How this Creator Used Business Strategy to Grow on TikTok
From the story of how her tagline came to be, to choosing a lucrative niche, to thinking like a one-person content agency, Dulma Altan’s creator journey is a treasure trove of insights for aspiring creators.
Content Writer @ Buffer
When one of Dulma Altan’s followers called her videos “TikTok B-School for Women,” she didn’t just laugh and move on; she turned it into her tagline. Now, it’s how people refer to her online.
Intentional moves like that set Dulma, who is well-versed in business strategy from her work as an entrepreneur, apart from other creators. From the start of her journey as a creator in 2020, she applied her experience to her content creation and was one of the first to tap into her niche – “business strategy from the lens of women-led brands.”
From the story of her tagline to choosing a lucrative niche to think like a one-person content agency, Dulma’s journey is a treasure trove of insights for aspiring creators.
- Dulma turned her passion into profit by identifying a niche that resonates with her values and interests – making business strategy accessible on TikTok using female-led brands.
- Navigate constant platform changes with the 80/20 approach where 80% is prioritizing quality content and 20% is staying updated with platform changes.
- Think of yourself as a one-person content agency to better align your content with the overall objectives of potential sponsors and partners.
- Leverage "platform arbitrage" by creating unexpected content on a particular platform to stay fresh and innovative.
- Diversify your content by embracing different content formats and platforms to expand your reach, engage your audience in new ways, and keep your content fresh and exciting.
Standing out with a blend of authenticity and strategy
Dulma's creator journey began with identifying a specific niche, not because it was lucrative, but because it was authentic to her.
Her passion connected with her vast experience in the niche, making it easy for her to start sharing content, “making business more binge-worthy and accessible” on TikTok. And her focus on female-founded companies and women in business allowed her to create content that was both meaningful to her and relevant to her audience.
What powers the positive reception to Dulma’s content? One part is her ability to distill business strategies and concepts through the popular brands among her audience. Another, pretty major, part is the recognizability of her brand, thanks to the commenter that inspired her tagline.
She immediately recognized its potential saying, "I added it to my bio and that made it so that people really knew what to expect from me. It was a really evocative, powerful declaration of what and who my account was for and what I like to cover."
There’s more that goes into building an engaged online audience than a catchy logo or a well-designed website. The most popular creators are immediately recognizable to their audience by their style – the unique identity that separates them from the noise in the crowded digital landscape.
“What do you stand for? And how can you convey that in a really concise, powerful, evocative way? If you can find a little tagline for that or a little soundbite? It's really helpful,” says Dulma.
Dulma's "TikTok B-School for Women" tagline became a powerful declaration of her brand's purpose. It’s been cited organically in the press and by her followers and helps people quickly understand her account and content.
Katelyn Bourgoin has a similar story behind her “Customer Whisperer” tagline. Your immediately recognizable branding (a color, tone of voice, or tagline) should encapsulate the essence of you in a concise and memorable way. It should tell people what to expect from you and what you stand for.
Navigate platform changes without becoming obsessed
Change is the only constant in the social media industry/creator economy. Algorithms change every day, what worked for a creator today may not work six months from now, or a new, revolutionary technology (looking at you, AI) comes to disrupt things.
"How can I keep adding value in a way that blows people's minds or just gets them coming back and makes them think wow, I can't believe I'm getting all this information for free."
Dulma acknowledges that navigating the ever-changing landscape requires balancing staying informed and focusing on your goals. For her, that’s consistently adding value to her audience with her content.
She says, "How can I keep adding value in a way that blows people's minds or just gets them coming back and makes them think wow, I can't believe I'm getting all this information for free."
As a seasoned business strategist, Dulma’s approach to platform changes and evolutions is pragmatic. Much of her brand is built around contextualizing complex business news, so she has to stay on the pulse. So, how does she keep up and keep a cool head?
"My philosophy around this is maintaining an 80/20 approach and focusing on creating the best, most valuable content possible," she explains.
Her 80/20 balance, where 80 percent of your focus is on creating valuable, engaging content that resonates with your audience, and 20 percent is on staying informed about new trends and updates. This approach ensures that you're not consumed by every little detail, allowing you to concentrate on what truly matters: your content and your audience.
Dulma's approach is rooted in the belief that the core quality of content is what truly matters. While staying informed about platform updates and new features is essential, it shouldn't be the primary focus.
Instead, creators should concentrate on delivering quality and relevant content to their audience. "I guarantee any algorithm updates are going to be oriented towards making people as engaged as possible, and if you keep adding value, you'll always be able to do that.”
Dulma also warns against the trap of "shiny object syndrome," where creators become overly focused on the latest platform features or algorithm tweaks. This approach can lead to confusion and a loss of focus on what truly matters – creating content that connects with your audience.
Think of yourself as a one-person content agency
Turning passion into profit is the dream of many creators – but many creators aren’t businesspeople, so it’s hard to transform your creative work into a sustainable income. Dulma’s business background helped her find her chosen monetization strategy – brand sponsorships – and she shared some advice about monetizing content.
The first thing she advises is more of a mindset shift. "If you're a creator, and you're looking to take monetization seriously, and you're looking to work with your dream brands, you really need to think about yourself as a one-person content agency," she says.
This mindset allows her to align her content with the overall objectives and strategies of potential sponsors. She approaches brand collaborations with a strategic mindset. Instead of waiting for the brand to make the first move, she takes the reins in any conversation. Her advice boils down to:
- Ask questions about the business
- Understand their goals
- Be proactive in offering solutions that fit their needs.
- Tailor your content to align with their objectives.
If you’re serious about monetizing your content, then every part of your strategy should align with potential monetization opportunities. For example, Dulma emphasizes the importance of picking a niche that is not only authentic to you but also has the potential to be profitable. The more defined and lucrative your niche, the better positioned you are for monetization and brand sponsorships.
Even her content creation is influenced by her agency mindset. Dulma shared the concept of "platform arbitrage," where she creates unexpected content on a particular platform to stay fresh and innovative. This approach helps her stand out and attract brand sponsors looking to diversify.
Other elements that help her attract the right sponsors are:
- A clear and concise brand message that helps audiences and sponsors understand what to expect from working with her.
- Offering package deals to advertisers which increases the value of her offerings
Whether you're just starting or looking to elevate your monetization game, these strategies provide a practical approach to building a profitable content creation business. Focus on your niche, think strategically, and always strive to deliver value.
Diversifying and experimenting with content formats
Diversification is not just a strategy; it's a necessity. Embracing different content formats and platforms can expand your reach, engage your audience in new ways, and keep your content fresh and exciting. It also protects you from the constant changes of social media, giving you somewhere to connect with your audience outside of something led by an algorithm.
"I believe in meeting my audience where they are," Dulma says. "Podcasting allowed me to connect on a more personal level, while newsletters provided targeted insights and updates."
Even the concept of platform arbitrage expands to these two mediums – Dulma’s sponsors have multiple ways to reach her audience because of the time she’s invested. For example, she mentioned that the podcast wasn’t really driven by a strategy – more a need to explore a new format. She challenged herself to record 100 podcasts in 100 days (and did it!).
She prioritizes experimentation in figuring out what to try next. Her approach of trying new formats, learning from them, and refining her approach led to her pausing the newsletter – but she’s kept up the podcast.
"You don't know what will resonate until you try it," she explains. "Experimentation has led me to discover new avenues for connection and growth."
Dulma's journey as a creator is a masterclass in strategic thinking, authenticity, and adaptability. Her success is not accidental; it's the result of intentional decisions, a clear understanding of her audience, and a willingness to experiment and evolve.
Here are the top takeaways from Dulma's approach:
- Authenticity = connection: Dulma's success began with identifying a niche that was both meaningful and authentic to her. Her connection with her audience is rooted in her passion and expertise, making her content resonate on a deeper level.
- Embrace unique branding opportunities: The "TikTok B-School for Women" tagline is more than a catchy phrase; it's a powerful declaration of her brand's purpose. Don't be afraid to borrow inspiration from your community; they often see your brand from a unique perspective.
- Balance how you navigate platform changes: Take Dulma's 80/20 approach to platforms, which emphasizes the importance of focusing on valuable content and staying informed without becoming obsessed. Her philosophy ensures that the core quality of content remains the primary focus.
- Think like a one-person content agency: Dulma's strategic approach to monetization and brand collaborations is a lesson in thinking beyond the creator's mindset. Her proactive and tailored approach to working with brands sets her apart in the crowded digital landscape.
- Diversify and experiment with content formats: Be willing to explore new formats. It helps you meet your audience where they are, and trying new avenues can lead to unexpected growth and connection.
- Monetize with strategy and authenticity: Her monetization strategies, including her "platform arbitrage" concept, highlight the importance of aligning content with potential monetization opportunities. Her clear brand message and innovative offerings make her an attractive partner for sponsors.
Dulma's insights provide a practical and inspiring guide no matter where you are in your creator journey.
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