Those who spend a lot of time on TikTok and Instagram have probably observed videos labeled "UGC creator" recently and wondered what that label means. While UGC creators aren't exactly the same as influencers, there are some similarities. What is a UGC creator, and is this a side hustle for you?
If you've never known what UGC stands for, UGC creators on TikTok are here to share their wisdom. One TikToker, Abigail, who calls herself a UGC Mentor, has an explanatory video stating that UGC represents "user generated content." UGC creators make testimonial videos about their use of a product, which they sell to brands.
What is UGC on TikTok?
TikTok is one of the primary places where you'll find UGC creators. These short videos can include the creator demonstrating how they use and like a particular product such as makeup or hair care products. As Nogood.io explains, TikTok UGC allows ads to show up "natively and authentically to your targeted audience."
As Abigail Peugh, UGC Mentor, says, being a UGC creator wasn't always called that, but she has been doing this work for about five years. She explains that she's an introvert and "I don't love to spend a ton of time on social media."
Peugh says that to be an influencer, there's a much greater social media time commitment required than to be a UGC creator. Instead of creating posts for your own social media pages, a UGC creator can sell video content they create to the brand, which then shares the content to their own marketing pages.
UGC creators differ from social media influencers in that they don't need a massive social media following to make money. Since they sell their testimonial videos to the brands, the brands are then responsible for posting the videos to their social media profiles. UGC creators can focus on creating compelling video content about products they like.
How much do UGC creators make?
The amount of money you can earn as a UGC creator varies, of course. You can set your own rates with brands, but you'll likely have to start somewhat low if you're a newer UGC creator and gradually increase the fees you charge to the brands.
According to Giselle González, a UGC creator who spoke to Business Insider, a good starting point might be $100 per video. "Determining your rates as a new creator is one of the most difficult parts of establishing your business, but remember to not undervalue yourself."
González began her UGC creator side hustle in March 2022 since she had bit of background in marketing already. She started her rates at $125 per video and eventually raised them to $200 apiece. One way she increased her income (and income stability) was by seeking long-term contracts or bundles with clients. After six months of UGC creating, she had averaged about $5,000 per month of income.
How do you become a UGC creator?
To become a UGC creator, you need to think of brands that might be willing to pay you for content. Since the point is "user-generated" content, you need to actually use the products you review in order to be authentic.
According to Gonzalez, keeping a professional social media presence (though not necessarily with a high follower count) is one important step. Choosing brands you care about is also key, so you can make videos sharing your opinions and reviews. Setting competitive rates, after honing your skills in videos or photos, is important as well.
Another TikTok UGC creator, Julia Phillips, shares tips on how to become a UGC creator. She has YouTube tutorials explaining the process of getting paid as a UGC creator as well as videos on TikTok.
You'll likely need to contact brand representatives via LinkedIn or other avenues to share your interest in creating UGC for them. As you practice working with brands, keep track of how your content helps them gain customers.