May Chan-Koung shares the life of Malcolm, her 5-year-old American Akita dog, through social networks. He is the star of petfluencers in France, the World Bloggers Awards 2020 winner, and collaborates with major brands on his Instagram account. Many pet owners or simply animal lovers follow their adventures, travels, and advice.
Do you remember the day when you decide to start your social media account? Was it aimed for your private usage, or you planned to blog?
I created Malcolm’s account as soon as he arrived to keep memories of him. I had no intention other than to exchange with other dog owners. I was super proud of my little puppy and wanted to share his cute face with the world, but it wasn’t really for blogging. I didn’t know anything about photography or Instagram, and I learned everything on my own. It became my job two years after the account creation, to my great surprise.
How do you manage to be sincere with your audience, and are there spheres of life that you prefer not to show?
With Malcolm, we share our life as it is. I choose particular things that I believe in and that I really give to Malcolm for my collaborations. As an animal lover, positivity and respect for his animal are paramount. People know that I love my dog and that the things I show are genuinely appreciated and validated by my dog.
How much time takes up your Influencer activity? And how long it takes to create content?
It’s been a full-time job for three years already. Account management and moderation take 2-3 hours per day, partnership management (projects, negotiations, making contacts) takes half of the day, and content creation can take between 2 to 6 hours or up to 1 or 2 days depending on the projects. I also have another job thanks to Malcolm since I have a PR agency specialized in pets. Malcolm’s clients trust me to manage their brand communication.
Do you feel your Internet popularity in real life? Do people recognize you on the streets?
Yes, people often recognize Malcolm in our city (Bordeaux) and sometimes elsewhere. People are amicable and love to come and say hello to him because you don’t go unnoticed with Malcolm.
What was the most unusual offer for you made by advertisers?
I was offered to clone Malcolm to keep my business going, I found it very strange, and I preferred to decline the offer. Malcolm is and will remain unique.
What kind of offers do you usually reject?
I refuse offers for dropshipping products or that I would not give to Malcolm. I get many requests for pet food, but people know that Malcolm has food that fits him, and I don’t accept collaborations just for the money. I prefer quality to quantity.
Could you please comment on the following statement: the bloggers’ credibility has dramatically dropped in recent times since 80% of them have fake followers, and all quality-defining programs are very easily cheatable. And it is the reason why a lot of big brands are back to old advertising methods, which reach is countable.
It’s true. Many accounts lie about their popularity or describe the content creator’s job by not respecting their community with non-qualitative or dishonest collaborations. That’s why it’s important to be spontaneous and honest in your partnership choices. However, I think people are drowned in brand sponsorship and advertising daily, and reputable bloggers do a great job of promoting a collaboration they like. Spontaneity in their content helps communities to project themselves better than a classic advertisement.
What do you consider the blogger’s peak of success?
For me, the summit of a blogger’s success is the support of his community in all the projects he undertakes and the strong relationships he creates with the advertisers who contact him. When I get positive feedback from people in my community, it warms my heart, and I’m delighted to get feedback from the brands I help in their visibility.
How to learn to be open with a billion audience? How to deal with hate, and is it worth it?
People subscribe to our account independently, so I think they appreciate our account and Malcolm’s presence. They are very kind to him because he is an animal, and who would want to be cruel to a dog? So I’m lucky that people are very nice and gentle with us.
What programs do you use while working on your blog? Can you recommend some tips for bloggers who are beginners?
I use few tools except my phone, my camera, and Lightroom photo editing software. You need to regularly practice photography to progress and post often to animate your community.
What inspires you to post ideas?
My life as a dog owner inspires me to share it with others, especially Malcolm and his personality. Our city also inspires us a lot because I come from Bordeaux, and I have incredible spots to walk Malcolm.
Do you think bloggers the trendsetters of nowadays? Can they be considered A-list celebrities?
Yes, I think a blogger can be a good spokesperson. Influencing can have significant benefits such as spreading preventive messages, helping fundamental causes, and changing brands’ lives by developing.
Who are you following? Whom do you consider as fascinating bloggers now? Which famous blogger would you like to collaborate with?
I’m a fan of Léna Situation, a French influencer who is the best because she is kind and cheerful. She is a passionate businesswoman who inspires me a lot in her content creation. I would like to collaborate with Léna Situation to help the animal cause.