How To Get 1K Followers And Make Money: TikTok & Instagram
Social media has arguably never been a more powerful and effective place to make money and solidify a brand than it is in 2023. In fact, content creators on TikTok are making more than S&P 500 CEOs, a testament to the kind of money that is floating around these apps.
Considering TikTok, followed by Instagram, are the top two most downloaded apps of all time, you are probably wondering how to get 1k followers on TikTok, or Instagram, this year. The good news is that as more and more people download these apps, audiences hungry to find new accounts, posts, and videos increase as well. Embarking on a journey to get 1k followers on Instagram and TikTok is something that everyone can do – the days of the chosen few ‘influencers’ are over. There is room for everyone and showing up as your authentic self is enough to make it happen.
Therefore, we are going to review how to get 1k followers on Instagram and TikTok in a breakdown below. We will then explore how to monetize that following and get in on the gig economy action that is making unlikely suspects rich nearly ‘overnight’ through these apps.
First, let’s kick things off with TikTok.
How to Get 1k Followers on TikTok
TikTok disrupted the social media space in all the right ways when it rose to prominence during the 2020 COVID pandemic. It was an app, previously based on music (TikTok was once Musical.ly), that placed special emphasis on video. In fact, it was the first app of its kind, one that shares only short-form video, at the time it came forward and did the opposite of Instagram: TikTok gave people a chance to show up as their true, messy, unedited selves, and grow massive followings. Social media users were feeling fatigued with the perfectly curated profiles on Instagram and wanted a change. TikTok delivered the change in an ingenious way, which is why YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram have all copied TikTok’s short-form video in their own ‘Reels’ and ‘Pinterest Story Pins.’
The foundation and popularity of TikTok is important to understand if you want to grow 1,000 followers on the app. It is very different from the Instagram game rules, which we will cover below. It’s a place where authenticity and being shockingly raw are what followers want to see.
Therefore, in order to get 1k followers on TikTok, you are going to need to consider the following steps:
- First, sign up on the app. It’s free to do. Pick a username (use your own name if possible for searchability) and upload a cover image. Fill out the bio with something simple that communicates your aim with the profile.
- Next, start posting – a lot. TikTok rewards creators who post 3+ pieces of content per day. People view TikTok profiles as a tv shower with characters; they want to peer in on your day-to-day life and see what is new. They don’t want fancy lighting and special props. They want something real.
- Aim to post 3+ pieces of content per day, for at least one month. As you post this much content, a few things are going to happen. First, you’re going to understand the TikTok video editing tool better. Next, you’re going to learn about which kinds of videos convert better than others.
- Try and use trending audio and songs in your videos. TikTok is paid by the record industry to promote certain songs at certain times. Therefore, they are going to reward you for using these songs in return.
- Engage with your following and answer anyone who leaves a comment. Start the conversation and post the first comment in the comment section of each video. You want people to start engaging with the videos so that the algorithm promotes them more heavily.
- Duet with other popular creators and make videos that are reactions to their already posted content.
It’s important to know there are two kinds of videos to post to TikTok. The first is one with the intention of going viral. This could be something shocking or entertaining. The second kind of video is one made for your following, otherwise known as niche content. This may be a longer three-minute video where you provide real value to the people following you, convincing them to stay and winning their trust. Winning their trust is important if you want to monetize your account, which we will cover next.
You also want to strike a balance with videos that showcase your actual voice/voiceover, as well as videos that are just you with a song playing over the top of it. TikTok has reported that followers want to see more voice-centered videos that provide value than they previously craved during the dance trend era. Talking to the camera, in short clips, or dubbing over your videos with your voice is a great way to familiarize your audience with who you are and what you are aiming to do with your profile.
At the end of the day, people follow people, which means the more transparent you are with yourself, your voice, and your ideas, the more people will interact intimately with your content. Of course, this could attract a little controversy along the way. Still, the controversy is what grows accounts the fastest and makes monetization instantly accessible.
How to Monetize Your TikTok Following
TikTok doesn’t mess around when it comes to monetization potential. The app’s most popular creator, Charli D’Amelio, made $17.5 million in 2021 with her 140.3 million followers – and that’s not accounting for the brand deals, TV shows, and other spinoff opportunities that have come from it.
One of the reasons why it’s so effective to monetize on TikTok is that there are many ways to do it. Many of the options overlap, which means one profile can make you money in five different ways.
Let’s look at some of the most lucrative ways to make money from your TikTok account:
- Join the TikTok Creator Fund. TikTok pays people to post on TikTok. Yes, you read that right. Although creators have complained that TikTok should pay more per 1,000-views, it’s still a base payment that can be added to everything else you earn through the app. Plus, being in the creator fund puts you in their system and allows brands to collaborate with you through the app. Brands can put in bids, offer compensation, and outline the partnership right inside of the fund.
It is best to apply to the fund once you have already established a following of 1,000-followers or more. If you are rejected, you are free to apply again as you continue to grow your account.
- Sell your own products to your followers. With print on demand, you can make your own merch, hats, mugs, and anything related to your brand and sell it to your followers. Coming up with a classic saying, perhaps, that you announce at the beginning or end of every video and putting it on a t-shirt that you sell to your followers, can quickly become an effective passive income source as time moves forward. Having this consistent saying that you include in every video can also help to create the appearance of ‘episodic content,’ making your followers feel like they are watching their favorite TV show.
- Collect virtual gifts by going Live on the app. Going Live on TikTok is a great way to grow your following, receive more exposure in the app, and deepen your followers’ loyalty to your brand. When you go Live, TikTok allows your followers to send you virtual gifts that can be redeemed for payment. If you plan to go Live, you want to do it when most of your followers are online, which you can see by clicking on your profile settings and selecting the Analytics tab. The longer you stay Live, the more people will have a chance to come in and out of the broadcast. TikTok will push the video to even more people. Don’t forget to use hashtags in your Live description so that the right people are able to find you.
Bonus tip: post a video to your profile right before you go Live so that your profile drives traffic to the new piece of content you just published.
- Influence for brands in your niche. Brands are desperate to work with authentic influencers today. They don’t just want the people with 14 million followers who have an incredibly diluted brand. They want to work with micro-influencers who have a more intimate connection with their own following. Don’t be afraid to reach out to ideal brands in your niche and propose working with them. Many of them are going to reach out to you as well, which is why you should have a media kit drafted and ready to send. The kit should include your social media stats, any impressive accolades or information about viral videos, pictures of yourself, and your rates. A general rule of thumb is that for 100k followers on TikTok, charging $1k for a post is reasonable. But that number can change based on engagement levels, where you are located, which industry you are in, etc. Always research to see the latest influencing rates you can pursue to know that you are charging what you are worth!
- Put affiliate links into your videos and bio link. Affiliate marketing is a powerful way to make passive income when the links are set up correctly. Affiliate marketing is essentially the act of promoting another brand’s product or service and earning commission for sales made via your unique link. Some brands offer subscription payouts you will earn for every month your leads continue to buy that product or service. These links can be put into your TikTok bio if you use something like Linktr.ee (or similar options, most are free). You want to be sure to promote links that are relevant to your brand, or else risk losing the trust of your followers. For example, if your TikTok is centered around sustainable beauty products and you have affiliate links to the latest VR headsets, that’s not going to make sense to your followers and leave them questioning your legitimacy. It’s recommended to work with just one to three affiliate links for this reason, so as not to overwhelm those clicking on your bio link.
These are just a few effective ways to monetize your TikTok, many of which can be overlapped. That’s one of the reasons why social media has become so lucrative – you can promote your own products, services, and affiliate links, while going Live and partnering with brands. The monetary potential is unlimited.
Next, let’s look at how to mimic this same process on Instagram.
How to Get 1k Followers on Instagram
Instagram, although much older than TikTok (founded in 2010), has become the new ‘Facebook’ of today. Pretty much everyone you know is on it, and it’s important to understand what the app stands for in order to grow your following and monetize it properly. Many bloggers tout Instagram as the ultimate virtual business card, or blog, today. It’s where people go to get the full story on you, what you’re specializing in, what you post about, and what matters to you. Since Instagram allows for Stories, photo posts, text posts, and videos, people feel it’s a more well-rounded, blog-angle of your brand, a la MySpace back in the early 2000s.
Therefore, the process for getting 1k followers on Instagram is going to be slightly different than TikTok (although, these apps constantly copy one another since they are in direct competition.).
In order to get 1k followers on Instagram, you are going to need to consider the following steps:
- The presentation of your profile is everything. Instagram was founded on aesthetics, and the appearance of your profile still matters today. Although curating it perfectly no longer impresses people, they are looking for organization when they land on your page. What does this mean? It means you need an eye-catching profile picture (many times, a photo of yourself with a monotone-colored background or something that people notice in the Stories feed), a bio that clearly communicates the point of your profile, Instagram Story Highlights (these are the bubbles above your feed and below your bio that show a more informal look into your life), regularly posted Instagram Stories, and captions to your photos and Reels post that are more than just two emojis (people want to know your personality and feel a vulnerability from you).
It’s a good rule of thumb to sit down and draft up a color and font palette, as well as brand attributes, that you want to try and stick to with all your Instagram content. People want authenticity on Instagram, too, but they want an element of organization that can be found with a blog.
- Instagram Stories are a great way to engage with your following. Instagram Stories were created to copy Snapchat’s fleeting content movement that captured attention worldwide in the early 2010s. These are shorter pieces of content that ‘disappear’ after 24-hours (except you can place them in the Instagram Story Highlights mentioned above forever). You can post videos, photos, polls, questions, and a variety of other engaging types of Stories that allow people to message you directly and engage with your brand. People like to feel that they have a connection with you. Polls are also a great way to ask your followers about what else they want to see from you.
- Video is still King, even on Instagram. Instagram knows TikTok is winning in the video world, which is why Instagram Reels are the most effective way to grow your Instagram following. Aim to post at least three Reels per week if you want to grow your account to over 1k followers. You can use the Reels editor tool, although many prefer the TikTok editing tool, after which they export the video out and upload it to Instagram. If you choose to do this, be sure to still natively select music through Instagram so your video falls into the algorithm smoothly. The same video editing and capturing rules apply to Instagram, as was discussed above with TikTok.
Bonus tip: If you are feeling video fatigued, posting photos in between your video posts can be a great way to still be active and present on Instagram. Followers want to see activity from you every day, even if it’s just a few Stories.
- Instagram also likes it when users go Live. The more often and longer you go Live on Instagram, the more the app is going to push out your profile to people. Every app is in competition to keep people engaged inside their feeds, which is why Livestreams are some of their favorite forms of content today. Try to go Live once per week and let your followers know when you plan to go Live (check your analytics to see when your followers are most active on the app).
Bonus hack: Cross-pollinating your followings
One of the most effective ways to grow a 1k follower count on Instagram is by having the followers find you from a few viral TikToks. One viral TikTok video that hits 1 million views can cause about 1k people to click on your Instagram icon through your TikTok and follow you. The same can happen in reverse, so be sure to make it easy for followers to find both accounts.
Ultimately, Instagram is no longer as ‘stuffy’ as it used to be, thanks to video and Gen Z’s push for more authentic content. However, it is still much more aesthetic-obsessed than TikTok, and some planning and refined organization should go into the presentation of the profile. Otherwise, post as consistently as possible!
How to Monetize Your Instagram Following
Instagram is just as lucrative as TikTok when it comes to monetization. In fact, Instagram is arguably more monetizable simply because it has been around longer, and more businesses understand how exposure works within the app. And as we’ve mentioned, brands no longer look for accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers – they understand the potential of micro-influencing and are looking for more engaged, niche accounts today.
Let’s look at some of the most lucrative ways to make money from your Instagram account:
- Partner with brands to influence OR make UGC (User Generated Content). Brands are looking for creators on Instagram more than ever today. They will pay you to organically promote them in your stories, Reels, and photo carousels. With only 1,000 followers, it’s not unreasonable to charge a few hundred dollars for in-feed posts and stories – and that’s just starting out! There are many places you can register to partner up with these brands, one of them being Collabstr.com (many other options).
New to the scene in the last year is also the rise of UGC. Instead of promoting a brand on your own page as an influencer, you can create content for the brand that they post on their brand page. This saves them money from hiring professional videographers and allows them to borrow your ‘likeness’ as a real testimony on their page. It saves you from having to stack your profile with promotional posts for money.
- Sell your own products. The same as TikTok, you can sell your own downloads, merch, templates, services, consultations, and anything through your Instagram bio where your link lives. You can also link to your products on your Instagram stories using the link sticker option. This makes it, in a way, easier to coerce your Instagram following into clicking on your links as opposed to TikTok.
- Become an affiliate. The same rules apply here as do TikTok. Consider becoming an affiliate for brands that are in perfect alignment with your page. A great place to look up available brands includes ClickBank, LTK, and Amazon Associates. Affiliate marketing is simple in theory, but it does require a plan to make it successful. You will want the links to be genuine to who you are and your brand, as your following will know if your heart is not in it.
- Open your own Instagram Shop. Instagram has released a ton of features under the Instagram Shopping portal as the app works to combat Amazon’s massive eCommerce success. This feature allows people to easily shop your business’ videos and images on the platform, instantly accessing the different products and apparel items you are showcasing or wearing. You can also create product description pages inside of your shop. Lastly, you can send people to your website to complete a purchase, or they have the option of checking out right inside of Instagram.
- Use your following to sell belongings you no longer want. As more of a blog-based app, Instagram is a great place to resell things or items you no longer want. It can double as an eBay-kind of app where you can post on Stories or your feed to let people know you have items for sale.
Make 2023 the year you get 1k followers on both Instagram and TikTok and go on to create income streams you never imagined were possible for yourself. These apps are only going to grow in importance as we head into an AI-based tech revolution with the Metaverse looming on the horizon. We applaud you for taking this important first step!
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