A Beginner's Guide to Becoming a UGC Content Creator

Man using Sony camera filming sunrise in the mountains of Washington

So, you've decided to take the plunge into the world of UGC creation? Congrats! You're about to embark on a thrilling journey of self-expression and creativity. This guide will be your go-to resource as you navigate the exhilarating, sometimes chaotic, but always rewarding world of User Generated Content. Whether you're an aspiring YouTuber, a budding blogger, or you're planning to light up TikTok with your dazzling content, we've got you covered. We're in this together, so get comfortable and let's kick-start your creative adventure!

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What is UGC?

UGC, or User-Generated Content, is any form of content, like photos, videos, text, reviews, etc., that's created by people rather than brands. In the world of social media, UGC is the real MVP. It's the selfie you took at that hidden café, the tweet you posted about the latest episode of that trending show, or the review you left for that life-saving gadget you bought. It's authentic, it's relatable, and guess what? It's exactly what folks out there want to see.

What's the future of UGC?

With the rise of platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat, everyday people are becoming content creators, therefore UGC is naturally on the rise. And it's not just about getting likes and follows anymore. Brands are starting to recognize the power of UGC, and they're getting in on the action. We're talking collabs, sponsorships, and even paid gigs. So, if you've got a knack for creating content that's authentic and relatable, there's never been a better time to jump in and start sharing your unique perspective with the world.

Girl in yellow sweatshirt holds Sony camera in front of a canyon while creating UGC
Sara gathering UGC with her Sony camera for a company we collaborated it.

How to begin creating UGC (user generated content)

While becoming a UGC creator doesn't happen overnight, there are several steps that will guide you towards becoming a successful creator in a shorter amount of time than those who create without strategizing.

Identify your interests and skills

The first step to becoming a successful UGC creator is to determine what you're passionate about and what skills you can bring to the table. Whether it's writing, photography, video editing or animation, identifying your unique strength will give you a clear direction.

Choose the right platform

Not all platforms are created equal. Choose a platform that aligns with your content style. For instance, if you're into photography, Instagram might be your best bet. If you're a writer, you might find more success on a platform like Medium or a personal blog.

Create and post your content regularly

Consistency is key in the world of UGC. The more regularly you post, the more likely you are to build a steady following. Try setting a schedule for yourself to maintain content consistency.

Engage with your audience

Interaction is crucial in the world of UGC. Respond to comments, like and share other user's content, ask for feedback, and be a part of the community. This interaction will make you more relatable, ultimately boosting your popularity.

Build trust with your audience

Building trust with your audience is pivotal in the journey of a UGC creator. To establish and maintain this trust, always be transparent and authentic in your communications. Share your process, your successes, and even your setbacks. This openness helps to humanize your brand, making you more relatable to your followers. Remember, trust isn't built overnight, it's a process that takes time and consistency. Be patient and always remain true to your values and your audience.

Stay updated and evolve

Lastly, keep up with the current trends and continuously evolve your content. What worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. Staying updated and willing to learn new things will keep your content fresh and engaging.

UGC content creator takes photo of lake with iPhone
Some of the best UGC content is captured simply on an iPhone

How to secure UGC brand deals

Securing UGC brand deals can seem daunting at first, but don't fret, it's totally doable! Here's how you can bag those sweet gigs:

Build a solid portfolio

Your content is your resume in the world of UGC. Make sure it's top-notch, clearly represents your unique style, and is consistent. Brands want to see that you can produce high-quality content on a regular basis, so keep that content machine churning. While it's important to produce content consistently, always prioritize quality over quantity. Find a consistent posting schedule that you can maintain and stick with it.

Reach out to brands

Don't be shy! Reach out to brands that align with your content and interests. Send them your media kit (a fancy term for a document that showcases your work, audience, and stats) and pitch them your ideas. Remember, you're a storyteller, so make sure your pitch tells a compelling story.  

One super important note about reaching out to brands: Before you reach out to brands, you need to have proof that you are a positive partner for that brand. Make sure you have successful content that relates to the kind of content you'd create for the brand you hope to work with. For example, if you want to work with a hotel, make sure you have content on your primary platform(s) that have performed well and showcase hotels.

While we're not big fans of creating free content for brands because we believe lots of brands take advantage of creators, you will likely need to dig into your own pocked to pay for experiences for yourself to create content around the topic and categories that you'd like to eventually be paid to write about. Have fun creating the content and use those experiences as a chance to create for your portfolio.

Network with your peers

Get out there (or online) and make connections. Attend events, webinars, and meetups. Connect with other content creators. A strong network can often lead to exciting opportunities you wouldn't have found otherwise. There's a whole wonderful world of fellow content creators out there, just waiting to be explored. From Instagram to Clubhouse, there are numerous platforms where you can connect, collaborate, and even conspire (in a good way, of course) with other creatives. Don't forget about forums and Facebook groups too – they're packed with like-minded folks eager to share advice, seek guidance, and occasionally, let off some steam with a good old-fashioned meme. So, put yourself out there, start some conversations.

Be authentic with your audience

Lastly, never compromise your authenticity for a brand deal. Your followers value your honest, genuine voice. Stick to promoting products or services that you truly believe in and would use yourself. Brands respect and value creators who maintain their integrity. In fact, authentic content creators are one of the biggest trends brands are seeking out in 2024. More than ever social media has become loud with an endless number of content creators trying to stand out, and brands and consumers both are looking for influencers they can trust. Find your voice and be bold to speak authentically and honestly in a way that others can connect with you.

Final thoughts

Embracing the world of UGC isn't just about creating content, it's about creating value - for your audience and for the brands you collaborate with. Using your unique voice and perspective, you can cultivate a vibrant online community, inspire positive change, and open the door to a world of exciting opportunities. The journey to becoming a successful UGC creator may be fraught with challenges, but with passion, consistency, and authenticity, you can navigate this dynamic landscape with confidence. So get out there, start creating, and let the world see what you've got!

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A Beginners Guide to Becoming a UGC Content Creator

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Hi! We're Chris and Sara a husband and wife video making, storytelling, travel loving duo with a passion for sharing travel tips, tricks, and inspiration with others.
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