TikTok for Business, Learn from Experts
An event series in partnership with The Purposeful Project
Earlier this year, we partnered with The Purposeful Project to create a series of live events to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses through social media. This guest blog post by The Purposeful Project includes the speakers’ main takeaways and the webinar recording of third first episode of our series.
TikTok for business: learn from experts
Think TikTok is just a craze for teenagers wanting to learn some serious moves to go viral? As an entrepreneur, you need to think business.
This video-sharing platform gains more than an impressive reach from the short videos that creators produce, so why wouldn’t you use it to give your business exposure?
This session will take you through the do’s and don’ts to get your business trending and get your following transformed into customers and growth.
This rundown of the webinar will tell you
🎵 How to pick a niche topic
🎵 Why it’s important to join a hashtag challenge
🎵 How to collaborate with influencers
🎵 How to create engaging content
Our first speaker is a content creator and CEO of BarnettX, JT Barnett.
Going from “0 to 1 million followers in 60 days” in the first TikTok house, JT is pretty recognisable on TikTok. He says that the ‘aha’ moment was not just creating awareness but converting and selling products through the online platform.
He started an agency to teach brands how to create content to transform their profits organically in-house. Through that agency, he also recruits TikTok creators to run brand accounts.
In his section, you will learn:
🎵 The underrated technique for TikTok videos
🎵 Why quality storytelling is key
🎵 Why you can be the next TikTok sensation
As a business, you should always be realistic and true with your audience – but did you know that this could also be the secret ingredient for views and growth?
The behind the scenes processes of your business is so “underutilised” says JT.
Authenticity and relatability of the internal processes of starting up a company are some of the top things that grab people’s attention. They want to see your human side and the face behind your brand.
💡 TOP TIP: JT suggests making content that shows where you started and where you are at right now, even if the change or progress is small, the reality of where you’re at and your journey is what people are interested in.
Tell your story
Videos tell stories, so make sure yours shines through.
TikTok is the perfect place to show your journey and tell potential customers how you started.
By telling your story throughout your content, your purpose will be clear which is what people buy into most. If you tell your story right, you will gain an audience which you can convert into customers.
💡 TOP TIP: Remember who you are creating content for and think about how your story will impact them. This can be a starting point if you are stuck on ideas of what to produce.
You don’t need to be a professional for your content to take off
You don’t need a top of the range camera and lighting, in theory, you just need your phone and the TikTok app.
If you’re willing to put out content, test different ideas every day and emulate similar styles of content that are working for other people, you will find what works for you and your business. It may take time, but be patient and keep going.
JT says that his TikTok started to blow up when he started a series – so why not try that? Video styles that work for other businesses may not work for you, but you won’t know unless you try!
The humanity behind your business is what people want to see – people buy from people, so why would you pretend to be 100% perfect?
Our next speaker is Katie Ripman, founder of e-commerce business Fiddly Bitz
She originally set up her business on Instagram, but later found out that TikTok was brilliant for growth and sales.
“TikTok has been instrumental in evolving my business, teaching me about social media and learning how to grow on it,” she says.
In her section you will learn:
🎵How to build a community
🎵Why you shouldn’t waste time on perfection
Perfection is overrated
Even if you feel in doubt about your content not being slick and smart enough, “just post,” says Katie!
The humanity behind your business is what people want to see – people buy from people, so why would you pretend to be 100% perfect? Humans are flawed and people don’t mind if you don’t have the best angle in every post.
Show that you’re having fun, sharing your educational or entertaining videos and other TikTok influencers will connect to that.
Scheduling can be simple if you plan ahead
Unlike Instagram or Facebook, you can only schedule 10 days in advance with TikTok, which can be frustrating. This means you have a golden window for when you can schedule content before it goes live, so make sure you’re organised.
Try to find time in your week where you can dedicate an hour or so to focussing on creating content – almost a batch creating session.
Of course, this isn’t like a drill – you should still have fun, but taking the time to create is crucial if you want to be posting consistently.
Build your community by going live. It may be a bit daunting at first, but “you get used to it,” says Katie.
She tells us that because she dedicated time to going live and getting to know other TikTik influencers who watched her live, they have a really strong community – they even have inside jokes! She says that it’s genuinely a time in her day she now looks forward to.
💡 TOP TIP: Katie says that when going live, remember to acknowledge people for joining and try and remember those people if they are repetitively coming live. Being interactive makes people feel seen and they will want to keep coming back to your page.
Our next guest is entrepreneur and creator, Max Klymenko.
In his section, you will find out:
🎵 The secret to TikTok success
🎵 Where you should be putting in a bit of oomph!
🎵 How to find your USP
The magic formula of a TikTok video
Max reveals his own formula for TikTok video success: shareability and watch time. “You either need one of them, or both,” he says.
If your watch time is low, it means you may have lower interaction which means that your growth could be stunted. Likewise, shareability is important too. A lot of the views from TikTok are through sharing so if they aren’t being shared, you better make sure you are getting good watch time.
The two almost go together hand in hand and if you have them both, you will hit your jackpot.
Think about what you are sharing, who you are sharing to and what value you bring – this should answer how you can increase watch time and sharability simultaneously!
💡TOP TIP: Max says that in the grand scheme of things, you will need to stay consistent. So, get your purpose cracked, make sure that you have at least good shareability or good watch time and create regular videos that will grab people’s attention.
Stand out by being you
Everyone is different, which means we all have different viewpoints. Figure out the unique thing that gives you a different perspective than others and why it’s valuable. Ask yourself, why is your perspective engaging? Has anyone else got the same stance or is my approach new and exciting?
This could be having the inside scoop on a certain industry – for example, people who work at fast food restaurants who reveal all the secrets to our guilty pleasures have gone viral by sharing their insider knowledge.
If you feel that your content is impactful, you enjoy it and you have a quirky spin on it, you will go far.
💡TOP TIP: Your impact and purpose don’t have to be solving global goals, it can simply stem from entertainment, comedy, education. These smaller niches can turn out massive – who knew a trainspotting aficionado would be the new face of Gucci?
The fact that you haven’t hit a million, doesn’t mean your community isn’t strong
Just remember that even though as a business you would like to focus on numbers, a lower follower count doesn’t indicate a weak community.
Max says that TikTok communities with 100,000 members are sometimes ‘much more powerful and enjoyable than the fandoms with tens of millions of followers.’
So, don’t be too sucked in by the follower count, even though to an extent it is a numbers game, your purpose and the engagement with your content is what matters more.
Go one step further
If you can in any way, go the extra mile.
Think how you could elevate one piece of content further to make it stand out and go beyond what anyone has done before.
Growth is made by pushing boundaries and moving forwards – so why stay in your comfort zone?
Our last speaker is Max McCann, founder of Meals with Max.
Max tells us about his journey, “TikTok has changed my life in a massive way and for the better,” he explains, “I lost my job in the first lockdown. I got made redundant due to COVID”.
After this, he gave himself a month to go self-employed and create content, and now he has a sell-out cookbook and has grown his following immensely!
Max will help you understand:
🎵 Your own power on TikTok
🎵 How to know what your content ‘should’ be
🎵 Why giving away freebies isn’t always a bad thing
Don’t underestimate yourself
Max explains that he had never before created a “face to camera” video but doubled down on his passion for cooking and has grown over 2 million followers in just over 18 months.
Like many of our speakers, Max says that is dedicating time to creating will help you grow – and you don’t have to be an expert, you just have to be you.
Lead with your passion
When thinking about how he would become self-employed after becoming redundant, Max said he “doubled down” on his passion for food and cooking which led to an extremely exciting opportunity to connect with people online whilst doing what he loved.
“There’s no right or wrong way to create, you just need to create value,” he says.
💡TOP TIP: Max’s top tip is to understand what sort of content people like. Search within your niche and see where the gap is, then put your own spin on it and test things out. If you do this whilst doubling down on what you are truly passionate about, the views will increase and you will gain attention.
Turning content into sales
Max says his cookbooks selling out still blows his mind. But the key to making this such a success was actually giving out the content for free and offering value to the audience.
Max would produce free recipe videos on his TikTok that thousands of people would watch and use, but yet thousands were still going online and buying his cookbook.
Giving something to the community, whether that be insight, showing your personality or even free material will help you build a strong network. When people get to know the real you and you are already giving them something for free, they will be more inclined to buy from you and want more.
This will actually boil down to wanting to see more of you as well as the value you give – building a strong relationship with fellow TikTok influencers is key!
Collaborations with other TikTok and influencers
When you are first starting out on TikTok trying to grow your business, you may not have a big budget set aside. Think about how you could collaborate with people who have a larger following to get the awareness of your brand, your business and your products out there.
A good way to do this is to search relevant hashtags and influencers who have a similar niche.
Collaborating with other TikTok influencers is a great way to raise awareness for both brands and businesses, so this approach would work better if you are also looking to expand your connections and join a certain community online – also it’s a great way to make new friends in the industry. This doesn’t have to even be a paid deal – you could search for people you want to collaborate with and simply ask to go on a live with them and have a real conversation for people to jump in on. This way you will have both pools of your different audiences merging and it can be mutually beneficial.
However, you must be prepared to sometimes give away some things for free, like Max did with his recipes.
A simple but effective approach is to send out products for free to smaller influences to get initial interest or traction, perhaps asking them if they would mind doing a review. Of course, depending on who you are asking, there may be a small fee that you may need to negotiate, but in the grand scheme of things, getting your business known and out there will be worth your time.
It may mean trialing ways to gain attention, but finding out what works for your business is key.
Here are the top lessons we have learned from the webinar:
📼 Behind the scenes is underutilised
🎬 Do a series. Try to create a regular thing that people can follow and feel connected to
👀 Don’t forget who you are making content for
👌 You have to accept that nothing will be perfect, just go for it!
📲 Shareability and watch time is important to remember
🍀 Be consistent. More persistence = More luck!
🛣️ Go the extra mile, make the content as good as it could be
🧑🤝🧑 Create a sense of community
📖 Share your story
📸 Be authentic
🎞️ Go live! People will find it easier to connect to you
🤔 Provide value wherever you can!
🧪 Test different strategies out
💡 Prepare to give away stuff for free
Thank you to all of our guests who came to our webinar to speak with us! If you want, even more, you can rewatch our session below!
Top tip: If this post has given you food for thought about promoting your venture or business on social media, then check out the Tide Small Business Tips Blog which contains extra articles on subjects such as how to engage your target audience on Twitter and how to grow your brand with Twitter.