If you’re on New Orleans TikTok, you probably already know who Alex Robinson is. With more than 63,000 followers on the app alone, Robinson has built a massive following in the New Orleans community.
Robinson found her spark during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic by creating New Orleans-centric content showing the world the city’s arts, food and culture.
She officially moved to New Orleans in 2018 but previously lived an hour away in Baton Rouge. Robinson said she has always had a connection with New Orleans since her family is from the city.
Robinson’s rise on TikTok
When Robinson joined TikTok, she said it wasn’t as saturated with content creators and influencers. With husband Carlos Lee helping her record content, Robinson has become one of the biggest TikTok creators from the New Orleans area.
“It was very much looked at as a dancing app or an app for kids and teens,” she said. “People were really interested in my content surrounding what to do in New Orleans because there were really no other content creators in New Orleans at the time.”
Robinson said when she started creating content, the New Orleans-centric TikTok hashtags only had about 1000 views. Now the New Orleans hashtag has millions of views. Robinson said being one of the first creators on the platform to showcase New Orleans helped her platform grow.
“It’s a more honest platform and more authentic and genuine. It gave me a chance to do what I loved, like going to restaurants and events, and share it,” Robinson said.
Robinson’s goal on her page is to share her honest opinion, the good and the bad. However, she said this practice has given her backlash occasionally.
“If I’m posting a place, one thing is that I’ve always been completely honest. I will tell you if someone is not good,” she said. “Sometimes I get a little bit of hate for that and sometimes I do feel bad because I’m not trying to bring down anyone’s business. But at the same time, I’m for the people and I don’t want people to spend their money on something if it’s really not that good.”
Not the same old routine
Robinson said she creates content for local New Orleanians to show them parts of the city they may not have explored yet.
“I want my followers to see the city the way that I see the city,” Robinson said. “Even though it’s inevitable that tourists see my page, that’s not my goal. My goal is to promote hidden little gems in neighborhoods that I want people to see and experience,” she said.
As people live in a city, they tend to find a routine of going to places and restaurants where they know what to expect. Robinson said sometimes if people have lived in a city long enough, they tend to stay in a bubble of what’s familiar to them.
“It’s especially true when you’ve lived somewhere your whole life. I want my content to encourage locals to branch out more and support local businesses more,” she said.
Robinson said living in New Orleans is the inspiration itself for her to continue to create content for her followers.
“I feel like I’m just getting started. I have an entire list on my phone of new places to go to or old places to go to that I haven’t made it to,” Robinson said. “The city is really my inspiration. Creating content in New Orleans has been so easy for me because there’s always something new popping up,” she said.
Robinson is working hard to grow her platform as she is transitioning into becoming a full-time content creator. Last year, she said she owned a small interior design business but she hasn’t done any design work so far this year.
“I’ve mostly been creating content. I supplement my income by renting out my spare bedroom on Airbnb,” Robinson said. “I knew this is what I wanted to do and I needed something to supplement that income so I spent all last summer renovating it.”
In a typical week, Robinson is active on her social media platforms Monday through Wednesday, responding to comments and DMs. She said this is also the time she allotted to research upcoming events and edit her videos.
“For a typical video, the editing process takes about two hours. Thursday through Sunday is when I’m going to restaurants, events and festivals to create content for my page,” Robinson said.
Robinson plans to continue to grow her platform slowly by branching out into travel content.
“It’s a bit challenging at the moment because I have locked in my niche of talking about things in New Orleans and my platform is here,” Robinson said. “I’ve been trying to do day trips to places from New Orleans as a liaison to branch out to travel and make these guides in other cities as well.”
She has made these guides for nearby areas such as Bay St. Louis and Covington. However, she said she doesn’t know how sustainable growth in the travel sphere is for her at the moment because of the cost.
“I have to get a lot more brand deals to be able to afford to do that type of thing,” she said. “Now I’m focused on creating a community because I want people to know that the focus is not just on New Orleans but also on my life.”
Alex said she is working to strengthen the personal connection between her and her followers and is thankful for everyone who supports her in her content.
“I would not have a platform without the people who follow me,” she said. “The people who follow me and support me really make the time that I put in worthwhile when I’m not getting paid to do things because I know that I’m making an impact.”
Robinson said the support from her community drives her to continue to show her followers the city she loves.
“As long as they’re still loving it like I’m going to keep doing it,” she said.
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