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I’m now 90 days into posting content to TikTok. What started as an experiment has grown into a fun thing I get to do for a few minutes every day, and I’m excited to share that I have recently hit 330,000 followers! What’s strange is that I don’t feel like I have that many followers, even though I know that if I were to put 330,000 in one place it would actually be more people than attended the largest concert ever:
This growth of followers makes me feel a couple things that I’ll share with you:
Most people follow me for a very specific type of content I create: mind reading videos. I wish that this wasn’t the only thing that went viral for me and I’ve been creating different types of content in the hopes of finding something else that people can know me for. Although some of my content gets traction, I have yet to find a type of content that performs even close to how well my mind reading videos perform. On the other hand, I have definitely spent some time taking my mind reading videos to the next level, including filming videos backwards for additional special effects and inventing new mind reading tricks.
I’m not really sure what to do with 330,000 followers, and I never thought I’d have to figure out something like that for myself! I remember when I first started on TikTok it was a struggle to even get 1,000 views on a video. Now? I know that any video I put up will at least get 10,000 to 60,000 views in the first 24 hours even if it’s not a mind reading video. But what should I be leveraging my following to do? What can I do once I have 1,000,000 followers that I can’t do now? How can I increase follower engagement and create a community? How can I continue to make sure my viewers have fun and positive experiences? These are all exciting questions to think through!
One of the really interesting parts about TikTok is that if I broadcast live I will be promoted at the top of every notification feed of all 330,000 of my followers. I’m thinking a lot recently around the best ways for me to broadcast live to my followers. I broadcasted live for 5 minutes while walking around Disneyland and 500 people tuned in. Another time I went live while drawing and a few viewers tipped me $10 of real money that TikTok lets me cash out (they take a 50% cut). The best practice is to go live when you have a video going viral because then everyone who watches your viral video will also be able to tune into your live show - so keep that in mind if you’re thinking about going live yourself.
Should I be trying to collect email addresses from my followers? Do they even have email addresses? Should I be collecting phone numbers? Should I be getting them to connect on Messenger? It would be useful to be able to send a notification to my hard core followers when I have new content or if I decided to come out with branded merchandise. This is another thing I have been thinking about.
I’ve also been trying to figure out the best ways for brands and TikTok influencers to work together. TikTok influencers can be using sponsored sounds and products but most brands don’t know how to TikTok influencers and most TikTok influencers don’t know how to talk to brands. I think there is an interesting opportunity here. If you’re a brand looking to work with TikTok influencers I’d love to learn how you’re thinking about it.
In my last @mattcatbat update I talked about:
How I grew from 30k to 145k followers in 9 days.
My first time broadcasting live on TikTok.
My interview with Run Gum, an ecommerce brand started by a 2X Olympian that had just gotten started on TikTok.
What we’re going to cover today:
My TikTok stats.
A breakdown of the 19 videos I posted that helped me from from 145k followers to 330k followers in 26 days.
My TikTok Stats Update (@mattcatbat)
Stats are from October 31st, 2019 compared to stats from October 4th, 2019. My account was created on August 7th, 2019.
Followers: 337,596 (+191,327)
Likes: 2,232,199 (+1,173,953)
Video Views (Past 28 Days): 11,321,633 (+3,164,598)
Profile Views (Past 28 Days): 252,135 (+44,500)
Days on TikTok: 90
TikTok Video Breakdown - 19 Videos
What I Did on TikTok to Grow from 145k to 330k Followers
Over the past month I have posted 19 new videos on TikTok. As my account is mainly known for mind reading videos, I have continued to post them, but as you will see if I have also continued to explore new types of content that I can build my brand around. Mind reading videos are very limited in how many different variations you can make, so my big (and difficult) goal is to find a new type of content with high repeatability that can take over as my main type of content. This is crucial in making sure my TikTok account can consistently and endlessly provide quality entertainment.
Here’s a breakdown of the types of videos I made this month:
7 Mind Reading Videos
4 Time Lapse Drawing Videos
3 Trend Videos
2 Hypnotizing Videos
2 Original Comedy Videos
1 Instructional Drawing Video
I dropped my recent videos into a spreadsheet so I could see which ones performed the best. I would recommend taking the time to do this with your own TikTok videos so that you can make data driven decisions on what content to focus on.
What we can learn from this spreadsheet:
In my mind reading and hypnotizing videos I ask viewers to “double tap their screen and follow if you’re new” before I reveal what they are thinking or before I hypnotize them. What if this entire time these videos haven’t been performing well just because they are mind reading videos, but because I am directly encouraging engagement that drives virality on TikTok? This seems so obvious when I look at it like this but for some reason I didn’t think about it before. I kept thinking that it just so happened that people like mind reading videos better than my other videos. Moving forward I should definitely experiment with combining my non mind reading content with direct encouragement to like and follow.
My strategy so far has been to consistently create mind reading videos because TikTok continues to reward me with views, likes, and followers. My thought has been that I can then leverage my following from the mind reading videos to drive views for non mind reading content that my audience would also enjoy and then over time slowly shift my main content from mind reading to something else a little more creative. As you can see in the stats I have not yet figured out how to do this. Ideally I can find a piece of content I can create regularly that doesn’t explicitly ask for engagement (likes/follows). This is the biggest thing I am trying to figure out right now.
As I talk to more TikTok influencers it is has been made clear to me that including your face in more of your content is really important in building an audience that is personally connected to you. Only 21% of my videos this month included my face, and only 1.6% of my views. This still means 100,000+ people saw my face, which is a start in building recognition, but I have to make sure I implement myself and personal brand into more of my videos.
If you want to check them out, here are my videos from the past month:
I thought this video was super funny when I made it. Looking back it’s pretty weird :)
Halloween was coming up, so I thought why not theme the mind reading video!
I honestly think this video is hilarious. It did so so on TikTok but I laugh every time I watch it. Sometimes TikTok doesn’t like what I like.
I’ve seen others make these kinds of videos on TikTok so I decided to try it out. I don’t love doing them, but my audience liked it.
This honestly took so long to make and it didn’t perform that great. The video I did after this performed better and all I did is put a duck umbrella on my head for 10 seconds. That’s TikTok for you :)
I saw this weird duck umbrella in a closet. I put it on my head to a song. I made sure to include some of my drawings so that I kept building up the brand. It did surprisingly well for the amount of effort I put in.
Took a lot of time but didn’t perform better than a non animated mind reading video, so I don’t think it was worth the effort.
These videos are really fun and easy to do. They don’t do super well, but they get engagement from my existing followers and they seem to like them.
Another mind reading video, nothing special.
This is my most viewed video of all time. In the beginning I last minute decided to put a bunch of $20 bills we had from selling our couch on Craigslist, and I think it really impacted the virality of this video. Thousands of people in the comments talked about the money.
This took so long to do. I literally drew on top of 100+ frames of video and I thought this was going to do super well. It did not.
I tried to recreate my mind reading video in a garden. It didn’t do that great.
Another mind reading video! Nothing too different here.
I’ve been including my fiancee @sneleh in some of my videos since my audience seems to like it. She’s up to over 200 followers now just from being mentioned in my videos a few times.
This did a lot better than I expected. I definitely want to do more instructional videos as my audience seems to really enjoy them.
I shot a mind reading video with the punchline at the end that guessed you were thinking that “this is impossible”. It did better than I anticipated but hopefully I didn’t upset too many people by kind of making a joke of mind reading videos (nobody in the comments was upset, I’m probably just overthinking it).
I was at Disneyland recently and I was walking by the magic shop on Main Street. I wanted to figure out a way to make a video about the magic shop since so many of my followers love magic. I shot this video not sure what to expect and was pretty surprised at how well it did. Usually I take time to draw and write on a bunch of pieces of paper but this time I just talked and put text on top of my video and it worked pretty well. I’m going to experiment with doing more videos like this moving forward.
I hope you learned something from this recent update! I try my best to be as transparent as possible so that you get the unfiltered and raw thoughts and strategies. I want you to see both the ups and downs so that you can apply them to your own TikTok account.