With social distancing still in effect, your work flow may be a little slower than usual right now. But eventually, things are going to go back to normal. When that happens, plenty of pet owners are going to want to get their dogs groomed!
How can you capitalize on this so that you can hit the ground running, increase your bookings, and gain an even larger clientele than you had pre-pandemic?
Simple: use this time at home to start planning ahead! There are tons of great marketing strategies at your disposal; capable of increasing your business’s visibility and overall appeal. So, let’s look at a few of them.
This way, once work picks back up again, you can immediately begin booking more clients for your dog grooming business!
1. Create a Customer Referral Program
Even though we live in a technological age, never underestimate the power of good, old-fashioned word of mouth. There are plenty of potential customers out there who can be reached by leveraging the network of clients you currently have.
A Customer Referral Program is a relatively simple concept: current (or past) clients will recommend your services to people they know. If it results in a new client booking with you, the client who recommended your business receives some sort of reward.
What the reward entails is entirely up to you! It could be a discount on their next grooming appointment, a discount for products you sell as part of your business, a complimentary service, etc. The important thing is that it gives your current clients some sort of incentive to spread the word about your dog grooming business!
2. Develop Promotional Products, Contests, and Giveaways
It’s just a fact that people love free stuff. Who doesn’t, right? So, why not spin this in a way that brings more exposure to your dog grooming business?
One way you can do this is by producing your own line of promotional products that can be given to clients as a complimentary gift. Clients can receive them as a ‘thank you’ for purchasing your grooming services! Importantly, the item (whatever it is) will have your brand/logo clearly visible on them.
This merchandise doesn’t need to be anything overly fancy, either! Here are a few fun little examples of what they can be:
- Reusable bags
- Doggy loot bags
That being said, you can go as far as you want with this idea! For instance, if you have the budget, you can always expand on the t-shirt idea, and create multiple items of clothing articles that bare your business name/logo.
Another way you can promote your business through complimentary products is by holding contests and giveaways for your clients. For example, clients can be encouraged to share the contest/giveaway post across their social media, and then one of them will be selected at random and receive a free prize.
You, as the business owner, benefit from this marketing strategy because the more interested clients spread the word about the promo, the more exposure your dog grooming business is getting to the public.
Yes, when it comes to any sort of promotional product, you’re going to be investing money into something you’d be giving away for free. But as a result, your clients will likely use them (which could cause someone else to see it and then inquire about your business).
At the very least, it could serve as that little extra touch that elevates your client’s overall experience. This can make them far more likely to gush about your awesome dog grooming business to people they know… and this is NEVER a bad thing!
3. Improve Your Online Presence
Now, if you don’t already have a foundation for your online presence, this is where you should start. Build a professional website for your business, and create social media channels across various platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Because we live in such a tech-heavy age, having some sort of online presence is critical. Not many businesses these days can be overly successful without it.
If you’re at the beginning stages of your career, the importance of having a strong website, and at least one social media channel, cannot be stressed enough!
Should you already have these things set up already, it’s always worth it to revisit your marketing strategies, and see what can be improved upon. With regards to your website, comb through each page and ask yourself:
- Do all the links still work?
- Has everything been properly spell-checked?
- Is all the information up-to-date and relevant?
- Does my website accurately reflect my business’s branding?
- Do my images look as professional as they could be?
- Is there additional content I could/should be adding?
- What else can I add to my site that would be beneficial?
- Examples of this could be starting a blog, setting up an email campaign, adding a section for clients to book appointments online, etc.
For your social media, you should consider:
- Do my social media channels consistently reflect my overall business brand?
- Am I posting the right kinds of content?
- Should I be posting more (or less) frequently?
- Am I scheduling my posts to be published at optimal traffic times?
- Am I interacting enough with my followers?
- Am I consistently responding to comments, questions, and concerns in a timely fashion?
- If not, what can I do to improve on this?
- What other types of content could I focus on posting?
- Are there other popular platforms that I should expand my social media presence onto?
- Am I standing out from the competition?
- If not, what could I do to achieve this?
As you can see, there is LOTS to consider when approaching your online marketing strategies. Similarly, there is always ample room to improve! Simply focusing on this alone will give you days’ (even weeks’) worth of work to focus on!
Note: You can take this one step further by offering any of these specialty treatments as a discounted or complimentary service for first-time clients, when they purchase a groom!
Offers geared towards first-time clients is another excellent marketing strategy to drum in new business!
5. Earn your dog grooming certification
This is DEFINITELY a way to help you stand out from the competition! Believe it or not, there are still plenty of places in the world that don’t actually require dog groomers to have any form of certification, licensing, or even training.
Honestly, this is crazy to us! Given that the very nature of your job involves being responsible for a dog’s well-being and safety, professional training and certification are absolutely things you should have.
Otherwise, how can you confident ensure for your client that their dog is in the safest possible hands?
Trust us: if a client has the option between booking with someone who has no formal background in grooming, versus a true expert who’s put in the time and effort to learn the craft, they will ALWAYS choose the latter.
Plus, if you’re passionate about your dog grooming business, you’ll want to be the best possible groomer you can be! The only tried-and-true, most fulfilling way you can do this is through accredited dog grooming courses.
By the time social distancing has been lifted, you could be armed with your very own International Dog Grooming Professional (IDGP) certification, and take the world of dog grooming by storm!