Social media has drastically altered the way we live and interact with the world. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have given users new opportunities to share information and connect with people from across the globe. And, in some cases, these platforms have even become a major source of income for people.
One of the newest social media networks, TikTok, has exploded onto the scene, gaining mass popularity since its 2017 U.S. launch. The video-sharing app is quickly growing and so are the ways users are profiting from the platform.
Whether you are an OG TikTok user or just learning about it, you, too, can make some serious dough on the app by following this guide.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media networks in the world. Essentially a video-sharing app, TikTok users post short-form videos on varying topics, ranging from dance videos, comedic videos, educational videos, and more.
The app was initially launched in China under the name Douyin in 2016 and made its way to the U.S. in 2017 — gaining immense popularity with millennial and Generation Z users. TikTok is available all around the world and can be downloaded on both iOS and Android devices.
Can you make money on TikTok?
With the rising interest in TikTok from brands and companies, there are ample opportunities for TikTok users — also referred to as TikTokers — to make serious money from the app. In fact, some TikTokers have even earned 7 figures from their videos and have made being an influencer a full-time, lucrative career.
For most users, this sort of earning power doesn’t happen overnight. There are steps you must take to first grow your presence and your follower base before you can turn the content you create into a revenue stream.
Step 1: Create your brand. This is a critical first step. It’s important that you have an idea of the type of videos you want to post. While you’ll want a wide variety of videos on your account, they should ultimately all fit into your specific brand or niche. Consider what you are good at or which topics interest you the most, and then consistently create content around those interests. Think about what will set you apart from other users.
Step 2: Post content people want to see. Consider your intended audience and what sort of content they are looking for. Your content should be fresh, unique, and engaging. Stick to a consistent posting schedule, and try to post new content every day or every other day, if possible. Posting multiple videos a day can help you gain traction, especially if you are just starting out.
Step 3: Grow your followers. This is probably the most pivotal step. If you want to make money off of your videos, you’ll need a substantial following. Most estimates say you should aim for at least 10,000 followers before you can really monetize your TikTok account. The best way to get followers is to follow Steps 1 and 2, and to frequently engage with your audience in fun and interesting ways.
7 ways to make money on TikTok
Once you’ve done the groundwork of building and maintaining a following, it’s time to turn your videos into cold hard cash. So just how do you profit off of TikTok? Follow the 7 methods below to find out.
Method 1: Try influencer marketing and sponsored posts
Influencer marketing is a popular form of online marketing that utilizes social media influencers to sell branded products. Brand awareness is huge for any company, and what better way to promote your product and services than by working with influencers with a proven track record of creating engaging content that reaches the audience you want to target? With influencer marketing, companies hire influencers to create sponsored posts promoting their products/services/brand, in hopes of generating sales.
So, if you consider yourself an influencer with a strong follower base, consider working with a company whose intended audience aligns with your following. Influencer marketing has proven to be extremely successful on TikTok for both brands and influencers.
Method 2: Create ads on TikTok’s ads platform
Just like on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, TikTok has an ads platform that allows users, marketers, and businesses to run paid traffic to their products and videos. Investing in paid traffic can bring the right eyes to your ads, making you, and your brand, more discoverable to users.
It might be worth allocating a budget to TikTok ads and seeing what happens. You can easily sign up to access TikTok’s ads platform and get your ads in front of their over 1 billion user base.
Method 3: Build and sell an account
You can make money on TikTok if you grow an account and then sell it to a brand. Ideally you would grow a TikTok account around a niche interest and then sell that profile to brands who might be interested in the type of audience your profile attracts. For example, building a profile around baking would be appealing to brands in that industry who could take over the account and sell their baking products to the user base you grew.
This method takes the grunt work of building and maintaining a following off of the brand’s shoulders, allowing them to focus on selling products to an audience they already know is interested in what they have to offer.
Method 4: Sell branded merchandise on your account
Capitalize on your TikTok popularity and influencer status by selling branded merchandise. Consider creating your own product line of things like makeup, t-shirts, hats, hoodies, and more. You can even utilize TikTok LIVE to hold giveaways and auctions while livestreaming to your followers.
Selling your own line of products and merchandise can be very lucrative, especially for those with a high follower base. But you don’t have to have millions of followers to benefit from this. Accounts of all sizes can try their hand at selling merch to their fans.
Method 5: Collect donations from your followers
TikTok has a built-in monetization feature that allows for users to go live and collect donations, or virtual gifts, from their viewers. How it works is users can buy a currency called coins on the platform. Coins are available in bundles of 100 to 10,000 and range in cost from $0.99 to $99.99.
TikTokers with 1,000 followers or more can actually be rewarded with coins by their viewers every time they go live. The creator then turns the coins into diamonds (one diamond = two coins), and those diamonds can be converted into cash via PayPal.
Method 6: Offer management services
If you are more interested in the behind-the-scenes aspects of TikTok and are looking for a way to profit off of your creative and administrative skills, consider offering management services to TikTok creators. There are many creators out there with tons of followers who may not have the expertise and experience to know how to properly capitalize off of their TikTok popularity. That’s where you can come in.
Managing TikTok accounts means you act as the go-between for TikTokers and the brands that want to work with them. You can also offer them help with their content strategy, their brand, boosting their followers, and much more.
Method 7: Act as a consultant for TikTok accounts
If you have a keen grasp on all things social media, specifically TikTok, and how to profit off the platform, consider being a consultant for brands and TikTok creators. Unlike managing, which is more hands-on, consulting takes a more indirect approach to overseeing TikTok accounts that want to expand their presence.
Essentially you offer your expert advice and if the user or brand follows it and does well, then you could negotiate a cut from any deal or agreements they make as a result of your help. TikTok consulting services can be very lucrative, especially if you help a client become viral or highly successful.
How much does TikTok pay?
TikTok announced the TikTok Creator Fund in July 2020 as a way to support creators on the platform. TikTok said eligible creators would receive a monthly amount for their engagement on the platform; however, TikTok didn’t define how much that would be, but some creators reported income of $0.02—$0.04 of revenue per 1,000 views.
How many followers on TikTok does it take to get paid?
There’s technically no minimum number of followers you need on TikTok to be able to monetize or get paid. But keep in mind that the higher your following, and the higher number of views you have, the more money you’re likely going to make. Plus, through the TikTok Creator Fund, which rewards the creator and influencer community with a monetary incentive to make videos, you need 10,000 followers to qualify.
There are some real opportunities to make money on TikTok, but before you pursue any of them, do your research and be financially responsible. When your TikTok success starts generating some serious money, it’s a good idea to properly invest it. Put some of your earnings in a savings account for the future, and consider reinvesting it to further grow your brand and TikTok presence.