TikTok is the newest tool in town. It is more familiar with teens and tweens although it’s beginning to perk up the curiosity of other internet users such as marketers and entrepreneurs.
You may wonder why older people are getting interested in kid’s stuff. The reason is TikTok has not yet gotten flooded like other social media platforms and hence lacks content’
Content creators are seeing it as a gold mine. Some are seeing a crazy number of views while others are going viral overnight, literally!
You see, just like Instagram, people are getting interested and then thinking of ways to make money by getting a lot of followers.
Although TikTok doesn’t have a way of making monetizing the accounts, the owners and business people can think of ways to capitalize on the interest and make money from TikTok.
I must warn you though. This is not a guide to “getting rich overnight ’ nor is it a magical formula where you post a TikTok video daily and by the end of the month you’re going for vacations in the Maldives or your Tuscan villa and throwing parties on your yacht.
No. It doesn’t work that way. Like every other job, you must put in the commitment and invest your time for it to be successful.
You’ll need to put in work and most importantly create and add value to get other persons to give you money out of their wallets in exchange for the value.
So, how can you use TikTok to make money?
Ways You Can Make Money on TikTok
TikTok is one of the most downloaded apps in the world. In fact, the lip-lynching, short-videos social platform was downloaded more than 730 million times, in 2019
Although the app does not offer monetization options for creators, at least not yet, you can earn a living by being creative in using the platform.
1. Influencer Marketing
As an influencer, you have the ability to affect the buying decisions of others-whether of product or services- because of your close relationship with your audience, popularity, or credibility.
You have a loyal fan base that follows your page. Usually, if you recommend a certain brand of products, your followers will have enough reasons to purchase it simply because they believe in you.
Although the term “influencer” has recently received a lot of bad intentions recently, it’s still a legitimate and legal method to monetize your presence on the internet.
Sometimes, a young woman or man who’s halfway attractive decides that influencing is their thing.
They go on and buy some thousands of fake followers and then try to con legitimate and unsuspecting product owners into paying them for reviews and exposure.
Get this, it takes time to grow your followers organically with legit accounts and increase your views.
Nevertheless, there are lots of people out there who are adding value to others with their opinions and actually gaining and maintaining popularity without the use of manipulation and conmanship.
If you are in that category, you can monetize your videos on TikTok by recommending the products and services that you use and deem good.
The brands or stores you recommend will have no problem compensating you for advocating their products, which probably gave them more clients.
The brand might even approach you with a deal to market its product for them. You will, however, require a large and engaging audience for your influence to be felt.
Then the brands will be glad to pay you thousands of dollars to promote their products.
2. Managing Influencer Campaigns
If you don’t think you have enough charisma to amass thousands of people to follow you, don’t lose hope.
You can manage campaigns set up by influencers and still make money. Instagram, for example, already has influencer agencies that serve influencers on Instagram. Why don’t you do the same but on TikTok!
Ideally, you’ll be the broker or the middleman between the influencer and the people or brands that want to work with the influencer.
Creating content consistently for the followers and keeping them engaged is too much work already for the influencer.
Your job will be to handle the business between the two of them ensuring all the deliverables are met, more like managing both sides.
You will be ensuring that agreements are made, contracts signed on time, and then charge a fee for your services.
There’s already an internal influencer program on TikTok where big brands reach out and the platform offers them influencers to work with. Here, TikTok is the middleman. You can be the middle man.
3. Live Streaming
Streaming musical performance either live or by lip-syncing used to happen via live.ly. How do you earn money?
TikTok users can use real cash to buy “coins” through in-app purchases. The “coins” are some of the derivative in-app currencies.
Your fans can then use the coins to tip you-the content creator- as a way of saying thank you for entertaining them or for giving them valuable information.
In essence, your fans are giving you a small amount of real money in the form of in-app coins. TikTok keeps 20% of the value of the tip then passes on the 80% to you for your work.
This actually acts as a signal to brands telling them that this person is growing influence and viewership.
What do you do with the coins?
As the creator, you turn the coins into diamonds (another in-app) currency which you can convert into real cash via PayPal.
Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok has a feature almost similar to this but on a higher level. When the creator is live streaming, they can decide to add a shopping cart to a product they’re selling.
This way you can hold a live sale or auction, and your viewers can buy the product through the cart while you’re live streaming.
While you cannot rely on gifts from your viewers, it can be a channel for income.
4. Affiliate Marketing
I know what you’re thinking. How can you earn from Amazon referral links when you can’t have any links on your bio or videos?
Well, if you do it right, it’s a sure way to make you some more money.
You will need to come up with creative ways to let your followers get to know your URL and no, expecting your followers to manually write down the link then type it on their browser later is not creative.
Furthermore, Amazon does not allow any linked system that does not show where the link came from. It can even cost you your Amazon account.
Adding text to your video may end up distracting viewers from the video itself. You can’t add links to your bio either.
The text on your bio is not tappable and viewers can’t even copy the text and paste it in the browser.
What then can you do?
One solution that actually works is adding a shortened/simplified URL to the landing page on your affiliate marketing site. If the URL is short and catchy, you can add the plain text.
On your affiliate marketing landing page, make sure you put the actual referral links.
Having to type the URL manually will, of course, put off some potential customers and maybe slow the conversion rate so, using a shortened URL will be of great advantage.
Another way is to link your other social media account to your TikTok account.
Like we already said, earning on TikTok will largely depend on having a massive number of followers. Linking your social media accounts like Instagram, YouTube and Facebook will boost your popularity.
So, go ahead and link your social media accounts and increase your chances of being discovered. Here you can add your affiliate marketing links.
Adding your Instagram Account
To link your TikTok to your Instagram account, follow these straps
- Click the Profile Tab on TikTok
- Click “Edit Profile”
- Then tap on “Add Instagram”
For you other social media accounts, follow the same steps.
5. Become a Consultant on TikTok
Learn the hacks of using TikTok and become a pro, then people can come to you to know how to grow their audience from 10,000 to 100,000. Offer them consulting services and charge a fee.
Most people want to know to navigate the platform; to grow their followers, how to get views on their videos, becoming famous on TikTok and basically, a strategy or technique to make them “visible”
And that’s where you come in. Of course, you’ll need experience and expertise to offer this service but your clients will pay to have you on board.
6. Promote Your Own Products/ Services
This is probably the most famed way for most people to earn on TikTok. You can use the platform to promote or market your own products or business without having to be an influencer or a celebrity.
The good thing with this method is that you can promote any of your legal businesses be it art, tech, or DIY.
For instance, you may have a travel and adventure company that takes people on adventures and safaris.
You can take videos where you’re out on a trip then make short video clips and post them on your account showing how happy the clients are and the beautiful places you visit.
Include your contacts, your travel schedules, and wait to see your bookings explode.
TikTok itself won’t pay you any money directly but the referrals and the new clients you get by attracting them will make you money.
7. Advertise through TikTok Ads Platform
TikTok has a separate platform, TikTok Ads, where you can create ads, reach thousands of audiences, and make money.
Just like Instagram and Facebook ads, you sign up to access the platform. It shouldn’t be hard as long as you’ve ever done paid traffic like sponsored ads on Facebook.
Create a budget and several ads then sponsor them. Just like that and your ad will reach thousands of prospects across the world and you might actually make some money.
8. Management Services
Unlike in managing influencer campaigns where you act as a middle man between the influencer and the brands, here you deal with the creators.
Some creators have millions of followers and they have to create multiple videos daily, engage their followers by chatting and commenting.
This can be too much work bearing in mind that they still need to make time to create the content.
You can offer management services to the creators on the app. You can help with creating their creative strategy, content strategy, or managing their offers and deals.
You can help do some of the work as they concentrate on keeping their followers glued, at a price.
If you have skills in production, project management, or even storytelling, they can come in handy here.
9. Growing Accounts and Selling them Later
Sometimes it is hard for some individuals or brands to grow their accounts to a large number of followers. If you are creative enough, you can grow the accounts then sell them.
You may ask, how popular this is? Very popular. Selling TikTok accounts is becoming a norm in eCommerce.
Like on Instagram, you choose a niche-one that is highly marketable or about something you love doing. You then create entertaining and attractive content to grow your audience.
Ideally, you’re looking to explode the internet with your content and simply go viral. With time, you will have sparked an interest in your target group and make them followers.
When creating and growing interest around a certain topic, you may not have something to sell but later you can consider approaching a brand that deals with whatever niche you are dealing with and sell them the account.
The more the followers, the higher the chances of selling it quickly. Like we mentioned earlier, great content that adds value to the lives of your viewers is paramount to growing your loyal fan base.
There you have them. 8 ways you can make a decent living on TikTok.
We have talked about followers and views and maybe you’re asking yourself;
How many followers and views do you need to make money on TikTok?
For you to become an influencer, you’ll need a substantial number of followers. A few thousand simply won’t cut it
Unless of course, you’re targeting smaller brands but, even them require a following of about 100,000. Bigger brands will prefer audiences of over 250,000.
As with followers, the more your videos are viewed, the more you stand a chance of striking that deal with a renowned brand. When your videos start to hit 10k+ views, you can start making money from them.
The trick is keeping your audience interested and engaged. Give them something to talk about and with time followers will be flooding.
Steps to Making Money on TikTok
If you can put in the work to earn on TikTok, here are the steps to guide you into you.
Step 1: Make your profile unique and attractive. According to Forbes, social media posts affect the buying decisions of 78% of the consumers. This is a huge number to overlook.
Creating unique content that people can relate to and attract views will work the trick. Your main goal should be to increase your followers and viewership.
Step 2: Keep up with the internet. Make sure the content you’re creating about the trending topic. Whether it’s lip-syncing, you can pick the trending song or a newly-released hit song or an online challenge and keep the entertainment going.
Step 3: Link your other channels and social media accounts. As discussed above, these too can generate traffic to your account.
Step 4: Ensure your videos reach a large audience. The quality of your content will play a big role here but so will your engagement with the followers.
Like on Twitter, include the relevant hashtags and keep updating them with time to keep up with the ever-changing internet
If you manage to do this successfully, your organic following will grow as well as your organic searches.
Step 5: Once you have a good number of followers and your videos are getting significant attention, you now have a solid platform to get approached by brands to promote their brands on your videos.
You can also approach the brands. Pitch to them. Tell them what you will bring to their brand.
The publicity as well as taking advantage of your popularity to reach their customers…if you show them you can add value to their brand; they won’t hesitate to sign you up.
Step 6: Consider reaching out to other influencers or celebrities and ask them to like or comment on your video. Something like a shout-out.
You will manage to attract attention to your content and possibly earn yourself some more followers from the celebrity’s fans.
Once you have started earning, continue adding more value to your followers and the brands you’re promoting by creating valuable content. You will attract more clients and keep the old ones coming back.
Once in a while, consider doing collaborations with other influencers.
Get to learn more and catch the eye of their fans. You never know whose fans they might be tomorrow.
How Much Do Top TikTokers Make?
You might be surprised that people live off TikTok App. Some earn more than most people with day jobs.
Take, for example, Loren Gray. A 17-year-old TikTok lip-syncher, who has the highest number of followers. She is also said to make the most money with the highest estimates predicting almost a whopping $200,000 a post.
On the list of top earners on TikTok is also Zach King Baby Ariel who rank second and third respectively. They are estimated to earn $161,000 and $151,000 per post.
Byte, TikTok’s competitor had a plan to start paying content creators $250,000 per post in April this year in a partner program.
In fact, researchers at Online Casinos, a UK based games company, say that some influencers could charges close to $1m by 2021.
Money is still a “taboo’ as people don’t mention exactly how much they earn. Plus, content creators don’t go around with price tags on their sponsorships and influencer deals.
But, one thing is for sure, people are earning on TikTok and so can you.
You don’t have to make a hundred thousand dollars to know you’re making cash on TikTok.
What is the Future of TikTok App
For now, many people see it as a kids’ platform. In fact, not many people over 30 years know what TikTok is.
But as soon as people know the potential and opportunity gap that lies therein, it will potentially get flooded and maybe by then, creators will have a monetization system like on YouTube or other platforms.
At the same time, these children know a lot about TikTok than anyone else. They spend a lot of time on it. They know the hacks and the secrets of attracting a large audience.
By now 17-year-olds are getting the influencer jobs for big brands. They are already taking the jobs that adults deemed theirs.
If the adults do not catch up real quick, teenagers will be taking their jobs in the near future.
Just like Instagram app that came and exploded the internet, and has now become a marketing hub for both influencers and entrepreneurs, TikTok is going the same way, though with a different approach.
With the massive digitization that’s happening worldwide, the internet is changing how we do things.
You don’t have to dress up and go to work in an office every day.
You can sit in the comfort of your living room and make money through online platforms such as TikTok and Instagram.
You can choose to be an affiliate marketer, consultant, manage influencer campaigns, or just creator’s work or even market your own products and services through your own account.
However you choose to make money on TikTok, one thing is clear: the larger the number of your followers, the more successful you will be.
So, build on your followers, make yourself visible, gain popularity and you will attract brands, stores, or even artists that will want to work with you.