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How Suzanne Gould went from shy dog walker to trainer for the stars!
Episode 246th August 2020 • Publicity for Pet Businesses • Rachel Spencer
00:00:00 00:47:08

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When Suzanne Gould set up her dog walking company in 2017, she knew being visible would mean more clients.

She started out with a Facebook page, then focused more on marketing and writing her own content.

First came newsletters, then e mails, then blogs, and in 2019, she decided she wanted to get some media coverage.

She read my book, Publicity Tips for Pet Businesses, and had some press releases featured in her local paper in Edinburgh.

Suzanne wanted to feel confident writing, so took part in my first Create Content With Confidence programme and her blog took off.

Next, she decided she wanted more publicity, so did the programme that started in February which is now a membership.


Lockdown hit. Suzanne couldn't go out and walk or train dogs and was stuck at home with her Old English Sheepdogs, Erick and Ally.

But she didn't wallow. She set up a Facebook group, Edinburgh Dogs in Lockdown and attracted hundreds of owners.

Then she started pitching stories about her group to the media.

She featured in the Telegraph, the Scotsman, and even gave tips to Loose Woman star Kaye Adams on BBC Radio Scotland.

AND she wrote a book! The Rescue Dog Ranger's Road Map - a step by step guide new pet parents can follow to transform their rescue dog into a calm, confident canine.

In this episode, Suzanne talks about leaving behind a career in fashion to set up a pet business.

And she breaks down the steps she followed to get publicity in top publications.

Here are the key timings and topics covered in this episode: 

3.01 - How Suzanne started out as a fashion designer before being made redundant from her job and starting a dog walking business.

5.06 - Being terrified setting up her new business and how she walked dogs with Flash and Nora by her side.

6.54 - The struggles she had at the beginning finding clients and how she kept going.

9.17 - Hiring business coach Dominic Hodgson and how she went from being terrified to full and needing to hire staff in just a year!

11.40 - Starting dog training classes in February 2019 using the knowledge she'd built up working with her own dogs.

12.00 - Training Flash to be a therapy dog and blood donor and how this inspired her to be a dog training.

12.56 - What it was like for her at training classes with Flash when he was the naughty dog in the room.

18.00 - How she felt about writing when she first started and building her confidence.

20.32 - How letting go of her fear of not writing formally helped her business.

23.01 - Niching to working with rescue dogs and learning they needed confidence training to help them cope with life.

29.00 - Using publicity to make more people aware of her business.

29.20 - How Suzanne's Facebook group supporting dog owners was featured in the Telegraph, then the Scotsman, then BBC Radio Scotland.

31.04 - What it was like speaking to Kaye Adams and teaching her how to train her Cockapoo Bea.

34.00 - How lockdown gave her confidence to do Facebook lives. Suzanne did lives nearly every day in lockdown in her group.

35.20 - Finding the confidence to write a book in lockdown and how Suzanne wrote 46,000 words about rescue dogs in lockdown.

37.35 - How writing the book has given her confidence as a trainer and a walker knowing she will be helping rescue dogs and their owners.

39.00 - Suzanne's message - whatever you do to help your dog is perfect enough.

40.32 - The biggest lesson - That I'm brilliant enough just as I am and believing in herself.

42.48 - Suzanne's advise to people starting out. Start with your own self belief and self worth and look at the clients that you have.

44.12 - Suffering with Imposter Syndrome and how looking at the changes she made to people's lives to build her self belief.

45.35 - Where to find out more about Suzanne and her awesome new book!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Suzanne's website: 

Suzanne's Facebook group: Edinburgh Dogs in Lockdown

Buy Suzanne's Book! Edinburgh Holistic Dogs

Suzanne in the Telegraph: A crisis can bring out the best in us

Suzanne in Woman and Home: Seven ways to calm stressed pets

In Edinburgh News: Leith dog trainer sets up support group

September PR Challenge - this is FREE challenge to help you get press coverage and you can sign up here: PR taster

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