How to Become a UGC Creator for Beginners

Are you looking to plunge into the digital content creation pool but not sure where to start? Welcome to the world of User Generated Content (UGC), where your creativity earns you not just an audience but potentially a slice of the burgeoning creator economy pie.

In this post, crafted especially for side hustlers and aspiring content creators, I’ll guide you through the riveting labyrinth of becoming a UGC creator. Plus, I have some product recommendations that can up your game from the get-go!

But first, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.

What Is UGC?

UGC stands for User Generated Content, a term that has become the heartbeat of modern marketing strategies. It encompasses a variety of content types – from images, videos, reviews, to blog posts – created by individuals rather than brands.

UGC not only bestows authenticity but also builds community and trust around a product or service. As a creator, you can work with brands you love. But unlike influencers, the size of your audience doesn’t matter.

That’s because the content you create for brands will go on their social media accounts. Not yours. So even if you’re new to social media or online side hustles, you can get started.

What You Need to Be a UGC Creator

To kick off your UGC creator adventure, you’ll need a combination of creative flair, a keen eye for trends, and some essential gear. Here’s a quick rundown of what you should consider:

Creativity

For one, content creation relies on you being able to be creative. Sure, some brands will provide things like scripts and a list of shots they want you to get.

But it may be up to you to take the creative reigns, especially when building your portfolio. You’ll need to figure out what type of content will be the most engaging for the brand.

This skill also comes in handy when it comes to pitching yourself to brands.

Tech Savvy

As a UGC creator, you’ll spend the bulk of your time using some form of technology. When you’re searching for clients or doing admin work, you’ll be on your computer.

The same is true when it comes to editing footage and sending it to the client. And when it’s time to film yourself, you’ll need to use your smartphone.

Fortunately, you don’t need the latest and greatest gadgets. But you do need devices that can run programs like a browser and a video editor.

Communication Skills

This is two-fold. For one, you need to be able to communicate a message effectively and quickly, particularly if you’re filming short-form content.

But you also need to be able to communicate with clients. You should be responsive to emails and messages when negotiating and finalizing a contract.

The creative part of the process requires oral communication. Meanwhile, the backend requires good written communication skills.

Proper Equipment

One of the best things about UGC for beginners is you probably have what you need. At a bare minimum, you’ll need a smartphone, computer, and some products.

You can prop your phone up with some books or ask a friend to hold the camera. Or you can focus on selfie-style content until you can purchase a tripod.

Try to film during the day so that you can take advantage of natural light. It’s much more flattering than artificial lighting.

As you gain experience and some cash, you can also invest in a microphone. I have the Blue Snowball mic, and it’s a super useful tool, especially for voiceovers.

Steps to Become a UGC Creator

Becoming a UGC creator is an exciting choice for your next online side hustle. But there are a few things you need to do to prepare yourself for the road ahead.

Find Your Niche

Some UGC creators are very successful creating content for brands across industries. But as a beginner, try to narrow your focus down to no more than two or three niches.

Think about the industries you love. Maybe you own a couple of pets, so you decide to focus on UGC for pet brands.

But don’t forget to research what niches will be the most profitable for you. For example, beauty and fashion are two popular industries that use UGC.

Gather Your Tech Stack

Next, you’ll need to get some equipment if you don’t have it already. As mentioned, you can get started with just a smartphone and a computer.

You can use an app like CapCut or a program like Canva to edit your content. Google Drive is a great tool for organizing files and submitting content to brands.

If you have a bit of a budget, I’d recommend getting a tripod first then a microphone. These can help stabilize your shots and improve your audio, respectively.

Later on, you can look into different filming tools, from professional lighting to backdrops and more.

Create a Portfolio

Another vital step in how to become a UGC creator is to develop your portfolio. This is where you showcase your best examples of your work.

As a beginner, you won’t have any paid deals yet. But you can create UGC examples using products around your home.

Take some photos of you posing with products in their packaging and in action. Film product demos, reviews, and other types of videos.

Add these to a digital portfolio. You can purchase a domain through Namecheap and then set up a website with Canva or with SiteGround as your host.

To get real world analytics for your work, post them to a UGC-specific Instagram or TikTok account. And don’t forget to swap out your portfolio examples for better content as you gain experience.

Start UGC Accounts

You can start doing UGC using your existing accounts. However, I’d recommend setting up separate email, Instagram, and TikTok accounts.

That way, you can keep your UGC work separate from your personal stuff. You can also separate it from accounts dedicated to any pre-existing side hustles you have.

As mentioned, I’d also suggest posting your portfolio work to Instagram and TikTok. UGC accounts are perfect for this.

That way, brands can see what you can do, and you may start to get inbound messages. What’s more, you can report on actual analytics when pitching to those or similar brands for paid work.

Find Brands

Now for the fun part. It’s time to put yourself out there and get your first UGC collaboration with a brand!

You can find clients in a few ways:

  • Join UGC platforms: there are multiple platforms that pair brands with UGC creators
  • Try general freelance platforms: Fiverr and Upwork can help you get clients
  • Follow other UGC creators: some UGC creators share the brands they’ve worked with or that are hiring new creators
  • Join UGC Facebook groups: you can find some job listings and calls for UGC creators
  • Reddit: the subreddit r/UGCcreators occasionally has posts from brands asking for creators
  • Facebook Ads Library: see what brands are running ads (i.e. have a budget to potentially hire you)

Build Relationships

In your first few weeks as a UGC creator, you may feel the need to skip this step. But I’d still recommend it for brands you want to work with and can wait to pitch to.

You want to convince brands to want to work with you, specifically. That means you need to build relationships with them.

Follow the brands you’re interested in on Instagram and TikTok. Connect with their marketing managers on LinkedIn.

Like and leave a genuine comment on the brand’s latest post. Do this regularly, and they’ll start to notice your name, so it won’t be a huge shock when you send that pitch to their email.

Pitch Clients

If you find clients through freelance or UGC platforms, you’ll typically be able to apply. You can also respond to messages on Facebook or Reddit.

However, if you find clients through the Facebook Ads Library or another way, you’ll have to craft a pitch email.

A good pitch tells the brand who you are and how you can help them solve a problem. It’s also tailored to the brand and isn’t clearly a template email you sent to 100 brands.

Stick With It

UGC creation is far from a get-rich-quick scheme. It can take time before you start to see a significant income from it.

But it can be an excellent, fun side hustle for you to take on. You can get free products from brands you love AND get paid to create content about those products.

Eventually, your hard work will pay off. You’ll be able to raise your rates and make more per deal, making this a potentially lucrative side hustle that doesn’t take up all of your time.

Who Should Become a UGC Creator?

To be a successful UGC creator, you’ll need to be comfortable in front of the camera. It also helps to know basic video editing tasks (or be willing to learn).

A successful UGC creator is also someone with self-discipline. You need that for any online side hustle to be successful, quite frankly.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a beauty fan, pet parent, or a technology lover. You can make UGC content about almost any topic.

Final Thoughts

Becoming a UGC creator can be an electrifying endeavor. With some dedication, the right tools, and a dash of creativity, your content can lead to rewarding collaborations and a thriving community around your passion.

Now, we’d love to hear from you! Are you ready to start your UGC creator journey or do you have any tips for those just starting out? Share with us in the comments and don’t forget to check out the incredible products we’ve linked to skyrocket your UGC efficiency!

If you want to learn how to promote your UGC business, enroll in The Instagram Marketing & Sales Academy!

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