As a smaller creator, you’re probably curious about the number of TikTok followers you need to make money on the web’s hottest social media platform.
Since every monetization strategy for the platform pays unpredictable rates to every influencer, it’s hard to determine how much you’ll make at each milestone.
But we can still try.
In this post, we use facts and statistics from around the web and TikTok influencers themselves to determine how many followers you need on TikTok to get paid.
Let’s get into it.
How do influencers make money on TikTok?
TikTok influencers generate revenue in a variety of different ways.
The most popular, though not the most profitable, is the TikTok Creator Fund. This is a sort of nest egg that rewards creators for, as TikTok themselves puts it, “making incredible TikTok videos.”
You need at least 10,000 followers and 100,000 video views within the last 30 days in order to apply.
Another way to make more money through TikTok itself is by receiving virtual gifts during livestreams.
TikTok users can purchase virtual coins, then spend those coins on virtual gifts during livestreams as a way to support their favorite creators.
These get converted into Diamonds for TikTok creators, which they can cash in for real money.
Because TikTok’s revenue sharing numbers are so low, many creators rely on other forms of monetization instead, including sponsorships, affiliate marketing and merchandise.
Affiliate marketing and merchandise are perfect for creators of any size since you don’t need a particular follower count or number of views to start making money from these strategies.
All you need is a small handful of truly engaged followers.
The cheapest way to get started with branded merch is through a print-on-demand service like Sellfy or Printful.
Many creators also use TikTok as a primary marketing strategy for an existing business. This is especially true for artists who sell handmade goods.
You can also collaborate with other TikTokers to grow your following by putting your name in front of their audiences.
Some creators also insert their PayPal link or Venmo/Cash App IDs in their bios as a subtle way to encourage viewers to send tips.
How much money can you make on TikTok?
The TikTok Creators Fund is the primary way of paying creators as virtual gifts are an unreliable source of revenue.
However, it’s important to note that the Creator Fund is not an ad revenue sharing program. As such, it, too, can be an unreliable source of income.
Here’s an example of what one influencer earned from the Creator Fund.
According to Business Insider, TikTok influencer Preston Seo earned $1,664 between January 2021 and May 2021 despite having hundreds of thousands of followers.
His daily earnings ranged from $9 to $38.
Another TikTok creator reported only being paid $88 for a TikTok video that received 1.6 million views.
TikTok does have a lenient payout policy, though, as its minimum payout threshold is only $50.
Earnings from virtual gifts are even less stellar than those earned from the Creator Fund.
It’s generally understood that 1 Diamond is equal to $0.05. However, it’s hard to predict exactly how much you’ll receive as TikTok’s Virtual Items Policy states that “the applicable monetary compensation will be calculated by us based on various factors including the number of Diamonds a user has accrued.”
It’s also hard to protect how many Diamonds you’ll earn per gift as they’re based on popularity and the “rate of conversion to be determined by us from time to time in its absolute and sole discretion.”
Plus, if a user refunds gifts, you must forfeit all money attributed to its Diamond payout. If you’ve already withdrawn it, you must issue a refund yourself within 5 days.
However, Insider’s article quoted a payout statistic from TikTok influencer Jakey Boehm, who livestreams on TikTok while he sleeps. He stated he made $34,000 in a single month from TikTok lives alone.
How much you’ll earn from other monetization strategies is even harder to predict as it’s based on how popular your videos are, the types of affiliate programs you join, the types of products you sell, how much you sell your products for, your engagement rates, etc.
However, Statista has found that macro influencers earn an average of $197 per post for branded content whereas larger influencers earn $1,500 per post.
How many followers do you need to make money on TikTok?
Now that we put all of that information out there, let’s get to our original question.
We know that you need at least 10,000 followers to join the Creator Fund and 1,000 followers to convert virtual gifts into Diamonds.
However, you can start earning well before these numbers through other monetization strategies.
That’s when determining how many TikTok followers you need to make money starts to get a little difficult.
That’s because you don’t need a set number of followers to earn affiliate income or sell merch.
Even if you have less than 1,000 followers, you could potentially earn more affiliate revenue from a single viral video than creators three times your size earn from all of their videos.
It all comes down to engagement rates. These are far more important than follower count when it comes to affiliate marketing and selling products.
Where follower count truly matters is sponsorship deals.
Brands want to know that you can get their product in front of as many eyes as possible. They want to see higher follower counts, views and engagement rates.
They also want to see unique content and a thriving community. After all, followers that trust you are more likely to purchase products you recommend.
Many guides recommend growing your following to anywhere between 10,000 to 100,000 followers minimum before reaching out to brands, but you can start marketing yourself to potential sponsors well before these numbers.
Even Statista proved that TikTok creators with fewer than 15,000 followers have the highest number of engagements.
It all boils down to how you market yourself. The worst that’ll happen is they’ll say no, at which point you’ll know that you have a little more growing to do.
Enticing sponsors with a media kit
Create a media kit to increase your odds of landing sponsorship deals, even if you have a smaller following.
A media kit is like a PowerPoint presentation packed into a PDF document that gives brands a rundown of the type of content you create and the numbers you bring in.
Create an engaging, multi-page PDF that showcases the following information:
- Your name and TikTok handle.
- Quick explanation of the type(s) of content you create.
- Total counts for followers and views.
- Short blurbs about your top 3 videos. Be sure to list the number of views, likes, comments and shares they got.
- Your average views/likes/comments/shares per video over the last 3 months.
- Breakdown of your profile’s analytics, especially demographics. This info helps brands understand if your audience aligns with their products.
- Details on past sponsored posts.
- Handles for other social media platforms.
Include this media kit in your initial message to sponsors.
The final verdict
As long as you upload content regularly and upload videos that earn engagements, you can start making money on the platform, even if you only have around 1,000 followers.
You need at least 10,000 followers to join the Creator Fund, but since it doesn’t really pay out a meaningful amount of revenue, you’re better off finding alternative monetization strategies instead.
Start with affiliate marketing and branded merch.
It’s best to join affiliate programs and sell merch that matches your audience. For instance, while you should never underestimate your audience, an audience that’s 75% male likely wouldn’t be interested in buying branded hair accessories.
Stick with hats, hoodies and t-shirts instead.
Once you start receiving a consistent number of views and engagements per video, start reaching out to brands.
Some guides from around the web recommend waiting until you hit 10,000 followers, but sponsors just want to know that you have the audience they’re looking for and that you can get your followers to take action (as evidenced by your engagement rates).
FAQs about making money on TikTok
How much money does 1,000 followers on TikTok make?
Macro influencers earn an average of $197 per post for branded content, According to Statista.
At 1,000 followers, you can also convert virtual gifts earned during TikTok lives into Diamonds, which payout at a rate of around 5 cents per Diamond.
It’s hard to predict how much you’ll earn from affiliate marketing and your own merch, but if you work on receiving higher engagement rates, you’ll see higher earnings from these ventures.
How much money does 1 million TikTok followers make?
TikTok creators with 1 million followers or more can expect to make an average of $1,500 per post for branded content.
One creator, Jenn Leach, reported earning $88 for 1.6 million views, which works out to 6 cents per 1,000 views.
What does TikTok pay monthly?
TikTok issues payments by view count while sponsors pay per video, so it’s impossible to predict how much you’ll make per month as it’s different for every creator.
Just work on creating content on a consistent basis, and experiment with different types of content while paying attention to videos that receive more engagements than others.
TikTok is a fast growing platform and it’s possible to make a decent amount of money even with as few as 1,000 followers.
But if you want to grow your revenue further, it makes sense to publish on other social networks such as Instagram and YouTube. Particularly now that YouTube Shorts are a thing.
With that in mind, you may want to check out the other posts in this series:
- How Many Instagram Followers Do You Need To Make Money?
- How Many YouTube Subscribers Do You Need To Make Money?
- How Do Influencers Make Money? The Complete Guide
Finally, if you’d like to learn more about TikTok, have a read of these posts:
- The Latest TikTok Statistics: The Definitive List
- 8 Best TikTok Scheduling Tools (Comparison)
- The Latest Social Media Statistics You Need To Know
- The Best TikTok Analytics Tools (Comparison)
- 10+ Ways To Make Money On TikTok
- How To Get More Views On TikTok: 13 Proven Strategies