Thirty days on tiktok

A little more than a month ago, I decided to something that would have been unthinkable to a previous version of myself. Well, a couple of things in fact.

I downloaded the tiktok app and committed to posting daily for thirty days.

Honestly, if you had told me a year ago that I’d be doing tiktok dances (i’m kidding… not exactly, or rather, not yet. watch this space. haha) i’d have laughed my head off.

And yet here I am, recording short videos and editing them each day. I started my tiktok adventure on June 22nd 2022 (Summer solstice).

What made me start making videos on tiktok?

The short version is that the timing seemed right:

- I met someone in a local coffee shop who has quickly become a friend. Ironically, we tend to talk about everything under the sun bar tiktok, but the snippets I’ve gleaned are pretty solid – he has run the tiktok profiles for some recognisable names in the personal development world.

- Over the last 5+ years, I’ve gently experienced different forms of content creation – from written-form, audio-form and video-form.

- In other words, I felt confident enough to do it, and I have a reason to be posting (more below)

- I’ve decided to build a community for ADHD writers, so I have a focus to record videos on: ADHD and writing

- For a long time I always thought I would be a writing kind of content guy, and that’s it. But, actually, I really like being on video. It’s different, it lets me express myself in another way, and also for folks to connect with me differently. (I like podcasting too… I feel that these are all different outlets for creation/self-expression)

The approach I’m taking

From my own knowledge of “how growth works” online, and from the wisdom of my aforementioned friend, I had a pretty good sense of what “works” for the tiktok algorithm.

This is where, though, I’m a little different to most.

For me, it’s a balance between being myself and providing value.

And I’ll often tip the scale more towards the “being myself” part, sometimes to my detriment, but I think I’ve learned to find what’s right for me and my goals/values.

For example, I know that doing “3 tips” or “5 tips” etc for every single video is what the algorithm likes, what people save and share, etc etc.

For better or worse, I have a desire to be authentic (whatever that means). And so it’s a delicate balance between showing up as myself, and providing tangible value.

Let’s dig in a little deeper. Here’s how I’ve been doing it:

• Each day record a 90-second video. I started out doing this but in recent days I’ve been exploring slightly longer ones. Mostly because 90secs goes by really fast! I know I want to talk about adhd and/or writing each day, but other than that I come up with an idea on the day and do my thing.

• Each video, I think about sharing a little piece of my story/experience/learnings, and match that with thinking about the end viewer. It can be a lot to think about, but it’s been pretty fun!

• Settings for my video have included my local park, in my car, & outside a co-working space in Czech Republic (just this week actually).

• I tend to record in the mornings if possible, and then edit/post in the afternoons.

• I’ve decided not to use music for my videos, but use subtitles and edit them in my own Jas-like way, to help the points – and my personality – come across. I use 3-5 hashtags, typically 3 or 4, and try to choose a  “broad hashtag” plus a couple of “less broad/smaller” ones.

• I committed to posting for 30 days, and now I’ve committed to posting for another 30 days. All-in, that can be about 30-or-so mins for a post (recording + editing + posting).

• It’s early days, so I’m keeping a little eye on analytics; that’s views + likes + bookmarks.

• I’ve chosen, for now, daily posting whilst I’m gently getting my account going. After 90 days, when hopefully I’ve posted almsot daily, I’m going to re-assess. If I miss a day (like I did this week when I had been travelling all day, was editing a post late at night and just kind of forgot to finish it / feel asleep), I’m not beating myself up. I’m trying to befriend the algorithm, but I will not be a codependent friend; aka I.won’t.be.a.slave.to.the.algorithm. If I skip a day or two over these first 3 months, I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Easy does it.

What’s the outcome?

I’m seeing this as a short-medium term growth channel for The Indie Writer, my community for writers with ADHD.

And as a way for me to have fun sharing what I know, and gently inviting other ADHD writers to consume my content and – if they wish – check out The Indie Writer.

A look ahead

So that’s been it for the first 30+ days on tiktok.

Over the next couple of months, I’m going to continue to:

• have fun! • gently refine my content as A) my customer avatar becomes even clearer (I’m currently honing in on this), and • B) I continue to gather experience with recording in a succint and effective way that I’m happy with.

Here’s to the coming days and weeks on the platform. 📹

Yesterday’s edited + uploaded tiktok video