Caught the TikTok bug yet? With over 1 billion monthly users, it might not be long until you do. While the vast majority of users are female and between the ages of 10-19, individuals and businesses of all backgrounds are also discovering the power of this social media platform, and for good reason. Almost overnight, TikTok users can go viral, earning them both fame and wealth. The latter, we’re guessing, is the very reason you’re reading this blog.
As this platform harnesses more attention, it’s perfectly natural to wonder if you too can monetize your own TikTok content. The short answer is yes, but only if equipped with the right strategy. You never know - you might be the next Charli D’Amelio or Pasta Queen - who have both mastered the art of TikTok, making a successful living in the creator economy.
But for a moment, let’s imagine TikTok ceased to exist overnight. As crazy as that may sound, it’s not implausible. Small businesses, content creators, and influencers are still recovering financially from the Facebook and Instagram outage of 2021, which, mind you, only lasted 6 hours. For entrepreneurs that depend heavily on these channels for marketing, the outage served as a rude awakening, exposing them to the harsh reality that without social media a major portion of their audience and revenue simply vanish.
Outages aren’t the only thing to fear as an entrepreneur that relies on social media. Algorithm changes and regulations in social media serve as additional barriers to reaching an audience, further substantiating the need for content creators to curate their own space.
Even so, there’s no denying the potential for monetizing TikTok. Let’s take a look at exactly how you can make money on TikTok, along with sustainable, marketing alternatives that will keep your content and followers from disappearing into thin air.
How Much Money Can You Earn on TikTok?
To say it’s difficult to pin down exact earnings potential on TikTok is an understatement. With so many different factors influencing a TikTok salary, e.g. a TikToker’s location and the location of their followers, there is simply no cut and dry answer. Instead, we are left to our educated guesses. Despite such ambivalence, there are two things we can be certain of when it comes to making money on TikTok: the amount you can earn on TikTok varies wildly, and a TikTok’s number of followers and engagement rate directly correlates with the amount of money a TikTok user can make.
Many claim TikToks with less than 100,000 followers will walk away empty-handed, while those with over one million will undoubtedly make the most. For TikTokers with large followings, reports say they could earn anywhere from $200 to $5,000 per month. Of course, this number is dependent on the size of their following.
London-based economist Tom Hartmann estimated in a Medium article that TikTokers with 100,000 followers earn roughly $500 to $2,000 per sponsored video. Seeing that sponsored videos are only one form of making money on TikTok, it begs the question of whether or not we will ever be able to truly quantify the earning potential of TikTok. Calculating an absolute amount is made further difficult by the fact that many top TikTokers do not release their earnings.
While there is a slim possibility of matching Addison Rae’s TikTok salary of $5 million per year as reported by Forbes, with the right strategy, you can turn a decent profit with your TikTok content.
3 Steps to Build a TikTok Following
While filming a 15-second short video is not rocket science, TikTokers need a certain je ne sais quoi to create quality TikTok content that stands out from competition and accrues followers. Thankfully, there are several steps content creators can take to become a successful TikToker.
Step 1: Develop Your Brand. Whether you’re an individual content creator or a small business, it’s important to have a cohesive brand strategy, meaning your brand should be incorporated in every element of your business, including TikTok. You should have a solid understanding of what type of videos you’ll post, and once you do, be consistent. To hone in on your personal brand and content style, ask yourself these three questions: Who are you? What do you do? Who is your audience?
Step 2: Create Content Your Audience Wants to Watch. Your success is only as good as your content, and creating good content takes work. Your TikTok content must be unique, fresh, interesting, and relevant for your specific audience. This can mean posting multiple new videos every day. To create engaging content that sells, focus on these three aspects: Grab your user’s attention, lead with emotion, and vary your video content while remaining true to your brand.
Step 3: Gain a Following. Undoubtedly, this is the most important step out of the three, and it comes from executing Step 1 and Step 2. It’s estimated that before you can truly monetize your TikTok account, you need at least 100,000 followers, especially if you want to get paid directly from TikTok (more on that below). Just like understanding the consumer behavior of your target market, you should understand what your target market wants to see on TikTok and share content with them daily.
5 Strategies To Making Money on TikTok
After achieving a large following, you can begin the journey of monetizing TikTok. Below are 5 strategies that will help you start earning that income:
- Apply to TikTok’s Creator Fund. TikTok’s Creator Fund, worth $200 million, is one of the most direct methods of making money on TikTok. But before you submit your application, there are a few boxes you have to tick. The requirements include: Users must be 18 years or older, have a baseline of 10,000 followers, accrued at least 100,000 video views in a 30-day period, have TikTok Pro, and lastly, live in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain or Italy.
- Advertise Your Products. Already have merchandise? You’re in luck. Advertising your product on TikTok is the most obvious means of making money in this space. Whether you’re selling a hard good like apparel or digital goods like online yoga classes, create content that shows off your products. Don’t forget to include a link to your website in your bio!
- Partner with an Influencer. Perfect for established businesses, small or large, partnering with an influencer is an excellent way to grow your brand presence on TikTok. Before reaching out to an influencer to work with them, make sure their content aligns with your brand. If you’re in the U.S., utilize the TikTok Creator Marketplace to find the right influencer for you.
- Partner with a Trusted Brand. The opposite of partnering with an influencer - another brand may approach you to post content sponsored by them. In exchange for your post, they compensate you either via money or a free service or product. Remember, when posting your own sponsored content, tap the Branded Content toggle to ensure you’re being transparent with TikTok and your audience. You risk having the post removed if you don’t!
- Accept Donations. Hosting live streams is another direct way of earning money on TikTok. During live streams, followers can donate gifts, purchased with virtual coins that are bought on the platform. The TikToker can then convert the gifts into “diamonds” (TikTok’s virtual credits) and cash them out to a PayPal account. But, there are two stipulations - creators have to be 18 years old or over, and for followers to purchase coins, they also have to be at least 18 years old.
Own Your Brand: 3 Long-Term Marketing Alternatives
Remember Vine, the video-sharing app that allowed users to create six-second-long, looping videos? We wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t. The Twitter-owned app fizzled out back in October of 2016, almost six years ago now. But why would a once-popular app fade away? In Vine’s case, as reported by Republic World, the company put a large focus on staying true to itself, so true that Vine ultimately limited its own growth potential to meet its users’ ever-evolving desires. Plus, the app simply became obsolete when competitors, such as Instagram, released their own version of the short video.
Vine’s predictable death serves as a reminder that nothing is permanent, which leaves us wondering how long TikTok will be a reliable source of income. TikTok, just like Vine, will always face challenges including competitors, algorithm changes, and even, government restrictions. While TikTok is an incredible marketing channel that can not only build an audience but increase a business’s revenue, content creators should utilize sustainable marketing alternatives, in addition to TikTok, to ensure ownership of their brand and revenue sources. Here are several long-term marketing tools to help you build a holistic marketing plan:
- Website. Your business needs a place to exist online, which a website achieves. A custom domain lets you showcase your products and publish content. A website is like your business’s home, a place where you can introduce your audience to your brand in just the way you like. Easily create your own!
- Email Newsletter. Email newsletters are an easy, sustainable means of communicating with your customers and owning your content space. Newsletters can be turned into a profitable subscription product that could generate more reliable revenue than social media apps like TikTok. Plus, it’s a great way to build trust with your community.
- Online Courses. Knowledge entrepreneurs, this one's for you. Teach online yoga or provide financial coaching? Online courses are the perfect way to monetize your knowledge and boost your brand. This tool can be seamlessly integrated with both your website and newsletter.
Making money on TikTok is a long game, but if you play it right, it could pay off - quite literally. Just like any business venture, do your research and put in hard work. But remember, TikTok is only one marketing channel and should never be relied upon solely to grow your business or brand.
For more sustainable tools that will help you own your space and communicate with your audience, check out Kajabi. We offer an all in one business platform so you can market and sell knowledge-based content. Start your free 14-day trial of Kajabi today!
Still researching? Check out Kajabi’s free downloadable ebook guides on launching and growing a knowledge commerce online business!