The following is a guide to YouTube collaborations - specifically, it's a list of tips for finding and approaching collab partners. Here are videos from 4 YouTubers who have done successful collabs about how they were able to get other creators to work with them.
Roberto Blake is a YouTuber who does tech reviews and graphic design tutorials in addition to providing great information about being a creative entrepreneur. He has done several collab videos and has a lot of advice about how to find potential partners. Here are 3 of his biggest tips:
1. Approach people you already have a relationship with.
This could mean friends, people you have met at events like VidCon, or people who are subscribed to your channel. It is easier for someone to want to collaborate with you if they feel like they know you.
2. Think about what your potential partner could have to offer your existing subscribers.
People sub to Roberto for tech advice, for example, so it makes sense for him to collaborate with people who have insights into technology. Collaborations should never be all about bringing in new subs – make your videos for the people who already watch your channel.
3. Create quality content consistently.
If you approach somebody about collaborating and they see that you haven’t posted in over a month, or that you don’t have many videos, it might be harder to get them to agree to work with you. The same goes if they watch your videos and don’t think they are at the same quality level as their videos.
Tips From YouTube Guru Nich Nimmin
This is a collab video about collab videos! Nick Nimmin’s channel is all about YouTube, and Brandon’s channel OnePercentBetter has tons of cool self-development animations. It’s Brandon giving the tips in this video, and 3 of his best are:
1. Use the person’s name when you contact them.
This might seem obvious, but it is an easy mistake to make. If you send someone an email where you don’t use their name (maybe you just say ‘hey’) it will seem like you aren’t interested in them. Talking about a video of theirs you like can also help show your interest in them as a creator.
2. Keep it simple.
When you’re approaching someone for the first time, don’t overwhelm them with a long email. Limit yourself to around two paragraphs.
3. Have ideas.
Don’t make your potential partner do the work of pitching ideas to you. Be open to their ideas, but come up with 1 or 2 ideas of your own you can mention when you approach the creator you want to work with. People will be more likely to say ‘yes’ to a specific idea than to the idea of collaborating in general, if they don’t already know you.
Tips From Freelancer / Lifestyle Vlogger Amy Schmittauer
Amy Schmittauer of Savvy Sexy Social does vlogs, lifestyle videos, and provides tips on being a freelancer. After doing several collabs in one week, she posted this video about how collaborations work best and how you should approach people you might want to work with.
1. Networking is important in finding collab partners.
Be nice to other creators when you meet them, offline or online, and build real relationships. Amy got to collaborate with Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) even though she had not met him before because Austin Evans - who she had built a friendship with – vouched for her with him. When you are networking, think beyond what the immediate payoff could be.
2. Don’t stray too far from your other content.
Aim to make your collab videos similar, content-wise, to the other videos on your channel. That way the new viewers you get from having the guest YouTuber in your video will be able to make an informed decision about whether they want to subscribe to you.
3. Thank the people you work with in your videos.
If you appeared in someone else’s video, you would probably appreciate it if they thanked you for being there, told their viewers to go check out your channel, and provided a link for them to do so. So, when you host someone else in one of your videos, that’s the kind of treatment you should give them. If you don’t, then the next person you want to collaborate with will see that and probably won’t want to work with you.
Collab advice starts at around 2:10.
Tips From Lifestyle and Fashion YouTuber MyLifeAsEva
Eva Gutowski (MyLifeAsEva) is a lifestyle, fashion, and DIY YouTuber who has done numerous collaborations and believes in making real friends on YouTube. In the video above she shares some of her experiences and talks about how to come across as a real person when you approach other YouTubers about collaborating.
1. Don’t approach other YouTubers as a ‘fan’.
If you want to be friends and collab partners, talk to other YouTubers as if you are their equal (which you are!). If you want to work with someone it’s probably because you like their videos, and there’s nothing wrong with saying so. Being all ‘omg, I love you, please subscribe to me too!’ isn’t likely to lead to a collab, though.
2. Ask questions.
If you’re just trying to break the ice with someone, it is a good idea to as them a question – potentially about YouTube or one of their videos. This will give them something to engage with, and it’s also a good way to let them know you’re a YouTuber too.
3. Use Twitter.
Twitter is the best place to make YouTube friends, in Eva’s opinion. It’s an easy place to casually introduce yourself and ask questions.
Do you have any of your advice on YouTube collaborations?
Excellent YouTube Video Editor Always Save Your Time
Richard Bennett is a writer and a lover of all things video.