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Why Instagram Isn’t Getting You More Clients for Your Pet Business

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

If you’re an avid Instagram lover, hang with me for a second. Hear me out before you X out of this page.


If you’re getting dragged down with Instagram burnout, this post is for you. Because I’m RIGHT there with you, my friend.


If you’ve been scrolling the gram lately and seeing other entrepreneurs LITERALLY deleting their Instagram and/or closing down their businesses BECAUSE of the endless stress of producing content after content, it’s because there’s a problem here. And I’m not going to lie and say I’m not dealing with this, too (definitely not closing my business though!). Perhaps this blog is more of a soap box and perhaps it’s not going to be your cup of tea, and that’s okay. I’m still providing you with tangible steps and tips moving forward, but for right now… Instagram is a SERIOUS drag and I’m kind of over it.


Why Instagram Isn’t Getting You More Clients for Your Pet Business _ Pet Marketing Unleashed


So, we’ll get into the reasons Instagram isn’t getting you more clients, but first, I want to put this out there. There is NOTHING wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with your business, your offerings, or your messaging simply because you’re not getting clients from Instagram. You’re not a loser for not keeping up with the trends or posting all the Reels and not becoming viral… whatever it is, you are JUST fine. You are not lacking. You are not less than. You are not a bad writer or photographer or videographer or any of the things you may tell yourself because the ‘algorithm doesn’t like you.’ This has nothing to do with you. It’s Instagram. They’re a business, too, and we’ll get into that below.



The Reasons Instagram Isn’t Getting You More Clients


1. You’re on rented land!


Let’s be real. Instagram doesn’t want anyone leaving their app. The moment you, as a business owner, write content that asks people to go back to your website (which you SHOULD do), your engagement drops. Your Instagram Story views go down. The moment you add a URL to your Story, your views go down. They WANT you to pay for these services (hello Instagram and Facebook Ads), so your viewers and engagement drop substantially when you try to get people off their platform without paying.


Don’t forget, Instagram is a business that’s main priority is to bring in money. You’re not bringing them money if you’re not paying for ads or you’re trying to get people off of their platform.



2. Your website isn’t the best.


If you’re KILLING it on Instagram and you’re doing great at starting conversations and getting people to click on your website, but you’re not making more money as a result, it’s because your website is probably lacking. This is 100% crucial. Instagram can only help so much when you’re leading them to a website that’s not converting or getting them started.


We can help you with that via:



3. You’re putting all your eggs in one basket.


Somehow, Instagram took the cake when it came to marketing. Many business owners are forgetting that there’s more to marketing than posting on Instagram, and they’re neglecting other areas of business that are WONDERFUL for business growth.


In other words, putting amazing posts on Instagram that took you hours is not going to make a difference when your website sucks or you’re not building an email list, etc. Another thing to consider is whether your ideal clients are even ON Instagram FOR the purpose of finding service providers (more on this later).



4. Similarly… you’re not creating content from the right starting place and it’s hurting you.


My advice? Don’t make content specifically for Instagram. Create your content for Google and then repurpose it for your social media platforms. Ultimately, the growth that can come from blog posts or Google rankings is more long-term, evergreen, exponential - whatever term you want to use.


Instagram moves at lightning speed, and your posts are essentially gone in a matter of seconds (Side note: Did you know less than 3% of your followers are seeing your content in the first place? And that’s on the high end.). It’s more important to create evergreen content that can grow with your business over time, and that comes from Google. The largest traffic driver by FAR to my website is a blog post I wrote back in 2018. You’ll never get that from Instagram. Those posts are GONE pretty quickly after posting. Effort GONE. Blog posts stick around over time!


So, how do you do this? Start with keyword research. What is your ideal client searching for on Google? Write helpful and valuable content related to that on your blog. And, if you’re a local business, make sure you’re using that in your content, too (More tips on how to write blog posts inside our Blogging For Your Pet Biz Course - a workshop-style course that provides you with everything you need to know to strategize your blog posts, come up with content ideas, and write them all in LESS time and with MORE purpose!) THENNNNN repurpose it on social media. It will take less brain space, and you already have the content written for the most important place with growth that can take place over time. From there, you share it wherever you want.

blogging for your pet biz course | Pet Marketing Unleashed


5. You’re stressing about staying on top of trends.


If you’re stressing for hours about staying on top of social media trends, STOP. You do NOT have to stay on top of the latest trends to be successful.


I know so many successful businesses out there who do not even use Instagram at all. It’s kind of mindblowing right? But I also kind of love it. Good for them. I tested out going down to only 4 posts per month, and you know what? I’m not losing clients. My business is still growing. Now, I understand my business model is very different from yours (I’m a website designer and you’re a dog walker, pet sitter, dog trainer, groomer, pet photographer - you name it), and maybe you want/need to post a bit more than that. But the reality is that Instagram and social media for businesses have become more of a community relations platform vs. a business sales platform, particularly for service providers. Once you recognize that, you can shift your perspective and time commitment.


Regarding trends… Yes, Reels are so much fun. But think about it. What do you scroll Reels for? Entertainment? Yeah, me too. I’m not on Reels to be sold to. I’m there to mindlessly scroll and be entertained. Honestly, I’m on it to laugh. Not to learn about service providers in my area. Most of the time, Reels are getting more views but not more business (not speaking 100%, but just the reality of the effort-to-win ratio here). So, the hours it takes you to put it together with trending audio and then not get multiple clients from it… Is that worth it to you? Maybe. It’s not worth it to me.



6. You’re not having fun.


If you’re no longer excited about Instagram, stop doing it.


Instead can you:

  • Ask a team member to post occasionally?

  • Schedule your posts a month ahead of time and be done with it?

  • Reduce the number of times you’re posting

  • Only post what feels right/genuine/real/easy/aligned Reshare other people’s content (i.e. showcasing your clients’ posts with their permission)?

  • Research and test whether your business will fail because you don’t post constantly on Instagram. Because I doubt it will.


The number one way to be effective on Instagram is to enjoy being on it in the first place. People can see through it. If you’re posting out of requirement and stuck in burnout, your results will feel it, too. It’s simply not worth it if you hate being on the platform.



7. You’re stuck in consuming content (the scroll) vs. creating content


Hello comparativitis.


Don’t forget, Instagram was created to be an addictive platform. It was created to keep you there longer. So, when you head over to the platform thinking that you’re going to be productive for a few minutes and then you find yourself still scrolling hours later, yea… that didn’t happen by accident.


So, be real about how much you’re consuming content vs. creating content. Consuming content is a total time-sucker, can leave you feeling like you’re behind or not up to the trends, and does not help your business grow! There are apps you can download or settings you can enable on your phone to set timers or alert you to the amount of time you’re spending on the app. But the bottom line is, if you spend most of your time consuming other people’s content, you’re not going to grow your own business.


If you want support with creating beautiful, branded content quickly, check out our Social media graphic templates bundles! With the templates, you'll get access to:

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Social Media Templates for Pet Businesses | Pet Marketing Unleashed


8. Instagram users are likely looking for entertainment, not service providers.


Consider how you use Instagram as a user (not a business owner). When you scroll Reels in the evening or pass lunch by scrolling through your feed, are you there to learn about services others are offering or are you there to be entertained? Honestly, that’s a crucial mind shift to consider when it comes to creating content. We put so much pressure on ourselves, especially when our content doesn’t do well. But perhaps it’s not your content so much as what people are using the platform for.


Again, as I mentioned earlier, the place for Instagram may not be for sales. It’s mainly used for entertainment, community building, and relationships.



What’s Pet Marketing Unleashed’s advice when it comes to Instagram burnout?


Perhaps recalibrate your focus. Can you hire someone if you don’t want to do it? Can you post less? Can you schedule your posts once a month and leave it?


Disclaimer: If you get all, most, or even a decent amount of business leads FROM Instagram, please don’t stop! This post isn’t for you! There are great pet businesses built on community engagement and social media (think… Dogs of Charm City). But, in my experience and with MOST pet industry clients (particularly in the service industry), Instagram isn’t the biggest income generator. It’s word of mouth, referrals, Google searches, Yelp, etc. So, just be mindful of where you’re spending your energy, especially if there’s not much ROI (return on investment).


How do you find this ROI? Here are a couple of tips:

  1. Ask your favorite clients where they found you!

  2. Add the question ‘Where did you first hear about ‘your business name?’ on your website contact form or booking software so you can start tracking where you’re getting clients.


Using this information, you’ll be able to conclude for yourself if Instagram is worth your time and money.


If you need help getting started with your blog, SEO, and boosting website traffic, here are some resources:


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