Thanks to the Forbes latest article on TikTok’s 7 Highest Earning Stars, we now know that its users mean business. The article lists TikTok ‘celebrities’ who managed to earn over a million dollars over the past year by posting short videos on the now extremely popular social media platform. The first place went to Addison Rae Easterling with her $5 000 000 earned in a year.
The coronavirus has left many of us financially disadvantaged, which naturally led to people looking for new ways and places to earn. Social media platforms, as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, have become a proper source of income for many people who call themselves social influencers. TikTok, however, is the fastest-growing platform of them all and we have Easterling and others as proof that you can earn from it. At the moment there are even TikTok money calculators that estimate the approximate amount of public TikTok accounts is making. The obvious questions are ー how do you earn and what does it take?
Hold your horses and don’t go calling brands offering to become their ambassador right away, first learn the steps you need to take on your way to success:
#1. Creating Your Brand
Anyone who has ever taken a grain of interest in marketing will know this is an important step in starting a business. Answer these 2 questions: who are you and who is your audience? If we translate this to TikTok, this means you have to determine what type of videos you want to create. Do you want to be an entertainer? Do you want to create romantic videos with dreamy vibes? How do you want your viewers (and potential collaborators) to perceive you?
#2. Posting What People Want to Watch
On any social media, your worth is measured by your content. Being an influencer, whatever platform takes a lot of effort. You have to follow trends, have an individual approach, and be interesting all at the same time. You also have to post every day.
#3. Growing Your Audience
It’s hard to underestimate the importance of this step and the way to achieve it is completing the first two. Let’s take Easterling, for example. She now has over 54 million followers on TikTok. It’s been observed that you need something between 10K and 1M to be able to monetize your profile. The best way to attract followers is to define what your target audience wants to see and hold yourself up to standards of quality and consistency. Another way to increase the growth rate of your TikTok profile is to buy real TikTok followers.
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5 Ways to Monetize Your Videos
Once you have a decent TikTok audience, you can start making real money. Here are 5 ways to monetize your videos:
#1. Influencer Marketing
In 2020 the word doesn’t sound new to anyone. Companies hire influencers to promote their products/services/brands. One of the biggest influencer campaigns on TikTok was done by Mucinex, which collaborated with a few influencers to promote their product during Halloween and flu season. The videos showed the influencers not looking their best after waking up. Then, after using Mucinex, they looked fantastic and ready to party. The message of the campaign was clear: Mucinex will help you recover on time, no matter how bad you are feeling.
#2. Sponsored Content
A good example of a successful TikTok deal is Loren Gray and the $2.6 million she earned last year. Having landed a deal with Revlon, she now creates content for their corporate TikTok, while also putting out sponsored posts on her profile for over 45 million followers to see.
Once you become popular enough, you can develop your product. For example, Easterling now has her makeup line Item Beauty.
#4. Career Launch
Having a large audience can serve as a trampoline for your music/acting career. Take Baby Ariel, for instance. She was the first to hit 20 million followers on Musical.ly (now TikTok) and now has over 34 million followers. This enabled her to work with Disney Channel and star in Nickelodeon TV shows.
#5. TikTok Consulting
If you grow to become considered a TikTok expert, you will find many people seeking your advice. As TikTok is a relatively new social media platform, people are willing to pay consultants who can help with branding, developing a strategy, and growing their audience.
While TikTok brought money and fame to many of its users, it is being criticized as well. In Beijing, China, for example, the app is being confronted with questions of privacy, censorship, and child safety. More info can be found here.
Nevertheless, if you are looking to use TikTok as a business opportunity, take it seriously ー do your homework and act smart.