How to Be Successful on TikTok with @ErinMcGoff (1m+ on TikTok) | Erin McGoff | Skillshare

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How to Be Successful on TikTok with @ErinMcGoff (1m+ on TikTok)

teacher avatar Erin McGoff, Director, Editor & TikTok Creator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      About Me // 1.1


    • 2.

      About TikTok // 1.2


    • 3.

      Overview // 1.3


    • 4.

      Creating Your Account // 2.1


    • 5.

      The #ForYouPage // 2.2


    • 6.

      Language & Culture // 2.3


    • 7.

      How to Make a TikTok // 3.1


    • 8.

      How to Film a TikTok // 3.2


    • 9.

      How to Edit a TikTok // 3.3


    • 10.

      How to Post a TikTok // 3.4


    • 11.

      Content & Posting Strategy // 4


    • 12.

      TikTok HQ's 6 Secrets to Success // 5.1


    • 13.

      My Top 5 Tips // 5.2


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About This Class

In 4 weeks, I gained over 500,000 followers on TikTok, got sponsorships from some of my favorite brands and now I get paid to create TikToks. And I'm going to teach you how to do it, too!

TikTok has the ability to make you go viral on a brand new account with only one video. It can take you from zero followers to hundreds of thousands overnight and change everything

In one month, I went from having 50,000 followers to having over 850,000+ followers & partnerships with some of my favorite brands like the Sundance Film Festival, Squarespace, and National Geographic. And, I now get paid by TikTok to create content!

Having a bunch of followers is cool and all, but it really doesn't matter if you don't have a strategy.

You need to have an intention. 

10,000 relevant followers are more valuable than 100,000 irrelevant ones. 

In this course, I'm going to pull back the curtain on TikTok and give you the best tips I have for building a quality, relevant audience that will fit your desires. 

Although I have a degree and experience in Marketing, this course isn't going to be bogged down by marketing jargon. This course is for anyone wanting to learn TikTok. 

I'm not a full-time influencer, I don't work for a swanky marketing agency. I'm actually a full-time film director and editor in NYC. I'm a normal creator who has cracked the code on TikTok, and I want to tell you all my secrets

In this course, you can expect to learn the basics of TikTok: what is this app all about and how can I film, edit, and post a video. But—you will also learn all the nuances of TikTok. What does the star emoji mean? Can I post more than once a day? How do I come off "cool" on TikTok?

At the end of this course, you will love TikTok and feel confident using the app. Someone once said "TikTok is like the greatest party ever"—and I couldn't agree more. Get excited!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Erin McGoff

Director, Editor & TikTok Creator


Hi, I'm Erin! I'm a full-time freelance film director, editor, and TikTok content creator (1.8m+ on TikTok). By day, I work with clients to direct and edit films, and by night, I educate & give career advice (with a focus on the creative industry) on TikTok. I'm here to be your guide and supporter when it comes to designing your dream life and career. 

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Level: Beginner

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1. About Me // 1.1: Hi, my name is Erin McGoff, and I'm a full-time documentary filmmaker, director and editor here in New York City. I would like to formally welcome you to my first course, how to be successful on Tik Tok. A little bit of my background, I studied film, and marketing in college, and have been a full-time freelance director and editor my entire career. I've worked with creative agencies, advertising agencies, brands like Capital One, Hilton, and Under Armour. I'm currently working on my next feature film. I'm fascinated by newbies like Tik Tok, and how you can use them to connect with new audiences. In four weeks, I gained over 500,000 followers on Tik Tok. Yes, every single one of them is a real person. I now have a community of hundreds of thousands of people who follow my page. It's led to partnerships with some of my favorite brands like the Sundance Film Festival, and one of my favorite film organizations ever National Geographic even hired me to help them launch their Tik Tok account. Today, I continue to make films, but I also get paid by Tik Tok to create content. In this course, we're going to get right into business and I'm going to give you raw, honest tips on how to be successful on the world's most authentic platform, Tik Tok. 2. About TikTok // 1.2: Let's talk about TikTok. TikTok has over 800 monthly users and has been downloaded over 2 billion times. The average user spends 52 minutes a day on TikTok, and nine out of ten users go on take talk more than once a day. 41 percent of TikTok users are between the ages of 14 and 25, but more, and more adults are getting on TikTok every day. One common mistake that I see, and it's a mistake that I made when starting out is thinking that TikTok is Instagram for videos. TikTok might seem like Instagram at first glance, but it's important to know the difference. TikTok is a platform that inspires creativity, and authenticity, it's much younger, more carefree, less filtered, and it's much less saturated than Instagram. Your grid doesn't really matter. It's much cheesier, and cornier. You can totally post more than once a day, people don't really care about how you look, but possibly the most important distinction between Instagram and TikTok is the incredibly powerful algorithm TikTok uses. On Instagram, you mainly see content of people that you follow, then the curated Discover page is secondary. On TikTok that's opposite, on TikTok, you primarily see videos that TikTok thinks that you like based off your previous behavior, and that's called the for you page. On the following page, which is videos, people that you follow is secondary. We're going talk more about this later, but it's important to make that distinction in the beginning. 3. Overview // 1.3: This course is set up into five sections. The first section is the introduction where I introduce myself and the TikTok app, which we just did. You're already one-fifth of the way through the course. Congrats. The second section is the basics of TikTok, where I'm going to walk you through the app, and explain some cultural nuances that make TikTok unique. The third section is the technicals of TikTok, where I'm going to walk you through filming, editing, and posting on TikTok. We're also going to talk about best practices around video editing and uploading. The fourth section is posting and content strategy. In this section, I'm going to answer some of the most common questions when it comes to TikTok, like, do hashtags even matter? Do I need to know how to dance to be on TikTok? The fifth and final section is unique keys for success. In this section we're going to talk about TikTok headquarter's official guidance, and there're six secret steps to success, as well as my five secret keys to success, which are my best tips for TikTok. At the end of this course, you'll be able to manage TikTok with confidence, which will lead you to be able to find and grow a quality and relevant audience on TikTok. Before concluding our first lesson, let's do a little exercise. Let's take a moment to reflect on why you're taking this course. Are you bored of Instagram? Did your boss ask you to research TikTok? Are you an influencer looking to expand a TikTok and monetize it? Do you want your 15 seconds of fame on TikTok, or are you just generally curious about TikTok? 4. Creating Your Account // 2.1: Lesson 2, the basics of TikTok. Let's get started by making a TikTok and designing our profile together. Grab your phone and download the TikTok app if you haven't already, and if you already have an account, you're good to go. If you don't already have an account and you're making one right now, I would recommend using your email or phone number to sign up, but it's entirely up to you. You're going to want to create a username, upload a photo or video, most people just do a photo, and then edit your bio. TikTok and Instagram are pretty similar where you have a limited amount of characters for your bio, and you can also stick a link in your bio. For example, I have, and I just made a page of my website where I just link to everything that I mention in any of my TikTok videos. It's pretty all over the place. I have like hair things and film things and everything. There are three different types of accounts that you can have on TikTok. You can have a personal account, creator account, and business account. It's very similar to Instagram where the three different accounts have different privileges. A personal account is a personal account. You can have it set to private or public, and it's just where you can either post or just watch videos. A creator account is what I have, and that's great if you're an influencer or blogger and you want to be creating content and looking at analytics, and getting paid from the creator fund. Then a business account is great if you are an established brand and you want access to advertising tools and more advanced analytic tools. You can switch back and forth between different types of accounts. Be careful before doing that because it might delete analytics or drafts, but you can test out to see which one is right for you. At the bottom of the app, you'll see five categories. Your home, which has your video feeds, discover where you can discover new content, the plus sign where you upload and create content, your inbox where you can see all your notifications and also any messages you have between people, and me, which is your profile where you can see all the videos that you've created, your drafts, and your liked and saved videos. 5. The #ForYouPage // 2.2: There are two timelines or feeds for TikTok. To the left, you'll see the following timeline, where you see videos from people that you follow. To the right, you have the For You page, which is a curated timeline created just for you by TikTok's insanely powerful algorithm. In the first few moments of having TikTok, the app is studying every little thing you do. How long did you stay in that video before you scrolled? Did you watch that video twice? Did you follow that creator? Did you comment, or share the video with someone? All of these factors, and many more, influence what videos TikTok will show you. TikTok uses micro behaviors to understand your likes and dislikes. Keep that in mind when you're in your, For You page. If a video comes up that you seriously don't like, feel free to press down, press not interested, and that will tell TikTok that you don't like those kinds of videos. If a video comes up that you really love, and you're like, TikTok, show me more of this, interact with it, watch it a couple of times, like it, comment, share, and that'll tell TikTok, they really like this type of content. If a video comes up that you find particularly useful and you would like to save it, you can click share, scroll over at the bottom, and click Add to Favorites, and then you can go over to your profile, click on the little Favorite icon, and you can see all of your favorited videos, hashtags, sounds, and effects right there. If I see a video where I'm like, this is really a useful video, I'll save it so I can go back to it later. This also brings up another really interesting and important point. TikTok has a handful of super-viral videos every day. These are videos that most people will see, they're objectively captivating, and they are mega-viral. For the most part, your For You page is just that, it's just for you. It's curated content that's specifically designed to your interests. That means that a coworker, or a friend, might not have seen that same viral video that you saw, because that was a trend to not cater to their interests. That's why you're going to hear a lot of this term, "Finally, I'm on blank TikTok, finally, I'm on Paris TikTok, I love film TikTok, I'm on fishing TikTok, I love interior design TikTok," and the list goes on. That's because people are referencing niches that TikTok has put you in. There are tons of niches, and we're going to talk about that later. 6. Language & Culture // 2.3: Now we're going to talk about language and cultural nuances on TikTok. Honestly, the best way to acclimate to TikTok culture is to use the app. Spend time on that For You page. Go over to the Discover page, see what topics are trending and see what people are doing with them. Try searching for hashtags in your interests or your niche. If you're a hotel brand, try searching, hotel or travel TikTok. If you're interested in finance, try hashtag finance TikTok or hashtag investing. If you're interested in DIY projects, try going to the Discover page and searching hashtag DIY or hashtag home renovation, and see what people are doing in your favorite categories. People on TikTok are there to learn and be entertained. They want to see content that is very helpful, very interesting, and very entertaining. People on TikTok want things to look like TikTok. They'll forgive low-quality video, but they will not forgive low-quality audio. So always make sure that you can be heard very clearly. They want to hear trending sounds and trending audio. They want you to speak candidly. They don't want you to be scripted. They want you to use in-app texts and in-app effects. TikTok also wants you to do this. The app itself will reward you for doing things in the app. Jenzies and people and TikTok have their own language when it comes to memes and emojis. For example, these three emojis mean that you're saying something that you're shy about. The clown emoji means that you're being made fun of. The star emoji are used to put around the word that you want to emphasize. It's the star emojis for me. People do the hand drawing emoji like this to symbolize that they're taking notes of whatever you're saying. The two eyes and the mouth emoji means that people are watching your video like this, and they're really interested or they're really shocked at something in your video. Of course, the chefs' kiss emoji is used to define when something is just absolutely perfect. Chefs' kiss. A lot of these memes just take time to understand that are hard to explain. That's why they're memes. But if you just spend time on the app, you'll eventually learn how people are using these. People on TikTok reward confidence, but they also reward humility. They want you to have a personality and stick to it. But you can also get away with being pretty vein on TikTok. TikTok is also a bit cornier than other social medias which probably has to do with its younger audience. If you remember the days of Tumblr, it's closer to that than anything else. Jenzies love aesthetic videos, inspirational videos, videos that inspire them for their futures. But TikTok users also love practical videos with advice, DIYs, tutorials. Story times are also a popular trend on TikTok. If you have a great story to tell, now's your time to tell it. There are also tons of sub-cultures on TikTok. There are satisfying videos, there's mood videos, day in my life videos are all very popular on TikTok. People are starting to love seeing unfiltered videos of people's days. It probably has to do with the fact that Instagram is so over saturated with filters that people are now looking to see just raw, authentic content on TikTok. But really TikTok is welcome to anything. There's accounts with old people just dancing that people absolutely love. People love a good transformation video. If you're trying to set a goal to lose weight, like documenting that process would do great on TikTok. Also, there are whole accounts dedicated to just editing and doing cool transitions. People in TikTok love a good transition. 7. How to Make a TikTok // 3.1: Now, I'm going to show you how to make your own TikTok video. Open up your TikTok app and press the "Plus" sign. So here you can see that you can create your own video by recording it in the app or if you want to upload your own video, you can click that little icon in the bottom right corner, where you can upload videos from your account. Now, TikTok's filming and editing interface is pretty intuitive, but the order in which you do things is important. For example, if you pick your background audio first, it won't record your sound. If you want to do a video where you're talking and the microphone is recording audio, you want to pick your sound in the next phase in the editing phase. At the bottom of the editing interface, you will see three options: 60 seconds, 15 seconds, and a template. If you have over 10,000 followers, you'll see a fourth option which is to go live, and we can talk about that later. First, select your time limit. I like to choose 60 seconds because I have up to 60 seconds to film, and if it ends up being 12 seconds, I still have the option to go longer. Nobody really uses templates. You can use them, but nobody really does that. So select your limit. Now on the upper right-hand side, you're going to see some options; so you can see the option to flip your camera, change the speed at which you record. So if you see a video where somebody is sped up and moving really quickly, that means they filmed in 3x or 2x speed, or if you see video where somebody slowed down, that means they're filming at 0.5 or 0.3x speed. You can turn on or off duty mode, which basically just smooths out your skin a little bit. I like to keep it on. Here, you can turn on a filter to be baked in while you're filming. I like to just film with the normal camera and then add in my filter when I'm editing. If you ever see a TikTok video where you didn't see them click the "Record" button or unclick it to stop, that means they were using the timer feature. If you click the "Timer" feature, you can select where you want it to stop filming automatically, and you can click either three seconds or 10 seconds to countdown. For example when I'm filming in TikTok, I'll set it at three seconds, start my countdown, get ready, hey, welcome to my masterclass on TikTok, and then I click "Stop" because I stopped before the timer stopped. But anyway, this is more important if you're filming to a music track and you want it to stop when the beat drops, this is how you would do that. Also to delete any content, you just press that "Backspace" button. At the bottom left, you will see the Effects panel. If you click that, it opens up to all of these fun effects that TikTok has. So if you ever see anybody using the green screen effect, this is how they're doing that. Some other popular effects on TikTok are the color customizer, where you can customize what colors are in your video. Honestly, I'm not too good at that filter. You can do the disco filter which people use to show that they're partying, and I like to use the portrait filter sometimes, make my background look nice and soft. If you find an effect that you like and want to save for later, you can click that "Save" button and go over to your saved effects and that's where you can keep all the ones that you like. If you're recording and you want to zoom in, simply press in the "Record" button and swipe up while you're holding it down and it zooms in. That's how you see people zoom in really fast when they're doing TikToks. Then finally at the top you have Sounds. If you click "Sounds" at the top, you can see all the sounds that are available on TikTok. You can search for sounds at the top but I will say, user made audio doesn't really show up here. You can find new releases, viral songs on TikTok, anything that's trending, different categories. There are tons of options here. Now, if you find a song that you like and want to save for later, simply press the "Save" button next to it, and you can go to your Favorites and see all of your favorited songs. 8. How to Film a TikTok // 3.2: Let's make a TikTok video together, and I'll show you how I do it. I'm going to show you guys how I would go through using a user-created audio to hop on a TikTok meme. So here's the audio. I just got the most fabulous idea. Oh, don't do that. That's just a funny audio of an old woman thinking she had this great idea to make some popcorn, and then she added it wasn't that good. Everybody's hopping on it, and making this meme their own. I'm going to hop on it even though I don't really have a good reason to right now. I'm just going to use this meme to show you guys. Something that I'll do first is set the time risk. I just got the most fabulous idea. Okay, so I'm going to set the audio there, set it here or doesn't really, so I will set my timer, and then it stopped automatically because I set my timer. Then I'm just going to film some other things. Let's see. I'll film my camera, and my ring light, and maybe my computer, and maybe myself, and my coffee or something. I read on it because of the film. Then the ending, which is where I will film with myself. Oh, don't do that. See how I messed with the timing a little bit. Now, I'm going to go back, and fix it. Oh, don't do that. So you can just go back and fit it around until it looks good to you. This video is ridiculous. I don't think I'll post this one. 9. How to Edit a TikTok // 3.3: Now, let's move on to the editing phase where I'll show you how to edit on TikTok. Now, it's time for the editing phase. Here, you can add any sounds, any transitional effects. People sometimes use these that are not that popular. You can add text which we'll talk about, any stickers or gifs, or a poll. There are some fun things in here that sometimes people use. You can do a voiceover which is great if you're doing an instructional video or a day in my life video. You can add some filters. Hot tip, If you want to look good on TikTok, this is what all the cool kids do. You have to find natural light, put on the beauty filter, and use the G6 filter. There are a lot of filters on TikTok. Most of them aren't that great, but the G6 filter, I will say, is pretty decent. So I usually use the G6 filter, keep it in the middle somewhere I don't it too extreme. That usually just makes your video look a little bit better. I already had a sound because I was hopping on a meme, but if I didn't have a sound, if was doing instructional video like this, I would go down to my sounds and click a background sound, like a soft background sound, to have in my video. But I was using this original meme. You can see you have your favorites here, and you can go over and adjust your volume. You can see I didn't have any original sound because I wasn't really speaking in the video. But if I did, I would turn that all the way up to 100 and then turn my added sound down to being about five or 10. But since this is a meme, I'll keep this up high, and you can probably turn this up to 100 actually. Something else that's really cool on the editing feature is the adjust clips. Now, you have to be careful when you're adjusting clips. Since in this video I use a sound that I was starting with, if I adjust any of these clips, it moves them all back. Let me show you an example. Let's say I take this one and I edit it to be half the size that it is. If I go back to the original video now, it's all off, you see? You can't really use this feature when you're using a native audio. I'm going to go back and make that full length. Unfortunately, it doesn't erase whatever you edit. But something else that is really cool with this feature is that you can start over. Say you film a section, you're looking at it, you're just like that doesn't really look that good. You can film it again. Say I want to fill in this section again. I'd take it, go start over. See, I messed up. I just got the most fabulous idea. Then you would press the check. Looks pretty good to me. Cool. Next, let's talk about voiceover. A good tip for voiceover is that if you are going to use function, you do want to plug in a headphone microphone set or use your air pods. You can use your phone microphone, but the ones on your headphones are so much better and they really make the audio sound better. Something to save a voiceover is that you can only do it linearly. For example, you can't go back to the beginning and redo a portion of voiceover. You can only do it as you go. Just be cautious of that. Now, let's talk about text. For this video say, I wanted to say the line, "I just had the most fabulous idea." I would click the sticker, type it in. I just had the most fabulous idea. Another quick tip, there's no spellcheck in TikTok text. We get really used to it with our iPhones, but you have to double-check your spelling. I'll click "Done," and there is my text. Now, if you want to set the duration of this text, all you got to do is hold it down and you can edit it to make it a different font, change the color. Let's say I wanted to make it the Serif and this blue color. Well, actually, let's do prettier color like this one. You can move it up. Now, I can set the duration by clicking that button, setting it back here. Now, it will disappear at the end of that duration. Now, say I wanted that text to speak, which is a fairly new functional on TikTok. I'd go back, click "Text to speech." Now, that wouldn't really work for this video because it's not appropriate culturally, but that's how you do that function. Now, say I didn't really want to use that text anymore, all you got to do is drag it up to the trash can and it's gone. Now, something else that's really important to keep in mind in your TikTok videos is how they show up in the algorithm. For example, when you're watching a TikTok video, you can see on the right-hand side, it's covered by the like, and the comment, and the share, and the profile picture. Then on the bottom, it's covered by the caption and the username. SO those are red zone areas that you should avoid while doing texts on your videos. Let me show you. If I was editing the text for this video. "Hey, TikTok. What's up?", I wouldn't want to put it here because then they couldn't read it and I wouldn't want to put it over here because then they can't read it. In fact, when you drag it around, a lot of people don't know this, when you drag it around, it shows you those red lines. But be careful at the bottom because it's assuming that you're not going to have a caption and no song. So you need to be careful and keep everything in this zone. Cool 10. How to Post a TikTok // 3.4: Now, let's move on to the third and final phase where you can pick a caption, pick a thumbnail, post a video, or save to drafts. As a TikTok creator, I tend to have a lot of drafts. It's because I'll make a video in the middle a day, and I won't want to post it until 8:00 PM that night. So say I made this video and I want to save it to my drafts, all I got to do is the bottom-left save to Drafts, and you can come back to it later. Here are some tips to writing your caption on TikTok, two things. First, your caption is very important on TikTok. Let's say you will post without a caption, that's fine, it's a little risky. But second of all, your caption should be relevant to the video because it will culturally set precedent for the comments, which are very important on TikTok. For this video, I probably say, doing something exciting to set suspense or something, and then I'm going to do some sneaky emoji. Then for this video, I probably do a couple of hashtags in my niche, like careertiktok, and women in film, and masterclass. Now you can go over and pick your thumbnail, so you can pick part of the video that you want to show up on your grid, and so say, I want to choose this one, I'd go over. I always pick the white one because that's just the one that I like, and I'm going to write a little summary of what the video is there and then position it. That's basically all that is. Here, you can set who can watch a video. If you want to download a video that you made in TikTok without anybody seeing it, you can post to private and just you will be able to see that, and it will download to your phone. I did that a lot from filming something in TikTok using a TikTok effect, and then I want to bring it into Premiere to edit it, to add captions, whatever. That's something that I'll do. You can also turn off commenting, turn off duet, turn off stitch, and turn off save to device. Just some other options that you have there. I'm not ready to post this video, so I'm going to save it to drafts, where all my other videos live. If you're wondering, can I edit outside of TikTok and then import into TikTok? The answer is yes, you can absolutely use a software like Final Cut or Premiere to edit your videos. I personally like to edit in the TikTok app, but if I am on here with more complicated video, I will throw that into Premiere just because it's easier for me. But some other apps that you can use to edit TikTok videos on your phone are Premiere Rush, which is just Premiere for your phone, Filto and VSCO Cam has great filters for your videos. That is how you film, edit, and post in TikTok. 11. Content & Posting Strategy // 4: Now, let's talk about content and posting strategy. Let's do a quick Q&A. What kind of videos should I post? I'm a huge advocate for experimenting on TikTok. Find a couple of things that you're just really interested in and just start creating videos about them. Whether that's cooking, makeup, books, your dog, whatever, and just keep throwing things out there until you see something that sticks. Remember why you're on TikTok. Do you want your 15 seconds of fame? Do you want to use it to propel your career? Do you want to use TikTok to promote your music? Do you want to bring more attention to an issue or a cause? Do you want to make people laugh? Do you love educating people? Make videos that fulfill that desire, make informational videos, engage in trends, do step-by-step tutorials, DIY projects, tell a story. People also love day-in-my-life videos, or if you can even act out a scenario. I tend to find a lot of success in those types of videos. Another tip is that on a fresh account, TikTok is going to boost your first video, so make that one good. How often should I post? TikTok recommends posting 1-3 times a day, but it really depends on what you're posting. If your videos are more casual where you're just responding to questions. You can post 6-7 times a day. But if your videos are highly edited and they take a lot of energy to make, maybe just once every couple of days is good. Something I will note is that you should never put too much time or energy into a TikTok video because every time you upload a video, you're just gambling to see if that'll go viral. For example, I've spent a whole day making and editing a TikTok video that totally flopped, and then I'll make a 5-second video and it'll go completely mega-viral, so you just never really know. But consistency is key. Posting regularly in different types of niches and different types of content, engaging in trends, stitching, dueting, all that stuff, is so important because you need to experiment to see what is going to stick with your audience. I personally like to post at 11:00 AM during weekdays, maybe like 8:00 PM before I go to sleep. I tend to take off the weekends, I don't really post on Saturday, or Sunday, or Monday, it just depends on how busy I am. After a while, you'll start to get analytics to see when you're audience is online, and then I would recommend posting with the most people are online because when you first post your video, it's really important how it does in that first hour. But honestly, it really doesn't matter, I have posted videos at 10:00 PM on a Friday night that have done awesome, and I posted videos at 11:00 AM on Tuesday that have flopped, so I really think it just has to do with how good your video is. Do hashtags matter? The short answer is, yes, especially in the beginning. Hashtags matter because they can help categorize your video and tell TikTok what you're posting about. It can also increase your visibility when people search for those hashtags. For example, on my videos about filmmaking, I always hashtag #womeninfilm. I recently had an agency go on TikTok, search the hashtag, Women in Film, and they found me through that hashtag, and I got a gig that way. It's important to use hashtags that are in your niche to increase your visibility but don't overdo it. One to four hashtags, perfectly fine, and only include hashtags that are related to your video. You might be tempted to use trending hashtags, but don't do it unless it's related to your video because it can actually hurt your views. Hashtagging #viral, #foryoupage, #FYP, #trending, those aren't really going to help you. If you see a successful video with those hashtags, it's because it was a successful video. The video was going to go viral regardless of those hashtags, so they really don't do anything. Once you've had your account for a while, TikTok knows what categories and what funnels they're putting you in, so the hashtags don't really matter anymore, but I still include them just for visibility. If you look up the hashtag Career TikTok on TikTok right now, I'm like five of those videos because I hashtagged that on those videos, which is just good for increasing visibility for my account. What should I put in my caption? Captions are important, they tend to dictate what the comment section is going to look like. Maybe put a prompt, or extra information, or a question in your caption. Use some fun emojis and keep it brief. Can you upload a video to TikTok? Yes. As a video editor, I edit tons of TikToks in Premiere and then upload them. I like to do CC captions as well so that people who are hard of hearing can watch my videos and enjoy them. So yes, you could absolutely upload your own videos to TikTok, that is totally okay. How do I come off cool on TikTok? It's really easy to come off uncool on TikTok. It's easy to come off like you're trying too hard and a good way to avoid this is just by being yourself. Don't make the video too perfect, don't try too hard, and don't use lingo unless you're 100 percent confident on what it means. Keep things casual and candid and just be yourself. Don't try and be anybody else. Keep texts and effects in-app and use trending audio or memes. Learn the language and cultures, spend time on the For You page and learn the language and culture. Don't treat TikTok like YouTube or Instagram, it's way more casual than that. Is there anything I should be careful of? Yes. Any video that you post can go mega-viral overnight. It sometimes can be for reasons that you don't understand or for reasons that you didn't intend. Be prepared for any video that you post to be seen by everyone in the world. For example, you might be getting desperate for views and you just really want people to see your page, so you post an outlandish video of you saying something that's a little bit out of character. Don't do that. That video can go completely viral and can be seen by your boss and co-workers and the people that you didn't expect to see it, and that's not a good look for you. For example, don't tell a story about a family member that they wouldn't be okay with 500 million people seeing. Don't film yourself doing ignorant or incriminating things, be prepared for millions of people to see that. Also, people on TikTok, like many social medias, are very sensitive, especially the younger generation. TikTok is just like YouTube or Instagram where anybody can leave a comment on any video, so be prepared for there to be the occasional troll or bully. I'm not going to lie TikTok is generally a pretty fantastic place, especially compared to Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, but it can get harsh occasionally, and that's just going to happen, so be prepared for that. What does "Going live" mean and should I do it? After you gain 10,000 followers on TikTok, you gain the ability to go Live. This means that you can live stream yourself to all of your followers just like Instagram Live or Facebook Live. They can tune in and they can ask questions. I usually do a TikTok Q&A every Tuesday where people ask questions and I answer them. One benefit to going live is that TikTok wants you to go live, so if you go live, they will boost your video while you're live. For example, if I post a video that I really want to do well, I'll go live because, in my experience, TikTok usually boots it in the algorithm while I'm live and it can help attract new followers and make the video more successful. Can you make money from TikTok? Yes. One of the very unique things about TikTok is that it pays creators to create. It varies depending on the type of content that you create. But I will say in my first four weeks of joining the Creator Fund, I made $2,500 which doesn't sound like a lot, but just for posting a few TikTok videos every day, that's a good amount of money. That's just what TikTok paid me, that doesn't include any type of brand partnerships or sponsorships. Now, the amount you get paid from TikTok varies upon what type of content you're creating. For example, I create very educational content, my content is very useful to younger people, so I think TikTok wants to reward me, but that's not explicitly stated anywhere. If you have over 10,000 followers, you can join the Creator Fund and start getting paid for your views. 12. TikTok HQ's 6 Secrets to Success // 5.1: Welcome to the final section of the course, you're almost done. In this final section, I'm going to teach you the best practices straight from TikTok HQ, as well as my five secrets for success. Let's talk about the six key secrets to success straight from the TikTok headquarters. If you're creator, you can access these tips and many other fantastic tips by going to your account, create a portal, and you can see all of these fantastic resources to help you get started. Number 1, know your personal brand. Focus on what makes you special, what unique perspective do you bring to TikTok, share that. Number 2, set goals. In 2020, I downloaded TikTok with the goal of getting 50,000 followers. On January 1st, 2021, I had 100,000 followers. That was a type of goal that worked well for me. But there are other types of goals that you could set. For example, I have a friend who just has a goal to post once every single day. I have another friend who just has a goal to get a sponsorship through TikTok. So set a goal that works for you. Number 3, lead into the TikTok community. The best way to learn about TikTok is to dive right into the community. What are people in your niche doing? What are they talking about? What memes are they leaning into? Spend time for you page every day to see what trends are gaining traction and think about why. Number 4, consistency is key. Being consistent is so important when it comes to TikTok because you never really know when that video is going to completely blow up. For example, I had 100,000 followers. I posted some video that took me 15 minutes to make and it got 20 million views in three weeks. If I wasn't being consistent, I never would have posted that video. So it's important to keep posting videos that are different, diverse, engaging different trends so that you can have a chance at going viral. Posting regularly allows you to experiment and see what sticks with your audience. Number 5, use analytics. If you're a creator, you can use the analytics feature on your account to see what videos are performing well. For example, if you're a creator, you can just go over and click "Creator analytics", and you can see all this data about your account and how your videos are performing. Number 6, have fun. I know that sounds like a cop-out tip, but it's true. People on TikTok genuinely want to see you having fun on the app. They can sniff out in authenticity and they don't want it. They want to see raw videos, they want to see your life, they want to know about you. Make what you love to make, and be true to yourself, and have fun on this app. That is how you're going to be successful. 13. My Top 5 Tips // 5.2: To wrap up, here are my five best practices for TikTok. Number 1, at the intersection of education and entertaining is the sweet spot. The ideal TikTok video entertains and educates the person who's watching it. People want to learn new things that are useful to them, but they also want to see beautiful things and see interesting things. People in TikTok want to feel, they want their heart to start beating faster or to get goosebumps or for their hair to stand up. They want to feel scared or angry or enlightened. So make sure that your videos are evoking emotion, but also educating them and offering useful and helpful tips for their life. Number 2, this is my favorite tip. When you're planning a video, think about the comment section. What do you want people to say about this video? This trick will help you plan viral content, I promise you. Think about the comment section before you start filming anything and your videos will do way better. Number 2, the hook. The first three seconds of your video are invaluable. People have the option to swipe away at any point while watching your video, and they will, if it's not interesting to them. So script all your videos and make sure they're captivating the whole way through. A good tip is to try and include the word you in the first three seconds of any video: Did you know? Did you hear? Have you heard of? Have good audio in the first few seconds of your video, this is so important. Another good way to have a good hook is to build suspense. Another great hook is to ask a question. Number 4, play the game. TikTok is all about leveling with them. They want to see brands get down and dirty with them. They don't want to be preached to, they don't want to be talked down to. They already get that all day at school. They want you to talk directly to them and get down on their level. Use the app as it's intended to be used. Don't re-purpose Facebook videos or YouTube videos for TikTok. Just recreate things from scratch for TikTok. Create media that's made for TikTok or at least looks like it's at least configured for TikTok. Mix up your content, engage in trends, respond to comments, Duet, Stitch. Number 5, my last tip, is to have your audience multitask while they're watching your video. Never have a video that's longer than it needs to be and ask your audience to do multiple things while watching it. So for example, text, music, and visuals will lead to a successful video. If I'm doing a video where I'm talking about job interviews, I want to have text on the side that's maybe a caption of what I'm saying. Then I want to have a trending song and I want to have a captivating visual. I want to apply makeup, have some good lighting, not look like a total slob, and so people can watch me, they can read the text, and they can jam out to the music in the background. If you just have one thing going on, people tend to get pretty bored and just scroll past you. So that's it. You completed the course. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you learned some new things about TikTok. If you enjoyed this course, please let me know because it was my first one. So if you have any feedback, I would love to hear it. You can follow me on TikTok @erinmcgoff. I look forward to seeing the videos that you make. See you on TikTok.