Grow your pet business through in-person networking with Hayley Hilton


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Can you grow a pet service business via in-person networking?

Hayley Hilton, a canine massage practitioner and pet sitter says ‘yes you can.’

Hayley has been in the pet industry since 2014 after she started her own Hotel for Dogs.

Later, she studied to become a massage therapist and wanted to get the word out there in her local community about Hands on Heart canine massage.

While online is often seen as the ideal way to reach people, Hayley went old school.

She joined groups like 4Networking and BNI, and soon built a steady client base and became known as the ‘Canine Massage Lady of the North West.’

Hayley talks about why networking does work, and how by stepping away from the screen you can win clients and make friends too.

Plus how she gets inspiration from her in-person events for her content marketing and the importance of follow-up.

And how being the friendliest person in the room means her name is always on the tip of the tongue of everyone she meets when it comes to caring for dogs.

Key topics and timings in this episode:

0.20 – Introduction and what to expect.

2.15 – Hayley’s background as a Navy reservist.

3.02 – How joining the Navy reserves the day before the September 11th attacks helped her figure out her skillsets.

4.03 – How everything changed in 2014 when she was made redundant from her scientist role, found solace in her pet dog, Lola, and opened the Hotel for Dogs.

5.10 – The Facebook algorithm showed her a course for becoming a massage therapist.

6.06 – How Hayley realised she could help other owners and their pets through massage.

12.55 – How Hayley first got into networking for business.

17.20 – The different types of people you meet networking and how building the relationships is worth it.

25.25 – How Hayley has ADHD and how it affects networking.

30.05 – How networking can lead to referrals of other pet-based businesses.

31.09 – Using in-person to grow an online community.

32.07 – The importance of follow-up – what Hayley learned from Stefan Thomas, the author of Business Networking for Dummies.

33.15 – How to use LinkedIn to grow your online network.

34.11 – How to use social media to show your personal side.

36.26 – How networking has helped Hayley create content to use online.

39.16 – Top tip: Wear your uniform or take your favourite branded mug to an in-person networking event.

42.06 – Why networking can help you with confidence in public speaking.

44.48 – There is always someone in a networking event who can help you with what you need.

46.24 – What Hayley’s business looks like today – mixing dog and human massage with pet sitting.

52.33 – Top three tips for getting into networking.

Want to find out more about Hayley?

Head to her website here:

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Want to listen to more inspiring stories?

The power of building relationships to grow your pet business with Kerry Jordan

What happens when you step out of your comfort zone with Sarah Jones

Why listening to your customers will help your product business thrive with Hayley Bonwick


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