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How a comedian used TikTok to make her first branded content

  • Pooja Tripathi quit her job at Dior to become an actress in 2018.
  • In March 2021, her manager convinced her to start posting on TikTok for more exposure.
  • Since then, Tripathi has signed deals with brands like Facebook and TaskRabbit.

Pooja Tripathi was working in digital marketing at Dior when she decided she had had enough of corporate America. It had been four years since she graduated from college and she wanted to try something she had been thinking about for a while: acting.

When one of her friends approached her about writing and acting web series, Tripathi couldn’t say no. The 29-year-old quit her fashion job in New York in May 2018 to film the series, and the experience convinced her to pursue acting full-time.

She hired a management agency to help her find work, and her manager suggested she start one TikTok account to gain more visibility and practice her public speaking skills. Tripathi didn’t know much about the social media platform, but when she started posting, she saw that people liked the witty sketches she created about life in New York.

Now Tripathi has 33,500 followers on TikTok, where she posts videos like “manhattan date”, “tourists in the subway”, and “NYC finance bros.”

Since she started posting in March 2021, Tripathi has earned $25,300 through paid partnerships, according to filings verified by Insider. Although her content primarily focuses on the Big Apple, she has recently branched out into videos about it American tourists abroad and life in los angeles.

“Sometimes I feel like my sense of humor is too specific, but that hasn’t been a problem because you can still make a lot of money,” Tripathi told Insider.

Her first paid partnership came four months after she started publishing

When Tripathi first started posting, her content ranged from videos of her playing the violin to her commentary on the news. She also tried her hand at sketch comedy, posting a video in which she plays a passenger on the New York subway. That went viral with almost 330,000 views.

“I started to notice that a wacky sense of humor really attracted some people,” she said. “The skits I wrote were jokes that I told at other dinner parties for years.”

Tripathi decided to build on the momentum of that video by acting out different scenarios in and around the city, all from the comfort of her living room.

In July 2021, four months after Tripathi recorded her first video, BioLink, link-in-bio provider, approached her about cooperation: the company wanted to make a video for $500.

“I was surprised, because you hear about people doing partnerships, and I thought that only happens when you have a lot more followers,” she said. “I really didn’t expect anyone to get back to me.”

Tripathi’s manager handled price negotiations and the contract, but Tripathi worked closely with the brand on what the final product would look like. The video shows him pretending to be a DJ from Brooklyn, sharing his new mix via his BioLink.

More offers followed, and now Tripathi charges a minimum of $1,000 per TikTok post. The final amount depends on a number of factors, including how much time they’ll spend writing and starring in the video, the creative control they have when publishing, and the reach of the brand itself.

Tripathi has worked with seven brands to create content: BioLink, Facebook, Target, TaskRabbit, Vocal Media, Hulu and Cleo. She said that as her followers grew, so did the income she generated. Her earnings for 2021 were $9,800, but she’s already hit $15,500 this year, with at least two more deals in the next four months. Until now, Tripathi has not had to work on contacts – all brands are looking for her and asking for cooperation.

“Based on the comments, most of my followers live in New York or visit often,” she said. “I think a lot of brands have realized that if they work with me, they’re reaching an audience of people who are based here.”

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