You love your animals and you want others to love them too, so you decide to promote them on the internet in order to help future doting pet owners or breeders to find you! It is a great idea, especially considering the majority of people search for, and buy, products online. It also means people worldwide can discover the animals and products that your offer.
There are a number of options to get started with online marketing:
Create your own website. This gives you a lot of flexibility as to how and what information you provide - you can include lots of cute pictures and provide regular updates. Having your own website indicates to people that you are serious, professional and committed to your business. The disadvantages are that a website can be costly to set up, and a poorly designed and maintained website can put people off. I think we have all seen websites from people who have 'had a go' at doing it themselves and the results don't paint a positive image! I recommend a professionally designed and maintained website to make a good first impression!
List on an online directory. There are many different breeder directory websites on the internet, most of which you can list on for free, or where you can upgrade to a paid listing type to receive more features. Some people choose to use a paid directory listing as their 'website' as it is a lower cost than creating your own website, the website is maintained by someone else, and the features you receive for a paid listing makes your listing more visible and attractive. Not only that, but directories are often found higher up in internet search results and you will immediately benefit from this, whereas it may take some time for your own website to move up in search results.
Join an Association that adds your details on their website. People browsing the internet often look for indicators that they can trust the information they are looking at. One of the great ways to build trust and credibility as a breeder is to belong to an appropriate club or organisation. Often clubs and organisations will have their own website where they list details of their members.
The biggest key to successful online marketing is to be found in lots of places and to build your 'web presence'. The more directories you list on, the more Associations that promote you, the bigger your website, will all increase the ways in which people find you. It takes a little time, but it is worth the effort when that person who always wanted a pet of your breed turns up with a smile on their face, grateful that they found someone that had just what they were looking for!
Ron Schepers is the designer and owner of www.breeder.directory, an international breeder directory covering everything from Stick Insects to Clydesdale Horses. Visit the website to add your listing.