Updated: Jan 1
The biggest line item in your side hustle, or any business for that matter, is your marketing budget. So, you want to spend these dollars wisely. The first and best step in your marketing strategy is to identify the target audience for your particular side hustle. For the purposes of this blog post, we will use the pet nail trimming services as our case study side hustle. If you do not know what this dog hustle is all about, check out my pet nail trimming blog post. You want to gain intimate knowledge about your target audience so you know with surgeon precision what advertising media these individuals are most likely to positively respond to. How does your target demographic access information? Will you market to young busy professionals or settled retired individuals? Is your geographic area suburban, urban, or rural? The aforementioned are all just some of the questions to consider in developing your target audience.
Pet Services Is More About Finding Your Profitable Niche Than Finding The Masses
One strategy to identify your target demographic is to create a profile of the ideal clients and see if it matches the reality of your available marketing audience. Do you want clientele that are high-income earners with plenty of disposable cash? Do you live in an area where you have access to this ideal demographic? If not, what steps will you take to gain access? Are you willing to travel and if so how far. Maybe your ideal clientele is young professionals. Ok, Great. How do you access them? …. online, business cards, Facebook, or Instagram?
More specifically focusing on the pet nail trimming service you can drill down on a few niche audiences. You can cultivate a cats-only nail trimming/ vinyl nail cap service. Cat-specific services are hard to come by and you can grow a dedicated clientele by cashing in on creating trusting relationships with the crazy cat ladies in your area. In the dog world, you can focus on short-haired dogs whose main grooming concern is nail care. Remember, pet services are not all about the masses but more about finding a profitable niche.
Now let’s take a look at how different generations access marketing media. This will help you market to a target audience or several target markets. Designing advertisements around the behavioral patterns of people who belong to different age brackets are called generational marketing. We will look at three generations; baby boomers born 1946 to 1964, generation x born 1965 to 1980, and millennials born 1981 to1996. Each generation accesses information and responds to marketing in different ways. The greatest generation, the baby boomers, are very responsive to traditional forms of advertising and are very brand loyal. The implications are that baby boomers are more likely to engage with business cards, flyers, brochures, direct mail, print ads, and event (face to face) marketing. Don’t forget word of mouth. This generation is very loyal to good service providers. Therefore, they have the potential to be great clients if you can earn their trust.
Although generation x is the smallest generation, they still have significant buying power. GenX’er are characterized as the rebel generation who have a problem with authority. As a result, X’ers do not respond to ads with an authoritative tone. Instead, they tend to respond to ads that evoke a sense of optimism in what can be accomplished. Due to this generation being greatly affected by the Great Recession, discounts and coupons are effective marketing techniques for this audience. Jena Felsheim in her article Marketing To Generation X, offers up a few more tips for alluring the rebels. She states that they crave context and as such, they consume online and offline information to make informed decisions. According to Jena, they are in the middle of the road responding to traditional ad jus as well as digital ads. In this way, they are the chameleon consumers. Be direct and authentic. Mrs. Felsheim writes, gen Xers grew up in the angst-filled 90s and have an excellent ability to sniff out BS. This means all facts and no fluff.
Baby boomers are outnumbered only by the millennials. This is the first generation that has grown up with a computer their whole lives and is truly the first tech-savvy gen. Millennials are heavy hitters weighing in at 200 billion dollars of buying power. Social media and strong reviews are key components of a marketing campaign aimed at these digital consumers. While loyalty characterizes baby boomers, this opposite is not true for millennials as they are the least brand loyal generation. As a result, you will constantly have to prove your worth. Simply put, your A-game must always be on display in providing service. Millennials will not hesitate to ditch your service if they have a hint of disappointment. So if your clientele is comprised of millennials, expect their presence will not be permanent or long-term, but instead short and revolving. Baby Boomers are likely to stay for years once trust is earned, GenX’ers will leave for a rational reason, however, millennials will leave on a whim. You must always keep a reserve of waiting prospects to replace clients that leave. Above all, try not to take it personally. Millennials, like Gen X, want to feel connected and have a sense of community and purpose. It’s not the service itself but the why behind the service. They want to know how the service will enrich their lives and the lives of their pets. Do you use products that are environmentally sustainable? Are your products organic? Do you provide service in a way that reduces stress? Providing the answers to these questions is essential to the psyche of millennials.
So who is your target audience? The information above will help you formulate a plan of action no matter how you market your services. Baby Boomer, Gen X’ers or Millennials…. this one thing is true; you must have a professional website to build client trust. Let me give you a head start. Below is a list of web hosting, domains, and web building sites. Check them out and start your marketing journey today!!
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About The Author
Daug Grewer, pseudonym, is a certified pet groomer who operates a successful house call pet grooming side hustle housecalldoggrooming.com. Over the past 10 years, Daug has operated several pet-centered side hustles that included a pet sitting business, dog washing service, dog grooming, and cat grooming service. Daug enjoys sharing the wealth of knowledge obtained conceptualizing, developing, marketing, and operating these micro-businesses.