Meet the Uruguayan TikToker Who Found Fame As a Quarantine Hobby – Then Built a Business Out of It

Shot by Ignacio Seijo

Take a look through Micky Cohen’s timeline on TikTok, and you’ll see a young woman with an incredible talent for makeup. The Uruguayan creator has found a niche on the platform using the magic of cosmetics to transform herself into famous celebrities and influencers, and since uploading her first TikTok in early March, she’s managed to accrue nearly 150,000 followers on the platform.

But the most impressive thing about it? She never really intended to get big on TikTok.

In fact, she may never have started her TikTok at all – if it weren’t for an unfortunate run-in with US Customs and Border Protection.

Step 1: Go to Jail. Step 2: Become TikTok Famous.

While she may not have known it at the time, Cohen’s journey to TikTok fame started when she was detained by airport security.

She was living in Los Angeles at the time, but had been away on an extended trip to Europe. After a 12-hour flight back to the US, she was stopped by airport security and spent the better part of the next 17 hours under interrogation. They ended up keeping her in a holding cell for 4 days, and although she laughs about it now, it was a grueling experience:

“It was horrible. They put you in this cell with no air, like a bunker – you don’t know what time it is, what day it is, they just leave you with no communication,” she explains. “And the way they treat you is so bad, it’s like psychological abuse. Like I’m not a criminal, I respected the rules, so why am I being treated this way?”

Eventually, after feigning hypertension to get to a nurse and finally being transferred to an immigration tent, Cohen managed to get away – but only by being escorted, handcuffed, to her seat on an airplane. And then, another 12-hour flight back to Europe.

With no family and no place to stay, she decided it’d be better to fly back to her home country of Uruguay then to try to get back into the US again. While it was a horrible experience, Cohen takes it lightly:

“I feel like it was something I needed to go through, even if just for the story,” she says, laughing.

And she’s right, it’s a shocking story. But it also prompted her to start playing around with TikTok.

“I had to go back to Uruguay, and I thought ok, can either cry about my life getting flipped upside down or I can try to take advantage of it,” she says. “At first I was working on a music video, but after the lockdown I started playing around with TikTok.”

What started as simple exploration quickly grew into something bigger. Within a few weeks, she had started to build a real fan base on the platform. And as her account continued to grow, she started to get inquiries from other creators looking to collaborate and asking for tips.

“After a little while I had some people really interested in my growth, and the thing with TikTok is it’s really a formula – you follow the steps and you get results,” she explains. “So then I realized, oh wait, I can make a business out of this.”

From Influencer to Agency Owner

For the last few months, that’s exactly what she’s been doing. Cohen’s growth on TikTok, while unexpected, wasn’t accidental. She realized early on that there are rules to how the platform worked, and she experimented enough to find her own secrets to turboboost her growth.

And now, she’s building an agency to help others do the same.

The Producers, Cohen’s agency, is young, but growing fast. The agency handles strategy, content production, and long-term account management, working with both influencers and brands.

“We start by talking to them and hearing their goals, what kind of audience they’re interested in and what they want to accomplish long-term,” she says. “Then we’ll come up with a plan – like here’s what the feed should look like and why, here’s the kind of content we think will perform best with your audience and why.”

And while she has plans to branch out, for the moment the focus is on TikTok.

“We handle Instagram and other platforms as well, but for the moment we’re focusing on TikTok because it’s new, there’s lots of people on it, and you can get as big as you want organically,” she explains. “Instagram makes that almost impossible.”

They’ve already found success with clients. They’ve helped new influencers jumpstart their growth, while they’ve worked with more established players to clean up their image and help them grow on TikTok. They’ve also worked with brand clients to facilitate effective partnerships and influencer campaigns.

“We’re getting a lot of interest for where we are, and that’s so exciting,” says Cohen. “And I mean we’re just starting, we’re still so small.”

Looking to the Future

Hearing her talk about it now, it’s easy to forget that up until a few months ago, none of this was in the cards for her. Before this, she had worked in music marketing and event production, and she’s a musical artist in her own right.

“That’s usually how it goes,” she says. “I’ll be doing music and then something else will just happen.”

But Cohen is no stranger to rolling with the punches, and within a few short months, she’s managed to turn a nasty return flight and a sudden quarantine into 150,000 social media followers and a burgeoning social media agency.

“I want to see where things go, and really just do the best I can with everything, because I don’t want to waste time anymore,” she says. “That’s one thing I’m sure of – I don’t want to waste anymore time in my life.”

Hearing that from someone who’s a bona fide musician, influencer, and now the owner of a social media agency, one wonders how much time she’s wasted up to now. But one thing’s for sure: whatever she does from here, she’s only going up.

Con la tecnología de Blogger.