My channel isn’t the largest on the YouTube platform by any means, but I truly value the relationship I’ve built with a global community with each and every video I create.
Sponsored content is one way I earn an income from creating videos. If I choose to work with a brand, it will always be because I actually use the product or service myself and genuinely trust the brand to provide excellent customer service and support. More importantly, I will always make it abundantly clear that such content is sponsored. If I don’t explicitly say that a video is sponsored, it is not sponsored. Simple as that!
If I do partner with a brand, you can bet they’ve seen this page and that I’ve been able to build a relationship with them over an extended period of time based on mutual trust and understanding.
Beyond that, I think it’s important to question the purpose behind a sponsorship. For me personally, a sponsor should support and enable what I do. Ideally, it’s a win-win-win situation for the viewer, the brand, and myself. My channel has never been and never will be an extension of any brand’s marketing department.
Most of the equipment and products I use and review are purchased by me, but sometimes I will rent or borrow equipment. Occasionally companies will send a product to me free of charge, and I will always clearly state in the video and description that it was provided to me at no cost. Usually, the reason I accept these offers is simply due to practicality– I don’t have an unlimited budget, and sometimes there are things that I’m curious about or that I’ve been asked for my opinion on, and I would go broke pretty quickly otherwise (these products are either used regularly, returned, donated or sold on after the video).
Offering free products never guarantees a positive review (or even a review/video at all). Just like with sponsorships, I’m extremely selective about accepting anything for free and will only do so after discussing this Ethics Statement with the brand.
All that being said, there are a few additional non-negotiable points I’d like to share for the sake of clarity. I’ve made all of this info publicly available to viewers and brands alike so that we’re all on the same page:
- My content is my own. I create and produce each video based on what I’m excited about and what I think will be relevant/helpful to my audience at that time.
- My reviews are always as objective as possible, and my opinions are always my own.
- I do not submit previews of videos to anyone for approval or revisions. No exceptions.
- I have full control over my content calendar. While I’m happy to work collaboratively when possible for scheduling, no outside party can pay or otherwise influence me in return for scheduling priority.
- Just because a product is provided to me at no cost does not mean I will review it or feature it in a video. I do not make videos in exchange for free products or services.
- I never work with Amazon resellers– only directly with reputable brands.
- I typically avoid “preproduction” versions of products/software and prefer to use what will actually be delivered to other customers.
- I appreciate when companies offer information about their products/services, but I will only include what I think is relevant and necessary in any videos I create.
- I will work to seek answers for anything about a product/service that I don’t fully understand to make my videos as accurate and helpful as possible.
- While it usually makes sense to include certain links in video descriptions or social media posts, I retain full control over what is shared on my accounts across all platforms.
- I never include additional social media promotion in sponsorship agreements (Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Etc).
- YouTube’s “includes paid promotion” option will be checked any time a video features a product or service that was provided at no cost, even if it’s not an official sponsorship.
- I’m more than happy to let others share my videos, as long as the post links directly to the original video uploaded to my YouTube channel. Videos may not be re-uploaded elsewhere.
- If I find myself considering a sponsored campaign that includes other creators, I will work to confirm that there is a representative mix of genders/ethnicities/orientations.
- I do not guarantee any number of views or any amount of audience engagement on any videos or content. As much as I want everything I create to “perform” well, there are too many variables beyond my control for me to make any claims regarding potential viewership, but I do watch all my videos before publishing, so I guess I can guarantee at least one view.
- Side note to that: I do find it funny when brands asks for a video to “go viral.” If I knew how to do that, why wouldn’t I make every video a viral sensation?!
Thank you for taking the time to read and understand my Ethics Statement. This probably doesn’t cover every scenario under the sun, but it should give you a pretty solid idea of how highly I value the integrity behind what I do and the relationship with anyone who takes the time to check out something I’ve made.
Ultimately, I just want to keep having fun making videos, and that sustainable fun disappears without these guidelines. If you’re a creator yourself, please feel free to take this Ethics Statement and make it your own. It’s ethical to steal my Ethics Statement!
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me