What the UGC content creator job looks like, how long it takes to make money


  • Salha Aziz made almost $25,000 in 10 months creating “user-generated content,” she told Insider.
  • She turned TikToks into a small business that helps her pay her mortgage and travel.
  • She said it’s a fun and profitable job that allows her to be her own boss – and others can join the hustle.

Salha Aziz, 31, has been teaching Zumba classes for ten years. When TikTok launched, she figured her dancing skills would help her build an audience for the app.

But less than a year ago, thanks to TikTok, the mother-of-three discovered an even better way to capitalize on a new trend. User Generated Content or “UGC” are videos that creators sell to brands for use on company accounts or as paid advertising. The main difference between UGC and sponsored content is that the former is not posted by the user but is packaged and provided for the brand to self-publish.

Because of this difference, unlike influencers, UGC creators don’t need a large following of their own to get started. Aziz had just 5,000 followers on her TikTok account @sociallyaziz when she spoke to Insider in August, three months into her UGC career.

“I’ve always wanted to make money without having a lot of followers — it’s pretty difficult to build a community online,” she told Insider in a recent interview, adding, “No one really wants to sell to the community all the time.”

Now she’s made around $25,000 in 10 months of UGC and recently hit her biggest payday yet: $1,950 for two TikTok videos about Flexcar, a rental company. Insiders looked at a copy of that contract as well as about 50 company payments to verify their total UGC earnings.

It’s a much cheaper option for businesses, as UGC creators are essentially writers, makeup artists, talent and crew all rolled into one – a steal compared to an advertising agency. Also, UGC video ads feel more organic, mimicking the amateur, unpolished, and conversational videos you get on your TikTok feeds and Instagram reels. It’s become a running gag on social media that users don’t always immediately know it’s an ad.

“I feel like my trust will be betrayed if this happens,” one TikTok user joked last month. “Although I’m very happy for them! Nice to see normal people getting sponsorship deals.”

In addition to these offerings, many UGC creators have started charging for coaching calls and classes. Much of the online UGC community has built something of a mini-industry together, Aziz described, sharing information on TikTok on how to pitch, create content, and negotiate deals with companies.

It looks like the kind of business will thrive — Eileen Canady, head of global marketing at BST Global, a software company, told Forbes this month that user-generated content is the “biggest trend marketers should be paying attention to in 2023.” . After all, it fills a need for many Americans as more workers rebel against traditional 9-to-5 work and start more businesses than ever before. Many want the opportunity to be their own boss rather than selling their time to enrich a company, and others want more flexibility and control over their personal time.

“I can be at home. I’m at home with my kids, I take them to school,” she said. “It’s a really, really fun job.”

“This is a business, not a get-rich-quick scheme”

Aziz would like to remind those interested in UGC that producing profitable work means creators should be careful. She said she’s become a lot smarter about her contracts over the past year. For example, she gave away the raw footage of her videos to brands for free, in addition to the edited video. But now she’s learned that companies could turn her work into hundreds of additional ads that she wouldn’t get paid for.

“We need to value ourselves a lot more because brands don’t value creators,” she said.

Although UGC developers don’t need followers the size of Charli D’Amelio to sell a product, Aziz warns that building a brand takes work and doesn’t promise overnight fortune.

“My advice is always, this is a business, not a get-rich-quick scheme,” she said.

To get where she is, Aziz said she honed her own style. She doesn’t do “aesthetic” content like ASMR, but instead focuses on the practical aspects of why a consumer wants to buy something and leverages their psychology, she explained.

“I focus on storytelling,” she said. “The whole thing about UGC and direct-to-consumer marketing is that you have to have a strong hook, a call-to-action and present a problem and a solution,” she said, calling those three tenets her “framework.”

UGC is a flexible alternative to a 9-to-5, but it requires a lot of work

Aziz said she loves what UGC has done for her life. Her husband is the family breadwinner, but UGC supplements her income as a fitness instructor, which means she can contribute to her family’s mortgage payments, she said.

She also provides UGC content that would allow her to get paid to travel with her whole family. Last year, the Crowne Plaza hotel chain paid for her family to stay three nights at their location in Oman in exchange for content, such as a walkthrough video of the hotel. Her goal is to partner with more hotels and AirBnbs this year so she can take her kids on trips.

Having a job she enjoys is a big change, Aziz said. Before staying at home, she did recreational therapy and worked with children with autism, the elderly, and people with brain injuries. But her heart wasn’t set on the concept of a 9-to-5 job.

UGC is different, she said.

“I spend hours on my content — I’m a huge perfectionist,” she said. “I’ll be editing for hours, but I really enjoy it. I go to bed and dream about my plans for videos.”

Additionally, she enjoys the independence and growth potential she has as a UGC creator.

“I didn’t know I was going to be an entrepreneur, but once I started, I realized I didn’t want to work for anyone else — and I didn’t want to be in control.”

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *