The business of TikTok: How a local content creator created a product inspired by her followers

Jade Oliver aka Afrolecia, winner of the Africa Rising Creator of the Year in Sub-Saharan Africa. Picture: Supplied

Jade Oliver aka Afrolecia, winner of the Africa Rising Creator of the Year in Sub-Saharan Africa. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 30, 2024


Many of us can spend hours scrolling through TikTok. From humorous skits and serious news to useful tutorials and dance challenges, there’s something for everyone.

While it all seems like endless fun, TikTok is, in fact, serious business for many content creators.

What we see is the result of hours of hard work and strategising.

Jade Oliver, known as Afrolecia on TikTok, from Kuils River in Cape Town, is one of those content creators.

The 28-year-old started posting her content on TikTok in 2021.

She always made short trending videos on other social media platforms but then decided to upload them on TikTok.

Oliver now focuses on creating content around haircare which is her niche.

In 2022, she decided to take TikTok seriously after a few months of using the app and seeing other creators blow up.

In doing so, she now has almost 500,000 followers with her videos reaching over 18 million likes. Her most popular video garnered 10 million views.

“I started posting consistently and focusing on my niche. I wanted people to know me for a reason and tried to get that across as much as I could,” says Oliver.

“That allowed people to trust me on a specific topic and if they were interested in it, they followed me and it grew from there.”

Oliver, who is now the owner of her haircare line called “Afrolecia” says that her audience was her main inspiration to start her business.

Jade Oliver with her haircare range. Picture: Supplied

“I was asked to recommend products all the time and wanted to stand behind something fully when recommending it and that’s how my line came about.

“The products are 100% South African-made. I am in the process of applying for the proudly South African mark on them,” she says.

In 2023, Oliver won the TikTok Africa’s Rising Star Award.

“Winning the award just confirmed what I was doing was the right thing. It opened so many doors for me and also made people look at what I do in a different light.”

While TikTok was undoubtedly the platform that inspired her to create her product, the video app can be so much more for serious content creators.

Content creators can now earn money directly from the app through the TikTok Creator Rewards Programme.

This programme offers users the chance to earn rewards as they create and share longer video content.

However, this programme is not open to creators in South Africa, yet.

The programme is currently only open to creators in the US, UK, Germany, Japan, South Korea, France, and Brazil.

There are other ways to make money on the platform:

Live gifts

TikTok allows users to send virtual gifts to creators during live streams, and creators can convert these gifts into real money.

These gifts are called Diamonds. TikTok awards Diamonds to creators based on the popularity of their content.

Once you collect Diamonds, you may obtain a reward payment from them, such as money or virtual items.

To be eligible you must be 18 years of age or older, you need at least 10,000 followers and your account must be at least 30 days old.

Video gifts

Eligible creators can also receive gifts from their community, appreciating them for the great content on the For You Page.

Live Subscription

This is a monthly subscription on TikTok for people to show their appreciation for their favourite LIVE creators.

It allows creators to increase their earnings while continuing to grow their community and also provides engaged communities an opportunity to thank their favourite creators regularly.

Brand collaborations

Through TikTok for Business, creators also partner with brands for sponsored content, product placements, or brand ambassador roles is a popular way to earn income.

Creators and brands can succeed by crafting content that aligns with TikTok's format, trends and user behaviours.

Create effects

If you can create effects, this is another way to make money.

There is the Effect Creator Rewards to celebrate outstanding effects created for TikTok.

Creators from all over the world, including South Africa, have been able to collect significant cash rewards for their trending effects.

Each effect needs to be used in just 100,000 videos to begin unlocking rewards.

IOL Lifestyle