Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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LOCHI’s rise to stardom, creative freedom and authenticity on TikTok

Growing up in a middle-class family, @lochanajayakodi was an average Sri Lankan girl with big dreams and ambitions. From a tender age, young Lochi wanted to be an actress and often dreamed of the day she would do the walk of fame down a red carpet, being featured in the industry’s biggest events.

Despite facing many personal setbacks, Lochana is a versatile lady of many talents. With the determination to master her numerous crafts, today she has evolved into a famous influencer, content creator, YouTuber, actress, activist and Director of her very own company.

Owing her success to her journey through TikTok, @lochanajayakodi has garnered a following of 1.1Mn and 15.7Mn likes, resulting from her ability to remain creative, authentic and relevant with the dynamic trends on TikTok. Needless to say, Lochana’s commitment to deliver quality content beyond expectations is why many of us love her, even today.

  1. Who is Lochana and what is your story?

Growing up, I was a typical Sri Lankan girl from a middle-class family with two hardworking parents. I am the eldest child and I have two younger sisters.

When I was barely passing out of high school, tragedy struck. My mum passed away due to a rare lung disease and I had to undertake the responsibility of both my younger sisters. Pursuing my studies was not an option for me during this period, since I had to financially support my sisters to pursue their education. Although my academics were at a halt, I made sure I pursued my passion for dancing and managed to earn a living out of it. In fact, I’m a certified Zumba instructor and an award-winning Latin dancer.

Wanting to be an icon, be famous, recognised and own a celebrity status is probably the dream of every young girl and I was not so different myself. I always wanted to be an actress, so becoming a social media star was something that caught me by surprise. Today, my passion has helped me change my fate.

  • What is your profession?

I am a digital content creator and influencer. While creating content is one of my biggest passions, I also collaborate with top-notch brands for digital campaigns locally and globally.

I’m also the proud owner of Lochi Studios (PVT) LTD – a 360 degree digital marketing agency, with operations in Sri Lanka and UAE.

  • How did you first discover TikTok?

If there’s one platform I owe all credit to for my journey, it’s definitely TikTok. I always loved dancing and recording myself. It wasn’t until my colleague suggested that I upload these videos on TikTok (previously known as Musical.ly) and that’s when everything changed.

  • What motivated/inspired you to be a content creator?

I wanted to do something different. I wanted to set an example for young girls, who are often limited by social norms and are too scared to take action. Being a content creator is not a conventional profession in our society, but it is definitely one that can make a huge impact.

  • What is your favorite TikTok video that you’ve created and why?

Oh, I love all of them! I’m the biggest fan of my creations.

A video I posted on TikTok went viral and became a hit sensation in Sri Lanka. The reactions were instantaneous and the TikTok algorithm helped me reach a vast audience and get noticed by many. It was then that I realized the potential of the platform, so I grabbed the opportunity to keep doing what I do and regularly post various types of content.

  • How would you describe the genre of your content?

Among all genres, I like comedy and dancing the most. I also post a mix of drama, lip-sync and other various types of content to keep my audience engaged.

  • What do you love most about the TikTok community?

Diversity for sure. So many different creators from so many different walks of life.

There are also no limitations but immense potential for growth on TikTok. Through the platform, I was able to re-direct my audience to Instagram, Facebook and YouTube – which is how I’m among the best 360-degree influencers in Sri Lanka with over 4.5 Million followers and fans, collectively.

  • Any TikTok related hacks that you have learned yourself?

TikTok is a very user friendly platform. However, through my experience I have learned that it is better not to delete and re-upload. Rather, you can create the videos beforehand, save a draft and later upload as per your convenience. Also, it is better to have a sensible mix of sponsored and non-sponsored content and try out every single trend to gain reach.

  • What advice would you have for other working professionals looking to create a presence on TikTok?

Being a creator is so much easier now. Whatever profession you are involved in, you can highlight or feature your speciality. For instance, a doctor can post medical advice, a lawyer can post legal tips, a farmer could show off his latest harvest and a carpenter can display his finest craftsmanship, etc. The possibilities are endless and getting started is super easy. In today’s world, everyone can be a creator, share valuable knowledge and inspire thousands of others. So get started, you will thank me later!

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