Did you know that a lot of vloggers and YouTubers get review products for free (as well as services)? Sometimes this is in the form of sponsored content, other times it’s simply due to an affiliate relationship where a company is happy to give you access to a service for free in exchange for your content marketing.
In this guide, I’m going to break down what you need to know as a complete beginner with 0 subscribers on how to get products for free to review on YouTube.
I want to emphasis first and foremost that there are no short-cuts. Companies don’t provide products and services for free without a calculated return on investment. That means you need to deliver actual results so don’t think that this is some way to be lazy and get free products without giving anything in return.
Last, you don’t need that big of a YouTube channel. You can get started with less than 1000 subscribers and get free stuff, but typically you’ll need to have a few thousands subscribers before companies reach out to you.
Step 1: Create review content and pay your dues
Want to get products and services for free to review on your YouTube channel? Actually create good videos where you use and review products and services first. Yes, sometimes this means you need to break open the wallet and spend your own money. But again, you have to pay your dues and prove yourself first.
No company is going to provide you with a free product to review or give access to a service for free without knowing the potential results you can deliver. Too many simply want to skip over this because of a sense of entitlement and expect to be given things but it does not work like that.
Instead, prove yourself first. When I first started the Website Creative Pro YouTube channel I had to pay for various shared hosting accounts upfront in order to make different tutorials. Overtime, those video did well, my subscriber count grew and companies just started giving me free hosting accounts to make long form tutorials with.
Have a portfolio of videos
You need to have a portfolio of videos first reviewing products and services and an actual track record of delivering results and driving sales. Companies are trusting you with their brand and reputation, no one can trust you if you’re an unknown so get busy making videos.
Last, don’t forget you need to deliver results. If a company gives you a $400 product for free but you end up generating 12 sales over the course of a year (1 sale a month) it was worth it for that company to let you review.
Consider hiding your subscriber count if you’re under a few thousand
Within your YouTube creator studio account, simply navigate to your channel settings. Here you can toggle on or off “display the number of people subscribed to my channel.”
This is ideal if you have a smaller channel under 1000 subscribers. Most YouTubers have small channels and companies don’t particularly care about how many subscribers you have. They care about the long term results you can get.
With that said, it is in your interest to hide your subscriber count if you’re wanting to get products for free to review as you may appear untrustworthy with a tiny channel.
There is no need to hide your subscriber count once you’re over a few thousand subscribers.
Step 2: Reach out to companies for product review opportunities
When you have a small channel, you’ll first need to reach out to companies in order to get review products or services. When you have a larger, more established audience then companies will reach out to you.
First, take a step back and look at other YouTube channel in your niche and consider what content, products and services are they promoting. What kind of products or services make sense for your channel?
Companies budget for what they call “influencer marketing” and giving away products and services is part of that. That’s why you see camera review channels all reviewing the same new vlogging camera all at once.
Pay attention to advertisements and sponsors
When on YouTube, pay attention to what other channels in your niche are promoting. While you don’t want to be a copycat and promote the same exact product, it can give you an idea of what category of product may make sense for your vlog.
Also take note of any “this video is sponsored by” type introductions. Companies again have a budget for influencer marketing and if they are paying to sponsor a video, they could very well be open to letting you create some type of review content.
Search for companies giving products away for review
Notice other vloggers promoting a specific product category in a unique way? How can you promote the same or relevant product on your channel? Keep a list of these different companies and begin the process of email outreach.
Know the margins
A margin is how much profit a company can make by giving you a product or service for free. As such, it’s usually an easier for a company to give you a free account to a service you would normally need to pay for than to give you an expensive product.
My point here is to simply be aware of how much a product costs and the margins on it. Don’t ask for expensive products and waste everyone’s time if you can’t deliver.
Email outreach (or contacting companies via social media) is how you’re going to get in touch with companies. Look for any type of “press” or “affiliates” page on their website and reach out to them. At worst you may just need to send an email via the good old contact page.
But for email outreach to work you need to be aggressive and contact multiple companies. Not just one. Last, focus on the value you can provide. It’s not about you, it’s about how you can get results and drive sales for them.
Add a PO Box to your about page on YouTube
As your channel grows, your about page and contact email will grow in importance. Once you have a collection of review videos and a few thousand subscribers it’s time to add a PO Box so companies can send you products to review:
Please be as detailed as possible as to the expectations of any products send to you. Will you send products back that you review or do you expect to keep them? Would you prefer a company to first reach out to you by email before sending anything over?
Do you leave it to your discretion as to what products to review, even if a company sends it to you for free? Be upfront, detailed and honest.
Create a Professional Email
While you can use a Gmail account, it is a good idea to setup a professional email. Something like “firstname.lastname@example.org.” To get started you’ll need to get a domain name at Namecheap, then I suggest checking my helpful, step by step tutorial on YouTube of how redirect emails from a domain name to GMail.
With a domain name at Namecheap you can redirect emails from your professional email to a standard Gmail account. Then in Gmail you setup an alias to reply to emails as.
If this sounds a bit to complicated then at a minimum get a professional sounding GMail. NameofWebsiteMedia@gmail.com sounds a lot better than LinseyBunny871 at hotmail.
Don’t be a sell out
A sellout is someone who reviews anything for money. They take no consideration as to the quality of the product, the fact that their audience may make a purchase decision based on what they say or even the relevance of the product to their channel.
Your personal brand and integrity are your most valuable asset. Don’t review crappy products and say they are amazing and don’t review products just for the money or because you got it for free.
You end up becoming a sellout which long term damages your ability to engage in influencer marketing. Sometimes the best answer to irrelevant products is no thanks.
Know what you’re talking about
This may seem like common sense, but I need to lay it out clearly for beginners. No one of any intelligence is going to believe your hyperbolic language that “xyz” product is amazing, life changing and omg you need to get it right now.
Unprofessional reviews that leverage emotion and try to manipulate their audience, or worse, flat out lie about a product are a disservice to your audience. The best product reviews are honest and upfront about the pros and cons of a specific item. They explain the various uses, who should get it and who should not get it.
For example, in my SiteGround review video, I layout the real positives and downsides of that hosting company as well as the ideal customer and who should look for a different alternative. I can advise on this from actual experience of using SiteGround for well over a year.
YouTube SEO – Rank your reviews
YouTube actually has multiple algorithms. One for shorts, one for search another for recommended videos. Getting your review video to rank is not only a good way to drive affiliate sales long term, it’s also good for getting the attention of companies who are looking for influencers.
While YouTube works best with click bait thumbnails and titles, paying attention to rankings is a good strategy for a review product. Maybe you’re reviewing a diving watch as a travel vlogger.
A good blog post would be: “Name of diving watch review – 6 stunning things you’ll love.”
On YouTube you need to make it a bit more attention grabbing. Something like: “I can’t believe this watch only cost $60.”
Next, you’ll want to write out a detailed description of the product and your review. Your detailed description does help with your videos performance and more importantly, it helps people who find your video make a purchase decision.
Remember, even though you’re getting products for free, focus on being honest and helpful first.
How to Get Review Products Conclusion
So that’s it for Vlog Authority’s guide to getting review products for free. Sponsored content in the form of free products is a valuable opportunity and one of the best ways to make money vlogging. Yes it is difficult to get started with getting free stuff when you have a small channel but it’s not impossible. Pay your dues, do the work and grow your channel.
David UtkeDavid Utke is a professional blogger, YouTuber and a highly rated user experience consultant. He and his team create helpful tutorials, software reviews, videos and more based on real-world experience. Join over 30,000 monthly readers and 27k+ YouTube subscribers!
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