YouTube Sponsorship for Small Channels: All You Need to Know

Wondering how can you land your first YouTube sponsorship for small channels? Here's a guide to YouTube sponsorships to help you out.

YouTube sponsorships represent the main source of income for many video creators because they can be highly profitable.

Besides bringing you money, getting sponsored can also help coming up with better and more qualitative content for your audience.

But how do you get YouTube sponsorship for small channels? And how much do YouTubers get paid for sponsored videos?

I wrapped up in this post everything you need to know about getting YouTube sponsorship for small channels. I hope this information will help you get your first sponsor.

What are YouTube sponsorships?

In easy terms, YouTube sponsorships refer to a collaboration between a brand and a YouTuber so they both have something to win. You, the creator, will be compensated for sponsoring the brand, and the brand gains more exposure for its products by having you promote it.

In order for a YouTube sponsorship to be successful, both parts need to benefit from the collaboration. This means that if the audience of your channel is not relevant for the brand you're promoting, the brand won't see any value from collaborating with you. Relevance is one of the main requirements for YouTube sponsorship both for small channels and for bigger ones.

There are more ways to get YouTube sponsorship for small channels and there are some requirements you need to know about before you jump into finding sponsors for your YouTube channel. Keep reading to learn more about all the aspects involved in working with a sponsor.

YouTube sponsorship requirements

For brands to notice and sponsor your videos, your channel has to first meet certain criteria.

1. Content's quality

The most important aspect of getting sponsored by brands on YouTube is to have quality content uploaded to your channel. When you reach out to a brand asking for sponsorship, the brand will want to check out your YouTube channel to see if you're fit for the collaboration.

When you have quality content on your channel that engages the audience, it means that you promoting the brand will also be qualitative. Contrary, if your content is not good, that's a sign that your channel is not ready yet to receive sponsorship from brands because they will have nothing to benefit from by paying you to promote.

Take away: Quality content will attract companies that sponsor YouTubers. Focus on creating quality videos intended to help and entertain your audience.

2. Content's quantity

Showing just a hand full of good videos is not enough.

To get YouTube channel sponsorship, you need to have a great portfolio of work already uploaded.

When you have a great number of videos, the brands that might sponsor you can get a clear idea on what your channel is about, how you evolved over time, and how your audience interacts with your content.

And, speaking of evolution, it's not a bad idea to leave your old videos up. You may think that, because you were a YouTube beginner and their quality is lower, they can affect your image. But it's actually the opposite. By having your whole body of work on your channel, brands can see how you improved in time and it shows them you are dedicated to learn and grow your channel. They'll perceive you as a motivated and hard-working creator, which will make it easier to find sponsorships for your channel.

Take away: Before jumping into looking for sponsorships, make sure you have enough videos uploaded to your YouTube channel.

3. The reach of your videos

Having a YouTube channel and some videos uploaded is not enough. Besides the quality of the content, brands also look to sponsor channels with a great number of subscribers.

After all, they want to promote their brand in front of possible prospects. If your channel has no, or too little, subscribers yet, there is no reason for them to pay to be on your channel. This makes it trickier to get YouTube sponsorship for small channels in the beginning.

**How many subscribers you need to have to get YouTube sponsorship, you may ask? **

Well, there's no exact science here. Usually, you can start getting paid when your channel grows to a couple thousand subscribers. But keep in mind that a couple of k's won't pay off an insane amount of money, and you'll more likely get paid in products.

The number of views you get on your videos is also an important factor. There are channels with lots of subscribers, yet, their videos receive a small number of views. And if that's the case, the number of subscribers becomes quite irrelevant because people are not actually watching the videos.

Another thing to consider is how engaged your audience is. Do they leave comments? Are they interacting with your content? If you can prove in your pitch that your audience can bring high value to a certain brand because they are very engaged and will convert well, you may get past the subscriber boundary.

Take away: So you have a chance to get sponsored, you first need to focus on creating a decent base of engaged subscribers.

4. Content's relevance

As I stated before, relevance is highly important for a successful YouTube sponsorship.

For example, you can't promote a cleaning vacuum on a traveling channel and expect great results in return, can you? Relevance is important both for the growth of your channel and for the brand that sponsors you.

If you advertise products your audience isn't interested in, your followers' trust in your authenticity and honesty will decrease, making you lose followers.

Your audience is the one sustaining and growing your channel. Keeping your followers happy should be your main concern, and a couple of bucks don't scale up with losing subscribers. This is why it's better to pass on sponsorships that are not relevant to your channel, even if you may feel like losing an opportunity to make money. You'll create better opportunities in the future to make even more money from sponsorships if you focus on keeping your audience happy.

Also, brands don't usually sponsor YouTube channels that are not relevant to their products. Because, why would they? They want to attract traffic to their website and sales. If your audience is not in their targeted market, there's no gain for them to pay to be featured on your channel.

There are situations when apparently irrelevant sponsorships occur. But this happens for established YouTube channels that already have enough authority. For example, a big beauty channel may be able to successfully promote cooking skillets. The audience is mostly women, and lots of women cook – it makes sense. But this approach only works on big channels because those YouTubers are already influential figures whose opinions matter a lot for their audience, even if they are about something else than the main topic of the channel.

Take away: For small YouTube channels, take only sponsorships to promote products your audience will benefit from.

Types of YouTube sponsorships

1. Affiliate sponsorships

Affiliate sponsorship is the easiest way to get YouTube sponsorship for small channels. Brands will give you a special link to place in your video description. Every time someone makes a sale after clicking on your link, you will receive a commission from the sale.

There are also brands that will give you a special code that your subscribers can use when making the purchase so they get a discount. Based on the number of sales your channel generates, the brand will give you a certain amount of money.

To promote the brand, you can either make a review of the product, or you can just mention it in your video explaining how your audience can benefit from it and why you recommend it.

Even though affiliate sponsorships are the least profitable kinds of sponsorships, they are a great way for small channels without many followers to make money on YouTube.

So, if your channel is not big enough yet to get paid sponsorships, you can start by looking for brands you can get affiliate links from.

Take away: Affiliate sponsorships are the easiest way for small channels to get started with YouTube sponsorships.

2. Product sponsorships

Another way to YouTube sponsorship for small channels is by receiving free products in exchange for promotion. Brands will send you products to do reviews, unboxing videos, or tutorials about them.

Although you don't receive monetary compensation, you get to keep the products. And you might find yourself receiving some cool items that can be quite useful. For example, if you have a gaming channel but your graphics card is a bit old and you could use a better one to come up with better content, you can ask for a free graphics card to review.

To get YouTube product sponsorships you still need to have a great base of subscribers to start with. But it's still possible for small channels to find sponsors. Just don't start dreaming about receiving costly items in the beginning.

When your channel grows, bigger companies will reach out to you asking to send you products to review.

Take away: While it may be challenging to get YouTube sponsorships for small channels that pay up in products, you can find brands to sponsor you if you have an audience interested in the products that can be easily get turned into customers.

3. Paid sponsorships

Like the name suggests, these are the sponsorships that get you direct money. Sponsors pay you to advertise their business in your videos either by mentioning the company or by making reviews or tutorials of their products.

This is the most wanted kind of sponsorship for any YouTuber because it's the most profitable. But it's also the hardest way to get sponsored on YouTube.

While with product sponsorships you can find opportunities even though your channel is still growing, getting paid YouTube sponsorships for small channels is harder if you don't have a big enough base of subscribers. If you have between 10k and 100k subscribers, you'll be able to find companies that sponsor small or medium YouTube channels.

One thing to keep in mind though – paid YouTube sponsorships don't come free. The sponsors will have certain demands for your videos. Especially if your YouTube channel is small and the audience is harder to convert.

Take away: When you are a small YouTube channel, it's better to start by turning to affiliate and product sponsorships. You'll be creating a portfolio of collaborations to leverage later when you'll start with paid sponsorships. Once your channel is big enough, companies that sponsor YouTubers will come to you with offers.

This takes me to the next common question about YouTube sponsorships which is about how much do YouTubers get paid for sponsored videos.

How much do companies pay for YouTube sponsorships?

Now you're probably wondering how much do YouTubers get paid for sponsored videos. Unfortunately, I can't give you an exact answer to this question. You can receive anywhere between $50 and a couple thousand dollars.

The money you can make from sponsorships depends on a variety of factors as it follows.

How many subscribers and view count your channel has

As you certainly guessed, the bigger your channel is, the bigger the pay because there are higher chances for your channel to generate sales for the brands you collaborate with. The view count does not refer to the average views of your whole channel, but to the average view count of the relevant videos (similar videos to the one you're going to be making for sponsors or videos with affiliate promotion).

What kind of value you can bring to the brand sponsoring you

Does your audience engage with the products you promote? Engagement levels are a great indicator of the value you can bring. Can you prove how many sales you generated in previous partnerships? If you had successful sponsorship in the past and can prove how much value you can bring to other brands, they will be more likely to pay more for your promotion.

Where you place the advertisements

Usually, YouTubers advertise the sponsors in the beginning or at the end of the video. And there are different rates for each placement.

What kind of promotion it is

You can advertise either by mentioning the brand in your regular videos, or you can make tutorials and reviews. Each of them calls for a certain timeframe to produce, hence you will charge them differently.

Requirements for promotion

If you chose to make reviews or tutorials, you may need certain props. Or maybe you have to shot the video in a specific environment. The more complex it is to come up with a quality video following your sponsor's requirements, the higher the pay.

How to get YouTube sponsorship for small channels

Grow your channel

The first thing you want to do in order to get YouTube sponsorships is to grow your channel. I know this sounds like it's not actively chasing sponsorships. But it's crucial to have enough engagement on your channel to be able to make companies consider sponsoring you. You want to make sure your channel can bring value to the business before you start pitching.

Don't hurry

Getting YouTube sponsorships is not an easy job. And I'm not just talking about finding the sponsors, but also about the work you'll have to do in order to properly promote the businesses sponsoring your channel. Getting paid by sponsors it's not free money, you have to do the work.

Make sure you have the necessary time to do it without it affecting the quality of your videos. Even though some money would be nice, sustaining your YouTube channel is more important because, well, it is the one sustaining your business.

Cold emailing

So you find sponsors for your YouTube channel the best way to go is to find relevant brands and ask them for sponsorships. It might feel like a too traditional approach, but it generates great results and works for any kind of sponsorship. For starters, make a list of all the businesses you could collaborate with.

When you send your pitch, take time to write a thorough and personalized proposal. Don't send the same e-mail to everyone. In order to be convincing, you have to prove how much value you can bring to the brand you're pitching. You'll do this by getting to know where the brand stands and by showing how your audience is relevant for the products.

Platforms with sponsors

One way to get paid sponsors for YouTube channel is to go to the platforms dedicated to connecting creators to sponsors. There, you'll find a list of sponsors and you can pitch them asking for their support. The platforms are free to use, but each of them requires a certain minimum of subscribers to register.

Famebit – You need to have at least 5000 subscribers to join the platform

Reelio – You need at least 7,500 subscribers to get started

Grapevine – You're required to have a minimum of 10,000 subscribers


I hope this gave you a good understanding of how a YouTube sponsorship works.

Getting YouTube sponsorship for small channels is not easy. If you have under 10k subscribers, your best bet is to get started with affiliate and product sponsorships. It can be challenging even for bigger channels to get their firsts deals.

Once your YouTube channel is big enough, brands will come to you looking to sponsor your channel.

Before you jump into sending out proposals to possible sponsors, make sure you have a great amount of content uploaded to your channel. If you find yourself out of content ideas, we put together a list of YouTube video ideas you can inspire yourself from.

To wrap it up, the key to getting successful YouTube sponsorships is to keep your audience happy. Upload quality content regularly that brings value to your viewers, and never advertise products that are not relevant. This way you'll keep your YouTube channel growing and you'll attract sponsorship opportunities.

Have you tried getting YouTube sponsorships for small channels? Do you have any tips worth mentioning?

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