Photograph courtesy of Boobie Billie on Twitter
So many weird things have happened this year that when you hear that a dog has launched an accessory brand for humans, you won’t be in shock. Well, a dog didn’t launch a brand, at least not technically, because dogs can’t incorporate businesses. So, let me rephrase, the dog is the affable brand ambassador of the Boobie Billie brand.
WHO IS BOOBIE BILLIE?
Boobie Billie is the internet persona of Billie (sometimes affectionately called Boobie, as a pet name). Billie is a six-pound chihuahua and greyhound mix, and of course, the face of the popular Instagram account @Boobie_Billie.
THE INVENTION OF BOOBIE BILLIE
The Boobie Billie account was created in mid-2019 but only began posting in December of 2019. By March of 2020, the fashionable pup had over 50,000 followers on Instagram and is growing rapidly. Now Billie has 255,000 followers on Instagram and a fledgling brand. But to understand how a dog could overtake other aspiring influencers in a few short months, you’d need to understand the inner workings of Instagram’s fashionable pets.
The Rise of Fashionable Pets
Fashionable pets aren’t an Instagram invention, they’ve existed for as long as fashionable pet parents existed. Remember Bruiser in Legally Blonde or Chloe in the Beverly Hills Chihuahua? The rise of fashionable pets persists in pop culture. But Boobie Billie differs from the fashionable pets of blockbusters or the purse pets of the early noughts or even the fashionable pets currently on Instagram. This difference is one reason why her followers are loyal and her growth is exponential.
You only need to look at another fashionable pet to see how Boobie Billie is different. Zappa The Cat, another well-known pet fashionista has 118,000 Instagram followers and has been on the platform since 2015. However, the most striking differences between Zappa the Cat and Boobie Billie is consistency and character.
Zappa the Cat’s grid includes many images of her that aren’t about her style. Photographs that include her cuddling with her mom, meowing, and so on, this makes it challenging for her to form a relatable narrative. However, Boobie Billie is always in a fashionable outfit, posting images or videos accompanied by a fierce or extra caption. That consistency and predictability enable her human audience to relate to her. Because they are more inclined to understand the desire to dress fashionably and be confident, versus taking a cat nap or meowing.
The character Boobie Billie is autonomous. Essentially, her entire online persona is based on the idea that she controls her narrative, picks her outfits, and interacts with her fans. This is an effective strategy because it allows Boobie Billie to exist in a vacuum that separates her from any real-world consequences but also shields her brand from being tainted by the thought of who her owner is.
What if someone doesn’t like her actual owners?
What if they aren’t as fashionable as Boobie Billie?
Perhaps they aren’t as quirky and likable as Billie?
But, there’s another layer to Boobie Billie, and that’s her name. She isn’t Billie the chihuahua or Billie the dog, she’s Boobie Billie, which makes her a lifelike character.
All of these elements, when combined, make Boobie Billie more relatable – and hence more likable – than any of the other fashion pets.
Intentional Branding and Development
But of all these fashionable pets Billie happens to be the most successful one. You could say pet influencers like Zappa meowed so Billie could strut?
But, in all honesty, Boobie Billie’s success didn’t happen overnight. All those outfits, all that editing, all those perfect captions, Boobie Billie’s account requires meticulous planning by very capable and skilled individuals to maintain that level of precision and structure.
Boobie’s founders don’t want to be known as the faces behind Boobie Billie, that’s clear. However, through some sleuthing, you’ll discover that two of the three co-owners have experience in brand management and marketing and work at a well-known agency in NYC. Undoubtedly, this experience has had an astounding effect on Boobie’s Instagram.
For the average creator that can’t hire a team to help them, there are key strategies you can learn from Boobie Billie’s Instagram success and subsequent accessories brand.
Purposeful Character Development
Boobie Billie’s very first post on Instagram showcased her fashion prowess. Ever since then she continues posting daring outfits with captivating captions. She has a distinct persona: fearless fashionista that just wants to be extra. Although not every one of her followers will be fearless or fashionistas, the desire to be more daring with their choice of outfits helps them relate to Boobie Billie. Additionally, Boobie Billie maintains this persona throughout, acting as a source of motivation, inspiration, and solace for her adoring followers.
As an aspiring influencer, the greatest takeaway is to develop your online persona so that it’s both relatable but also valuable to your audience, that your images are memorable in some way.
One might argue that Boobie Billie’s success on Instagram is due to the current pandemic. In times like these people need something to make them feel grounded. Boobie posts once a day, her vibrant images a much-needed break from a bleak reality.
But, overall, having a more predictable and well-organized grid can affect how your audience will engage with you. Your images can still be exciting and inspiring. But the payoff from having a posting schedule is that your content becomes more reliable for your audience, who may be spending their time online to escape.
The domain boobie.world was registered on January 1, 2020. This was a few days into Boobie Billie’s foray on Instagram. Then in June 2020, Boobie Billie incorporated. What this points to is: the Boobie Billie team’s plan is to expand and eventually monetize after establishing Billie’s reach and audience loyalty.
Because they were working with a clear goal in mind, every post, story, and every comment works toward attaining this goal.
If you consider becoming a full-time content creator or influencer, one of the best things you can do is have a well thought out plan and clearly defined milestones that you want to reach.
This gives you clarity about what and how to post to Instagram and can keep you motivated when you’re not in the mood or mindset to post.