- Research shows that content creation and e-commerce are popular sources of extra income.
- One of the most popular platforms for these creators is TikTok, which has more than 1 billion users.
- Seven entrepreneurs share their tips to marketing your business on TikTok and going viral.
More than one in three people are earning ancillary income from content creation, e-commerce, or NFTs and trading platforms, according to a survey of 12,500 people from Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK performed by Morgan Stanley.
One of the most popular platforms for these entrepreneurs is TikTok, where more than 1 billion users worldwide spend an average of 52 minutes daily, according to a report by the social-media and e-commerce agency Wallaroo. That’s where Dana Hasson launched her career, growing her fan base to 2.4 million followers who tune in to watch her bake at home. For some like Hasson, a strong social-media presence can be the catalyst for business creation: She launched a bakeware company in November.
Hasson and six other TikTok creators spoke with Insider about their tips on growing an online presence on the platform. From the universal advice of “stay consistent” to specific trends and video features to try out, here are five steps you can take to go viral on TikTok, according to creators who have mastered the feat.
1. Use trends to grow your business
Hasson started her TikTok in 2019 and steadily grew her following on the app over the past three years
Working as a content creator involves a lot of planning and organizing, which often includes spotting and following trends — including sounds, transitions, dances, or ways of shooting video, Hasson said.
"It's all about doing my homework," she said. "Which is seeing what's out there: What are the trends and music that is trending?"
Hasson researched popular sounds and transitions and makes her videos to match. For example, when the song "Do It To It" was trending on the app, she made it the background music in a video that flipped through photos from her new brand's launch party.
2. Consistency is key to growing a following
Each creator Insider spoke with said consistency is the most important route to social-media success. While a single video has the potential to go viral, it's the gallery of videos you post before and after the popular clip that allows you to gain followers, Hasson said.
But consistency means something different to each creator. Some, like Laura Rowan, post social-media videos six days per week — four of which are solely on TikTok, where her company Luxe Home Decor has 247,900 followers.
Others prefer to post multiple videos every day. While the number of videos posted increases an entrepreneur's chances of reaching a wider audience, quality is also important, Rowan said. Find a balance between consistency and quality that will generate attention, she added.
3. Record everything to curate content
To be consistent with posting, creators must also be rigorous about filming. The more you have to work with, the better your videos will turn out, said Javonnah Ford, founder of the candle brand Braelake, which has more than 133,000 TikTok followers.
"Even if you think that other people might not like what you post, someone might like it," Ford said. "After posting for a while, you'll figure out what type of content people like, what resonates, and what they want to see more of."
Ford determined her best-performing videos and her best-selling products based on TikTok views and interaction with customers.
4. Aesthetics matter
The fourth tip that multiple creators shared was to focus on video quality and style.
"Across the board, aesthetics matter," said Rayli Nicholson, the founder of the beauty brand Smooth Eternity. Her business's TikTok account has grown to 275,600 followers since launching in November 2020, thanks in part to her focus on high-quality social-media marketing.
The best way to achieve eye-catching content is crisp, clean lighting, Nicholson said. Even if you don't have the ability or specific tools — like a high-tech camera or editing software — good lighting can make up for that.
"In the beginning, before I had the multiple ring lights that I use now, I'd just walk outside where the sun was," she said.
5. Make it personal with your face and voice
Andrea Norquay is the founder of Nadare, a jewelry company that grew during the pandemic solely due to social-media marketing, she said. Nadare has nearly 100,000 followers on TikTok, which Norquay attributes to her social-media strategy.
"Videos that have my face in it do better than videos that don't," she said. Videos with her voice also perform well, so she makes sure to include voice-overs.
"I found through trial and error that people just like more personable, relatable content," Norquay said. "They like to know that there's an actual human being making the content."
6. Make your content relatable
Taylor Jones is the owner of Tiny Closet Boutique in Opelika, Alabama. She began using TikTok in 2019 to promote her clothing store and has found success by posting relatable, upbeat videos.
Her account now has more than 47,000 followers and her most popular video garnered nearly two million views. Aside from styling outfits and explaining seasonal trends, Jones posts videos that take her audience behind the scenes of running her business, is honest about dealing with anxiety and depression, and talks about a past abusive relationship that motivated her to start her company.
"I learned really fast that people did not really care about the outfits," she said. "You could have the cutest things, but if people can't relate to who you are on social media, it doesn't matter."
7. Use viral hashtags, even if they don't relate to your video
In March 2021, Damoin Harrell created his first video on TikTok at the request of his niece. He posted his own version of the Junebug challenge, which encourages participants to dance to a song, with a fitness move called a "high pull," but had no intention for anyone else to see it.
Meanwhile, Harrell was hosting a class at his gym Stick Shift Fitness in Atlanta, Georgia, when notifications kept interrupting the music playing from his phone. He logged onto his TikTok account to discover his video had several thousand views in a day. "It blew my mind," he said. "It was a mistake that actually turned out beautiful."
Since then, his account reaches an audience of more than 44,000 followers and he uses the platform to promote his hip-hop HIIT classes. He found that the key to getting views is to use trending hashtags, even if they have nothing to do with the content of your video.