When AyhTee (@ayh.tee) made his first TikTok account in early 2020, he just wanted a free platform to promote his music career. One year later, he's grown to 3.3 million followers and has made $40,000 on the Plug since joining two months ago!
There's a lot that creators can learn from his rapid success, and he generously shared some of his TikTok growth tactics with us. Read on for more!
Humble beginnings 🎧
At the beginning of 2020, AyhTee was an aspiring rap/hip-hop artist struggling to get discovered. He'd been working on his music every day for years, but his music videos only got a handful of views on Instagram and YouTube, and he didn't have money to pay for promotion. So, he made a TikTok account.
He immediately started seeing 1000+ views on his music videos, but branched out into more engagement-focused content when he saw that those got more views. His first big viral success was a bathroom prank he filmed at Taco Bell with his song in the background, which got 3.5 million views and boosted his song into a trending sound.
Becoming a TikTok growth tactician 📈
Determined to keep the ball rolling, AyhTee became an expert at getting views on his prank videos. During one of his livestreams, he met Stephen Alexander (@stephenalexander), who suggested that he start a hype community and teach other aspiring TikTokers how to grow their accounts and go live.
Here are some of the TikTok growth tips he shared:
👉 Find ways to get people's attention quick. Little challenges like "can you make the likes and comments the same?" or "can you find the hidden object?" are intriguing to viewers regardless of age, and make them want to interact with your posts.
👉 Keep posting, regardless of how previous posts perform. Sometimes even reposting a video that's flopped in the past gives it a fresh chance at hitting the For You page.
👉 Watch your analytics and post when a lot of your followers are online. You can even post multiple videos at once if the timing is good, and hide the ones that don't do well after an hour.
👉 Always engage with your audience, and also encourage them to engage with each other in your comments.
👉 If one of your videos blows up, follow the formula again and continue making the same type of video as long as it keeps working. You can also look at your analytics to see which videos have done the best. This is how a lot of big TikTokers end up finding their niches!
👉 As cliche as it may sound, ask people to like, share, and comment. Including this call to action increases the likelihood of people actually doing it. (This works in moderation, so pick and choose the videos you do this on!)
👉 If it makes sense for your videos, start a new hashtag or use trending hashtags. A lot of AyhTee's early traffic came from a hashtag that he created for people who were interested in learning to grow through his hype community.
Relentlessly using these tactics, he grew his account to 3,000,000 followers in less than a year.
Brands started contacting him with deals, and he thought he was about to hit the big time. He cruised for a few months, getting brand deals here and there, but couldn't make a steady living on them.
Making a living 💰
Stephen Alexander was the one who first referred AyhTee to the Plug. AyhTee was doubtful about it at first, but Stephen had made so much money on it that he decided to give it a shot.
👉 Heads up: If you refer someone to the Plug and they get approved, we pay you a bonus of 15% of their earnings for the first 2 months! Click here for details.
For his first campaign, AyhTee decided to try BIGO. He posted an ad and made $100 in an hour! It was the perfect campaign for his audience, because so many of them wanted to livestream. He made a bunch of ads that were basically identical after that, but they were hit or miss--until one of them blew up.
That single video got over 300,000 views, and he made $15,000 on it.
There was nothing special about this particular video compared to the others he'd posted. He just persevered and kept posting until it worked.
Since then, the Plug has become his primary source of income. Brands still offer him one-off deals, but he makes much more than that now: for each Plug ad that hits the For You page, he averages over $1000 in earnings.
The best thing, though, is that the Plug provides a consistent way to make money. He can post ads and earn whenever he wants, rather than waiting for brands to reach out.
A lot of his success comes from knowing what works for his audience. There are dozens of campaigns available on the Plug across many different genres, but he knew that social apps would work best for his following.
In addition to BIGO, he's also found success with Fam, where he jumps into video calls with his followers. Some of his most popular TikTok videos feature hypnosis, and Fam has been the perfect platform for him to perform hypnosis for his viewers live.
👉 Remember: Fam is the rare exception where you can tell your viewers you'll call them if they download the app. Read about our rules on incent here.
AyhTee has been on the Plug for a little over two months now, and in that short period of time, his account has grown from 3 million followers to 3.3 million despite frequently promoting apps. It goes to show that posting ads won't hurt your following if they're relevant to your audience and presented in a genuine way.
👉 For more tips on promoting campaigns on TikTok, check out our handy guide.
Moving forward, AyhTee plans to return to music while continuing to create content that his followers enjoy.
Best of luck, AyhTee! 🙌
Apply to join the Plug
At the moment, the Plug is reserved for top-tier influencers. While you don’t have to have the same following as AyhTee, we do look for high engagement, consistent views, and regular content. You can apply right from the Plug app (iOS) or our website here.