How to work for YouTubers in 2023 and build a YouTube career
Working with YouTube creators on their video content is becoming an increasingly popular way to make money such as writing, video editing, thumbnail design, social media strategy, or graphic design. YouTube offers a rich work environment where you can showcase and monetize your skills.
Here are a few examples of YouTube careers:
- As a writer, you can create scripts for popular channels or even your own YouTube channel, thus refining your storytelling skills.
- As a video editor, thumbnail designer, or graphic designer, you can get to work with many creators on their YouTube videos, and help them become a more successful YouTuber, get sponsorships, brand deals by helping them produce high-quality videos by developing an appealing aesthetic and style that resonates with viewers.
- As a social media strategist, you can use your knowledge of the YouTube algorithm, analytics, the YouTube partner program, YouTube sponsorships, and other social media platforms like TikTok or Instagram to help YouTubers get paid more for their content.
With over 2 billion monthly active users, YouTube is the second search engine in the world after Google, content creation and influencer marketing is thriving on the platform. Content creators have the ability to connect with millions of subscribers through their engaging videos on various topics. In 2023, it is crucial for professionals and businesses to understand how to effectively work with Youtube influencers.
Collaborating with Youtubers offers a unique opportunity for brands to promote their products or services through authentic and relatable content. By sponsoring a Youtuber's video or channel, businesses can leverage their target audience and gain visibility among potential customers. However, working with Youtubers requires a strategic approach. It is important to choose the right influencer whose content aligns with your brand's values and target market.
In this guide, we will explore the key steps and things to know when working with YouTubers like how to make money on YouTube, how to reach out to content creators, finding the right influencers to work with, and I will also share an example of how I got a video editing job with a YouTuber with 400k subscribers, and then started working on more ambitious projects with him.
Understanding how YouTube channels work
Before you can begin a collaboration with a YouTuber, it's essential to understand the platform they operate on and the nature of their work, so you can put yourself in their shoes.
An Overview of how YouTubers Work
Established YouTubers are more than just people who make videos for a living, in order to become a full-time content creator, they had to wear many hats (and probably still wear a lot of them):
They are content creators, video editors, social media marketers, writers, teachers, brand ambassadors and many other things, all at the same time.
This means that even if many YouTubers make money through ad revenue, by selling products, or by working with brands and creating sponsored content, a lot of works goes into growing a successful youtube channel.
What are the problems that an influencer might encounter?
Successful YouTubers often encounter problems as their audience grow in size, your goal will be to help creators in various ways whether it is by:
- Improving their YouTube SEO
- Helping them start selling their products through YouTube ads
- Assisting them in getting more sponsorships from brands in their YouTube content
- Developing new types of videos like YouTube shorts or podcasts
- Leveraging the YouTube partner program to make more money
- Studying their YouTube analytics
For more examples of YouTube job roles, you can read my article about 10 remote YouTube jobs you can do from home.
Finding the right YouTuber
When you have understood the landscape, the next step is to identify the right YouTuber with whom to collaborate. This decision should be strategic and dependent on several crucial factors.
Finding channels that are hiring
To find many YouTube channels that are currently hiring, you can try the following things:
- Finding YouTube job posts on platforms like YT Careers, you will be able to know who is hiring and for what position from job descriptions
- Searching keywords like "hiring video editor" or "hiring a scriptwriter" on X and find creators who are currently hiring
- Check your favorite YouTube channel's community tab, where they might share that they are hiring
- You can also contact them by finding their contact information on the "About" page of their YouTube account or on their social media channels
Niche relevance and ethics
Your collaboration with a YouTuber will be more successful if the YouTuber’s content aligns with your niche or what your are passionate about. The relevance helps your input blend seamlessly into the YouTuber's content, making it look organic and genuine.
I also recommend looking at the creator's track-record to ensure that they do ethical work and do not use YouTube to scam their audience like some famous YouTubers do.
Audience engagement and size
While the follower count of a YouTuber is an essential factor, it shouldn't be the only consideration when picking a YouTuber for collaboration. Engagement is just as important, if not more so. A YouTuber with a smaller but highly engaged audience can get better results than a YouTuber with a larger but less-engaged audience can. After all, a highly-engaged audience is more likely to be receptive to products and promotions from the creator since there was trust created, which leads viewers to take action. Therefore, consider checking the likes, shares, comments, and the general interaction on the YouTuber's platform before making your decision.
You can also check the like to dislike ratios on videos with chrome extensions like this one to see if creators are appreciated by their audience.
Approaching YouTubers for Collaboration
Once the right YouTuber has been identified, the next critical step is how you reach out to them. The first impression counts, and so does your proposition.
Making a memorable first contact
Approaching a YouTuber for a collaboration needs to be handled professionally and strategically. Your initial contact should be concise, appealing, well written, and demonstrate the value you can bring to the YouTuber and their content. Be respectful of their time; make your email or message concise and to the point, yet include necessary information and focus on the value you can bring to them whether it is helping them grow their YouTube audience, editing videos using premiere pro, or sharing a YouTube sponsorship strategy. Mention how you appreciate their work, and why you think your collaboration would work well. This will show them that you have done your research, respect their work, and have a vision for a successful collaboration.
Offering Free Sample Work as a Hook
One of the strategies that can help you seal the deal with a YouTuber is offering a sample of your work for free. This move can be the hook that wins you the collaboration with the creator, and is often more efficient than sharing a resume and a motivation letter.
Offering free sample work can open doors for work opportunities with popular YouTubers. It gives the creator an opportunity to assess the quality of your work without any obligations. Moreover, it helps in building trust, showcasing the professionalism and standard of your work, and displaying your confidence in your skills. This gesture can encourage the YouTuber to form a professional relationship with you, providing you with the opportunity to showcase your work on a larger platform.
How to Use Free Sample Work Effectively
The key to using free sample work effectively is by ensuring that it is high quality, relevant and adds value to the YouTuber's content. It shouldn't look like a half-hearted effort made with the sole goal of working a bit with them and then bragging about it. Instead, it should serve as a benchmark, a tangible evidence of the quality work that you can bring in for the YouTuber and their audience in the long run.
As Naval Ravikant wrote:
“Play long-term games with long-term people. All returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest”
Legal Aspects & Disclosure Requirements
While content creation and collaboration can sound exciting, one should never overlook the legal side of it. To protect all parties involved and to maintain the trust of the audience, legal aspects and disclosure requirements must be discussed and agreed upon before you start working together.
Maintaining a Healthy Working Relationship with YouTubers
Once the collaboration kicks off, it's essential to ensure a healthy working relationship to make the mission successful and sustainable. Here are two key factors to ensure everything goes well.
A successful collaboration thrives on open, clear and consistent communication. Remain responsive to YouTuber queries, suggestions, or feedback and forward your own as well. This active dialogue helps in keeping everyone on the same page and ensures smooth work.
Regular Check-Ins and Feedback
Regular check-ins and constructive feedback from both sides are integral to ensuring the collaboration remains beneficial and on track. Plus, it helps in nipping any possible issues before they escalate. So, keep the lines of conversation open and engage in productive exchanges.
Tools for Collaborating with YouTubers
In the digital age, several tools can help make collaborations easier, more organized, and efficient. Tools such as Trello, Notion or Asana can help manage projects, track progress, and keep everyone informed and updated – making the collaboration experience smooth and result-oriented.
How I got a job with a YouTuber with 400k subscribers with an email
I made a video on how I did this when I was 19 with one email, and a lot of preparation, you can watch it by clicking here!
Working with YouTubers, if done right, can provide a unique and impactful method of broadening your brand or service's reach, credibility, and appeal. By following the steps and strategies mentioned above, you can ensure effective and fruitful collaborations that tap into the enormous potential of the Youtube platform and its influencers. Most importantly, it can help in fostering a successful, positive, and mutually beneficial relationship between you and the YouTuber, paving the way for more collaborations and growth in the future.
1. How can I find YouTubers to collaborate with?
You can find creators to work with on YT Careers, or other non-specialized platforms like Fiverr or Upwork.
2. Is it necessary to offer free sample work?
While not exactly necessary, offering a free sample of your work, especially when you're starting, can help you get a foot in the door. It not only allows the YouTuber to assess and appreciate your work but also demonstrates your confidence and commitment towards the collaboration.
3. What should my first message to a YouTuber include?
Your first message should include a polite introduction, compliment for their work, the proposal for collaboration, and how collaborating with you could benefit YouTuber. Remember, your message should be concise, respectful, professionally, and distinctly personalized – showing them that you have done your research and are genuinely interested and invested.
4. Is it important to have legal agreements in collaborations?
Yes, having a legal agreement or contract in place for collaborations is important. It helps to protect your rights, clearly outline your roles and expectations, and set terms and conditions for payment, content usage, and more.
5. How can I maintain a healthy relationship with the YouTuber?
Ensure open communication, give due respect and acknowledgement, be receptive to their ideas and feedback, and do regular check-ins to see if the slate is clean. More importantly, remember that a collaboration is a partnership, treat it that way – valuing them and their contribution as equal, and not just as a promotional tool.
Founder of YT Careers