Cheryl is a student nurse studying to earn her degree at university. She is also an active TikTok content creator. Her account, _thislineismine, has over half a million followers and showcases content about autism and finding the positive in everything.
Before TikTok, she shared that she was diagnosed with autism and had struggled with her mental health during her teen years.
“Content creating has enabled me to kind of learn a lot about autism, learn a lot about myself, and help me accept myself and become more confident as well.”
Starting Her TikTok
Since December 2019, Cheryl has focused on creating more content for TikTok. Before this, she had posted some content on her TikTok, but the pandemic gave her more time to create content and build an audience.
The name, _thislineismine, is inspired by her favorite band, Twenty One Pilots. Some of their music highlights the importance of being positive and uplifting online rather than negative.
“I kind of took the name [from Twenty One Pilots’ music] because I thought I relate to that. I want to be positive. I want to be uplifting. I want to be a safe space for people, so I kind of took it and used it on some of my social media.”
Cheryl’s content focuses primarily on autism awareness.
“As an autistic person, I like to talk about things that I’ve been through, like the good, the bad, the ugly, in kind of an honest way to let people know that they’re not alone. Something that I’m really striving for is positive awareness. I want the content that I needed to see growing up when I was struggling.”
She also focuses on sensory videos, which give her more space for creativity while still helping others learn about autism.
@_thislineismine Sometimes things don’t go to plan #fidgettoys #sensory #activity #autistic ♬ Funny Song – Cavendish Music
Her first viral post was about Tangled and featured a sensory toy, which gained over 7.5 million views. Another viral post featured her favorite fidget toys and received over eight million views.
When asked about the key to her success, Cheryl explains that being positive and unique helps make her content different.
“A lot of people will write [me saying] when I’m feeling sad, I come to your account or like your account always brings a smile to my face, and that’s really important to me. I also think just my personality.”
She also wears primarily bright colors and outfits on her TikTok, which give her page a specific and uplifting look.
The Biggest Challenges in Creating Content
Cheryl shares that the biggest challenge starting out was not having many people initially view your content.
“There’s so many different people on the app, and everyone I think [wants] to be successful. You need to have your own kind of thing that’s different about you, your unique selling point, for example.”
Another challenge for her as she grew was hate comments and learning how to make sure the hate didn’t affect her. At first, it was difficult for her to ignore judgmental comments, but she overcame this by setting filters for herself, which hid hate comments from her.
In addition, she shares that when videos didn’t perform as well, she would immediately be concerned about people not liking her or her content anymore or wondering if the video was terrible.
“I try and just brush it off now and don’t let it affect me, even when a video flops. I used to find that really difficult to say if I only got a couple of thousand views.”
It used to be a personal reaction, but now she focuses on the next piece of content and brushes these feelings aside.
Her Autism Diagnosis
Cheryl frequently gets asked when she was diagnosed with autism.
“I was 22 years old. I found out I was autistic, and I just had a feeling… I had a lot of difficulties growing up that could be explained because I’m autistic and so I kind of investigated it myself. I did a lot of research. It took a long time.”
After spending a lot of time researching autism, Cheryl went to her doctor and spoke to them about her suspicions. They referred her to another doctor to get diagnosed.
Cheryl’s Content Process
Cheryl keeps an ongoing list of content ideas, which she’ll add to whenever she comes up with another idea. She notes that her best content ideas usually come at night while she is trying to sleep.
From her list, she’ll narrow down her ideas and create a weekly board listing which content she is going to post each day and when she will film the content.
“At the moment, it’s very much trying and balancing out [the content.] I’m trying to have a sensory video every week on the weekend because that’s the most popular time for that kind of content, and then an autism-related video every week and then whatever I’m feeling, whether that’s a trend that’s going around at the moment [that] I want to engage with or a video that’s been on my list for a while.”
She reveals that some video ideas never see the light of day, while others may stay on her content list for months before they are created.
Her most popular content currently? Sensory content.
She believes this may be due to this content being posted on the weekends and geared towards a younger demographic.
“People just find that [sensory content] fun, exciting, and it’s just fun to watch, and I like filming it, so that always gets the best engagement at the moment, and then videos when I talk about my experiences as an autistic person.”
She shares that one of her most popular series focuses on her experiences as an autistic person. For example, her experience at an airport or concert.
Her most popular brand partnership was with Callaly, a period subscription box. She created a TikTok talking about her experience with periods as an autistic person. The post received over 1.5 million views, which shocked her.
“That was a great campaign to work on because they kind of enabled me to talk about my experiences whilst including their product, instead of it all being about the product. For branded content to work on TikTok, it doesn’t need to look like an ad… It needs to be quite subtle.”
Her dream collab? Adidas.
“I love their clothing and the colors, and I really find it great for my sensory needs, so that would be up there.”
In the future, Cheryl would love to see more brands open up to working with disabled creators.
“I’m a disabled creator, and I feel like a lot of disabled creators or creators that are in minority groups don’t always get the same opportunities…I think there needs to be more done with diversity and giving people fair opportunities and letting everyone have the platform and getting these opportunities.”