This weeks blog post is a follow from last weeks online advertising guide (If you missed it you can read it here). Today we’ll look at some more traditional forms of advertising and promotion. In last weeks blog post we discussed mainly free techniques, which is what the internet is perfect for. But in the real world advertising for free becomes a bit more challenging. That being said you can still get the word out effectively on a relatively low budget.
I think one of the best ideas I’ve ever heard is utilizing the free advertising already at your disposal – YOU! As a Dog walker I assume you’ll be out in public places walking Dogs a couple of times a day. This is the perfect time and place to advertise, what better place than where other people walk their dogs? Ok so I’ll get to the point here. Go down to your local t-shirt printing shop (or order online) and get a t-shirt made up with your company name and phone number on – in large text, so that people will see it easily. It’s obviously a good idea to make sure the phrase ‘Dog walker’ is on there somewhere but you get the idea! The t-shirt shouldn’t cost more than £10/$15 and after that – free advertising!
Flyers and business cards are the next items you should be getting printed. Even on a budget, these can be printed relatively cheaply and are easy to distribute. If you have a decent printer and know how to use Photoshop or similar software than you can even do this yourself for free (or ask a friend who you think might know what they’re doing). If you have Microsoft office you could use their flyer templates, found here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/CT010104295.aspx
If you don’t have the know-how, there are websites that you can use to enter your details, choose from a number of templates, and get your flyers/business cards sent to you. Vista Print (http://www.vistaprint.com) is probably the most well known of these sites but there are hundreds of them, or you could use your local printers.
Distributing your flyers and business cards is a matter of being bold and asking anywhere and everywhere you think will be effective. Vets are normally willing to accept flyers, as are pet shops. Ask to put flyers in your local shop windows and on park boards if that’s allowed in your area. Always carry business cards when your out and give one to anyone that’s interested.
Local papers and magazines can sometimes have low cost advertising opportunities. Going down this route will always be a bit of a gamble, and it will be a judgement call on your behalf whether you go for it or not. Personally, I think the smaller the place you live the more effective this will be. Putting an ad in a city paper will probably not be as effective as a cheaper ad in a small town local paper. That being said there will be advertising space and classifieds in almost all papers and magazines so they’re at the least worth having a look at. Business listings in publications like the yellow pages are also worth looking into as they’re sometimes free.
The promotion of any business can be done in a whole range of ways. I think the best thing you can do is be creative and always look out for new opportunities. Word of mouth will probably always be the most effective tool at your disposal so make sure you’re always trying to spread the word about your business.
We hope you’ve found this two parter on promotion useful. Do you have any other advertising techniques that you’ve found effective? What do you think about the ones talked about here? Let us know in the comments…
Like this article? Please share!
The Dog Walkers City Mega Membership is now available. Sign up today for a vast number of benefits ranging from premium members profiles to business guides and invoice templates. If you’re looking to be or you are a dog sitter, then this is the only membership you’ll ever need. Find out more here.