What I Learned From Going Viral On TikTok

communication confidence resilience social media May 16, 2023
Teri Holland blogging on the couch about going viral on Tiktok

I went viral on TikTok and I learned some things.

I'm not talking a little bit of viral. I'm not talking "viral for me". I mean like it went crazy viral. It blew up. Previous to this one, my biggest video was over 600,000 views. Is pretty big too, but it was on a video that had nothing to do with what I do for work. It was a political comment. Another one that did really well was about a crazy plant in my house. I got a lot of plant people liking it. That was about it. And I did one before about Christmas lights. It got about 400,000 views. But this one... this one got 2.8 million views!

I have learned some lessons from this. First of all, people on the internet are assholes. And you might be laughing thinking, "of course Teri, we know this". Except when it's put right in our faces, it is different.

There are some mean comments on there, but here's the important thing; I've learned resilience to deal with it. This is the kind of thing that would've taken me out in the past. When I launched my podcast, which will be eight years ago at the end of May.

2 weeks after launching my podcast, I reached #1 in self-help on Apple Podcasts. It was exciting. It was only for a day, and I was able to keep going, but the second time, I held onto it for 10 days, and that scared me. I ended up shutting down. I didn't record anything for about six months. 

I felt so overwhelmed that so many of you were listening that I shut down internally.

I couldn't handle it. It was too big. It was too much. I didn't know what was happening, and I wasn't even getting trolled.  I wasn't even getting negative feedback. I was getting really positive feedback and I couldn't handle it because I was afraid that it would turn into something bad. I was afraid that I wasn't good enough for that much attention. I hadn't "earned it" and I had massive imposter syndrome.

I was afraid that people would come for me. And I will tell you from podcasting experience of almost eight years, I have never received negative feedback for the podcast, never. 

And I still shut it down for 6 months. 

Now, I did receive negative feedback before on Facebook. I got trolled badly. I got bullied. It wasn't just trolling. I was cyber bullied by some girls that I used to know. I've shared this story before so if you’ve heard it already, jump ahead, but if you haven't heard it, keep reading.

Years ago when I became a coach, I put a Facebook ad campaign and some girls that I used to know, shared it. These were three girls from “back in the day" when I was about 18, we worked together. We'd go to the bars together on the weekends. You know how it is, you reconnect with your old friends on Facebook. That's how we used to use Facebook anyway. Now my Facebook is full of people who I don't even know half the time. And when I posted this ad campaign, one of the girls decided to share it. I thought, “wow, that's so nice of her to share it, how supportive” and I went to click on her profile to see what she said about it.

Now, if you've ever been punched in the face before, it felt kind of like that.

I've only been punched once in my life, and it was in the seventh grade by a mean girl in the bathroom. She walked up to me in the bathroom, punched me in the nose, unprovoked. And I just started laughing, which by the way I think was the best response ever because she didn't know what to do. I think she thought she was picking a fight with me, but I was this scrawny, timid little thing. I didn't know how to fight. I just started laughing because it caught me so off guard. I was so shocked. And then she didn't know what to do and she stood there stunned and then she walked away. But it was that feeling, you know?

When I read those comments on Facebook, it was that same feeling as getting punched right in the nose without any warning.

She was saying things like “how dare she?” and they all chimed in, all these girls from my past who I thought were just old friends from my past, but apparently they held some grudge against me for a very, very long time. And the comments were things like, how dare she, who would ever coach with her? How can SHE be a coach? What does she know about coaching anyone? And then they started attacking my Facebook page and making up lies, posting nasty, fake, reviews, and pretending they had been clients. I blocked them and they created fake accounts. Each time I would block them, another account would come up. This went on for two days (thankfully it was only 2 days) and then they moved on. I'm guessing they found someone else to bully. 

I remember talking to my coach about it, and I said “if this is what it means to be visible, to put myself out there, then I don't want it.” And he said to me something I'll never forget, he said, "Teri you want to be like the next Tony Robbins. How many people do you think hate him? He wakes up knowing that millions of people would love to see him fail. And he keeps going because he has millions more who need him, and that's who he focuses on. You have three girls who hate you, and if you can't handle it at this level, you can't handle it at that level.”

And then he said, “this is a lesson in resilience”.

Well, I think with any lesson we get tested and I've been tested since then. And this was a big test.

I'm used to getting 200 - 300 views on my videos, on average, on TikTok. You know, the odd one takes off, but they've never had anything to do with my business or what I do professionally. 

Suddenly, this video had 2.8 million views and over 6000 comments. It was really amazing until I read the comments and there were some really mean comments. I had to stop reading them. I like to reply to people and I had to stop engaging and reading them because I was worried that it would get into my head, and that no matter how much I protect my mindset, some of that negativity would get through somehow.

I'm sharing this with you because I want you to know that people are going to be mean when you put yourself out there. They will come for you.

You need to remember that there's 8 billion people on the planet now, 8 billion. The ones who come for you are just not your people. You're not for them. They're not for you, and that's okay. So how do we deal with it?

Well, you can ignore them. I mean, it's engagement and algorithms like engagement. So you can just ignore their comments and leave them there, not reply, and not engage and as my best friend always says, “don’t feed the trolls”. 

You can respond if you want, if you think it's going to make you feel better. Be careful though. Engaging or "feeding the trolls" can make the situation worse and waste a lot of time and energy. You can also delete their comments. There's nothing that says that you have to keep their comments up when people are being mean to you.

I deleted one comment just because I really didn't like it and I thought, “you know? Screw you. I'm deleting your comment”. I only deleted one though. There were just too many to sift through.

But you know what? There are far more comments from people engaging and interested in what I'm doing, and that's what makes all the difference.

So you can ignore the trolls. You can reply to the trolls if you want, you can delete them and you can block them. What's most important, is that you protect you.

I remember when I was in theater, there was a rule that you never read the reviews, you don't do it because it can affect your performance. That's how I feel about these comments, if the comments are going to make you feel bad, and if they're going to make you stop creating content, then stop reading them. It's not worth risking taking you out of the game because you have something to share. You have something to say. You are important and you matter. And no one has the right to pull you down, to cut you back, to shut you up, and to make you play small.

And if you allow them to do that to you, if you allow them to shut you up and put you in a box and you stop doing what you are here to do because they make you feel bad, then you are giving them all the power over you and over your future. They do not deserve that kind of power.

What I learned about myself this time around is that I have developed resilience and I'm ready for more. I think back to what my coach told me, “This is a lesson in resilience”, And going through this, I've realized, I've learned it. I've learned my lesson. I've developed the thicker skin.

I am ready for more, which means I'm ready to play bigger. I can handle the hate now. I couldn't handle it eight years ago.

If you've been avoiding putting yourself out there, being seen online, being heard, sharing your message, sharing your voice, living a big, bold life, because you're afraid that they'll come for you, I want you to hear me and I want you to know this.

They will come for you. 

You cannot make everyone happy. You are not here to make everyone happy. You will never please everybody. And as I once heard Chelsea Handler say on one of her shows, and I'm paraphrasing, this is not a direct quote, but she said something to the effect of, “if you are here for everybody, then you are vanilla ice cream.And vanilla ice cream is boring.” You're not here to be boring. You're here to be extraordinary. You're here to be like Rocky Road ice cream, salted caramel, chocolate chip ice cream. You are here to be lavender, honey ice cream. You are here to be something special. You ARE something special, and no one gets to take away your voice or your message.

And it doesn't matter how important they are, how big they are, how scary they are, how mean they are, they do not get to take away your voice and your message. You are here for a reason, and if you have been avoiding being seen, being bold, being big, taking up space because you're afraid of what they will say, they will say it about you anyway.

You just might not hear it. There are people out there who just look for people to cut down and hurt online. I don't know why they do it. I'm sure there is some psychologist out there who could tell us why they do it. I don't even care to know why they do it. I just know they're not my people and I want nothing to do with them.

My challenge to you is this; are you ready to be brave? Are you ready to be bold? Are you ready to share your voice with the world? If you are, I'm here for you.

That's why I'm so passionate about helping people launch their podcasts. That's why I'm passionate about helping people get on stage and share their message. That's why I have the Breakthrough to Success eight week program to help you get over the fears, the doubts, the uncertainties, the “what will they say?”, “What will they think?”, “Am I good enough?”. All of that bullshit (pardon of my language) in your head that's telling you that you can't do it. That’s what the Breakthrough to Success is, it’s to get over that BS in your mind that's telling you to sit down and shut up when you are here, to stand up and speak out.

If you're ready to be bold and be brave, if you've been playing small, that's the place you need to be to get over it.

And if you're ready to launch a podcast, the next 5 Day Launch Your Podcast Challenge begins June 5th. Learn more about it here:

To Your Success,






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