How to Build a Successful TikTok Community and Increase Your Following | Shelia Huggins | Skillshare

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How to Build a Successful TikTok Community and Increase Your Following

teacher avatar Shelia Huggins, Lifestyle & Business

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.

      Tik Tok Community Course Introduction


    • 2.

      Introduction to TikTok


    • 3.

      Why People Use TikTok


    • 4.

      Step 1 Creating a TikTok Avatar


    • 5.

      Step 2 Building the TikTok Community


    • 6.

      Step 3 Creating the Scene


    • 7.

      Step 4 Creating TikTok Character Features


    • 8.

      Step 5 Creating TikTok Themes


    • 9.

      Examples of Character Based Tik Toks


    • 10.

      Class Project


    • 11.

      TikTok Course Wrap Up


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About This Class


In this course, we’re going to cover the ins and outs of how to create content that has people coming back to look at your Tik-Toks again and again. We’re going to break down actual examples and talk about why they work. When we’re finished, you’ll have five go-to steps that you can use to create Tik-Toks viral videos that result better audience engagement and that you’ll like making yourself, because you’ll finally have a plan that you can stick to and follow. In other words, you won’t feel like you’re constantly having to come up with new ideas. You’ll always have a plan for creating social media content.


  • Basic understanding of TikTok
  • Basic understanding of video creation


  • Content Creators
  • TikTok Creators
  • Social Media Managers
  • Short-form Content Creators

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Shelia Huggins

Lifestyle & Business




Shelia Huggins is a North Carolina business law attorney and lifestyle strategist, and she's ready to help you reach your goals. She's taught numerous legal courses, including Entertainment and Business Law in the university setting. She has a certificate in Documentary Studies from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and has worked on several documentary projects.


Shelia has spoken at Wake Forest University School of Law, Duke University School of Business and formerly served on the Board of Visitors for the School of Business at North Carolina Centra... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Tik Tok Community Course Introduction : Hi, my name is Sheila. Welcome to a course about creating character-based TikToks that will help you build an audience. We're going to be covering the ins and outs of how to build an account that people will keep coming back to you because they want to check out your TikToks. We're going to break down actual examples and talk about why they work. When we're finished, you'll have a phi, the go-to stamps that you can use to create a TikTok account that results in better audience engagement and that you will love making yourself. Because guess what? You'll finally have a plan that you can stick to and follow. In other words, you won't feel like you're constantly having to come up with new ideas. When we're done, you'll have three to five templates that you can use when the IV is just aren't flowing like you need them to. Your always have a plan. I spent a lot of time advising others about business, about content creation and about the legal side of content creation. Plus, I've also created content myself. For this course. I've selected examples that will be easy for you to understand and easy for you to implement. You only need to take the time to implement those five go-to steps. So if you're ready, let's stop talking and let's start learning. 2. Introduction to TikTok: If you're new to TikTok, here's a quick overview. Tiktok is a social media platform that hosts short videos that are uploaded to TikTok by the site users. Users can add effects, text, and audio to their videos. And then some cases they can even perform side-by-side with previously uploaded videos that are owned by other people. If you've heard about TikTok and seen some of the videos, you may think that, well it's all hype. However, if you're trying to grow an audience, then you may want to consider adding to your content creation plan. According to HootSuite TikTok now has over 3 billion downloads and over 1 billion monthly active users. The users tend to be younger, more engaged in the videos that perform best are those that are funny and entertaining. You can also add captions and keep it between 20, thirty-seconds and you've pretty much hit the right spot while the platform originally got it started. Way back with music videos, it hasn't expanded and grown. Think of it this way, just because a platform started out one way doesn't mean that it's going to stay that way forever. We all grow and over time we all change. Some of these platforms. Guess what? They do the same. 3. Why People Use TikTok: Let's talk about why you may want to even build an audience on TikTok. People in companies have all sorts of reasons for being on TikTok. As a result, the type of content now on TikTok has changed. Additionally, some accounts provide a variety of content on TikTok, from challenges to tutorials to pranks. But let's take a minute to go over why people choose to build an audience on this platform. This may give you some additional ideas about what your goals are going to be for TikTok and how you can best reach them. Alright, let's get started. First to educate your audience about a subject to sell products and services to your audience. To build brand awareness with your audience, to increase engagement with your audience. To obtain market research regarding what your audience tastes are. To generate new leads, to increase market penetration, to learn about the competition, to be seen as a market thought leader, and to increase your trust factor and deliver social proof to provide customer service. And finally, to increase website traffic. Now, take a few minutes to determine which of these 12 reasons apply to you. Understanding what you're trying to achieve with your TikToks. You'll understand what a TikTok doesn't feel like it's going to work for you. And why. 4. Step 1 Creating a TikTok Avatar: Let's jump into our five steps. This first step is more of an action that you need to take. If you want to have a character-based TikTok, then you almost need to create an avatar of your character. Take a look at this guy. Maybe he does pranks in the gym. He comes in the gym to exercise, but most of the time he's doing other things like eating and slacking off. Maybe even just playing around and pretending to exercise. But he draws an audience based on his activities in the gym. You might also have a cooking couple where they show their antics in a restaurant. Or the dancing grandma who wears eighties style track suits and lots of jewelry. You could just basically have a couple of friends who are constantly adding TikToks with them sitting on a bed and having a leisure life. In other words, you should be able to write a biography and an obituary for your character. Here are a few questions that think about when you're coming up with this avatar. What are the demographic features of your characters such as age, gender, status, race, national origin. Keep in mind that your character could be an animal or an object. What is your character's backstory? What are your characters hobbies, and interests? Does your character have family members, friends, or organizations that matter to your character? Where does your character work? What is your character's a day generally like, what are the main issues that your character faces? What are your character strengths and weaknesses? Where does your character live? How does your character interact with others? Take a few minutes to answer these questions. Also write a biography and an obituary for your character so that you can fully understand your character's life story. 5. Step 2 Building the TikTok Community: Rarely do people succeed alone. Batman needed Robin, the Joker and others. The cast of friends had each other. Societies are built with the contributions of its members. With character-based TikToks, it's easier to build an audience. If your audience is connecting, not just to you, but the community that you've built. Your community members can be antagonists and protagonists. They can be friends of the character. Family members, work, colleagues of the character, or just a never ending cycle of random people who enter the character's life via TikToks. There just needs to be a common theme to the random people. These characters should also have a short backstory, something that the people will come to know over time. But let me give you a quick overview. Remember the Bronx Zoo cobra that went missing back in 2011 and was able to build up a following on Twitter about his escapades on the run. Even now at currently has a following of about a 150 thousand people on Twitter. Suppose the Bronx Zoo decided that it wanted to have the cobra haven't TikTok account. We already know the backstory, but the antagonists and the protagonists that might show up in the TikTok account might be, for instance, the worker who cleans the area of the zoo or the cobra is or media security officer. The cobra zoo community might include another snake or animals nearby, like birds that frequent the zoo. With a character-based snake, you might have TikToks that capture entertaining aspect of the cobras life at the zoo. As the cobra has to interact with all of these different entities around it. That's how you build a community on this platform is almost like a sitcom, but it's a short video instead of a 30-minute television show. Well, the setups the same, just shorter. So here are a few questions to think about for your characters community. Who are the characters relatives, who are the characters friends? Does the character have colleagues? Does the character belong to an organization? Who are those parties that antagonize the character the most? Does the character has a fan base or a group of supporters? Use these questions to build your characters. Community. 6. Step 3 Creating the Scene: Do not have your audience wondering where your character lives or hangs out. The settings should relate to the overall thing that you're trying to set up. And for most of your TikToks, it should be in the same place. For instance, if your character is a teacher, show your character in the school or in the same classroom. And most of the TikToks. If your character is a personal trainer, sure, your character in the gym with all of the funny escapades that go on in the gym, what you want to do is to build consistency and build a connection with your audience. Use objects in the scene to increase the entertainment value. Maybe there is this one trainer in the gym who always pranks people. And they're not just basic prints, maybe their elaborate pranks that maybe the gym owner never sees coming and the prefix always involved the gym owners desk chair. As a result, the desk chair is almost as important as the character. Here are a few questions to think about for your character's scene. Where is your character most of the time, what key objects can you add to the space to let people know where the character is? Does it matter if it's morning or night in your scene? Are there other objects that aren't present that you can simply refer to frequently in your TikToks. Now additionally, here are a few thoughts about scene development. Don't feel like you gotta go out and buy a whole bunch of stuff there, create the right backdrop. You only need a few things to set the stage. For instance, for a teacher, it might be a couple of stacks of books, a stapler and a pencil holder filled with a bunch of pencils. And then there you have a teacher sitting at a desk. There are also plenty of call center TikToks and it's pretty much a person with a headset on. So go easy on yourself with scene development. Set the stage, keep it simple, be consistent. 7. Step 4 Creating TikTok Character Features: At this point, you want to make sure that you provide your character with attributes and features that you can continue to build a story around, possibly used to sell products and services that simply helped to further define your character. For instance, with a character that's a teacher. A teacher may always have a certain pair of reading glasses on. Maybe the glasses are frequently misplaced. Maybe there are pranks involving the glasses. Now suppose the teacher also has an affiliate relationship with an e-commerce shop that sells prescription and reading glasses. As a result, the character has a custom feature or attribute that can now be used to sell products on a website elsewhere. Here's another example. Maybe your character loves gold jewelry, exercise equipment, hair and beauty products. In one example that I'm going to mention later, a character is a teacher who also sells a hair care products. Some of the teacher's classroom TikToks involves the teachers, students making comments about her hair. This is a feature or attribute of the character that has been used in the TikTok. And also as a way for the teacher to increase sales of her hair care products. So think about the custom features or attributes that your character can have. It doesn't have to be complicated. Your character could be known for coming up with great motivational quotes. In TikToks. The idea is to think about one or two features or attributes that would make your character stand out from similar characters on TikTok. 8. Step 5 Creating TikTok Themes: This is the last video or last step that you need to take to build your TikTok audience. Have a few ready-to-go theme templates that you can always count on. Again, keep in mind what your goals are, but also keep in mind that most people come to TikTok for funny and entertaining videos. So here are a few theme templates that you sometimes see being used. Common mistakes to avoid when someone asks reasons why I, it really be your own, don't tell quite a view. My brain when what I'm really thinking when I am calling out today. Who knew? That's ten examples for you to consider right there. Now, you don't have to use any of those. What you want to do is to come up with three to five themes that work for you. You're seen your characters in your goals. 9. Examples of Character Based Tik Toks: We're going to take a look at some character-based TikToks to give you an idea of how to create your own character-based TikToks. First, we're going to talk with noodles, that Pooch x noodles. The CPU checks and we're just going to say noodles is a dog that has been given many of the lifestyle characteristics of a person knows is frequently seen typing it the computer, drinking coffee and doing work. Noodles has a desk job and shares thoughts about work in noodles TikToks known as usually it has on a pair of glasses while working and completely decked out and dressed for work. Noodles were, were a hair, bows and ties, necklaces and completely matching outfits. Noodles sometimes also will have a headset. Noodles has noodles as colleagues that makes appearances with names that will tell you a little bit about who they are in numerals, work world for instance, work crush, Wesley, lunch thief, Larry, fake, nice, Felicia, and policy Pete. Noodles also has theme templates that frequently appear, for instance, office pet peeves part one, which over time would be followed by part two and part three. You get the point, I haven't several template themes to go to. Noodles keeps some consistency, but each new part contains new office pet peeves that many office workers can relate to. This is how you build a community. Here are some of the templates that noodles uses me openly judging my colleagues as they walk by, what I do at work, office pet peeves, rewording my replies. What I say versus what I mean. Finally, on noodles website, you can see that noodles has a lot of coffee cups that are used during the TikToks. The coffee cups relate directly to noodles TikToks and are available for purchase. They released ten items that you can purchase. They're also affiliate goods that are for sale. All of these items are related to dogs. They're even grooming tutorials. At this time, news has an audience of about 300 thousand on TikTok and about seven a 170 thousand on Instagram. The second example is less Shea Greenwood, a teacher who also cells hair care items. She has 1.8 million followers on TikTok. She goes by Ms. Greenwood, her teacher, her name. She's mostly seen sitting at her desk eating snacks. There's a whole Black History Month information all behind her, and you can see other desk supplies around her. She has several student characters who frequently make appearances like Lewis, who seems to always be getting into trouble. Then there's Jessica who asks a lot of questions and shares a whole lot of her family's personal business. Louis and Jessica seem to fall in and out of a relationship. So that's an ongoing storyline that the audience can follow. And then there's Mariah who sometimes gets into trouble. Also, most of his Greenwood themes are around when a certain thing happens, the incident itself will change. For instance, when my students, are you in class, when I let students listened to music, there are also point-of-view TikToks, and then there's the teaching kindergartners be like teaching elementary students is like there's sum of those to Ms. Greenwood sprinkles in videos of her hair care products. She sells. In some TikToks, students will even make comments about her hair. So, Ms. Greenwood, your hair looks like it's growing and that's a way for her to then showcase the results of her hair products. Now, I want to take a moment to go over a few more accounts that you may just want to review. I'm not going to go into a whole lot of detail, but definitely check them out. Genesis Williams and that's at Hollywood. Ginger in his account is filled with POV. His main characters include the hood teacher, different types of aunties and uncles. Also one of my favorites is don't tell the bishop. Most of his videos are of him in a barn wherever, straw hat, hat suspenders, boots. And you're not supposed to tell the bishop that he's got a cell phone and then he dances. He's frequently seen checking out technology for the first time like a flat-screen TV. So here are a few takeaways. Develop a community. Do that by creating consistency around you're setting, the characters and your themes. For your project, you're going to plan your setting. Remember, keep it simple but add objects that capture the community that you're trying to create. Then take a picture of your setting and share it with the class. Here's the wrap-up. I'm glad you took the class, I hope you enjoyed it. One of the best ways to grow an audience is to create a community. Have it feel like a community. I hope you've picked up a few tools that you can use to create short videos for TikTok or YouTube, Facebook, or wherever you share your creative content. 10. Class Project: For your project, you're going to plan your setting. Remember, keep it simple but add objects that capture the community that you're trying to create. Then take a picture of your setting and share it with the class. 11. TikTok Course Wrap Up: Here's the wrap-up. I'm glad you took the class, I hope you enjoyed it. One of the best ways to grow an audience is to create a community. Have it feel like a community. I hope you've picked up a few tools that you can use to create short videos for TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, or wherever you share your creative content.