We naturally associate larger sponsorships with YouTube’s most popular content creators like PewDiePie, Logan Paul, Liza Koshy, and Ryan Higa. I’m sure you’ve heard of these people because each of them has millions of subscribers. But how can smaller YouTube channels get sponsors?
Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie), who currently has 110 million subscribers, has earned $124 million since 2010. Logan Paul makes more or less $36,000 a day, while Liza Koshy’s current net worth is $6 million. I’d say these folks aren’t doing too bad for themselves! This Forbes article will give you some nice insight into some of these creators. You can always check creator stats over on SocialBlade as well.
If you think it’s impossible for you to get sponsorships with not that many subscribers, you’re mistaken. There are some lucrative sponsorships available for smaller channels as well. It’s just a matter of seeking these sponsorships out.
Related Reading: How to make money on YouTube without making videos – Check Them out Here
What Attracts Sponsors?
Companies realized that influencer marketing is the best way they can advertise products and services. Having regular people endorse products for them gives the market audience a safer and more authentic feeling. Aren’t you more likely to purchase something if a friend recommends it to you? That’s the feeling that influencer marketing is trying to create, and it looks like it’s working.
Here’s a bit of good news for you. Sponsorships are available to all YouTube channels, not just the most successful ones in terms of subscriber count. In fact, I had 2 videos sponsored on my YouTube Channel when my subscriber count was less than 900. So if you want to start looking for companies to sponsor you, you’ve landed on the right post!
The first thing you need to know is what attracts sponsors. What exactly are companies looking for? Read on to find out.
1. An Established Brand Persona
The first thing a company will check when they consider you as a sponsor is your brand’s compatibility with theirs. Companies will want to know if they share their values and if their products are relevant to your content.
For example, you can expect to be sponsored by a car company if your content is all about makeup. Unclear and inconsistent branding will harm a company’s reputation, so they’re very careful about who they sponsor.
To increase your chances of getting sponsorships, be sure of what your brand is all about and be consistent with the content you put out.
To illustrate my point, let’s consider Markiplier, a YouTube gamer with over 29 million subscribers. When you watch one or two of his videos, you’ll get an immediate sense of what his brand is all about. He’s a funny, upbeat gamer who wants to give people a good time.
The more you watch his videos, the more you’ll find how consistent he is with his persona. Because of his consistency, he managed to get sponsored by brands like Loot Crate and Big Hero 6.
If you don’t know the first thing about establishing a brand, it’s crucial that you ask yourself the following questions:
- What are you passionate about?
- What is the general tone of your content?
- Who is your audience?
- What brands are related to your niche?
- What are your core values as a business owner?
- Who is your online persona?
The clearer your brand is, the easier you’ll find companies willing to sponsor you. So to summarize, companies aren’t going to work with lukewarm inconsistent internet personalities simply because it’s bad for business.
2. A Similar Target Audience
A company is only going to be willing to work with you if you have the same target audience. What does this mean? It’s unlikely for a tech company to work with someone who vlogs their natural minimalist lifestyle. However, it’s more likely for an organic skincare company to work with someone of the sort.
Before you can figure out what companies would be a good match for you, you have to understand your analytics. Ask yourself these questions about your audience:
- Who is your audience? What is your age demographic?
- What are their spending habits?
- Where do they buy products?
- What brands do they frequently patronize?
So how can you get a YouTube sponsor? Let’s go back to my example of vlogging your natural minimalist lifestyle. An audience for that would be interested in a lot of products for organization, cleaning, and zero-waste consumables. Many companies carry such products and would want to advertise to your audience as a vlogger.
3. High-quality Content
Low-quality content can hurt a brand; that’s why companies often sponsor people who make professional or professional-looking content. A mega brand wouldn’t sponsor someone who makes videos with no informational or entertainment value.
It wouldn’t be the best thing to try and get sponsorships if you’re not confident in the quality of your content. You could end up blacklisted not just from the companies you applied to but also from their peers.
So before you attempt to contact companies for sponsorships, give your content a long hard quality check. Ask yourself, “Would I like this if it were somebody else’s content?” Pay attention to the feedback that you’re getting from your audience too. It helps to check in with your audience and how they receive what you put up on the web.
How do you Connect with Sponsors?
If you’re new to YouTube and its money-making potential, finding sponsors can be a daunting task. You might be wondering if you should wait for companies to reach out to you. How do you even know which companies are offering sponsorships? Should you blindly email companies on the off chance that they’ll like your stuff?
These are excellent questions. Fortunately for us creators, there are some websites out there that are made specifically to connect smaller YouTube channels to companies willing to sponsor them. I’ve listed my favorite ones below.
This site is specifically aimed towards YouTube creators. As of now, GrapeVine has paid more than $4 million to smaller YouTubers like us. GrapeVine is a platform that facilitates sponsorship deals between YouTube creators and willing companies.
Sure, there is the odd big-timer on YouTube that uses GrapeVine, but its primary market is small to medium-sized channels. If you’re new to sponsorships, this platform is an excellent place to start.
You can get two kinds of sponsorships on GrapeVine: paid sponsorships and products in exchange for reviews. Have you ever come across someone on YouTube reviewing a bunch of products from a line? They might be getting paid money, or they get to keep the products that they’re asked to review.
2. Content BLVD
Content BLVD doesn’t pay YouTubers money. They pay in goods. They believe that real influence can’t be bought, so they allow creators to make reviews of products, and they get to keep these products in return. If you ever work for Content BLVD, you’ll be asked to disclose the fact that you’re doing reviews in exchange for goods. It’s a part of their policy.
If your YouTube channel is all about doing reviews or you use a lot of physical products in your niche, Content BLVD is the way to go.
FameBit is an easy-to-use sponsorship platform aimed towards YouTube and Instagram creators. It’s an excellent entry point for those who are seeking sponsorships as a relatively unknown figure on the internet.
It couldn’t be easier to sign up on FameBit. After you do, you’ll have access to companies that are interested in working with smaller creators. Companies post projects that members can bid on and claim.
Is it okay to have YouTube sponsorship as your sole revenue stream?
I mean, it’s ideal not to have the need for multiple revenue streams, but we can’t all be PewDiePie. Getting sponsorships as a YouTube creator is not the only way you can make money on the platform. As a new business, I suggest you add other streams of revenue to fortify your business model.
Here are some of the more popular ways to make money with a YouTube account.
1. Affiliate Marketing
Do you notice links in YouTube video annotations and descriptions? Those are likely affiliate links. These links have tracking codes, so that remember the users who click on them. The more you get people to click on your links, the more money you get.
The idea is to entice your audience with your content and encourage them to purchase the products that you’re advertising. The company that you’re advertising for will then, in turn, pay you for your efforts. In fact, affiliate marketing is one of the ways that I make money from the content that I produce on this blog. Here’s a large list of affiliate programs if you’d like to look into some that might be a good fit for you.
When one of your audience members clicks on one of your affiliate links, they get directed to an affiliate landing page where they’ll be persuaded to buy the products that you recommend.
The tracking codes that I’m talking about will also keep track of whether or not your clicks turn into sales. When you do well enough to encourage sales, you earn a commission. You’ll notice that a lot of YouTubers mention sites like Amazon, Skillshare, Target, and Movavi. These companies pay creators to get people on their landing pages.
Affiliate marketing will work for you if you have a large audience that you can peddle products to. Commissions usually lie between the 5%-15% range. To get a considerable income stream, you have to try to sell expensive products or have more people buy affordable products. Ideally, you want costly products with high conversion rates.
Most YouTubers make their money through ads. You will have to reach the threshold of 4,000 watch hours in the past year and 1,000 subs to make your channel eligible for ad revenue. Once you reach this threshold, you can sign up for the YouTube Partner Program, which will link your YouTube channel to a Google AdSense account.
The concept of ad revenue is straightforward. YouTube will play ads before, during, or after your video, and you’ll get paid in exchange. I have to warn you that you need a significant number of views to generate a considerable income with ads. When I first started out, I only made $1-$2 per 1000 views.
3. Sell merch
Selling merch or digital products is by far the easiest way to make money on YouTube. Most of the work lies in creating the products. You then set up an online store, mention your products in your videos, and link your videos to your virtual shop.
I suggest you start with digital products because you don’t need start-up capital to create them. When you complete a digital product, it won’t stop making money for you unless it becomes irrelevant.
Christ Ramsay is an excellent example for selling products. He’s a magician on YouTube who performs at private and corporate events. He sells his magic tricks on Sellfy, and that’s his primary source of income.
What digital products are the most profitable?
There are so many kinds of digital products, and some are more profitable than others. You can expect to make serious money by selling:
- Stock photos, audio, and videos
- Digital art and graphics
Where can you sell products?
There are many eCommerce platforms you can choose from, like Sellfy and Shopify. These platforms are accessible to everyone, perfect for smaller YouTube channels.
Sellfy, in particular, is designed specifically for YouTubers, and setting up shop there is super easy. The default storefront that you get looks very professional already, so you don’t have to tweak it that much. You can have a virtual store in minutes!
For a fixed monthly price, you’ll have unlimited bandwidth, meaning you can sell as many items as you want. When someone purchases something from your store, the payment is immediately sent to your PayPal account.
Well, how do you drive traffic to your Stellify store? First, make sure to add links to your store in your video descriptions and annotations. You can also add a link when you customize your profile banner. The last image that your viewers should see on your videos is a link to your store.
Related Reading: How much do sponsors pay YouTubers – Check Them out Here
As you can see, there are a couple of ways to get sponsorships as a smaller YouTuber. Money is up for the taking, not just for YouTubers with millions of subscribers. If you want to have a breezier time getting sponsored by companies, work on your content! Make sure your content is as best as it can be to build up an excellent online reputation.