Matt Perks YouTuber
10 May 2017

How to work with influencers: Tips from a rising YouTube star

Interview with Matt from DIY Perks, a YouTuber with 800,000+ subscribers

How can a brand really get your attention and encourage you to want to work with them?

For me, the most important thing is how the brand will fit in with my content. I’m much more likely to want to work with one if they’re relevant to my videos and to my viewers!

It doesn’t matter to me too much what a brand is doing, if they’re offering a good service or product – I’d be happy to work with one as long as it’s offering something that’s good quality.

I consider each request I get and I’d say that if brands want to stand out, then it would be a case of giving me, the creator, options on how I would like to integrate the product or service into my videos. Giving me flexibility is important – it’s not great when a brand is rigid. That’s why I quite like working with online electronics retailer, reichelt, for example, as with them I could work their products into my video in a way that I knew my audience would appreciate [Matt did a how-to-guide for a custom-built PC case, with components supplied by reichelt and the video sponsored by them].

Money is also quite a key factor. I get lots of requests and there’s been quite a few from Chinese manufacturers offering to send me stuff for free if I include it in a video. And that’s not a big enough motive unfortunately!

Are there any typical no-no’s for brands trying to approach you?

Yes, as mentioned, it’s hard to work with brands when there’s too much rigidity. But luckily, most of the offers I get are from very flexible brands. The only problem I’ve had are sometimes with third parties. There was one third party in America that got in touch with me on behalf of a brand and whilst they were saying one thing, the brand was saying something else. It turned out that the third party were being a little manipulative and the brand wasn’t actually aware of this. I don’t have many complaints about brands, but it’s third parties that I’m more careful with.

Your fantastically unique projects amass an average of 600,000 views per video, although many get over 1 million. What would you say are the main factors in developing such a loyal audience?

With my channel, I’m doing what I’m passionate about and it’s reached a niche audience. There aren’t very many channels doing what I do, as they’re quite complicated builds and detailed guides on how to recreate projects at home. So, for me, getting a loyal audience is respecting that.

Sometimes when we’re working with brands, if I’m not being transparent and trying to push something discreetly, they don’t like that. So, avoiding that kind of thing is beneficial. People understand that this is a job and a business, and when you’re transparent, that works for you. Also, just having consistent, quality content is guaranteed to get you a loyal audience who will come back because they know what they’re getting and they look forward to your uploads. They then invest in terms of looking at the rest of your channel.

For me, DIY Perks started as a side thing and created a place where I could just put my projects while I was still in education. When I then finished my studies, I started to realise which format was working well – and that was guides on interesting projects.

Great! So, we’ve seen that recently the Committee of Advertising has fresh guidelines for brands working with influencers, calling for more transparency about the labelling of sponsored posts. Do you see this affecting you in the future?

No, not at all – again this goes back to the benefits of being transparent. This is going to make things better for viewers in the long run, which is going to be better for brands. The more loyal a channel’s following is, the more a brand is going to be able to reach them through the influencer.

So I’d definitely say labelling things more transparently and just being clear about which is sponsored content and which is not, allows people to know what’s going on. It’s better for the brands because it generates goodwill, and is better for the influencers because they won’t get criticised so much by the audience – then better for the audience for themselves, so they can see exactly what’s really happening.

Lastly, how do you see influencer content evolving over the next few years?

I would say it’s going to continue gaining huge momentum. When I’m watching YouTube videos personally, I’m much more influenced by the people I’m following if they’re genuinely promoting a product. I trust these people, and I’m a very hard person to reach advertising-wise.

Adverts just don’t affect me – I’m never encouraged to buy something after watching a television ad. But when it’s a person I watch on YouTube that uses and recommends a product that I would find useful, then I’m more inclined to go out and buy.

It’s much more effective because you can target niche audiences and demographics and that personal trust factor works best.

I think it’s important to keep things transparent and build that trust factor. These are the most significant ways to sell products.