By Brittany Brody
I’m a venture capitalist.
I’m a lawyer.
I’m not a cat…
…but I play one on Instagram and TikTok.
I want to share what I’ve learned about the influencer economy by getting my orange cat named Dobby to 60K+ followers across both platforms.
😻 People get *really* invested in online felines
I knew people might like pics of cute cat with enormous ears — but I had no idea they’d send msgs asking about her food & litter box preferences. Celebrity kitten is an absurd phrase, but it’s a real & valuable phenomenon.
Dobby’s “fame” revealed how much people invest in parasocial personalities. 60K fans is small; her online footprint is tiny in the grand scheme of influencer culture. Still, her loyal coterie comments regularly, asks for advice, & inquires if I go a few days without posting.
🙀 Dobby can’t get to inbox zero
Dobby is (at best) a C-list kitty in the world of pet celebs and I still can’t get through her email. I try to answer all her fan mail & partnership opportunities but you’d be amazed at how many companies want the benefit of my cat’s clout.
This has all given me new “purrspective” on what breakout social media stars must endure in terms of brand outreach. Creators are inundated w/ collab requests and must prioritize top-quality offers. If you want influencer deals for your brand, prepare to provide value.
😽 Non-monetary rewards matter
My cat’s C-list celeb status doesn’t pay my bills, but it creates value for me. Since I’ve had Dobby, I’ve held rewarding jobs, but have been limited creatively. Dobby provides an outlet to explore content creation & punny humor in a big way.
Puns may not be appropriate in the purractice of law or even in the world of venture cat-pital [cringe, that was bad] However, I have thoroughly enjoyed our photoshoots, sharing Dobby’s sass with the world, and learning a lot about social influencers along the way.
I’ve got more I want to share — what I’ve learned about community management, authenticity, & so on. In the meantime, if you’re a founder working in the pet space, are a startup trying to build community, or just want to chat pets, pawlease reach out! I cat wait to meet you.