Looking to find more dog walking clients? No money to run paid ads? Don’t want to build a website? In this article we’ll cover the top tips on how do sell yourself as a dog walker.
6 Tips to Sell Yourself as a Dog Walker and Get More Clients
1 – Canvassing
Paste flyers around your neighborhood. There are a ton of places you can put them:
- Dog Park
- Bulletin at Grocery Store
- Bulletin at Vet Clinic
- Restaurants and Coffee shops
Be sure to check your local regulations and ask permission as needed on where you post.
Also, create a professional poster with tabs that are easy to pull off. Don’t use a picture of you as people may call just wanting to speak to you or ask you out. Use a picture of a dog or a stock photo of someone walking a dog where you can’t see their face.
List the areas you walk, you much you charge per short walk and long walk, and list your social media site or website. Most people will want to check your company out before they call you.
Have your number and your website/social media on pull off tabs. For privacy you can link your number to a google voice number so they aren’t calling you directly. Again, people would rather check you out online and determine you are real before calling.
For better conversions you may want to say “Check our website (or social media) for current pricing.” That will get more people to go to your website (or social media). Set it up so your about page is the first thing they see where they can quickly see your experience, where you walk, what you charge, and how to contact you.
2 – Have a Website or Social Media Accounts
Use this as a place to build trust with your potential clients. They will find you through your posters or facebook/instagram ads. They’ll learn about you on your website or social media accounts. Then they’ll call.
Websites take some money (not much) and learning to figure out. It’s much easier to start with a social media account.
We recommend you at least choose a brandable dog business name and reserve the website URL for $10 at namecheap.com. Then just use free social media accounts to get started.
You can come back to setup the website when you are either ready to learn wordpress or ready to pay someone to build it for you. You can setup and build your own site for less than $100 including hosting.
You can also pay companies about $1,300 to set it up for you including all the legal pages and first 5-10 blog posts. We have used and like humanproofdesigns.com for this service.
3 – Use Dog Walking Apps
You can use Rover.com, Wag.com, and/or Barkly.com to get started quickly. We love these apps as a way to quickly get started. They include basic insurance plus you don’t need to build a website or start a social media channel.
Keep in mind that they own the customers. You can’t take the clients you meet through these websites off to your own company.
You will make more on your own but you’ll have to do more footwork to get started and get clients.
Even still, these apps are a super fast way to get started and scale fast. You can expect to make about $15 an hour on average.
It’s a great place to test dog walking and see if you like the business without having to put any of your own money in.
4 – Local Facebook Groups for Dog Owners
Join local facebook groups. Be helpful, don’t spam them. Scan through the posts and answer questions. Over time you’ll gain trust. Then you can ask people to PM you if they want a local dog walker.
5 – Word of Mouth Referrals
This is the easiest and best way to quickly grow your client list. Word of mouth referrals come with trust built in.
The best way to do this is as follows:
- Tell 100 friends and family members you are starting a dog walking business. Don’t stop till you reach 100. Write them down in a spreadsheet as potential leads
- Offer to walk their dogs for free in exchange for referrals for your website or social media. Get and post those referrals as writeups from an email they sent or better yet – as a video they made
- Ask everyone whose dog you walk if they know anyone that might want a dog walker and if they can put you in touch.
- Rinse and repeat – for every new client you get from Facebook groups, canvassing, your website, or social media ask if they know anyone that needs a dog walker.
- Keep asking for referrals – make this active, not passive. Don’t spam. Just politely ask after 1-2 walks if they know anyone else.
6 – Meet Other Dog Walkers (DON’T Poach their Clients)
The last tip is to get to know the other dog walkers near you. You’ll see them often. Say hi and be friendly. It won’t necessarily lead to clients but it will prevent bad word of mouth against you.
Important – Don’t poach their clients! You want to be a good member of the community. You can hustle to find your own clients.
Plus, you want to know other dog walkers as a benefit to your clients. Why? Because if you are full you can refer new clients to them. Or other dog walker friends can help you out if you go on vacation.
Again – this is where you want to get to know others. You don’t want to poach their clients and you don’t want them to poach yours.
Always be of service to your clients!
Plus that kind of karma comes back eventually.
How to Get Dog Walking Clients Video