When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them:
"I own a pet business marketing agency"
But what I really want to say is:
“I show dog walkers, dog groomers and other pet care service providers how to overcome marketing overwhelm once and for all - and where they should really focus their time and hard earned cash to generate more sales and get more awesome clients.”
But what I really, really want to say is:
“I’m a total marketing geek. I just can’t help myself - my brain goes into overdrive the second I’m introduced to a new dog walker, groomer or pet store, and I start suggesting how I could improve their marketing and help their business grow.
I have a marketing degree, and I love to research the latest marketing and pet business trends while adding to my massive collection of pet business cards, flyers and brochures. Why? Because the more time I spend geeking out on this sort of stuff, the more marketing KA-POW I can add to my 'done for you' marketing resources for pet professionals.
I'm Linda Liebrand
Bring on Marketing!
I realised I wanted to make a career out of marketing and moved to London and completed a Marketing Communications Degree. Then followed a range of corporate marketing jobs - I worked with big budgets, big brands and prestigious clients. I met celebrities, went to launch parties and had way to much Champagne. It was all very exciting, but in my heart of hearts I missed the nitty and gritty of running a small business and I dreamed of having enough spare time for a dog.
How one tiny puppy showed the way
After a couple of years in the city I decided to take the plunge and finally get a dog whilst thinking about what to do next career wise. My husband and I bought a puppy called Alfie and things have never been the same since.
Our puppy turned out to be an incredibly mischievous one and he needed lots of exercise and training.
I took him for lots of long walks - he was still bouncy and wanted to play at midnight and 6 AM.
I spent a fortune on dog trainers - and somehow the dog still managed to train us to throw the ball on demand.
To capture all the mischief I started a dog blog, took up photography and creative writing. I even wrote a book about a mischievous puppy not unlike mine.
But most importantly, I fell in love with this rascal of a dog, and I just knew that a new job in the city was out of the question. At this point I was loving my new job as a ‘dog mom’ and blogger so much that I didn’t even want to go back what I used to do.
Making Marketing for Pet Businesses My Passion
How the Pet Industry Captured My heart
A good friend of mine who is also a brilliant dog groomer, and an exceptional business woman asked if I could help her out in her doggie spa and boutique during her lunch breaks. I thought it would be fun and said yes – and before I knew it, I had applied all my marketing tricks from working in retail, and corporate marketing to her shop and she started seeing sales go up.
I was applying all my combined skills to her business and I was loving it! I felt like I was in the right place, where I belonged and could make a real difference.
My friend who never misses a good business opportunity quickly promoted me to marketing manager and I got to work. I quickly wrote up a marketing plan for her grooming salon.
Then I had to change and adapt the plan to the actual budget my friend had in mind.
I set up a new website for pet business, and created a brand that looked the same whether our customers looked at a piece of signage, carrier bags or loyalty cards.
Meanwhile I also worked in the shop and welcomed our four legged clients and their parents and made sure they got the right type of haircuts and accessories.
I learned what dog foods are good for dogs with sensitive stomachs, and I learned how to stop a dog from shaking water all over you when you bath them.
I learned how to explain in a nice way why a matted dog would need an all over shave without upsetting the customer.
I learned to quickly mop up little accidents on the floor.
I learned just how complicated it can be to schedule the day for a busy grooming and dog walking business. I was back in a small business, in the pet industry, using my marketing skills and I loved every minute.
But being true to my marketing geek self, I never stopped taking mental notes of what marketing worked, and what didn't - and at the back of my mind, an idea had started to form.
The Idea for My Brand Buddy was Born
What if I could help more small pet service business like dog groomers, dog walkers and pet stores, with their marketing needs?
Could there be a way to make all the marketing and branding strategies I had learned during my years in the city available to smaller independent pet businesses with much smaller budgets?
Could I teach pet business owners how to make their own kick ass marketing campaigns so they don’t need to hire a specialised (and expensive) pet marketing agency?
Of course the answer was yes, and the idea for My Brand Buddy was born! Fast forward a year and our family has relocated to San Francisco in California and as you can see I’ve broken my own promise to myself never to start my own business.
This is one promise I feel good about breaking though - because it means I can help you succeed in your pet business.
I would love to hear how you got started in the pet industry - so leave a comment below!