Welcome to our Creator Coffee Chat: Presented By the TrendTok App where you get to learn about the very best tips, tricks and advice for growing your TikTok account from viral creators! We know that growing your TikTok account can feel overwhelming at times, so we’re breaking down the strategy that these creators used to help you through the process! Whether you’re a new creator on the platform that hasn’t chosen their username yet or a creator with a huge following behind you, we believe that this series will provide you with some new insights that you can apply to your TikTok strategy!
Today’s coffee chat is with Josh Otusanya! Robert (@JoshOtusanya). Josh is a comedian and social media influencer with over 5.5 million followers on TikTok and 460,000 on Instagram in one year. He performs stand up comedy worldwide touching cities like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and even Scotland in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Josh has always been a fan of content creation. Prior to TikTok he tried his hand in just about every platform out there with little success. It wasn’t until after several years on YouTube a friend suggested he focus his efforts on TikTok and that it would be the next big thing.
We asked Josh to share advice, tips and thoughts with us that could help creators with their TikTok journey!
What is your TikTok handle and did you have a strategy behind choosing your handle username?
My TikTok handle is @JoshOtusanya. I figured using my name was a solid move for overall branding purposes.
What was the process behind creating your first video on the platform? How did it feel?
In the beginning I didn’t follow any of the best practices. I used to download my old YouTube videos, cut them into shorter clips and upload them straight to TikTok. It looked funny because for TikTok vertical videos are the way to go, but my videos were horizontal with black boxes on the top and bottom.
How did your first video perform? What was your reaction to it’s performance?
It didn’t perform very well but compared to the views I was getting on YouTube, I thought it was a win! I think the video got around 2,000 views which I thought was amazing. On YouTube I was used to seeing 200 to 300 views at the time.
How did you decide what kind of content you wanted to post on your platform or what audience you wanted to reach?
Since I had been creating content for a while I already had a general idea of the type of content I wanted to put out. My TikTok page is essentially the TikTok version of what I was trying to do on YouTube for years, which was a combination of self help and comedic content. It comes from a sincere desire to help and inspire others, while also being entertaining and funny. My ultimate goal is to juggle being both a stand up comedian and public speaker.
What advice do you have for creators that are still trying to find their niche on TikTok?
There’s a few ways to go about it. One way is to make a list of things that you are passionate about. What topics or ideas could you talk about for hours? What is something you may not know a lot about but are really interested in studying or educating yourself on? If you’re still unsure, I would just start creating and having fun with it because getting started is most important here.
How many videos did you post before you had your first “viral video”? What did it feel like?
I think it was in the range of 20-30 videos. It was the greatest feeling ever and the moment I decided to completely focus on TikTok.
What happens when one of your videos does not perform how you expected? Do you ever recreate or repost the video?
Personally, if a video doesn’t perform well I tell myself that as much as I enjoyed the video, my audience didn’t. I try not to blame the algorithm or things outside of my control and try to see where I can take accountability on my end. It's easier for me mentally to do that than to blame variables outside of my reach. I rarely repost or recreate videos that don’t perform well but I know creators who do and see success with it.
What advice do you have for creators on creating the TikTok videos? Any there any tools or softwares that you use?
I like to reassure creators that you don’t need much to get started! All you need is a phone with a camera. There are plenty of creators who have built large followings without a fancy camera or advanced editing skills.
Do you ever get nervous posting on TikTok? If so, how do you deal with it?
When I was first getting started I definitely did. The idea of putting your content out there for people to judge and critique can be intimidating. The way I dealt with it was making sure I was happy and content with what I created before I put it out. The way I looked at it, if I accepted myself first then I’ve done my job.
Are there any tricks/tips that you have used to boost your posts that you’d like to share with creators?
Replying to comments is big! I personally make it a point to dedicate 15-20 minutes after posting a video to reply to as many comments as possible and give back to the community. I try not to take comments for granted, especially if someone felt moved or compelled by a specific video and wrote a longer, more thoughtful comment as a result of it.
How do you keep your community/followers engaged with you and your content on TikTok?
Outside of replying to comments I go live pretty frequently. Almost every time I upload I dedicate an hour or so of my time to go live and interact with my community. I think it’s important and helps deepen the connection you have with your followers. I don’t necessarily recommend creators go live as much as I typically do (because I know it’s a lot) but dedicating some time per week I feel is important.
How do you handle the negative comments on the platform?
People typically leave unwarranted negative comments when they’re not happy with themselves or something going on in their life. Whenever I see negative comments I either ignore it, reply with something genuinely nice or empathetic, or if the comment is more severe I delete it and block the account, especially if the person is abusing or harassing others in my comment section.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you were first starting out on the platform?
I wish I knew that I didn't have to follow trends to grow on TikTok. It took me some time to understand this but better late than never. My page is pretty knowledge based and was built independent of trending dances, songs, etc.
What is next for you on the platform, anything we should be on the lookout for?
More content to come as well as continuing to expand to other platforms!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
If you're ever in a slump where you're frustrated with views or overall traction on your page, try focusing on your output and consistency over metrics you can't control like views, likes, etc. Whenever I'm in a slump, I try to continue to stay consistent, perhaps mix things up, and at the end of the week pat myself on the back and say, "I put out X amount of videos this week and that's a win for me." Social media can have highs and lows and it's important to try to stay even and consistent regardless of what happens.
Where can our readers connect with you?
TikTok: @joshotusanya and Instagram: @josh.otusanya
We loved chatting with Josh and if you enjoyed his coffee chat, make sure that you check him out on TikTok! And drop a comment on his video that you saw him here on the TrendTok Coffee Chat series!!
This series is presented by the TrendTok App, the platform for TikTok Analytics that helps creators go viral! Check it out here!