A Woman Moved From Brussels To Toronto To Be A TikToker & Says She 'Can't Believe' It's A Job

She makes more money than she did at her 9-5 office job.

Toronto Tiktoker, Marina Santarossa.
Associate Editor

Toronto Tiktoker, Marina Santarossa.

People sometimes think being a TikToker is not a real job, but it is a thing and you can make a lot of money doing it.

Narcity spoke with Marina Santarossa about how she became a successful Toronto TikToker and said she moved from Brussels to continue exploring this dream.

"This is the most fun I've ever had, like working and I can't believe it's like a job," she told Narcity.


3 in one!!! @revolve linked in my bio #revolveme #fashion #ootd #wintercoat

The TikToker was born and raised in Canada but previously lived abroad while on exchange in Sweden. She wanted to gain international working experience, so she moved to Belgium afterwards and had a 9-5 office job.

In 2020 when COVID hit and her office job became a part-time work-from-home experience, Santarossa was new on TikTok and started making videos about "what it was like to live in Brussels as a Canadian living abroad."

At the time, she had no intention of changing jobs, but she quickly started gaining a following and people loved her content.


Discovering #hiddenbelgium 🤍 #belgium #tiktokbelgium #voorjou #pourtoii #travel #belgique #belgie #belgiumgirl #belgiangirl

She was using a book called Hidden Belgium and going around the city showing people on TikTok the hidden gems. Eventually, the book sold out and the author thanked her and sent the TikToker more books — her "first taste" of what being a content creator could be like.

During that time, she wanted to leave Brussels and explore being a TikToker in Canada. Now, she resides in Toronto as a full-time TikTok content creator and makes a lot of money doing so.

How do you make money on TikTok?


So excited for this iconic show now available on @Prime Video Canada 🇨🇦 - #DaisyJonesAndTheSix 🎸 I’m ready for the 70s fashion and rock n roll era vibes. Get a 30 day free trial of #PrimeVideo linked in my bio :)

For Santarossa, there are multiple ways that she makes money using TikTok and this varies from one content creator to the other.

Brand partnerships

One way that this Toronto TikToker gets paid is through brand partnerships.

For a few brands, Santarossa is contracted with them. That means a brand tells her what they want, she creates the content and they post it on their TikTok and Instagram pages — she doesn't use or post them on her personal page.


The other way that Santarossa makes money as being a TikToker and through her own page.

To increase her following, she posts videos she enjoys, which would be great when exposing herself to collab opportunities.

The Toronto TikToker does sponsored content with brands such as Amazon Prime Video, Nespresso and more, and she gets paid a specific amount for each video.

So brands message her and say, "'Hey, we'll send you this product, can you make a video about it, and we're gonna pay you to post that because you have this large following,' then that's how I make money off of my own personal TikTok."

How much money do TikTok influencers make?


Like this video if the sun shining in #toronto changed your life #tiktoktoronto #torontolife #torontovlog #grwm #dailyvlog

The Toronto TikToker said it depends on the month and what contracts she has going on.

But on average, Santarossa said she makes between a "four to five figure" per month. She added that each collab costs around $400 but can exceed the thousands per video.

However, it's worth noting that it can sometimes be hard to estimate.

The 27-year-old said, "being a content creator now, I sometimes make more money with one video than my entire monthly salary at my previous job."

Additionally, being a TikToker does come with its flaws. Some include having no stability, not knowing how much you'd be making from month to month, no benefits, and you need to be motivated and organized to stay on top of your tasks.

"I can be creative. I have such flexibility with my schedule," she said. "At the end of the day, sometimes you're tired. Like, it's actually crazy to be like, tired from like, like, being happy in video."

"I'm literally loving it. It's the most fun thing ever. I hope that it lasts forever. I want to just be a TikToker for the rest of my life," she added.

And if you're looking for some advice on how to grow your followers, Santarossa shared, "show your personality, do long-form videos, talk to your audience, and then the people who are like you, will follow you. And they'll like anything you post no matter what."

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Mira Nabulsi
Associate Editor
Mira Nabulsi is an Associate Food & Drink Editor for Narcity Media focused on all your favourite eats and is based in Toronto, Ontario.