Does your teen know every word to “Jiggle Jiggle”? Are they a pro at slow-motion swim-dancing to that viral “Hi, I’m Dory” sound clip? Then they might already be thinking about how to make money on TikTok, the video-sharing platform that launched 1,000 memes—more, actually. The app is an amazing way to find tips for conquering their favourite video game, get fashion advice from teen TikTok influencers, or watch toddlers perform the kind of skateboarding tricks they’ve been practising for years…and nail them on their first attempt.
It’s also a way for creative kids of all types to make money—and the process is simpler than it seems. So, how do you make money on TikTok? Let’s look at a few of the ways your tweens and teens can earn cash using the app and how to do it successfully.
- There are multiple ways to make money using TikTok, including sponsored content, promoting a business, and from the app’s Creator Fund.
- The amount of money popular TikTok creators make can vary widely, from a few hundred dollars a month to hundreds of thousands for a single post.
- The amount of money kids and teens can make on TikTok depends on the number of followers they have and the level of engagement they receive through likes, comments, and views.
- Some of the ways to make money on TikTok require kids to be 18 or older.
How much money can kids make on TikTok?
Good question! The simple answer is that it really depends on the kind of content they’re creating, the number of followers they have, the amount of views/shares/likes their videos get, and the way they’re using the app. We’ll break that down here.
There’s a big difference between what the average TikToker with more than 100,000 followers makes (think between $200 and $1,000 each month) and what a TikTok superstar makes ($100,000 to $250,000…per post). For new TikTok creators, making that kind of bank is probably unrealistic or at least a very distant goal, but since dreaming big doesn’t cost a thing, we’ve got a little inspiration to motivate your kids to get started (if they want). Check out these young and famous TikTokers, and how much they’re making on the app right now:
Josh Richards: According to Forbes’ rankings, Josh, who is now 20, is the highest-paid TikTok influencer in Canada, earning around US$5 million last year.
Charli D’Amelio: At just 18 years old, Charli earns the most cash on TikTok, period. The creator pulled down US$17.5 million in 2021. TikTok’s number two earner was a full US$7.5 million behind her, though, we’re sure there were no hard feelings, considering that Charli’s sister, Dixie, holds that second spot.
Avani Gregg: When she was only 16, Avani began posting makeup videos to TikTok, many of which showed her face painted like Harley Quinn, the comic book character brought to the big screen by Margot Robbie. Now the TikTok influencer ranks among the best-paid creators on the app, making US$4.75 million in 2021.
Can you make money on TikTok if you’re under 18?
To make money directly on the app, your kid has to be 16 and they must have parental consent. But this doesn’t completely capture the entire picture of how kids and teens use TikTok to earn money. The creators we talked about above make a lot of their cash through brand partnerships, which TikTok will only permit for users who are 18 and over. But wait! There are other ways, too. We’re getting there.
How many followers does your kid need to make money on TikTok?
No matter what method of money-making your kid is going after, the more followers they have, the better. For TikTok’s Creator Fund (cash paid out by the platform to creators who meet the eligibility standards), they need to have 10,000 “authentic” (read: no bots allowed) followers. However, if they’re over 18 and have just 1,000 followers, they can go Live on TikTok and receive gifts from their fans that can be redeemed for cash. Even if they only have a few followers, they can use TikTok to connect with customers who might buy the stuff they make or sell IRL (that pristine impossible-to-find LEGO set they got three birthdays ago that’s now a collector’s item, T-shirts they’ve designed and screen-printed themselves, records from their parents’ vinyl library—they better ask permission for this one). While your tween or teen needs to meet certain standards to sell directly on TikTok, if they don’t qualify, they can still direct their followers to, for example, their Etsy account or eBay page.
How many video views does your kid need to make money on TikTok?
Like with followers, there’s a magic number here, and TikTok loves to see it: 100,000 video views over a 30-day period in order to qualify for the platform’s Creator Fund. That’s a lot. But remember, even Addison Rae and Khaby Lame started somewhere, right?
Ways to make money on TikTok as a kid
Now that you and your tween or teen know the basics of TikTok, here’s a few tips on how to earn money online with TikTok.
Create sponsored content
Sponcon may sound like a convention for comic book anti-heroes, but it’s actually content that’s sponsored by a company or brand. TikTok creators partner with businesses to promote their products on the creator’s page. For this to work well, the brand or product being sold needs to fit with what the creator typically does on their channel. Think: beauty influencers promoting makeup lines, fitness influencers partnering with a running shoe brand, or gaming influencers teaming up with a company that makes virtual reality headsets.
TikTok only allows creators over 18 to enter into sponsored content deals using the app’s Creator Marketplace. Kids under 18 can still work on building a following and creating their own unique content on the app that will work as a kind of resumé once they’re old enough to begin reaching out to brands.
If your child is 18 or older and interested in brand partnerships and sponsored content, they can start by reaching out to companies that have something in common with the kind of content they create. For example, if they use TikTok to talk about fashion, it makes sense to connect with local designers instead of, for example, a company that sells mini trampolines. If they’re a gamer, they might promote or review a new controller on their account, but they probably won’t get very far with a brand that makes camping gear.
When it comes to sponsored content, the vibe is authenticity—that’s what both brands and your followers will be attracted to.
Sell your own merchandise and promote your business
There are two ways to do this. The first way is to sell items directly through the app using TikTok Shop. Again, there are rules about who’s allowed to do this: teens who are 18 years plus with more than 1,000 followers, have received at least 50 video views in the last 28 days, and have posted a video in the last 28 days can sign up for Shop as a creator. Buyers can make purchases without having to leave TikTok thanks to the built-in shopping feature.
Both brands and TikTok creators are fans of this function. Your kid might see businesses like Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty and creators like musician Bella Poarch dropping links in their bios that lead to shops that are right on the TikTok platform. If, however, your tween or teen doesn’t have the same massive following (yet), they can still use the app to promote their music, clothing line, or other merch by showing it off on TikTok and telling followers where to find their online store elsewhere on the internet. They can also flip this around and promote their TikTok on other internet and social media platforms.
Promote affiliate products
This is almost like being an advertiser. If your kid’s TikTok page is their channel, a video promoting someone else’s product is like a commercial. You kid partners with a brand or service and creates a video that talks about their product. Let’s say they team up with a snack-food delivery service, and when their followers use the link or discount code they shared, they get a flat fee or a percentage of the sale.
It’s a little like sponsored content, and your kid will definitely need a big following to enter into these kinds of deals and make money from them.
TikTok’s Creator Fund
Okay, let’s rewind to this whole Creator Fund business and get into the details about how it really works. Your teen now knows the basic rules: they have to be 18 or over, they have to have at least 10,000 followers, and their content needs to get 100,000 video views over a 30- day period. That’s when they can apply to the fund, which is a pile of money that comes from TikTok itself. It’s there to reward creators for popular content. In 2020, when it was first established, there was US$200 million up for grabs, but TikTok aims to blow up the fund to $1 billion.
The fund works by paying creators based on views and engagements. The amount is tiny: somewhere between two and four cents for every 1,000 views. But for videos that go viral, those cents add up to dollars very quickly. The money then appears in your kid’s Creator Fund dashboard and can be transferred to a PayPal account.
One catch: The Creator Fund isn’t offered on TikTok Canada just yet, but there are plans to have it available here sometime in 2023.
Become a TikTok consultant
Is your teen interested in a career in social media? This is a great place to start. If they feel like they have a real talent for TikTok, plus proof that they’re a pro (as in they own and run a popular account with impressive engagement numbers), they could sell their services to other creators on TikTok. What does this look like? Basically, they’ll be assisting brands and influencers in the art of finding more TikTok followers, as well as getting the ones they already have to interact with the content they’re sharing.
Receive virtual gifts from live stream
They might be called gifts, but creators definitely have to work for them. TikTok’s LIVE video feature lets someone host live streaming sessions for their fans and followers. Maybe they’re having a Q&A session about their area of expertise. Maybe it’s a live baking demo. Maybe they’re doing a live review of a terrible or incredible new movie they just saw. Whatever form their LIVE session takes, it’s an opportunity for followers to send them virtual gifts that can be converted into, you guessed it, money. Is there a catch? Yes. Once again kid creators are faced with the platform’s rules and regulations: they have to be 18 to send or receive gifts. The good news is that if they’re 16 and have more than 1,000 followers, they can go LIVE on TikTok and begin to get an understanding of what their audience wants from their live streams. By the time they’re 18, they’re more likely to be an expert.
Tips to help make money on TikTok
Now that your kid may have decided which money-making route to take, here are some super- simple guidelines they can put into action:
Identify their audience
Who do they want to connect with through TikTok? Music lovers? Gamers? Fashion fans? Artists? They can imagine their ideal fan and harness their unique talents to engage with them on the app. They don’t need to comb through TikTok looking for them, but once they have that picture in their head, they can use hashtags that would apply to their interests and to their own creative content.
Build their brand
Their “brand” is really just what makes them who they are. It doesn’t mean that they’re perfect or that every single one of their posts is perfect. Even celebs make major social media missteps (see: Ava Louise licking a toilet seat). It just means they’re consistent in the kind of content they create.
Your teen appearing in their followers’ feeds regularly keeps them engaged and interested in what your kid is doing. Consistent posting also increases their post count if their eventual goal is to apply to the Creator Fund.
Engage with followers and other creators
Social media is about community, and your kid can’t be a one-person community. They’ll need to comment on and like posts by other creators to build connections and chat about possible collaborations. They can respond to questions from their followers to show them they appreciate their engagement with the content they’re making. Even your teen just liking their comment on their video shows that they’ve noticed them. Of course, this tip only applies to the comments and questions that are kind and genuine. Remind them to avoid the trolls.
Stay on topic
While it might be tempting for your tween or teen to use their platform to talk about a teacher they don’t like or how their sibling annoyed them at breakfast, if that’s not what your kid is usually about, then it’s probably not what their audience is there for. Instead, remind them to keep doing what they do best!
How to manage money earned from TikTok
When it comes to earning money online, TikTok has become one of the top social media channels brands turn to for partnerships with influencers (it’s just behind Instagram’s number one spot in the rankings).
For kids and teens who are interested in creating fun video content inspired by their interests, it’s a one place to start earning some money or laying the groundwork for future income. With guidance from parents, Mydoh is the ideal tool to help manage the money kids earn—whether it comes from TikTok or helping out with household chores.
Parents can download the Mydoh app and pair it with a Smart Cash Card, giving their teens the opportunity to earn & spend money online while still under parental supervision.
This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.
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