March 20, 2024

What happens to my business if TikTok gets banned in the US?

What happens to my business if TikTok gets banned in the US?

The U.S. government’s attempt to ban or force the divestment of TikTok is a clear violation of our first amendment right to freedom of speech. I believe that it’s a bleak day for our country when the two parties are able to come together to ban or force the divestment of a social media app when we have over half a million people sleeping on the street, investment companies buying up single family homes at an unprecedented rate, we’re in the midst of a devastating cost of living crisis, the list could go on, and on. 

It’s infuriating. It’s inexcusable. It’s a disgusting and thinly veiled plan to prop up mega-corporations and keep young people from gathering, connecting, and using their collective power to shape a better future.

And if you’re one of the more than 7 MILLION businesses who use TikTok as a marketing tool, it’s a devastating loss. But it’s not the end of the world, or your business. 

Your immediate plan of action

You’re allowed to be angry. You should be angry. Take a day or two to feel as angry and upset as you need to, and then let’s get to work. If you’re an entrepreneur or small business that makes the majority of your sales and connections on TikTok, now is the time to take action so that you’re not floundering if and when the app actually does end up being banned later this year.

Here’s what you’re going to do:

Call Your Senators

Trust me, I know how easy it is to feel powerless in a situation like this. But with this bill in particular, it’s not over until it’s over. It’s an election year, and it’s a bill that has bipartisan support and opposition. It’s not too late to sway the outcome of this vote. But it will be if we all throw in the towel now. Call and email your Senators and start applying pressure. Let them know that this bill will be a critical factor in how you vote in the next election. Trust me, it matters to them.

Make a Game Plan

Make a plan to slowly but surely move your business off of TikTok. I know that this is easier said than done, especially because most small businesses who market on TikTok do so because they like it. It’s where they’ve built a community, made friends and connections, found opportunities they wouldn’t have found elsewhere, and grown from the seed of an idea to something big and beautiful. Even though I don’t choose to market my business on TikTok, I actually wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the app. One fateful video coming across my for you page during a 2020 doom scroll opened the door for the two businesses that I run today.

But if you create a game plan now, then you can have a really solid foundation set up six months from now, without losing the community and connections that you’ve built on TikTok. The most important thing, though, is to start working towards that today. Otherwise, six months from now, you’ll be swimming upstream, fighting for attention against the millions of other businesses who also didn’t plan for this in advance.

Keep Your Audience in the Loop

If done correctly, this ban could actually be an opportunity for you to build an even deeper connection with your community and open up conversations about shaping the future of your business together. 

Ask them where they want to connect with you next. Have conversations about the future of your business. Offer a sweet discount for anyone who moves from TikTok to your next platform (or platforms, more on that in a sec) of choice. Let them know that you’re upset and thinking about them and the future of your community. Be open and honest about your feelings and your plans. Make this transition something that you do together, even if it’s not the prettiest or smoothest thing you’ve ever done.

Start Building Other Platforms

Yes, I’m talking about social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and LinkedIn. But I’m also talking about platforms that you have more control over. On the blog for my copywriting template shop I talked about marketing channels for entrepreneurs who hate social media. It’s a quick and easy read if you want to go in-depth into these different options, but here they are at a high level:

  • SEO
  • Speaking gigs & podcasting
  • PR
  • Starting your own podcast
  • Blogging
  • Pinterest marketing
  • Email marketing

I know that list seems long and difficult, but you don’t have to do it all at once. For the majority of businesses I would recommend investing (time, money, energy, whatever you have available) into SEO, blogging, and email marketing to start. If you run a product-based business, you might want to add Pinterest to the fold if you aren’t already on that platform.

Your long term plan

If nothing else, this bill has taught us that social media as a primary marketing platform is unreliable. Over the past few years we’ve seen numerous Meta outages, multiple attempts to shutter TikTok in the U.S., and many social media platforms quickly go in and out of vogue (looking at you, Clubhouse, Lemon8, BeReal, and Threads). If you don’t want to feel like you’re at the whims of tech billionaires, constantly fighting against the algorithm just to keep sales consistent, then you need to start thinking big-picture.

Invest in Digital Marketing Beyond Social Media

There’s a common misconception that social media is digital marketing. When in reality, social media is a digital marketing tool. Above, I listed a bunch of digital marketing platforms that actually don’t even have to touch social media if you don’t want them to. Start experimenting with them and figuring out which ones work well for you. Then, build out a strategy (or shoot me an email if you want to develop that marketing strategy together!)

Maintain Your Network

“Your network is your net worth.”

No, but seriously. In these trying times, your network is going to be the best asset you have. Maintain a strong relationship with people in your industry, former clients and collaborators, and your “business besties.” When you’re noticing a dip in your sales (from your favorite social media platform getting banned, or just because that happens sometimes), when you’re feeling discouraged about life and business in general, when you need someone to lean on… your network is there for you. All of my best opportunities have come from someone in my network. It’s always worth investing time and energy into.

Diversify your Sales Touch Points

Give consumers more places to try and buy your products or services. If you’re a product-based business, this might look like including your products in gifting bundles, sample packs, or collaborating with other brands. If you sell digital products or services, try including your products in digital product bundles, lending your services or expertise to someone’s coaching program, or doing a collaborative service with a trusted peer.

The more ways that people can organically discover and try your products or services in a low-stakes situation, the better.


It may sound dramatic, but platforms like TikTok are the modern American dream. 

Overall, the decision to ban (or force the sale of) TikTok is an incredibly disappointing one. What our government officials see as an app where teenagers go to lip sync and dance (violent eye roll) is actually a tool that has helped MILLIONS of entrepreneurs realize their wildest dreams. Taking it away is a purposeful decision meant to harm the people who are prospering outside of societal standards.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who has built their dream business using TikTok as a primary platform, then you’re no doubt feeling distressed about this news. But if you start today, using the tips above, you can come out on the other side of this relatively unscathed regardless of whether or not the bill ends up passing. If you have any questions about moving forward with your business and marketing, please feel free to reach out to me. My inbox is always open. 

By the way, I'm Kori.

Serving six and seven-figure creatives, coaches, and designers, it’s my job to help my clients generate connections and cash in equal parts through their website, emails, and sales copy.

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