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A long time ago, the idea of making a living through entertainment was about appearing either in a movie or on TV. Apparently, you no longer need the big screen... literally. You can make a career out of a 6-inch one (like the one you are potentially holding right now).
If you want to make money out of digital content by being your own cameraman, producer and leading figure: TikTok is the place for you.
So, if you want to get started – you need to know how to use TikTok in the first place.
How much does TikTokers make?
Currently, there are 1 billion users actively consuming TikTok, so it comes as no surprise that you can generate money from it. Some creators have up to 100 million followers (the UK has less than 70 million habitants, so you get the picture) and earn up to... $5 million a year).
Wait. Don't quit your job just yet.
The truth is you only start making any money once you achieve 100,000 followers (slightly more than just your friends and family, I would say).
Once you get there, you can make from $200 to $5,000 a month. The amount will depend primarily on your following size, but your earnings are also affected by location, views, comments, and others.
The 9 highest-earning Tiktokers (per post)
1. Addison Rae
$29,521 – $49,202
2. Charli D’Amelio
$41,461 – $69,102
3. Dixie D’Amelio
$29,560 - $50,850
4. Loren Gray
$27,180 – $45,301
5. Josh Richards
$15,890 - $26,218
6. Michael Le
$22,490 - $37,100
7. Spencer X
$22,560 – $37,601
8. Zach King
$27,361 – $45,602
9. Riyaz Aly
$25,740 – $42,901
What determines potential earnings on TikTok?
Increasing your potential earnings on TikTok is a matter of getting noticed: By users and especially brands. There are a few aspects to consider to achieve it.
The ability to reach a key demographic
As with any business, the answer to success is knowing who you are creating for. Unquestionably, this app has a very diverse audience, which allows a wide variety of content (from dance tutorials to financial advice). Notwithstanding, if you aim to snowball, consider that over 30% of this app's active users belong to Generation Z (more specifically, from 10-19 years old).
The potential of going viral
Roses are red, violets are blue, people go viral on TikTok, and so can you. In this app, it is common for a casual user to wake up one day to an avalanche of notifications because their video of them getting hit by a tennis ball went over the roof.
Going viral (accidentally or not) is an excellent opportunity for you to consider creating more regular and intentional content and end up making some money out of it.
The level of engagement
All platforms wish to deliver a valuable experience to their users. In that sense, every social media algorithm monitors engagement. If 20 people interact with your content (through likes, comments, shares), chances are the app will assume their friends will like it too.
And then the friends of their friends. And so on. This is especially important on TikTok, where the main feed is called "For you" and consists of content suggested for you. That said, if you want to get noticed, make sure your content is worth interacting with.
4 tips on how to make money on TikTok
1. Try out gifting
As a common mortal creature, you get Christmas in December. However, if you are a TikTok creator, you can experience it (sort of) every time you go live.
This starts when your TikTok fans buy virtual Coins using real money (careful: these cannot be refunded or exchanged for cash). Then, the Coins are used to buy Gifts. While making live broadcasts, your followers can offer you these Gifts, which converts into Diamonds.
Diamonds are used to quantify how popular and appreciated a creator is. Once you make enough Diamonds, you can collect the cash via PayPal or another verified payment service.
So, in short, there is a one-way process: Fans use real money > fans buy coins > fans buy gifts > you receive gifts during lives > you get diamonds > you exchange for real money. It doesn't work the other way around.
2. Engage in brand partnerships and influencer marketing
One of the most common ways of earning money on social media is through partnerships. More than ever, businesses include this platform in their marketing strategies which is excellent news for TikTok creators.
If you are popular enough and your following matches a brand's target audience, it will likely pay you to show/review/talk about their products or services. Some creators have budgets of thousands of dollars for a single 15-second video.
3. Make and sell merchandise
Besides the opportunity to work with other brands, TikTok is also a fantastic place for you to showcase and sell your merchandise. It allows your products to be associated with a familiar face and a personality - people love it!
4. Attend brand-sponsored events
As I said, TikTok is becoming a thriving tool amongst brands. One situation in which they take advantage of it is during their events (like product releases or promotional events).
It is excellent if they post their events on TikTok... but it is exceptional if other people do it for them. In that sense, brands often pay influencers to attend their events and share their experience.
You may not be popular enough (yet) to be invited by the businesses themselves, but why not attend and make content out of it so that brands notice you?
What's next? Learn how to use TikTok
I refuse to believe you read until here and aren't willing to give TikTok a chance. If that is the case, first things first: learn how to use it.
If you want to perfect your TikTok skills, then you should read our article on the basics of filmmaking.
TikToker Salary FAQ
Can you make money on TikTok?
Does TikTok pay you?
How do TikTokers make money?
Through gifting, brand partnerships and selling their merchandise.