Full-Time Engineering Student & Content Creator Shares How He Makes Money On TikTok

Ravi Zephyr is equal parts hilarious and smart!

Cover image via Ravi Zephyr (Provided to SAYS)

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Meet Ravi, better known as Ravi Zephyr, a 24-year-old engineering student with almost 100,000 followers on TikTok

A top student with a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and technology, Ravi is currently in his final year at Taylor's University, studying electrical and electronics engineering. Growing up, he dreamed of becoming a NASA engineer, and always believed he would end up in a STEM-related field.

But that's just one side of Ravi.

On the flip side of this "nerdy pick-me teacher's pet" (Ravi's words, not ours :P), is a funny and creative person who loves spending his free time making dramatic lip-sync videos of Tamil movie actors' dialogues, producing YouTube vlogs (that he has since deleted), playing with Instagram filters, and more.

"Creating content has always been an avenue for me to unleash my creative side because I couldn't show that side of me in the serious, boring, science-techy world where everything has to be bound by rules.

"I really loved how content creation has allowed me to express myself authentically to the world. People out there who watch the videos I post are able to bond with me through the shared experience," Ravi said in an exclusive interview with SAYS.

Ravi's rise to social media fame happened in July 2022 when he posted a video about how he wanted his future partner to be like roti jantan

The 12-second video shows Ravi eating at a mamak, where he casually announces that he wants a future partner like his mamak order: jantan with dua telur. 

He goes on to describe both as "rough on the outside, soft on the inside, and full of thicc [sic] juicy succulent meat." 

The playful randomness of the cheeky video, coupled with Ravi's facial expressions and delivery of the line, made the video a hit among social media users. 

Watch the video that launched his career below:


and i will devour it shamelessly in public while it’s still hot and steamy #rotijantan #mamak #fyp #malaysia

Chopin Nocturne No. 2 Piano Mono - moshimo sound design

With over 778,000 views, 4,100 shares, and 2,150 comments, the TikTok video would be Ravi's first experience with going viral.

"My notifications were always on for all social media platforms, but that day was the first time I had to turn off notifications for an app," explains Ravi.

"That was the video that made me realise that maybe I could pursue content creation seriously. I felt validated knowing that people were listening to me and interacting with my content, and it felt really good to know that my voice could impact the people watching."

Now, balancing full-time studies with content creation, Ravi has managed to earn an income from his videos

"I mostly make my money through brand campaigns," shares Ravi. 

Brands reach out to the content creator, and after negotiations with Ravi's manager, will come to an agreement about how much he would get paid for sponsored video content to be posted on his account.

We asked Ravi to share a case study of a successful sponsored campaign he executed, and to walk us through his process.

Working with Spritzer, Ravi explains that the brief was "to feature the product in the video with full creative freedom, provided I mention the USP of the product, Spritzer Natural Mineral Water, which was natural mineral water and silica to improve skin."

For the sponsored video, Ravi knew it was best to create content that was in line with his brand and normal videos, rather than producing an "advertisement". 

His content includes trying viral foods, attempting new activities, or documenting experiences through vlogs. From there, Ravi brainstormed ways to seamlessly integrate the product into the video to make it feel more natural.

Watch his sponsored video below:


Spritzer Natural Mineral Water be giving me that extra glow when i row that kayak at taman tasik shah alam frrr @Spritzer Water #SpritzerMY #SilicaMineralWater

original sound - Ravi Zephyr - Ravi Zephyr

"Judging by the views and engagement, I would say [my audience reacted] pretty well," Ravi said.

"People were receptive and commenting on the jokes I was making in the video, including the one where the Spritzer Mineral Water was mentioned.

"From those analytics, I can sort of deduce that I've provided exposure to the product and also there have been instances since the video has been posted where people have come up to me and asked 'aren't you the Spritzer guy who went on a kayak?'

"So, it feels good to know that I am able to provide value for the client and the brand, while creating brand association, which will allow more prospects for working with the same client in the future," Ravi explained.

We rate Ravi's sponsored content A++. So chaotic. Very unhinged. 10/10 would recommend.

But how much can you charge for a sponsored TikTok video?

Sharing his experience, Ravi says content creator rates vary widely, depending on experience, niche, audience size, credibility, and engagement.

"When I first started out, I got RM150 for my first sponsored video," he said. 

At the time, Ravi didn't have a rate card and had no idea what to charge, but his videos were consistently getting 10,000 to 15,000 views. Instead, he asked the client how much they were willing to pay, then accepted the gig immediately.

"I also thought at that time that RM150 was a lot for just one video, and sometimes it is. But at the end of the day, personally, I think it all boils down to knowing how much value you can bring to the table and negotiating with the client so they are willing to pay you fairly for your worth. 

"I have also come across creators who make five figures for one video, granted they are a big creator and have built a strong personal brand with greater reach and influence," Ravi shared.

Ravi's advice is to charge how much you think your worth is. 

Watch Ravi's first sponsored video below:


hair dye by @INAIDAMIAMALAYSIAOFFICIAL® is an absolute slay my mother almost thought i was salman khan until she looked at my height #inaidamia #fyp #malaysia #ad

original sound - Ravi Zephyr - Ravi Zephyr

Ravi reflects on the highlights of his journey as a content creator, pointing to a particular moment that stands out above the rest

He shares, "The biggest highlight I would say so far is when I made the waffle lady video." Describing the Taylor's University waffle shop owner's warm personality, he adds, "She is the kindest, warmest person I have ever met in my life."

Noticing a sudden change in her demeanor, Ravi made a video "threatening and cursing people who made the waffle lady sad, saying they would only get soggy waffles for the rest of their life, and that anyone who made her sad has to face me first."

The video blew up overnight and the response was overwhelming. Many people, including former Taylor's students, flocked to the waffle shop to offer their kindness, give gifts, and support the business of the beloved 'waffle lady.'

After the hype slowed and fewer customers crowded the stall, Ravi was able to sit down with her and was stunned to find out she knew him by name. Thanking him for the video, she shared she had been feeling down due to issues with an employee.

"That was truly the highlight of my career. I still can’t believe that one video I made impacted so many people, even ex-students came to visit her. It made the waffle lady's week, had people asking about her day instead of her asking about theirs for once, and just cultivated kindness generally," shares Ravi.

Despite the triumphs, Ravi also acknowledges the challenges that come with being a content creator

Creative burnout is a common hurdle, where the pressure to produce engaging content can take its toll. "It can get a little draining creatively to consistently top your previous videos or keep the content fresh and engaging," says Ravi.

Additionally, navigating online hate and criticism poses its own set of difficulties. Ravi emphasises the importance of resilience in the face of negativity, choosing to focus on the support of his loyal audience rather than the detractors.

"I have never let any of those mean comments ever get to me because I always believed that whatever hateful thing people say online is a reflection of who they are as a person," Ravi shares. 

"Who knows you better than yourself? So, why let a random stranger do a character analysis of you from a 15-second video they watch of you online?" he adds.

"Being a content creator is a job, and the potential to earn a significant income from it exists"

But Ravi explains that he most likely won't be a content creator full-time, "It's an unstable career option. There are some months where I don't make money at all, while other months I make a huge amount."

He goes on to say that in the beginning stages, you'll make little to no money while finding your niche and building engagement with your target audience. 

When he first started out, Ravi would agree to two to three videos in exchange for free products or a fee that was worth less than the exposure he was providing clients.

"You have to be good with budgeting your income and not splurge to keep up with the 'influencer lifestyle'. It's a really cutthroat, competitive industry where you have to stay relevant, convince brands that you are an asset, and continue networking and making connections to get to know more people in the industry," says Ravi.

"It's unquestionably a career path that demands determination and passion for success because you must genuinely love it, want it, and put in the effort to make it happen."

Follow Ravi on TikTok and Instagram for more antics and laughs!

Watch what happened when teenagers interviewed Ravi on SAYS:

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