As a Gen X founder, I initially thought TikTok was not for me. I didn’t want to dance, figured the Gen Z audience of TikTok wouldn’t be interested in seeing me on screen, and didn’t think entertaining videos would lead to sales for my company, PerfectDD, which designs clothes specifically tailored to fuller busts.
I had the privilege to attend Gary Vaynerchuk’s 4Ds program, where he encouraged me to rethink TikTok, emphasizing that the message of my company would resonate with the TikTok audience. Plus, he added that it’s not all dancing—there’s plenty of educational content on the platform, too.
I am far from a social media expert, but I decided to throw my inhibitions aside and start experimenting with regularly posting different types of videos to the platform. Within about a month, I had a video go viral. Not only did it get millions of views, but it resulted in a 340 percent increase in visitors to my site and $25,000 in revenue in two weeks.
Of course, one viral video does not create a long-term social media strategy. The algorithm has continued to change since then, and my strategy has had to continually adjust. Here are some of my biggest lessons about how other founders can succeed on the platform.
1. Focus on timing and tailoring when it comes to trends
While my first viral video was based on a trend at the time (stock photos of old people reacting to something), I’ve also had times since when I’ve tried to fit my business into a trend but the video didn’t hit.
Sometimes, this was because I was too late hopping on the trend. For instance, when I posted a Barbie-related TikTok over three weeks after the movie had come out, it barely got any traction because people were already over the Barbie mania.
Other times, trendy TikToks didn’t work because the trend wasn’t authentic enough to me and my brand. The trends that have most benefited my business are the ones I personally had an emotional reaction to, like this stitch piggybacking off a popular bra test account. It made me laugh and it was clear how I could make it my own, instead of it feeling contrived because I was trying to force “viral” content out. There are plenty of trends on TikTok, so find the ones that speak to you. If you miss one, it’s okay—there will be another one to hop on to.
Another big aha moment: Many of my most popular videos haven’t followed trends at all. Instead, it’s just me talking to the camera about why I started the brand and why I make the business decisions that I do. Usually, I’m barely wearing makeup, don’t have my hair done, and haven’t planned a script. It may feel unpolished while filming, but it makes me more relatable and trustworthy, leading to more engagement on TikTok.
@perfectdd As a 28H/32DD, there are some days where I just wanna look “normal,” and not flaunt my chest! Fuller bust besties, can you relate⁉️ #fullerbust#fullerbuststruggles#fullerbustfashion#fullerbustbestie#ddcup#ddcupandup#cupsize#ddcups#fullerbuststyle#fullerbustbestie ♬ Roxanne – Instrumental – Califa Azul
I still try the trends when they’re easy and fun for me, but what people really pick up on are the videos in which I’m authentically sharing my experience and talking about my brand.
2. Experiment, and don’t be afraid to fail
To figure out what works for you and for your audience, experimentation is the name of the game. As part of that, I’ve found it’s important not to take it too hard when videos don’t do well. There are a few things that help me stay in this failure-friendly mindset.
For one, while there are plenty of videos that I expected to go viral that totally flopped, there are also ones that I wasn’t sure about that really struck a chord with my audience. I never would have gotten those gains if I had been too afraid of failure to post in the first place.
I also find it helps to remember that I can always take videos down. I try to learn from every video I create. I’ve discovered that my audience is different on TikTok than on Instagram, so I sometimes try posting on the other to see how it performs.
On the flip side, if you see a video that’s doing really well for you, try a different version of it. I initially stitched this video and realized it took off pretty quickly, so I did another version a few days later and it performed even better!
Either way, I move on to the next idea and keep trying.
3. Interact with the community and your customers
Some of my biggest wins on TikTok have come from really engaging with the community.
One way I do this is by using customers and other creators as fodder for my content. For example, some of our most popular videos lately have been duets or stitches with other women complaining about the exact problems that we’re trying to solve.
@perfectdd #stitch with @Mandy Lee No binder needed! I design button downs specifically for fuller busts with a hidden button to keep it closed. The solution is already built in. 100% cotton, sustainably and ethically made in USA. 🍒😉🇺🇸 #binder #fullerbust #hcup #ddcup #bigchestproblems #buttonup ♬ Blue Blood – Heinz Kiessling
I’ve also seen success lately when I reply to follower comments with another video. It’s low-lift customer research where the audience is already engaged to keep the conversation going.
@perfectdd Replying to @someonewitty Constant comments from “Are those real?” on one end to “You’re not that big” in another for the same body I’ve had for years! There’s no winning. I’m 28i/30H cup either way. And this goes to show if you wear a properly fitting br@, you don’t always “look that big.” 🤷🏻♀️🍒 #brasize #icup #hcup #fullerbust #bratok #notthatbig #dcupsandup ♬ original sound – PerfectDD
You’re part of the TikTok community just by being an active user, so I try to spend time each day scrolling through my feed, even if it’s just a few minutes. Through my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve connected with other TikTok creators, and we regularly discuss what’s been working, trends we’re noticing, how the algorithm is changing, and more. For instance, my friend MadisonxAlexandra helped me see that TikTok is pushing longer-form content lately. The climate has changed—creators don’t see each other as competition, but want to collaborate and connect. Sharing tips for success benefits us all.
4. Focus on consistency (but not in the way you think)
I constantly hear TikTok advice that says you have to post multiple times a day to see any real traction, but I’ve found consistency in messaging is more important than consistency of posting.
As a solopreneur, even with content batching and support from my intern, it’s difficult to keep up a regular posting schedule. And I’ve realized that’s okay.
For one, TikTok’s algorithm is so smart that it continues to push content even if it’s been months since it initially went viral. New followers are still liking and commenting on posts from last year, so I don’t feel as much pressure to pump out new ones regularly.
This means that any of my videos could be seen by a new potential customer at any time. That’s why I’m unafraid to reiterate my brand promise and message over and over again, so people who are new to my videos always know what PerfectDD is all about. Plus, some reports say that every time you publish content, only 10 percent of your followers actually see it, so it probably won’t feel repetitive to even your oldest followers.
Repetition is recognition, and building a brand is about the long game. If you’re an entrepreneur, I strongly encourage you to get on TikTok now—it’s not too late. You’re creating your own press for free, helping new customers discover your brand, and nurturing a younger audience to love your products for the long haul. Plus, when approached with authenticity and a spirit of experimentation, it can be really fun.