Alexandra De Cespedes
My name is Alex and I'm the CEO of Made Happy Studio. I'm a Brand Designer, Photographer, Web Designer, Social Media Content Creator & Strategist. Made Happy was created to make happy business, big and small, with one of a kind design and strategy that showcases their unique qualities and grows their fanbase. Some of my clients include HubSpot, Canva, Greystar, Douglas Elliman Real Estate and Linkedin.
Get to Know Me.
If you’re here, chances are you already have a TikTok idea in mind. Now, you’re looking to skip the frustration and confusion that being a beginner brings. Learning new apps to stay on top of the game can be a challenging process, but you’re not alone.
Tik Tok hasn’t been around for too long and if you’re coming from Instagram you might be wondering why TikTok is even relevant. TikTok isn’t just about showing your best dance moves; many people are going viral on the app and landing acting gigs, creating top hit songs, and generating clients for their businesses.
It’s natural to assume only younger generations are using the app. However, a lot has changed in a year as other generations and businesses caught on to the new trend.
Check out the updated stats from March 2021 by Statista.
So if you’re starting to think that you don’t need to be on TikTok because your audience isn’t there, you are dead wrong. Taking the time now to learn the ins and outs of how to TikTok won’t be a waste of your time.
To help you out, I’ve created a list of the 5 most important steps to get started on the app. This guide breaks down every step so you won’t have any questions about how to get started.
Don’t let the fear of not creating the perfect content be the reason you don’t post on TikTok.
Once upon a time, before everyone was an IG expert, people used to focus heavily on the way their feed looked. It came to a point where people would pause on posting if the next photo on their social media planner didn’t match the color theme on the previous photo.
Thankfully, those days are gone, and creating content on social media has become a lot more chillaxed…in a way. Don’t get me wrong, there is still A LOT of work to do. Yet, the focus has shifted from beautifully curated feeds to more entertaining and educational content.
People love TikTok because they are free to be themselves, as silly and imperfect as we are. With Tiktok, the strategy is to show up as much as you can and in the most authentic way possible. While you’re busy showing up and being present, provide as much value as you can.
Thus, being present over perfect.
So if you’re getting started on TikTok, try not to think too much about the aesthetics of your video. Focus on having fun and being your authentic self.
As I said, we are getting down to the fine details here. That means the basics of opening your free account on TikTok.
Try to keep your name the same or similar to your other social media accounts. This will make it easier for your followers to find you across platforms. It also helps keep your brand identity cohesive.
If someone were to come across your account, what are some things they’d want to know about you? You don’t have many characters to play with so make it short, sweet, and memorable. Remember people use TikTok because it gets to the point and quick.
Try to use a high resolution image or video that makes your profile image pop when engaging with other viewers.
Don’t just create content on the fly. It’s important to be intentional about what you post.
Your audience is looking for entertainment and to gain value from watching your videos. Again, this doesn’t mean your videos have to be perfect, you just need to have a plan.
A few questions to ask yourself before developing content:
My highest recommendation is to use a planner to keep all your ideas, video scripts, and song choices in one place. There are plenty of apps out there, but my choice is Trello. Not only is it free to use, but you can save links to your favorite sounds right off the TikTok app.
Here is a quick TikTok Video on how I organize my Trello Board for TikTok
Plan a day to create all your videos at the same time. You can change into several outfits to make it look like they were recorded on different days. This way, you can get the hassle of bringing out everything you need to record out of the way all at once. Then all you have to do is edit and publish!
Now, it’s time to put your thinking caps on. If you’re not a creative person I know how hard this part of the process can be. If you don’t know what to research or how to capture your thoughts visually, this is how you can start.
As I mentioned before, TikTok runs on viral trends. So stay on top of them and research the songs. sounds, dance moves, and filters that are popular at the time you’re making and posting.When reviewing a trending sound, think about how you can utilize that sound for your niche.
Here is an example of how I took a trending sound and made it fit my branding & social media niche.
Using trending sounds to gain visibility is a great strategy. A better strategy is to use those trends to create your own unique videos that relate to your niche. Use your content pillars to help you come up with video ideas, related to your niche, that your audience would find interesting.
If you”re unfamiliar with how Content Pillars work, here is our blog post explaining what they are and how to use them.
Here are some of my favorite accounts that announce new TikTok trends & Tips. These are great places to keep a lookout for inspiration and discover trends.
Save the trending songs that you like in your favorites to reference for your own video later. Then you can use our Trello Freebie to sort out your favorite audio and plan a video around it.
Now that you’ve got a plan, script, and inspiration pumping, it’s time to start filming. I know many people get a bit shy about this process and don’t know how to let their freak flag fly. But don’t worry, I’m going to break it down for you.
Before you get down and dirty, here is a list of tools I use and recommend grabbing to create your next TikTok.
This is what I use to keep a running list of ideas, Trello is a web-based, Kanban-style, list making application. Check out my Trello Template Freebie at the end of the blog.
If you want to keep your feed looking cohesive, create branded cover photo templates to customize on every reel. I recommend using Canva to create your templates so you can save time and quickly drag & drop your photos & video titles.
You can start planning your video one of two ways.
Way 1: You find a sound that sparks an idea for your niche. For this option, I recommend recording directly in the app.
Way 2: You can start with a concept, create a script and add music at the end.
This way, on film day, you will not only know what to film and say next, but you can also save time by having a plan of action.
3 things your script must have
Create a storyboard for each section of your video. Think about all the angles of your video, what props will be utilized, and the location of your video.
I like to create my videos using Instagram stories (mostly to get some help with the filters for no makeup days, amirite ladies? 😜), then save my favorite clips to my iPhone to then edit later using Adobe Rush. That way I have more control of the final edit and I can cut out any extra fat.
Plan to have a few takes, It’s common to not get the video right the first time around. Give yourself time to get used to being in front of a camera. After a few TikTok’s you will have your filming rhythm down.
Save your videos as a draft ever so often. Just in case the app crashes, at least you will have saved your progress. (Trust me, you’ll thank me later.)
Note this: If you’re using a sound on your videos outside of the Instagram or TikTok library, make sure you are licensed to use that sound. Otherwise, there is a high possibility your video will be taken down for copyright purposes.
Choose an image or short clip to display your video on your feed. Choose an image or clip that draws attention and add a title so a viewer will know what a video is about.
You get 150 characters for your post. Keep in mind that includes your hashtags. This is just enough to tell a quick story to add more detail to your video.
3 Tips When Using Hashtags
Your video is filmed, edited, has a well crafted description, and now you’re all set to go. Congratulations! It’s time to post and make it live.
If you want to share the video or post it anywhere else, you will need to make that choice now because you won’t be able to after you hit post.
When you’re ready, hit that Big Red POST Button on the bottom right.
That’s That! Your Beginner’s Guide to TikTok in 4 Easy Steps.
Tik Tok is a fun way to bring engagement to your business, to collaborate and meet like minded people, and to try something new.
Having a plan can help beat back the fear that bubbles up right before you hit the record button.
Here is a Trello planner for developing your next Tik Tok!
On the Trello Planner you will find: