A beginner's guide to making it on TikTok

·4-min read
"Don't make ads. Make TikToks" is the motto of the Chinese app in vogue since 2020.

Want to be a star on TikTok? Well you're in luck as the Chinese application has already thought of everything you might need. Secrets, tips and explanations of how it all works... TikTok has unveiled six rules to follow to maximize your chances of getting your big break on the platform. With this little guide, aspiring TikTokers should no longer be intimidated to take the plunge.

Whether you are an emerging creator or a young entrepreneur, TikTok can be a valuable tool to help you grow your presence on social. However, the ins and outs of Generation Z's new favorite platform remain a mystery for many internet users who are used to older social networks like Instagram and Twitter.

As the Chinese app continues to expand its services in order to attract an increasing number of creators to its platform, it is continuing its pedagogical program by unveiling "Behind the Camera," a two-part series that offers users a look at the keys to succeeding on TikTok, particularly for small-scale sellers. "We are pleased to announce 'Behind The Camera,' a series of easy-to-follow instructional videos showing businesses how to take their TikTok to the next level with the latest creative trends and techniques," says the TikTok For Business blog.

So if you want to become a Tiktok "star," here are six essential rules to follow to stand out.

1. Keep it simple, don't make it complicated!

There is no need to complicate things, according to the Chinese platform. A good TikTok post has simplicity at its core in successfully conveying a message and having it understood. Avoid making the mistake of giving too much information at once. If in doubt, scale back the content of your video to one or two pieces of information so as not to lose your followers, even if it means making several TikTok videos in a row to support your point.

2. Shoot vertically

One of TikTok's advantages resides in its full-screen format. To take advantage of this interface, the platform advises users to film vertically and not horizontally in order to offer a better experience to its subscribers. Indeed, it's rare to see horizontally shot TikTok content since the user swipes up and down on the application.

3. Get out your ring light

Lights! This is one of the most valuable tips when it comes to winning over followers. While a video can last up to 60 seconds, it's within the first few seconds that a user quickly decides whether to move on to another video or to watch yours. Good lighting is an absolute must in order to make your TikTok appealing as possible. Playing with different lighting can also give your video a boost and make its content clear so that the viewer doesn't get bored.

4. Focus on the subject!

Image quality is very important on the platform. TikTok users pay a lot of attention to the focus of their videos. While this may seem like an obvious tip, it is still very important: make sure you keep the lens focused on the subject, object or thing you want your audience to pay attention to. A blurry video or a subject that gets lost in overly dark lighting due to lack of focus will drive customers away.

5. Use effects and text...to boost your chances with the algorithm

TikTok loves it when you use its effects and text treatment options on videos. An undeniable advantage since the platform pushes these kinds of videos on the famous "For You Page." And TikTok isn't hiding the fact that "TikTok has created hundreds of effects and text treatment options for you to use in your TikToks. These native features help keep your content feeling native to the platform which can also help get it to more For You pages!"

6. Have fun - and post often!

It's not surprising that the platform emphasizes this aspect. Having fun is essential, and TikTok wants users to remember to focus on positive experiences, although the platform has come under criticism for a lack of moderation. A positive vibe is highly sought after on the Chinese application whose motivational content is often highly watched and liked. That said, a smile is not enough, it's important to publish frequently! Many creators have stressed the importance of posting several times a day in order to attract the attention of the algorithm. And don't forget to interact with your followers, a given for any community platform.

Sabrina Alili