I hail from the shores of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the home of OshKosh B’gosh and the largest airshow in the world, EAA AirVenture. (But those are subjects for another day.) After wrapping my undergrad years as a journalism major at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, I made my way to the Otherwise studio in Chicago to begin the dynamic life of a brand strategist.
For the past several years, Otherwise has assisted MG Group, a leading Chicago real estate brokerage, to illuminate their brand across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, sharing everything from testimonials and achievements to exploratory blogs. However, like all aspects of life, social media is no stranger to change. We were faced with the challenge of showcasing MG Group’s expert knowledge of all-things-Chicago through a new medium. When pondering where to take them, it was a no-brainer to extend their well-established social presence to TikTok, a platform pushing the narrative of traditional marketing.
As one of my first extensive projects, launching MG Group into the TikTok universe proved to be only one of the few challenges I was facing. I was also reconciling how I would maneuver the corporate world without compromising my personality or identity. With the Otherwise leadership encouraging me to bring myself into the work and the trust I had earned from our client, I experienced what happens when you create in a respectful, safe space.
Full creative freedom with the project not only allowed me to explore the potential of TikTok for a client but it also gave me the opportunity to experience my new hometown, Chicago on my terms. I was soon discovering everything from Chicago’s hidden gems, like the nostalgic drive-in experience at ChiTown Movies in Pilsen, to local staples like the delicious treats at The Freeze in Logan Square.
As someone who has often shied away from going out of my way to explore something completely unfamiliar, I now have the chance to exercise a sense of curiosity that is uniquely mine. These days, I relish my weekly forays into new, quirky corners of the city, and my search for new material is just part of everyday life. I could never have anticipated how satisfying it can be to build authentic connections to coworkers and clients, while satisfying my creativity and self-expression. And along the way, I’ve also become a damn good TikTok producer!
Honestly, if a year ago, before moving to Chicago and starting work at Otherwise, someone would have told me I’d be making TikToks featuring the best of the Windy City, I would have rolled my eyes. Instead, I’ve come to realize that living life in the TikTok lane is all that it’s cut out to be, after all!
What to see these adorable stories up close? Click here to visit the MG Group TikTok.