We’re reaching out to some popular creators to get their best tips and tricks for success and better understand the ups and downs of life as a trailblazer on the internet.

This week, we caught up with Tega Orhorhoro, aka Tega Reacts, over email. Tega is a content creator known online for her funny reaction videos, and her signature catchphrase “continue.” In just a couple of years, Tega has amassed over 2,800,000 followers on TikTok. She shared with the Daily Dot what she wishes she knew when she was first starting out, how she stays in touch with her fans, why she embraces her imperfections, and more in an exclusive interview. 

The interview below has been condensed and edited.

What’s the first thing you do to start your day online? 

I normally check all my social media messages to make sure that I am updated, and then check creator insights to see how my videos have been doing for the last three to four days.

What do you wish you knew when you were first starting out as a creator?

  1. Creating content everyday can be hard, especially when you have high standards for yourself and want to be authentic. 
  2. It’s ok to take breaks. Burnout is real and some of my best content has come after I’ve taken the time to reset. Rest is part of the creative process.
  3. Organic growth takes time—don’t feel like you need to rush, and try your best to not compare your audience with others. Every creator is different. 
  4. Engage with your community and continue to expand in your audience and with other creators. 

When did you realize you’d broken through and become a successful creator? 

I think when my video was shared by celebrities like Viola Davis and Jennifer Garner. I saw millions of people share my videos, and seeing them talk about how inspired they were by my message was so validating and motivating. 

If you hadn’t become a creator, what would you be doing right now?

In addition to working as a full-time content creator, I manage social media and also work in politics. Currently, I am working as a full-time marketing and social media director, and soon I will be working with people running for public office, assisting in their campaigns. 

What’s one thing you do to manage your relationship with your fans? 

I try to reply to every single one of my followers who comment on my videos. Sometimes I message them privately, especially when they are asking for words of encouragement. I also send personal, hand-written letters to followers who send mail to my P.O. Box. I love to write to my followers and it’s one of my favorite parts of being a creator. 

What do you think of the idea of cancel culture? 

I think the term is used frequently and oftentimes incorrectly. Nothing in life is black-and-white. While we are all human and capable of making mistakes, I also believe that there is a line that we all have to draw in our everyday relationships as well as in our perception of creators, celebrities, and other public figures when it comes to what we are willing to tolerate. I think people often mistake accountability for cancel culture, but when someone has been privileged their entire life or career, any level of accountability from others can feel like they are being ‘canceled.’ 

How much of your true self do you show online? 

I am 100% open and authentic with who I am online. My content shows exactly who I am because I put my heart and soul into creating it. Even when I mess up on my videos, I don’t hide the mistakes because it’s all part of who I am: human, imperfect, funny, strong, kind, and so much more. 

I don’t define myself by my mistakes. I think that when you embrace your imperfection, it becomes a lot easier to create because you’re not distracted by trying to be perfect. 

What’s one of the best interactions you’ve ever had with someone who follows you? 

Every interaction with my followers feels special. Bringing joy to people through my content is such a privilege and means so much to me. Knowing that I made even one person’s day slightly better through my content makes all of the work worthwhile. 

What is your most treasured tool? 

My phone—it’s how I create all of my content. My phone is the bridge between myself and my community and it allows me to continue to grow and expand my reach with each new video. 

What holds you accountable? 

My family and friends play a major role in holding me accountable. It’s easy to forget who you are once you buy into an online presence to the extent that I have. They remind me of my values and my true self. They are also my biggest motivators and push me to keep going when things get hard. Anyone who aspires to be a creator needs a circle of loyal and trustworthy people who will be there to remind you of who you are and be there for you through the highs and the lows.

Thank you, Tega, for speaking with us! 

We’ll be featuring a new Q&A with a creator every week, so shoot an email to [email protected] for a chance to be included.

Source: https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/tega-reacts-tiktok-interview/