How to use tiktok as an independent musician to grow your audience

by | Music

While Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have been around for donkeys years now, there’s one platform that has gained massive popularity in recent years but that not every musician is yet using to promote their music: TikTok.

With its unique format and massive user base, TikTok offers independent musicians a golden opportunity to go viral, increase their visibility, and accelerate their music career. In this comprehensive guide, we explore some strategies and techniques to effectively leverage TikTok as an independent artist, helping you grow your audience, enhance your visibility, and ultimately boost your music career.

Understanding the TikTok Algorithm

To effectively harness the power of TikTok, it is crucial to understand how its algorithm works. TikTok’s algorithm analyzes user behavior, preferences, and interactions to create a personalized content feed known as the “For You” page (#FYP). The more you engage with the platform and the content you enjoy, the more tailored your #FYP becomes.

When it comes to music promotion on TikTok, the algorithm plays a pivotal role. If your song’s 15-second snippet is used in a video and gains traction, it has the potential to reach a wider audience through the algorithm’s recommendation engine. This process of audio copying makes it easy for a song to go viral on TikTok, exposing it to millions of users who can engage with it, create their own videos using the song, and contribute to its popularity.

Harnessing the Power of TikTok Trends and Challenges

One of the key aspects of TikTok’s success is its ability to turn unknown songs and artists into global sensations almost overnight. This is often achieved through the platform’s trends and challenges. TikTok users actively participate in and create content around popular trends and challenges, giving rise to viral sensations.

As an independent musician, it’s essential to keep a close eye on the latest trends and challenges on TikTok. By being an early adopter and participating in these trends, you can ride the wave and increase your chances of going viral. Whether it’s a dance routine, a comedy sketch, or some kind of creative spin-off, find a way to incorporate your music and personal brand into these trends to captivate TikTok’s vibrant community.

Photo by Creative Chrisitians via Unsplash

Developing a Theme for Your TikTok Content

To stand out on TikTok, it’s also important to develop a consistent theme for your content. Take inspiration from successful artists like Jason Derulo and Diplo, who’ve built their TikTok presence around specific themes like dance routines and comedy sketches. Your theme should align with your music style and resonate with your target audience.

When choosing a theme, consider your unique selling points and what sets you apart from other artists. It could be your lyrical ability, your captivating stage presence, or how you tell compelling stories with your songs. By consistently delivering content that aligns with your chosen theme or vibe, you can create a memorable and engaging presence on TikTok and attact a loyal and growing fanbase.

Participating in TikTok Challenges and Creating Original Content

In addition to riding the wave of existing trends and challenges, it’s equally important to create original content on TikTok. While participating in challenges can increase your visibility, showcasing your creativity through unique and original content will set you apart from the crowd.

Experiment with different video formats, editing techniques, and storytelling methods to create captivating content that resonates with your audience. TikTok’s platform allows you to record videos in parts and edit them together, giving you the flexibility to showcase your musical talent and creativity in innovative ways. Remember, authenticity and group participation are highly valued on TikTok, so don’t be afraid to show your true self and engage with your audience.

Photo by Daria Nepriak via Unsplash

Leveraging the TikTok Music Library

The TikTok music library, also known as the Commercial Audio Library (CAL), is a treasure trove of songs and sound effects cleared for commercial use. It allows independent artists to incorporate popular and emerging music into their TikTok content without the need for complex licensing processes.

As an independent musician, take advantage of the TikTok music library by uploading your music to the platform. Most distributors these days will put your music on Tiktok as standard, but not all of them – make sure you find out if yours does (and change if it doesn’t!) By making your songs available for users to incorporate into their videos, you increase the chances of your music going viral and reaching a wider audience.

Maximizing Your TikTok Visibility with Hashtags

Just like Instagram, hashtags play a crucial role in maximizing your visibility on TikTok. They help categorize and organize content, making it easier for users to discover your videos. When choosing hashtags for your TikTok content, consider their popularity and relevance to your music and target audience.

Take a cue from trending hashtags on TikTok’s discovery and “For You” pages to identify the most appropriate hashtags for your content. By combining popular and relevant hashtags with ones more specific to what you do, you increase the chances of your videos being found by users who are interested in your genre and style of music.

Incorporating Your Music into TikTok Content

While TikTok is primarily known for its short videos, it doesn’t mean you can’t showcase your music effectively. TikTok offers various ways to incorporate your music into your content, allowing you to promote your songs and engage with your audience.

Use your songs as soundtracks for TikTok videos, creating a seamless and immersive experience for viewers. Whether it’s a snippet of your latest single or a catchy hook, leverage the power of your music to captivate TikTok users and encourage them to engage with your content. Additionally, don’t forget to inform your TikTok followers about your latest music releases and direct them to other platforms where they can stream and support your music.

Using TikTok Analytics for Growth and Success

To measure your progress and make informed decisions on TikTok, it’s essential to leverage the platform’s analytics tools. TikTok Analytics provides valuable insights into your content’s performance, audience demographics, and engagement metrics. By analyzing these metrics, you can identify areas for improvement, understand your audience’s preferences, and refine your content strategy accordingly.

Additionally, consider using third-party analytics solutions like TikTok,, and Ads.TikTok to gain deeper insights and make the most of the platform. These tools can help you track your growth, identify viral trends, and optimize your content to reach a wider audience. By continually monitoring and adapting to your TikTok analytics, you can stay ahead of the competition and maximize your potential on the platform.

Photo by Tim Mosshold via Unsplash

Directing TikTok Followers to Other Platforms

While TikTok can be a powerful tool for music promotion and audience growth, it’s important not to rely solely on the platform. Consider TikTok as a stepping stone to direct your followers to other platforms where you have more stability and control over your music career.

Encourage your TikTok followers to follow you on streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, or SoundCloud, where they can listen to your full songs and support you as an artist. Additionally, provide links to your social media profiles, website, Bandcamp and mailing list to encourage deeper connections with your audience and keep them engaged beyond TikTok.


  • TikTok has revolutionized the way independent musicians can promote their music, grow their audience, and accelerate their music careers.
  • By leveraging the power of TikTok’s algorithm, participating in trends and challenges, developing a consistent theme, and creating original content, you can increase your visibility and reach a wider audience.
  • Additionally, make use of the TikTok music library, incorporate your music into TikTok content, and analyze TikTok analytics to refine your strategies and track your growth.
  • Remember to direct your TikTok followers to other platforms for long-term engagement and support.
  • With determination, creativity, and a strategic approach, TikTok can be a game-changer for your music career, helping you achieve viral success and establish a thriving fanbase. Embrace the power of TikTok and unleash your musical potential to the world!
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