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How to Become a UGC Creator

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User-generated content, also known as UGC, is a popular and often underrated type of content creation. Creators can make good money by selling their content, and brands are quickly realizing the marketing power it holds. Have you ever wondered how to become a UGC Creator yourself? 

If so, we’re here to help you get started. Read on, as we cover everything you need to know to become a thriving UGC Creator. We discuss the steps you need to take, and how to turn a profit from this lucrative career path.

How To Get Started With UGC: Understanding the Basics

Before we address how to get started in UGC, it’s crucial to ask, what is a UGC Creator? The answer is pretty straightforward—it’s someone who creates and shares their self-generated content, which can be contracted by or sold to brands, businesses, and retailers in exchange for money or products. Brands may use this content for social media accounts, websites, and other creative outlets, as UGC offers them real content that’s often less expensive and time intensive to create than traditional advertising methods.

Essentially, becoming a UGC Creator is a type of freelance content creation. And in case you’re wondering if you need specific training or experience, we’re happy to report that you don’t. In fact, anyone can learn how to become a UGC Creator—from an everyday social media user to an already established Creator. 

To start in this niche industry, you don’t even need a large social media following or fancy production equipment, which makes it a great path for smaller, niche Creators who prefer to focus on specific topics and projects. UGC is more about the quality of the content and less about your personal brand, image, or following. In fact, all you really need is a product you want to share with the world and a smartphone or recording device. And don’t worry, the content doesn’t need to be perfect. In fact, UGC can sometimes be raw and unedited, which consumers may find more relatable.

A person researching how to become a UGC Creator on their computer.

How Much Does a UGC Creator Make?

Of course, you may want to learn how to become a UGC Creator to make some extra money, or even potentially turn it into a full-time career. But exactly how much does a UGC Creator make? It can be a lot—depending on a few factors. 

There can be good money in this niche field of online content creation, but it takes some time to build a consistent income. While many look towards UGC to supplement their income, you can turn this into a full-time job with the right resources. In fact, many people use social media as a steady income source. And you can, too.

It’s essential to understand that your monetary outcome depends on how much time and effort you put into it. And importantly, the value it creates for social media audiences and potential brand partners. Delivering creative and innovative UGC is all about staying on top of the latest technological updates, consumer trends, and popular content formats. Thinking outside the box will attract clients and give your content staying power.

How To Become a UGC Creator: The First 5 Steps To Take

Now, let’s dive into understanding how to become a UGC Creator. After all, that’s why you’re here. From establishing your profile to connecting with prospective clients, we have the inside scoop on everything you need to know. While the path may look different for everyone, there are key steps you want to take to achieve success. 

Remember, this is not a one-size-fits-all journey, and you shouldn’t expect to see immediate results. It takes time and effort to build up a reputation as a valuable UGC Creator. If done correctly, you can establish long-lasting brand partnerships that offer a steady income. It’s all about creating authentic, high-quality, and consistent content that’ll bring your clients increased brand awareness, market exposure, and sales.

A person experimenting to learn how to become a UGC Creator.

1. Establish Your Online Presence

When learning how to become a UGC Creator, you must first establish yourself on social media. Even though you don’t need a large social media following, you’ll still need dedicated channels to post your UGC. You’re using social media primarily to create your content and market yourself. Think of these platforms as a way to show off the kinds of content you can create. It’s also a wonderful place to connect with brands and peers.

Once you’ve set up your social media profiles, consider adding “UGC” somewhere in your handle or bio, to identify the purpose of the account. It’s also important to keep the same handle across all social media platforms, for easy searchability. 

Speaking of which, find and follow other UGC Creators and get your name out there and gain inspiration. This will help create a sense of community and provide insight into the industry. Established Creators frequently share their expertise and are happy to answer questions and make connections. You may find that the UGC field is very welcoming to new talent, and that partnership and collaboration between Creators is well-received.

2. How To Become a UGC Creator: Learn How To Create UGC Videos and Photos

The second thing you need to do when learning how to become a UGC Creator? Figure out how to create your content. While that may sound pretty straightforward, there are a lot of factors to consider. First you need to figure out what you want to create like product reviews, unboxing content, or editorial product photography.

Then, you’ll need to decide what medium you’ll use to create your content. Ask yourself, how do I want to create, capture, and share my content? 

In most cases, different brands and potential clients are looking for different types of content. So it may be worth considering what your potential, ideal clients would be looking for. Some brands may be looking for high-quality videos while others are after product reviews to share on their websites. If the former is your focus, you may want to learn how to create UGC videos. This type of content can include product demonstrations, unboxing videos, and even live streams. It allows the end consumer to see the product in motion and visualize how it will work for them.

The right tools and methods will help you produce the best possible content. Consider external factors like your lighting and background. Many Creators like to use a professional lighting system, like a ring light. Others prefer to rely on natural light throughout the day. Finally, remember that your content should be authentic and not overly rehearsed, which is what gives UGC its unique charm.

A person using Canva to learn how to become a UGC creator.

3. How To Become a UGC Creator: Understand How To Create a UGC Portfolio

Once you become comfortable creating your content, you’ll want to focus on how to create a UGC portfolio. By this, we mean a digital collection of your best work. Typically, you share a portfolio through a personalized website. Or, you can use your social media profiles as your portfolio. It’s essential to have a wide variety of content in order to show off your abilities and strengths. This way, future clients and potential collaborators will know the type of work you can deliver. 

Creating your portfolio is an essential step in how to become a UGC Creator. Make sure it represents who you are and what you can do. Diversify yourself by including different types of content and work that sets you apart. Think still photos, short-form videos, product demonstrations, and written reviews. In addition to examples of your work, include all your contact information, from your phone number to your email address. This way, new clients can easily reach you. 

You may also wonder about pricing. Is this something you need to set and include in your portfolio? Many established UGC Creators do not recommend it. Instead, it can be best to invite a conversation regarding the scope of work and time involved. This gives you more leverage when negotiating pricing for each project.

4. Figure Out How Much To Charge for UGC Posts

As mentioned above, figuring out how much to charge for UGC posts can be tricky. There isn’t one set amount. For one thing, you must understand current market rates. What are companies currently paying for UGC similar to your own? 

The good news is that this data is readily available. Many existing Creators freely share insider tips that can help answer your questions on how to become a UGC Creator. Be sure to follow them on platforms such as TikTok and YouTube. On these platforms they’re eager to help coach up-and-comers in the industry and are extremely transparent about what they’re charging. 

Typically, UGC pricing is set per post. Many estimates claim that Creators can charge upwards of a few hundred dollars per post. Remember, this can depend on the quality of your work and the scope of the product. You may also find that brand partnership longevity leads to higher earnings per project. 

For a jumping-off point to start negotiations, do a quick search for a UGC price calculator, which can help evaluate rates based on factors like the sharing platform and content category. It’s crucial to understand all the components that determine one’s earnings.

A person researching how to become a UGC Creator on their computer.

5. How To Become a UGC Creator: Market Yourself

Now is the time to put yourself out there and start gaining clients. This is a crucial final step when learning how to become a UGC Creator, as it holds the key to success. First, identify a list of prospective clients you wish to work with. Ensure that they align with your interests, so you will be confident sharing their products and services. In fact,“brand fit” is one of the top factors that brands look for when selecting Creators to partner with.

Next, it’s time to pitch yourself and your content. You can reach out via email or direct messaging. Consider creating a pitch template, highlighting your creative ability and range of services. Remember to tailor your wording for each brand and give specific examples of why your UGC is a perfect match for them.

Another way to market yourself for UGC jobs is to use the help of an online UGC agency. These companies allow you to post and share your portfolio on their website or app, leading to jobs. Some Creator agencies, like Collective Voice, might include UGC as part of their regular affiliate or content campaigns. And many agencies also handle complete relationship management between you and your client. This includes contract negotiation, content planning, and project scheduling.

How To Become a UGC Creator on 3 Top Social Media Platforms

Like most people, you probably have your favorite social media platform. Maybe you gravitate towards TikTok videos or perhaps static posts on Instagram are more your style. Either way, it’s essential to know where you feel most comfortable. You may wonder which outlet is best to create and share your UGC. What are the benefits and drawbacks of each? Is one better than the other?  

The answer is no. Not one outlet is considered to be superior to the rest. Each has its unique way of delivering content and connecting with the end consumer. Below, we will highlight the key points of how to become a UGC Creator on three of the top social media platforms. No matter which app you prefer, there’s a place for everyone—and every kind of UGC.

A person experimenting with different ways of how to become a UGC Creator.

How To Become a UGC Creator on TikTok

If TikTok is your platform of choice, you’ll want to focus on video content. After all, this is what the app is known for. Creating UGC TikTok content can help brands increase their name recognition and lead to an increase in sales. In fact, a recent study found that 10% of small retail and restaurant businesses that use TikTok go viral. While that number might not sound sizable, the impact can be huge. Brands that leverage UGC through TikTok add another layer of success-driven marketing.

TikTok is an excellent place to record product demonstrations, and brands and products often go viral on TikTok from users’ gushing reviews. This type of UGC is extremely valuable to brands and businesses. You can record yourself with a voice-over or even add subtitles if you prefer. Just make sure to highlight the features of the product, allowing the end consumer to see how it will work for them.

To understand how to become a UGC Creator on TikTok, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. After all, the app is full of people sharing their own UGC, whether it’s favorite products or surprising life hacks. What sets you apart? Find a creative angle that’ll let your content shine.

How To Become a UGC Creator on Instagram

Instagram is another excellent platform for user-generated content. This outlet offers a variety of ways to share, from static photos to short-form videos. A plethora of options gives you a lot to think about when learning how to become a UGC Creator on Instagram. It can be hard to know where to begin.

We suggest honing in on what content form suits your style best. Do you have a knack for the written word? If so, lean into post captions or add text to your photos and videos. This is a great way to share product reviews, giving insight into how a product works and what makes it special. If still photos are your area of expertise, find a unique twist that makes your UGC stand out. Experiment with lighting and backdrops, but remember to keep things authentic.

On this platform, marketing campaigns reign as one of the best ways to utilize user-generated content. In fact, Instagram allows collaborative posts, making it extremely easy for Creators and brands to partner. With this feature, you can create UGC and co-author a post with your client. The content will be visible on both profiles, increasing views, discoverability, and engagement.
Similarly, brands often use Instagram to whitelist Creators’ content, making Instagram an ideal platform to get paid for your UGC work.

A person filming content learning how to become a UGC Creator on Youtube.

How To Become a UGC Creator on YouTube

Finally, let’s talk about how to become a UGC Creator on YouTube. This social media platform has continued to grow for an impressive 18 years, making it a force to reckon with. And with almost 3 billion users, it’s no wonder brands use this reach to their advantage. 

One of the best ways brands can leverage UGC on YouTube is through unboxing videos. This phenomenon is where you, as the Creator, record videos of yourself opening boxes and revealing the contents. Often, they include products that companies gift free of charge, in exchange for said video. This creates a buzz around the brand, with viewers eager to see what’s inside.

YouTube is another great platform for uploading product reviews, and the lack of time constraints makes it ideal if you love to talk about products in depth. Sometimes, brands will use snippets from these videos as ads, or they’ll embed these product reviews into their websites to demonstrate how much shoppers love their products. 

As we mentioned above, YouTube also serves as a fantastic teaching platform. Once you have achieved UGC success, consider paying it forward and helping others. Many established Creators film themselves offering advice to up-and-comers and answering questions to help others break into this creative world. By doing this, you are paving the way for the next wave of UGC Creators.

Collective Voice is a content monetization platform built just for you. Level up your content with our affiliate tools, educational resources, sales insights, brand partnership opportunities, and more. Start monetizing your content now.