How my local newspaper gave my pet sitting business some free advertising
A Press Release and Three Parrots!
Last week I wrote about three of my past parrot clients - Kiwi, Paco, and Oliver and the one-sided love affair between Kiwi and Paco. I promised you that this week I'd tell you about my newspaper appearance with this feathery trio.
I'm sharing this for the benefit of all the pet sitters out there who don't think they can get free promotions for their businesses.
This is one way it happened for me:
I sent a press release to my local newspaper and it was either to announce that one of their local pet sitters (me) attended a national pet sitting conference or received an award (from NAPPS) at the conference. At this point, I don't recall the exact topic.
After a few weeks, I didn't hear from the newspaper so I gave them a call to inquire if they were going to print my press release or not. (Tip: pet sitters, you have to be proactive and persevere, but polite, when promoting your business.) Surprisingly they told me that they were holding it for now because they were thinking of doing a feature article on me and my business.
As you can imagine, I was thrilled. I was imagining at the most it would be a one-column article down the side of a page.
A while went by and they contacted me. They wanted to see me "in action" with some of my pet clients, take photos, and interview me. It was a tough choice of who to pick because I loved all my feathery and furry friends a lot. Then I thought of Kiwi, Paco, and Oliver - the subjects of last week's blog.
I ultimately chose the parrots because they were beautiful, exotic, and would probably make a colorful photo for the paper and they had a lot of personality.
I contacted my client and asked if she'd be okay with it and she was very happy that her parrots would be featured in the paper. In gratitude, I gave her a free pet visit for the next round of pet sitting. It was a win-win for all.
Then, the article was published. It started on the first page and was continued to about 2/3 to 3/4 of another page! I was overwhelmed and thrilled.
Who would have thought such a wonderful thing would happen? Certainly not me! The result was a boost to my business reputation and some new clients.
My point to pet sitters is to always think creatively. Getting the word out about your business doesn't need to cost a lot of money, and sometimes it is free. Also, clients who value your business are usually more than happy to put in a good word for you or do things like this kind family did and let me come into their home with a newspaper reporter and photographer.
Kiwi, Paco, and Oliver will always have a special place in my heart for many reasons. I still have the newspaper article in my file and come across it every so often. It makes me smile.
Most things about pet sitting make me smile. As Martha Stewart would say, "It's a good thing."