Working as a TikTok creator is a very specific and niche role. First and foremost, it requires direct knowledge of the app, its trends, popular sounds and growing accounts. Secondly, its a role we have never seen before, encompassing a multitude of skills ranging from directing, acting, set design, copywriting and other aesthetic tasks such as styling.
For many hired TikTok creators, the day to day job requires 50% filming TikToks and 50% creative ideation and wearing “different hats.” On LinkedIn, there are more than a dozen brands and agencies attempting to hire TikTok creators.
According to Hope-Elizabeth Sonam, head of talent experience at flexible talent marketplace We Are Rosie, a full-time salaried TikTok content creator can make anywhere between $40,000 and $80,000 a year, or $25–$50 an hour if they’re freelance. Others in the industry hiring for these roles said that the average compensation is between $60,000 and $80,000 a year.
In terms of how marketers are hiring (freelance or full time contract) it really depends on the brand. Marketers often need to find some way to keep the hungry hungry hippo that is the TikTok content machine fed, so typically, the platform-native creators hired for these roles are tasked with coming up with ideas for TikToks, producing and filming them, and keeping up with the app’s trends.
Advertising agencies like Power Digital currently have several TikTok creators/editors who spend their days keeping a pulse on industry news and trends, as well as gathering client feedback and research and development intel. Power Digital’s TikTok creators specifically have created TikToks for brands like FabFitFun and SmartSweets.
Other agencies are also looking at the role from a demand perspective. There’s a real need from a client standpoint. “Whether it be a passive need or a proactive need, clients like Hilton, Nissan, and the Mayo Clinic are coming to us asking for this type of capability. They want to be on platforms like TikTok, so we really just need to build out that capability,” says Shannon Nunn, managing director at TBWA\Chiat\Day.
As for brands, companies like shipping tracking platform AfterShip and wellness brand Care/of are hiring for TikTok roles, too. Care/of started its TikTok channel “in earnest” in early April; and as of early August, it had around 2,000 followers. Part of the TikTok creator’s role at Care/of will include helping grow that following, but Boardman told us that the main thing she’s looking for in a TikTok creator is expertise in and comfort with the channel.
At the end of the day, companies need not worry about having a million followers. It is more important that they work with platform native who know when to use a trending sound or how to connect with people in comments, for instance.
If, as a brand, you’re wondering how to factor in the need for a TikTok creator, think about it in the way that you would hire a professional photographer for ongoing photo shoots, or a freelance writer for blog content, we know that this is a really specific skill set. And while the platform is newer, there are folks who have real honed experience in TikTok, and brands know the power of the channel. It’s not a role for the future but a present-hour need.