Influencer Grace Amaku Shares Dos And Don’ts Of Going Viral
Imagine coming home from a 12-hour shift as a nurse, making a video talking about your trip to Walmart, falling asleep you waking up for work the next day with 3 million views and 50,000 new followers. Hi, my name is Grace Amaku and this is my life.
As a 24-year-old pediatric nurse working during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was never my goal to go viral on social media. When it did happen, I had to make a choiceeither I continue making videos or let this 1 viral video be an “interesting fact” I bring up on first dates. Which brings me to my first tip of going viral—assessment.
Assess how you feel about going viral and if you would like to keep growing no matter what you want to do. Prime examples are Addison Rae and Bella Porch. They started out as viral TikTok dancers and are now identified as singers.
Being a comedian had been my dream since middle school, so I knew I had to make the most of my viral moment. I did not want my first viral video to be my last. So night after night, I would set my phone up in my bathroom, open up TikTok, and record a funny story. Some videos would get 2,000 views and some would get 2M views but despite the inconsistency, I couldn’t stop. It was exhilarating.
Try to be consistent with your content and try to create videos similar to the video you went viral for. If Tessica Brown posted videos about her favorite outfits or her shoe collection, she would have not gotten 700k followers on Instagram in 2 weeks. She understood people were following her for updates on her spraying her hair with super glue so the style could last longer. After she got the glue out, she was getting brand deals left and right. In order to really get the bag, she started working with a manager.
Read ESSENCE’s piece about Tessica Brown’s new haircare line.
Get An Agent
Get an assistant or manager because that’s where the money resides. After my following grew on Instagram and TikTok, brands like PrettyLittleThing and UberEats started reaching out to me to work for them. Small businesses constantly messaged me asking me to promote their product for a fee. All of this was happening while I was working 42 hours a week as a nurse. I was not adept at negotiating and did not have time to go through requests—that’s when I was connected with my manager.
Read our interview with Durell Smylie, the salesman who created the viral “where the money reside” phrase.
Find Your Tribe
Once you are on the ground running with consistent content and getting good money, try to find a community. As a Black female creator, one thing I am passionate about, is making sure other Black female creators don’t get played when it comes to brand deals. It happens way too often. So I have a few other creators who I check on and they check on me from time to time. They know your struggle and you know theirs.
Now, for the DONT’S of going viral.
Know Your Limits
Creating consistent material can be hard, especially if you have various side hustles. So take your time. Avoid burnout. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Remember, Privacy Is Key
Yes, it is very easy to share whatever you would like on social media and feel free to do so. But, be cautious. Always black out your address when opening things from brands. Know that if you share your relationship online as well, you not only have your friends and family telling you about what they think of your significant other, but also all your followers as well.
Don’t Work for Free
I’ve had many experiences, especially as a Black creator, where big brands will try to work with me for free saying that the “exposure” to their page would be to die for. But they paid my non-Black counterparts the big bucks for this same video. When it comes to the viral social media game, have fun, keep to your identity, and know your worth, queen!
Keep up with Grace by following her on TikTok and Instagram.