MARKETING FOR DOG TRAINERS
IN THIS POST
Business v. Personal Pages
Okay, so you’ve been told you can use Facebook to get more clients.
And this year is the year you’re going to finally wrap your head around marketing… and that includes Facebook.
But where should you start?
Chances are you already have a personal Facebook page. So let’s start there…
Personal Profile v. A Business Page
Do you create a new one or build a Facebook business page? What’s the difference?
The short answer is to build a Facebook business page. Using a Facebook Profile for business is a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service.
A business page also comes with several advantages. First, they don’t require people to accept a friend request from a “stranger” — they can just like your page. Second, it gives you access to analytics for the page and allows you to advertise on Facebook if you choose.
And third, it allows you to schedule posts, which can help you build an audience without spending all your time on Facebook…. more on that in a minute.
Facebook Profile v. A Business Page
What to Post (and Where to Find it)
But once you’ve got a page, how do you decide what to post? And how do you get people to ‘Like’ the page?
First, it’s important to note you have a special power when it comes to social media: You train dogs for a living. You get to post dog pics and have it be legit marketing. For real.
So, once you’ve created your page you’ll want to put up a few starter posts, just so that there’s something there to look at for anyone you invite to come like and follow your page.
A few ideas might be pictures or videos of your dogs or your clients dogs doing tricks, blog posts from your website or websites you follow, and information about upcoming classes (and where to go for more information).
Then, once you’ve got a few posts up for people to admire, you can start out by inviting your friends and family to like the page. This can help you get referrals — so don’t hesitate to invite everyone from your great Aunt Matilda to Joe Shmo down the street… you want them to know you’re training dogs for a living so that they can point friends of theirs your way.
But how do you expand beyond your existing network?
Here are a few ideas:
- Follow industry thought leaders and send them an invite. Some may follow you back and/or share your content!
- Like pages of other local dog-related businesses (and rescues!) in your area.
- Share posts from other businesses that your clients (and potential clients) might be interested in or tag them in your posts.
For example, if there’s a new dog friendly restaurant you ate at recently, why not like their Facebook page and tag them in a post raving about how nice it was to eat there with your dog? There’s a good chance they’ll share it, and then their audience will see it — getting your page seen by more people in the area.
The Next Challenge: Not Letting Facebook Rule Your Life
Once you’ve got things started, it’s very easy to get sucked into the Facebook Vortex, spending more and more time on Facebook until you feel like all you ever do is think about post ideas…. or to forget to update your page at all, making having a page pointless.
I have a trick I use to achieve a nice balance.
I dedicate a small chunk of time one day each week (usually for me it’s about an hour or two on Sunday) to setting up posts for that week in Facebooks Business Page Scheduler.
To make creating posts easy peasy, I use 2 tools that I highly recommend.
The first is Pablo. Pablo is a tool created by Buffer (another tool I use, though not for Facebook, since Facebook penalizes you for using a third-party tool to schedule updates). Pablo makes it easy to create social media images that you can share directly to your page (or schedule to go out during the week).
It comes pre-loaded with a ton of images that you’re allowed to use, or you can upload your own.
Pablo, a tool created by Buffer, lets you easily create images to share on social media.
Screenshot of Pablo.buffer.com.
Feedly.com can help you quickly find posts from your favorite sites to share on your Facebook page that week.
Screenshot of my Feedly.com account.
The other tool I use is called Feedly. Feedly is a blog RSS reader. What that means is you can take blogs from all over the web, save them in feedly, and anytime you go to check your Feedly site, it’ll show you any posts any of those blogs have published since you were there last.
I have an exhaustive list of dog training blogs saved in my Feedly.com account so that when I need to schedule Facebook posts I can quickly scan the list, pick a few good posts that I think are relevant, and set them up to go out during the week.
Both tools are free.
How to Use Feedly & Buffer to Schedule Facebook Posts
Using Pablo and Feedly you can schedule a week of posts quickly and easily, so you don’t waste all week on Facebook.
Starting your Feedly.com Account:
Sites to Follow
Since I’m recommending you start a Feedly.com account, I thought it would be helpful to share a few sites I recommend and find that I use often. Below is a short list to get you started!
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below — I’ll get back to you as quickly as possible!