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 Hana (Pepper'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?
Slevin: To be honest, I originally made an Instagram account for my pup when we got her just so that my own personal account wouldn't be completely taken over by only dog content. To keep the dog content a bit separate, since I love taking and sharing photos of my dog (obviously). And I loved following dog accounts. But then it led to such a great community ("Pupstagram"). I met people and made friends through it. We're connected to so many other dogs and people, many in person and others around the country and the world who we've yet to meet. But it's an amazing community. I now spend more time on my dog's account than my own, and post more often on hers. It's led me to special dog-friendly events and activities around the city, been so educational in my life as a dog parent... and I've even won or earned free food, gear, and supplies. And truly, both my dog and I have made friends through it. How amazing is that?
What do you think sets your dog apart from other dogs on social media? What makes them unique or particularly interesting to your followers?
Slevin: Her amazing ears ;) (No really though... I mean obviously I'm biased, but I think she's one of the cutest dogs in the world.) She's also got such a personality. She melts my heart and cracks me up. I think others also find me useful for info and advice, tips on gear and training and health issues. I know I turn to my friends and group chats for tips and advice myself.
How do you come up with ideas for your dog's posts and content? Do you have a specific creative process?
Slevin: I used to be more structured with it, but I found creating 'rules' for myself put a lot of pressure on myself and could be too much of a time suck. Now I just post when I want to, feel inspired, have a great photo or video. And often it's recaps of our Boston Terrier meetups in the city.
Have you ever faced any challenges or negativity on social media, and how have you dealt with it?
Slevin: Yes and yes. Challenges -- mostly the time commitment. Sometimes I need to back away and take a little break, or just release myself from the pressure of having to post all the time. If it's consuming too much of my time and energy and taking away from spending that time with my dog or my family or doing other important things in my life, then there's something out of balance there. And negativity... not a lot, but some. Some people can be pretty judgmental or think they know your dog's behavior better than you do from an out of context photo... I can respond politely and move on and try not to let it bother me... or I can ignore it and move on and try not to let it bother me. :)
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own dog influencer account or share their dog on social media?
Slevin: Don't lose sight of what inspired you to make one in the first place. Make sure it's fun and positive and you're getting something good out of it. Don't let it get stressful or feel pressure to 'keep up.' Do it because it's fun and you love sharing your dog with like-minded people who love their dogs as much as you.
How has your dog influenced your life outside of social media?
Slevin: Being a dog owner gets you outside a lot more! You get to know your neighbors! Literally I've met so many more neighbors and made friends from having a dog. I know all the dog owners in my apartment building. My dog has made friends and I do things with those people -- I've made travel and hiking buddies. Friends of ours (who we met through Instagram) started a monthly Boston Terrier meetup in NYC and it's kinda blown up, and we love going to those meetups and meeting people. I go to the park nearly every day. I've hiked a lot more. Having a dog is good for your health, physical and mental! And good for the soul. :)
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?
Slevin: The fact that my dog became wise to all my photoshoot tricks makes me laugh. Treats and noise makers used to work. Now she's too smart. If you ask her to pose for a photo now, she will have 'model smize judging you' face. She looks so over it. She's immune to all the photographer tricks. I've learned the only way to capture her happy excited face and have life in her eyes now is to have a ball or frisbee and be about to throw it. Also... every time she tries to walk or go downstairs in her winter booties is just hysterical.
What is your favorite thing about being a dog influencer?
Slevin Fun dog-friendly events, meetups, and the community of dog & human friends we've made through it. (And sometimes the perks don't hurt either... discounts, free stuff, etc.)
Lastly, what's next for you and your dog on social media? Any exciting plans or projects in the works?
Slevin: Pepper turns 3 in a few days... But not really, just keep on keeping on! I'm actually out of town for a couple of months for work (Mom) and missing Pepper tremendously, but she's being well cared for by her Dog Dad and walkers/daycare/friends. So... just imagining our reunion when I get home! It'll be the best. :)