by Mac Candee
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Posted: Monday, December 28, 2020

The reality for any content creator in 2020 is that it’s not easy to build your following. Anyone who tells you that it has either gotten pretty lucky, has a unique valuable skill, or is a one in a million case where they were able to blow up quickly. Becoming an influencer, be it a blogger, a vlogger, a TikToker, whatever your platform is — requires a lot of work, trial and error, effort and time. You need to explore what your passions are, what your niche should be and all the other details that can make or break your success.

That said, TikTok is a great emerging platform, where you can let your creativity shine, make any content your heart desires and there will be an audience for it. In this blog post, I want to tell you a bit more about my personal journey, what has helped me gain a following and how you can use them yourself. In the last 7 months since I’ve started a TikTok I’ve gone from 0 followers, to just over 50,000 now. So the question you might be asking yourself is — how did I do that? Well, I’m going to tell you exactly what has helped me.

The truth is, that TikTok is a relatively new platform, which lends itself to new opportunities for emerging influencers. If you have yet to build a strong social media following this is a chance for you to capitalize on the possibility to do just that. If we take a look at Instagram or YouTube — when those first became popular, it was much easier to get noticed, because there were fewer creators. From then on, once you were in the spotlight, you could grow much more easily. If you decide to join in now however, it is much harder, because of the myriad of people making content on these platforms. As a rule of thumb, the sooner you jump on the new social media, the bigger chance you have of becoming well known faster. If this has convinced you to join TikTok, listen up, because the following tips will make it even more easy for you to grow.

1. Continuosly trying out new types of content

This is one of the most important tips. If you scroll back to my first videos, you would probably laugh. I was focused on making humorous films, and not focusing on the travel related content I normally post on YouTube and my blog. I probably made maybe 15-20 videos in this way, and none of them got past 3,000 views, which isn’t much when you fast forward to today. One day it dawned on me that I could be using this new opportunity to share my passion and wanderlust, and grow a following I could easily convert to YouTube or Instagram. I stopped making any of my previous content, and I switched to travel videos instead. From then on, I was constantly experimenting with what works and what doesn’t. Any travel related idea that I could transfer onto film, I was doing it, constantly switching it up. As you can expect — some things worked well, some — not so much, but I have definitely learned a lot through the process. It has led to millions of views across my Tiktok.

2. Finding old content and repurposing it in new ways

You don’t always need to have something new to convey an inspiring message. In my case, before the pandemic, I was travelling all the time. After that, I had to stop and stay home. While I was very confused as to how I would continue to build my business at first, it was a blessing in disguise. I had all of this footage saved on my phone, hard drive, computer, that I was yet to do anything with. Out of it, I was able to create some great content that felt fresh and new, but was actually filmed months, or even years ago. Switching it up and reusing the great images and videos you already have is very important in maximizing the positive effect they will have. For example, I can make one video titled “5 things to do in Australia”, and then I can make a separate TikTok for each one of them. There are so many ways to dive deeper into each topic, which will be not only very good for your brand, but also very interesting for the viewer. Sometimes, trends fit into what you already have, and you can easily capitalize on that by repurposing what you’ve already created.

3. Replying to all comments

This point is very important. Engagement in your comments will get people back on your videos, it will get people to follow you, and it will build a much more loyal audience. This is one of the most important things to do, so that your viewers know you actually care about them and value the time they spend on your content. Trust me, that will be repaid tenfold. Even if you have negative comments, they’re helping your engagement, so it’s helping you more than it’s hurting. If it’s a mean, hateful comment, no need to reply, but if it’s only slightly mean, you can respond by saying “I’m sorry you didn’t like this TikTok”. That’s usually what I do, and sometimes it can change the way they feel. Even if it doesn’t, don’t let it get to you. You’re doing what you love! Either way, make it a habit to reply to your comments, because most people are amazing, and they will appreciate it greatly.

4. Watching others to learn what works

Trends are a very powerful way to get yourself out there. Listen up to the trending songs and sounds, and find a way to put your own spin on them. Make something that will stand out, but still fits the trend, and the TikTok algorithm will love you for it. Try as many as you can, because even if it doesn’t always work, you only need it to blow up once. Experiment, and you’re bound to find the best possible version.

5. Re-creating versions of TikToks that do well

I’ve had some TikToks that have done really well, so I made sure to reuse the concept in a way that creates something new from it. And would you know it — these other videos also did very well. I was able to ride the wave of success and continuously build upon it. This is going to be very important if you want to have more videos that are getting a good amount of traction. Pay close attention to what does well and how long people are watching your videos. Usually, 12-18 second videos do much better than 60 second ones, but certain stories can be a bit longer if you know that people will be invested in them.

Closing Thoughts

These were my 5 biggest tips on how to grow your TikTok following. I hope they serve you well, and I’m sure you can expand your creative journey even more through them. Don’t lose hope if your first few videos don’t do that well. For my first 50 videos, I was under 1000 followers.

Overall, it’s a learning experience. I made many TikToks that didn’t do too well, but taught me how to make better videos. As long as you don’t give up and work hard, you will be able to get your foot in the door and grow.

Feel free to drop any additional tips and strategies you might have that have worked well for you in the comments below! I would love to hear your feedback, and I wish you happy travels!

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