How to make money on TikTok: a guide for influencers and small businesses

Did you know? TikTok creators can earn anywhere from $200 to $20,000 for a single branded video. 

Yep…that’s a massive range. But no matter where you fall within that range, one fact is clear. There is money to be made on TikTok. 

Whether you’re brand new to TikTok or you’ve been posting content for a while, the path to earning your first dollar on the platform probably seems hazy. Influencer marketing is still new in general, and influencer marketing on TikTok is even newer. 

While there’s no clearcut path to guarantee success, we’ve compiled a list of effective strategies to help you get there. 

How do you get paid on TikTok? 10 strategies to follow

Making money on TikTok is attainable, but it takes strategy. You can’t just create content and expect a magical direct deposit. To make money on TikTok, you have to work at growing your audience and earning sponsorships. 

Not sure where to start? Here are our top strategies for making money on TikTok: 

Find a niche for your videos

Making money on TikTok starts with choosing a niche. Your TikTok niche is essentially the corner of TikTok where you fit in best. It defines the theme of your content and who you are creating content for. 

Choosing a niche will help you get more followers. When viewers see a video they like, they might visit your profile. If it’s filled with content relevant to their interests (AKA elements of your niche), then they’ll probably click the follow button to make sure they’ll see your content again. 

Choosing a niche narrows your target market. As a result, you’ll face less competition. If your audience is filled with niche users, you’ll likely have higher engagement rates on your content. It will also help you understand what resonates with your audience; if something doesn’t fall into your niche and performs poorly, you know to pivot in future videos. 

Higher engagement rates help you get more money from brand deals.  

Lean on TikTok’s Creator Marketplace

The TikTok Creator Marketplace is a collaboration platform that connects brands and creators on TikTok. Once you have 100,000 followers, you can apply to the TikTok Creator Marketplace and get the opportunity to connect with brands and sponsorship opportunities. You’ll also get official support from TikTok on brand campaigns, access to collaboration tools, and pointers for how to create advertiser-friendly content. 

When you join the TikTok Creator Marketplace, you create a profile where brands can see your analytics. Whenever a brand is interested in working with you, you’ll get a notification with campaign details and a contract to sign. After that, you’ll submit your video to make sure it meets the guidelines. 

Land brand partnerships 

Brand partnerships are a great way to make money on TikTok, and you can get them even if you aren’t part of the TikTok Creator Marketplace. 

The first step to getting brand partnerships on TikTok is building your following. Here are some ways to do that: 

  • Define your niche
  • Interact with other TikTokers in your niche
  • Engage with your followers
  • Post on a consistent schedule– at least twice per day around the same times
  • Use trending music and hashtags
  • Check your analytics often

Try to include some brand-favorite content types in your posts. These include product reviews, hacks, how-tos, etc. You’ll also want to build a presence on other platforms (especially Instagram). Having an audience across multiple platforms makes you more competitive.

Make sure brands can contact you easily by clicking on your TikTok profile. You’ll want to link your other social media handles and include your business email address. Additionally, you can include a message to brands in your bio saying you are open to sponsorships. This message will take up space in your bio that could be used for keywords, though, so you might want to test both options for a month each and compare the analytics and opportunities you get during those two time periods. 

Once you’ve got all this setup, you can start emailing brands in your niche. Say you’re interested in a brand partnership and share an example of what you could do for them in the email.

When you start posting brand deals on TikTok, make sure you use the branded content toggle. This shows your audience the post is sponsored. It’s a way to build trust with your audience, as they know you are not trying to hide your sponsorship. 

Try micro-influencing

You don’t have to have oodles of followers to make money on TikTok. On TikTok, creators with 50,000-150,000 followers are considered micro-influencers. The term micro-influencers describes users with a smaller following who often specialize in a specific niche. TikTok influencers with less than 50,000 followers are considered nano-influencers. 

Many brands actually prefer micro-influencers to bigger creators, as the rates are more budget-friendly and micro-influencer engagement rates tend to be higher. 

To be a successful micro or nano influencer, focus on creating niche content and raising your engagement rate. Contact brands that align closely with your niche. Make sure to sell yourself in the email. Show brands why they should choose to work with you. 

Stay in touch with followers 

Engaging with your community is essential to growing your audience on TikTok. When you see another post in your niche, comment on it. Duet your followers to show that you care about them. Respond to comments to show that you appreciate the engagement, and make sure your comments have a personal touch. Create lasting relationships with your most loyal followers. All of these steps are crucial to creating the engaged, growing audience you need to make money on TikTok. 

Don’t just post ad content 

This isn’t a podcast or a long YouTube video. TikTok videos are short. You don’t really have enough time to mention a product without it being the main focus of the post. Once you start getting brand deals often, choose your ideal ratio of branded content to regular content and stick with it. This might take a little trial and error. If you post a lot of brand deals in a given period and your analytics take a dip, it might be time to sprinkle in more regular content.

Promote your own services and goods in a fun way

TikTok is a never-ending supply of ideas for entertainingly promoting your goods and services. See a new trend? Work your products into that trend. Share how-to videos, style guides, and storytimes that relate to what you are selling.

Go native

Your branded content doesn’t have to look like an ad. As long as you fulfill the brand’s expectations and disclose that the video is sponsored, you can include the products in your video however you want. Here’s a great example of a non-sponsored TikTok that took the world by storm.

Ocean Spray’s non-sponsored feature in the video led to lots of positive press and word of mouth, launching meme after meme. After all, brand awareness is an always-valuable marketing metric to follow.

Apply to TikTok’s Creator Fund

The TikTok Creator Fund is TikTok’s way of compensating creators for posting good content. To be eligible for the TikTok Creator Fund, you have to be a legal resident of the United States, 18 years or older, have over 10,000 authentic followers, at least 100,000 authentic video views in the 30 days before applying, and post original content that meets TikTok’s community guidelines.  

The compensation varies from creator to creator, depending on your video views, engagement, and whether or not your videos meet the community guidelines.

Make a press kit

Creating an influencer press kit will help you get brand deals. Think of a press kit as your TikTok resume, portfolio, and sales pitch combined. It shows brands why they should work with you and how they can contact you. 

When creating your press kit, including the following:

  • An introduction to who you are and what your brand is all about
  • Links to your social media platforms 
  • Your latest analytics 
  • Engagement rates for your 10 most recent posts
  • A list of past brand partnership experiences, with links 
  • Sponsorship formats you offer, along with your rates
  • Case studies on your most popular content
  • Sales records from campaigns, merch, and affiliate programs

Frequently asked questions

Can you make money on TikTok?How do you get paid on TikTok?What type of content performs best on TikTok? 

How to make money on TikTok — wrapping up

Making money on TikTok is an attainable goal. Following the tips above will help you reach that goal. To summarize how to monetize TikTok, you can join the Creator Fund, post sponsored content, and sell products to your audience. 

The fastest way to grow your audience is to choose a niche and post authentic content targeted toward meeting the wants and needs of your audience. Those wants and needs include being entertained, so prioritize getting creative with your content. Keep up with trending sounds and put your own spin on them. Use relevant hashtags and engage with your audience. 

If you do all of that and post consistently, you’ll be on your way to making money on TikTok in no time. 

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