As the world has seen in the last year, TikTokers have not only taken the entertainment space by storm, but have also become the modern-day celebrity. We've seen teenagers go from making short-form videos in their homes to becoming some of the most famous social media stars on the planet. It's no doubt that in this day in age, the digital community is where the new wave of actors, singers, performers, and artists will blossom from.
There are many TikTokers out there who have made a name for themselves, but a special one out there who gained fame for his relatable corporate America work content is Rod. You probably know him by his profile name "justme.rod" which has now officially changed on TikTok to "rod." In just one year, he went from making TikToks for fun to being a celeb on the app with over half of a million followers. And he's just getting started.
We got the chance to talk to Rod about his quick, viral fame, what it's like working full-time in corporate America while being an influencer, and what the future holds for him in entertainment. Let's just say, big things are coming for him!
Who is justme.rod on TikTok?
If you don't follow Rod on TikTok — who, again, changed his name to "rod" on the social media app — you've more than likely seen him on your FYP page talking or performing a skit about adult anxieties in and out of the workplace. He wasn't anticipating or even trying to be famous on the app. The 30-year-old was first attracted to the app because of its similarity to Vine. He didn't know how to use it at first, but when he did, it was the beginning of an era for him.
"[I] literally just tried one random TikTok. I was like, 'Alright, let's make this TikTok.' And I did, and it blew up to, like, 40,000 likes, which for me at the time, I'm like, 'Whoa, that's crazy. Like, I'm viral,'" he told Distractify.
At the time he only had about 100 followers, but he was motivated to make something out of his TikTok account within the "nostalgic theme" as people were giving him great feedback on his videos. By the end of 2020, he had about 300,000 followers.
His videos — which range between 150,000 views to over four million — are meant to help people (specifically stressed millennials) see that they're not the only ones having a hard time or feeling overwhelmed about life struggles like being nervous about the punctuation your boss uses in an email or worrying about being fired after making a small mistake. He sees himself as a "coworker" to his followers.
"I truly, truly, truly [think] the best thing about all of this is that I'm helping people feel seen with their anxieties. But then I also feel seen. Like, I truly thought I was alone in these anxieties. So now, it's like, 'No, you're not crazy,'" he shared.
Rod plans to explore the entertainment world in other capacities.
Aside from TikTok, Rod also has a presence on Triller and Clubhouse. He hopes to develop a YouTube channel soon where he can create long-form and maybe vlog-style videos. He also is currently in the process of writing a TV pilot for Netflix which is something he had never imagined he would be doing. But he couldn't pass up the chance when one of his supporters — who works at Netflix — reached out to him about curating a television script for the streaming service.
Since his success on TikTok, he has been offered sponsorships and has accepted some of them — but he makes sure that they all fit into his niche. He's currently working with Spotify, and that was an easy "yes" partnership as he is an avid consumer of the brand.
He also donates a lot of his earnings from these sponsorships to a charity that means a lot to him called Love Is Louder. Rod, as someone who dealt with bullying throughout school, supports the organization, which works with hundreds of thousands of individuals who struggle with their emotional health.
He thinks that TikTok "needs to get their bullying figured out."
"I think TikTok needs to get their bullying figured out because I feel like that's going to be a demise of TikTok," he told us. "You know, I know for me, there's even been times where I reported something. And I saw something else similar, like, couple weeks later, which I'm like, 'Alright, like, what's going on here?'"
But he does think they are on the road to improvement. "You know, so I feel like that's one place that I think TikTok could improve on — if they don't, they would fall to it, but I feel like they're getting a little bit better at it."
Before working his office job, he originally wanted to be a high school teacher.
Rob got a degree in education where he had hoped to pursue a career in teaching high school students. He was in teaching for a bit after college, but he planned to try out another job after — which is how he landed in sales, his current job now.
Even though his social media career is booming, he doesn't plan to leave the sales world because he genuinely does enjoy it and it also is a part of the foundation of his up-and-coming brand.