Business People and Community

Alix Earle tells students: ‘Stay true to yourselves’

The University of Miami graduate and social media phenomenon visited the Miami Herbert Business School as a guest lecturer on Wednesday, offering insight on social media strategies and encouraging students to remain authentic to themselves.
Alumna Alix Earle joined William “Ted” Bolton’s Digital Media Metrics class as a guest lecturer Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Joshua Prezant/University of Miami
Alumna Alix Earle credited what she learned in the Digital Media Metrics class offered by the Miami Herbert Business School for her understanding of the social media business landscape as she launched her career. Photo: Joshua Prezant/University of Miami

At just 22 years old, Alix Earle has amassed more than 6 million followers on TikTok and 3 million more on Instagram. She was recently named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list as one of the most influential content creators on social media. She has secured business deals with brands like Benefit Cosmetics and L’Oreal and even coined a nickname for her own digital influence—the Alix Earle Effect. 

The University of Miami alumna was a guest lecturer on Wednesday afternoon in William “Ted” Bolton’s Digital Media Metrics class at the Miami Herbert Business School to share stories of her success and to offer advice for aspiring social media content creators. 

Earle, who graduated in May with a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing, became one of the fastest-growing creators on social media during her time as a student. She recounted how she navigated the challenges of an explosive takeoff to her career—Earle garnered almost 3 million TikTok followers in one month alone—while remaining focused on her academics. 

“Two years ago, I took this class. And I always say this class resonated with me the most because what we learn about digital media analytics and getting to understand how posts perform was so interesting to me and something that I use every day now,” she said. 

She went on to credit Bolton, a lecturer, and what she learned in his course, for her strong foundation in understanding the social media business landscape as she launched her career. 

Bolton’s class introduces students to evolving new media business metrics and various forms of audience and market analysis across platforms. Throughout the semester, students explore new media usage patterns, cross-platform strategies, and entertainment and news-gathering models. 

The lecturer highlighted how Earle’s social media content follows the creation models he teaches about in the class. He also applauded Earle’s dedication to her career and how she has used her platform to create opportunities for University students like herself. 

“The reason Alix Earle is Alix Earle is one thing—hard work,” Bolton said. “She works harder than anybody I know.” 

Students had the opportunity to chat with Earle about how she creates and manages her content and what inspired her to get started in social media. She shared her strategies for leveraging social media platforms to build a brand and engage audiences effectively and encouraged students to remain authentic to themselves. 

“The biggest lesson I’ve learned through my content would be staying true to yourself. Stick to your niche. I think there will always be negative comments. And people may not believe in you at first, but sticking to content that you love and enjoy doing is really important,” she said. 

Earle didn’t shy away from her future, either. When asked about the possibility of TikTok being banned in the United States or social media platforms disappearing in the future, the social media star highlighted how her career goals extend beyond building online platforms. 

“It’s important to connect all of your platforms to get the same following across several platforms,” she said. “Social media could be gone overnight. My overarching goal and where I want to be in 10, maybe 20, years from now is to be a business owner. I want to have many different brands under the ‘Alix Earle’ brand.” 

And, despite her staggering rise to social media fame and continued success, Earle reflected on the one moment that she says defined success for her—establishing the Alix Earle Scholarship at the Miami Herbert Business School. 

“There’s been so many ‘I made it’ moments, but I think the biggest moment had to be establishing the scholarship. UMiami helped me get to where I am and I’m very grateful to be where I am [in my career]. I wanted to give that opportunity to other students to live out their dreams and help them realize they can do the unimaginable,” she said. “The opportunities here are endless. Being in the city of Miami, there’s just something special about this school, the school spirit, and community,” she added. 

Mya Goldstein, a senior studying supply chain analytics and marketing, had a chance to ask Earle questions throughout the class. The student said that hearing about Earle’s perseverance through negativity, and her words of encouragement to stay true to oneself, was inspiring. 

“It was really exciting,” Goldstein said. “Alix kept saying that she’s the same as all the other students in here. And it was so great to hear about everything she has accomplished in such a short time since graduating.”

Alix Earle with lecturer William "Ted" Bolton and students enrolled in the fall 2023 course.