Let’s play a game. It’s called UGC brand work bingo. I’m going to rhyme off five rules for working my brands according to a six-figure UGC creator. If you’ve ever broken more than three on the list, you’re officially the problem.
Kelly Rocklein is a professional UGC creator and strategist. Whilst she rakes in $$$$ working as a creator, she also sits on the other side of the table. Full-time, Kelly works as a Creative Director for a top DTC brand, leading the paid media creative strategy. She has an extensive agency background, where she’s worked with over 500+ DTC brands. This means she has a unique insight into what brands and agencies need from the creators they work with.
Here are her housekeeping rules to follow as a UGC creator working with brands, specifically, if you want to build long standing relationships with brands.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- EMAIL YOUR POINT OF CONTACT
- DON’T DOUBLE EMAIL
- ORGANIZE YOUR DRIVE
- USE NAMING CONVENTIONS
- KNOW YOUR PAYMENT TERMS
1. Email Your Point Of Contact
Do not text them. Even if their number is in their signature, do not text them. A contact number is for emergencies only, unless communicated otherwise. Whilst the lack of clarity on a specific hook or angle may seem urgent enough to you to ring them, it won’t be urgent enough when they feel like they are being harassed.
Rule of thumb, do not be a pest. If they’ve emailed, email back. If they move to text, text back. Follow their lead and be as pain-free to work with as possible.
2. Wait 48-72+ Hours Before Double Emailing
The downfall of being a contractor that no one talks about is having to wait on your point of contact to respond. Your point of contact is most likely a full time employee and you’re just one fraction of their responsibility. Therefore, you are not their main focus. While this may be your only job for the week, you’re just one of ten UGC creators they are liaising with in a single day. UGC is just one project out of five they have for the week.
It’s nothing personal, it just comes with the territory of being a contractor. Follow their lead and be as upfront as possible with what you need from them from the outset to move the project along.
3. Organize Your Google Drive Folders
Do not make it harder for your point of contact to find and review your work. Whether it be raw assets or edited concepts, ensure they are uploaded to correctly titled Google folder and you’ve awarded the appropriate permissions.
Do not, and I repeat, do not, turn off access in an attempt to buy yourself more time. On the brand side, there is nothing worse than being provided a link that requires you to request access. Brands see right through it.
4. Name Your Work. Properly
And then let’s not forget naming conventions. The easiest naming convention is the brand name-project name-iteration_export number, eg DunkinDonuts-IcedCoffee-HookOne_1. If you do four rounds of revisions, you would end up exporting an approved version which was export four.
You can also ask your client for the convention they want or need for their paid managers to input the info most accurately prior to launch. This also makes you appear more knowledgeable and professional.
5. Understand Your Payment Terms
Do not submit your invoice and then act like the invoice is late if it’s only been a few hours or even days. Most companies have set schedules to send out payments. This may be once a week, monthly, or net 30, which is industry standard. Net 30 starts upon asset delivery, and is payment after 30 days.
If this is something you want to avoid, have the conversation with your client prior to beginning work.
TL:DR (Too Long, Didn’t Read)
In conclusion, successful collaboration with brands as a UGC creator requires more than just creativity. Follow these five golden rules to maintain strong relationships and professionalism:
- ✉️ Communicate via email, not text, respecting their time and boundaries.
- ⏳ Be patient, understanding that your point of contact has other responsibilities.
- 🗂️ Organize Google Drive folders neatly and avoid restricting access.
- 🔤 Use proper naming conventions for your work to appear more professional.
- 💰 Know your payment terms and wait them out.
By following these guidelines, you’ll not only enhance your reputation but also pave the way for more fruitful partnerships with brands. Remember, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. So, don’t be an a*shole.