DULUTH, MN– The way people start a small business is changing.
At a time where technology is at our fingertips, the norm has shifted to entrepreneurs finding their clients through social media followings.
On an average day, you can find Traci Rutledge on one of Duluth’s trails with a furry friend in tow.
“We get to get the energy burned off of them and send them off while their parents are at work,” said Rutledge.
Although Rutledge has been working with dogs since she was young, her business “The Duluth Dog Walker” started just six months ago.
Since then, she has found massive success on Instagram, gaining almost 1,500 followers and about 100 furry clients.
“I am a millennial, so Instagram is my language,” said Rutledge. “I really wanted my business to be transparent. So, with the stories, I let people follow along with me during the day, and then I post photos of their dogs on the hiking trails we go on.”
That is becoming the norm.
Many small businesses are connecting with clients on social media apps and changing the way traditional marketing is done.
“That is something that is our current reality, and it is going to go more. We just need to understand who is the target audience,” said Dr. Marat Bakpayev with the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Marketing Department.
According to the experts, social media is now a fundamental business tool that is not expected to go away any time soon.
For local entrepreneurs like Rutledge, the online support often outweighs the success at the end of the day.
If you would like to follow along with Traci and “The Duluth Dog Walker,” click here.