Your ultimate getting started guide to dominating TikTok
Starting out on TikTok doesn't have to be hard whether you're new to it or not.
1. Your First Steps
The rise of short-form content has definitely put TikTok ahead of its competitors. Many platforms have since followed in the footsteps of TikTok and created Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts and Snapchat Spotlight. But with TikTok being the fastest growing social media platform out there, what is the best way to get started?
Let’s start by locating the app and downloading it first! Simply follow the on-screen instructions in order to register your details. In order to create your unique TikTok identity, be sure to choose an original username, then upload an eye-catching profile picture, fill in your bio with relevant information and link your other social media platforms to your TikTok account. Once you’re done, it’s time to create content!
2. Rules and Niche
It is extremely important to get familiar with TikTok’s continuously widening community guidelines. TikTok, almost unlike any other platform, has a very strict policy on what it will tolerate. Accounts that repeatedly violate those rules can often get temporarily or permanently banned from the app. It is therefore a safe space for virtually any child, teenager or adult as any content that promotes abuse, crime, drugs, nudity and many more, will be immediately taken down. It is truly committed to enforcing its rules with numerous automated systems in place reviewing and banning such comments, videos and/or accounts.
Your chosen niche will define the type of content you will create for your audience. Therefore, before even creating any videos, it is important to establish what you want to share with your viewers. Your niche must align with TikTok’s strict community guidelines as inappropriate content will be removed which in turn puts you at risk of losing your account.
Pretty quickly, you will begin to build a fan base of users who will come to expect content from your selected niche. Above that, TikTok will start to push you up the ranks within the said niche. Choose something that you’re good at and know you can succeed in, and make it unique. Why do what everyone else is doing if you can make it better? An example of this could be somebody who loves to bake, but rather than baking all kinds of regular baked goods, they focus specifically on one - such as cookies - and make them quirky. Or rather than baking classic American desserts, they choose to bake traditional Japanese desserts only. This will build a specific audience that will choose to watch your videos over others.
3. Quality Equipment
Other than using additional equipment such as different types of lighting, having a relatively modern and up-to-date mobile device is just as important. The quality of the camera on your phone matters the most as that’s what people will be watching. And nobody wants to spend their time watching bad quality, grainy videos. Therefore, if you’re thinking of turning TikTok into your full-time job and career, it is important to invest in a high-end phone with the best possible optical camera sensor. High quality content will attract the right audience and make the viewer experience extremely enjoyable.
Besides having a high-quality smartphone, the second absolute must would be a ring light. This will provide evenly spread out light whilst minimizing all shadows. Since they are available in many different sizes, you should be aiming to get at least an 18 inch or bigger for the best results. Using a ring light is also known to enhance the physical appearance of the subject as it provides extra emphasis on the eyes. Its unique circular shape allows for even lighting over both sides of the face. It is a perfect tool for every creator!
But why not go the extra mile and invest in some of the more advanced equipment? Simple LED panel lights could make a huge difference in elevating your content to a whole new level! Such portable lights are an amazing tool for providing additional lighting with various colour options. The correct colour choice will create a visual mood and a specific atmosphere for your audience. For example, warmer tones such as orange and yellow are a great colour choice for creating an uplifting and positive atmosphere. Whereas colder tones such as green and blue are often associated with feelings of calmness and stability. The meaning of these colours can change dramatically depending on the shade.
Did you know at 15Talent we provide the full lighting suite completely free to our influencers? This includes RGB continuous lighting and professional grade ring lights! Check it out: here.
Consistency is important when it comes to anything in life, and it doesn’t stop at TikTok!
Being consistent with your uploads, themes, titles and even clothes can make a huge difference compared to creators who are in a different setting, doing different things in each video. It will make you stand out from the masses and help your fans recognise you instantly.
Uploading videos on a regular basis will not only help with building a routine for yourself, but also for your fans. The same applies when it comes to account growth; by regularly uploading videos and providing fun content for your viewers, you are more likely to build a loyal fan base. The more you do it, the bigger audience you reach. Eventually, your established audience will be waiting for your uploads, so if you miss a day, they are likely to look elsewhere. Therefore, you should be aiming to create a realistic schedule for yourself to stay on top of.
It might come as a surprise to some, but wearing the same clothes in each video is also a big part of making your TikTok account successful. Why? To avoid being not recognised. Eventually, your ‘costume’ becomes a part of your identity. A great example of this are cartoon characters - it’s a way of creating character familiarization. So, unless your account focuses on fashion and/or makeup where different looks are created each day, it is strongly recommended to stick to just one outfit.
Another part of staying consistent is in regard to your setting. Having a colourful and eye-catching background is yet another extremely important part of keeping your TikTok account consistent. Go for something that is visually interesting over a plain white wall. Make sure you provide a consistent backdrop throughout all of your videos. Your viewers will subconsciously associate that background with your brand - this will create brand awareness. Your background will set the tone for your videos, so choose carefully!
5. Your branding
As a content creator, growing your brand is a crucial part of becoming successful on TikTok. It is extremely important in order to connect with your audience. Think of it as promoting a product - but instead of a product, you actively promote yourself. But why? Because you want your brand to be remembered in a positive way.
As previously mentioned above, picking a unique username is the first step to creating your own personal identity and brand on TikTok! This is mainly what you will be remembered by, so you want to choose something relatable, easy to pronounce as well as easy to type for when your fans want to look you up. This will impact your engagement levels and account growth. The easier you are to find for others, the more likely you are to gain followers and build your brand. It may seem like a small decision now, but it will truly set the right tone for your brand in the long run.
Your TikTok bio creates an instant impression for fans and brands as soon as they view your profile. Some creators truly don’t recognize the importance of an engaging bio! The smallest mistake could drive away new followers or interested advertisers. Your bio should be short, clear and precisely written. Why not create a catchy tagline to define your profile and the content that you develop? It's yet another great way of establishing a strong brand image.
Having your other social media accounts - such as Instagram or YouTube - linked to your TikTok can also be considered part of branding. This is because directing your fans to your other websites expands their knowledge of you as a brand. Once you grow bigger, why not create your own website? This is a great way of keeping all of your information and services plugged in one place for both fans and brands who may be interested to work with you. Be sure to create a clear and engaging call-to-action to encourage them off platform to your other socials.
Unfortunately, not many content creators provide additional contact details such as an email in their bio. Don’t be one of them! Be sure to include your business contact to allow brands to easily connect with you. It will show your potential clients that you are open to collaborations and branded campaigns.
Tip: create a separate email account to use for business inquiries only to avoid spam messages being sent to your private email address.