How to make your pet a social media star

If you’ve dropped the ball on fame and fortune, take a good look at your pet!

In a world where most of her furry peers are chasing tails, Frankie – a four-year-old miniature dachshund from Melbourne – has been busy making a lucrative living through her Instagram account, @frankiethelilsausage.
Having starred in some big-name campaigns, and enjoyed partnerships with various pet brands, the lovable pooch now commands at least $500 a post – not bad for what her owner, teacher Alex Zajonc, says started out as "a little bit of fun".
"We were posting photos mostly for family and friends, but as her popularity online grew – Frankie now has 72,300 followers on Instagram – and brands started reaching out to us with free product, we realised there was something to be said about taking this seriously," says Alex.
Look at that face! Image: Instagram / @frankiethelilsausage
How much money your pet makes depends on the number of engaged followers they have – those who have between 3000 and 10,000 followers can expect to earn $80 to $100 a post.
So, starting an Instagram account for your pet aside, how do you get started?
WATCH: 5 home hacks for pet owners. Story continues below.

Give them a strong personality

Your cat or dog doesn't need to be the Cindy Crawford of the animal kingdom.
In fact, the weirder the better, says Natalie Giddings, part-owner and director of Remarkable Pets, a talent agency for furry friends.
"Unusual-looking pets are always in demand, but people – and subsequently, brands – become engaged with the personality you create for them online," she says.
"Think about your pet's persona and let that shine through."

Engage with your audience

Think it's all about photographing and posting cute photos of your pet?
That's a good start, but networking and building connections is key, Natalie advises.
"Pet influencers in particular get a lot of engagement and this is something brands will look for when deciding whether to work with you or not," she says.
Follow other pet influencers, comment regularly on their posts and respond to people who comment on yours.
Being a pet-fluencer takes hard work and hustle. Image: Instagram / @frankiethelilsausage

Put time & effort into your posts

Good photography is essential, but Georgie also recommends practising with all the free apps (editing, lighting, filtering etc) to find your look, as well as including videos where you can.
"If you use the right hashtags then you might get a media publication or another larger social media account to pick this up and re-share it," she says.

Feature your pet in your account

If you have a decent number of followers yourself, you may want to consider starting off by posting photos of your pet in your own feed, says Georgie, who explains that a large number of pet influencers have become names because of their owners.
Frankie was the flower dog at his owner's wedding. Image: Instagram / @frankiethelilsausage

Sign up with an agency

Got the figures and the all-important engagement?
It could be time to form your first alliance – by sending an enquiry and pictures to an agency.
"We get submissions every day, but there's not nearly enough pets for the number of briefs we get so there's plenty of work out there," says Natalie.

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