How to Make Your First TikTok Video: For Newbies Only!

How to Make Your First TikTok Video: For Newbies Only!

TikTok is just about everywhere, from your 10-year-old niece to your 80-year-old grandmother. The social media platform has truly taken the world by storm, and there is no shortage of video ideas to draw in even the least experienced social media user. Consuming the original videos found on TikTok and scrolling through dance videos and other clips is one thing, but adding it to the social channels you post on is another thing entirely. I have put together a basic guide to help you learn how to embark on your first video project on TikTok, to stay on top of trends and make sure you are keeping up with the best social platforms of the day. 

The video clips you find on TikTok are not the only part of the picture, however; you cannot create and upload an entire video until you have created an account on the social channel, so my explanation will start there. 

How to Make a TikTok Account

Making a TikTok account is the first step toward diving into the pre-recorded videos and video templates TikTok has become famous for. From recipe videos to explainer videos to cleaning videos, TikTok has it all, so making sure you are taking advantage of the TikTok video editor will go a long way in making sure you are abreast of current trends and suggestions. How do you start, exactly? To begin: 

Step 1: Download the TikTok app from the App Store or Google Play.

The most straightforward step, make sure you download from the app store, rather than simply popping your information in on a desktop website. The video and voice effects, video clips, and other components unique to the TikTok video editor cannot be utilized without first creating an account. 

Step 2: Open the app and tap on the “Profile” button in the bottom right corner.

The “profile” button is how you will navigate to your profile once you have signed up, but is also the first step in moving toward your account creation. 

Step 3: Choose a method to sign up, such as using your phone number or email, or signing up with an existing social media account like Facebook, Google, or Twitter.

When selecting your account sign up method, consider the purpose of the account (business, personal, or a blend of both), and the security necessary to make sure your information is not lost. 

Step 4: If you choose to sign up with your phone number or email, enter your information and create a password.

Creating your own password is an essential part of the content creation process if you do not use an existing account to sign up. Make sure you choose a password that is secure and difficult to crack. 

Step 5: If you sign up with an existing social media account, follow the on-screen instructions to give TikTok permission to use your account.

The viral content so common to TikTok may require some permissions regarding your social platforms. 

Step 6: Confirm your email address or phone number.

Before completing this step, verify that the verification process is actually coming from TikTok; some scams rely on false login URLs from various social sites to steal information. 

Step 7: Create a TikTok username.

This is a key step, particularly if you are one of the many active users coming to TikTok to promote their business. Selecting a name that clearly identifies your business, brand, or product line is essential, as the rapid-fire nature of TikTok makes it impossible to offer a detailed guide to your name and all that is contained within it. Make your name sensible and easily identifiable. 

Note that you should make sure your email and phone number are valid as they are needed for login and password recovery.

How to Make A TikTok Video Step-by-Step

Now that you have an account, you can dive right into the sound effects and templates TikTok is known for. From utilizing the duet feature to creating your own posts from scratch, TikTok is fairly easy to understand once you are familiar with the different icons and directions unique to the app. I have put together a comprehensive guide to getting started with your first video from your posting screen. 

Step 1: Open the TikTok app and tap the “+” button at the bottom of the screen.

Open the TikTok app and tap the "+" button at the bottom of the screen.

When you open TikTok it will automatically play a video like you see above, but the “+” button will be prominently displayed on the bottom center of your screen.

Pressing this will bring you to the post screen from which you can create all of your videos and posts, with background music, audio tracks, video effects, and more that you can see down below. 

Step 2: Choose to upload content from your device library or use the TikTok camera.

Choose to upload content from your device library or use the TikTok camera

Like most social platforms, you have the option of utilizing existing materials (by selecting the “Upload” section), or creating videos from scratch by pressing the big fat red button and giving TikTok access to your camera, and doing a point-and-shoot through the app. 

Step 3: Add sounds, effects, filters, or other camera tools.

Add sounds, effects, filters, or other camera tools.

Once your video has been selected or recorded, you can use the post screen to select all sounds, effects, filters, and camera tools to create an interesting, and attention-grabbing video. If you press the downward facing button on the right side of the previous screen, you will see your editing choices as above sich as Timer, Retouch, Filters, Speed and Voice. 

Step 4: Start your video by pressing the Record button.

You can use the post screen to select all sounds, effects, filters, and camera tools to create an interesting, and attention-grabbing video. These will be added prior to recording to uploading your video, so business owners should experiment with different effects and audio files before committing to the video. 

Step 5: Record your content.

If you are not uploading, begin recording the content you want. You can record a wide range of topics on TikTok, each of them specific to your niche. 

Step 6: Tap the check mark.

Once your video has been selected or recorded, and you have the edits you’d like, you can tap the check mark to move one step closer to posting. 

Tap the check mark.

Step 7: Make additional edits on the post page.

Make additional edits on the post page.

Any additional edits you might need to your post–think an audio clip or general app editing tools–can be made now, prior to posting. You’ll notice that the post-recording editing screen above is slightly different than the initial screen as you now have options to add text, captions, stickets, effects, etc.

Step 8: Post your video.

post your tiktok video.

Before posting your video, make sure you add a caption, hashtags, location (if applicable) and select a cover so that your profile videos have a consistent look and feel to them.

Finally, post your video! From comedy sketches to dance routines to basic how-tos, your video has not been sent out into the TikTok ether. 

You can also upload pre-existing videos from your camera roll and edit them within the app. TikTok offers a variety of tools to customize your video, including adding text, music, and effects.

Top 10 Types of TikTok Videos for Maximum Engagement

Now that you are familiar with the basics of creating business and personal accounts, and how to create posts, you can move on to curating your TikTok presence with more nuance and attention to detail. I have put together a list of the best videos you can create to maximize the likelihood of high engagement, and enjoy improved performance stats on your platform. 

1. Short Tutorials

Short tutorials are a great option for your performance stats, because they provide educational value for your audience, and provide a great option for engagement through simple viewing, asking clarifying questions, and sharing. Short tutorials are great for quick learning and sharing knowledge with your audience, as they offer a simple and easy way to create stock videos for your brand, and how-to videos effectively establish you as an authority in your field. 

In short tutorials, there is no need for voice overs or original sound; a catchy sound bite is often enough to get the job done with great success. 

2. Humorous Content


Ahhhhh wooooww 🤷🏿‍♂️ 😑 Khaby Move is Back! 😏 #learnfromkhaby #learnontiktok @TikTok @tiktok creators @lindagonzales686

♬ original sound – Khabane lame

Humorous videos are useful for two reasons: they are relatable, and they are entertaining. Humorous content does not have to be humorous for the sake of humor; even how-to videos can have a humorous undertone to them to increase relatability and make your brand seem more approachable. Your audience is more likely to be engaged with entertaining content, so don’t pass up the opportunity to inject even your most basic video templates, video filters, and audio library with a bit of humor. 

3. Viral Hacks Testing

Viral hacks testing serves a few purposes: it provides entertainment, it keeps you in the loop of the latest viral trends, and it lends an air of authenticity to your profile or brand. People love to find out whether or not viral hacks actually work, and these videos can help your brand gain a great deal of traction. The real results of these evaluation videos can also make your brand appear more relatable and engaging, and can be a great way to give your performance stats a firm boost. Do not underestimate the power of popularity, entertainment, and authenticity in the video creation process. 

Further Reading: 20 Easiest Ways How to Go Viral on TikTok

Similar to engaging with trends via viral hacks, TikTok users can improve engagement and demonstrate their video marker skills by taking on popular recipes and adapting them to the bite-sized videos TikTok is known for. Trendy food hacks and recipes often go viral (does anyone remember the whipped coffee of 2020?) and creating a video involving these things can help maintain brand relevance, as long as it aligns with your brand’s overall strategy and niche. 

5. Product Showcases

Wrapping marketing and engagement in a single package, product showcases require very few video editing skills and can be a great way to show your product in action. These videos are fun and irresistible to watch, because they demonstrate exactly what your brand is capable of, and show your brand’s personality in the process. A product showcase does not need to be flashy, or have an intense production value in order to be effective. Even a simple clip of an employee using the item can be a captivating video, and lead to increased engagement. 

Further Reading: How to Edit Videos on TikTok Like a Pro: 5 Actionable Tips

6. Lip-Sync Videos

Lip syncing is a TikTok staple, and putting your video editing skills to the test to create your own lip sync videos can entertain the people closest to you and your followers, alike. The creative freedom offered by this type of video means that you can use captions to adapt the audio being lip synced to your brand’s message in order to improve your video visibility. Remember that having attention-grabbing TikTok videos is important in any TikTok marketing strategy, and making sure that you have something like a lip sync video in your video maker queue is valuable. 

7. TikTok Challenges


When you meet the queen 👑 and you mess up 😅 @charlidamelio

♬ Lottery – K CAMP

TikTok challenges are another common video maker inspiration on TikTok; challenge videos are always trending on the platform, and can lead to other popular video types, including collaborations videos. This type of awesome content can be as intense or as mild as you’d like it to be, as you can pick and choose the challenges you engage with to make sure you continue to align with your brand as you post. From cooking videos with a viral new ingredient, to sharing more about your brand, challenges can improve audience resonance while participating in a common trend, making content accessible to users of all ages and backgrounds. 

Further Reading: Try These 15 TikTok Challenges to Generate Engagement in 2024!

8. Duets and Stitches


#duet with @notorious_foodie That’s one beauty of a Shepherd’s #Pie !! Good thing he used my #recipe 😏 #ramsayreacts #tiktokcooks #pie

♬ Hungarian dance nº5 – Paul mauriat

Duets and stitches are highly interactive forms of dynamic content, as they allow users to engage with other creators’ content, in an interesting and relatable way. Duets and stitches can help creators keep up with the latest trends, and create relevant duets according to what is popular at any given moment. Duets can be created by a beginner content creator to a more experienced creator, alike, and can help deliver consistent content that continues to show up and remain top of mind. 

9. Influencer Collaborations

Influencer collaborations seem like content creation basics at this point in marketing’s journey, but despite being a longstanding form of communication from brands, collaborations remain an excellent way to improve audience reach by providing exposure to your audience and the audience of the influencer in question. 

These collaborations are usually examples of sponsored content, which is a great way to integrate your product into popular content. Influencers can be incredible at integrating a product or service into an interesting and engaging video, making influencer collaborations a truly valuable technique within your content strategy. 

Further Reading: 6 Tips To Help You Find The Right TikTok Influencers

10. Live Streams

Live streams are among the content types that allow your audience to feel as though they are really engaging with your brand or company. Interacting with your audience live is very different from posting videos made ahead of time, as these videos are carefully curated and put together. Live streams can also be monetized, allowing creators over the age of 18 to receive gift points, which can then be converted into money. While creators need to have at least 1,000 followers to access this ability, 1,000 followers is a worthy goal to work toward and live streams can help further incentivize that goal. 

Further Reading: How to Go Live on TikTok: The Ultimate Guide


Breaking into any new market or any new platform can at first seem difficult or daunting, but TikTok has a fairly straightforward sign up and posting process. The platform lends itself to use by a younger audience, certainly, but its creative effects, bite-sized content, and continual stream of trending content makes it a valuable platform on which to create content and engage with an audience. Whether you are a small creator, or a large brand looking to increase your reach, going from TikTok newbie to TikTok pro is simple enough. Using the guide I have created to get started on your account, get posting, and continue posting in a way that encourages engagement, you can begin enjoying the reach TikTok provides and witness a possible increase in your brand’s audience. 

Will you be getting started on TikTok? Let me know in the comments! 

Hero Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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