Your Following. Your Clout. As a TikTokker, you probably obsess over the number of people who hit the little red “+” under your face on your videos. Well, I have good news for you. This article is a Step-By-Step Guide on how to get free TikTok followers automatically.
In my first 80 Days on TikTok, I’ve amassed 13.4K followers and average 70,000 views a week with a handful of videos with 50k+ views. I only dance (horribly) in one of my videos. I know what I’m talking about.
Why TikTok Followers Are Important
Now you may notice that most viral videos get 90% of their views from the FYP and not from the creator’s following. At first glance, it may seem that followers are not important and it’s all about that one video. However, you’d be wrong. Here’s why:
Videos Get Pushed To Followers First As A Test
When you post a new video on TikTok, the app pushes that video to your followers first to see if they like it or not. TikTok figures if people like you enough to follow you, they must be willing to comment on and like your video.
What Happens If The Video Fails The Test
If your TikTok followers don’t engage with or watch the video, it dies and you’re stuck with 28 views and no FYP. This is the reason why you should NEVER do Follow/Unfollow, Follow for Follow, or download an app to get followers.
Random followers who just followed you because you followed them or because an app told them to don’t care who you are. They also don’t care about your content and won’t think twice before they skip over your video in the first 0.5 seconds.
What Happens If Your Video Passes The Test
If your video passes the follower test, it gets pushed to a small batch on the FYP to people who don’t know you, but who TikTok thinks will like your content. If that group of people likes and engages with it, it gets pushed to a larger batch and the process repeats until it reaches viral status.
This is why having a large, loyal following is so important. As your following batch increases, so does all the other batches. Bigger batches mean more views and more views mean more influence.
But how do we grow a large, loyal following?
Pick An Account Type
When I say pick an account type, I don’t mean pro or regular. you should always have a TikTok Pro Account set to Public if you want to grow an audience. What I mean is you should pick one of the two main objectives of a channel.
Entertainment accounts are by far the most popular on TikTok. They are the accounts that get to be the biggest and have the most clout. However, they are also the hardest type of account to grow. Entertainment can mean a few things:
I’m trying to put this as delicately as I can. The 18-25 year old girls dancing in bikinis have large followings of gawking, usually middle aged men. Their followings are large and engage with their content, but probably not in the way you want them to. If you’re goal is to monetize, it’s best to stay away from these types of trends.
If you can do impressions or have a knack for coming up with memes, a comedy account could be for you. @heyberg and @dxnielbennett are great examples of this. Every one of their videos have a theme and the situation changes each time. These followers wait for the next post with baited breath every time because the content is so good.
Trick Shots are a tough way to grow a following simply because of the amount of effort it takes to make each video. It can be hours before you make the shot and you can only come up with so many styles of shots before things become stale. @gm_golf is a good example here.
Got a cool job? Showcase it on TikTok and watch the followers roll in. I follow @thebaintrain on TikTok because he is the guy who works the refueling arm on an Air Force tanker. The shots that he gets from refueling fighter planes are AWESOME. You may even inspire a few people to join you in your profession.
Talking Head / Inspirational
Do you have a lot of random ideas that are thought-provoking? Start a talking head style channel. @jon_dawson is a prime example of this. He has a ton of ways to motivate people to develop themselves and get better at life.
@the_double_t is another example. He commentates on current trucking events with a little bit of comedy and rants thrown in. He’s very entertaining to watch and I’m not even a trucker.
If you want the easiest growth on TikTok, teach people a skill that you know. Educational channels are exploding right now and TikTok will be adding a “learn on TikTok” tab soon. This means that Educational content will be getting pushed by the algorithm. How do you teach people on TikTok?
Demonstrate in Real Time
This is what I do. Follow Me Here @dombavaro. I teach people how to make money online and rather than “flex” a rented Lamborghini or show piles of cash, I document what I do and show people in real time that I know how to sell stuff online. Every month I come up with a new campaign strategy and product to sell and show my followers how it’s done.
@alexfasulobiz does this too with her Fiverr business.
@woodshopdiaries does this really well. She is a furniture maker and she does tutorials on different carpentry techniques. I learn so much watching her channel. @chrisfixit does something similar in the automotive space.
You can educate by commentating on lessons you learn as you go through life. @ryanpassarelli does this. He’s a landscaper and he shares his thoughts and lessons he’s learned while building his own business. Most are filmed in the cab of his truck.
This is the holy grail of TikTok content types. If you can be both Entertaining and Educational, you’ve hit a home run. @thatmortgageguy and @mortgagesareboring are the absolute best at this from what I’ve seen.
Not only do they educate me on mortgages and buying a house, but I belly laugh at least twice a week when watching their content. Check them out.
Optimize Your Profile
Once You’ve determined what type of content you’re going to create, it’s time to optimize your profile so that people actually follow you. You need to do a couple things:
Take A Clear Headshot
This doesn’t have to be professionally taken, but a clear selfie that prominently shows your face is key. People respond to faces and if they can connect your face with your account they’ll remember who you are and stop scrolling when they see you.
The thing is, when TikTok thinks you should follow a certain account, they keep placing them on your FYP page. Make sure that your profile picture is very recognizable and stands out so it catches the viewers eye when it’s tiny.
Value Added Statement In Your Bio
What do you have to offer your followers? Why should they follow you? List this in your bio. I have “Daily Marketing Tips” in mine and that clearly lets people know what they can expect from my content. If they’re looking to learn how to make money online or with TikTok, it’s crystal clear that I’m the person to follow. I’ll give them something every day that they’re looking for. Make sure you’re concise because you only have 80 characters.
Clickable Link & Connected Accounts
Everyone is able to link their YouTube and Instagram accounts to their TikTok profiles. This is a great way to grow those two accounts passively if you have them. Set them up and you’re done.
Once you hit 1000 followers, you’ll be able to add a clickable link to your bio. If you’re trying to monetize, this should lead to a landing page that captures their email address and puts the person through a sales funnel of some sort. More on that in another article.
Having the clickable link that leads to an email capture page allows you to follow-up with your followers and push them further into your ecosystem. Once they’re on your email list, you can send them to your blog, website, YouTube channel, or anywhere for that matter.
Having Your followers go through your other web channels will build a deeper connection with you and they will be more loyal going forward.
Nurture Your Existing Following
Now that you have followers starting to trickle in, make sure they are loyal and engaged so they help push your content further. Here are a few things you can do to make sure that happens:
Answer & Like EVERY COMMENT!
Unless it’s a blatant hate comment, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be liking and replying to every single comment. Even at 13k followers, I only get about 15-20 a day. Doing this does two things.
If you respond to comments, the amount of comments on your post grows. if the amount of comments grows, the video gets pushed further because it’s telling the algorithm that it’s highly engaging.
Replying to comments and starting a conversation also increases watch time, the most important metric for a video. as you’re writing your comment, the video is playing on repeat in the background racking up watch time. high watch time is the #1 reason videos go viral.
Makes Your Viewers Feel Good
Getting a notification that their favorite creator answered their question or simply liked their comment is enough to get them to want to do it again. I have like 5 people who comment on every single one of my videos and they are one of the main reasons my videos get pushed so far.
If new comers see that you’re engaging with your following, they are more likely to follow themselves because they want to be a part of something.
Video Reply To Great Comments
TikTok allows you to reply in video form to comments on your videos. Do this on every exceptional comment. Doing this does two things:
Creates Another Video For Your Page
TikTok craves new content. A video reply is a video that doesn’t take much effort to create and counts the same as something you spent time thinking up.
I also have a theory that TikTok pushes video replies further than most videos because a solid 40% of my FYP is video replies. This is a good way to get views.
Makes The Person Feel Good
If you haven’t noticed, making your audience feel good is paramount. Not only did you take the time to respond, but you made a video specifically about the question they asked. That will create an army of loyal followers in no time.
Answer Your DMs
First off, set your DMs to public so that anyone can message you. If you’re trying to grow a following, there is no reason not to do this. No one can hurt you from a DM.
DMs are when people have questions that they may be too embarrassed about to comment or if they have proposals (aka brand deals) that they want to keep a secret. Take the time and answer them. By engaging with people in your DMs, you’re making your audience feel closer to you and that further deepens the bond between creator and follower.
Make Content The Algorithm Likes
Grabbing followers from existing views is one thing, but how do you increase your view count? By making content that is begging to get pushed by the algorithm. Here’s How:
If you haven’t noticed TikTok is all about trends. People will take a sound and do their own skit or interpretation of it. If there is a challenge going around, do the challenge and you’re likely going to be pushed by the algorithm.
Use Viral Sounds
Even if you’re doing a talking style video, use a viral sound and bring the volume way down low. This will put the talking video on the trend with the sound anyway and increase views.
Have Good Lighting
I know ring lights are all the rage right now, but you don’t need one. All you need is to have your face be brightly lit in the frame. The algorithm likes this and people will watch longer when they see your face better.
To achieve this without a ring light, just stand in front of a window during the day. The sun makes an awesome lighting source.
Keep People Watching To The End
If you can create enough suspense or be dynamic enough to hold people’s attention so that they watch to the end or even create enough confusion and amazement that they watch again, you WILL go viral. Watch time is the #1 reason things get pushed and encouraging people to watch until the end or comment will do wonders for your watch time metric
Use Relevant Hashtags
Hashtags are what tell TikTok what your video is about. By using relevant hashtags, it helps TikTok target the video when it passes the follower test. This way, the first group of strangers are likely to engage much like the followers did. This will push the video further.
DO NOT use #FYP. This will send your video to random people. When this happens, there is a greater chance they will not engage and you’ll kill your video.
Keep Content PG-13
I know there’s a lot of swearing and sexualized content on TikTok, but if you want to grow a large following that actually engages with you, keep it PG-13. Brands like this and are more likely to give you a deal if you’re a clean brand. Avoid smoking, guns, or illegal activity. The algorithm squashes this quickly an throttles your account when it’s detected.
A large following likes someone they can count on. Make sure you post regularly and post often. Posting regularly will show TikTok and your following that you’re reliable and they can count on you to keep giving them what they followed you for.
Posting often just increases the size of your body of work. The great thing about TikTok is that your videos live on for months. This means that the amount of videos you have circulation is going to increase as you post more often.
The more videos you have floating around TikTok, the bigger your footprint is. As your footprint grows, more people will watch and follow. Keep feeding your account and it’ll pay you back.
Remember, this isn’t Facebook or Instagram. There’s no spam penalty. I posted 20 times in a day once and actually saw an INCREASE in my views. As long as your content is good, post as much as you feel like.
Get A Mentor
All of this is a great start, but you have to implement and find someone to follow yourself to keep growing. I personally follow @jeffcouret for my tiktok growth.
Mentorship doesn’t have to be a formal arrangement or paid. Just follow the right people, consume their content, and implement what they say and you’ll see growth in your own account in no time.