Welcome to Wear Wag Repeat Episode 44: Marketing Your Pet Industry Business with Mikaela Vargas of Pet Marketing Unleashed. On this episode, we’re talking all about online marketing for your pet industry business. I’ve talked a lot about email lists on other episodes (like this one with Kelsey from Barklyn Grace), but we’re diving into it again since it’s so important for your growth! We also talk about creating a positive mindset and how that can have an impact in your business – community over competition, ladies!
Marketing Your Pet Industry Business
Mikaela Vargas is the owner and founder of Pet Marketing Unleashed, a pet business marketing company serving Petpreneurs from all over the world. Specializing in web design and content writing, Mikaela helps pet businesses with their social media, emails, blogs, and websites, while coaching even more business owners on how to unleash their pet biz profits through online marketing!
She is also the host of the Facebook group, Unleashed Petpreneurs, an amazing online community filled with other pet industry professionals looking to upscale their marketing! In her free time, she enjoys snuggling with her terrier, Wilson, eating all the chips & salsa, and walking along the beach in sunny San Diego.
(00:29) Introducing Mikaela Samuels of Pet Marketing Unleashed
(01:55) The unconventional way Mikaela started Pet Marketing Unleashed
(07:03) Advice for new pet business owners
(11:13) A book that changed the way Mikaela works
(12:33) Marketing insights for pet business owners
(15:26) Why email marketing is a non-negotiable
(19:20) Mikaela’s 2019 marketing predictions – listen up!
(22:55) A way to track your growth
(29:13) Where to find Mikaela Samuels of Pet Marketing Unleashed
TORI: How did you get started with Pet Marketing Unleashed?
Mikaela: Obviously, I’ve always loved animals and I knew that I wanted to work in some sort of animal-related capacity. I got my degree in marketing and actually worked part time at a pet resort. But what inspired the creation of Pet Marketing Unleashed was actually when I was diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia. I was working at a data job and had no sense of purpose. So as I recovered, I started browsing the Internet and figuring out, “Okay, well what do I do?” So I actually found a business coach and she just absolutely changed my life. From there, we figured out to combine my marketing experience with my love for animals. As I was recovering from these surgeries, Pet Marketing Unleashed was born.
TORI: What is your best marketing advice for someone who wants to start their own pet business?
Mikaela: As business owners, we feel like we need to be posting, constantly needing to be on every single platform and be 100 percent perfect. But take a step back, pick one or two things that you can really focus on in the beginning at least and kind of go from there. Figure out where are your ideal customers. If it’s pet service industry, maybe it’s blogging and facebook or for ecommerce, maybe it’s Pinterest and Instagram. So focusing on one or two platforms at a time and build from there. Make sure to consider your time constraints as well.
TORI: Is there anything specific that pet businesses should do with their marketing that other industries don’t?
Mikaela: Well the pet industry space has probably more unique opportunity for partnerships than others. Partnering up with rescues and shelters and using that for your business is great not only as a way to mesh with your community, but also getting your name out there. Obviously in the pet space, we would love to see more animals get adopted. But even something that a lot of people don’t think about is partnering with your competitors.
So for example, if you are a dog walker partnering with another dog walker or pet sitter. You may be sick so you can have someone to kind of help you out in that sense. So if you do high energy pack walks and then someone else kind of focuses more on like older animals, that’s how a referral system can get built. Those sort of partnerships are even more powerful – being able to refer to your competitors is something that a lot of people respect and vice versa. So it works out really well.
TORI: How important is a email list for a pet business? What can a business email about?
Mikaela: It’s actually something that I’m definitely pushing more this year. At the end of 2018, I actually sent out a feedback survey to my audience and I asked if they had an email list or if they wanted one. The feedback was a whopping 60% or 70% said they did not have an email list, but wanted one. So there’s kind of this gap where people are starting to realize that you should do email marketing, but they’re still not doing that.
Everyone just says, “Okay, I’ll post on Facebook and that’s good enough.” But at the same time, email lists are something that you own. You own your list and to actually be able to directly reach them in their inbox is very powerful.
TORI: What are your 2019 marketing predictions?
Mikaela: Actually through my own research and my clients experiences, I think there’s going to be definitely a lot of changes this year in terms of platforms. I would say Facebook is becoming less popular. I’m not talking about Facebook groups or Facebook advertising because that works really well.
This doesn’t mean leave Facebook – it’s still definitely a very valuable platform. But through my research, there’s definitely going to be like a slight decline in terms of growth in organic reach. For Instagram, I’ve noticed definitely there’s going to be more focused on micro influencers who have smaller, more authentic accounts. But I feel like now everyone just says, “No, we want real.” So those smaller accounts are going to be more powerful.
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