You could say that Marni Center is an animal person.
She moved from Deerfield, Illinois to Denver to study ecology and evolutionary biology. She's owned beautiful dogs and had so much fun training them that she completed The Animal Behavior College’s Dog Training program after she graduated. Since then, she’s made dog training her career, and she’s trained dogs all over the Denver area.
As Marni became more involved with the world of dog training, she began to find problems with some of the training methods her peers were using. That’s because many of them were using a method called Aversion Training.
Marni working on training with a client's dog
Aversion Training is a very common strategy for training dogs in the US and aims to expel unwanted behavior by utilizing things that are unpleasant to the dog such as shock collars, loud noises, and spray bottles. While this method often seems like it is working in the short term, in the long term it can actually encourage negative associations and poor behavior in dogs.
That’s why Marni started her own training school, Pawsitive Obedience, where the focus wasn’t on stamping out negative behavior (which can often lead to long-term stress and anxiety in canines), but on rewarding dogs when they exhibit good behavior.
She quickly noted the speed and success of her methods and made Pawsitive Obedience her main priority.
Marni became one of the best dog trainers in the Denver area who trained dogs solely through positive reinforcement. She also differentiated her services by offering in-person house calls. Still, her business wasn’t growing the way she wanted, and Marni hired Keldo Digital to find out why.
At Keldo digital, we like to get to know our clients. That means that before we do anything else, we sit down to discuss their goals. What advantages do you have over your competition? What opportunities do you have to improve? Once we know where you’re trying to go, we can develop a plan to get you there.
As soon as Marni told us about her dog training business, we knew she was on to something. There is power in positivity, and given the choice, we agreed most dog owners would prefer a gentler approach to the way we train our furry friends.
But somehow, that message was getting lost on her website. It wasn’t clear exactly what she could do, or how her approach was different. If she was going to succeed, her clients needed to know EXACTLY what Marni did differently, and how her approach could work for their dog.
Pawsitive Obedience's Old Home Page
We devised a simple, elegant marketing message for her, which played to her strengths while acknowledging the science behind her methods, then it was off to the races.
Marni doesn't describe herself as a tech person. She made her website on WordPress, but she wasn’t comfortable updating it or making changes. This is something we see a lot. WordPress is a powerful site builder and definitely takes time to master. She knew she needed more information on her site about what made her different, but she didn’t exactly know how to do it. That’s where we came in.
Immediately we could tell Marni’s website was stale. It had a dense look and potential customers didn’t know instinctively where to get the information they needed.
The New Homepage
We replaced her design and overhauled everything, from the logo on down, using a crisp, clean design. We added helpful information like service locations and an FAQ, but the most important change we made (and the one which would pay dividends later) was to add an entire section which outlined in detail the difference between positive reinforcement training and aversion training.
New Page focused on Positive Reinforcement Training
This knowledge was crucial in the decision-making process for people who chose Marni over one of her competitors using more traditional training methods.
We also reiterated the fact that Marni made house calls, and was only a free phone consultation away, which became our Call to Action (CTA) that is repeated on every page. We utilized Hubspot's free CRM & Meetings feature so now potential clients can quickly and easily schedule a time on Marni's calendar for their free consultation. And on the back end, Marni has a place to store all of her contacts in the CRM.
To showcase her unique brand advantages, we updated her logo to one which would resonate with her Colorado clients, and adjusted her name slightly, from Pawsitive Obedience to Pawsitive Outlook Dog Training. The new name has a nice ring and, more importantly, reflects her unique selling points.
The old logo at the top left and the new logo and name on bottom right
All the changes we built using a WordPress site builder, which we taught Marni how to use. Now, any time she needs something changed, she can be confident in her ability to dig around under the hood without breaking anything important.
With Marni’s marketing message now crystal clear and posted all over her website, the work began to make sure the right people found it. We added Google Analytics tracking code to her site, so she’d be able to keep track of visitors and learn about the ways they used her website.
We made sure to make Marni herself an extension of her brand. Since she’s the only trainer at Pawsitive Outlook, potential customers had to know it was Marni coming to their house. Marni’s methods being employed to train their dogs. Since Marni is one of the only dog trainers utilizing the positive reinforcement method in Denver, we knew she would benefit from a beefed-up ‘About Me’ section, which would make her brand more personal. We also spelled out and listed pricing for each of her service offerings.
Updated Services Page with descriptions and pricing
As we were going through the process of building Marni’s site, we made sure to include the most powerful, effective SEO search terms we could, and we were able to direct large amounts of organic traffic toward Marni’s site, especially using the side-by-side comparison of Marni’s methods and aversion training, which highlighted her unique competitive advantage. This began to pay off immediately, as Marni suddenly received an uptick in consultation requests.
We finished with a consultative screen share giving Marni a tutorial on how to edit her new site. We also made sure she understood the sales tools she had Hubspot, ensuring her scheduling and automation process ran practically by itself, freeing her up for other important tasks, and dogs.
All told, the adjustments we made to Marni’s brand message, website, and analytical tools took about six weeks to complete, start to finish.
Now, she’s enjoying new conversions from customers who fully understand what to expect when they purchase dog training from Marni, and why they have every right to feel like they’ve made the right decision for their furry friend.
We were happy to partner with such an interesting, progressive young woman, who provides a unique, modern solution when it comes to training your dog.
"Working with Kelly Dowell was a better experience than I could have imagined. I knew ahead of time that Kelly was great and extremely valuable for what she provided based on her work with my friend in the recruiting business. It was an easy choice to get her help with my dog training website yet I was still blown away by her attentiveness, creativity, and deep understanding of the world of websites and marketing. She was so easy to talk to, had great ideas, and got things done immediately. She listened to what I wanted and made my ideas come to life with her own creative touch which included teaching me to use features that make my business management much more efficient! I would highly recommend Keldo Digital for anyone in need of help with their website and business management." - Marni Center
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