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Ep 238: 400k TikTok Followers in 40 Days with Hilary Billings and Marshall Seese Jr.

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Hilary Billings and Marshall Seese Jr. are viral video creators who have amassed a total of 800 million views between them. Recently, Hilary went from zero to 400,000 followers on TikTok in just 40 days!

She now has an audience of more than 870,000 and has collected over 19 million likes. In today’s episode, she talks about her meteoric rise and how a glitch on Facebook led her to open an account on TikTok in the first place.

Hilary and Marshall also share some great tips and tricks for content creators that are new to TikTok and debunk some misconceptions regarding intellectual property.

We also discuss the benefits of repurposing content across platforms, the importance of utilizing the tools at your disposal, and why it’s crucial to take an experimental approach, plus a whole lot more.

Hilary and Marshall have so much insight and practical advice to share, so make sure not to miss this episode!

KEY POINTS FROM THIS EPISODE

  • The power of being first to market and how a glitch on Facebook led Hilary to TikTok.
  • Benefits of repurposing content and Marshall on how TikTok facilitates audience growth.
  • The importance of building relationships, not revenue streams.
  • Making money on TikTok; from the Creator Fund to off-platform monetization strategies.
  • Marshall debunks some misconceptions about TikTok and intellectual property.
  • Hilary emphasizes the importance of reading the community standards on the platforms you create content on.
  • The issues with pirating and copyright violation on social media and in the music industry.
  • Find out why content will do well on one platform and not so well on another.
  • How (and why) to leverage a piece of content across multiple platforms.
  • Using the tools at your disposal by understanding the ways in which content is consumed.
  • What you need to know about editing video content on TikTok, such as quicker edits.
  • Marshall shares some of the great creator resources that TikTok offers.
  • Let the platform help you; how to make use of TikTok’s natural momentum.
  • Hilary’s advice for those new to TikTok: take an experimental approach!

TWEETABLE MOMENTS

“I would say the ability to grow a following on TikTok is good. It’s still very good right now and probably will be for a while.” — Marshall Seese Jr. [0:05:51]

“Talent is table stakes and your content and your personal brand [are] table stakes. Now, it’s a matter of what else [you can] bring to these opportunities to show that you can add value and make something take off.” — Hilary Billings [0:10:00]

“What I learned from this experience is not to judge the quality of a video just because it’s not taking off in one place but to see how I can utilize it across multiple platforms and leverage that piece of content.” — Hilary Billings [0:22:43]

“Just keep creating and just keep putting [content] out consistently!” — Hilary Billings [0:29:43]

About Marshall Seese Jr.

A creative pioneer, Marshall is a TEDx speaker, serial entrepreneur, Billboard-charting recording artist, and award-winning filmmaker.

Before the age of 30, Marshall graduated a Top 10 law school, founded his first company, recorded with a Grammy-winning producer, and joined the executive leadership team of a $300 million-dollar global consulting firm. As a serial entrepreneur, he raised millions in investment capital and partnered with Sony Music, Universal, and Warner Bros to bring his company’s widely-acclaimed digital game to life—inspiring hundreds of thousands of users to create music. His own music career as “The Tin Man” led him to the top of Spotify’s Viral 50 chart as well as the Billboard Hot AC chart.

Marshall’s multi-disciplined creations have been featured in Variety, Billboard, Headline News, TechCrunch and Mashable, and his viral videos have garnered over 700 million views on social media. Now as a writer, director and producer, Marshall is bringing his unique brand of creation and storytelling to network television and the big screen.

About Hilary Billings

Hilary Billings is a content creator, entertainer, and personal brand strategist.

For over a decade she’s brought her personality to on-camera hosting, celebrity interviewing, and producing. She’s worked with outlets including USA Today and E! News, and has interviewed legends including Ringo Starr, Dolly Parton, and even danced with Mark Cuban.

A burn survivor turned Miss Nevada, Hilary is passionate about helping women overcome feelings of inadequacy, handle their online haters, and develop authentic confidence. Her light-hearted content combined with a unique way of approaching negative comments has garnered her over 850K Tik Tok followers and more than 700 million views across platforms.

A sought-after speaker and emcee, she’s shared the stage with icons including William Shatner and Bon Jovi and had her insights featured in Entrepreneur and Huffington Post.

As a coach and strategist, she’s helped the gamut of professionals build their confidence and their brands, including New York Times best-selling authors, Victoria’s Secret models, and billionaires.

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Hilary Billings on TikTok

Hilary Billings on Instagram

Hilary Billings on Facebook

The Hilary Show

Hilary Billings

Marshall Seese Jr. on LinkedIn

Marshall Seese Jr. on Facebook

Marshall Seese Jr.

‘From 0-400,000 TikTok Followers in 40 Days’

AJ Vaden on LinkedIn

AJ Vaden on Twitter

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden on LinkedIn

Rory Vaden on Twitter

Take the Stairs

Brand Builders Group

Brand Builders Group Free Call

Brand Builders Group Resources

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Stitcher

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Apple

RV (00:07): Hey brand builder, Rory Vaden here. Thank you so much for taking the time to check out this interview as always, it’s our honor to provide it to you for free and wanted to let you know there’s no big sales pitch or anything coming at the end. However, if you are someone who is looking to build and monetize your personal brand, we would love to talk to you and get to know you a little bit and hear about some of your dreams and visions and share with you a little bit about what we’re up to to see if we might be a fit. So if you’re interested in a free strategy call with someone from our team, we would love to hear from you. You can do that at brand builders, group.com/pod call brand builders, group.com/podcast. We hope to talk to you soon. RV (00:54): I cannot wait to introduce you to our friends, Hillary and Marshall. So these two, they are a dynamic duo. They’re a couple, they are viral video creators. Here’s probably the only thing that you really need to know. They have amassed a total of 800 million views on their videos, 800, hundred million. And they do that across a lot of different platforms. They both have Facebook watch channels. Hillarys is called the Hillary show. Marshalls is called the Marshall show, but they work together and they, one of the things that happened here recently is that Hillary went from zero to 500,000 row to 500,000 followers on TikTok in 60 days, about 60 days. She now has over 870,000. She’s had 19 million likes there. And so we’re just gonna talk about that. they’re close friends of ours. They are also clients, the brand builders group, Hillary is also one of our strategists. RV (02:06): And so this was like, wait, what, what, what the, wait, what, so anyways, here to talk to us about that, Hillary and Marshall. HB (02:15): Woo. Hey Rory, MS (02:16): thanks for having us Rory excited to be on it. RV (02:18): You guys, I mean, you’re killing it. You are freaking killing it and I love you and I am so jealous and mad at you. so I need you to teach, teach me your ways. So let’s just, yeah, you worry, you got me. All right. So, so talk to me about TikTok, cuz like I don’t, I’m not getting it. Like why did you use the platform? How did you get started? How in the world did you get a half a million followers in two freaking months? I think I’ve got like 50 likes in two years. using this thing. So tell, tell me your ways. HB (02:59): It’s so funny, Rory, because I go back to attending like the revenue engine and the high traffic strategies events, where we talk a lot about the power of being first to market. Right. And we have a really unique situation right now in the world with platforms like TikTok, like clubhouse, where personal brands have the ability to actually create a foundation and grow upon that in ways that you just can’t do nowadays on YouTube or Facebook or even Instagram. And I was probably the most vocal person in as, as a strategist and as an attendee that didn’t wanna do TikTok. Mm I was tired and I was doing all this other content and building my brand in other ways. And it just seemed like, well, one more thing I gotta do that I didn’t wanna focus on. And I think that this really came down to a divine intervention of forcing me to take time away. HB (03:50): So what happened, you know, our, our primary platforms are on Facebook and the week that I decided to get on TikTok, the only reason I did that is because was a glitch on the Facebook platform. Mm. Which essentially demonetize my page because of something on Facebook’s backend. So we were not able to make any money on it for an undetermined amount of time, potentially. They didn’t know how long it would take to fix this issue. And we had just posted a video that was viral and I was sitting there and I was watching us lose millions and millions of views in revenue and it was making me batty. So I needed to do something to take my mind off of what was this mess that was happening over here and just decided, well, I guess now’s the time let’s make some TikTok videos. And I just started posting and repurposing content much like we do with the content diamond old videos that I liked that I thought would work for the audience based upon what I was seeing on TikTok. And it just took off from there. It was, it was crazy and unexpected. And we did 400,000 followers in 40 days and then half 1,000,0 60 days. And now we’re own pace to hit a million followers by next month. RV (05:04): Wow. And do you think, so what, what I hear you saying there is, it’s not so much, oh, we had this am. I mean, we had, we, we, we came up with this amazing content exclusively for TikTok you’re repurposing content that you had other places. When I hear you say that in the, especially the reference to clubhouse, you’re saying that there’s basically an optimal window that you can get inside these platforms and have this accelerated growth. I mean, is that true? Is that a big part of it or not? What, what MS (05:38): It’s part of it? I think there is definitely when a, when a platform first gets going, they’re trying to get creators excited. And the best way to do that is to get things, you know, going viral. You reach a point of saturation to where that doesn’t become as optimal anymore. And now you have to, you know, make the way for revenue streams like advertising TikTok. However, I will caveat saying is an interesting use case because they came out even recently in the past couple months and specifically said, we want, we are giving people content. They, we think they want to watch. It’s the only platform that defaults you to a feed based upon what they think you wanna see, not who you follow. You actually have to scroll to a different area to see the only the people that you follow. Mm. So they are trying to keep themselves more open to, you know, profiles exploding if it deems that that’s content that people want to see. So I would say the ability to grow a following on TikTok is, is good. It’s still very good right now and probably will be for a little while. Interesting. HB (06:42): And I would also add to that again, this goes back to one of the tenants that we talk about all the time in brand builders group, which we got ourselves into this predicament where, you know, we had put all of our eggs into a piece of rented real estate, right? Mm-Hmm we were betting on a rented real estate as to holding our revenue stream and with a glitch, everything went away for a week and with, through no fault of her own and you know, and the platform was working very hard to fix it, but that is also a piece of just remembering that you want to make sure that you are owning those relationships and how can we own those over time? So we’re not just driving people to a revenue stream that we don’t have control over long term. And that, RV (07:22): That glitch that you’re talking about was not the worldwide glitch where Facebook went down for four hours. This was another one that was only on the back end for people like you that were like creators that have monetized. Cause you have to, you have to have what like 10,000 followers on your watch page to be able to monetize it. Some like that. MS (07:40): Yeah. There’s a whole getting monetize on Facebook is a very difficult process that requires it’s. It’s not just objective there, there are a lot of subjective qualifications with it as well. RV (07:49): Gotcha. So what about, let’s talk about revenue on TikTok. So I I’m curious about, I mean, other than the broad awareness kind of thing, how do you actually make money on TikTok and, and, you know, so I, I guess I understand a couple components. I understand the idea of like, Hey, a lot of people are hearing about me the same way they, they, they might hear about anybody. And from that there’s some, some runoff in terms of like recognition that you can parlay into other things. And then I also understand brand deal. Like I have a large platform. And so somebody pays me some money to talk about their product or company or service to my audience. Is that, is that how you make revenue on TikTok or is there there’s, there’s something else MS (08:41): There’s also a creator fund. Yeah. That is very small right now that if you have over 10,000 followers, you can apply to became a, become a part of, and that will ebb and flow and grow as they figure out what their advertising model looks like. Yeah. HB (08:55): So if you’re running through like the basic paids acronym, right? So you’ve got products where you can be advocating doing brand deals, doing product placements within your videos, you could be doing ads and affiliates. So ads is essentially the creator fund, right? Because they’re putting a basic ad on the front that you see when you log in, it’s not on a specific piece of content that shift in the future. We don’t know where that’s going. We highly recommend that anybody that meets the criteria for video hours watched in the followings should apply because it’s just additional monthly revenue that’s coming in that you don’t have to worry about. And you can withdraw. I think it’s every 30 or 60 days. Then you have affiliates, right? So a lot of products give you an affiliate link. You can put that in your profile. You can say, Hey, I love this type of makeup. HB (09:41): Go to my link in my profile for my 20% off code. And then you get an affiliate check, right? For everyone of your followers that can go there. You can drive information to courses. I know we have some clients Ram builders that do that, that they’ll utilize the content that they’re doing on TikTok to push back to their websites, back to their courses, back to their one-on-one coaching. So their, their services, then you’ve got deals right for the D which could be, you’re endorsing a product you are saying, Hey, this is the best makeup I’ve ever had. And let me do a creative TikTok to show you you that. So there’s a lot of different ways over time that you can monetize that outside of just building a following. I will also say, and I think we’re gonna talk about this a little bit, but going into the future of, of how influencers, I, I really dislike that term, but how influencers are able to monetize, we’re seeing already that the big content creators, right? HB (10:39): Like the Logan Pauls of the world, the top talkers, they are getting acting deals. They are getting huge spokes model deals and they are able to take and monetize off of that platform because they have such large followings. But back when I was an on-camera host, it used to be, I’d submit my resume to, to a network or an agency or a company in the hopes that they would pick me based upon my talent. Well, now talent is table stakes and your content and your personal brand is table stakes. And now it’s a matter of what else can you bring to these opportunities to show that you can add a value and make something take off. And I think that long term we’re gonna see that out more and more into monetization strategies for content creators. RV (11:22): Yeah. I mean, I, I, I noticed that too, that it’s like, it’s not just about, who’s talented. It’s about who can bring an audience. And yeah, there’s a huge part of that. And now that we all have our opportunities to bring our audiences to things that has real value, and you’re seeing people at cast Y you know, the, the thing that AJ and I noticed recently was on the voice that Ariana Grande has like she has hundreds of millions of followers and she was the new coach. Meanwhile, Blake Shelton and Kelly, and John legend, who are in my eyes much more well known to majority of the generations have only four or five, like, you know, a few million followers. And I, I can’t help, but think that’s no a us not an accident that she got herself cast for that fourth coaching spot. MS (12:18): I mean, another great example is only murders in the building, which is our, our, our current, or I guess we just finished it TV obsession with Steve Martin and Martin short, I mean, two of my all time, favorite actor comedians. And, but the third party is Celina Gomez, the second largest following on all of Instagram. And there’s so many people, especially younger generations watching this show because of Selena who had no idea who Steve Martin and Martin short were. And so it’s, it’s, it’s a really great, and the chemistry is great. It’s a really beautiful example of what that can look like when done. Well, I HB (12:53): Think it also speaks to, and we talk about this a lot R and brand builders, whether it’s with a book, right? Whether you’re speaking career, whatever you’re trying to do, we want to show that you have a profitable business model, right. And if you’re able to bring a following to that book proposal, if you’re able to bring a following to as a, as a keynote speaker, you know, whether it’s through YouTube or whatever, that, that particular revenue stream is that you’re trying to build through your primary business model that is attractive to whomever you’re trying to work with. So this applies across a across industries, I believe. RV (13:28): Yeah, well it, so the, on the topic of building an audience, one of the things that I know has been a little bit of a pain point for y’all and, and, and for, and for a lot of people is the intellectual property discussion about TikTok. And you know, there, there are some strategies that people use to grow a following that kind of go in the face as you know, of some of this copyright stuff. And I think that’s one of the things creators were worried initially about TikTok was like, oh my gosh, like anyone can take my video and post it on TikTok and now belongs to them. So what are some of the, what are some of the things that you’ve learned there in that kind of like I P intellectual property, right. Sort of world, as it relates to TikTok specifically, HB (14:19): Do you wanna start with that one former? I, RV (14:21): Why don’t we take a former as a former lawyer Marshall, former IP attorney who like to officially comment MS (14:29): So copyright, and there’s a big misconception around this. A lot of people have with copyright, as soon as you publish a work you have copyright protection. Now you can also go a further step and register that with the copyright office, with the government, you don’t have to, to have protection. So once you publish something, say on YouTube or TikTok or Facebook, you know, you have a date and a timestamp that has been released to the general public. You have copyright protection in that now enforcing that is an entirely other bag. And, you know, some of the platforms, Facebook has a really great rights manager where they will track and look for similar videos and show them to you. So you can say, Hey, yes, this was approved or no, this was not approved. Not every platform is developed and sophisticated enough to have that. Interesting yet it will go there. It’s coming. Yeah. And so, you know, we are very active about takedowns and, and Hillary can probably speak to, to the takedown side of things, but that’s, that’s an important part. And also a large reason why we put our content on multiple different platforms to, to kind of, you know, put our stake in the ground and make sure there is no, I don’t have to show YouTube that we put on Instagram first. You know, if you’re putting it everywhere at the same time, HB (15:41): I think there’s a couple of misconceptions that we get push back on, which I would like to, to clarify for people right now to help them and, and to help us too. One just because things out in the public does not mean that it’s in public domain. MS (15:54): Yeah. That is not what public domain means. HB (15:56): And that is something that we get pushed back on a lot is what do you mean? I found this on TikTok it’s in the public domain. No, it was publicly shared. That does not mean that you get to put it out on your own platform. So, Marshall, what is the definition of being in public domain? Just so we can all get, yeah, RV (16:10): That’s a good question. MS (16:12): Copyrighted piece of work goes into the public domain, which is a legal term 100 years after the author’s death. HB (16:23): So we can all safely assume that anything that has been created for a video on YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram radio. It’s not going MS (16:30): Public domain anytime soon. not in, in your lifetime. Most likely. HB (16:34): And then the second piece is RV (16:36): I think a lot of people misunderstand that I really, I mean, totally like that, that, that, so, so you’re welcome to quote the Bible freely, but yes, nothing on social media ever. So, so, but you have, MS (16:50): But that’s where the van go. Exhibit is so popular. You’ve seen van goes that is popping up everywhere because Vango works just went into the public domain. Oh, RV (16:58): Interesting. Yeah, we’re going, we’re going next week. There you go. We’re going to a Vango exhibit in Nashville next week. MS (17:05): That’s because we hit the a hundred year mark after his death. Yay. So, and you’re HB (17:08): Welcome. so, so with that, I think something else that a lot of new creators went, they come on, the scenes don’t do is they don’t read the community standards on the platforms in which they’re creating on. I think that’s RV (17:20): Pretty safe to say Hillary, I don’t see anybody reading the community guidelines. Like, let me scroll down 73 pages here and figure out what all this Gar says pretty safe. Absolutely. HB (17:33): That’s and that’s a, okay. But with that, there is a very, a very specific community standard on every single platform. Mm-Hmm this, this applies to every platform. So whether it’s it’s TikTok, whether it’s Snapchat, you are not allowed to post somebody else’s content without their explicit permission. I will say it again, because I know a lot of influencer gurus out there tend to push this idea of just jacking a viral video, downloading it. And re-uploading it to your own platform as a way to build your following. If you do that, you are in direct violation of community standard for any platform MS (18:09): And the law and HB (18:10): The law, throwing that out there and the law, which means that if you were to somehow make money off of that video, we can come after you for damages. So that’s like worst case scenario for you. Best case scenario for you is we get that video taken down. We can also, because platforms are now trying to prioritize and protect creators and work with their creators to protect their IP. We have taken down accounts with millions of followers because they really continually, again and again, posted videos of ours without our explicit written permission. So you need to license that content from another creator, if you’re going to do that. And that needs to come with written permission and possibly even payment of some sort, if that’s what they want. So it’s just safer to create your own everybody, cuz we, we have, and we will take down accounts for stealing our stuff. RV (19:00): Well, it’s not, I mean, I mean, I see that all the time, a lot of times it’s like puppy dog videos or military videos or like these really heartwarming videos. And you’re saying that, that I think it’s tricky. So a share button like hitting the share button is okay, but, but not downloading the video and then reposting it to your account. Like technically that’s, MS (19:23): Let’s it this way. If you’re utilizing the tools within the platform to share and or create with something, then they have built that into the terms and conditions that we as creators have signed and agreed to when putting our copyright content onto their platform. If you are doing something that requires a plugin or some sort of external third party website, or you’re having to rip something or download something, I can pretty much tell you right now, that will not be okay because HB (19:51): What’s happening is when you use the share button, when you’re using the retweet button, when you’re using duet features on TikTok, you are still giving, I haven’t heard of that one RV (20:00): Yet. Duet features on TikTok. I need you to explain that, but I kind of get the gist anyways, keep going. HB (20:06): So you’re, whenever you use a feature that’s built into a platform you’re still giving credit to the original creator. When you take something from somebody else’s page and re-upload it organically on your own, you are saying that that is your video and that you own that video. So you have the ability to post that video, which is untrue. And that is a violation of our IP. Does that make RV (20:27): Sense? I mean, everybody does this. I mean, everybody does. I mean, I like major, major are celebrities and huge accounts and, and HB (20:36): We don’t take downs on celebrity accounts MS (20:38): Too. I mean, we it’s, I’ve always said the video industry is just slightly lagging the music industry as a musician. I went through this in 2001, 2002, 2003 with Napster mm-hmm and look what happened to the industry. You know, it, it took having to find an entirely different business model to truly kind of get piloting out of the mainstream. And you know, there was nothing legal about it. That didn’t mean that everybody wasn’t doing it. It, so it’s, it’s really a matter of what types of digital rights protections can be put in place. I’m actually very excited about blockchain technology for this purpose, but that’s a whole other conversation and, and there’s, you know, video is gonna, is gonna have to figure it out as far as that type of you know, RV (21:28): But you guys had, you actually had if I remember, right, not major, always talker, but you guys had a video about parallel parking. Wasn’t there a parallel parking video that you posted on Facebook that went viral and then somebody else posted it on TikTok. Like how HB (21:44): Many didn’t even do well on Facebook, which was the very, a frustrating part for me. Oh, that’s interesting. And I, I had written it off as a bad video mm-hmm and somebody else took it and put it up on their TikTok. I didn’t post it to my TikTok cuz I thought that it was a bad video and we lost 40 million views. Yeah. And there was national press international press all tied to this account that didn’t own the video. We took down the account, he created a new account and we took down his account again and you know, many people were very upset with us. We had, I think 30,000 videos that, of this particular TikTok that were uploaded illegally that we went through systematically and pulled them down one at a time. Wow. RV (22:29): That’s crazy. So, so, so 30,000 people like used whatever plugin or did a whatever tool they used to rip the video and then, and then put it up. You have to go through through that, that that’s, what’s so hard about it, right. Is like who’s gonna sit there and do this for 30,000 videos. But, but the other concept that jumps out about that to me was how a video video that didn’t perform well on Facebook, the exact same video got 40 million, 40 million views. Like that’s interest. That’s a fascinating concept to me to go, what we think is going, oh, well, you know, I guess it wasn’t that good. It’s like how there’s more to the story here about the algorithms and how’s stuff gets picked up and you just don’t. I mean, what’s the explanation for that? HB (23:14): I think there’s a number of things. And, and what was interesting is even looking at the data on the back end of all of those stolen videos is that only a few of them had major views. Right. But I, I think part of it is, you know, depending upon the platform, right, because TikTok to face book to Instagram, to YouTube, they’re all serving different demographics. And and then depending upon your audience, right on your profile, who, who are you serving, what audience is watching your stuff. So maybe we post it and it doesn’t do well, but somebody else’s audience is a better fit for it. There there’s just so many variables that can go into something like this. And I do see often that videos that do well for us on TikTok are not the same videos that are doing well for us and other platforms and vice versa. And I think part of that is just age group and what they want to watch. So what I learned for this experience is not to judge the quality of a video just because it’s not taking off in one place. But to see how I can utilize it across multiple platforms and leverage that piece of content. RV (24:18): What if you have videos that all consistently underperform on all platforms should I be worried about that? Does that mean that I might have a crappy video? We should probably talk about how to make your videos HB (24:30): More consumable you know, and that’s something that I talked about. I, I did an article for entrepreneur on, you know, the, the 400,000 TikTok followers in 40 days. And that’s one of them is, is, you know, really consider how the platform wants you to create and distribute con intent. When we talk about the content diamond, I think a lot of people mistakenly believe that they’re just gonna take the same video, you know, cut it down to the time requirement for that platform, throw it up and it’s gonna do great. But the truth of the matter is you need to look at what are the tools that the platform’s giving you on TikTok. It’s giving you songs, it’s giving you the ability to send, do duets and, and utilize these trending sounds or these trending hashtags or these E even trending ways of compiling your videos, right? And you have all these different, fun things that, that you can do with your, your content. And I think it’s really important to look at that. You know, Instagram has primarily been square with TikTok it’s all vertical video. Youtube has primarily been more horizontal video. So being able to understand the way that the platform wants you to consume and wants you to to utilize content is gonna be a big player, I think moving forward especially as they’re all trying to differentiate themselves. RV (25:43): Yes. Yeah. Is there, so on that note, like in terms of a video on TikTok, like I think about a video that I maybe post on YouTube, I mean, other than kind of knowing like, Hey, maybe the audience skews younger, although I feel like that’s probably changing or destined to change here before too long people are jumping over. Is there anything I need to know about how, how I should edit my videos on TikTok? Or and then I, I would say the other thing is kind of like the, the features, like, what are, are there, are there certain key features? Like, you know, you mentioned a few of these duets and trending sounds and trending hashtags. What are those? HB (26:29): Do you want us to take this one to start? No, you can. So I think for starters, like a great thing for you to do is just go to the, for anybody is to go to their four you page, which is what your TikTok is going to send you to anyway, when, as your landing page, when you open up the app and just start scrolling and seeing what’s working. Right. And I think you’ll find when I first got Onik TikTok and I showed Marshall, his response was, oh, it’s human cartoons. , that’s RV (26:59): What this is nice. HB (27:00): Yep. MS (27:01): And so yeah, Sunday HB (27:01): Comics. Got it. Yeah. So, so our question became, how do we make even, you know, these, these difficult or deep co you know, topics, how do we make ’em cartoonish? How do we make ’em more over the top? You know, there’s, there’s a couple of clients with brand builders that have very serious topics that they’re dealing with, whether that’s death or divorce, or, you know, in these really traumatic events. And they’re able to take those topics and find ways to poke fun at them, or find ways to poke fun at themselves as moms. And just making it more of that lighthearted, I think also on TikTok, at least because the platform was built on under a minute, initially, you’re gonna have much quicker edits than you would have on another platform. I’m gonna MS (27:41): Pull a pandemic moment and go let our dog in because we all live in this world. Now I’ll be right RV (27:46): Back. Nice. HB (27:48): He says, I dunno if y’all can hear him, but he is just downstairs and making a ruckus. And we had a conversation before we started this of okay. Let’s just hope he makes it through without, without RV (27:57): Working at us. It’s all good. Hear it faintly. But talk, tell me about those features. Yeah. So the light, the HB (28:04): Them up for you right now. Yeah. RV (28:05): The quick cuts make sense. The lightheartedness, I mean, that, that makes sense. HB (28:11): So when we come to one of the other things that’s interesting about TikTok is that you have this discover tab, which is you have your home tab, and then you have a little discover tab. And what the discover tab will do for you, which I think is so fast in comparison to most other platforms, is it will tell you now Twitter does this too, as far as like here’s the trending hashtags, but what TikTok does for you as far as how we understand it as these are the, the hashtags that it wants you to create content around, because that’s what it’s pushing out right now. Oh, so you can go through and, and look at, okay, we got hashtag arts and crafts, hashtag relationships, hashtag productivity, and you can go and see what’s trending within those and make content that fits within those topics. So that’s a really interesting feature that talk’s actually encouraging you to utilize that MS (29:02): There’s also, and again, something pass is that people RV (29:06): You’re just saying, you click on the discover button on the bottom and all those hashtags that like, if you’re gonna use a hashtag or if you’re gonna create a video natively for the platform, it’s like, use one of those. HB (29:19): If you don’t know what to create, I would go to the discover tab and it’ll give you 30 to how I’m probably in unlimited now of hashtags to utilize that it’s currently trending and pushing content for MS (29:32): Tiktok also has some really great creator resources online that give again, nobody reads just like terms and conditions, community guidelines, but they tell you how to succeed on the platform. Like do this immediately make this, your first shot, do this, and then this, and then they’ll tell you how to create and construct a good video that will work well on their platform. It’s, you know, beautiful kind of PDF and other types of, you RV (29:57): Know, they’re saying on just on TikTok website, mm-hmm HB (30:00): yeah. Interesting. They, and that’s, I think the thing that a lot of people don’t understand when they first get onto a platform is that these platforms want you to be successful and they’re doing what they can to try to help you, especially when you first create a new account. You might notice that your first videos get more views than your subsequent videos and what the platform is trying to do, trying to get your account to push off. So we talk a lot about saving the best for first, when you’re not dealing with a, you know, a sales audience, same thing, what are the videos that you have? How strong can you come out the gate? How consistent can you come out the gate to let the platform help you and utilize that natural momentum? And I think that’s one of the things that really worked for us or worked for me when I started my TikTok page was we had really strong videos out the gate and TikTok was able to run with those and gave us that initial boost that we were then able to continue to build that momentum. How RV (30:54): Frequently were you publishing? HB (30:57): I think when we first started, I was doing a video a day. It was not that frequent. MS (31:01): It, it was, it was a a day. And then you reached a certain point, I think, two weeks in. And you started to do every other day mm-hmm and kind of slowly started to dial into what was a sustainable rhythm. Yeah. HB (31:11): Yeah. And I think what’s also interesting about TikTok is that maybe unlike other platforms, although I don’t know, I feel like it’s all changing with TikTok. I think there’s a, a understanding that if a video doesn’t perform right away, then that means that the videos are dead. But the truth of the matter is, is that it can take a few days to a few weeks for a TikTok to take off. And, and then when that happens, the ones around it that you’ve put out will get a boost. Right. And so I would encourage people, never to judge the performance of a TikTok based upon like on its face, how it’s doing, but just keep creating and just keep putting out consistently. And again, there’s a lot of things. Tiktok is also interesting because of its age demographic, how the platform is trying to protect younger viewers and certain requirements that it wants you to have with video quality lighting. In order for the algorithm, to be able to know that the content is safe for younger viewers, and this is all available on their website. And this is just one of those things that if you are serious about being a creator, spend an hour and go read through all these materials, and it’ll tell you how you need to set up the shot to make sure that the algorithm doesn’t accidentally deprioritize a video, because it can even see what’s going on in the shot, right. Something as simple as that can, RV (32:31): Can deter something fascinating. I mean, even as you guys talk, like you can tell, like you mentioned earlier, you don’t like the word influencer and it’s like, the word creator is a much better term. I mean, you’re reading these stuff, you’re familiar with all the policies. Like it, it also strikes me as it’s very professional. It’s a job. Like you’re tracking things, you’re doing it consistently. Like this is not a, oh, I just like make some funny videos, like in my spare time and throw ’em up there. Like you’re, you’re working, you’re working at this. And I think it’s important for people to see that just like working at anything. And and, and right when you start anything, you have to work hard and fast and consistently, and there’s this like some natural velocity that you gotta create early on. I do have one more question in terms of advice for new Tuckers, but before we do that, where do you want people to go? If they wanna link up with you guys and get connected to, to, to you and maybe watch some of your viral videos? HB (33:26): I think the best place to go is probably just my website. Cuz you can find all the links there. Hillary billings.com, H I L a R Y B I L L I N gs.com. That’ll have all the links to everything and you can also get my free confidence load book as well. If you’re interested in that. And we we’ll take you on a journey from there. RV (33:45): I like it. I like it, but we’ll put links to that. So first if you have someone that’s new to TikTok, I mean, you mentioned like the ha the discovery trick is pretty cool. I actually was just noticed that for the first time, the other day, you mentioned duets, which I have never heard about. I’m gonna have to figure out that, but like what else, what else in terms of like practical advice or things that we should be doing, if we’re, if we’re new or if we like, okay, I need to get, I need to get serious about this. HB (34:14): I think for anybody that wants to be a content creator across any platform, or just in general, especially if you’re new, you and you’re starting off to this, it’s really important to take an experimental mentality. I think especially early on in my content creation, I held every piece of content, so precious and so close to me and was basing my success off the result of that video versus the system that I was putting into place to make the video. And we don’t have control over what something does, but when you take an experimental approach and say, okay, I’m gonna make 30 videos and I’m gonna throw ’em all up there and we’ll see what happens. And that’s exactly the approach that I took when I started TikTok was, well, I’m gonna post a video a day. Let’s try a different genre every day. Let’s try this one, let’s try that one and see what’s working. HB (34:59): And then at that point, you’ll have a data set to then work off of and say, oh, interesting. These ones worked for me. Let me do more of those. Let’s see what happens if I do more of those, oh, those aren’t working. What if I do this type of video in this genre, or try this trend or try this TikTok dance all of that can come into play, but it’s, I think that the art of mastery and we were talking about this, I think it was last month, come without holding that content so close to you. You have to be able to let it go and move on and let it go and move on in order to continue to become better. RV (35:31): Ah, I love it. I love it guys. Well, thank you so much for this. I mean, I learned a ton here. It’s just crazy how the world is changing and looking at this. And I mean, TikTok is powerful. It it’s honestly like it’s really good at at least mine is it’s serving up things that I’m actually interested in and funny and inspiring. And like, it, it I’ll tell you it’s a whole lot better than TV. It does a better if a job than TV does at like putting stuff in front of me that I wanna see. So keep going. I mean, this is cool. I wanna make sure we’ve got good people out there leading the world of TikTok creators and you guys are awesome. We appreciate your wisdom. We’re, we’re always cheering for you. And you know, we’ll be, we’ll be following your journey. We love you guys. Thanks Rory.

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25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

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