The music industry has always been riddled with obstacles and gatekeepers that can discourage your average artist.
But every once in a while something comes along that allows artists to develop their fanbase, and become prolific.
The opportunity today comes in the form of becoming a TikTok musician.
TikTok has catapulted many people to fame and allowed them to pursue their passion as an artist, full-time.
In this post, we’ll highlight success stories from various TikTok musicians, as well as, teach you how to build and monetize your audience, overcome common stumbling blocks, and create your own success story.
The secret to TikTok’s success
When you walk into an empty room with nothing on the walls, you realize that you “need” art on the walls to make the room enjoyable. This benefits visual artists, but no one walks into a room and thinks “wow there should be a song playing in here.”
But a video on the other hand is one thing that does “need” music.
The music John Williams composed in Star Wars is half, if not more of what makes those movies great.
Tiktok has combined music with video in a social media kind of way.
Music and audio is at the forefront of TikTok as a platform, all you have to do is share your uniqueness, consistently.
Types of TikTok content to create
Think of it as show and tell. Except this time, the teacher isn’t going to call on you and make sure you get up and share. You have to motivate yourself, be brave, and put yourself out there.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. Simply play or perform your song or instrument live
The simplest thing to do is just hit record on your phone and start recording with your phone’s microphone, nothing fancy.
@dorianpianist Do not go gentle into that good night #piano #pianist #music #interstellar #hanszimmer #musician #fyp #viral #foryou #foryoupage ♬ Cornfield Chase - Piano - Dorian Marko
2. Duet someone else's video and play along
In TikTok, you can duet any video to create a split-screen of you and them doing something together. Sing harmony with Ed Sheeran, find an acapella and add your instrument, or just get creative and find a way to collaborate with someone else’s video.
@franciskarelofficial #duet with @charlieputh pls tag Charlie y’all!! #songwriting #songwriter #foryou #fyp #picky #singing #HelloFall ♬ November - Charlie Puth
3. Remix someone's song in a different style
Pepsi put their spin on Coke and found huge success. Tesla took a car and re-imagined it to create something groundbreaking. In the world of entrepreneurship, people are constantly taking something that exists and changing it slightly with a different style. This surprises and delights people that makes it new, exciting, and desirable.
@covernationofficial which was your favorite?! 🎤 we love @tiktokbrownchick 😍 #singing #foryou #savage #cover ♬ original sound - Cover Nation
4. Mash up two songs together
In the world of entrepreneurship, people are always combining different things together to make something special. In music you can easily create the same novel effect. This method has a way of catching people’s ear and making them want to share it with their friends.
@oscarwyldeofficial I missed you guys! #souljaboy #pitbull #remix #mashup #fypシ #forupage ♬ original sound - oscarwylde
5. Create music with unique, un-common sounds
Remember, the idea on TikTok is to be creative. Use random sounds to make something amazing. Take audio from the moon landing and turn it into a drum pattern. Whatever you love or inspires you, try taking the audio from it and creating something unique.
@meredith_bull @Crunchycat chronch beat for Luna #monkeycatluna #catsoftiktok #cat #asmrcat ♬ original sound - meredithbull
How and why to be consistent
The only way to get great at something is to do it consistently. Repitition is the key to growth and mastery, and TikTok will reward it exponentially.
This is the hardest part.
Out of the 1 Billion monthly active users, some percentage of them will love whatever it is you do. Skill or talent is not the issue. Your audience is out there, you just have to put in the work.
You need to wake up every day and be thinking about what and how you are going to share your inspiration.
You have to be ok with getting embarrassed. You have to let yourself cringe at yourself. Because with repetition, all these things will pass. You’ll find what works and what doesn’t, and over time, you will successfully grow a large audience, guaranteed.
How to stay consistent with TikTok – Challenge.
You definitely know other people that would love to blow up on TikTok and find great success. So the best thing you can do is seek them out, and help each other stay consistent.
Create a TikTok challenge with your friends or family
- Find the people
- Create a group message thread
- Design the incentivization system
- Hold each other accountable
Monetize your audience on TikTok or anywhere else
Royalties should be your number one priority. Focus on getting residual, passive, “mailbox money.”
Royalties come in the form of sync licensing, publishing, songwriting, producing, making NFTs, etc.
Reach out to other artists. Collaborate, pitch people songs, send cold messages to brands. Find creative ways to get royalties flowing into your accounts.
You can also sell products using your personal brand. Remember, create content to build an audience, then sell that audience stuff. This can be physical products, digital products, or events.
Digital products are ideal because you make them one time and sell them many times, usually on autopilot while you sleep. Think training courses, presets, sample packs. Start there.
If you’re inclined to create a physical product beware. This is much more work and takes you away from creating content and building your audience unless you do it right. If you don’t have the passion or skill for product development, make sure you collaborate or hire someone to do what they do best.
Events can be lucrative but they take a lot of time and energy. You should protect those two things with your life but you can also stumble upon great networking opportunities which could lead to royalties in the future.
These are your live shows, teaching and speaking opportunities etc. But remember, you probably want mailbox money, not a day job.
Stumbling Blocks to Avoid
Get over the idea that you need to be creating silly videos. Artists use the things around them to create things that didn’t exist before. Just because cat videos and dances are popular doesn’t mean you have to make them all day.
Use the platform in a way that no one has done before. That’s what truly gets noticed and get’s people’s attention.
Remember, if you become a signed artist, creating video content is going to be a big part of the job. You’re not going to get away from it, so you may as well start now.
Don’t take yourself too seriously. If you’re not having fun you’re probably doing it wrong. Just get started, and make sure you’re always having fun.
Engagement is key. Treat the comments section as your merch booth after a show. Meet as many people as possible, create real connections, and build your fan base one person at a time.
Don’t go crazy with production quality. Time and time again the algorthm has shown to support low quality, off the cuff videos. Not having the right tools or cameras etc is just an excuse to not put yourself out there.
Keep your accounts specific. If you have an idea for making something totally different than your current account has been building, make a new account and play with ideas over there.
Follow the trends but put your own spin on them. The algorithm favors the trends so you have to be playing in those realms all the time. Don’t just do what everyone else is though, be creative within the trend.
Like anything else you’re trying to develop, the key is consistency. In order to stay consistent, you have to create a habit. Use tricks to form new habits and you’ll find out quickly if you have the true passion that master level consistency requires.
Make sure you follow Pyramind on TikTok and we’ll make sure to follow you back. We’ll be sharing helping content like this as well as sharing your music with our audience.
Find us here: @pyramind_official