Brands are embracing the world of TikTok, and while some may have in-house TikTok creators, others lean on established influencers to enhance their brand and carry their message to new audiences. Today we look at three different TikTok creators as examples of the professional service they offer, along with insights as to what brands can expect when working with creators today.
I’ll leave the SugarCoatedSisters to tell their own story of how they got started on TikTok in the video (and it’s hilarious as is all of their content), but the really important thing is the success they have found as TikTok creators for brands.
Chloe is the blonde, Tabby is the brunette, and musical comedy is their forte. They were recognised as TikTok’s Breakthrough Stars for 2022 and honestly, if you’re not on TikTok it’s worth downloading just to watch their past content.
What I love about these two creators, is not just the sheer joy they bring to their job, but that they’ve been able to quit their jobs and replace their income with TikTok.
As start up creators, Chloe was very upfront and told us that they really didn’t know how much to charge at the start, especially as they have yet to gain their next target of a million followers (currently they have over 550k). That hasn’t stopped them from working with some of the biggest names in ecommerce and, having figured out their pricing model, they are earning a great living.
But it’s not as easy as just setting up a camera and pressing record, some of their videos take days to create and of course they’re always producing content that’s not sponsored in between paid content work. Having said that, when they pick up work as creators, sometimes they’ve each earned what would have been a couple of months paychecks for a contract which they’ve completed in a couple of days.
Covering everything from heart break to politics (You should see their Boris Johnson and Liz Truss TikToks!!), the SugarCoatedSisters exemplify the fun and spontaneity that being a creator needs and brands that work with them will be lucky to have such a talented duo to support them – While Chloe and Tabby make the content they create look effortless and natural, the reality is that they’re extremely talented, professional creators and the results speak for themselves.
Monique used to be a high powered engineer earning a great salary. Today, she’s a TikTok creator having been able to replace her income and quit her job to educate her audience on skincare.
Having already noticed how different skincare and beauty experiences are for people of colour and especially black women, in the covid lockdowns, with her mental health suffering she turned her frustrations and depression into creating skincare content which went viral and earned her the name Skinfiltrator, now with over 160k followers.
Working with brands, you might think someone who is working as a creator for a living might be willing to take on any contract, but Monique exemplifies professionalism and values the trust that her audience places in her so much that she’s turned down five figure contracts for products that she doesn’t believe in. She’s also careful with her language and while willing to say that she loves a product, is perfectly willing to refuse phrasing that suggest she is endorsing a product, say as ideal for black skin, if this isn’t something that she can back up.
What this means for brands, is that they need to listen and work with creators, respect if they reject a project and at times consider if what they really want is someone to sell their soul just for a paycheck, or if they’d prefer to respect their creators and future customers and allow them to produce amazing content that’s real.
Monique is an amazing woman and Brands that work with her will adore her ethics and the doors she can open in the TikTok skincare and beauty entertainment field.
Some brands are fortunate enough to have inhouse TikTok creators, and, with Katie and Emma, they have two professionals willing to put themselves out there and have fun along with their audience.
In person, they are highly proficient professionals, but on TikTok you have to be willing to show your fun side, not take yourself too seriously and relate to your audience. Remember, while TikTok is an ecommerce channel and consumers can purchase directly through your TikTok shop, it’s primarily an entertainment channel and that means you have to be entertaining.
And Katie and Emma ‘get it’ and are absolutely hilarious at times, while still enthusing over the Swan product set and showcasing them at their best.
With Swan, you can expect a mix of product demos, cookery and household cleaning tips, shopping tips, and some crazy off the wall skits interspersed with some fun games and competitions. The above clip from a recent TikTok Live, shows the Swan creators surrounded by products for sale, but about to embark on a whipped cream challenge, which as you might expect is a hilarious abject failure, but the disastrous consequences are what makes their content so engaging and keeps consumers coming back for more.
Our biggest learning from these TikTok creators is that the selling has to be secondary and it’s important to remember that this is primarily an entertainment channel. Those consuming the content will only follow, like, favourite, and share content that they love (which is what I guess I’m doing by choosing videos to illustrate this article!)
Second biggest lesson is that simply throwing money at professional creators isn’t always enough. They have to love your product and believe in it if they are going to promote it. Don’t be offended if a creator rejects your proposal, it might be that other creators are a better fit, or they may love your product but aren’t willing to describe it in the manner you’re requesting… changing the phrasing you’re asking for may make them, or other TikTok creators, more likely to want to work with you.
20 years ago, I remember looking at those quitting their day jobs and taking a risk to become a full time online marketplace seller with awe…. and then I became one myself. We should be viewing TikTok creators in the same light – they are forging a path that many more will follow in the future.
The creators of today and the brands that successfully work with them are not just to be admired, they’re case studies others can emulate and, far from just creating video content, they’re creating a whole new industry.