Millie Ford Reveals What Most Influencers Are Getting Wrong & What TikTok Needs To Change ASAP

When it comes to Aussie social media stars, there’s no denying that one of our most beloved — and wildly successful — gals is TikTok star Millie Ford.

The Sydney-based diva turned her hilarious teacher and mum videos into a lucrative influencer career, spanning a podcast, a banger single called “Lovestruck”, sweet brand endorsements, and a total of 1.5M followers on TikTok and 248K followers on Instagram who can’t get enough of her content.

Ahead of her latest sweet gig of hosting the ELLE Awards, we chatted to Millie Ford about her booming career, what needs to change about TikTok and her advice to other young creatives.

So lovely chatting to you! First up, hosting the ELLE Awards, what a sweet gig!

I was so thrilled to accept [the hosting gig] because not only is it such an honour to be able to bring attention to other creators who are on the rise, but also because I’ve been a fan of ELLE since I was a little girl. I was like, this is huge!

The award ceremony is honouring young creatives — who are you most keen to see this evening?

Ooh, you know what, I don’t want to pick favourites because they’re all such incredible people. I’m so impressed by people who are fearlessly, boldly themselves. In particular, I really love people who don’t care what people think of them.

I’m just so excited to see them all!

Millie Ford

Millie Ford looking fab, as per usual. (Credit: Instagram / Millie Ford)

It’s been such a pleasure watching you rise and rise and do all these wonderful things. How does it all feel?

Honestly, I wish that I could say it feels like it has gone exactly as planned, but it truly hasn’t. It’s always changing, and I think I just feel so grateful to be in this position, and that what I mean by that is having a platform that I can use to share things about my life, but also about the world that mean a lot to me.

And I think it’s become so clear over the past few months, I’ve kind of been thinking about my purpose with it all. And, you know, it’s such a big thing to manage. So while it’s so exciting and it’s a dream for me, it’s also like, how can I actually use this and use it responsibly to share and inspire people? That’s my main thing. I just want to inspire people and entertain them and bring value to their lives. But I feel grateful every single day and to be completely honest, it’s really daunting because you just don’t really know how long this will be around, so you just want to make the most of it!

I think you’ve done a really fabulous job of pivoting and remaining relevant and showing the world that you’re more than just the fun teacher and mum characters — as much as we loved them! It’s so incredible how you’ve managed to explore other areas, such as hosting the ELLE Awards. Like, that’s something that I’m sure you did not envision yourself doing when you first started posting TikToks!

Yeah, no way! I really appreciate that, because it’s actually quite scary, especially when you’re pivoting. And you try not to think about everyone’s opinions of it, but you just have to know that you’re doing what feels right to you. So sometimes it may look more seamless than it actually feels.

There’s always a method to the madness, isn’t there?

There’s always thought to it!

What kind of content are you loving on TikTok at the moment? What’s standing out to you on your FYP?

Great question! I feel like my feed is constantly changing, and it’s literally always reflective of what’s going on in my life at the moment. What am I loving? What am I stuck on at the moment? Actually, I’m genuinely saying this, I have seen so many awesome artistic videos. Things like people using really unique materials in a way that you wouldn’t expect. And I’m not an artsy person — I can’t paint to save my life. But I’ve somehow been stuck on it, and reading the comments and seeing how everyone is like, “Yeah, I really took this away from it. This is such a vibe!”

And I’ve never been on the art side of content. And here I am, and I’m embracing it, and I just think it’s all about creativity. I think that that’s just literally what I’m drawn to.

You’re so right, it’s such a positive corner of TikTok. Everyone supports the artists and champions their work. With every social media platform there’s a lot of negativity to it, but #ArtTok is such a positive, uplifting, therapeutic space.

Exactly! We’re kind of like, you’ve been given this really unique gift that you probably would never have thought you had. You’ve turned it into a living and that’s so inspiring. Anyone can really use their talents and live it and turn it into a living if you really want it and if you’re really passionate about it.

That’s why it’s so important to listen to what you want and not just do what you think you should do, because you just never know. That’s what I would say, anyway… you never know.

Millie Ford hosting the Elle Awards

Millie Ford hosting the Elle Awards. (Credit: Supplied)

100 per cent! Any weird kind of artform that you might think is average or whatever, to someone else on TikTok, it’s bloody gold.

Literally, it might feel really mundane to you, but to other people, it’s interesting and you can’t forget that. If you have something to offer — oh my gosh, not us getting deep!

I know right! Well, you’ve kind of answered my next question, but what advice do you have to other young creatives who want to make it big on TikTok?

Okay, I love talking about this because it actually makes me feel like I’m sharing my experiences. I think the best advice I can give you is: don’t try. Because this is the thing, we always push against things that are ourselves, what we think might be different and might not be accepted. And for that reason, sometimes we actually end up stalling what we’re supposed to be bringing so I think, listen to your intuition in your gut. If you want to be a creative, if you want to create content, like, don’t aspire to be an “influencer,” aspire to be bringing joy to people’s lives. And through that, you’ll have influence.

I don’t think that you should aspire to be like, I want to just be an influencer, because I think you can get really twisted along the way. So if you think about, ‘What can I offer the world? How can I share that and influence other people to do that?’ That’s how I like to think of it.

And also, another big tip that I like to give people when they ask is to envision yourself in five years or 10 years, and then you work backwards, and you think, ‘Okay, how am I going to get there?’ And that’s kind of how I decide how I want to accept jobs, or opportunities or projects. It’s like, is this actually fulfilling what I want? And not getting caught up in doing what other people are doing!

Millie Ford

Millie Ford had a short but sweet stint on Home And Away, playing an influencer. How apt! (Credit: Millie Ford / Home And Away)

Millie, you’re so grounded and down to earth. The fame hasn’t gone to your head at all. You’re still so humble and lovely. I really, I really appreciate you.

Oh, thank you! I just honestly, I say this because I don’t want people to make the mistakes that I did and waste so much time. Because I look back and I’m like, it’s not wasted time. I obviously learned through that. But if I can help someone else not have to go through that, then that’s great!

You know what you just made me realise as you were saying that? You’re kind of teaching the next generation and so you’ve sort of become the teacher character that you started off as. It’s kind of come full circle, you know?

It’s so funny. Suddenly I’m like, no, I am. I’m the teacher!

I love it! TikTok has changed so much over the last few years. What’s something on the platform that you think needs to change?

Great question! I think we all get really frustrated at the algorithm. It’s changing too much, like… stop! But also I understand that it is that way for a reason.

Also, I think TikTok is pretty good at listening to what the people want. But I think we just need to really encourage and highlight new creatives. You know that TikTok jail? It’s this jail that people get stuck in and it’s so hard to push out of. I don’t really know the logistics around that, but I think if we can just champion people who really want to give it a go and give it a try, yeah? That would be awesome.

Ugh, yes! Enough with the TikTok jail. Free the people!

Free the people! The 200 view jail that people are stuck in. Like, why?

Okay, I’d better let you go so you can prep for the ELLE Awards! Last question: you’ve accomplished so much already, what’s something you’d love to do next?

You know what? I would absolutely love to, and I know I’ve touched on the acting stuff, but like, one big career goal for me is to genuinely have a lead role in a comedy series that I’ve written myself. That is pretty much as high as it gets for me, like that would feel like a huge milestone. And you know, if it hasn’t been written by myself, that’s so fine too. But I think an ultimate goal would be to create something, make it and actually be able to star in it. I think one day, hopefully in the near future, I’ll be able to do that.

Millie Ford Bump

Millie Ford played a teacher in the Stan Original Series Bump and absolutely NAILED IT! (Credit: Stan)

I can so see you doing that one day! And it’s good to talk about it, because that’s how you manifest your goals.

I completely agree. The more you talk about it, it’s front of mind, and then you talk about it with other people, and then you might open up a conversation about that, and then they’ll be like, “You should do this…”

Yes, exactly! Well, start tinkering away with ideas! It’ll probably take time to formulate the concept so it’s great that you’ve already got your thinking cap on.

Anyway, thank you so much for your time, Millie. Best of luck with the awards! You’re gonna smash it!!

Thank you so much!!!

Matt Galea is PTV’s Managing Editor and resident astrologer who pens your monthly astrology horoscope. He recently released his first book titled How To Spot The (Star) Signs. You can find him on Instagram and TikTok.