If you are trying to market your professional services firm and you are still dragging your feet on launching a TikTok for your business – let this be your sign that now is the time.
Not only has TikTok surpassed 1 billion monthly active users, but it has also started to replace search platforms like Google and Google Maps amongst the younger generations.
Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “But my audience isn’t on TikTok.” And you might be right… right now. But user behavior is changing rapidly and the brands that start focusing on building their TikTok presence today will be in a prime position when the younger generation begins to graduate from college, get jobs, and transition into leadership roles.
Additionally, TikTok adoption is growing among Millennials – the single largest generation in the U.S. workforce (and probably a large part of your target audience).
Practical Tips for Getting Started on TikTok
After dragging our own feet for a number of years, we launched an OTM TikTok in March of 2023 and started experimenting. We didn’t have a huge budget of time or money to throw at it, so we took a less polished approach and just started trying things.
We’ve since posted around 25 times (not great), but we’ve learned quite a bit from each post, and we’ve actually started seeing some decent results.
Here are some practical (read: uncomplicated, not overly time-consuming or expensive) tips for getting started:
- Choose a Face for Your Page
The most successful TikTok pages are the ones that feature people (or… an owl if you’re Duolingo). Whether it’s a real face, a mascot, or an ambassador, it’s a good idea to personify your brand. For professional services firms, it’s likely that the face of your page should be… you (the business owner), especially if you are trying to convey your expertise to your audience.
- Optimize Your Content for Your Target Audience
Identify who you want to see your videos and then optimize your content for what they are looking for. In order for your content to be seen on the FYP (For You Page) or in the Discover section, you want to make sure TikTok knows how to label it. If you look at one of your videos and there is no search term pre-populated in the search bar, TikTok doesn’t know how to label your video.
If it’s labeling it with something totally random, your video might not be shown to the right audience.
Example: at OTM, we are trying to reach small to medium-sized business owners with content about marketing and business strategy. To optimize for that audience, we use those terms in the video content, text overlays, and video description. Don’t rely only on hashtags!
- Aim for Conversational
Try to eliminate pauses by editing out the dead space between clips, and keep the conversation going. TikTok will prioritize content that people watch all the way to the end, so keeping your audience engaged throughout is critical to successful distribution. Don’t overuse transitions or worry about having a ton of effects applied, for professional services firms we feel your expertise should be the highlight of your content.
- Practice Different Hooks
Work on creating a good hook for your videos, and try different approaches to see what works. The hook is referencing the first few seconds of your video and successful creators typically say to do things like “start like you are in the middle of a conversation” and “talk like you are talking to 1 person, not a huge audience of people.” Also, avoid the “Millennial pause” – a brief pause before starting to speak into the camera.
- Don’t Worry About Equipment
Start with your phone in your hand. That simple. As you get more comfortable creating videos, you’ll begin to identify the areas you can improve – don’t try for perfection straight out of the gate or you’ll never make progress.
- Be Consistent
The more you post, the more content TikTok will have to identify you by, and the more you’ll be able to see what resonates with your audience (and what doesn’t).
- Don’t Focus on Going Viral
This is the most practical tip of all. It can be really easy to get caught up in vanity metrics, but at the end of the day, you should focus on creating content that represents you and your business and provides something of value to your audience.
And finally, don’t get discouraged.
It takes time to build a new following from scratch, simply getting started means you’re on the right path. If you’re looking for support in your TikTok strategy and implementation, reach out and we’d be happy to chat about the ways in which we can support your efforts.