Remember Vine? For those of you who don’t remember one of the earliest short form video apps, it was kind of the first mega-popular social media networks built specifically for short shareable videos and it was where so many popular creators got their start.
Now TikTok has taken over as the powerhouse of the short form video space, and so many creators are using the app to connect, entertain, teach, learn, and more. Drea Okeke got her start in short-form video on Vine, and now she’s a favorite on TikTok and a go-to expert when it comes to navigating the app with strategy, purpose, and fun.
I do not know the first thing about TikTok — I literally signed up just to snag my username and… That’s it. I’m so excited to learn about building a brand on the app, content creation strategies, and non-intimidating ways to dive in and make the most of one of the most popular apps on the planet.
From Engineering to Tik Tok
Drea Okeke was in college studying engineering when she started creating short-form comedy videos on Tik Tok (after Vine went away). Her global fame skyrocketed after a video collaboration with a friend that involved saying phrases in a Nigerian accent — one of her famous skits — and her friend saying the same phrases in an Australian accent. The video was a global viral sensation.
After that, Drea had opportunities to travel and speak around the world, as well as partner with big brands. She started to see that Tik Tok was more than a pastime and stress reliever; it could be an entire career. She decided to make the switch from engineering to pursuing a career in Tik Tok, entertainment, and building a personal brand.
“It’s a big switch, but in a way I kind of still use the strategy I got from being an engineer,” Drea began. She decided to pursue a masters degree in entrepreneurship because it made sense as she developed her personal brand online and built a business around her social media endeavors.
TikTok is a global app featuring short form videos. When you first open the app, you land on the For You Page (#FYP) which is essentially a never-ending scroll of content curated for you based on your past engagements and views. For creators, the FYP is key, because no matter how many followers you have, your content is still landing in the FYP.
When it comes to building a personal brand, Drea says that TikTok is the place to do it because not only is the opportunity to attract a new community and new customers, it’s really fun to use. There’s less pressure for perfection (like some other apps we know). “Imperfection is perfection on TikTok,” Drea says.
One thing that intimidates me about TikTok is that when I think of the content creators on there, I think of choreographed dances, lip syncing, make-up tutorials… All things that don’t really fit for me, and so I discount what I could do there because I don’t know where I fit in.
Drea told me, “There are so many different niches.” The key is to start consuming and watching content, interacting with what you like the most, and the For You Page will start to serve up content that is more aligned with your interests, and the niches where you could see yourself creating.
TikTok Success Secrets
Drea clearly has the mechanics of a great TikTok video down to a science, so I asked her to share some of the quick start strategies so you can shorten your own learning curve on the app.
First things first, you need to capture your audience’s attention within the first three seconds. Users are scrolling and tapping through, and you have a very narrow window to catch their attention on the For You Page. You can try using on-screen text like, “Watch ‘til the end,” or “I can’t believe this happened…”
Music is also a great way to create a strong piece of content. It doesn’t have to be a lip syncing video! Just adding background music to enhance your video. Because so much of TikTok is fueled by challenges, dances, or music-related trends, videos with music will show up in more For You Pages. C
More TikTok Tips
For Instagram, you know I teach the JK5 strategy — pick five key pillars/topics for your posts so you can build a multi-dimensional brand that isn’t just about the product or service that you sell. Drea says that this works on TikTok, too, but that it’s really important to find the one key niche that you want to be known for.
A question I always used to get about blogging was, “How do you actually make money from it?” So I asked Drea the same question about TikTok. Similar to Instagram, you can monetize your TikTok through partnerships with brands and affiliate links. The key is to incorporate this type of selling content organically — don’t post an infomercial!
Consistency on TikTok is key, just like on other social media platforms. Drea recommends posting twice a week, which sounds like a lot for a newbie, but don’t get caught up in high-production value content. Get started with easy entry videos and get a feel for creation. If you enjoy it, keep going.
More from this Episode
Drea Okeke is a wealth of TikTok knowledge and she shares so many more tips, tricks, hacks, and helpful ideas to get started and grow your presence on that platform with strategy, and more importantly, fun. Follow Drea on TikTok @dreaknowsbest and on Instagram @drea_knowsbest. If you want to dig into TikTok strategy, be sure to check out Drea’s course at dreaknowsbest.com.