If you find yourself googling how to go viral on Tiktok, you may want to look up the name Christi Steyn.
One of the related searches is “Christi Steyn accent”. And, it makes perfect sense, considering the fact that her voice has literally gone viral on TikTok and Instagram but that’s nothing new, people are going viral everyday, all day.
The difference with Christi is the poetry. You’d think in the age of perfectionism on social media, where most feeds are about a modern indulgence and decadence, reflecting an almost Gatsby-like era, that poetry would be the last thing to go viral on these platforms but Christi has racked up a cool 1.6 million followers on TikTok alone.
Her audio to the now famous poem I started calling that girl back written by S.C Lourie, a British poet, is recited almost magically by Christi and her followers who’ve used the clip on their own videos.
Now, Christi is on her way to a published book, more modelling gigs and racking up legions of fans.
“I originally moved to New York to study acting and the pandemic hit so I struggled to find work. I downloaded TikTok to keep sane and started reading Shakespearean sonnets and it started resonating with people and I eventually started reading my own work and lead to an agent contacting me about getting a book published. It’s been a beautiful journey.”
Christi advises those wanting to know how to go viral on TikTok to find their own niche.
“You will always be judged by people doing less, so go for it. My main piece of advice is to be versatile and to have a niche, having a following does help open doors but being just an influencer might not be the answer when it comes to making money. You need to have a few things going on to make a decent amount of money, especially because everyone is trying to be an influencer.”
The 26-year-old says she is kind to herself, as one of the difficult parts of creating is the expectation to create content all the time.
“The pressure is there to create poetry all the time,” she says about writing her own poetry, which comes in waves and bursts, depending on when inspiration hits.
As to why her poetry and reading of poetry is resonating with so many on social media, she says: “The last two years have been difficult, so traumatising for so many of us, it made us insecure and vulnerable and I think that is reflected in the poetry and resonates with so many people.”