Beware of the TikTok Creative Challenge


Almost a year later and I’m still haunted by the horrors of the TikTok Creator Marketplace. I wrote an in-depth blog on Why you shouldn’t join the TikTok Creator Marketplace, and I received numerous messages asking if I found a way out of that dizzy labyrinth of crappy deals.

Other people faced the same problem—joining the Marketplace caused their views to PLUMMET and there was no way out. Every chance of escape was met with a Dead End and rotting deals creeping into their notifications…

Well, let me throw out a rope to help them out: don’t join it, but if you have and want out (which I haven’t found a way out,) up your minimum working price to an exorbitant amount—less “offers” will roll in. But things have gotten a little tricky…

Since writing that inspiring blog, the TikTok Creator Marketplace has launched a new program called the “Creative Challenge.”

What is the TikTok Creator Marketpace Creative Challenge?

The TikTok Creative Challenge is a new feature, currently in beta. It’s similar to the Marketplace, with both programs trying to land lucrative deals for the creator in exchange for content. However, with the Marketplace, the creator creates a profile and the companies shop for a creator. Conversely, with the Creative Challenge feature, the creator shops for companies to work with, while abiding by the terms specified on their landing pages.

Wow! Sounds great—until you read the fine print: the terms, deliverables, and compensation.

TikTok refers to these companies and their deliverables as “challenges.” Maybe they should refer to them as a stain in the toilet—they appear about as messy and they definitely stink.

How does the TikTok Creative Challenge feature work?

Load up the Creative Challenge page and you see this:

A bustling network of companies looking for creators to slap together content promoting their products. Sounds easy, Right?

Let’s keep moving.

In order to join one of these “challenges,” a spot must be open. You must scroll until you find challenges without “All spots taken for now” written on them. Instead, a “reward score” is listed. This is a rating, out of five stars, that assesses that specific campaign. Honestly, the stars don’t have much credibility because from what I’ve seen, all the rewards are pp-poo-poo.

If you decide to spend precious time doing essentially free or discounted labor, find the best rated “challenge” and click it. For example, Fancy Keyboard- iSticker has a great reward score! That doesn’t tell me much, but at least it is 4.5 stars.

I click on it to see:

creative challenges on tiktok

iSticker has rewards up to $25,000. WOW! I can make $25,000 to churn out content for this place? Cast, splash, lure, sink, bite.

Click the informational button to discover two types of reward: performance-based and bonus. Performance-based rewards are determined by how well your content performs. If it doesn’t elicit downloads, you won’t get paid. Don’t worry; you still have Bonus Rewards. They vary over time, but you are guaranteed $20 for your first ever approved submission. Just read the deliverables, create the content, upload it, hope for approval, THEN you get $20! A few other tiered bonus rewards exist; they basically revolve around how many downloads your content generates for that specific company.

tiktok creative challenges guidelines and terms

On the Fancy Keyboard – iSticker homepage, it states that the main objective is to get “downloads.” When you are creating your content for Fancy Keyboard, prompt the viewer to download this app or your paycheck won’t amount to much. Don’t worry, the company will supply you with a lengthy list of Dos, Don’ts, and the key selling points for your video. I clicked “join” when I first landed on the page to see if anything changed. Nothing changed besides receiving a prompt to upload a video or I risk losing access to the Creative Challenge Marketplace. I clicked “Quit” and left, lol.

creative challenge top videos on tiktok

There is a “Top Videos” tab which shows you other videos creators have made for this campaign and how much they profited. It partially blurs out the username for anonymity sake, or is it to hide contacting these people? I question that some of these videos have profited even $1, but who knows lol.

Follow the guidelines, create content, and make money. Nothing wrong with that, right? But nothing is for sure except this: you expend time creating content.

Many content creators struggle with deciding their value. How much is your time worth? Will you trade your time and effort for a discount code, or for $20? Because so many creators struggle with this, the market is a swamp full of lurking crocodile companies, ready to spring into action with a promise of discount codes in exchange for ad-content. So many content creators take them up on these Jurassic Park-sized steaming piles of poo. Yikes!

My suggestions on the Creative Challenge feature on TikTok:

  1.  Know your worth. This allows you to sift through all these “challenges” and possibly find one suitable for you. Don’t sell yourself short.
  2. Respect your time. How much time will you spend connecting to a stinky Discord, reading guidelines, and recording content for some faceless business? Is your time better spent building your own brand, which could generate profit later?
  3. Read between the lines. Knowing what a company is after and what you can deliver is important. Don’t let them take advantage of you.

Also, I don’t know how the Creative Challenge affects views on your main page. Whether you’re uploading content to your main account or another, TikTok knows it based on IP and device data.

Maybe they won’t like what you upload and your page will get a spankin’.

Who knows?


Beware of the TikTok Creative Challenge