My channel isn’t the largest on the YouTube platform, but I truly value the relationship I’ve built with my community over the past 3 years and hundreds of videos and livestreams.
Sponsored content is extremely rare on my channel. If I choose to work with a company, it will always be because I actually use the product or service myself and genuinely trust the brand to provide an excellent product as well as 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, then it is not sponsored.
Most of the equipment and products I use and review are purchased myself, but sometimes I will rent or borrow equipment for a video. 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.
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.
While I appreciate the offer of a free product, it is in no way representative of the amount of work it takes to create a video about the product. As an individual content creator, I do every step of creating a video that would normally be done by separate people, including content research, script writing, camera operator, audio engineer, graphics, editing, marketing, branding and sales, not to mention the time and money I've invested into building my studio and business.
Receiving a product with even a retail value of $1000+ ends up as a low hourly rate relative to the amount of time it takes to make a video, and I would most often be better off just buying it myself if I wanted to make a video about it. But I do appreciate when brands offer to send me things since I might not have been willing to buy it just to test it out or might not have even known about the product before.
I host weekly livestreams that get 100-200 simultaneous viewers, and thousands of views in the replays. These livestreams are a great chance for me to answer questions quickly, and share product recommendations with the audience. I am happy to show products in my livestream that have been sent to me, and I will always mention if a product I am talking about is something I bought or something I received.
If a product I received is truly useful to me, it will become a regular part of my workflow and I will mention it frequently during my livestreams as I show people around the studio and show what gear I use.
There are a few additional non-negotiable points I’d like to share just for the sake of clarity. I’ve made all of this info publicly available to viewers and companies alike so that we’re all on the same page:
Thank you for taking the time to read and understand my Ethics Statement. This probably doesn’t cover every possible 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 my community.
Ultimately, I just want to keep having fun making videos, and that 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!