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Author Topic: Advertising on other dog walking meetup pages.  (Read 3874 times)
masterscooper
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« on: September 19, 2011, 07:39:30 AM »

Hey Guys

Was wondering if anyone has done this. There are different dog walking groups on meetup(not sure if everyone is familar with meetup) where people have dog walking meetups. I was thinking about contacting people who run some of these. And ask if they could send an email out to there members with a link to my website. Some have a few hundred in there groups.

Of course I would pay them them for this. Of course I dont even know if they would even let me, and dont know what a fair amount to pay them either if they let me.

Have any of you done this?? And if so what kind of rate did you pay the people. And have you gotten business from this??

thanks in advance.
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tgp
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2011, 04:48:48 AM »

Referral rates from walkers, sitters, groomers, landscapers are abysmally low. You might even turn some of them into competitors.

I've offered $25 or $50 (depending on the season) for years with little return.  I know 2 scoopers who offer $100 and still don't get any bites.

If you do it, don't pay up front.  Pay a referral fee after you get the client.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2011, 05:09:44 AM by tgp » Logged

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The Doo House
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2011, 11:44:52 AM »

Hey Guys

Was wondering if anyone has done this. There are different dog walking groups on meetup(not sure if everyone is familar with meetup) where people have dog walking meetups. I was thinking about contacting people who run some of these. And ask if they could send an email out to there members with a link to my website. Some have a few hundred in there groups.

Of course I would pay them them for this. Of course I dont even know if they would even let me, and dont know what a fair amount to pay them either if they let me.

Have any of you done this?? And if so what kind of rate did you pay the people. And have you gotten business from this??

thanks in advance.

Do you have a website? The first thing you need to do is get on the web not that it will draw a lot of business but because when people search for scoopers in your area you will be found. Then put up flyers in any pet related business you can. Do not limit yourself to a very small area to scoop branch out as far as you can afford to right now and that should bring in some business. I cover the whole SE corner of my state and I live in Wyoming the least populated state in our great country. The Cleveland burbs and the city of Cleveland have a larger population than my whole state does. Keep at it with the right marketing it will happen.
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Yard Guards On Doody
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2011, 08:55:49 PM »

You might also try a link echange (for free) with them.  Offer to put their link on your website and vice versa. Most arfe usually happy to do this at no charge.
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masterscooper
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2011, 07:18:06 AM »

Thanks the doo house or anyone else that can be of help.

I have thought about doing this. I am pretty confined to the are I am in and the people I service because I do mostly the eastern suburbs of Cleveland. Most of my clients are pretty middle to upper middle class. There are some very nice suburbs on the westside of Cleveland too equal in nature to those on the eastside. I really dont the the westside of cleveland very well though. Finding how to get to different houses could be a challenge(On the eastside I dont have a problem in the least) but if i can also get a confined area on that side i think it might be  worth while. If its not it really isnt worth the wild. I guess I answered my own question in some ways(but still a bit confused on what to do next to get this up and running). But gas is high. And its up too 35-40 minutes to those areas. And I might pickup some new clients in the eastern suburbs soon.

I have *2* customers right now and from what i read thats when people started getting more people. Even with that being said I would have more people by now. I am now somewhat discouraged. Because I picked up those clients about 2 months ago. dont understand the lull. But I have my flyers at about 20-25 different vets/groomers/pet stores. dont know why its so lackluster. and worried i will have the same outcome on that side of town as well.

I have a website mostly for valdation purposes. I will work on it more when I have more money to advertise. my site is masterscooper.com

I dont think this has anything to do with a weak economy. This business is service driven.

I would like call #3 soon :-)

Sorry if I sound a bit pessimistic. Just frustrated.

I do appreciate all the feedback and help.

Justin
« Last Edit: September 21, 2011, 07:25:57 AM by masterscooper » Logged
The Doo House
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2011, 12:22:11 PM »

Thanks the doo house or anyone else that can be of help.

I have thought about doing this. I am pretty confined to the are I am in and the people I service because I do mostly the eastern suburbs of Cleveland. Most of my clients are pretty middle to upper middle class. There are some very nice suburbs on the westside of Cleveland too equal in nature to those on the eastside. I really dont the the westside of cleveland very well though. Finding how to get to different houses could be a challenge(On the eastside I dont have a problem in the least) but if i can also get a confined area on that side i think it might be  worth while. If its not it really isnt worth the wild. I guess I answered my own question in some ways(but still a bit confused on what to do next to get this up and running). But gas is high. And its up too 35-40 minutes to those areas. And I might pickup some new clients in the eastern suburbs soon.

I have *2* customers right now and from what i read thats when people started getting more people. Even with that being said I would have more people by now. I am now somewhat discouraged. Because I picked up those clients about 2 months ago. dont understand the lull. But I have my flyers at about 20-25 different vets/groomers/pet stores. dont know why its so lackluster. and worried i will have the same outcome on that side of town as well.

I have a website mostly for valdation purposes. I will work on it more when I have more money to advertise. my site is masterscooper.com

I dont think this has anything to do with a weak economy. This business is service driven.

I would like call #3 soon :-)

Sorry if I sound a bit pessimistic. Just frustrated.

I do appreciate all the feedback and help.

Justin

One day a week I drive over 120 miles round trip to service clients. I have expanded my business to cover basically the whole southeast corner of Wyoming. Gas prices are high but this is what I have to do to make things work. When I expanded to cover 50, 60 and 70 miles away I only went over once a month, my clients understood why, now that I have a reasonable amount of clients in the area I go once a week. You have to plan a route and service as much as you can, the bigger the area you service the more chance at gaining clients you will get.




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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2011, 06:01:08 PM »

Justin,

I am confused.  You say most of your clients are middle to upper class, then you say you only have two customers.  So I am guessing one of your customers is middle class and the other upper class. 

I agree with the suggestion from Doo House.  You really need to expand your territory.  There are some days I log 200 miles plus.  Gas is actually a small expense.  You can fill in the gaps later.  I can tell you that I have.  Now whenever I get a customer in Hillsborough County, it is right on the way to another customers house.

Summertime has not ever been especially good for scooper's to pick up a lot of new customers.  I am not saying that we don't pick them up, but most scooper's pick up lots in the spring. So be prepared!  Good luck

And by the way, you will be surprised (someday) how many lower class customers you will get.   Wink
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2011, 07:41:07 PM »

And by the way, you will be surprised (someday) how many lower class customers you will get.   Wink

And a useful corollary:  by and large, the "lower class" ones usually pay on time, the rich ones often don't.
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masterscooper
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« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2011, 08:49:07 AM »

Thanks for the feedback guys.

I really thought about what you guys wrote it makes sense. I think with any business its an ongoing learning process. It makes sense to hit the better part of greater cleveland. I am pretty sure I can build a solid base there. Not sure why it didnt click before.  

I do only have 2 customers and they are both pretty middle class. I guess I made the poor assumption that most of my clients would be middle class. I think part of me thought because of the sluggish economy that more of my clients would be middle class. But there are a lot of elderly people out there who probably will need the service.

While not all people who have money are like this. I am sure most people have a story like this or too. I do think people who have less "appreciate more":

Anyway here goes:

I do some dog sitting on the side. I dog sat for a doctor who has 2 dogs.. We agreed on $35 per night. It was there for 9 days. She got back in town, and she says we need to get together so I can pay you. I said sure. She said how about $25 per day. I was pretty sure we said $35 per day so I said I thought we agreed on $35 per day. She said we did. She said but I pay most people $20-25. I was like huh??

I know the woman but not all that well. After she said $25 I said how about $30. I just wanted my freakin' money. She said no how about $25. I said no. How about $30. she said thats fine.

Meanwhile Its like I had to beg for the money that I worked for. She said I am busy. I am going out to dinner with a friend at Sasa(LOL). I am closing my old practice. Which is true. She is going from family practice to genetics.(sigh) It was Wed. She said how about Sunday. I said no. I need to pay my credit card down. I need to come today.

I get to her house and after she pays me she asks if I could dog sit again. no. But I told her in a email. I think with money there is some fasle entitlement.

I am a very avid runner. And I run with her from time to time. I meet her to run that following that Sunday. I really believe in Karma. She said my dog ate a chunk of my shoe. HA Smiley

Anyway I stopped talking to the woman completely and somebody who knows her said Melanie said you blew her off. What a piece work.

I am 31 so some of you probably have more life experience then me. But I have learned to be a bit more cyncial of people. Which isnt always a bad thing.

Thanks
Justin

« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 09:31:36 AM by masterscooper » Logged
The Doo House
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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2011, 12:08:37 PM »

Anything you do business related should be in writing, that includes the amount you should get paid. Once it is in writing it will hold up in a court of law!!!
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« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2011, 02:53:20 PM »

Justin,

I have two things for you.  First going back to your getting customers delima.  You must realize that the economy IS effecting how people are spending their money.  Those of us who have been doing this for years, and years basically already had a good customer base, BEFORE the economy tanked. True we still get customers, but we also lose them too due to the economy.  Whatever you do you want to do it well to keep those customers. 

In response to your pet sitting burn.  That lady SUCKS.  And being a Dr. no less (see what we mean by the upper class people being basically low class!!!  )  I also do pet sitting on the side and usually pull in $3000. a year plus in extra money.  Most of the people  (which are only my customers or people my customers refer) pay even before they leave.  And of course it is the ones who you think have the least money tip the best....almost every single time.

I do not have contracts, but do use emails as proof if I ever need to go to court.
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« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2011, 03:22:29 AM »

...Once it is in writing it will hold up in a court of law!!!

Well...  Once it's in writing it might be admissible, but what "holds up" is generally decided by a judge.  Grin
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« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2011, 06:04:52 AM »

Most of the people  (which are only my customers or people my customers refer) pay even before they leave.

I switched to prepay back in 2005.  Prepay is explicitly stated on my website, in my written service
agreement which the customer and I both sign, and verbally in the first interview with each customer.
My invoices say "Invoice for August Service", "Invoice for September Service" etc. at the top of the
page in SIXTEEN POINT font!

Yesterday I was chatting with a customer I've had for 3 years.  She said "you mean I'm paying in advance?"

Happens all the time.  Sometimes people don't listen when you explain things and they rarely read
anything you give them (including due dates on invoices!)  Cheesy

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« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2011, 07:21:05 AM »

I have a client who refused to prepay.

I simply refused to drive to her house.

Nice to have the confidence to tell a person to pound sand.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I recently raised my rates, same client told me that she wouldn't continue....

Husband called, "Mike, your service is a necessity" I almost threw up in my mouth when I heard that.

Now I get my raise at the first of the month!
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sflscooper
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« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2011, 07:01:21 AM »

I have a client who refused to prepay.

I simply refused to drive to her house.

Nice to have the confidence to tell a person to pound sand.

You can tell them that and let them tell 10 of their friends, and those 10 tell 10 of their friends, etc..., or you can be diplomatic and get the customer.  

"From:*****
To: Scoop
Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2008
Subject: RE: Statement from Scoop

Hi Scott,

Hopefully, this will be the start of a great relationship. I just have one problem. I do not pay for
services in advance. I will be happy to pay you on a weekly basis for services rendered, but I will not
pay for a month in advance. Would you prefer to bill me at the end of the month for $** or weekly for
$**. It doesn’t matter to me. Please let me know.
Regards"


My Reply:

From: Scoop
Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2008
To:*****
Subject: Re: Statement from Scoop


Hi *****,

If it is a concern that I will not perform the work after you pay me, I can totally understand. I have been in
business since 2003 and have many, many references. The reason I have my customers pre-pay is
because not every one has the same ethic that I do. (translation = In the beginning I worked for free more
times that I care to admit)

I do want to keep you as a customer forever, so here is what I will do. I will bill you for the month
afterward. The statement still goes out on the 22nd. of the month being serviced, and is due by the 7th.
of the following month. So you can wait until after the month of service and know all the work is done
before you send payment. Just keep in mind that payments sent through your online bank take 5 days to
reach me. So that type of payment needs to be sent by the 2nd.

I will be happy to keep this arrangement as long as you are never late paying. If you are ever late without
notifying me in advance, I will have to switch you to pre-pay.

I am looking forward to this being a great relationship as well.



Her reply... priceless:


From:*****
To: Scoop
Sent: Friday, September 05, 2008
Subject: RE: Statement from Scoop

Hi Scott,

OK. I like your answer. I’ll pay in advance.

Keep on scoopin’

Regards,
*****


I still have the customer.  I only had to remind them once about this email exchange when they fell behind and told me they didn't pay in advance.  I had it saved, sent it to them, and they are still happily on prepay.  Grin
« Last Edit: September 24, 2011, 07:16:22 AM by sflscooper » Logged
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