Brands today constantly look for ways to elevate their presence online through various marketing tactics. Through social media platforms, brands are learning that some of the best ways to build their online presence are by using user-generated content (UGC) tactics.
With the growth of UGC, many beginners are figuring out their way around the concept. In this article, you’ll learn 4 things you need to know about UGC as a beginner:
- Optimizing your platforms
- Building your portfolio
- Creating a sustainable system
- Nurturing a community
When you are optimizing your platforms on social media, there are four major sites to work with to gain visibility and succeed as a creator. These platforms are Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Your positioning on these platforms is key to your career as a UGC creator.
- Twitter: The main goal of creating an account is to build a community and generate leads. This is the strongest platform for community-building and gaining leads from these UGC communities when you join them!
- TikTok: Showcase what you can do, find brands who have worked with UGC creators before and pitch a proposal to them.
- Instagram: Use hashtags and the right strategy to land inbound proposals from prospective brands. Sending a cold DM on Instagram works, too!
- LinkedIn: You can target your favorite brands by optimizing your profile in order to stand out and showcase what you’ve accomplished!
To learn more about how you can optimize your platforms step-by-step, check out this 80-page UGC guide I created, Pinnacle, which will cover everything you need to know about scaling a UGC business.
Building your portfolio is essential for showcasing your work and what it is that you can do.
Here are some things you should include in your portfolio:
- Cover page
- “About Me” page
- Social proof
- Previous video projects
- Previous photo projects
- Your services
- Call to action + contact info
Now let’s take a look at the Portfolio Dos & Don’ts:
Pay for the domain: It makes you look more professional.
Focus on variety: Add testimonials, voiceovers, try-ons, and demos.
Turn off autoplay + music: A huge deterrent!
Make sure your links are working: Make sure that your socials and email are properly linked.
Add social proof: Ask for feedback from brands you’ve worked with.
Make it readable & easy to navigate: Keep it simple and peer-reviewed!
Avoid long paragraphs: Try bulleted lists.
Don’t wait till it’s “Perfect”: Don’t let an “unfinished” portfolio get in the way.
Do not put in your rates: Instead, add a “Starting at $150/video”—and go from there.
If you need help or an expert set of eyes to look at your portfolio, I also offer portfolio audits! If you’d like to learn more about the step-by-step guide from start to finish, get my Pinnacle guide!
Creating a sustainable system is the secret behind my business’ success! An outreach system can help UGC creators learn how to warm up to brands and pitch ideas based on what you can offer. This also teaches you how to negotiate with brands and having a contract helps to protect yourself. Lastly, this teaches UGC creators about the right ways to post content!
A deep dive into creating a sustainable system is available on “Pinnacle”
Here’s how I built a close-knit community with fellow UGC creators:
- On Twitter, I use the #ugccommunity hashtag to find other creators.
- I created an SM Social Discord, a private discord community that serves as a safe space for UGC Creators to celebrate wins, etc.
- I also find other creators to look up to, including Laura and Marie, who are both UGC creators and creative strategists.
To learn more about how to nurture a community as a UGC creator, check out my coaching services here.
There you have it! These are the 4 things you need to know about UGC.
Hopefully now you have a better understanding of this marketing tactic, as well as how to implement it.
Don’t forget to check out my book, Pinnacle, for everything you need to know about scaling a UGC business. This guide will include everything you need to know about UGC, with step-by-step guides included, a 1:1 coaching call, portfolio audits, and MORE!
Sean Mari Sagun @sean.sagun
Since 2017, Sean has been creating high-quality and authentic content for brands including Netflix Canada, L’Oreal, Hyatt Regency Calgary, Triple Whale, ExpressVPN, Abercrombie, La Vie en Rose, etc.