If you own a small YouTube channel, it may seem like you can’t get sponsored on YouTube until you grow a big audience.
But don’t worry. You can still get a juicy brand deal to make money with your YouTube channel. Today we are going to be talking all about YouTube brand deals for small channels. Don’t miss out on this information! It could change the way you approach sponsorships.
How Many Subscribers Do You Need to Get Sponsored on YouTube?
When you’re a nano or micro-influencer you’re in the most vulnerable position in your career because you just lack experience on brand deals.
[Side note] If you have anything between 1,000-10,000 subscribers you’re a nano-influencer. On the other hand, if you have between 10,000-50,000 subscribers consider yourself a micro-influencer.
Many businesses can take advantage of you if you don’t know how to approach them the right way.
And at this point, you probably also don’t have a network of other content creators to go for advice and to rely on for support.
This type of advice of someone who knows better can help you to make substantially more money on your brand deals. Be aware of these things in your search for sponsorships.
With that out of the way, there isn’t a defined number of subscribers you need to have before pitching to brands to get sponsorships.
As we are going to discuss, you don’t necessarily have to have a huge following, but if your follower count it’s too little, brands may ignore you.
If that’s your case, consider buying real, organic YouTube subscribers to kickstart your journey of money-making on YouTube.
Think Like a Business Owner
You may believe that’s almost impossible to get a brand deal at this point in your YouTube career, but that’s not true!
With the popularity of influencer marketing increasing more and more with each passing day, the possibility of getting brand deals is high, even with a small channel.
The size of your audience isn’t the only factor that brands look for anymore.
Although to do it successfully, you need to take your YouTube channel seriously and act like a business owner. Don’t undersell yourself. But, how to price your channel when you perceive your value as small, based only on your audience’s size? Let’s shift your mindset.
Audience Size Is NOT The Only Thing That Matters
Sure: influence comes first, income comes second.
But influence in the form of huge audiences isn’t the only thing brands are looking for nowadays.
What’s your influence? Think about this long and hard.
If you’re an aspiring influencer or a lifestyle entrepreneur, or someone looking to build a personal brand, bundle your influences in the offering you pitch to brands.
Have you built influence on other platforms, besides YouTube? Maybe you have an email list? Have you made other digital marketing collaborations or partnerships? Use that to your advantage.
The Power of High-Quality Content
Another way of making money from brand deals isn’t by the influence you have but by your ability to produce content and creatives.
Audience size indeed attracts brands, but what also attracts them is high-quality content.
Go to brands in your niche and look at their social media posts and the content on their website to evaluate the type and quality of their content.
Now, look at the content of influencers in the same niche.
Can you do content at the same level? Could your content potentially communicate what that brand needs to communicate at the same, or (even better) quality?
Brands commonly use snippets of YouTubers’ product reviews, for example, in their ads campaigns. It’s a common practice, but the video has to be very high-quality and be a reflection of the brand’s values.
Are you making high enough quality work to get the attention of a brand and deserve to represent that brand? How can you improve your content?
If your work is too good to ignore, you will be noticed!
Brands want people that share the same values, that can become spokespersons of that brand. They want brand advocates and ambassadors.
Does your content embrace the lifestyle that the brand represents?
Engagement Is More Important That Subscribers Count
It’s not about the size of your following, it’s more about the engagement that following has with you and our content.
Can you demonstrate that when you talk about a brand, product, or anything you’re doing, people will engage with it?
Do people follow your recommendations?
If not, brands will see no value in your channel. People have to be emotionally committed to the things you recommend in your channel. That is what makes you valuable to a brand.
You have to create a reason, besides your follower count (especially if that isn’t your strength right now), and put it in front of those brands you desire to work with. Make sure your content is high-quality enough, that you have a clean and professional social media presence, and that your aesthetic is aligned with the brands you approach.
Now, Let’s Get to Work!
Let’s tie all of this together with a practical exercise.
To begin, make a list of at least 50-100 brands you’d like to work with.
Then, make a mood board on Pinterest or wherever you choose. The lifestyle you portray on social media will make you a good fit for these brands, based on their aesthetic?
If not, readjust. Choose other brands, truly aligned with your personality and values.
As we said earlier, the content, how you dress, and the aesthetic in general, have to be aligned with what the brands you aspire to work with want to communicate.
Lastly, start to create content and build a relationship with these brands. Make product reviews, tag the brands on social media, reply to their posts early with a meaningful comment… In short: make yourself visible.
When you eventually talk to them to build a business relationship and close a brand deal, you will not be coming out of the blue.
Now that you have the basics covered, you can start to think about your pitches.
Craft a compelling pitch to send to the brands on your list. Your pitch should amplify your channel’s strengths.
How? Well, it has to express that your channel attracts the exact ideal audience that the brand is looking for, and solves a specific problem that audience has (so they will listen to you and your recommendations).
Make it personalized for each brand, this is what will determine your success rate.
Nobody likes to receive a copy-pasted template! I can’t stress this enough.
And, probably the least glamorous part of all this: send emails every day until you get an answer.
You will be rejected, so don’t sweat about it. It is part of the process.
For each brand that rejects you, you are closer to encountering a brand that’s a perfect fit for you.
As you probably realized by now, you don’t necessarily have to have a huge following to get brand deals.
Nowadays, more important than reach is the community you build around your YouTube channel.
Brands prefer to work with rather small influencers that may not have a huge following, but the following they do have is engaged and follow the influencer’s recommendations.
Another conclusion of this post is that the brands you pitch have to be aligned with your style, aesthetic, values, and personality.
To be a good fit for a brand, you promoting their product has to make sense according to your audience and niche.
And lastly, don’t forget to hustle and send personalized pitches until you get an answer!
If your YouTube channel is really small at the moment and you don’t have a community build yet, consider purchasing real, organic YouTube subscribers to grow your channel and kickstart the journey of making money on YouTube.