Who wants to be a millionaire? All of us, probably. But most small business owners and startup founders probably hope that one day their little business will turn into a revenue-generating machine that will make them one of the few millionaire entrepreneurs. While that may seem like a pipe dream for some, it’s been a reality for many business owners and founders. A lot of them have been able to successfully tap into the incredible marketing power of TikTok.
For those who are unfamiliar, TikTok is a social media app that allows users to create and share short videos. It’s incredibly popular with young people. This has made it a goldmine for businesses that can market their products and services effectively on the platform.
And that’s exactly what some savvy business owners and founders have done. With a little creativity and a whole lot of hustle, they’ve been able to turn their businesses into millionaire-making machines. So, what’s the secret? How did they do it? In this article, we’ll tell the stories of four business owners and founders who harnessed the power of TikTok to help their businesses achieve great success.
Why Is TikTok Such a Powerful Marketing Tool?
Before we dive into the stories of how these business owners and founders made their millions, it’s important to understand just how powerful TikTok can be as a marketing tool for emerging businesses.
We all know that digital marketing is key to the success of any business in the 21st century. But there are lots of digital marketing platforms out there, from Facebook and Instagram to Snapchat and Twitter. So, what makes TikTok so special?
First, a few facts about TikTok:
- TikTok has been downloaded more than 3 billion times worldwide.
- It is used by 18% of global Internet users between the ages of 16 and 64.
- It is most popular with people aged below 29.
- There are at least 1.2 billion active monthly TikTok users.
“These features are paired with more typical social media elements such as the “like” button. This triggers a rush of endorphins in the brain. Then there are comments, which allow users to connect with others. Combined, they create a recipe for social media addiction that is hard to resist.”
These cold, hard facts show us that TikTok is an incredibly popular app with a huge global reach. But there’s more to it than that. Facebook has nearly 3 billion monthly active users and YouTube has around 2.6 billion. But there’s just something different about TikTok. Described by some as “digital crack cocaine”, TikTok users just can’t get enough of the platform. University researchers have been trying to figure out what it is that makes TikTok so addictive. They believe they’ve pinpointed three key reasons:
- The infinite scrolling feature of the For You Page encourages users to enter a hyper-focused state. It is difficult to break out of.
- Videos take over the entire screen, creating a highly immersive user experience.
- Videos are carefully chosen by AI technology to specifically appeal to the individual user’s unique preferences and interests. The more users engage with the app, the more accurate the algorithm becomes.
These features are paired with more typical social media elements such as the “like” button. This triggers a rush of endorphins in the brain. Then there are comments, which allow users to connect with others. Combined, they create a recipe for social media addiction that is hard to resist.
So, what does this mean for businesses? It means that if you can get your TikTok marketing strategy right, you have the potential to reach a huge global audience of engaged users who are highly likely to become brand advocates and customers. Sounds pretty good, right? Let’s take a look at how some businesses have done just that.
4 Business Owners Who Found Success Through TikTok
TikTok success stories are not hard to find. TikTok’s Business Centre has numerous case studies that demonstrate the app’s effectiveness as a marketing tool. There are also plenty of businesses that have found success without even using the platform’s paid-for features. We identified four business owners and founders who’ve seen massive success after making TikTok a key part of their marketing. But there are many more out there and your business could be next.
Noble Leather Co.
The Noble Leather Co is a company that makes bespoke handmade leather goods, including belts, wallets and phone cases. The company was started in 2018 by founder Kyle Hinds, who had recently discovered a love of leatherwork. This occurred after watching a YouTube channel that showcased the craft. Kyle started making belts and wallets and quickly realised he had found his calling in life.
According to Hinds “Leather can tell a story” and he was enchanted by the idea of creating and selling products that would outlive his own lifespan. Inspired by his own journey, Hinds set up a TikTok channel to show others how he makes his products. Hinds knew how to work the world of TikTok and he began to lean heavily into the ASMR genre. He started creating videos with satisfying sounds to trigger the “brain tingles” that ASMR is famous for.
With close-up shots of his careful leather craft, his channel quickly exploded in popularity. Several of his videos have gone viral, receiving between 1 and 5 million views each. He quickly began to dominate TikTok’s “leatherwork” niche. His channel has now amassed more than 1.5 million followers and 15.2 million likes in just two years. He’s now the self-proclaimed CEO of “LeatherTok”.
His innovative use of TikTok has translated into huge success for his business. He still creates every item “made to order”, which TikTok users love, and he ships his products worldwide. There’s no doubt that Noble Leather would not be the success it is today without TikTok.
@nobleleatherco Out with the old in the the new🙋🏻♂️ -RANCH BELT- Video that started it all,#asmr #leathertok #oddlysatisfying #tiktokdiy #asmrcrunch #sosatisfying ♬ original sound – Noble Leather Co.
The mission of Breakroom’s founders is simple — to make every job a good job. The job-hunting playing field has often been tipped in the favour of employers, and Breakroom’s founder wanted to change that. The company’s simple platform allows users to rate their employers. They can also search for jobs and read reviews from employees at specific companies. Breakroom collects and anonymises this data to help job seekers make more informed decisions about where they want to work.
“Interestingly, they also found out that their ads performed better across all platforms when they created a “TikTok first” approach. This meant designing their videos with TikTok in mind and then repurposing the same content across other channels.”
The company launched their own TikTok account for organic content in 2021 with the aim of building brand awareness and increasing its engagement with potential users. Their business account is extremely active. They create and publish new videos nearly every day. This high level of activity has helped them acquire over 26K followers and 722.2K likes very quickly. But what really sent their numbers skyrocketing? Their decision to partner with a TikTok marketing agency and launch an In Feed Ads campaign.
Their goal was simple. They wanted to get people to complete a quiz on their current job, submit their answers and then rate it. Their creative team got to work and started to experiment with different ad formats. This included tweaking their opening lines, voiceovers, font style and video length until they landed on a winning formula.
They discovered that 15 seconds was the ideal video length and their ads performed best when they opened with an attention-grabbing statement. Interestingly, they also found out that their ads performed better across all platforms when they created a “TikTok first” approach. This meant designing their videos with TikTok in mind and then repurposing the same content across other channels.
Their TikTok campaign delivered impressive results. They had a Click Through Rate (CTR) of 1.15% and a cost per click of £0.30. Most remarkably, their conversion rates were as high as 41%. This TikTok campaign generated a huge return on investment for Breakroom. It led to a significant increase in traffic to their website and app.
@breakroomhq Replying to @babysharkdodododododo1 The truth about being in the RAF #Breakroom #raf #royalairforce ♬ original sound – Breakroom
Nectar — a hard-seltzer brand inspired by Asian flavours — has taken California by storm. But it wasn’t always that way. Back in 2020 when one of its founders Jeremy Kim wanted to get their product into stores across Los Angeles, they were rejected by over 200 shop owners. Nobody believed in the product except the team behind it. But they didn’t give up.
In a last-ditch effort, they decided to create a TikTok account to try to gain some traction and boost awareness. “I just wanted to know if there was anyone out there who wanted to try our drinks or if we had completely missed on the idea and if it was time for us to give up,” said Kim, speaking to Digiday.
Their decision paid off. Their very first video went viral, receiving over 300k views in just three days. This led to hundreds of people texting their company asking where they could purchase their drink. They used these texts to convince several shops to start selling their products. This then led to stores across Los Angeles stocking their products.
But Nectar’s success on TikTok didn’t stop there. Their videos continued to go viral and their brand account acquired over 700k followers. At one point, they managed to sell over 300 boxes of Nectar in just 15 minutes.
What makes Nectar’s story so interesting is that they leveraged organic reach to convert hundreds of customers at breakneck speed. Their ingenious approach to TikTok is an inspiration to struggling startups everywhere. It has helped them to become one of the leading players in their niche industry.
@alyssaabina Is @nectarhardseltzer worth it??🤨 #nectarhardseltzer #hardseltzer #gift #foodreview #asiansmallbusiness #fyp ♬ Countless – Official Sound Studio
Sweatcoin is a fitness app that allows users to earn digital currency (sweatcoins) for every step they take. Users can then spend these coins on fitness-related products such as workout gear, sports kits, and experiences.
The app was created by three founders Anton Derlyatka, Oleg Fomenko and Egor Khmelev in 2015. The purpose? Getting people more active and tackling obesity. Its gamified approach has been a global hit and the app now boasts over 50 million registered users worldwide. This has made them all millionaire entrepreneurs.
Sweatcoin’s success can be partially attributed to its highly successful TikTok marketing campaign. After partnering with a TikTok marketing company, they decided to launch a Spark Ads campaign to boost app instals. They used the Spark Ads format to promote their native content, which included creative videos and influencer partnerships.
The results were impressive, to say the least. They reached over 31 million people worldwide, leading to over half a million new downloads. Impressively, their cost per install dropped by 53% and their conversion rate jumped 26%. A representative from their marketing company said that the Sweatcoin TikTok campaign “outperformed any estimate we’d provided the client”. They went on to explain that once they had got to grips with the right formula for user-generated content, including the correct hooks, they saw reductions in CPI across all markets. “In some cases that reduction was around 70%. Compared to other channels TikTok consistently drove a CPI of 8% lower than large social media advertisers,” explained the rep.
It’s safe to say that TikTok has been a game-changer for Sweatcoin. Not only has it helped them acquire new users, but it’s also helped them boost brand awareness. As a result, they’ve grown their business exponentially.
@sweatcoin @desmond009 huge congrats on being halfway through the challenge! 💪🏽🥳👏🏽 Keep it up, almost there! #sweatcoins #sweatcoinapp #wellness #wellnesschallenge #dailygoals #dailysteps #dailyboost #fyp ♬ original sound – official_sweatcoin
TikTok Marketing Is Key for Startups
There’s no doubt about it, TikTok is a powerful marketing tool that business owners can use to boost awareness, acquire new customers, and grow their brand. The platform’s unique ability to reach a large, global audience at a low cost makes it an essential tool for any business looking to scale quickly.
But one thing to remember is that all these millionaire entrepreneurs have found success on TikTok for one simple reason. They understood the platform and knew how to use it to their advantage. Whether you’re a startup or an established business, it’s key to understand how TikTok works. First learn how you can use it to drive sales. If you’re not sure where to start, our team of experts are here to help. Here at House of Marketers, we specialise in TikTok marketing and can help you to launch a successful campaign that drives results. Get in touch with us today to find out more.
House of Marketers (HOM) is a leading TikTok Marketing Agency. Our global agency was built by early TikTok Employees & TikTok Partners, which gives us the insider knowledge to help leading brands, like Redbull, Playtika, Badoo, and HelloFresh win on TikTok. Want us to convert more of Gen Z and Millennials with TikTok? Get in touch with our friendly team, here.