How To Tell Your Story In Your Pet Business’ Marketing
As a pet business owner, you’re not just selling products or services in your marketing– you’re sharing a passion!
The fun part about every pet business is that it has a unique story behind its inception — a tale that can deeply resonate with your customers. The pet industry is emotionally charged simply because there are very few loves that can compare to the love people have for their pets.
With both Valentine’s Day and Love My Pet Day (February 20th) coming in February, you have a perfect opportunity to start sharing your passionate story with your audience and building a lasting connection. Inside the Pet Boss Club®, we asked our members to shine some light on their “why” story.
Why did they start a pet business?
Was there a special pet that inspired them?
Was there a certain event in their life that led them to this passion?
The stories they shared inside our exclusive Facebook group did not disappoint!
My original plan was to finish up 25 years working for the Hilton. But like everything else, our plans are just our plans. We bought a property with an existing kennel building when we moved to Northwest Arkansas (I was still working my regular job). A couple months later our beloved husky (Mushu-San) came down with a rare disease that required him to be taken to Tulsa once a week. My husband and I decided that I stay home to care for him. We just couldn’t get ourselves to let him go. November 2017 is when we decided to open our boarding facility. We named our business after our beloved rescue mastiff Missy Liu (picture attached). Our logo is also her face.” Missy Liu Bnb, Missy Liu’s Bed & Biscuit
My passion started when I worked at Global Pet Food for years and loved their holistic approach to animal nutrition and had my two family dogs who inspired me always. A pug, Voodoo, and German Shepard/golden retriever Freedom. Then fast forward a bit, I’m now a mum of two girls under 4!
I have my own dogs, as my family dogs have since passed and now I have my own special girl, Ruby, my black rescued French bulldog. She’s merely 4 years old and has had epilepsy since 1.5 years old and now she has been diagnosed with cancer. She is my true inspiration behind my business. I started in my bedroom in 2020 making pet related apparel and rope leashes to afford Ruby’s monthly medication.
Then I began to realize going to pet store to find simple treats (without rosemary) is hard. It’s a trigger for Ruby’s seizures. I started making homemade treats for Ruby and when I had small markets local in my town I’d sell them and people LOVED THEM. So in 2022, I began to think about animal nutrition, and how much I wanted to know more.
Fast forward I’m anticipating opening my own holistic pet food and accessory store this year and continue to better myself with animal nutrition. I am doing an online program to also become a certified pet nutritionist. I hope to learn so much on this journey with my Ruby. I want to use her story as my why behind the business and I have also learned lately to slow down and appreciate the now. Don’t worry so much about what is to come, live in the moment, life is too precious to be running through it too quickly!
-Bryanna Maureen Rutledge, Country Hound Pet Boutique
I have always loved animals from a young age. I started working as a professional show entertainment industry trainer as my breakthrough moment. I realized quickly dogs were being treated so harshly with prong, shock, and chain collars, while killer whales, sea lions, and big cats were trained with positive methods. I wanted to share those professional methods with the fam pet and started my company always remembering our mission, which is our heartbeat. “We will constantly grow our ability to provide solutions that will enhance the animal’s quality of life through training and care. We strive to replace harmony in the home and end the solution of relinquishing pets to a shelter. -Elaine Reiter, Wildside Unlimited
After working in veterinary medicine for nearly 10 years I got extremely burnt out. It was really hard to leave because it was my passion to help animals. After leaving, taking a year off, and doing a whole lot of soul searching I made the decision to open a dog boutique! With little to no experience working retail we opened 3 months later! I now have a platform to help pet owners and their dogs in a different way, but feels just as rewarding! -Kirsten Puhr, The NW Dog
“I am a special education teacher and have been for 25 years. I love helping others. I also love dogs and thought I could start an online pet boutique – a place to truly help pet parents. The proceeds will be used to start a dog rescue which is a dream of mine. I would love to bring students to the rescue to help with the dogs which would help both. -Cindy Brown Helling, Pets At Heart Boutique
Do you see how each member’s story is different from the one before, but they also offer similarities and relatability?
Integrating these personal narratives into your marketing strategy can create a powerful connection with your audience. Your story matters, and you can weave it into your brand to engage and inspire!
Why the story behind your pet business matters.
It builds emotional connections with your pet-loving audience.
People love stories, especially those they can relate to. Your journey to starting a pet business may involve a deep love for animals, a desire to improve their lives or a personal experience that changed your perspective on something.
Sharing this creates a bond with your audience, as they see the heart and soul behind the business, and they likely feel many of the same sentiments for their pets. They’re not just another customer buying a product from you. They become part of your success journey and sincerely want to support your efforts.
It helps your pet business’ marketing stand out.
The pet industry is booming AND crowded and your story sets you apart. It’s not just what you sell but the ‘why’ and the ‘who’ behind it that makes your brand unique. You WILL find “your people” if you continuously share your story. Not to mention, once you find your people, they might share your story too! A compelling story is worth talking about and can help strengthen your word-of-mouth marketing game.
It builds trust.
Transparency in sharing your story builds trust. You make yourself more vulnerable when sharing a story with an audience, and the right people will respond in the right way. When customers know your background and motivations, they feel more secure in their choice to support your business, and it humanizes their shopping experience. People want to buy from people they know CARE. Your story will show that you certainly do.
Where to incorporate your story into your pet business’ marketing.
This is where your story can shine! Your story is particularly great for your “About Me/Us” page, but you can use elements of your story throughout your website in general. Share your journey, the challenges you faced, and what inspired you to start your business. Let your passion and personality come through. Make sure to relate your story back to your customer! How will your experience help THEM?
On Social Media.
Share snippets of your story on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and beyond regularly. Regular posts about your experiences, throwbacks to your beginnings, and personal insights can make your brand more relatable, and it’s the heart-tugging content that will encourage your followers to stick around.
Share longer pieces of your story or specific experiences in blog posts. Include lessons you learned and tips that tie back to your experiences.
Example: You tell a story about your dog who required a very specific diet after battling with some health issues. This led you down the road of animal nutrition, and you started your business as a result. Share what you learned about what is LACKING in animal nutrition and how you’re on a mission to fill that gap. Share tips for how pet parents can assess their own pet’s nutritional needs.
Personalize your newsletters with updates about your journey, milestones, and stories that highlight your brand’s values. Include your story in your welcome sequence, so when someone new gets on your email list, they’re automatically introduced to your “why.” Continue telling stories in your emails when you can! It creates a more engaging email experience vs. just browsing what you have for sale (but you can tie that in too!)
Packaging and In-store Experience.
Yes, this makes for the ULTIMATE personalization in your branding. Include elements of your story in packaging design or in-store displays. Even a small note about why you started can make a huge and unique impact!
One big fear we see with many pet business owners is that telling their stories is “too much” or being “too repetitive.”
There is no such thing.
Marketing your growing business actually requires repetition. Studies show that a consumer must be exposed to something at least seven times before they’ll remember it, and with how much content is being consumed on a daily basis, that number will likely continue to grow. Don’t be afraid to talk about why you want to help your customer and their pet. You have the best intentions behind sharing and building your business, and you have to be repetitive about sharing it in order for your people to find you.
At Pet Boss Nation®, our CEO, Candace D’Agnolo, shares so many stories from her journey of owning multiple pet businesses, selling them, and starting Pet Boss Nation®.
Here are a few podcast episodes where you can hear parts of Candace’s overall story and some more specific stories she’s shared along the way:
So go ahead, Pet Boss. TELL your story. It’s a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal and will bring authenticity, connections, and depth to your pet business. You are not just a pet business owner. You’re a fellow pet lover, a problem solver, and a trusted friend in the eyes of your customers!
Learn more with us!
- Need 1:1 support to make massive action now? Book a discovery call with us to see if working 1:1 with Candace is the right fit for you.