Is it possible to get YouTube sponsorships for small channels? This complete guide will walk you through the steps you need to take–from preparing your mindset to understanding what the brands need to see.
But before we dive deep, remember that even if your channel is small, you need to think big! It is possible to score your dream sponsorship deals as long as you create high-quality content.
Youtube Sponsorships for Small Channels: What You Need to Prepare
Yes, you have to prepare your mind and make sure you are ready to take sponsors. With great sponsors comes great responsibility. What’s the main reason why you want to get sponsored on your YouTube channel? Are you driven by money? Or do you genuinely like to explore new products to recommend?
Brands want to work with content creators who are not only passionate about the product itself but their target audience as well. As a marketer who has worked with dozens of content creators in the past, I can always tell when someone is genuinely interested in a product.
Before sending out your first email to a brand, spend some time to reflect and answer these questions:
- Why do you want sponsors even if you still have a small YouTube channel?
- How will sponsorship deals affect your income strategy in the long run?
- What are other things that you can bring to the table on top of your YouTube content?
Understand Your Channel’s Analytics
Most brands that you’ll be working with will ask about your channel’s analytics. Take the time to understand them.
- Where do you get most of your traffic?
- How many people are watching your video?
- Which videos get the most comments?
In this stage, just learn how to understand your numbers from the brand’s perspective.
Samples of Past Campaigns
Social proof is crucial when you want to score brand deals for your YouTube channel. Having samples of past campaigns is an indicator that you’re a trustworthy content creator. It also gives brands a clear picture of how their product could work with your channel.
Getting YouTube Brand Deals from Tools You’re Already Using
Don’t have any past campaigns? No worries. Use what you already have!
Here’s how to get started:
- List the tools you’re using
- Sign up for their affiliate program.
- Create content around the tool.
As a YouTuber, you’re already using tons of tools. Most of the time, these tools already have an affiliate program. For example, BeLive has a Partners Program. This is an awesome way for us to find new content creators. This was how I found Bradley Vinson aka Bradley Teaches on YouTube. When he applied, I checked his channel and immediately knew that he’s someone we wanted to work with. At that time, he had 1200 subscribers.
How did I know he was the right fit for us as an influencer?
- His topics about creating overlays are something that our audience needs
- His branding is on point
- Like BeLive, he is also community-driven and very passionate about video marketing
After Bradley signed up for our Partners Program, he became a BeLive host for our Facebook Page with over 33,000 followers and launched a series of live training.
When you sign up for an affiliate program, you’re letting brands know that you’re already doing the work to promote them. Plus, once you get sales from your link, you can start earning money already. You don’t need to wait for a sponsorship! And when you’re ready to pitch, you’ll have solid examples on your sponsorship deck.
How Many Subs Do You Need to Get Sponsored on Youtube?
This is a tricky question because there’s no absolute answer. You definitely don’t need to have over 10k subscribers, as some people tend to think. However, as a general rule, you need to have a minimum of 1000 subscribers. Why 1000 subscribers? It shows sponsors you’re serious about content creation. Getting to 1000 subscribers is a lot of work. It also means that you already have dozens of videos on your channel that you can show to potential sponsors.
Please do note that other people have gotten brand deals on YouTube under 1000 subscribers as a micro-influencer. This could work if you have other assets, such as a blog.
Before I started working at BeLive, I was an influencer in the consumer technology space. I got brand deals even though I only had 100 subscribers on YouTube. That’s because my blog was growing, and I had 50,000 monthly views on my blog. You can watch the replay of my Facebook Live where I shared my journey of getting sponsorship deals with a small following.
What are other assets that you own? Do you have an email list? You can also package that along with your YouTube channel.
Ampjar, a curated community of brands who work together to grow, also echoes the same sentiment. On their blog post, they recommend:
“Having at least 1,000 followers before you start to pitch companies, as this is the minimum needed to be considered a micro-influencer. If you’re able to demonstrate excellent engagement and a well-defined target niche, that should be enough to start getting paid.”
In addition to your subscriber count, engagement counts a lot. Most brands will work with an influencer who has a lower subscriber count but with a high engagement. They use tools to check out the statistics of your channel. One of the tools I’ve used personally is Heepsy. Check out how brands see you on these tools!
How many views do you need to get sponsored on YouTube?
As with the number of subscribers, there’s also no exact number when it comes to views. If you have 1000 subscribers, you will most likely have thousands of views already. Most brands will look at your total channel views, and which are the most popular videos.
Youtube Sponsorship and Brand Deals Policies
If you’ve done the preparations and sent pitches, it’s time to explore brand deal policies on YouTube. You want to make sure you stay compliant with YouTube’s rules because you don’t want to get yourself and the brand in trouble. You can learn more about it here.
In general, you need to declare if the content you’re producing is paid for by a brand. And if it’s not paid, you should disclose the terms of the agreement. Did they provide you with a free product to review?
Keep going and keep on experimenting.
Regardless of which stage you’re currently in, you need to keep on experimenting with the types of content you’re publishing on YouTube. K.M. Robinson, a YA author who has scored amazing brand deals, says it best: “It’s a process, and it doesn’t happen overnight.”
You can learn more about her story of how she grew her TikTok to 23,000+ subscribers in a matter of months and how she scored the brand deals of her dreams by watching my full live interview with her on the BeLive Page.
Or watch this snippet on our YouTube channel. It will inspire you to keep creating!
How many subscribers do you currently have? Have you scored a brand deal? Share with us your tips and best practices in the comments to help other YouTubers. Or check out this article about the other ways on how to make money streaming.
Irene Chan is a writer and live video producer at BeLive. She has been working in the digital marketing industry for a decade and loves the creativity of video production. She has a degree in Broadcast Communication and is always imagining new live videos to produce. She is based in the Philippines and lives with her husband, two kids, and their 11-year-old Chihuahua.