I promised myself I wasn’t going to do it. I wasn’t going to download TikTok and waste my time on another social app to watch influencers make up dances. And I actually held out for quite some time, but alas, curiosity got the best of me, and I was tired of my mom asking me if I’d seen “that one TikTok.”
So, I downloaded it. At first, it was what I had expected: a lot of dances, challenges, and pranks. Don’t get me wrong, I was completely sucked in from day one, but I wasn’t gaining anything from it. But after a few weeks, TikTok started to pick up on my interests. (Yes, I know it’s creepy, and I should be uncomfortable by apps tracking my every thought, but that’s a topic for another day.) Pretty soon, I started getting business-related videos. Excel hacks, productivity tips, marketing ideas—and I was floored at how interesting the content was. I was learning from people all over the world in various professions and industries…and I couldn’t get enough.
TikTok quickly became my new way to keep myself up-to-date on business trends and work hacks. Since then, I’ve been able to productively leverage TikTok to grow my business and help me professionally.
If you’re wondering how you can get to the business and career side of TikTok without waiting for the app to read your mind, start by searching popular hashtags like #careertips, #smallbusinesstips, #careertok, #businesstips, and #careertiktok. Pretty soon, your For You page will automatically start showing relevant videos, and TikTok will become your most-used business app, too.
1. Get app tips and business ideas
Excel is my love language, and I really thought I knew a thing or two about spreadsheets until miss.excel showed up on the TikTok scene and started showing the world some serious Excel hacks. She’s now officially a spreadsheet influencer and has been dubbed the Chief Excel Officer: she spends her days educating people about various formulas and shortcuts that can up your data game.
There are all sorts of creators like miss.excel who are sharing their tools, tips, and tricks for work. Not to mention folks like simplydigital, who focus on business ideas to get your wheels turning and your inspiration flowing. This has been an incredible resource for me as I navigate my own small business, Lunarlo Consulting, constantly trying to think of new and unique ways to market myself.
And yes, you can get these kinds of tips on blogs or long-form YouTube videos. But what’s great about TikTok is that the videos are time-limited, so they cut out all the fluff and get straight to the point.
2. Grow your network
One day while scrolling through TikTok, I came across a video from stevecadigan, former VP of Talent at LinkedIn. He asked the question, “Why are people leaving companies faster than ever?”
I was pulled in by his content and went through hours of his videos on leadership, company culture, and HR. He lit a fire inside me to start exploring this topic, and I wanted to talk to him about it. So, I reached out on Linkedin like the fangirl I am. I sent him a message about how his TikTok videos had inspired me and I wanted to know more about what trends and shifts he was seeing in the workplace.
To my surprise, he responded. A few days later, I was on a Google Meet with Steve, talking about his new book, Workquake, and his experience with talent strategy and company culture. We chatted about all things work: applications, interviewing, hiring, career growth, and more. He then connected me to other people in the industry who are reinventing the future of work. I’ve had the opportunity to talk to dozens of brilliant people, all because of a connection I made on TikTok.
Using TikTok as a networking tool might seem unconventional, but it works. Here are a few tips for being proactive with your TikTok networking:
3. Find business opportunities
It’s no secret that Zapier is one of my favorite companies, and I swear they didn’t ask me to say that. So, when Zapier created a video on TikTok asking people what app they couldn’t live without, I immediately responded with my own video on how they’ve massively impacted my work and I would one day get a Zapier tattoo in their honor.
Well, it went viral, amassing over two million views, and now I make more than $1 million a year from TikTok and I live happily in an ocean hut in Bora Bora.
Just kidding (for now). Zapier did respond to my video, though, and they wanted to know if I’d be interested in writing a blog post for them. Writing is not my forte, but as my bestie Richard Branson allegedly once said, “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes, then learn how to do it later.” Pretty soon, that one blog turned into two and then three and so on. Now I think I’ll have to get a Zapier tattoo and one for TikTok. Sorry, Mom.
If you’re looking to get business opportunities from TikTok, here are some tips:
4. Find a job
If you want to brush up on your application and interview skills, TikTok has plenty of videos for that. There are some amazing creators out there like wonsulting and erinmcgoff, who teach you things like how to revamp your resume and close out your interviews. Other creators are teaching you how to navigate the “What are your salary requirements?” question and what to do if you’ve been turned down for a role. With the job market constantly changing, TikTok can help you stay up-to-date on how to stand out.
But people are also using the platform as a way to land jobs. Creator amiawatson made a video targeting hiring managers, where she highlighted her skills and linked her resume.
If you want to take an Elle Woods approach to job hunting, here are a few tips:
5. Attract talent
On the other side of things, summerfridays posted a video looking for a Social Media and Content Coordinator, and it got over 37k likes and tons of responses.
If you want to attract talent on TikTok, here are a few tips:
TikTok has been my secret weapon app; it’s helped me immensely with all things related to work. Every day, I’m learning something new and keeping myself in the know about what’s going on in the workplace. Of course, I’m not above aimlessly watching dance challenges in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping, but overall, it’s been an extremely eye-opening and productive app, and it’s definitely one that I will continue to use and leverage, no matter how many times people laugh at me when I say “Ok, so on TikTok I learned…”
Don’t knock it till you try it, people.
This article originally appeared on Zapier’s blog and is reprinted with permission.