The good news is that our industry is booming right now—pet–focused businesses hit nearly 70 billion dollars in revenue last year, with pet veterinary services claiming $13.5 billion of that. For livestock veterinary service providers, the market made a whopping $27.5 billion1.
Those numbers are impressive and all, but how do you get more clients on the books and paws through the doors? Luckily, opportunity is everywhere!
1. Get Social
This is something you can start today! If you don’t have any social media accounts set up, get it done right now—it only takes a few minutes to get a Facebook or Instagram profile up and running.
We’re lucky to work in one of the easiest industries to market to the public. Who doesn’t love looking at photos of cute animals? Pet photos and videos go viral every day.
Have a particularly cute puppy, bunny or cat in for a check–up? Get their owner’s permission and take some well–lit photos of them enjoying the first-class service you provide. Pop your logo as a watermark on the photo, then post them on your Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter with a few sentences about them.
People love sharing cute (or funny) animal photos and videos online. There’s a huge audience for more ‘exotic’ pets too. So if you get a visit from a particularly friendly snake, turtle or capybara, take a video and share, share, share.
Not only will the owners love all the attention their beloved pets are getting, you’ll get a serious amount of free advertising for your clinic.
2. Update Your Website
In the modern world, having a stylish, responsive and regularly updated website is pretty much non–negotiable.
Your website is your 24/7 salesperson. If you take online bookings, it’s your 24/7 receptionist, too. It’s where people learn about your services and why you’re the best choice for their pet.
When someone’s searching for vet clinics in their area at 3 a.m. in an emergency, they need to have your contact details and address at a moment’s notice.
Your website shows the world how you approach your job, how you view your own services and how seriously you take your customers’ needs. An outdated website says you don’t care. If your website isn’t mobile–responsive, you’re not accessible to the majority of people who now use their phones and tablets to browse the internet.
Not only does it show potential customers you don’t care, a neglected website also performs badly on Google. Google actively penalizes websites that aren’t updated regularly and aren’t mobile–responsive. Why does that matter? People looking for your services on Google won’t be able to find you.
Depending on when you last updated your site, a simple refresh might do the job—or you might need a complete overhaul. If your website has been updated recently, you can keep on top of new additions by adding an event calendar or creating a blog…which brings us nicely onto our next point.
3. Start a Blog
Blogs are a great addition to your website for two reasons:
- They show you off as the expert you are.
- They help Google realize how awesome your website is and you’ll rank higher on their search results.
Good blogs aren’t sales pieces. They aren’t written to sell appointments. They should be focused on sharing your expertise, telling entertaining stories about your experiences and providing practical information.
Nowadays, when someone has a problem, what’s the first thing they do? They Google it. When you blog regularly with helpful, original content, Google will recommend you to people that are searching for the subjects you’re writing about.
Good blog posts offer helpful information that people enjoy reading. When someone enjoys reading your content, they’ll think of you the next time their pet needs medical care.
If you don’t have a blog section on your website already, you should get one as soon as possible.
4. Treats All ARound
Going to the vet is a scary experience for a lot of pets (and plenty of owners too), so why not give them a reward at the end of the visit? Branded promotional products aren’t just for big corporations!
A cost–effective option is a small branded bag of healthy treats with a thank you message attached. There are so many products out there that can be branded with your clinic’s logo— stickers are always a popular choice with kids, and pens are a staple of the branded merch world. You could even make some cloth bandannas for your animal patients to wear!
A simple, small gift can mean the world to a customer and help to make them (and their pets) feel taken care of. If you’re attending a local event, bring some of your branded gifts to hand out—and make sure they all have a business card attached with your number and website address included.
5. Highlight Happy Customers
Word of mouth is everything in this industry. The great thing about being online is being able to promote your business with great reviews to a wider audience.
When you get a good review, promote it everywhere. Use it on your website. Publish it on your social media profiles. One of the most effective ways to sway a potential customer to choose you over your competitor is showcasing glowing reviews from your current customers.
Bonus Tip! Publicly Support an Animal–Related Organization
You started your business because you have a passion for helping animals, so supporting a local (or national) animal care, animal rights or animal-related organization is a great way to show your customers you care.
You can get as involved as you like—whether it’s volunteering for a day or simply sharing social media posts to help a local groomer or animal shelter. Not only will it help their cause, it might also open new partnership opportunities for you.
Our industry is steadily growing and it’s a great time to embrace the opportunities ahead to grow your business. By implementing these tips, you’ll be making serious headway in promoting your practice and getting new paws through your door! +