From User to Expert: How To Become a UGC Creator and Build Your Online Presence

From User to Expert: How To Become a UGC Creator and Build Your Online Presence
October 22, 2023
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User-generated content, or UGC, is a new type of marketing in which real customers promote a brand or product. It highlights the customers' experience with the brand, which generates a feeling of empathy or envy for other consumers.

Marketers and brands utilize UGC as most millennials trust content created by customers 50 percent more than ones generated by brands. It shows that UGC is effective in boosting brand awareness and generating sales.

Nowadays, people can monetize UGC or become UGC creators. Brands are willing to pay people who can post content about their experience and reviews on their products.

If you want to earn extra money on social media, this guide will help you learn how to become a UGC creator.

Key Takeaways

  • UGC is integral to social media marketing for increasing brand awareness, building communities, and driving sales.
  • Great UGC creators have enough samples and demos of different styles of photos and videos.
  • People trust online reviews created by someone not part of the business. As a result, brands utilize UGC to promote their products.

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What is a UGC creator?

A UGC creator is a person who posts videos or images about the products or services they use on social media platforms, such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. A paid UGC creator receives incentives for creating content for a brand. It can be financial or free products.

UGC creators are usually passionate about a specific interest or topic and want to share their experiences, creativity, and knowledge with others. They create different kinds of content, such as videos, blogs, and photos, that are meant to be consumed and shared by a wider audience.

Brands have realized that consumers trust content created by someone like them rather than by someone famous or with many followers. So they use user-generated content by building partnerships with users who can create content for their target audience.

Difference Between UGC Creator and Influencer

Some people think UGC creators are the same as influencers who post about specific products or brands on their social media accounts. Both shares sponsored content, but they have differences.

UGC creators produce authentic content to promote the brand's current audience. In comparison, influencers create content to market to the brand's target audience and boost brand awareness to new potential customers.

Both give similar benefits, such as social proof and opportunities to convert customer content into ads. However, hiring an influencer gives the brand more exposure to its audience, often earning significantly more engagement.

Furthermore, influencers are paid to promote products on their account and influence their followers’ purchasing decisions. Meanwhile, UGC creators create the same quality content for the same brand, but the content will be posted on the brand's social channels.

Advantages of Working With UGC Creators

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UGCs are used to drive awareness and generate sales for businesses. No wonder brands will pay UGC creators to boost their online presence and attract new potential customers.

Authentic content

UGC is the latest word-of-mouth and product review in social media. It is more authentic than content created by brands. As a result, consumers prefer to view UGC videos than the ones made by the brand.

UGC has an organic feel that brands cannot achieve, regardless of the quality of their content. Also, UGC is more engaging and eye-catching for consumers. UGC creators also know what consumers want to see. High-quality UGC content is more impactful than generic ads you often see on social media platforms.

Cost-effective

Brands must pay for the content and posts on the influencer's channels when they work with influencers. While with UGC, brands only have to pay for the content.

Furthermore, influencers charge a lot for sponsored content, and brands pay for access to the audience or community. On the other hand, with UGC, brands only pay for the content rather than for access to their audience.

Working with UGC creators could yield better quality content than with influencers, as they are practically content specialists.

Attract potential customers

When people see that existing customers are satisfied with a product or service, it encourages them to take action and purchase. UGC acts as social proof that shows real people are purchasing and using the products, potentially driving more sales.

Creates a bank of content

Creating content takes a lot of time, especially for entrepreneurs and social media managers doing it all on their own. UGC creators open the floodgates to a content stream they didn't have to create.

However, only some brands have a huge bank of UGC content they can post anytime. Working with UGC creators allows brands to post content that looks like UGC to provide use cases, feel more organic, and build trust.

Depending on the contract, if it's an ongoing partnership, brands can receive multiple pieces of content every month.

Establish trust

UGC is like a word-of-mouth recommendation from a family member or friend. So it is effective in building trust. User-generated content gives a more human feel and is less robotic. It provides the audience with a genuine view of the brand.

A positive review, an eye-catching picture, or an engaging video can add more emotions and weight to the brand than other marketing strategies.

How To Become a UGC Creator

It is simple to be a UGC creator. You don't need many followers or a high level of engagement. All you need is a smartphone.

Create a specific account for UGC

To start as a UGC creator, you should have an account dedicated to UGC. This will allow you to separate your personal account from your brand account.

Also, it will be easier for brands to find you if you create an account with UGC usage in the name or description.

After creating a UGC account, follow some other creators that share tips, tricks, experience, and knowledge about the creator economy, how to get your first earnings as a UGC creator, and how to make contacts.

Choose a niche

Think about which industry you would like to work in. When choosing a niche, consider your interest. You might be interested in fashion, skincare, wellness, food,  or tech. The options are endless.

Once you have chosen your niche, search for brands you want to collaborate with. Make a list of brands you would like to work with. Check their social media accounts and see what type of content they post, the most shared content format, their target audience, and how you can boost their content strategy.

Prepare your filming setup

You can shoot your UGC almost anywhere. It could be at home, in a store, or outside. Many UGC creators make their content in their homes, where they can ensure they have the best filming setup.

Don't be discouraged if you don't have other equipment to create quality content. Many UGC creators create quality content only using a phone, the product, and themselves. Be sure to practice your photo and video editing skills. Some creators also use tools, such as Canva, where they can use some templates for their content.

Once you have established your career as a UGC creator, you can invest in filming equipment to improve the quality of your content. Here are some items you should invest in for better-quality content.

  • Good camera - Most smartphones nowadays have great cameras with the same quality as digital ones. So if you want a good quality camera, invest in a high-end smartphone or a professional camera.
  • Lighting - Most UGC creators start with a ring light. However, there are better solutions for great lighting. Research how other creators light up their filming sets and determine what lighting equipment you need for your content creation.
  • Microphone - Invest in a separate microphone to improve the quality of your audio. Research the type of microphone content creators use and determine which one is ideal for your setup.
  • Backdrop - The background of your filming setup can be distracting, so you may use a backdrop to cover it. If you don't have a blank sheet, you may use fabrics or other materials to cover your background.
  • Props - You might need props depending on the type of content you create and your niche. Gather a few items you might need to craft quality content.

Create a portfolio

Once you assemble your filming setup, you can create content for the brand you want to collaborate with. But before that, you have to make a portfolio to showcase who you are, what you do, your previous work, and how you can help brands with your content.

Start creating a portfolio by making free content featuring products you like. You don't have to ask permission from brands, as it won't be a paid deal or sponsored content.

Some common types of content you can make are:

  • Review or testimonials - You give your honest opinion on a product, how it works, and your experience. Compared to product reviews, UGC testimonials are short and not in-depth. You can find several short-form videos on Instagram and TikTok where creators give thoughts on a specific product.
  • Unboxing - Unboxing videos are common on TikTok, where the creator opens a new product's packaging and reveals its contents. You can explain the functions of each piece and how to use them.
  • How-to guides - You can demonstrate how to use the product step-by-step. This type of content can be more lifestyle-focused videos that show how you use the product daily or tutorial videos.
Pro Tip: When creating a portfolio, focus on producing videos, as this is the most common format for UGC requests. However, having at least one sample of every UGC type would be best.

Do brand outreach

Many creators want to collaborate with brands, so it takes much effort and works to be noticed initially. You must stand out, so brands will see you and pick you as their UGC creator.

By placing UGC in your username and description, brands will contact you for collaboration if they see you are a UGC creator. However, this may not happen initially due to the intense competition.

Therefore, you must do outreach. Send emails to brands indicating you want to collaborate with them. Their marketing team may consider your deal once they check your portfolio.

Post your content

Although this is optional, posting your UGC works is a great way to practice and get feedback on improving your content. Even with a small audience, you can learn what to improve on your content by checking the analytics for your post.

Also, posting your UGC on your account allows brands to see your content, and they may contact you to offer UGC gigs.

Pro tip: avoid using hashtags such as #UGC or #UGCcreator. These will signal the algorithm to show your content to other UGC creators. Use product- and industry-related hashtags so that brands can see your content.

Establish a community of followers

Your followers are vital for your success as a UGC creator. However, you can start even with a small number of followers. Building a dedicated and engaged audience ensures your content reaches the right people. And this may lead to partnerships with brands and businesses.

Furthermore, a solid follower base boosts your credibility as a marketer, allowing you to promote products on different social media platforms effectively.

Look for opportunities on UGC creator platforms

Aside from outreaching brands, you can find UGC opportunities on some platforms. Several platforms are explicitly created for UGC creators who are looking for opportunities. These include:

  • Upwork - Upwork is an ideal platform for freelancers, including UGC creators. It allows brands to connect with creators and helps them get paid gigs. Also, it is full of beginners willing to take work for a lower rate.
  • Fiverr - Fiverr is similar to Upwork; it connects brands to UGC creators who offer their work online. It also provides a secure platform for creators to get paid as they comply with global and local regulations and the global payment security council.
  • Trend - Trend is an excellent platform for UGC creators looking for gigs from brands. It is ideal for beginners as it is free, and you don't need a huge follower count to start working with Trend.
  • UGC Shop - This platform is a part agency, part creator collective. It connects brands with content creators to source quality content they can use for their social media accounts. However, it focuses on ethics; therefore, it only delivers UGC from genuinely passionate creators and works with ethical brands.
  • Influee - Inlfuee gives brands access to UGC and a way to organize a growing content library. There are currently more than 52,000 creators on the platform.
  • Tribe - Tribe is a solid option for UGC creators as it has big-time clients, such as Olay, McDonald's, and Lego. However, you must have at least 3,000 followers to start working with Tribe.
  • Insense - This platform allows brands to quickly create and distribute UGC briefs, making it an ideal option for eager UGC creators. Creators can find heaps of brands to work with through the platform without sourcing the deals themselves.

Common Mistakes To Avoid as a UGC Creator

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Most UGC creators have made mistakes when starting their careers. Here are common mistakes you should avoid as a UGC creator.

Ignoring the brand's guidelines

When creating content for a brand, it is crucial to follow its guidelines. Brands often give a brief for what type of content they want for UGC. Ensure you completely understand the brand's brief before you create content.

Over-promoting yourself

Many UGC creators tend to over-promote themselves as they showcase their creativity and style. Remember that you are promoting the brand's product, so you must highlight the product and avoid promoting your personal brand.

Using inappropriate language

As a UGC creator, you must be careful of the language and imagery you use in your content. Brands invariably prohibit inappropriate language and imagery, such as violence, nudity, and drugs, ensuring they won't create a bad public image.

Using other brands' products

You must only feature the products or services of the brand you're promoting. You'll confuse the audience if you use other brands' products in your content. Double-check the products and props you will use for your content to avoid this mishap.

Being inconsistent

When it comes to UGC, consistency is the key. Many UGC creators need help to be consistent with their content. They need to put more effort and time into their content, so it falls flat, discouraging them from creating more.

Creators who constantly and consistently create quality content attract more brands and get more UGC jobs.

Not negotiating payment properly

Contracts are essential when working with a brand. Ensure to include your pricing upfront and what product is included for review. Some UGC content creators require half of the payment upfront and the other on completion. However, most creators demand a full payment upfront.

Also, ensure that it is indicated in the contract that you'll receive the product you will be reviewing for free. Most brands will send you the product for free in exchange for the content you create. However, it would be best only to accept this kind of brand deal if the product's value is within your regular rate.

Including rates in the portfolio

As a beginner, you might think it’s a good idea to include your UGC rates in your portfolio. It would be best if you avoided this, as brands may think your rates are too expensive or cheap. They will take advantage of this or may rule you out.

Instead of including your rates in your portfolio, let brands know that rates are negotiable when they ask to check out your portfolio. Always have two numbers in mind: the lowest amount you are willing to accept and your asking number.

Be a Successful UGC Creator

Brands have been taking advantage of user-generated content due to its authenticity and other benefits. It helps them boost brand awareness, improve their online presence, and generate sales. This offers individuals who are passionate about creating content an opportunity to make money online.

If you are into creating engaging and eye-catching social media content online, being a UGC creator is an excellent idea. It can be challenging at the beginning, but it is worth trying.

With the vast number of social media users, finding a lot of UGC content in your industry can be overwhelming. Find the best UGC in your niche with Archive.

FAQs on How To Become a UGC Creator

How can I create my UGC portfolio?

Create a portfolio by choosing your best content across different platforms and organizing it to make it visually appealing. You may use a personal website or create an online portfolio platform to display your work.

How much does a UGC creator make?

A UGC creator can charge from $50 to $500 depending on the audience size and the brand's ability to pay. Some can make $7,000 to $10,000 a month.

Do you have to show your face as a UGC creator?

No. UGC creators don't have to show their faces and have many followers. They only need to create content that brands can share on their account.

With Archive, taking control of UGC is fast & easy.

You don't need to spend thousands of dollars scavenging for UGC across all platforms; you can do it for free with Archive.
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With Archive, taking control of UGC is fast & easy.

You don't need to spend thousands of dollars scavenging for UGC across all platforms; you can do it for free with Archive.