How to Go Viral on TikTok and Make Money as an Entrepreneur
- Abby Michaelsen launched her decorating business, Statement Home, in June 2020.
- It has since gone viral on TikTok, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales.
- She shared tips on developing a social media strategy, including the successful steps she’s taken.
When Abby Michaelsen lost her job in marketing and business development in 2018, she re-evaluated her career choice.
“I used this as a moment to reevaluate,” Michaelsen told Insider. “Am I going to try to find a new job or am I going to try to start something? she wondered.
As Michaelsen considered her options, she joined her mother’s interior design business for two years and enrolled in a master’s degree in entrepreneurship program at the University of Southern California. These experiences were the catalyst for her own business, Statement Home, a home décor brand that sells decorative trays with interchangeable inserts.
After its launch in June 2020, sales were slow. However, her decision to prioritize TikTok marketing caused sales to skyrocket, she said. In fact, one video directly drove $100,000 in sales, while others brought in $20,000 at once, according to documents verified by Insider.
With much of his success coming from social media marketing, Michaelsen spoke with Insider about his biggest tips for turning views into sales.
Know what kind of creator you are
It can be tempting to act like an influencer, but an organized stream of lifestyle content doesn’t guarantee sales, Michaelsen said.
“I spent so much time trying to get that perfect Instagram feed, like I was an influencer,” she said. “But it didn’t show the versatility of the product.”
The first time Michaelsen went viral on TikTok was in May 2021. The video showed her friend organically unboxing her Statement Home platter, and it made $10,000 in the space of four days, Michaelsen said.
Several of Michaelsen’s videos have since generated significant traction and generated up to $20,000 in sales each. But her most viral video was posted in April, which garnered 2.8 million views and earned $100,000 in sales. The video showed the Statement Home tray in several settings: Michaelsen changed the inserts, displayed the tray with a charcuterie board, used it as home decor, and gave the tray as a gift.
Michaelson quickly realized that authentic videos of the set in action enticed customers to open their wallets.
Be a responsible business leader
Despite the success Michaelsen has had on social media, it’s important to her to remain a “responsible” creator and business owner, she said.
Because the results can be so unexpected, entrepreneurs need to be prepared for anything, she said. For example, since a single video can lead to increased sales, it’s important for business owners to always have an up-to-date inventory and website. This way, they will avoid overselling the product and upsetting potential customers.
The Dos and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing
1. Vary the type of content
Social media can be used to increase sales, but general brand awareness is another benefit. It’s important for Michaelsen to build her company’s image through a variety of content categories, including her founder’s story, seasonal lifestyle content and trends, she said.
“It’s helped me and the brand become a destination for learning more about decorating, entertaining and living in small spaces,” she said. “If someone likes my recipe and decides to follow along and doesn’t buy a tray, that’s okay, because maybe they’ll buy something later, or maybe they’ll send it to a friend.”
2. Republish and reuse your content
Social media can be time-consuming, but reposting and repurposing content is an effective way to save time, she said.
If there’s a video that did well over the holiday season, repost it this year, she suggested.
3. Video Production Quality Matters
While the videos shouldn’t look overly produced, there are simple ways to improve the quality of the content, Michaelsen said.
For example, the focus of the video should be close to the center of the frame, because the TikTok presentation will zoom in slightly, and the captions and features will block the top and bottom.
She also suggests shooting the video slower and then speeding it up. This way, the camera won’t miss any details while filming, but it will still look natural.
Michaelsen has seen the majority of his success from sharing his brand story, demonstrating his product in entertaining ways, and using app features.
“Step in front of the camera, amplify other aspects of your business, and respond to comments.”