how I got to 20k on TikTok

Like a lot of people, I first joined TikTok in a mildly depressed state, hoping for a distraction from my shattered plans and loneliness.

I am now staying with the app because it’s an unprecedented opportunity to have fun, connect with people on beloved topics, crowd test ideas, build a community and hone my personal brand. I love it.

Here are some pointers, for if you would like to use it similarly!

Experiment and release outcome.

I know, I know! You want to get X number of followers (why, again?), and you want to market your ideas to them as soon as possible. Cool the jets. Pump the brakes. Make experimentation the goal and outcome an after thought. Then you’ll be able to relax long enough to have good ideas. And enjoy the process.

Follow the “gasp.”

When you *gasp* because something excites you, follow the momentum. Even if little comes from the post, you will have learned to follow instinct. Not every gasp-inspired video will succeed (because there are tons of variables), but I can tell you that ALL of my semi-viral videos were gasp-inspired.

Trust in the compounding effect.

Set up a plan. Mine was 2 – 3 videos a day, with 3 – 5 hashtags each, 1/2 of them big hashtags and 1/2 of them smaller tags. Then do it. Make consistent effort the goal, and you will blow past the point where most people give up. The effort WILL compound. This applies to every area of life—hobbies, finances, relationships. The compound effect will get you there. Believe it.

Let go of going viral.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched a viral video, hopped over to the account and discovered that it had 3 or 4 videos, none of which were like the one that led me there. People want so badly to go viral, they forget that going viral without great content is the very definition of a squandered opportunity. My account didn’t gain traction for months and I’m glad, because it gave me time to find my voice, work out kinks and enjoy myself.

Decide that failure is imminent and good.

Heads up: You are going to cringe—at your own bad editing or when you hit “POST” by accident. You will cringe and howl at app crashes. You will cringe when you forget to use a trending song, or a song at all. You will cringe at misspellings, missed opportunities and negative comments, even more when there is a grain of truth. That’s ok. Decide beforehand that these things are bound to happen and celebrate when they do, because the sooner they do, the sooner you’re past them.

Stand behind apparent failure.

The TikTok algorithm actually punishes deleting your videos. It assumes that, if you’re deleting your own content, it must not be very good on the whole. So it doesn’t push you out as much. And, you know what? I like that. It has taught me to get over failures and the desire to hide them. Whenever I scroll past an undeniably bad or low view video, I remember that, after that, I produced content more true to myself and better managed. I now apply this to every area of my life.

And that’s how I got to 20k on Tiktok! I hope this helps.

happy Tok-ing,

a.i.a.l.

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