Instagram Influencer Spotlight On: Erin Seilhan @officially_shelby

1) Tell us a little about yourself. What are you doing now and where do you come from?

My name is Erin & I have a Persian cat named Shelby- and we live in Lafayette, Louisiana. Though I majored in marketing in college, I never knew the way my creativity & marketing skills would come in handy as it has with Shelby’s growing internet fame.

2) What are your topics of interest? What do you post on Instagram the most?

I use Shelby’s account for relatable humor- the same type that you find in popular memes- except it’s depicted through her unique look. She has an ability to pose well, so I take lots of photos of her with food, alcohol, beauty products, etc. I’ve come up with an Internet persona for her that is apparent in all of her posts as being a spoiled diva and a lover of food & drinks.

3) How did your Instagram name come about?

Haha Honestly, I’m not sure. I often wonder that myself! I think when I came up with it, this was when Instagram first started to be a big thing…and a lot of famous people had the word "official" in their username. I knew or at least hoped that Shelby could be a star one day, so I found a username that was available with that word in it.

4) What are some apps you use to edit your photos? Share with us your photo-editing routine!

I mainly just use Instagram. I’ll add a watermark with her name on it from an app called Phonto. Then for videos, I use Background and Splice. Recently, I posted some using Flipagram for a paid advertisment, but I actually really liked it a lot- so I’ll definitely use it in the future again.

5) Any Instagrammers whom you really like? Which Instagrammer inspires you the most?

Anyone who posts great content continuously is my inspiration. It’s not always easy to come up with the best content or the best caption, and there’s one cat account "Sophie the Model" that constantly cranks out funny stuff. I know there’s many other ones too, but that one just came to my mind instantly.

6) If there’s one thing your fellow Instagrammers just gotta try now, what’s it gonna be?

Fellow instagramers usually ask me how did I grow my account…and the answer is just consistently all across the board. Post a pic everyday, use a watermark, tag big accounts, use hashtags- every single day. Even if you run out of good ideas, post something just for the sake of trying. You never know where one seemingly boring photo may take you. I’ve posted photos before that I hated and they ended up on huge feature accounts and started trending, so you you just never know!

7) What’s your favorite part about being an influencer?

I love entertaining such a big audience and seeing the flood of reactions. I’m happy to say I get a LOT of positive feedback- because I thought that at this level, I would see a growing number of negative comments- but I haven’t. Shelby is very loved by her fans, and it doesn’t get old!

8) What are some of your top tips to brands for running campaigns? How do you maintain authenticity?

I market for Pet Winery which is a company based out of Florida who sells cat & dog "wine." It’s really just a liquid treat infused with flavors for animals- not alcohol! Lol. But Shelby is known for always wanting adult beverages- and clearly she really doesn’t drink real alcohol so this product goes hand-in-hand with her personality that the fans know her by.

9) What would your advice be on the importance of quality and original content?

Well for sponsored posts, I used to think I needed to promote pet products since the main face of this account is a cat. But you have to pick the main tone of the account you want for yourself. So for Shelby, it’s the demanding, bossy cat who wants to eat filets and drink wine. So if I would promote something, it needs to be something that would typical for me to use anyway for photos. Don’t accept or promote products just for the sake of money or the free product. Stay consistent with your online persona and make sure your promoted products are things that would make sense for you to use. Affiliate marketing and the use of social media influencers is on a huge rise, so it’s very easy to spot someone who is being paid to post sponsored ads. Meanwhile, consumers WANT to find new products that are great so when they see a sponsored post, it makes them wonder "hmm is this person just promoting that because they’re getting paid, or do they really like it?" So it’s important to establish that trust with your followers and open their awareness to products that really ARE great. On Instagram, it’s always quality vs quantity- so choose QUALITY. I constantly jot down ideas on a running list. Sometimes I forget what’s on my list, so I’ll read through it one day and I’ll be like "oh that would be an awesome post for this weekend!" And other ideas stem from those notes. I pay attention to what’s trending and I find ways to incorporate humorous captions into Shelby’s photos.

10) What do you like best about partnering with brands?

If I partner with someone and it does well, it’s a great feeling of accomplishment! I want brands to feel like I’m a good asset to them, and I want a good reputation. Obviously not everyone has huge accounts (even my own isn’t that big compared to so many others) but it’s a good feeling to have an account large enough to make a difference- even if the difference is small.


  • Animals & Pets
  • Cooking
  • Fashion
  • Food & Drink
  • Humor


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