If you’ve got a dog, chances are you’ve posted a picture (or 1000+) of them on Instagram. Maybe more than once. Maybe more than once a day (who are we to judge?). Chances are you’ve also scrolled through the feed of an Insta-famous floofer and wondered how you can create such a shrine to your furry BFF and shoot them into Instagram stardom. Fear not friends – read on for our guide on how to make your dog Instagram famous, thanks to the lovely human behind @tomasathefrenchie, Jess.
Tomasa The Frenchie now has 13.2k followers and growing quickly.
How do you really go from taking cute snaps of your dog rolling around in mud, to turning them into an influencer?
Be adaptable, but stick with your brand.
Sick of dreaming about how to make your dog Instagram famous and ready to make it a reality? You might have one idea of how you want your dog’s Instagram account to look and feel, but as time passes, you might realise that style doesn’t really suit them at all! Be OK with changing it up in the early days, but once you find the style that suits you, run with it and own it.
“One day I was having lunch with my sister and she said something like “have you noticed that all you do is post about Tom all day, why don’t you create her own Instagram account?”. I had never thought about doing that and thus begin @tomasathefrenchie .
I was obsessed with a black and white dog account at that time, so I began Tom’s account in b&w using my phone camera only, but I quickly realized that this wasn’t working. I’ve always liked painting with bold colors and decided that Tom’s account should have that colorful feeling as well. It took me a while to find the colors that would fit Tom’s personality and this is how I ended up using pastels.
I also realized that the phone camera would not cut it, so I invested in a DSLR camera and the account really transformed once I did this. Instagram is all about having a story, a personality, and great quality photos.”
NEW ACCOUNT = NEW BIO. READ OUR GUIDE TO WRITING YOUR INSTAGRAM BIO IT 2017 NOW.
Be prepared and patient – what it really takes to photograph animals.
Instagram fame is all about getting *the shot*, the one that will stop scrollers in their tracks and guarantee double taps. But you know what they say about working with animals and children? Turns out it’s kind of true.
“It takes about 10 to 15 photos of Tom to get a good one, we definitely work with treats and since I started taking photos when she was a puppy it has become pretty easy to get her to sit and stay while I take her photos. But bribing is a must, that’s the only way to start.
Since Tom’s account is about happy Tom (which is not always the case) I always follow two rules to make sure Tom looks amazing: always take photos after going for long walks and always take photos after playing ball. She is at her happiest in those moments. After that, I do spend quite a lot of time in Lightroom making sure that the photo is perfect, editing is a form of therapy for me.”
A sneaky tip from Jess for making the most of photoshoots?
“If you want to make sure that you at least get one good picture, then I recommend shooting in sports mode, this way you get over 10 photos in one click and can even capture those funny face moments that make for some great photos in the end.”
How to make sure it doesn’t get old, and fast.
Taking photos of the same little furry face (no matter how adorable it is) is bound to get boring after a while. This is normal, and the only way to get around it is to mix things up constantly and stay inspired. When it comes to figuring out how to make your dog Instagram famous, creativity is key.
“I must say that staying creative is the hardest part of having an Instagram account. I am always afraid that people will get bored seeing the same face every day, so I do try to incorporate props, many different colors, shots with humans, and city shots. I’ve found that city shots get lots of engagement, especially if we are featuring some cool place in Mexico City.”
Start a Pinterest board, or use Instagram’s new Save feature to collect images you love and let them inspire your next shoot.
Be organised and Plann ahead
See what we did there? Having a carefully curated feed is everything when it comes to nailing how to make your dog Instagram famous and developing your pooch’s brand. A consistent visual style is key, and (we don’t mean to toot our own horn, but …) this is where we come in.
“Plann definitely changed the way I developed the aesthetic for my account. I really like accounts that are clean, cohesive and have a solid color storyline. I used to be the typical neurotic Instagram user that would delete photos once I posted them because they did not fit into the feed, but this changed drastically once I got Plann.
“I have a very simple rule now. I post one pastel photo, one white/city photo, and then another pastel photo (never repeating hues). I always have tons of photos of Tom in front of a white background ready in Lightroom which I can quickly turn into the solid pastels photos that have come to distinguish Tom’s account, and for the city/white photos I like to keep those fresh and more up to date.”
Develop a tone of voice
We’ve all sat there staring at our dog, trying (and we like to think, succeeding) to imagine what they are thinking. But translating those innermost thoughts into a tone of voice that works on Instagram is a whole other ball game
“Captions for me are the hardest, I would rather do the colors and organizing part only. I do think that if you want to grow your dog account your dog needs to have a very unique voice and story to share with others.
When it comes to Tom, I realized that her voice is the complete opposite to me. I am not the smiley, wears-pastel kind of girl. I mostly wear black, grey or blue, and you will rarely find me sitting with a huge grin on my face. So this is what I think has made writing captions easier. I’ve created an alternative personality which is more Tom-like and can actually have fun with it and feel ridiculous writing the posts.”
Jess’s top tips for writing captions?
- Look at what other accounts are writing and figure out which types of captions get the most engagement
- Copy the personality of a TV or book character if you’re not sure where to start
- You can always use quotes and memes if you don’t feel like writing captions that day.
Engagement is key, and it will take time
As with any Instagram community, the dog lovers (and actual dogs) are an active and passionate bunch. According to Jess, the key for how to make your dog Instagram famous and gain success in the dog-eat-dog online world is engagement.
But be warned: if you’re really serious about growing your account, this means an investment of time (maybe more than you think).
“I’ve had a couple of people ask me how to grow their account and get their dogs to “influencer” status and the first thing I say is that it requires A LOT of time. You need to spend hours on Instagram liking, commenting and finding new accounts.
What I would recommend if you want to do grow your account is to set certain hours of your day in which you know you’ll be on Instagram for at least 30 minutes. If I have a very busy day then I don’t post photos and only engage with accounts I follow. On normal days I know that I will be on Instagram from 9:45am to about 10:15am (I post at 10am most days, keep a consistent schedule!!!), then I will come back to Instagram in an “I am bored at work moment”, and finally engage quite a lot from around 9pm to 10pm.
Keeping this schedule has helped a lot in not getting distracted at work and keeping up with the accounts I follow. Plus, every time I have some time to kill you will always find me on Instagram trying to grow my account (on the bus to work, while I watch TV…)”
Have a strategy in place to avoid wasting time.
“First, I prioritize the accounts I follow and make sure to at least comment on several of their posts that week. Second, I move on to hashtags I like. Third, I recently started to engage with accounts that have just liked some of my friends’ photos. And, fourth, if I have time I will go to big dog hashtags like #frenchbulldog and like many frenchie photos there.
There are three rules I like to follow when it comes to my engagement strategies: lots of commenting and liking; participating in contests; using non-dog hashtags. Contests are a great way to engage with big dog accounts and get huge shout-outs in the end if you win (plus the prizes Tom gets to keep!).”
How to make your dog Instagram famous? Think about diversifying to expand
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to ways to expand the reach of your account. Yes, you’ll be part of the #dogstagram community, but you can also create connections in tons of other places.
“One of the reasons that Tom’s account is a mix of solid pastel background photos and city shots is that I do like to reach beyond the Instagram dog community. I believe this has actually helped the account grow a lot because the use of solid pastel colors has given us the opportunity to get featured in big non-dog accounts like @jjcommunity @nothingisordinary_ @ihavethisthingwithpink (we actually get less features in dog-only accounts that non-dog accounts).”
What else can you work into your dog’s Instagram personality?
Think colours, food, places, pet health insurance – maybe even look at the accounts you already love to follow on Instagram and think about what they have in common. That could be your place.
READY TO START POSTING? READ UP ON BANNED HASHATGS TO GIVE YOURSELF A HEAD START
Your pup won’t be the only thing giving you warm and fuzzies
All that engagement you commit to will most likely lead you to some special connections. The hours of your week spent chatting with your fellow dog-parents can create some awesome new friendships, both online and IRL.
“You do form a huge bond with fellow IG dog moms and we all like to keep in touch -Tom was recently diagnosed with partial seizures and the support in IG has been more than incredible.”
Your life might change a little (or a lot)
As with any project, you can make this as a big or little a part of your life as you like. But if you’re keen to shoot your pupper to Instagram stardom and figure out how to make your dog Instagram famous, we’re going to wager there will be a shift in the way you spend your time.
“My weekends plans now involve going to some cool part of Mexico City to take some photos of Tom, and we usually try not to leave Tom in the apartment in case there is a picture perfect moment. Plus, you will always find me walking with my camera in all her potty walks.
IG becomes an obsession, so if you are thinking about wanting to make your dog famous, make sure that you know that it is a huge time commitment. The fun thing for Tom is she gets tons of treats and free stuff to play with in the end.”
Do you have an Instagram account for your dog? Comment below and tell us your tips for how to make your dog Instagram famous.
Now that you’re all over how to make your dog Instagram famous, Plann could be the secret weapon you need. We can help you nail your doggo’s visual brand and keep their tone of voice consistent by drafting captions in advance. Download Plann now from the iOS and Android stores and get started.
You can call me Tom, Tomasa or TomTom.
And no, I am not a boy. I am a 3 year old frenchie girl living in Mexico City that loves to bark at big dogs, run after dad in his motorcycle, and smile.
Say hi to Tomasa over here.