Updated: Dec 2, 2021
Tiktok is the shiny new toy in social media, but it's here to stay. Those resisting it are only putting themselves behind.
That being said, making 15 second videos is surprisingly time-consuming. There's a reason content creation is one of the biggest pain points of small business owners today - it's a full time job to feed the insatiable content machine.
The key to growing an audience and building wealth in today's online landscape is to be a knowledge entrepreneur, someone who is an expert in any topic who creates a monetized brand around it.
I spent 8 years building up my knowledge in graphic design and marketing, without a formal degree in design and mostly without guidance.
A few Hubspot certifications, years of learning in the trenches, and lots of Googling and YouTubing later - I had expertise that I was applying to clients in my own 1:1 consulting business.
When TikTok began exploding during the pandemic, I joined like most people did - to silently consume and be entertained in the shadows. I didn't even have a profile picture.
After being pushed by a friend, I began clumsy attempts to make content, and narrowed down my "niche" to design, marketing, and entrepreneurship. My goal was just to get videos out there and learn how to execute (How on earth do they make those cool transitions work??)
My rise in followers was simple. I adapted early enough. I somewhat niched down. I told real stories from my experience in my unique voice. Then at the right time, I authentically partnered with a brand.
Honeybook is the software I use to run my business. Honeybook asked their users to create some UGC (user generated content) in exchange for promoting it with their advertising dollars. Essentially, an unpaid partnership. I had nothing to lose with my 12 followers, so I volunteered.
I created several videos that didn't work for this or that reason. I almost gave up. I had so much else on my plate at the time as a mom of a one-year-old who was running a business that this almost felt silly to be spending time on. Then I recorded one last take. It was brief; it was to the point. It highlighted the feature that brought the most value to me in my business.
That sponsored video has since racked up over 7 million views and I have 35k (and climbing) followers. I can only assume it's because the people interested in the ad on how to run your own business using Honeybook could then see that all my other content was also entrepreneurial. Something about my content is sticking, even just a little bit.
I am still working to level up the content that I'm making, and pushing through my to-do list to make it more of a priority. But for now, I'm getting used to the idea of having an interested audience, and I intend to serve them real value, no fluff.
The takeaways for me are to lean into the things you're good at and that light you up, to value your own unique perspective, and to push past feeling embarrassed and just make content, and to be ready when opportunity strikes. For me, that also includes reaching out to brands that I could authentically partner with, and from this point forward it's no longer for free.
Also, I'm touting the reach potential of TikTok to my clients who are B2C. The organic reach is much better than that of Facebook and Instagram, that are so big that they are almost exclusively pay-to-play these days. And while I haven't been the one to pay for an ad buy on TikTok yet, I'd be willing to be that your dollar goes much farther on TikTok as well.
Because of TikTok, I'm experiencing the true power of micro-influencing, and I want to remind everyone to give away the good stuff, tell your stories, let yourself be heard. There is real value to be shared, and you are the one to do it. And today is the best time there ever was to be an expert at anything and make money on the internet.