Stephen: Hey guys, welcome to another episode of the Digital Masters Podcast. Today we have on Q and we’re going to be talking all things TikTok, how to grow there, and even how to grow your revenue from TikTok. Let’s get started. What is going on, Q? Thanks for being on the show today. Totally appreciate you being here.
Quentin: Thanks for having me. I’m geeked, man.
Stephen: Yeah. Cool, man. One of the things I’m going to open with is that a lot of people ask me if branding works, if personal branding works. And I have to say 100% it does, because that’s how I found you.
I kept seeing your content for a long time and I was making content, too. At a certain point, I didn’t even know exactly what your services were, but I was like, ‘Hey, I need to work with Q.’ That’s how I originally hired you. Anyway, I’m really glad to have you on the show today and dig into specifically TikTok, and so here we go.
So TikTok is this emerging platform. Most of the people I talk to consider it a silly dance app. But I know that’s not true. You know that’s not true because you’re helping people grow there, including myself. So how do you see it? When you’re talking to people about TikTok, how do you explain it to them and what the opportunity is there?
Quentin: I’m not really a TikTok expert. I’d say my skill set is, what I’m really best at, is growing things. And TikTok just happens to be a thing that people want to grow on right now. But when I explain it, it’s where is the attention right now and where are you trying to go? Who’s your audience you are speaking to?
I think a lot of people get stuck in what they’re comfortable in. ‘Hey, I like Instagram, I’ve been on Instagram. I’ve got X amount of followers there, but TikTok terrifies me. I don’t think I could take off there,’ even though the data shows that what they’re looking to do, what they’re looking to create content around, is already there.
People are already doing it. The audience is there, the attention, the opportunity, the ability to go viral. It’s ridiculous. I’ve seen people grow by hundreds of thousands in a night. Yeah, you can change. Not necessarily change your life, but you can damn near change your life off of one video, which to me is a good indicator that you should be on that platform.
Stephen: Yeah. And the other thing I’m telling people is maybe a lot of people are on there looking at entertainment type stuff, but that’s a good thing because what that tells me is that people are opening up the app just to enjoy it. So they’re going to actually consume content.
I don’t know one person, literally, that says at the end of their day they go onto LinkedIn to enjoy…[laughter]
Quentin: I know a couple of them, but it’s not me…[laughter]
Stephen: OK, you know a couple of them. I don’t know any yet. But people are there, so why not let it be your face that pops up? Maybe you’re not doing the silly dance, but you’re just delivering something that person needs to know. Yeah, and just hitting that person.
And for people that are listening, I was terrified of TikTok. I was terrified of even doing video a year ago. But I just jumped on and got over it and then posted every day. I built up 7,000 followers pretty quickly, I would say, considering that that’s not something I’ve ever been able to do in the past.
Quentin: Yeah, man, I think something that’s important to remember — I just made a video on this — is one of my favorite quotes from a book I randomly read in sixth grade. I’ve remembered it ever since. I’m not sure if it originated there, but I found it there. It’s, ‘things are the way that they are only because enough people have agreed that they are that way.’
I think when people look at apps like LinkedIn or platforms like LinkedIn or Instagram, it’s like, ‘Hey, I don’t see this. So I can’t do this.’
Things are only the way they are because enough people have agreed that they are that way.
Just because people are dancing doesn’t mean you have to dance. Just because people are hopping on trends, well yeah, that’s going to boost your profile. Yeah. That’s going to get you more views. That doesn’t mean you have to do whatever. So long as it sticks, there’s an audience for damn near everything now.
Stephen: So yeah. The way I’ve handled trends myself is if it feels like I can fit myself into it, then I do it. Otherwise, I just don’t because I don’t want to necessarily feel uncomfortable.
So, getting into some of the tricks and stuff that you’ve been helping people with, what are some of the real tactical things that people are using on TikTok to get their accounts started and get the first a thousand followers or something?
Quentin: Yeah. Other people or me?
Stephen: Both. Because you have your unique way of creating content. But you’re helping other people and you also have yourself. From that breadth of experience, what are people doing?
Quentin: Yeah, in terms of growth I think the biggest thing is just understanding whoever you’re speaking to, what do they want, what are they consuming and how can you create something that’s going to be of value to them? Everyone says that. But also, how can you create something that’s going to be different from what they’re seeing? I think that’s the biggest piece.
Talking about real tactics, I think with an app like TikTok, right away people go down the rabbit hole of, ‘How am I going to get them to stick right away?’
So say you just made a video on this. You’re like, ‘Here’s how you can use this X amount of dollars strategy, like right away.’ You’re telling me, ‘You can make this much money. You can do this, implement it in your business.’ That hook, that’s everything.
And like my thesis with storytelling, at least with some videos, take it back to the basics, like back to college, back to high school, when you’re writing that paper, you grab their attention, give them the meat.
It’s like a roller coaster. You take them on that journey. You’re going to see a lot of different things from people, but for me, anything can work. You don’t even have to use that formula that I just gave you, like that hook, it doesn’t have to be a rollercoaster, but when you do find something that works, that’s going to be the most important thing.
We were talking about this right before the call. Stretching that content. When you find, let’s say you post 10 videos, only one of them did well. A lot of people would look at that, ‘Oh, wow. Okay, that one did well, but all these didn’t do well, so I shouldn’t be here.’ Instead think, ‘Okay. Maybe it only got 20 likes and the other one’s got five likes. Why did this one get 20?’
‘And why did this one have 50% watch time? And this one only had 10%?’ Okay. Let’s improve on that. So lean into that. Okay, ‘This video over here, converted X amount of ratings,’ leaning into the things that work. And when you get one that pops, building around that content and replicating as much as possible, sometimes even just reusing the same content.
I’ve done that a lot, especially when I’m lazy, I don’t want to create more, like just figuring out what works, what sticks with the people that you want it to stick with. And if you enjoy it, lean more into it, if you don’t, do something else. That’s gonna be the biggest thing with growth.
Just understanding what people like and why. That’s what I’m good at. Not really TikTok, but that is TikTok, too. So it benefits me.
Stephen: Yeah, on that point, that’s one thing I noticed too. Number one, the commitment part is always part of content. It’s always important because, for example, I had strings of videos where it was just disappointing. And it might just mean this isn’t for me. But I kept going partly because I had done the same thing on LinkedIn and it works. I’ve had validation that if you stick with something, it works.
But the one that more recently blew up for me was a copy of one that I had done before. I just went through it and I said, ‘What was missing to make this one work?’ And I just brought forward more social proof earlier in the video.
So it described more of, what are you going to gain by doing this? Like how much money? Tying it to something solid. And I added a few other things and then that one blew up. Yeah.
And I also like your other point. If something blows up but you don’t like it, don’t feel forced to keep doing it. Like I did one that was on Zoom that performed well. I don’t necessarily want to become the Zoom guru. So I have to be careful of just feeding that stuff to people.
I think this is a good question for you, too. How do you coach people to find their voice? Because if I looked at the way you do content and I tried to replicate it, I might fail miserably. But there are still certain things I want to gain from what you’re doing and pull that in.
So how do you advise someone that’s getting started on one of these platforms? I know you have to just do it, but what are some things that you can say to people to help them find their voice?
Quentin: When you say voice, can you just clarify what you mean by voice?
Stephen: Just kind of the style a person uses to do videos. Like my style is real fast. I talk fast. I get to the point, moving around, trying to give you information.
Whereas your stuff, at least from my perspective, is inspirational and lasts in your head. It makes me think and creates this aura around you, so to speak, that kind of lives on.
So it’s a very drastic difference. And they’re both working. So how do you help people think that through?
Quentin: I’m finding that I’m really best when somebody already has that established brand and they already have that clarity.
I can help you get that clarity. But even if they do have that established brand, it’s, okay, what does TikTok look like? How do I approach that? For me, it always starts with a mood board inspiration list. What are the things that you’re enjoying on that app? And digging deep into the app and understanding the language and what works and why you like certain things.
And then we just reverse engineer. And we figure out what works and do testing. It’s ‘Hey, I didn’t like this. I do like this.’ But typically the people do have an established brand. If you don’t and you’re just wanting to hit TikTok or any other platform, I would say, start with your ear to the ground. Just consume and make a list of the things that you stop for.
When you’re on a feed, why did you stop on this video when you just swiped for five other ones? There’s probably a good reason. Make a list. It was because of X and Y and Z. I liked the way the person looked. I love the intro. I love the text. Then implementing those things into your things.
I still do that. I do that every single week. I have a list of videos that I love and I’m like, damn, I stopped because of X, Y, and Z. And it helps me. There’s a lot of things that I’m toying with and I want to try because I consume a lot.
I think there’s a time as a creator early on you’ve got to consume a lot because you need to understand what works. You need to build that knowledge base and that skill, and then you have to create a lot. I think after that, it balances out. But yeah, I would just say consume more, make a list.
Stephen: Yeah. It seems like it’s that convergence of consuming, seeing what other people are doing, what do you like, what do you not like, and then merging it with what you’re doing.
And being okay with feeling uncomfortable. I’ve gotten to this spot now where every once in a while I’ll create a TikTok and I’m like, ‘Oh, I don’t know if I should.’ I just do it anyway. I publish it. I’m just like, screw it, dancing around a little bit. That’s not my main thing, but I’ll do it a little bit.
I feel like with content, especially maybe on a platform…maybe on every platform, if you’re feeling a little uncomfortable, that’s probably a good thing. There are going to be times where you push something and then you’re like, ‘I’m never going to do that again because I just didn’t feel it.’ But if you’re not expanding a little bit, then you’re probably not growing,
Quentin: I agree.
Stephen: Like how else could you be a 40-year-old dude just jumping on this app that’s supposed to be for kids? I think you’d have to feel uncomfortable.
Quentin: You do. Otherwise, you’re probably late.
Stephen: Yeah. So then what do you think is a good first milestone for people to think about in terms of knowing when they’re starting to get somewhere on TikTok?
Quentin: Yeah. I think people pay attention to the big things and I think the big things are in the little things. That’s my personal belief. I know people would argue otherwise, like ‘Okay, once you’re at a hundred K followers here, you can do X, Y, and Z.’
I would say don’t pay so much attention to the milestones. I always set them, but what are your goals? I think it starts there because it’s going to be different with everyone. I’m finding that with most people it’s leads or it’s a long-lasting brand. That’s what they want. That brand awareness. Massive credibility so people know who they are. Big reach.
What is that goal? Have that in mind. And I think from there, you can set your milestones. But pay attention to the small things, because maybe your first video will pop. If it’s your first video, it’s going to have a little bit more of a push, but maybe it won’t, and maybe it won’t for a long time, but if you’re paying attention to the smaller things, you’ll probably pop a lot faster because you’ll say, ‘Okay, 10% of people watch this all the way through, but 20% watch this next one.’
Oh, okay. Let’s make it a little bit more, 30%, 40%, 50% 60%, improving slowly one at a time. I think that’s going to be much, much better for you long-term even if you do blow up right away because you’ll have an understanding of what works and what doesn’t. But I think it always just comes back to what are your goals.
Stephen: Yeah, I gotcha. Yeah. And the stats are pretty interesting on TikTok. It goes really into depth on your videos. Yeah. Way more in-depth than LinkedIn does. So obviously they’re using all that data to build a great algorithm, which I think is important for TikTok, especially because there are people who just don’t want to play any of the games.
I just want to go do my thing. The algorithm is good enough to eventually find who you need to be if you’re consistent. Maybe you don’t grow as fast if you’re not doing some of the TikTok trends and music and stuff like that.
But I guess that the strength of TikTok is helping you find that audience. As long as it’s a niche, you will find it. It just might take you longer if you’re not doing some of the other things that you could do.
Quentin: Yeah, there’s an audience for everything. That’s just all about positioning, all about the story. That’s it for me.
Stephen: Yeah. The story is huge. And not necessarily your story, but how the story you’re telling and the bit about yourself intersects with where this other person is? Yeah, because I always think of stories as somebody is going like this [illustrates visually] and you’re going like this.
How are you gonna pull them when they see you? How are you going to pull them onto this other path that is better than where they would have gone?
Quentin: Agree. It’s a hard thing to do. Yeah. Especially in a few seconds. Hard thing to do.
Stephen: Cool man. So I’ve been doing this rapid-fire thing, underrated or overrated like Gary Vee does. I’m going to throw out some terms…
Quentin: Hopefully I’ll know what everything is, minimum [laughter].
Stephen: Yeah. So I don’t need to explain the whole thing. I’ll throw a couple of words at you. Just tell me underrated, overrated. If it seems like we should dig in a little bit, I’ll do that.
Let’s start with LinkedIn: underrated, overrated?
Quentin: That’s a tough one, man.
I was supposed to be rapid-fire, too. I’m still going to go… It’s underrated.
Stephen: Yeah, I think so, too. Especially if you’re committed to making unique stuff. Yeah. LinkedIn Live?
Quentin: Overrated, in my opinion, they wouldn’t like me for saying that.
Stephen: And why do you say that?
Quentin: I don’t think it’s being utilized very well for creators, so it could be a good opportunity for a lot of people.
But also I did a study early on, this was early on, so it’s probably not accurate anymore. I went live every single day for a week and I lost about five thousand followers [laughter]…
Stephen: Yeah. Cause that notification pops up right there, yeah, who is this guy??? Get out of my feed…
Quentin: So yeah, I got a little hurt from that, still, but yeah, it’s a good tool, sometimes I use it.
Stephen: Yeah. What about creator mode for LinkedIn?
Quentin: I’m gonna go underrated, just because I know some cool things are coming and it’s going to be a big part of creators on LinkedIn.
Stephen: Okay. I gotta bring you back on to hear more about that.
Quentin: TikTok I would still say underrated. I think people see it as an app and it’s changing the way that we consume, it’s changing.
Yeah, I just love trends. I love patterns. And just watching some of the things that people create and how that goes on and gets recreated a million times. Still underrated. Yeah.
Stephen: And especially because you have that range — this video got 200 views and then it got like a hundred thousand, or more. I haven’t had one that had more than that, but to have that range, I think gives you the ability, oh, there’s so much room to get zero to a hundred thousand.
Quentin: I’m still gonna go underrated. I love YouTube. I spend more time there than anywhere else, honestly.
Stephen: Yeah. I think most people do.
Clubhouse: underrated, overrated?
Quentin: Overrated. I love audio, I think it’s powerful, but I hate trading my time and there are so many people trading their time there.
Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. That one was hard for me. Just because with content, you can create it at your own pace and just deploy it. Whereas with Clubhouse I had to dedicate some time, so I just never did it.
All right. Cool, man. So if people are interested in chatting with you, tell them how you help them and what’s the best way they can get a hold of you?
Quentin: I help people grow things. It doesn’t matter if it’s a social media profile, doesn’t matter if it’s a business, doesn’t matter if it’s yourself. I’m just really good at growing things, hacking that growth. I do that typically on a consulting level. I’m toying with doing more of a coaching thing too, just at a lower price point. Not sure yet.
But I help people grow things. And I tell stories that make people money. That is all I’m good at in this world. You could find me on LinkedIn, TikTok, whatever social media platform, type in just ‘Q,’ or go to my website, Quentin Allums dot com.
Stephen: Cool. And if he doesn’t respond to you right away, ping him again. Cause that’s what I did. And when I did that, he got back to me and then we started working.
Quentin: Yeah, ping me as many times as you need to.
Stephen: All right. Cool, man. I appreciate you being on. I look forward to having you back on and maybe we could do something like TikTok, okay, go live or something.
Quentin: Yeah, we should. I do need to go live. Huh? Let’s do it.
Stephen: All right. Cool, man. Maybe we can promote the show as well, but all right. Cool man. Thanks again. I will talk to you soon.
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