I’ve been sending out Tweets lately regarding what my next article should be about, and it seems the trending question is “How do I ask big YouTubers to collaborate?” Obviously, the main reason you’d want to do that is to use their larger audience to get more exposure for yourself. However, how do you convince a person with a significantly larger following to give you what is essentially free traffic? Here are 5 tips I’ve compiled to help you on your quest to collaborate with your favorite YouTuber.
1. Find your passion
Yes, I know you’ve heard me say the same thing in all my other posts, and you will keep hearing it until I sound like a broken record on an Energizer battery, and then you’ll hear more! Never should you enter this industry just to be a “star;” it doesn’t work like that (well, most of the time). Doing what you’re good at and passionate about will make you look better when you present yourself to the potential artist you want to collaborate with. The more authentic, passionate, and hardworking you are, the higher the chances that others will want to help you succeed.
2. Think of something to offer back
While there might exist some awesome generous people, my general belief is that there is no such thing as a “free lunch” in this world. With that being said, think about what you have to offer to the other person. It may not necessarily be more views or subscribers, but possibly a talent of yours that might complement a project he/she is working on. For example, suppose you want to work with music producer Kurt Hugo Schneider – if you have a good voice that might bring his video to life, then pitch that to him.
3. Be professional
Please, for the love of god, don’t send messages like this: “Hai MysteryGuitarMan! I am a fan of urs! I have a good uTube channel. Lets collababorate!” If you want to be taken seriously, take some time to create a nice and professional pitch letter to the person you want to collaborate with. They want someone who they can work with, not a crazed fan.
4. Have a presentable portfolio
In an age where everyone stalks each other via social media, make sure all your social media channels are visually presentable. You don’t need to have a large following, BUT that is no excuse for you to skimp on not having a profile picture, a branded background, or missing information on your “about me” section. Always ask yourself, “If someone searched for me online and saw my stuff, would they know that I am serious about my craft?”
5. You do NOT need to ask to collaborate up front!
Why not ask to brainstorm over email or Skype? Some might be even nice enough to meet up with you for coffee. You can ask for tips and what areas you need to improve on as an artist. If you maintain consistent communication, they might want to work with you in the future once you develop more.
6. DO NOT SPAM THEM
You are allowed to send one email to the artists and/or the manager followed by a tweet to make sure he/she recieved your email. Please DO NOT do anything more beyond that. There is a fine line between being hungry and persistent than just being downright annoying. If your content is good, they will reach out to you. If not, then that might be a good indication that you need to improve as an artist.
7. Attend events to network
Always put yourself in places where you can meet the right people to help propel your career. YouTubers and New Media Artists are always attending all sorts of events. These are the perfect opportunities to meet these guys in person so that you can pitch them ideas and ask them questions.
While these are tips that will help you on the road to collaborating with your favorite artist, the BIGGEST point I want to stress is that before ANYTHING, you need to constantly develop and improve yourself. Remember, if the content is good enough, it will sell itself and people would want to be a part of it.