Welcome to the ultimate destination for dog enthusiasts and social media mavens alike. At Dogfluencers, we're passionate about showcasing the best and brightest in the world of four-legged fame.
Whether you're looking for adorable photos, heartwarming stories, or expert tips on how to turn your own pup into a social media star, we've got you covered.
Today we got the honor of interviewing Amy (Hector's Human). You can find a direct link to their Instagram here.
Here is their story:
Can you tell us about your journey to becoming a dog influencer? What inspired you to start sharing your dog's adventures on social media?
Mayfield: Hector loves people and loves going out and about. I figured people on my personal social media might get tired of his pics and videos so I started his own and it has just grown from there! We have so much fun on our pawventures and showing people how their pups can really be part of their everyday life. I am lucky to work from home and spend time with him but my husband and I love to take him camping and shopping and out to eat and to local breweries. I think the mindset about how people interact with their dogs has really changed in the past several years and they really want them to be an active and included part of their family.
What do you think sets your dog apart from other dogs on social media? What makes them unique or particularly interesting to your followers?
Mayfield: He's one of the biggest out there at 200 pounds. Kidding. Mostly. I think people react to Hector so well because he's just a sweet, kind dog. He has these eyes you can kind of gaze into. We also volunteer our time as a therapy dog with preschoolers at an underserved school and people are interested in therapy dog work. I think it's really how active we both are and that we aren't afraid to laugh at ourselves and be goofy. Plus, he's really just a love.
How do you come up with ideas for your dog's posts and content? Do you have a specific creative process?
Mayfield: You know the saying about your ducks not being in a row and not even knowing where your ducks are? That's my creative process. I sort of post and do whatever I feel like. We always feature a mural on Mondays and on Fridays we try to feature a local, dog-friendly business but those are kind of our only "planned." For me, Instagram is fun and I want to remain authentic to us so I post whatever I feel like. And then work in partnerships and such as needed. I don't want it to be forced or something that I don't enjoy.
Have you ever faced any challenges or negativity on social media, and how have you dealt with it?
Mayfield: I think there are always going to be negative people out there. I've had people message me and leave mean comments about Hector looking sad, honestly that's just his wrinkly face, or how he says fren for friend. Those you kind of have to shake off. There are always going to be people out there who don't like what you do and being behind a computer seems to give some people a platform for it. I hit delete and move on. When we first started and I would have people unfollow us, I kind of took it personally like why don't they like us but I got over that too. We've had individuals use our pictures and impersonate us. That one is harder to swallow just because it's a little creepy and frustrating.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own dog influencer account or share their dog on social media?
Mayfield: My biggest advice is to keep it fun. The most important thing is the bond you have with your dog. Our photos aren't often perfect but I am not going to spend 20-30 minutes taking his picture-especially if he's not feeling it. Don't worry about perfection. Some of my favorite pics are ones where I look a mess but we were having a great time. Think about what you want your handle to be. Now I think mine is too long but I don't want to change it since that's what everyone knows us as. I did invest in a little clip light for my phone that I wish I'd gotten sooner but really it just made the overall quality of my photos better-even ones I don't share so I think that's a great thing to have. And, don't be afraid to say no. When you first start out and businesses start reaching out it's flattering. We are pretty choosy on who we work with. Again, I mainly do this for fun and I am also not going to work with a company that isn't something we would use/enjoy anyways.
How has your dog influenced your life outside of social media?
Mayfield: To be really open, when we got Hector he was 8 weeks old. I had been going through a deep depression and been fairly antisocial for a couple of years. He brought me out of that. I had to get out of bed to take care of him. We took him places and it got ME out of my shell I had fallen into. I've met a lot of great people because of Hector and have gotten involved in therapy dog work and working on a fundraiser for our local humane society.
Can you tell us about a particularly memorable or funny moment you've had with your dog during one of your photo shoots or adventures?
Mayfield: We were shopping in anthropolgie when he was still relatively young. I swear I stood outside for 20 minutes making sure he didn't have to use the bathroom. As soon as we got inside and were looking at something, he pooped all over the floor. Anthropologie has the grainiest wood floors. I didn't think I would ever get it cleaned up. I laugh now but I was mortified at the time. Other than that I would say pretty much any time I try to take his photo in public. He loves to not look at me so I make the CRAZIEST noises to get his attention. I know passerbys this I am a lunatic.
What is your favorite thing about being a dog influencer?
Mayfield: The people we meet and the places we've gotten to go, events we've been asked to attend. We've met some really wonderful people and some other local influencers and they are such a fun group. We were recently selected to be ambassadors for the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association and that was just a huge honor.
Lastly, what's next for you and your dog on social media? Any exciting plans or projects in the works?
Mayfield: I really just plan to keep having fun. We are excited to start our Ambassadorship and I also write for a wonderful local website called "We Are Huntsville" where I highlight dog-friendly events and places. It's the best when we meet somebody out and they thank us for sharing things they could do with their dog.