Sep 242012
 Adoptable Count Chocula was beyond excited to go to SociaBulls. Read more about him here.

We have loved hearing about so many people interested in starting dog-walking groups in their own area. While we thought we had answered most of the questions about starting a group in this post here, we realized we left out one big detail: how did we find our members?

While we were lucky enough to have a strong online community through Two Pittes that we were able to make into an in-person community, we have learned about some other ways to reach out to like-minded dog owners.
Networking and Facebook:

We know there are a lot of new dog owners with recently adopted pups who are looking for ways to socialize their dogs. If you are looking to start a group, you could align with some of your local rescues to share on their facebook pages or invite fosters or adoptable pups to walk.
We also know we have received members who heard about the group through friends at the dogpark, friends in training classes and even trainers themselves.
We also started our own Chicago SociaBulls facebook page to give everyone information about the page, and even communicate with some of these groups online.

Using Our Cards:

We run into a lot of other dogs on our daily walks, and sometimes we strike up conversations and realize they could greatly benefit from our group. Remember this story of how SuperLevi introduced us to Zoe’s person?  Zoe’s person is now one of our New Member Coordinators and we are so lucky to have had this chance encounter.
We have also met people who have seen the group walking, and they were interested in being a part of it.
We carry these cards, and are looking to have something more group specific in the future

The Power of ‘Meet-Up’:

We realize we are lucky Chicago is so densely populated, and people in other areas may not have the chance to run into as many other dogowners on their daily walks. We know Meet-Up is a great way to connect with like-minded people in your area. Plus, a meet-up page is a great way to keep all the walks and member information organized. I know a couple of the groups I’ve spoken with have been using it.

For those of you who have started dog-walking groups recently, what are some other tips you have for attracting new members?

Also: The amount of members we had on our first walk.

Plus, join our Chicago SociaBulls Facebook page for more photos and information about group walks. And check out the Hikabulls page where we first learned about the benefits of group walking and this link from the DINOs (Dogs in Need of Space) group to read the discussion and see if there is a group in your area.

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