| 12 min read

How To Get Started On TikTok: The Beginner's Guide

TikTok has quickly become one of the social media platforms across the globe. With over one billion active users and counting, it is no surprise that businesses are hoping to use the social media platform to boost their brand, generate a following and ultimately increase sales. 

Creating short-form videos on TikTok has proven to be a successful strategy for many small businesses– and it’s spawned more than a few new businesses as well. Here’s how to get started. 

How To Start A TikTok Account

Starting a TikTok account, whether it is a business account or personal one, isn’t hard. To use TikTok, you first need to download the TikTok app: either for iOS in the App Store, or for Android in Google Play. 

Once you have downloaded the app, you need to sign up for an account with a phone number, email, or an acceptable linked account such as Google or Facebook. 

Once you’ve set up your account with your bio, you can begin to create content. If you already have an account you can switch it over to a TikTok business account by going to your profile in the bottom right corner, going to privacy and settings, then to manage account, and finally switching to a business account.

If you are starting a TikTok account for your business, it is best to choose a business account when you set it up. TikTok wants businesses on the platform and they appear to be working on features to make the app more appealing for these users, many of whom will become advertisers. 

Business accounts have access to downloadable and detailed TikTok analytics. They can get their accounts verified. They can add a link to their website (after gaining enough followers), and they can also use third party services to manage their TikTok content. There are a few limitations. Sounds that can be used by business accounts are more limited than creator accounts, for example. But when comparing the pros and cons, it is hard to not see that the benefits outweigh drawbacks.   

The Beginner's Guide To TikTok

The good news for those starting their TikTok journey is that there are plenty of step-by-step guides to help you gain a deeper understanding into your TikTok marketing strategy, best practices for ads, tips and tricks for video editing on the platform and more. TikTok itself is a good resource with free resources for small business owners and creators. 

While there’s a lot to learn, it can be overwhelming. Fortunately when it comes to TikTok, you don’t have to have a perfectly polished profile to get started. In fact, it’s probably better if you don’t! So in this beginner’s guide we will just talk about these basic concepts you need to get going. 

  1. Set up your account. Setting up your account is relatively straightforward. Following the steps laid out in the section earlier, How To Start A TikTok Account, you should be up and running in no time. If you already have an account and just need to make it a business account, you’ll find instructions for that above. 

  2. Identify what is popular in your space. Once you get your TikTok account up and running, check out what is popular in your space. Finding accounts, hashtags, audio, and TikToks that you like and are performing well in your space or a similar space is key. These videos are already tried and true.

  3. Write down ideas. Write down/save those hashtags, videos, accounts, and audio clips that are doing well and think about how you could use similar content. Can you make the same video? Could you put a slight twist on the video to make it resonate with your audience? Can you duet with videos you like? What hashtags are being used? Perhaps you can use 80% of the same hashtags and add a few more that you feel would help connect you to another key demographic. Social media marketing and content creation can be challenging for many business owners, especially small business owners that already have a ton to do, so using these templates of what is working can save you time and energy.

  4. Start creating content. Once you have TikTok content ideas, start creating. You will spend more time with content creation at the beginning as you have to figure out lighting, transitions, and other technical aspects, along with the types of content that work for you and your audience. Don’t get too bogged down. As you create more content, you will become more proficient and find ways to streamline your content. 

  5. Analyze metrics. No matter what content strategy you decide to pursue, it is important you track your metrics. TikTok’s analytics tools can help. You want to see who your audience is, what videos are doing well, the time of day your audience is on the platform, the amount of time your audience spends watching TikToks, which ones are bringing lots of comments, etc. This will not only help you when it comes to your content strategy but will also help you when/if you decide to do TikTok ads.

  6. Consider investing in TikTok ads. You may want to consider paid advertising on TikTok to supplement your organic efforts. Many small businesses have found success with a combination of the two.

  7. Repeat steps 2-6: Trends are constantly evolving and your audience is going to want new content. By going back through steps 2-5 and making content consistently you can continue to grow your followers and business,  

How To Get Views On Your New TikTok Account

Getting views on your new TikTok account can be tricky, especially when you are just starting out. That’s not always the case, but to increase our chances of success, here are some simple steps that can help increase views on tutorials, duets and more. 

  1. Hashtags: Using hashtags on TikTok is a great way to help get your videos in front of your target audience. Hashtags help the social network’s algorithm identify what your content is about, which then helps the platform make recommendations to users. It can also help users find your content on their own, if they are searching for a hashtag you use. 

  2. Audio: Adding sound to videos, particularly trending sounds, can help boost video views. One poll found that 90% of TikTok users said that, “sound is key to the TikTok experience.” Making sure you add sound to your videos is important and it could even inspire your next video. Plenty of TikTok trends are tied to specific audio and there is no reason your next viral video can’t be inspired the same way. 

  3. Trends: Participating in TikTok trends can be a good way to get more views. Plenty of content creators want to be trend setters, but even if you aren’t, you can participate in current trends. Trends are already resonating with audiences–usually across demographics and niches–so your chances of having a video resonate may be better if you follow the trends. It may also help you get on the TikTok FYP (For You Page) and expand your reach. 


How Many Followers Do You Need To Start TikTok?

You don’t need any followers to start a TikTok account. All you need to start an account is to download the TikTok app and sign up with a phone number, email, or a linked account such as Facebook, Apple, Google, or Twitter. Once you enter your birthday to confirm you are over 13 years old, you can create your username and password. From there, you can create your bio, add a picture, and add a name if you want. After your account has been fully set up, you can begin to create your own videos. As you begin to create TikTok videos and employ hashtags to gain more traction with the TikTok algorithm, you will often begin to gain more followers.

Can You Make Money On TikTok?

Yes, you can make money on TikTok. In fact there are a few ways for a person to earn income through TikTok.

One way for creators to make money is through the TikTok Creator Marketplace. The TikTok Creator Marketplace is a platform where businesses or other individuals can discover influencers open to creating  partnerships. 

Creators who have over one hundred thousand followers, are in approved countries, are over 18 years old, active on the platform, and generate over one hundred thousand likes on their post in the last twenty eight days are eligible to join the TikTok Creator Marketplace and connect with brands that will pay them to create content that promotes the business’ goods and services. 

Brands looking to connect with a creator can see what niche the individual is in, the number of followers they have, the rate they charge, and more details to identify the right partner.

Another way for TikTok users to make money on the platform is through the TikTok Creator Fund. This fund pays money to creators who are making video content in line with the community guidelines, are over 18 years old, are in one of the six approved countries, have over 10,000 followers, and at least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days. 

There are of course other ways to make money through TikTok by bringing people to your website or product landing page, for example, but these are two of the most straightforward ways creators often get started. 

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