18 replies
I will be starting my dog training business in a few months. I am working on an USP and stumped. My target market is families for the family dog private lessons and I will donate 10% of my sales to local dog rescues. In addition, I am thinking that I might use my four children on the marketing material. They are 15, 14, 10 and 4.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
#dog #trainer #usp
  • Profile picture of the author Peter Lessard
    just speak directly to the problems that people need solved and re-enforce you are like them. you have a life, love your pet, love your kids and your pets are important members of your family and deserve some guidance just like all family members.

    Very easy to target locals in the right demographic with pets on facebook with sponsored ads. Once you solve a few peoples/pets problems you can use them as sponsored stories etc..

    lots of dog training companies look very corporate or for defense so you should be able to do well with a personal touch. Build out a nice personal site, use pics, use social marketing etc...

    fun business to build, enjoy and good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author jrobconsult
      Originally Posted by plessard View Post

      just speak directly to the problems that people need solved and re-enforce you are like them. you have a life, love your pet, love your kids and your pets are important members of your family and deserve some guidance just like all family members.

      Very easy to target locals in the right demographic with pets on facebook with sponsored ads. Once you solve a few peoples/pets problems you can use them as sponsored stories etc..

      lots of dog training companies look very corporate or for defense so you should be able to do well with a personal touch. Build out a nice personal site, use pics, use social marketing etc...

      fun business to build, enjoy and good luck.
      All the franchises have a corporate look.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmericanMuscleTA
    What are some ideas you've already come up with??

    Using your children might be a good idea. Have a picture of them playing with the family dog, laying and cuddling on the dog, etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author jrobconsult
      Originally Posted by AmericanMuscleTA View Post

      What are some ideas you've already come up with??

      Using your children might be a good idea. Have a picture of them playing with the family dog, laying and cuddling on the dog, etc.
      Here are some of the things I will be doing besides what I mentioned.
      1. Will train vet & office manager's dog for free. Will give a referral of $20 for new customers/ The vet may not be interested, but his employees that is a nice little bonus for little work.
      2. I am researching for my book currently and will give away plenty of free copies, plus sell some on Amazon for social proof.
      3. Will do some volunteer work at local dog rescues. Will them them about the 10% donation and will offer do a free class for some of the adoptions.
      4. Have some contest software where people get entries for every action, they do such as sending a message on Twitter or Facebook. I will be pushing my contest to win free training and some other prizes.
      5. Will send an EDDM to selected area, promoting my contest and dog training tips on one side and promoting my restaurant marketing co-op on the other.
      6. Will use social media to promote on my other sites promoting to win restaurant gift cards.
      There is more, but I am still working out the details.

      I have three dogs, so it makes for an interesting assortment of pictures with the kids.
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      • Profile picture of the author AmericanMuscleTA
        Originally Posted by jrobconsult View Post

        Here are some of the things I will be doing besides what I mentioned.
        1. Will train vet & office manager's dog for free. Will give a referral of $20 for new customers/ The vet may not be interested, but his employees that is a nice little bonus for little work.
        2. I am researching for my book currently and will give away plenty of free copies, plus sell some on Amazon for social proof.
        3. Will do some volunteer work at local dog rescues. Will them them about the 10% donation and will offer do a free class for some of the adoptions.
        4. Have some contest software where people get entries for every action, they do such as sending a message on Twitter or Facebook. I will be pushing my contest to win free training and some other prizes.
        5. Will send an EDDM to selected area, promoting my contest and dog training tips on one side and promoting my restaurant marketing co-op on the other.
        6. Will use social media to promote on my other sites promoting to win restaurant gift cards.
        There is more, but I am still working out the details.

        I have three dogs, so it makes for an interesting assortment of pictures with the kids.
        Looks like you have this planned out pretty well.

        I was going to say not to use EDDM for the dog training (because you can buy a list of dog owners), but... since you're doing a restaurant marketing co-op it works!!
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        www.DukeOfMarketing.com
        www.BibleAndFriends.com

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        • Profile picture of the author jrobconsult
          Originally Posted by AmericanMuscleTA View Post

          Looks like you have this planned out pretty well.

          I was going to say not to use EDDM for the dog training (because you can buy a list of dog owners), but... since you're doing a restaurant marketing co-op it works!!
          I am going to test a list of dog owners also to see the response rate.
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  • Profile picture of the author isaacsmithjones
    You've already told us your USP... As plessard said, many dog trainers seem corporate...

    And looking at everything you've said, it seems like you have your ideas all there, but you just don't know how to articulate them.

    It seems as though you're all about family and community. So not only will it be easier for you to sell yourself to potential customers, but it will also be easier to sell yourself to potential partners.

    If you're donating a percentage of your sales to local dog rescues, go and have a chat with the dog rescue managers. Get them to give out some of your fliers, or put up some posters.

    You could even write a short dog training guide, and get the dog rescues to distribute it for you, or stock them at the reception desk/waiting room etc. So the people who visit the rescues will know who you are. So as soon as they have a problem with their dog, you'll be the first person they'll call.

    Do the same with vets, and other dog-related businesses. You can even get the local vet to read through your book, and endorse it for you. You can put a quote from the vet on the front of your booklet.

    Talk about social proof!

    I really can't help it... But I tend to get carried away with my posts... So I'm just gonna carry on through the funnel.

    So once people have read your book... Have the book encourage them to visit your squeeze page, to get monthly dog training tips.

    Then you can build up your list organically, and it will keep you in the forefront of people's minds if their dog ever plays up. Encourage people to engage with you. And keep your newsletter light-hearted and family themed.

    Encourage them to engage with you, and send in their own questions. You can be like a dog agony aunt/uncle =)...

    Anyway... You seem like you're already going in the right direction, and I'm sure you'll get more useful info from other warriors.
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  • Profile picture of the author missmiss
    I'm a sales rep girl here. If I had to sell this. Given just these 2 facts

    "My target market is families for the family dog private lessons " in San Antonio

    I'd market it as "Stop Your Dog From Getting Hit By A Car".

    Details
    - Pet is like a member of the family - your kids will be traumatized from preventable act.
    - Number of dogs hit by cars every year in San Antonio
    - Mistakes happen even if you have a fence
    Well trained dogs don't run into the street and if they do you can stop them with a simple command.

    So I'd go the fear route. Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author redlegrich
    Well the fear route might work, personally I am not sure I would. However, try that and something else. Different ads with different landing pages. Test it and see what works best. Then get another contender.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      Kids can't play with their dog if the dog is not trained and pees all over the house.

      Train your dog, so your kids can spend more time with their pet.

      We house train your dog, your kids are happy.
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      • Profile picture of the author jrobconsult
        Originally Posted by DABK View Post

        Kids can't play with their dog if the dog is not trained and pees all over the house.

        Train your dog, so your kids can spend more time with their pet.

        We house train your dog, your kids are happy.
        Yep, so true. I am really going to push the kid angle.
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    We make dogs so obedient, you'll be sending your kids!
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  • Profile picture of the author Joe J
    Maybe you can talk to a micro-chip installer and get some kind of discount that you can forward to clients. Maybe even get a tracking app designed for it. I'm not sure how any of it works but it's just a thought to start with.
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    • Profile picture of the author jrobconsult
      Originally Posted by Joe J View Post

      Maybe you can talk to a micro-chip installer and get some kind of discount that you can forward to clients. Maybe even get a tracking app designed for it. I'm not sure how any of it works but it's just a thought to start with.
      I am going to look for some partners for joint ventures. Thanks for the suggestion about the micro-chip.
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    Your family friendly dog trainer.
    Your family dog trainer.
    Your family oriented dog trainer.

    Stress that you help the dog become obedient
    to all family members, not just the alpha.
    If that's possible.
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    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

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  • Profile picture of the author Joe J
    How about making a map of all the dog parks or vets or feed supply stores in your serving area with some notes about each, hours, conditions, etc.? With your business info plastered on it of course. And maybe sell some advertising on it too. Or leave out the information and have them refer to your website for it. Be the go-to guy.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      "When your precious pooch absolutely positively has to stop peeing, pooing on the carpet and playing with your shoes, then call in the Puppy Whisperer"

      Best,
      Ewen the sheep whisperer and
      sometimes the female whisperer.
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