The rising popularity of TikTok as a social networking platform has raised this question for every online marketer; How to make money on TikTok?
With over 2 billion downloads since 2017 and 800 million active users, TikTok has taken the world by storm. Top internet influencers like Gary Vee and Neil Patel have started acknowledging the potential this platform has.
What exactly is TikTok?
Launched in 2017 by a Chinese company called ByteDance, TikTok is a short video creation and sharing app. It has made its way into the list of the ten most-downloaded apps of the past decade, ranking in seventh place ahead of even YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest, which have been around for much, much longer.
More famous among millennials and Gen Z, the content that you will come across on the app most often is lip-syncing, singing, dancing, and comedy videos.
But there is a lot more to it. As the platform is new, it has a lot of revenue potential for those who are eager to jump in early and want to capitalize on it.
Unlike Youtube, Tiktok does not currently have a revenue-sharing model i.e it does not pay per view. But that does not mean it is a closed-door. Through this platform, creators can land sponsorship and brand deals for their posts, especially if they have a large number of following.
To get you in the game early I have listed down eleven ways you can exploit to start making money from TikTok today. Let’s get going with the ideas. Also, if you’d like to get access to some of the top TikTok marketers you can gain access to their unfiltered conversations for only $1.
How To Make Money On TikTok:
Let’s get right to it starting with…
Become An Influencer.
Sprout Social defines an influencer as someone who is trustworthy in a specific niche. Brands take help of influencer’s preexisting credibility in that niche to promote themselves. This is what we call influencer marketing.
Linqia, in a survey, concluded that 92% of marketers have found influencer marketing to be effective.
In the past, celebrities, athletes and political leaders were considered to be the influencers. The late 2010s has witnessed a newly emerging term as ‘ Micro-influencers’.
Micro-influencers are the people that have gotten fame through social media and are able to make a targeted impact on their audience.
TikTok, being a new social media platform, is figuring out ways for influencer marketing. Micro-influencers are cost-effective for brands as compared to macro-influencers like celebrities and athletes.
The more engaged following you have at TikTok, the higher your credibility will be as an influencer and the more likely you will be sponsored by brands. Want to search for influencers on TikTok? Use a TikTok user search feature and find influencers to follow.
Below, I have compiled some tactics that can put you on a path to becoming a TikTok influencer that will help you figure out how to make money on TikTok.
Perfect Your Profile Bio:
Your bio is the first thing your viewers will look at when they come to your profile. Tiktok is a fast-paced platform. The faster you can give visitors an idea about what they can find in your account, the better.
To craft a perfect bio for TikTok, you can take help of this resource.
Focus On A Niche to make money on TikTok:
I am an entrepreneur and have converted my side hustles into a full-time income. My TikTok bio states that precisely. Visitors can instantly get an idea of what my videos are about. This is how your bio should be.
If you want to build yourself as a TikTok influencer, pick one niche and stick to it. Maintain your voice, tone and style throughout your videos. This rule applies to all social media platforms.
Produce Quality Videos Consistently:
According to Forbes,
When your content quality, quantity or schedule isn’t consistent, it can confuse your customers. Keeping with a regular strategy not only helps create a better customer experience but it also helps build credibility, reputation and brand trust.
It is not recommended to post videos sporadically on TikTok. Whatever your schedule is, stick to it. That is how you build a loyal following. By appearing in front of your audience when they expect you the most will help you develop a meaningful relationship with them.
Make sure you post good quality, entertaining videos related to your niche.
Once in a while, you can show your lighter side to your audience by giving them a glimpse of your daily life or behind the scenes.
Improve Your Videography Skills:
Tiktok is all about short videos and you have to deliver your message within 60 secs.
So double down on your filming skills.
How you can do that.
- Invest in gear
- Fix the camera somewhere or have a steady hand.
- Shoot with TikTok App instead of uploading from your phone
- Use trending music at the background
- Use appropriate filters, transitions and beats
- Create eye-catching thumbnails
Perform Hashtag Research:
Hashtags, if used wisely, can make your videos go viral. You may take help of this tool by Influencer Marketing Hub to help you generate appropriate hashtags for your TikTok videos.
Though nobody outside TikTok knows how its algorithm works and which hashtags it favours yet the influencers have a consensus that adding #foryou or any variation of it may increase your chances of showing up on the “For You” page.
If it happens your video is most likely to get a lot of eyeballs. So don’t forget to add this hashtag.
Engage With Your Audience
There are plenty of ways to engage with your audience. Understand your audience first and then try to come up with videos and challenges that they will like.
Give a call to action for sharing.
Network and Collaborate With Other Influencers
Networking should be at the core of your strategy for becoming a TikTok influencer.
Collective effort is always necessary to achieve success. Find out the people in your niche that can benefit from you and your TikTok content in addition to what you can gain from them.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to influencers of your niche and present your self for collaboration. Your TikTok account will act as your portfolio. If they are more established than you, you will gain exposure, following, and experience.
To make money on TikTok Build Your Own Brand
“Your personal brand is your reputation. And your reputation in perpetuity is the foundation of your career.” —–Gary Vee
According to Forbes,
A personal brand is a unique combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are. It is how you present yourself to the world.
Effective personal branding will differentiate you from the competition and allow you to build trust with prospective clients and employers.
TikTok is not only about dancing, pranking and lip-syncing videos. It is being used by many social media experts, lawyers, doctors and entrepreneurs to educate the audience.
Their accounts have gained thousands of followers through their valuable content.
The TikTok algorithm is extremely sharp. It will get your videos in front of the right audience if the content is good. Also, only 34 % of users at TikTok actively post daily. The rest just consume the published content.
So establishing your self as an expert in your niche by posting valuable content consistently will help develop your personal brand.
It also increases your profit margins when you start selling your own merchandise, as you are yourself a vendor and not acting as an affiliate for anybody.
Sell Your Own Merchandise
Once you have developed a brand of your own and have a loyal following, it is a good idea to start launching a product (physical/digital) of your own.
When it comes to selling the conventional tactics will not work on TikTok. The app isn’t the place for serious sit-down sales pitches.
The majority of the users at TikTok are in the age range of 16 to 24. They come here to entertain themselves, not to buy things. But the demographic and age is shifting upwards at a rapid rate. This is the way that it is with most social media platforms. They start out with young people and as they mature, they begin to gain traction with older users.
But with the right tactics, you can definitely sell and influence their buying decisions.
Keep it simple. A light-hearted video that shows off your products will come across more authentic.
Apparel, hair products, cosmetics, exercise gear and equipment, dance courses and online courses for any niche can do well on TikTok. How you promote, will make the difference.
If you don’t have a product of your own, become an affiliate for stores like Amazon or Walmart etc. Promote their products related to your niche and earn commissions.
Give a call to action (CTA) to buy in videos and use “link in bio” to drive traffic to your sales page or blog.
Collaborate With Brands And Publish Sponsored Posts
High-end brands are turning more towards ‘micro-influencers’ for their brand promotions instead of celebrities, athletes and public figures that stay on top of the influencer hierarchy with millions of followers.
In September 2016, Loreal partnered with 5 UK beauty bloggers for a campaign. None of these beauty bloggers has following equal to that of a celebrity, but their combined reach exceeded 5 million engaged viewers.
Why are brands switching to smaller influencers? Because micro-influencers are niche-specific, closer to their followers with excellent conversion rates.
At TikTok, engagement rate matters a lot. The higher the engagement rate, the more chances of getting paid per post.
Influencer Marketing Hub has introduced a tool using which can calculate your engagement rate at TikTok and will give you an approximate idea of how much you should earn per post.
So once you have a decent, targeted following at TikTok, you can reach out to relevant brands your self with proposals or brands can contact you themselves as well.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, TikTok influencers can get paid between $200 to $20,000 for a single sponsored post depending on their influence level.
Go Live On TikTok And Make Money
Like Instagram, Facebook and Youtube, Tiktok has a feature of live streaming where you can talk and engage with your audience if you have a minimum of 1000 followers.
Going live at TikTok has more to it and is another way how to make money on TikTok.
TikTok Go-Live has a feature where the followers who like your content can gift you coins to show their support. Your followers can purchase coins inside the TikTok app and when they donate those coins, you can turn them into diamonds, convert into cash and withdraw that money into your PayPal account.
You can convert 50% of the coins to cash and the rest will be distributed between TikTok and App Store and Google Play.
Cross-Promote Your TikTok Account
There are over 100 social media networks worldwide. Each social media platform has a different audience with a predilection to a different type of content.
According to Neal Schaffer, The idea of social media cross-promotion is to share your content, as widely and efficiently as possible, across multiple social networks.
TikTok is a vertical video sharing platform and the content is similar to Youtube, Instagram and Facebook stories which are also favorable for video posting.
To gain followers, post your TikTok videos to your Facebook and Instagram stories. Add your TikTok account link to Instagram bio and give a call to action to follow you back.
Make a compilation of your TikTok videos and post on your Youtube channel. Provide your TikTok account link in the description and give a call to action to follow back.
This way you can introduce your TikTok account to your followers of other social media channels. Some might follow you back.
You can also add links to Instagram and Youtube channels in your TikTok profile.
Grow A TikTok Account And Sell It
This is one big way people are making money at the app.
You can launch a profile around one specific niche like hair products or cosmetics. Post good quality content consistently. This way you grow the followers and engagement rate.
These accounts can be sold to those who are interested.
There are some online platforms like Fameswap which mediate this process. Such practices are legit but have their own pros and cons. Do your due diligence before buying or selling any such accounts.
Invest In TikTok Ads To Increase You Reach
Ads are one of the most common inorganic methods of increasing your reach and impressions.
Like all other social media platforms, TikTok also allows you to run ads.
The most common are In-feed ads. These ads are TikTok videos which appear silently in the feed of viewers. Apart from a little hashtag in the description saying “ #ad ”, there is no other way of knowing that if a video is an advertisement.
Some types of TikTok ads are:
Infeed Native Content: This type of ad is similar to Snapchat or Instagram story ads and supports multiple features like website clicks or app downloads.
Brand Takeovers: This lets brands take over TikTok for the day. They can create images, GIFs and videos with embedded links to landing pages or hashtag challenges.
Hashtag Challenges: Instead of trying to make a hashtag challenge go viral on your own, you can use promoted hashtags to get more engagement.
Branded Lenses: Branded lenses are like the Snapchat 2D and 3D lenses for faces and photos.
Be A TikTok Consultant
Once you have spent some good deal of time on TikTok, grew at least one account to a handsome following, you will recognize the ins and outs of the platform.
You will better understand the TikTok algorithm and know what content will perform best on the platform.
So you can then offer your services as a TikTok consultant. Many TikTok influencers have jumped in already and are offering their consulting services.
As a TikTok consultant, you can help your clients about how to make money on TikTok and:
- Write a perfect bio
- Gain followers and engagement rate
- Network with other influencers of your niche
- Collaborate with brands and land sponsored posts
- Come up with content and avoid creativity blocks
- Shoot good quality videos that can go viral.
Remember it is just consultation you are not supposed to do anything yourself.
Offer TikTok Management Services
Influencers have a lot of things on their plate. If you are good at TikTok, along with consultation, you can offer management services as well.
This way you can be a full-service TikTok agency offering different tier of packages.
What services can you offer along with consultation?
- Planning TikTok content and marketing strategy
- Coming up with creative video ideas
- Creating, editing and uploading videos
- Engaging with their followers
- Reaching out to collaborators on their behalf
- Giving ideas about their own brands.
Be A Broker At TikTok’s Creator Marketplace (TCM)
TikTok Creator Marketplace (TCM) is an in-house marketing platform where influencers and brands can collaborate. At present, it is free for advertisers to use.
It helps you search out and contact influencers according to their niches, followings, regions, ages, languages etc right through the TikTok platform. An influencer marketing campaign can be run through the TikTok creator Marketplace as well.
You can make money by acting as a broker and helping brands pick right influencer for them. You can also communicate with the influencer and manage influencer marketing campaigns on the brand’s behalf.
What Is TikTok?
TikTok is a short-video creation and sharing app owned by Chinese company ByteDance. It has over 800 million users worldwide and surpassed Youtube, Facebook and WhatsApp in downloads. Want to get some TikTok education from some of the top-performing marketers on the platform? You can access here.
How Does TikTok Work?
TikTok is a video creation platform that allows you to create entertaining videos. Videos can be edited within the app, background music can be added from TikTok Library and published to the web
How To Hashtag TikTok?
Hashtag research is necessary to get your post noticed by TikTok algorithm. Influencer Marketing Hub has launched a tool to help you out. Adding #foryou or any variation of it increases the chance of your video getting featured on For You page.
How Long Can A TikTok Be?
A TikTok video can be anywhere as short as 2 seconds to a maximum of 60 seconds. Many of the music-related videos are about 15 seconds because the majority of the available music is 15 seconds only.
How Does TikTok Make Money?
Tiktok makes money through advertisements, running branded hashtag challenges and the coins your followers donate to you.
How To Go Live On TikTok?
To go live in TikTok, you need to have at least 1000 followers. Follow this guide to host your first live session.
Is TikTok Free?
Yes, TikTok is a free app. It cost you only when you want to donate coins to people who you like and want to support. Those coins need to be bought. The exchange rates between coins and dollars vary through time.
Let’s Wrap It Up:
TikTok is a fast-paced platform that is different from other social media giants like Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. There aren’t as many norms, best practices, or rules about what works and what doesn’t. It’s still a fairly new platform and resources (like this one) are being created as the platform matures. You can access some additional education from some of TikTok’s top performers for only $1.
And if you are looking for other money making ideas, check out my article on how to make $300 fast.
You’re rewarded for being you!
And if you’re not already on YouTube and been wondering about that platform as well, check out this podcast episode where we discuss if you should look at starting a channel.