- Tejas Hullur started posting TikToks from his college bedroom in 2020.
- A year later, he decided to drop out, move to Los Angeles and pursue content full-time.
- Hullur has broken down how he’s making money – and how much he’s made in the first quarter this year.
Tejas Hullur, a 21-year-old content creator and entrepreneur, likes to describe himself as a “one-man media production company”.
“Which is just a fancy way of saying I’m a TikToker,” he joked.
Hullur’s TikTok career began in August 2020 while he was a student at Indiana University Bloomington.
“My goal is to build a community, so keep going,” Hullur said earnestly in one of his earliest TikToks.
Today, this community has grown to more than 500,000 TikTok followers, as well as thousands of followers on Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. That includes influencers like ice cream creator sensation Dylan Lemay and creator economics gurus Colin and Samir, who have appeared in his content.
But it wasn’t until about a year after posting content that Hullur realized “this can be a business” and decided to take a break from college, move to Los Angeles and pursue content creation full-time.
“If the opportunity cost is low enough to go back to college, I guess I’ll go back,” Hullur said.
Over the past two years, his TikTok content has evolved from short clips filmed in his college dorm to highly produced videos that break down the ups and downs of working in the “creator economy.”
How Hullur structures his business as a full-time creator
In a YouTube video Hullur posted in May, he discussed his finances.
“Basically, I don’t want to spend more than $5,000 a month … Anything above that $5,000 a month I plan to invest and save,” he said in the YouTube video.
In the first quarter of 2022, he earned approximately $30,000 from a variety of revenue streams. (These earnings were confirmed by documents viewed by Insider).
Like a number of other content creators, Hullur earns a majority — or about 67% in the first quarter — of its revenue from branded businesses.
While Hullur had “no idea” how to price his content when he first started working with brands last year, after some trial and error, talking to peers and finally signing with an executive, Hullur landed on an initial price for short-form content.
His starting rate is currently $3,000 for a video, and he then adjusts that rate based on usage rights, exclusivity, his audience niche and engagement, and other requirements (like keeping something in his link-in bio).
Besides branded deals, Hullur makes money in five other ways:
- Creating content for clients. While sponsorship is very common for influencers, creators also produce non-advertising content for brands to use on brands’ own channels. Hullur told Insiders he’s produced content for companies like LinkedIn and Index Ventures.
- Advice, advice and investment in startups. In 2021, Hullur relocated to LA to serve as Creator Advisor for Stir, a creator-focused fintech startup, paying all expenses. Hullur later moved to New York to advise his friend and colleague Dylan Lemay on the opening of Lemay’s Ice Cream Experience.
- Teaching an online course. Hullur runs some courses online. One is hosted on Nas Academy, a course platform founded by creator Nuseir Yassin. Hullur also charges his followers $10 if they ask him “anything creator-related.”
- Creator funds on platforms. While Hullur makes money by participating in creator funds on Instagram and TikTok, the earnings from those programs are “unsustainable” and more of a “icing on the cake,” he said.
- Play crypto, NFTs and the stock market. Though Hullur says he has a “very unbalanced crypto portfolio,” it still plays a role in his finances, and he discusses his investments in his content. He also collects NFTs and is open about the time he was “cheated out of about $3,000” in NFTs.