Figuring out how to make money in TikTok is the shared goal of millions of creators. As is cracking the code as to how to become a TikTok influencer and hit the big time. Technically speaking, any TikTok account can be used to earn money. Best of all, you don’t need a particularly large number of followers to generate revenues.
What matters most is your engagement rate – i.e., the way people react and respond to your Content. It’s your engagement rate that carries the most weight in the eyes of the TikTok algorithm. TikTok is engineered to promote and recommend popular and trending Content that’s generating engagement at the time.
Hence, if you want to get ahead on TikTok and become an influencer, engagement should be your priority. But what can you do to genuinely engage and influence an audience on such a competitive social media platform? How can you ensure your short videos stand out from the crowd when faced with such ferocious competition?
What is a TikTok Influencer?
First things first, the term influencer applies to anyone with the credibility, authority, trust, and presence it takes to influence the thoughts and actions of other people. Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that involves endorsements and product placements from influencers.
The more influence you have over any given audience on TikTok, the more you can charge for your services. Brands and businesses regularly pay influencers huge sums of money to promote them to their followers. Picking up $10,000 or more for a single sponsored post is far from unusual.
Influencer marketing works because the recommendations of influencers are seen as more credible and trustworthy than those that come directly from a brand or business. When an influencer tells their audience to buy something or check something out, that’s exactly what they do.
Along with paid sponsorships, influencers make money by joining the TikTok creator fund. A revenue-generating scheme is open to anyone who meets the following basic requirements:
- You must be a resident of the U.S., UK, Germany, Italy, France, or Spain
- Your account must comply with all community guidelines and terms
- You must have at least 10,000 active and authentic followers (ideally more)
- You must have accumulated at least 100k views in the past 30 days
- Your account must be linked to at least one valid payment platform (like PayPal)
After joining the scheme, creators can earn between 2¢ and 4¢ per thousand views. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but it equates to $20 to $40 for every 1 million views.
How to Become an Influencer on TikTok?
Sadly, there’s no magic formula for achieving overnight fame and fortune on TikTok. Instead, it’s a case of gradually building the authority, appeal, and presence you need to influence others. With this in mind, here’s a brief overview of 10 things you need to begin building influence on TikTok:
1. Know Your Strengths and Leverage Them
First up, nothing matters more than the niche you choose to focus your efforts on. A niche, of course, needs to be something you are genuinely good at and passionate about.
Consider what it is you do best and think about your biggest strengths. Consider what kind of wisdom you can impart to your target audience and how they can benefit from your knowledge and experience.
2. Be Original
Original Content on TikTok is always best. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to consistently come up with 100% unique ideas for your videos. You can simply put your own signature twist on something that’s already out there.
Either way, it needs to be true to your personality and original to the ‘brand’ you are developing. Avoid ripping off other people’s ideas wholesale, which is never a good idea.
3. Create Content for Your Audience
After you find your niche – i.e., whatever it is you are best at – you then need to create Content for this exact target audience. Not what the masses on TikTok are watching at the time – the Content your audience wants to see.
Keep a close eye on the For You Page for inspiration, but ensure any ideas you go with are of relevance and value to your specific audience.
4. Be Consistent
Consistency means two things on platforms like TikTok. Firstly, it means ensuring the videos you publish are of a consistently high-quality standard. Secondly, it means posting on a regular basis at consistent/predictable times and dates.
Keep Your Audience Engaged with a steady stream of quality content, and ensure they know exactly when to turn up for something new.
5. Use and Create Hashtags
Where trending hashtags are appropriate for your Content, use them. Otherwise, give them a miss. It really doesn’t matter how popular any given hashtag is at the time. If it’s not relevant to your Content, don’t use it, period.
The hashtags you use (and create) tell TikTok what your videos are about and who to present them to. Using the wrong hashtags will simply showcase your Content to people with no interest in what you do.
6. Trending Music and Songs
The same also applies to trending music and songs, which can be great for boosting the appeal of a video. Though again, this is only the case where a trending song is appropriate.
If it’s clearly the kind of music your target audience isn’t going to like, don’t use it. Trending songs can be great when used strategically – just don’t make the mistake of hopping on every bandwagon that comes along.
7. Increase Views and Likes
Social proof holds the key to building influence and authority on TikTok. The more views and likes your clips collect, the more legit they look. These are also the kinds of metrics the TikTok algorithm looks at when picking up posts to promote on the FYP.
Consequently, you need to do everything you can to get as many views and likes as possible for your videos. For more information dive deeper into our guide to getting more views on TikTok and how to get more TikTok likes here.
8. Engage with Your Audience
What’s the secret to boosting engagement on TikTok? It’s simple – leading by example. Engagement is reciprocal, meaning it’s up to you to set things in motion. Take every opportunity to interact and engage with your audience.
Leave comments, respond to comments, invite questions, follow their channels, like their videos, share their Content, and so on. Do everything you would like them to do for you, and there’s a good chance they will.
9. Cross-Promote Your Videos
Anything you can do to get more eyes on your posts and profile is something worth doing. Promoting your Content and your TikTok profile via as many other channels as possible comes highly recommended.
This includes all of your social media accounts, your website, your blog, your emails, and so on – anywhere you can feature a link to your TikTok profile. Each time you publish new content, let your other social audiences know and invite them to check it out.
10. Know Your Competitors
Last up, TikTok is a great platform for keeping a close eye on your competitors. Take note of their strengths, their weaknesses, and what you can learn from their activities. Don’t be afraid to reach out to their fans and followers directly, inviting them to check you out.
Figure out what it is that makes them successful, then find ways to do it even better. Just don’t make the mistake of copying their ideas wholesale – a strategy that always backfires.
Learning how to become a TikTok influencer is more about personality than complex technicalities. In theory, if there’s something you’re genuinely good at and passionate about, you’re already halfway there. Becoming an influencer (and making money) on TikTok takes time and effort.
Convincing an extensive audience of social media users to believe every word you say isn’t easy. Nor is convincing brands and businesses to invest huge sums of cash in your promotional posts. But as demonstrated by millions of successful social media personalities, it’s perfectly possible with the right approach.
Best of all, you do not need a huge audience of followers to make things happen on TikTok. Making money and becoming an influencer is all about engagement. The numbers play a part but aren’t nearly as important as your personality, authenticity, and appeal.