Do you want to stand out and grow your dog's Instagram following?
Do you want to land more paid partnerships with brands?
If so, the question you need to be asking yourself is: Do you have a clearly defined niche for your dog’s Instagram account?
What’s going to make someone press the “follow” button for your account - as opposed to any of the thousands of other dog accounts out there?
Think about ALL of the other dog Instagram accounts out there. It seems like there are millions, right? And there are new ones starting every day!
One of the biggest mistakes I see with dog Instagram accounts is that they don’t have an obvious niche (or theme). They post cute pictures of their dogs with silly or witty captions - just like all the other dog accounts out there. But there's not necessarily anything memorable about them.
After awhile, all the dog accounts start to blur together.
If you want to grow your following and become a pet influencer, your account needs to be memorable and able to stand out.
A niche is your unique space in the community. Think of it like your account’s theme.
A niche can include both a visual / aesthetic theme and content themes.
Here are some of my favorite dog accounts with clearly defined niches:
To stand out as a pet influencer, and especially if you want to monetize your account, you need to create a niche that your account can be known for.
When I look back at the success I had in growing Hammy’s Instagram account to 25k followers in less than a year, one of the factors that helped us grow so quickly was developing a niche for his account from pretty early on.
It actually started out without me even thinking about it.
We live in Carlsbad, CA, a small beach town in San Diego - and we literally live two blocks from the beach, so our daily walks are right along the coast. We would usually stop to take pictures of Hammy with the beach in the background, and those made up a big chunk of our Instagram posts. Everyone loved the beach pictures - so naturally this became a theme on his account.
The beach pictures were something that started helping our account stand out. While there are countless doodle accounts on Instagram, there weren’t very many that regularly posted pictures of their doodle by the beach.
As we started buying accessories for Hammy to wear, we noticed that we loved when he wore bow ties - and so did others. He always got compliments about how handsome he looked in bow ties. So bow ties became another component of his account.
People started coming to know Hammy as the beach dog who wears bow ties.
Bow ties and beach backgrounds became our visual or aesthetic theme.
Like most dog accounts, I started out writing silly captions from Hammy’s perspective. And while this was fun for awhile, it started to feel limiting for me to write as Hammy when there was so much that I wanted to say as Hammy’s mom - and a first time dog mom.
Over time, I started writing more about my experiences as a first time dog mom - the ups and downs. I also started sharing about some of the tips and tricks that helped us survive being puppy parents, like crate training and DIY doodle grooming. Posts like these got a lot of interest and response, so I continued writing them. Our content theme began to develop from this.
Soon, Hammy’s account had a pretty clearly defined niche: he was the bow-tie wearing beach pup (visual/aesthetic theme), and our account’s content discussed what it’s like to be first time dog parents (content theme).
Even if you have an idea of what your account's niche is, it doesn't mean anything unless your followers (or potential new followers) also do!
Here are a few ways that I highlight our niche on our account:
The best Instagram accounts are about more than just cute puppy pictures. The cute puppy pics may be what initially catch people’s attention, but the niche is what converts likes to followers and keeps people coming back for more (creating superfans).
People knew what they could expect if they followed our account. They looked forward to pictures of Hammy in bow ties and our daily stories of walks along the beach.
If you're anything like me, you started your dog's Instagram account as a hobby - probably with no idea that it would turn into what it is today.
As you can see from my story, I didn't start Hammy's account with a clear idea of what our niche would be. Instead, it developed naturally - first out of my own interests (posting what I liked and I was interested in) and then it evolved as I noticed that other people responded well to the content I was creating.
Here’s the good news: no matter how long you’ve had the account, it’s not too late to create a theme/niche - or change the one you already have.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself as you start to develop your niche:
Remember - this can change over time! It's better to pick a niche, test it out, and let it evolve with your account than to not have one at all.
Download my free Dog Influencer Profile Checklist for more information about the essentials your profile needs to attract brands and new followers.