In this guide, I am going to tell you how to become TikTok famous. I am also going to point out some harsh realities that you need to understand before you make this your goal.
Firstly, I would just like to point out that anyone can become TikTok famous. Yes, that also means you. However, the truth is some people will always find it much easier than others. They will have natural gifts or skills that give them a major advantage. Some will be good looking. Others will be naturally funny or have good communication skills.
However, an advantage is just something that puts you in a favorable position. It isn’t the end all and be all. History is full of people who achieved their goals without having any advantages. People who are lacking in natural gifts or skills can compensate for them with a smart strategy, some hard work, practice and a lot of perseverance. This rings true in almost all walks of life.
Basically, what I’m saying is this: The question isn’t “How to become TikTok famous?” or “Can I become TikTok famous?”, the real question is:
How badly do you want to become TikTok famous and how hard are you willing to work for it?
On other platforms such as Youtube, I’ve watched content creators improve themselves dramatically. I’ve seen Youtubers with 11 subscribers grow their channels into the millions. They went from producing badly-produced videos with poor quality commentary to creating stellar content that gets hundreds of thousands of views. And they did this through hard graft.
Anything is possible as long as you are always looking for ways to improve.
Rule 1: A good idea is nothing without the execution.
A good idea is nothing without the execution. This is one of the most important rules of creating anything. If you have a good idea for a video but fail to execute it properly, then you’ve just wasted an opportunity to grow your TikTok account.
Take the following example:
Brian comes up with a funny idea for a TikTok sketch. He runs it by his friends and they all agree that it’s good. “You should definitely do that”, says one friend. “That would probably get a lot of views”, remarks another. However, Brian doesn’t really spend that much time or effort on making the actual video. Instead, he rushes it as quickly as he can because he’s eager to create it and upload it. There’s typos in parts, the transitions are off, the sound quality isn’t great and some of the clips should have probably been recorded again. To top it off, he doesn’t even put much thought into how to phrase the punchline.
As a result, the video flops. Brian thinks that video failed because his idea wasn’t as funny as he initially thought. However, the real reason for its failure was that his idea was executed poorly.
Every good idea that comes into your head is an opportunity to grow your TikTok followers. If you don’t take the time and effort to turn that idea into a quality product, then you’ve essentially flushed that idea down the drain.
If there is one rule that you’re going to remember from this guide, make it this one.
Rule 2: Capitalize on current TikTok trends.
New trends are born on TikTok every few weeks. If you spend enough time on your FYP page, you’ll undoubtedly notice that new trends come and go. These “trends” and “memes” are popular for a reason. It means that TikTok users find them interesting or funny.
When you come across a new trend, think of ways that to add your own personal spin to it. Or, if you’re feeling creative, think of ways that you can slightly modify the trend. For example: Using an unexpected punchline for comedic effect.
People will literally hunt these trend videos down by browsing through hashtags and sounds. Consequently, you should view each trend as an opportunity to get more views and increase your followers.
Rule 3: Be mindful about what you are posting.
A lot of people treat TikTok like a personal Snapchat or Instagram account. As a result, they won’t put much thought into the videos that they upload. For example, they will upload a video of their friend with a funny filter on their face. Or they will put up a video of themselves doing something extremely normal like walking along a beach.
And all of that is completely fine if you’re only using TikTok as a social media tool to share stuff with friends and family. However, if your goal is to grow your followers, then you will need to change your inner monologue.
“Will other people find this interesting?”
This is a question that you will need to ask yourself before you upload your videos. For example: Walking along a beach might be personally interesting to you because you’re the person who is doing it. However, a random viewer 1000 miles away might not find it interesting at all.
Uploading a video of your mate with a filter on her face? It might be funny to you because you personally know her. You know what she is like. You know her personality. However, will random viewers find it as funny?
You are biased towards your own content.
Remember that we all biased in the sense that we think our own personal experiences are interesting. To make things even more difficult, we all have an urge to share those experiences with other people. In order to guard against this bias, you should always ask yourself the following questions:
- If a complete stranger uploaded this TikTok video, would I like it, share it or comment on it?
- If the people in the video were complete strangers to me, would I find it as interesting or funny?
- Is there an “in-joke” in this video that other people might not get?
- Does the viewer need to know the background story or the context behind the video in order to understand what is going on?
This is a skill that you can hone. If you regularly ask yourself these questions, you can completely change your mindset and start creating videos that other people will find interesting.
To sum it up: If your intention is to become TikTok famous, then you’re going to need to start thinking about other people’s wants and needs instead of your own.
Rule 4: Identify your weaknesses and work on improving them.
Think your voice isn’t good enough to record yourself speaking? Good. At least you have identified that as a weakness and now you can focus on practicing and improving it. Other people aren’t as lucky as you are because they don’t believe that they have any weaknesses. They believe that everything they touch is gold. As a result, they don’t see any opportunities to improve.
Bad at editing? Start making draft videos until you get the hang of it.
Want to make dance videos but feel as though you could be better at it? Then practice.
It is literally that simple. The only limit here is how much effort you are willing to put in. There are hundreds and hundreds of tutorials on the Internet on any given subject so your excuses are few and far between.
In some cases, people are insecure and see weaknesses where they don’t actually exist. For example: They hate the sound of their voice when it’s not really an issue for other people.
However, by practicing and improving on those areas, they can raise their self-confidence and break down that barrier.
Practice makes perfect. It’s a tale as old as man.
Rule 5: Become comfortable with your own voice.
This is a run-on from Rule 4 because a lot of beginners view their own voice as a weakness. Practically everyone hates the sound of their own voice being played back to them. This is because our voice sounds a lot different to us internally while we are speaking. As a result, our mind freaks out when it hears a different-sounding voice being played back to us.
This is completely normal because you are emotionally attached to the voice that you hear inside yourself. However, you can get over this aversion by practicing. Simply record yourself and play it back. Then do it again. And again.
Keep doing this and speaking in different tones until your recorded voice no longer freaks you out. This is a mental barrier that you will need to overcome because your voice is an excellent tool to have when it comes to making TikTok videos.
If you fail to break down this mental barrier, you are leaving yourself at a disadvantage.
Rule 6: Look at what popular TikTokers are doing.
This may seem obvious, but most people don’t actually pay attention to the finer details.
These TikTokers are “famous” for a reason. People didn’t just decide to follow them for the fun of it. Pay attention to the videos of top TikTokers and actively dissect their content. After a while, you will begin to notice a few similarities:
- Many of them speak clearly and confidently.
- Some of these famous TikTokers are very attractive people. This gives them an advantage. However, these attractive people also have additional “tools” such as good dance moves, editing skills and communication skills.
- They often record themselves outside in colorful settings that have a contrast and are interesting to look at. You won’t find many videos of them sitting inside in a dim room.
- They use a good quality camera.
- More often than not, they will hop on popular sounds and trends.
- They get straight to the point when they are speaking. There is no rambling because they know that TikTok users, like most Internet users, have a very low attention span.
- Similarly, their videos will often start off with something that immediately grabs the viewer’s attention.
- They keep their videos as “compact” as possible. There are no 1-2 seconds where nothing is happening. Something always has to be happening in the video.
- On certain videos, they will use a lot of short clips instead of just recording one scene. This helps to keep the viewer interested.
- They allow their viewers to peer into their lives. They’re not afraid to show their faces or speak directly to the camera. They speak to their followers as if they are friends. They share personal information about themselves. As a result, many of their followers grow to become personally invested in their lives.
- Most importantly, they create interesting content.
Rule 7: Figure out what content TikTok users find interesting.
If your content doesn’t interest the viewer, then you are fighting a losing battle. To get a good feel for what TikTok users like, you will need to regularly browse the “For You Page”. Pay attention to each video as if you are a researcher who is studying what TikTok users are interested in.
- What are some of the common topics?
- Are they talking about a current event? Is this something that a lot of people on TikTok seem relate to?
- How many views and comments are they getting?
- In your opinion, what could they have done to make their video better? Is the video too dark or blurry? Not enough color? Did they mumble? Was there a few seconds that should have been cut out?
- More importantly, can you do something better?
- How are people reacting in the comment section? What do they like or not like about the video? What comments are receiving the most likes? Do these comments give you an idea on how to take this topic and expand on it?
Essentially, you need to be actively looking out for ideas. Don’t just sit around hoping for something to magically pop into your head.
Rule 8: Accept the fact that some people won’t like your videos.
I’ve been creating content for the public for over 10 years. I have millions of views on Youtube, I’ve created apps that have been shared millions of times, I’ve created multiple websites like this one and I have run Facebook pages and Twitter accounts with large audiences.
In my experience, I can honestly tell you that you will NOT be able to please everyone. There will always be people who do not like your content. Some might even hate it.
When you create something and put it out to the wider public, you have to accept the fact that not everyone will like it. And some of these people will leave negative comments. A few of the comments might even be downright nasty. However, that is just a part of it all. The more views you get, the more likely it is that someone will attack you.
In some cases, it won’t be because they actually dislike your content. Instead, they might be “trolling” for attention or lashing out because they’ve been going through a bad time in their lives. They might even be jealous. Who knows?
After you’ve been “in the public domain” for a while, you simply become used to this. The comments start to bounce off you.
The only time I will ever pay attention to negative comments is if they make up the majority of the comment section. In that case, you will probably have to take this as an indicator that you have done something wrong. Maybe you said something that is offensive to a lot of people? Maybe you shamelessly used a clickbait tactic or failed to deliver on something. Either way, take it as a learning experience and move on.
Rule 9: Being attractive helps, but it’s usually only one part of the recipe.
Unless you are ridiculously good looking to the point that you are supermodel material, simply being “attractive” will not good enough. On TikTok, you will often come across videos of “above-average-looking” guys and girls dancing around in their bedrooms. This may get them a few thousand more followers than the average person, but it probably won’t make them “TikTok famous”. Instead, they’ll just float around in mediocrity, struggling to get anywhere near 100K followers.
Remember that you’re not just competing with girls in your hometown. This is the entire world that we are talking about. You might consider yourself to be a solid 8/10, but there are thousands of girls out there who are more attractive than you.
If we were to reduce this problem to fictional ratings:
- Person A is 7/10 in attractiveness and they are also 7/10 in the humor department. Their communication skills could be rated as 8/10.
- Person B is 8/10 in attractiveness. However, they 2/10 in the humor department and their communication skills are 5/10.
Who do you think will be more successful on TikTok? In this case, Person A has the advantage.
In conclusion: Just “being attractive” is not good enough. Likewise, being unattractive does not sideline you from the game.
Rule 10: Think of your TikTok account in terms of a scorecard.
In Rule 9, I mentioned ratings. If you have ever played a sports-related game, then you have have probably noticed that players in the game are rated on their various skills and attributes. For example, in FIFA, players are rated on attributes such as speed and strength. They are also rated on their shooting and dribbling abilities. All of these various ratings are then combined to give the player an overall score out of 100. That score defines how good they are.
Although TikTok videos do not have such ratings, that doesn’t mean that you can’t focus on the various attributes that viewers are unconsciously judging in their heads.
If you were to break a TikTok video up into various attributes that can be rated out of 10, what would those attributes be? Let’s take a look at some examples:
This is probably the most important “attribute” of all. For example, a video of a building collapsing after being demolished is always going to be more interesting than a squirrel running by your house. In this case, the demolition video would probably score a 8/10 on content while the squirrel video will barely scrape a 5/10, depending on the person viewing it.
A content creator who is funny and has a good sense of humor will probably score higher than a dancer in this department. However, content is not the only factor, which means that a good dancer with other attributes can become more “TikTok famous” than a person who makes funny videos.
A video that is commenting on a current event will often be considered a lot more interesting to viewers than a video of someone doing a backflip.
If the content in the TikTok video is something that its viewers can relate to, it will score higher on this “attribute”.
A video with good transitions and perfectly timed clips might score a 9/10 on editing, whereas a rushed video might only score a 3/10. You will also find that some of the more successful TikTokers use professional cameras and video editing tools to give themselves an edge over the competition.
How good is the camera quality on a score of 1-10? It’s not the end all and be all, but it is a factor.
We can’t pretend like attractive people don’t have an advantage in the world of social media, so how would we rate this? It is also worth pointing out that attractiveness is not purely about whether you are naturally good looking or not. It is also based on the effort that you put into your appearance. Nice clothes, hairstyle, makeup, etc, will all play a role. As does looking after your skin and your body.
People who know how to communicate their message effectively will obviously score higher on this. This is because they speak clearly and with confidence. They don’t ramble because they know that TikTok videos are short and they need to make the most out of the little time that they have.
They are also better at packaging their ideas into actual words. For example: A “kinda funny” person can do better on social media than a “very funny” person if they’re simply better at wording the joke.
If you’re not a natural at communicating on camera, then don’t worry about it. Like most things, this is something that can practice. Instead of just saying or writing whatever pops into your mind, make an initial draft and then improve on it. Cut out pieces that are unnecessary. Reword sentences to increase their clarity. Re-record clips or voice overs if you feel that they could have been performed better.
In most cases, a well-lit outdoor setting with an interesting background and appealing colors is better than a dim room with a low contrast.
There’s a reason why we have lawns and plant flowers in our gardens and paint things. There’s a reason why we like to go on nature walks. Simply put: Humans like looking at pretty things.
If you have a choice between filming against a concrete wall or filming against trees and flowers, then go with the second choice. It might not make a huge difference, but it can add to the overall “score” of your video.
Similarly, a sunny day will look better than a cloudy day and “soft” sunlight in the morning or the evening is often more appealing than the harsh sunlight that you tend to get in the middle of the afternoon. You should also try and ensure that the camera lens is facing away from the sun. Otherwise, you’ll end up with lens flares and contrast issues.
Simple filming decisions like this can help your TikTok videos to look more appealing.
Rule 11: Take risks and embrace the fact that some of your videos will flop.
Playing it safe might give you some success, but you’ll find that a lot of famous TikTokers got an initial bump in their followers by taking a risk on something that was unusual or downright weird. That or they simply created something that was unique and interesting to people.
When you are creating things that are meant for mass consumption, you have to embrace the fact that you will probably fail. Most successful entrepreneurs failed dozens of times before one of their ideas finally “took off”. Failure is a part of this game and unless you’re extremely lucky, you are just going to have to accept that. If your video flops, it flops. Try and learn from your mistakes and focus your attention on making an even better video the next time around.
Oh and by the way, do not delete TikTok videos that flop. There is some evidence that the TikTok algorithm temporarily “punishes” content creators who do this by restricting views on their next few videos.
Rule 12: Don’t try and be controversial for views.
This may seem like a quick and easy way to increase your views, but it can come back to bite you on the ass. Imagine reaching 100K followers only to get your account deleted because you were walking the tightrope between what is acceptable or not. Or worse, you end up pissing off so many people that there’s now an “invisible ceiling” that your follower count cannot grow above. You’ve now tarnished “your brand” and it may take months or even years for people to forgive and forget.
You also have to realize that brands and advertisers will avoid you if you’re too controversial. Imagine climbing to the top of TikTok only for it to suddenly dawn on you that your ability to make money has been severely restricted.
Rule 13: Network with other TikTok accounts that have a similar follower account.
Collaborating and networking with other content producers is a “growth hack” that has been used to great effect on TikTok and other social media platforms such as Youtube.
This is something that you work on once you’ve seen a bit of growth in your follower account. For example, if you have 10,000 followers and they have 10,000 followers, then it might be a good idea to approach them and float the idea of collaborating. You could duet one of their videos and they could return the favor. That way, you are both exposing yourselves to each other’s follower list. As a result, 200 of your followers could start following them and vice versa. Now, you both have 200 more followers than you would have had if you never collaborated in the first place. Win win.
Note that this usually has to be mutually beneficial in order to work. If you have 10K followers and they have 30K followers, then don’t be surprised to find out that they’re not really interested in collaborating. In this case, you have far more to gain than they do.
Also, if you broke Rule 12 about being controversial, then you may find that other TikTokers want to avoid being mixed up with you in case it alienates some of their followers. They’re working hard too and they probably won’t want to risk their success by teaming up with someone who said something controversial in a previous video.
Learn how to accept No for an answer.
PS: If they say no, do not become irate or insult them. Just accept their decision and move on. Insulting fellow content creators because they didn’t want to collaborate with you will make you look petty. It will not be a good look for you or your “brand”. Imagine finally hitting 200K only for that person to share screenshots of you freaking out a couple of months prior. That leads me to my next point.
Rule 14: Don’t be an unlikable person.
People like likable people. Shock, horror! I know. However, you’d be surprised how many people act like assholes and then wonder why their TikTok accounts don’t take off.
If you want to avoid being unlikable, then you should try and avoid the following:
- Being egotistical or engaging in “humble bragging”. You should always remain humble, regardless of how many followers you have. Do NOT act like you are some sort of celebrity who is too good for the “common folk”.
- Do not get involved in petty social media drama. Seriously, rise above that crap, because at some point, people will turn against you.
- Have a sense of humor and avoid taking yourself too seriously. For example: If someone in the comment section makes an innocent joke about you or your video, try not to flip out. People will like you better for it.
- Don’t be a contrarian for the sake of it. Viewers will know exactly what you’re doing. It does not make you edgy or counter-cultural, it just makes you tedious to listen to.
- Learn how to make a point without personally insulting people.
- Don’t tell lies or stretch the truth. You will instantly lose people’s respect if they find out that you’ve been untruthful in your videos.
- Don’t jump on good causes just to increase your follower count. More often than not, people like this are transparent in their motives.
- Avoid complaining and being negative all of the time. People will end up finding you tiresome to listen to.
Basically, just avoid being an asshole.
Rule 15: Work hard and don’t give up.
Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, it’s one thing to understand this rule, but it’s an entirely different thing to actually live by it.
Success rarely happens overnight. In most cases, you will have to graft, improve and then graft some more. People who become “TikTok famous” typically had to work very hard. They put a lot of time and effort into making their videos. If you think that you can become TikTok famous without putting the same amount of time and effort into it, then you are only fooling yourself.
Actively work on improving every single facet of your video-making process.
In conclusion, I promise that if you take the above rules seriously and actually live by them, you will be in a much better position to achieve your goal of becoming TikTok famous.