Ready to Become a TikTok Influencer? Here’s How to Find Fame

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Considering that the majority of TikTok influencers earn over $15K USD per year, it’s no wonder that so many people give it a go. Beyond its lucrative earning potential, the platform gives you the opportunity to broadcast your personality to a global audience or turn a hobby into a side hustle.

Thankfully, you don’t need technical wizardry, famous friends, or a built-in following to get started as an influencer; all you need to make a polished TikTok video is a few minutes and a smartphone. And since the platform’s algorithm values content relevance over account popularity, even beginner creators can see their videos travel far and wide.


What is TikTok, and how has it impacted the social media landscape?



This video-based social networking app, which launched globally in 2017, features user-created short-form videos shot vertically on a smartphone. Creators can record clips of up to 60 seconds directly to the app or upload videos as long as three minutes. 

TikTok encourages innovation, allowing users to add stickers, voiceover, sound effects, filters, and background music to their content. Popular video genres include lip-syncing, dancing, challenges, skits, and tutorials.  

The platform can be very addictive: Videos start playing as soon as you open the app, and it only takes a swipe to cue the next one. Since TikTok’s algorithm measures how you interact with each video, it will surface similar clips the more you use the app. So it’s no surprise that the average user spends 23.5 hours on the platform per month

TikTok created a short-form video boom that has led to competitors creating similar interfaces, such as YouTube Shorts and Facebook Reels.

What is a TikTok influencer?

If you’ve built a strong audience and have credibility, then you can call yourself an influencer. Most have relatively large followings over multiple social media platforms; but the one where you’re most active and popular is your base camp. If you build an account that reaches a relatively large audience, brands and companies may pay you to post sponsored videos that promote their products or services.

While an influencer’s status is measured in follower count and video views, how they influence is two-fold:

  • Credibility: Creators that come off as reliable, authentic, and likeable develop a strong enough tie with their viewers that they’re able to influence their actions (e.g., clicking links and buying products) and points of view (e.g., how they perceive a brand’s trustworthiness or quality).
  • Reach: The larger your audience, the more people you’ll reach with each post. That’s why TikTok fame tends to go hand-in-hand with finding success as an influencer.

How many followers do you need to be considered a TikTok influencer?



Here’s a breakdown of influencer tiers and how much brands tend to pay per post.

  • Nano-influencers (1K–10K followers)
    • US: $5–$25
    • UK: £4–£20
    • Aus: AU$8–AU$38
  • Micro-influencers (10K–50K followers)
    • US: $25 to $125
    UK: £20–£98
    • Aus: AU$38–AU$190
  • Midtier influencers (50K–500K followers)
    • US: $125–$1,250
    • UK: £98–£982
    • Aus: AU$190–AU$1,903
  • Macro-influencers (500K–1 million followers)
    • US: $1,250–$2,500
    • UK: £982–£1,963
    • Aus: AU$1,903–AU$3,807
  • Mega-influencers (1 million+ followers)
    • US: $2,500+
    • UK: £1,963+
    • Aus: AU$3,807+

Steps to becoming a TikTok influencer

1. Define your niche

Decide what area of interest you want your page to focus on. This will:

  • Help you create meaningful content with a consistent theme.
  • Prompt your audience to recognise you as an authority on your chosen subject. 
  • Attract brands looking for influencers with a following in their market. 
  • Draw the attention of TikTok communities like BookTok, BeautyTok, and FoodTok. 

Keep in mind that TikTok users can sniff out fake enthusiasm and surface-level knowledge; ask yourself:

  • What are you passionate about?
  • What are you knowledgeable about?
  • What do you have experience with? 

Your answers should point you in the right direction. 

2. Create an account 

TikTok has several types of accounts to choose from, including Personal, Business, and Creator. As an aspiring influencer, you’ll want to pick the latter, which will include all the features and tools you’ll need to build out your brand.

Once you have a page, pick a name and profile picture that reflect your area of interest, then write a short bio of up to 80 characters that explains what you’re about. For inspiration, check out profiles of successful influencers in your niche.  

3. Know your audience 

TikTok users differ from those on YouTube, Instagram, and other popular social media platforms. Here are some key traits:

  • A 2023 GWI survey of TikTok users found that 60% reported going to the app for funny content, 45% for creative content, and 37% for relaxing content. 
  • TikTok’s 2024 Trend Report predicted that the coming year would see users valuing “a blend of curiosity, imagination, vulnerability, and courage,” unpredictable storytelling, and forging deeper connections with their chosen communities.  

Keep these stats in mind while you’re creating content. Your videos might be first-rate, but do they resonate with the platform’s user base? 

TikTok content needn’t mirror your output elsewhere. For example, the account for language app Duolingo has amassed over 10 million followers—not through teaching the ins and outs of conversational French, but by posting entertaining, absurdist content.

4. Grab attention (and keep it) 

TikTok users have a reputation for short attention spans, so you’ll need to earn those eyeballs. The algorithm favours videos that users watch all the way through—so your views won’t count for much if most users swipe away after a few seconds. 

The key is to strike a balance between content that’s fresh and engaging enough to grab attention right away but absorbing enough to keep people watching until the end.

Here are some tips for getting your audience to watch a video all the way through:

  • Include a simple hook like “Why is nobody talking about this?” to engage viewers immediately.
  • Use trending sounds.
  • Keep your video short and to the point. 
  • Use captions like “Wait for it…” or “Keep watching” to add a layer of interest.
  • Make your post visually appealing and well-edited. 

5. Stay on trend 

TikTok trends change quickly, so becoming an early adopter will increase your chances of going viral and keep your content fresh. Here are a few tips for staying on top of the latest:

  • Keep an eye on trending hashtags that are relevant to your channel. TikTok challenges are particularly easy to catch.
  • Browse the Discover tab to find trending topics, filters, and effects.
  • Use popular music by clicking Add Sound when you’re creating a video, then navigating to Trending. 
  • Use Duets and Stitches to engage with popular content. Duets lets you create a video in split-screen alongside an existing one, giving you the opportunity to react to it. Stitches gives you the ability to start your post with a snippet from another user’s video, followed by your response to it. 

6. Interact with your audience 

TikTok isn’t a one-way street. If you want people to engage with your videos, engage with them. Be sure to answer followers when they ask you questions, and when people comment on your video, give them a like or a reply. You can also record video responses to funny user interactions, interesting questions, or feedback you get frequently.

Forging small connections is the key to becoming an influencer whose opinions your followers trust. Think about it: Wouldn’t you be more willing to buy a product promoted by a content creator who takes the time to engage with you?

Prominent TikTok influencers and how they became famous

Khaby Lame, Charli D'Amelio, Addison Rae

Jay Hirano Photography/Tinseltown/Shutterstock

  • Khabane “Khaby” Lame: The most-followed TikTok creator at the time of writing, Khaby gained exposure thanks to his mocking responses to lifehack videos. He’s been listed in both Fortune’s “40 Under 40” and Forbes’ “30 Under 30.”
  • Charli D’Amelio: TikTok’s second-most-followed creator began by posting dance videos; she’s gone on to dabble in everything from music and reality TV to voice acting and fashion.
  • Bella Poarch: Poarch started by making lip-syncing videos and has since collaborated with brands like Hugo Boss and Vogue while pursuing a major singing career.
  • Addison Rae: Rae gained legions of fans with her dance videos. She’s now recorded a US Billboard Top 10 single and landed roles in movies like He’s All That and Thanksgiving.
  • Avani Gregg: This makeup and lifestyle influencer went viral thanks to her “Clown Girl” video, in which she transforms herself into a Harley Quinn–style character. She’s since launched her own line with Morphe Cosmetics.
  • Andrew Bachelor (aka King Bach): After his TikTok comedy videos netted millions of views, Bachelor went on to appear in TV series including The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, The Mindy Project, Meet the Blacks, and Black-ish.
  • Wisdom Kaye: This fashion influencer is now an IMG-represented model and made Forbes’ “30 Under 30” in 2023.
  • Jack Martin: Martin got his start posting comedy skits on TikTok and went on to star on NBC’s La Brea.