Who is Cruz Corral?
Cruz Corral was born and raised in Los Angeles, where he attended LMU and graduated in 2018. Since then, he has worked in marketing and advertising.
Cruz has been a dedicated student-athlete throughout his life, with soccer being his preferred sport. After graduating from college, he realized that he didn’t have many hobbies outside of soccer and school.
He shares, “I went through a transition where I was kind of lost and trying to figure out what I wanted to do, and what career I wanted to have.”
Getting Started on TikTok
Cruz’s content focuses on corporate and work humor, which he calls “corporate satire.” He started posting during the pandemic in late 2020 after watching other creators posting about similar topics.
Cruz notes, “When I had hopped on it [TikTok], it was mostly dancing and stuff… and I thought it was a joke just hopping on it… I didn’t really think much of it at the time.”
The first few months on TikTok didn’t result in a lot of traction or views, but about five to six months in, Cruz had some posts go viral, and his account began building momentum.
Cruz shares, “I enjoyed following different trends on TikTok and creating content. Now, it’s evolved into something that’s my everyday thing, but at that time, it was just for fun.”
Cruz had his first paid partnership about six months in. He was paid about a hundred dollars, which he notes was “the coolest thing” to him at the time because he never imagined someone would want to pay him for his TikToks.
Cruz has had many viral hits on TikTok. Still, his biggest success so far was a recent TikTok about how different generations, such as boomers, millennials, and gen zers, would answer an unexpected work call. In the post, he acts out different generations’ reactions to unexpected work calls. This TikTok generated over 5.4 million views.
Cruz notes that he didn’t expect the video to take off, so he was surprised by the results.
“Apparently, a lot of people related to it and thought it was super funny. There’s been over ten different pages, like a bunch of huge pages on Instagram, that have reposted the video. People have tagged me in the video, my boss or people I work with actually got sent the video, which is really funny.”
He’s kept his social media and work life separate for a while. However, this video’s success and other work with Fishbowl, where his content was run as ads, led to his coworkers and clients seeing his social media accounts.
“It was pretty funny to see people’s reaction to it [his influencer work].”
Balancing the 9 to 5 and Content Creation
Cruz works full-time as a paid search manager at a digital marketing agency while juggling content creation on the side.
After a year and a half of work on his social media platforms, he’s worked with around 10 to 15 brands. Several of which are long-term partnerships, like Fishbowl.
“I work nine to five and then after 5 PM… I shift into creating content or just working on my TikTok, and now I’m trying to grow my Instagram, and that one’s been taking off as well. So, it’s like almost two different jobs, but I enjoy it… so it doesn’t feel like work.”
Cruz notes that working in marketing has given him an advantage going into social media.
“I would say definitely being able to set time and plan and schedule and map out things. I think working in marketing has helped, like developing a media plan or a plan to execute on something and be able to meet certain goals.”
He shares that when he works with brands, he tries to develop a plan to execute his goals. His experience has also helped him negotiate better rates and communicate with brands.
Other skills, like using Canva and other digital tools, have helped him create a media kit, which he uses to pitch to brands. His work at marketing agencies has also helped him stay more organized as an influencer because he’s used to meetings and deadlines.
Cruz’s Most Successful Campaign
Cruz shares that his most successful campaign has been with a computer screen attachment designed for remote workers. At that time, he accepted the product in exchange for creating the post.
“It’s like a device that attaches to the laptop, and you can go work at coffee shops or if you’re on the move.”
Another significant collaboration has been with Fishbowl.
“They ended up wanting to use my video as an ad, and that’s the ad that everybody sees on their Instagram, and that allowed me to secure a more long-term partnership with them. So now, I have a partnership with over ten videos, and I’m at the most expensive rate that I’ve ever asked [with them].”
He shares that one of the things he doesn’t like about working with brands is when a brand gives very specific requirements.
For example, “They just don’t let the creator be creative, and they have a certain brief that you have to fulfill, which I get, but I think at the same time the creator knows what works best for their audience and their followers.”
He notes that many creators appreciate being given more freedom in brand collaborations to create content they know will be successful with their audience.
He prefers a brand that “gives you something to work off of, but then they let you flex that creative muscle on your own because you are the creator, but they’re there to guide you.”
Future Plans & Goals
Cruz shares that his dream collab would be working with Linkedin or Indeed or a well-known company in the industry.
However, he notes, “I personally just like creating content for myself, like I enjoy that I’m able to work with brands and make money and stuff, but I personally like doing my own thing.”
In the next few years, Cruz hopes to see more openness online, such as salary transparency, how much to charge, how to create a media kit, and people just being more open about their rates.
In terms of future plans, Cruz shares that he has been talking with other TikTok creators about starting a podcast but doesn’t currently have the name and specific details about the podcast cemented yet.
The podcast will focus on “interviewing other creators about their journey, sharing details about what we’ve learned so far… and just being able to discuss rates, but keeping it entertaining and friendly.”