Case Study: How Pooch Perks Landed Themselves on the Today Show a Month after Launching
Pooch Perks is a monthly pet subscription box that provides USA made, healthy and natural treats for your pup. As an avid dog lover herself, Pooch Perks President Tina Vidal knew the pet industry was exactly where she was destined to be. “I really wanted to find a way that I could basically play with my dogs all day and make money at it.”
Who wouldn’t want that, right? We recently chatted with her to find out how she managed to land herself on the esteemed Today Show only a month or so after launching. Read on to follow her inspiring journey as well as her best advice for budding business owners hoping to get (and stay) on the right track.
Start with what you’re passionate about
Tina ascribes much of her success to just how passionate she was about the pet industry. After all, it’s not work if you love it! “It’s really important, when you start a business, that you’re doing it because you are so passionate and in love – to the point of obsession – with your industry or your product or what you’re doing.” Tina advises, “become an expert in everything you do in your business and in your life; [ensure that] what you put online reflects that you’re extremely knowledgeable about your field, whatever that is.”
The way Tina manifested that passion in Pooch Perks was through content. Her vast array of knowledge regarding dogs, their behavior, nutrition and safety (among other things) can be found perfectly condensed into blog and social media posts. Overtime, her creative content is what eventually positioned Pooch Perks, in the eyes of consumers and media alike, as a team of Pet Experts, rather than just another subscription box.
Learn as much as you possibly can
Having never been in the industry before, Tina knew the learning curve would be steep. However, by no means did she let that impede her efforts. “One of the biggest recommendations that I would make is to constantly be learning and never think you know it all,” she says. “I’m constantly reading articles, doing webinars and reading books about things that I’m not good at or I don’t know.”
Of course, there are always “experts” ready to share their knowledge (for a price) to new business owners seeking to get off the ground, whether it’s by learning how to preventing customer churn, reducing bounce rates or just marketing to consumers. However, Tina quickly learned that relying on others’ supposed expertise could sometimes be more of a hindrance than a help.
“I decided that I had to be my biggest advocate for the direction that I wanted my business to head in and the only way to do that was to become more knowledgeable about the things that I didn’t know, so I really started researching different topics. [You should] be constantly researching and reading and learning about the things that you’re worst at.”
Focus on what you know…and what generates profit
Tina remarks that people tend to focus on what they like and excel in while shunning the things they don’t. In fact, as an entrepreneur you should be identifying key revenue generators and focusing on them – regardless of how you feel.
This goes double for key parts of the business. Take you social media strategy, for example. As Tina points out, “Most companies try to focus on all [platforms] but there are just too many out there! You need to tweak all of them [to your needs], work with all of them for a bit [in order to] figure out where you’re getting the most traction, then focus on just 1 or 2 [platforms] and don’t waste your time with the others.”
The notion of “not wasting time” is one Tina takes very seriously and what she considers one of the most valuable lessons learned during her journey. “People can get so bogged down with checking off tasks that they’re really not focused on what’s going to drive their business forward. Focus on the things that are going to generate revenue almost to the extent that you ignore everything else. Without revenue, your business can’t survive and if you have revenue coming in, you can fix all other problems you’ve ignored up to that point.”
You get what you put out
Of course we had to ask the question on everyone’s minds – just how did Pooch Perks get on the air so early on in the game?
“[At the stage we were at], we should have never been on the Today show,” acknowledges Tina. “But from the day that I started Pooch Perks, I constantly said that we would be on the show.” As it turns out, the combination of Pooch Perks’ educational blog content, engaging social media and, of course, the magic of SEO finally did their trick. “[The Today Show] contacted us one day and said, ‘we’re looking for new, cool products in the pet industry and [as we can see], you’re an expert at this.” They asked for a few samples as well as some of Tina’s personal recommendations for other great pet products and voila, a morning segment was born!
While it sounds like the perfect fairytale, Tina’s story, at its core, is one of hard work and and a relentless pursuit of her dreams. Tina ends with advice for entrepreneurs who may be experiencing a rough patch, “[There’s something to be said for] believing in yourself and constantly putting positivity out into the universe […] There are peaks and there are valleys but ultimately, everything has a way of working itself out.”