Careers

4 ways to make your pet Instagram-famous, from the owner of Doug the Pug

Leslie Mosier's goofy little dog Doug is more famous than most people, but that's not by luck.

Doug the Pug has 5.2 million likes on Facebook, 6.9 million views on YouTube, and 2.2 million followers on Instagram, largely because of an owner with a knack for marketing, design, and social media strategy.

"He is the most famous pug in the world," Mosier says. "Basically Doug's role on the internet is to make a lot of people happy."

If you've ever wanted to make your pet famous, follow in the paw prints of this successful star:

Doug the Pug and Leslie Mosier, founder and proud owner.
Source: Rob Chianelli
Doug the Pug and Leslie Mosier, founder and proud owner.

1. Find what's unique about your pet

When Mosier brought Doug the Pug home, she noticed that he in many ways acted like a diva. He peed in the car on the way home, made adorable facial expressions, and loved watching "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."

"He was so much, in a sense, meant for this. He is really a star," Mosier says.

Finding what's unique about your pet is the biggest and most important step when starting out, author, speaker and social media strategist Peg Fitzpatrick tells CNBC.

"Find a theme," Fitzpatrick says. "What's your thing that defines your pet? Is it the kind of dog? Is it a size thing, a tiny dog that you're going to make look bigger or smaller? Is your cat grumpy?"

2. Be ready for your launch

After quitting her job in marketing to start her own freelance design firm, Mosier and her boyfriend Rob Chianelli realized that Doug could be more than just a running joke between their friends.

She ditched the design firm idea and focused on building out Doug's social media brand as her full-time job.

Mosier spent several months designing her dog's brand and taking photos without getting any big breaks.

"It felt pointless because I had all of this stuff that looked amazing, and it wasn't getting the kind of attention I knew it could," she recalls.

But that changed thanks to a handful of adorable posts that caught the attention of media outlets in 2014. What set hers apart from other cute pictures? Doug's social media accounts were ready.

"When people went to see more, they saw that [the brand] was concrete. It was there. People trusted it," Mosier says. "Build a frame before you put a photo inside."

Having a bank of photos ready to draw on will help you keep momentum going.

"If you're going to start an account, have a bunch of photos ready to go before you start posting," Fitzpatrick says. "That way when you start, you don't have to panic. You have more to share over time."

3. Post consistently

Mosier makes sure Doug the Pug's social accounts share two posts per day. It takes time, she admits, but it pays off. Each post gets hundreds if not thousands or even millions of likes.

But the posts aren't just of any old photo. They're carefully crafted.

"If you have an iPhone or an Android phone, you can get really great pictures. So there's no excuse for a bad photo on Instagram," Fitzpatrick says. "If it is blurry or out of focus, retake it."

4. Keep marketing

While Doug lives the glamorous life, regularly rubbing elbows with celebrities such as Ed Sheeran and Dolly Parton, Mosier is tireless in promoting Doug behind the scenes.

"Never stop the grass-roots marketing," Mosier says. "It's so much more effective than paying for an ad, it's something that's personal, and people remember it."

Mosier even has business cards for Doug.

"We would have people come up to us on the street. And I had a pitch ready on why they should follow him. I'd give them a business card with an email and everything on it."

With a new book out, Doug The Pug: The King of Pop Culture, the future looks bright for both this four-legged creature and the two-legged one.

If you don't have a pet but want to boost your own Instagram account, check out this Insta-famous entrepreneur's advice.