Louis Roberts of That Autistic Drummer on Advocacy & Growing with Live Streams
Louis Roberts of That Autistic Drummer talks about being an advocate for autism and the disabled community on social media. His journey on social media started with posts using his invisible drums on TikTok and exploded into a deep connection with his audience that he fosters through live streams.
Who is Louis Roberts?
Louis Roberts of That Autistic Drummer is a TikTok and Instagram creator located in the south of the UK.
For him, “It started off essentially as a way to make more friends because I found it was quite difficult to make friends in person, so I was making videos about myself and my life… and I thought if I did it about autism, then I might find people who are like-minded.”
Louis has always been interested in the drums but only recently purchased a drum kit during the lockdown to give himself a new hobby.
Shortly after, he began posting content during the summer of the first lockdown in 2020.
After he began posting content, he enjoyed the feedback from Autism advocacy groups and the connection he quickly had with his followers.
“It just felt like I was helping people to kind of understand more about themselves.”
As he posted, he learned more about social media algorithms and how they worked.
@thatautisticdrummer #duet with @cam_33m Epic sax in tunnel make brain happy #thatautisticdrummer ♬ original sound – Cam
His primary marketing strategy is “Consistently, I found things [that] kind of resonated with people, and I guess the number one thing for me, especially on Instagram, was shareability, like if I saw the post… Would I want to share it?”
Today, Louis’ content is a mixture of music and what it means to be an advocate, including posts sharing his own advocacy journey.
Louis explained that live streams have been one of the best ways to grow a larger audience for him. He notes that posting a video promoting his live stream, typically with a teaser about his invisible drums, would intrigue people to hop on his live stream later.
The most viewed live stream he has had to date had 300,000 viewers in about an hour.
He especially enjoys asking questions during his live streams focused on advocacy because this helps create an active conversation among viewers.
Currently, Louis’ audience is split into two primary groups: neurodivergent individuals and musicians.
FAQs about Louis and His Content
Louis plays with invisible drums, which leads to many questions about how he plays and how the invisible drums work.
He notes that during live streams, he sometimes “makes it more interactive by turning it into a guessing game. How do you think they work? And then people can start discussing it.”
He also gets frequent questions about his personal life and autism on his social platforms.
“I feel like there’s always a struggle more often than not… It’s the disabled community trying to fight something like misrepresentation in the media, [such as] offensive language used, [and] it does feel like a bit of a battle to try and change the norms and [get] neuro-typical society to understand us better.”
He notes that as an advocate, he also faces a lot of pressure to bring about these societal changes.
One advocacy campaign that Louis worked on had tens of thousands of creators involved, and it became quite a big movement. The campaign focused on supporting autistic people and creators and avoiding misrepresentation.
“The best advice about autism comes from autistic creators.”
Louis notes that one of the biggest successes of this campaign was having people reach out to him and other autistic creators.
For example, Louis and other autistic creators have been reached out to for advice from parents whose child has recently been diagnosed with autism. This is a significant step forward compared to parents who may previously have been upset that their child isn’t “normal.” For Louis, this is one of the most critical metrics of success for an advocacy campaign.
Louis has worked with some brands and notes that the company he has most closely worked with is Free Drum, which sells the invisible drum set he uses.
He notes, “They’re really a good team. They’ve been really supportive.”
Initially, Louis reached out to Free Drum by telling them, “I’ve been using your kit for about a year now. Is there any way I can become more involved in your company? Can I help you sell more drum kits and stuff like that?”
This message resulted in Louis doing several demonstration videos for their app and collaborative work. Louis has also created specific Instagram content showing Free Drum’s premium content, how their drum kit works, and just telling people about their product. He also shares their website on his link tree.
Collaborations with Other Creators
Most of his collaborations with other creators have been with musicians through duets on TikTok.
Louis also shares that he has done posts on Instagram with the disabled community.
His funniest experience as a creator to date has been, “I think it’s probably my live streams that bring me the most joy… It’s nice to see the curiosity as well about people being quite skeptical [about the invisible drums]… To see, people don’t think it’s real, or they think it’s like a green screen and stuff like that.”
Future Content & Trending Topics
Recently, Louis notes that there has been a lot of discussion about the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial within the disabled community after Amber Heard claimed to have a borderline personality or bipolar disorder diagnosis. Some members of the disabled community believe that this may be a misrepresentation.
Louis also shared that he has started posting about fetal alcohol syndrome, which is a disability that he has that is less talked about online.
“I don’t know much about it because it’s not really something that people talk about as much as autism, so I’m hoping to try and get more involved in the community with that and try and find more information on that and other creators who are either diagnosed or professionals in that area.”
A dream collab for Louis is working with Drumeo because he loves the community, and it’s one of the biggest names in the drumming community.
A dream creator collaboration for him would be working with Chloe Hayden, who is a huge content creator and advocate for autism.
In terms of future plans, Louis shares that he is currently working to improve his content by improving lighting, adding voiceovers, and much more.