Anyone can be a trainer. How are you setting yourself apart?
Wondering why the word “trainers” is in quotation marks? That’s because we want to emphasize the fact that anyone can call themselves a dog trainer. There are no regulations in the dog training industry – not even minimum standards that must be met. That means anyone off the street who decides he wants to train dogs can call himself a “dog trainer.” It is unfortunate, but it is true.
When you’re in the midst of starting your own dog training business, there are some ways you can show potential customers that you’re different and can provide more value than other trainers in the area.
Provide (Free) Value
Before bringing a stranger into their home to work with their beloved dog, owners want to know who you are and why you’re better. What better way than to share your knowledge with them? Setting up an email marketing campaign will help you connect with your potential clients by giving them information they need and want. Create a free email newsletter through MailChimp with our tutorial and then get started helping out your clients! The most important part of this concept is to allow customers to volunteer their emails and provide them with information they want – not what you think they ought to know.
Walk a mile in their shoes.”
Provide More Than Your Competitors
Clients are always interested in getting the best bang for their buck. Find ways to provide them more for their money. Here are some ideas:
- Create a special educational email newsletter or ebook just for clients.
- Create follow-up pdf handouts that they can print and tape to their fridge.
- Offer monthly seminars that are 1-2 hours long for a small fee, but that are exclusive for current clients.
- Offer unique services such as training walks or outings for clients who don’t have time to train their own dogs every day.
- Host a monthly or bi-weekly “yappy hour” for clients whose dogs are social.
The possibilities are endless! You just have to get creative. The ultimate goal is to help your human client’s lives return to a peaceful and normal state.
State Your Mission Clearly
As modern dog trainers, you need to make it clear why you’re different from the man off the street who has no education. Make your mission clear on your website and marketing materials. Briefly explain why you became a dog trainer (don’t forget the part about helping families), discuss the science that drives your methods, and share the results your clients have achieved with your training.
Promote the End Result
In the end, clients are looking for training that will fix their problem. If the behavior issue is driving them insane, they are usually desperate to find a quick fix – and we can’t blame them! Everyone gets a dog to improve their lives, not to increase their stress or anxiety. Make it clear that your methods work and share with them the end goal you are looking to achieve. Training can be fun and games, but will it truly help them with their situation in the end.
Bonus Idea: Make a referral program for existing clients. Entice clients to share information about your services to their friends and reward them for promoting your business!