TikTok star Jonathan Peter may already have 3.2 million followers in the bank, but the young creator isn’t slowing down anytime soon. The 21-year-old joined the app in February 2020 and has since skyrocketed to fame after finding his niche: unique point-of-view style videos, which consist of him acting out a fictional scene solo. Armed with nothing but his phone needed to capture his acting prowess, Jonathan has been able to turn his craft into a well-paid career, earning himself $15,000 a month.
Born Chembe Jonathan Peter Phiri, the California native says his success has come as somewhat of a surprise after never being academically gifted throughout school. However, what he lacked in grades, he more than made up for in passion and ambitiousness.
After starting his TikTok account as a fun hobby, Jonathan started posting by posting comedy videos, but soon found his unique point-of-view (POV) shoots were bagging him a serious following. Far from being a one-hit-wonder, Jonathan continued to hit high numbers of views as he found his videos regularly doing the rounds on the app and going viral.
His impressive engagement has earned him a stellar reputation amongst content creators, and he counts big names including Dixie D’Amelio as pals, after the pair bonded over their joint success on the app. Jonathan is now earning enough money from his hobby-turned-career that he has been able to get a real taste of the high life – even purchasing himself a $30,000 Maserati supercar.
But his success is anything but a coincidence, as Jonathan has cracked the code on achieving viral success on TikTok. It’s something the star is no stranger to – in fact, his most popular video on the app to date is one showing the growth of his account going from 100 followers to 200,000 in six months. The post racked up just shy of 7 million views. Since then, going viral is practically a weekly occurrence thanks to Jonathan’s five keys to success.
First, the star recommends going live after posting a new video. As well as getting to chat with fans, this enables creators to reach a wider audience. “If you go live on TikTok after you post, your posts will get pushed to more people because TikTok wants you to have as many people watch your live as possible” Jonathan said. This tip is a sure-fire way of increasing your engagement – and your chances of bagging a viral video.
His next piece of advice may seem simple, but Jonathan believes it is crucial to securing a popular post: sharing your videos. “Another secret is the number of shares your video has matters more than likes,” he explained. “If your video is constantly getting shares, TikTok sees it as a viral video and keeps pushing that video out.”
Jonathan also believes it is important to stay relevant – by using the popular, currently recommended sounds. The star stays on top of the latest trends and scrolls through the recommended sounds on the app. “The chances are, TikTok is trying to push this sound out to as many users as possible to get a lot of exposure,” he said. “In return, your video will have a higher chance of going viral.”
Similarly, using new effects on videos is vital. With the number of filters and face-altering effects seemingly never-ending, it is important to know what is working at the time of posting – and be one of the first big names to use them. “TikTok wants to create exposure for their new features, so your video is very likely to hit the For You page and go viral at a faster rate,” Jonathan said. “Your video will also be amongst the other videos which use that effect, which means your video can potentially keep gaining new viewers over a long period of time.”
Finally, Jonathan recommends you do the grunt work and continue to re-post and re-make popular content. Unlike other apps, TikTok doesn’t have a problem with repeated content – in fact, it’s encouraged on the platform. Re-using old videos can increase their chances of going viral – even if they have already reached high numbers of views.
“If it went viral once, it will go viral again,” Jonathan insisted. “If you see content on other social media platforms doing well, chances are they will do well on TikTok. As long as you stick to your niche and find some inspiration from outside, it will definitely go viral.”
For Jonathan, the sky is the limit, with his following growing by the day – alongside his passion for the job. To keep up with the star’s work, you can follow him on TikTok and Instagram @iamjonathanpeter.
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