Wonder whether LinkedIn could work for your pet business?
Maybe you’ve heard of it but don’t have a clue how to use it?
Or – and this is sooo common – you’ve dismissed it thinking ‘LinkedIn isn’t for pets!’
It can seem scary adding another social channel string to our bow as a small business.
So that’s why I spoke to the Queen of LinkedIn, Helen Pritchard, to find out how you can use it to attract clients and make sales in your pet business.
Helen has helped thousands of small business owners master LinkedIn through her free five day challenge and Mastermind programme.
She shares how to apply her success formula to the pet industry, from blinged up Chihuahuas to becoming the most sought after pet professional in your town.
You can listen in to her advice on the player link below or continue reading as a blog post.
Helen’s background in social media
Mum of two Helen started her social media journey when Facebook first launched in the UK back in the mid 00s after her marriage broke down.
She’d been working at the council and retrained to be a reflexologist and found social media was ideal for reaching customers.
Helen said: “I found myself in a really tricky place financially when my marriage broke down and trained to be a reflexologist, focusing on the benefits for fertility and pregnancy.
“I felt really isolated but the combination of having a business and focusing on social media to attract clients really helped me.
“Social media gave me connection and community with other people, and I understood that it was not only helping my business but helping me emotionally.”
Fast forward a few years and Helen Pritchard set up her own social media agency
She launched Blue Sky Digital Marketing in Warrington and focused on small business owners who wanted support with social media.
And to find them, she headed over to LinkedIn.
Helen recalled: “My ideal client was there, so I set it up and I was really clear with my message.
“In my profile headine, I said, ‘Helping small businesses in Warrington look better and sell more online.’
“I asked clients to pay £250 a month and I knew if I had ten clients I could start paying back the £90,000 debt that the breakdown of my marriage had left.
“I realised I could make good money at home, enjoy what I was doing and my entrepreneurial journey started.”
Why Helen Pritchard chose LinkedIn
Ten years ago Facebook was around and so was Twitter too, but Helen decided to specialise in LinkedIn because of the simplicity of the platform.
“LinkedIn seemed so obvious and simple,” she explained. “Facebook is quite complex. It’s a long game and there’s a mix of personal and business.
“I use it a lot now but at the time I had no money to learn more and LinkedIn was the easiest place to search for business owners in Warrington.
“They asking for help because I was direct and easy to find. I packaged up an hour with me for £99 to give people expert advice on how to use their own Linkedin to make money.
“I thought I would sell a few but I sold hundreds! That’s when I quit working for clients at my agency started the Mastermind group.
“I give away my expertise freely and that’s what’s made me successful, because it works if you do the work.”
So what’s Helen’s advice for pet professionals on LinkedIn?
Helen’s first piece of advice is to get out of the mindset that your ideal customer isn’t on LinkedIn.
She says: “There’s 650 million people on LinkedIn and I’d say 50 per cent of them have a pet or know someone who does, they are potential clients.
“From a local provider for service providers like a dog walker, LinkedIn will work so well for you.
“The biggest problem dog owners have is the guilt.They’ve been at work all day, they come home and have to walk the dog and it’s a chore. So you’re providing a service to help them.
“Focus on the way that your ideal client feels, so you can provide a solution to them.
“You could put yourself on there and say ‘helping busy execs enjoy every minute with their dog minus the guilt’ and put your prices!”
Helen says the method can work with products too, using a luxury, bespoke Chihuahua accessory as an example.
She said: “You could focus on high profile execs in London and write your bio as, ‘Helping high flying execs in the city have the most show stopping tiny dog outerwear for the season.’
“Accompany this with information about being a city exec and images of well dressed people with their dogs in the city.
“With your content, make it for one sort of person with one type of pet, for example, wealthy owners who have tiny dogs with big personalities.
“It’s never about LinkedIn, it’s about the change and the impact and the value that you’re delivering for people, which has a ripple effect and all the different areas of their life.”
Who should you connect with on LinkedIn?
Helen’s advice is to look for large pet brands, their staff, influencers, organisations and events to get your name out there.
She said: “Follow businesses on LinkedIn and the people that work for those businesses, so for example Crufts and then anyone who works there.
“Plus all pet magazines and everyone who works there. Target events, trade organisations and connect with journalists too, be supportive of them and let them be interested in you.
Should we talk about our pets on LinkedIn?
If you’ve been worried about talking about your pet on LinkedIn, Helen’s advice is to stop and start posting about them!
She said: “LinkedIn is just a tool, there’s no rules. Post whatever you want. Create your own audience of ideal clients you can post content that you know they will be interested in.
“Running a pet business is a gift because everyone loves animals and people will spend so much money on their pets. Animal posts perform higher than all other posts.”
So what can you talk about on LinkedIn?
Helen’s advice is to talk about your business, why you do what you do, and why you’re passionate about it.
“Don’t be scared of LinkedIn. It’s a goldmine,” she said.
“Plus your competitors most likely won’t be on LinkedIn as they most likely feel like it’s not the place for them.
“This will give you a first mover advantage and access to people who have never seen someone on LinkedIn doing the same.
“When you do something different to everyone else you will get better results!”
How you can learn more from Helen Pritchard
Helen has a free Facebook community where she helps thousands of business owners learn how to get the most from LinkedIn.
She has a Mastermind with her signature LinkedIn 12 week programme, create your own ‘£99 thing’, and her LinkedIn bootcamp course.
This is £1997 (correct at time of publication) and you can pay £997 up front and the remaining £1000 when you have made that money back from LinkedIn.
You can find out more here: https://getleadsfromlinkedin.com/evergreen/
Plus Helen has tonnes of free resources on her website, from videos showing you how to write your headline to podcast episodes.
Helen says: “I give a lot away for free because it’s what works for my business, the version of me ten years ago wouldn’t be able to afford the programmes.
“The people who are ready to invest fund the business helping those who aren’t quite ready and are unable to invest that kind of money.
“It creates this great community feeling and an ecosystem of paying it forward.”
Where can you find out more about Helen?
Free LinkedIn Marketing Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/groupforlinkedinmarketing
If you found this podcast helpful you might like to read How to take the pain out of content planning for your pet business with Janet Murray, Getting started with Google Analytics with Vicki Jakes or Facebook Ads made easy with Jo Francis