It’s no surprise that many people are turning to the internet to earn a little extra each month. One of the most popular social media platforms for a side hustle is TikTok. Whether you’re a fashionista or comedian, there are plenty of great ways to make money and also build a community on social media. For Jellysmack team member Nicole Marks, her TikTok tips have quickly led to an opportunity to make money for herself online.
Nicole started posting her own content on TikTok in 2020 and was surprised with how much traction she got in so little time. Soon she was posting content as a micro-influencer, promoting local restaurants in Los Angeles. She quickly found herself spending more and more time on content creation and began to explore ways to leverage her audience and knowledge as a professional in the creator economy industry.
Earlier this year, she started selling a $15 “Micro-influencer Starter Pack,” that includes templates on how to pitch to brands, how to assemble a media kit, and guidance on establishing your rates. By the end of the first month, she had earned $2,000, and the sales continue to come in from her audience of nearly 50K followers (at time of publishing).
Not only is Nicole earning some extra cash, she’s also getting to flex different skill sets. “Making videos on TikTok has been a great way to express my creativity,” shares Nicole. “I love connecting with other users and discovering the different ways that people use the app. If you’re thinking of starting a TikTok account, I would definitely recommend it,” she says.
TikTok Tips, Tricks, and Advice
In her role at Jellysmack, Nicole gets to work closely with some of the world’s most influential creators. Coupled with her TikTok account, she has developed valuable expertise within the digital ecosystem. If you’re looking to start a social media side hustle, here are some TikTok tips, tricks, and advice from someone who has put in the work.
1. Find Your Niche
There’s a lot of noise on TikTok, so it’s important to find a niche that you can focus on. What kind of content do you want to create? What kind of audience do you want to reach? Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a better idea of how to produce videos and market yourself. Instead of posting videos within the super popular (yet ultra saturated) prank or reaction genres, Nicole hones in on the educational appeal of the platform. She teaches her audience how to grow a social media following, attract engaged followers, and make money with brands.
2. Create Quality Content
TikTok is all about quality content posted often. If you’re putting out videos that are low-quality or boring, you’re not going to get very far. Take the time to create videos that are creative and engaging, and your audience will grow organically. A general rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “Would I want to watch this?”
3. Get Creative with User Generated Content (UGC)
We all have to walk before we can run, and making high-quality content takes practice. But while you’re finding your personal production style, you can also be building a useful library of videos that could serve as valuable user generated content for brands.
So, where to begin? Nicole recommends staying close to home. “Start with videos about things around your house. Think about the products you can’t live without, then film some videos about them and send them to the brands.” Brands rely on that kind of UGC to provide the social proof they need, but it can also help get more eyes on your content and lead to paid UGC deals.
Another avenue is tapping into your connections. “I also advise my clients to reach out to their existing network of friends and family and also their professional network on LinkedIn to generate potential UGC deals,” says Nicole.
Now and the Future
For Nicole, her business of TikTok tips and full-time role on the Creator Partnerships teams come together to build valuable synergy. While she works strategically to identify and nurture relationships with creators for Jellysmack, she gains knowledge and insights for new content ideas. On the flip side, the 1-on-1 consulting she does through her own business helps her better understand creators’ needs as well as generates new leads for Jellysmack. It’s a win-win situation that allows her to bring the best ideas to life and push the envelope of what’s possible.
“I started my TikTok account two years ago with no expectations. I was determined to share my experiences with an audience willing to listen.”Nicole Marks
She tells us that while there are some challenges like consistently coming up with content that is both entertaining and informative, ultimately she has been able to come out on top and build a meaningful following.
In 2022, she’s living the dream working full time at Jellysmack, renting a swag apartment paid for by brand deals, and helping other creators make a living. Recently, Nicole was able to put her knowledge and networking skills on display at VidCon 2022, where she connected with creators and brands and captured some highly viewed content. But, despite her success as a creator, Nicole assures us she has no intention of quitting her day job at Jellysmack to do TikTok full-time. At least not yet…
Is There Room for New TikTokers?
Nicole says that there’s a lot of opportunity to make money on TikTok, but warns that there’s still a stigma concerning social media engagement, even in the entrepreneur world. “People are already judgmental if you don’t spend your time on something that would move you up a career ladder. It bothers me because I don’t see time as a resource for moving up, but rather for creating a business model and being able to develop multiple ideas and sell products or services. These haven’t really been put on the table as valuable skills yet, but they are,” she says.
The micro-influencer economy is still relatively small, and it’s currently concentrated in fashion and beauty. But despite it still being a niche market, Nicole’s story demonstrates that there is money to be made from setting up your own social media business. Many of the people who follow Nicole on TikTok are inspired to start their own accounts to get a piece of the action. And if they can do it, why not you, too?