How to get more dog training clients on yelp!

Are you an up-and-coming Dog Trainer looking to make a splash in the world by building up your Dog Training business? Maybe you have an established Dog Training business and you’re looking to take it to the next level, so you’re eyeing Yelp as a potential source of new clients. Which ever is the case, you’ll want to sit and pay attention, as we are about to untangle the often confusing and definitely tricky world of optimizing your Yelp profile, as well as getting more 5 star reviews.

Despite recent criticism and even lawsuits against Yelp, the online marketplace is still visited more than 178M times per month, according to ReviewTrackers.

These statistics make it a no-brainer to try and make the most of the platform, especially since there’s no way to opt out of having your business profile and public reviews displayed for the world to see (and judge).

That being the case, coupled with the well-known fact that two-thirds of consumers tend to check online reviews before making purchasing decisions, brings us to some important facts that you as a business owner should definitely consider.

If you’re going to operate a Dog Training business, it would be wise to make the most of your Yelp profile, since the upside involves getting more clients for your small business and potentially even making it your biggest source of new clients!

Source: The Advocate

HOW TO CRUSH IT ON YELP AS A DOG TRAINER

There are several key factors you’ll want to understand before creating a rockstar profile on Yelp.

First, we’ll discuss how to get the details just right on your profile so the highest percentage of clients who see it end up booking your services. 

After we cover that, we’ll shed light on how you can get more 5-star reviews for your Yelp profile so you look more professional and show up higher in the Yelp rankings.

The competition is fierce on Yelp, with a wide variety of Dog Trainers occupying top spots and collecting all of the clients for themselves. Starting today, we’re going to help you grab your fair share of business by following these simple steps.

OPTIMIZE YOUR YELP PROFILE

Let’s start off with the basics. One thing we repeatedly see successful Dog Trainers do is put pictures of their clients on their Yelp profile – both humans and dogs!

If you’re just starting out and don’t have any actual pictures of happy clients or dogs, at the very least use stock images of happy folks and maybe include pictures of your own dog for social proof reasons.

You’ll also want to consider including a picture of you holding up your Dog Training license. This generates immense social proof, instills immediate trust into your potential clients by positioning you as an expert in your field, and leads to a higher conversion rate of folks booking your services.

For more info about this as well as a practical step-by-step licensing guide, read our article on Why You Should Get Your Dog Training License.

The next step is to write a stellar description to share your mission with potential clients.

You want to come across as genuine and willing to go the extra mile and the best way to do that is to communicate your passion for being a rockstar Dog Trainer!

Also, make sure to update the technical aspects of your profile with the correct information about your business. This includes:

  • NAP (Name, Address, Phone number)
  • Website address
  • Description

You should also consider offering a Yelp Deal on your page. You can offer a small discount ($15 for $10 for example) and this will, in turn, place a conspicuous green ‘Yelp Deal’ badge on your Yelp listing. We’ve seen multiple Dog Trainers (as well as businesses in other industries) do this to bring more attention to their listing.

You’ll also want to include your PocketSuite online booking link on your profile, so potential clients can book your Dog Training services straight from Yelp.

This also communicates that you are a professional, established business. That goes a long way, especially if you’re a new, fresh-faced Dog Trainer, ready to tackle and win business from established companies like Wag or Rover as well as other solopreneur Dog Trainers!

Now let’s talk about how to get more 5-star reviews, so clients trust your business even more.

HOW TO GET MORE 5 STAR REVIEWS FOR YOUR DOG TRAINING BUSINESS

It’s a well-known fact that more 5-star reviews on Yelp means more business.

You should aim to get your first 10 reviews as quickly as possible – let’s discuss the easiest and best ways to do so with limited effort on your part.

The first step is to ask for them – but don’t ask every client after you complete their dog training.

Instead, ask them for feedback about their experience first. Send a quick email, text, or make a phone call and ask them how their dog is doing, and the difference that your training program made in their dog’s behavior.

Once you’ve collected this valuable feedback, ask your happy clients to leave a review.

This will help to self-select the best possible clients to leave a review on your profile – the satisfied ones.

Remember, you shouldn’t ever promise compensation of any kind in exchange for a review – this is frowned upon by Yelp and can even result in them putting a nasty Consumer Notice on your profile warning folks that you tried to manipulate their algorithm or submit fraudulent reviews.

Another benefit of this strategy is that you collect invaluable feedback from your unhappy clients, which helps you improve your training program and also dissuades clients from leaving bad online reviews on Yelp and other sites to try and ‘get back at you.’

Another tip is to mark your ‘Not Recommended’ reviews as Useful, which will help to bump them out of the ‘Not Recommended’ category.

Use this method with caution, and maybe from a different computer or IP address to avoid any kind of trouble with your Yelp profile.

YOUR DOG TRAINING BUSINESS IS DESTINED FOR GREATNESS

It can be a difficult journey starting your own business, especially when you’re battling for business against entrenched competitors in a crowded market.

Hopefully, the fable below will inspire you to take on the challenge and charge forward confidently:

Two mice fell into a bucket of cream. One mouse gave up and drowned. The second mouse kept swimming, and eventually churned that cream into butter, and walked out.

You are that second mouse! Now go fetch some new clients and let’s build your business!

USE POCKETSUITE TO GROW YOUR DOG TRAINING BUSINESS

Now that you’re crushing it on Yelp, how are you going to manage your payments, let your customers create online bookings, manage your classes and schedules, respond to business messages, or collect deposits?

Thousands of successful Dog Trainers are using PocketSuite to do all of this, and making 6 figures as well.

The free plan is yours to play with, so you have nothing to lose (except the hours of time you spend on back office admin tasks).

If you’re already using PocketSuite, learn how you can set it up specifically for Dog Training.

Like this article? You’ll love these articles:

How to get more clients on wag!

Are you a dog walker that gets clients from Wag? If so, chances are you’re looking to build your dog walking business and need more clients, which is why you turned to Wag in the first place. In this article, we’ll be shedding some light on Wag’s business model, the history of the company, as well as great strategies that you can use to make more money and get more 5 star reviews on Wag.

(source: Larry French AP)

THE DOG-WALKING INDUSTRY IS GROWING

Pets are a huge part of our lives, and recent policy changes make it possible for us to be even closer to them by sitting with us at restaurants to enjoy meals together and even tagging along with us at work.

Millennials have been having kids later in life so it makes sense that pet ownership has surged as a substitute for raising children

Americans spent an estimated $70B on their pets last year. An increasingly larger chunk of this cash is going towards dog-walking services from apps like Wag. 

Wag is a dominant player in the dog-walker industry. They raised $650M in funding and are referred to affectionately as the “Uber for Dogs”. It’s a fitting comparison because the app pairs walkers with dog owners in the same way Uber pairs drivers with commuters.

Wag was founded in 2015 by two ex-Facebook game developers, Jonathan and Joshua Viner.

There are so many savvy solopreneurs building their own dog walking and sitting businesses using a competing service called Rover (and its subsidiary called DogVacay).

Rover has been branded the ‘DogBnB’ because of the endless listings of dog care providers available for hire.

Wag, on the other hand, is earning lots of business from evolving beyond simple dog walking to things like pet grooming – specifically mobile dog washing.

Additionally, signing up to be a Wag walker is an entirely different thing from posting your dog sitting business on Rover.

Although easy to get onboarded, there are some limitations in using Wag as compared to Rover.

For example, unlike Rover’s directory-type setup (similar to AirBnB’s home listing model) the way Wag operates is more like a ride-sharing app.

To qualify to be a Wag Walker, you must be 18+ years old, legally authorized to work in the US, and be able to physically walk 20 minutes or more.

Once you sign up to be a Wag Walker, you’ll be asked to complete a questionnaire that rates your experience with dogs.

You’ll also be required to request some recommendations from friends.

You need to provide the email addresses of several references at which point Wag will send them an email with a form to fill out.

You will then be asked to go through a background check.

One thing to note is that you will most likely have to pay the $25 fee for the background check, which is not standard operating procedure for an online marketplace. Usually, marketplaces that do background checks cover the upfront cost of the check on their own and/or pass those costs onto only the service providers that are approved to join their platform.

Once you’ve been given access to the marketplace as a service provider, you will start getting new walking gigs as they come in.

It’s common knowledge that these opportunities typically get picked up quickly, so don’t delay

Wag customers can choose between a 20-minute walk, a 30-minute walk, or a 60-minute walk. Once you get your first job, you’ll be able to see the address, the type of dog, and the length of walk options.

Wag’s hours of operation are between 7AM and 11PM, so you have a large window of time to claim jobs.

Wag also supplies lockboxes to the customer, so you are able to easily get in and out of the customer’s home to pick up the dog when it’s time for their walk

Here’s how much you will get paid based on the length of the walk (not including tips):

  • $9 for a 20-minute walk
  • $12 for a 30-minute walk
  • $18 for a 60-minute walk

HOW TO BE A SUCCESSFUL WAG WALKER

SET YOUR PEE AND POOP-PINS ACCURATELY

Yes, you read that right. Wag allows you to mark via GPS where the dog you’re walking went to the bathroom, and that is transmitted to the owner via their app:

Remember, each customer receives a ‘report card’ from you at the end of your walk with a photo of their dog, a map of the walk, and a “pee-poop” status update.

Remember to fill yours out accurately!

BE COURTEOUS – YOU’LL RECEIVE MORE TIPS

A big part of your income will come from tips, as it’s common knowledge that many of the customers using Wag will tip you – but only if you do a great job and are super-friendly.

Brush up on those customer service skills that you learned in the retail job that you had in college as these will help you earn more tips and ultimately a higher dollar-per-hour income.

Another benefit of being courteous and friendly is that Wag customers can request you for their next service, or even set up recurring walks with you.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE REFERRAL SYSTEM

You can earn $25 for each new customer that signs up for Wag by downloading the app and booking a walk.

The customer will also receive a $20 credit towards their first walk, which is good enough for a 30 minute walk according to Wag’s pricing structure.

When you become a Walker with Wag, they will send you business cards that you can write your custom referral code on.

Try leaving these in the lobbies of busy apartment complexes (especially in the downtown area of your city) where time-strapped, high income professionals can find them and book you for a Wag Walk.

You should also target luxury apartment complexes and high-rises as these are apartments are full of Wag’s ideal customers.

You can also try pinning your business cards to bulletin boards in grocery stores and community centers.

WALK DOGS DURING YOUR LUNCH BREAK

A great way to use Wag to make money as a side-hustle is to take advantage of your lunch break at your 9 to 5 job and spend that time getting some fresh air and exercise! 

You’ll also make some extra cash and you won’t ruffle any feathers at work.

Since you can choose which gigs to accept, you can choose one with a time interval that works well within your designated lunch break.

Say hello to more money in your pocket without sacrificing extra time outside of your working hours!

TREAT THE DOGS (AND CUSTOMERS) WELL

After news reports of Wag walkers physically assaulting dogs while supposedly caring for them during their walk, clients are wary of potential mishaps related to their Wag experience.

Avoid using any kind of physical force when coaxing or restraining your customer’s dog. Otherwise, you might even be subject to legal action.

Another tip would be to actually walk the dog – not just sit in the customer’s apartment pretending to walk the dog.

Remember – you are being tracked via GPS when you use the Wag app. Behave accordingly!

Lastly, remember to keep a firm grip on the dog’s leash, so you’re not blamed for a lost or runaway dog. Here’s an example of some Wag clients who had a walker that lost their dog. 

In a worst-case example, your customer’s dog may even be hit by a car and killed.

Here’s another example of this unfortunate, but uncomfortable common occurrence.

Be careful out there!

BRANCH OUT AND BUILD YOUR OWN DOG WALKING BUSINESS

There are thousands of Canine pros using PocketSuite to manage every aspect of their dog walking, dog sitting, or dog training business.

If you’re already using PocketSuite, here’s how to set the app up specifically for Dog Walking pros.

If you’re sick of having to rely on Wag taking 40% of your revenue to provide you with dog walking clients, why not give PocketSuite a shot and build your own business?

Thousands of dog walking pros are already making six figures using Pocketsuite – why not you

Like this article? You’ll love our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2020, and of course our Frustrations with Square article!