Imagine this - you're scrolling through your TikTok feed, mesmerized by the flurry of intriguing videos featuring creators who are not just content with being consumers but also participate actively in creating the wave of content that shapes the digital world. They are engaging with a concept known as User-Generated Content (UGC), and they are not just creating it, they're monetizing it. Yes, you heard that right. The new wave of digital content is UGC, and it's transforming the way we perceive content creation and how we can leverage it to earn a substantial income.
In the second wave of this digital revolution, there are tools like Indy that are making this transition to UGC more accessible than ever. If you're a freelancer, a content creator, or even someone who's just curious about this new wave, this article is your golden ticket into the world of UGC. Stay with us, because what we're about to unravel might just be your next big gig. Discover how you can ride this wave and make it work for you. Who knows, you might just become the next big name in the UGC sphere.
What Is UGC?
Before we delve into who a UGC creator is and how you can become one, let’s understand what UGS is.
UGC stands for User-Generated Content and refers to a wide range of creative content produced by everyday users instead of professional or commercial content creators.
Statistics show that UGC can increase lead conversion rate by as much as 10% more than your typical marketing content.
UGC has become increasingly popular in the age of social media and online platforms because it allows users and customers to share their experiences and perspectives with others.
This popularity and growth have redefined how most businesses view content creation. Content can be created by anyone and is now more inclusive and accessible, And what’s more, UGC creators can make money from it too.
Types of UGC content
There are several types of UGC content. Here are a few of the most common types you can choose from:
- Reviews and Testimonials: Review a product and give a short description of how it works. They are not in-depth reviews and most times focus on a particular feature.
- Unboxing: Share the excitement of opening a product package while giving details on why they are so great.
- How to: These contents typically showcase how easy it is to use a product in our daily life.
What is a UGC Creator
Now that we understand the concept of user-generated content, let’s look at what it means to be a user-generated content creator.
UGC creators are content creators but unlike typical content creators that create professional-looking and unfeeling content, UGC creators specialize in creating content that looks user generated.
These contents are authentic and personal and are paid for by a company or brand. A UGC creator will create this content, usually a video or picture, and the brand will share them on its social media feeds.
UGC Creators vs. Content Creators
While UGC creators create content, they are distinct from your typical content creators. UGC creators are everyday individuals, The content they create isn’t as professional as what you’d get from content creators but they are meant to achieve the same goal, inform, educate, and entertain while adding a personal and creative touch.
A UGC creator’s primary aim is to build communities and create connections while content creators focus on promoting brands and influencing purchase culture.
UGC Content Creators vs. Influencers
Most people make the mistake of confusing UGC content creators with influencers. Influencers, from time to time, create content centered around a certain product. However, they are different from UGC creators because of where the content is posted.
An influencer gets paid to promote products to their already established community on their social media accounts. The goal is to get their audience to purchase this product.
The content a UGC creator creates might be similar to what an influencer will make, but the content is posted on the brand's website. This is because the brand is not looking to expand its reach or raise awareness, but to get content that feels authentic and personal.
Why Do Brands Hire UGC Creators?
In the past, user-generated content were organic creations. Users would create content because they were satisfied or excited about a product. The brand in question would reach out to them and ask to feature the content on their page. Sometimes they would offer to pay compensation.
Recently, everything has changed. Brands are now willing to pay an ample sum for creators to generate user-generated content for them. It is this demand that has led to the creation of a new type of content creators.
But why are brands willing to churn out this amount of money to creators for UGC?
You don’t need a big marketing budget.
With influencer marketing, brands are paying for both the content and the influencer’s audience. They know that even if a fraction of the influencer’s followers get converted it will translate to a lot of dollars in sales.
Influencers are aware of this, which is why they charge heavily for their services.
On the other hand, UGC creators only get paid for the content. And because most UGC creators already specialize in content creation, working with them means generating top-notch and authentic content for other marketing purposes.
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Feels more authentic than traditional marketing.
User-generated content is usually seen as more authentic than typical traditional advertising. This is true even when the content is paid for. UGC creators are masters of promotion without making it look like they are actively selling.
They strike a balance between creativity and professionalism while maintaining the values that make the brand so attractive.
The content they create is both impactful and resonates with the audience more than the generic ads most brands put out.
Reach more people
UGC typically involves content centered around real people. This style of content is preferred by algorithms so they usually get to more profiles which increases the brand’s visibility and increases conversion.
Working with UGC creators saves brands a lot of time because they create content from scratch. Most of the time these brands share a single brief with multiple creators. These creators will interpret the brief and add their unique touch to it, producing authentic and personal content within a stipulated time.
How To Get Into UGC
The beauty of becoming a user-generated content creator is that just about anyone can do it. All you need is a decent smartphone and you can start creating UGC. It doesn’t require professional editing skills. In fact, these skills might take away from the authenticity of the content.
Here are a few steps to get you started:
Step 1: Create a dedicated account
Create a separate account dedicated to creating UGC. While you could use your personal account, having a brand account is a great way to get discovered and it also offers privacy.
After setting up your account, follow other UGC creators that share tips and information about how to successfully run a UGC account and get earnings from it.
Reach out to these creators and engage with their content. You never know where your first collaboration will come from.
Step 2: Choose the industry to work for
This is not as scary as it sounds. Pick a field that you are interested in. This could be skincare, fashion, tech, or, my own personal favorite, books. The options are limitless and you might have more than one, so write all your options down.
Narrow the list down by thinking about brands you’d want to work with. Visit these brands’ pages and see if they are using UGCs. This will help you choose what brand to work with and also provides you with tools to improve your strategy.
Step 3: Plan your filming setup
You can shoot your user-generated content from anywhere. Most creators shoot from the comfort of their homes. However, no matter where you are shooting from, you must plan the perfect filming setup.
There are neccesities. You will need a phone with a great camera and a tripod to hold it up during product shots.
Apart from these, you might also get other equipment that will help upgrade the creation process. Some of these optional equipment include the following:
- Lavalier mic
- Ring light
However, if you can’t get these tools, it does not mean you can’t start creating UGC. Many great UGC contents on the internet were made with just a mobile phone. So start with what you have; you can upgrade once you start earning from your content.
Step 4: Start making content
You have chosen the industry and have created a filming setup. The next step is to choose the type of content you want to create. Do you prefer photos or short-form videos? Reels are also becoming very popular.
Choose a type of content, and if there is a need to, take courses and learn how to use the necessary tools. Once you are ready, start creating.
Creating content might look scary at first but it is the only way to put yourself out there for brands to find you.
Creating content also lets you build your UGC portfolio.
Step 5: Create a Portfolio
This is where it gets a bit tricky. To build a portfolio, you need to create user-generated content using products from a brand. But brands won’t send you products if you do not have a portfolio.
You are faced with an impasse. However, there is an easy way to bypass this. Create free content using your favorite products. Be careful though; do not make it look like you were paid for the content when you were not.
Because your portfolio is new, you should stick with creating video content. Have at least one video showcasing each type of UGC.
Step 6: Learn how to edit your content
I mentioned before that you do not need powerful editing skills to create UGC. However, you do need a bit of editing to prevent your videoes from looking too shabby.
Editing videos can be tricky but there are many ways to make the process easier. Capcut and Inshot are two apps that have simplified the video editing process.
Your social media app also comes with user-friendly editors. Keep practicing and eventually, you will realize that editing your videos is now easier for you.
Step 7: Post your content
This is up to you to decide if you want to do it or not. Posting your content isn’t typically part of a UGC contract. However, if you post your content it opens it up for feedback and comments so you can improve on your work.
Pay attention to the analytics of your posts to see what your followers resonate with.
Posting your content also makes it easier for brands to locate and offer you UGC gigs. To maximize these chances, ensure you are using the right hashtags. Put your email on your bio so interested brands can call you too.
Step 8: Get your paycheck
You have created your portfolio, so it's time to start earning from creating UGC content. Sometimes, brands will reach out to you to create user-generated content for them. But most times, you might have to apply for these gigs yourself.
I understand that this is not easy, so in the next section of this guide, I will show you tips on how to apply and get paid for creating UGC.
Tips for Getting Paid as a UGC Creator
Like getting most gigs, getting paid for creating user-generated content is about positioning. The next few tips will show you how to position your brand to get more deals:
Use Freelancing platforms
Platforms are popping up all over the internet that make it easier to get UGC brand deals. Some of these platforms post opportunities you can apply for while the rest require you to create a listing and allow brands to reach out to you if they need your service.
Some great platforms you can use include:
- Fivver lets you create a listing so brands can book you for UGC gigs.
- Upwork brings freelancers and brands together so you can apply for the gigs you want.
- Insense is like Upwork and lets you apply for gigs you want.
- Brands Meet Creators send you opportunities via mail once you register.
Network with brands
Take your search outside these platforms and to social media platforms like LinkedIn, TikTok, and Twitter. These platforms are great for building your brand and reaching out to companies you want to work for.
A good idea would be to focus on small companies or new businesses. They are your best bet for getting paying gigs if you are just starting.
Get your pitch ready
UGC is relatively new but as more and more people discover it, it is going to get increasingly competitive. Create a pitch that makes you stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Your pitch should be about your client and what you can offer them as a UGC creator. Each pitch should be tailored to the specific brand.
Choose deals that pay fairly
Because you are new, you might be tempted to choose deals that do not pay well, or, worse, you don’t know what is fair.
Payments for UGC creation vary and most times the brand or the platform sets the price. But ensure you are up-to-date on market rates and only choose gigs that pay fairly.
You can stay updated about market rates by following other UGC creators and watching how they go about negotiating their pay.
Keep everything in one place
Indy is the perfect tool for freelancers looking to earn money creating user-generated content. With Indy's all-in-one platform, freelancers can manage their proposals, clients, projects, tasks, contracts, invoices, and more, all in one place. Indy offers several specific tools that can help freelancers create and manage UGC, including the ability to send proposals, sign contracts, track billable hours, create invoices, and receive payments all within the same platform.
Specific tools from Indy that freelancers can use to create UGC include:
- Proposal templates and contract templates to help start new work relationships off on the right foot.
- The ability to easily share files with clients, add them as an approver, leave comments for each other, upload new versions as revisions, and get official approval-all in the same place.
- A task management system that can help freelancers keep track of their work and stay on top of deadlines.
Indy is a great choice for freelancers. Indy gives you the ability to save time and money by running your freelance business with one subscription, one website, and helpful tools for their important tasks. It also gives you the convenience of having all the different parts of your freelancing life brought together in one place, making it easier to keep track of everything.
Navigating the exciting world of User-Generated Content (UGC) as a creator can indeed be an adventurous journey, albeit with a fair share of challenges. The key takeaway from this guide is the potential of UGC as a new avenue for content creators to make authentic content, connect with audiences, and earn income. The evolving digital landscape provides a unique opportunity for anyone to become a UGC creator, with the right approach and tools.
With that being said, remember the power of the right tools in making this journey smoother. For freelancers, Indy can be that essential tool to help you manage your UGC journey efficiently. From contract creation, pitching, formulating forms, to receiving payments, Indy provides a comprehensive solution that allows you to focus on what matters most – creating impactful content. So why not give Indy a shot and see how it can help you transition seamlessly into the exciting world of UGC?
FAQs about UGC
Do I need many followers to get paid?
No, you do not need a large following to start a career as a UGC creator. Many UGC creators are paid for creating content only.
How do I find gigs?
You can find gigs on different freelancing platforms that curate them. Brands can also send out adverts for UGC creators so always keep your eyes peeled for opportunities like this. You can also send out pitches to brands you would like to work with.
How do I build my portfolio?
There are different tools online for creating your portfolio. You can use free tools like Google Slides and Canva to create professional portfolios.