Have you ever fantasized about getting paid the big bucks to goof around on your phone all day?
It seems like that’s exactly what happens when you figure out how to monetize TikTok. We see it every day: there are tons of influencers who are making millions of dollars a year through their TikTok accounts.
And that’s no mystery. TikTok has grown incredibly fast since its debut in 2016 — it’s the first app not owned by Facebook to hit three billion installs.
While monetizing your TikTok account isn’t an easy task to accomplish, it’s absolutely achievable if you have the dedication, strategy, and willingness to learn how it’s done.
In this article, we’re going to look at 7 ways to start making money on TikTok.
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Making Money on TikTok: 7 Ways to Start Today
There are plenty of opportunities to make some cash on your favorite app. Let’s look at some of the top TikTok monetization strategies for 2021.
1. Become a TikTok Influencer
You know the saying, “Build it and they will come.” This concept applies to TikTok too.
If you build an account with a loyal and engaged following, you’ll be able to score influencer partnerships with brands all over the world that want to connect with your audience.
In an influencer marketing arrangement, a brand will ask you to promote their products or services in your TikTok videos. The most common type of payment is money or free stuff from the company.
For example, Charli D’Amelio, one of the biggest TikTokers out there, is an influencer for P&G, one of the biggest brands out there.
While some people think that you need millions of followers like Charli to become an influencer, that’s not the case.
A lot of brands prefer to work with micro-influencers or influencers with a smaller number of followers. The definition of a micro-influencer can be different depending on who you’re talking to and the size of the market you’re targeting, but it’s generally between 5,000 and 50,000 followers.
To become a successful influencer, it’s a good idea to have a niche or a specific theme or topic for your account and posts. This way, brands will be able to clearly identify if you’re a good match for the products and services they’d like you to help promote.
2. Grow and Sell TikTok Accounts
Many businesses would like to have a presence on TikTok, but don’t have the time or resources to create and grow an account.
Why not offer them a fast track to TikTok growth? You can do this by growing and selling TikTok accounts.
For some time now, people have built social media accounts and sold them to make money. For instance, 23-year-old Ramy Halloun makes around $30,000 annually using this TikTok monetization strategy.
To successfully sell TikTok accounts, you need more than just an attractive range of videos on your account. You’ll also need a specific focus and a dedicated following.
Themed or “niche” accounts are easier to sell because the buyer can continue creating the same kind of content after the purchase to maintain followers.
For example, if you sell an account that features short videos related to unboxing, the brand you sell to can continue posting the same type of videos in the future.
Personal accounts are much harder to sell because followers may be drawn to the person rather than the style of content.
When flipping TikTok accounts, you’ll need to build a strong content strategy, engage with followers regularly, and give buyers advice on how to get further engagement on their newly bought account.
Another way to monetize your TikTok account is through sponsored content. This is when brands approach you (or you approach them) to feature their offerings in your video. In return, they pay you a fee to compensate for your service.
You can start by working with smaller brands to build up your portfolio. Reach out to local businesses in your area to see if they’d be interested in getting featured on TikTok. It might be a good idea to charge a minimum fee in the beginning, then work your way up once you start gaining recognition as a TikTok creator.
But if you’d rather charge high and have brands come to you, consider joining the TikTok Creator Marketplace (TCM). For those unfamiliar, TCM is a collaboration platform that allows brands to connect and run marketing campaigns with TikTokers.
However, you need to have over 100,000 followers, be at least 18 years old, and receive over 100,000 video likes in the past 28 days to apply.
So if you’re a new creator, it’s best to focus on making creative TikTok videos that you can share with brands to get some sponsorships.
4. Sell Your Own Products
If you’re from the US, Canada, or the UK and have a TikTok for Business account, you might be able to add a shopping tab and product links to your profile.
The shopping tab is basically a new feature resulting from TikTok’s partnership with Shopify. It’s designed to help TikTokers with a Shopify store promote their products through the app. Users who click a product link are redirected to the merchant’s Shopify store for purchase.
Although it’s not a direct way of making money on TikTok, you’d still earn by generating sales for your business.
Pro tip: If you don’t have a lot of followers on TikTok, you can endorse your products by creating unique TikTok videos. For instance, if you have a business selling food products, you can make 30-second recipe videos and share them on TikTok. Be creative!
5. Collect Donations
TikTok has an interesting feature called coins. If you’re eligible to live stream, you can collect these coins from your most dedicated and adoring followers. Then you can eventually exchange them for cash.
Here’s how it works: Say that your biggest fan purchases coins, which start at $1.39 for 100 coins (and goes up to increments of $139.99 for 1,000 coins).
If you’re live streaming, that user can send you coins or use those coins to buy you gifts. You can then turn coins and gifts into diamonds, then convert diamonds into cash using PayPal.
Pretty cool, right?
The only catch is that live streaming isn’t open to everyone. TikTok hand-selects users for livestreaming, so you’ll need to have a solid account before you can monetize TikTok with this option.
The Chinese version of TikTok, Douyin, has a similar feature: during a live stream, an account owner can offer a “shopping cart” option so they can directly sell their products and services during the stream.
Some people predict that this feature will be coming to TikTok eventually — which would be another awesome approach to making money on TikTok.
6. Become a TikTok Consultant
TikTok is one of the tougher platforms for a lot of companies to master. The unique nature of the channel means trends usually change very quickly.
Anyone can become a viral sensation overnight, and it’s easy to lose a chunk of your followers too.
That’s why TikTok consultants are in high demand.
TikTok consultants are specialists that brands hire to help them build their presence and grow traffic to their TikTok accounts.
If you know how to make trend-worthy TikTok videos, you can teach others how to do the same for a fee. It’s a great way to monetize your skills and also build business relationships.
To succeed as a TikTok consultant, you’ll need to demonstrate your ability to get thousands or even millions of views on videos. You’ll also need to know how to leverage different features of the video-sharing app.
If you’re having a lot of success on TikTok, you should have these things covered.
7. Start A TikTok Talent Management Agency
Do you have experience with talent management, social media marketing, or production? You could create a business that consults and manages accounts for famous TikTokkers.
If you think about it, it’s similar to actors having their own talent managers.
This is an especially helpful service for those people who have gone viral overnight. They make an awesome video, wake up in the morning, and BAM! They have more followers than ever — but they have no idea how to keep the momentum going.
That’s where you come in as a talent manager. You can help influencers to:
- Find partnerships with brands that match their image and follower interests
- Negotiate deals and agreements on their behalf
- Advise them on a content strategy to maximize their exposure and engagement
- Come up with new and interesting ways to make money (for both of you!)
How Much Money Can You Make from TikTok?
While you don’t need to have 20 million followers to monetize TikTok, a money-making account needs to have a strong, engaged following.
In terms of strategies like influencer marketing, the amount of money you can earn is generally related to the number of followers you have. It’s no secret that well-known accounts can bring in anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to even a million dollars on a single post.
There are some tools out there that can estimate how much money you might be able to make based on your account stats. Influencer Marketing Hub’s TikTok Money Calculator is a good one.
Take famous TikTokker Kody Antle, whose claim to fame was his dad’s appearance on the viral show Tiger King.
With 28 million followers and a 0.75% engagement rate, Kody might be making up to $27,800 per post.
If you’re still in the micro-influencer stages, your earnings will be lower.
For example, Carlos Ayala has 112,900 followers and a 3.07% engagement rate, and he’s estimated to make up to $114 per post.
Keep in mind that your earnings will be different depending on which strategy you use to monetize TikTok, and how you go about bringing that strategy to life.
How Many Followers Do You Need To Make Money on TikTok
Technically, you could start making money on TikTok with as little as 1,000 followers. However, you’d need to find brands willing to sponsor your content.
Another way is to engage with your audience in live videos, so you become a fan favorite and earn gifts.
TikTok allows users to support their favorite creators by sending gifts in various forms and amounts. Once you receive a gift, it is converted into a diamond on your TikTok profile. After you make enough diamonds, you can exchange them for cash and withdraw the money via PayPal or another supported payment service.
The minimum withdrawal limit is $100. TikTok allows creators to withdraw up to $1,000 per week.
Besides these two options, you can apply to join the TikTok Creator Fund. This is a program TikTok uses to reward creators who publish quality content frequently and create value for their audience.
Here are the requirements for TikTok Creator Fund:
- Your TikTok account has at least 10,000 followers.
- You have generated at least 100,000 video views in the past 30 days.
- You are at least 18 and based in the UK, US, Germany, France, Spain or Italy.
This option is best suited to creators who’ve managed to build a decent following over the past few months.
Summary: How to Monetize TikTok in 2021
Learning how to get paid on TikTok isn’t sophisticated or tricky.
The main thing to keep in mind is that you need amazing content that people love, and you need to work hard at continuously growing your following.
If you approach it with the right mindset, and you’re willing to learn as you go and pay close attention to what’s working and what isn’t, you’ll be making money before you know it.
To recap, here are 7 ways to start making money on TikTok:
- Become a TikTok Influencer
- Grow and Sell TikTok Accounts
- Publish Sponsored Posts
- Sell Your Own Products
- Collect Donations
- Become a TikTok Consultant
- Start A TikTok Talent Management Agency
What steps have you taken to monetize your TikTok account? Let us know in the comments section below.