As a creator on YouTube there may be times when you want to collaborate with another content creator. Sometimes they approach you and other times you will approach them. But what should you consider when collaborating? Is this collaboration the right fit for your channel?
What Is a Collaboration?
A collaboration is a combination of your skills and another creator’s skills. It is taking the best of what each of your channels has to offer and linking them together in some way. Most people think of collaborations as the creation of a single video, but collaborations can be any number of things, such as picking a theme and jointly releasing videos on that subject; a single video featuring both collaborator’s contributions; and a large group of creators releasing scheduled videos over the course of a month with a common theme.
How Do I Find YouTubers To Collaborate With?
YouTube is a community, which means over time you should establish friendships with a few other creators. If you’re not, you’re doing YouTube wrong. You want to have a good understanding of the other creator’s content, who they are and what they stand for. I recommend collaborating with people you already have an established relationship with, rather than sending out a request to someone you’ve had little interaction with. Collaborations are based on trust. You need to know what to expect from this creator and there should be no hidden surprises.
When Collaborating, Consider Your Audience
Remember when collaborating that your audience needs to see the connection between your channel and your collaborator’s channel. Your audience will be confused by the collaboration if the two channels are too far apart on the genre spectrum and messaging. There needs to be a connection to some degree. If you are very family oriented with your content (like my channel), you most likely aren’t going to be collaborating with a profanity laced channel focused on horror gaming… right? Even if you enjoy watching those types of videos on the side (I don’t, btw), consider what your audience would like and find a more natural fit.
Remember, when you collaborate with another channel, you are recommending this channel to your viewers. This is why you need to have a good grasp of their content and make sure it aligns with your channel’s values and messaging. Your viewers trust you and when you make a recommendation to watch another channel, they want that other channel to align with their values. Your channel meets their value criteria, which is why they’re watching you.
Think Outside The Box
Above I said to consider your audience and not get too far apart on the spectrum. But what is too far apart and what is close enough? I used the example of family channel vs horror gaming above. Let’s now think about a different combination. How would your family content audience respond if you worked with a musician’s channel and you worked together on a song about families? Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?
What it should come down to is messaging. Is the collaborating channel communicating the same messages to their audience? If yes, then come up with creative ways to work within the two channels’ content styles. Be the voiceover for someone’s animation video. Try out a recipe that was described in the collaborator’s cooking video. You don’t need to create the same content but you do need to share the same message.
Getting Collaboration Suggestions
The only exception I make to working within established relationships to find collaborators is when I receive a recommendation. Receiving suggestions or recommendations from your audience or peers for collaborating is almost like being set up on a blind date. If someone says, “You two should really meet. You have a lot in common. I think you’ll be awesome together” that is something to take notice of. People are identifying connections for you because they see the similarities between your two channels. Why not take the leap and introduce yourself? Maybe it will be the start of a beautiful friendship.
My parting words, get out into the YouTube community and make some friendships. Look for people sending out the same messages as you. You never know what collaborations they may lead to.
Below is a collaboration I did with Busvlogger. James is a family lifestyle vlogger making parenting and DIY videos focused on intentional living. We’ve known each other for about five years on YouTube and our families have vacationed together even though his family is in Arkansas and we’re in Canada. Enjoy!