too. (I use it with my own dogs!)
If you want to reach more people, attract more clients and/or add new and innovative programs to your current services, consider the multiple ways that your current and future clients can benefit from a focus on canine fitness!