When music business alumna Leslie Mosier graduated from Belmont in May 2014, she accepted her dream job at a local record label and artist management company. Happily employed, Mosier’s personal Instagram began garnering major attention when she posted pictures and videos of her dog, Doug. Noticing the trend, Mosier’s passion for this side project could not be ignored. Now, Doug the Pug’s social media accounts have gone viral, and Mosier has left her *once* dream job to pursue a new one: Doug’s full-time “momager.”
Mosier has talked about her journey in many national articles including Huffington Post, and Doug has made appearances on late night shows, concerts and “Good Morning America.” In fact, for many Doug the Pug has become a household name, with more than 2.3 million likes on Facebook.
“When I began Doug the Pug’s social media accounts, I was consistently testing the waters and figuring out what exactly it was that set Doug apart from the thousands of other Instagram dogs. I tried collaborating, experimenting with different photo and caption techniques and partnering with dog-related brands. Once his following started growing and I began introducing funny videos to his account, one of them went viral with more than 30 million views. Millions of people were now looking at Doug the Pug for the first time,” said Mosier. “Since I had already been so consistent and placed such a high standard on the content I put out, many of those viewers became intrigued enough to ‘follow’ him, and they are now dedicated, product-buying fans. Consistency and staying true to his ‘voice’ is the most important part… people feel like they know him.”
Now a celebrity of sorts, Doug’s a fad-dieter as he follows a strict, all-raw regimen. Mosier laughed, saying, “He lost three pounds and is proud of it! Doug gets a ton of exercise during all of his crazy adventures. But, I actually don’t take Doug to the groomer – he gets an old fashioned bath in our home!”
“Momager” Mosier said her first job, as well as her classes at Belmont, taught her a lot about about public relations, marketing and artist relations. Taking full advantage of her internships, Mosier said it’s very important to make a strong first impression. She began interning her junior year and treated it as a job, rather than a temporary internship, ultimately leading to a full-time position.
Mosier also took Belmont’s Marketing in the Music Business class, where students create marketing plans and present them to record label heads. As the project’s group leader, Mosier was able to take the reigns, giving her the experience she needed to be prepared for the industry. She attributes her success with Doug to lessons learned while working and being a student.
Mosier also has a big passion for graphic design. “I do a lot of design for bands such as Mat Kearney and PVRIS, and have designed a lot of the Doug merchandise as well. No matter how busy the Doug stuff gets, I want to continue my design work. I firmly believe that I can never be too busy to help out the artists that I’ve worked with for years,” she said.
Mosier’s words of advice to others who would like to develop a brand is to “Be consistent and work as hard as you possibly can. It took several months of posting Doug photos every day for people to finally notice him, and even still I’m working around the clock to differentiate him from the rest of the internet,” she said. “I don’t see ‘Doug the Pug’ as being a fad. I want him to continue to surprise people each and every year.”