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How Tinx and Her Tiny Microphone Are Taking Over TikTok

TikTok superstar Tinx tells E! News why she decided to pick up her tiny mic and take over the world.

By Billy Nilles, Amanda Williams May 16, 2021 7:00 PMTags
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If you're a millennial who has been on TikTok in the last year, chances are you already know and are obsessed with Tinx.

But in the (highly unlikely) chance that you haven't happily lost hours of your life to Christina Najjar and her tiny microphone on the social media platform, it's time to meet one of the most relatable content creators out there. 

Since she started sharing her hot takes on everything from dating and wellness to The Bachelor exactly one year ago, the self-described "amalgamation of all five Spice Girls" has amassed an impressive 1.1 million followers on TikTok. (And her Instagram account isn't far behind.) And when she looks back at all she's accomplished in that time, she can't believe how far she's come.

"Now I'm slightly embarrassed because when I first started I had no idea what I was doing" Tinx told E! News. "I looked back and I was like, 'Wow I really went on TikTok in, like, a towel in my hair wrapped up.'"

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If you're wondering how she's done it, you've come to the right place. Read on as Tinx answers all our burning questions about her journey to TikTok superstardom, one Rich Moms Starter Pack at a time.

E! News: What was your background before you entered the content creation world?

Tinx: I'll try to be brief but, you know me, I love to chat. I'm originally from London, and I grew up there my entire life until I went to college, but I have American parents. I went to a very strict, all-girls British school and, in high school, I always watched a lot of The O.C. and Laguna Beach. I was like, 'Gosh, these people in California really have that figured out. They seem to be having a great time. I really want to go to college in California.' I applied to mainly California schools and got into Stanford and, as soon as I got to California, I was like, 'I love it here'. After school, I lived in San Francisco for four years working in fashion. I worked at Gap Inc., and then I worked at Poshmark, so I really thought I wanted to be in fashion. But the whole time I was working, as my side hustle, I was writing articles for Teen Vogue, Pop Sugar, Refinery 29. And that was when I was so happy. I would just have the biggest thrill when I was writing fun articles and I would get emails about them from women. I would write things like, 'I went on a date with a new guy every week for a year and this is what happened.' I've always loved being the human guinea pig, love to try funny things out. People need a brain break. They want to have a laugh and, I think, for me, being super honest with people and being vulnerable about my experience can make someone feel less alone. If we can share that common experience, then that's the best. So then I thought, 'Okay, I'll go back to school and get my Master's in journalism.' I want to try living on the East Coast so I went to Parsons in New York City for fashion journalism.

I really did not settle in New York and it was also at this time that I realized I actually am not that into fashion. But I continued to write. I was the online editor for Modern Luxury for a while, so writing for Gotham and Hampton. I was writing tons of articles and I'm loving that side of things, but as soon as I graduated, I wanted to move back to California. I wanted to try L.A. because I felt like it may be the perfect mix of all the cities that I've lived in and I got here and continued to write and started to consult for brands and help them tell their stories because I realized that's really also what I loved: storytelling.

I was loving life and then the pandemic hit and obviously nobody wanted articles about how to match your zodiac sign to your workout leggings. I was kind of down in the dumps and living in a studio apartment above a strip club on La Cienega Blvd., just kind of banging my head against the wall. I downloaded TikTok and was like this is so fun but I didn't really see any content. I felt like there was a space for a different type of content. Obviously I'm a millennial, I'm a little bit older. There were so many fun dancing videos and there was definitely comedy on there, but I felt like there could be more millennial content. I also obviously love celebrity news. I love social commentary. So I thought, 'I don't have anything else to do, I might as well just try it. I have literally nothing to lose and I no longer fear judgment because it seems like the world's ending anyway.' As soon as I made my first video, I was like, 'This is what I'm supposed to do with my life.' It was immediate. I was like I'm obsessed with this, I love this format. I never thought of myself as a camera-facing person but I absolutely loved it. And from then it was just a wild ride. 

E!: How did you end up making this your full-time job?

T: I was making videos and absolutely loving it, and I started to get brand deals. I said to myself, 'If I won the lottery or someone gave me a billion dollars tomorrow, I would still make videos every day until the day I die.' And that tells me that I really need to make this my full-time job. I set myself a timeline and I said, 'Okay I really want to be doing this full time by January 1.' I didn't tell anyone because I was like that seems impossible, so I'll just keep it my secret goal and work on it myself. I wrote a list of all the things that I needed to do to get there: How much money I would need to be making to have security, I would need a manager, I would need a plan I would need to understand the ins and outs of this business because when I started I didn't know the difference between a manager and agent. I didn't know how to negotiate a brand deal. I didn't know any of that. I got my manager, who is a complete angel and my partner in crime, Seth Jacobs, in October, and he really helped me. We made a plan and I was full-time content creator as of January 1.

More logistically, I think people are really interested to know how this all works. I make money through brand deals. I'm not in the TikTok creator fund, and I don't do affiliate links. So I work with brands, and I've been so lucky to work with incredible brands. I told Seth really early on, 'I've built my platform, which was small at the time, but I really care about the integrity of my platform and people have known me to be really honest about things so I don't want to work with any brands that I don't naturally love. I don't want to work with any brands that I haven't already spoken about organically.' And he was like, 'I understand and I love that you care about being honest with your followers so much. So let's do it'. I think, especially post-pandemic, people are looking for a new type of honesty and they can tell when something's fake and when something's real. So for me, for example, I love Chipotle, I love Spotify. These are things that I talk about so organically anyway, so I made a list of all the brands that I'm absolutely obsessed with and we've been lucky to work with most of them. I mean SKIMS—when I got the call that I was going to do a SKIMS video, I wept, I was so blown away because obviously I'm a huge Kim Kardashian fan.

E!: What would you say separates yourself from the other influencers?

T: I try to have a big variety in my content. I try to give people a little bit of everything because I think all of us are so multi-faceted and I think, in the past, maybe creators have only shown one side of themselves. I try to show my whole self. So sometimes that means I'm talking about rich mom things and I'm trying out a new Goop product. Sometimes that means I'm sobbing because I got rejected from a boy and I'm just telling everybody about my personal life. Sometimes that means I'm reporting on celebrities and sometimes that means I'm doing a little comedy skit. I try to give the full spectrum of my interests and what's happening with me. I think that that really resonates with people since we are all so many things and we don't want just one thing. I think in the past, maybe it's like you go to this influencer for just beauty or you go to this creator just for laughs. I try to give my whole self to my followers and my community, not because I feel like I have to, because I feel like I want to. It feels really, really natural to me.

E!: How do you motivate yourself when you might not feel like making content one day?

T: Honestly, I have not had a day when I don't want to create content. I absolutely love it. I have many other problems though. My time management is horrific. I am so disorganized and I've actually heard that that's a creator thing, though. A lot of my other creator friends were like, 'Oh yeah the content comes but the organization? No.' I wish that I could just do nothing but my mom is like, 'No, you will literally go to jail if you don't pay your taxes.' And I'm like, 'I just can't organize that right now.' She's like, 'You're 30.' I'm like, 'I literally just want to make videos about getting drunk!'

That's one of the notes that I get from people the most: 'Oh, you made me not afraid to turn 30.'  And I tell my followers all the time, my life began at 30. It really did. Not to say I didn't have wonderful times in my 20s but I think your 20s are so mismarketed. They can be really scary. Most people are broke in their 20s. You're trying to figure it out and then, you know, you turn 30. And it's just like, you finally know who you are, you know what you want. I truly have never been more happier [or] grateful, I think. I'm loving 30.

E!: Obviously with your huge platform on TikTok and Instagram, it comes with the keyboard warriors, the haters, all the negativity online. How do you deal with that?

T: I think it's really difficult because I am a people pleaser in a lot of ways and I create content to make people laugh and to bring joy to people's lives. So when someone writes something mean, it can definitely sting. When I was new to this world, I was not well-equipped to handle it. I had some really sad days thinking why would someone take time out of their day to write such a mean comment. I work really hard, I'm super open about mental health and I think it's very important to talk about. I work really closely with a therapist and we made a plan. I just said to myself 'Look if I'm going to be in this business for the long run, which I am going to be, I need to figure out a way to think about this.' I always tell myself, firstly, nine times out of 10, if you click on them, they are users6975 or they don't have a profile. They have never posted any content. Hurt people hurt people. And the second thing is if they're taking time out of their day to spread negativity, they must have really bad stuff going on in their life. So I just send them love because that's what they need. Thirdly, the other thing that I always tell people, if you've got a mean comment from someone else, it's never another creator. It's never someone else who has the courage to put themselves out there. It's someone who's hiding behind a mask, behind a username or whatever. it's never a fellow creator or someone who's brave enough to put stuff out there. Some days it stings more than others. Some days I just shake it off, but it comes with the territory, and you can't let the haters get you down.

E!: Do you feel any pressure to remain confident and true to yourself and keep that in your content for your followers, even if you're not feeling your best that day?

T: I usually just tell my followers if I'm not feeling my best. I think it just feels very natural for me to be completely honest with them. I think that there is strength and confidence in vulnerability. So, in being able to say, 'Oh, you know, I'm actually not feeling that great', or like, in January, I shared with them all, 'OK guys, I gained some weight in the pandemic and it's time to go.' You know, just sharing that with them. I think that that even on your not confident days, you can show confidence through vulnerability. That's what I try to do. I don't feel any pressure. I really do feel like they're all my best friends and I'm just honest with them.

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E!: How did 'Rich Moms' come about and can we expect any other franchises next from you?

T: I have been obsessed with the rich moms forever. It's rich moms, they have it going on, they get everything done They're very organized and they look super glamorous while doing it—and yes, this is kind of a really hilarious interest to have. Even before I had followers, I would do my own personal Instagram, just outfits and say, 'Oh this is this rich mom. Oh this this restaurant is such a rich mom vibe.' And then I just thought, Why don't I try this new format on TikTok? And everybody really loved it. They are so fun to make.

I love researching them. People don't know how long I take to research them because you always have to have really good details for every city. They're really fun, and I have a consultant in each city. I want to do more for sure. We just did Palo Alto rich mom, which is good. I think we have San Diego coming up and then I really want to do a Texas one. I can't wait to do those. When I finally get home to London this summer, I'll absolutely be doing some London rich moms, which people have been asking for. Rich moms is my favorite type of content to create.

I love doing little impressions on TikTok, as well. I love talking about dating. I think people really just resonate so much because it's such a universal experience and, especially as we all reemerge into the world, we're all sort of remembering how to be with each other so definitely want to be creating some content around social commentary on that.

E!: Besides Diplo which already basically happened, who is your next celebrity that you are dying to collaborate with or have a duet with on TikTok?

T: I absolutely adore Hailey Bieber's style, and I've done a lot of recreations of her outfits and her hair. I just think that she has the best style. She works with Maeve Riley, and I think the two of them just have—they're the coolest. So I would love for her to see some of my TikToks. Something with Hailey and Maeve would be an absolute dream come true, but we'll see. I mean, I literally wake up every day and I'm like, 'What is she wearing?'

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E!: What advice do you have for new creators that trying to get into the space right now?

T: Number one: Consistency. That's the hardest thing because it can be super disheartening when you're creating content and maybe you're not getting views or you're not getting a lot of positive affirmation. Be consistent, every day. Make a commitment. Say, 'I'm going to put out a piece of content every day for a month, come hell or high water.' And that's not only just because it will increase your chances of being seen, but also get those reps in you. You can practice, you can figure it out.

Number two: Find your niche, whatever it is. Don't be afraid if it's a really specific thing. Like I always tell people, there is a side of TikTok that's literally oatmeal TikTok. So if that's the thing, you can find your niche because people will care about it if you care about it.

My third tip is: Create the content that you want to see. I think people get really tripped up thinking what would people like, what would people get views or likes. That's actually the wrong way to go about it. You should make content that you care about, that you want to see. That's what I did. I never thought anybody would care about Rich Moms, and they do because I care about it. So create the content that you want to see in the world.

E!: Can you give us a quick overview of what your day entails being a content creator?

T: I am a certified psychopath because I love mornings, I literally bound out of bed. It's my favorite time of the day because I am so optimistic and hopeful, and no matter what I'm doing, I walk to get a coffee wherever I am in the world. That's really important. I always talk to my followers on that walk usually and check in with them and just kind of get ready for the day. I listen to some music, that's my form of meditation. Then I will do emails, get a smoothie and sort of see what I have to do for the day. I'm really lucky that I get to experience a lot of fun things, maybe it's going to see someone or meet someone or be on a podcast or try something new that I'm going to tell my followers about. The day is always a little bit up in the air.

Actually, the most annoying thing about me is that I don't really like to make content until the evening because I like to marinate on all my ideas and like to write my jokes out and then let them sit for a bit. I won't make content until like 8 p.m. usually, which is really tricky. It's really strange but it's because all throughout the day I'll be writing down little notes and jokes and researching things. And then, at night, I'll finally start making the videos and the content, which is a weird process and I wish that I could do it in reverse, but alas, I can't.

E!: Where do you go from here and what are we going to see next from Tinx?

T: I am really focused on strengthening the connection I have with my audience. I definitely want to move into new platforms soon. Audio is definitely my main focus right now, so that's probably our next big project that we have in the works. But I truly think people would think I'm crazy if I said everything that I want to do. Just first and foremost, I want to strengthen the relationship I have with my followers and bring joy to them, and just make people laugh. That's really at the core of everything. But we have some pretty exciting stuff coming. I just have endless gratitude. I just hit a million [followers] and I know a lot of most creators have way more followers than me, but I just feel just a deep, deep gratitude for every single follower and every single person who likes my content. I just am kind of really enjoying this moment because it feels really good.

(This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)

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