Using Flyers To Grow Your Pet Care Business
When looking to grow your dog walking or pet sitting business, there are many different marketing strategies you can implement. Whether your approach focuses on reaching new audiences through your online platforms or on prioritizing potential clients in the surrounding areas, there are many different ways to advertise your pet care business. For those looking to aim their efforts primarily at prospective pet parents that are a part of your local community or are from a neighboring area, one of the best ways you can market your business is through the use of flyers.
Flyers are a highly versatile form of advertisement that you can use to target potential clients in the places where they work, run errands, and take time to relax - with or without their beloved furry family members! This versatility opens up a wide variety of places and opportunities for you and your business to appeal to the members of your community.
For example, if you hang a flyer on the community board of a favored coffee shop, a prospective client might stop in as part of their busy morning routine to pick up their usual coffee order. Maybe they’ve woken up later than usual and couldn’t give their pup as long of a walk as they would have liked, or perhaps they’re preparing for an upcoming vacation, and the friends that generally care for their kitties when they’re out of town are unavailable. As they wait in line, they look over at the coffee shop’s bulletin board and see a brilliant flyer for your excellent local pet care business that can answer all their pet-related needs! They then take one of the tear-offs or scan the QR code from your flyer, contact your business, and suddenly you have a brand-new client!
To see if flyers are a good idea for your business, we’ll delve a little more into what makes flyers such an effective advertising tool, go over how to make the perfect flyer for your pet care business, and share some suggestions on where to place them.
Low Cost, High Impact
Using flyers to advertise your pet care business is a fantastic way to attract new clients and promote your services. One of the primary reasons for this is their affordability. Unlike many other forms of advertising, flyers are relatively inexpensive to produce, especially with so many free templates and programs available online to assist you in developing your flyer’s design. The cost of printing flyers is also relatively low compared to other marketing tools and can be swiftly done at a place that offers printing services, such as a local print shop or places like the UPS Store or Staples.
In addition to their cost-effective nature, flyers are valuable for their ability to easily reach potential clients due to the sheer number of customization options they provide. The visuals and copy used for your flyers can be tailor-made to suit your business, the services you offer, and the image you want your brand to project. As mentioned previously, there are many great resources online that you can use as a base for your flyer’s layout or inspiration for its design, and free programs like Canva that you can use to create them. Whether you want to include more detailed information about your services and pricing or if you want to target a specific type of clientele, the sky is the limit when it comes to what your flyer can convey!
When putting together your flyer, other things to consider are the time of year you’re advertising for, what aspects of the business you’re looking to grow, and where you plan to post your flyers when they are complete. All of these different elements can be altered depending on your needs, and you could even create several other flyers that cater to additional services or clients. For example, if you plan to post flyers to a community board next to a dog park, you would want to emphasize the types of dog walks or other services you offer. Or, if you’re looking to boost your number of clients around the holidays, you could make a flyer highlighting holiday pricing with an eye-catching design that suits the season and will easily turn the heads of passersby.
Another advantage flyers have over other promotional materials, particularly digital ones, is their physicality. Unlike an ad you might see on Facebook or a post that pops up in your Next Door app, flyers are a tangible object that clients can interact with, creating an impression that lasts much longer than the advertisement they saw while browsing online. Especially if your poster has business cards attached or tear-aways for people to take with your contact information, clients will be left with a physical piece of your business and will be much more likely to reach out and inquire about your services.
Creating The Perfect Flyer
When constructing your flyer, there are five main components you will want to consider.
1. Contents - What information should you include in your flyer about your business? What information should you leave out?
2. Design - What will the layout of your flyer look like? What colors and art will you incorporate? Will you include cute cartoon images of some pets, or will you use stock photographs of some real cats or dogs?
3. Target Audience - Who is this flyer for? What clients are you looking to attract, and how can you achieve your desired results? Where would it most benefit you to hang your flyers to help you reach your intended audience?
4. Printing & Prepping - How will you print your flyers? How many of them should you print? What else does your flyer need before you start hanging them up?
5. Distribution - Where will you hang your flyers, and do you need permission before doing so? Will you hand them out at a local dog park or arrange to partner up with a local shelter during an adoption event where you could distribute them to new or aspiring pet parents? How will you ensure your flyers stand the test of time and can withstand the elements if hanging them up outdoors?
When crafting your flyer, some of the information you want to make sure you include is the name of your business and some way for potential clients to contact you. How you choose to have prospective clients inquire about your services is up to you, whether it be via an email address, a phone number, or a Contact Us form they fill out on your website. These two bits of information are the most important for your inquiring clients to know and should have a clear and prominent place on your flyer.
Two other elements essential to any successful business flyer are a catchy slogan or tagline that will grab a pet parent’s attention and Call-To-Action phrasings that will encourage prospective clients to take some sort of action after viewing your flyer. Both aspects bring attention to your business and should inspire potential clients to learn more about you and your services. Some examples of these can include: “Need Someone To Keep Let Your Pup Out During Your Busy Work Day? - Hire One Of Our Professional Dog Walkers Today!” or “Give us a call today to schedule a free Meet & Greet with our team!”
Alongside these crucial details, you also want to ensure you include some information about the services your pet care business offers and the areas your business serves. You may even consider adding basic pricing information to your flyers so clients know what to expect from the onset. Additionally, if you only offer overnight or boarding services or cater to cat clientele only, highlight that information on your flyer. If you have any specific experience with certain dog breeds or training, or if you offer additional grooming services, don’t hesitate to mention that, as well. By doing so, potential clients will clearly understand what you and your business do and do not offer and will have a good idea of what makes your business stand out from the rest!
Including links to your social media profiles or printing a QR code on your flyer as an alternative way for clients to access your website can also be incredibly helpful in connecting with potential clients. By providing a number to call, a social media page to visit, or a QR code to scan, you are offering fantastic visuals that will aid any Call-To-Action phrases you have included as part of your flyer’s copy to encourage prospective clients to reach out to you.
Once you have determined what information you would like to include on your flyer, carefully proofread it to ensure there are no grammatical or spelling errors. You also want to be conscious of how much space this information will occupy on your flyer and avoid a text-heavy poster. You don’t want to overwhelm potential clients with too much information or have your flyer look too busy.
The design elements of your flyer are a vital part of its success, so it’s important to carefully deliberate everything from the colors you use to the typography you choose for your headline.
As we have already mentioned, there are many programs that you can use to craft your poster, and many of them are free to use and come equipped with additional design resources. Whether you want to use something simple to create your flyer, like Google Docs or Microsoft Word, or if you decide to use a free design program with more capabilities, like Canva or GIMP, it is critical that you choose a program that will help you to make something that both engages your intended audience and is aesthetically (and professionally) pleasing to the eye. If you have experience with programs like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop but don’t have access to them, GIMP may be a good choice for you, as it has many similar functions to those design programs. If you are less familiar with these types of programs but would still like something more advanced than either Google Docs or Microsoft Word, Canva is a fantastic resource. It has a wealth of options if you are looking for some templates to work off or need something to inspire your own flyer’s layout. It also comes equipped with a hub of design tools and excellent tutorials that will help you to create a unique flyer that is perfect for your business. Canva is also a valuable tool if you’re looking to design something for your social media pages or if you’re looking to create logos or pamphlets with its professional-looking graphics and easily-accessible user interface.
In addition to the templates you can find built within or suggested by Canva, there are many free templates that you can find and examples of posters that people have put up all over the web. While you want to be careful not to infringe on another’s intellectual property, seeking examples of other flyers people have made is never a bad idea when deciding what elements you want to incorporate and, perhaps more importantly, elements you want to avoid adding.
When you’ve decided on the program that’s right for you and the flyer you want to design, it’s time to start piecing together the different aspects of your flyer and deciding how you want them to fit together. Before creating your flyer, you should be sure to have the main contents of what you’ll be including on your flyer on hand (i.e., the copy and taglines you want to include) so you can determine how the text will be laid out on your poster. Since these facets of your flyer will presumably take up most of the available space, deciding on your fonts and their size, colors, and formatting is crucial and should be one of your first steps.
While in the process of constructing your flyer, if you find that you need more room for other design elements, consider making revisions to your copy so that your style is more concise and easier to fit to the page. While you want to convey necessary information to potential clients, it is also important not to turn them away by presenting them with an unattractive big block of text.
Once you’ve figured out a general plan for your poster’s layout and how you want to format your copy, it’s time to get fun and creative! While you always want to keep in mind that your flyer should look professional and befitting of your brand, you also shouldn’t be afraid to indulge in colors that are bright so long as they suit your business or incorporate cute pet images that will appeal to a great majority any pet parents that might view your flyer.
After all, as we’ve touched upon, part of what makes flyers so appealing is the number of possibilities available to you when designing them, so allow yourself some creative freedom so that your business will pop amidst a sea of other flyers. By doing so, you will create something representative of your brand that is both visual and tangible, which will linger in the minds of potential pet parents long after they first see your poster.
As you design your flyer, you want to take into account what pet parents you’re looking to attract. As we have discussed, if your pet care business has a specific focus, such as boarding, or specializes in caring for kitties, you want to keep that in mind to avoid drawing in pet parents that don’t fit your company's services. For example, if your company is kitty-focused, be careful only to include imagery of cats on your poster and call out this fact in a conspicuous way.
Emphasizing these facets of your business in easy-to-spot ways might mean boldening the typography, changing up your fonts, or playing with the size of that particular bit of copy compared to the rest of your poster. Surrounding the information you want to call out with flashy design elements can also help to make it leap off the page to anyone looking. Some design elements that might help you achieve this are using a highlighter effect on your text or brightly colored arrows or shapes to indicate the information you want to accentuate.
In addition to carefully curating the information on your flyer for your intended audience, you also want to be wise regarding the places you choose to hang your posters, but we’ll cover that in more depth below.
Printing & Prepping:
When you have settled on a flyer whose design and copy you’re happy with, it’s time to finally print them!
You can print your flyers in many ways - you could print them yourself or get them printed professionally at a local print shop or at an office supplies shop like Staples or Office Depot. You could also print them at places like a UPS Store or by using the photo studio at Walgreens.
You may wonder: is it cheaper to print your flyers at home? While normally, you might expect the answer to be “yes,” you may spend more than you’d expect when printing them yourself. This is due, in part, to the quality of supplies you’ll need to achieve your desired results of posters that look professionally done and can withstand some wear and tear. When it comes to the durability of your flyers and giving them a polished look (especially if you plan to print them in bulk), you will want to use high-quality paper or card stock that is sturdy and gives your posters a beautiful finish. Not all printers and ink types are capable of such high-end performance or will work with certain paper types, and the ones that are can be quite expensive, so you may find it to your advantage to explore your options of having your posters professionally printed. Not only will they be able to offer you the appearance, finish, and material quality you’re looking for, but the amount of time it will take to bulk print your flyers will be significantly reduced than if you tried to print them all on your own.
Once you have settled on a route for printing your flyers, consider what else you need to do before going out to hang them. If your posters have tearaways, for example, be sure to cut your flyers as needed so people can easily take one. If space is available or it’s appropriate, consider attaching some business cards to your flyers, as well. Both options will give potential pet parents something tangible to hold onto and provide an easy way to contact you to inquire about your services.
Deciding where you are going to hang your posters and acquiring the proper permissions to do so may be the most important aspect of using flyers to advertise your pet care business. While an eye-catching design, catchy slogan, and memorable copy are all necessary to leave lasting impressions on potential clients, none of these aspects will matter if the right people don’t see them.
In the next section, we’ll cover in more detail the best places to hang your flyers and what you should consider before you do.
The How To’s And The Do Not’s When Hanging Your Flyers
So, you’ve finally designed the flyer of your dreams and have them all printed and ready to go, but now what? Where can you hang them, and, more importantly, where should you post them? As we have touched on, placing your posters strategically is crucial, so the first thing you want to do is ask yourself: “What venues would I get the most mileage out of posting a flyer?” The next thing you need to know is whether or not you’ll be able to post something there in the first place or if you’ll need someone’s express permission to do so.
When it comes to brainstorming possible locations to hang your flyers, you’ll want to focus your initial efforts on places you know pet owners are going to be. This means targeting dog parks, dog beaches, pet supplies stores, vet offices, animal hospitals, the lobbies of pet-friendly buildings, and pet rescues or shelters. You could even post them in parks with popular hiking trails or pet-friendly restaurants and venues where people commonly socialize with their pets at their sides.
Dog parks and other popular outdoor locations will often have community boards located nearby that are there for the express purpose of people being able to hang flyers for local events, post notices, or advertise local businesses. Community boards set up in this fashion typically allow almost anyone in the area to post something there, but it doesn’t hurt to ask if you're ever unsure.
To hang your flyers in a local business like a pet supplies store or a coffee shop, you should seek permission from the managers or business owners before attempting to do so. Companies often have rules or specific protocols about what can and cannot be posted, and where it may be appropriate to hang such advertisements. The same can be said of pet-friendly buildings. To inquire about hanging your flyers, try calling the places you’re interested in placing them to see if there are any opportunities to advertise your business there and, if so, whose approval you might need to obtain. You might also see if there are any chances of partnering up or collaborating with any local businesses, apartment complexes, or neighbor committees that would help advertise your pet care services. While there are many ways to get involved, this might mean you offer residents of a specific building or management company a discount on your services. Or, if you partner up with a committee to arrange a charity or auction, perhaps you include a gift card or voucher for a month’s worth of walks. Not only is this a great way to introduce potential clients to your company, but many local organizations would leap at the opportunity to support a local business, especially if they think it will be a great boon to the lives of their customers and residents.
You could also approach some of your more established clients to see if they would be able or willing to post flyers for your pet care business in the breakroom of their workplace or the lobby of their apartment building. While many clients are already happy to recommend their favorite pet care service to all of their neighbors, friends, and family, you could also consider offering them a discount in return for doing so or offer them credit for every lead or referral you onboard that results from the flyer they’ve posted as an added incentive.
Wherever you choose to hang your flyers, ensure you have the necessary approval and have gone through the appropriate channels before posting them anywhere. This way, you can be confident you won’t encounter any problems in the future and won’t run the risk of losing out on new leads or potentially ruining opportunities for yourself with other local business owners.
Growing your pet care business can feel daunting sometimes, and finding new ways to market to prospective pet parents in your area can take a bit of time and effort. Advertisements through social media are beneficial, but managing multiple online ad campaigns can quickly become stressful and expensive, which is why offline marketing options are a great option.
As we have reviewed in today’s lesson, flyers are one of the best analog marketing techniques when it comes to promoting your pet care business. They’re an excellent way to reach new clients due to their eye-catching design elements, their ability to attract local pet parents with strategic enough placement around your neighborhood, and the fact that it is relatively inexpensive to produce them in bulk. By employing great attention to detail in your flyer’s copy and layout, getting creative with advertisement opportunities, and investing in the proper materials for professional printing, you’ll have a beautiful poster for your pet care business that will have clients flocking to your business!