How to become TikTok Famous (pt 2)

Tips and tricks to build an audience on TikTok

So,

1600 people opened our first email on ‘How to become TikTok famous’… this is the second part, so if you missed the first part, check it out here.

If you are ready, sitting down and excited to continue with us on a journey to social media stardom - then get ready.

To recap: in our last newsletter we asked you to spend some time thinking about a topic or style of content you could really own, something that excited you, something that you could do over and over again but still keep interesting.

Hopefully you did that and now, you’re ready to start posting and become the next big thing on the platform.

Luckily, there’s a secret trick that is super-duper simple and will almost guarantee you success on TikTok as long as you follow it… drumroll…

JUST👏KEEP👏POSTING👏TIKTOKS.

You may see absolutely no results for hundreds of videos, or perhaps your first video will blow up and you’ll be off to the races. The main thing to remember is that this is a numbers game.

TikTok currently has over 730m active monthly users, over 50% of them are creating content… there is no shortage of content or creators and the only way to really win is to just keep experimenting and putting stuff out there.

If it took Charli D’Amelio about 2-3 months of posting to get some traction (back before when TikTok was even cool), if you’re serious about getting big on TikTok, then you need to be prepared for the reality that it could take you 6 months or even a year of posting without results.

Post cadency: We get asked a lot “how often should I post?”... There is no hard and fast rule here, but truly it is just a case of the more the better. Ideally you would post 2-3 videos a day to begin with (pretty intense), but daily is also fine, anything less than three videos a week and I would say you have some pretty big odds stacked against you, but hey, there’s nothing to say it’s not worth a go.

Here’s a chart showing the average post cadency over the last 6 months of 15 of the biggest TikTok creators (Avani’s really putting in those hours!):

Step 5: Striking oil

Okay, so you created a video and it blew up* congrats... to you it will look like your video just magically went viral, but under the hood the reason this happened is because the TikTok algorithm showed your video to 100 people... these 100 people engaged with the video positively (high watch time, likes, shares, comments are all actions that would be considered positive), so then then algorithm showed your TikTok to 1000 people, who also engaged positively, and then the algorithm pushed your video out wider to an even more mainstream audience and so on and so forth until your video reached its algorithmic saturation point (a point when your video reached new audiences who didn’t find your video as exciting).

But now what?

Well… here’s where it gets interesting, you need to do it again… quick.

Your ‘oil strike’ will be driving hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of people to your profile over the next few days and if they enjoyed that video, they will probably want more of it - so give it to them.

What you will need to do with your next video is try to identify what it is about your “oil strike” that made the algorithm throw your video into thousands of people’s FYP. Was it that funny voice you did? Was it your insane level of knowledge shining through? Was it a polarizing topic that created a fiery debate in the comments section? Whatever it was, it is now imperative that you take whatever kryptonite you stumbled upon and try to duplicate it into your next video. You should aim to do this ideally in a matter of hours not days. Oh, and in that second video, if possible - try to tell people to hit follow as you’ll be making more content about X that they will probably love, you want these viewers to stick around.

A fantastic example of a creator who capitalized on a viral video is Josh Morris who famously went viral when he made a parody video to Call Out My Name by The Weeknd - he screwed his face up in a way that subtly mocked the posey e-boys TikTok is so known for, wore a tight fitting orange suit that extenuated his (padded) booty in a silhouette shot… it’s pretty hard to describe, but watch a few of his vids and you’ll get what I mean.

If you speak to any big creator, they will nearly always be able to tell you about the specific video that catapulted them to stardom, let’s stick with Josh Morris (who today has 3.1m followers and 128m likes across his videos) and see what his journey looked like...

Throughout 2020, Josh posted mildly successful comedy videos on TikTok, slowly building a following… after a year of posting he had accumulated just over 100k followers on TikTok, not bad but also not exactly worth writing home about.

Day after day, Josh relentlessly posted funny videos to TikTok, some of which got some small traction, others were completely ignored by the algorithm gaining just a few thousand views. But Josh kept posting…

On February 7th, Josh posted a gag about friendship bracelets. The video exploded, racking up millions of views in a matter of days and his follower count start to rocket.

3 days later, still riding the viral wave of the friendship bracelet video, Josh posted again… this time wearing the soon-to-be-famous Orange Suit with stuffed booty... he went viral again.

On the 16th of February, Josh repeated the format and posted again with the Orange Suit… his account was exploding every time he posted now.

The rest is history.

*Blowing up is a subjective term that can mean different things to different people, personally I would define “blowing up” as anything that reaches over 100k views, but ask a talent agent in Hollywood and they will tell you something very different, maybe closer to 1m+ views. Whatever it is, you’ll probably know it when you feel it.

Step 6: Same same, but different

Wow, so you heeded the advice; you honed in on your X Factor and now your videos are starting to pop-off regularly… that’s exciting!

Don’t worry if some of the videos fall flat, or even if you have a few days or a week where nothing seems to work… this is totally normal, just keep tweaking your format and you will likely pull things back on track.

But now what? well the blunt answer is “welcome to your new life”, you will most likely be making a lot of the same kind of video day after day… and if you stop posting, the algorithm won’t appreciate it and even the least fickle of audiences will quickly forget that you ever existed since there is just so much content out there.

But if you have the mindset and/or personality type that can just keep plugging away, it is going to serve you very well at this stage.

Now this doesn’t mean you can’t get creative - It is actually a good time for you to start pushing different types of content out there, ideally this content would really hone into your personality above all else…

E.g. If your model car videos got you TikTok famous, well now is the time to start sprinkling your personality into your videos a bit more - the aim here is to try to make this audience fall in love with you and not just your spectacular model creations. 

Let’s go back to Josh Morris as the perfect example of someone who landed on something and then repeated it over and over and over and over and over and over again to find success. Josh keeps using the same track by The Weeknd, he keeps making the silly face, he keeps wearing the orange suit and in turn, he keeps going viral.

The issue is, that just like the rest of us - Josh is human and probably wants to make TikToks that don’t involve him pulling the funny face or wearing the orange suit… but unfortunately it isn’t that straightforward.

Josh has now made just shy of 30 of his trademark TikToks over the past few months and every time he tries to make a TikTok that doesn’t follow the formula, it gets a lot less views.

Is Josh doomed to a life of being known as the Orange Suit Guy? (definitely a possibility)… It sounds like a pretty sorry existence and there’s only one solution. Josh needs to VERY SLOWLY and VERY CAREFULLY introduce different types of content to his audience…

He needs to show them that he is more than just an Orange Suit Guy, that he has a really funny/interesting personality that’s worth sticking around for… and as you can see, this is exactly what he is doing.

And it’s working. Over time, Josh will build an audience that loves him just for being him, sure he’ll sprinkle in some Orange Suit content every now and again - but it won’t define him.

You should do the same as Josh… slowly start eeking your personality into your vids, but please for the love of god only post these personality videos in ADDITION to your core content, NOT INSTEAD.

Replacing the content that people love with a new type of content is like tearing away a bowl of Lucky Charms from a toddler and replacing it with fruit salad, even if you know it is better for them - they won’t like it.

Side Note: Now is the time to Give Give Give, don’t take from your audience. Don’t do any stupid little brand deals for Bang Energy, don’t ask your fans to donate to your Patreon, don’t start selling t-shirts that nobody wants… just focus on making and posting the content that they love, engaging with them and fostering a loyal fanbase.

Thanks for reading.

Next week, we will be discussing how to make money as a TikTok creator - a topic that we get asked about a lot.

See you then.