Okay, this has been by far the most requested blog post of the summer! You’ve been seeing this all over TikTok and Instagram and you all want to know: “What the heck is a UGC Creator?”
In simple terms, UGC stands for User Generated Content, meaning any content you see—text, videos, images, reviews, etc.—created by people, rather than brands. This content can be found on their websites, ad campaigns, social media and even commercials.
So, how is this different from being an influencer?
Anyone can be a UGC Creator.
This isn’t a job that requires a large following, or a following at all. If you have a good eye, create beautiful content, use a professional camera or even have the latest phone camera, and are a great editor, you can sell your photos to brands.
Why the sudden boom in UGC Creation?
We’re sick of overly produced ads. We don’t want to see models or sets. We want real life. Real reviews. Real people.
As consumers, we are more likely to be influenced by something that feels real and authentic (hence the increase in using influencers in the first place), but UGC specifically is doing well because this gives everyone not able to commit to influencing like a full time job the ability to still create and work with brands.
It is hot hot hot right now.
Aka We. Don’t. Give. Our. Photos. Away. For. “Exposure”. Not anymore.
Okay, now for what you really want to know.
How Do I Become A UGC Creator, Krystalyn?
- Study the brand you’re pitching to. What kind of content are they posting and using from other users on their feed? That will be the kind of content they’ll most likely want to see from you.
- Customize your pitch. This will look different than your standard partnership pitch because you’re not selling your feed, your following, or even yourself; you’re selling your content. What makes your content perfect for their feed? Why should they pay for your photos / videos?
- Look on their website for a PR contact, or reach out via DM and ask for the best contact for partnerships. You can also purchase my Brand Contact Directory where I’ve already researched and compiled a list of 150 / 250 public emails.
- Pick photos for your pitch. Ideally you pitch with pictures with a product for the company. (With your watermark, of course; can never be too safe unfortunately.) If you can’t feature the brand in your portfolio for the pitch, pick your best content to showcase. You can even create a mood board to give the brand an idea of the kind of content you want to create for them.
** Now while you might be able to negotiate a product on top of pay, brands are looking for that authenticity so it’s always a great idea to have something from that brand in the photo.
- Have a “goal” rate and a rate you’re willing to negotiate down to. Brands still want the best they can get for the lowest price, so be prepared to negotiate. Charge this the way you would any image rights, depending on length of use and what they want to use it for (commercial vs social vs website, etc). (Don’t know how much to charge? Check out my signature negotiations course here).
- If you’re linking your social media, make sure it’s catered to being a UGC (or make another profile that does) and use it like one giant portfolio of all your best work.
- List yourself on apps / services like Fiverr and Upwork to put yourself out there even more.
This is a huge win for creators everywhere and I’m so excited to hear about your wins!
Let me know if you have any other questions. Cheering you on, always.