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a blog for new entrepreneurs + design lovers

Unpopular Opinion: You Don’t Need to Be on TikTok to Grow Your Business

hey, I'm josh rivera


Taking the first step is the hardest part! I know it all to well. I'm here to hold your hand on your entrepreneurial journey--I'm sharing all the tips and insights I'm learning along the way.

I'm a nurse turned entrepreneur and web designer. There's always room for more at the table. let's grow our side hustles into booked out businesses together!


I’m here to support your business journey, share my experience, and help you sift through the endless amount of information out there. Today, I wanted to share what may be an unpopular opinion (that some may be very happy to hear): You don’t need to be on TikTok to grow your business or online presence.

Why is TikTok so Special?

No one can deny that TikTok is a beast. It came, it grabbed our attention (and never let go), and pretty much replaced most social media apps for millennials and Gen-Zers. What’s so special about it?

  1. The FYP page was a new magical gateway to discoverability. Suddenly, any content you made was pushed out to users regardless of you putting in the usual work to interact or use hashtags. As long as you could make engaging content, you now had a stage where growth didn’t seem so daunting.

  2. Three words: Short Form Video. It seemed like TikTok found the perfect recipe to steal our attention with an endless scroll of short form videos, which really equated to endless instant gratification. The landscape of TikTok has changed since then, but it’s popularity has not wavered.

Another bonus that gives TikTok appeal lies in the vast and diverse audiences you could potentially reach. So it makes sense why it’s become the go-to platform for so many entrepreneurs. For some, TikTok is undoubtedly a game-changer. It offers endless opportunities for creativity and interaction, making it an ideal space for certain businesses to thrive. But, you gotta remember that one size does not fit all.

My Unpopular Opinion

While TikTok is incredibly fun and offers opportunities to get your name our there, it is not the elusive key to success to grow every new business’s audience. For some industries, it makes total sense, but for others not so much.

Why TikTok May Not be Right for You

  1. Audience: TikTok’s user demographics may not align with your target audience. Do some research to try to understand your audience. Is it a younger or older demographic? Are you a selling a product or a service? Can you show your product or service in video form? These are all things to consider. If you’re selling to an older crowd, or selling a B2B (business to business) service, or even a copywriter who may want to share more visual text-based posts.. TikTok may not be where you want to focus your energy.

  2. Time Commitment: Consider how much time you have to allocate to social media. Many new businesses start off as side hustles. This probably means that there’s another job (and the rest of your life) to attend to and prioritize. If you don’t feel you have to the to make a stunning video–writing the script, filming the shots, editing the whole thing, adding in sound, etc… Just leave TikTok on the back-burner. You want to make viral-worthy content, so if you’re settling on a mediocre video just to “show up” on TikTok, consider this your permission to stop and focus that energy elsewhere.

  3. Constantly Changing: If you’re a TikTok user, you see how quickly your FYP can change. In just a few days, one trend can die and another will undoubtedly arise. If you’re not a TikTok user, or not a frequent user, it may be hard to stay relevant. Users know when they’re being sold to, so often the focus of businesses’ TikToks are educational or value-based content. Balancing that with the need to stay engaging and stay on top of trends make it a large task to undertake.

Alternatives to TikTok

Fortunately, there are alternatives! TikTok may be the most popular social media app today, but unlike some predecessors (shoutout to MySpace) it hasn’t killed the apps before it. Pinterest and Instagram are two apps that remain relevant and popular among users of all ages. They also offer great opportunity for you to show your business off online and engage with potential clients.

Even platforms that may not first come to mind may be a goldmine for your business. For example, if you work with professionals or larger businesses, you may want to take advantage of the social LinkedIn, a social media platform that maybe did not come to mind at first.

Each of these platforms has its unique strengths. Instagram is perfect for visual content, while LinkedIn caters to a professional audience. Pinterest is excellent for businesses with a strong visual or lifestyle component, or for linking to a freebie or blog post. By understanding your audience and the strengths of each platform, you can make an informed decision on where you want to start showing up.

Building an Online Presence

Remember that your online presence is about more than just the platform you use. Regardless of where you choose to engage with your audience, focus on creating compelling content and establishing credibility as a brand. You can still be a leader as a newbie. Share your knowledge, experience, and insights.

If you feel ready to start or pivot your social media journey for your business, here is a little mental roadmap to help yourself prepare:

  1. Brainstorm where do your skills lie. Maybe you love making videos. Maybe you’re a wiz at making graphics. Maybe you’re not into creating visuals, but love writing. Assess where your skills and interests lie before choosing where to post.

  2. Pick one platform to start. Maybe TikTok actually is something you enjoy and meets your audience’s needs. Or maybe it’s sharing designs on Pinterest, or information via Reels on Instagram.

  3. Brain dump any and all ideas for content. You can cycle through educational pieces, portfolio pieces, and if it fits your brand vibe, some fun trendy ones. Try to come up with 4-8 ideas so that you’re not left posting once and never again.

  4. Consider batching your content. This means having a time or day carved out to make multiple posts at once, and then scheduling them to automatically post. Batching is not for everyone. But it can be very helpful to our side-hustlers out there who may want to carve out creative time during off-work or weekend hours, and don’t feel they have time during the work week.

  5. Post as consistently as you can, even if that means one post a week, twice a month, etc. Being consistent shows your audience that your account is active and being updated, and it eventually will help set expectations for your audience. Remember, quality is just as important as quantity. Don’t sacrifice quality of your content just to get something out there.

  6. Assess your progress/engagement only after at least a month of consistency. Try not to beat yourself up if a posts gets 1 like. Maybe you post 4 times and each get no likes or comments, except one that gets 6 likes or 1 comment. As unexciting as that sounds (and believe me I get it, my social content doesn’t have much interaction at the time of writing this), there’s information there. That one post was relevant to someone. Try to extract data out of that: What type of content was it? Is this something I spent extra time on? Did I use less competitive hashtags for it? Etc.

Why I’m Ditching TikTok

In the end, the choice of whether or not to be on TikTok should align with your unique business goals, your personal skills, and your audience’s preferences. Personally, I plan to commit to Instagram and Pinterest at this point. I tried TikTok and I felt very inauthentic using it; I tried educational content mixed in with behind the scenes stuff and some trending audios, but it felt very forced.

I love to learn and share information and I finally was so happy to discover that I did not NEED to be on TikTok to have a successful business. That doesn’t mean I’ll never try it out again, but for now as a newer business I want to focus my energy where I know I can use it best. And with that, now I can let out a sigh of relief and let go of the feeling of not doing enough. (If this is hitting home for you, hopefully you can too)

So do you share my unpopular opinion? Do you love TikTok for your business? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments. Or feel free to DM or contact me!

Business Tips, Social Media

Unpopular Opinion: You Don’t Need to Be on TikTok to Grow Your Business

Nov 21

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I went from registered pediatric nurse to entrepreneur and web designer. I deeply understand the struggles of trying to create and launch a business. My goal is to make the process as easy and seamless for dreamers and go-getters who want to turn their side hustles into booked-out brands. 

I'm here to help fellow creatives and business owners achieve their dreams–whether they're just starting out or in need of a refresh.

I look forward to meeting and working with you! I want you to feel confident and empowered to go after your dreams.

Founder + Lead Designer

hey, I'm josh Rivera