Tech

This TikToker is signing deals with brands after his dramatic reaction videos to the popular new #Restock trend went viral

  • Richard Sales films reaction videos to the popular “restock” TikTok trend.
  • He gained 2.4 million followers in the thirty days up to June 27th this year. 
  • He told Insider how he’s beginning to make money, from TikTok livestreaming to Patreon.

This article was originally published on June 27, 2021. It was updated on July 8, 2021 to include more-recent figures.

Richard Sales has gained 2.6 million followers since May this year. 

Sales, 31, was working as a general manager at a UK hospitality chain when COVID-19 hit. Unable to work, he took to TikTok, steadily growing his account to around 250,000 followers by posting comedy videos and occasional reaction videos, but it took him a while to find a niche.

His account really took off when he began posting dramatic reaction videos to “restock” TikToks, where users refill and organize items in their fridges, pantries, and cleaning cabinets. So-called #RestockTok videos have grown in popularity, largely because many users find them satisfying to watch — but Sales found many of the videos jarring.

“I came across a video of a woman in America restocking her fridge,” said Sales. “I watched it and thought ‘Oh, I don’t like that.’ It was an instant trigger, I could feel it straight away.”

He pivoted his content and started posting what’s known on TikTok as “duets,” reacting to other creators’ videos side-by-side. Sales’ main gripe with “restock” content is when posters leave gaps while refilling, such as not filling a jar of laundry pods to the top. “No gaps please” is a common catchphrase he screams into the camera.

The “restock” hashtag currently has more than 2 billion views, and “refill”  has also amassed 1.8 billion views. 

Sales’ dramatic reactions have proven popular with users too. His most popular video has been viewed more than 20 million times and Sales’ follower count has grown by 2.6 million since May, according to data from Social Blade. He now has 2.8 million followers and consistently posts four times a day.

Sales unpacked how he’s now on a path to making money from his runaway TikTok success.

1. Patreon

Sales recently opened a

Patreon
account where users can pay either either £10 ($13.90) or £20 ($27.80) to gain access to a WhatsApp group where they can join what he describes as “a wonderful bunch of people who are all willing to show each other some love and support through everyday struggles.”

He currently has 31 patreons and earns £319 ($439) from the platform, according to the Patreon website. 

While Sales says the money he’s made from Patreon has helped him get started with his full-time creator career, he added that he intends to pay the money back to his fans when he can.

2. TikTok live-streaming

Sales goes live on TikTok three times a day, at 11am, 8pm, and 10pm (BST) in order to hit both a UK and US audience. Fans can “gift” creators on live streams with coins bought on the app which can then be withdrawn by creators as everyday currency. 

“I went through a period where for a certain gift I would do a forfeit to keep my audience engrossed and this influenced people to want to gift more, to see me look silly,” Sales said of his live streaming efforts. 

He said it’s hard to work out the exact amount earned this way as TikTok doesn’t tell users directly, but that the total earned so far is in “the thousands.” 

3. Creator Fund

TikTok’s Creator Fund doesn’t compensate users for duet videos, though some of Sales’ other TikToks have been eligible for payouts. Sales said in June 2021 he had  earned $102 from the Fund. Insider verified his earnings with a screenshot of his Creator Fund dashboard. 

“If duets were included, I’d be earning in the thousands,” he said. 

Sales is keen on finding alternative ways to post his reaction content, such as by green-screening videos so they appear on the app as original content, in order to access the Creator Fund more often. 

4. Brand deals

Sales signed with management company Connect Management lat month, and is now beginning to post sponsored content to his account. He has also used TikTok marketplace – where brands can reach out directly to creators – as a way to start working with brands. He declined to share the exact amount he charges for sponsored posts.

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