With over 120 million monthly users and over 800 million total downloads, TikTok is the latest platform that is perfect for indie and unsigned musicians.
If you aren’t familiar with the app, you aren’t alone. This app is popular with the 22 and under crowd, also known as Gen Z. TikTok allows users to upload 15 second clips of singing, lip-syncing, dancing, memes, comedy, skits, etc. Think of it like Vine in regards to tonality of the app.
The app is known for the music and has been the platform that launched two major careers: Lil Nas X and Blanco Brown. “Old Town Road” began as a challenge on TikTok, using the hashtag #yeehaw, and danced it’s way into the Spotify playlists of millions of people. Lil Nas X credits his success totally to TikTok and says he would have paid for this exposure. Currently, he is signed to Capitol Records, all from his viral video.
Blanco Brown also gained popularity this year with his song “Git It”. It has since gone on to over 34 million views on YouTube.
So, how can you achieve the same success of Lil Nas X and Blanco Brown? Let’s break down TikTok!
Getting Your Music On TikTok
To Upload your music, you first need to make sure you have a fully mixed and mastered track ready to go. Choose a 15 second clip of the track that you want to be on TikTok.
Now, go into the app and record your video, or upload the video you want to use.
Tap the “Add Sound” option and you’ll get to the sound page. Here is where your song will be after you upload it!
Click on the “My Sound” button, located in the top right corner of the sound page.
Select your 15 second clip from your phone that you already prepared.
Click “Record” to record your video.
Name your track so that people can find it. I recommend putting your name in the track title as well so people can search you out on other platforms!
Name: “Title of Song” by Name of Band
That’s it! Now your track is searchable and discoverable by anyone who uses the app.
Challenges on the App
Now that your track is uploaded, it’s time to get people listening. The best way to do this is create a challenge for your track. There are two approaches for making your own challenge: DIY and Influencers.
The DIY route is just as it sounds, you create your own challenge video first and then ask your followers to do the challenge too! Dance, best costume, best skit, best dressed, most original, the possibilities are endless! If you pick winners for each category, you can give away a copy of your album, tickets to a show, or write a song just for them.
Influencers are in high demand on TikTok right now, but they are still at an affordable price with a great ROI. Prices are around half of what they are on Instagram, for reference. The perks of hiring an Influencer to make a challenge for you is that you are getting a professional to help you go viral. They know the app and what will make a video work or not. Make sure to give them full creative control and see the crazy cool things they create.
To find an influencer for your track, pop over to the trending page and see if any creators catch your eye. TikTok doesn’t have a message system built into the app, so you can search them out on Instagram and send them a DM, or some people will have their email in their profile on TikTok.
The Future of TikTok
TikTok is crazy popular right now and has been growing at 500% for the past two years with no signs of stopping. Now is the perfect time for indie and unsigned musicians to make their music known on the app.
Have you tried out TikTok yet? What has your experience been with the app?
Or maybe, TikTok isn’t your thing and you want to make your videos popular on YouTube? Check out this article that breaks it down!