Once upon a time, YouTube released Version 4 of its Creator Playbook. This Playbook included almost 100 pages of strategy for building an audience on YouTube. Each strategy was given a rating out of 5 stars as to the overall impact it would have on growing a YouTube channel.
Where did 'Cross-Promotion and Collaboration' rate?
Nothing short of a perfect 5 out of 5!
This is to say that the experts at YouTube, with access to more first-party data about the YouTube eco-system than anyone else in the world, consider Collaboration to be one of the most impactful ways to build your audience on YouTube:
Source: YouTube Creator Playbook, Version 4, page 64.
Some of the most successful Creators on YouTube have also expressed how important collaboration has been in the growth of their own careers. Peter Hollens, a talented musician with over 1.9 million subscribers on YouTube and special advisor to Collabspace, has pointed out the following:
"Collaboration is the key to your success as a Creator - it helps you with distribution, expands your knowledge set, builds community and ultimately creates a better end product. Beyond that, creating content with another Creator is the easiest way I’ve found to gain new followers."
- Peter Hollens
Peter's short quote brings into focus five really important points about collaboration:
Collaboration helps with distribution: By collaborating with another Creator, you benefit from being exposed to their audience and they benefit from being exposed to your audience as well. This "cross-pollination" effect helps both Creators distribute content beyond their own audiences, creating an opportunity to gain new subscribers.
Collaboration expands your knowledge set: Working with other Creators will give you new insights into the creative process of another Creator - perhaps you'll get to work with new equipment, or gain exposure to new production software or techniques. Understanding how other Creators approach content production, including the actual nuts and bolts of their unique process, will give you new talents and skills that you can apply in your own creative process.
Collaboration builds community: Let's be real, creating content consistently can be a grind. Sometimes we can invest a tremendous amount of time and energy into a new piece of content and for whatever reason it doesn't move the needle in the way we hoped it would. For any Creator, it's important to have a community to fall back on, people who can relate to the creative struggle first-hand, and who can provide feedback or support when things aren't going quite according to plan.
Collaboration creates a better end product: Our mantra here at Collabspace is that "We Can Create More When We Create Together," so it was encouraging to hear Peter echo this same thought. When we work with other people, we can get feedback on our own ideas while developing new ideas with fresh input from someone else. While pure inspiration is often individual, it is usually the refinement of individual inspiration through collective effort that makes for a truly great end result. Collaboration allows for individual inspiration on two or more sides, plus an opportunity to refine that inspiration through collaborative effort, often creating a better product than any one person could have created alone.
Collaboration helps Creators gain new followers: This last point is perhaps simply the consequence of the prior four points combined: when we can boost distribution, sharpen our skills, receive support from like-minded creatives, and produce a better end product, we are much more likely to grow our following in the process.
The take-away for us is that collaboration is truly unique in its ability to simultaneously unlock so many benefits for Creators - really it's no wonder YouTube rated cross-promotion and collaboration as a "5 out of 5" in terms of impact.
Based on our belief that we can create more when we create together, Collabspace has invested the time and energy to build a tool to help you more easily connect with other Creators for collaborations, shout-outs and cross-promotions. Download the app on iOS or Android now and get your next collaboration started today!