How to Get Your First Brand Deal as a TikTok Influencer

What comes to mind when you hear the word “marketing”? Probably things like billboards, TV commercials, online banner ads, and so on. However, marketing strategies have changed drastically in the last few years thanks to the rise of social media influencers. Even TikTok creators with just a few thousand followers could end up getting paid to promote a brand to their followers, all because they have a loyal audience who wants to imitate their favorite online personality. By paying influencers for a brand deal, businesses of all types can increase sales, gain long-term customers, and boost brand awareness. 


This is in stark contrast to traditional marketing methods, which are much less targeted. Instead of speaking to an audience that’s already likely to respond favorably, most types of traditional marketing throw a much wider net, and have a much lower success rate. It isn’t that traditional marketing is necessarily less successful than influencer marketing; it’s just that the results might not be quite as dramatic. Besides, most businesses do best using multiple marketing channels, not just one or two.


What are the requirements to be considered for a brand deal?

Although there are instances of smaller creators being sponsored by brands on various social media platforms, there are a few benchmarks that you’ll have to meet if you want to really boost your chances.

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have at least 100,000 verified followers
  • Have gotten at least 10,000 views over the last month
  • Have posted at least 3 videos over the last month
  • If you’re being sponsored by TikTok itself, have a TikTok Pro account


Do all brands require influencers to fulfill these numbers in order to get a sponsorship? No; plenty of creators with around 10,000 followers are getting sponsorships. Are these the numbers that many brands look for when identifying potential partners? Yes. The truth is that the bigger the influencer, the more brands will want to work with them. The same goes for the value of the sponsorship – someone with 10 million followers will be paid a lot more than someone with 10,000 followers. The good news is that you don’t have to be particularly famous, have a viral video under your belt, or have any other claim to fame. The main thing is that your followers are genuine, and that you have enough of them for any interested business to get a good return on their investment.


What about a sponsorship from TikTok? If a creator meets all of the criteria above, they can apply for TikTok’s Creator Marketplace; this lets them earn money from the platform itself.


How to get the attention of potential sponsors

In order to land your first brand deal, you’ll have to look the part; that is, your account should look the part. When you partner with a brand, you essentially become a representative of their company. This means that you’ll have to fit a certain image, whether it’s fun and flirty, or professional and sleek. Any business that considers partnering with an influencer will look for red flags, such as an association with some unsavory controversy, a past history of promoting scams, etc. As long as you haven’t crossed any obvious lines, you should be fine in that regard.


On a more positive note, there are a few things you should do to spruce up your profile page.

  • A professional (or at least a clear) profile picture
  • A tagline that’s short but memorable
  • Links to your other social media accounts
  • A contact email where businesses can send their inquiries
  • A mention that you’re available for sponsorships


Remember, less is more on a TikTok profile. This space is meant to function as a teaser trailer, not the whole movie, so keep it short, sweet, and intriguing. 


The importance of having a loyal fanbase

There’s a difference between just having a bunch of followers, and having a fanbase. If you have thousands of followers who don’t seem to feel strongly about your content, they probably won’t care if you promote a product or service to them – and brands take that into account when scouting potential brand partners. If, on the other hand, your followers eagerly await new videos, leave comments with their thoughts and reactions, and show their appreciation by liking each video, that’s what brands love to see. When those followers see you promoting a product, they’ll be genuinely interested to try it out for themselves.

This is exactly why so many brands are turning to TikTok as part of their marketing strategy. Rather than paying for ad campaigns that will mostly be seen by uninterested passers-by, sponsored posts on TikTok are seen by exactly the types of people who are predisposed to like the product or service. Even better, the brand won’t end up annoying potential customers with overt sales pitches. The target audiences are being approached by people they already like and trust, a.k.a. TikTok influencers.


Would it help to buy TikTok followers?

It would definitely help if you bought TikTok followers, but you’d have to do it correctly. You can’t just buy enough followers to reach the threshold of 10,000, and expect the sponsorships to come rolling in. Remember, brands expect to see high engagement rates, and followers that are purchased aren’t always the best for that purpose.


The big advantage of buying TikTok followers is that they can be used to spur organic growth. This is a platform that’s all about popularity; if a creator has thousands of followers, their content is a lot more likely to be watched than if they had a few dozen followers. If you buy TikTok followers from a site like TikCeleb, this could translate to more views for each video, which could then result in organic followers. 


Whatever approach you end up taking, your hard work will pay off once you start landing sponsorships. Since you can’t monetize your TikTok videos, sponsorships are one of the best ways to turn your efforts from a hobby into a career.