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Viral Video Wannabe

How to Find Collab Partners

Yesterday I shared the Secrets of Making a Great Collab Video. But, while you might have a brilliant script and an eye for editing, if you can’t find anyone to collab with you, your video will never materialize. (unless of course, you make a collab with yourself)

Before you begin contacting other YouTubers about working together, it’s important you have your script completed. That may sound like extra work, seeing as how you would have to rewrite certain parts of the script if the people you contact turn you down – but your collab will be a much easier sell if you have a completed script.

Also, you’ll want to set a deadline. Asking someone for a clip “whenever they get a chance” means they will never get a chance. People are busy, and busy people love deadlines.


Who are you going to collab with? Some people write scripts with no one in particular in mind. While that may work occasionally, it’s almost always better to write the part for who will be playing it. Spend some time watching others’ videos. If you live on YouTube already (as most of us do) you probably have a good idea of who you want to be in your video. But if not, watch some videos, visit a few YouTubers’ websites and cast the most fitting person for each role.


Most YouTubers don’t use YouTube’s built-in messaging system. Instead, they rely on email, Facebook, Twitter or other forms of contact. Check their Channel Description to see if they provide an email address or a link to a contact form. If they do, use it. If their preferred contact method isn’t listed on their Channel Description, check out their personal site, or their blog, and again – if contact info is listed, use it.

Contacting the person you want to collab with directly is always best. However, sometimes the Tuber you want to email just seems un-emailable. Their contact info won’t be listed anywhere, either on purpose, to avoid spam and/or collab requests, or unintentionally, he or she may just not thought to include it.

If you can’t contact the person you want to collab with directly – try using one of their friends. If you’ve been watching your potential collab partner for a while, you should be able to deduct who they hang out with. Follow the above advice for getting in touch, only, direct your efforts toward their friend. Explain clearly your intentions and ask if they can put you in touch with your potential collab partner. Most of the time, this method works. (Stop emailing me asking me to get Buck into your collabs, it worked so well, unfortunately, that I now get more requests for Buck collab clips than I do for Alan collab clips!)


You don’t need to be a marketing weenie to sell your idea to a potential collab partner. Just give them a brief (one or three sentence) summary of the collab video, some direction or exactly what you need them to do, and attach the full script. Do this all in the first email you send! You might feel like you’re bombarding, or being pretentious, including a script before they’ve agreed, but your script is what will get them to agree.

Some YouTubers are very protective of their image. If they give you a few random collab clips and you insert them into a painfully unfunny, offensive or vulgar collab, it may really hurt their image. Providing your complete script will show your potential collab partner exactly how you intend to use their clip, and who else will (or might) be in the video.


If the person you contacted doesn’t write back – email them again. I usually work on a rule of three. The first email might have gone unnoticed, or was read and quickly discarded as there are hundreds of emails to get through in a day. A day or two later, the second email will show you’re serious. Though again, it may be blown off or forgotten about. The third shows you’re determined. But if you don’t receive a reply after the third email, stop there. Don’t spam people.

If the person you contacted writes back with a “yes”, send them a follow-up ‘thank you’ email as soon as possible. Remind them of the deadline, and request whichever file format you’ll need.

PRO TIP: Creating a collab video where all of the clips are the same screen size ratio (widescreen vs fullscreen) looks much smoother than jumping back and forth between letterboxed and fullscreen video.

If the person you contacted writes back with a “no”, don’t get upset. Do not write back anything rude. Simply reply with a ‘thank you for the consideration’ and move on to someone else.

When sending a follow-up email after a “yes”, provide an email address that clips can be sent to, and make sure that if your inbox can’t handle the file size, that you include a link to or a similar service.

When you receive the clip, write a second ‘thank you’ email. Let your new collab partner know that you will email them a link to the video once it’s up. Then make sure you do that.

After you upload your video, it’s time to promote it. We’ll cover how to promote a collab video tomorrow.

Hope you guys are hard at work on your collab videos for my first ever video contest!

7 Responses to “How to Find Collab Partners”

  1. Julian (ItTakesII) Says:

    Unfortunately I can’t get anyone by the 21st so I guess I’ll be in the next contest :-\ But I’ll keep all this in mind next time I make a collab!

  2. Promoting a YouTube Collab Video » Viral Video Wannabe Says:

    [...] that I hope has made your collab’ing experience more enjoyable. Yesterday we went over how to find someone to collab with. Today, we are going to talk about promoting a collab [...]

  3. Collab Challenge Winner! » Viral Video Wannabe Says:

    [...] the week the contest ran, I posted numerous articles aimed at collab video makers, everything from finding collab partners, to the secrets of making a great collab video, to promoting collaboration videos. I also talk at [...]

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Viral Video Wannabe...

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…is written by Alan “fallofautumndistro” Lastufka, co-author of the book, “YouTube: An Insider’s Guide
to Climbing the Charts“. This site offers resources
for readers of my book and new tips and techniques expanding upon what is in my book. Visit the Purchase page above to order your own copy today!