According to APSE member Sandra Lindstedt of The Pet Nanny of Trinity and Piper’s Pet Sitting Service, Panache Vue magazine is delivered to homes within her service area valued at $400,000+ and is geared towards professional women. (Talk about knowing your target market!)
This is especially exciting since after having advertised in the upscale publication twice before, Sandra was recently given the opportunity to write an article for Panache Vue to further her pet sitting business publicity campaign.
While placing ads in a magazine could have its own set of positive returns, you can’t argue the fact that a 350-word article written by you (and one that did not cost you a penny to have published) would have an even greater return.
The reason a printed article will have significantly more impact than a display ad is because of ‘borrowed credibility.’
It’s known that practically anyone can pay to have their ad printed in a magazine or newspaper, but when you are given the chance to write an article, the implication is that the magazine or newspaper itself is saying, ‘We think this person is an expert on this topic!’
That’s borrowed credibility. Without explicitly saying so, the assumption is that the publication is vouching for you and giving you credit for your expertise.
~Pet Sitting Business Overview~
Name: The Pet Nanny of Trinity / Piper’s Pet Sitting Service
In Business Since: 2007
Serves: Trinity, Florida and surrounding areas
Offers: Dog walks, pet sitting, overnight care, pet taxi and errand service
5 Questions With Sandra Lindstedt
1: So how exactly did the opportunity come about to write this article for Panache Vue?
The article was actually my idea. I’ve always wanted to write for a magazine/small publication and they were the first to agree to it.
A couple years ago I called the publisher who does a lot of the HOA newsletters and asked for their rate sheet. Once I received that I ran an ad in the least expensive of the options that was in my service area then inquired about writing an article.
They told me that they did offer up space when available (no mention of cost but I bet there was some) and I asked them to add me to their list of businesses that were willing to write but I didn’t hear back. I followed up once but it was a dead end. I should have continued but it got put on the back burner as so many things do!
Last September while I was at my local florist I met the editor of a brand new local home magazine. They are Panache Vue’s primary competition and this editor was also co-founder/co-editor of a different home magazine along with the editor of Panache Vue. They had a falling out, closed that business then each of them created their own home magazine. No love lost there!
We chatted and she gave me her business card and told me that they really wanted to have a great pet section so she was excited to have me write. I was going on vacation the following week so I said I’d call her in a month which I did. I didn’t hear back from her so I emailed but no luck. I visited their website and completed a form asking for their media kit.
It took 6 MONTHS to receive it. I’d still love to write for them but their complete lack of communication is not appealing to me.
Fast forward to last December when I found a local dog biscuit business and bought lots of treats for clients. One of the owners also worked at Panache Vue part time in sales and he pitched advertising. I told him that I would love to place some ads as long as he gave me a deal on ad space and let me write an article. Easy sale!
So that’s my long answer to your question. :-)
2: Do you consider yourself a writer? I know that many pet sitters may feel that they could never write an article because they might not know what to say. What would you tell them?
I’ve been wanting to write a pet-related article for a couple years. I approached 2 other local magazine/newspapers and their response was along the lines of “When we have space we do allow written submissions” but that was pretty much the end of the story.
I’ve never taken writing classes or anything like that but I guess it’s been a secret “dream” of mine.
The article I wrote for PV was not lengthy and didn’t take much time to write. I think almost anyone could write something as long as they write about something that they’re passionate about; that’s when the words come easily.
If a pet sitter is approached by a newspaper, magazine or other publication to write an article my advice is “Say yes NOW and worry later”. :-) Truly, if you love pets (or gardening or children or volunteer work or whatever), the words will come to you. They may not come fluidly but with a bit of work and proof reading, you CAN write a quality article that people will want to read.
3: What kind of feedback have you received so far from this?
The current issue of Panache has been out a couple weeks and I did get a couple calls from new clients right off the bat. It’s ironic because I had placed half page ads in the previous two editions but unfortunately I didn’t receive any calls.
While I realize that pet sitting is one of those things that people need “down the road instead of right now”, I was pleasantly surprised to find that having my name, picture and article in print seems to make my service more appealing to reader/potential clients.
The magazines’ media person posted on my Facebook page that it was a timely article given the above normal, deadly temperatures that much of the US is currently facing.
4: What did you learn from this experience?
Take risks and keep trying. If you want something and someone tells you no, try again or ask someone else. Persistence and professionalism pay off! I hope that my ads and the article are just the first step to being in print in the future.
5: What final advice would you give to pet sitters who would love the additional exposure like you received?
Get your name seen by as many people as possible; get yourself “out there”. It doesn’t matter what you do, but get your name out in the community. Some things don’t take much time or money but the positive feedback and repercussions from what you do can have such a dramatic impact on how people perceive you and your business.
Did you enjoy this member spotlight? Are you inspired? Do you have a question for Sandra?
Leave a note in the comment section below.