It takes more than just posting a few videos to become a top-ranked pet influencer!

As a long-term pet influencer myself, I have made a handful of mistakes along my journey. My hope is that you can learn from these mistakes and be able to grow your social accounts even faster than I did!

In this article, we’ll delve into the five big mistakes I made as a new pet influencer!

Defining Your Target Audience:

The first part about being a successful influencer, of ANY type, is understanding and defining your target audience.

Your target audience is the specific group of people you aim to serve with your content, providing value that resonates with their interests.

This is so important because, as a new influencer, the algorithm needs guidance in understanding who to show your new content to. Whether your audience is comprised of males in their 50s who love hot rod cars or 20-year-old females interested in cute puppy videos, defining your niche is key to building a dedicated follower base.

Let’s delve deeper into why defining your target audience is important and how it impacts your journey as a pet influencer!

  1. Audience Connection:
    • Defining your target audience allows you to create content that resonates deeply with them. The more that your audience can relate to your content, the more they will trust you, share your posts, and talk about you to their friends!
  2. Algorithm Optimization:
    • “The algorithm” plays a pivotal role in determining the reach of your content. By clearly defining your target audience, you provide the algorithm with guidance on who would find your content most relevant and engaging. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of your content being shown to the right people over time. You want this!
  3. Consistency and Niche Focus:
    • Knowing your target audience helps maintain consistency in your content. If your audience is interested in informative content about pet nutrition, consistently delivering that type of content reinforces your niche and establishes you as an authority in that area. This focused approach sets you apart from influencers who might be more scattered in their content.
  4. Building a Dedicated Follower Base:
    • A well-defined target audience help you build a dedicated follower base. In my coaching program, we call these “Superfans”. These are individuals who share a genuine interest in the content you provide and eventually would do anything for you and your pet! While attracting a broad audience might seem appealing initially, building a community with shared interests ensures more meaningful and long-lasting connections.
  5. Attracting Brands and Collaborations:
    • Brands typically look for influencers with a well-defined and engaged target audience. When you can showcase a clear understanding of who your content serves, it becomes easier to attract collaborations with brands relevant to your niche. Brands value influencers who can effectively reach and influence their target market.
  6. Evolution and Adaptation:
    • Over time, your target audience might evolve, or you may discover new aspects of their interests. Being attuned to your audience’s feedback and preferences allows you to adapt and evolve your content strategy. This flexibility is crucial for staying relevant and maintaining audience interest in the dynamic landscape of social media.

In summary, your target audience could be as simple as this: “I make videos for single women in their 20’s who are just starting out on their own, have a dog or puppy, and are looking for some silly entertainment that they can relate to!”

This does not mean that this type of person is the only type of person who will see and interact with your content.

But by making relatable content for a subgroup of people like this, the algorithm will start sending your content to the hundreds of thousands of people who fit this type of category!

 

Patience over Profit:

One common mistake many new influencers make is attempting to monetize their content WAY too quickly.

But, I know, I get it! Making money is usually the #1 reason people look into pet influencing.

There are hundreds of pet influencers who make thousands every month, and YES, you can also become one of them.

But, it’s essential to exercise patience in the early stages. Signing up for numerous affiliate opportunities and creating merch may seem tempting, but with a small following, the returns are likely to be extremely minimal and disappointing.

It’s crucial to focus on building a genuine connection with your audience before trying to make money off of your audience!

“Patience over profit” is a guiding principle that new pet influencers need to embrace as they embark on their journey.

Focusing on creating valuable and authentic content that resonates with your audience lays the groundwork for trust, loyalty, and sustained growth.

Establishing this rapport is far more valuable in the long run than attempting to capitalize on every available monetization opportunity when your follower count is still so low. Even 10k followers is very low to try to do things like merchandise and subscriptions.

 

Mastering Lighting for Quality Content:

If you want to instantly improve the quality of your content, adjusting your lighting is key!

I went almost a year of creating content before I invested even a few dollars into lighting. Looking back at those videos, I cringe.

This doesn’t necessarily mean spending a fortune on equipment; a simple ring light or utilizing natural light strategically can enhance the clarity and professionalism of your videos and photos, making them more appealing to brands.

  • Natural Lighting Strategies:
    • Filming in front of a large window or using natural light sources strategically can be an effective way to achieve well-lit content without additional investments.
  • Investing in Basic Equipment:
    • While advanced equipment like softboxes can enhance lighting, beginners can start with budget-friendly options such as a ring light, providing ample brightness for quality visuals.
  • Consistency in Lighting Across Content:
    • Maintaining consistency in lighting across videos and photos contributes to a professional and polished aesthetic, establishing a visual brand identity.
  • Adapting to Different Environments:
    • Learning to adapt lighting techniques to various environments ensures versatility in content creation, allowing for quality visuals regardless of the setting.
  • Balancing Natural and Artificial Light:
    • Experimenting with the balance between natural and artificial light helps achieve a natural yet well-lit look, contributing to visually appealing content.
  • Understanding the Impact on Collaboration Opportunities:
    • One of the key requests brands have with sponsored content is to have your videos and photos brightly lit! Keep this in mind as you practice making content.

Developing Thick Skin: Dealing with Negative Comments

Negative comments are an unfortunate reality for all content creators, regardless of how adorable your pets may be.

This was a big issue I dealt with early on. I didn’t realize how mean people really are when commenting!

Looking back, I wish I could tell myself to just delete, block, and move on.

The best thing to remember is that none of the rude commenters personally know you. Therefore, you should not take any to heart.

But, not getting offended can be hard at first!

Whether it’s rude remarks about your appearance, voice, or the content itself, remember that you have the power to delete, block, and report such comments.

Focus on the positive engagement from your supportive audience and if anything, just block the rude commenters and move on!

Prioritizing Engagement Rate Over Follower Count:

One of the biggest mistakes I made as a new influencer was neglecting the importance of growing my engagement rate.

Brands are increasingly looking past follower counts and placing more emphasis on engagement rates when considering collaborations.

A high follower count might seem impressive, but if your audience isn’t actively engaging with your content through likes, comments, and shares, brands may be hesitant to partner with you.

Prioritize building an engaged community to make your profile more appealing to potential brands!

By consistently delivering content that gets reactions, whether through funny captions, interactive polls, or engaging visuals, you can increase your community participation.

Encouraging engagement not only enhances the overall user experience but also signals to algorithms that your content is valuable and should be promoted to more people.

 

Summary

Becoming a successful pet influencer requires a combination of strategic decision-making, patience, and dedication.

By avoiding these five common mistakes mentioned in this article, new influencers can set themselves on the right path to building an engaged community right from the start!

Remember, the journey is a learning process, and every mistake is an opportunity to grow and improve.