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Here’s the exact strategy for how to grow quickly on TikTok, even if you’re starting from 0 because NO, you’re not too late to start.
I’ll also include the most-asked questions about TikTok strategies and lay to rest the most debated topics so you can grow on TikTok!
Study TikTok’s Platform to Grow on TikTok!
Believe it or not, the first step you’re going to take to grow on TikTok is NOT to create content. Your first step is to STUDY THE PLATFORM.
If you want to dominate a platform, you need to know the ins and outs of that platform. What makes it breathe? What makes it come to life?
How Do You Study TikTok?
By consuming the content from a strategic approach instead of a mindless approach.
TikTok is a video app that was designed to suck us in and scroll for hours on end. So you need to create a separation between when you are mindlessly scrolling on TikTok for entertainment, from when you are opening the app with the intention to study the content you’re coming across.
When you’re being intentional, you want to look for:
- What works and what doesn’t work?
- What keeps you watching?
- What videos capture your attention from the very beginning? (Is it the shot itself? Is it the text that pops up? Is it the voiceover?)
- What makes you scroll past a video? (At what point does a video get “boring” to you? What could have been done to help that video?)
- What gets you to send a video to a friend?
- Are you coming across any trends or audios that are being used multiple times?
If you spend 30 minutes a day just studying the platform when you open it up instead of immediately getting sucked in, you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll pick up on things to adapt into your own strategy.
Naturally, studying will come to you over time.
As you continue to study the platform, you’ll notice that you will start getting ideas for your own pieces of content to create.
But first, let’s prepare your profile.
Optimize Your Profile to Grow on TikTok!
“But Millie, I want to start creating and posting. I just want to grow!”
I hear you, but here’s the thing. If you skip this step, you’ll regret it when one of your videos goes viral and you don’t get any followers from it.
A problem that a lot of people run into is they jump straight into the grind, they’re posting and posting, and BOOM! One of their videos will go viral.
Hooray…? Ehhh wrong.
1 million views later, they don’t have any new followers from it. What happened!?
There’s a disconnect that’s happening from the video to your profile.
What’s really important is how you set up your profile BEFORE you start posting.
How can you almost convince someone to follow you by simply glancing at your page? Or at least increase the percentage of people who land on your page to follow you?
Let me break everything down that you’re able to customize on your profile:
- Your Profile Photo
- Link choice
Your TikTok Photo & Username
Your Profile Photo and Username go hand-in-hand. You want both of these to be clear on who you are and what you want to be known for.
So, if you’re in the health and wellness industry and want to be known for your smoothie bowls and awesome recipes, maybe your handle will be @jadewellness and the photo will be a picture of you in the kitchen holding a smoothie bowl.
Create the atmosphere of your page right away with those two things.
Your TikTok Name
Then you have your Name. This is the part that shows on the top of your profile.
Some people discount this right off the bat, but it’s more important than you may initially think.
This is where you want to put how you want other people to find you because this section is extremely search friendly.
If you go to TikTok and search “smoothie recipes” and then toggle the tab to Users, anyone who has “smoothie recipes” in their Name will appear in your search!
So what’s that title or phrase that will help people find you?
Social Media Coach? BookTok? Coffee Reviews? Modern Home Decor?
What is that phrase that someone might actually type into the search bar to come across your account? Put those terms and keywords into your Name!
Your TikTok Bio
Now let’s get into your Bio.
At the time of writing this, TikTok allows 80 characters in your bio… which doesn’t feel like a lot when you compare it to Instagram’s 150.
Now, how you craft your bio is going to look different depending on what your goals are with your page. But the most common mistake I see people making with their bios is making it all about themselves:
Ex: “Wifey, mother of two and a fur baby. Wine and coffee fanatic. Catch me in a snuggie.”
We’ve all seen this.
Instead, what you should do, and what works really well for me and many other businesses and creators, is communicate the value that you provide when someone were to press that follow button:
- “Teaching you how to grow on TikTok & IG”
- “Teaching you how to become a FT content creator”
- “Social media tips”
This works in all sorts of niches and industries: Booktok, fitness, home decor, etc.
Why does it work?
People subconsciously make decisions to benefit themselves. When choosing to follow someone, we subconsciously make that choice because we feel it will benefit us.
You want to communicate in your bio how someone will benefit from following you.
Now I KNOW not everyone makes these strategic customizations with their profile.
There are successful Creators and Influencers out there whose bios literally say “Under Construction” and nothing else. But this is simply a strategy to increase the likelihood of someone pressing the follow button because it’s communicated to them clearly what the gain is by following.
Your Link in Bio
Then finally, when you hit 1,000 followers, you will be able to add a link to your profile.
If you’re someone who wants to turn TikTok into a Full-Time thing or become a Full-Time content creator, then the link in your bio should direct your audience to either a freebie to passively grow an email list or a link where you can make money, like an amazon storefront.
I cannot emphasize the importance of having an email list enough. If you don’t yet have one, you can learn more about growing an email list here, including why it’s so important.
Picking a “Niche” for TikTok
I’ve touched on this a few times, and I think it’s time we finally talk about this…
Picking a niche.
It’s impossible to teach a “how to grow” video without this phrase coming up.
When I was starting my creator journey and watched every video on YouTube on how to grow on Instagram or YouTube or whatever, I LITERALLY rolled my eyes when someone would say “pick a niche”, because it was EVERYWHERE.
But the reason it’s everywhere is that it works!
Do you HAVE to pick a niche in order to “be successful”? No. You don’t.
At least not on TikTok because the algorithm is much different than on Instagram and YouTube. BUT, it can help the algorithm understand you more.
For example, if you just love coffee and all your videos are about coffee and espresso: recipes, how to pull a shot, frothing milk, latte art, etc., that’s going to help TikTok be like, “Oh okay. You are a coffee/espresso account, so we’ll show your videos to people who like that type of content.”
Whereas, if you’re just posting anything and everything, it’s harder for the algorithm to understand who to push your content to. Not impossible, but just harder.
How to Pick a Niche for Your TikTok Account
So, how does one pick a niche? And what do you do if you don’t want to pick one or you just can’t decide?
Let’s start by defining “niche”.
Niche is defined as “a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.“
“Specialized segment of the market…”: this is where you get categories like fitness, wellness, fashion, foodie, etc.
But you want to actually get more specific because the rest of the definition says, “… for a particular kind of product or service”.
What type of fitness? Who are you creating content for?
So a complete niche would be:
- At-home fitness for moms
- Budget-friendly home decor & inspo
- Amazon fashion for women
Then, you create content around that niche.
What do you do if you don’t want to pick a niche? Or you are multi-passionate and you don’t know how?
If you want to be strategic, you can focus more so on the WHO instead of the what. Who do you want to reach? And why do you want to reach them?
Do you want to inspire people to have a healthier lifestyle? Do you want to reach other college students who want to escape reality for a little?
Find who you want to reach and ask yourself, “What kind of content would they like to see today?”
Then, start creating content like that.
Creating Content for TikTok
Since we talked about those of you who want to be strategic, let’s start this section for those of you who don’t want to be strategic. Maybe you find that “being strategic” is actually holding you back from being strategic.
If that’s you, then don’t pick a niche! Simple as that. Don’t be strategic at all, and just create!
Film anything and everything. Document your day, your food, your dog pooping, whatever.
The more you create, the more you’ll find what feels true and authentic to you.
I mean, just scroll back to some of my first YouTube videos, I didn’t have a niche! I was literally telling ghost stories on an abandoned train in one video and then doing a drunk boyfriend tag in the next.
Enjoy the creative process of discovering who you are as a creator. Take the pressure off of trying to do everything right and just do everything.
What Type of Content Do You Create to Grow on TikTok?
Now, let’s say you either have your niche picked out or you’ve discovered the type of Creator you want to be.
What type of content are you supposed to create from there?
Well, my current strategy is rotating between 3 types of content:
Search-Friendly & Evergreen Content
This is content that isn’t reliant on trends and can be relevant at any time: a month from now, a year from now, 5 years from now, and so on.
These are videos I can film 10 at one time and post them any time I want. Next week, next month, next year, etc.
No matter what, the video will still be relevant. It isn’t relying on a trend or trending audio.
For example, content that will always be relevant is recipes. You can make a video on your favorite recipe for homemade pizza and it will never not be relevant.
How to Find Ideas for Search-Friendly & Evergreen Content
To come up with ideas for Search-Friendly content, use search engines.
What I like to do is go to TikTok, type in my niche or industry in the search engine (search bar) and see what TikTok recommends to me. That’s what people are currently searching for.
Below, you’ll see a couple of terms I typed in the search bar and what TikTok recommends below as an example. Those are the terms you’ll want to target.
Then tap each recommendation and see what type of content is being made and is being pushed out by TikTok.
Not only that, but if you scroll down a bit, you’ll see a section that says “Others searched for”, and that section is full of video ideas for you.
Another tool I like to use is called Answer the Public. It’s an amazing tool.
For free, you can search up to 3 terms a day. Whatever you type, it will give you common searches on Google using “Who, what, when, where, and why.”
These Evergreen videos are videos I include a Call-to-Action (CTA) on.
For example, at the end of a video, I’d say, “Hi, I’m Millie. I’m a Social Media Coach. Follow me for more videos like this!”, or “Follow me for more TikTok tips!”, or “Comment below any TikTok questions you have!”
Those are CTAs. And I always include them in my Search-Friendly and Evergreen videos.
Next, we have Trending Content.
Trends help you get a spike in views and traffic to your account.
I don’t like to rely too heavily on trends because they come and go and become so time-consuming. If I’m only making videos on trends, I find myself on TikTok 24/7 looking for the latest trends and feeling pushed to create immediately.
Personally, I don’t want to have to film a video or TikTok every day… maybe every week!
That’s why only a third of my videos are on trending content.
How do I keep up with trends?
Again, a simple search on TikTok. You can look up hashtags like #TrendAlert or #TrendWatch. There are even Creators, like @jacksonstips who post alerts of upcoming trends. (Talk about finding a niche!)
Your goal with trends is to try to be one of the early adapters before the trend or trending sound takes off.
And as an extra tip: stay relevant with the trending sound!
What do I mean?
Don’t force your niche, tips, or agenda in a trend. Be true to the trend and the sound or else people will scroll right past you.
If you’re able to be relevant to your niche and use the trend successfully, then that’s great! But only if it’s natural.
Finally, the third type of content I like to create is DGAF Content.
Yea that’s right. Just post whatever the heck you want. Don’t worry about the algorithm.
This is where you can be 100% you and your audience can connect with you on a genuine level.
These videos may not perform where from an analytical standpoint, but having creative freedom can really help with your mental health and prevent burnout.
And as you start to grow, people will continue following you for you. It’s great having that casual content where you can really build a connection and a community with your followers.
This one’s a Pro-Tip. This can fall under Evergreen, Trends and DGAF Content.
I love creating series or playlists to help my feed be binge-able like a Netflix show.
Having a series with multiple parts keeps people engaged and helps them discover what you want to be known for.
As an example, I can upload a “TikTok Updates – Part 1” video and post a Part 2 the next week and so on.
Whether someone’s first impression of you is on Part 1 or Part 17, they know you have more and will have the option to go to your profile to find the rest of your videos.
Organize Your TikTok Content
As you’re doing your research and coming across ideas or videos that inspire you, it’s important to save and organize all those ideas!
Saving TikTok Videos and Ideas in Collections
The way I save my videos and ideas is by using Collections on my TikTok account.
Since you’re following people in your niche, you’ll come across video ideas as you’re researching or just casually scrolling.
If a video gives you an idea or inspires you, save that video by adding it to your Collections.
I have multiple Collections for different segments of my niche. As you can see in the graphic below, I have a Collection of TikTok tips, Social media tips, Collab Ideas, and even Dance or audio trends. And there’s plenty more than is shown in the screenshot.
I just compile it all in Collections so I don’t lose the video or the idea.
Pro-tip: Have two accounts. One for business, one for personal use.
I have a personal account that I use just for fun and my own enjoyment. I use my business account for posting and for research, so that’s where I collect all of my video ideas.
That way I only see what’s trending in my niche without other unrelated things being thrown in. And if you come across a trend on your personal account, send it to your business account to keep it all in one place.
Keep Your Ideas on a Device Other Than Your Phone
I keep all of my ideas that I write down, keep in my head or save on my phone in one place… other than my phone!
As an Influencer, a majority of my business (and yours!) is on my phone. Whenever I can, I do all of my business on my laptop to keep it separated from my personal life.
Otherwise, everything would get muddled and I’d get burnt out so fast. So, don’t do that!
When I do my research for TikTok ideas, I’m not scrolling on my phone. I’m on my laptop. When I’m creating my Content Calendar on Notion? Laptop.
On that note, if you need a Content Calendar for TikTok, you can download mine right here. It’s completely free and has helped me not only grow my TikTok, but seamlessly organize and execute my ideas.
You can brain-dump your ideas, leave links to videos that inspired ideas and add notes. There’s also a creation section for when you need to film your videos. Then you can move it to the calendar when it’s completed so you can visually see what I’m working on and when it’s going out.
Okay, now that you have your ideas and making your videos, that leads us to one question.
How Long Should TikToks Be?
There are a lot of different answers to this depending on who you ask.
I’ve heard 5 to 7 seconds is the sweet spot. I’ve heard 11 to 15 works, but anything between 7 and 11 won’t work.
There’s so much conflicting information out there when, really, there is no magic answer.
The video length that works well for you is going to look different than someone else. You’re both making content on different topics, so of course it’s going to be different.
Someone making fitness or daily workout content will likely have longer videos (up to 2 minutes sometimes) since they’re featuring entire routines. You can’t fit that in under 7 seconds.
Someone else making smoothie bowl recipes will have much shorter videos than that. Probably up to 20 seconds
To grow on TikTok, the length of your TikTok depends on:
- What topic your video is about
- What industry you’re in
- The purpose of your video
Think about that. What is the purpose?
Are you educating your audience? You can’t fit worthwhile education in 5 to 7 seconds. That doesn’t provide value.
What it ultimately comes down to is testing out different video lengths. You will find what works best for you. However, I will say that what helps is making your videos fast-paced. No one has time for slow talking with long pauses.
Got it? Good. Let’s move on.
How Often Should You Post to Grow on TikTok?
Here’s the thing: The more you post on TikTok, the more you grow on TikTok.
If you’re able to post twice a day, every day for 60 days straight. Do it. You’ll likely see rapid results.
But that’s unrealistic for a lot of us, myself included.
I think we all know the answer is to just post consistently, but let’s take a look at that word first.
A lot of people confuse this to mean, “Post every day.”
The word consistency is, “What sort of cadence could you post and realistically keep up with for at least 30 days?”
That could be 3 days a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday. If you do that, keep it up for 10 weeks and see what happens.
It all comes down to how quickly you want to grow. If you want to grow quicker, post more often than 3 days a week.
As long as it’s consistent! Otherwise, you’ll stunt your growth and give yourself more work than necessary.
Be realistic with your goals and be gracious with yourself.
What Hashtags Should You Use to Grow on TikTok?
Just as there’s no magic length, there’s no magic hashtag to grow your TikTok. There’s not one secret hashtag that will make you go viral.
You want to use hashtags that are relevant to these three things:
- What your video is about
- What your video looks like or what is in the video
- Who you are
Following those 3 things, if I made a “Day In My Life” video I would use hashtags like these:
- What is your video about? – #DayInMyLife, #DayInMyLifeAsYouTuber, #YouTuberLife
- What is in your video? – #YouTubeSetup, #CoffeeRecipe (if I go over how I make my coffee every day), #California (if that’s where you live)
- Who you are – #SocialMediaCoach, #ContentCreator, #YouTuber
Now, to find relevant hashtags, what you’re going to do is look up your niche on TikTok. Then toggle over to the hashtags tab.
This will give you a list of hashtags that are relevant to your niche.
Now Go Grow Your TikTok!
These tips will give you all the fuel you’ll need to grow your TikTok!
Are there more tips and strategies? Of course!
I also have a post on common TikTok mistakes coming out soon!
If you have any ideas on how to grow on TikTok or notice anything I missed, leave them in the comments below! I always love reading what you all have to say.
Follow your joy!