How the owners of "Insta-famous" dogs make good $$
Almost a year ago I was in a long car ride with friends when the talk turned to who we were following on Instagram, specifically, which dogs. There were Marnie and Boo, who had huge international followings..."But have you seen Samson the Doodle?," my friend asked. "Ooh or what about ToastMeetsWorld?"
I wasn't tapped in to this world of the Celebrity Instagram Dog...yet. I decided I would start an account for my own dog, Jax, because after all, he is the cutest ball of fluff in the world and surely everyone would love him! Soon I was posting to and checking his account more than my own and I started to notice some of the other dogs had particularly polished and witty postings. Professional photographs, props and funny captions were the norm. And then I started noticing every now and then one of my favorite dogs would post something with a brand. Rambo the Pup and Stainmaster! Cookie was selling stuff at West Elm! All of the dogs were promoting Bark Box...
I wondered, how much could these posts be worth? Turns out, some...not so much...maybe just free stuff. But as I learned in the process of putting together this story, for dogs who have reached "elite status" with hundreds of thousands of followers, a brand-sponsored post can mean a few thousand bucks. The posts add up to substatial side income or even a fulltime job for some of the dog ownes.
These dogs have business cards, they make appearances, they get invited to swag suites and do photo shoots with People magazine. And they are adorable.
This was probably one of the most fun stories I've worked on in awhile. Jax meanwhile, is still building up his following. It's a labor of love!