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Despite being five years old (four if you’re just counting the international market), TikTok shows no signs whatsoever of slowing down. As of June this year, estimates suggest that TikTok has around 700 million monthly active users, meaning it’s one of the most popular social media apps around (still trailing behind Facebook, but considering the massive headstart Facebook has had, these numbers are still not to be sniffed at). If you want to be a great TikTok influencer, you’re going to need to bring your A-game, as it’s not easy to break into this app. Here are 10 things you’re going to need to take your TikTok influencer game to the next level.

1. A solid following

You’re going nowhere on TikTok without a solid following. Paradoxical, no? How are you supposed to build followers if you need followers to get more? Unfortunately, that’s one of the challenges you will face as an influencer because TikTok followers are important to success on the platform. Eventually, you’ll start to build followers, but until you do, you might be laboring for a little while without any tangible reward. Don’t worry – with hard work and a little luck, your efforts will pay off.

2. Good content

Even if you do manage to amass followers, they’ll quickly abandon ship if you’re not bringing the quality content they want. Content is still king, and nowhere is that more true than on TikTok, where people have a hundred other creators they could be watching if your videos don’t grab them immediately. You need to make sure you’re putting as much effort as possible into your content. Use TikTok’s built-in editing tools, discard ideas that you don’t feel are up to scratch, and post when you know you’re ready.

3. Dedication

It takes a lot of time and patience to become a successful TikTok influencer. You won’t notice success overnight; you’re going to have to put in the work if you want to see returns. There’s probably going to be a long period of time where you’ll essentially be laboring in obscurity; if you’re not truly dedicated to the idea of becoming a TikTok influencer, then you probably won’t manage to see success unless you luck out and happen upon a viral video idea.

4. Other social media profiles

It can really help to set up profiles on other major social media networks if you want to make it as a TikTok influencer. This is because you can use those social networks to cross-promote your TikTok content. At the very least, you should be on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. YouTube is also a great place to be if you’re a TikTok creator because a lot of TikTok content ends up on YouTube in the form of curated montages. You can even connect your TikTok account to your YouTube page for maximum effect!

5. A network

No successful TikTok influencer goes it alone. They all likely have other TikTok influencers they can turn to for collaborations, support, and mentoring on the platform. It’s definitely a good idea to seek out a TikTok network of influencers and creatives that you can join, and if one doesn’t exist that suits your needs, why not create it yourself? You could be the home other TikTok influencers need to build a base for themselves, and before you know it, you could be a force to be reckoned with.

6. An understanding of trends

Trends are at the core of everything TikTok does. Most content is themed around trends; when users check their For You pages, they’ll see content curated for them by the algorithm, and they’ll also be able to see the hashtags that are currently trending. To create content that captures users’ attention, you’ll need to be hitting those trends regularly. Research has shown that making content themed around TikTok trends has a better chance of resulting in success for you, so make sure to check those hashtags.

7. A marketing strategy

It’s not enough to sit back and hope that the content you create gets you famous on TikTok. You’ll need to actually create a solid marketing strategy if you’re hoping to achieve real, lasting success. Think of yourself as a brand; even though you may only be one individual, you need to approach the marketing issue as if you were a company and think about what decisions will benefit you most from that standpoint. That’s the most effective way to grow on TikTok.

8. An eye for analytics

As part of your marketing strategy, you should be routinely checking your analytics to see what’s doing well. You can do this from within TikTok itself; all you have to do is change your account to a creator account – which you can do in the options menu – and you’ll be able to see detailed breakdowns of your audience share, which videos are doing well, and more. These stats will be invaluable in helping you chase TikTok success, so be sure to keep a regular eye on them.

9. A proactive attitude

TikTok influencers often need to personally approach brands in order to initiate collaborations. You can’t just sit around waiting for the brands to come to you; unless you’re hugely in demand as an influencer, this is unlikely to happen, so you’ve got to go to them and prove to them why you’re the right choice to promote their product or service. This requires an understanding of sales tactics, a deep knowledge of your brand, and a huge amount of faith in what you do as a creator.

10. Enjoyment

It’s going to show pretty quickly if you don’t genuinely love making content on TikTok. The audience, which is composed mainly of Gen Z-age users, will smell a rat if they think you’re anything other than sincere when you upload videos. For that reason, you should ensure that everything you do has passion and heart; don’t be fake, don’t be plastic, and don’t make people think you don’t genuinely adore being a content creator. Lots of people would love to do your job, so show them why it’s fun!

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