By Amanda Bang
Boston University News Service
One year ago, Lia Choi, 21, was just another student posting fun and short videos on TikTok. However, her friend’s new content idea made her go viral on TikTok, helping her gain the 158,000 followers she has now.
Choi is a senior at Boston University studying entertainment business and film. Currently, she is based in Los Angeles as she is taking part in the Los Angeles study abroad program.
For Choi, TikTok was something she started for fun.
“I was just making videos during study breaks whenever I’m stressed out,” Choi said. “The account started off as just making short dance videos and makeup videos.”
However, in the middle of November 2021, Choi’s TikTok journey took a turn when she took her friend’s advice.
“My friend told me I give good advice and he was like ‘Oh, you should make videos about it because people will watch it,’” she said. “And then it ended up doing well, so I kept making those types of videos.”
From then on, Choi’s main content on her TikTok account became giving relationship advice with videos such as “how to nail the first date.”
Choi said the most enjoyable part of her TikTok journey so far is the messages she receives in response to her videos.
“People will send me their messages and be like, ‘I followed your advice and then it worked for me’,” Choi said. “They send me thank-you notes or success stories, so I think in terms of helping people, I guess that was the best part.”
Choi’s friend, BU junior Jasmine Zhou, 20, shared that being an influencer online does not always bring positive experiences.
“She told me that there were fake accounts of her on TikTok and Instagram and some people were putting fake content of her,” Zhou said. “That’s the other side of being a famous TikToker.”
As Choi tries to post at least once a day while being enrolled in classes with an internship, she said it could get a little rigorous in terms of time.
“I don’t think I realized how much time goes into it,” Choi said. “I have a calendar of how and when to post and what to post.”
Choi said her main goal for TikTok and her career going forward is to “positively influence” as many people as possible.
“That’s why I’m going into entertainment management and business because I want to be able to use my skills in marketing and strategy to promote positively impacting stories,” Choi said. “I want to keep on using the platform to the best of my ability.”
Brian Lin, 21, a Boston University alumnus who graduated last December, said the relationship advice content on Choi’s TikTok and her current goal suits her well.
“Based on how I know her and her personality being very caring and kind, I think what she’s doing is definitely something that she will be really good at,” Lin said.
Choi plans to start shifting her content to be more than just giving relationship advice, branching out to lifestyle content.
This story is a part of a series of interviews with local TikTokers. Read more here.