I live with anxiety and depression and on my darkest days, my dogs bring me back to the light. There is a quote that I often repeat to myself — “Be the person your dog thinks you are.” — And that’s what I try to do every day in all aspects of my life. I’m not perfect, but my dogs don’t expect perfection, they expect goodness. My goal is to pay forward the unconditional love that my dogs give to me every day by showing the world the value of dogs in our lives. I do this by sharing my life with dogs through image and videos to remind people that they are part of our families. They’re not lawn ornaments or gifts to be forgotten or tossed away when they get old. They are living, breathing, and loving animals that are a gift to the human world.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Kimberly Gauthier of Keep the Tail Wagging®, a nationally known blog with the focus on the controversial topic of raw feeding for dogs. Kimberly is also the author of A Novice’s Guide to Raw Feeding for Dogs (Available on Amazon.com) and has a large social media following of pet parents who are interested in raising dogs naturally.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Thank you for asking! My “backstory” starts with my love of a dog. We have four dogs and Rodrigo, our first dog, spent the first three years of his life going to the veterinarian regularly due to digestive issues, ear infections, skin rashes, itchy paws, joint issues, and more. Our vet would send us away with another round of antibiotics which seemed to make the health problems worse. I kept changing his food — switching from one dry dog food to another until I wondered if the food was the problem. Around the same time I was hearing about the wonders of feeding a raw diet to dogs (raw meat, bones, and organs) and decided to give it a shot and within two weeks most of Rodrigo’s health issues vanished.
I continued researching raw feeding and found it overwhelming and complicated and wondered if others were having the same struggles and that’s when I changed the focus of my pet blog to DIY Raw Feeding for Dogs.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you in the course of your career?
A friend of mine who is also a content creator in the Fresh Food Community has large following and one day he was doing a Facebook Live and he mentioned my name and blog — which was amazing exposure for me — except he pronounced my name wrong (it’s go-tee-ay) and switched up the order (on social media, I’m Kimberly Morris Gauthier). He may have even gotten my blog name a little twisted up too.
After the Live, he sent a text to confess that he butchered my name and when I finally saw it, I laughed so hard and the comments were even better.
It’s been a not so inside joke between us for years.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I live with anxiety and depression and on my darkest days, my dogs bring me back to the light. There is a quote that I often repeat to myself — “Be the person your dog thinks you are.” — And that’s what I try to do every day in all aspects of my life. I’m not perfect, but my dogs don’t expect perfection, they expect goodness.
My goal is to pay forward the unconditional love that my dogs give to me every day by showing the world the value of dogs in our lives. I do this by sharing my life with dogs through image and videos to remind people that they are part of our families. They’re not lawn ornaments or gifts to be forgotten or tossed away when they get old. They are living, breathing, and loving animals that are a gift to the human world.
If someone would want to emulate your career, what would you suggest are the most important things to do?
Many people want to start a blog that is the foundation of their passion, however, they get distracted by the drama of social media which slows down their progress. Someone once advised me to focus on the positive and ignore the negative. There will always be haters who will want to bring you down, but how they feel about you isn’t your business or your problem. Stay focused on the people who bring you up; stay focused on delivering the message that fires you up with passion and joy; the message that people can’t get you to shut up about and let that be the foundation of your platform. Then go change the world!
Is there a particular person that made a profound difference in your life to whom you are grateful?
There are many people who have made an impact on my life, however, what immediately comes to mind are my dogs. They teach me something about dog health, nutrition, and behavior every day. They are the subject of my blog and book and the inspiration for Keep the Tail Wagging®. Because of my dogs, I have met my friends, who are my family, and I’m living out my dream.
I would say that my dogs have made the most profound difference in my life.
Can you share a story?
When I was selecting which university I would attend, I told my mom that I wanted to be a journalist, a photographer, a fashion buyer, and I wanted a lot of dogs. She told me to get a degree in accounting and I followed her advice.
That degree in accounting is helping me to build a business as a writer, I use my S9 Plus for photos and videos, I recently indulged in some celebratory retail therapy at a local mall, and I’m raising four dogs (and a cat).
So what are the most exciting projects you are working on now?
I’m currently working on my second book, which I plan to publish in August 2018. I’ve compiled 99 of the most common questions I receive about feeding my dogs a raw food diet and I’m really excited about the release.
What are your “Top Five Ideas About How Influencers Can Monetize Their Brand” .
1 — Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing provides an opportunity to earn a commission by recommending products I love. I only join the affiliate programs of the brands that I personally use with my dogs. This makes it easier to promote their products on my various platforms and I can respond to questions honestly. I use an editorial calendar to plan out promotions to avoid turning my blog into an online advertorial and I always weave my affiliate links into a story that answers a reader’s questions about dog nutrition.
2 — Sponsored Posts and Sponsorships
Invite your favorite brands to work with you to promote their products to your targeted audience. This can be in the form of a sponsored post or a sponsorship that spans a longer period of time and also includes social media promotions and videos.
3 — Create a Product or Write a Book
Many bloggers are inspired to produce a product or write a book. A product can be as simple as branded t-shirts and mugs and a book can be as simple as compiling and organizing a series of blog posts into a paperback.
4 — Join an Advertising Network
If you have a highly trafficked blog, consider monetizing the traffic to bring in another revenue stream. There are many advertising networks and I’ve found that it’s best to work with one that is transparent, committed to helping you succeed, and provides a supportive community.
5 — Share Your Expertise through Speaking Opportunities
As your blog grows, your expertise will grow as well. Begin looking for speaking opportunities to share your experience with others. You can speak on what it takes to build a blog or you can speak on an aspect of your niche.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂
Without hesitation, if I had the opportunity to have a private breakfast or lunch with someone, it would be Oprah Winfrey. I look to her for inspiration in everything I do with my business. Her story of how she was cast in the role of Harpo for The Color Purple keeps me going every day. I love how she keeps looking forward, I respect that she uses her success and influence to help others around the world. And I love that she doesn’t apologize for who she is or her success.
After all of these years, she’s still giving back. I would love to know what motivates her each day, who she admires, and how she looks past the negativity in her industry.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Originally published at medium.com