In a space some see as overwhelmingly crowded by dance videos and Gen-Z, Amanda Bouldin has found her tribe.

Bouldin, a 34-year-old mom of 3 young daughters from California, didn’t mean to go viral on TikTok. After a trial and error period of finding an outlet for “mom-rants” and creativity and deciding that a ‘finsta’ (second Instagram account) wasn’t for her, she decided to take the advice of media mastermind Gary Vaynerchuk and join TikTok. At first, she wasn’t impressed with the platform dominated by Gen-Z and felt like she didn’t fit in.

After a negative experience with her eldest daughter, who was six at the time, and another little girl on the playground, Bouldin took to TikTok to rant about how female empowerment starts with children. With 13 followers at the time, she just wanted a place to express her feelings and expected nothing to happen. That night, her neighbor texted her that her niece had shown her the video. After checking TikTok the next day, Bouldin realized the video had millions of views. Her 13 followers turned into 30,000 with just one video, virtually overnight. 

In late 2019, after realizing she genuinely enjoyed creating TikTok videos, she decided to continue making content in a timeframe that worked with her busy lifestyle as a mom of young kids. She never plans her videos and can often be found filming on her kitchen floor or in her car when she gets an idea.

During a challenging year for everyone, Bouldin lost her job to corporate restructuring due to the pandemic. She is incredibly grateful that she had her growing platforms on Instagram and TikTok to fall back on. She ultimately decided to pursue content creation full-time, which included starting a Youtube channel and podcast under her brand “After Hours with Amanda.”

In the social media world where negativity often overshadows authenticity, Bouldin wants her community to focus on kindness. She emphasizes that the negativity you receive isn’t necessarily a reflection of your content and platform and more about something that represents a difficult experience for them. Because of her positive attitude and bubbly personality, she has had very few issues with internet trolls and mean comments. 

When it comes to navigating a sometimes-difficult brand partnership process, Bouldin’s philosophy is simple. If it doesn’t fit the brand she’s created, it’s not worth the payout. When she was first starting, Bouldin received advice from another influencer who told her that if you say yes to every opportunity, you lose people’s trust in your community. 

Bouldin’s advice to aspiring influencers, especially on TikTok, is to make content you enjoy and share what matters to you. She encourages people to find their purpose, which will attract a community of like-minded supporters. Don’t focus on going viral. Growth will come as your community finds you, she says. Bouldin feels very lucky to have had the trajectory that she did, especially on TikTok. She wants her community to know that even on bad days, she still loves the content she creates and her “framily” (friends & family). 

For more, be sure to watch the full video interview with Amanda and Markerly co-founder Justin Kline here:

Check out Amanda’s TikTok and Instagram @afterhourswithamanda, and her podcast and Youtube channel, After Hours With Amanda.