If you want to learn how to become a TikTok creator – and you are tired of the same old advice you’ve heard before and want something actionable you can do to really see results now, then this guide is for you.
Despite the fact that I’ve been earning a living as a full-time content creator since 2017, I had never put much thought into TikTok (or any social media) before October of this year.
On October 19th I had just 100 followers on TikTok. I had been posting here and there for a year, but my videos averaged no more than 400 views and then they’d fall flat, never making it to the For You Page (FYP).
I admit it, I was about ready to give up on TikTok. I had a bustling creator business via my blog and newsletter already, and thought maybe TikTok just wasn’t for me.
But then something wonderful happened. By October 29th I had amassed more than 30,000 TikTok followers, and gained 14 million views on my videos!
So what changed in those 10 days? In this veracious guide to becoming a TikTok creator, I’ll tell you exactly what I did to grow my account, how I secured my first viral video, and what I wish I’d done differently sooner.
How To Become A TikTok Creator: A Step-By-Step Case Study Of How I Gained 30,000 Followers In 10 Days
What Is A TikTok Creator?
A TikTok creator is someone who publishes videos to the social media app TikTok.
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My Video That Went Viral
On October 19th I was watching a creator named Susi make pesto on TikTok. She said, “Call me crazy but I never liked store-bought pesto.” I laughed because in the grand scheme of life, not liking store-bought pesto is not that crazy.
And it turned out other creators agreed, as many had stitched Susi’s video clip, and then told one of their actual-crazy stories.
I thought “Hmm, I have had more than a few crazy things happen in my life, maybe I should share them too…”
So I pressed the record button, and started retelling the story of when I was bartending in 2012, and a customer told me about his long-lost love who went MIA 30 years before, under mysterious circumstances.
But before posting the video, I did a few things differently than I had when posting previous videos.
This time, I spent some time optimizing the video for SEO.
What Is TikTok SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization.
- hashtag research, keywords research
- text layers (seen and unseen)
I did keyword research from within TikTok to see what related keywords and hashtags were most popular.
To do this, enter a keyword in the search bar on TikTok, and then navigate to the “hashtags” tab. It will show you all the related hashtags for that keyword and how many times they have been used on the platform.
Then I filled my video with text layers that explained what the video was about, and hid the layer out of site by scaling it down and placing it at the very bottom of the screen So that it was there for TikTok to read, but not for viewers to see.
A few hours after publishing this video, I saw that I had a bunch of notifications on my phone, saying that people were commenting on the video. I opened up the app and to my surprise, there were hundreds of comments, shares, and likes on it.
I soon realized it had struck a chord with people.
But what happened next is what made all the difference, taking my account from 100 followers to over 30,000 in just 10 days.
Why That Video Went Viral (And How To Copy My Formula and SEO Strategy)
If you want to succeed at becoming a TikTok creator, you need to understand a few key things.
The more you do, the easier it will be to find success.
Have These Things Set Up Now, BEFORE Your Post Goes Viral
Have a Links Page and An Email List
Have a landing page on your website set up for all of your most important links, and use the URL for that landing page as the link in your TikTok bio.
Things to link to:
- Your contact/work with me page
- Your Lead Magnet (make getting people on your email list top priority)
- Your Shop page
- Your Amazon influencer page
- Your LTK page
For example, my links page looks like this:
I also have space for my lead magnets and affiliate storefronts:
This is how to set up an email list. Don’t overlook this step!
Because here’s the thing: the audience you build on TikTok is on a platform you don’t own. You need to own your audience and having an email list is crucial.
Have a Media Kit and Be Press-Ready
It’s worth it to spend an afternoon crafting your media kit.
This is a resource that brands will look at when they are considering working with you.
It compiles all of your social media handles and follower stats, and describes who you are as a creator.
Engagement 101: Reply To Comments
Engagement is the term used to describe how users interact with your post. And it is THE most important factor in signaling to the algorithm if your post is important enough to be shown to more people.
Comments, likes, saves and shares are currency. The more the better.
To keep the engagement coming, ask a question in your comment reply to encourage people to come back and continue commenting.
Post Comments On Their Videos Too
As noted, engagement is the key. After replying to someone’s comment on your video, go to their profile and post a comment on one of their videos.
Do This AS SOON AS Your Post Starts Going Viral
Check Your Emails 2x Day
Journalists work on quick turnarounds, often they publish their article the same day that they reach out to you for comment.
I learned this the hard way when I missed not one but TWO journalists from 2 different media outlets in my inbox one day.
By the time I saw them and replied (9 hours after they emailed me) their articles had already been published, without my input.
Don’t make the same mistake I did! When you are experiencing a post going viral, check your inbox at least twice a day for press emails.
Pin 3 Of Your Older Videos To Increase The Views On Them
Another nice thing that happens when you have a TikTok video that gets a lot of views is that a lot of those people will come to check out your profile and watch some of your other videos.
Directing that traffic to see specific content is key. TikTok allows you to pin up to 3 videos to the top of your profile, which brings attention to them.
I started cycling each of my favorite older videos into those 3 spots, changing them out for different videos daily.
People who were visiting my profile after seeing my viral video were watching my pinned content. And this brought those 200-view videos up to over 90,000 views and counting!
How To Increase Your Influence As A TikTok Creator
Here’s the thing about becoming a TikTok creator and actually making a business of it. You need to have many followers who trust you to increase your influence.
Because influencer marketing can lead to valuable partnerships, brand awareness, customer loyalty, and referral traffic.
Remember that when you launch your brand on TikTok, you’re putting yourself out there in front of thousands of potential customers.
That means you have to do everything to ensure that your content attracts attention.
This will help you grow as an entrepreneur because many successful entrepreneurs rely heavily on social media to promote their products.
Likeability, know-how, and creativity – these qualities are essential to every creator’s success.
However, there are some things that you can do to increase your chances of success.
Here are some tips from my experience:
1. It’s OK if You Don’t Have Your Niche Fine-Tuned Yet
This is an important tip. Don’t stress if you don’t know what your niche is right out of the gate.
In fact, niching down too soon may only put a creative block on you!
When it comes to TikTok, YOU ARE YOUR NICHE. Being your authentic self is more important than being seen as an authority on one topic.
I’d recommend taking some time to plot out what your 5 main interests are, and posting content about those things, and seeing which topics light you up the most over time.
These will be your “content buckets.” The nice thing is they can be totally unrelated. The point is they show who you are.
This is different than if you were building a niche site. With a niche site, you would pick just one topic and stay in that lane, in order to build authority in Google’s eyes.
However, on TikTok this does not apply.
For example, on this blog HerPaperRoute.com I share resources about building a business and making money in the creator economy. I stick to that niche and I don’t share anything too personal.
But on my @HerPaperRoute TikTok, I share content about my life, as well as business. Including tips about the creator economy, glow-up motivation, skincare, wellness, my morning routine, and even my home renovation.
The most important tip for being a successful TikTok creator is to develop a rapport with your audience. They will come to love you for your personality first – and then they will take an interest in your expertise second.
2. Have A Content Plan
Once you have determined your content buckets, start planning your content. Film everything and edit later.
3. Post Consistently (But How Often Is Up To You!)
Now that you have some traction on your account, you may find you feel more motivated to post more. Great!
People always want to know “How many times per day should I post to TikTok?” And truthfully, it really doesn’t matter all that much. I would never tell anyone to post a certain amount of times per day or even per month.
My advice is to post however often you like, so you enjoy doing it and so you don’t get burnt out.
However, don’t wait until you have hundreds of thousands of followers to announce you’re a creator.
While it takes time, consistency is essential. Every so often, post a new TikTok video, as well as content on your blog, Youtube or podcast.
If you’re doing this consistently over months, people will notice.
4. Don’t Wait To Build Relationships
One way to market yourself online is to reach out to bloggers, journalists, podcasters, and public figures.
Find their contact information and send them a personal email. Tell them you’re interested in collaborating or connecting.
Most of the time, someone will respond. Once you’ve established a relationship, you’ll be able to provide value to them in exchange for a link back to your website.
5. Learn What Works and Follow Other People Who Are Doing Well
If you see something posted by someone else, analyze it carefully. Read what people are commenting on the post and assess how you could provide more value.
What questions are they asking that you could answer?
Follow those people and comment on their content – as they might be your ideal followers too.
You can learn a ton just following other creators on TikTok. They usually share great tips and advice, so take advantage!
But you will learn the MOST by reading between the lines, analyzing what they DON’T say! Simply watch how they sell offers, how they film, and how they speak to their followers.
6. Accept That Your Content Will Probably Suck In The Beginning
No one started as an expert! Creating high-quality content takes PRACTICE and you will need to publish some crap before you find your style, voice and strategy to be great.
So accept this fact and start enjoying putting out content in whatever state it is in. Your content will get better with time.
7. Do Some Research
Take note of trending topics, events, brands, and products. Google search for relevant keywords.
Use social media tools to monitor conversations about these topics.
This can help you identify new opportunities before they blow up.
8. Create Content About Something You Love
If you’re not enjoying yourself while creating, you might as well stop.
It’s easy to get caught up in an idea when you first come up with it.
But eventually, you should be thinking about how you can turn it into a business.
Keep that goal in mind every step of the way.
9. Be Yourself
A successful TikTok creator isn’t actually defined by their popularity. And there’s no single formula for making money in the creator economy.
Many factors contribute to your ability to make money. But one thing everyone agrees upon is finding your voice.
When you share your opinion with the world, you gain confidence and credibility. People will begin to recognize your unique style and appreciate you.
Your primary job is building trust. Trust comes from being genuine and honest.
10. Networking Is Key
Start networking with other creators. Join groups on both Facebook and LinkedIn. We have a free community for creators you should be a part of too.
Attend conferences for creators and marketers. Offer to help others with their marketing efforts. Help each other grow your businesses. Share advice and tips with each other.
Networking isn’t a formal thing where you put on a suit and hand out business cards. It’s just making friends with other people who have similar interests to you.
11. Have Fun!
Finally, have fun. Don’t take things too seriously. Relax and let go of any stress.
Building a creator business is one of the best things you can do for your future – have fun with it and enjoy. the process!
Take care of yourself. Sleep enough. Eat healthy foods. Exercise. Treat your body right. The rest will follow.
12. Watch Out For Spammers
Spamming is rampant on the internet. Countless scams and schemes try to trick people into giving away their personal information.
Keep an eye out for spam messages in your inbox. Delete unsolicited messages from anyone who makes you feel uneasy.
13. Protect Your Privacy – Never Give Away Personal Information
Never let anyone know where you actually live. Don’t give out personal information, ever. Purchase a PO box to receive PR from brands. Never film the outside of your home. Make sure you protect your privacy at all costs.
14. Take The Initiative To Secure Brand Deals
Working with brands and getting paid to review cool products is just one perk of being a creator with a successful TkTok account.
Don’t sit around waiting for brands to notice you! Take the initiative and reach out to the brands you want to work with, to pitch a sponsorship deal.
DM brands on Instagram, join influencer networks, and get creative with how to find brands to work with (see video below!)
@herpaperroute SUCH a great way to create your blue ocean as a small creator. If you are trying to build a creator business, you need to stand out and speaking from my personal experience, this is one way I did it and how I built telationships with brands. These UGC creator tips, content creator tips, micro-influencer tips show you how to work with brands even if you are a small creator just getting started. #ugccreator #ugccontentcreator #ugctips #workingwithbrands #influencertips #creatortips #becomeacreator #creatoreconomy #branddeals #strategymarketing #creator #creatorsoftiktok ♬ Aesthetic – Gaspar
If a brand ignores your message, follow up once and then move on. You’ll find another company that’s more willing to work with you.
15. Stay on top of TikTok Trends
Stay aware of the latest trends on TikTok, and in your industry. Then create content that targets these topics.
16. Set Realistic Goals
It can be challenging to set goals for yourself because you want everything now.
But setting realistic goals means you won’t feel overwhelmed. Instead, you’ll find success much faster.
This is probably one of the most obvious reasons people fail at becoming a creator of any kind – not just on TikTok.
It’s straightforward to get caught up in day-to-day tasks without planning out where you’re going as an overall goal.
To avoid falling victim to this trap, set goals!
For example, decide what kind of topics you want to cover, what you want your brand aesthetic to be, and how often you’ll post.
This will help you manage expectations and prevent you from quickly giving up.
17. Put All Of Your Efforts Into One Project
If you have two projects going at once, neither project will succeed. Focus all of your efforts on one goal.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t branch out to other projects later.
18. Create A Schedule For Working On Your Creator Business
Becoming a creator is one of the best ways to improve your skills, learn different subjects, and earn money from home.
With that said, it’s also easy to lose track of time while you’re busy creating new content.
But if you have a plan in place, it’s possible to maintain quality over quantity.
Below, we’ve outlined three strategies for making sure you never become overwhelmed.
Create A Schedule You’ll Actually Enjoy
Posting videos all day long isn’t a realistic option. So, you should schedule certain times during the week to dedicate to your channel.
You won’t want to waste days working on videos and then completely ignore them. Instead, stick with a consistent routine that works well for you.
For example, maybe you spend Monday through Wednesday in front of the camera recording, but only Thursday through Saturday editing and scripting.
Whatever system you choose, make sure you can stick to it. Otherwise, you may end up wasting tons of time and energy.
It’s tempting to script first thing in the morning and work straight through the night, but this is a recipe for disaster.
When you’re constantly changing gears like this, it’s hard to keep your thoughts organized enough to create a coherent post.
Burnout is a very common problem for creators – and it is totally avoidable.
A straightforward solution would be to keep your notes in a word document or your notes app, so you can easily refer back to them.
19. Monetize From Day One
Last but not least, my advice is to monetize your creator business from day one. Do not wait until “one day” to have an offer!
It’s called the creator economy after all, not the creator hobby.
How To Become A TikTok Creator – Conclusion
To conclude this ultimate guide on how to become a TikTok creator, the best piece of advice is to just start, and keep going!
The only difference between the people who become “big creators” and those who “failed” is simply that the successful ones didn’t give up.
So keep at it. Vow to continue learning, improving and networking.
Now that you know the essentials of how to become a TikTok creator and what to do when you go viral, go ahead and give them a try.