Updated: Jun 22, 2022
Are you curious but also skeptical when it comes to TikTok? I recently launched a mini-series on my TikTok page, as well as on Instagram, to share some of the things I wish I had understood when I first started creating on that platform.
Since I decided to embrace this tool that was so new to me, especially as a millennial, I started to see a huge shift. I saw it in my own creative process, on the impact of this new batch of content on others, but also in understanding how best to use both TikTok and Instagram to grow my business.
So, if you ARE curious about TikTok, and if you WANT to step into that platform feeling like you have an idea what you're doing, start here...
TikTok 101 | start here
1. Follow creators that both teach and do for inspiration
I've found that it's helpful to get "value" content. But, I've also found that I learned and implemented best from creators that practiced what they preached.
That's what I'm learning to do with my own TikTok page, @meljeanty. And so, here are some of the creators I've learned a lot from:
2. Keep scrolling if a video isn’t what you’re looking for
The more you watch something, the more you tell the app that you’re interested in that type of content. So, if there are videos that you're not wanting to ever consume, content that might not align with your values for example, quickly swipe up and train TikTok in understanding your tastebuds.
3. Favorite niche-specific sounds and the algorithm will send similar videos on your 'for you page' (fyp)
Now, this is more of a theory than anything else, but it's worked for me somehow. What I'll do is that as I'm scrolling and consuming content, when I find a video with a sound that fits the type of content I want to create, I save the sound to my favorites. Then, somehow, TikTok sends me similar videos and again, I get to train the app in knowing what I'm looking for.
4. Be okay with messing up and not getting right what other creators seem to do easily
For a perfectionist like me, this honestly is the hardest part. There are creators that know exactly how to do fancy transitions, how to do content loops, or how to simply show up in front of the camera with confidence. That is not me. Not yet anyway.
What's important is that we practice; it's the discipline that gets to results, not cowering away because of the fear of failing or looking ridiculous. And, most importantly, remember to have fun!
I hope this encourages you.
5. Brainstorm 1-2 series and create content that fits those series
When I was starting out on TikTok, I had no idea what to do. So, I did dances, cooking videos, vlogs, etc. But, it all seemed like chaos to me. So, when I decided to try again, I jot down one to two ideas that could be series rather than solo pieces. That's how the Selah and Unfinished Thoughts series started. And lately, the TikTok vs Instagram series.
6. Have a fellow TikTok buddy that can DM you the good stuff they find and, do the same for them.
Talk about training the algorithm! My friend @annemarj0rie and I send each other TikToks all the time. And now that it's become a whole love language for one another, I see people she follows on my fyp and she sees people I follow on hers as well. And, because we share mostly hilarious but also value-packed, business and creativity-related videos, our fyp pages are way more entertaining and mind-enriching than before we started this practice.
7. Don’t stay on the app more than 2 hours
This is an arbitrary number, but it's somewhere to start. TikTok can easily suck the time out of you. So, set a time limit. You can use the Digital Well-being option in your profile settings for that. What's even better is if you set up a password for time management and then forget it. It will really force you to restrain yourself in the amount of content you consume. And maybe even, it might push you to balance creation with consumption.
8. For low-energy creators, if you have a video idea, script it, or jot down notes on your phone so you can revisit and create when you have the brainpower to do so
I am not always in the mood to show up in front of a camera. But, I do often have ideas for videos that I can't always execute right away. Because of that, I found a solution that works for me and might work for you as well.
In my Notes app, I created 3 different folders: ✏️Scripted, 📹Created, 🎞Series. In the ✏️Scripted folder, I jot down ideas for videos, what I might say, what kind of videos I might include, etc. Once I am full of energy and ready to create, I got to my ✏️Scripted folder, take out ideas and execute them. Then I transfer the note to the 📹Created folder.
Now, the 🎞Series folder is specifically for series of videos. As I mentioned earlier, I have 2 to 3 series that I go back to often. This helps when I'm stuck and out of ideas, or if I don't feel like thinking too much or making too much effort.
The bottom line is: always write things down so that you don't run out of ideas or inspiration.
TikTok 101 | free tools and tips
Use fonts provided
Constantly 'favorite' sounds you want to use
Use sound-syncing for minimal work
Create in bulk and leave videos in your drafts to be ready to post
Build the habit of creating and posting consistently (1-3x a day)
High-quality export settings (4K)
Duplicate projects or turn projects into templates for series
If you found this helpful, share this blog with a friend. And if you have suggestions of TikTokers we should know about, share in the comments.
And if the idea of social media and marketing is starting to overwhelm you, let's connect! Click the button to book a Discovery Call with us, free of charge.