Yet again we gotta go against the trend, against popular opinion, against the mainstream line of thought, and share with you, the independent artist, why it’s absolutely okay not to be on Tik Tok and how you’re not missing out on anything.
Let’s start off with the fact that being on Tik Tok as a content creator is different than having your music available on Tik Tok. Your music should always be available on all possible platforms, Tik Tok included, because should a fan want to show your music love, he/she can do so. We’ve seen too many artists who for example distribute their songs on the biggest streaming platforms but won’t allow YouTube to publish their record. Or prioritizing Apple Music but choosing to leave out Spotify. This is just bad business all around. Your music should and MUST be on ALL platforms if your intent is to gain a large following so that you can earn your living off your passion alone. How you do that? Easy! TuneCore, CD Baby, UnitedMasters, DistroKid license their artists’ music to Tik Tok by default (unless you think you know better and uncheck the Tik Tok box when submitting your record.) Let’s say some micro-celebrity stumbles upon your song, does a video dancing to it, then her followers pick it up and create duets with her, then before you know it, about a million teenagers have not only heard your record but actually engaged with it in a dance form or lip-syncing video. That is powerful and career-changing. And you can have all of that happen without you even being present on Tik Tok. So make sure you have that What If mental box checked.
With that out of the way, let’s dive into the 5 serious reasons it’s absolutely okay to skip on Tik Tok as a music artist.
5. Your content wouldn’t target the Tik Tok’s MAIN AUDIENCE age range.
This is Tik Tok’s audience as of 2020:
Age 13-17: 27%
Age 18-24: 42%
Age 25-34: 16%
Age 35-44: 8%
Age 45-54: 3%
Age 55+: 4%
So if you’re a rock band in their 40s, your audience is not there. And if you think that the single digits percentages translate to big numbers, you’re right. However, adult people hardly become hardcore fans of anyone. And they also don’t create dancing videos or singing videos, or any type of videos for that matter as often (or at all) when compared to the 13-24 crowd. So while you might do your best to put out entertaining content, your audience is not going to “remix it”, which means your effort will stop with your videos.
4. You are already seeing success on ANOTHER platform.
If you prioritize Spotify streams and are generating a decent revenue off that, if you actually know your metrics, your goals, your deadlines, stay focused on that and leave Tik Tok alone. Every new platform, every new app, every new trend that you will try to hop on, translates to more time taken away from you. Stolen better said. So if you already invested money into another avenue and it’s bringing you the desired results, stick with that and keep pushing till you get to the very top of that platform. If your YouTube channel is booming, stay 100% focused on THAT and make it happen THERE! This is not the time to have your eggs in more than one basket. The independent musician in 2020 MUST aim for loading one basket as heavy as possible until the eggs overflow and then you can start putting them into another basket, and then a 3rd, so on and so forth.
3. You’re NOT comfortable with doing home videos.
When you’re not genuinely feeling enthusiastic and are only doing something because the whole internet is yelling at you about Tik Tok’s huge user numbers and how beneficial that would be for your brand, don’t do it. Just don’t. People, even if subconsciously, FEEL when someone is having legit fun and when someone is aching on the inside with insecurity. Thus the cringe term. Don’t become a cringe lord or cringe queen only for the sake of exposure. Stay true to who you are personally and musically and simply skip on Tik Tok if the thought of doing dance videos at home on your own songs turns you off. It’s better to be known only from your live gigs, music videos, fan videos, press coverage, interviews, and be credible through and through than to do Tik Tok duets and challenges and water down your brand identity with uncomfortable and unenthusiastic content.
2. You got a FULL-TIME Schedule.
If you’ve been reading our past articles as well, you know by now we’re not the type to encourage you to put your brand and success over all else. We never did and never will advocate for sacrificing your sleep, health, or family time for advancing in your music career. Why? Because it then becomes an unbalanced life and it will bite you in the ass much harder later on. It will come to you in the form of depression, anxiety, trust issues, insomnia, etc. To be a successful artist, your life needs to be complete and fulfilling in all areas. So if you’re already jammed with things to do on a daily basis, from music marketing, to possibly another business you’re involved in, and family members you’re actively engaging with, don’t bite off more than you can chew and leave Tik Tok to young artists who live with their parents and have little to nothing to worry about.
1. You find little to no joy in using the app YOURSELF.
Before you decide to start putting out content on Tik Tok, use the app for a week and see how you react, as a user, to all the types of videos available. If like us, you were hyped the first days, then on the 3rd day only wanted to watch cat videos, uninstall the app, and keep it moving. If you yourself as a user don’t find value in the short videos and think they’re just the new Vine that will die out within the near future, save the time, effort, money, frustration, and focus on platforms that you do enjoy instead. The reason being, you will have to invest time and undivided attention in understanding the platform, the trends, the technicalities, the hashtags, the most popular users, the type of videos that work best, etc. And unless you’re determined and motivated and excited about it, it will mount up to nothing. Everything you do to promote yourself as a musician has to make sense to you in all areas: time-wise, money-wise, content-wise, audience-wise, potential-wise, personality-wise.
Focusing on what you sincerely enjoy doing will bring you success faster and easier than trying to follow every new app on the market.