How To Become a UGC Creator in 2024? Get a Free Masterclass eBook!

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Have you ever imagined becoming an influencer, earning money by crafting social media content without requiring a massive following? Well, a growing number of individuals are achieving precisely that: UGC creators.

If you’ve browsed TikTok or Instagram recently, you’ve likely encountered UGC creators. Even if the term is unfamiliar, you’ve likely encountered content from these creators on various brand accounts.

Upon completing this guide, you’ll possess the precise knowledge required to become a UGC Creator!

a young woman taking UGC photographs in her studio

Now, without too much chitchat, let’s get into the actual stuff. Here’s a list of the contents included in this article.

Table of contents:

What is UGC?

A UGC creator is someone who makes sponsored content that looks real but is actually made to showcase a specific business or product.

Most UGC creators use video, especially on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. They usually film and talk about the content from their own perspective, which makes it feel genuine.

The big difference between UGC creators and influencers is that UGC creators make content for businesses without needing to post it on their own channels (although sometimes they might do this for extra money).

Influencers, on the other hand, usually get paid to make content and show it to their followers.

What is the difference between UGC and product photography or videography?

One common mistake many content creators make is confusing content photography and videography with User-Generated Content (UGC). It’s important to understand they’re different.

Businesses often create high-quality photo shoots for their products, with expertly crafted and edited images.

While these photos can showcase a brand well, some consumers may find them less authentic.

On the other hand, User-Generated Content (UGC) is created by regular people to promote a company.

It includes testimonials, images, videos, and audio shared on digital platforms by brand users, fans, or even employees.

Things you will need to begin your journey:

Let’s clarify something: you’re not producing professional commercials, but your content still needs to be of good quality to attract clients.

Before diving in, make sure you have everything you need to create an impressive portfolio!

Things you need:

  1. A good-quality camera, or a phone with a good camera!
  2. Whatever device you choose also needs to have good storage
  3. Tripod Stand. You can find good-quality and affordable ones on Amazon easily; below, I have linked one of their best sellers with one of the highest ratings, and it’s affordable!
  4. A plain white backdrop, you can use a large sheet of white paper, which can be bought from a dollar store. Or if you want to go the extra mile, you can buy a professional one from Amazon, which isn’t really necessary but would make things a lot easier.
  5. The apps you will need are listed below (all of them are free!)
    • Capcut is a video editing app that I use and highly recommend, just because it’s so easy to use and has many free features.
    • Canva is going to come in handy for creating your portfolio, signature, invoice, editing photos, and more.
    • Chat GPT to find brands to work with, and also for creating scripts.
    • Notion – to stay organized and plan content.
    • WeTransfer: to send your content to brands
  6. One of the most important things you will need is photo and video editing skills. If you aren’t skilled in that, don’t worry; I have a solution for that too! You can go to Youtube and find amazing guides on editing, or you can Check out the YouTube videos below:

Creating high-quality UGC

High-quality content is paramount. Brands crave authenticity, but they also desire visually appealing content. After all, they’ll showcase it on their social media and websites. If the content fails to captivate, engagement dwindles, leading to a missed opportunity for repeat collaborations.

Conversely, delivering exceptional content delights the brand, paving the way for a lasting partnership. Plus, satisfied clients may refer you to others, opening doors to more opportunities.

My advice? Invest time in mastering the basics of filming and editing before diving into the industry. And remember, consistent practice hones your skills; as they say, ‘practice makes perfect’!

When it comes to UGC content, the possibilities are endless:

  • Product reviews
  • Unboxing videos
  • ‘Get ready with me’ tutorials

These are just a few examples; TikTok and Instagram are treasure troves of inspiration.

For your portfolio, aim for 6-8 videos and 5-8 photos, each showcasing different products and features. Ensure diversity; vary settings and presentation styles. For instance, one video may feature a voiceover, while another captures outdoor scenes (ideal for products like sunscreen).

For deeper insights into UGC content creation, scriptwriting, and research, explore the Free UGC Masterclass eBook.

Creating your rate card

Pricing is a crucial aspect that demands attention. Undervaluing your services can have ripple effects throughout the industry.

When you set your rates too low, it not only impacts your own income but also sets a precedent for what brands expect to pay UGC creators.

I’ve witnessed rates ranging from as low as $50 to as high as $300 for a single piece of content. To determine your pricing, consider the time and effort required for each project.

For example, if it takes three hours to film, edit, and refine a video, aiming for a rate of $40 per hour would lead to a charge of $120.

Many brands seek multiple pieces of content, offering an opportunity to bundle and provide a slight discount.

You can package different content types, such as offering a set price for two blog posts and two videos, or simply offering a reduced rate for three to five pieces of similar content.

Start by establishing flat rates for individual pieces, then calculate the cost for bundled content accordingly.

For instance, three videos priced at $200 each would total $600. Offering a discount, such as reducing the total to $525, can incentivize brands to invest in multiple pieces.

In UGC a contract is a must! To protect yourself and ensure that both you and the brand are clear on the terms of the agreement, it’s critical to understand what aspects you should include in your contracts. Here I have listed things that should be included in a contract:

  1. Scope of Work: An overview of the specific tasks assigned to you. Is it five videos or one? Is it on a monthly basis? Is this organic UGC or UGC advertising? The scope of work refers to the specified tasks or deliverables for which the user will be accountable. This may entail generating material such as text, photographs, videos, or other media and uploading it to the firm or platform hosting the UGC.
  2. Content Ownership: A UGC contract’s content ownership provision often states that the user allows the firm or platform hosting the UGC a license to use the content in particular ways. Displaying the material on the website or social media platforms, promoting the content, or utilizing the content in advertising are all examples of this.
  3. Payment: The payment or other advantages that the user will receive in exchange for developing and uploading their content are referred to as compensation. The UGC contract’s compensation provision normally defines the details of remuneration, including the amount and time of payment.
  4. Timelines and deliverables: What is the brand receiving, and when will it get it? The precise objects or materials that the user is required to produce as part of the agreement are referred to as deliverables. We have the scope, but are we also providing raw footage? Are there any pictures? Should various hooks be used? We need to specify this here. Here’s a list:
    • The particular objects or resources necessary
    • The deliverables’ intended quality or standard
    • The specific delivery dates or deadlines
    • Any required milestones or checkpoints
    • Any fines or repercussions for failing to fulfill the deadline or deliverables.
  5. Warranty and representations: Are you stealing the labor of others? If so, you’re screwed because of this clause in the contract. The claims and guarantees given by the user regarding their material and their ability to develop and submit it are referred to as representations and warranties. These promises and guarantees are often contained in the UGC contract’s representations and warranties provision.
  6. Indemnification: Indemnification is the legal protection or compensation provided by one party to the other in the case of specific sorts of losses or damages. The UGC contract’s indemnity provision explains each party’s obligations and liabilities in the case of specified eventualities. This part is always a little unsettling for many new UGC creators.
  7. Confidentiality: Confidentiality in a UGC contract simply refers to the user’s commitment to keep specific information and materials secret and not to disclose them to third parties. The UGC contract’s confidentiality section specifies any specific information or materials that must be kept secret, as well as the repercussions of any unauthorized disclosure.
  8. Term and Termination: The term and termination provisions are critical components of the UGC contract because they determine the duration of the agreement and the circumstances under which it may be terminated.
  9. Governing Law: The word “governing law” simply refers to the legislation that will be utilized to interpret and execute the agreement’s terms and conditions. The UGC contract’s controlling law provision indicates which jurisdiction’s laws shall apply to the deal.
  10. Entire Agreement: The complete agreement clause states that the contract comprises the parties’ entire agreement and overrides all former or contemporaneous agreements, understandings, or representations, whether written or oral.

You should have a template ready, one which can be customized for each customer. So here I have linked the contract I use:

UGC Contract Template | HWE

Creating an invoice template for UGC creators

Finally, let’s move on to the invoice part. Just like in the portfolio and rate card, you can use Canva here as well and edit the template to your liking. Remember to keep the invoice as simple as possible while not leaving out necessary parts, You can find templates for that on Canva as well. Here’s an example:

This one isn’t too important but it definitely makes your life much easier, creating a link tree. It’s basically a webpage where you can put together all your links, like your social media accounts, Gmail, portfolio, and more, you can click on mine to see an example, and don’t worry it is free.

To create your own Linktree all you have to do is click the three dots in the top left corner of my Linktree and scroll down, there you will see “Create your own Linktree” and the rest of it is basically self-explanatory.

Creating your own email signature (for professionalism)

I’m sure you have seen many emails sent to you for advertisement or work purposes where there’s an email signature below. It just looks professional and shows that you’re the real deal.

For this part, I think it is better if you watch a video for clear explanations on how you can create your signature on Canva and then put it on your emails, so you can watch the video below by Ronney Hermosa.

Adding mail tracking to your UGC Gmail account

Another app I highly recommend adding is Mailtrack, it is a free app you can use to track and see if your email has been opened. You can watch this video to see how it works and how to install it.

Where to find and pitch to clients?

One of the most common questions asked by aspiring UGC creators is, “Where do I find clients?”

Well, there are numerous avenues to find clients, especially on social media! My personal favorite is Instagram, but remember to personalize your pitch to each brand.

You can also reach out via email to specific brands you’re interested in. Another approach is to create profiles on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, or explore other freelancing websites!

However, I highly recommend starting with local brands in your area.

Meeting in person can help build trust, but reaching out online is also effective.

Just ensure that the brands you pitch to actually deliver to your area, as some local brands may not offer worldwide shipping.

Or you can skip the hard part and just grab this bundle for only $20 using the code “UGC002” :

Here’s everything included in this bundle:

  1. 11-page portfolio
  2. Rate card template
  3. Invoice template
  4. Pitch templates (Included in the 101 Brands Spreadsheet)
  5. Script template
  6. Email Signature Templates
  7. UGC Contract Template
  8. 101 Brands that work with UGC creators (Including links on how to contact them)
  9. 10 Facebook groups to join where you can land brand deals
  10. 35 websites to join as a UGC creator!

Building and growing an audience

Okay, so now that we have finally done all the necessary preparations we can move on to the next step of getting started as a UGC creator, building a brand, and growing an audience. You might think it isn’t necessary but it is.

Why? Just because brands find UGC creators with an Audience would be more experienced in editing and would know and understand how marketing works, UGC creators with an Audience seem more Authentic to brands than ones without any social media accounts.

Not only that but building a loyal following also opens up many opportunities to earn in the future which you will learn as you go.

  • Developing your personal brand and establishing authority
  • Creating a consistent brand image across platforms
  • Building a loyal community of followers and fans

Avoiding pitfalls and challenges

Lastly, I have listed below all the things that can land you in trouble and that you should avoid:

  1. Pricing too low, as I have already said above pricing too low can be bad for you as well as the UGC industry.
  2. Not delivering content the right way. This mistake is made by many content creators, they send their videos or content on Instagram or Gmail which compresses the content and makes it less than good. And we don’t want that, do we? This is why I listed the app Wetransfer above which is great for sending content to your clients!
  3. Makes sure you have all the legal stuff down before you commit to anything and I mean anything. I am not a CPA or a lawyer, or a professional in this department, so I can’t give you any advice on that, but I recommend you do your research or talk to a professional. For example, for me (I live in the UAE) “All artists and influencers are required to register for VAT (Value added TAX) if the value of the services they provide exceeds AED375,000 ($102,100) in a 12-month period.”
  4. DO NOT! skip out on contracts! Signing a contract saves you from many legal issues you can face, and even though you might be thinking “The chances of that happening are low” Trust me it’s way better to be safe than sorry.
  5. Music! Absolutely do not add music that you don’t have a license for, and if the brand requests you add it, first make sure they have a license for it.
  6. Make sure you ask them about the format and style of the video they want, write it all down and make sure you are both clear on the content they will be getting before you get to filming and editing. Also, make sure the video is of good quality and has good lighting
  7. To be on the safe side do not send any sort of content before at least receiving 50% in advance payment, the only exception should be if you’re doing a free sample video for them or an Xdeal.
  8. Also, remember to make an easy-to-use portfolio, it should be clear to the brand what they are getting and what you are offering.

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