Start using TikTok today for your photography business and get ahead! Remember when gaining 10K followers on IG was super easy? Well, that’s where TikTok is now. Get ahead of the crowds and start using TikTok for your photography business. It’s actually not just for 17-year-olds dancing like you might think when you first sign up for the app and like the “For You” section suggests. haha If you are like me and hate getting in front of the camera, so obviously don’t feel great about creating a music video or dancing to some music- don’t worry. TikTok isn’t just for creating your own dance videos, it’s so much more! Read on, to find out what kind of content might be the best fit for your photography business and your personality!
Also, don’t miss my interview with Brittany Bankston! She is an amazing photographer, but also does HILARIOUS videos on TikTok! We talk about how she films her videos, how long it takes to create one 15 second video, how a photographer can monetize on TikTok, who her favorite people to follow are, and more! I highly recommend watching if you want to pick the brain of someone who is really embracing and rocking the TikTok world. You’ll learn a ton from Brittany!
You can also find her work on her Instagram, Facebook, and website.
What is TikTok?
In TikTok’s words, TikTok is the “destination for short-form mobile videos.” You can upload (or create) videos ranging between five and 60 seconds. There are filters, you can add words, and even music from the app.
In my words, when I first signed up, it was dance videos of 16-24-year-olds. However, the more and more I looked into it, I found that there is so much potential! As Brittany mentioned in the video, it is such an amazing platform with so much creative potential- and it’s not just for the young crowds. As you engage with the content you are interested in, the app will give you more of what you are looking for.
At the end of 2019, 69% of users were under 24. Young crowd, for sure. (https://blog.hootsuite.com/what-is-tiktok/)
What type of photography content should you post on TikTok?
Ok, now you might be saying “but I am a photographer…. Not a videographer!” Omg, me too. I was totally at a loss as to how to even use TikTok and what videos to use, who to follow, etc. Let alone create content.
Here’s the kind of photographer content I am seeing right now and people/hashtags to check out for examples.
Before and afters, editing tricks, editing workflow, anything goes. What might be mundane to you, is super fascinating to newbies! Share away!
Tip: Make sure you make the speed faster if you are sharing your entire workflow! No one really likes to watch editing in real-time on this app it seems like. They just want to see quick tips and results! (Plus, if you are able to edit a photo in 15-60 seconds, please let me know. lol)
I think this is the route I will be taking for now, so check out my lazy girl’s tricks to photo editing here!
Photoshoots with Strangers
I keep running into photographers who ask random strangers (of course they all happen to have perfect hair and makeup lol) to do a random photoshoot – and they turn out amazing!! Here are some to check out.
Creative Shots and BTS
These are really cool! You can learn some awesome new tricks on TikTok. Search for #creativephototricks
Funny/Photographer Memes in Video Form
Brittany is a queen of this- go check her out.
Slideshows of a gallery/photos
I haven’t really found anyone, in particular, doing this, but it might be a creative way to showcase your client’s photos – and tag them too!
There are some entertaining ways to pose people! Search for #howtopose or #howtoposelikeamodel
Share What You Share in IG/FB Stories!
If you are already posting on IG/FB stories, you can start by posting the same thing on TikTok too! The formatting is basically the same!
The entire purpose of the platform is to let your originality shine, and get creative. So, do you have ways to stand out? TikTok is the place to show it!
How to Post on TikTok 101 for Photographers
What to Put on Your Profile
First things first, let’s talk about your profile. Here are some trends I saw in profile descriptions that seemed helpful.
- A lot of people seem to point to their IG profile and encourage followers/viewers to follow on IG too. Clever!
- It’s helpful to state you are a photographer on there, especially if your account will focus on photography stuff. When I searched for “photographer” in general in TikTok, those who had the words “photographer” in their bio showed up in the search area.
- Although there isn’t specifically a field for your website, you can still include it in your bio!
Plan Your Content (A Little)
Next, figure out what kind of content you want to start posting. You can always try to post different stuff and just see how it goes too! I am a fan of trying to keep it consistent. For me, I decided I am going to do a “lazy girls’ guide to photography” because I am lazy and I have so many tricks to cut corners in taking photos, culling, and editing.
How to Create Videos on the App + Post
Once you kind of have some idea of what you want to post- How the heck do you do it? (I never say heck, but it sounded appropriate here.) I had to figure it out myself and this is how I did it. Here’s my screen recording on how to create videos on TikTok. I did it! My first post!
I recorded the videos outside of the app, then uploaded them on TikTok. It’s not the best video, and probably will not go viral, but it took me about 5 min! Not bad.
Here is the final post.
It also looks like you can post horizontal videos too! Nice to know. Check out Franklin BZ’s work and how he does it here. https://www.tiktok.com/@franklinbz
Best Photographer Hashtags to Use for TikTok
Ok, now that you are ready for your first post, let’s make sure you have all the right strategies in place so you are seen. Step #1, use appropriate hashtags. Here are the top “viewed” hashtags related to photography on TikTok. You can do your own searches to see which ones have a lot of views!
Also, you will see trending hashtags under the “discover” section. I heard those are great ones to use for maximum views!
Other Ways to Be Seen + Gain Followers on TikTok
Try Joining (and Get Creative with) TikTok Challenges
You will see these under the trending hashtags and this is when a big advertiser or someone starts a viral challenge, and then you create based on that hashtag/music. You know people will be watching these challenges.
Run a Branded Hashtag Challenge
Ok – so the ones that ESPN, CocaCola, etc. do that put them on the top of the branded hashtag challenges can run for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Might be kiiiind of expensive, but still a fun thought!
Advertise on TikTok
Just like you can run FB/IG ads, you can run ads on TikTok! Since the audience is pretty young, you might be successful if you are targeting younger crowds like for senior portraits, prom photos, graduation photos, etc.
Just like the branded hashtag challenge above, there are some crazy expensive ads like the “brand takeover ad”, which is what you see when you first log in – and are guaranteed like 5 million views per day. Not sure if this is applicable to you, but just throwing this out there.
Use Trending Sounds/Music
When you watch other people’s TikTok videos, you can actually click on the music part at the bottom and view all the other videos that use the same music. My mind is blown. So, try using some of the trending ones to create your own!
Create Videos That People HAVE TO Watch Over and Over Again
As Brittany shares with us in the interview, the reason that dance videos do so well is that people watch them over and over again. This brings up the view count, which gives TikTok an indication that it’s a popular one. Makes sense! So, create something that someone has to watch closely on repeat.
Share on Other Social Media Platforms
You can share your TikTok on other social media platforms – it’s formatted perfectly for IG and FB stories! (And vice versa – if you have an Instagram or YouTube account, those accounts can be linked to your TikTok account.)
Here is how: Once you have a draft of the post, you can actually select to share via IG, Snapchat, or via messenger. Once you upload the video on TikTok, you can also press and hold to share on places like FB, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat.
Use Other Strategies That Work on IG Follower Growth
Other followers gaining techniques can be applied too! I have in-depth coverage on how to grow your Instagram audience here – things like viewing and engaging with other videos, etc. will also help with TikTok so give it a try!
Share Your TikCode So People Can Find You
Here’s mine! 🙂
How to Make Money on TikTok
Ok – at the end of the day, is TikTok going to make money for you? Will it book you new clients? Maybe…
It seems like most people are not using it to actually book and find clients. It might be a result of people finding you and realizing you are local. Or, placing ads might help.
But here’s a way to make some money… Brittany in the interview explains it pretty well, but here it is.
Virtual coins…?! Yeah, didn’t see that one coming either. Apparently, you can purchase coins on TikTok and convert them into diamonds or emojis. You can also give these coins to people who go “live” and people can give you tips! You can actually cash in on these coins and get paid. Pretty cool!
Learn from Brittany
There You Have It!
TikTok can be intimidating at first, or maybe even something you might dismiss because you think “I am not 21” and move on. But don’t! It’s seriously a place where you can get a wealth of creative information if you are not ready to create the content just yet. I hope this post gave you a good idea of where to start, and if nothing else, gave you confidence since a video-inept person like me was able to create a post in about 5 minutes!
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