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How to Get Started as a UGC Creator

Mahlet Yordanos
Written By
Mahlet Yordanos
Published On
Mar 13, 2023
A flat lay of a laptop, camera, tripod, tablet, and notebook

The future of content creation is user-generated.

Seventy-nine percent of people say that user-generated content or UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions—that’s how you know this marketing strategy is here to stay. 

Interested in being one of the creators at the forefront of it all? Here at The Influence Agency, we’ll show you how to get started as a UGC creator. To get a closer look at how it all works, we spoke with Spencer Lee (@spencerlevee), a UGC creator. With a following of 59.6K on TikTok and having collaborated with companies like The Bay, Jamieson, Seasons, and Alo, there’s a ton to learn from her expertise.

Keep reading to discover the steps, tips, and tricks!

TikTok @spencerlevee

Your Guide To Getting Started As A UGC Creator

What is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content refers to content that is related to your brand—but instead of it being made by employees, it is created by real customers.

Seventy-two percent of brands believe that UGC actually helps them to engage customers and build brand trust. 

What is a UGC Creator?

Every content creator has a niche. In the case of UGC creators, theirs is producing content that actually looks authentically “user-generated,” but they’re being paid by companies to do so, of course. This material ends up being posted by the companies on their own online platforms.

You’re probably thinking, “How does this set them apart from influencers?”

Well, the difference here is that companies partner with UGC creators because of their incredible ability to inject a believable customer feel into their content—regardless of whether they have a large following or not. When businesses work with influencers, their main goal is to raise awareness and connect with the audiences of that social media personality.  

So, do you need to have a following to create UGC?

Spencer Lee says “Absolutely not! I’ll say it doesn’t hurt because brands are going to have access to content you have already created and they can easily get a feel of what your content looks like. However, I think you can easily counter this by being proactive and having a media kit ready that you can send out to brands to showcase your work.”

The Equipment You’ll Need To Get Started

You’d be surprised to hear how little photo and video equipment you actually need to get started as a UGC creator. We asked UGC creator Spencer Lee to weigh in on this:

“Literally just your phone and a tripod! A tripod isn’t even necessary, I’m sure you could find ways to prop your phone up on items you already have, but a tripod makes it a lot more seamless and easy—and results in steadier videos. But I wouldn’t let the lack of a tripod hold you back, just got for it with what you already have!”

As you find yourself diving deeper into this industry and honing your craft even further here are a few other useful equipment you might want to consider adding to your armoury. 

  1. Backgrounds – We highly recommend browsing through the collections of pro photography backdrops on Club Backdrops! They have a ton of options that’ll really make your content “pop.”
  2. Ring light with phone stand – Why do content creators love ring lights so much? Well, that’s because they add a soft, diffused light on the objects in focus. You won’t have to deal with those harsh shadows.
  3. Props – When trying to create the perfect aesthetic, you’re going to need some props that align with the brand tone. Typically, you’re going to need bowls, mugs, books, plants, pillows etc. There are always some really great finds at H&M home, Home Sense, Marshalls, etc. If you’re looking for a more minimalist or sustainable option, then renting from a prop house is the way to go.
  4. Video editing software – To create dynamic and compelling video content, you’re going to need reliable video editing software. From Filmora Wondershare to Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple iMovie, all of these applications offer versatile features that’ll help your filmmaking skills glow up.
A UGC creator holding a camera on a handheld tripod

Begin Your UGC Creator Adventures in 5 Simple Steps

1. Choose Your Industry

What type of content are you most interested in? From fashion and beauty to food and fitness, UGC can be made for almost any industry you can think of. If you aren’t quite sure yet which niche you want to stick to, take a look at our list of suggestions below:

  • Beauty
  • Fashion
  • Fitness
  • Food
  • Health
  • Lifestyle
  • Interior design
  • Gaming
  • Books
  • Etc. 

Did you pick one? Yes? *High-five* Now, let’s move on to the next step.

2. Start Creating Authentic UGC Content

Before you start filling your account with incredible content, don’t forget to include the title “UGC creator” in your description for your social media pages—it’s the best way to amplify your visibility amongst brands looking to work with fresh, new creators.

Now, in order to build your portfolio as a UGC creator, you’re going to have to start by actually creating authentic UGC content. Begin making content about products or services you’ve actually tried as a customer. Whether it’s photos or long-form/short-form videos, it’s important to showcase your skills on your social media platforms to convince brands that you’re great at what you do.

We asked Spencer Lee about how she started making content for brands:

I started out making content for myself at first and for my own page and from there I was lucky enough to have a few companies reach out to me to make UGC content for their accounts. After realizing that there’s huge demand for UGC I started doing research on how I could get more work, so just DM-ing accounts on Instagram + TikTok, sending emails to companies, and also finding agencies that are seeking creators so that I could get in their database.”

3. Put Your Portfolio Together

Get ready to make a portfolio that sums up who you are as a UGC creator because you’re definitely going to need it for the next step! Tell your story, show your best work, and convince brands that you’re capable of producing content that shines the spotlight on their products or services. 

4. Reach Out To Brands

As a UGC creator, you can expect that brands will reach out to you for a collaboration at some point. But at the same time, this industry is also a two-way street—and you’re going to have to do the reaching out sometimes. Hearing this can definitely sound like quite the challenge, but think of it this way: you don’t have to sit there and just wait for the brands you love to contact you, because you can be the one who sparks the connection first. 

Now’s the time to ask yourself, “What are the brands you dream of working with?” Do some research to see if they actually feature UGC on their social media platforms. Take note of their voice, style, and other elements that make up their content creation game. All of this will help you draft an effective outreach email.

Here’s what Spencer Lee has to say on reaching out to brands you want to work with:

I would say it’s great to show that you have had some prior interest in the brand + brand loyalty and are not just reaching out to them to make money. So do your research beforehand, and let them know you’ve done so in your outreach. Props if it’s a company that you use already/ have one of their products and you can talk about that. I like to DM on Instagram or TikTok (always make sure you’re following the company on socials) or I’ll send an email telling a little bit about who I am, including a blurb of brands I’ve worked with before, and why I think we would be a good fit.”

5. Make The Project Plan

If you’ve made it to step five—OMG congrats, official UGC creator!

After you’ve sealed the deal with a brand, this is where you’re going to need to dive deep into the planning elements. This involves getting the client to approve the concept, colours, props, etc. ahead of shooting.

Close coordination will be key to producing content that both sides can be immensely proud of. By showcasing your creativity and professionalism in every stage, you’ll quickly be on your way to building a web of connections that’ll swing you toward top UGC creator status. 

Some Inspo From The Pros

So you’re totally in for the exciting ride that is user-generated content creation—but just like every other adventure in life, you’re going to need some great advice before you really kick things off. 

Allow these words of encouragement from UGC creator Spencer Lee to be that subtle push in the right direction. 

The Influence Agency: What’s your biggest piece of advice for someone who wants to become a UGC creator?

Spencer Lee: Stop waiting and start now. It’s honestly such a booming business right now, and if it’s truly something you want to do, there are brands out there that will be a great fit. Be organized and have a media kit ready highlighting work you are proud of so that you can find brands that are a good fit for your style, and just send it out to as many people as you can, and it will land where it’s meant to!

An animation of a tablet, video camera, clapperboard, and speaker

Get Ready, Get Set, Create

Ready to kick your UGC creator career up a notch? Join the Influence Agency’s influencer roster

We’re a leading digital marketing agency in North America that specializes in providing content creators with incredible opportunities to partner with the biggest brands in the world.

Send us a message to know more.

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