Do you want to learn how to make money on TikTok? Here’s how Tori grew from 0 to 350,000 TikTok followers and made $60,000 in just 6 weeks.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably heard something about TikTok. TikTok is one of the most popular social media networks currently, and it is growing like crazy.
There are already over 500 million active monthly users on TikTok around the world.
So, you may be wondering if you can learn how to make money on TikTok, and any TikTok tips so that you can see success too.
That completely makes sense!
Today, I want to introduce you to Tori Dunlap.
Tori Dunlap is a nationally-recognized millennial money and career expert. After saving $100,000 at age 25, Tori quit her corporate job in marketing and founded Her First $100K. She has helped over 200,000 women negotiate salary, pay off debt, build savings, and invest.
I met her a couple of years ago in person, and she has built an amazingly successful business. I’m in awe of what she has done, and I enjoy her creative ways of helping people improve their money situation.
I asked Tori to take part in an interview on Making Sense of Cents about her explosive TikTok growth. She went from 0 to over 350,000 TikTok followers, and made $60,000 in just 6 weeks on TikTok.
In this interview, you’ll learn:
- About Tori’s background and why she decided to start on TikTok
- How she grew her TikTok to over 350,000 followers in 6 weeks
- How she has made $60,000 just from TikTok in 6 weeks and how to earn money from TikTok
- The tools needed to create TikTok videos
- The length of time it takes to make each TikTok video
- Whether there is room for new TikTok accounts
- Her top TikTok tips for a newbie
And more! This interview is packed full of valuable information on how to earn money on TikTok.
I know so many people have questions about TikTok, such as how to grow on TikTok, how to make money from TikTok (including, how much money do TikTokers make?), and more, so hopefully you will find this interview both interesting and informative!
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- How Amanda Paid Off $133,763 In Debt in 43 Months
- How One Blogger Grew His Blog to Over 2 Million Visitors In A Year
Here’s how to make money on TikTok.
1. Tell me your story. Who are you and what do you do?
I’m nationally-recognized millennial money and career expert. After saving $100,000 at age 25, I quit my corporate job in marketing and founded Her First $100K to fight financial inequality by giving women actionable resources to better their money.
I’ve helped over 350,000 women negotiate salary, pay off debt, build savings, and invest — and I firmly believe that a financial education is a woman’s best form of protest.
A Plutus award winner, my work has been featured on Good Morning America, the Today Show, the New York Times, PEOPLE, TIME, New York Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, and more.
Before becoming a full-time entrepreneur, I led organic marketing strategy for Fortune 500 companies—with clients like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Nike, the NFL, and the Academy Awards—and global financial technology start-ups. For almost five years, I specialized in social media, SEO, content, and influencer marketing to grow community and increase awareness.
I now travel the world writing, speaking, and coaching about personal finance, online businesses, side hustles, and confidence for millennial women.
2. How long have you been on TikTok? Why did you decide to start a TikTok account?
I only really started doing TikTok for my business in the last 6 weeks (and gained almost 350,000 followers in the process, which is wild.)
I knew that you could see accelerated growth on the platform — it’s the only main social platform that currently has more people consuming content than creating it — and it fit well with my brand.
I’m passionate about financial education as a form of protest, and making money conversations inclusive — meeting people where they are on TikTok seemed like a perfect way to do that.
To me, going viral and gaining 350,000 followers in such a short amount of time is proof that Gen Z is craving personal finance advice.
3. How did you get your TikTok account to explode?
I was shocked by the growth, and I’ve never seen a platform that is so creator-friendly (Facebook, for example, has become more and more business-focused.)
In terms of followers, it took me 3 days to do on TikTok what it took me 3 years to do on Instagram. But I was ready for it — I have an established, global business, credibility, and products to sell. As a former social media manager, it’s a reminder that consistency, credibility, and serving before selling are what grows your account — not paid ads or manufactured authenticity.
The big shift was a video that went viral (as of this writing, it has 3.5 million views and over 730K likes.) Having gone viral multiple times before, this was next level — I was getting 100 followers every 5 minutes.
It’s more than doubled my website traffic, increased my sales, and grown my credibility.
4. How do you make money on TikTok?
I make money through promoting my own products (like my resume template and side hustle courses) and my affiliate partners.
For example, I might talk about high yield savings accounts and send folks to the link to my affiliate bank partner.
In the last 6 weeks, I’ve made over $60,000 just from TikTok.
Now that I have a substantial following, I’m also monetizing my platform with brand partnerships, and showcasing products I believe in.
5. How do you decide on your TikTok video ideas?
Just like the rest of my content, I focus on creating actionable resources for my followers.
Most of the questions I answer in my videos or advice I give comes from someone asking me about it, which guarantees I’ll have consumers of that content because I know it’s valuable for them.
Your audience will tell you what they want to see!
One of the smart things I did was waiting to become a creator. I was a consumer on TikTok first, sharing and enjoying videos before I started creating my own. Doing so helped me understand trends, what content well, the way the videos were shot. I got to know the landscape and followed creators doing good work.
So much of TikTok is collaborative creation, so I’ll often duet with another creator and offer my two-sense, or will be inspired by a trend or sound I see elsewhere.
6. What tools do you need for your videos? Is it simply your phone?
Your phone is the biggest thing you need. I also invested in a ring light/tripod to make it easier to shoot content, and to make sure the lightning was decent.
If you want to do more advanced videos, you might need editing software, a more professional camera, or props.
There is a learning curve with understanding how to shoot videos, and I was too intimidated to start for a while.
Don’t let that scare you: just like anything, it’s easy once you get the hang of it.
7. How long does it take you to make each TikTok video?
Batching content has helped me save time, so I make about 5-7 videos in one session.
Because we’re still in quarantine, I often shoot without camera-ready makeup, which I think adds to the spontaneity and authenticity of the video.
I’ve also made the decision to not change clothes for every single video, it just seems like overkill.
My 15-second, talk-to-camera videos take about 10 minutes — 3 to shoot, 7 to add text and a caption.
More in-depth videos — with green screen effects or lots of text that moves — can take about a half hour.
I try to intersperse content — not only for variety’s sake, but also to keep myself sane.
8. What do you like about making TikTok videos? What do you not like?
Instagram has started to feel more and more like work, while TikTok allows me to be more creative.
As a theatre major, it’s a perfect platform for me to make weird faces, perform, and showcase my personality in addition to my advice.
I’ve also found TikTok a more welcoming environment. You’ll always have trolls and hateful comments, but I’ve found there’s more support and encouragement from people who aren’t following you on TikTok than on other platforms.
I really love and engage with Instagram Stories, and TikTok doesn’t have a feature like that (yet.) Stories are a good way for your audience to learn more about you and your business in a less polished way, so I think it’s harder for someone to get to know you on TikTok.
Captions are also WAY shorter, and you cannot post your hashtags in the first comment, so any explaining you need to do through text needs to be in the actual video.
9. Do you think there is room for new TikTokers?
More than any other social platform.
Instagram, for example, is very saturated. It’s almost impossible to discover a new account within the platform, unless a friend directly shares it with you. You’re really only seeing posts from people you already follow.
TikTok has a following tab, and also a “For You Page” tab, where they show videos they think you’ll like.
I’ve never seen an algorithm as responsive as TikTok’s, so you’ll find content that actually connects with you and your interests.
Content that does well is at least one of the following: aspirational, educational, or entertaining.
You have travel vloggers showcasing their Airbnbs in Paris (aspirational), vegan chefs walking you through a recipe (educational), or a thrill-seeker trying a new stunt (entertaining.)
I found my niche between aspirational (talking about how I left my 9-5 job and built my business) and educational (how to pay off debt, invest, etc.)
Like any social platform, consistency is key. TikTok is like Twitter — you have the option of posting 7-10 times per day (and not being punished by the algorithm.) I usually try to put out 2-3 videos per day, some more complicated than others.
11. Are there any other TikTok tips you would like to share?
Don’t invest in TikTok unless you know your audience is there.
For example, if your potential customers are men in their 50s, they’re probably not on TikTok.
When I worked in marketing, it was easy to chase platforms or trends. It’s easy to feel like you need to be everywhere in order to make sure you’re relevant.
But if the audience you’re looking to target is largely not on a platform, don’t invest time and money in it.
Do you want to learn how to make money on TikTok and how to grow on TikTok?
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