For many young people around the world, becoming a TikTok influencer and earning millions seems like an impossible dream.
However, for 22-year-old Kenyan social media star Brian Muthoni, this dream became a reality in just a few short years.
In this exclusive interview, Brian reveals the step-by-step strategy that took him from being a high school dropout in Kibera to amassing over 15 million followers and making over Ksh100 million ($1 million USD) on TikTok.
Whether you’re looking to grow your own account or become the next TikTok sensation, Brian’s story provides key lessons for success.
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From High School Dropout to Overnight TikTok Sensation
Brian’s journey began in hardship. He grew up in the slums of Kibera, Nairobi. His parents struggled to make ends meet and could not afford to keep him in school after 8th grade.
With no high school diploma and limited options for work, Brian felt stuck. He dreamed of becoming rich and famous one day, but had no roadmap of how to get there.
That all changed at 17 years old when Brian got his first smartphone. He downloaded TikTok and was instantly hooked. He decided to begin posting comedy videos inspired by his life in Kibera.
To his surprise, his videos started getting thousands of views and new followers daily. Within 6 months, he had over 5 million followers and was making up to Ksh300,000 ($3,000 USD) per video in brand sponsorships.
Seemingly overnight, Brian had gone from high school dropout to TikTok millionaire and celebrity. But it took more than just luck…
The 7 Steps to Brian’s Success
Brian attributes his rapid rise on TikTok to a strategic 7-step formula. Here are the key elements that took him to the top:
1. Find Your Niche
Brian knew his unique life experience in Kibera was something no other big TikToker was talking about. He decided to make POV-style videos roleplaying hilarious scenarios and characters from the slums. This allowed him to stand out in a crowded market.
“You have to find something different that only YOU can talk about. That’s how you get noticed on TikTok.”
2. Post Consistently
Brian treated TikTok like a full-time job. He aimed for 2-3 videos per day to stay relevant in the aggressive TikTok algorithm. This involved filming, editing, posting consistently at peak times around 6-9 PM.
3. Respond to All Comments
Even with millions of followers, Brian made a point to read and respond to his comments daily. This engaged his fans and made them feel valued.
“Fans are the reason you get brand deals. Responding to them shows you care”.
4. Go Viral With Trends
Brian strategically capitalized on viral TikTok trends like dancing challenges to grow his audience exponentially. Even trends unrelated to his niche, he would put his own spin on them with his signature Kibera style.
5. Leverage Influencers With Collabs
Collaborating with micro and macro influencers gave Brian access to new followers. But he made sure to only work with those who were a clear fit for his brand.
6. Run Branded Hashtag Challenges
Brian convinced brands to pay him to run sponsored hashtag challenges and competitions. This became a major revenue stream while getting his content in front of new demographics.
7. Expand to Other Platforms
While TikTok was his primary platform, Brian leveraged his following to expand his brand to Instagram, YouTube, and more. This provided more monetization and marketing opportunities.
“I went all in on TikTok first before expanding. You have to dominate one platform then build around that audience”.
Brian’s Advice for Aspiring TikTokers
For those hoping to find TikTok success like Brian, he offers a few final pieces of advice:
- Stick to a consistent niche. It’s better to master one area vs jumping between different topics.
- Spend time learning the algorithm. Figure out what triggers the algorithm to promote your content and double down on those things.
- Collaborate strategically. Don’t just collaborate for the sake of it. Make sure it’s with accounts that truly align with your brand.
- Reinvest earnings back into your channel. Use earnings to improve production quality, hire an editor, or collaborate with bigger influencers.
- Have a long-term vision. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Think long-term and avoid getting discouraged by slow initial growth.
The Key Takeaway
Brian Muthoni’s journey reveals that becoming a top TikTok creator takes focus, consistency, and strategic thinking. While natural talent helps, his structured approach demonstrates that social media fame can be engineered through smart effort and perseverance.
For any young Kenyan with passion and work ethic, Brian stands as a model of what’s possible in the internet age. Anyone can leverage social platforms to build an audience and lucrative brand around their unique personality and talents.
While the TikTok gold rush won’t last forever, Brian provides hope that the Kenyan youth of today can chart their own path to success.
By following his blueprint, your unlikely dreams just might become a reality too.