Rover provides you with a set of tools to help you promote your dog sitting business. From social media options like Facebook to advertising platforms like Craigslist, to a Rover Store where you can order custom business cards or Rover shirts, you’ve got some great choices when it comes to gaining new clients. First, we want to share our #1 tip. Beyond that, we asked sitters to share their creative ways to get new clients. Some ideas use items from the Rover store, and some involve homemade crafts or special events. Check ’em out!
1. Create a Custom Promo Code and Profile Link
Sitters and dog walkers who create a profile link and custom promo code are six times more likely to get a booking than those who don’t.
When someone goes to your profile link, creates an account, and adds your promo code, they’ll get $20 toward their first booking—and you’ll still get paid your full rate. Your promo code is only valid for dog owners who don’t have a Rover account yet, and it’s against Rover’s Terms of Service to share it on your profile or in messages on Rover.
Bottom line: Your profile link and promo code are tools for you to connect with clients and meet more cute dogs near you.
2. Bring Business Cards Everywhere
Turns out, the most common promotional strategies we heard involved pet sitting business cards. Taking them to the park, putting them on bulletin boards, and displaying them at apartment front desks were just a few of the ideas sitters shared.
“The pet store is a great way to meet other pet owners. Whenever I go in to the pet store to pick up dog food or supplies, I always bring plenty of business cards.” – Jannine L.
3. Partner with Local Businesses
Many veterinarians, groomers, and pet stores will promote other pet businesses with a display of brochures or business cards. Partnering with a local business to display your business or postcards can lend additional credibility to your pet-sitting service. Many businesses are happy to promote Rover sitters when they learn that stays booked with you are insured.
“I give my card to pet-friendly local businesses (from pet shops to dog-friendly local breweries) so they’re able to make referrals when their customers find themselves in need of a pet sitter.” – MaryJayne Z.
4. Put Up Lawn Signs
Try placing lawn signs near dog parks for major visibility year round.
“I place Rover.com yard signs near entrance gates of all dog parks in my neighborhood and the surrounding area. – Brad S.”
5. Show You’re a Sitter with a Rover Shirt
Rover has shirts for cool or warm weather—and they look good! When someone sees you walking a dog while wearing the shirt, “What’s Rover?” winds up being a great conversation starter.
“When I go for walks with my Rover dogs (or my own), I always wear my Rover dog sitter t-shirt to attract attention. When people comment, I hand them some of my business cards and ask them to let other pet parents know!” – Lesli G.
6. Create a Goodie Bag
Everyone loves presents. Create goodie bags with dog treats, your business cards, and a small toy like a tennis ball. Be sure to include a slip of paper with the treat ingredients for dogs with allergies. You can hand out these little goodie bags at the dog park or local pet events. Or create an overnight bag!
“I visit dog parks with ‘goodie bags’ (dog treats, a water bottle, coupons, a tennis ball, and my Rover business card!) and pass them out to the dog owners. Sometimes I mix it up and put other items in them, but try to keep it cheap!” – Angela B.
7. Style Your Dogs with Rover Bandanas
Some sitters and dog walkers created their own bandanas, and some bought them from the Rover store. You can put them on Rover dogs or your own dogs while out on walks, or send your guest dog home wearing one.
“During a Meet & Greet, I put a bandana on the dog as a sort of gift for the dog. A simple gesture that does not cost a lot but shows the owner a whole lot about how you feel about dogs.” – Louise G.
8. Hit Up Yappy Hours and Puppy Parties
We’re enamored with this idea! Several sitters and dog walkers mentioned dog-friendly restaurants or patios that host a weekly yappy hour. Your dogs can share “pup-tails” while you share business cards. One sitter hosts a puppy party in her own home, and invites clients and their pet parent friends over for homemade treats and drinks.
“I invited people I know, who invited people they know, to bring their dogs to my home last month for a dog party. Each dog got a treat and I was able to tell people I know and people I just met about my dog boarding business. Everyone left with a treat bag for their dog and my business card. Word of mouth goes a long way. I already got two referrals!” -Lenore B.
9. Savings for Shelters
Animal shelters often send newly-adopted dogs home with a care package. It typically includes coupons for dog treats, vaccinations, and groomers. You can share a stack of business or postcards and ask the shelter to include your discount with every adoption kit.
“I work with a number of rescues in our area and whenever they have fundraisers I donate a one week free gift certificate for boarding for their silent auctions. I also attach my business cards to adoption contracts and offer one free day of daycare, or 10% off their first boarding stay.” -Monique J.
10. Thank You Cards
At the end of a stay or walk, nothing makes a pet parent feel appreciated like a hand-written thank you card. You can leave the card on the counter, or put one in the dog’s overnight bag. Include a few business cards for them to share with friends.
“I always leave thank you cards at house calls for the owner when they return. It helps to have stationary with your business logo and/or contact info as well! In the envelope, leave a couple business cards.” -Rachel S.
Just like anything else, learning how to promote your business takes a bit of practice. But once you find some tactics that work for you, it’ll quickly start to pay off. Whether you hand out business cards at the dog park or post your profile on craigslist, you’re putting yourself out there and becoming more visible to pet parents. No matter what your business plan is, you’re ensuring your business thrives—and making new friends along the way.