Ah, TikTok…The short-form video-sharing app that everyone hates to love. What is it about this social media giant that has kept millions of us scrolling for hours in bed, video after video, over the last few years? How has one app spawned an entire generation of viral dancers from the most unlikely of performers?
While this video-sharing app was already well on its way to the social media hall of fame before the pandemic, worldwide lockdowns definitely played a part in the platform’s success today. But what really makes TikTok so incredible to us is that it introduced an entirely new way to get creative with content creation and ultimately redefined how brands communicate online with their audience.
We recently sat down with Rama Lauw–Content Manager at Voicemod and TikTok star with more than half a million followers–to discuss what it means to run a TikTok channel with such a massive following smack dab in the era of content creation. Take a look at what Rama shares about his own creativity and inspiration, tips for starting a TikTok channel, and how brands can take advantage of the app.
I started my Tiktok channel in late 2020 after just moving to Germany. At the time, the country was in lockdown, and there really wasn’t much to do or many ways to meet people. I had always been interested in creating content, but never actually did anything about it. But out of pure boredom and frustration, I decided to give TikTok a shot.
I chose TikTok because, to me, this platform is more about ideas and creativity than others. I felt comfortable sharing my ideas on my channel without the expectation to look super professional or “perfect.”
I had two video series that I launched around the same time, my “$Free.99” and “Am I Better Than Everyone?” series. I’d say these two series are what people know me for to this day. I had already been doing pretty well on TikTok–I believe I had over 100,000 followers before launching these series. But it wasn’t until I uploaded these videos that I had recurring concepts that consistently attracted more viewers.
These two series helped me establish a brand for myself. My followers started recognizing and repeating my catchphrases, which enabled me to build on these ideas and create more memorable videos.
That I’m funny (lol). I never considered myself to be a “funny person” before I started TikTok. It wasn’t until I was honest and did things that I personally find funny that I started growing my following.
I think TikTok is as much about creativity as it is about analytical thinking and research skills. As with any other form of content creation, ideas are important, but people will only respond to your ideas if you know how to present them in a way that they want to consume them. So it’s important to do the research and analyze what is or is not working on your own channel, and tackle your creativity based on your observations.
For my account, I’d say the “secret ingredient” is relatability. I often use witty remarks in my videos to talk about the struggles I face as someone in their 20s and discuss these struggles in a humorous, sarcastic way, which people seem to find amusing.
I deal with creative blocks all the time. Creativity is not something that you can force. I find that doing research and watching other people’s content often gives me inspiration. I’ll watch something and think of how I can use my perspective to give it a different twist. I also think it’s important to take a break when you’re feeling stuck. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to rest and come back with a fresh perspective.
Focus more on how you want to establish yourself rather than how to get the most views. Sure, it’s nice to have massive viewership, but you also want people to know you for something you’re proud of. There are times when I watch my favorite TikTokers and feel discouraged because I feel like I’ll never be as funny as them or as talented. But my experience with creating content on TikTok constantly reminds me that there are people who watch you for you.
It’s normal to go through moments of self-doubt and fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. But the truth is that you’re most likely meaner to yourself than anyone else would ever be. Trust that there are people interested in what you have to say and who will find your point of view interesting and funny, even if you don’t always think that about yourself.
My advice to any new TikToker is don’t be afraid to share what you want and don’t self-reject. Sometimes I see other creators and compare myself to them, but if I had listened to that voice in my head, I never would’ve started my channel.
Avoid the pressure of feeling like you have to share things that you’re not comfortable sharing or that don’t feel authentic. The truth is that your perspective is interesting because no one else experiences the world in the same way that you do. We all have our own perspectives on situations and people like to see how others think and view the world. That’s why we enjoy watching blogs and following influencers in the first place.
I think the reason TikTok is so successful is because of its relatability. To me, other platforms are more focused on portraying this perfect, edited version of what life really is. Many of us follow influencers on different platforms who show a “perfect life” or who are traveling all the time. But I think TikTok’s power is the relatability of the content creators.
There are so many creators who are honest and talk about their struggles in a way that attracts massive audiences. I think that shows just how much people crave relatability and authenticity these days and it’s important that brands understand that. I think TikTok is a way to speak to our audience and humanize our brand.
One of my goals as the Content Manager at Voicemod is to show our audience and viewers that we’re not just a product. We’re here to represent a community of creators, developers, and gamers who are using Voicemod–not just to promote ourselves.