A SAVVY Scot turned his sideline into a tanning TikTok empire after losing his job during the pandemic – his business has now grown so big that even his mother is employed.
Mark Hamilton dabbled in selling tanning products online from his home in Airdrie, Lanarkshire while working full time as a sales representative for Virgin Holidays.
But when the pandemic hit, the 24-year-old lost his job as the travel industry collapsed due to lockdowns and severe travel restrictions.
Mark decided to capitalize on the early TikTok “something to do during lockdown” craze that saw thousands of Scots join the video-sharing platform in 2020.
Since then, he has amassed 624,000 followers on the platform and has made a name for himself as an expert in tanning products.
Little did Mark know his side job would become the foundation of his six-figure cosmetics company, Luna Cosmetics, which has received thousands of orders over the past two years.
Speaking to the Scottish Sun, Mark explained how he turned a part-time passion into a £10,000-a-week empire.
He said: “I’ve always admired entrepreneurship.
“I actually had businesses before I did TikTok — but it was more like side hustles.
“From then on it was something I did while working full-time.
“I never thought I’d take it full-time, but what happened was I got blown up over TikTok during lockdown – and got fired at the same time.
“It was at that point that I knew I had to take it more seriously.”
The social media star began using his growing audience to revitalize his business idea to take full advantage of it.
He continued: “I started with the tanning creams.
“We couldn’t sell them for sunbeds because they were closed – but we were able to advertise them for use in your back garden in the great weather we had.
“We’ve sold a lot in that time – but now the busiest I’ve had is 100%.”
Mark shared his secret behind the deal — understanding the TikTok user’s attention span.
He added: “I’ve found that people have very short attention spans these days, how do you capture that attention if you only have a second in a video or an ad.
“The best form of advertising is something that doesn’t look like advertising, you’re not trying to sell them anything.”
The influencer speaks directly to his followers every evening via the TikTok Live function.
He describes the live stream as his own “QVC”-style shopping channel.
He said: “I’m a very dedicated person, I do a live stream every night where I can show the products.
“I’ve been doing this for the last four months – turning my TikTok Live into a QVC-style shopping channel.
“It has fantastic results – not only with tanning products but also with cosmetic products, I’m trying to expand.
“Everyone calls me Del Boy — I get that a lot.”
Since expanding the business and opening his own office in Airdrie, Mark has managed to involve his friends and family in the process.
He said: “It’s kind of a family affair, my mum and friends are all involved.
“I used to have a lot more haters on social media, but lately I’ve been getting a lot more comments saying I inspire them.
“I have friends that I’m starting to help get their own businesses up and running.”
Tee-total Mark, who also uses his TikTok to talk about mental health, alcohol and drug addiction, hopes to inspire and help other young people in the business world.
He said: “There isn’t much for young people to do that doesn’t involve alcohol and drugs.
“I like to see myself as a bit of a mentor to show what is possible.
“I’m a teetotaler, so I’m putting all this extra time into building and shaping my business.
“My goal now is to grow the business – and make my first million.”
His advice for others who want to start their own business is to find a side business first before jumping in.
He added: “A lot of people don’t understand that you don’t have to start a full-time business – the best thing you can do is start a small side business.
“See where you can expand from there, at least then you can move forward and see if it’s for you.
“Grow with the business, don’t think you’re going to be Lord Sugar.
“Now is the time to do it when you’re young — I have no regrets.”
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https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/6965416/tiktok-side-hustle-tan-making-first-million/ After I got laid off I started a side job – I’m on my way to my first £1million, my friends call me Del Boy