Crafting Your Dog Walking Marketing Message to Reflect Client Needs

When's the last time you took a look at the marketing message for your dog walking business, or thought about what your marketing message is at all?

What is a Marketing Message?

Your marketing message is what you tell the public about your services. It sells prospective clients on who you are and what you do. It's not a list of the services you offer, but a message to convey to your customer how your service can meet their needs while encapsulating what you can offer them. Your marketing message also conveys the value you offer to prospective clients rather than your services and pricing alone. 

Why It's Important

It lets potential clients know immediately who you are, what you do, and how you're different from other dog walkers. This sets you apart from competitors, weeds out clients that aren't a good fit and attracts clients who are ideal customers for your business. 

Tell Clients How you can Help Them

The basis for your marketing message is how your service can help your clients. You want to convey how your dog walking service can solve an issue they're having. Think about your ideal client- what issue are they having that your service can solve? Focus on how you can help solve those problems in your marketing messaging. 

Update Your Marketing Message to Reflect Client Needs

Things have changed a lot with the coronavirus outbreak, so some client needs may have shifted. Keep your marketing message current by ensuring your marketing is geared toward clients who still need, and can afford dog walking services. This might include essential workers and people working from home, for example. The latter are often discounted by dog walkers who are quick to dismiss their need for dog walking, but working from home doesn't mean they don't need a walker. In fact, their dog may be driving them nuts while they are trying to work, and an outing to tucker them out would be really beneficial to a more productive work day. So keep that in mind when you're crafting your marketing message. 

My Marketing Message Success Story

Being able to evaluate and tweak your marketing message (and your service offerings) strengthens your business and can help you cope with changes that are out of your hands. My business has weathered a recession, issues with employees, separating from a business partner and now I'm fighting through COVID too. Being flexible and working to turn challenges into opportunities has served me well over the years. 

For example, after 6 years in business I went separate ways from my business partner, splitting our clientele in half. I took the opportunity to evaluate my business and my marketing message so I could rebuild my client base. 

I was offering off-leash walks on trails, but I wasn't calling myself a dog hiking service. My marketing message just said I was a dog walker. I was missing a huge marketing opportunity by not having a message that showed clients that what I do is above and beyond a walk around the neighborhood. 

I updated all my marketing, stopped calling my service dog walking and instead tweaked my messaging to showcase "off-leash hiking adventures". I immediately had a much better conversion rate on my website visitors, more inquiries, and within a few months not only had filled my schedule to capacity, but also had a wait list of pre-screened clients should I have any openings.

I recently updated my marketing message during my 8+ weeks off due to COVID, raised my rates by $10/hike and I've again seen a spike in new client inquiries despite the pandemic. So investing some time and thought into your marketing message is well worth it!