This Is How Many TikTok Views You Need To Give Up Your Day Job

Photographed by Serena Brown
TikTok isn't just home to some of the best (and worst) dancing ever seen. It's also a wellspring of information where you'll find the latest skincare trendsmorning routines and Cosplay fashion ideas. It's even helping to expose the true horrors of the UK's student housing crisis.
Because of this, TikTok has welcomed a wide variety of influencers, including the ingenious creator who came up with the "nature's cereal" trend.
But according to new research, it's still incredibly difficult to make a decent living from the app. The folks at Lickd have crunched the numbers and found that to earn the average UK salary of £31,461, you'd have to rack up a massive 121 million TikTok views.
Still, even if becoming a TikTok influencer seems like a pipe dream, you might fancy monetising your TikTok account as a side hustle or simply to top up your income. Helpfully, Lickd has created a "social income calculator" which gives an instant estimate of how many views you need to make a certain amount of money.
According to the calculator, to earn £500 for your summer staycation, you'd need to amass 10,000 TikTok followers and 1.8 million views.
"The influencer industry is growing exponentially and many now dream of making social media their full-time job, however, maintaining a brand is no 9-5; it takes a lot of passion, dedication and time," said Lickd's CEO, Paul Sampson.
"You can't conjure up thousands of loyal followers overnight and Lickd’s new social salary calculator shines a light on just how high some of the audience and viewing figures have to be before creators start seeing substantial returns.”
It's worth noting, of course, that making money as a social media influencer is far from an exact science.
Calum McSwiggan, a writer, digital content creator, radio presenter & LGBT+ advocate with 70,000 Twitter followers and 90,000 YouTube subscribers, told Refinery29 in 2018 that "there are some wildly disproportionate ideas about how much influencers actually earn".
"Earnings vary slightly from creator to creator but I estimate that I earn around £0.50 for every 1,000 [YouTube] views," McSwiggan said at the time. "That means that my most viewed video earned me around £250. Considering the time and effort that can go into creating a video – not to mention the years it can take to build an audience who actually want to watch – it isn’t the easy money making scheme a lot of people believe it to be."
Consequently, McSwiggan said that he now makes most of his money from "other work like collaborations with brands, working as a presenter, and freelance writing". 

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