TikTok EduCreator Kia Abrera on Turning Creativity Into a Profitable and Purposeful Business

Through mentorship and social media, Tiktok EduCreator Kia Abrera empowers Filipino creatives to turn their creativity into a profitable and purposeful business.

Ever wondered how you can make money doing what you love? TikTok EduCreator Kia Abrera did just that and now earns over PHP100,000 on just brand partnerships and public speaking invitations alone!

But that’s not all. Beyond being a content creator, Abrera and her husband also run their own agency, where they manage a mix of local and international clientele, for which she can charge a minimum of USD$6,000 (around PHP333,800) per client on retainer, and at least USD$20,000 to USD$30,000 (around PHP1.11 million to PHP1.67 million) per one-time project.

How? She got her big break when her video on TikTok went viral.

Juggling an agency, running her own TikTok account, and public speaking are just some of the many roles that Abrera takes on. For the multi-hyphenated woman, this means honing her craft and understanding her market—from knowing how one can gain or lose followers, understanding what kind of content will go viral, figuring out what works and what doesn’t, and more. And this is no easy feat, given the unpredictable nature of social media.

But somehow, Abrera made it work. With results to show for, she now embarks on the next chapter of her life—imparting what she knows through The Brave Creatives, a community that fosters learning, mentorship, and empowering fellow Filipinos to monetize their creativity in a purposeful way. And in this exclusive interview, Abrera walks us through how it all began.

How did you transition from corporate to entrepreneurship as a working woman?

Before my husband and I started our company, Braveworks Inc, we were working for an advertising company. However, we realized that we were stuck in our comfort zone. So we mustered the courage to fly away from it. [It was then that] I realized that the further you are away from the light of your comfort zone, the darker things get.

We had to take a lot of small steps. We started growing our portfolio by taking in ten clients for free, and then we started talking to more clients—trying to get to our first paid YES. When we knew we had a sustainable offer, we resigned from our agency and worked on our marketing.

We [also] went to networking events and gave out our business cards. We took one small client after the other until we had solid case studies that we curated into a deck. At one of our networking events, we came across someone who needed design services and we sent an email right away when he gave us his business card. It became a pitch, we maximized our time, we presented results, we were very transparent—and we won the pitch. It was for USAID, our first 7-figure client.

When that gate was opened, we never went back. The gist is, we took small steps. We knew we wanted to make big things happen, we had it in our vision, but we focused on our next doable step. What was within our immediate vicinity and control? What could we affect first? That’s where we focused.

[The day] when we finally resigned, I considered it a success. It was a starting point that led to a challenge—the challenge of sustainability. We were out of jobs but we knew we had the skills to do something ourselves. Starting our own business was intimidating but here we are, eight years later, at 8 figures working with huge clients and earning 6 to 7 figures per project. We also opened our second company in 2021, and just recently hit 7 figures. The rest is history.

What is the inspiration behind The Brave Creatives and what pain points does it hope to address?

I created The Brave Creatives as a free group primarily to help support those who can’t find a circle or a support group that will enable their creative dreams. Most of the creatives that I have encountered have been deeply discouraged by people close to them—so their dreams were put on hold or left to die.

I believe so much in the power of The Filipino Creative and I know that we have the potential to create impactful change and to compete in the global arena—and most of the time we just don’t have the voice to tell us to go for it. That’s what I want the group to be able to do. Just provide support and resources to reignite that spark and fire.

We have a free group called The Brave Creatives where we try to help support those who want to quit something that they’re tired of doing and help them in the pursuit of their creative path. Once they are able to monetize, we then point them to our paid membership called The Brave Creators Lab, where we teach them more specific business skills so they can scale.

How do you help content creators and businesses become creative entrepreneurs?

We have a basic DIY course called Creative Entrepreneurship Fundamentals where I teach people the entire process of creative entrepreneurship—from branding themselves, knowing their ideal audience and clients, closing on a first call, serving their clients seamlessly, and getting their first glowing testimonial. It’s a basic overview of the entire process.

I also do 1:1 consultations, workshops, and custom training. Everything that I create in the Lab is to help more creatives become better entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs become better creatives. There are no shortcuts, no templated answers, and no over-the-moon promises. If creatives are ready to step out of their comfort zones, do the work and play the long game, I would love to help them whether through our free content, our free group, or our paid courses or mentorships.

The Brave Creators Lab is our education business that’s designed to help Filipino creatives become better entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs to be better creatives. I found a love of teaching after I started giving workshops way back in 2017, and I found how impactful it has been.

After being in the creative business for nearly 10 years, I decided to dive into being an EduCreator so I can impact more people who are on the same journey. I saw a need for creatives to be supported, and I know I can teach because of experience. I’ve loved it ever since. It has become a big fuel to my advocacy of helping Filipinos make their mark in the global creative economy.

How do you provide opportunities to reskill and upskill competencies?

The Brave Creators Lab is a hub where we teach business skills to Filipino creatives. We try to craft a learning path where they can learn brand strategy, lead generation, productivity and time management, taxes and compliance, and all these business-related topicsall given not just by me, but by other local and international experts in the field.

We also do mastermind calls, where we do spot coaching and I encourage members to spot and resolve challenges, so they can be trained to be better problem solvers. We also get our members involved by asking them what they want to learn more about so we can make the path clearer.

At the end of either 6 months or one year, they will have the entrepreneurial savvy to grow a sustainable business and have the mindset to think beyond what’s possible.

What are some of the challenges that you faced as a mentor and EduCreator?

I think at a certain point, we all experience burnout. Simple ways to deal with it is to think about our pricingare we charging enough that it makes sense for us to deal with just a few clients and meet their expectations with less or no tension? I think that’s the main thing.

If it’s an ongoing burnout, we take time off. We make sure to manage client expectations and take a few days off. It’s the same for our employees. As someone who was diagnosed with PDD (persistent depressive disorder) a few years back, I know the importance of taking care of your mental health.

We also make it a point to have open dialogues with our people. We approach them [and] we ask how they are doing and how much work they are able to take. We try to push their limits skills-wise, but we regularly check on them to see how they are doing. 

How did you keep your business afloat during the pandemic?

Because we did have over ten years of communication experience, we were able to pivot to one of the most profitable years in our agency.

The first thing to go was videosthey were expensive, shoots were canceled, and budgets were cut. We then asked ourselves: How can we help our clients communicate in the most efficient, low-effort, high-impact way?

[And] so, we focused on communication training. We did a bunch of crisis communication training with different cities under USAID, and then we closed a project with USAID, Coca-Cola, and TESDA to help create educational materials on how micro businesses can thrive during the pandemic. We started to create education-based materials that informed people of pandemic protocols and we trained facilitators so they can use communication materials effectively.

It was by helping cities recover that we also recovered.

What are emerging opportunities that you see from the pandemic?

My friend Francis Miranda has this interesting coined term—”quarantrepreneurs.” Because of the pandemic, people started to explore the possibilities of working from home, and because of the sense of urgency, there was a big push in the work-from-home space.

People [also] started to dabble into service-oriented businesses that can be done from home. There was a rise in the creative industriesvideo editing, social media management, copywriting, graphic design, community management, and platform-specific services like TikTok or Instagram marketing.

For as long as people use social media for business, or for as long as businesses, influencers, and creators exist, these jobs will be here for a long time. And it only continues to evolve over time because people and businesses will have different kinds of problems, their needs will change, the platforms and algorithms change, and marketing strategies change.

So if you know how to leverage business skills as a creative, you will thrive in the ever-changing creative economy.

What are your best practices or success secrets?

One, having the discipline to take care of your mind, body, and soul-eating right, exercising, praying or meditating, and consuming content (videos, books, etc) that nourishes you. Second, spot opportunities in every problem.

As much as possible, I try to make it a habit to look at how I can leverage a good challenge. And lastly, saying NO often. Your NO is just as important as your YES.

What advice can you give aspiring creatives and entrepreneurs?

My personal mantra is to always be brave and create. And that’s what I hope for everyone. I hope you reignite the fire in yourself, create a life that gives you joy, serve generously, play the long game, and go beyond what’s possible.