If you’re anyone who creates content on TikTok then you’ve probably dreamed of getting paid by brands and winning sponsorship deals. The good news is that now you can do that without even needing a big following. You don’t need to be an influencer with millions of followers on TikTok to earn money. These days, it’s perfectly possible to earn money as a UGC creator. But how to become a UGC creator on TikTok? In this article, we’ll answer all of your questions. Let’s get started!
What Does UGC Actually Mean?
User-generated content or UGC is any type of content on social media that’s not produced by content creators, influencers or brands – but by the users themselves. It’s the most authentic type of content and everyone on social media spends over 50% of their time scrolling through UGC. People looking for content generated by creators usually head over to YouTube but the bread and butter of platforms like TikTok and Instagram is user-generated content.
Since a very big share of social media users spend more time scrolling through UGC instead of branded material, marketers have come up with ways to incorporate UGC into their marketing campaigns. This promises higher conversions and more community engagement. And that’s where UGC creators come in.
What’s a UGC Creator?
If you’ve been scrolling on TikTok or Instagram lately then you’ve probably seen UGC creators. Even if you didn’t realize it, UGC creators are constantly rolling out content for brands to help them achieve their marketing goals. Basically, a UGC creator is someone who specializes in creating content that looks like “normal” or “real-life” content that you see on social media on a daily basis. This type of content does not feel intrusive or branded because it’s not coming from a marketer or an influencer but from a very authentic-looking person.
TikTok capitalizes on user-generated content. That’s what drives its algorithms. And that’s why brands looking to market themselves on TikTok work with UGC creators to produce content in line with social media norms, culture and trends. UGC is authentic and that’s why it has potential to go viral. Most of the TikTok users are the Gen Z and millennials, and they have certain tastes in content. A UGC creator helps brands get through to these audiences by creating content that “pleases” TikTok’s algorithm, enabling videos to go viral.
What’s the Difference Between a UGC Creator and an Influencer?
The biggest difference is that influencers need a big following to start earning money. They are paid to promote products and services on their own social media pages and to give brands access to a bigger audience. On the other hand, UGC creators can monetize with minimal social media presence. In fact, UGC creators don’t even need to post the content they produce on their own social media handles. Brands simply source content from these types of creators and use it in their own marketing campaigns.
So, as a UGC creator you only get paid a fee to produce content and are not responsible to bring exposure to it. Now, the amount of earnings you can generate depends on your ability to record authentic-looking content. To seem authentic, you must have a very deep understanding of TikTok content and its themes and trends.
Can Anyone Become a UGC Creator?
Yes or no. TikTok has a huge user base and almost everyone on the platform is a content creator. Which means that the competition for you will be intense because brands can always find another creator to source content from. Especially if you’re new, you might be limited by resources, time and money to keep up creating new content while you wait to get noticed by a brand.
TikTok is a highly saturated marketplace and it's hard to stand out from the crowd. Moreover, TikTok’s algorithm’s unpredictability makes it even harder to gain followers and enhance engagement levels. That’s why in order to grow as a creator on TikTok, you need to combine it with other monetization platforms.
Paysenger is a social marketplace that offers all the monetization tools you need to kickstart your UGC career on TikTok. It’s a place where you can advertise your content and service as a UGC creator and brands can easily find you to source content from you. The process is simple – just download the app, create an account, configure your profile to take content requests from brands and start posting content on your Paysenger profile.
Brands will be able to discover you in their news feed or look you up using the search feature. Moreover, they can view your portfolio on your Paysenger profile and then directly send a paid request for you to create similar content for them.
There are other ways to earn money on the app as well:
- On-demand content: People looking to utilize your content creation skills can send you on-demand content requests so you can create videos, photos or even audios for them. You get paid each time you fulfill a request.
- Collaborations: Easily create content in collaboration with sponsors or other creators. Content that goes viral pays revenue to all of the parties involved, so everything you create is potentially a long-term asset.
- Paid messaging: As a content creation expert, you can let in people on your secrets and chat with them for a fee. People who really want to talk to you can easily get your time and attention by paying for every direct message (instead of spamming you on Instagram).
How to Become a UGC Creator on TikTok?
Becoming a UGC creator on TikTok is not the same as becoming an influencer. You don’t need a professional camera or an expensive studio setup. Your smartphone camera will do just fine. The point is that UGC created by ordinary social media users is mostly shot on smartphones. That’s what adds to its authentic quality. So your goal shouldn’t be to create high quality content, but rather you should aim to create content that looks real. Nevertheless, you’ll still need a basic setup and tools to get started.
A decent microphone
A lot of TikTok creators use simple lavalier microphones – the ones you can clip onto your shirt collar. Or just get good headphones or earphones that capture decent quality audio. It doesn’t need to be perfect, just good enough to make your videos sound more crispier.
Ring lights are super popular on TikTok. Almost every person you see on TikTok is using some kind of ring light + smartphone combination to record their content. Get the same one as everyone else so your videos are indistinguishable.
A good camera
Now, your smartphone should do just fine. However, make sure you’re not using a really old smartphone because that will lower the video quality considerably. While your video quality doesn’t need to be studio-grade, it shouldn’t be so bad that people start ignoring you completely. If you don’t have a flagship camera phone, you can use an entry-level digital camera as well.
Unless you’re creating vlogs, keep a tripod handy so you can set it up and record your video ideas as soon as something pops up. You can’t always have someone to hold the camera. As a UGC creator, the tripod will be your best friend.
Start Building a Portfolio
It’s true that you don’t need a social media presence to become a UGC creator. However, if you already have some content live on TikTok, you will greatly increase your chances of getting noticed by a brand. Even if you don’t have a client right now, keep posting content on your TikTok profile on a regular basis. In the future, when you finally reach out to a brand, your TikTok page will help them decide.
If you have a favorite niche in mind, start creating content in that niche. Or if there’s a brand you’d like to work for, put out content that would align with their interests. If you have something to show, pitching your services as a UGC creator will become much, much easier.
How to Get Paid as a UGC Creator on TikTok?
Now, you’ve got a portfolio in place. But how do you find clients and get paid? Here are a few ways:
1. Use UGC platforms
UGC platforms connect creators and brands. They make it easy to get in front of the right people but some platforms are more competitive than the others.
- Paysenger: Offer your services as a content creator and get paid for creating content for other people including idea makers, sponsors and brands. The app is still relatively new, so competition is much lower than other platforms – you are likely to get more exposure if you sign up as an early adopter.
- Brands Meet Creators: Kind of like Upwork but for UGC creators. You create a listing and brands look you up. You get opportunities sent to you via email.
- Fiverr: Create a listing and wait for brands to find you. You might have to advertise your Fiverr listing on other platforms for a while before you get your first contract.
- Insense: Slightly better than Fiverr because it allows you to look up opportunities (instead of waiting for them) and apply accordingly. However, the client-pool on Insense is smaller than Fiverr.
2. Cold outreach and networking
This might sound a little overwhelming but with the right tools you can get fairly good results. This is classic sales outreach where you find brands that resonate with your content and pitch your services to them.
- Create a list of brands who use UGC and who fall in the same niche as you
- Add them to a spreadsheet
- Create up to 3 outreach messages (you need to test all of them)
- Send outreach messages
- Don’t forget to include your portfolio!
It takes longer to find clients this way but you might end up finding long-term clients this way who pay well. Unlike on UGC platforms, you get stable income working with long-term clients.
You can get quicker responses from people by using Paysenger. Simply find marketers, brand owners or other creators and send them paid messages. Paid messages are much more likely to get a quick response than a cold email. In addition, on Paysenger you can talk to these people in real-time in text message conversations.
3. Perfect your offering
It might take a while to craft the perfect pitch. First thing to consider is pricing – are you charging too much or too little? Is your outreach message too dull or engaging? Always test multiple options until you find the one combination that works. Or you can simply ask another expert who’s already making money as a UGC creator.
You can get in touch with experts easily on Paysenger and ask them their strategy. It’s a lot better to ask someone than learning everything through trial and error.
Selling UGC on TikTok is a great way to earn passive income. It not only teaches you content creation skills but also gives you the opportunity to monetize your videos on TikTok without needing a big amount of followers.
If you’re looking to grow as a content creator, becoming a UGC creator can serve as a great entry-point to make connections and become a better creator. You can achieve your goals a whole lot faster by networking with other creators or pitching your services directly to brands. This can easily be done through platforms like Paysenger.
Jumpstart your journey on TikTok as a content creator by combining it with Paysenger. Sell on-demand content, talk to influencers and well-established creators, take requests from brands and monetize your social media activity.