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One social media influencer taking advantage of everything TikTok has to offer is Jessie Sims. With 2.6 million followers under her belt and over 28 million likes, it would be an understatement to say she’s been making waves on the platform. To many users, TikTok is so much more than what’s perceived at face value. For some creators, it’s the chance to explore their creativity and video editing techniques, while for others it’s simply a break from their daily obligations. No matter which way you use TikTok, you might find that its addictive design and advanced algorithm can turn minutes into hours when you’re scrolling through your timeline.
The short-form video application previously known as Musical.ly has become one of the most successful apps around the world. With over two billion downloads and 800 million active users of all ages, TikTok has leaped ahead of the other well-known social networking sites like Snapchat, Pinterest, and Linkedin. With the large 41% of users falling between the ages of 16 and 24, it’s safe to say that Gen Z and Millennials are investing their time into an app that far outshines its long-gone predecessor Vine.
TikTok has become a resource for individuals looking to grow their personal brands and it’s opened Sims up to a wide range of partnerships with companies like Bang Energy, FabFitFun, and NebulaHoroscope. So how did she manage to grow her following?
“My Tiktok started growing last year. I went from 20k to 1M in a few months, then 2M
within maybe around 6 months,” she says.
After moving to LA to pursue modeling in 2016, she ran into some difficulties landing jobs without a large following on social media. Sims turned her focus at the time from modeling to content creation and began gaining traction on Instagram and YouTube. In 2018 Jessie joined the TikTok hype, and in good conscience now that it has become her most popular social media account compared to her 180k subscribers on YouTube and 716k followers on IG.
“It is just a lot of fun especially when you get to film with friends and other creators,” she says.
Jessie Sims put simply, is a fun-loving woman who has a knack for comedy, pranking, and a love for letting loose and partying. Contrasting to Instagram or YouTube, content created on TikTok is more likely to be served to others with similar interests, which is how Jessie has found like-minded people. Many creators like Jessie have found success on the platform either through building steady connections over time or becoming overnight viral sensations.
For Sims, growing views on TikTok took a lot of trial and error. A large goal for creators posting TikToks is ending up on the “For You” page (FYP), but she shares “as the platform began to grow due to COVID it became harder to gain followers due to over-saturation.” 2020 came with a slew of new users with 315 million TikTok downloads worldwide in the first quarter alone. Because of this, many genres became over-saturated with people eager to join the latest trends, creating an overload of similar content. User feed changes consistently based on the accounts followed and interacted videos, giving Sims a harder time trying to gain followers and get on the FYP during quarantine.
In her interview, Sims shares some advice that has not only helped her grow her followers but maintain her personal brand: interact with your audience.
But, having a large audience is not without its challenges. The lifestyle that comes with being an influencer includes putting yourself out there online, which comes with some negativity. Sims however, powers through and tries her best to not let comments get to her.
“Some days it’s harder than others. I try not to take anything personally because even in everyday life there are going to be people who don’t like me or disagree with me. I try to remember this but on a huge scale,” she says.
The best way to rise above it? Make sure to monitor your comments and take the steps to block the critics and delete the spread of hate. Sims knows better than anyone that this can be draining but it’s worth it in the end.
Jessie is confident in her ability to continue growing her audience on TikTok and loves any chance she gets to put a smile on people’s faces.
“I think it is important to be relatable and approachable to your audience. I don’t want to feel disconnected from them. I make content for my own entertainment but mainly for them. I want to make people laugh.”