“From campus to the ‘For You’ page: How Sky Solomon built a TikTok following with authenticity and humor”

Marketing sophomore and TikTok star Akelile “Sky” Solomon gives her online audience an unfiltered view of college life.

Once the camera turns off and the ring light goes out, the influencers we praise step away from their online personas into the real world. Marketing sophomore and TikTok star Akelile “Sky” Solomon gives us insight into her reality.

The Maryland creative with big dreams started her career over two years ago filming videos on the floor of her closet in her apartment where she shared her dreadful experience working minimum wage jobs. After two videos went viral, Solomon’s page quickly reached 30k followers.

Solomon’s content pivoted in 2021 as she transitioned into her freshman year at UM. Between filming “get ready with me” videos and discussing daily struggles at the U, Solomon took her audience on her unfiltered college journey.

“Even if people disagree or agree, I am just always gonna be my authentic self and say what I have on my mind,” Solomon said when asked how she handles backlash on social media.

Solomon is known for making waves online with her hot takes surrounding racial issues.

“300,000 is three full-sized football stadiums — that’s how many people follow and watch, so there’s no way that three stadiums filled with people are gonna agree with what you say and like every single thing that you do,” Solomon said.

She confessed that while most in-person interactions with supporters are filled with positivity, some haters cause friction. From side eyes to whispers, real-life negativity deeply affects the influencer.

“I have people stare at me and I know they probably watch the TikToks, but it’s still kind of anxiety-inducing when you just have people staring at you sometimes,” Solomon said.

Upon reaching 300k followers on TikTok, Solomon felt she had a certain image to uphold outside of the screen. She ditched the typical college girl attire — one dominated by athleisure and loungewear —and donned a more assembled look.

“I feel like I have a different level of presentation now that I have a social media following, which makes me sad because sometimes I don’t wanna put in the effort,” Solomon said.

In efforts to maintain a balance in her life, Solomon makes sure to keep her grades high.

“When you go to a rigorous college like the University of Miami, it can be really hard,” Solomon said. “At the end of the day, I understand the importance of the degree, but I also understand the importance of the trajectory that my career is going in. I am making sure I am treating them both with equal importance.”

Like many college students, Solomon struggles with burnout. To counter this, she makes sure to care for her mental health by prioritizing self-care. Her go-to rituals include meditation, journaling and venting to her supportive friends.

Solomon encourages all aspiring TikTokers to find their voices and remain true to their authentic selves.

“Before I found out I have ADHD, I used to talk a lot and I used to talk fast and I never understood why,” Solomon said. “That was something I was so insecure about, but [now] that’s literally the thing that’s making me the most amount of money [and] helping me pursue my passions.”

The student-influencer plans to create a podcast to broadcast her knowledge of social media marketing by extending professional advice to her supporters. To embark on a thrilling adventure alongside Solomon, keep up with her fascinating journey by following her on TikTok and Instagram.