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Dited 29 Brand Partners: Inside Creator Confidential And Its Co-Founder Keeley Mazurek

UGC specialist Keeley Mazurek is making her mark with the inaugural Creator Confidential (CC). Launched July 3 in Toronto, this event captured the industry’s attention, drawing 130 attendees across North America and Europe. Keeley, who pivoted from social media management to User-Generated Content (UGC) creation, is leveraging her experience to address key issues in the field, including the importance of strategic thinking and fair compensation.

The event featured a panel of seasoned experts who provided actionable insights on crucial topics such as brand relationships, income diversification, and maintaining work-life balance in the demanding world of content creation. With 29 brand partners on board and the potential for job opportunities, Creator Confidential is more than just an event—it’s shaping up to be a pivotal networking hub for the UGC community.

The Mastermind Behind Creator Confidential

Keeley’s journey began in social media management, where she honed her skills in creating content for various school platforms. Her path towards UGC was sparked by a serendipitous TikTok video. “I saw her talking about working with brands without being an influencer,” she recounts. “I want to make money working with brands, but I do not want to have to post on my social media every day.”

This revelation aligned with her existing skill set and aspirations. Keeley had already taken editing courses, managed social media accounts, and created videos and content without significant monetary compensation. She saw an opportunity to monetize these skills in the UGC space.

Her initial foray into UGC was driven by financial motivations. “In the beginning, I just wanted to make videos,” Keeley admits. However, her perspective progressed as she dove deeper into the field. “Through that process, I learned I like strategy,” she explains.

This strategic focus led Keeley to explore creative strategy and direct response marketing. She credits a conversation with another creator for this shift in direction. “If you want to make more money working with brands, you need to get into the creative strategy aspect,” Keeley recalls being told. According to her, the appeal of direct response marketing lies in its data-driven approach and psychological underpinnings.

Steady Growth in the UGC Space

As KYLM Co. expands, Keeley has developed her offerings beyond content creation to encompass a full-service approach. “I’ve worked with brands where I’m just doing editing; I’ve worked with brands where I’m just doing script writing,” she explains. This versatility allows her to cater to diverse client needs.

Keeley emphasizes a strategic mindset when working with brands. “What do you need help with?” she asks clients, focusing on specific goals rather than generic content creation. “I don’t have a problem telling a brand [that I would] change [something],” Keeley states, noting that many creators lack the confidence to provide such feedback.

Scaling Challenges and Work-Life Balance

As her business grew, Keeley faced a common challenge in the creator economy: balancing workload with revenue. “The biggest challenge for me was just saying no to not taking on as much work,” she admits. The temptation to accept every opportunity led to burnout. “I was doing 12-hour days for a couple of months, and [figured out] I cannot do that,” Keeley recalls.

This experience prompted a shift in her approach. “I’ve scaled it back,” she says, prioritizing work-life balance over maximizing income. Keeley cautions against the trap of constantly pursuing higher earnings at the expense of personal well-being. “The idea is to make more money and work less… but they’re working more because they just want to make more money. It just doesn’t make any sense to me,” she observes.

Instead, the UGC maven advocates for a more sustainable approach: “Find a happy medium, find an amount of money that is good enough for you.”

This philosophy has led Keeley to refine her business strategy. “I’m charging more and taking on less [work] because I think it’s just not [worth] that $100, $150 deal,” she explains. Focusing on higher-value projects and diversifying her income streams, Keeley wants to balance financial success and personal well-being, challenging the notion that creators must constantly chase new clients to thrive.

Lessons Learned

Reflecting on her journey, Keeley identifies a crucial lesson for aspiring UGC creators: target the right brands. “I wish that before I had started, somebody had actually [told] me… find brands that are working with [creators],” she says. The content creator believes she should have spent more time initially pitching to brands that needed to be more engaged in UGC campaigns. She advises newcomers to research and focus on companies already utilizing creator content, streamlining the process of securing meaningful partnerships.

Securing Clients by Crafting Creative Concepts

Keeley recalls her first client. “My first client just found me on social and was like, ‘Hey, can you make some videos for us?’” she reveals. This early success, however, was not indicative of the path ahead. Keeley soon learned that consistent client acquisition required proactive outreach and strategic networking.

Currently, much of Keeley’s work comes through agency connections. “I’ve been fortunate to have some more great agency connections that [have] been giving me [work] for brands to work with,” she explains. However, the digital veteran still receives inbound inquiries from unexpected sources, who find her content on social platforms like X/Twitter.

For creative concepts, Keeley recommends thorough research. “I researched the niche. I’ll research the previous ads.” She also consults with clients about their successful past campaigns, stressing the importance of staying current with industry trends and tailoring content to each brand’s unique needs.

“I always try to find a way to relate the product to my life,” Keeley notes, explaining that this strategy helps her craft authentic messages that resonate with audiences across various product categories.

MUD\WTR Case Study

Keeley’s approach to UGC creation blends creativity with strategic thinking. A standout example from her work with MUD\WTR illustrates this balance. “I pretended to be walking outside my back door, and I went to the, like, sit on the stair, and completely poured the whole MUD\WTR on me,” Keeley recounts. This one-take video, requiring meticulous planning and execution, resonated strongly with viewers and achieved a high hook rate.

The Future of UGC and Advice for Newcomers

Keeley remains optimistic about the future of UGC. “I see it continuing to grow. I don’t think that UGC is slowing down,” she asserts, dismissing claims that AI will replace human creators. The creator economy expert emphasizes the enduring value of authentic human connections in content creation.

Keeley advises fellow creators: “Don’t compare your journey to anybody else’s.” She encourages persistence, citing her experience of taking nearly five months to gain traction. “If you continue to work at it and you continue to get better at it, I truly believe that results will always follow,” Keeley states.

She also cautions against believing unrealistic success stories, noting that many successful creators have undisclosed backgrounds in marketing or related fields. Her message is clear: focus on skill development and individual growth, and success will follow.

Creator Confidential: Fostering a Community 

Creator Confidential significantly evolved from Keeley’s initial UGC creator dinners, and now, a team of four, including herself, has put on this event. What began as local gatherings has grown into a substantial event, with 130 attendees expected. The event provides diverse insights through panel discussions covering brand relationships, income diversification, and work-life balance. Keeley summarizes the event’s practical focus: “The takeaway is there’s also a little bit something different from each of us.”

Beyond knowledge sharing, CC offers tangible opportunities for attendees. With 29 brand partners and carefully curated swag bags, Keeley sees potential for creators to secure brand collaborations. “Being able to land a brand collaboration out of the event is important for us,” she states.

The event’s value proposition extends to potential job opportunities. Keeley reveals that one sponsor was looking to hire creators from the event, hinting at the event’s role in facilitating direct connections between brands and creators.

CC as a Hub for UGC Expertise and Networking

Creator Confidential has become a significant event in the UGC creator community. The panel of speakers represented a diverse range of expertise within the industry:

  • Mehr – balancing a 9-to-5 job with a successful UGC business
  • Salha Aziz – featured five times in Business Insider for her work
  • Charlotte Arsenault – who transitioned from UGC creation to digital product development
  • Kelly Rocklein – a veteran marketing professional with over $450 million generated for brands
  • Keeley herself – offering insights as an experienced creator who entered the field at 33

The event occurred on July 3, attracting attendees across North America and Europe. Keeley highlights the comprehensive experience they created, including a VIP dinner, hotel collaboration, and carefully selected venues in downtown Toronto.

“We wanted to try to get a hotel collaboration,” Keeley explains, emphasizing their efforts to add value beyond networking. The 30% discount on hotel rooms and the proximity of all event locations demonstrated their commitment to the attendee experience.

Keeley sees Creator Confidential developing beyond a single annual event. “This is going to be something bigger than just one event a year,” she states, hinting at plans for trips and additional gatherings.

Future Prospects

Keeley offers valuable insights for brands entering the UGC space. She emphasizes the importance of fair compensation and warns against seeking free content from creators. “If you want to get good content, you must pay for it,” she asserts. The skilled creator advises brands to work with creators on multiple projects rather than one-off videos, allowing consistent content and better results.

With her sight set on the future, Keeley focuses on scaling her digital products, partly due to her impending parenthood. She sees potential in the digital product space, inspired by her previous experience in social media management. “There’s not a lot of overhead… so this makes sense,” she explains.

While expanding into digital products, Keeley remains committed to UGC creation, particularly enjoying video editing. She plans to continue building her brand roster and teaching others in the field, reinforcing her belief that “UGC as a whole, it’s not going anywhere.”

Cecilia Carloni, Interview Manager at Influence Weekly and writer for NetInfluencer. Coming from beautiful Argentina, Ceci has spent years chatting with big names in the influencer world, making friends and learning insider info along the way. When she’s not deep in interviews or writing, she's enjoying life with her two daughters. Ceci’s stories give a peek behind the curtain of influencer life, sharing the real and interesting tales from her many conversations with movers and shakers in the space.

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