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Tiktok has taken over the social media world! The video app has made enormous strides in popularity since its release for Android and iOS in 2017. In their own words, “TikTok is the world’s leading destination for short-form mobile videos.” The idea behind TikTok is for people to quickly and easily create short videos using their smartphones, enabling everyone to be a media creator. There are more than 800 million active users of the app from all over the world. That’s a lot of opportunities to grow your follower list.
As with pretty much every Internet-based trend that comes along, one question quickly arose with TikTok: “Can you make money on this thing?” The answer is YES, you certainly can. While TikTok is not built specifically around monetization and providing income streams to creators, the app is very commercial-friendly, and it is possible to earn a living by creatively using the platform.
TikTok does not offer creators monetization of their videos on this platform. This doesn’t mean it is a closed door. Through TikTok, creators can secure sponsorship and brand deals for their posts, especially if they have a large number of followers.
So, let’s get right into it. We have a list of the most effective ways to monetize TikTok below.
Being an “influencer” online is actually a legitimate approach to monetizing your online presence. An influencer is someone who has the ability to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of their popularity, credibility, or relationship with their audience. Social media is a place where certain people have poured their time and effort to build their online reputation in order to become an influencer.
True influencers are people who have organic followings of actual human people who value and respect the “influencer” when they talk about their area of expertise. There are a lot of true influencers in the world, on scales large and small. Brands value influencers because they can create trends and encourage their followers to buy the products they promote.
While “Influencers” are real, and it is entirely possible that you could be one. When speaking in terms of Social Media we often hear words like engagement and authenticity. Both of these are important to your success. Your viewers and followers need to stay engaged with your content and come back for more. People value genuine creators, so be real, but also be really really good at what you do.
If you do have something worthwhile to say, and you do have real human beings who pay attention to you, then TikTok gives you a very straightforward method of monetizing your video appearances in the app. All you need to do is recommend products and services that you genuinely do use and think are good; those brands, stores, artists, or whoever will then be very glad to compensate you for your advocacy of their product or service.
You need to have a genuinely large and engaged following – a bunch of pretend followers you shilled for on Tinder just isn’t going to cut it. But with a real influencer presence, you can easily earn thousands or tens of thousands of dollars at a shot for boosting someone else’s product. To achieve success, you have to have a good reputation, and be reliable in terms of your content.
Note that a lot of influencers have run into trouble by accepting branding deals, and not disclosing the deal to their followers. While it somewhat reduces the value of your opinion to many people, at some point, you do have to disclose that you are accepting these kinds of deals, because the fallout from a deal being revealed that you DIDN’T disclose is a huge scandal that will horribly damage your reputation, undermining the very thing that makes you an influencer in the first place. In the end, to truly build a strong relationship with your followers, you have to be honest and maintain their trust.
TikTok fans can help their favorite creators earn money without brands. The actual exchange rates vary with time, but the basic system is simple: TikTok users can buy “coins” using actual money via in-app purchases. They can then use their coins (and other derivative in-app currencies) to tip TikTok creators, in essence giving them a small amount of real money as a thank-you for creating some good live content. TikTok passes 80% of the value of the tip onto the person doing the live stream, building their account (and not incidentally, signaling to brands that this person is actually growing in influence.)
It’s not generally a fortune, but it can be an income stream, although you have to take the money in the form of digital gifts rather than cash; it’s not too hard to turn that into cold hard money, however.
This is probably the most realistic way for most people to make money via TikTok, even without accumulating a huge following and becoming a national-scale influencer. The secret is to have some other line of business or store, and use TikTok as an absolutely free way to promote and sell your products or services, or to promote your existing business. The great thing is that this can be just about any (legal) business or service, whether it’s nerdy, crafty, techy, or just crazy.
For example, you may have a river rafting service that takes people on raft trips down the Colorado River every summer. Well, you can take videos of every raft trip you make, and make 15-second clips showing how much incredible fun people are having. Post that on TikTok, along with some promotional frames showing where you are, how to get in touch with you, what you charge, and when your next trip is, and you can find your bookings filling up like magic.
TikTok isn’t directly paying you for anything, but your business is now making thousands of dollars on the referrals and new customers that you’re attracting with your videos. (And of course, you can also put the videos on your Facebook page, your YouTube channel, etc.).
Finally, you can, in essence, advertise any business even if it isn’t something that translates well to video. By putting up a video that’s fun, funny, creative, or musically great, you’ll attract attention – and then you can have a few frames at the end pitching your product or service.
It is possible to make a lot of money from Amazon referral links if you do it right, although some people might be confused by the suggestion that you could do it on Tik Tok. How are you going to promote anything when your video and your bio can’t have links? You can’t expect your viewers to laboriously write down the link and then type it into a browser by hand – and even if they did do that, it could end up costing you your Amazon account! Amazon’s rules prohibit any linked system that obscures or spoofs them from being able to tell where a given link came from. A manual link entry does just that – you want your viewers clicking and tapping, NOT writing down and retyping. So how do we do that?
Your bio is the primary place where you can have written information on TikTok. (You can add text to your videos, but it tends to distract from the video itself.) However, you can’t have links on your bio page, either – you can have text, but it’s not clickable/tappable. Users can’t even select it to copy and paste it into a browser later. So what can you do? You want to focus your bio on one short text string: a shortened URL to your affiliate marketing landing page if your basic URL is unwieldy or non-catchy, or just the plain URL if it is catchy and short.
On your affiliate marketing landing page, you put the actual Amazon referral links. You could lose some sales momentum from people having to type in your URL – so the shorter and sweeter you can make that URL, the better off you will be. Cross-marketing your links now becomes just a matter of making sure to have the right affiliate links for your video audience. Say you’ve done a 20-second lipsync of a Justin Bieber song, that’s probably not going to inspire anyone to go to your page and order football equipment from Amazon – but it may inspire them to want to buy Justin’s album directly.
But how much can you really expect to make with TikTok? The average TikTok user could make anywhere from $10,000 – $20,000 (with seven million followers). The way they do this is by endorsing products from growing brands in the form of ads. Celebrities, on the other hand, can expect to make seven figures with the app through endorsements and sponsorships with different companies.
As discussed above, earning money through TikTok means having a large number of followers. While TikTok is a pretty much popular platform on its own, linking your TikTok account to other social media accounts like Instagram, and Youtube can help you gain a boost in popularity. The more audiences your TikTok videos reach, the more chances you have of getting discovered.
Follow these steps to link your TikTok to your YouTube channel.
Follow these steps to link your Instagram Account to TikTok.
If you’re really serious about monetizing your TikTok Account, you need to go Pro. The company officially developed its Pro accounts this year and it’s very similar to Instagram’s Professional Accounts.
A Pro account gives you analytics above all else. You can see how much engagement each video is attracting, how many followers you have, and more! These analytics are designed to help you grow your audience by understanding which content is the most successful.
To set up your account, open TikTok and head over to your Privacy and Settings tab. Tap on ‘Manage My Account.’ Next, tap on ‘Switch to Pro Account.’
Got any other suggestions for making money on TikTok? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
It never hurts to see what the experts have to say – and this book on how to make videos that don’t suck is a hard-hitting and useful guide to improving your video quality!
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Dec 27, 2020
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