If you’ve decided now’s the time for Fluffy to earn her fair share around the home, this may be the side hustle for you. These days, there are entire streaming channels dedicated to pets going viral. This means someone is benefitting from ad revenue and since it’s visual, getting shares shouldn’t be hard.
Also known as a stage pet parent, this role requires dedication and perfecting your pet’s best features. While maintaining a nice physique is great (unless you feel those extra pounds make your four-legged friend unique), they should also have a natural energy. Nice, clear eyes and clean teeth are good but if there are also some standout imperfections (like Lil BUB), this can work also.
What You Can Do
Getting in on the starting ground takes little effort with a solid social media plan. This can start with uploading a short but funny (or at least different because their making a mess is nothing out of the ordinary) video. Most people get their start by sharing the videos with everyone in their social circle that’s interested.
Unless your pet has a standout talent that translates well to the masses, it’s up to you to create a persona. While their quirks alone may be good for attracting an audience, substance makes your viewer numbers grow. Developing a relatable storyline, like interactions with other pets and/or humans, will easily morph into a series.
Once you have three or more videos, you can start A/B testing to see which one has the most views. This is important when creating a series because you want to appeal to the viewer’s senses. Other factors to consider are which videos are shared the most often and how long the average viewer stays watching. YouTube has a great video analytics tutorial that’s easy to comprehend.
Set Up Shop
While you’re basking in the glory of your pet’s newfound success, it’s time to get down to business. The best business structure is as a sole proprietor but if your partner or someone else has made noticeable contributions to this endeavor, a partnership works also. In either case, making your operation a limited liability company protects your assets. Check with your state commerce agency to learn more.
In the meantime, a unique name for your paid domain that’s easy to remember should be the next step if it’s not the official name for your business. Once the formalities are out of the way, you can decide whether you want to sell merchandise with images of your pet, create a blog, or both. Then there’s also the influencer route.
Your Pet as an Influencer
There are many pet influencer agencies across the globe and from the looks of this list, the preference is for dogs. It makes sense since dogs have more energy than most cats and shows more emotion than any other domestic animal. Yet, there’s always a place for animals that have that attraction factor.
Once you narrow down a few you want to pursue, the process is rather simple. Many are on the constant hunt for new talent and have many opportunities. Remember that companies of all sizes are going viral so if your pet isn’t right for one campaign, others are sure to follow.
When Can I Tell My Boss to Kiss Off?
Well, here’s the rough part. You know it takes longevity to build and maintain a following for any kind of internet brand. That means delivering content that’s unique but congruent to the brand you’re promoting. This can be behavioral, physical, or as a mascot for a non-animal storyline. If you look at other videos, you might want to see what you can do differently that attracts viewers.
So what are we looking at? According to PetKeen influencers with around 100,000 followers can make a few hundred a month. Those with millions of followers might make around $30,000 or more annually. However, with the right exposure, your pet could be the Grumpy Cat or JiffPom, whose earnings were in the millions during their lifetime.
If you’re serious about making your pet a star or just getting help on household bills, this may work. It takes creativity and patience to make it happen but it will pay off in time. If you decide that you love doing this, you can also start your own agency for viral animal talent. However, if 3-6 months isn’t enough time to see revenue, there are always other pet-related opportunities.