TikTok is the new king of social media, according to Intelligencer. It exploded during the pandemic, giving rise to a new wave of creators. But is it too saturated? If you think it’s too late to hop on this platform, we're here to reassure you: it’s not.
In this article, we're going to cover:
- why TikTok is worth spending time on
- 5 actionable tips for growing on the platform
- 3 ways to monetize as a TikTok creator
So, why is TikTok worth spending time on?
Due to the power of its algorithm, you can grow really fast on TikTok.
Gabriel Nussbaum grew his following to over 100K in less than two weeks when his fourth video on TikTok went viral. Meanwhile, it took 17-year old Noah Brierley just over a year to grow over a million followers, allowing him to go full-time as a creator.
Both of these creators had previous tried platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter, but they had no luck. It was only with TikTok that their careers completely changed.
By growing on TikTok:
- you have the potential to make a full-time living while working part-time
- you can diversify yourself as a creator if you already create content on other platforms
- you can build a strong network with brands, creators, and other businesses
TikTok is often considered one of the easiest platforms to grow on. The TikTok algorithm focuses on the quality of your content, whether that's making someone laugh, saving people time, or helping others make money. The barrier to creating TikTok videos is also low - all you need is your phone, your personality and tons of creative juice.
5 Actionable Tips to Grow A Following from Scratch
You’ve decided TikTok is for you! Now it’s time to grow your following, even if it’s from scratch.
1. Be consistent
We know you’ve heard this advice plenty of times, but it can’t be over-stated.
Your content tells the algorithm and users what you're all about, but if you don’t know what you want to create, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is you're getting videos out there.
Create daily videos for 30 days straight and learn:
- what works on the platform
- the topics you like talking about
- the style of video you enjoy creating
We can't promise you’ll go viral in your first month as a TikToker, but you'll be one step closer to becoming the creator you've always dreamed of.
2. Become an early adopter of different trends
If you want to grow on TikTok, chances are you've already spent tons of time scrolling on it.
As you scroll, pay attention to things that are doing well, such as:
- Styles of videos
This isn't to say that you should copy other creators, but you can use them as an inspiration and put your own spin on it. This is exactly how Gabriel grew on TikTok. He found a formula that worked on the platform.
3. Don't worry about your niche. Worry about your USP
Noah Brierley might be 17 years old, but he doesn’t let that stop him from talking about topics ranging from finance to travel and business.
"I'm young, so I play that to my advantage. Everyone has an unfair advantage. Use it.” - Noah Brierley
The beauty of TikTok is that no matter your age or experience, there's space for you to share what you know with others.
Like Noah says, "you only need to be one step ahead of someone else".
4. Figure out your sweet spot
Your sweet spot is the mix of the style, length, and topics you want to create.
Your style might be dancing, conversational videos, or 1-minute skits, and your videos might range from 20 seconds to 10 minutes. The only criterion is that it makes sense to your audience.
You can also make your videos more engaging by
- Using a hook
- Taking the viewer on a journey
- Introducing the problem straight away
- Removing anything that's not interesting
Over time, you’ll develop your own unique approach to short-form content.
5. Talk about things you're passionate about
Creating content in general is very time-consuming. If you're not enjoying it, it’s difficult to stay in the game.
Gabriel Nussbaum may be able to charge brands up to £6000 for a 20-second video, but that that wasn’t by chance. He sees TikTok as a passion-first platform rather than a money-making machine platform (although it might develop into that).
This is crucial because many creators experience burnout. According to ConvertKit's 2022 State of the Creator Economy Report, 61% of creators faced burnout in 2021.
You don’t want to be one of them. So ask yourself: how can I make this fun for me?
How do you actually make money from TikTok?
Whether you’ve grown your platform already or you’re still on the fence about whether TikTok is worth your time, there’s definitely money to be made on TikTok. Aside from the TikTok Creator Fund, here are three common ways you can make money as a TikTok creator.
Even with short-form content, brands are willing to pay creators who have engaged audiences.
If you have a smaller following, it might be worth pitching yourself to specific brands you dream of working with. But as you grow, you might find brands reach out to you.
Knowing how much to charge can be difficult, especially because TikTok is such a new platform. You might have to brush up your negotiating skills like Noah or work with an agency to help find you brand deals, like Gabriel. The pricing of deals can also depend on the number of views, sign ups, or exclusivity rights.
When accepting or rejecting a brand, consider:
- Would you use this brand’s product or service?
- Is it relevant to your audience?
- Do you have a strong knowledge about the brand’s product or service?
Affiliate marketing is one of the simplest ways to monetize your platform, no matter how big or small your following is. You earn a commission anytime someone buys something using your affiliate link.
By becoming an affiliate of the products you already use, the content you create can be more organic. You might:
- Give tutorials on how to use a product
- Explain how the product/service has helped you in your life
- Showcase the product/service being used in your daily routine
User-generated content TikTok videos are videos you create for brands as part of their own marketing campaigns.
When charging brands for this type of content, you can consider the following factors:
- Licensing: a brand's legal right to your content for a specific period of time
- Exclusivity: when a brand asks you to only talk about them (and not their competitors)
As Noah discusses, when figuring out how much to charge, consider how long brands have rights to your content.
TikTok is still an early platform with plenty of room for growth and opportunity.
You only have to listen to Noah and Gabriel on Creators on Air to see how much potential there is for TikTok creators to build a business.