How TikTok Sponsorships Work and 5 Tips to Finding Them

August 12, 2022
TikTok sponsorship: person taking photos of a man

To get a TikTok sponsorship, start with the basics — killer content posted regularly. Doing that plus these four tips can help you start finding brand deals.

TikTok is arguably one of the most popular social networks on the planet. This short video platform has over 1.4 billion active monthly users, making it a go-to resource for brands wanting to partner with micro-influencers. In fact, one-third of TikTok users say they bought something because it was recommended by a fellow TikTokker. 

If you’re creating jaw-dropping content on TikTok, it’s high time you get paid for your hard work. Whether you already work as a full-time influencer or you want to start influencing as a side gig, you can make serious bank with TikTok sponsorships. 

Learn how TikTok brand deals work, and follow our five tips to help you source profitable partnerships in no time.

How Do TikTok Sponsorships Work?

TikTok sponsorship: couple watching something on a tablet

Did you know that TikTok influencers earned a combined $55.5 million in 2021? That was a 200% increase over 2020. 

And no, this likely isn’t because of the Creator Fund. TikTokkers can earn as much as $150,000 for brand partnerships, while the Creator Fund pays a paltry 4 cents for every 1,000 views. Ouch. 

To make big money, you need to figure out how to get brand deals on TikTok. With TikTok sponsorships, brands pay you in exchange for promoting their products and services to your followers. Since 37% of consumers trust influencers more than they do brands, this helps brands make more sales while you make money in exchange for your social media clout.

There are several ways to find sponsorships on TikTok, including: 

  • Getting on the Creator Marketplace: You need an invite from TikTok to join the Creator Marketplace, but if you get into the program, TikTok will help match you with potential brand deals. To get in, you need to meet TikTok’s eligibility criteria, like having 100,000 followers, upgrading to a Pro account, and posting at least three videos in the past 28 days.
  • Letting brands find you: By optimizing your content and profile, you can make yourself more discoverable to brands. It might take a little time, but eventually, this can help you build the clout you need to attract brands. 
  • Doing brand outreach yourself: TikTok sponsorships don’t always fall in your lap. You might have to reach out to brands yourself to ask for a sponsorship. You can pitch potential sponsors on TikTok by sending them a PM with your media kit, campaign ideas, and performance metrics.

Once you agree to partner with a brand, they could work with you in a variety of ways, like: 

  • Sponsored posts: Brands will often pay for one-off sponsored posts mentioning their product. Sometimes these are creative collaborations, while other times it might be a hashtag challenge, contest, unboxing video, or something else.
  • Ads: Brands will sometimes ask creators to promote sponsored posts with paid ads. Other times, they might take your organic content and promote it as an ad (with your permission, of course). 
  • Affiliate links: As an affiliate, you earn a commission every time your followers buy something from a sponsor. If you know that your followers take your shopping suggestions to heart, this is a great way to monetize your TikTok account.

These are just a few options to get you started. More often than not, brands have a clear goal when they do influencer marketing. They’ll tell you if they want a one-off TikTok video or if they’re looking for long-term brand ambassadors. 

At any rate, you don’t need to settle for the first TikTok sponsorship that lands in your DMs. TikTok brand deals have to be a fit for your niche and audience, so if the sponsor doesn’t feel right for your audience, it isn’t worth the risk. Follow your gut and only take on TikTok sponsors if you feel good about the arrangement.

How to Get TikTok Sponsorships: 5 Proven Hacks

Person using a phone

Unless you’ve got sponsors in your DMs already, you’ll likely need to put in some sweat equity to get your first TikTok brand deal. Follow these five hacks to make yourself irresistible to advertisers. 

1. Brand Yourself

There are well over 50,000 content creators (with >1,000 followers) on TikTok, so you need to work to stand out on this social media platform. Differentiate yourself from everyone else in your niche by: 

  • Using a custom color palette or filter on your TikTok videos. 
  • Adding niche-specific hashtags (like #StrongIsTheNewPretty) as well as branded hashtags of your own, a la Khaby Lame’s #LearnFromKhaby hashtag.
  • Posting hot takes and authentic opinions that are different from everyone else in your niche. 
  • Sticking to topics that are relevant to your niche. If you’re known as a recipe TikTokker, stick with food content and steer away from unrelated topics, like fashion.
  • Using the same fonts and layouts for the majority of your TikTok content.

2. Build a Large Following

While follower count doesn’t matter as much to the TikTok algorithm as it does for Instagram or Facebook, you still want a large number of followers.

Generally speaking, you need at least 10,000 followers for sponsors to take you seriously. Ten thousand followers will give you access to the Creator Fund, while 100,000 followers will qualify you for the Creator Marketplace. So, if you want to make money on TikTok with either of these options, you’ll need to have a large number of followers. 

There are so many ways to get more views and followers on TikTok, including: 

Keep in mind that follower count alone might not be enough to entice sponsors. They want to see that you have an engaged following that acts on your recommendations. Deepen the relationships you have with your followers and encourage them to like and comment on your videos — the more you can show your audience is engaged, the more likely you are to score a paying gig.

3. Regularly Post Good Content

It seems obvious, but it’s worth repeating: You have to always create awesome organic content in order for folks to take notice. If you’re looking for more content ideas, take a look at some of these video types: 

  • Demos
  • Lip syncing
  • How-tos or tutorials
  • Your version of a popular meme
  • Unboxing or review videos

At any rate, post at least once a day to give potential sponsors a repository of content of what you can do. 

4. Jazz Up Your Profile

In the beginning, you’ll likely need to reach out to companies for TikTok brand deals. We guarantee they’re going to check out your profile to see if you’re a fit for their campaigns. Just like your profile on dating apps like Tinder, you need to make this digital real estate count. 

Jazz up your profile so you look more attractive to brands. That might mean: 

  • Uploading a professional headshot as your profile pic
  • Linking to your Instagram and YouTube accounts
  • Adding a short tagline that describes who you are and the content you create

By the way, TikTok allows you to drop one link on your profile. Instead of agonizing over what link you should promote, use a link-in-bio tool like Hype. With Hype, you can build a following off of TikTok, share your contact information with brands, capture phone numbers from fans for texting, and share a portfolio that showcases all of your talents. Create a free Hype link to showcase your personal brand.

5. Create a Media Kit

Brands want to see that you’re legitimate, and nothing screams “hire me” more than a solid media kit. A media kit is a professional, beautifully designed document that tells brands what they can expect when they work with you. Be sure to include information like: 

  • Your audience demographics and engagement rates — upgrade to a Pro account to access analytics to share in your media kit
  • How you work with brands
  • Your payment terms
  • Contact information and links to your other social channels

How to Get Brand Deals on TikTok

TikTok brand deals are key for monetizing your account, but you have to put in some work to score them. If it’s time for you to make a living from your TikTok content, you can source more sponsorship opportunities by: 

  • Branding yourself
  • Building a large following
  • Posting good content
  • Improving your profile
  • Creating a media kit

Brands might shoot you down or ghost you, but that’s a normal part of the TikTok sponsorship game. Keep working hard, and you’ll get your paid sponsorship in no time.