- Types of accounts
- Setting up your profile
- Choosing the right name
- Writing your bio
- Links in your bio
- The perfect profile picture
To get you started on TikTok, I’ve put together this guide detailing everything you should know about creating your account and setting up your profile:
- Types of accounts
On TikTok there are actually three different types of accounts: Personal, Business and the aggregate/themes account.
Now the line between the first two, personal and business, is more blurry than, for example, on Instagram. But I’m going to explain and dive in: Let’s start with the personal account, as it’s very simple. It’s just you as an individual posting on Tiktok. This could both be silly dance videos AND content with a business objective. Maybe you’re a founder of a company, a freelancer or you’re a dentist that is trying to grow their revenue or their client base. Here are two very interesting examples:
Victoria is a social media marketer who grew her profile to over half a million followers: Her content is an interesting combination of business value videos and fun videos of her dancing or singing duets. She really manages to strike a balance between business and entertainment by communicating useful information, as well as showing off her funky personality.
Another example is dentist @thebentist who currently has 3.6 million followers. A lot of his videos are him singing and dancing, but there are also professional videos where he’s educating people about oral health.
Business accounts on the other hand are meant for actual companies. Your logo would be the business logo and the content would be more about the product and business.
Take a look at Ralph Lauren: As a fashion brand, TikTok is obviously a great platform for them and they’re amazing at using influencer marketing: Their feed is a collection of TikTok’s biggest creators wearing and showing off their clothes.
But any brand can use TikTok to promote their products: Here’s Bosch, finding creative ways to advertise their power tools: https://www.tiktok.com/@boschpowertools. Although you’d think they’re a rather unconventional brand for the platform, they’ve steadily grown their following to 27k already.
For brands, the great thing about TikTok is that your content doesn’t have to be as polished as on other platforms. It does however have to be creative and feel native to the platform. Take advantage of trends and challenges and incorporate songs in an authentic way – and you’ll be sure to quickly gain a following.
And finally, we have the aggregate accounts, which focus on a specific theme. They post / repost videos around a certain topic, like fail videos. You might be familiar with such accounts from Instagram, and unsurprisingly they’re huge on Tiktok too.
@Whosefault is great example for this type of account. They only post videos of car crashes and their engagement is through the roof, since people get into discussions on who is to blame in the comment section.
Now that you know all three types of accounts, which one should you pick? It’ll depend on your goals of course, but if like me, you want to grow your personal brand, the personal account is the way to go. It will allow you to play around with the format and experiment. Plus, like on every social platform, people mostly want to connect with (and follow!) other people, so you’ll likely be able to grow a personal account faster than a business or aggregate account.
2. Setting up your profile
2.1. Name vs. Username
Your username is your unique handle, which appears in your profile link and can be used to find you specifically via the TikTok search.
Your name on the other hand, doesn’t have to be unique – it can simply be your real name (such as Arnold, in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s profile pictured here). However, since your name is indexed by the search algorithm too, you have an opportunity to rank for keywords here. Let’s say you have a plant shop: You should include the word plants in your name to come up every time someone searches for plants on TikTok. You can always make unlimited name changes later on.
2.2. Choosing a username
Your name and username are the first thing people are going to see on your profile, so you should follow a few rules when choosing them. This will create a good first impression and help people remember you:
Don’ts for all types of accounts
- Don’t use special characters
- Don’t use several letters in a row
- Don’t put a random string of digits at the end.
Dos for personal accounts
- Use your actual and full name.
- Add “I am” to your name
- Use a combination of your initials and name.
- Create a name that rhymes, like Trash Can Dan
- Combining your name with a keyword that represents your content or business, as in the case of PeterPrankster:
Dos for business accounts
- Add the name of your company or product
- Add your website domain (.com/.org etc) to your name
- Add “TikTok” before or after your business name
- Add your location if you have a physical store.
- Shorten your name
- Add other words like “Get (product name)” or “app”
Dos for aggregate accounts
- Add keywords that describe your content, such as “memes”, “cat videos”
- Add descriptive words, such as “great”, “funny”, “awesome
2.3. Writing a great bio
Your bio is limited to 80 characters only, so here are a few tips on how you can use this space wisely. First of all, you can put most TikTok bios into one of these three categories:
- List bio: Describe yourself or your content in short keywords (and emojis)
- 1-2 bio: Use 1-2 sentences to describe yourself
- Hook bio: Try to incentivise people to follow you on TikTok or even other SM platforms
When figuring out what to write exactly, keep in mind that your bio should reflect your own style, or your brand personality and that there should be a connection between your content and your bio. Tell potential followers exactly why they should follow you, what type of content they can expect and maybe even how often you’ll be uploading it.
Emojis can be a great way too to add personality to your bio, without wasting too many characters.
When you’re done writing it, take another look at it and compare it to a billboard next to a highway. Does it do a good job representing you and is it attention-grabbing and engaging even at just a glance?
2.4. Links in bio
When you set up your account, you have the possibility to add links to your Instagram and Youtube channels, which you should definitely do if you’re trying to grow these channels.
TikTok is also currently testing the option of adding a link in your bio (much like on Instagram) but for now it is only available for verified users, which always have the blue checkmark next to their username. These are always famous personalities or famous TikTok creators.
The perfect profile picture
Your profile picture is one of the first touch points users will have with your account, since it appears in your videos. Since most accounts get randomly discovered in the feed, most users will see your content first and then click through to your profile if they are curious enough.
The ideal profile picture depends on the type of account:
Business profile: Use your logo, ideally just the icon or a simplified version
Personal profile: Use a face shot of yourself (avoid full body shots) & differentiate your face from the background so it stands
Aggregate profile: Create a simple logo for your profile
With all of these, keep in mind that the profile picture is quite small, especially in people’s feed, so really make sure you’re using a high-quality, professional image that stands out. It’s really worth investing some time into this, as you can
You also have the option to upload a profile video, but I have yet to see this being used in any famous profiles.
Now that you have the perfect bio, name and profile picture, you can get started with posting on TikTok. Not sure where to start and what kind of content to choose? No worries, I’ll be covering that in my next blog post, so stay tuned!
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level and go all-in on TikTok, the biggest marketing opportunity of 2020 you can apply to work with me here.
This is an excerpt from my Bestseller Udemy course on TikTok.
What’s your experience with Tiktok so far? Leave a comment below!
(Edited by Kat Stroehm)