If you’ve been hammering outbounds and constantly refreshing #UGCCreators on Twitter to no avail, it’s time to revisit why you’re not getting work as a UGC content creator.
First and foremost — and no-one is telling you this —- you are not worth nearly as much as you think you are as a new UGC content creator.
You’re just not.
Brands have a budget for content, but they also have hordes of UGC content creators knocking at their doors asking for the same budget, with the same email templates, lack of experience and non-existant results. If they aren’t choosing you, there is a reason for it.
Here’s 7 reasons why you aren’t picking up work as a UGC creator (and how to fix them).
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- YOUR CONTENT ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH
- YOU’RE WAITING FOR BRANDS TO COME TO YOU
- YOU’RE APPROACHING THE WRONG BRANDS
- YOU DON’T HAVE THE EXPERIENCE
- YOUR PORTFOLIO ISN’T UP TO SCRATCH
- YOUR PITCH IS MISSING THE MARK
- IT’S NOT BEEN ENOUGH TIME
1. Your UGC Content Isn’t Good Enough
It might be as simple as that.
User generated content is exactly that, content created by customers, by end users. In that right, it doesn’t need to have professional production quality. The barrier to entry is low, and this means everyone and their dog has UGC creator in their bio. That doesn’t mean that their content is any good.
If you’re looking to be paid for your UGC content. It needs to hit the marks.
UGC is a science. Before you look to monetize your content, you should understand the business behind it. In your portfolio do you have examples of content that converts (because let’s face it, that’s what brands are wanting to pay for). Hooks, strong call to actions, before & afters. If not, you don’t stand a chance.
✅ Fix: Create Better UGC Content
This sounds redundant, but the only fix to become a better creator is to just learn to create better content. Study up on direct response marketing principles, spend hours trawling over the best performing content in the TikTok Ad Library, and dissect why it worked. What was the hook? The pain point? How was the product positioned? UGC is a business, and like any business it requires expertise. Get it, then try and get work again.
2. You're Waiting For Brands To Come To You
99% of brands aren’t scrolling Twitter for UGC content creators. Fact. If you think the big brands (with budget) are putting a call out on #UGCCreators, then you’re sorely mistaken. Yes, you’ll have a few gems amongst hundreds of duds, but that’s not worth your time.
As a UGC creator, you need to create a healthy mix of outbound vs inbound leads, and nurture them. You should be building a personal brand as a UGC creator, positioning yourself as a leader in the field, but whilst you wait for that to work its magic, you can’t sit on your hands. What can you do to ensure brands are coming directly to you?
✅ Fix: Pitch, But Pitch Well
When we’re talking about a UGC pitch we’re talking about an email sent to decision makers at brands or agencies to pitch your services as a UGC creator. It’s short, sweet and to the point. Here’s a UGC pitch email example:
Dear [Brand Name],
I think I might have the answer you need to reach X demographic. My name is [Your Name] and I am a content creator based in California.
I’ve had a number of your ads for [enter skincare product] land on my feed, and the [enter USP of product here] caught my attention. As a content creator with an extensive background in the beauty space I’ve noticed a couple of obvious tweaks we could make to your ads that could drive this USP home and would at least double your ROAS.
An obvious pain point for [a demographic] is X, and I have a few ideas that could position [brand/product ] as the perfect solution – can I send them over?
Looking forward to chatting,
3. You Are Approaching The Wrong Brands
If you are a brand new UGC content creator, you should not be emailing 400 brands. You need a portfolio of strong brand work with legitimate reviews and testimonials about your services. You want to be able to demonstrate results, and that means data from brands about your ads performance.
Tiny brands that don’t have budget for paid advertising will not be able to put a lot of spend behind performance marketing: this means not only will they have sparse budget for brand new creators, but they won’t have budget to make use of your content to its maximum potential.
✅ Fix: Approach Brands That Use UGC Content
Keep a spreadsheet specifically for brands you come across with UGC style content, or use TikTok Creative Centre/Facebook Ads library to get a list of brands I know use UGC creators for their ads. It’s an easier sell if they already understand UGC, but some other creators will just find a list of say beauty brands and go for them all.
Then use Linkedin Sales Navigator to find the decision makers and an email extracting tool (I use Wiza but there’s loads of free ones) to grab their email. Once added to my spreadsheet I’ll work through with my pitch templates and personalise to each brand. Takes a fair amount of time as I like to research the brand’s pain points/where I can add value, but I find it pays off in the long term.
4. You Don’t Have The Experience
UGC is a new industry, and that means benchmarks are pretty consistent across the board.
Almost all creators have similar UGC rates, and brands need to use other ways to choose the right face for their brand. Sure, your UGC portfolio and pitch email go a long way. Ultimately, what’s going to make the difference is experience. Have you done what you’re saying you can do for them before? Have you increased ROAS for a brand? Have you created content that’s had a $1 million ad spend behind it? If the answer is no, the chances are another creator who charges the same has answered yes.
✅ Fix: Get Experience By Taking Lower Paid Jobs
Nobody wants to hear that they need to work for free, or for less than they think they are worth but honestly sometimes it’s neccessary. At the start of a UGC career, 9 times out of 10 it is, and that’s just the unfortunate truth. Approach brands you align with or that have products you would be purchasing anyway and offer to create content in exchange for testimonials or stats to use in your portfolio.
5. Your Portfolio Isn't Up To Scratch
A UGC portfolio is essential for creators looking to secure paid brand collaborations. A portfolio allows you to demonstrate your skills and give brands an insight into the service you can offer. If it’s not good enough, it doesn’t say much about the service you’re going to offer. Brands are not just seeking “content.” They want content that drives measurable results.
To stand out from the competition, include case studies, analytics, and tangible results in your portfolio. Showcase the impact of your work by highlighting sales data, conversions, or ROI. Demonstrating your ability to deliver concrete outcomes reassures brands that working with you is a worthwhile investment. Let the numbers speak for themselves and showcase the value you can provide.
Alex Cooper, the founder of Adcrate, echoed this sentiment when telling us what his agency looks for in new creators. “Show me results. give me data. For example, my creatives resulted in a 50% hook rate for brand X; a 20% CPA reduction for brand Y. Barely any creators do this but it’s what all agencies (and brands) want to see. His second tip, and possibly the most important… “don’t have `’what is ugc?” on your portfolio lol.”
✅ Fix: Improve Your Portfolio
If you’re looking to create a portfolio quickly and at a really low cost, opt for Canva. You can grab our free UGC content creator portfolio template to kick you off. Eventually, consider moving to Wix or Squarespace and hosting your portfolio on a website. This just looks more legitimate to brands and can be easier to navigate for those trying to whittle down a LOT of potential UGC creators.
6. Your Email Is Missing The Mark
Your email is often the first time a brand will ever come across you. And yet, it’s something that creators often get so wrong. The common downfalls?
- Reads like war and peace
- No link to portfolio
- No clear benefit to the brand.
No one wants to read a long, rambling email. Keep your pitch concise and to the point, highlighting the key aspects that make you a good fit for the brand. The person reading your email will be more willing to respond if they quickly understand who you are and what you do.
✅ Fix: Improve Your Pitch Template
Use a perfected UGC pitch template and do your research: only pitch to brands that you will actually be able to bring value to. I see new UGC creators talking time and time again about the 100s of pitches they’ve sent out in a day. Each pitch should be personalized to the brand — what is their problem and how are you the solution. You can’t do that 100 times every day (if you’re doing it properly).
7. You've Not Given It Enough Time
Contrary to popular belief, UGC is not a get-rich-quick scheme. The hoardes of UGC coaches on TikTok will tell you they made $5k in their first month whilst working 10 minutes per day and it’s just not true. Or if it is, they are dripping in lucky girl syndrome. If you’re wondering why you’ve not made your millions after 6 months, you need to manage your expectations. Build your portfolio, build your reputation and your personal brand and in a years time it’ll pay off in dividends.
✅ Fix: Be Patient
It’s a waiting game. If you’ve clued yourself up, you’ve got experience and your pitch and portfolio are up to scratch it’s only a matter of time before brands come rolling in. For 95% of creators, this isn’t the case. You need to be objective about your offering, or ask fellow creators for some really honest feedback.
Take it on board, get better and get ready for the jobs to come rolling in.