Love him or loathe him, Adam Spivey of South End Dog Training is getting one thing right. His marketing is off the chain and has attracted the attention of over a million dog owner’s.
Christ, he has 5400 searches a month on Google for his dog training company!
So, whether you think he’s the mutt’s nuts or you’re sick and tired of seeing balanced and aversive dog trainers get unfair levels of attention, it’s well worth looking at why he’s so successful.
An uprise in online dog training memberships and courses
South End Dog Training offer a dog training membership as their core offer. And they’re not alone, more and more dog trainers are moving to offering dog training memberships and online courses since the pandemic.
After being forced to shift to training online, a world of benefits were discovered for both the dogs and humans.
Puppies and dogs benefitted from training in low distraction settings without the downsides to in-person training classes, owners benefitted from easier accessibility and trainers were able to reduce travel time and overheads associated with traditional in-person training.
Marketing online memberships and courses is hard graft
Establishing a global online business is worlds apart from successfully establishing a local dog training service. The SEO is harder to master, competition is enormous and we still have many dog owners who would prefer to train in-person with their dogs.
So how has South End Dog Training made their online dog training membership work for them?
South End Dog Training’s Social Media Marketing Success
South End Dog Training has built a mass social media following which is helping them to sell their online dog training courses. They have over 600k followers on Instagram, 1.7m followers on TikTok, and over 450k followers on Facebook. While YouTube isn’t social media, I’ll include it here too – they have 46k subscribers to their YouTube videos.
*all stats accurate at the time of writing*
But, how did they grow their social media following to such huge figures?
In an interview with Essex Live, Adam explains that he’s always treated his social media like a portfolio of his work. Pre-pandemic he concentrated on Facebook and had around 40,000 followers, lapping up his dog training videos.
But it was during the pandemic that he set up a TikTok account and experienced enormous growth in numbers. His straight to the point, 1-minute videos have clocked up insane view counts and I believe this contributes massively to their online membership success.
South End Dog Training post regularly across TikTok, Facebook, Insta and YouTube. They repurpose the same short and snappy videos with practical tips and post across each platform.
All the videos are short and to the point, using simple titles and captions that grab attention.
How successful is South End Dog Training’s membership programme?
A quick search on Facebook reveals a whopping 7.7k members in their VIP members group and their website says they have 10,000 members. Members can use the FB group, Whatsapp groups or their apple and android apps. The current price for VIP membership is priced at between £8 – £11.99 a month.
In addition to the membership, they offer dog walking services, residential training, private field hire, consultations and seminars. And they sell merchandise and products in their online shop.
How are they converting social media followers into members?
Despite having multiple services to offer dog owners, they focus on one clear call to action and one offer everywhere.
Each social media profile highlights joining the membership as the call to action and links to their website.
They use their website to heavily push the membership, with call to actions to join on every page and all content pointing towards the membership programme. This makes it easy for site visitors to know what action to take.
They use Trustpilot to gather reviews which helps to build trust and social proof for their services.
Why does this all work? Followers are left in no doubt about how to work with them. There aren’t a ton of programmes to choose from or a load of hoops to jump through. It’s straightforward and easy. The message is clear.
Does the membership price point matter?
It’s certainly easier to sell low ticket offers than high ticket offers. South End Dog Training offer a free trial which automatically turns into a low monthly subscription.
This makes it easier to convert people at volume AND makes it less likely they’ll cancel their subscription when finances are tight.
Can positive dog trainers experience the same success?
Many of us won’t agree with South End Dog Training’s methods, but they are reaching dog owners on mass. There is no reason that positive and force free dog trainers can’t replicate this success following the same marketing formula.
If you have an online dog training course or membership, my guide on marketing your online offers is invaluable. You can watch the full webinar here 👇
If you’re worried about posting videos and showing your training in action through fear of what your peers may think or say – that’s holding you back.
If we want dog owners to find positive dog trainers, then it’s time to up the positive training marketing game and help owners find the good eggs with ease.
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