How to Create a UGC Portfolio from Scratch 

14 March 2024

How are TikTokers making 6 figures from UGC? How do you close a brand deal as an emerging creator? Everyone is jumping on the UGC bandwagon, but how does one even get started on this journey? If you want to submerge yourself into the UGC and content creation world, having a professional portfolio is a must. In this article, we will walk through creating a UGC portfolio from scratch. 

Whether you’re committed to becoming a UGC creator or are just poking around for curiosity, follow this guide to learn how to build your UGC portfolio from scratch. 

What is UGC? 

User-generated content, UGC, is content posted to an online platform (TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, blog, etc.) to promote a brand’s products or services by an outside representative. 

While traditional UGC content was normally unpaid content from a consumer, fan, or unofficial representative, modern UGC has become more or less paid partnerships. However, UGC is typically less expensive, extremely authentic, and less intrusive than traditional influencer marketing or brand partnerships. 

UGC content examples

Nowadays, it’s harder to differentiate UGC content from paid partnerships, however, you’ve probably scrolled past it without realizing it. Yet this is where UGC is unique. UGC creators don’t need a huge following or platform to be successful. 

UGC content can vary from beauty, tech, food, and wellness, and so can the formats of the content. However, we most commonly see the following UGC content: 

  • Talking head videos
    • Review of a product 
    • Get ready with me 
  • Reels with voice-over
    • Day in the life 
    • Recap of event 
  • ASMR 
  • High-quality and aesthetic images 

For example, on TikTok, creator @ugcholly received over 18k views from her first UGC example, with just 61 followers: 

@ugcholly

My first UGC example ✨✨✨ currently trying to build my portfolio and showcase my skills! How’d I do? 👀#ugccreator #ugc #ugccontentcreator #ugcperfume

♬ Novacane – sp3dupsounds0

Here is another UGC example on Instagram, from creator @skinwithclods. As you can see, UGC content creation doesn’t mean your face always needs to be on camera to create quality content: 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Clodagh (@skinwithclods)

These are just two examples of creators that have used their platforms to promote their favorite brands and products, while reaping the benefits via brand deals, social following, etc. While these examples both revolve around the beauty world, the opportunities and niches for this type of content are truly endless. 

Why You Need a UGC Portfolio 

Having a UGC portfolio will not only showcase your skills but also allow brands to understand what you’re looking for and if it would be a right fit. When it comes to closing a partnership, you want to make sure you trust and believe in the brand. 

Also, if this is a journey you want to continue in your career, brands will most likely ask you to send over your portfolio as a reference. While you may be a talented creator, not having this portfolio may limit your brand opportunities. 

Even if you don’t have years of experience, or any experience at all, this allows you to drive the narrative of your work and present your strong suits. 

How to Create a UGC Portfolio for Beginners 

Now for the fun part, creating your portfolio! This is where you can get creative, hype yourself up, and present your goals to the brand. To guide you through creating your portfolio from scratch, I will walk through the process and the main elements you should consider adding. 

I recommend using an easy graphic design tool such as Canva, to gather ideas and utilize pre-made templates that you can tweak to fit your personal brand. Before you start designing, consider the following: 

  • What niche or industry do you feel most experienced and aligned with? 
  • Why are you passionate about content creation and what do you enjoy capturing most? 
  • What goals are you aiming to achieve in your UGC journey? 
  • How would you best describe your work? 
  • How can brands or creators reach out? 

These initial questions will help you when it comes to putting everything together. So, ready to do it? Let’s go! 

Elements to Include in your UGC Portfolio 

There is no perfect recipe for a UGC portfolio, however, these are what I believe to be necessary elements for your portfolio. Similar to a regular CV, honing in on specific examples, results, and aspects of who you are is important. This will also help you stand out, and show your unique personality. 

“About me” 

This section is necessary for any portfolio. In this section, you can discuss your work experience, personal interests, and aspirations. Consider how as being your first impression, so keep it short and sweet, while bringing your unique edge. If you already have a main platform or defined niche, include any specificities here. Including a high-quality professional image is also recommended, as it will help the brand connect with you as a person rather than your work. 

Work examples and results 

Next is where you can show off your work and past examples. Rather than simply listing the brand and products, highlight the results and benefits that came out of this partnership. Select 3-5 of your best campaigns, and present the metrics, relevance, and style to the brand. Consider mixing up the content you add to your portfolio to show versatility and adaptability. 

Pricing and/or packages

Pricing can get tricky, because what is a rate base for your deliverables? One way to test this is to time how long it takes you to create one piece of content. Calculate your rates by the hour, including any other processes such as scriptwriting. You can list your prices per each deliverable, or create packages with multiple deliverables. Of course, this will be determined by you and the brand. 

Contact information

Lastly, you should, of course, include your social media handles and contact information. If you use your personal account for content creation, this will also serve as a secondary portfolio. Always add your email, as most likely this is where you will be chatting most with brands.

Other Tips For Your UGC Portfolio 

Those four elements are extremely important for your portfolio, however, there are a few ways you can make your portfolio pop and catch a brand’s attention. 

Stay true to your “brand” 

Establishing a personal brand is important as a UGC creator. Also, your portfolio should be a way to show your personality! Whether this using your favorite colors or sharing a personal project, the portfolio doesn’t need to act like a job interview. 

Establish partnerships with brands you trust 

As I mentioned before, creating authentic content comes with enjoying the product or brand. Remember this is a mutually beneficial relationship and some brands may not align with your visions. But don’t let this discourage you from being critical in your partnerships. At the end of the day, this is a product that you will create content about, test, or add to your daily routine. 

Include the why in your work 

Along with your personality, including why you enjoy this work and are passionate about it. This also goes for your work examples, so highlight what you enjoyed about these projects! 

As you continue to build your career, you can change this portfolio or create multiple depending on the project. We also recommend using a social media management tool like Metricool to track your social media performance, manage your messages and comments, and create link-in-bio pages for any brand links. 

If you’re looking for another guide about UGC, watch this video to maximize your UGC. 

UGC Portfolio Template

If you’re feeling stuck in creating your UGC portfolio, we have a template to help you. Use this template as a reference to ensure all the necessary elements are included so you can show off your skills. Here at Metricool, we have created a UGC portfolio template that you can copy and customize for your work. We hope you enjoy it!

Anniston Ward Anniston Ward , 14 March 2024

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