How to Become a UGC Creator? 10 Steps to Succeed in 2024

how to become a UGC creator

Remember teleshopping? It was quite popular some 15-20 years back.

During those days, consumers used to purchase new products only after watching TV commercials, with good-looking people demonstrating the products.

Was it attractive?

Heck yeah, during those days, this was the best form of advertising!

Today, things have totally transformed.

Anyone can be that shiny TV commercial star, with the growth of social media and user-generated content (UGC).

You just need a personal brand, a social media account, and a smartphone. 

Things are evolving every moment and products are getting invented or discovered every day, globally.

And, one of the best ways to discover your audience, tell about your favorite product or service and earn money from it, is through UGC content.

Let’s discover what UGC creator is (as a profession, wow!), why it’s so lucrative both for brands and influencers, and how you can make money becoming a content creator in 2024.

Who Is a UGC Content Creator?

So, who is a UGC content creator, you ask?

Imagine if that chatty friend who always has the best product recommendations decided to go pro.

That’s your UGC creator!

Think of Jane from down the street, who reviews her new blender with the enthusiasm of a game show host.

Or Bob, who turns his hiking trips into epic GoPro adventures that make you want to buy the same gear.

UGC Creator hashtag

The beauty of UGC creators is their authenticity.

Unlike traditional ads with actors and scripts, these creators offer real-life experiences and honest opinions.

Brands love them because their followers trust them more than any polished TV ad.

And let’s be real, it’s way more fun to watch someone genuinely excited about a product than a stiff commercial.

Moreover, UGC creators make quite good money from this – freebies, sponsorships, and sometimes fat cheques too. 

It’s like your hobby, just got a business!

So if you’re good at writing, or hold the magic stick aka smartphone, you never know you might be the next big UGC celebrity.

Step 1: Identify Your Niche

This is the first and most important step in becoming a successful UGC creator.

Understand what niche works for you – where you can present yourself best, bring value to the table, and feel comfortable.

This is critical because after all content creation is more about creativity and you should be interested in creating content in the niche you choose. 

Do market research and understand the audience’s preferences, interests, and problems.

Trending niches are travel, fashion, and tech.

Find untouched topics in this niche to create a niche of your own for the content and be interesting for the audience.

financial UGC Creator

By creating a niche for yourself you’ll become a known expert on that topic, which adds credibility and authority to your name.

Understand what you’re best at and passionate about and then choose a format that suits your creative vision and audience.

So, sit calm and think what you’re actually madly crazy about.

Remember, it’s about creating the content you love, because when you love what you do, you don’t have to work hard, and your audience will love it too.

Step 2: Find Your Style and Content Format

Determine the type of content you want to create. 

Choose your style and focus on it. 

Maybe you love design and fashion and would enjoy posting stylish photos showcasing new releases. 

Or perhaps you have a sense of humor and can humorously talk about the pros and cons of a product. 

humor UGC Creator

Don’t be surprised; negative reviews are also advertising. 

You could create memes that everyone likes. Yes, they really help increase reach. 

Maybe you love makeup and happily demonstrate cosmetic products on yourself. 

Or perhaps you prefer to stay behind the camera and create engaging video content. 

Just do it. Authenticity is the cornerstone of successful UGC.

Step 3: Choose the Right Platforms

For a UGC creator, selecting the correct platform is critical to increasing your reach and creating engagement.

Instagram is great for niches like fashion, traveling, and lifestyle with characteristics including Stories, Reels, and IGTV.

TikTok is a giant in viral short-form videos that are ideal for young audiences as well as dance, comedy, and DIY tutorials.

DIY UGC Creator

YouTube is where you would go to see long-form content; it’s perfect for detailed tutorials, reviews, or vlogs.

By the way, YouTube videos also tend to have a longer lifespan attracting views over time​​.

Tips for Selecting the Best Platform for Your Niche

Think about where most of your target audience spends their time. 

Platforms and tools in creator economy

This could be TikTok if you’re targeting Gen Z. If you post visual-heavy content then Instagram is probably your best bet. 

YouTube should be your destination for comprehensive long-form content. 

It’s also important to think about what kind of content you enjoy making. 

Analyze which platforms your competition uses successfully using tools such as Google Analytics. 

Start with one or two platforms to establish yourself and slowly add more as you gain confidence in them.

Step 4: Create a Content Strategy

The ability to create content is great, but it’s not enough if no one sees it. 

Also, registering a TikTok account with your name and adding “UGC creator” next to it isn’t enough for brands to find you. 

At this point, it is very crucial to develop a strategic marketing plan to enable the distribution of content on quite several channels, such as social media platforms, websites, forums, and online communities.

UGC Creator content strategy

A good content plan will help you:

  • Define your goals: What do you want to achieve, specifically? More followers? More likes and comments on your posts? Brand collaborations?
  • Get organized: Keep track of ideas, posting schedules, and overall progress.
  • Track performance: Use metrics to find what content is cutting through and where you could improve.

How Often to Post and What Type of Content to Create?

Posting regularly is incredibly important to keeping your audience engaged. Here’s how to decide on both frequency and the types of content:

  • Posting Frequency: Find what works for you and your audience. Some creators post a picture or video on Instagram every single day. Others prefer 2-3 times a week. Data shows that consistent content posting increases engagement rates by 30-150%, depending on the platform.
  • Content Types: Create a variety of content types to keep things fresh. For example:
    • Photos and Graphics: Perfect for Instagram and Pinterest.
    • Short Videos: Perfect for TikTok and Instagram Reels.
    • Long Videos: Perfect for long YouTube tutorials, and vlogs.
    • Stories and Live Streams: Brilliant for real-time engagement and interaction.

Know Your Target Audience

The golden rule for developing the best content for your audiences is knowing exactly who they are. 

Follow these steps:

  1. Research: Use Google Analytics and social media insights to get information on audience demographics, interests, and behaviors.
  2. Engage: Communicate with them through comments, polls, and DMs to get feedback and understand what’s appealing and what’s not.
  3. Analyze: Look into the account’s analytics and performance of your past content to find out what posts generate the most views/engagement.

How to Create a Content Plan: Step by Step

  1. Set your goals: Define what you wish to achieve with your content.
  2. Know your audience: This means researching to understand the needs, wants, and interests of your target audience.
  3. Brainstorm content ideas: List topics and formats that fit your goals and audience.
  4. Develop a content calendar. Write out your posting schedule, including what type of content and for which platform.
  5. Create or curate content: Create quality content or curate information from other sources that might be useful.
  6. Engage your audience: Respond to comments, messages, and feedback to build a community.
  7. Analyze and Adjust: Periodically measure the performance of your content and readjust your plan.

If you follow this roadmap with a commitment to your plan, you are on your way to becoming a successful UGC creator.

Step 5: Create Authentic Content

Good content quality is a critical factor that makes you outshine UGC creators. 

Below are key pointers to help create appealing, engaging content:

  1. Use Good Lighting: Natural light is your best friend, as always. If you’re ever going to shoot inside, then invest – definitely at least in some form of ring light, but maybe even a softbox or two – to make sure your videos and photos are lit perfectly.
  2. Invest in a Good Phone with a High-End Camera: Today’s smartphones come with premium quality cameras, but if you are serious, invest in a DSLR to take your visuals up a notch.
  3. Edit Thoughtfully: Make good use of editing tools to beautify your visuals. They include Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, VSCO, and Snapseed for mobile.
  4. Get Creative with Angles and Shots: Try different angles and shots to make your content more dynamic and exciting.
  5. Add Music and Effects: For videos, background music, and sound effects can substantially increase the engagement of visual content. Software such as iMovie or InShot may be used in making these additions.

Be consistent in building and maintaining your viewership. 

Post regularly, not just to keep followers interested but also to signal algorithms to show your content. 

Just aim to have a realistically consistent schedule to post with.

Step 6: Build Your Portfolio

Building a solid portfolio is key to demonstrating your skills and attracting potential customers or employees.

Create varied content that shows your diversity, creativity, and experience.

Share high-quality samples of your work in many platforms and environments to demonstrate your skills.

  • Organize Your Work: Use platforms like Behance and Adobe Portfolio, or maybe even create a separate Instagram highlight to organize your work according to what may come quickly for brands wishing to navigate your portfolio.
  • Important Metrics: Include measures of engagement, such as views and the number of likes, shares, and comments, to show the effectiveness of your content. A data-driven approach can be quite convincing for brands looking to understand your potential reach and effectiveness.
  • Provide Context: For each piece, include a brief description of the project, your role, and the outcome. This helps potential collaborators understand the scope and success of your work.

Update the content of your portfolio periodically with new material and track metrics reporting performance and growth over time.

Step 7: Work with Brands

By collaborating with brands, you can take your profile to a higher level and reap more opportunities. You just need to be proactive in reaching out to and pitching brands.

Begin by researching brands that strike a chord with your niche and values.

Follow them on social media, engage with their content, and know their brand voice and target audience.

Then, when you are prepared to pitch to them, develop a proposal tailored to your targets that demonstrates how you can add value to their marketing efforts.

Mention specific ideas for content, your engagement metrics, and past successful collaborations.

Steps to Approach and Pitch to Brands

@ugcbyalee Here are 4 UGC pitch tips and my pitch template to help you land more paid deals 💸💸💸  #ugc #ugccreator #ugcpitch #ugcpitchtips #ugcpitching #ugcpitchtemplate #ugcpitchexamples #ugcpitchexample #ugcpitchideas ♬ original sound – Amanda | UGC Creator
  1. Research and Pinpoint Brands: Search for brands you connect with most within your niche and audience. You can use tools such as Brandwatch or BuzzSumo to find one emerging with a buzz in your field.
  2. Engage with Their Content: Begin your interaction by liking, commenting, and sharing their posts to get on their radar.
  3. Write a Personalized Proposal: Your pitch should include:
    • An introduction about who you are and what you do.
    • Specific ideas on how you intend to market their products.
    • Your audience demographics and engagement metrics.
    • Examples of your best works with former collaborators.
  4. Hit ‘Send’: Use LinkedIn, Instagram DMs, or professional email to pitch your proposal. Just keep it short and to the point.

UGC Collaboration Proposal Template You Can Steal

Subject: Let’s Create Something Epic Together!

Hey [Brand’s Name] Team,

I’m [Your Name], a UGC creator who’s super passionate about [Your Niche]. 

I’ve been vibing with [Brand’s Name] for a while now, and I’m totally into your [specific product or service]. That recent [mention specific campaign] campaign? Absolute fire!

I’m all about [briefly describe your style and approach]. I’ve teamed up with cool brands like [mention a few brands], and we’ve made some killer content that really clicks with people. Check out some of my stuff here: [links to portfolio or specific posts].

Here’s why we’d be an awesome team:

  • Perfect Match: My followers are mainly [describe your audience demographics], which is right up your alley.
  • Fresh Ideas: I’ve got some dope ideas for showing off [Brand’s Name] products, like [briefly describe 2-3 ideas].
  • Engagement Goals: My posts usually get [mention your engagement metrics, e.g., average likes, comments, shares], and people love it.

I’m sure we can make some magic happen together! Let’s chat about how we can collab and create some epic content for [Brand’s Name].

Thanks for the time, and I can’t wait to hear back!

Cheers,

[Your Name]

[Your Email Address]

[Your Phone Number]

[Your Social Media Handles]

[Your Portfolio Link]

Understanding and Meeting Platform-Specific Requirements for Collaborations

Different platforms have specific requirements for collaborations.

For instance, Instagram may need explicit tagging and #ad or #sponsored on the posts to adhere to the advertisement guidelines.

sponsored post UGC Creator

A collaboration on TikTok would primarily be based on trending challenges or hashtag campaigns and need YouTube’s detailed video descriptions and links to the brand’s products.

It is essential to understand these requirements because they will make a partnership successful.

  • Instagram: Post visually appealing content (Reels, photos) and related hashtags. Posts with at least one hashtag receive, on average, 12.6% more engagement than those without.
  • TikTok: Engage with relevant trends and challenges to the brand. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, TikTok’s algorithm can quickly push out and amplify well-timed and engaging content.
  • YouTube: Provide detailed descriptions and links for your videos. Optimize them for SEO so they become searchable. YouTube videos have a decent lifespan and can sustain and even grow views over time.

Meeting these platform-specific requirements shows professionalism and helps you maximize the impact of your collaboration.

Step 8: Monetize Your Content

The UGC creators look at monetizing their content ultimately, and there are several income streams that you can explore. 

One common way is a brand partnership, working with brands to create sponsored content promoting their products or services.

On TikTok, these brand partnerships can lead to increased visibility and engagement for both the influencer and the brand, leveraging the platform’s dynamic and viral nature to reach a wider audience.

where online content creators make money

Source

Some other great ways include affiliate marketing, where you earn commissions for the sales made from your referral links. 

Amazon Associates and ShareASale are affiliate programs where you can get started.

Different UGC Creator Revenue Streams

  • Brand Partnerships: Collaborations with brands to make sponsored posts, videos, or stories. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, 67% of marketers plan to increase influencer marketing budgets.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Promote products and earn a commission for sales. There are both programs and software available, such as Amazon Associates or ClickBank, that can furnish you with affiliate links that you can share with your audience.
  • Ad Revenue: Platforms such as YouTube offer to share revenues on ads with content creators. The more views and engagement, the stronger your earnings on video ads.
  • Merchandising: Selling your branded items, such as clothing, accessories, or digital. With Teespring and Shopify services, you can easily open your store online.
  • Crowdfunding and donations: Platforms like Patreon or Ko-fi enable your fan base to support you directly, either by donating money or through exclusive memberships.

Factors Affecting UGC Income

There are many factors influencing how much money you can make as a UGC creator:

  • Audience Size: The more extensive your following is, the more appealing you will seem to brands. A larger audience usually translates to higher potential customers for those brands if you endorse them.
  • High Rate of Engagement: An elevated engagement rate shows that your audience is spirited and active in what you put into the world. Brands will scout for creators whose followers like, comment, and share their posts religiously.
  • Quality Content: High-quality content is a must. Explicit, well-edited, and appealing content is bound to catch more viewers and keep them for a while.
  • Niche: Some niches appear to bring more money into your pockets than others. For instance, the tech and beauty niches will often have higher earning potentials, mainly given the high demand for product reviews and tutorials.
  • Consistency: Regular posting keeps your audience engaged and attracts more followers over time. Consistency also signals reliability to brands, making them more likely to collaborate with you.

Diversification of income streams and focusing on performance drivers are ways to constantly ripen a career as a UGC creator. 

Keep analyzing your performance and adapting your strategies to optimize your potential earnings.

Step 9: Keep Learning and Adapt

It is very important for long-term success in the UGC creator space to keep up with trends and changes on platforms. Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube are constantly updating their algorithms along with feature lists. 

Staying updated on these changes keeps your content visible and active. 

For example, with Instagram shifting from a static content platform to a Reels-dominant platform, you may need to put far more effort into making concise, engaging short-form videos.

Importance of Staying Updated

  • Algorithm Changes: Understanding the workings of platform algorithms means understanding how to optimize your content for greater visibility.
  • New Features: Early adoption of new features will likely let you get ahead of your competition. For example, maybe use some of the latest editing functionalities on TikTok or apply the newest shopping functionalities added to Instagram for your content to look even better.

Continuous Improvement Through Feedback and Analytics

Constantly update your content with feedback and analytics. 

Monitor the performance of your content regularly according to tools like Google Analytics, Instagram Insights, or YouTube Analytics. 

These tools provide quite a lot of useful data on what works and what doesn’t, all towards your business metrics.

  • Audience Response: Interact with the audience through comments, polls, and direct messages. Their feedback is precious in helping you understand what the audience wants to watch, and it will ensure that each piece of content is taken care of uniquely and created accordingly.
  • Measure Performance: Quantify metrics like views, likes, shares, and watch time. This will enable you to recognize the types of content that work well and are later duplicated into new content pieces. For example, videos with a reasonable amount of time watched may indicate that your audience prefers long-form, in-depth content.

Adapting Based on Insights

  • Content Adjustment: When you find one type of post that seems to get more engagement than others, go with it. For instance, if users love behind-the-scenes content, incorporate more of these into your schedule.
  • Experiment: Do not be afraid to experiment with new styles and formats for your content. Ongoing experimentation and adaptation could eventually enable you to discover what resonates beautifully with your audience.

Keeping up with trends and constantly improving your content strategy may also keep your target audience interested and fetch potential brand collaborations. 

Brands are far more likely to work with creators who have a proactive and adaptive approach.

Step 10: Be Honest

People are tired of bloggers showing fake reactions when unboxing cheap, low-quality products that they get paid a lot to promote. 

They don’t want to see how you make money; they want genuine reactions and reviews. 

So, don’t advertise things that go against your principles and morals. 

People can sense falseness even through a smartphone screen, so be authentic in what you enjoy.

Conclusion

UGC creators are like bees, and their hive is modern marketing. 

They work tirelessly to give brands a unique chance to connect with their audience. Their influence is growing stronger, making it crucial for companies to expand their market share.

Working successfully with UGC creators can improve a brand’s image, boost sales, and strengthen communication with the audience. 

That’s why many brands prefer to work with creators, and this will turn into a prestigious profession over time.

So, if you’re interested in giving it a try, go for it! 

Being a UGC creator is an exciting blend of creativity, earning opportunities, and influence, making it enjoyable and profitable for many.

Anastasia Krivosheeva

Anastasia Krivosheeva brings her extensive expertise in strategic partnerships and co-marketing to Growth Folks as their dedicated Partnership Manager. With a sharp focus on fostering content partnerships, she orchestrates link building collaborations and other co-marketing activities to drive the company's growth forward. Her ability to cultivate and maintain meaningful relationships has made her an invaluable asset to the team. Anastasia's innovative approach and dedication to excellence continue to contribute significantly to the success and expansion of Growth Folks.

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