Ashley Neidert, Chip’s pet parent, had no idea that her cat, Chip, would become a TikTok sensation. Several years ago, Ashley began dabbling in different side hustles, like YouTube, to help with grad school expenses. At first, nothing took off.
When she completed grad school, she was determined to find a way to make extra side money to help with her student debt. One day, she was on TikTok and saw a pet account with tons of followers. This discovery led her to start posting TikToks of her cat, Chip. She immediately saw tremendous results, and now Chip The Manx has almost half a million followers on TikTok.
The Creative Process
Ashely shares that she tries to post new TikTok videos five to seven days a week, which she does on top of a full-time job.
She shares, “On TikTok, I always go to the most viral videos in the filters of the search, and I go in there and type in something basic like ‘cat,’ and I just go and look at other people’s stuff… Not necessarily [to] replicate, but it gives me enough of an idea to create something very similar… I typically go through a few times a week and just scroll and scroll and save [videos] on TikTok.”
Ashley notes that she also has a huge album on her phone of videos of Chip. Whenever she sees him doing something cute or interesting, she takes a video of him for future content.
Ashley shares that her social media following is primarily women, but it’s about a 60:40 split between women and men. Most of her followers are between the ages of 24 and 35. The uniting factor is a massive love for pets.
She shares that most of Chip’s content falls into two categories: cat facts and entertaining or unique videos of Chip.
@chipthemanx Pokemon Song: CAT VERSION 😻👏🏼 #cat #pokemon #cattok #catsong ♬ original sound – Chip The Manx
Her most popular post so far has been on TikTok. This post focused on why cats bite and gained over 25 million views. Ashley’s favorite videos to make are TikToks of Chip singing. To make these, she takes a trending song or audio snippet and syncs it with a video of Chip meowing.
“Those are always my favorite because they’re just cute, and I reuse the same clips for each one of those different video compilations, but I think they’re cute, and they’re fun to write.”
Ashley’s Advice for Other Creators
“What I have found with everyone [other aspiring pet creators] so far that I’ve talked to is you have to realize two things: You have to realize that you are not making your channel for yourself, you’re making it for other people, so again you need to make your videos either very entertaining and unique, or factual.”
She shares that many people assume you just film a clip of your pet and upload it. However, it takes many other steps, such as research, finding valuable facts and inspiration for content, editing, and more.
The other big thing that aspiring pet influencers should know is that “the biggest thing is consistency. For example, to get monetized on YouTube and Instagram, not just TikTok, but YouTube and Instagram, you have to be posting many days, many weeks, and then multiple months to get into their bonus plays on Instagram or their YouTube shorts fund.”
Chip’s Brand Partnerships
Ashely shares that she has done a few sponsorships, which currently make up about half of the income from her social media accounts.
“It all started out with an exchange of a video for a product, and then it turned into a video for product and maybe a little bit of money, and now I’m at the point where… I am charging a steeper price.”
One of her favorite brand partnerships so far has been a partnership with a pet stroller company that she initiated. She reached out to several pet stroller brands and ended up receiving a free pet stroller for Chip.
@chipthemanx Cat blinks are the BEST 👀💕 #catfacts #fyp #cat #catslowblink #catsoftiktok OG sound: @unhide ♬ original sound – Chip The Manx
She has also enjoyed her Open Farm collaboration, which is a healthy, organic, naturally sourced pet food brand. They had a deal where she would post a monthly video featuring their product.
When it comes to brand deals, she says, “I usually really like having creative freedom. I’m not a huge fan of when the brands give very specific details, and if you divert from it, then you know, that’s not good.”
@chipthemanx Long story short…GET A CAT 🐈 OG sound: @mndiaye_97 #cat #fyp #owningcats #catsoftiktok #chipthemanx #cattok ♬ original sound – Chip The Manx
On the other hand, she notes that no guidelines on brand posts can also be difficult. She has previously had it where she’s had complete creative freedom, created a video post featuring the product, and then the brand didn’t like it, and she ended up redoing it.
“I think the biggest thing is for brands to have expectations set up front whether they are going to give you that creative freedom or if they’re going to outline everything specifically for you frame by frame of what they want.”
Her dream collab? She would love to do a brand deal with a major pet brand, such as Amazon Pets, PetSmart, or Purina.
However, she shares, “I’ve learned that there are so many brands out there that I had no idea [existed], and I actually really liked promoting some of the brands that are organic foods or the brands that are really true to their customer versus just being huge name.”
The Creator Marketplace
Ashley shared that she’d love to see more streamlined monetization opportunities when asked about what she wants in the future creator marketplace.
“I really wish there was more information out there. Trying to get really good information on working with brands, things you should and should not do like on a legal standpoint, what to look out for, what not to look out for [etc.].”
Pet Influencer Course
Ashely shares that she has learned so much about being a pet content creator that she ended up creating the Petfluencer Secrets course.
“The main reason why I originally wanted to create this course was that I have so many people saying let’s sit down over dinner, and you can teach me everything, and then I realized very fast that it took many hours to teach people all the tips and secrets.”
Her course breaks down the tiniest details of being a petfluencer, including finding the right audio, what fonts to use, how to be consistent, step-by-step systems, and much more.
She notes that she promotes her course by including it on Chip’s Linktree and by making promotional videos on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram.
Ashely shares that she recently got a second cat, Biscuit.
Biscuit, a two-month-old kitten, is being included in Chip’s videos. Biscuit already has 40,000 followers on TikTok, and Ashely looks forward to growing their accounts.