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User-generated content has quickly become the hottest ticket for content creators looking to monetize their skills. It’s not uncommon to see a UGC creator making up to $500 per day, but the secret to any high-earning creator is a well-crafted portfolio of UGC examples. 

You’ve probably heard of media kits and portfolios, but if you’re looking to curate your portfolio to land more UGC brand deals, you’ve come to the right place. 

In this guide to building a UGC portfolio, we’ll cover the following:

It’s important to note that success as a UGC creator comes from proper preparation and understanding what is in demand. If you’re new to the world of UGC, I’d recommend reading our guide to becoming a UGC creator to start yourself off on the right foot.

ugc content creator portfolio screenshot
Example of the contents of a UGC content creator portfolio

What Is UGC?

User-generated content (UGC) refers to any content created by a brand’s customer base rather than by the brand itself. Brands use UGC for both paid and organic social media posts.

To capitalize on the popularity of this content style, brands now hire specialized content creators, known as UGC creators, to create marketing content that appears user-generated.

Why Does UGC Matter?

UGC is built on social proof, which is the idea that people are more likely to trust testimonials from their friends, family, or peers. By incorporating UGC campaigns into their content marketing strategy, brands can achieve a level of authenticity that increases brand awareness and loyalty.

That is the magic behind UGC and why user-generated content campaigns produce 29% higher conversion rates. Simply put, marketing campaigns that utilize UGC result in more sales through “word-of-mouth” style marketing and social media posts.

On top of increasing sales, UGC campaigns are also much cheaper to produce and manage, helping retailers better connect with potential customers—which is a core distinction between UGC and influencer marketing.

@asarai “This mask has changed everything” — Verified Buyer of Earth Tone Mask #asarai #fyp #earthtonesmask ♬ original sound - ASARAI

Why Should You Include UGC Examples in Your Creator Portfolio or Media Kit?

There is no doubt that demand for user-generated content will only continue to grow in 2023. From ecommerce to B2B SaaS, marketing managers will be hungry for high-performing user-generated content campaigns.

This is great news for all content creators, but especially for smaller creators without a large following. UGC represents an opportunity to monetize your content without the need to build an audience first. 

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What Makes a Good UGC Portfolio?

Here are some tips on curating your portfolio to land contracts by creating user-generated content for brands:

  1. Select your best work: Choose a selection of your best and most relevant work to include in your portfolio. This will give potential clients an idea of the quality of your content and your skills as a creator.
  1. Clean design: Allow your work to stand on its own, and keep other design elements and graphics to a minimum. Include enough “empty” space around content to reduce visual clutter, and keep written sections short and succinct. 
  1. Include a diverse range of content: While it's important to focus on your strengths, it's also a good idea to include a diverse range of content in your portfolio. This can help demonstrate your versatility and adaptability as a creator.
  1. Use descriptive captions: Include brief descriptions of each piece of content in your portfolio, highlighting the concept, target audience, and any relevant details.
  1. Keep your portfolio up to date: It's important to regularly update it with your latest and greatest work. This will help demonstrate to potential clients that you are actively creating and staying current in your field.

5 UGC Examples You Should Include in Your Portfolio or Media Kit

Short-form video has become popular on social media platforms like TikTok and Reels, leading many brands and retailers to increase their production of this type of social media content. Name a big brand—Starbucks, Coca-Cola, or Apple—and you’ll be able to find a UGC video on their social media.

For this reason, it is most lucrative for content creators to focus on creating a UGC portfolio with multiple UGC video examples. Here are the most common forms of UGC brands look for:

Aesthetic “product only” showcase

These are visually appealing videos that showcase a product in an attractive way. They can be used to demonstrate a product's features and benefits and help create a sense of desire among viewers.

To create an aesthetic product video that will stand out in your portfolio, it’s best to:

  • Keep the video short to maintain viewer attention and increase shareability on social media.
  • Shoot in 4K and use good lighting and angles.
  • Use creative edits and fast cuts to make the video engaging.
  • Use relevant and trending music or audio to increase reach and add emotion.
  • Consider using text or graphics to highlight key points without narration.
@glossy.ugc showing @tomfordbeauty some love with this ugc example! emulating the vibe of the product makes the content creation a smooth + intuitive process 💞 #ugc #ugccreator #ugcexample #ugccommunity ♬ love nwantinti (ah ah ah) - CKay

Voiceover vlog

Vlogs are an effective way for content creators to appeal to the average consumer by highlighting how certain products improve daily life. These videos often take the form of a personal diary or journal, in which you’ll share your thoughts, experiences, and daily activities with your audience.

Three common styles of vlogs that work well for UGC are: 

  • Day in the Life: Shares daily life events and tasks and showcases how certain products are used throughout the day. 
  • Get Ready with Me: Takes viewers through each step involved with getting ready for the day. A popular choice for showcasing fashion and beauty products.
  • Come with Me: Bring viewers on a special trip or night out to explain how a chosen product elevates the experience.
@rebel.socials ✨UGC video example for a TikTok Ad. #ugc #ugc2023 #ugcvideoexample #ugcvoiceover #ugcvideoexamples #howtoworkwithbrands #wheretofindbranddeals #howtostartdoingugc2023 #sahmjobs2023 #ugcnewbie2023 #ugcforbeginners2023 #ugccreatortips2023 #ugccreator2023 #ugcbeauty #ugcvideoexamples2023 ♬ original sound - 🤓Kate // UGC & TIKTOK coach

Unboxing videos

An unboxing video is a type of user-generated content that features a creator opening and reviewing a new product. These videos are popular on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram and often showcase new products or create excitement around a product launch.

Unboxing videos are an effective style of user-generated content for a few reasons:

  • They create anticipation and excitement: Unboxing videos can help build anticipation and excitement around a new product as viewers see the product in action for the first time.
  • They showcase the customer experience: Unboxing videos offer a more immersive experience for viewers. They see the product from multiple angles and hear the creator's thoughts and opinions in real time.
  • They build trust and credibility: When a creator shares their honest thoughts and opinions on a product in an unboxing video, it can help build trust and credibility with their audience.
@createdbyadalyn Here’s an example of UGC that I made without showing my face! Unboxing videos are a very popular type of UGC, and are really easy to make. #ugcconcept #ugccreatortip #ugcexample #ugccreatives #usergeneratedcontentcreator ♬ original sound - UGC Creator | Adalyn

Product reviews & demonstrations

A product demo or highlight video will feature a creator demonstrating and showcasing the features and benefits of a product. These videos often educate viewers about a product and highlight its best use cases.

Brands love product demos and highlight videos because:

  • They provide detailed information about the product: Product demos or highlight videos allow creators to go into more detail about the features and benefits of a product, providing valuable information for viewers who are considering making a purchase.
  • They showcase the product in action: By demonstrating it in action, creators can help viewers better understand how the product works and how it can be used in real-world situations.
@theugcsociety UGC example straight from my portfolio! I notice that a lot of brands really love simple videos like this that just show the product in action🕺 I label this as a product demo on my portfolio😊 #ugccreator #ugcexample #ugctips #ugccommunity #ugccreators #ugcportfolio ♬ Casio - Jungle

Problem/solution 

This style of UGC is optimized for conversions and sales because it directly addresses a problem faced by the viewer and presents the product as the solution. This can be particularly effective in landing paid contracts with brands, as it demonstrates the ability to create content that translates into sales.

Content creators can make a UGC video that hooks viewers by stating a problem and positioning a product as the solution by following these steps:

  1. Identify a problem that the product solves
  2. Introduce the problem
  3. Position the product as the solution
  4. Call to action
@rebel.socials ✨ You always ask to post UGC video examples for new beginners or UGC video examples voiceovers. ✅This is a TikTok ad UGC example, storytelling/ testimonial. ✅What is UGC? It stands for user generated content. If you wondering how to become a UGC creator, I post best content creator tips and tricks on my page. #ugcvideoexample #ugcvideoexamples #wheretofindbranddeals #howtougc #ugcforbeginners #ugcfornewbies #ugcnewbie #ugcnewbies #howtoworkwithbrands #ugcexamples #ugcexamplevideo #ugccreator #contentcreatortipsandtricks #contentcreatortips ♬ original sound - 🤓Kate // UGC & TIKTOK coach

Additional UGC Tips

Once you have filmed your videos and put together a portfolio full of examples of user-generated content, your next step is brand outreach. Reaching out to a brand for collaboration is called “pitching” or “cold outreach.” 

I won’t lie to you, brand outreach can be terrifying—thanks to every creator's best friend, Imposter Syndrome. Here are a few tips to increase your chances of getting a response: 

  • DM marketing teams on social media channels like LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter. This can feel less intimidating than sending a formal email. 
  • Always personalize your outreach to the brand or marketing manager you are contacting. Don’t copy and paste the exact same message to everyone.
  • Briefly explain how your content creation will benefit their digital marketing efforts. 
  • Don’t forget to link your portfolio of user-generated content examples!

If you’re feeling shaky about your next steps, check out our ultimate guide to becoming a UGC content creator—we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

Essential UGC Tools

To create high-quality content that will impress brands (and their customers), it’s best to familiarize yourself with the tools below. 

Capcut 

CapCut is a free video editing app that is popular among short-form video creators and is compatible with TikTok. It includes effects to make the content look native to TikTok and can be accessed via desktop. 

Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is a photo editing tool that allows users to edit their product shots and includes pre-set filters. Lightroom has both desktop and mobile versions, along with cloud-save abilities.

Canva

Canva is a free online design tool with a library of templates that can be used to create outreach materials, such as portfolios and brand logos, and can also be used to design a website.

Time to Put Your UGC Portfolio to the Test!

There's no doubt that the market for UGC creators is, as Derek Zoolander would put it, "So hot right now." Leaning into user-generated content creation makes sense for content creators hungry for more lucrative gigs.

If you’re an overachiever that needs more inspiration, check out our list of the best media kit examples of 2023. And you sure don't want to miss out on the tips and tricks awaiting you in the Indie Media Club newsletter. 

Sign up here to get updates on the latest trends, best practices, and tips for building a lucrative career as a content creator.

By Michelle Leighton

Michelle is full-time content creator, social media strategist & self-proclaimed TikTok addict. She is passionate about helping brands grow their online presence through authentic, funny, and relatable content.

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