The Dos and Don’ts of YouTube Collaborations

By Fern Paulussen

There’s no denying that collaborating with other content creators can be a lot of fun. With the potential to draw in new viewers and gain subscribers, getting involved in collaborations is definitely a good idea. There are, however, some things you should – and should not – be doing when it comes to collaborating. And with the latest PLAY NZ collab. just around the corner, now seems like the perfect time to share a few of the dos and don’ts I’ve picked up along the way… 

Do: Say yes! Collaborations are an opportunity to gain experience and exposure, so if you’re invited to collab. (and the content or theme is the right fit for your channel) you should go for it.

Don’t: Say yes if you want to say no. You might be a great actress, but if your heart’s not in it, your viewers aren’t going to engage with it (and it’s not exactly fair on whoever you’re collaborating with either).

I hate to admit that my heart wasn’t really in this Beauty Box Swap collaboration. For personal reasons the timing was less than ideal, and I had to push myself just to sit down and get this video filmed. I’m not sure whether or not my viewers noticed, but this is definitely not an upload that I look back on with pride.

Do: Reach out to other YouTubers and invite them to collab. with you. What have you got to lose?

Don’t: Be offended or disheartened when your invitations are not accepted. YouTubers are busy people, and you never really know what their reasons are for saying no. Tell yourself it’s their loss and find someone else to approach instead!

My first ever (extremely cringey) collaboration was with Nicole from the channel IVF Mumma Vlogs. I’d only just started out on YouTube and had barely any subscribers, so I was both shocked and thrilled when Nicole, with her tens of thousands of subscribers, agreed to work with me.

Do: Get as creative as possible. Spend some time watching a range of collab. videos, and then come up with some ideas of your own. You could add some sort of twist to popular collab. ideas, or try and think of a more interesting way of working with other creators than just mentioning each other’s names.

Don’t: Blatantly copy other YouTubers’ collabs (especially if you’re not going to give them credit). No one wants to watch the exact same thing over and over.

After meeting up with Lisa Stirling, AKA No Filter Mum, so we could collaborate, I decided to put together a fun/funny bloopers and out takes reel. I liked the idea of showing our personalities more candidly, and hoped it would give my subscribers a better idea of who I am.

Do: Check everyone taking part is on the same page before going ahead with a collaboration. A good collab. is a well planned collab!

Don’t: Wing it. When you are collaborating you are making a commitment to another content creator. If you mess up you won’t just be letting yourself down…

This Secret Santa Box Swap was by far the most stressful collaboration I’ve ever organised. With a dozen women taking part from all over NZ, it was almost guaranteed that at least one person would drop the ball. It all came together in the end, but there were issues with misplaced parcels and late uploads… Not exactly collab. breakers, but definitely enough to make me worry!

Do: Very briefly introduce yourself before you get going with your collab. video. The whole idea is that you’re going to have a bunch of people watching you for the first time, and they’ll be more likely to stick around if they get to know you a bit.

Don’t: Drag out your introductions and explanations – this is only going to bore people and may mean that potential viewers click away from your video before it’s even begun.

Blah blah blah… Two full minutes of introductions and explanations is way too long – especially when the video only runs for a total of eight minutes!

What are your collab. dos and don’ts? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section below.

Fern Paulussen is a lifestyle bloggervlogger, mother of four, and the director of PLAY NZ. Based in the Bay of Plenty, Fern loves Netflix, coffee, and chickens. You can learn more about Fern by visiting her website, or subscribing to her YouTube channel.

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