The business of UGC has grown exponentially over the last 24 months. Unfortunately, with any growing industry comes people who want to take advantage.
In the last year, there have been so many agencies, brands and individuals that have been exposed for less than stellar business practices in the UGC space, and rightfully so.
The latest, has been TikToks agency. Let’s talk about it.
ShaqirHussyin and MIsmaelRahman, and their agency, TikToks Agency, haven’t paid myself and 10+ creators since JANUARY.— Caitlin Pruitt | UGC creator (@caitpruittUGC) May 11, 2023
Yet, they are constantly boasting about their success and millionaire status? Weird. #ugc #ugccommunity #UGCcreator #ugccreators pic.twitter.com/92lJP8c3s1
What is TikToks Agency?
TikToks Agency is a self-professed performance marketing whiz-kid. Official TikTok partners, with enterprise level account management, the agency sell themselves on being able to sky rocket eCom revenue with UGC and TikTok ads. They claim to have 1,000+ vetted content creator relationships.
The problem? Allegedly, they aren’t paying these content creators. And they haven’t been for a while.
Founded by Shaquir Hussyin and Ismael Rahman, the agency is founded on the back of 20 years of digital marketing experience. Hussyin is the founder and CEO of Funnels.com, WealthAcademy.co.uk and has been nickname the Backpack Millionaire after generating over 30mil in sales before turning 30 years old.
His co-founder, Israel Rahman, claims to have founded multiple 7-figure eCom brands.
And yet, despite the deep pockets of the rockstar team, creators are claiming to be still out of pocket for content created at the very start of the year.
Incredibly ironic RT @MIsmaelRahman – especially considering your agency (TikToks Agency) has taken MONTHS to pay creators after content has been sent in & now payments are declining…. Make it make sense?? We should be charging YOU interest SMH— Alvin | Male Content Creator (@MuthokaMedia) May 10, 2023
#ugccommunity BEWARE pic.twitter.com/eaRyPRHQdU
Is TikToks Agency a Scam?
Is TikToks agency a scam? Good question. The agency claim to be offer a fool-proof framework we use to add an extra 120%-200+% to a brands monthly revenue in under 12 weeks. To date, no brands have come forward to rebuke this. At least not publicly.
But many creators who have filmed the content to allow TikToks agency to deliver this top-notch services claim to have been taken for a ride.
Caitlin Pruitt, a successful UGC creator from Oklahoma, was approached in February by the agency with the offer of paid work. She made content for two separate brands within that first week of March and was told she’d be paid later that week. Boy was she wrong. We’re in June, and to date, TikToks Agency has not settled her invoice.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t a one-off.
Several creators, over several months have come forward to say that they too have not been paid for their content.
⚠️ Creators beware: TikToks Agency⚠️— Matteo | Male UGC Creator & Strategist (@matteofriendUGC) May 26, 2023
You may have read about this already, but it's time for me to shed light on ShaqirHussyin and MIsmaelRahman from TikToks Agency. They have taken advantage of creators, including myself.
They still haven't paid us some of us!
Over the last few months, many have reached out to the founders to query why, but they’ve hit a wall. First, the agency stopped communicating with any of the creators about where their money was, and when they did it was just to confirm that creators would receive payment at a later date. Often, it was next Wednesday.
The first excuse the agency gave was the holidays. Then, came Ramadan. They assured creators that money would be issued by a certain date. Spoiler alert, you guessed it, it didn’t arrive.
How To Avoid This As a UGC Creator
Unfortunately, to date, there is no resolution for the creators who are out of pocket. TikToks agency continues to onboard new clients and creators, with no guarantee they will receive payment.
We can’t do much but follow the story and warn as many UGC creators as possible of the potential dangers that come with working with this preygency.
Keep your wits about you, watermark all content and ask for a 50% deposit before getting started on filming your content if working with a new client/agency.
As UGC gets more popular, the number of people looking to take advantage of creators also grows. Be sure to look for red flags and get to know what makes reputable UGC agencies good ones.