🚩 If they tell you how to gather UGC without paying for posts

May 13, 2024
Emmy Liederman
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I recently came across a Twitter thread that started with ... There’s a way to get high-quality UGC… Without paying for posts…

Needless to say this set off quite a few  🚩s for me.

The SparkNotes version of the thread is this:

  • Find creators/influencers
  • Email them several times
  • Send them free or discounted product
  • After they post product send them a thank you
  • Sign them up as an affiliate
  • Let them get paid based on affiliate revenue

This is tactic that may work for some, but really is quite flawed if your goal is create successful marketing campaigns while also respecting the creators you work with.

Here is where I see the shortcomings:

  1. Most brands don't have the time to search for which creators to work with, and furthermore they don't have the time to engage in cold outreach. Brands are becoming leaner and leaner, and this is simply bandwidth several of them don't have.

  2. Creators should be paid based on the time they put in, not based on the revenue they generate. Find the right creators to drive the right traffic, and let your product and website drive the revenue. This is a respect issue. Good creators are putting a ton of time and effort into their posts and content and should be paid as such. If you're working with the right creator this is more than a 'side-hustle' for them, and their work and time should be respected and they should be compensated appropriately.

  3. Affiliate revenue is great, but it's almost as dependent on the website the creator content is driving to as much as it's dependent on the creator content. Why should a creator's revenue be based on a website's ability to convert a customer? Creators shouldn't be responsible for inventory levels, conversion optimization, the checkout experience, etc? And what if a creator's content drives the first touch but the customer converts based on a retargeting campaign? Based on the affiliate model (which is typically last-click attribution) the creator won't get paid.

All that to say: Pay creators!

As we mentioned a few weeks ago, F*** You Pay Me (FYPM) is an organization that was created to bring more transparency, accountability, and fairness to the influencer industry, and to make sure influencers get paid what they’re worth.

“Reminder: It isn’t rude to ask for money!” FYPM’s website states. “It might seem uncomfortable transitioning from gifted to paid, but brands that see your value WILL continue to invest in you. And if they don’t… there’s other brands that will.”

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