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Chessie Rosier-Parker

How to Make Money with TikTok

A step-by-step guide to creating a 30-second video that will attract customers.

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WHEN WE FIRST joined TikTok, the engagement was unreal. In comparison to Instagram, we would get 10 times the number of reactions. We have since amassed nearly 100,000 followers on TikTok, but I want to break down what that means in actual results in the business and how we suggest curating your videos for maximum impact and tangible results.

The first benefit of using TikTok is the actual functionality of the app. You can very quickly make well-edited videos with popular music synced up and ready to distribute. You can answer questions in video form and even do reaction videos to other people’s content. However, customers can’t message you unless you happen to be following them. This is a huge hurdle for screen printers because we are not selling items off the shelf; we’re trying to create leads and inquiries for custom printing.

We’ve decided to make more humorous content to entertain people on TikTok. The videos get good engagement and lots of comments. People who are serious about using our services then go to Instagram to make the first inquiry. I now see TikTok as a character-building tool. It gives people insight into the vibe and personality of your studio. Are you serious or funny? Are you competent and current?

Another fun component of TikTok is that huge media brands like LadBible are hungry for viral videos. We went viral a few times through the repurposing of our content. This was fun but didn’t have any long-lasting impact on the studio’s success. One viral video caused a customer to sell out of his shirts, but in the following weeks we lost a good chunk of followers from that wave of attention. The loss of followers is because they may have initially seen an out-of-character video they found funny, but then we went back to our more educational style and they lost interest in our content.

TikTok realizes the huge majority of its users are just consumers so they started to incentivize the creators to produce the content. They started paying accounts like ours to create the videos through the “Creator Fund.” You don’t get much per video view, maybe a tenth of a penny, but if you get a million views, you are still going to get paid to do your own advertising.

We now mainly use TikTok as a tool to quickly curate and edit videos for other platforms. Our TikTok videos are often now Youtube shorts or Instagram Reels as they each share the portrait orientation when you film them. TikTok also taught us how to grab attention.

The hook of the video needs to grab the attention in the first few seconds. I’m sorry to say but shooting another video over the shoulder of someone loading a shirt on an automatic press isn’t going to cut it anymore. You almost have to script out the shots you intend to make.

If I want to make a video to promote new jackets, for example, here’s how I would break it down:

I would set the video up like a tutorial so I can educate the customer as to why they would choose our studio for our expertise.

  1. First shot – Someone wearing a freshly printed jacket | 4 seconds
    Voiceover – “The customer wanted these jackets that are waterproof and made from plastic bottles.”
  2. Second shot – Moving shot of someone drawing a tattoo design on a tablet | 4 seconds
    Voiceover – “First we draw the design on the iPad.”
  3. Third shot – Zooming in shot of a screen | 5 seconds.
    Voiceover – “The screen is coated with light-sensitive emulsion.”
  4. Fourth shot – Zoom out of the screen after it has been exposed | 3 seconds.
    Voiceover – “The design is exposed on the screen with UV light.”
  5. Fifth shot – Ink poured | 5 seconds.
    Voiceover – “Special polyester ink is used on the water-poof fabric.”
  6. Sixth shot – Printing | 3 seconds.
    Voiceover – “We screen print the jackets by hand.”
  7. Seventh shot – Same as the first shot, of someone wearing the jacket. | 4 seconds
    Voiceover – “The customer loved the jacket and just put in another order.

Throughout the whole video, add written captions because some TikTok viewers watch videos with the audio off. You should also use good, high-engagement hashtags such as #streetwear #eco-fashion instead of descriptive hashtags like #jacket or #black.

Next, you can post this on TikTok and also save it on your phone to upload on Instagram and even YouTube shorts to push it out over as many platforms as possible.

The benefit of using the educational style is the viewer is learning when they’re watching the video. They’re taking in the information by seeing it, reading it, and also hearing the audio. The call to action is also in the video in a subtle way as we framed the video with a job we did for a customer. One other crucial point to making short-form videos is the description in your profile needs to include a link to your quote request form and not just your general website URL so it matches the intention of the video to drive sales and not just entertain.

Our overall experience with TikTok has been positive, but most of all, it’s taught us how to grab attention and sell by educating and creating clear calls to action. Now, when customers make inquiries, they often reference the type of print we made for someone else so they can get their own version. The Creator Fund pays for a couple of beers at the pub, so that’s a bonus too.

Watch three of Squeegee & Ink’s top TikTok’s:

@squeegee_ink Screen printing 100% polyester coacher jackets #screenprinting #polyester #coachjacket #coacher #jacketprinting #squeegeeandink #silkscreen #silkscreenprinting #screenprint ♬ Countless – Official Sound Studio

@squeegee_ink Missing flat bed printing! #screenprint #flatbed #flatbedprinting #silkscreen #posterprints #nft #nftlaunch #screenprinting #angrybuns #artwork ♬ Up – Movie Theme – Giampaolo Pasquile

@squeegee_ink How we make our pre-exposed screens ready to use for printing at home #screenprinting #printathome #printstudio #silkscreen ♬ original sound – Squeegee and Ink

Read our past coverage of screen printers in the TikTok world:

Chessie Rosier-Parker is the studio owner of Squeegee & Ink and also Blind Maggot streetwear brand. As a screen printing teacher for 10 years, Chessie has built a presence on a range of social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, and Youtube and has an active blog, podcast, and email newsletter. Chessie reveals the steps to making a marketing ecosystem that once built will funnel your ideal customers to your business. Check out free resources on the squeegeeandink.co.uk website and subscribe to the Youtube channel for notifications of new videos.

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