How to create and use flyers to attract new customers in your area.
Are you looking to grow your pet sitting or dog walking business? One of the easiest ways to do so is to target potential clients where they live, work, and play. Think about it this way — a potential client is walking to the dog park feeling a little guilty that Fido didn't get any exercise yesterday because they had back to back meetings. As they walk past the community board, they see a flyer for an awesome, local dog walking business. They grab one of the tear-offs, give you a ring, and become a regular, recurring client. Easy peasy!
Using pet sitting flyers is one of the most cost-effective ways you can grow your business and attract amazing new customers! Why? Well, there are four major reasons.
- Cost Effective - Flyers are relatively inexpensive to produce, making them an affordable marketing tool for small businesses, especially dog walkers and pet sitters.
- Targeted Advertising - You can put your flyers in specific areas where your target audience is likely to be found, such as pet stores, veterinary clinics, and dog parks.
- Customizable - You can design your flyers to reflect your brand and include information about your services, pricing, and contact details. You can also customize your flyers for different events or times of the year. Want to get a few extra clients for the holidays? Tailor your flyers for that!
- Tangible: Unlike digital marketing materials, flyers are physical items that people can hold onto and refer back to when needed. They are also "local" which is a huge selling point for choosing a pet sitting business instead of an "uber for dog walking" company.
When thinking about using flyers as a marketing channel — there are three steps to take.
- Designing Your Flyer
- Planning Where To Put Your Flyers
- Printing/Preparing Your Flyers
Designing Your Flyer
It's important to make sure your flyer is both professional and appealing to your potential new clients. Many flyers also include a "tear-off" section at the bottom where a client can tear off your contact information. There are lots of great tools out there that can help you design a great flyer. These can be as simple as Microsoft Word or Google Docs — no need to go crazy, but you do want something that looks professional. If you are looking for a tool with some more design chops — you can take a look at Canva. Canva has lots of great tools for businesses to help them quickly and easily create professional-looking graphics. It's an excellent choice for projects like logos, social media images, brochures, and, of course, flyers. Here is what using Canva looks like:
Canva also provides lots of templates and inspiration. It may take a couple tries to create the perfect flyer, but keep in mind that your flyers should appropriately represent your business. Definitely take your time here to make sure you get it right.
What to include on your Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Flyer:
Like with many elements of starting a business, it's usually best to keep it simple. Make sure all the information on your flyer is easy to read — make it extra easy to see how to connect with you to book services.
All you really need are a few basics:
- Name of your business and logo - This one is straightforward.
- A catchy headline - Your headline should grab the pet parent's attention and make them want to learn more about your services. Some examples of catchy headlines include: "Need a Pet Sitter? We've Got You Covered!"; "Going on Vacation? Let Us Take Care of Your Furry Friends!"; or "Don't Leave Your Pets Home Alone - Hire a Professional Pet Sitter!"
- What services you provide - Be sure to highlight your primary services like dog walking, overnights, cat sitting, etc. It's also helpful to be specific about what sets your services apart from others, such as your experience with certain breeds or your flexible scheduling options.
- What area you service - If you only service a small part of the city, be sure to make that clear.
- How to contact you - Be sure to include your phone number, email, website, etc. You may also want to include links to your social media profiles here.
- An eye-catching graphic or illustration - Great pictures can help make your flyer much more visually appealing. This is easy to add through a site like Canva if you don't have any great images you want to use.
- A Call-to-Action - Encourage your potential clients to take action by including a call-to-action (CTA) on your flyer. Some examples of great CTAs include: "Call us today to schedule a free Meet & Greet!"; "Visit our website to learn more about our services!"; or "Don't wait - book your pet sitting services now!"
- Optional: QR code to your website - A QR code makes it easy for anyone to open a QR scanner and instantly visit your website without typing in the web address. Hubspot has a great guide to help you easily create a QR code for your website.
The design should reflect your personality and business, so have fun with it!
Planning Where To Put Your Flyers
After you have designed your flyer, it's important to think about where you are going to display them. There are two primary considerations here. First, where are the best places to put your flyers? Secondly, do you have permission or need to get permission to place your flyers there?
Let's tackle the first question. The best place to put your flyers are where your clients live, work, and play. Most importantly, you want to get as many people who are actual pet owners to see your flyer. So, where are these people?
As we mentioned earlier, the dog park is a great place to start. Many dog parks will have a community board explicitly designed for people to put up flyers or notices. If there are popular walking trails in your area that have dedicated spots for flyers, you should absolutely hang a few flyers there.
Are there any businesses in your area that allow local businesses to place flyers (like a vet, a coffee shop or a pet supplies store)? You can call around to see if there are any opportunities to put up flyers. How about apartment complexes or neighborhood centers? These are some of the best places to put up your flyers. Think about that big bulletin board in the lobby of apartment buildings. It's also a great idea to pin a couple of business cards to those bulletin boards for people to take and share. Having a few business cards on hand comes in handy — especially when you find a great local place to advertise but don't have any flyers with you.
When considering all of the places where you can put up flyers, it's important to make sure that you have permission to put your flyers there. Most "community boards" allow anyone to put flyers up. Businesses or communities may require approval before you can put up a flyer. It's always better to be safe than sorry, so if you are unsure, just ask. Most businesses and communities are more than happy to support a local business that provides an excellent service to its customers and residents.
Printing/Preparing Your Flyers
Now that you've got awesome flyers and a plan to put them up around town — the easy part is printing and preparing your flyers. If you've got a reliable color printer at home — you can definitely print them there. If not — check out Staples, Office Depot, the UPS Store, or even your local library to print your flyers. Canva also provides a great printing service!
If you've created "tear-off" flyers, be sure to cut the sections to make sure it is effortless for a potential client to tear off your contact info.
Lastly, be sure to check in on your flyers regularly. If they are weather-worn or don't have any tear offs left, be sure to replace them